Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2020 2 Corinthians 12:10b.

2 Corinthians 12:10b.     ​For when I am weak, then am I strong.

And as the weekly cycle cycles through its seven-day cycle, it inevitably comes right back to that awesome but much despised day we term Monday! Hn, hn! And no, I’m not mentally challenged because I refer to Monday as being awesome, because so it is. Why? Because, unfortunately, it is the first day of our work week and wakes us up from our weekend lethargy and is thus ofttimes liable to a veritable barrage of abuse, which it confidently takes every week, without batting an eyelash, like a stalwart soldier, and keeps coming back for more, unperturbed by the venomous diatribe so often hurled its way. 

Wow! What a sentence! Bruh Paul would have been proud of it. (smile) But the truth is, I wish that more of us supposed believers were more like Monday, tough and battle-ready, able to withstand the rigours of this pilgrim world, rather than the complaining, fragile Friday, so many of us resemble. Yes friends, Monday has committed no crime. It just happens to be the day that gets us up off of our fat, lazy and lethargic derrieres, so that we can go out and earn our keep, and for that reason alone, we intensely dislike it. But it completely ignores us and keeps doing its job, coming back every seven days to taunt and haunt us. 

And that’s how true disciples of Jesus ought to be; not giving up, even in the face of persecution, of intense trials and tribulation, but getting up every time we fall down and continuing to preach Christ and testify to the good news of His gospel with renewed energy, sincere enthusiasm and expectant hope of a brighter tomorrow. And how do we do that you ask? By remembering the promises of God, found in His holy Word, having them writ indelibly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, so we can raise them up when necessary, and also what He’s already done for us. 

So we’ll just quote a few scriptures that I believe should be at the top of our list. The first is what Jesus asked us to do; what we call the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ ( Matt. 28:19-20) So that’s what He requires of us, and most importantly, He’s also promised that while we are doing His bidding, to be constantly with us, through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. 

Then there’s this from Bruh Paul. ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) Yes friends, whatever we need to do, whatever adaptations we need to make, we can do them with Christ’s enabling power. So that if need to live abased, we can do it with confidence in Christ’s strength, and likewise if we need to live prosperously. That brings us to this awesome promise where God rebuffed Bruh Paul’s prayer to remove a thorn in his flesh, letting him know in no uncertain terms: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).’ (2 Cor. 12:5) 

Glory be mih people! If we sincerely believe that, then we can conquer anything that comes against us. As Bruh Paul proclaims: ‘For when I am weak, then am I strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:10b) Yes friends, we’re always strong, if not in our own strength, then surely in the Lord’s! 

Now here’s some more assurance that was revealed to Bruh Paul. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) So we have no doubt that God will continue to work His good deeds in us through His marvelous grace, to make us more like Christ, move us from glory to glory until whenever Christ returns. That gives us eternal security, ‘for His saving work will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ 

And the last scripture is also awesome and very reassuring. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Mama Mia! So if we are called to do God’s work and do it with LOVE and obedience, no matter what, then He will work it all out for our good eventually. But my people, having all those promises means nothing unless we talk to God, communicate with him through the awesome medium of prayer. So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting Him know our fears and concerns and asking for His divine favour to help solve them. 

All together now, humbly, but confidently.‘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 natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

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 need to display that supposedly sincere repentance in our everyday behaviour, for He’s looking at our hearts, not merely listening to our words. Much LOVE!

…to stand strong in God…we must first know…and then sincerely believe…the promises in His Word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2020 2 Timothy 4:7.

2 Timothy 4:7.    ​I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: 

And yes, it is a cool and cloudy Tuesday morning, and we are beset by all kinds of problems, individually, nationally and internationally, but friends that is no reason to fear and be anxious and lose our cool, our joy and peace in the Lord. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength, (Neh. 8:10) and that the bright and energizing light of Jesus is shining powerfully right now, in the hearts and souls of every person who considers Him their Lord and Saviour! That’s His faithful promise, and as believers, we desperately need to hold on to it in these rather turbulent and dangerous times or else all will fall down. 

