Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2020 Psalm 63:3.

Psalm 63:3.    Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
 

And then it was Monday… a new day and a new week, but the world was still in panic and pandemic mode. However, true believers in Almighty God were calm and peaceful, as they faithfully declared like Bruh David did when he was running in the wilderness of Judah from his many enemies: ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps. 63:1) Ah friends, many of us figuratively feel like we’re in a wilderness without water today because of our many unsolvable problems, some of us might even be literally in a dry desert. 

But please take heart, the Lord knows our situations, and He’s in the process of fixing them, we just have to remain faithful and stick close to Him, as Jesus so powerfully and truthfully declared: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) He couldn’t have put it any plainer than that. So there are two basic things we need to do this early Monday morning, in fact every morning. The first thing is to stick close to our great God, then the next is to seek His face early with prayer; hopefully as soon as we are consciously awake. 

Yes, we don’t even have to get out of bed, before we offer some thanks and praise, and asking for health and wisdom to have a good day while being obedient to His will. And that will usually set the tone for our day; allowing the Lord to get into our soul and spirit first, rather than give Beelzebub the first chance to corrupt our fragile and tender souls. For as Bruh David continued, two verses down: ‘Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.’ 

Wow mih people! What a powerful, and oh so truthful statement! The Lord’s mercy is indeed better than life…in fact it is life giving, in the sense that without His abundant mercy, we wouldn’t have any life at all, since we have all sinned and come short of His glory, and the penalty for sin is death. But because mercy is not receiving what we deserve, He’s been merciful to a fault and allowed us to have salvation and eternal life! And yes, I did digress a tad there, (smile) but I thought it was important to point out that small matter. Hn, hn! 

So where were we? Oh yeh! We were talking about sticking to Jesus like white on rice, and seeking His face in prayer early everyday. Now assuming that we’ve already stuck to Him, let’s seek His face in prayer through our Monday Morning Covid-19 Battle Hymn nuh. As one body now, with sincere hearts: ‘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 hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. 

Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 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. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, 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!’ 

And yuh know what friends, because the Lord judges us by the state of our hearts and not our mouths, and our hearts just now were truly sincere, we know that the Lord will answer our prayer, just in His own time! And that’s the part that gives us trouble; the waiting for His timing. But as He says, His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so if we’re smart, we’ll just wait with a good attitude, until He achieves whatever He desired to achieve when He allowed the deadly virus to proliferate in such a worldwide manner. 

Consequently, wisdom decrees that we declare and behave like Bruh David continues after our Bit. ‘Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best; lit. fat) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips; When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after (close behind) thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.’ (Ps. 63:4-8) 

And that last clause is the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ – the Lord’s strong right hand is what upholds us in this earthly pilgrimage. And when we remember all that the Lord’s already done for us, is now doing, and has promised to do in the future, then ought our mouths to loudly sing His praises through joyful lips, and our attachment to Him, never falter, as we constantly seek His face, early in the morning, during the day, and late at night. That’s how true saints, true believers ought to live my brethren! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2020 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 

And life goes on one way or the other through this Coronavirus time. But these calamitous times will end one day, when the Lord so desires. Yes friends, this too will undoubtedly pass, when the Lord achieves the purpose(s) for which He allowed it. However, in the mean time, we have two options of living life, as author Daniel Darling proposes in an article I recently read. ‘We can spend the rest of our years angry at what we think we’ve lost, or we can spend them in sweet dependence on God.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! We can either get angry and be miserable about all the negative things that have happened and are still happening, or simply do like our leader, Jesus Christ advises; put our total trust and dependence in Him; the One who has moved us from death and eternal separation from God, to salvation and eternal life with Him. Just consider His Great Invitation nuh: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Wow! Is anybody else offering, or have ever offered such a glorious invitation? No sir! And as author Darling continues in his article: ‘This is the difference, I think, between those whose lives are marked by grace and those whose lives are filled with frustration and anger.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Grace and peace come through association with Jesus, but anger and frustration are the product of a constantly dissatisfied and negative spirit, like that of Satan. And with the free will God granted us, we must now choose our preferred or desired course of action: doing life with Him, or death with the prince of demons. 

As Moses, on God’s behalf said to the Israelites: ‘I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut.31:19) The Lord’s saying the same thing to us today my people. And if that didn’t resonate with you, (smile) then listen to this other invitation that Joshua, Moses’ replacement as the Israelite leader, gave them. 

‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (the Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:14-15) 

There it is friends, plainly set out in black and white! Now it’s up to us to choose. And since I know that most of us have obviously chosen ‘life, blessing, and the Lord God of Israel,’ then it now behooves us to communicate with Him and follow His rules and regulations, which can sometimes be onerous, but are always for our benefit. (smile) Okay, some of us doubt that, but if you keep the faith and grow in it, you will eventually realize that it’s oh so true. So let’s communicate with our Creator nuh, in the manner that He set out; purposeful, confident and humble prayer. 

And this Monday morning the most stressful and discouraging thing on our minds is the Covid-19 disease, therefore let’s address that matter uppermost in our prayer, the one we call our Monday Morning Covid-19 Battle Hymn. Altogether now: ‘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 hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

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. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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!’ 

Ah friends, if that didn’t get God’s attention, I don’t know what will nuh. (smile) But He is the Boss and it’s His decision! So now we wait with patience, meaning perseverance, faith and hope, eager anticipation, and a trusting heart, because as we said at the beginning, all will be revealed and come to pass in His time, not ours. And yes, unfortunately our great God doesn’t see, or perceive time in the same simple way that we do, but on a more lofty level. 

And to reinforce our differences, He has said through His prophet Isaiah: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways may ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) Now that certainly puts us in our place. And it’s rather sad that so many of us don’t seem to believe it, one of the major reasons why our world is in such a disastrous state. I don’t know what else we need to truly understand that we are not masters of our own fate! Much LOVE!

…to the Creator…belongs…the life and times of the created…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2020 Revelation 3:19.

Revelation 3:19.    ​As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 

So we’ve rolled into ‘Holy Week’ where we see Jesus go through a rather intense and emotional time, knowing that the occasion He was born for, His essential task, was close at hand. He knew it would all lead to a setta ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, ending with His crucifixion on the old wooden cross on Calvary’s Hill on Good Friday. And it’s struck me as being somewhat symbolic that at the same time Jesus is going through His adversity, this year, we are also going through some of the roughest times we’ve ever experienced in the world, with this Covid-19 virus situation. 

We’re locked down, with our lives in serious jeopardy and essentially in limbo, keeping away from others, no work and no pay, the streets are for the most part empty of both humans and traffic, people are sick and dying, some can’t even get attention for illnesses because the Health System can’t handle it. Panic, anxiety and fear are rampant, and we can’t get any sure and true answers to when and where and how it will all end because no one really knows. It even seems like a more fearful and disastrous time worldwide, than during the two world wars we fought in the early part of the last century. 

At least then we knew our enemy and what weapons it would take to defeat Him, but in this time of ‘germ warfare’ which has hit us so unexpectedly, we have no real knowledge of it, even where it came from, much less a cure for it. And I’ve said all of that, just to ask this question: do we see the mysterious moving of the Father’s hand in it all? I think we should, because I firmly believe that this is a worldwide wake-up call for confession and repentance. And even if it’s not, then the wisest move we can make is still to turn back to God and confess our manifold sins and wickedness, for there’s no doubt that the current state of mankind is possibly at the most evil and sinful level it’s ever been. 

Please friends, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the omnipotent God, who still sits on His heavenly throne and still controls the world He created, will allow us to get away indefinitely without some kind of chastisement for our blatant disregard of His rules and regulations and foolish, futile attempts to remove Him from our society? Remember the Lord LOVES all whom He has created with a deep and burning, never-ending LOVE, and He doesn’t want to lose even ONE of His most valuable creations to the enemy. So if we step out of His will for too long, it’s only expected that He will try to correct us, to bring us back into line. 

This scripture tells the story of God’s discipline: ‘For consider him (Jesus) that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb. 12:3-7) 

Unfortunately, in this soft and irresponsible world the answer to that question is too many sons are not chastened, and that’s partly why our world is in such a sinful mess. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of wisdom: ‘He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)’ (Prov.13:24) Yes friends, LOVE and discipline go together. And not sparing the rod doesn’t necessarily mean child abuse as so many of us preach today, then wonder why our children have turned out the way they are, and hence the behaviour in our society is less that satisfactory. 

