Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2021 Matthew 8:26a.

Matthew 8:26a.     ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

A blessed Sunday to you, my fellow believers in Christ! The days are rolling by ever so quickly in these turbulent times that we don’t even have time to notice them. Some of us would like to hide from our individual problems, and those that are plaguing our world, but that’s not a wise idea, especially if you’re a follower of Christ Jesus. We believers need to stand up strong in faith and fight our battles courageously with the awesome help of our Lord and Saviour. It’s all a matter of faith my people, how mature we are in our belief in Him. 

But enough talk, today is Sunday and we are gathered, virtually though it might be, to celebrate the Lord’s Day. So let’s do that nuh, beginning as always, with a song of praise and worship, a song that renews our faith and confidence in the true, living God, He of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And today’s song is meant to do just that. It’s titled ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ 

And the version we are singing today is a reggae version made famous by the Jamaican artist, George Nooks. So, as we are wont to do, let’s raise our voices in harmonious, joyful praise, letting heaven and earth know, without any doubt,where our sympathies and beliefs lie, the true, strong and solid foundation on which our faith is built; none other than Jesus Christ! 

Altogether now, in an up-tempo, reggae riddim: ‘Don’t give up just ride out your storm. You’ve been in the storm and it seems like forever. And your nights of confusion has been too long. Your ship has lost anchor, and the storm’s got you drifting. Just hold on to Jesus And ride out your storm (Chorus: Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. You’re hurting now, but your morning is coming…Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm) 

Remember His promise, He said I’ll never forsake you, though the waters are troubled, they’ll do you no harm. Don’t give up the battle for your answer is coming, just hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Ride out your storm God is still there with you, you may not feel him but you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting now but your morning is coming, Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. 

Oh Ride out your storm God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. Although you’re hurting now, your morning is coming, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. You know He’ll never leave you, so just hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Hold on to Jesus, and ride out your storm.’ 

Yes people, our only hope for survival is to hold on tightly to Jesus and ride out our storm, for He is theONLY ONEwho can calm the angry seas. And it’s not like the Lord hasn’t promised never to leave nor forsake us. Hebrews 13:5 in the New Testament reminds of us that. But let’s go right back to the Old Testament nuh, and get it first from Moses, then from the Lord himself. When Moses passed the leadership mantle of the Israelites to Joshua, he told him thus: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ (Deut. 31:8) 

And if that wasn’t sufficient, when the Lord officially enshrined Joshua as the leader, hear His fateful words to him. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Josh. 1:5) And a few verses later, the Lord reminded Joshua. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) Strong words indeed my brethren, but also ever-faithful ones. 

And before Jesus left us to return to heaven, He made the same promise to the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) So it’s not like we don’t have word promises, but we also have actual situations where those promises were kept. We’ll just look at two situations with Jesus and the disciples, situations that we all know about, but unfortunately don’t take them as seriously as we ought to in these perilous times. The first is when Jesus, after feeding the five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, sent the disciples across the lake in their boat, while He went up into the mountain to pray. 

But when the boat was in the middle of the lake, a serious storm arose and began tossing the boat to and fro in a wild manner. Obviously, the disciples became fearful, but Jesus knew their plight and came walking to them on the water. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying it is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage), it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:26-27) 

Then we have the episode of Peter going out of the boat and walking on the water towards Jesus. And he was doing very well until he took his eyes off of Jesus, and focused on the wind and the stormy sea, then he became afraid and began to sink and had to implore Jesus to save him, which Jesus did, saying unto him, ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt.’ (Matt. 14:28-31) Unfortunately though friends, that’s how it is with us to this day. We start out strong and confident in Jesus, but as soon as the storm begins to seriously kick up, we take our eyes off of Jesus, lose our faith, get scared and begin to sink. 

Then we have the granddaddy of all the examples of losing faith, of not staying focused on Jesus. That time when they were going across the sea in their ship. ‘And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:23-27) 

What can I say eh friends? After spending so much time with Jesus, and seeing so many miracles, the disciples still showed serious fear, even when He was with them. But here are some interesting words on the subject from commentator, Danielle Bernock, from the Christianity.com website. 

‘The significance of Jesus calming the storm is pertinent to what’s happening in our world today and is evidence of God’s love for us. COVID -19 has had a significant impact on our lives. We’re flooded by numerous types of storms daily. These storms are both internal and external. The intense surges of emotion within us are due to our humanity while the chaotic circumstances around us are beyond our control. Right now, many can relate to the disciples’ emotions when Jesus calmed the storm…

There have been many epidemics and even pandemics throughout history, and now we have many skilled scientists in the world. So, it seemed that we were prepared for COVID-19. But as country after country and state after state go into lockdown, the same fear and panic the disciples experienced looms over us. So, when things come upon us suddenly, we find out what’s in our hearts. Like the disciples, fear is coming out of many people’s hearts. It’s an emotion common to being human. 

One might say that the disciples were just being human. All of us during this pandemic are feeling our humanity deeply as fear sweeps across the world like a dark cloud. But Jesus was human too. He often took time away to refresh. During the storm, Jesus was sleeping because he was exhausted from ministry.… A good question for us to ask ourselves as COVID-19 rages is, where is our faith? The disciples spent a lot of time with Jesus and saw him perform many miracles. You would think that they’d have a lot of faith. But in their humanity, it became evident they had more faith that the storm would destroy them than in Jesus saving them. 

