Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 November 2021 Isaiah 45:5a.

Isaiah 45:5a.     I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:

Ah friends, it’s a pleasure to be with you all this bright and shiny but chilly Tuesday morning. Sorry that I’m only now getting to you, although I’ve been up for over an hour, but I had household chores to do that required doing asap. That’s putting out the garbage, the easy part, but before that picking up the humongous pile of leaves sitting in the driveway outside my side door and bagging them, for at least the third time this week, so that the garbage truck could take it away later on. 

It’s a thorn in my side (smile) that the Lord’s given me for the last thirty odd years that I’ve lived here. Unfortunately, for me, the way the houses are built, it creates a whirlwind in my driveway, right outside my side door, so every fall the leaves blow from all over and congregate in my driveway, and so does the snow. You look outside, and all the neighbours’ driveways are spotless, but mine is either filled with leaves or snow. 

In my more youthful years, it wasn’t a major problem, but now with the onset of age and all its aches and pains, it’s become a pain in the butt and back, both literally and figuratively. (smile) But I guess them’s the breaks. You win some, you lose some, and you just have to grin and bear it. So now that’ I’ve emptied my spleen, (smile) let’s see what the Lord wants us to talk about today. 

And it seems that it’s a very timely reminder, as the Good Book just opened on this most important scripture, where the Lord is giving a charge to the Persian king Cyrus. And yes, He often used the heathen or pagan kings for His purposes. This is a portion of what He said to Cyrus, through the prophet Isaiah. 

‘For Jacob, my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting in the west), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:4-7) 

Yes friends, the Lord was going to use Cyrus to liberate His people Israel from exile in Babylon, and that message through Isaiah was a means of reassuring them that their God, He of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was still on the throne and still had their best interest at heart. And that’s the same message He’s sending to us today my faithful brethren: Our God is still on the throne, still controlling things, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand advocating on our behalf! 

And since He doesn’t change, it means, He still has our best interest at heart, He still has plans to give us a future and a hope, but we need to come to Him and make things right. The sinfulness, the depravity, the ungodliness, the move to drive him out of our society is not sitting right with Him. And how can we expect anything else eh, when we defame, blaspheme and turn away from a most holy, righteous and just God? 

How do you think He feels when we refuse to acknowledge His Son as the Saviour of the world, as the King of kings, the Lord of Lords and the Prince of Peace, amongst His many other titles? He must feel UNLOVED, hard done by, not wanted or needed, like all of us would feel, and do feel, when we are rejected by our fellow human beings. 

But please remember this most salient fact; there is no God beside Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, or whatever you choose to call Him. And remember too His words to Cyrus: ‘I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ That means He has control over everything and every situation in our frail and finite lives, because He is our Creator and Controller. 

Oh yes, he’s given us free will, but that’s only to a certain extent. In the long run, He’s still the BOSS, and can do exactly as He pleases without any input from us. And until we understand that, we will always live fearful and anxious, with a shadow of calamity hanging over our heads. 

But let’s clear up one situation here. The scholars explain that ‘The phrase I…create evil. (in verse 7 above) refers to physical evil or calamity, rather than moral evil. God is in no way pictured in Scripture as the author of sin.’ So, let’s get that straight once and for all: God doesn’t deal in sin, but He does cause calamity to overtake us because of or sin! 

And yuh know what friends, all I’m trying to point out here is the power and sovereignty of Almighty God. If he is Creator and controller of ALL things, then why are we so foolishly trying to fight Him, to have our own way, when we can’t even handle our everyday lives properly. That’s why Moses in his psalm prayed to the Lord. ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps. 90:12) 

And do we ever need hearts of majestic and godly wisdom in these turbulent and oh so dangerous times my people! It’s the lack of wisdom that’s catapulted us into the terrible times we are now experiencing. But friends, we know that once there’s life, there’s hope. And you ask, what’s hope, or what does it have to do with anything? Well hope is believing that good things are possible, then sincerely working towards those good things. 

And I just LOVE how Joshua Ryan Butler described hope in an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope.’ He writes: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything!’ 

That’s the gospel truth my fellow saints. Jesus’ arrival marked the beginning of hope, the beginning of life in this world marked by death. And that’s what we ALL need to work towards – the choosing of life over death. Thus crushing the enemy, who desires a world continually marked by death. So though our world is in tumult, please, please, let’s not give up hope. Remember Jesus is still with us in ALL we do, and He will help us overcome each and every situation we face. So, we need to keep on fighting the good fight in His name, more than ever right now! 

And for those of us who are sincerely doing that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are, to whom we gladly and joyfully belong. As one strong and grateful 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 said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to trust and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…God is calling out to us through our calamities…but unfortunately…we are not listening to Him…and until we do… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2021 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.     To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Summertime, summertime, summertime! Well, at long last, we are getting some serious summer weather! It’s been hot and humid for the last few days, and promises to be the same for the next few! I haven’t turned off my a/c in days now…and the duchess has not complained. Wow! That means it must be really hot…or she’s just showing true LOVE, by considering my feelings more than hers. (smile) Whatever the reason, I do appreciate it since it causes less disagreements. 

