Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 September 2022 Deuteronomy 31:6.

Deuteronomy 31:6.        Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee. 

Well friends, at long last the cool weather seems to be creeping in, and the summer-like temps we’ve been having into late September will soon disappear. For example, today, as we declare ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ our temperature is around ten degrees Celsius, and is not expected to get higher than 16. And we really can’t complain nuh, because in these northern climes, this September has been awfully good to us weather wise. I can’t remember seeing such summer-like weather in September in a long, long while. 

But as they say, an end to all good things must be, so let’s say ‘Thank You Lord!’ It was good while it lasted, and let’s now proceed to get ourselves ready for the big chill, which will eventually come…as it always does. (smile) And the good thing about being a follower of Jesus is that we can handle whatever situation we face in this life, because He is always there with His Holy Spirit to protect us, to lead and guide us safely through any storm that comes against us. And in God’s Word, the Holy Bible, there are numerous promises of protection and safety. 

However, it’s not just carte blanche protection, without any problems whatsoever. And I believe this qualification on God’s protection from an article on the subject on the website biblestudytools.com gives us a good foundation for what to and what not to expect. ‘The Bible informs us about the protection of God. As humans, we want to see God’s protection as a magic force field that keeps us from all harm. Yes, God can prevent any evil or destruction, but we must remember that we live in a fallen world where we have free will. 

Many times, God works in ways that we do not understand. Sometimes God’s protection comes in the form of peace and strength in the middle of despair. Other times God’s protection comes as an ending because he sees something more on the horizon that we cannot see. As a believer in Jesus, we are promised a new life covered under the protection of God in which NOTHING can separate us from His love. Rest knowing that no matter what hardship you face, God is your provider and protector!’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! Now let’s look at some Bible verses that extol and support that contention. And there’s no better place to begin than in Psalm 18, where Bruh David offers thanksgiving for deliverance from his many enemies. He begins by declaring (yesss!!!): ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:1-3) 

And my faithful brethren, we all know Bruh David’s story; the unfair treatment he received at the hands of many enemies, chief of them being King Saul, his unfortunate dalliance with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah, and the many other tough times he went through. But the Lord brought him safely through them all, though not without tough consequences for his disobedience. But that was because throughout it all, he never faltered from the faith of his forefathers, and kept on trusting and communicating with God despite all his misfortune. 

As I like to say, Bruh David knew on which side his bread was buttered, and never wavered from it. That’s why the Lord called him a friend and a man after his own heart. Now do we know on which side our bread is buttered, and do we stick with Christ, like white on rice, despite the many unfortunate and unfair things that happen to us, as well as the many wrongs we do? That’s a most necessary provision for receiving God’s protection my people! You can’t be jumping from pillar to post and back again, or sitting on the fence and expect to receive God’s protection. With Him, it’s ALL or Nothing at ALL! 

We can’t be wishy washy. For remember what James says: ‘A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ And that person who wavers and doubts will not receive anything from the Lord. (James. 1:6-7) Yes friends, we need to be like Moses told the Israelites a long time ago: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) 

Now that my brethren, that ought to be the basic foundation of our faith, one upon which we stand strong and steadfast, all armoured up with God’s spiritual protection. Namely: ‘the belt of truth around our waist, the breastplate of righteousness around our chest, our feet shod with the gospel of peace, the shield of faith to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, that’s the mighty word of God, which is sharper than any two-edged sword. And on top of all that we add prayer, supplication and perseverance! (Eph. 6:14-18) 

Mama Mia! Nothing can beat us when we are thus ensconced in God and His spiritual armour! So you see, we just can’t sit and wait for God’s protection, there are things we also need to do to enable it in this fallen and sinful world. And I’m chuckling here, because I wanted to include more scripture verses on the subject, and now we’re out of time and space. But that’s how I was led. And looking back on what we’ve said, I believe it’s all good. And just for good measure, (smile) we’ll offer some of those scriptures we had in mind. ‘Psalms 23, 121, 91, 34:19, 46:1. Isaiah 41:10. Joshua 1:7-9. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. 

And finally, the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, found in John 10: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) Please note my fellow saints, that there, Jesus showed His total belief in the strength and power of His Father and so should we, if we expect to receive His awesome protection. 

Now let’s go to the throne of grace, through our Friday Chant, seeking the divine help, which we so badly need. As one voice: ‘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 viruses and our many other problems 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 viruses 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 please 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 now, my people, if we desire to see positive results from our prayer, we need to do what we promised, namely turn from our evil ways and be faithful and trusting servants, good examples to those around us, with good motives filling our hearts. Much LOVE!

…our walk with Christ…is not a one way…but a two way street… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long…but good…and you like it, just as I do. (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 September 2022 Psalm 90:12.

Psalm 90:12.        So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).

