Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2020 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm 118:8-9.    ​It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
 
Prologue: Yeahhh! I got it right this time! Just want to apologize for the length and lateness of the Bit, though you all already know my penchant for late nights and many words. (smile) I want us though to take what’s written very seriously, because it could have a serious effect on the eventual status of our world. Much LOVE!

And the calamitous time continues; more contraction of the Covid-19 disease and more deaths. And it does seem that the situation will get worse before it gets better. But that’s normal in many cases of unexpected disaster. However, we will not dwell on the actions and results of the Coronavirus this morning, because talking about it too much only increases the fear, anxiety and panic associated with its disastrous run through the world. Today though we’re going to focus on more proactive stuff like courage and trust. 

And the first word comes obviously form the Good Book, Bruh Paul’s encouraging words to Timothy and also to us in these most trying times. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Right there friends is a most important bit of scripture for us to use in the fight against this dreaded and deadly virus that’s causing fear and alarm all over our world. Our first reaction must be to take courage; that’s if we believe that our great and wonderful God is still in control and will work everything out for our eventual good. 

It’s not possible to serve the Lord from a position of unmitigated fear! So let’s stand strong by putting all the courageous words and promises found on the subject in the Good Book in the forefront of our lives nuh. That’s the first requirement… And the second – it’s like the first (smile) Put out absolute trust in Almighty God, not in man nor machines. And there are so many scriptures that tell us to trust in God and not man that you could possibly spend a whole day just reading them. (smile) They are especially popular in the Psalms, like these verses from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Salvation. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’  

Now my people, that says it in black and white. And during this pandemic we’re seeing a lot of instances where we can’t put trust in normal man or even princely men, for all sorts of hypocrisy and lies and half-truths are flying around and people are not keeping their promises, especially in a time like this when trust is so necessary. And right now I’d like to share the Quote of the Week from a message that a friend sends me. And is it ever so apropos to our current situation. 

Please read with me. ‘God always requires total trust in Him alone for our victories in life. Throughout Scripture we are cautioned not to place our trust in the strength of horses, other men or our own abilities. In 1 Chronicles, David’s decision to take a census was a failure to keep his trust totally upon the Lord. David’s purpose in counting his population was to assess his military strength. David’s commander evidently recognized the grave error that his king was about to make. 

Joab was right — the census displeased the Lord. David was falling into the temptation of trusting in the size of his army rather than in the Lord. In consequence, God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men. How do you avoid placing your trust in God today? Do you trust your bank accounts, your skills and the security of your workplace? When you begin to place your faith in these things instead of in the Provider of these things you get into trouble with God. What a lesson this is for each of us. Today, let’s place our total trust in the Lord for all of our needs.’ 

I couldn’t have said it any plainer or better my fellow believers! Total trust in the Lord is the NUMBER ONE requirement in life, especially when we’re under heavy duress like now! And we can see how Bruh David seemed to get too big for his britches from the first verse of 1 Chronicles 21. ‘And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (moved) David to number (take a census of) Israel.’ 

And the scholars put forth a very interesting explanation from 2. Samuel 24:1, which also deals with the situation. ‘24:1. Taking a census was not the wrong thing to do per se. God Himself had previously ordered Moses to make two censuses (cf. Num. 1:2-3; 26:2). However, in this case Satan (cf. 1 Chr. 21:1) seized upon the growing pride of David’s heart (vs.2-3) to incite him into taking a census, so the king might have a ground of boasting (cf. Dan. 4:30 – Nebuchadnezzar’s boast). God, the controller of all things, allowed the deed to be done so as to bring David to a place of humility and reality (vs.10). God and Satan are often involved in the same event, but for different causes (cf. Job) – God, so that the believer might be instructed and grow, but Satan, to discredit the believer and therefore, God Himself.’ 

Ah friends, the same way Nebuchadnezzar ended up going crazy and living like a beast for seven years after boasting about His might and glory, same way Bruh David received chastening before the Lord. The Good Book says: ‘And David’s heart smote him (his conscience bothered him) after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ (2 Sam. 24:10) 

And that’s why Bruh David could be called a friend of God and a man after His own heart! He had a heart for God, and God knew that, but being a man, and thus by nature sinful, he obviously made mistakes. But once those mistakes were made known, he never hesitated to fall before the Lord in sincere prayer and repentance. That’s why the Lord, though he punished him for his mistakes, still never took away his special place from him. And I think we all should read what happened after Bruh David took the census. That’s found in 2 Samuel 24:10-25. Here’s a brief synopsis (smile). 

