Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 March 2023 Psalm 103:8.

Psalm 103:8. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).

Greetings my Scrip-Bit friends and family on this clear and sunshiny Thursday morning in the middle of March 2023! Yes, I said the middle of March. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but the days of this year are quickly passing by. Nonetheless, fortunately for us, the Good Lord is still in His heaven controlling things and looking down on us, His wonderful children, with oodles of grace and mercy. And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And yuh better believe that if it wasn’t for His awesome grace, mercy and long-suffering, we’d be already destroyed. So let’s give much thanks that we have such a patient and LOVING heavenly Father, who doesn’t deal with us as we truly deserve. How did Bruh David put it in Psalm 103 subtitled – Bless the Lord’s Holy Character? 

Read with me: ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear (reverence) him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear (reverence) him. For he knoweth our frame, remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103:8-14) 

Oh my people, that’s a boon, a timely benfit or favour, we can never repay, but we can surely appreciate it much more than we do!  As one commentary puts it: ‘In love and mercy, the Lord has removed His people’s sins from them. He doesn’t simply move our sins onto our doorstep or a mile away; God moves them as far from us as the east is from the west. This is an especially profound analogy.’ In other words, He moves our sins away from us by an ‘infinite amount.’ 

Wow! Can you imagine any of the supposed gods out there doing that? No way! They all desire their pound of flesh when their believers run afoul of them. Now, that is not to say that Jehovah God is a push over and doesn’t expect us to toe the line, but He is understanding and merciful, and LOVES us so much that He doesn’t want to see us destroyed. That’s why He gives us chance after chance to come up to scratch and be the kind of person He desires us to be, so that we can attain to the destiny that He’s prepared for us. 

And please don’t think that you won’t’ pay for your wrongdoing, because you will. The Lord might forgive and forget but He LOVES us too much to let us run around doing evil and feel as though we’re getting away with it. That’s the furthest thing from the truth my brethren. We all pay for our wrongdoings in some fashion or the other.  And Cousin Sol puts it very nicely in Proverbs 3. ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov. 3:11-12) 

That’s oh so true my people! It’s the same way our earthly parents correct us when we do wrong. They LOVE us, but they don’t want to see us go astray. And what does chastise mean? Basically it’s ‘To inflict disciplinary or corrective punishment on; to visit with affliction for the purpose of moral improvement; to correct, discipline, chastise.’ However, it doesn’t mean necessarily terrible punishment, the way we’ve come to understand it in our current society. 

It’s also like how Cousin Sol says in Proverbs. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov. 22:6) And that is the gospel truth my fellow saints! The main point of raising good children is giving them the correct foundation, which is a godly one. And that’s why our children of today are so ungodly and lawless; we did not raise them with the right amount of godly foundation, if any. And let’s not point to the schools or churches insinuating that they are to blame. No. We the parents are to blame, because we are supposed to be the main source of training in our children’s lives. 

And if you don’t teach them about God, then how will they know about Him eh? The scholars tell us that ‘Parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God. The biblical pattern of effective training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline. (cf. Eph. 6:1-4. Bruh Paul’s instructions on raising children). The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian (strict) nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline so as not to “provoke” his child to rebellion.’ 

And sadly, we have not had that balance with our children. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, fear, busyness, lack of interest, whatever, we’ve been too permissive with them. No wonder they don’t care about God or anything much but themselves and their own needs and desires. 

And just for good measure, (smile) here are some ways in which we can train our children in the goodness and reverence of God. ‘ 1) Lead by example. 2) Show them critical thinking skills. 3) Teach them how to LOVE by LOVING them unconditionally. 4) Help them serve others. 5) Share your faith with them through scripture. 6) Pray with them. 7) Allow them to have their own faith.’ Yes friends, if we had spent a little more of our time teaching those things to our children, they would not have been as ungodly and evil-bent as they currently are. 

Anyway, we should never give up on our children, for while we’re alive there’s always hope from our faithful God. So, let’s keep praying for them and doing whatever we can to nudge them in the right direction. For God still answers prayers. Now, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Thursday Blessings, so generously bestowed on us by the Lord 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 having activated those blessings, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share them just as generously with others as Christ shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…truly reverencing Almighty God…is the wisest action a human being can ever take… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 February 2023 Matthew 4:7.

Matthew 4:7.       Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.

And it’s a cloudy Tuesday morning after our Family Day holiday, with a winter storm on the horizon. But let’s hope that we used yesterday to rebuild the dying embers of the family unit that’s oh so important to the smooth, safe and steady running of our society, and not simply as a day to party hearty. But yuh better believe that a lot of hearty partying will going on in places like Brazil and T&T because today is the biggest, as well as the last day of the Carnival festival, and everybody will come out to play their biggest and best mas today. For come tomorrow that sacrificing, self-denying season of Lent begins. 

