Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 November 2021 Matthew 5:10.

Matthew 5:10.      Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

What a morning! The day’s half done, and I haven’t done my business yet. (smile) But that’s how life intervenes sometimes; getting you behind the eight-ball before you have even begun. So, without further ado, let’s begin. And the Good Book opened today on the Beatitudes, those blessings with which Christ began His Sermon on the Mount, and though we are only going to look specifically at the last section, the scholars offer an excellent explanation of Jesus’ message. 

They say: ‘The opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount indicate that the message deals with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestation of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples. Thus, the life of the believer, described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, is a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone. To make this quality of life the product of man’s human efforts (as does the liberal) is the height of overestimation of man’s ability and underestimation of his depravity. 

To relegate this entire message, Jesus’ longest recorded sermon, to a Jewish only life-style, as do some dispensationalists, is to rob the church of her greatest statement of true Christian living. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus states the spiritual character and quality of the kingdom He would establish, and the basic qualities of this kingdom are fulfilled in the church He would establish. Virtually every section of this message is repeated in substance elsewhere in the New Testament. Nothing here indicated that this message is to be limited in its application to the people of Israel only.’ 

Awright friends, so we now have a working knowledge of what the Beatitudes are supposed to mean, because just reading them without a proper understanding, will lead us astray, since all of them begin with ‘Blessed,’ which means “happy,’ but seem to be applicable to people who are suffering. They all seem rather contradictory to what the world expects. How can a suffering person be blessed and happy eh? But that’s because Jesus is talking about His spiritual kingdom, not that of this physical world, and the spiritual world always seems to be the opposite of the physical. 

Now, according to the scholars ‘Blessed is a basic description of the believer’s inner condition as a result of the work of God. These Beatitudes, like Psalm 1, do not show a man how to be saved, but rather describe the characteristics of one who has been saved.’ 

And finally, (smile) we come to the section we want to look at. It says: ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’ (Matt. 5:10-11) Yes, my fellow saints, if we live the way Jesus wants us to live, we will face persecution, ridicule and hate from the world around us. 

And the scholars explain: ‘5:10.  As Jesus develops His message, He clearly teaches that such a life causes His people to be in direct contrast to the world in which they live. Therefore He reminds us, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. The plural use of  “ye” in verse 11 indicates that He foresaw this persecution as touching all His followers. Notice 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  

There’s absolutely no doubt about that friends! No wonder so many of us don’t acknowledge Christ, or our faith in Him in public, because we are either and/or ashamed and afraid of the repercussions from those around us. But we must remember that no cause is ever easily invoked or maintained. 

Please note what the scholars tell us, re verse 11. ‘Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. This persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that’s why I chose that section of the Beatitudes to look at today my fellow brethren. Some of us are naïve, or just don’t know what to expect in being a true and devout Christian and trying to live by the principles that Christ taught. But it is not a simple matter, as we see from the beginning of the church all the way down to right now. And yuh better believe that in many places, it’s open season on persecuting believers. So it’s not something to be taken lightly. 

However, as our Lord and Saviour always does, He provides solace for us even in those times of persecution. He says: ‘Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’  (Matt. 5:12) And I know that’s difficult to do when persecution is staring you straight in the face, but it’s a necessary part of walking with Jesus. 

Listen to the scholars again: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘Rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

And that’s the God-awesome truth! We have to keep our minds tuned to the home we have waiting in heaven for us. Although this one will be pretty rough, the ultimate one will be worth all and any suffering we do down here. Please remember what Jesus said to the disciples later on when He was explaining the whole scenario of His coming and going to them? ‘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 He has overcome the world through His death, resurrection and ascension, but we have to be strong and remember that this earth is not our home, and for Jesus’ sake, with His strength and wisdom, handle whatever comes against us, knowing that He is faithful who promised. And for those of us who are sincerely attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether 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 friends, let’s keep that glorious future of heaven in our mind’s eye as we walk this evil and ungodly earth. Much LOVE!