The Lord sent the prophet Gad to Bruh David…and wonder of wonders, He gave him the opportunity to decide his own punishment. Did He ever LOVE Bruh David! The choices were: seven years of famine, him fleeing for three months before his enemies, or three days pestilence in the land. ‘And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait (great distress): let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.’ (2 Sam 24:14)  So the Lord sent a plague into the land – just as He is doing to us right now, and some seventy thousand men died. And many have died, and many more will die, until we come to the Lord with sincere confession and repentance. 

Then, like the Lord did with Israel, He will stay His hand and the deaths will stop. (2 Sam. 24:16) Then David repented and made his peace with God. (2 Sam. 24:17-25) As the scholars say: ‘24:17. God’s chastening had achieved its desired effect. David recognizes that as the king of Israel his primary task was that of a shepherd with his sheep. He manfully and humbly repents of his sin and pleads for his beloved people. Despite his oft-besetting sins, David had a tender heart toward God and God’s people. Accordingly, David is commended as a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22).’ 

So friends, I do believe that the Lord will deal the same way with us, if we bow down and repent and turn back to Him, for there’s no denying that our world is so steeped in sin and wickedness that most of us don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on. And for those of us who recognize the seriousness of the situation and are tuned into the Saviour, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) 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 next action is to truly communicate and share God’s LOVE and friendship with others, any way we can, in these really tough and trying times! Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord…and do good…regardless of the circumstances…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2020 Revelation 3:19.

Revelation 3:19.    ​As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 

So we’ve rolled into ‘Holy Week’ where we see Jesus go through a rather intense and emotional time, knowing that the occasion He was born for, His essential task, was close at hand. He knew it would all lead to a setta ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, ending with His crucifixion on the old wooden cross on Calvary’s Hill on Good Friday. And it’s struck me as being somewhat symbolic that at the same time Jesus is going through His adversity, this year, we are also going through some of the roughest times we’ve ever experienced in the world, with this Covid-19 virus situation. 

We’re locked down, with our lives in serious jeopardy and essentially in limbo, keeping away from others, no work and no pay, the streets are for the most part empty of both humans and traffic, people are sick and dying, some can’t even get attention for illnesses because the Health System can’t handle it. Panic, anxiety and fear are rampant, and we can’t get any sure and true answers to when and where and how it will all end because no one really knows. It even seems like a more fearful and disastrous time worldwide, than during the two world wars we fought in the early part of the last century. 

At least then we knew our enemy and what weapons it would take to defeat Him, but in this time of ‘germ warfare’ which has hit us so unexpectedly, we have no real knowledge of it, even where it came from, much less a cure for it. And I’ve said all of that, just to ask this question: do we see the mysterious moving of the Father’s hand in it all? I think we should, because I firmly believe that this is a worldwide wake-up call for confession and repentance. And even if it’s not, then the wisest move we can make is still to turn back to God and confess our manifold sins and wickedness, for there’s no doubt that the current state of mankind is possibly at the most evil and sinful level it’s ever been. 

Please friends, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the omnipotent God, who still sits on His heavenly throne and still controls the world He created, will allow us to get away indefinitely without some kind of chastisement for our blatant disregard of His rules and regulations and foolish, futile attempts to remove Him from our society? Remember the Lord LOVES all whom He has created with a deep and burning, never-ending LOVE, and He doesn’t want to lose even ONE of His most valuable creations to the enemy. So if we step out of His will for too long, it’s only expected that He will try to correct us, to bring us back into line. 

This scripture tells the story of God’s discipline: ‘For consider him (Jesus) that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb. 12:3-7) 

Unfortunately, in this soft and irresponsible world the answer to that question is too many sons are not chastened, and that’s partly why our world is in such a sinful mess. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of wisdom: ‘He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)’ (Prov.13:24) Yes friends, LOVE and discipline go together. And not sparing the rod doesn’t necessarily mean child abuse as so many of us preach today, then wonder why our children have turned out the way they are, and hence the behaviour in our society is less that satisfactory. 