So yes, I do believe it’s a warning, and a serious one at that. It could mean that the Lord is just tired with our sinful shenanigans, or that Christ is coming back sooner than we expect, or even both. Anyway friends, please, I implore us, let’s take this next scripture to heart nuh, these immortal words of Jesus to John in his vision of revelation. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ As always, Jesus puts it as plainly and simply as possible. So let’s take His wise advice and do that right now nuh, by coming to God in sincere prayer, declaring our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now: ‘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 hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

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. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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 let’s hold true to that promise, for remember Cousin Sol says the worst thing we can ever do is to make a vow to God and not keep it. Better not to have made it at all. (Eccl. 5:4-5) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts knocking…please, please…let’s open them and let him in nuh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2020 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    ​Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
 
Arise people, it’s Monday, the start of another week of work, even for those of us who are working from home. Let’s not abuse the privilege and try to be just as diligent and excellent in our work habits as when we had to physically venture out into the evil world. Nothing much has changed; confusion, uncertainty and panic still abound, but more importantly, our great and wonderful God is still on His heavenly throne overseeing things! And in that everlasting fact, we can put our sincere hope, faith and trust, knowing that He will keep His promise and work everything out for our good eventually. But we still have to do our part in the partnership, and at this moment, that’s prayer. 

So right now, in this turbulent time, let’s come before the Lord and ask for His help, as we pray our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘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 hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

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. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

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

Now we just have to do like Bruh David says: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:14) And when we have faithfully waited on the Lord, you know what will eventually happen? We will sing the song of praise of the redeemed, like Isaiah writes: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Oh friends, there is no better feeling than having waited faithfully, eagerly and expectantly for God’s promise, to be fulfilled in His time, and then having it come to pass. And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name; now and forever!’ And do we ever need to do that as often as possible, since He is indeed very worthy to be praised! Now hear these words of further encouragement from Cousin Sol: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! For as the scholars explain: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ That’s an indisputable fact! When our dreams and hopes don’t come true, we tend to fall into bouts  of depression. But when they come to pass…oh boy…the joy that they bring is overwhelming. That’s why friends, we need to do like Zechariah advises: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech. 9:12) And you know who is the stronghold He speaks of? Zion’s future King; Jesus Christ! 

Oh my people, our ONLY true help in this time of crisis is the Creator and Controller of our Universe, the Lord God Almighty, in conjunction with His Son, Jesus Christ, the name above all names, who redeemed us by His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, and His Holy Spirit, who works His miracles in our souls and spirits! So please, this Monday morning, in this time of pandemic, let’s not lose hope in our great God and His faithful promises. Instead, let’s ramp up our hope, and do like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: 

‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good. Be ye kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another; Not slothful in business (lagging in diligence); fervent (boiling over) in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer; Distributing to the necessity (needs) of saints; given to hospitality. Bless (speak well of) them which persecute you: bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.’ (Rom. 12:9-15) 

And don’t tell me we can’t do those things friends, because they are all a part of basic Christianity, a part of the foundation, the example Jesus laid down for His church to follow! And believe me, we, the church of Christ, need to do them more than ever in these cruel and trying times, if we desire and expect to have any hope of survival. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…but the greatest of these three is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2020 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.    ​There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.
 

Well a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve now reached the middle of the Lenten Season. But unfortunately there’ll be no public celebrations in green this year as the lockdown of the world continues… with the panic moving right along with it! Ah Lord eh! Canada has now barred certain people from certain places from entering the country. You’ll have to check out the Canadian Government Website to find out exactly who or whom are no longer welcome.  And sadly, every day, it seems to be getting worse; more people contracting the virus, more people dying, more empty shelves in the groceries and supermarkets, more places closing, but absolutely no word of how and when this pandemic will end, and certainly no reassuring news of some antidote been found to contradict the virus. 

But friends, when the Lord made man, He instilled one truly admirable quality in him; that of hope which leads to faith; of being able to fight through extremely tough situations with His awesome help. And in these turbulent and tremulous times, with no positive end in sight and no medical solution on the near horizon, it’s our faith and trust and surrender to Almighty God that is going to get us through. And to bolster our faith and courage and lessen our fear, here’s ‘A Great Message for the moment.’ A beautifully written piece by one Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM. I received it from a friend yesterday, and thought I just had to share it because it was so true and beautiful and uplifting. Please read carefully, inwardly digest and take the necessary outward actions. It’s titled “Lockdown!” 

‘Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is buying panic. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. 

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today, a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary. All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting. All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way. 