That brings me to these awesome words of Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:’ (Eccl. 3:1) Yes friends, he’s telling us that Almighty God has a sovereign design behind all events of life. 

This we can see, read and understand from that famous passage of Bruh Paul to the Romans, that we all like to quote but don’t truly believe, or at least act like we truly believe it. The scripture says: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) In the good times, those words fall from our lips like honey, but when the rough times show up, we banish them from our memory. 

But as another wise man, Job said to his wife when calamity befell them: ‘What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)?’ (Job.2:10) Now that’s the dilemma that we believers face: expecting good, but knowing that calamity can and most likely will happen, but nonetheless not blaming God, and believing that He will eventually work everything out for out good in the end. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially in these unprecedented times we are currently experiencing. But here are a couple of scriptures that might possibly help us to bear up under the pressure. 

This first one comes from Bruh Paul to his young protégé Timothy. He reminds him of God, ‘Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ (2 Tim. 1:9-10) 

Yes friends, we need to understand that we are not here for our purposes but for God’s, and whatever He allows in our lives has a good reason behind it, whether it’s to test us, or to grow our faith. Remember, our God doesn’t go around willy nilly, without a purpose, like some of us do, but He has a reason for every move He makes. And if we have surrendered our lives to Him, then it is expected that we bear up under any strain that manifests itself in our lives. Remember too, that He never gives us more than we can bear, and with every temptation gives us the wherewithal to face it or get away from it. 

And the next scripture comes from James, Jesus’ brother, as he reminds us of the need for patience in our affliction. He encourages us to ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman (farmer) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient, stablish (establish) your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (draws near.’ (James 5:7-8) 

Oh my people, patience…patience… we need it so badly in these trying and exasperating times. And it’s one fruit of the Spirit that can only be achieved by going through unpleasant stuff. But please don’t allow those unpleasant times to cripple us or get us downhearted and ready to give up. We need to remember all those wonderful promises of the Lord to look forward to if we endure until the end. 

No, it’s not easy working and living for Jesus. Neither Him nor any of His prophets and major workers had it easy. So why do we think we should have it easy eh? Because we live in a world of ease and wonderful amenities? That doesn’t make a difference because the world is still full of evil and sin, and our job is to try and reduce those negative aspects by showing others the wisdom of accepting Jesus by living a life that’s pleasing to Him, and that most definitely includes rolling with the bad times, as well as with the good. 

Ah mih people, our God has provided us with all we need to do His earthly work, so it’s not as if we don’t have the tools or the wherewithal to do it. What we need is to use those tools, use them often, for like everything, practice makes perfect. Look at how we study and work hard to make our way in this earthly life. It’s the same way we need to study and work hard to make our way in the kingdom of God. 

That brings us back to where we began; with the words of Cousin Sol, as he warns that there is, ‘A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl. 3:8) Yes, a time for everything does exist. Although I don’t know how to characterize these present times. But please note that the time ‘to hate means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense.’ And I sincerely hope that these few words (smile) have provided some much-needed encouragement, renewed our strength, and boosted our faith in Almighty God. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And if those words sincerely came from our hearts, then we now need to go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with the many others who don’t know Him, but so badly need Him! Much LOVE!

…patience…the virtue that all the others need…to work properly…                                                                                                                 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2021 Deuteronomy 32:39.

Deuteronomy 32:39:     See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with (beside) me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

Well today’s the big day, the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden! Wonder if there’ll be fireworks like a couple of weeks ago at the Capitol Building, or just some minor firecrackers pretending to be fireworks? (smile) 

Let’s hope it will be the latter because this time the powers that be are ready for the assault, if there’s one, and it will have much more unpleasant consequences than the previous upheaval. 

Be assured of one thing though, the Lord’s will is unfolding as it ought to in His universe. He will allow whatever best suits His ultimate purpose. And there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. 

As I’ve been saying ever since, the Lord allowed Trump to be President so He could bring a disobedient and ungodly America to its knees, and Donald has definitely done a marvellous job at that. It’s just left to be seen now, if the Lord is satisfied, or He wants America to bow even further. 

And it’s sad to see so many supposedly godly people involved in the Trump shenanigans over the last four years. It was also surprising to see the rioters a couple weeks ago claiming that they were doing God’s work by breaking into and ransacking the Capitol Building. Hn! How often we claim to be doing God’s work when it’s our own evil and selfish desires we’re perpetrating eh. 

I see now too that a whole lotta them want to fire Franklin Graham, Billy’s Son, because he appeared to be in cahoots with Donald. But remember friends, God sees all, and knows all, and time longer than twine, so the consequences for our wrongdoing might not come right away, but come they will. 

As the Lord said long, long ago: ‘To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.’ (Deut. 32:35) In the meantime we had better grab hold of conviction, repentance, forgiveness, and a choice slice of salvation. (smile) 

I don’t know why we insist on doubting that the Lord God Jehovah is the One and Only True, Living God nuh, He’s said it so often in His indisputable word. Let’s get a few examples nuh. 