…whatever ‘sufferation’ this earthly life brings…the joy of heaven will supersede and totally erase it…as soon as we get there…                                                                                                                              

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 October 2021 Matthew 11:28.

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

Come on down my fellow believers in Christ Jesus, it’s time to get together and worship on this the Lord’s Day! And today we have a wonderful song to open our praise and thanksgiving session. It’s an old favourite titled ‘CRYING IN THE CHAPEL.’ The story goes that Artie Glenn wrote the song in 1951 for his son Darrell but left it in a drawer for two years, until Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders. After some rejection, it finally became a local hit and was then picked up by other artists. 

There have been numerous versions over the years, but my favourite has always been Elvis Presley’s, that is until yesterday when I was listening to some other versions and came upon one by the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, simply known as Sissel. Her version blew me away with its simplicity and the uniqueness of her voice, as she is supposedly one of the world’s best sopranos. 

And it seems like I’m not the only person who’s been impressed by her version, for in the comments section of the video, Cliff Glenn, Artie Glenn’s oldest grandson writes: ‘Sissel.  I have never heard this beautiful lady sing Crying in the chapel till just now. Wow! my grandfather would have loved her version. My grandfather actually wrote this song in 1951, stuck it in a drawer for 2 years, until my dad, Darrell Glenn recorded it in 1953. I’ve heard an unbelievable amount of different versions in my life, including my own. but never one soooo beautiful, “sorry dad, and Elvis. is this lady single by any chance, lol!’ 

Unfortunately, she is not Cliff. (smile) And please don’t think that Sissel is a newcomer to music, although her version was recorded sometime in the 1990’s, since then she’s sold some 10 million albums of all kinds of music. And just one more accolade before we sing, this from another admirer. ‘Angelic. The sweet siren like sound I had only previously heard from Elvis’s back-up singer- Kathy Westmorland.’ (smile) 

So now that we know Sissel is easy on the eyes and can also sing, let’s do her version. Unlike Elvis’s soulful but dark version, hers is soulful but joy-filled and bright, like a sparkling spring morning, as opposed to a dark winter evening. Therefore, without further ado, let’s fill the fall morning air with sacrifices of praise to heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind 

Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way)…yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Yes friends, it’s short but sweet and soulful, touches you right down in the very depths of your being! And that’s because it’s oh so true. We can find peace, contentment and the lightening of our burdens in God’s house, in prayer, since that’s what He invites us to do. Please note Jesus’ Great Invitation. ‘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) 

Oh my people, it could not get any better than that…but it does! (smile) Listen to Jesus again, as He offers even more incentive to accept His way of life, when He proclaims: ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35) Yes, Jesus is the bread that gives life, spiritual and eternal life. You can’t get those from anywhere or anybody else, for He also lets us know with supreme confidence: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

So what is left that Jesus can’t give, or doesn’t provide eh? And what about peace and comfort and good cheer you ask? Oh, He has all of that covered too. Hear these marvellous words of encouragement. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And if you still desire more encouragement, then listen up as our Lord and Saviour gives 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) 

And indeed He has, by taking away the keys of hell from Satan, through His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Wow, mih bredrin! What more can you ask eh? Nothing! 

But our Saviour Jesus is ever so generous that He offers us even more than that, as He faithfully promised the disciples, and consequently us. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. The Spirit of truth… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16-18) And that promise was fulfilled on Pentecost Day when the Comforter, the Holy Ghost fell upon, baptized all the believers in the upper room, and thereafter indwells ALL believers. (Acts 2:2-4) 

So you can see Jesus has all the bases covered. He’s left nothing to chance. It’s just for us now to accept His Invitation to come to the Father through Him, to receive salvation and eternal life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity my people, so please, please, let’s not waste it nuh, for the only other option available is eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, and that’s the worst mistake we can ever make, for the wages of sin is death…eternal death! Much LOVE!

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 October 2021 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.     Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).