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To LOVE. So we pray and remember that, Yes, there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes, there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is buying panic. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes, there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul. Yes, there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of LOVE. 

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe, listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again. The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by LOVE. Open the windows of your soul. And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, SING!’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that touching! I certainly hope that it resounds powerfully within each and everyone of us. And if you will, please share it, because it’s the first positive reaction I’ve seen throughout these crazy and panic-filled times. And strangely enough, earlier on this morning, when I got up and went to the bathroom, I heard birds singing outside for the first time this year, and smiled to myself, thinking, spring is near! Glory be! (smile) 

And the psalmist said it in spades, so long ago: ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord, he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps.100:1-5) 

Precious people, just in those five verses the psalmist has spelled it all out for us; the Lord God is good and mighty, and we need to bow before Him with singing and praise and thanksgiving! And singing has always been a way to ease the pressures of life. As another psalmist says: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.’ (Ps.104:33-34) And as Bruh Paul told the Ephesians on how to be Spirit-filled: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) 

Ah my people, that is the first move we ought to make in this crisis; seek God! And I do hope that we see His hand at work in this fear-filled time, because it is present. It’s His way of reining us in, of bringing us back to our senses, and as the author says above, of showing us how small we really are and how little control we do have over our lives and situations. It’s His way of bringing us back to him, killing our false and foolish pride, of showing that the most important thing is not worldly wealth and power, but His righteousness. That’s why His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said so emphatically during His earthly sojourn: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

But no, we in our false pride and bravado, with the li’l intelligence we’ve gleaned over the years, have now gotten so big for our britches, that we now desire to, and foolishly believe we can remove our Creator from our society. Hn! What a nonsensical desire and belief! And I have to sadly chuckle when I think about the small virus that the Lord has used to bring us to our knees. Think about it nuh people. Some small, simple, unknown infection is driving the mighty mankind crazy! Can you believe it? 

But yet in all the confusion, many of us are finding, new hope, stronger faith, trust and LOVE! And why is that? Because as John says: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ And having said all of that, my faithful followers of Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! 

In strong voice with sincere hearts in these trying times, let’s be strong in our Triune Godhead. ‘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 in our current situation, we do need to share the warm, reassuring LOVE of Christ and His amazing friendship with each other more than ever. Much LOVE!

…when you’re sad…sing songs of praise…and you’ll reclaim your joy…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2020 Numbers 13:30.

Numbers 13:30.     And ​Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it (take possession of it); for we are well able to overcome it.
 
Come Monday morning we’ll all be up bright and early, dressed and rearing to get out into the evil world and do good work for Jesus! Wow! Now that doesn’t have to be a pipe dream, but can become reality if we are really interested in furthering Christ’s kingdom. But unfortunately, though I am a prisoner of hope, I also am practical and know from hard experience that many of us supposed believers will never reach that high state of being ready and rearing to go on a Monday morning. 

But I am believing that the numbers will lessen as we move forward. Consequently, I can safely say that we will always need our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to act as an antidote for our Monday morning blues. So let’s get on with it nuh. In strong and sincere voice, with humility and confidence that our prayer will be answered because it is within God’s will. 

As one 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!’ 

And like magic, (smile) through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, the heavenly worker bee, our souls and spirits and attitudes begin changing right away! A sudden burst of energy shoots through our bodies, while our souls and spirits react with a hitherto unknown enthusiasm and confidence and we’re finally ready to go out and fight who or whatever the world pits against us, all in the name and strength of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! We no longer see ourselves as grasshoppers in the eyes of the world’s evil giants, unable to defeat them, like the ten spies who went out with Joshua and Caleb to espy the Promised Land. (Num. 13:33) 

But we’re now like Caleb, who ‘stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it (take possession of it); for we are well able to overcome it.’ And unfortunately, like the ten fearful and negative spies, such is the state of too many Christians in this day and age. The Caleb’s and Joshua’s are rather few and far between. Thus the people of Israel, listening to the gutless spies, rebelled against the Lord, calling for a captain to lead them back into slavery in Egypt.(Num. 14:1-4) What gutless wonders my brethren! That’s why they wandered 40 years in the wilderness till all those who had come out of Egypt had died, except Joshua and Caleb. 