This first one comes when Moses warned the people of Israel against idolatry as they came out of bondage in Egypt. ‘Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightiest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.’ (Deut. 4:35) And they had seen firsthand the mighty works of God, especially the parting of the Red Sea for them to get away from the Egyptian army. 

Then Moses in his departure song, declared (yeah!) unto them. ‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with (beside) me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.’ (Deut. 32:39) 

That’s so plain and straightforward my people! There is NO God beside Yahweh! The false gods are impotent. Only Jehovah can kill and make alive, can wound and heal! And even though He sometimes uses our enemies to bring us down, those same enemies will eventually reap their just reward through His ultimate vengeance. 

But hundreds of years later, the prophet Isaiah still had to turn around and warn the Israelites: ‘Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. 

And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me (who can proclaim it, then let him declare it), since I appointed the ancient people and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them. 

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God (Rock); I know not any.’ (Is. 44:6-8) 

Mamacita! If that isn’t telling it like it is, then I don’t know what is nuh! Oh friends, even Cyrus, the Persian king who was so powerful, owed his power and conquests to God. He was even called ‘anointed’ (Is. 45:1) the only place in scripture where a Gentile is so designated. 

And later on He says to Cyrus, through Isaiah: ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 55:5-7) 

Let’s get one thing straight though, as the scholars explain: ‘The phrase I…create evil refers to physical evil or calamity rather than moral evil. God is no way pictured in Scripture as the author of sin.’ In fact friends, sin is His biggest nemesis! He hates it with a passion! 

Please my brethren, let us realize nuh that our God is wonderful; LOVING, gracious merciful, forgiving and all those good things, but He is also holy, righteous and a just judge, which means He can’t allow sin to just proliferate with no consequences. 

He had the power to just pardon all sin with a wave of His hand, (like Trump seems to think he can do (smile) but that would not have satisfied the justice of His judge-like character. He has to balance both sides of His character. So to make it all not only right, but seen as right, He sacrificed His Son to pay for the sins of the whole world, thereby satisfying both aspects of His character. 

So He is not just a doting grandfather sitting in heaven just to satisfy our whims and fancies, He also has a righteous job as a judge to perform. That means, just like we pay for our wrongs here on earth against our society, we will eventually have to pay for those against God, if we have not received His Son, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and thus have those wrongs forgiven in the court of heaven. 

It is therefore necessary for each individual to make their own peace with God. No one else can do it for you. Now, for those of us who have already done that, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our very enviable position in Christ. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And we need to remember that if we endure until the very end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…pardon will only be granted in heaven…if Jesus is our advocate… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2020 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.     For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope.)

Let’s come together this Sunday morning my fellow believers to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise nuh! Yes, let’s come together on this Day of our Lord, whether it’s in a sparsely populated sanctuary with those few souls physically distanced, or by virtual technological means, for coming together is a must one day a week in keeping with the Lord’s command. ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) And by hook or by crook, we going to do just that. (smile) That’s the awesome power we believers have when we join up with our great God: nothing – no pandemic, or nobody – no government, can keep us from worshipping Him if we choose to do so. 

And today we going to open our worship with a wonderful song of praise, though some might consider it somewhat contentious, or if it’s even appropriate to sing in church, not because of the song itself, but because of the artist who sings it. The name of the song is ‘Buried Alive,’and it’s done by the Jamaican Reggae artist, Buju Banton taken from his Upside Down 2020 album. And yes, the same Buju Banton who was released from prison last year, and for the record is now more popular than ever. 

Now I know some of us are already turning up our noses and feeling mightily disturbed by the idea, but please remember who wrote the song ‘Amazing Grace’ that we consider such a splendid song and very worthy of being sung in church. It was the notorious slave trader John Newton, who transported our forefathers from freedom in Africa to slavery in the Western Hemisphere. It’s only after he got religion that he wrote that song. So for all we know Buju might have also gotten religion, and deserves a second chance, just like John Newton, who even became a minister after his slave trading days were done. 

So let’s not judge Buju, remembering Jesus’ words: ‘Judge not (do not condemn), that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam (plank) that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold a beam (plank) is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.’ (Matt. 7:1-5) 

And now that we’ve cleared up that li’l matter, (smile) let’s get on with the singing nuh. It’s a nice, simple, rocking reggae tune. I sent it to some of you by what’s app yesterday, so you should know it, but you can also look it up on you tube. So with voices strong, in perfect harmony, let’s sing these words of second chance, of forgiveness and thanks, with sincere hearts. 

‘Oh Lord, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing. I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart‘s still beating. Buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating. 

Now all this time… I’ve been blind… only running against the wind. Friends of mine …pass with time… After living a life of sin. Now many give up, many give in. It’s my determination to win. I survived, the worst of times, I survived. Yeah, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart‘s still beating. 