And then it was Saturday, our lazy day…and yuh better believe that I’ve been enjoying some of the laziness pervading the atmosphere this bright and sunshiny morning; lying in bed later than normal, and taking my own sweet time to come down and write the Bit. But when you have God’s work to do, you can only enjoy so much lazy time before He gently nudges you to get up and get a move on. So here I am, having been gently nudged (smile) as we venture to look at the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote says: ‘Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.’ And that’s the God-awesome truth my brethren! Life is like money, and you can spend it anyway you desire, but the fact of the matter is that once you’ve spent it, it’s gone. You can’t take it back and spend it again. That’s why we must be ever so careful about how we spend our lives; on what and with whom we spend them. We only have one life to live, and once you’ve spent even a li’l piece of it, that piece is gone forever. 

Unfortunately, life is not like writing on paper, we don’t have the luxury of erasing whatever we’ve done and doing it over on the same piece of paper. That span of life has been used up once and for all. And since our days on earth are short enough as it is, we cannot afford to use up too much of our life unwisely. That’s one of the reasons why Moses in Psalm 90, asks the Lord: ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps. 90:12) 

And likewise in Psalm 39, A prayer for self-understanding, Bruh David beseeched: ‘Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.’ (Ps. 39:4) None of us know how long or short our time will be on earth, hence the necessity to use that time wisely. And it all segues nicely into the next quote. ‘The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.’ 

Oh time does fly, and you don’t realize how fast until you’re getting on in age. I’m sure that time’s been flying at the same speed when I was young, but now that I’m on the downside of life, it seems that time is flying more quickly than ever. And you continually see my surprise in the Bit about how quickly the days and months are flying by. However, as the quote reminds us, we are the pilot of our lives, and thus can do whatever we want with them. The problem there, as we said earlier on, is using our time wisely. And we can only do that successfully if we are guided by the one who made time; our Creator and heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Yes friends, we can pilot the ship of our lives half decently in calm waters, but when the storms and crises of life come, it takes a greater and more experienced pilot than us, Jesus Christ, to guide us safely through them. It’s like in many big ports around the world, when a big ship comes in, a pilot from the port comes on board to take the ship into safe anchorage, because they know the harbour more intimately than the regular ship’s pilot. And it’s the same way with life friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ knows much more about life than we do, because He lived it, died, and rose again, so with that experience under His belt, He’s better able to offer us good advice on it. (smile) 

That brings us to this next quote. ‘You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script.’ Now there’s lots of truth to that, because nowadays there are a lot of people, so -called experts who want to tell us how to live our lives. And it does help to pay attention to some of what they say, but ofttimes they will lead you to live the kind of life they want you to live, not necessarily the kind that you want to live. We need to keep a fine balance between what we want, what others advise us, and how it will eventually affect our lives. 

But there again, the best expert on life is Jesus! No one else has done what He’s done, or can ever do it. In a nutshell: ‘Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior. His Atonement makes it possible for us to be resurrected and to repent and be forgiven so we can return to our Heavenly Father’s presence. In addition to saving us from our sins, Jesus Christ, our Savior, also offers us peace and strength in times of trial.’  So, it makes ever so much sense to turn to Him and live the life that He advises or guides us to live, through the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within each person who believes in Him. 

And this next quote is a meaningful one. ‘I just want you to know that if you are out there and you are being really hard on yourself right now for something that has happened … it’s normal. That is what is going to happen to you in life. No one gets through unscathed. We are all going to have a few scratches on us. Please be kind to yourselves and stand up for yourself, please.’ 

Now that’s oh so true! In this life we all face tough times, through rejection, persecution, whatever, but that’s normal, for life never runs smoothly. There are always ups and down, mistakes and disappointments, but through it all, we certainly need to stand up for ourselves and not be too harsh on ourselves because of any errors we’ve made. Forgiving ourselves ought to be our number one priority in times of poor choices or lack of wisdom. We must learn from the mistakes, but don’t let them weigh us down like unnecessary baggage. 

Unfortunately, many of us forgive others much quicker and easier than we forgive ourselves. The same sorry situation occurs when God forgives us, we don’t truly accept it, and keep on trying to make amends of our own. But forgiveness means letting go of the guilt. We are not called to be martyrs, just to live life to the fullest, which includes forgiveness of self and others. 

Or, like this last quote advises: ‘Be courageous. Challenge orthodoxy. Stand up for what you believe in. When you are in your rocking chair talking to your grandchildren many years from now, be sure you have a good story to tell.’ Now that’s the basic definition of life. As 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 whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Yes friends, if we follow that wise advice, we’ll not go wrong. We will have problems, but we will also have wonderful adventures, even within the times of problems, because that’s the kind of life Jesus offers. As He says: ‘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 an acknowledged fact! So, if we want to live a life filled with good stories to both tell our grandchildren and reminisce about ourselves, as we rock gently during the twilight of our lives, the best one to follow and listen to is Jesus! He’s the only real expert on the subject. There’s no doubt about that. Much LOVE!

…only JESUS…can take us safely through the ups and downs of life…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 August 2022   John 14:6.