Jesus may have rebuked the disciples for their weak faith, but he didn’t abandon them to let them drown. Instead, he calmed the storm and then continued to teach them who he was and demonstrated what it was to have faith in God. Do we have more faith in the pandemic than in the mercy and grace of God? There is not a disease that Jesus was unable to heal. If the fear in us is stronger than our faith, we can turn to God and he’ll teach us because his mercy endures forever. Feeding on God’s word will build your faith and calm the storm raging within you.’ 

And we’ll end with those wise words my brethren. But please, please, let’s take time today, and in the upcoming ones, to ponder those questions that Mr. Bernock has posed, for they are very important to our current situation.Much LOVE!

…if we truly believe in Jesus…there is NO storm that we can’t ride out… 

P.S.Yes, it’s pretty long (smile), but I think it’s all very worthwhile. Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2021 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.​     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

What a bizarre time we’re going through my people! One day we hear that the police are authorized to make random stops to find out where you’re going, but the police refuse to do it. So, next day, we hear that authority has been rescinded. The government and the medical people don’t seem to be on the same wavelength at all, as there are too many conflicting statements on how to best handle the pandemic situation. But there’s no way to fix it without a fair amount of consensus among all parties. And when you add all the controversy surrounding the vaccines the whole scene is one chaotic mess. 

But let me remind us, that as sincere believers in Christ Jesus, we always have Him to turn to in times of doubt and despair. Life will never be easy or comfortable, especially when we’re living for Jesus, but He has faithfully promised that whatever negative stuff we are experiencing in the world, we can always turn to Him and receive His awesome peace and comfort that are way better than what the world offers. So, with all the bickering and dispute that’s currently going on, now is definitely a time to turn to Him for solace, comfort and wise guidance. 

A time to remember His amazing words of promise, like these. ‘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) Yes friends, that’s sometimes hard to understand and accept when our whole world seems to be falling apart. But we need to keep speaking it, keep believing it, until it sinks into our very soul and becomes a natural tool for us to handle unpleasant situations. 

And what about this other warning of persecution. ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues…And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt. 10:17-18, 22). And as the scholars explain: ‘In the ancient Near East the serpent was commonly regarded as the wisest of beasts. A cautious wisdom was necessary in order to deal with the fierce opposition that the disciples would face.’ 

And up to this day, the situation has remained the same: believers have to be wise and cautious in their dealings with the world. In some places today, the persecution is just as bad as in the days of the early church, but you see what a huge difference the perseverance and strong belief of the disciples made in the world, despite the terrible odds they faced. 

And in our western world, we don’t even have an ounce of the persecution they faced, yet we’re whining and crying. That ought not to be so friends. We are supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The ones to lead others to Christ and all the good benefits He has to offer. And please remember that nothing worthwhile is ever easy to accomplish. 

Now listen to some more inspirational words of Jesus nuh. ‘If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would LOVE his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.’ (John 15:18-19) That’s something we too often forget my fellow saints; that we are IN the world, but not OF the world. So let’s stand up strong and face the world mano a mano nuh. Remember Jesus has already overcome it, and we only need to keep the victory going, with His help obviously. 

And in what is known in some circles, as the long version of the Lord’s Prayer (John 17) Jesus didn’t only pray for the disciples but also for us. ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ ( John 17:20-21) 

Yuh see that mih bredrin, Jesus knew that His plan would work, and that down through the ages people would believe in Him having not seen Him in person, and He wanted them to be separate, sanctified, living as one, not as the many warring denominations we now have. But as we say, while there is life, there’s always hope, and I believe these difficult times were meant to bring us together and back to God, so let’s do just that nuh, be as one, in sincere prayer, and offer up what we term our Monday Morning 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 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 many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

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, having said all of that, we need to show true humility and sincere repentance, if we want God to affirmatively answer our plea. Much LOVE!

…bear patiently the slings of the world…and your reward will be great…both in heaven and on earth… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2021 John 16:33b.

John 16:33b.     ​In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Good morning my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Oh what a glorious day to be alive! One more day walking with Christ, our wonderful Lord and Saviour, on this confused and troubled earth, but knowing that He has the awesome power to make a way for us and provide all that we need, for He sincerely promised that if we walk with Him, we’ll never want for anything that’s necessary and that our souls will be filled with the amazing peace that He offers all His followers! 

Wow! That means we need nothing or no one else but our dear Jesus, for He’s on our side, and all we have to do is stand strong and tall, don’t worry, and do what He asks of us. No other organization in this whole wide world has the benefits that we Christians have, so please let’s enjoy them nuh, and stop being miserable, worried and depressed, because the Good Book has always told us to not worry or fret, but to be of good cheer. 