Oh, they made a ditch for one, but there would be two, In their attempt to out my life, The wicked things they do. But Jah made I brave, and I can’t care the grave, Oh no, The Lord is my salvation, Of whom shall I fear? Yeah, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. 

Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating… (One more time) Yes, I was buried alive, but I’m still breathing, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, But I’ve got a feeling. Oh Lord, Now I am alive, there must be a reason, I was given one more chance, my heart ‘s still beating…my heart’s still beating…my heart’s still beating…my heart’s still beating…’ 

Oh mih people, those words are so true of all of us! Every day we wake up alive, we must be thankful, because there’s a reason for it, or else the Lord would just take us home during the night hours. That brings to mind Jeremiah’s words on the Lord’s behalf. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope.)’ (Jer. 29:11) That means the Lord has a good plan for our lives if He leaves us alive here on planet earth, and it’s our bounden duty to find it, through prayer and reading His Word, and then live it to the best of our ability. 

Like the song says, we’ve been given another day, a second chance, so there must be a reason for it, and though we don’t know what today or tomorrow may bring, we have to take hold of the reins and stay with Jesus, stand strong with Him, have that determination to win! For as they say, once there’s life, there’s hope. And if we have hope, then anything’s possible. 

And that’s exactly how we have to look at the current state of affairs of our world; we’re alive, God is still on His throne, in control of things, and He has a special plan for our lives, not calamity, which seems to be pressing in around us right now, but a future and a hope and we’ll survive the worst of times. So please let’s remember that awesome word ‘HOPE,’ which if held long and strong enough morphs into this other word ‘FAITH,’ with which we can move mountains in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…I can do all things…through Christ who strengthens me… (Phil. 4:13) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2020 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.     ​Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.
 

Oh my people, it is our Lord’s earnest desire that we come together…right now, in His holy name! And it doesn’t matter that it’s a cloudy Wednesday morning friends, any time is a good time to get together in Jesus’ name! And the best way to do that is through prayer. And I want to share this interesting definition of prayer from an old Devotional. It says: ‘Prayer is a creative expression of my spiritual needs. It offers me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and continually reminds me of life’s forces.’ 

Now isn’t that an encouraging word for us to make prayer a major part of our lives, especially since it’s the major way in which we communicate with our Creator; our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God? It certainly ought to! And these further encouraging words, reputed to one Hartley Coolidge, tell us: ‘Be not afraid to pray, to pray is right. Pray, if thou canst with hope, but even pray.’ 

Yes mih bredrin! Prayer ought to be the basic foundation of our lives. That’s why Bruh Paul desired us to pray without ceasing and to pray any and everywhere. For Prayer has no boundaries in time nor place and it keeps us in constant communication with our heavenly Father, allowing wise guidance and direction to be channeled into our lives. Unfortunately though, prayer has not been a major part of our current secular society. We have forsaken God and all that He stands for. 

But these words of the prophet Jeremiah ought to be a wake-up call, for just like they were rather appropriate to the kingdom of Judah back in their ungodly and disobedient days, so they are appropriate to us in these ungodly and disobedient times. ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.’ 

Oh yes friends, our major problem in these times, or in the prosperous times of any nation, is the unfathomable pride that develops, which makes us feel that we no longer need the God of our forefathers, He’s become irrelevant because of all of our wonderful advances in knowledge and science. But pride is one of the things that our God despises most in His people, for it brings on the foolish idea that we no longer need Him, and His anger glows when we behave thus – like how we behaving now. 

Consequently, we should pay serious attention to the words of Jeremiah, as he continues his warning. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:16-17) 

Oh my people, Judah did not listen and they were carried away captive to Babylon for a 70 year exile. We won’t be carried anywhere, but we’re already living in the shadow of darkness! Just look at the choke hold, the death grip that the Covid-19 virus and the racial protests have us in nuh. 

And I believe we should pay serious attention to the scholars’ explanation. ‘13:15-17. A third illustration concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ Yes, Jeremiah had already warned his people through the lessons of the marred girdle and the filled bottles (Jer. 13:1-14) But they didn’t listen. 

And how do we say it in baseball; three strikes and you’re out? Well they struck out the third time! Shall we do the same? We’re cutting it pretty close. Simultaneous worldwide sickness and strife don’t happen very often, don’t even know if it’s ever happened like this before. And the sad part is that, in our own strength, we don’t seem to be making any real headway against them, but foolishly, we won’t even consider turning back to God for help. Although more people are praying these days than have done so in a long, long time. (smile) 

If there’s one thing that can be said about the Jewish people of olden times is that they knew where to run when times got hard. Just look at the number of times they turned away from God and worshipped idols, and the serious consequences they faced for their disobedience, but every time when they felt the hand of the Lord heavy upon them, they quickly repented and were taken back into His wonderful fold! Now tell me, why can’t we do the same thing eh? 