Well, after two days of almost steady rain, it’s finally eased up. But everything is still wet,  and the skies are still dark, no sign of the sun, so who knows what’s going to happen next. The good thing though is that despite what we see or feel, or what may come our way, the wise thing to do is to stay with God! He controls everything and has promised to not allow more than we can bear to come upon us. He will give us the strength to overcome. A strength that we never knew we had. That’s why Bruh Paul says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And don’t forget this most marvellous promise either from Peter: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (2 Pet. 5:6-7) Yes friends, when things get rough, or we just don’t know what do, wisdom dictates that we lose our inherent pride and arrogance, and humble ourselves before our heavenly Father, because He cares for us, even more than our earthly parents. We have life in Him, there’s hope, a bright future, and the awesome promise never to leave nor forsake us! 

Oh my people, Jesus promised it in so many words: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20) So we have no reason to fear or feel lost in the turmoil of this current world. That is, if we put our lives in God’s hands, let Him lead and guide us through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. He is always there for us, but we have to go to Him, and stay with Him, fully believing that He can and will do all that He has promised. Remember, walking with God calls for faith, for trust and surrender. 

As Hebrews so clearly puts it: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (that He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) And then you ask, what then is this faith you talk about? It’s just believing for things that you don’t see, things that God’s promised, and waiting expectantly for them. For as Hebrews wisely advises: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).’ (Heb. 10:23) 

Yes, my fellow believers, we very much need to stand strong in our faith, because life is never easy, therefore, we need someone more powerful than us to help us walk through it successfully. And who is more powerful than Jesus eh? NOBODY! He conquered hell, death and the grave through His triumphant resurrection on the Easter morning so long ago. That’s why He could make this amazing statement: ‘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 my brethren, who else could make such a truthful statement eh? No one but Jesus, because He did exactly what He said! That means no matter what happens we can rest assured that God is working in our lives for our good. Bruh Paul told us that in his epistle to the church at Rome. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Yes my fellow saints, if we LOVE God, put our lives in His awesome hands and try our best to walk in faith with Him, then He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, though the rains pour down, the skies stay dark and life seems forsaken, do not believe that all is lost, for when Christ is in your life, nothing is ever lost! It might be misplaced for a while, but NEVER lost, because Jesus has faithfully promised that it won’t be. And He never makes idle promises. Why would Father God send His only Son to die on the cross that we might be forgiven, then leave us in the lurch after that eh? 

No way! Bruh Paul made that abundantly clear to the Roman church when he wrote: ‘What shall we then say to these things (that God has done for us through Jesus, like justification, sanctification and reconciliation)? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:31-32) 

That’s only common-sense friends. Why would God put Himself out for us, then just leave us to fend for ourselves afterwards eh? No reason whatsoever, since that’s not the kind of God He is. And Bruh Paul emphasizes that in his epistle to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh, how wonderful that is my fellow believers; that the Lord will continue working in us, offering us His grace, LOVE and all that we need until Christ returns! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ Glory be, mih people! The Lord’s plans for us will not be thwarted! You can’t beat that news! But that means we must also play our part in the partnership. As James advises: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw night (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye doubleminded.’ (James 4:7-8) 

So friends,  our role is basically to stay close to God, and if we do, He will work everything out for our good. Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to stay attached to God, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong. As one strong, confident and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the upshot of that declaration (yeah!!!) is that we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him! Much LOVE!

…in Christ Jesus…there is relief from this sinful world…and eternal freedom in the next…                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 September 2021 Psalm 3:5.

Psalm 3:5.     I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

Well, it looks like another wet and cloudy morning. But let’s hope that it eventually clears up nicely like it did yesterday. And even if it doesn’t, we are still going to enjoy this brand new day in God’s ever-moving and ever-LOVING universe, because we know that whatever happens, our great God is always in control and won’t allow anything untoward to happen to us, His most wonderful creation! That’s why we most sincerely declare: ‘All power and glory to the amazing God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who gave us this remarkable day to rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Yeh friends, we might as well rejoice and be glad yes, because being sad and miserable won’t improve things any, and even in tough times, a sense of joy, safety and comfort always comes over us when we think on the greatness and wonder of our God. No wonder, Bruh David, though he was running from his rebellious son Absalom, could confidently declare: ‘I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps. 3:5-6) 

Now that’s what you call trust in the Lord! And in Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God, he ups the ante when he concludes: ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps. 4:7-8) And since we all know that Bruh David had a lot of enemies, including King Saul, and his son Absalom, and spent much time running from them, he must have found something real special in holding on with such trust to the God of his forefathers. 