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

So it’s lazy day Saturday, and we welcome it with open arms! Yes, this one day in the week when some of us can just do as we please, with no pressures from life or jobs or other people around us. For some unfortunate ones though, it’s also a busy day of housework, grocery shopping and other things they cannot do during the already crowded work week. They have my utmost empathy, (smile) for I remember those trying times in my own life, with children to look after, etc. etc. 

And the sad part is that in my time there were definitely not as many amenities as they are now. But with faith and perseverance my generation made it through, and now we can simply enjoy lazy Saturday mornings without any outside pressures. Glory be! But chuh! I still have to get myself together though and do the Lord’s work, writing the Bit, based on the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

So here goes. The first quote tells us: ‘Life is never easy. There is work to be done and obligations to be met – obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty.’ Now what can we say about that eh? In the first place I won’t say that life is never easy, because it can be very rough and tough at times, but if you’re a believer in, and follower of Jesus, then you will be able to handle the ups and downs of life much better than if He’s not your Lord and Saviour. 

Why? Because He gives you all the tools you need to handle the vicissitudes of life. And though there is work to be done in His name – obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty – with His awesome help we can handle them in a good and timely fashion. It does take faith, perseverance and a tough skin though to live and work for Jesus. But He is indeed the God of truth, of justice and of liberty. As He said in this famous proclamation: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And then we have this awesome verse from Isaiah on the topic of justice. ‘For I the Lord LOVE judgement (justice), I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.’ (Is. 61:8) Yes friends, our God is a God of justice, He hates robbery and wrong doing, and did as promised, made a covenant with His people Israel. 

And as per the subject of liberty, listen to Isaiah again. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (poor); he hath sent me to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty (freedom) to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ (Is. 61:1) 

Wow mih bredrin! What a marvellous God we serve! And He did keep that covenant by sending His Son Jesus, who said it thus: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world though him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And Jesus did come to save the lost, the sick, the needy, to set us free from the sin and dark rule of Satan, and He did just that when He died on the cross, then rose triumphantly from the dead, defeating Satan at His own game. 

That finally brings us to the next quote. (smile) ‘Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this.’ Now that’s totally true. Life does its own thing in our lives, much of which we cannot control, but we do have the ability to decide how we handle them. Basically, it’s called our attitude. We can have a good or bad, right or wrong attitude about those uncontrollable things. But when you’re living for Jesus, you will always have the strength and wisdom to know how to handle them, have the right attitude, so that they don’t inflict more damage than is necessary. 

That’s what Jesus gives us friends, that’s what He showed us by example with all the suffering, the rejection, the injustice He suffered for our sakes down here on earth. He never complained, just went about His business, trusting in His heavenly Father to make straight His path. And so too, we need to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, when life comes against us, as it most certainly will. Look to him for comfort and strength, wisdom and perseverance to handle the problems. That’s a major benefit of being a member of His fold. 

Then we come to this interesting quote: ‘I like criticism. It makes you strong.’ I certainly don’t agree with the first part, (smile) but the second part is very true! Oh, none of us like criticism, especially when we know we’re doing the right thing, but it’s a fact of life, just ask Jesus about it. Not everyone will agree with our moves or motives, and will turn on us, even when we’re trying to help them, like they did with Jesus. But criticism makes us strong, that is if we don’t fall down and stay down because of it. 

The first rejection, like the first failure is always the toughest one to handle. But once you get accustomed – oh, I don’t know if we ever get accustomed to rejection nuh, because each rejection hurts, but with Jesus as our foundation and backbone, we’re better able to handle it. And this next quote amplifies that situation. ‘Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.’ 

Yes my brethren, whatever negative thing happens to us, we must look at it as a positive opportunity to improve ourselves and our circumstances. That’s the only way to rise to higher levels of life. We can’t just wait for positive things to happen because they oftentimes won’t, while negative ones will always show up. It’s like the old cliché; when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Whatever life throws our way, there is always something positive we can learn from it. Even if it’s simply not making the same mistake again. And with all the tools that Jesus gives us, we can certainly take advantage of any negative occurrences that pop up in our lives. 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.’ And that’s only true if you’re a fool and like to talk a lot. However, if you’re a true believer in Christ Jesus, then you can learn even more from hearing yourself speak than listening to others. I’m talking about knowing the Word of God, having it hidden in our hearts, so that when the world or the devil or whoever or whatever tries to come against us, we can speak it and be reassured. 

Sometimes too, we can just speak it for no good reason, simply because we want to hear it, or because we LOVE it, because it always makes us feel good, feel strong and reassured. But to do that, we first have to constantly read and meditate on the word, so that it seeps into our subconsciousness, because we can’t speak something we don’t know. And the best way to end today, is with this marvellous scripture that always brings a chuckle to my spirit. 

It’s the Lord talking to Joshua when He made him the Israelites’ leader after the death of Moses. He said to Joshua, in no uncertain manner: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:8-9) 

That’s it in a nutshell my fellow saints! That’s the secret to success in this world! And if we’re true followers of Christ, and if we are wise, we will follow it and be successful, for our God does not lie nor lead us astray. Much LOVE!