We don’t know if the Lord’s causing our calamity, but He certainly isn’t helping us to overcome it, He’s allowing us to undergo the darkness for some reason. And I firmly believe it’s because of our foolishly attempting to kick Him out of our lives and our society. But there’s only one way to find out if that’s true; by repenting and turning back to Him! And what do we have to lose eh? Nothing but some foolish pride… And there’s an awesome lot to be gained! So let’s wake up and get with the programme nuh. 

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

And we are assured of that glorious future if see it out to the end. Much LOVE!

…when nothing else works…turn to Jesus…He’s the only sure bet… 

P.S. Want to apologize for a typo yesterday, where I wrote Psalm 43 instead of 34. Won’t lay any blame though… (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2020 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.     ​If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
 

Aye mih people, can you believe we almost at the end of July already? Not really nuh, because my mind is saying we just celebrated Canada Day and the 4th of July so how can it be the 21st already eh? But that incredible thing we call time doesn’t seem to be waiting on me at all. The duchess tired telling me that, but I can’t seem to understand it. (smile) Anyway, it’s Tuesday, and another wonderful summer’s day in my neighbourhood, so I’ll just get out there and enjoy it, with all the new mercies and compassions and manna and whatever else that’s been showered down for our enjoyment today! 

And here’s a super thought for today…don’t remember where I got it from: ‘A little faith can bring your soul to heaven. Great faith will bring heaven to your soul.’ Now isn’t that an awesome truth! All it takes is a li’l faith to get to heaven, but when your faith is strong, heaven will come to you! Wow! Now that’s something to work towards my people! 

And yuh see why I don’t like social media… One of my sisters bothering me here, but still want me to write a good Bit. (smile) She doesn’t realize that I’m only black and beautiful, not superman! And also from the ole school – no good at multitasking. But yuh know what – I’ll just ignore her until I’m done! But she won’t take my ignoring… 

But what’s the purpose of life if you can’t have a li’l fun with your friends and family every so often eh, especially in these highly explosive times, with all the physical distancing and lack of our normal social interaction? None whatsoever! That’s all a part of the abundant life that Christ came to earth and died that we could have. (John 10:10) And yes, we must take life seriously, but sometimes we take it too seriously, while at other times we don’t take it seriously enough! 

Life is a complicated balancing act which we can only successfully balance with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose! That’s why these words of Bruh David from Psalm 34 are ever so important in our LOVE walk. ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.’ (Ps. 34:3-6) 

Oh friends, what magnificent and encouraging words! Who else can do all of that for us eh? NOBODY! None but the great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s why we need to turn to Him in these trying and troubled times, why prayer and repentance should be our number one priorities, because He is the ONLY ONE who can help us solve the very vexing problems that are currently consuming us and driving so many of us crazy! And as I keep saying, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that some of the negative stuff we’re now experiencing is directly related to the lack of God and godliness in our society! 

You can’t denigrate and try to kick out your Creator from amongst you and still be successful. As Moses asked the people of Israel: ‘Do ye thus requite (repay) the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?’ (Deut. 32:6) Yeh friends, foolishly, like the Israelites, we’re repaying our great God with corruption, lies, deception, and all the other works of the evil one! So what can we expect eh? 

Like Israel, every time they turned away from the God of their fathers, they experienced calamity and untold disaster. So why should we be any different eh, when it’s the very same God that we’re supposed to be worshipping? Some people seem to think we’re different, but I think that’s a fool’s wisdom. So why don’t we take another page from the Israelites book eh? When they disobeyed God and found themselves between a rock and a hard place, they were wise enough to repent and run back to Him. So why can’t we do the same thing now too? I’m sure that’s all He’s asking. 

And I want to point out some scripture here that ought to drive home the point to us. ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other Gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.’ (Deut. 8:18-20) 

Now isn’t that exactly what we have been doing in our society? And we like to say that the Lord and His Word never change, they are the same today and forever. That means the negative consequences of disobedience won’t change either. That sounds like good logic to me. (smile) But He’s such a wonderful God and Father that He’s made provision for us to turn again to Him, whenever we’re ready. Hear what He told Cousin Sol at the dedication of the first temple. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr. 7:14) 

Back then, they had to go to the temple to sacrifice and pray, but we’ve had Jesus sacrificed for us once and for all time, and His Spirit now dwells within us, so we don’t need to go to the temple, we can come boldly to the throne of grace, and pray anywhere, without ceasing. That’s the most significant change in that area. So please fellow saints, fellow Christians, called by Christ’s name, let’s wise up and repent and pray and seek His face nuh, so that He can hear us and heal our land…in Jesus name. 

Now it’s finally time to go home, declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to go out – with care – or stay at home, and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE and beautiful friendship! Much LOVE!

…prayer…the tool that moves heaven on earth…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2020 Isaiah 9:16.

Isaiah 9:16.     ​For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and they that are led of them are destroyed.
 

Morning has broken friends; bright and sunshiny on this Friday in mid-July! Wow! And it’s just rolling along joyfully like we, the saints of Christ ought to. That’s why Bruh David joyfully proclaimed so long ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) Please note that that wasn’t a hope or a wish, but a direct directive! (smile) Christ’s saints were delivered from the ravages of sin, sanctified and made whole, set free and apart, so that they could enjoy the Lord’s goodness and mercy, which are brand new every single morning of our lives! 