My brethren, we were made for these tough times, therefore we have whatever it takes to handle them successfully and see them through to the very end. And today friends, I just want to encourage us, to lift up and strengthen our faith with some enabling scriptures on enduring. So let’s begin with the indisputable truth contained in the words of the psalmist in Psalm 102 – A cry in distress. ‘My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.’ (Ps. 102:11-13) 

Yes faithful saints of Christ, our great God will endure forever and will shower us with His never ending mercy. So please let’s not be afraid as the end times are getting into full swing, and to the ordinary eye, definitely not looking very encouraging. And the psalmist further encourages us: ‘Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure (continue forever): yea, all of them shall wax (grow) old like a garment; as a vesture (cloak) shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed (descendants) shall be established before thee.’ (Ps. 102: 25-28) 

What a mighty promise my people! But as always, we need to believe it and hold on tightly to it, otherwise it’s of no consequence. Yes, our great God will endure forever, there’s no doubt about that, because he is the Creator and maintainer of this wonderful universe, that is now going through the throes of its death knell. But remember this unalterable truth from the author of Hebrews: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.’ (Heb. 13:8) Everything else has the capacity to and possibility of changing, except our Lord and Saviour, so let’s hold on to him nuh, and don’t give up or fear. 

For as Bruh Paul so famously and truthfully declared to the church at Rome: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ (Rom. 8:35) And the answer to that question friends, is a big, fat, loud ‘NOBODY!’ Yes indeed! And as Bruh Paul continues, quoting Ps. 44:22: ‘As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ (Rom. 8:36) 

And our enemies might consider us such, but Bruh Paul begs to differ. ‘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 separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37-39) Now that’s how powerful the LOVE of our God is! 

And the scholars extend this wonderful and most encouraging explanation. ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (cf. vs. 28).’ And we all know quite well what Rom. 8:28 says. But for posterity’s sake (smile) we’ll record it here. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ 

So having said all of those encouraging things above, let’s continue with some more scriptures on enduring and endurance. (smile) Hear this one, from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) Yes friends, we are all soldiers in the army of Christ and soldiers are expected to endure hardship, so let’s do it without too much complaining nuh. For as James says: ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (has been proved), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

Oh my people, our endurance and victory over trials brings God’s blessings. Thus we are not to always seek avenues of escape from our troubles, but rather to grow and mature in those tough situations! So that at the end, we can say with full confidence, like Bruh Paul. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

What else can I say eh friends? It’s all laid out for us, but we have to do our part and accept, believe it, and work diligently (work out our salvation) towards a glorious end! And for those of us who have sincerely and diligently accepted the challenge, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, valiantly proclaiming to an unbelieving world, who and whose we are! 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 get up action that proclamation nuh! It’s what Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…NOW is the time…for Christians…to be the salt of the earth…and let their light shine forth… 

P.S. Yes it’s late, due to the usual late nights…or early mornings, but an ole dog can’t change his stripes in mid-stream mih friends, much less his latter days. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2019 Romans 8:35.

Romans 8:35.    ​Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

It’s that day friends, Sunday, when all roads lead to the Lord’s sanctuary, to praise, give thanks and glorify His holy name, with a humble attitude and penitent heart! Yes, it’s time to refuel our hearts, souls, bodies and minds with His word and the encouragement and confidence that the faithful fellowship of like believers brings. And as always, we begin our worship with a song of praise.

Today’s praise offering is simply titled ‘The Promise,’ a wonderful song of contemporary Christian music, as sung by the Martins, that popular Christian Family Trio out of the Southern U.S. So let’s get soulful and sincere as we raise our voices to heaven, letting our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ know how much we LOVE and adore Him, and how grateful we are for all that He’s done for us through His sacrifice on the cross, but also faithfully keeping the promises He made while down here on earth. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony, let’s sing: ‘I never said that I would give you silver or gold, Or that you will never feel the fire or shiver in the cold. But I did say you’d never, walk through this world alone… Hnnnn! And I did say, don’t make this world your home. I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night, Or that loneliness was something, you’d never have to fight. But I did say, I’d be right there by your side… Thank You sweet Jesus! And I did say, I’d always help you fight. ‘Cause you know I made a promise, that I intend to keep…My grace will be sufficient in every time of need…My LOVE will be the anchor, that you can hold on to. This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. 