And while the Israelites were looking to go back to Egypt, the Good Book tells us: ‘Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces (prostrated themselves) before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent (tore) their clothes. (a gesture of deep distress). And they spake unto all the company children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 

If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it to us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against  the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us (food for our consumption): their defense (protection) is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.’ (Num. 14:5-9) 

What a moving speech by Joshua and Caleb. And the reaction from the people? The Good Book  relates it thus: ‘But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of before all the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke (despise) me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the (miraculous) signs which I have showed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.’ (Num.14:10-12) 

What a sad state of affairs friends, and Moses had to intercede for them with the Lord. (Num. 14:13-19) But we can’t be too judgemental of the Israelites, because we’re behaving just like them today. And why do I say so? Because of two explanations by the scholars. The first: ‘13:27-29. The report of the spies was factual: the land was fruitful, the people were strong, the cities were walled and very great, and the giants dwelled in the land. But they had left God out. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith (Heb.3:19).’ And the second: ‘14:11. The purpose of the signs performed in Egypt was to encourage the people to trust in God and follow Him (Ex. 4:5) 

Yes friends, just like the Israelites we have left God completely out of our current situation, and neither do we have the trust and faith in Him that all His many miracles wrought on our behalf ought to have raised to great levels. Thus so many of us are walking around in this evil and ungodly wilderness called the world, lost and forlorn, but still rebellious, even in the face of God’s truth. 

But friends, as the old people would say; however you make up your bed, that is how you have to lie on it. And there are only two ways to make up our beds; faithful and strong with Jesus, or weak and evil with Beelzebub! The choice is yours. But I implore us to choose the former because it’s the wisest and best choice, the one with all the good and lasting benefits! Much LOVE!

…this day…I put before you life and death…choose life…and live forever…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2019 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

 

Awright my people, let’s do our Monday morning thing nuh: arise, give thanks for seeing another wonderful day and being imbued with the grace and mercy to face it, then get ourselves together and get out into the war-like world and battle valiantly for Jesus! Oh what a joy and a privilege it is to fight under Jesus ‘banner! Especially since there is no doubt whom the victorious conqueror will be…Jesus Christ Himself! In fact, He’s already won the battle, having defeated the toothless lion Satan and taken away the keys of hell, death and the grave through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension! All praise and glory be to our Lord and Saviour my brethren! 

However, since we’re only frail humans, it’s obvious that not all of us will be bright and beautiful and enthused so early in the morning, that’s why we have this antidote for what ever ails you on a Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it’s specially programmed to get us in to the swing of things. (smile) So let’s declare it like we truly mean it nuh. 

As one 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!’ 

Gotcha mih breddren! The Holy Spirit is working miracles in you right now…I can see it! Your attitude has improved, you’re smiling and anxious to get into the fray now, singing psalms and hymns as you get ready, and promising to do your best, be diligent and excellent in Jesus’ name! And that’s the way it ought to be friends…Jesus’ people being ready, willing and able to do battle on His behalf at the beginning of each and every day, but more so on a Monday morning, the first day of the workweek, for generally speaking, how you begin is how you finish! 

That’s why it’s oh so important to believe and action what the scriptures tell us: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ What wonderful words of wisdom precious people of God! And yuh know what, to make it even better, we have the best example possible when coming to running the ofttimes difficult and always contrary race of life in our Lord and Saviour. 

As the author of Hebrews continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) Yes my fellow saints, Jesus didn’t have it easy; He was shamed, ridiculed, despised, humiliated, flogged, suffering all the negative aspects of rejection, but He never gave up, He simply focused on running the race His heavenly Father had mapped out for Him…and so too should we. 

Jesus knew there would be rewards for His obedience…and so will we. Yes, it wasn’t easy for Jesus, and it won’t be easy for us either, but that’s why we were given the Helper and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to assist us in doing it. The problem though is we have to buckle down and follow the Spirit’s leading and guidance, if we want to be successful in this earthly race. 

Now here are a couple of encouraging words from Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize so run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body (discipline it), and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (be disqualified).’ (1 Cor,9:24-27) 

Yeh my people, if we don’t want to be disqualified from Christian ministry and lose our heavenly rewards for that service, then we need to discipline both our bodies and our spirits. That’s the ONLY way we can run a successful earthly race, and thus be able to say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) 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) 

Oh friends, I can’t say much more than that, except to implore us to go out today and fight a good fight, run a good race in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…pray, believe and stay steadfast…so that you don’t get weary…in running your earthly race…

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