…in Christ alone…is true success found… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 May 2022 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.       …for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

And then it was Tuesday, and we’ve successfully navigated through hot and fearful Monday. (smile) That means we can also successfully navigate another pretty hot day on Tuesday. Of course! We can do anything once we have the power and amazing Spirit of Christ Jesus dwelling within us! And no, it’s not always easy, but as the song’s saying, ‘He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells that I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!’ 

That’s for certain sure my fellow brethren in Christ! There’s no joy in this universe like the joy that emanates from Jesus and fills our souls and spirits when we believe in, trust and surrender ourselves to Him! And that joy doesn’t only manifest itself in gladness, but even more importantly in strength. As the Good Book tells us: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) Oh yes, when we have the joy of the Lord living in us, then we strong like lion, tough like iron, and fear no man or devil, not even his satanic majesty! 

And that’s exactly why the prince of darkness tries to eliminate that joy from our souls and spirits, because then we are weak and pliable and he can get us much more easily to do his evil and dirty deeds. Therefore, it’s ever so important that we allow NOTHING to steal that joy of the Lord which is our strength. And how do we accomplish that in this evil and strife-filled world? One of the ways is by studying God’s word, His many promises and assurances found there, and storing them in our hearts so that we can use them when the enemy tries to get us off of the straight and narrow path that leads to Jesus. 

And we’re talking about promises and assurances like this one that Moses decreed to the Israelites way back when, but which still stands strong today. ‘Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) And that my friends is possibly the first and most powerful scripture we must learn and even more importantly believe! That’s because everything in our Christian faith depends on our believing that our God is good and faithful, LOVING, kind and compassionate and will never leave nor forsake us, come what may! 

And until we sincerely believe that our souls and spirits will continually be filled with doubts and fears. That’s the simple fact of the matter. Strong faith only comes from sincere belief and much experience of life under God’s mighty, faithful and compassionate hand! It’s like going to school; the more you study His word and lean on it and Him, then the stronger your faith will become, and doubts and fears, many introduced by the evil enemy, won’t make such a mess of your life. 

And just like in school, when you don’t pay attention, or do your homework, you will suffer the consequences, for our heavenly Father LOVES us too much to just let us go astray, to do whatever we want once we give our lives to his awesome Son. And I like how the Good Book puts it. ‘For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb. 12:6-7) 

Good question that. If we don’t chasten our children when they do wrong, then we don’t truly LOVE them. And chastening doesn’t mean abusing, but correcting with whatever punishment is necessary. The scholars explain it thus: ‘God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in agreement, harmony) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly). (Prov. 13:24; cf. 22:15; 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous; they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Consequently, we now have a rather unruly and undisciplined generation. We forgot what our parents told us: ‘if you spare the rod, you spoil the child.’ When we became parents, we did not discipline them as we ought to, foolishly thinking that disciplining them was wrong and abusive. But we were quite wrong, for when any animal is not disciplined it goes astray and creates havoc because of their selfish intents, interests and behaviour. Our parents disciplined us, possibly a li’l too rough and tough, and taught us seriously about God, but we came out much better for it. 

And if our God practices tough LOVE, who are we to be different eh? That’s why we’re now suffering the unholy and ungodly consequences of a lost generation. But I’ll leave that alone today, for it’s something that troubles me greatly, because I saw it coming. And now that it’s arrived…well… Chuh! Let’s turn to these words of Jesus on the subject as He spoke to John in the revelation about the church in Laodicea. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev. 3:19) So be warned. 

Now, let’s get back to talking about totally trusting and believing in Christ Jesus and not letting the enemy steal our joy with his lies and deceitful wiles and schemes. And we all know this immortal verse of Bruh Paul to Timothy, although we don’t practice it as thoroughly as we ought to. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yuh see there, discipline is all so important in our dealings with God. Remember what the Good Book says about Jesus: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:8) 

Yes friends, obedience was the hallmark of Jesus’ earthly sojourn. He said it Himself. ‘I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just (righteous); because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the father which hath sent me.’ (John 5:30) And we are required to do the same thing: seek the Father’s will, not our own. Finally, we come to what I believe are the most encouraging and reassuring words in the scriptures; the words the Lord spoke to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success. Have not I 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. 1:8-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, those words are still the best encouragement for today. So please, let’s take them to heart and be strong and courageous nuh, for Jesus desires it of us and the world needs ever so badly to see it from us. And for those of us who are doing our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and courageous 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, let’s go out and enthusiastically show and tell others about the marvellous LOVE and friendship of Jesus, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…this earthly life is all about…living for Jesus…nothing else…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 May 2022 Hebrews 13:5b.

Hebrews 13:5b.       for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.