All the way back in Genesis 42 and 43, we have this example of when Joseph’s brothers came down to Egypt to buy food in the famine and Joseph kept his brother Simeon as a pledge that they would return, and then they found the money they had paid for the food back in their sacks. But were they ever scared on their return with Benjamin, and had Joseph invite them to his house. But Joseph’s steward told them. ‘Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.’ (Gen. 43:23) 

And when yuh talking about being cheerful despite prevailing unfortunate circumstances, Jesus was the master of that! His words were always cheerful and uplifting. Some of His favourite words were ‘Do not fear,’ and ‘Be of good cheer.’ Let’s look at a few examples to encourage ourselves nuh. Remember that time when he healed the paralytic man? The Good Book tells us: ‘And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy (paralyzed man), lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy (paralytic); Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.’ (Matt. 9:2) 

And I just LOVE how Jesus liked to annoy the scribes and the Pharisees, for when He said that, their thoughts immediately turned to blasphemy. ‘And Jesus, knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether (which) is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.’ (Matt. 9:4-7) 

Oh mih people, if we have such a mighty individual, High Priest and Saviour on our side, why do we keep worrying eh? Who knows? I guess, only God and the fearful individuals. And then, we come to the instance where Jesus is walking on the water in the early hours of the morning towards the disciples fighting a torrid storm in their li’l boat on the rough Sea of Galilee. ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:26-27) That’s when Peter took courage and walked on the water, until his courage failed him. 

And then we have this magnificent example when Jesus began talking seriously to the disciples about His approaching death and all the other things that were to come. He said to them. ‘Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own (place), and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 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 16:32-33) 

And that’s the awesome truth friends! Jesus has overcome the world, thus we can be cheerful despite whatever is happening around us. And please note, that though all the disciples deserted Jesus in His time of need, His heavenly Father did not! All glory be to our great God and Creator! And some of Jesus’ last words to the disciples, and consequently to us, was also a promise of never to leave us alone: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) And it’s a promise He faithfully keeps by having His Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts when we receive him as Lord and Saviour. 

And yes, it’s not easy living for Jesus, and all those encouraging words don’t always work for us. But I found, or rather was led to (smile) a passage from a Devotional by Camille Fronk, Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU, written on April 30, 2004 and featured on the Brigham Young University website. Please listen closely to Camille. ‘I wish to focus my remarks today on the role of Christ’s enabling power in our ability to feel cheer amid mortal gloom and doom. Misfortune and hardship lose their tragedy when viewed through the lens of the Atonement. 

The process could be explained this way: The more we know the Savior, the longer becomes our view. The more we see His truths, the more we feel His joy. But it is one thing to know that’s the right answer in a Sunday School class and quite another to experience firsthand a cheerful outlook when current circumstances are far from what we hoped. If we would develop faith to apply the Atonement in this manner and not merely talk about it, awareness of imaginary finite boundaries, inadvertently placed on the Savior’s infinite sacrifice, can be meaningful. Consider two false assumptions that, if pursued, will block our appreciation and access to the Lord’s divine assistance.’ 

And she explains those two false assumptions as being thinking that because we are Christians, we can avoid tribulation, and that we can trust in our own efforts. And yes friends, those are two major stumbling blocks in our Christian walk. But Jesus specifically said that we would all face tribulation in the world, especially if we believe in Him, and try to do His work in this evil and godless society in which we live. And please don’t forget about that scripture verse we are always quoting: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

What’s the point of talking about it if we don’t practice it eh? None whatsoever. So let’s hold our heads up high nuh, and smile, although things might not be going too good for us, because we have Jesus and His promises to keep us strong and fortified. Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us so that we can do His earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s our turn to share those blessings just as generously with the unfortunate others around us! Much LOVE!

…faith and light will overcome fear and darkness…every time… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     ​O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And so we move on; another day older and closer to heaven! Can you imagine it friends? Some of us have lived so many days already that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. But be not afraid of what’s in your future, for our great and wonderful God has a distinct plan for every one of us, to be His disciple, His ambassador, agent, representative, call it what you like, and it does not end even when we take our last breath and go over the other side to His golden mansions for eternal rest. 

That’s because He expects the lives that we’ve lived down here, to speak to others, as a glowing example of faithfulness and LOVE, even after we have departed this earthly territory. That means what we do, how we behave, how we treat others, every day of our lives makes a difference. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us; that we make a positive difference in the land as we walk closely with Him. So the question now my friends is, are we making a positive difference on others, as we live this earthly life? 

Are we being good examples of the kind of life the Lord expects of His followers? I do hope that all of us can answer a resounding ‘Yes!’ to it, but I know that that’s certainly not the case, else our world would not be living the selfish, greedy, godless, dog eat dog kind of life we’re currently living. Oh my brethren, if we’re true to ourselves, we’ll all realize that we’re not living the best Christian life that we can, which means we have lots of room for improvement. 

And why aren’t we living the kind of Christian life we want to lead eh? I think if we look to Bruh Paul’s words and examples in Romans, when he talks about the struggles of two natures, we’ll get some insight into the problem. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (don’t understand): for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) And we all have that same struggle between our flesh and the spiritual lives we want to live. 

The scholars however, offer an excellent explanation of our problem, re verse 14. ‘The law is spiritual: The law has characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ And yes, as we said above, we all experience personal struggles with sin, but that is no reason, no excuse not to do better than we’re doing, especially if we’re at a fairly high state of spiritual maturity. 

And I think that’s one of the many problems in the church, in Christ’s body today: the mature believers are not leading exemplary lives, and also are not taking enough interest in the less mature believers. But that’s just what Jesus desires of us, as we said at the outset; a life that makes a positive difference and sets a good example to others. And no, He does not expect us to be perfect, because He did not make us perfect, but He does expect us to do our best. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ And that’s all the Lord is asking of us. 

