Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2020 Psalm 46:1.

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

And after a rainy and soggy Queen Vic holiday, Tuesday has dawned dry, but cloudy, with blustery winds! And rather unfortunately, it’s under those unfavourable conditions that many of us have to return to work after several weeks of being home under the Coronavirus lockdown. It’s good that some restrictions have been lifted, but there are still a whole lot of unknowns and uncertainties surrounding this virus. So let’s not be rash and irresponsible as we go about our newly gained freedom. 

Yes friends, if we want to prevent another serious outbreak, we still need to maintain that careful cleansing and physical distancing and mask wearing routine as more of us move around outside and come into close contact with each other. It’s as simple as that. And yes, it might sound simple in words, but in deeds and in actions, it’s a completely different matter; a horse of a different colour. (smile) 

Ah mih people, I know that our faith has already been tried and severely tested with the sudden appearance of this unknown virus and the shutdown it’s caused, and now it’s going to be further tested with going out and working and behaving in a brand new way. And since we’re only human, mere mortals, we’re therefore subject to fear, especially fear of the unknown and the untested. But please, let’s rely on our strong faith to lead and guide us as we ought to nuh, for it’s in these fearful and uncertain times that we need our faith to come forward and lift us up. 

Remember that’s one of the basic purposes of faith, of God’s indisputable Word in our lives. And we need to allow faithful and promising scriptures like this one to keep us strong and confident in our great God Jehovah! In the majestic and faith lifting words of Bruh Paul to his young protégé Timothy, let us confidently remember: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yes friends, in these sad and doubtful times we need to have that scripture amongst many others continually echoing in our hearts and souls to keep us strong and faithful. 

And to help us do that, today, we’re featuring this encouraging and reassuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled: ‘You Did All the Rest.’ So please pray with me: ‘O Lord God! I did what You asked me to do: I just opened windows Wide… Wide… And You did all the rest! You poured into my heart A blessed, blissful contentment. You saturated my mind with gigantic thoughts of You. You struck an artesian well within me Until sheer joy sprang forth. 

You led me out of the valley of despair Into a succession of incredible happenings. Problems which seemed insurmountable Melted like wax before my eyes. Fears faded away like threatening clouds. You startled me You amazed me With the glory of Your revelation. It is true Gloriously true…I have literally walked and breathed with God. I just opened windows Wide… Wide… God, You did all the rest!’ And that’s exactly what our wonderful, great, magnificent and magnanimous God will do my faithful brethren if we open the windows of our hearts and souls WIDE… WIDE.. to Him! Glory Be! 

So as the Word faithfully promises: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev. 3:20) Oh friends, I’m sure that Christ is knocking on many doors of many of our hearts today; Right Now! So please, please, let’s not turn Him away nuh. Let’s open the doors and windows and whatever openings there are wide, wide, so that He can come in and be with us and relieve us of whatever fears and problems and troubles and uncertainties that have flooded our souls! 

Remember Christ is the ANSWER! The ANSWER to whatever ails us! And the scripture verse that buoys up our poem, comes from Psalm 46, mighty words indeed that show how great a God, our God is. Hear the psalmist tell it like it is nuh: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46:1-3) 

Yes my faithful friends in Christ, let’s stop for a moment and ponder those words of enormous faith nuh. Let’s allow them to sink into our hearts, bodies and souls and strengthen and encourage us! For there is nothing else in this world that can lift us up like the unerring and ever-truthful Word of God! And I recommend that after reading the Bit, we should all get out our Bibles and read Psalm 46 in its entirety, because it is such a powerful and encouraging  piece of scripture. So much so that I’ll share what the scholars say about it. 

‘Psalm 46. This psalm expresses thanks for the deliverance of Jerusalem, the city of God (vs. 4). It contains three key ideas. First. God is a place of security when all else is insecure (vs. 1-3). Second, God protects His city, giving its people assurance and comfort (vs. 4-7). Third, all men are called upon to consider God’s works and submit to His authority (vs. 8-11). The unshakeable confidence with which the psalm leaves the believer prompted Martin Luther (a German priest, one of the Leaders of the 16th century Protestant Reformation) to pen one of the greatest hymns of all time, ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” 

 Oh my people, my people, it’s that unshakeable confidence I want us to display today…and every day!  And we can do it today, when in strong voice with sincere hearts we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. Wow! 

All together 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!’ 

Now let’s go out, or stay in, (smile) and do exactly that now nuh! Much LOVE!

…ONLY in Christ…can we ever find…ALL that we ever want and need…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.
 