And it never ceases to amaze and amuse me how one day we have no qualms about anything, anything goes, then next day, we so pious and holy and trying to be like Jesus as He spent forty days in the wilderness fasting and praying. Now, the sad thing is that I’ve been hearing that many people no longer even celebrate or recognize the Lenten season; every day is just like any other. What’s next eh? 

At least with Lent in our spirits, we had some vestige of God still remaining, but when you remove that too, then there’s nothing at all. Oh, we do celebrate Easter and Christmas, but even those celebrations have become so commercialized and secular that many supposed believers don’t even pay much attention to the spiritual aspects, but like the unbelievers use them as simply another chance to get their jollies on. 

And why is Lent so important to believers eh? Because it’s a time of spiritual cleansing of removing ourselves from all the frivolity and idolatry of the world. A lot of Lenten activity is based on fasting, but I believe the most important aspect is actually seeking God during those times of fasting. Fasting by itself means nothing. As one commentator on the Got website puts it: ‘Fasting is a practice found throughout Scripture. A fast in the Bible is usually a voluntary, total abstinence from food for a set time for the purpose of devoting oneself to seeking God. Fasting denies our flesh what it wants so that we can focus more clearly on strengthening our spirits.’ 

And therein lies the rub: just denying the flesh doesn’t automatically bring God closer. It has to be a conscious decision to turn to God during those times of turning away from fleshly pursuits. And there is no better example of that than Jesus, who, as soon as He was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, and He heard the voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,’ (Matt. 3:17) was immediately led away, by none other than the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to fast and be tempted by the devil. 

The Bible tells us: ‘Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ (Matt. 4:1) Can you imagine that? One minute being feted as being a wonderful Son, then next sent to endure severe hunger and temptation. But there was good reason for Jesus’ fasting and temptations. It was preparing Him for his public ministry and all the tough times He would have to undergo while thus involved. 

And I like how the Got questions.Org commentator explains it. He says: ‘During those forty days, when Jesus’ flesh was at its weakest, He endured relentless temptation from Satan. Satan offered Him alternatives to God’s plan, compromises that would satisfy His natural desires, and attacks upon His very identity as the Son of God (Matt.4:3). Jesus used the Word of God, not His own strength, to defeat those temptations and remain victorious over sin. He demonstrated for us that fasting can strengthen us spiritually when we use it to draw closer to God.’ 

Now that’s the basic benefit of fasting; giving up some of the flesh to help us draw closer to God. When there’s not a whole lot of fleshly stuff bothering us, then we can indeed get closer to our heavenly Father. And believe me it’s ever so important to do that on a regular basis. I’m not talking about just regular praying, but times when we get downright spiritual, so hungry for the things of God, that we just drop everything else and sincerely go searching for Him. That’s when we lay out our whole heart and soul before Him; empty ourselves and ask Him to cleanse, to rejuvenate us, to heal our brokenness, and give us new strength and faith to keep on keeping on in His holy will. 

And there’s one very important thing to note about Jesus’s time of fasting and temptation. When the devil tempted Him, He quoted the scriptures in rebuttal. For example, when Satan commanded Him to make bread out of the stones, He simply replied: ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt. 4:4) Now that scripture can be found in Deut. 4:3. 

Then, when the devil took Him up to a pinnacle of the temple and told Him: ‘If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.’ (Matt. 4:6-7) And that can be found in Deut. 6:16. 

Now that’s the way we ought to counter the devil’s temptations, with cutting words of scripture, then He leaves us alone for a spell, but only for a spell, because once we’re alive, he’ll keep coming back with more temptations. He doesn’t give up, and neither should we.

 Note what the Bible says after the devil took Jesus up on a high hill and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and promised them to him, if He would bow down and worship him. Jesus staunchly reprimanded him. ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.’ (Matt. 4:10-11) And again that answer of Jesus can be found in either Deut. 6:13, or 10:20. 

But friends, we cannot get rid of the devil for a spell with scripture unless we know the scriptures. That’s why it’s ever so important to read, meditate and learn them. And I believe that this Lenten season is an excellent time for us to hunker down with the Good Library and devour its monumental wisdom. It will do us more good than we can ever ask or imagine! 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely on board with Jesus, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one 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 it’s now our bounden duty to go out and do just that; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…the weak and willing flesh…must be countered by a strong and resolute spirit… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 December 2022 Luke 2:14.

