Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2020 Matthew 4:4.

Matthew 4:4.    ​It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
 

Aye mih people, it’s another day in the life; another uncomfortable and unpredictable day in the sojourn, the pandemic and panic of Covid-19, with no end really in sight as yet, just more confusion, so let’s do the wise and smart thing and begin our day with some age old encouragement nuh, some acclamations that have been tried and tested and found rather useful down through the ages of time! And if that isn’t a Bruh Paulian sentence, I don’t know what is! (smile) 

So please declare out loud with me: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) And on top of that: ‘God will supply ALL of my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus, our wonderful Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil. 4:19) Mama Yo! What could be more encouraging than that eh? Well this: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) And yuh feel that divine and supernatural strength just flowing through your veins now mih people? I know you do! Because we just know that ‘If God is for us, who the hell can be against us eh? (Rom. 8:31) Not a single, bloody soul my faithful brethren! 

Because He is the most powerful being in the universe, and if He’s got our back, then we’re safe like nobody or nothing else can make us! Therefore, with ALL of that wonderful stuff going for us from and through our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Creator, we can truly and faithfully declare these marvellous words that Joshua declared so long ago: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord!’ (Josh. 24:15) Yes, precious people, as long as we draw breath on this earth, regardless of whatever trials and tribulations may come against us, let us not stray from that tried and true path that leads through Jesus Christ, right to the throne room of Almighty God in the high heavens! Amen! 

And I don’t know about you all, but that has certainly energized me! (smile) So, since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary, most likely out of work, workingman has to say nuh. And as always, he opens with: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ (but not with his usual enthusiasm and expectant tone.) ‘Chuh! But that sounds so hollow though, since there’s nothing to look forward to. Friday’s become just like any other day, not the prelude to the weekend, like it was when I was working. Doh even remember when last I worked. This Covid-19 nonsense been going on for so long now. 

Thankfully though, I’m now getting a few dollars from the government that helps to pay the mortgage and put some food on the table…but it’s definitely not enough to do everything. I can’t even work a li’l overtime to get me over the top. Ah Lord eh! When it all going to end eh? Like we all in jail yes! Can’t even go outside and talk to nobody…got to keep this social distancing foolishness…oh I know it’s necessary, but it’s still seems foolish…staying six feet from people when yuh see them, even though yuh ent see nobody in a long time! Steups! But ah guess we still have to give God thanks that we still alive and kicking some, and as they say, this too shall pass…just hope it don’t take too much longer to pass nuh…’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ Jesus, that’s how this lonely, anxious and unpredictable time is affecting a lot of us, believers included. That’s why it’s ever so necessary for us to delve into God’s Word and find encouragement to keep us going strong in faith and courage. Remember Jesus’ rebuke to Satan when he tempted Him in the first time in the wilderness about making bread from stone. Now that would have been a piece of cake for Jesus to accomplish, but then He would have been bowing to Satan’s request, which as the Son of God, He could not do; therefore He replied: ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ 

He was referring there to Moses earlier warning to the Israelites way back when they came out of bondage from Egypt and the Lord was teaching them how He wanted them to live as His Chosen People. (Deut. 8:3) And that provision still stands today my people. In the Word of God is where we find ALL that we need to successfully live this life! It’s our Guidebook for earthly living! And the Lord specifically said it to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh my people, my fellow saints in Christ, what more has the Lord God Almighty has to say to us to make us listen and get into His most marvellous Word eh? He’s stated it as clearly as possible: when you read it consistently and study it, then put it into practice, then you’ll be successful and prosperous! That’s a no-brainer! 

But we’ve become so blooming full of ourselves and figure the li’l knowledge we have is so great, that we refuse to follow the simple, but tried and trusted way set out in the Lord’s guidebook. That’s foolish friends, especially in these disturbing and scary times. So let’s get wise and return to the Good Book nuh, where we can find enormous encouragement, assurance, grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life! It’s the ONLY answer to ALL our problems! Now let’s go home doing what we’ve also been encouraged to do, communicate with Holy God through prayer; our rejigged Friday Chant. 

As one sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And then we do what the Good Book says: wait expectantly, displaying hope and faith; keep on reading and praying, and doing good and not evil. Much LOVE!

…without bread…the body dies…but the spirit lives by…the Word…

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 26 February 2020 Job 13:15.

Job 13:15.    ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain (defend) mine own ways before him.
 
Hi yah Wednesday! How yuh doing eh? Hope yuh doing good. But yuh know what? Even if you not doing good, we going to do good, because we believe in Jehovah God, the most mighty and excellent One, and He has promised to provide all our needs according to His riches in glory through His most wonderful Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior! Glory be! 

That same Son who died on the cross at Calvary so our sins could be forgiven and cast away as far as the east is from the west and we could once again come to the Father in good relationship like our forefathers Adam and Eve did! Wow! What good news…the best news ever! And thus, with all of that in mind, we can therefore say, ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ 

And furthermore, because of all that has gone before, I can confidently proclaim that as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord God Jehovah all of our days! Now that’s telling the foolish enemy Satan! Yes, despite all of his best shots we not going to renege on our promises to our heavenly Father, just like we know He’s not going to renege on His to us. 

That’s what yuh call faithfulness friends! And faithfulness can only be built on trust. And trust can only be built when people and God spend serious time in each other’s company. And there are no words in the Good Book that portray a more magnificent sense of trust, of acceptance, than those of Job, rightfully called the father of patience. 

