Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 November 2022 Romans 10:17.

Romans 10:17.       So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Christ).

Oh friends, another Monday morning has rolled around, much to our despair. (smile) And, unfortunately, that means we have to get our act together and face the working world to fight the good fight of faith as a faithful soldier in Jesus’ army. As a believer in Christ, as a Christian, that’s what we’ve signed up for. Now, for some of us, it might be harder than for others, depending on God’s will for our lives, but we can all be assured that whatever the Lord asks of us, He will give us the wherewithal to do it. 

And Jesus’ promise at the end of the Great Commission, warms the cockles of my heart on the matter. Yes my brethren, our commission, our basic job is to go out and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, teaching them all that Christ has taught us, ‘and, lo, I am with you always, unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28-19-20) Wow! What a marvelous Leader is our Jesus! He’s faithfully promised to be with us wherever we are in the world, once we’re spreading His gospel, His Holy Word. 

That brings us to Bruh Paul’s take on the subject as he wrote to the church at Rome, where he proudly proclaims: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.’ (Rom. 1:16) Oh my people, do we feel as strongly as Bruh Paul about the gospel of Christ? I certainly hope so, otherwise we are not true believers, true Christians. That’s because the power of God is so powerful, so dynamic, like dynamite, from which the English word “power” is derived. 

The scholars tell us that if ‘Bruh Paul was writing today he would probably speak of atomic power. The gospel is so powerful that it takes people all the way into heaven. Everyone that believeth: The basis of salvation is God’s gracious provision – His free gift of grace. (Rom. 3:23-26) But the only means by which the sinner can appropriate this gift is faith. (Rom. 10:9-17) The gospel is the essential content of that faith. This is why Paul is so burdened to preach Christ to the world.’  And as faithful believers, we should also be carrying that bright burning torch for the gospel of Jesus. 

That takes us to the words of Bruh David in Psalm 40 -Praise for answered prayer – where he imparts in all faithfulness. ‘Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to usward: they cannot be reckoned up (recounted) in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire: mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 

Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book (scroll) it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness (proclaimed the good news of righteousness) in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained (restrained) my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy LOVING-kindness and thy truth from the great congregation.’ (Ps. 40:4-10) 

Oh my people, Bruh David also knew the power of God’s Word and faithfully broadcast it to all and sundry, to the great congregation. And he did not hide it in his heart, keep it selfishly for himself alone, like so many of us modern-day believers do, either through fear or just plain laziness. But please, let’s remember these oh so important and fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Romans. 

‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Christ).’ (Rom. 10:13-17) 

Yes friends, it’s ever so important that the gospel of Christ be communicated worldwide. And that’s our job, our responsibility. The Lord gave us salvation, but expects us to pass it on to each other. And we obviously are not doing such a bang-up job, otherwise our world would not be in the terrible mess it’s currently in. But let’s remember that there is always hope where Christ is involved, for with and through Him anything is possible, but we have to set the stage. And the first step in setting the stage is always prayer. And there’s no better time for prayer than RIGHT NOW! 

So, let’s begin there nuh, by offering up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn asking for help to change. Altogether now: ‘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 Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher, so wisely advises: ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.’ (Eccl. 5:4) Now that should give us pause for thought, and hopefully have us doing as we ought. Much LOVE!

…if you believe God’s Word…then it’s your bounden duty to spread it… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 November 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:19.

1 Thessalonians 5:19.       Quench not the Spirit.

Oh Brother, I can’t believe it’s already the 8th day of November nuh! We just celebrated Halloween a few days ago at the end of October. What’s happening with these months eh? They are flying by so quickly, that you hardly have time to really notice and enjoy them. (smile) But in my neck of the words, we really can’t complain because the days have been very warm and sunny considering the time of the year. Let’s just hope that when the real winter season drops down on us, the days fly as quickly. Don’t hold your breath for that though. (smile) 

However, the good thing about being a follower of Jesus Christ is that we don’t have to worry about anything, whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, because He ALWAYS has our backs, even in the greatest storm of our lives, our Lord and Saviour is ALWAYS there to guide and protect, to lead and bring us safely through our trials and tribulations! Wow! What a wonderful Lord and Saviour we serve and worship! 