But too many of us are too immersed in the ways of the world, the fleshly, sinful carnal life. And how do we get out of that? Only one way friends; by keeping our eyes constantly fixed on Jesus. And we have a great example of that with this interaction between Jesus and Peter. It’s that time when Jesus fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves of bread and two fishes, and they took up twelve baskets of remnants afterwards. (Matt. 14:15-21) Then He sent the disciples away in a boat over the lake, the sea of Galilee, while He dismissed the crowd and went up into a mountain to pray. (Matt. 14:22-23a) 

Now the Good Book says: ‘And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship (with the disciples) was now in the midst (middle) of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (from 3-6 a.m.) Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (a ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. 

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:23b-33). 

And right in that li’l passage of scripture friends, we have our basic problem. We talk plenty about Jesus being the Son of God, but when the time comes for us to truly embrace it, we fail miserably. Peter was bold enough to step out of the boat, but when the wind got really strong, he took His eyes off Jesus, and doubt crept into his mind and made him afraid. And that’s what happens to too many of us; when troubles come, we stop looking to Jesus, forget the powerful being that He is, and all His faithful promises, and in fear, fall back on our own strength, which will never be enough to get us through this life. 

So friends, if we want to make a positive difference with our lives, we have to steadfastly keep looking to Jesus; don’t be too afraid, or lose our faith, or forget His promises, when troubles come, as they always will. And what better scripture to close with than these assuring words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘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) 

And for those of us in whom those words have taken solid root, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it’s also reassuring to know that if we endure to the end, the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So let’s keep on keeping on in Christ nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…steadfastly looking to Jesus…is the ONLY way…to handle our doubts and fears… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8            

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2021 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (compassion), and the God of ALL COMFORT.

A good Thursday morning to all you my faithful Scrip-Bit friends and family! As Bruh Paul would put it: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2. Cor. 1:2) Yes my brethren, it’s through the grace, peace and mercy of God that we are alive today! So let’s be thankful for it nuh, regardless of whatever problems we are currently undergoing, for our God is big enough, great enough and LOVING enough to get us through them safely, and even grow us spiritually while we’re undergoing the adversity. 

And Bruh Paul continues thus:; ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (compassion), and the God of ALL COMFORT.’ (2 Cor. 1:3) And that’s an indisputable fact my people! Our God is the Father of Comfort. There’s no one as comforting as Him. He is characterized by mercy and compassion. Bruh David describes it like this in Psalm 86. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps. 86:5) 

Meanwhile Daniel declared: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ (Dan. 9:9) And just for argument sake (smile) hear how Micah describes it. ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by (over) the transgression of the remnant pf his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy (LOVING-kindness, compassion) (Mic. 7:18) Now that should convince us that one of our God’s many characteristics is compassion. 

And if it doesn’t, then just check out all the scriptures where those needing comfort cried out to Him and He comforted them. The psalmist said: ‘In the multitude of my (anxious) thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.’ (Ps. 94:19) Yes friends, even when anxious thoughts conflict and bombard us, the comforting presence of our God is there to deflect them. Bruh David reminds us in Psalm 34. ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (crushed in spirit). Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’ (Ps. 34:16-19) 

Oh my people, these are indeed rough and unprecedented times for most of us, and we all have fears and anxious thoughts, but the best place to take them, as with everything else in this life, is to the God who made us, knows us better than we know ourselves and still cares for us with a LOVE beyond compare. We live in a sinful and evil world, therefore troubles and adversity must come against us, most devastatingly at times when least expect them. But God is ALWAYS there for us, if we cry out to Him. Jesus said very plainly: ‘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) 

Oh friends, I know that isn’t always easy to do, and no doubt the pain will hurt, possibly for some time too, but the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows in our lives. We may not know or understand it, but that’s why He is God. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, for He is the Creator and we are the created. Yes, I know you don’t want to hear about pain and suffering and reasons for them etc. etc., but that is all a part of the Christian life. However, getting back to the comforting aspect, hear how Bruh Paul continues his epistle to the church at Corinth, after telling them that our God is the God of all comfort. 

‘Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:4) Glory be mih people! What a magnificent and thoughtful God we serve! Wow! He comforts us so that we can use that same godly and divine comfort to comfort our fellow human beings! Now isn’t that very thoughtful of Him? It surely is! Now just a few more scriptures to cement the fact (smile) that our God is indeed the God of all comfort. 

Hear Isaiah as he talks about the faithful being comforted. ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a (mortal) man that shall die, and the son of man which shall be made as grass?’ (Is. 51:12) Good question that friends. Please think on it. And from Psalm 119 comes this verse. ‘Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:76) And the amplified version of that is: ‘May your unfailing LOVE be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.’ 

Meanwhile, Bruh David says it simply and heartfelt like no one else besides Jesus can. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:4) Yes my faithful saints in Christ, our God is always near and always ready to comfort us in times of trouble, but we need to cry out to him, come to Him with our tears and prayers. And there’s no better invitation in all the world than this one made by Jesus so long ago and is still in effect. 

‘Come unto me, all ye that are 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) That is as simple and explicit as it can get my brethren. So the rest is up to us. We can only comfort or help ourselves so much, likewise our fellow man, but the God of ALL COMFORT can do a much better job than us. So let’s wisely turn to Him in these dark and tremulous times nuh. 