And that’s despite whatever disaster or calamity that’s happening in the world. So let’s take today seriously and do God’s will to the best of our ability, but with a lightheartedness and joy that reminds others of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; His easy going ways, His compassionate heart and His everlasting, unconditional LOVE! End of sermon! (smile) And the ordinary workingman is anxiously waiting in the wings to spout us his spiel. What a way everybody has a spiel to spout these days eh! (smile) 

And he begins in his usual manner: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank God that the weekend is finally here, and hopefully it won’t be as hot as the last one. And this week wasn’t too bad in terms of temperature either. Definitely not as hot as the last couple. And thankfully, some rain did fall too. And the slave master finally bowed to our demands and bought some big, good fans for the sweat shop that he snobbishly calls a machining factory! 

Can’t believe that a man who has enough money to live comfortably, lives like a bloody scrooge! He won’t spend an unnecessary penny, not even on himself, much less to see the world go round. His clothes look like he’s had them since forever. But I guess that’s how you behave when you have money. Hn, hn, hn! I wouldn’t know because I’ve never had any. And in spite of any negative things, like this pandemic and racial protests, which still going on, we thankful for the weekend, so we could get a li’l rest and some family time, and go back out fresh and start the whole blooming revolving work cycle again, come Monday! Thanks for the weekend yes Lord!’ 

Ah friends, I do wish we could learn to accept the inevitability of the work cycle and just take it in stride like the ordinary workingman. We look forward too much to the weekend, and not enough to the beginning of the work week! For our benefit, we need to get ourselves in some sort of balance, so that we’re not as happy to see Friday, and rather perturbed and unhappy to greet Monday. So let’s think on those things nuh, but right now we need to consider something much more important. 

This morning when I opened the Good Book, these words of Isaiah jumped out at me. ‘For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and they that are led of them are destroyed.’ And that’s oh so true my people! Many of our leaders have let us down terribly, in ways that we would never have imagined possible. In the first place they have allowed God to be removed from our schools, public places and our everyday lives without putting up much of a fight. And then in these times of pandemic sickness and worldwide racial protests too many of them are not leading like they should. 

Too many are shirking their leadership responsibilities for whatever reasons, not responding positively and timely to our current problems and that is only prolonging the pandemic and the protests. And it’s strange that it’s some of the lesser leaders who are showing the way, while the big ones are conspicuously falling by the wayside. We won’t call names, but we all know of whom we speak. (smile) That reminds me of these telling words of Jesus. ‘Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt. 15:14) And unfortunately, that’s exactly where we are right now…in the bloody ditch! 

Anyway friends, most of us can’t do anything on the big stage, but we can on our small, individual ones, and hopefully we’re doing positive stuff there. But we all have the glorious opportunity to use the greatest tool in our world – prayer, both individually and corporately. So let’s use it corporately right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. Let’s call on the Creator of the universe and all therein for His timely and divine help. All together now in sincere, contrite, but confident hearts and voices. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, we need to keep on praying, praying without ceasing, and being true and faithful believers, because our world doesn’t seem to be getting better; we’re caught in a seemingly unbreakable cycle. But we know that with sincere prayer and true repentance our great God will come through for us. This too shall pass. But we need to first stand up and face the music – mano a mano! Much LOVE!

…rebellion against God…can only be cured by sincere repentance…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2020 John 6:39.

John 6:39.    ​And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 
 
Ah mih people, life really not fair nuh, and it is indeed a bully-boy. Just when you’re down, it chooses to put you even further down! Steups! Good example. A few minutes ago I came down with my coffee, already feeling lousy from lack of sleep, and telling the Lord that I needed His help ever so badly this morning because of my poor state. Next thing I know, I put down the coffee and spill it! Chuh man! That only made me more aggravated and later than I already was, because I had to spend some valuable time cleaning up the mess. 

And would you believe in all the years I’ve been doing this, I can’t remember ever spilling the coffee, even one time before now. But as they say, after one time is two. And I have to chuckle, because I didn’t have any opening remarks in mind, so the Lord gave me something to write about. Oh, how He does move in ever-faithful but ofttimes mysterious ways eh! (smile) How then can we not LOVE and adore Him eh? The One who LOVED us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us while we were yet sinners and had no positive relationship with Him? 

The One who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His miraculous and marvellous breath of life into our mortal souls eh! The One who makes a way, where there seems to be no way, and eventually works everything out for our good, despite the prevailing circumstances! And yuh know what friends, our great, merciful and miracle working God is the same one who will find a way for us to withstand the rigours and trepidation and calamity of this Coronavirus pandemic that has so many of us living in fear. As He says, this too will pass! 