I never said that friends will never turn their backs on you, Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool. But I did say, like me, you’ll surely be despised. And I did say, my ways confound the wise. I didn’t say you’d never taste the bitter kiss of death, Or have to walk through chilly Jordan to enter into rest, But I did say, I’d be waiting, right on the other side… (yeah, yeah…He is waiting!) And I did say, I’ll dry every tear you cry. ‘Cause you know I made a promise that I’ve prepared a place, and someday, sooner than you think, you’ll see me face to face… And you’ll sing with the angels and the countless multitude. This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. 

(Talk – I don’t know where you’ve been walking, but I know in life’s devastation, He will pursue you forever. You’ve picked the One who will never let you go! He’s able to do above and beyond anything we can ever ask or think. Hallelujah!) So just keep on walking, don’t turn to the left or right, And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light, That hell can’t separate us, and you’re gonna make it thru… This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. ooooooh, this is the promise, I’ve made to you…this is the promise, I’ve made to you…’ 

Ah mih people, where to begin eh? I really don’t know. Originally I’d thought of finding a scripture for every promise, but when I came to do it, I realized that it would be a humongous task, taking up much more space and time than I have. Anyway, I’ve found a passage of scripture, one that we know really well, that somewhat encompasses all our hopes, dreams, faith and assurance in Christ. Listen to Bruh Paul as he expatiates to the church at Rome. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 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. 8:35-39) 

Yeh friends, if we truly believe and trust and surrender our lives to Christ, NOTHING can, or will ever separate us from His eternal and unconditional LOVE! Now check out this explanation from the scholars: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is his purpose (cf. v.28).’ Who can thwart the well laid plans of the Creator eh? Nobody! 

And I’ll spoon feed us, though we know v.28 better than most other verses. (smile) ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called (the elect, the saints) according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Oh faithful saints, as the scholars say, God is working out all things for good, but we who LOVE Him can appreciate it best, because we LOVE Him come what may. Whatever happens doesn’t change our LOVE for Him one iota! And that’s certainly how it ought to be! So let’s go out and show that to a disbelieving  the world nuh! Much LOVE!

…and, lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt.28:20b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2019 Romans 8:28.

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

All I can say this cold, wet and dark October morn is ‘Thank the Lord!’ The Canadian people have not completely fallen for the vague, insincere rhetoric of the Conservative Party in yesterday’s election. Yes, they did give the returning Liberal Party a minority government, but I sincerely believe, better the devil you know than the one you don’t, especially with the dictatorial, slash and burn Conservative government we already have here in the Province of Ontario! 

Can you imagine the bosom buddies Scheer and Ford in power at the same time? The Lord forbid! Anyhow, let’s be thankful for small mercies! And we’ll leave the political question right there, because I know there will be many varying opinions. I just wanted to give my two cents worth. (smile) 

Let’s turn instead to a much more important matter; God’s timing… And yes, it did play a part in the election because He still controls all that happens in His universe, but right now we’re talking about His timing in our personal lives. So we’ll begin with a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. 

He wisely advises: ‘Don’t try to rush God. Mountains don’t move overnight. Give God time to work His miracles. I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new LOVE, and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on the sand scratched by children’s sticks. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my believing brethren! I can attest to it from personal experience…no, personal experiences! (smile) Ah friends, so often I’ve tried to make things happen in my own strength and failed, then just leave them up to God and see them come through miraculously. So I’ve finally come to accept the fact that if it’s not happening when and how I want it to happen, to just leave it alone and let God do what he does best…run His business! 

Now it’s not an easy attitude to come by, but it surely is a smart one. And furthermore, what I always had problems with was God’s actual timing of His appearance; it was more last minute than first. But truthfully, so far I’ve NEVER seen Him arrive late! Glory to God! And I guess that is simply another method to test our faith and trust in Him. 

So if right now you’re in the heat of a situation that is driving you crazy, please do as Gramps Schuller says: ‘Be patient; God is working everything out. At the right time and in the right way everything will evolve beautifully.’ Yes sir, it will! As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.’  

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate the fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or the “elect.” 

And I’ll spoon-feed us (smile) with the reference to Job. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ Job 13:15) Now that is a scripture verse that we all know and claim, but the problem is can we live up to that standard of unquenchable faith when the chips are down? When it seems like God has turned against us, can we still trust Him like Job did? 