And all God’s children gave a large, long, and grateful shout of ‘Thank You Jesus! We LOVE you with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds! Without You we are nothing! Please keep looking out for us, as we will keep LOVING and coming to You for Your awesome grace and mercy!’ 

Mama Mia! I have to laugh yes, because that prayer wasn’t planned, but somehow or the other it just kept flowing from my fingers. No doubt the work of the Holy Spirit, sensing our need for some prayer with praise and thanksgiving in these turbulent and perilous times of our world. And yes, there’s no better way of communing with our great God than through prayer, praise and thanksgiving. That’s why Bruh Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-19) 

Yes my fellow believers, life with Jesus is all about rejoicing, praying, giving thanks and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us the way He is supposed to. Most of today’s teachers and preachers don’t pay much attention to the last verse about quenching the Holy Spirit, but it’s very important since it’s through the third person of the Holy Trinity, that we are led and guided to the Lord’s will. 

And the scholars explain that last verse thus. ‘Quench means putting out the fire in Matthew 12:20. Ephesians 6:16, and Hebrews 11:34. Here it is employed metaphorically to mean “stifle” or “suppress.” The Christian can stifle the Holy Spirit’s workings by hindering Him from leading the believer to rejoice (vs.16), to pray (vs.17), to give thanks in adversity (vs. 18), and by despising prophetic utterance (vs. 20) inspired by the Holy Spirit.’ 

And sadly, that’s what many of us do my fellow saints; we quench the Holy Spirit by not listening to His divine guidance, by going our own way, or the way the enemy lies and deceives us into going. That’s why so many of us are leading such troubled lives, inwardly we’re not in sync with the Holy Spirit of God, despite our outward Christian behaviour. 

Unfortunately though, we, the individual believers, are the ONLY ones who can correct that unwise behaviour. Others can talk to us about it, but unless and until we seriously and consciously choose to change it, then we’ll keep on losing the divine blessings and leadings of God’s great Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. And the only way to get us to wise up and do what we know we ought to do, is to keep bombarding us with scriptures on the subject. (smile) 

So here goes, with Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.. Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. 

Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:4-9) 

Hope that stirred up our souls and spirits some. But we’re not done yet. Remember we’re bombarding. (smile) So listen to Bruh Paul to the Colossians on the subject of Christian virtues. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him’ (Col. 3:12-17) 

Now that’s enough bombardment for today! And if it doesn’t rile up our spirits to do better, then I don’t know what else to say or do. (smile) Oh, upon further thought, I’ll just try to emphasize these two things. First, the putting on of charity or LOVE, the bond of perfectness.’ Meaning that ‘LOVE is the crowning grace completing the list of virtues required for perfectness or spiritual maturity. As a “bond” it binds all other virtues together in harmony and unity.’ And remember Bruh Paul’s famous words to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13) 

Then, the second thing I want to emphasize is that EVERYTHING we do, we should try to do in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in glory to the Father. If we do those two things; live in LOVE, and do all in the name of Jesus, meaning what pleases Him, then I think we will do great things here on earth, live up to our Christian heritage. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong 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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And having said that, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with all those we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and serve like Christ…that’s the Christian motto… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 October 2022 Matthew 14:27.

Matthew 14:27.       Be of good cheer (take heart, courage) it is I, be not afraid.

It’s raining, it’s raining on this lazy autumn Saturday morning! A chill is in the air, ‘cause the wind’s a blowing, so the trees are dancing, their multi-coloured leaves a waving this way and that!  And I’ve been enjoying every bit of this lazy Saturday morning…that is until now, when I can’t put off writing the Bit any longer. Oh, the tough times some of us have to bear eh. (smile) Anyway, as they say, you can run but you can’t hide, especially from the good Lord. So, let’s do what we always do on Saturdays; see if we can make heads or tails of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now this first quote says: ‘I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.’ And that’s true to a certain extent. When we make up our minds on what needs to be done, in other words when we make a purposeful decision, we generally get a feeling of strength behind it, and we let go of the fear and anxiety that indecision usually causes. But what happens when we can’t make a decision eh, when indecision just bathes us in a stream of fear, especially in this crazy world of today. We keep living in fear and anxiety, keep living the substandard life that those emotions produce. 