Now, for those of us whom He has comforted and given us the opportunity and tools to comfort others, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, exulting with thanksgiving, for the wonderful tools He’s bestowed on us. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

Now let’s use those blessings to uplift ourselves and others in Christ’s name nuh! Much LOVE!

…comfort ye oh my people…comfort ye…says our God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2021 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.     ​Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.

Welcome to Friday; somewhat snowy and blustery, but all a part of the winter system. Hope I think so when I have to go out the street later. (smile) So how’s your day going so far eh? I hope for those of you in my time zone it’s begun on a good note, and for those of you whose day is almost ending, hoping that you had a good one, despite whatever difficulties you encountered, as you walked with Christ beside you all the way. 

Oh my people, I shouldn’t have to remind us, but I will, (smile) that walking with Christ is the ONLY way to handle, to mitigate some of the troubles and difficulties we’ll experience in this evil and dangerous world. Remember Jesus promised that we’d have problems, but once we’re walking with him, things would be all right. Here’s what He said: ‘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) 

Yes friends, we all know that scripture, but do we really consider it when hard times come against us? That is the question. Do we remember promises like that when we’re facing uphill battles and need reassurance? I hope so, because that’s what those scriptures are for; to reassure us of the goodness of God and His promise to work things out eventually for the good of all those who LOVE Him, and sincerely try to do His will. 

So please, I implore us, in these rough and uncertain times, to keep the promises of our God front and centre in our lives, so we can use them to raise our faith and keep walking in His awesome and amazing LOVE! Otherwise, our supposed faith is just a waste of time. It doesn’t make sense having faith if you don’t use it positively. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. And he is somewhat crochety. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes, and I’m still alive, though just barely. And I don’t know what you all expect me to say nuh. Nothing has changed in the last little while; we still on lockdown, I still don’t have no job, money in short supply, the virus an’ them still running rampant all over the world…So what new thing all yuh expect me to say eh? 

Oh, they thinking about sending some of the children back to school…when? I don’t know, and don’t really understand why everybody want them to go back to school. If big people can’t handle the situation, how yuh expect children to handle it in such crowed schools like we have eh? 

Steups! I just give up yes! Things too conflicting, yuh getting all sorts of different information from different people, and everybody claiming that theirs is the truth. So what’s an ordinary body to do eh? I don’t know about nobody else nuh, but me, I’m just going to keep me peace, and do the best I can with what I have. That is provided this lock up home situation don’t drive me crazy before we get the situation under control. Until then, I’ll just have to thank God and ask Him to keep me and mine safe oui.’ 

Ah mih bredrin, I think that’s the best advice for all of us yes; don’t give up, obey the rules as best we can, don’t put ourselves in any untenable situations, and talk to the Lord in all sincerity about the situation. It’s all in His hands friends, and He’s promised that this too shall pass, and also that no weapon formed against us will prosper, and every tongue that speaks ill of us will be condemned. (Is. 54:17) 

And Bruh Paul has also reminded us of our divine heritage with these words. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…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, 37-39) And all of God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I do hope that we are all truly persuaded that NOTHING will separate us from God’s LOVE, because if we don’t, then our faith is again a waste of time and crapaud will smoke we pipe. And having said all that, let’s do the first thing we ought to do each and every day, and when we are in troubled times, turn to God in sincere prayer. And some of you might be wondering why I keep talking about sincerity, but that’s simply because the Lord doesn’t just hear our words, but checks the motives, the sincerity of our hearts before He considers our requests. 

So with sincere hearts (smile) let’s lift up our Friday Chant to heaven. As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

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 help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to 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 and the unrest in the streets 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 now that we’ve shown our hearts to be sincere, let’s show the world that we are truly faithful believers in Christ Jesus and handle the situation as we ought to! Much LOVE!

…faith is belief in action…so let’s get some serious action going nuh…to show some serious faith…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2021 John 15:20a.

John 15:20a.     If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you:

And a good, lazy Saturday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, wherever you are in God’s great universe! Hope that you are having better weather than my snow-bound, bleak neighbourhood, but it’s all a part of life in this great country of Canada, so we’ll handle it with the aplomb of Jesus. (smile) 

Anyway, there’s some good news to share today; our friend Anselm has been resurrected. Yes, he’s risen from whatever ailed him, and he’s sent us a full slate of quotes this week. A couple of them though are so highly politicized that I have no answer for them, so I’ll just throw them out there and let you draw your own conclusions. And we’ll get those out of the way early. 

The first one says: ‘I LOVE Trinidad and Tobago more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.’ Yes, Anselm was born in T&T and apparently he still has a great affection for it, but what am I supposed to say about his claim that he has the right to criticize her in perpetuity eh? 

I don’t know if you LOVE a country a lot that it gives you the right to criticize it. What I do know though is that we need to be very careful in our criticism, especially in these times of much negative opinions and criticism on all sorts of fronts,  because most of us never know the full story behind whatever we are criticizing. 

So although our criticism might look good and sound true, ofttimes it’s not the whole truth or even much of the truth and consequently can lead a lot of people astray, just like what’s happening on social media today with all the lies, half-truths and disinformation being bandied about there. It’s so bad in the U.S, that it’s causing rebellious tendencies there. So please be very careful with your criticism. 