Come Monday, everything will be all right… although it’s opened wet, foggy and cloudy! Yes friends, everything will be all right this first Monday in the month of May 2022, as we step out into this evil and ungodly world to begin another week of work! And why is that you ask? It’s simple: because the Lord God Almighty is still sitting on His throne in the high heavens and He’s promised to look after us like a good shepherd, like a caring and responsible Father. 

And what more can we ask eh, since He keeps all of His promises?  And this is one of the most important ones, as written by the author of Hebrews. ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’ (Heb. 13:5) 

Wow! What an awesome promise from the Most High God, Creator of the universe and all therein! And it’s a promise that’s been repeated several times in the Good Book, most noticeably by Moses to the children of Israel and the Lord to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. And I believe it will do us much good to have a closer look at those scriptures. (smile) 

As Moses’ wound down His life, he said to the Israelites about the enemies they would face in the Promised Land: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: For the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee not forsake thee. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them: and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. 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. 31:6-8) 

So, the promise of never failing nor forsaking His followers is one that’s been in existence from the time the Lord called people like Noah, Abraham and Moses to do His bidding. And then the Lord Himself told it to Joshua after anointing Him leader of the Israelites. ‘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 thus, that marvellous promise has come right down through the ages to all believers, including us at this very important and controversial time, for we were made for a time such as this. And like the author of Hebrews, that promise ought to cause us to feel so reassured of God’s preservation, ‘So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall (can) do unto me.’ (Heb. 13:6) 

What a great faith we have my people, when a simple promise can cause such tremendous reassurance! And we all know the magnificent words on the subject from the pen of Bruh David in Psalm 27. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

Now those are very good questions, and because of the Lord’s promises, they led Bruh David to further claim: ‘When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.’ (Ps. 27:2-3) And likewise friends, we should also feel the same way, be very confident in the promises of our God this day, and every day of our lives. 

Then Bruh David wisely continues: ‘One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps. 27:4-5) 

Ah mih people, you see that to feel secure in the Lord’s promise, one must also seek His face sincerely, spend time with Him, and get to truly know Him. Reassurance doesn’t just come from hearing the promise, because you can only believe it when you know why it’s so strong and faithful. 

And I just LOVE these reassuring words from this other psalmist: In psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation – he boldly proclaims: ‘Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth forever. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me?’ (Ps. 118:4-6) 

And my fellow saints, if we are of the same opinion as the psalmist there, then our only respite is to call upon the Lord in these times of distress that so many of us are undergoing. So, let’s do just that nuh, go to God in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, baring our hearts and souls to Him, because He has promised to fix our problems. 

Therefore, as one strong, confident but humble voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

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

And as always, if we expect to receive a positive answer from heaven, then what our mouths have said, must align sincerely with our hearts. That’s just the way it is! Much LOVE!

…it is better to put trust in the Lord…than to put confidence in man… (Ps. 118:8) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 April 2022 John 14:1.

John 14:1.        Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Only two more weeks to Easter friends! That most important and miraculous time in the Christian calendar, which reminds us of the real event two thousand years ago, when on Good Friday, Christ shed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary to atone for our sins, then three days later, on that first Easter Sunday, rose triumphantly from the grave to ensure our own rising from the grave after death! 

Now why would anyone choose not to treasure those two marvellous happenings deep in their hearts and souls, and consequently bow down and worship Jesus for His unfailing LOVE and faithfulness eh? It certainly boggles my imagination. But I guess many of us feel that since Christ did all of that, living for Him should be nice and easy, like a Sunday evening stroll in the park. But the reality is totally different from that because in the world we will have trials and tribulations whether we want them or not, like Jesus assured us in John 16:33. 

And also, when you live for Jesus, the enemy comes against you even more than normal, so you can never have a problem free life on this earth. However, as Jesus says in that same verse about tribulation, we should be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. And though being of good cheer despite our problems is possible with Christ’s help, it’s not always easy to do. 

So, on this second Sunday before Easter, we are going to open our worship with a song that talks about the good and bad, the ups and downs of life, and how we can handle them in a Christ-like manner. The song was written By Tracy Dartt and made famous by American Gospel singer Lynda Randle. It’s titled ‘God on the Mountain’ Let’s sing a sweet, soulful, heartfelt version, that will remind us of the faith, trust and surrender we need to commit to our wonderful God. And I want to begin with the soul-searching chorus. (smile) 

So let’s raise those sacrifices of praise heavenward: ‘[Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night}Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known But when things change and you’re down in the valley Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone [Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night}

We talk of faith when we’re up on the mountain But talk comes so easy when life’s at its best But in the valley of trials and temptations That’s when faith is really put to the test [Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night…Yes… the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night…’ 

And is that ever so true friends; our God is the One and Only True Living God in Existence, and He rules the day and night, as well as the good and bad times. And please don’t ask me why some negative things happen, if God is so good and great, because I don’t know. Furthermore, I’ve stopped searching for answers because I’ve realized that God doesn’t tell us everything, and even if He did, we would possibly not understand it, since His thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. (Is. 55:8-9) 

I’ve decided to do as He asks; trust in Him and surrender my life to His omnipotent and compassionate will. And I’ve found that works quite well despite all the ups and downs and good and bad times that make up my life. It’s the only way to have peace on earth my brethren. Because as the song so truthfully points out, it’s easy to talk a big talk when you are on the mountaintop and things are going good. But yuh better believe that it’s a completely different story when you end up in the valley and life is just having a good ole time knocking you around. 