But when we live for Jesus…Glory be! Fear is no longer our nemesis, for with Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, our Master and Guide, we can move along productively and courageously even in the midst of anxiety and worries. That’s because living for Jesus brings a peace of mind that the world cannot offer. Remember this great promise of our omnipotent God, 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) 

Yes friends, that’s the promise Jehovah God made to His people long ago, and He’s kept it up to this day, because He’s not a deity that ever reneges on His promises, like some false gods do. And remember too that some of Jesus’ favourite words were ‘Fear not.’ And He said it so often that we don’t have space nor time to relate them all, only these few. Think of the occasion when Jesus went walking on the water to the disciples on the boat out in the sea. They were terrified as though they saw a ghost and cried out in fear. ‘But straightway Jesus spoke unto them saying, Be of good cheer (take heart, courage) it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:27) 

Then there’s that time that Jairus, the synagogue leader came to Jesus to heal his young daughter, but while they were on the way, Jairus’s servants came and told him that the girl was dead. What was Jesus’ response to that news? He told Jairus: ‘Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole (saved).’ (Luke 8:50) And what about when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee and a terrible storm blew up on them, while Jesus lay asleep in the back of the boat apparently unconcerned. They woke him, terrified of drowning. ‘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.’ (Matt:8:27) 

There you have it in a nutshell my fellow believers. The three basics for handling fear are to believe, take heart or courage, and have faith in Jesus, for He is our Good Shepherd, and the shepherd always looks after the sheep. (smile) That brings us to these next two quotes. The first tells us. ‘If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.’ And the second advises. ‘When it comes to luck, you make your own.’ Now I chose to lump them together because I believe they basically say the same thing; you have the power to make your life the way you want it, and to change it whenever you feel like doing so. 

Now again, that’s true only to a certain extent with the free will that God’s given us. But how many of us have tried to change our lives when we felt like doing so and just ran into so many roadblocks that change became virtually impossible eh? That’s because the hand of the Lord was in our affairs, like it always is. (smile) Let’s not forget these very important words of Cousin Sol in Proverbs. ‘The preparations of the heart in man (a man’s plans belong to him), and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.’ (Prov. 16:1) That means we can plan all we want, but it’s the Lord’s will that will eventually come to pass, because He is sovereign over even the thoughts and words of man. 

And later on in Proverbs, Cousin Sol repeats that advice this way. ‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’ (Prov. 19:21) And I can personally testify to that through hard experience. I never planned to be a writer on scripture, had plenty other secular plans in mind, still do, but then the Lord waylaid me, wouldn’t take no for an answer, and eventually brought all my other ventures to an end. Yes friends, the best laid plans of mice and men usually go astray when the Lord peruses them. (smile) So though we have some leeway to make changes in our lives, what the Lord wants is usually what we’ll become. 

And that certainly contradicts this next quote. ‘Our lives are stories in which we write, direct and star in the leading role. Some chapters are happy while others bring lessons to learn, but we always have the power to be the heroes of our own adventures.’ Again, it’s only true to the extent that the Lord allows us to write and star in our own production. But as we all know, He has a plan for each and every life that He creates, and when He’s ready to put His plan into effect, it’s wisest to simply accept it without any hassle, for He will just keep on making your life more miserable until you accept His dictate. 

Trust me, I know what I’m talking about, because that’s what He did to me when He brought up this Bit idea. I laughed and said I couldn’t because I wasn’t sufficiently knowledgeable in scripture, and that was the truth. But He kept after me, placing obstructions in my way, until I had no choice but to agree. And when I began it was merely a verse of scripture. But through my perseverance and His faithfulness, it’s grown over the last fifteen, almost sixteen years, where I now find myself writing too much instead of too little. (smile) And that’s why I can vouch for the Lord’s faithfulness. He never gives you a task without the tools and the help to do it. 

That brings us to this last quote. ‘Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.’ And that’s the gospel truth, especially if you are a follower of Christ Jesus! We ought never to take a back step to the world, but to step forward into the light and make the world a better place for Jesus. But unfortunately, not enough of us supposed believers are doing that. Instead, we’re playing second fiddle to the dictates, pleasures and evils of the world. 