Then there’s this: ‘To announce that there must be no criticism of the Prime Minister, or that we are to stand by the Prime Minister, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the Trinidad and Tobago public.’ There we go again with the criticism regarding T&T. Brother Anselm must be in a real T&T frame of mind! (smile) 

And again, all I can say is that our criticism must be fair, honest and truthful, though standing by the leader of a country, even when they are wrong, is not doing the country any positive service, just making matters worse. That’s been recently proven right down in the U.S of A, with ex-President Donald Trump making so many incorrect, lying and prejudicial statements that it has caused a large division and much disunity in the country. 

Now listen to this one: ‘I do this real moron thing, and it’s called thinking. And apparently I’m not a very good Trinbagonian because I like to form my own opinions.’ My buddy Anselm seems intent on getting me into trouble with my fellow Trinbagonians. (smile) But thinking is a good thing, more of us should try it. (smile) 

However, it’s also possible to overthink a situation, which could lead to personal opinions that are not welcomed by others. And again, let me remind us that before we form opinions, or better yet mouth them, we must be in full possession of all the facts. Sadly though, especially in governmental circles, the real truth, the true facts, are very difficult for the ordinary citizen to gather. All we usually get is a lot of hearsay and the unsound opinions of others. 

Now don’t think that the other two quotes aren’t politically inclined nuh, but they can be handled biblically. And this is the first of the last two. ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.’ 

That last part is obvious; the oppressed are never impressed with neutrality. The first part is a tad trickier, although as a believer, once we see injustice our sense of justice should rise up and cause us to consider ways to right the obvious wrongs. How does the saying go? If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem. 

Likewise, if you see injustice been perpetrated and you say or do nothing, for whatever reason, it will certainly appear that you are on the side of the oppressor. But friends and followers of Jesus, we have been instructed by Jesus Himself to follow justice and to right wrongs wherever possible. 

As He said to the Pharisees. ‘But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over (neglect) judgement (justice) and the LOVE of God: These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone (without neglecting the others).’ (Luke 11:42) 

Yes friends, our God is a God of justice. Why do you think He sacrificed Jesus to pay for our sin debt eh? Because His just character would not allow sin to be forgiven without full payment, for the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), and without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins. (Heb. 9:22) 

And these two scriptures tell the story in spades. ‘Learn to do well (good); seek judgement (justice), relieve the oppressed (correct oppression), judge (bring justice to) the fatherless, plead for the widow.’ (Is. 1:17) And Micah, puts it very plainly. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but  to do justly (justice), and to LOVE mercy (kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic. 6:8) 

And that brings us to our last quote: ‘It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.’ And that’s oh so true! Jesus is also a very good example of that. He came to earth to bring justice and salvation, to heal the sick, care for the poor and release the captive slaves of darkness. All these things went against the very grain of the both the ruling Romans and their Jewish lackeys. 

So what happened? Jesus found Himself on the wrong side of the authorities because His philosophy did not match theirs. Consequently, although He had done no wrong, but simply because He was disturbing the rulers’ easy life, He was labelled a traitor, an insurrectionist and quickly removed from their sight by crucifixion. 

Please note too friends, that as believers in, and followers of Christ, we are often on the wrong side of the authorities, so we too can also expect persecution and problems just because of that. Jesus warned His disciples, and consequently us, of the world’s hatred. 

‘Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they kept my saying, they will keep yours too. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.’ (John 15:20-21) 

That brings it all to the forefront my brethren. Remember, we are supposed to be in the world, but not of the world, and that very fact alone will cause us problems. So be prepared, but also remember that Christ has already overcome the world, so please be of good cheer. Much LOVE!

…eventually…right is always stronger than might…so in wisdom…please look to Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2021 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.     ​I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

Monday’s on the board friends! How are we going to greet it eh? I hope it’s with plenty hope, LOVE, joy and peace, as our Christian tenets teach us, rather than with fear, anxiety and a whole lot of negativity based on our present troubled circumstances. Yes, we will have trouble, persecution, tribulation and what not in this sinful world, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said that, but then He went on to conquer the negative stuff, like hell, death and the grave by His crucifixion and resurrection so that we would not have to worry about all the negative stuff that came our way. 

Here’s how He put it: ‘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) What wonderful news that is my brethren! Jesus has already overcome the world, so we just have get ourselves together and maintain that victory! Maintain it with good cheer; that is LOVE, assurance, hope, faith and the promise of eternal life if we endure to the end. 

And no, living the Christian life in this sinful and ofttimes godless world is not easy, but with Christ’s divine help we can do it. Remember how Bruh Paul characterized it? ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) Now that’s quite true, but there’s something more we must learn, and that’s the context in which he said it. He was referring to a gift from the church at Philippi. And though he appreciated their care and consideration and gift very much, he told them: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil. 4:11) 

And that my fellow believers is something that we all need to learn in these troubled times and times of expected entitlement. Bruh Paul was grateful for their financial gift, but he could also have done without it, because he had learned how to be content whether he had a lot or a little. And the scholars add an interesting message. ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Oh my people, that is a truth that so many believers need to learn. Yes, we ought to be contented in any state in which we find ourselves, with Jesus’ help of course, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and like all other growth it comes with hardship and adversity. So if you’re having trouble in that area, like so many of us in this pandemic time, just remember that you can do all you need to handle the situation with Christ in your corner, but it will take time and also some effort from you. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:12) Yes friends, it’s something that many of us are learning in these Covid times, when work is scarce and the essentials of life are difficult to come by. 