Oh, I know it’s not easy when your world seems to be falling down all around you, to actually rest and wait in and on God. But with His help it is possible my people. And that’s when our faith is really tested and we see how strong it really is. Now here is some excellent advice from Isaiah, it’s something we also know, but have a hard time putting into action. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-30) 

Oh my people, what greater promise can we ask eh? But we also have a part to play in its coming true – be patient, wait on the Lord and His timing. That’s eternal wisdom! Now let’s go home declaring (yeah) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong, sincere voice:  ‘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!’ And the natural consequence is for us to now go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s timing is perfect…to those who wait patiently…in faith…and expectantly on it…

Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyobrien50.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2019 Proverbs 16:9.

Proverbs 16:9.   A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
 

Well at long last it’s Friday, the day we’ve been waiting all week for! Consequently, many spirits are on the rise, just thinking about all the free time and fun time that’s on the horizon. And as I sit writing here at the desk in the Hyatt Regency hotel room, I have a varied set of images to engage my eyes. 

Right out in front of me is a lovely view of the Port of Spain seascape. Up close, the harbour is dotted with what looks like old. cargo ships. But then the expanse of sea extends right to the horizon, revealing different shades of blue under the somewhat cloudy early morning sky. Meanwhile to my left, is the port itself, with a jumble of different types, colours and shapes of ships, and the early morning buildup of the busy Port of Spain traffic down the Wrightson Road artery. 

And the fancy high rise building on my immediate left is the Parliament Building, where our leaders gather to supposedly discuss high matters of state, but too often end up behaving like a bunch of rowdies on the street corner! If that’s the example the supposed leaders set, what else can they expect from their constituents but the same unruly, disorderly behaviour eh? Unfortunately, that seems to be the modus operandi of most elected bodies all over the world! 

Anyway, I don’t have any set plans for the day, so we’ll just play it all by ear. I’m in T&T, so any number can play! (smile) And since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say in his song nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Another week of back breaking work done, and I have a li’l time to mihself now! And believe me, I’m going to use it well; to eat drink, sleep and party, and make some plans for next weekend, which is Easter weekend! 

Might even go to Tobago, if I could get a ticket, and enjoy the many activities that happen over there at Easter time. Things like goat and crab race, boat races, and parties all over the place. Tobago is the place to go for Easter in these parts. But that is next weekend, still have to enjoy this weekend first…and believe me I’m going to do it, in style and fashion too. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, don’t know how I would survive otherwise nuh!’ 

Ah friends, we all would like to let it all hang out like the workingman, but as true believers in Jesus Christ, we have to toe a li’l tighter line, so that the enemy doesn’t have a chance to get inside our souls and work his evil, ungodly business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and enjoy ourselves too, just not as leggo beast as the workingman. So let’s chant our Friday Chant to show our thanks for Friday nuh. With strong voice and true sincerity: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh, it’s not as boisterous as the workingman’s song, because we have to play it a li’l closer to the vest, but it’s still thankful and joyful and give us lots of leeway. (smile) Oh, the duchess is ready to go out for breakfast, so I’ll have to stop here for a while. Soon come! 

Well I’m back finally after some hearty local breakfast at the Breakfast Shed, just up the sidewalk from the hotel. It’s a group of about ten small businesses under one broad enclosure serving local food. And the food good, so they doing good business. And most importantly, the duchess enjoyed it, so I’m happy. (smile) 

And today I’ve been led once again to the wise words of Cousin Sol for our Bit. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ And is that ever so true my people. As the old people would say, ‘man plan, but God laugh!’ That’s because He knows who is the real guide of our footsteps – He himself! 

As the scholar’s explain: ‘16:9. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ No doubt about that friends: the Creator of man is sovereign over him and can disrupt our best laid plans with a simple nod. And Cousin Sol says it this way later on: ‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’ (Prov.19:21) 

And I know that many of us can attest to that, for over the years we’ve made so many plans of our own only to see them sadly jettisoned by the Lord. Now hear how Jeremiah puts it. ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ (Jer.10:23) 

And if all of that is true, then we have to come back to Cousin Sol’s words and ruefully ask: ‘Man’s goings (steps) are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?’ (Prov.20:24) He obviously can’t because the Lord is controlling it all, and His ways and thoughts and plans are so much higher than ours. 