But please remember that in Jesus’s band, there is only ONE fiddler, that’s Him, and if we want to be a part of it, then we have to come to terms with that fact and stand up strong and steadfast in His marvellous name, and not play second fiddle to the world. As He so passionately desires and zealously stated: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) 

So please my fellow saints, let’s go out into this evil world and do as Jesus desires of us nuh – shine our lights! That’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…only in Jesus…can we find what our heavenly Father desires for us… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 September 2022 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.       My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments. 

And then it was Tuesday. That means, Monday is history, and Wednesday is still tomorrow. It therefore behooves us to enjoy today; to put our best foot forward today, or as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say, ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ 

And you know that’s all the Lord really asks of us; to simply be as good as we can be. But sadly, too many of us are instead doing way, way less than our best. That’s one of the reasons our world is in such a ghastly state of havoc and chaos: believers in Christ Jesus just are not stepping up to the plate as they ought to, while the evil doers, the iniquity workers are constantly hitting the ball out of the park. 

And why aren’t we believers doing better eh? I guess it’s a combination of several reasons: the first being fear. Fear of what our friends and family and the world at large will say and/or do; including rejection and belittling. Then there’s downright laziness, a doh care attitude and procrastination, that all lead to disobedience, be it conscious or unconscious. 

But friends, this Tuesday morning in late September, in the fall of this very significant year of 2022, I want to remind us of these very significant words of our Great God, brought to us through the writings of Cousin Sol in the Book of Proverbs. Please listen closely…or rather, please read and inwardly digest with me. (smile) 

‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments. For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck (like a necklace); write them upon the table of thine heart (mind). So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:1-4) 

Ah my fellow saints, it’s all so simple, though not necessarily easy. However, with the help of God, to whom we keep acknowledging that nothing is impossible, we can certainly do it if we sincerely want to and actively try. And what does the scripture say; ‘keep my commandments.’ Why? Because they will give us blessed and lengthy lives, lives filled with peace, favour and esteem from both God and our fellow man. Now isn’t that what we all long for? Absolutely! Then why aren’t we doing as much as we can to further those dreams and desires eh? 

No doubt some of us feel that keeping God’s commandments are difficult, but that’s not true, as John says in his first epistle. ‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that LOVETH him that begat (God the Father) LOVETH him also that is begotten of him (Jesus, the Son). By this we know that we LOVE the children of God, when we LOVE God, and keep his commandments. For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (difficult, burdensome.) (1 John 5:1-3) 

And before we go further, let’s find out what are these commandments that we’re talking about nuh, that we’re supposed to keep, and which according to John are not difficult or burdensome. Now according to the Good Book, the Lord issued ten basic commandments to the Israelites when they came out of bondage in Egypt, (Ex. 20:1-17) 

However, Jesus in His immaculate or perfect wisdom, narrowed them down to two, namely. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

So you see my faithful brethren, it’s only two basic things we need to do in this life; LOVE the Lord our God, and then LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves. Unfortunately though, in this current world in which we live, LOVE seems to be much more difficult to do than its opposite action, hate, since there is ever so much more hate in our world than LOVE. 

We’re obviously not LOVING our God, but trying to get rid of Him, and as per LOVING our neighbours like ourselves, we veritably seem to hate ourselves by the way we treat our neighbours! What’s causing such a misfortune eh? I don’t know. Can it be fear? Certainly not, since John in his first epistle also deals with that, when he points out that ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Oh friends, I know the answer to our problems – a great infusion of LOVE in our society – but unfortunately I don’t know how to do it, and thus I’m asking for your help. If you are a true believer in Christ Jesus, then it behooves you to step up your LOVE walk! That means LOVING the Lord our God more, and also LOVING ourselves more, so that we can transfer that self-LOVE to our neighbours! 

Why do you think the Lord sent Jesus to earth to sacrifice His sinless life for us eh? Because He LOVED us with a burning LOVE, one that knew no bounds! It’s a LOVE that’s unconditional; a powerful, selfless LOVE that never changes or diminishes regardless of what we do! Now doesn’t that mean anything to you? I strongly suggest that it should. It should mean so much that we try to change our evil ways, or simply improve our godly ones, because it’s only through the right actions of believers in Christ that our world will become less chaotic and more LOVING! 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong 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 having made that outstanding proclamation, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with all we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…it’s ALL about LOVE…LOVE created us…LOVE keeps us safe…and LOVE will take us home to heaven… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 September 2022 Proverbs 25:28.