But we do need to learn how to discipline ourselves in times of prosperity and in times of want, to learn the secret of how to be well fed even in the rough going. So let’s not beat up ourselves if we’re not doing as well as we ought to or want to in these troubled days, remember Jesus is just a prayer away with help. 

Yes, I know it might not come right away, but our faith teaches us to wait and be patient and expectant. No wonder Bruh Paul could promise the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) He is aware of their sacrifice on Bruh Paul’s behalf, and thus will generously meet their needs. 

My fellow believers, that’s what God is about; providing, meeting our needs when we sincerely call on Him. That’s His ever-faithful promise. So why don’t we do that right now nuh through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s bare our very hearts and souls to our Creator, as He desires of us. 

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 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 have to do our part; wait with eager and sincere expectation, that’s faith, and stay repentant and be obedient so the Lord can see that we’re truly sorry for turning away from Him. Much LOVE!

…life’s not easy in this sinful world…but God is good…Glory Hallelujah… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2021 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     ​Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.

Another snow-filled morning…but who’s counting or bothering eh? Certainly not me, or any of those Jesus filled believers who have to trudge out and about in it! (smile) That’s because with Jesus both in us and by our side we will not fear, regardless of what the world and its evil self choses to throw against us. And all of God’s children said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness and strength to the children of men!’ And that’s for sure friends, the Lord deserves much more thanks than we give Him. 

But remember, we promised to change that for this new year of 2021. Yes, this blessed year of 2021, we going to be sincerely singing the praises of our Lord and Saviour as we diligently carry out His work! We going to rise up and be who we ought to be; powerful and authoritative people of God, but filled with peace, LOVE, thanks, grace, mercy and all the other fruits of the Spirit! 

Wow! Beware evil world, Christ’s mighty army is coming against you this year, we going to be fighting you tooth and nail, right down to the wire, until your evil carcass lies wasted, lies a rotting in Hades! What powerful sentiments and promises friends. I do hope we keep them. (smile) 

Now, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to tell us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank the Lord, there is no preface to deal with this week! (smile) Yes it’s somewhat different this week. And it unfurls with this greeting and word of advice: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices. Do stay safe.’ 

Ah precious people of God, our friend Anselm hit the nail on the head right there! Much talking must stop and be replaced by much action, with many sacrifices, cause that’s the example our Leader, Jesus set us. All of us want to be great, but we don’t want to expend the labour, the blood, sweat and tears it takes to do it. So we just talk up a storm, but do nothing worthwhile about it, because we just plain scared or lazy or whatever to truly confront the world in Jesus’ name. 

Remember Jesus told us not to fear so often that it ought to be seared into our minds, souls, bodies and spirits. And furthermore, He informed us that there would be trouble in the world but He had already conquered it, so we should be cheerful and just keep on doing what we ought to, because He would always be with us, right down to the very end of the age! That’s means, the world and its evil rulers can’t conquer us if we stand up strong with Jesus all around us, as He’s promised. 

So then, here’s this most interesting and very worthy advice from our friend Anselm. ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? We always seem to look for the bad parts in us, but seldom the good ones. We do have good parts yuh know, parts filled with lots of potential that God placed there for us to work on and fulfill our destiny and His purpose for our lives. Unfortunately though, we don’t pay sufficient attention to that aspect of our lives. 

And per Anselm, here are some ‘Things to think about for 2021:’ And the first bit of advice is ‘Talk less; listen more;’ Brother! Is that ever appropriate for many of us, including me. I even promised my family that I wouldn’t talk as much as I do. So there you see, I’m already on the right track. Hope I can fulfill that promise though, because it’s not an easy one to keep, but we can do it, if we cry out to God for help, like Bruh David did: ‘Set a watch (guard), O Lord, before my mouth; keep (watch over) the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties (delicacies).’ (Ps. 141:3-4) 

And if we’re sincere about it, the Lord will certainly hear our prayer and help us. Or we can also plead like Bruh David in Psalm 19: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ (Ps. 19:14) Yes friends, we know we’re maturing when our words and the motives of our hearts are not displeasing to our heavenly Father. 

But moving right along, Anselm then tells us: ‘Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe;’ Now that’s certainly interesting because too many of us believe that we run the world; that it should run like we say or think. But for our information, that’s God’s job! We’re just a li’l speck in the great plan He has for His universe! So let’s not go messing with it nuh, as though it’s ours to set straight, for the Lord doesn’t take kindly to others trying to run His business. (smile) Let’s just concentrate on the li’l portion He gave us to look after nuh. We not even doing that properly, but we want to look after the world. (smile) 

And in the process, Anselm informs us that another useful endeavour would be to ‘Sit on your ego;’ And oh, do we ever need to do that in this ego driven, celebrity worshipping world of ours, where every li’l knuckle head – not the word I really wanted to use – (smile) thinks, believes and acts like a superstar. Steups! But fortunately, many of them flame out just as quickly as they catch fire. Oh friends, until we realize that there’s ONLY ONE SUPERSTAR in this universe, JESUS, and start worshipping Him and not our fellow weak, mortal, frail and finite man, our lives won’t be worth a whole lot! 