So why can’t we, who don’t go through half the problems he went through, find and exhibit that same trust and surrender in the same good and mighty and trustworthy God eh? Maybe it’s because we fall into this category: ‘For there is no faithfulness (uprightness) in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness (destruction); their throat is an open sepulchre (tomb); they flatter with their tongue.’ (Ps. 5:9) 

That recalls a similar remark Jesus made to the church leaders of His day. ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres (whitewashed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones. Even so ye outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt. 23:27-28) Yes my brethren, if we compromise our beliefs and have evil and ungodliness seated in our hearts, then we will never find that sense of peace and joy in God that true believers find, despite their troubles. 

Listen to how Bruh David ends Psalm 5 nuh. ‘Destroy thou them (pronounce them guilty), O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.’ (Ps. 5:10) And yuh know friends, I believe that’s exactly what the Lord is doing right now, allowing us to fall by our own counsel, for we have indeed rebelled against Him! The kind of negative stuff that’s happening all over our world could not just be pure happenstance or coincidence. 

The Lord must have a hand or even a finger somewhere in there, for He will not allow us to continue forever in rebellion against Him. Yes, He is long-suffering, graceful, merciful, and all that, but every rope has an end, and I think He is finally coming to end of His rope, to the end of His patience with a most sinful and rebellious creation, who are trying to kick Him out of the universe He created and still controls. Just like the foolish archangel Lucifer, that’s Satan, tried to do, but unfortunately found himself kicked out of heaven, down to the raging fires of hell instead. 

And all those who unwisely take up Satan’s fight will end up the same way; eternally separated from His Maker, to endure hell fire and damnation! However, as Bruh David pleads: ‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that LOVE thy name, be joyful in thee. For thou Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ (Ps. 5:11-12) 

And that’s the gospel truth my fellow saints. The Lord will not allow His chosen ones, those who put their sincere trust in Him, to suffer unnecessarily. Anything He brings us to, or allows us to go through, always has a good purpose in His plan for our lives. Life can’t be always a bed of roses, sometimes we must feel the thorns, for it’s in those thorny times that we grow and mature in our faith. 

Some believe that once they become Christians, life will always be sweet, wonderful and uncomplicated. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth, for working and living for Christ is no easy task in this evil and ungodly world, and Jesus promised that we will have problems along the way. ‘In this world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And as Job so wisely said to his wife while undergoing the torment of boils, the loss of his family and earthly wealth. ‘What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)?’ (Job 2:10) 

Ah mih people, we all like the easy life, but the easy life is only a figment of our imagination, for since the first man sinned, calamity has been a part of earthly life, and will continue to be such, until Jesus comes back to rule in the new earth and the new heaven. So, let’s stop believing all the foolishness, the lies, the deceit and disinformation that’s currently floating around our world nuh and instead put our sincere trust in the Word of God, that will have us smiling and joyful at the end, though we endure hardship and adversity during the journey. 

And for those of us who have wisely decided to sincerely live for Christ, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether 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!’ 

And as we said earlier, if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. But we have to stick it out! Much LOVE!

…sin’s joy lasts only for a fleeting moment…but the joy of righteousness in Christ lasts forever…                                                                                                                       

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2021 Isaiah 41:10a.

Isaiah 41:10a.     Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:

Sunday morning…time for worship…the last one we will have technologically at my church. Thank God! From next Sunday our church will be again opening its doors, so whosoever will, may come. Yes, many people have complained about missing the benefits of physical togetherness in worshipping under the same roof, but it’s still left to be seen how many will show up on opening day. We Christians talk a good talk, but we don’t walk our talk as well as we talk it. (smile) And with the Covid 19 virus still very active in our area, plus all the protests, fearmongering and disinformation being spread about it, some people will still be anxious, leery and somewhat fearful to attend physical church services. 