But let it be known that our great God never leaves us in a lurch, in a place where we are without hope, thus this great promise of His through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you and expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

How can you beat that promise eh friends? Only possibly with this one from Bruh Paul: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) So friends, please don’t despair when our plans are thwarted by God, for He usually has something better in mind for us, and it will ALWAYS be for our good! Much LOVE!

…God’s promises are never idle…but are meant to lift our spirits…give us hope…and strengthen our faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2019 Psalm 31:7.

Psalm 31:7.   ​I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles).
 

‘Saturday, oh Saturday; day of not getting up early, of sleeping in, of lying on the couch like a couch potatoe and just letting the world pass me by…Oh how I LOVE thee! Let me count the ways…’ (smile) Yeh friends, Saturday is one of our friendliest days in this busy modern universe, although for some it’s rougher than having to get up and go to work because they have all the household chores to do that have been put off during the week. 

And no, I did not sleep in, I’ve been down here for a while fighting with my computer, it wanting to do its own thing and not my will, then having the audacity to freeze up on me. Oh the boldfaceness of these technological do-dads eh! But it makes me smile, because that’s just the way we behave with our heavenly Father; audaciously wanting to do our will and not His. And when He steps on us, we quick to cry foul. Hn! Hn! But that’s His prerogative as our Maker and Controller. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one answers a question that many of ask: “Why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from Birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.” 

Yeh friends, we can’t disconnect ourselves from anything that has ever happened to us, because they all come together to make us who we are. And then there’s this: ‘Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from….’ Holy smokes! Reading! What is that eh? Our children don’t know the a from b about that! 

Neither do some of us big people. It’s only the nonsense found on the tube and texting the mindless new language that’s developed for these technological toys! One friend sent me an e-mail yesterday with some symbols that seemed to tell me to stick whatever it was where the sun doesn’t shine, only to find out that they meant praying hands. (smile) 

Ah mih people, reading is the best form of quiet recreation, and it also opens up your mind to so many other things and places. And as for me, you can’t be a writer unless you read. There’s nothing like curling up with a good book and just getting lost in it. Even if it’s an electronic one! (smile) 

And we all know this one: ‘If you don’t stand for something you fall for everything.’ How true that is! Being wishy-washy, double-minded and that sort of thing only makes our lives bounce insecurely from one thing to another, with no steadfastness on the horizon. That’s why as Christians, we are encouraged, and admonished to STAND UP for Jesus, because then we have security and sense of purpose! 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote: ‘Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.’ And that’s no lie! But please remember the old saying: ‘try, try again…until you succeed.’ And as believers in Jesus Christ that should be one of the top priorities in our lives, because in Jesus’ kingdom there is NO GIVING UP! 

And though we won’t like this last quote that complements the others very well, it’s very true: ‘There is no better school than that of adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ 

Ah mih people, it’s only in adversity that we grow and hopefully learn from our mistakes. So although many of us are going through some rough times now, please remember they are building blocks for our future, they are the experiences as we said above that make us who we are, and lead us to a future and a hope as the Lord promised. (Jer.29:11) And also that ALL things work together for good to those who LOVE God and are called to do His work. (Rom.8:28) 

That means whatever we’re going through has a definite meaning and correlation to the plan that the Lord has in mind for us and there’s no need to run from or bemoan too much the adversities that come against us, for the Lord would not have allowed them if they were going to damage us. Remember He said that when we walk through the fire or the flood, He would always be with us. (Is.43:2) 

And since many of us have been walking with God for sometime we must have seen the goodness of His hand on our lives, more than once too, thus we ought to be able to say like Bruh David does in our Bit: ‘I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles).’ 

Yeh friends, when we can say that in our times of trouble then we know that our faith is strong. For as Cousin Sol so truthfully and plainly says: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) And the scholars tell us: ’24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of one’s endurance.’ And in terms of our Christian faith and maturity, that is oh so true. 