Proverbs 25:28.       He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Awright my Scrip-Bit friends and families, we down to the penultimate day of the work week… But wait, is it really Thursday already? Brother, these days passing too quickly for me yes…and I don’t think I’m bearing sufficient fruit in them nuh. It’s also the 8th of September too! The month and week just began, and they are already speeding away from us. But I guess that’s just life, how the Lord designed His universe to function, and those of us who don’t keep up with nature’s momentum, are just going to be like the word that falls on barren ground…left in the dust…fruitless. (smile) 

Anyway, yesterday I did bear one good fruit, that of cleaning up a stack of papers I had sitting below my computer for ages. You know when you are a writer, or claim to be one, you always have li’l bits of paper with notes and such scribbled on them. Well, I’ve been meaning to go through that stack for a while now, but could never get around to it. Don’t go clapping yet, I have another stack on the other side to go through too. (smile) And when I finally got around to it yesterday, lo and behold I discovered this gem of a prayer that I haven’t seen for years. 

That’s one of the benefits of going through old papers; you often find marvellous stuff in them. Now I must have shared this prayer before, because it’s too nice and too appropriate a prayer for me not to have shared, and I guess that’s why it’s been amongst those bits of papers, waiting to be shared again. (smile) It was apparently published in 2015 in a post named ‘Mary’s Musings – Life and times of a small town Nana.’ And is it ever appropriately titled – ‘A Prayer for Later Years.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord, thou knowest that I am growing older. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and particularly keep me from falling into the tiresome habit of expressing an opinion on every subject. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details. Give me wings too to get to the point. Give me the grace, dear Lord, to listen to others describe their aches and pains. Help me to endure the boredom with patience and keep my lips sealed, for my own aches and pains are increasing in number and intensity, and the pleasure of discussing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. 

Teach me the glorious lesson that, occasionally, I might be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not wish to be a saint (saints are so hard to live with), but a sour old person is the work of the devil. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not pushy; independent; yet able to accept with graciousness favours that others wish to bestow on me. Free me of the notion that simply because I have lived a long time, I am wiser than those who have not lived so long –(although it’s often true- my addition). 

If I do not approve of some of the changes that have taken place in recent years, give me the wisdom to keep my mouth shut. Lord knows that when the end comes, I would like to have a friend or two left. The author is unknown but I wish I had written it. I think it is appropriate for those of us of a “certain age.”  

And is it ever my brethren! Yuh know the older you get, the more you believe you have the freedom and the right to do and say as you please. (smile) You believe you have earned that liberty simply by living a long time and seeing many changes. But even when we’re old, we still need to somewhat curtail our mouths and tongues, and not give free reign to every thought that comes into our often forgetful minds. 

But yuh know what, that prayer isn’t only appropriate for old folks, but also for young ones…possibly even more so, as the young uns nowadays just like to talk and carry on about stuff they know nothing about. In our days it was, don’t speak until you’re spoken to, and then with as few words as possible. But today, with the lack of manners taught to this generation by we the parents – yes some of the blame must fall on our shoulders – and with the introduction of the internet and social media, the freedom to open our yaps, and anonymously too, is driving our society into the barren ground of chaos and upheaval. 

And what does it all mean eh? I guess that in today’s busy and crazy world, the fruit of the Spirit termed self-control is sadly lacking. And what is self-control? One writer describes it thus: ‘Self-control (“temperance” in the KJV) is, of course, the ability to control oneself. It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our baser desires and fleshly lusts.’ And is our fleshly lusts and baser instincts ever getting away with the proverbial act of murder nowadays! 

Why is that eh? Because too many believers are still dallying with stuff that drives them to sin. And yes, self-control ought to help us avoid them, but oftentimes, the only way to overcome some of those bad habits is to stay completely away from the things that cause them. And there are several scriptures that talk about self-control, like this famous one from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For the Lord hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

That means we have the Spirit of self-control. But why put ourselves unnecessarily in places where we have to use it to a great extent, when we can simply avoid some of those places eh? Cousin Sol also had a lot to say on the subject. Check out these two verses. ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov. 16:32) And the other verse says: ‘He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.’ (Prov. 25:28). 