And under the circumstances, I don’t know if we can really blame them, but being sincere Christians, we ought to have some faith in the promises of our God when He tells us not to fear. As He said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is. 41:10) But unfortunately, even in Jesus’ time, two of His favourite words to the disciples and the people, were ‘Fear not.’ And several times He accused them of little faith. 

We also know these famous words of His, when He promised the disciples the Holy Spirit after He went away. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And a couple chapters later He uttered these awesome, reassuring words to the disciples. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now those were tough words for the mostly youthful and uneducated disciples to absorb. And even with our better understanding of the scriptures today, it’s also difficult for many of us to hang on to those reassuring words of Jesus. Thus, fear and anxiety are still a major part of our lives, especially with the enemy currently being in worldwide ascension. But fear not friends, (smile) today we will sing a song of worship that will help us to annul any fear or anxiety we might feel. It’s sung by that rising American gospel singer Tasha Cobbs, and it’s aptly titled: ‘No Longer a Slave to Fear.’ 

Wow! And isn’t that good news my people? It surely is! If we can break the bondage that fear has over us, then we are free and clear of the enemy; victorious over his evil deceptions and lies! So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. In full, soulful voice, letting the words rise sincerely up from deep within our hearts, all the way to heaven’s throne, showing our Saviour that we have matured, we now fully and faithfully believe His promises, and are no longer slaves to fear. 

‘(Chorus: I’m no longer a slave to fear, For I am a child of God (2) You unravel me, with a melody, You surround me with a song, Of deliverance, from my enemies, Till all my fears are gone. (Chorus: I’m no longer, a slave to fear, For I am a child of God (2) From my mother’s womb, You have chosen me, Your LOVE has called my name, I’ve been born again, Into your family, Your blood flows through my veins. (Chorus: I’m no longer, a slave to fear, For I am, a child of God (2) Oh oh, oh oh oh. Oh oh, oh oh oh! You split the sea, So I could walk right through, My fears are drowned, In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God …

You split the sea, So I could walk right through it, My fears are drowned, In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God, I am a child of God, I am a child of God…. I know who I am, I know who I am, I am a child of God! He calls me the head and not the tail, Above and not beneath, a lender and not a borrower. So I no longer walk in fear, but in faith. For I am a child of God. If you are a child of God, sing Hallelujah to His glorious name!’ Awright mih bredrin, let’s shout some ‘Hallelujahs’ to our wonderful heavenly Father, because we are indeed His ever-faithful and ever-LOVING children! Glory be! 

And the Lord’s certainly moving in mysterious ways in me these days yes, because as I listened to the song on You Tube, I was again led to scroll down to the commentaries, and there I found this wonderful testimony from a young lady named Sophia G, first posted about a year ago. Please read these heartfelt words with me. She says: ‘Recently I’m experiencing so much pain right now. I’m in high school and all of my “friends” have turned on me and starting to bully me basically. I don’t feel like I’m being bullied because I ask god to fill me up with his Holy Spirit and fruits of the spirits everyday. 

But I do get down because the enemy is trying so hard to let me loose faith in Jesus and to get me depressed. My friends don’t like me because I’m different and no matter how hard they try and get a reaction of negativity out of me I never do and never will. They see god inside me and they don’t like that. But I’ll praise god in the good and the bad no matter how much I get down and this sing just gets me going and for (full) fills me. I love God so much and he is probably letting me experience this for a lesson. But it’s hard and some days I get so down I want to give up completely. Please pray for me and for my friends also so they can get Jesus in their life also, thankyou💞😭’

Now doesn’t that just break your heart? But here is the wonderful part, she recently shared. ‘Hello guys!! It’s been 10 months since I posted this comment and I just want to say Thank you so much for all your love and support. I would have never have ever thought this comment would get so many people praying for me! And oh wow how I have changed. God has blessed me so much and your prayers have helped me more than you could imagine. My mental health was very very bad. I was very depressed I’m not gonna lie. Everyday was a battle for me and every night I would be sobbing myself to sleep. But the devil never wins. 