To overcome, faith and trust have to become paramount in our lives. And the first thing this entails is changing our thinking, transforming our minds, as Bruh Paul says in Rom. 12:2, for the mind is the battlefield on which all none physical battles are fought. So we have to stop thinking like the world does and start thinking like Christ says we ought to. And we can’t find a better scripture to light up our valley days than these awesome words of Bruh David from Psalm 23 – the Lord is my shepherd, when he confidently declares: ‘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 friends, only with that kind of confident faith will we ever survive the valley days, and hopefully make it back to the top of the mountain. And we all know that though Bruh David was Israel’s mightiest king, He suffered many ups and down, both through his mistakes and the normal problems that life bring, but he never stopped trusting in the God of his forefathers, and God rewarded him very highly for it. And here’s another verse from Bruh David we need to have stored up in our treasure chest of scriptures for those hard times. ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’ (Ps. 34:19) 

Now, if you can believe that, you’re on your way! And I just LOVE this scripture when the Lord made Joshua the leader of the Israelites after Moses death. ‘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) Now that’s telling him! And that’s the fourth time the Lord told him as much in five consecutive verses (Josh. 1:6-9). And He’s saying the same thing to us in these trying times my people: have faith in me, trust in me, I LOVE you and will not let you down. If I sent my only Son Jesus to die for you, why wouldn’t I help you in other things? 

But we have to believe. Jesus was always telling people to believe. Like He said to the disciples: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ John (14:1) And you can look up the many times He said the same thing to others. It’s all a question of belief in Jesus Christ. the Son of God! 

And we’ll end with this practical quote from Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 4:6-7). Now, it could not be put any simpler or more practically than that my fellow saints.  It then behooves us to action those sentiments if we want to make it through both the mountain top and the valley of the shadow of death. Much LOVE!

…we already have all the tools for Christian living…we’re just not using them…     

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 October 2021 Deuteronomy 8:6.

Deuteronomy 8:6.     ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ 

A good Monday morning to you my faithful friends and neighbours! Grace and peace from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to all those who sincerely trust and believe in Him. And since the breath of life continues to run through our bodies on this fateful Monday, it means that there is still important work for us to do down here in Christ’s name. Some of us know what that work is, and should faithfully put our shoulders to the wheel and do it without complaints, for He will greatly enable us to perform whatever He calls us to do. 

Meanwhile, for those of us who don’t know our particular purpose, it’s ever so important for us to seek it out with the Lord’s help, for one day we shall all come before Him to answer for what we’ve done with our lives. And I don’t believe that ignorance of our earthly purpose will be a satisfactory answer. (smile) Remember, heavenly rewards are based on the fruit of our earthly labour, and if we didn’t bear any good earthly fruit, how can we expect to reap heavenly rewards eh? 

And how do you find out your earthly purpose, you ask? Simple. Go to God and ask Him. Find a quiet place and some quiet time to spend with Him; read His word, think on it, and talk to Him like you’d talk to a friend, and He will answer your questions. Possibly not all at once, or in a loud voice, but quietly, in your spirit, you will eventually feel a nudging in a certain direction…or it might even be much more than a nudge, a direct command. 

But remember too, that after we pose our questions to God, like in every other conversation, we need to be quiet and listen for His response. And that’s where so many of us fail, and complain that God doesn’t speak to us. It’s obvious that if we don’t listen, we can’t hear Him speaking. However, with the impatience of our current society, we expect to receive the answer right away, but that isn’t how our God operates. Unless it’s a dire emergency, He expects us to be patient and contemplative, not rushing around aimlessly like so much of our world is doing. 

There’s no need to worry friends. If you ask God for directions, He will give them to you, just in His own time and fashion. Don’t worry about Him being late either. He knows what’s important and when and operates on the just in time principle. From personal experience, I know that’s an aggravating principle, but after the first few times, you’ll realize that God is faithful and will not let you down, He will arrive just in time. 

But that means putting your trust in Him, which means spending quality time with Him, getting to know Him as intimately as possible, because trust can only be built through intimacy and sincerity and time spent together. And that trust can’t be built overnight either. It will take time, as much or as little time as you choose to put into the relationship. Remember, our heavenly Father is always there, ready, willing and able to talk to us, and when He feels the need, He will open a conversation with us, but basically, it’s our responsibility to get the ball rolling. 