Yuh see friends, how important self-control is! If you don’t have it, you’re like a defenseless city, open to the invasion of sin. But when you have it…oh…you’re better than the strong man and the conqueror of cities! Wow! And unfortunately, self-control is one of our world’s biggest problems, driving all sorts of strife, evil and ungodly doings. But thankfully, our great and wonderful God has given us tools to handle any situation we encounter, including what we call our Thursday Blessings. So please, declare them with me now, so that we can activate them and get ourselves straightened out. 

As one strong and confident voice. ‘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!’ 

Oh my fellow saints, with all those tools in our toolbox, there’s nothing that we can’t handle, especially with God’s added help. So please let’s get out into the world and do our best to spread His gospel nuh, bring good news and glad tidings to the downtrodden and oppressed, so that they too can join His merry band of followers. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…if you can’t handle the heat…then stay out of the kitchen… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 June 2022 Ephesians 6:4.

Ephesians 6:4.      ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!​

Well, Happy Father’s Day greetings to all us fathers, be we good, bad or indifferent! (smile) The Good Book does say that the father is the head of the household, the leader, the spiritual guide and should be a good example to his children as he raises them in accordance with godly principles. In the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4) 

Yes friends, fathers have an immense responsibility in rearing children and leading a household. As the scholars say, we must not provoke our children to wrath through things like ‘injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse of authority.’ 

Brother! No wonder many men run away from that kind of awesome responsibility. It is indeed a lot to handle. And on top of all that we have to teach them about the Lord; rear them in proper LOVE and reverence to the Lord God Jehovah. Do as Joshua did, let it be unconditionally known; ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:15d) A father should also be ‘One who ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.’ (1 Tim. 3:4) That means managing his family in the right way, making sure that the children learn obedience in a dignified manner. 

Wow! The good thing about it all though my fellow fathers, is that once we embark on the right track, the Lord helps us to run our families and raise our children. He just doesn’t leave us in a vacuum; tell us to make sure we do this or that and raise them according to His Word, then disregard us and leave us to rear them on our own. As true believers we ought to know that’s not how our wonderful God operates. Whatever He asks or expects of us, He also enables, gives us the tools to accomplish the task. 

Unfortunately though, in today’s world where God is no longer recognized as being a very important part of our lives, many fathers don’t have the knowledge they need to carry out their responsibilities, or just don’t care, or are not living with their children, and thus the family, the smallest and most important group, the foundation unit of our society is sadly falling apart, leading to the malfunctioning and degradation of society as a whole. Yes friends, when the smallest part of an organism or organization is being ruined, it’s not long before the whole edifice collapses. 

And yes, women do a fantastic job of keeping families together, but they can’t do it all by themselves, they need a male partner to help, if the job is to be done properly. And, unfortunately, it’s the children who suffer the most from these broken or dysfunctional homes. And since the males don’t have a decent example of what fatherhood ought to be, they continue in the same dysfunctional manner when raising their families. How many of us fathers are like Job eh? 

The Good Book says: ‘And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about (his children’s feasting was over), that Job sent and sanctified them (set them apart, consecrated them), and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually (regularly).’ (Job 1:5) Isn’t that beautiful my people. Job knew the value of continually praying for his children. How many of us fathers do that nowadays eh? Not enough. 

And yes, like this week we’re having the sermon before we get with the praise and worship. (smile) But that’s just how the spirit moved me this morning. But let’s get to today’s song, one that we all know and LOVE. It’s titled ‘My Hope is built on nothing less,’ written by the British Baptist minister Edward Mote (1797-1874). Oh, I know it’s an old song, but that just attests to its staying power, because it deals with assurance and refuge, of strength and a solid foundation that we find only in Christ Jesus, which I believe is a good sentiment for we fathers to seek this Father’s Day. 

So, let’s offer up our scintillating sacrifices of praise in a joyful mid-tempo version, letting our sincerity pour out of both our mouths and our hearts. In perfect unison and harmony, let’s sing: ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) 

When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] 

When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… Oh thank You Lord…You solid Rock!’ 