My faith with Jesus has grown. In this world ye shall have tribulation so much now. Now for me this year has been the happiest I’ve ever been.  Even though 2020 had been a very strange year I can say this has been the best year for me mentally in my whole life. I ended losing all my friends which made me quite sad but I realised how toxic they were for me. But now I have the best friends I could ever ask for. All my problems I was in has been erased from my life and I have forgiven everyone. I’m honestly so happy and thankful for you all. God is so good and even in the hardest times you feel like giving up he’s always by my side. 

This just shows how powerful God is and gods people💘💘 I love you all and I appreciate you very much. I still have a lot to learn and I want god to teach me more about life. It took me just less than a year for god to turn my life around but I’m more grateful than ever. I will never forget any of you xxxx.’ 

Mama Mia! And who says our God isn’t a great and powerful God eh? One who answers prayers! But we have to come to Him, to actively and consciously seek His face like that young lady in the testimony above, and allow Him to drive away the fear in our hearts and souls. That’s the only solution to our fear problem my people! Much LOVE!

…God hath not given us the spirit of fear…but of power…and of LOVE…and of a sound mind… (2 Tim. 1:7)                                                                                             

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

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

And what’s going on this Thursday morning in mid-July of this blessed year of 2021 my friends? I know some of you will sneer and angrily ask what kind of blessed year are you talking about eh? Haven’t you seen what the pandemic and all the other negative stuff has done to our world? Yes. So how can you call the year blessed? 

Simply because we are still alive and kicking! Just waking up every day with enough strength in our body to talk and move and LOVE our friends and family is more blessing than we truly realize. It means that once we are alive, the Lord has not finished with us. He still has plans for our lives, otherwise He would have taken us home already. Remember what He said in Jeremiah? ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope) (Jer. 29:11) Glory be, mih people! 

So that cliched saying is quite true: while there is life, there is hope. And with true faith in Almighty God, ANYTHING is possible once His awesome breath of life is still flowing through our mortal bodies. Consequently, regardless of what life might throw our way, we cannot lose hope or give up, because today might just be the day that our life and circumstances turn around through God’s amazing help. 

The problem there, is that we have to believe without seeing any real improvement or receiving any real encouragement. In the world, we accentuate that seeing is believing, but in God’s economy it’s the opposite; believing without seeing. With God, when you believe, then you’ll see. Most likely not before. And I think a particularly good example of that is when Jesus came walking on the water towards His disciples in the boat that was being tossed by the storm on the Sea of Galilee. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out in 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 (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.’ (Matt. 14:26-29) 

Now friends, that’s what faith, hope, and belief can do for you. Peter apparently was the only one bold enough, with enough faith in Jesus, to venture out on the water. But unfortunately, the situation changed very quickly when Peter’s hope and bravery failed, and his fear took over. The Good Book continues: ‘But when he (Peter) 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?’ (Matt. 14:30-31) 

And that’s the crux of the problem right there my brethren, our doubt. We talk a good talk, but when the chips are down, our doubt and fear takes over, and that’s when we begin sinking. If Peter had not doubted, or become afraid, he would have kept on walking on the water with Jesus. But it’s our fears and doubts that keep us from achieving what God truly has in store for us, that stop us from receiving all the blessings He has set aside in our name. 

And it’s important to note what happened after that incident. Turning to the Good Book again, we read: ‘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. 14:32-33) Yuh see friends, it’s only after the disciples had seen Jesus’ power, that they conceded that He was truly the Son of God. And that’s how we still behave, although we know better. 

And before I forget, here is some interesting info from the scholars on the subject. ‘14:28-32. Peter answered him in his characteristically impulsive manner. This part of the story is recounted only by Matthew, who was in the boat and on whom it must have made a deep impression. The incident is not presented as a parable, but as an actual event involving three miracles. Jesus walks on the water. Peter temporarily does so, and the wind ceases immediately.’ 