Luke 2:14.        Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

Well, Thursday, the fourth day of this Christmas work week has opened bright and sunshiny, but if the weather forecasters are right, we will be engulfed by a major snowstorm sometime today. Let’s hope that they are somewhat over-zealous in their forecast and it will not be a storm of major proportions, although many parts of North America have already seen some heavy snowfall and the snow season has just begun. 

But, turning to a more immediate and much better season, that of Christmas, hopefully you’ve already done all your shopping and whatever else is on your to do list, because if the forecast comes true, it will tie up everything in awful knots, with lots of places inaccessible, or dangerously so. And since the reason for this joyful Christmas season, this happy holiday time, is Jesus, it’s only right that we should talk some about Him. And what shall we say eh? 

Let’s see…that He was the biggest and best present ever given to man! Unfortunately, because of lack of hotel space, He was born in a manger, animal stable, in the city of Bethlehem to parents called Mary and Joseph, who had left their little village of Nazareth to answer the census summons of Herod the king. Everyone had to go to their hometown and register, and since Joseph was of the line of David from Bethlehem, he journeyed there with his pregnant wife to do the king’s bidding. 

The big difference in this couple though was that the child Mary carried was not Joseph’s but that of Almighty God, implanted in her womb by the Holy Spirit, so that the Saviour of the world could be born sinless, not of man, but of God. And that was the most important aspect of the whole scenario, because a child born of sinful man could not pay for the sins of men. It needed a sinless soul to accomplish that task. And, unfortunately, Jesus was the only one available who fit the bill. 

But nonetheless, He was born on Christmas day to much pomp and glory from heavenly angels, who told of His birth to the shepherds in the fields watching over their flocks. The shepherds were quite afraid at the sudden coming of a multitude of angels, singing praises to God, saying ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.’ (Luke 2:14) 

Oh yes friends, to bring peace to earth and the goodwill of men to each other, was indeed one of Jesus’ jobs! The prophet Isaiah spoke of Him long before, when he said: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ (Is. 9:6) 

Wow! That big prophecy come true at Christmas, my people! And isn’t it interesting that the Son of God was born in a stinky animal barn, to poor parents, and the first persons to hear the good news of His birth were poor, ordinary, looked-down-upon shepherds? That’s because God wanted to show that His Son wasn’t coming to be a big-shot, be rich and famous, but to be humble and ordinary, to show that nothing was wrong with being humble and ordinary. 

In fact, the Lord prefers humility to pride and arrogance. Or, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs, one of the seven abominations to God is a ‘proud look.’ (Prov. 6:17) No friends, our God cannot stand haughty, prideful people because they have no use for Him. That’s why He demotes and debases them with all haste. Unfortunately though, today, in our sinful and ungodly society, pride and arrogance rule the roost! 

Everybody’s avidly searching for individual power, so that they can walk about with pride, then use that power to browbeat others. Today seems to be set once more for the rise of the dictator. And in my early years studying history, I always wondered how people got to be dictators. Well, now I’m seeing it unfurl before my very eyes. Foolish people bow down to arrogant men with a little power, fall for their lies and deceits, which allows them to increase their power, until they are all-powerful and cruelly lord it over the same ones who gave them that power! 

Hn! Echoes of his satanic majesty! But let’s not forget Bruh David’s wise words from Psalm 37: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the herb.’ (Ps. 37:1) That’s the promise of our ever-faithful God, and it will certainly come to pass in His way and time. 

But we have strayed from the Christmas story. (smile) And, per the humble origins of Christ, that was exactly as planned by the Father. Listen to Jesus as He explains His philosophy to the disciples re greatness in His kingdom, after the mother of Zebedee’s children had asked for them to sit on His right and left hand in His kingdom. 

He said: ‘Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion (lord it) over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant); And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant (slave). Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (served), but to minister (serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Matt. 20:25-28) 

Oh my brethren, Jesus came to serve, not to be served! He wasn’t looking for applause and plaudits from the crowd, but sought to serve and save them from the darkness and evil of Satan’s world. And that’s how we ought also to be as His sincere followers. We can’t allow pride and strife like the world desires, to be numbered amongst our assets, or rather our dysfunctions, if we want to be true disciples of Christ. Peace and humility must be at the top of our list. 

And we’ll stop there for today. Tomorrow, the Lord willing, we’ll continue with the Christmas story, and some of the wonderful things that were born out of it. Now, in strong and sincere voice, let’s declare (yesss!!!) and thus activate, our Thursday Blessings; underserved ones that the Lord has bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

Altogether: ‘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 having made that declaration, (awright!!!) it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share those blessings with others, so that they can come to know and LOVE Jesus like we do! Much LOVE!

…the Christmas story…everything else is wrapped up in it… 

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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… 

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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… 

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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… 

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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… 

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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… 

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