So yes, I do believe it’s a warning, and a serious one at that. It could mean that the Lord is just tired with our sinful shenanigans, or that Christ is coming back sooner than we expect, or even both. Anyway friends, please, I implore us, let’s take this next scripture to heart nuh, these immortal words of Jesus to John in his vision of revelation. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ As always, Jesus puts it as plainly and simply as possible. So let’s take His wise advice and do that right now nuh, by coming to God in sincere prayer, declaring our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have 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, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

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

Now let’s hold true to that promise, for remember Cousin Sol says the worst thing we can ever do is to make a vow to God and not keep it. Better not to have made it at all. (Eccl. 5:4-5) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts knocking…please, please…let’s open them and let him in nuh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2019 Psalm 65:2.

Psalm 65:2.    ​O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
 

Come Monday morning, I’ll be up and about with the rising sun, doing my Lord and Saviour’s work, because I know how important it is. His business of saving the world, of reconciling it to the Father is the most important job we disciples, we ambassadors of Christ have to do. Remember His Great Commission: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

Well that command still stands today friends, so let’s grab the bull by the horns this first day of the new workweek and get busy nuh, fulfill our bounden duty with diligence and excellence. And yes, because of our human nature, some of us do need a li’l push, some encouragement to get up and get going. But we have just the right medicine for your ailment this morning, it’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; a cry to our great God for help in handling our current rough situation. So altogether now, let’s sincerely float this prayer up to heaven, where Christ is waiting in the wings to intercede with the Father for us. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Awright precious people of Christ, yuh feel it working? Yuh feel the power of the Holy Spirit, working in you, causing the adrenaline level to rise and your enthusiasm to soar? That’s God’s answer to our sincere, heartfelt prayer! That tells us that God answers prayer my believing brethren; no doubt about it! And today we’re just going to point out a few scriptures which assure us of that undeniable fact.

And we’ll begin with the Lord’s own words of advice to Cousin Sol when he dedicated the 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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr.7:14-15) 

And the scholars point out right away. ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ Yes friends, the first aspect of prayer is coming to God with a sincere and humble heart. Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 65 – God is powerful in nature. ‘O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.’ And judging from Bruh David’s record with God, that is the absolute truth. 

And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to Jesus. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt. 7:7-8) The scholars warn though: ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (v.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

There you have it friends, there’s no excuse for not praying! Jesus also reinforced that last statement by later saying: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) That introduces another essential element of successful prayer; that of belief. You must believe it before you see it! Then John, in his first epistle writes: ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.’ (1 John 5:14) That introduces another aspect of prayer; our petition must fall within the parameters of God’s will; frivolous, greedy and selfish prayers, most likely won’t be answered. 

And we’ll close with some awesome words from the scholars. ‘Prayer. Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23) 

When we pray, we should follow the model prayer that Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father – beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (Matt. 6:9-15; John 14:14).’ 

Now you can’t truthfully say you didn’t know. (smile) So with all of that solid information under our belts, let’s see if we can’t improve our prayer lives nuh, it will be of great benefit to all mankind!  Much LOVE!

…men ought always to pray…and not to faint… (Luke 18:1)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2019 Ezekiel 13:3.

Ezekiel 13:3.    ​Thus saith the Lord God; woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing (no vision).

It’s hump day friends! Wednesday! The middle of the work week, where we feel a psychological ease as though we’ve finally climbed the mountain, and can now take a refreshing breath as we get ready to go down the other side, meaning we’re in the easy part of the week. What tricks our mind can play on us eh? Or what mental ruses we can use to alleviate the pressure of work? Hn, hn! 

Yes my people, the human mind is God’s greatest invention, one that man cannot quite figure out, and I doubt if he ever will, so intricate and complicated is that handful of grey matter that runs the human body and thus the world! And yuh know what? That fact alone ought to make us appreciate and exalt our heavenly Creator. 

Look at how we worship and exalt men who do supposedly great things in the world, but the One who created those men and the minds they use to do great earthly things we want to relegate to the trash basket! How foolish! That reminds me of this bit of scripture from Ezekiel: 

‘And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts (inspiration), Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing (no vision).’ (Ezek.13:1-3) 

Yeh friends, there are so many false prophets in the world today that it’s becoming ever more difficult to tell the true ones from the false ones. And the sad part is that they think they will get away with their falsehood, but they won’t. The scholars explain it thus: ‘13:3. Woe unto the foolish prophets introduces a curse on false prophets. They were like workmen who tried to cover a severely cracked wall with whitewash (vs.11-12).’ 