But as Jesus told His disciples when they could not cure a young epileptic boy: ‘Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:21) Likewise, this pandemic will only pass through sincere prayer and repentance! Oh friends, I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong nuh, but I feel it deep down in my soul that this plague is a serious wake up call from our heavenly Father. Yes, He is long-suffering and merciful and all that, but there comes a time when even He must get tired of our disobedience and say enough is enough! 

And I believe this is what He’s saying right now. He’s tired and fed up with our efforts to throw Him out of our society and the awful sinful way in which we’re currently living. Remember, He’s a living God, with feelings and emotions just like us, and He’s promised that NO ONE will ever take away His glory: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) And right now in our sinful, idol worshipping society, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do; rob Him of His awesome might and power and honour and glory! 

So don’t be surprised that He might be fighting back. I can assure you, He’s not going to go down without a major fight. That again just goes to show how much He LOVES us, that He’s not willing to see us waste our lives and end up eternally separated from Him, dwelling with the fallen angel Lucifer in Hades, and being eventually destroyed in the lake of fire. Oh friends, Jesus came to earth to save us from sin, and as our Advocate in heaven right now He’s still fighting to save us and give us eternal life. 

Hear these wonderful, reassuring words He spoke down here on earth nuh. ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35). Yeh mih people, Jesus is the One through whom eternal life is found! Glory be! And remember what He told the Samaritan woman at the well? ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water (fountain) springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) 

And how can we consider ourselves wise and not want that eternal life eh? But here’s the crux of the matter. Jesus said: ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up the last day.’ (John 6:37-40) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what wonderful and encouraging sentiments! And if that doesn’t touch you, then listen to these further words of Jesus to the doubting Jews: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) 

And the scholars say of those verses: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Mama Yo! That’s the best news I’ve heard for the day mih bredrin! No one can take us away from Christ or destroy us if we walk sincerely with Him! So why wouldn’t I want to walk in company with him eh? Ah friends, to me it’s cut and dried that the best way to live this life is by following Christ. 

But we each have to make our own decision on that matter, that’s why the Father gave us free will. But please remember that whatever decision we make, once we depart this earthly life, or Jesus comes again, we cannot change our minds then, and we’ll have to bear whatever consequences those decisions bring, come eternity. Matter fix! 

Now for those of us who choose to follow Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful and secure position in Christ. All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 if we endure until the end, then it will be even better than we can ask or imagine! Much  LOVE

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…else he’ll certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2020 Psalm 37:4.

Psalm 37:4.    ​Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
 
And at long last it does look and feel like spring! Wow! It’s such a beautiful, sun shiny day out there, clean and bright, with most of the trees now dressed in their greenery of spring, instead of the bare, dead-like branches they’ve had for way too long! And since it’s the beginning of the long Victoria Day weekend, you know that despite the pandemic and restrictions and what not, many of us are going to be gearing up for weekend celebrations. But friends, I implore us to be careful. 

In the first place, please remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Haven’t heard that for a long time eh? (smile) And the next thing is to remember that this Covid-19 sickness doesn’t take a holiday; it’s always on the lookout for somebody to infect. It’s like the devil, always on the prowl looking for someone to tempt and lead into deadly sin. So have some fun, more than we’ve probably had in a few months, but please, please, be careful, follow all the golden rules of this pandemic so that we can stay alive and enjoy the good and abundant life that Christ died for us to have! 

And since today is Saturday, we’ll mosey along and see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Aw shucks! He sent us only one quote all week! Wonder what’s up with him? I hope he’s not sick, haven’t caught this virus business. And we pray that whatever the reason, the Lord will rectify it, and that he’ll be back in business this coming week. But even the one quote he sent us is an interesting one: ‘LOVE yourself enough to work harder.’ 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I could certainly take that as my motto right now in these lazy, dreary, dispassionate days I’m now experiencing. Ah friends, what better motive can we get to work harder and better than a sincere desire to improve ourselves eh? Ofttimes we tend to work harder to please others rather than to please ourselves, but it’s ever so important for us to work towards the dreams and desires the Lord’s placed in our hearts. Otherwise what’s our purpose on planet earth eh? What good are those God-given desires if we don’t fulfill them eh? 

Bruh David puts it thus: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:3-4) Yeh friends, to truly achieve the desires of our hearts, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord our God, for He is the One who makes those desires come true! And as Bruh David said earlier from Psalm 21 – Praise for victory. ‘The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not witholden (withheld) the request of his lips.   Selah. 

For thou preventest (meeteth) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad (joyful) with thy countenance (presence). For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 21:1-7) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord planted desires in our hearts when He made us, and consequently only He can grant those desires, make them come true. And we turn once more to Bruh David’s writings (smile). ‘The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. 

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145:15-21) 

Ah precious people, everything in this world boils right down to LOVE: to achieve our desires and do God’s will, there must be true LOVE in our hearts for God, for ourselves and our fellow man. Remember Jesus’ words when asked which was the greatest commandment. ‘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) 

Therefore my fellow believers, in these tremulous and rather turbulent times, it is of the utmost importance that we understand that LOVE must be the NUMBER ONE THING, the overwhelming factor in our lives, if we’re to successfully navigate and circumvent the calamity and exceedingly tough times that lay ahead of us. We can’t simply talk it, we need to show it in spades, for LOVE is an action word! 