And yes, it is not easy to be strong when troubles strike, but we also have that most faithful and true promise of Jesus to hold on to. ‘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) Now friends, as supposedly true believers in Christ, if we can’t rest in, and on that promise…then I don’t know what else to say nuh. Much LOVE!

…adversity brings out the best…in true believers…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2018 Luke 1:27.

Luke 1:27.   To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 

Aye friends, is Thursday…and we still alive and kicking! Thanks and glory be to our wonderful heavenly Father for that energizing gift of life. Life might be a tad on the rough side, but our God is good, so we don’t have anything to worry about. Bless His Holy Name! 

And outside is white; a decent amount of snow fell during the night. It wasn’t there when I went to bed, at some early hour (smile) but I looked outside around four a.m. and there it was, covering everything, blanketing it all white. And I said yes, today is the perfect day for that poem! 

Hn! I’m talking about one I recently read on the wall of my young daughter’s room, something she must have written ages ago when she toyed with the idea of becoming a writer. There is no title attached to the poem, but I’m naming it ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow.’ Hope that title satisfies you daughter? (smile) 

Now please read with me, ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow,’ by Lisa O’Brien. ‘I watched the snow drift lazily down from the overcast sky. I marvelled at the breathtaking beauty of the picture being painted right before my eyes: Snowflakes gently caressed the barren branches of the trees, leaving them awash in a dazzling whiteness. Virgin snow carpeted the streets and rooftops…

And if I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that thousands of tiny little diamonds winked out at me that early December morn… like a buried treasure…a fantasy that wasn’t real… that was intangible as the wispy cotton of the clouds! And then I waited…waited with a breathless yet uneasy sense of anticipation, for something to come along and mar this beautiful scene of serenity and perfection.’ 

Yeah mih young D! That was exactly how it looked out there this early December morn! But sadly, as always, mankind eventually comes along and dirties everything he touches. And the snow on the ground is no longer virginal, but has been raped by the cars and the feet and the bikes we use to get us around in this fallen world. 

And for those of you who have never seen virgin snow covering everything in a dim, white darkness, (smile) it does look really beautiful. But trudging and driving through it is a horse of an entirely different colour. But enough about snow, it’s the Christmas season, so let’s deal with the real reason for the season; Jesus! 

Wow friends, what a mighty name that is! Wherever it’s spoken it causes tongues to wag, either in joy, or displeasure. But the name of Jesus is never mouthed without discussion, even to the point of coming to blows. Isn’t that strange, when He is the Prince of Peace? That just goes to show the power that’s inherent in the name! 

Now let’s have a glimpse of how the whole thing began nuh. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the sixth month (of Elizabeth’s pregnancy; John the Baptist’s mother) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Luke 1:26-28) 

Ah friends, sometimes the way our God introduces Himself and His desires can be truly heart stopping. If our hearts aren’t strong we can certainly go under. Just imagine this teenaged Jewish girl nuh, sitting quietly in her house one afternoon and all of a sudden this angel shows up in all His glory and greets her in such a gracious manner. How would you react eh? It would obviously be a rather perplexing situation to us mere mortals! 

But the Good Book continues: ‘And when she (Mary) saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (considered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:29)

But our God is so wonderful that whenever He comes a calling with a task, He never leaves us without a decent explanation…according to His standards that is. (smile) We might however not be satisfied with His explanation, because He always leaves it somewhat open-ended, leaving room for our faith to step up and fill the gap. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (Yahweh is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Mama Yo mih breddren! Can you imagine Mary’s consternation when Gabriel lays all that heavy stuff on her? She’s already engaged, but then she shall have a son, apparently out of wedlock. Can you imagine what her small, closed knit, hypocritical society will do to her? She would be the absolute scorn of the whole town! And poor Joseph would be the laughingstock! 

But friends, our God does not put us in situations we, or He can’t handle. Please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul on the Lord’s behalf, and let our faith be strong and steadfast in whatever He asks us to do. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yeh friends, if God calls us and we sincerely acknowledge that calling with genuine LOVE for Him, then He will eventually work it all out for our good. That’s His promise! And our ever-faithful God NEVER reneges on a promise! So we can afford to stand strong in any circumstance whatsoever! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, goodness and mercy that the Lord has bestowed on those who LOVE Him and willingly do His work!