And so are the false prophets of today trying to whitewash away our serious faults. But that’s a fool’s wisdom my faithful brethren, because the Lord’s eagle eye is upon us all and whitewashing our sins is just not going to work. They need sincere confession and repentance in Christ’s name! And it’s not like Jesus didn’t warn us about those false teachers. Hear Him in the Sermon on the Mount after He talks about two ways to live life. 

‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?’ (Matt.7:15-16) No they don’t! And a substantial price will be paid by those false prophets who distort or deny the truth of Christ’s gospel and teach doctrines that are not in consort with the truth, neither are the actions of their lives in line with it. 

Meanwhile Mark poses it thus: ‘And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not. For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders to seduce (deceive), if it were possible, even the elect (chosen ones). But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.’ (Mark 13:21-23) 

And indeed He has my people. But the falsehood will be so strong and so prevalent that through powerful signs and wonders it might even be able to fool the elders, the chosen ones. So if it can fool those who are reputedly strong and wise in the faith, what will it do to those who are not eh? 

That’s why we have to be ever so careful about whom we listen to, what we watch and what we read, for the enemy is very devious and with all the tools available in our modern society can put up a very good case for his false prophecy. As Bruh Paul warned the Corinthians against false leaders: 

‘For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed (transforms himself) into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.’ (2 Cor.11:13-15) Ah friends, as Jesus said, we shall know them by their fruits, and they shall pay according to their works. There’s no getting away from that! 

And John also warns in his epistle: ‘For many deceivers are entered unto the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.’ (2 John 7) And the scholars explain: ‘7. The deceivers seem to have been Gnostics, pseudo-Christian individuals who denied that the Son of God had really taken on human flesh (see 1 John 2:18-27, 4:1-6). John realizes that to attack the doctrine of the Incarnation (Christ’s taking on human flesh) is to strike at the very root of Christianity.’  And so it is people! Once you take away Christ becoming man, there’s nothing left of our faith! 

And John also gives us a basic way to challenge the truthfulness of what we hear and see. ‘Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:2-4) 

But friends that’s just the basic step in telling whether something is really of Christ, because the enemy is so wise and devious that he can claim in his doctrine that Christ is come in the flesh, which he very well knows, but hook you in some other aspect. So please, please let’s be on serious guard in these very treacherous and deceitful times, for the enemy is always lurking around trying to gain a foothold in our lives. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail telling all and sundry of our wonderful position in Christ! In unison, with power and sincerity: ‘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 keep that steadfast and strong position in Christ…Wow! Will our future ever be glorious! Much LOVE!

…walking with Christ is not easy…but it sure is adventuresome… (smile) 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 July 2019 Hebrews 10:23.

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

Oh brother, I can’t believe it’s Thursday already nuh! The week’s flying by so fast, it gets sorta blurry! (smile) And was yesterday ever a strange sorta day. In my area we had intermittent periods of sun and rain, until in the early evening hours the sun finally prevailed. But Toronto seemed to be completely different. They apparently had long periods of steady rain that resulted in severe flooding in several areas. 

And today it looks cloudy out there again, plus I’ve got to go into the city for a doctor’s appointment. What a life! But what to do eh? Nothing but put our sincere trust and hope in Jesus and believe that He will do as promised; meet all our needs through His riches in glory. (Phil.4:19) That’s what our faith is all about people, and it’s in times of adversity and trouble that we need it to show up in large amounts. 

Consequently, I want to share two interesting and reassuring quotes. The first one is comprised of these wise words reputedly attributed to Grady Nutt (1934-1982) a Southern Baptist minister. It says: ‘God should be a resource in the struggle, not a way around it.’ 

And is that ever so true my fellow believers. We ought to use God to help us get through the adversity rather than as a way to get around it. But in these days of easy and comfortable living, no one wants to go through anything, we all want to avoid, to go around it. But the truth is that it’s only when we go through stuff with God that we really grow and mature in our faith. 