In all his sorrow and suffering and rejection by his friends and family and knowing that he had not committed any heinous sin that could have brought all that tribulation upon him, he still made this awesome promise: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain (defend) mine own ways before him.’ 

Oh friends, how many of us under the same situation would have been able to make such a confident statement eh? Not many. Just look at the comparatively small challenges we go through nowadays and yet so many of us are quick to get angry with God and renounce Him. But to be true believers, a faith and trust resembling Job’s is what we need to have. 

As the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses 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 in God.’ Yes my people, I know that kind of unquenchable faith is not easy to come by and only through serious trials and tribulations will we ever come to it, but it is the height of faith to which we ought to aspire. 

And it is only through strong and expectant hope and faith that we will be able to handle the many trials and tribulations of this evil and ungodly world. And if we look at the chapter in the Good Book, Hebrews 11, called the ‘Heroes of Faith,’ we’ll see that all of those heroes lived by faith rather than by sight, they conquered their fears and their worlds through certain trust in the Lord their God. 

The chapter mentions heroes like, Noah, Enoch, Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the harlot Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, not to mention Bruh Joseph, Bruh David and Bruh Paul who all stood strong and did God’s bidding through enormous faith. Yes, I know Bruh Paul wasn’t mentioned there, that’s possibly because he wrote the Book of Hebrews. (smile) But no one had as much faith and zeal for the Lord after the Lord made him see the error of his ways on his journey to Damascus. 

And please remember this oh so important verse of scripture my faithful brethren: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists, is alive and kicking), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently see him.’ (Heb.11:6) And under the prevailing tenets of our faith, that is just basic logic and common sense, but it still needs to be taught. (smile) 

And that’s why Cousin Sol wrote these wise, outstanding and immortal words to which we ought to pay great heed if we want to live successful lives. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (make straight or smooth thy way). 

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:5-10) 

Oh my people, my people, that is Christianity 101 right there! Technically speaking, that is all we need to know and do to live a successful Christian life, since it possesses all the elements of our wonderful faith. So please, let’s take a serious look at our lives today nuh, and see if we’re truly living the faith we claim to believe in as per those directives above. And since we can all do better, (smile) let’s ask the Lord for help to do so. 

But in the meanwhile, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. All together in strong voice with sincere hearts. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes my brethren! Let’s keep looking forward to that wonderful future nuh, with strong hope, faith and trust, because it will be even more wonderful than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…the stronger our faith…the greater our success…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2019 John 14:6.

John 14:6.    ​I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 

Oh how good and how pleasant it is to have only worked one day and yet reached the middle of the week! That’s what a lot of Canadians are saying or thinking this bright Wednesday morning. But many of them are still tired after a hectic weekend of Canada Day celebrations, so there is the trade off. (smile) 

But hear these interesting and encouraging words of Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English Renaissance philosopher, lawyer, statesman and one time Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of the British Government. He reputedly said: ‘The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one. Nay, it is obvious that the more active and swift the latter is the further he will go astray.’ 

Yeh friends, sticking to the right road is ever so important in these evil and ungodly times. And it’s obvious the more active and energetic we are, the more likely we are to go astray. It’s like the story of the tortoise and the hare. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, if you are on the wrong road you’ll end up going astray. As they say, slow, but sure is the best way to be. 

But the word slow is anathema in today’s society, because we want everything quickly, we don’t want to have to wait for anything. Just check out the speed of the computers and cell phones and the other pieces of modern day equipment nuh; each version seeks to be faster than the other. But the problem is that too fast oftimes leads to also being wrong. 

But friends, the important thing in this life is not speed, but keeping our eyes on worthwhile goals and getting to them steadily and with a good and godly attitude. And the long and short of this whole story of the way though people, is that it all begins and ends with Jesus! Yes friends, He said it to His disciples in simple but undisputable terms. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

Oh my people, my people, it couldn’t be put any clearer and more straightforward than that! If you don’t follow the path that Jesus set, both literally and figuratively, you won’t see heaven or the Father’s face! And His way is not the broad and expansive way, but the straight and narrow one, as He says in Matthew. 

‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

Yes precious people of Christ, there are only two options, two available paths to follow in this life; the broad and boundaryless way, that of the evil one, which leads to death and destruction, and the strait and narrow way with boundaries, that leads through Jesus to eternal life! 

And as Joshua so famously informed the Israelites in his last speech: ‘choose you this day whom ye will serve; the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (the Euphrates), or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell?’ 

Yeh friends, it’s a choice we all have to make. We’ve all got to bow to somebody, the question is whom shall we bow to? And I’d like to think that all of us will make the right choice, like Joshua did: ‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ And all of that can be found in Joshua 24:15. 

Ah mih people, serving Almighty God, the ONLY TRUE AND LIVING GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the right way to go in these evil times. Hear how Bruh David put it so long ago nuh. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (the abode of the dead); neither wilt thou suffer (allow) thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Psalm 16:8-11) 

Mama Yo! What could be better than that eh mih people? Nothing really! And all of it still holds true to this day! Following the Lord, through Jesus Christ, does lead us on the path to eternal life, with fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore! As Bruh David says in a later psalm: ‘Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness (abundance).’ Oh how true that is, my faithful believers! 

And it’s obvious that Cousin Sol must add his two cents worth: (smile)  ‘I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble… Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.’ (Prov.4:11-12; 26-27) 

And with those awesome words of wisdom my brethren, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes mih peeps, it will certainly be a rollicking ole time in heaven when the saints of Jesus go marching in! Much LOVE!

…there’s only ONE right way…but many wrong ones…

 

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