Now bless the Lord, we ‘ve moved on to Thursday, which used to be important as the penultimate day of the work week, because it heralded Friday, which in turn heralded the much looked forward to and desired weekend! But now that work is such a scarce and nebulous thing, mostly virtual, (smile) Thursday has become just like any other day…bland and unappealing, with mostly the same ole, same ole nothing to do – except to delve into social media with even more gusto than before. 

Hn! And is there a lot to delve into! Here’s some more rhetoric that’s traversing the social media. It’s reputed that Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said these words as he warned against people misbehaving during this Covid-19 period. “God has a lot of work, He has the whole world to look after. He cannot just be here in Uganda looking after idiots…’ Now who knows if he really said that eh? But it does make for interesting reading. Now there was another part attached to the message I received, but the sender wasn’t sure if it was the Ugandan president speaking, so we’ll just report this message separately, cause it’s also an interesting message. 

So read with me: ‘In a war situation, nobody asks anybody to stay indoors. You stay indoors by choice. In fact, if you have a basement, you hide there for as long as hostilities persist. During a war, you don’t insist on your freedom. You willingly give it up in exchange for survival. During a war, you don’t complain of hunger. You bear hunger and pray that you live to eat again. During a war, you don’t argue about opening your business. You close your shop (if you have the time), and run for your life. You pray to outlive the war so that you can return to your business (that’s if it has not been looted or destroyed by mortar fire). 

During a war, you are thankful to God for seeing another day in the land of the living. During a war, you don’t worry about your children not going to school. You pray that the government doesn’t forcefully enlist them as soldiers to be trained in the school premises now turned military depot. The world is currently in a state of war. A war without guns and bullets. A war without human soldiers. A war without borders. A war without cease-fire agreements. A war without a war room. A war without sacred zones. The army in this war is without mercy. It is without any milk of human kindness. It is indiscriminate – it has no respect for children, women, or places of worship. 

This army is not interested in spoils of war. It has no intention of regime change. It is not concerned about the rich mineral resources underneath the earth. It is not even interested in religious, ethnic or ideological hegemony. Its ambition has nothing to do with racial superiority. It is an invisible, fleetfooted, and ruthlessly effective army. It’s only agenda is a harvest of death. It is only satiated after turning the world into one big death field. Its capacity to achieve its aim is not in doubt. Without ground, amphibious and aerial machines, it has bases in almost every country in the world. 

Its movement is not governed by any war convention or protocol. In short, it is a law unto itself. It is Coronavirus. Also known as Covid-19 (because it announced its destructive presence and intention in the year of our Lord 2019). Thankfully, this army has a weakness and it can be defeated. It only requires our collective action, discipline and forbearance. Covid-19 cannot survive social and physical distancing. It only thrives when you confront it. It LOVES to be confronted. 

It capitulates in the face of collective social and physical distancing. It bows before good personal hygiene. It is helpless when you take your destiny in your own hands by keeping them sanitized as often as possible. This is not a time to cry about bread and butter like spoilt children. After all, the Holy book tells us that man shall not live by bread alone. Let’s obey and follow the instructions of the authorities. Let’s flatten the Covid-19 curve. Let’s exercise patience. Let’s be our brother’s keeper. In no time, we shall regain our freedom, enterprise and socializing.’ 

Phew! That was long, but certainly interesting. I know many of us can’t associate with the pictures of war that the author draws, but coincidentally, I am currently reading a book about the Nigerian civil war when the nation of Biafra was born for a short while – May 1967- January 1970, and one of the fears of the populace was indeed young men being forcibly drafted in to the army that was training in previous school compounds, as well as a serious shortage of food and housing. 

And yuh know what, Jesus did respond to one of Satan’s temptations in the wilderness with the man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt. 4:4). So let’s find some suitable words from God’s mouth that we can live by in these turbulent times nuh. What about these from Psalm 46, titled ‘God is our refuge and strength?’  The words of the sons of Korah are indeed encouraging and reassuring, so please recite them with me: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble. 

Therefore will not we 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. … Come behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3; 8-11) 

And there is nothing stronger or more reassuring than knowing that our great God is with us my faithful brethren! He will end this crazy war – in His own time! So let’s not fear! Instead let’s loudly and joyfully declare our Thursday Blessings, that He so generously bestowed on us to do His awesome work in tough times such as these. All together 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!’ 

So what we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and generously share all that stuff… or rather, share it through social media and social distancing! (smile) Much LOVE!

…this is not a war we can win on our own…we desperately need the Lord’s help…so let’s repent…and pray for it…