Now according to Anselm, we ought to also ‘Take one day at a time;’ And that’s wise advice, since Jesus told us the same thing long ago. ‘Take therefore no thought for (don’t worry about) the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) Yeh, we can make some plans, with God ‘s help, but if we don’t look after today, who says we’ll be around to see tomorrow eh? 

And while we’re doing that, it would also be wise to ‘Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it;’ Absolute words of wisdom my brethren! Brother Anselm’s been preaching to us today! (smile) I would like to add one thing to that though, if you can’t do anything about the situation, but it’s real important, then give it to God, let Him hold it for you, while He works on it. We don’t need to hold it if we can’t fix it. Just give it to the Master Fixer. 

And last but not least, possibly most important, Anselm advises us to ‘PRAY!’ Ah mih people, that is indeed the crowning glory of all we do! As Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) And that is indeed God’s will for His people! 

Then Anselm ends by wishing a ‘Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ And I wish the same for all of us my precious saints in Christ! Let’s make 2021 a banner year for the church and people of Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe…then you ought to rejoice…pray…and give plenty thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2020 John 14:15.

John 14:15.     ​If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

Sunday morning’s come down friends! And we’ll do what we do every Sunday morning, be it sunshine, rain or snow; get together and praise, worship and give thanks to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Only thing is that these days many of us are worshiping and giving thanks through virtual technology because of the pandemic lockdown. Yes mih people, they may stop us from gathering together physically, but they can’t stop us from giving thanks and praise! And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise be to God!’ 

And with the Christmas season upon us, when we celebrate the earthly birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I thought it would only be right to open with a timely song, a Christmas carol we all know and LOVE; ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’an adaptation of a Latin hymn Adeste Fidelis. It’s rather appropriate for this time as it ‘harkens to the biblical story of the birth of Christ. It is considered a reference to the shepherds, after hearing the angels singing, coming to Bethlehem to adore their new-born savior. Today this hymn signifies and celebrates our coming together in worship to adore the LOVING blessing of Jesus, as he sacrificed himself for our salvation.’ 

So let’s worship nuh, in strong soulful, harmonious voice. ‘ O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! (Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.) God of God, light of light, Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; True God, begotten, not created: (Chorus) 

O Sing, choirs of angels; sing in exultation O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above. Give to our Father, Glory in the highest! (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be the glory giv’n; Word of the Father, Now in the flesh appearing, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

And is Christ ever worthy of our adoration my people! For no one has ever done what He did; give up His heavenly position and come to earth in manly form, for the main purpose of sacrificing His sinless life so that we could become children of God, with all the wonderful benefits that entails. Mama Mia! What a Lord and Saviour! 

But what does it really mean when we sing about ‘faithful’ eh? First let’s look at some definitions from the Merriam Webster dictionary. ‘1: steadfast in affection or allegiance : LOYAL – a faithful friend. 2: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : CONSCIENTIOUS – a faithful employee. 3: given with strong assurance : BINDING – a faithful promise. 4: true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original – a faithful copy. 5: obsolete: full of faith.’ And you’ll notice what they say about the last one; that it’s obsolete, but a lot of people still believe that’s what it means, and who’s to say them nay eh? (smile) 

So you see all the different meanings ‘faithful’ can have. They left out one word though; integrity, for you can’t be all or any of those things without integrity. And I like how Wikipedia explains it: ‘Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something, and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. It may be exhibited by a husband or wife who, in a sexually exclusive marriage, does not engage in sexual relationships outside of the marriage.’ 

Therefore, in our case we can say ‘faithful’ means that we remain unfailingly loyal to Christ, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. And that’s not an easy thing to do, especially in these rather turbulent and topsy-turvy times. But if we seriously want to be a faithful follower of Christ, then we must buckle down and do the things He commands us. Listen to His all-encompassing statement to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) 

Typical Jesus, plain and straightforward. No beating around the bush. And that’s what it means to be faithful; do the things that the person or organization to which you are faithful requires of you. And don’t forget this other requirement of being faithful to Jesus. ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his soul shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt. 16:24-25) 

That means friends, all that wonderful singing we did above does carry serious consequences if we truly want to observe and honour Christ’s call and be faithful. That’s not to say we should not enjoy the merriment and festivity of the season, but we should also consider the job we have to do, after all the merriment is over. Note, after the shepherds went and saw Jesus, they went back to guarding their sheep, though with a more joyful heart. Likewise, our hearts should also be joyful, as we go through this season of Advent, contemplating the importance of Christ’s birth and what it means to us in these modern times. 

And we’ll end with these appropriate words, but please don’t ask me where I got them from, because I don’t remember. (smile) ‘The encouragement to “come, all ye faithful, . . . to Bethlehem” situates the singer both among the shepherds who rushed to see Christ and in the great continuation of the “faithful” that have traveled to Bethlehem in a spiritual nature for over 2,000 years. Although today, we cannot actually witness Jesus in the manger, we can come to Bethlehem in a symbolic sense. We can be there in our imaginations as we allow the Christmas story to hearten our spirits.’ 

Yes precious people, let’s raise our spirits, be faithful and joyful in this Christmas season, despite the many troubles in our world. For that’s what Christians – faithful, steadfast and loyal believers in Jesus do, especially when one of His commands is to be of good cheer, because he has overcome the world! Much LOVE!

…the joy of the Lord is our strength… (Neh. 8:10) 

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