And in building trust, you must learn to rely wholeheartedly on His promises; promises like His grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9); Temptation will not overtake us (1 Cor. 10:13); Victory over death (1 Cor. 15:57) To supply us with every need we have (Phil. 4:19) Eternal life. (John 3:16, 10:28) All things work together for good for those who love and serve Him faithfully (Rom. 8:28) 

But yuh know what my people? Sincere trust also calls for bravery and courage. And believers need them each and every moment of every day if they are to be faithful to God’s desires. They are not easy to come by in this evil and ungodly world either, but God in His everlasting wisdom has also made provision for that. Remember these words of Moses to the Israelites. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 8:6) 

And that’s gospel truth, for you see how He led the Israelites when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt. The Good Book tells us: ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:’ (Ex. 13:21) But to acquire that bravery and courage, trust and surrender, here’s what the Lord said to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) And therein lies the secret to success in God’s kingdom; learn His Word and put it into action. 

That’s it in a nutshell friends. If you don’t know His Word then you can’t keep His commands. And to truly truly know it, you must also have good and frequent communication with the Lord so He can explain the parts you don’t understand. (smile) And communicating with God is called prayer, and there is never a better time for prayer than the moment you think of it. So, since it’s in our thoughts right now, I think it’s appropriate that we approach the Lord in prayer through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, laying out our problems and desires before Him. 

As one strong voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. 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 remember that God not only listens to our words but also checks our hearts to see if our motives are right and true, before He answers our prayers. Much LOVE!

…to truly live for the Lord…one must put a sincere effort into it…meaning blood, sweat and tears…like Jesus did…                                                                                                            

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 September 2021 Matthew 11:28.

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

Ah mih people, how quickly these days are passing! Would you believe it’s Sunday already? Didn’t we just celebrate it a few days ago? (smile) We might have. But it’s time to gather for worship once again on the Lord’s day, be it physically in His sanctuary, or at home through technological means. And today we will sing a song of hope, that was born out of a sorrowful life. The song is titled ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus,’ and it’s the indisputable truth, but the life of its author Joseph Mendicott Scriven (1819-1886) was not a happy one. Instead, it was filled with many trials and misfortunes that eventually brought him to his knees. 

The hymnary.org website tells us that Scriven was an Irish immigrant to Canada. Before he came here, apparently poor health caused him to give up his dream of a military career, and then his fiancée died in a drowning accident in 1844. He moved to Ontario, Canada soon thereafter and became a teacher, but misfortune followed him when his new fiancée died after a short illness in 1855. Poor fellow! And that seemed to be the last straw, for after that his life was never stable, and his eccentricities alienated him from his neighbours. 

They say, as a member of the Plymouth Brethren, he went about doing menial tasks for the poor and disabled, trying to live as literally as possible according to the Sermon on the Mount, and during his remaining years obviously needed the solace of the song he had written. But unfortunately, it never seemed to have cured his depression, thus it’s unknown whether he committed suicide or accidentally drowned in Rice Lake in 1886. But despite that sorrowful life, Scriven did leave us a gem of a song. 

And it’s worth noting that many of the wonderful songs we sing today came from adversity in the lives of the authors, who took a moment to pen their thoughts, their griefs, their sorrows, and also their hopes in Almighty God, so that we who came after them would have a means of solace in our time of misfortune and grief. So let’s pay some belated homage to Joseph Scriven right now nuh, as we sing those haunting but oh so true words he wrote in his time of need, so long ago. In soulful harmony, let’s raise our voices in sincere sacrificial praise. 

‘What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer! – Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer! Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer! – 

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour, still our refuge– take it to the Lord in prayer! Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Yes, What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends? It most certainly is! We have a wonderful friend in Jesus, and an awesome privilege of taking all our problems to Him in prayer! Wow! The problem though is that we don’t take those amazing benefits of being in communion with Jesus as seriously as we ought to. We either feel that we can handle our problems ourselves, or that Jesus doesn’t have time or the desire to deal with our matters. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth my people. Jesus has the time, and also the inclination to deal with any and all problems we might have. 

Why do you think He offered us the Great Invitation eh? ‘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) Now does that sound like someone who doesn’t have the time or the inclination to help His followers? Obviously not! But ofttimes it’s our foolish and stubborn pride that keeps us from going to Jesus for solace and help in our time of need. 

And even in olden times the Lord encouraged His people to come to Him. Hear these words from the prophet Jeremiah when the Lord promised a glorious return to the captives from Babylon. ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and might things, which thou knowest not.’ (Jer. 33:3) Yes friends, from the beginning of time the Lord has always been entreating and encouraging us to call on Him, since He is our refuge and fortress and strong tower. 

Now listen to how Isaiah puts it on the Lord’s behalf nuh. ‘Can a woman forget her suckling (nursing) child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee. Behold I have graven (inscribed) thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.’ (Is. 49:15-16) How much more encouragement do we need to go to God in sincere prayer eh when troubles befall us eh? Jesus engraved us in the palms of His hand when He bore the nails in them on the cross. That’s another promise kept! 

And hear what Moses told the children of Israel before he died. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) But that’s exactly why the Israelites spent forty years wandering around in the desert; they were scared and afraid and didn’t believe the promises of God, even after he had parted the Red Sea and allowed them to cross over on dry land, then drowned Pharaoh and the Egyptian army. 