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 His raison d’etre (purpose) for granting us so many wonderful blessings, is for us to go out and share them with the less fortunate. So, especially at this Christmas time, when there are so many poor and lonely folks out there, let’s share generously with them nuh, so that they too can enjoy the season of Christ’s birth; God’s greatest gift to man! Much LOVE!

…sharing with others…is Christ-like…and what Christianity is truly all about…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2018 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.   And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
And the spinning wheel spins…but no one knows where it’s going to stop! And isn’t that the awesome truth friends! But thankfully our spinning wheel has stopped on Tuesday…and hooray! The rain seems like it’s finally stopped too! Praise be!

Brother! Yesterday this area was as dreary and gloomy and rainy as I’ve seen it in some time! I went out in the morning in rain…came back in rain. Went out in the evening in rain…came back at midnight in rain! 

Chuh! And it wasn’t even like it was good showers but a puerile, incessant drizzle, which is more annoying than a big shower, which just comes down and stops.

Today has opened dark and cold, let’s hope it’s not more SAD weather. (smile) Anyhow, to conquer all of that negativity, here is an interesting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it, ‘A Prayer for Hope.’ And do we ever need hope in these trying times! 

Please pray with me: ‘I have a strong, serene feeling that God is planning something good for me today. I cannot explain it, but I have a deep feeling that wonderful things are in store for me. I am expecting God to surprise me with His tender mercy. He will turn my hurts into halos. He is guiding my life in such a way that whatever happens to me will prove to be a beautiful blessing. Thank You, Lord. Amen!’ 

And that’s what hope is friends, a positive expectancy that God is working on our behalf! Bless His Holy name. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen TO ME today…Something good is going to happen THROUGH ME today!

That’s how we need to feel each and every day my fellow believers. I know it’s not always easy to be upbeat and positive, but the more we are, the better our lives will be. 

And please remember that great promise of the Lord’s that gives us eternal hope. Bruh Paul reminded the Romans of it: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ 

Yeah friends! What a mighty promise that! And if it’s one thing we’re very sure of is that our wonderful God keeps ALL of His promises! Glory be! So let’s ride on that sure wave nuh, like a surfer seeing a big one coming and just dying to ride it. Once we LOVE the Lord and are called to do His work, He will eventually work out everything for our benefit. The catch there is that oftimes backbreaking word ‘eventually.’ 

The Lord does His work in His time, and nothing is really going to change that. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts, wisdom and knowledge are greater than ours, so we just have to be patient, persevering and long-suffering and wait for Him to work His work. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but in the end it will work out magnificently, if we don’t lose heart and faint or give up. 

And the only way to overcome all the heartache, trials and pain my people, is to have the attitude that it’s all for our benefit, to grow and mature us, to make us more Christ-like. Remember we can’t grow unless we face some adversity, since we don’t truly grow in the good times. 

But the Lord NEVER gives us more than we can handle, and even when it seems so, He’s ALWAYS there with a helping hand to take us through the flood and the fire! Oh my brethren, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! Give Him some much deserved praise and thanks nuh! 

Ah friends, when we are the called, the elect, the saints of God, we LOVE Him with such a fierce and undying fervour, that no matter what happens we’ll NEVER leave His fold! As Job said so magnificently so long ago: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ (Job 13:15) 

What a powerful statement my people! Like the scholars declare, those first words of that verse ‘express the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust God.’ Oh my faithful brethren, can we say those words and mean them? We ought to be able to as true believers in Christ. 

And as Bruh Paul explains to Timothy: ‘(God) Who hath saved us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (time) began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:’ (2 Tim.1:9-10) 

Yuh see friends, our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God has it all planned out: from day one to the last day, it’s only a matter of waiting on His timing. And believe me, there’s no better dramatist than our God! If you haven’t observed that in your own life, then you’re not truly involved with Him, you’re not paying proper attention. End of sermon! (smile)

Now let’s go home declaring (Yay, spelled it right!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In powerful unison now and strong sense of purpose:

‘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!’ 

And if we truly mean it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…the innumerable and immeasurable joys…of LOVING and serving Jesus…they can’t ever be quantified or qualified…

 

 

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