Unfortunately, today, we too only believe when we see big miracles. But God doesn’t do that many big ones again. He now specializes in many small ones in our individual lives. But we either ignore them completely, or simply chalk them up to chance or coincidence. But people, there is no chance and/or coincidence in our lives. Everything that happens is vetted by our heavenly Father, whether He begins it or not. And He doesn’t allow us to handle more than we can bear. So, let it be known, that whatever comes against us, we have the heavenly, the divine power to handle it. So there is no need to fear whatever the world throws at us. 

That in a nutshell is our message today my faithful saints in Christ. Let’s stand up strong and fight life through, because our God is always with us to help us, and there is none as powerful, as Him in this universe that He has created. Let’s believe that today, and every day, so we can be divinely empowered. And here is one of the ways God empowers us; through generously bestowing what we call our Thursday Blessings on us, blessings that enable us to do His earthly work diligently and excellently. 

So let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) them now nuh, so that they can be made manifest in our lives. 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 go out and share those awesome blessings just as generously with others, so that they too can come to know Christ and also get to enjoy His benefits. Much LOVE!

…if you want to see God…yuh better had first believe that He’s there… (smile) 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2021 Matthew 28:20b.

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

Well hello there, you beautiful saints of Christ! It’s Friday, the day that so many of us look forward to, or rather used to look forward to, when life was normal and the world was not pandemic entangled. But now, things are somewhat different; many of us are finding it even more difficult than before to make ends meet, money is in short supply for numerous reasons, and our mental and emotional health is not as good, not as relaxed and contented as it once was. But I’m here to remind us that if we have put our trust in Jesus Christ, we should not despair or be afraid. 

Why is that, you ask? It’s simple; because He will look after us, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, (Heb. 13:5) and He is noted for keeping His promises…all of them. But we must keep believing them, and stand strong on them, let our faith rise to new levels, by recalling scriptures like: ‘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, it is difficult to raise our level of faith when we are undergoing serious stress and strain, but the truth is that’s the very time we need to raise it, when we need to stand strong in Jesus, because without His saving grace and faith, we will indeed crumble under the enemy’s onslaught. Remember Jesus last words to the disciples, and consequently to us, when He gave them the Great Commission to go out and evangelize the world? ‘…and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) Now that is another vital scripture to keep uppermost in our hearts and souls, to help in time of need. 

Oh my people, in these trying times, times that echo the last days, we need to be greatly encouraged in our faith, in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And if we are finding things difficult right now, it might take a while before they improve, but we need to believe that they will. And even if they don’t, because not all things fall under the mantra, ‘this too shall pass,’ we need to be strong enough to understand that we are being prepared for a better place, heaven, and that in due time, the Lord will work it all out for our good. (Rom. 8:28) It’s a matter of trust and faith in God’s promises friends. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.’ (2 Cor. 4:7) What that means is that we are brittle earthen vessels that have the power of God, of the gospel filling us. The scholars explain it thus: ‘It depicts humanity in its weakness. The gospel is not a product of human genius or clever intellect (humanity in its strength). Yet it resides in men of clay, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.’ 

Ah my fellow saints, under the New Covenant, God dwells in believer’s hearts, and it’s the source of power that enables us to keep keeping on, despite less than comfortable or favourable circumstances. It’s borne out in Bruh Paul’s words. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor. 4:8-10) 

Yes friends, the life and death of Christ must empower us to hold on to our Christian beliefs. We need to remember what He suffered on our behalf – death on the cross, as well as what He also accomplished – resurrection from the dead, giving us the promise of salvation and eternal life. And that better life with Him in the future, is something we ought to think about a little more down here on earth, especially when times are rough. 