Now didn’t that make you feel reenergized and reassured? It ought to…if you were sincere in your vocalizing. (smile) And it’s been said that the song was based on Jesus words from Matthew 7, as He winds down the Sermon on the Mount. It’s a story we all know about the two foundations. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded up a (the) rock.’ (Matt. 7:24-25) 

Yes mih bredrin, wisdom dictates than when we hear the teachings of Jesus that we build our lives and that of our families on Him, because He is the ROCK! A sure place of refuge for all and sundry! Where you are never turned away or left to die on your own. No one else can offer what Jesus offers, so please let’s wake up and heed His urgent call nuh, especially we fathers, for our children, our families and our society as whole are suffering because we are not doing our bounden duty to lead them in a righteous manner in Christ Jesus. Please. I implore us to let today be a serious and sincere turning point in our lives! Much LOVE!

…no other foundation but Jesus…will withstand the battering evil forces of the world… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 May 2022 Psalm 119:60.

Psalm 119:60.      I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

And the days surely are moving briskly along; we’ve already reached Wednesday, the middle of the work week. Time to stop for a moment and catch our second wind, so that we can finish the race of the week almost as strong as we began it. Unfortunately though, we can’t do that without the Lord’s help, without meditating on His Holy Word and obeying what the Word puts in our hearts and souls. 

Yes friends, only our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has the awesome power to rejuvenate our souls and spirits, anytime and anywhere, and without Him, we’re just lost and stubborn goats running around wild, without a purpose, in the arid land that’s Satan’s world. Remember He clearly stated; ‘without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

That’s why the wise author of Psalm 119, could declare with confidence. ‘Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. I entreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. The bands (cords) of the wicked have robbed (bound) me: but I have not forgotten thy law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgements. I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy (LOVING-kindness): teach me thy statutes.’ (Ps. 119:57-64) 

Now my fellow saints, that just corroborates what I’d said earlier. It is through meditating on and obeying the Lord’s Word that we get relief from the pressures of this earthly life. Many of us have indeed promised the Lord to keep His Word, but sadly have not done so, yet we’ve sought for His mercy. That’s not wise or logical my brethren. We can’t make a promise to God, but break it, then be boldfaced to seek His mercy. Promises, to God or anyone else, ought to be kept. I like how the psalmist puts it: ‘I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.’ (Ps. 119:59) 

Now that’s what many of us need to do in these tough and terrible times; consider our sinful ways and then turn to the Lord God of our forefathers in repentance. And these are possibly the most important words of the whole passage of scripture: ‘I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.’ (Ps. 119:60) Oh my people, our keeping of the Lord’s Word is so important that as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Do it when He says it, and how He says it. Any thing less is disobedience.’ We can’t procrastinate to do the Lord’s bidding until we feel good and ready, or do it how we feel it should be done. Otherwise, we’re not obeying His commandment. 

And it’s important too to note as the psalmist points out, that though the wicked had him bound in cords, he didn’t forget the Lord’s Word. That’s how it ought to be with us my brethren. It ought to be like Jeremiah says when he was being persecuted for speaking the Lord’s Word. ‘Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (of holding back), and I could not stay (endure it). (Jer. 20:9) 

Ah mih bredrin, once the Lord’s Word gets seated in our hearts and souls it’s real difficult, if not impossible, to get it out, because, like Jeremiah experienced, it just keeps burning like a fire in our bones, with its truth, grace, mercy and the amazing promises of salvation and eternal life! Glory be! 

That’s the power that true faith in God brings. We need to be like Job, who despite his many trials and tribulations could still stand up and confidently declare: ‘For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day (the last day) upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.’ (Job. 19:25) Oh my people, how many of us are so thoroughly convinced of that eh, even though we have seen the Redeemer, Christ Jesus come to earth and save us? Unfortunately, not enough of us to make a real difference in our world. 

It is also imperative that we spend quiet time with the Lord, as the psalmist proclaims: ‘At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgements.’ (Ps; 119:62) Yes friends, we cannot learn and keep God ‘s Word without His help, without talking to Him about our problems and giving Him thanks for the many undeserved blessings He’s showered upon us. 