And we’ll end today with these most fitting words of John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) It can’t be put any plainer and clearer than that friends! Much LOVE!

…true LOVE can only inflame our hearts and souls…if God is truly ensconced therein…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2020 Matthew 22:36

Matthew 22:36.    ​Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?
 
‘May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, Brad May wins it in overtime….!’ That was the memorable call of announcer Rick Jeanneret on April 24 1993 when tough guy Brad May scored the overtime winner in the hockey playoff game between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. But ‘Mayday’ is also an internationally recognized radio word to signal distress. May 1, is also celebrated as May Day, a rite of spring with flowers, maypole dances and other gaiety. 

And last but not least, May Day, May 1 is also a day to celebrate workers rights, ‘commemorating the many historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement,’ and it’s a holiday in many of the approximately 66 countries in which it’s celebrated. Although, according to one web site, the recognition of the Labour Movement is not celebrated on that day in the country where it all began, the U.S. In both the U.S and Canada Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. 

So May Day is really many things in our modern society. And I guess May 1 2020 will also go down in history as the May Day that the Coronavirus pandemic kept us all indoors, with no real celebrations of spring, or labour rights, or anything really! (smile) But them’s the breaks mih people, we just got to grin and bear them! And I wonder how the ordinary workingman is taking it all eh? 

Here’s how: ‘Chuh! Ah tired saying TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui, because it don’t really have no more real significance. Every day is just like the one that went before, and the next one that coming. Nothing different to look forward to. Hn! Never thought I’d ever miss going to work nuh! But such is life. Ah guess when yuh accustomed doing something for so long, to just drop it without no warning for so long does bring some yearning for it. The slave master must be livid too since his business shut down completely and he not making any money. 

But I know he home resting comfortably, not having any real wants, because he personally could afford the shut down, is the people who working for him that can’t afford it. And sometimes now, when I see the protests about going back to work it gets me angry, and I want to join in. But the sensible part in me warns me that we need to take things easy and sensible, because if we open back up too soon, this virus chupidness could just resurrect its deadly head again! Steups! So who really have the answers eh? Hope they find a way to stop it soon yes, else we might just have riots in the street, with so much people not having much money or food to eat! Ah Lord, what’s next eh?’ 

And did our ordinary workingman hit the nail right on the head there mih bredrin! Things are indeed getting somewhat tense this last meeting. But as I said yesterday, our leaders are damned if they do, or damned if they don’t! Because there are so many people calling for either the lockdown, or reopen action, they really find themselves in a rather tough situation. It’s certainly a tough time to be a leader, and history will merely judge them by the eventual results, without any consideration to the many unknown variables that were then playing out. 

But my fellow saints in Christ, we have one solid answer, or starting point for it all; that most satisfying form of communication between ourselves and the impregnable fortress we call God; we talking about prayer! So let’s get to talking to Him nuh, through our rejigged Friday Chant for this Covid-19 season. All together now, as one strong voice, with sincere and pleading hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 

But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, we just have to keep on praying and hoping and eagerly and expectantly waiting in strong faith for God to move, while doing whatever little we can do to help the situation, be it stay at home and observe social distancing, or be out there on the front lines standing strong and steadfast, if you’re an essential worker! There’s only one thing we can be sure of; this too will pass, as so many other tragedies have. We just have to wait for God’s time. 

And the Good Book opened this morning to this most appropriate scripture, the words of the Lord our God through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen (prophets) over you, saying, hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.’ (Jer. 6:16-17) 

Oh my people that accounts for a lot of our problems right there! Our stubborn disobedience and hard-heartedness has made our lives unnecessarily difficult. And when you factor in our sinful, foolish and impossible effort to remove God completely from our society, it just makes our situation even worse. And God said it quite plainly through Jeremiah. ‘Hear, O earth: behold I will bring evil (calamity) upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.’ (Jer. 6:19) 

And the Lord did indeed punish Israel for not obeying Him. So why yuh think He won’t do the same to our ever so sinful and disobedient society eh? And please don’t tell me any foolishness about that was the Old Testament! For neither do God’s laws nor His nature change! The only thing that has really changed from the Old to the New Testament is Jesus coming and allowing us to be saved and our sins atoned for by grace and His precious blood, rather than animal blood sacrifices. The Ten Commandments are still the Ten Commandments, regardless of whether we faithfully teach them or display them publicly. 

And likewise, the answer to the sarcastic, pompous and tempting question: ‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?’ Per Jesus, it’s still the same as it always was and ever shall be: ‘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) 

Precious people, until this world starts acknowledging that Almighty God is its Creator, Provider and Controller and that we need to admire, reverence and exalt His Holy Name, while walking in sincere LOVE for each other, our world will never know real or true peace and contentment! Much LOVE!

where there is no vision (divine revelation)…the people perish… (Prov. 29:14a)

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