As Bruh Paul says: ‘Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound (abound) to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not (do not lose heart), but though our outward man perish (is perishing), yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor. 4:14-18) 

Oh my brethren, I know it’s not easy to ignore the things going on in our earthly lives and think about those that will occur in the future in heaven, but it’s one of the tools we need to use to help us get through the trying times. And we can do it, if we harness the amazing power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, through the awesome grace that our heavenly Father provides for us to do His work. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t ask for divine help in our earthly troubles. So let’s take the many we currently have, to the Father right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 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, as we supposed faithful believers truly behave like faithful believers, so will our current troubles be remedied. Much LOVE!

…earth is only our temporary home…heaven is where we will spend eternity with Christ…                                                                            

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2021 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16.     All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

Ahoy there my fellow saints in Christ! Hope that you are having a wonderful Tuesday, walking in LOVE with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for that’s what this life is all about; an interesting LOVE walk with Christ! Now nobody said it was going to be all wine, roses and song. No, it doesn’t mean life will be a bed of roses just because you’re walking with Jesus, for He didn’t have an easy earthly life and even promised that those who follow Him won’t have it easy either. 

Please note these words of His: ‘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 that’s where we believers in Christ win them! Yes friends, we have the ability to be peaceful and cheerful during all and any storms, trials and tribulations, or negative experiences that come against us in this evil and ungodly world! 

That’s because our Jesus has already conquered the prince of darkness, Satan, the evil ruler of this evil world. Mano-a mano, he wrested the keys of hell death and the grave from him! He did that when He triumphantly rose from the dead on that Easter Sunday morn some two thousand years ago, to live forever! 

Wow! What a mighty conqueror is our Jesus! And since then, Satan has had no power or authority over believers, unless we foolishly give it to Him. And as Bruh Paul so confidently proclaimed in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?…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) 

Now that’s something we all ought to confidently believe. Why? For as the scholars explain: ‘We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose (vs. 28).’ 

Yuh hear that mih people? NOTHING can separate us from the LOVE of God that’s found in Christ Jesus! But we must believe it sincerely and confidently, then act in a manner that speaks it out loud and clear! And Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy echo the action we need to do so. 

‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-17) 

Yuh see that friends: this world is going to get even more evil, than it is already – if that is possible – but we have the wherewithal to overcome it if we live according to the Word of God, the life-map written for us. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:14-17. Continue literally means “remain.” The things which thou hast learned were his oral instruction in the holy scriptures (the Old Testament, here) by his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois). Inspiration of God (God-breathed) describes the unique character of Scripture. 

It is not only written by men, but authored by God. For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (proficient, capable) is having everything needed to do what God wants. Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! We don’t need anything else to live this life friends but the inspired Word of God! But the most important thing though, is that it must be ‘properly used and applied.’ And unfortunately, that is not what’s happening in these last days, where men are becoming worse and worse, as Bruh Paul so aptly described in the earlier verses of that chapter (3:1-11). God’s Word is sadly not being preached properly, and even worse, is being used as justification for all sorts of wrongdoing and ungodly stuff. But have no fear, the workers of iniquity will eventually pay. That’s the Lord’s promise, and we know He is very faithful that promised! (smile) 

And let us not forget this most meaningful bit of scripture, which allows us to live in peace. ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye (Gentiles) who sometimes (once) were far off are made nigh (near) by the blood of Christ. For he (Himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us.’ (Eph. 2:13-14) 

Yes friends, Jesus broke down the walls between Jews and Gentiles and made one new party, the Christian church, so there should be no more feuding between the two groups. He did that by taking all the sins of the world unto Himself and paying for them all with His sinless life on the cross of Calvary. Now, we need to be living examples of that peace and joy which His death and resurrection provided. And we do that by following the life laid out for us in the Word of God, confidently knowing that we can handle anything that comes against us. 

Oh my fellow saints, when we have Jesus living in us through His Holy Spirit, to lead and guide us into all goodness and righteousness until the day of salvation, we simply can’t go wrong. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to live the good life in Christ, let’s go home proclaiming our Tuesday Mantra. 

As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  Now, the upshoot of it all, is for us to go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with those we meet. Much LOVE!

…Christians…ought to be the most joyful people in the world…not the poor me ones…so many of us look and behave like…                                                                        

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

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! 

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