And the second quote is from a Daily Bread Devotional footnote that dispenses these words of wisdom: ‘The best reason for hope is God’s faithfulness.’ Oh my people, my people, that is indeed gospel truth! Our God is so wonderfully faithful that there’s nothing we can’t face when we place our hope and trust in Him! All praise and glory be to Him, my faithful brethren! If we were even one smidgen as faithful as our great God, what amazing changes would take place in our troubled world! 

That brings us to these intriguing and most interesting, uplifting and reassuring words of scripture found in the Book of Hebrews. ‘And having a high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)’ (Heb.10:21-23) 

Oh friends, if there’s anything I can personally testify to it’s God’s faithfulness, because that’s the only way that I can write this Bit everyday. He called me to do it, and without His faithful help to do His work, I’d be lost without a prayer and /or a hope. But through His faithfulness, His guidance and assurance, I come down here every morning, not knowing what I’m going to write about most days, but eventually write more than I can ask or imagine. 

Like today, I only had the beginning and the end, absolutely nothing in the middle. But look at how much I’ve written. And most of the time it does make sense. (smile) And those of you who are mature in faith know what I’m talking about, because you’ve put in the time and effort and patience and waiting and seen Him work wonders on your behalf. 

For you young believers though, you just have to take our word for it and go up to bat assuredly with your great God, for that’s the only way you’ll ever discover His true faithfulness. You’ve got to go through the fire with Him and experience Him bringing you out like the three Hebrew Boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, without even the smell of smoke on you. (Dan.3:27) 

Yes mih people, faith and faithfulness are works in progress, you’ll never stop needing them and having to grow in them until the day you go over to the other side. And don’t think that just because you seem mature in faith that you’ve conquered it all nuh, because the more you grow in faith and get promoted, the more the Lord will test you. 

Oh we don’t want to hear that, but it’s an unavoidable fact. We like to think that once we reach a certain level, we’ll free from all temptations and tests and troubles, but Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians seem to contradict that. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) 

So friends, that seems to mean until we die or Christ comes back we’ll be growing and becoming more Christ-like every day. That’s the Lord’s plan, and once He begins it, He won’t stop until we go home to Him, so we’d better be prepared to face adversity and negative stuff throughout our lifetime. And the best way to do that is through hope, faith, trust and surrender in Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol so wisely puts it: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ (Prov.3:5-6) There’s no wiser advice in all the world my brethren, so please let’s take it to heart as we go home declaring (yeh!) our Thursday Blessings. Out loud now, because a blessing is not truly a blessing until it’s declared. 

‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And every Thursday I have to warn us that those blessings are not granted for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate, with those who don’t know Christ. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…and hope is that which springs eternal from God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2018 1 Timothy 6:6.

1 Timothy 6:6.   But godliness with contentment is great gain.
 
Well friends, it’s that big day, Friday…but unfortunately the ole fella’s not in great shape. I went to bed late last night and my sleep was disturbed so many time by getting up to go to the bathroom and just getting up and lying there awake so many times that I eventually lost count. Chuh! I was even up for about half an hour contemplating life before I finally got out of bed. 

So you must know that I was a tad grouchy, and to make matters worse that slimy crook, the devil, who’s always on the lookout for an easy mark, was there on my shoulder whispering all sorts of nonsense to me, until I shut him up by telling him: ‘Listen here nuh devil, I might be feeling somewhat low this morning but I’m not the easy mark you think I am eh. I still know that this is the day the Lord God of Israel has made, and yuh know what…I will rejoice and be glad in it, despite how I feel, so be gone with yuh ole lying, crooked deceitful self!’ 

Wow! And he was gone! Sometimes friends we just have to tell the ole deceiver where to get off. But he’ll be back later to try again. We constantly have to fend him off, because he NEVER stops trying to get into our souls and disrupt them! And I’m saddened not only by lack of proper rest but also because today is what has become known as ‘Black Friday.’ 

Steups! The day after Thanksgiving Day in the U.S has now become the biggest shopping day of the year in North America, overshadowing even the Boxing Day charade! Hn! Hordes of unruly human animals line up at all ungodly hours of the morning to rush and push and run over each other in their frantic attempts to get into stores that advertise a few things on sale; things that most of them don’t really need, neither can afford, but because it’s on sale…Ah Lord eh! 

The economic czars are lowering everything to their lowest denominator, so they can catch the foolish public into making their cash registers go kaching…kaching! And the saddest part is that Thanksgiving is no longer about really giving thanks, but much more about Black Friday. Everything seems to be rushed so that we can get ready for it. Even in Canada now the trend has caught on, because if the shopkeepers here don’t adapt, our foolish citizens will head to the U.S. to participate in the folly. 