And fellowship with other believers is also another important aspect of our faith, like the psalmist acknowledges: ‘I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.’ (Ps. 119:63) We need to hang out with others like us, others who believe in Christ Jesus and are committed to keeping His commandments. We ought to be like Psalm 1 says: ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the council of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.’ (Ps. 1:1-2) 

That says it loud and clear friends! Too much association with the workers of iniquity does not become a child of God, because their iniquity is liable to rub off on us. Anyway, by now we ought to get the right picture. (smile) And for those of us who have gotten it, and are doing our best to practice it, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

As one loud and proud voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And please believe me my faithful brethren, those of us who endure right down to the end, will discover that the future is even brighter than we can think or imagine. So please, let’s endure right to the end nuh, for that’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…living for God is quite simple…obey His Word…then leave all the consequences to Him… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 April 2022 Psalm 1:1.

Psalm 1:1.       Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 

It looks like another beautiful day is in the offing, although it’s still a tad chilly for this time of year, but we certainly won’t refuse the sunshine, especially after the recent inclement and topsy-turvy weather in our area. And today friends, we are going to look at the type of person who warms the cockles of God’s heart as it is written in Psalm 1 – titled ‘Blessed are the Righteous.’ 

And with no mincing of words, right at the very beginning the psalm tells us that, ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.’ (Ps. 1:1-2) 

Those two simple verses say it all my people. The man who will find God’s favour doesn’t cavort with the wicked, but ponders on God’s word continually, and tries to live by what it says. Remember God’s warning 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 (shall constantly be in 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) 

That tells us one thing; that a successful life depends on knowing God’s word intimately and putting it into action! And you can see that God was quite serious in His warning to Joshua, because He tells him the same basic thing in verses 6-9; be strong and courageous, read my word and live it, then you will have success. And that’s why the psalmist could confidently write those first verses of our psalm, and it’s perhaps why so many of us supposed believers are not having much success in our lives today. We are possibly hanging out with the wrong crowd, and thus are not knowledgeable enough in God’s word, so we cannot put it into proper action. 

For as the psalmist continues about the blessed man: ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in season; his leaf shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps. 1:3). Glory be my brethren! Can you imagine that? A person who does the will of God will never suffer want. Whatever the circumstance, they will be successful. 

And Jeremiah reinforces that picture with these marvellous words of promise. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is, for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer. 17:7-8) It couldn’t be put any better or simpler than that friends. The Lord favours those who walk in the wisdom of His word and power! 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of Psalm 1. They say, ‘The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence, the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man. The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (vs.1); he delights in God’s word (vs.2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (vs.3).’ 

That makes total sense. If you do what God desires, lives the way He wants you to live, then He will make your way prosperous. It’s just simple common sense, especially when we consider that the Lord is our Creator, the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe and has ultimate control over our lives and everything that happens therein! But these days, we seem to be forgetting those basic facts and rebelling against His rule, even trying to remove Him from our society. It’s utter foolishness my people, because God has made it so clear that He will not allow anybody to overthrow him or usurp His awesome power. 

Just consider what happened when the proud and foolish archangel Lucifer tried to overthrow the Lord. Him and his foolish cohorts were unceremoniously kicked out of heaven and the good life they lived, to walk the earth in sorrow and pain, till the Lord is ready to finally destroy them. And that’s what will happen to those of us who refuse to accept the risen Christ as Lord and Saviour, and instead bow down to the prince of darkness and this evil and ungodly world. 

The psalmist puts it thus: ‘The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps. 1:4-6) Very simply and precisely spoken my fellow saints. 

But, as the scholars explain: ‘On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (vs.4), and his destiny is judgement (vs. 5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (vs.6). For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous (and it will be blessed), but (He also knows) the way of the ungodly (and it) shall perish. The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God.’ 

And just for good measure (smile) we are going to add these precious words of another psalmist to the mix. ‘The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. they shall bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat (plump) and flourishing (green).’ (Ps. 92:12-14) Yuh see that friends, even in old age the righteous shall be fat and flourishing because they live by the word of the Lord. 

So let’s remember that nuh as we go home today declaring (steups!!!) our Thursday Blessings that our wonderful God has bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

And now, having invoked those blessings, it’s our bounden duty to go out and activate them in the service of the Lord, in the lives of others, just as generously as the Lord has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…the prevailing options for living life…are in righteousness and in evil…but the smart money will always be on the former… 

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

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