Ah my fellow saints, we have it so good it’s not funny! But sadly, we don’t truly believe it, and thus we can’t truly appreciate it, otherwise we wouldn’t be having all this fussing and fighting amongst ourselves and turning away from Jehovah God. And we shall close with these wonderful words of promise from Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and a fortress. 

The psalmist ends it with God speaking. ‘Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him. I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. he shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life (length of days) will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps. 91:14-16) 

What more can I say eh friends? All the cards are in our hands. Remember we need God much more than He needs us. It’s up to us to go to Him now, for He has already come to us. Much LOVE!

…if you can’t believe the promises of God…what can you believe eh…                                                                                                                  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2021 Mark 4:40.

Mark 4:40.     Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?

Awright friends, time to get excited, hopefully we’ll be going into stage 3 of the pandemic reopening next week, meaning we can then have about fifty percent capacity in our churches. Isn’t that good news? It surely is! For the first time in over a year it might make sense to reopen, although I believe some of the pandemic regulations like masks and physical distancing might still be in place. But whatever happens, today is Sunday, which means we ought to be celebrating the Lord’s Day, by gathering technologically, hopefully not for much longer, (smile) to give Him much thanks, sing His praises and glorify His holy name. 

And, as we do each Sunday, our opening salvo is a glorious burst of worshipful song. Today’s song of worship is titled ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ And we could not find a more appropriate song for these rather stormy times we have been recently experiencing. We are going to do the Reggae version, as done by the well-known Jamaican singer George Nooks. So, in an upbeat reggae tempo, with plenty riddim and background vocals, let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony, offering up sincere sacrificial praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

‘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 have 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.’ 

Oh friends, that was magnificent! There was no doubt in heaven that we were sincere in singing the praises of Jesus. The problem now is for us to put all that we’ve just said into action, which is much easier said than done. Yes, even for those of us with strong faith, when the violent storms of life hit us with hurricane-like force, it is ofttimes difficult to bring it to the forefront and stand strong on the promises of Jesus. But we have to do it, if we expect to overcome the storms, or merely to ride them out. And today I just want to reacquaint us with some scripture that helps us to do just that. 

So let’s start at the beginning, it’s usually the best place. (smile) That means we are going right back to the Old Testament, when the Lord brought the Israelites out of 400 hundred years of bondage in Egypt. Now what does the Good Book tells us about that mighty Exodus? ‘And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people.’ (Ex. 13:20-22) 

And the scholars inform us that ‘This glowing cloud was the shekinah glory of Yahweh (a visible manifestation of God on earth), which later filled the tabernacle (Ex. 40:35) and then Solomon’s temple (1 Kin. 8:10), and finally departed from the temple and the city just before the Babylonian captivity (Ezek. 8-11). This “glory of the God of Israel” will not return to Israel until the Second Coming of Christ (Ezek. 43:1-7), at which time the glowing cloud will once again cover God’s earthly people. But back then, it guided the people through the wilderness, assured them of God’s presence, and protected them from the Egyptians (cf. Ex. 14:19-20).’ 

Now that alone should be enough to convince us that God is always with us, and will never leave nor forsake us. But I know that we are a stubborn, hard-ears lot, (smile) so listen to Moses to those Israelites who were just as stubborn and hard-ears as us. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (the enemies they’d meet in the Promised Land): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) Then Moses said the same thing to Joshua, the new leader, adding at the end ‘fear not, neither be dismayed.’ (Deut. 31:8) 

And if that wasn’t enough, after Moses died and Joshua took command, the Lord Himself reassured Joshua. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh. 1:5) But they had to meditate on His word and keep His commandments; ‘for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 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 whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:8-9) 

And nothing has changed since then my brethren, except for Jesus coming and giving us even more assurances. Like He promised the disciples and all those who believed on Him and did His work: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) And remember the physical calming of the storm, when they were crossing the Sea of Galilee? The disciples were terribly afraid because the boat was in serious danger of capsizing, but Jesus lay sleeping comfortably in the stern, But they awoke Him and asked ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38) 

He obviously did, but He knew that there was no cause for worry since He was with them. That’s why after getting up and rebuking the wind, saying to the sea, ‘Peace be still,’ He also rebuked them by asking: ‘Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’ (Mark 4:39-40) And friends, it’s the same question Jesus asks of us when the storms of life beset us and we become so terrified that we don’t know our A from our E. (smile) ‘Where is your faith? Why is it so small? Haven’t you seen and heard enough about me and My word, and know that I am the eternal calmer of storms?’ 

Yes my fellow saints, we ought to know better than to be terrified of the storms of life when we have Jesus running the show. So, I hope this li’l review will reassure us, boost our faith, and keep us standing strong and steadfast, so that we can confidently ride them out on the strong and massive shoulders of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…the greatest storm pilot there ever was…Jesus…                                                                                                    

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