And I really heard more about Black Friday than Thanksgiving in the last week or so, on the t.v and in the newspapers. Everybody had an ad out for it. Truthfully, if a friend hadn’t written me yesterday morning and reminded me, I would probably not have mentioned Thanksgiving at all in the Bit. What a sad world we’re living in eh mih breddren, where the LOVE of money and useless stuff is all the rage. 

And the workingman doesn’t do us any favours in his song either: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Black Friday to boot! Where we shopping to kill! Buying up all the nice things in the stores and dem! Brother! Look at that nice big t.v on sale for only three hundred dollars nuh! And that tablet computer for only a hundred! Ah mih people, ah full mih belly yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, now today ah going to full mih eyes and dem. And no slave work until Monday morning, if ah not black up still… Who say ah not thankful for Black Friday and weekends eh?’ 

Ah friends, what a sad tale. And people have indeed been killed in the rush to shop…but it continues nonstop. Thankfully though, as believers in Jesus Christ, we’re not allowed to go so far out on the limb. We’re restrained by more sober boundaries. So let’s chant our Friday Chant with just as much, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song nuh. (smile) 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my people, there’s something to be said for being sober! (smile) And we’ll end today with a sermon from way back when, from Bruh Paul to Timothy that addresses the problem they faced two thousand years ago, and which we still face today. He’s been talking about all the strife and evil that’s been happening in Timothy’s surroundings, and finally declares: 

‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content. But they that will (desire to) be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction). For the LOVE of money is the root of (all kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.’ (1 Tim.6:6-10) 

Ah friends, food and clothing and money are essentials in this earthly life, but it’s when we go overboard and let them become our gods, our idols, that we fall into trouble. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to be rich, but it’s the path we take to fulfilling that dream that causes problems. Jesus says that we should seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first, then we’ll get all the earthly things we need. (Matt.6:33) 

And Bruh Paul tells Timothy: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience and meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, we too have confessed a good confession before many witnesses as to our trust and fellowship in the body of Christ, so please, let’s do as Bruh Paul says nuh, and stop behaving like the rest of the world! That’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…Christians…be in the world…but not of the world…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2018 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.   ​Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

Ah friends, the vacation is over! I’m talking about my vacation from medical appointments in the city. Hn! Amazingly I had none last month. In fact I only had a couple in my area for the whole month! Wow! But that ‘s over now, and it’s why you’re getting the Bit so early. I have to journey into the fair city of Toronto for a mid morning doctor’s meet and greet. (smile)

And that’s just going to tie up the entire day! Steups! What with the travel time and waiting in the doctors office and whatever else crops up, by the time I get back home it will be late afternoon. And then to make things worse, I open my e-mail and find that they’ve changed the set up. Chuh man! I have to get accustomed to a whole new way of working. And the sad part is that the changes are always worse than what you had before.

But griping isn’t going to make it go away – and it’s free too. (smile) So here goes with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin; something that we all need to constantly remember. It’s titled ‘The God Who Never Changes.’

Please pray with me: ‘It is irrefutably true: We have lost many opportunities that can never be retrieved. We have made foolish choices that can never be rectified. But we dare not live life in a spirit of despair and defeat. As children of God we need to understand that all God’s discipline has but one objective: To bring us to the end of ourselves and back to Him!

His desire is always to restore us, never to reject us. His goal is always to use us, never to ignore us. With confession, renewed surrender, and a heart that is fixed on Him, God will do in us whatever He needs to do to make us whatever He wants us to be. Every necessary change God chooses to make is wonderfully possible because of Jesus, who never changes.’

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful shout of ‘Glory to God for His never changing character and wonderful ways!’ Yeh friends, we have to be eternally grateful that our God never changes, else what a mess we’d be in, with Him moving from one position or character to another as the spirit moved Him.

But thankfully, as the Bible Promise for the poem above and our Bit declare: ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.’ Glory be my people! Jesus is a stalwart, an unchanging champion, therefore we can put ALL of our faith, trust and hope in Him, because what we see we will always get, it won’t change form one moment or day to another!

Knowing that our Foundation Stone, the Rock, the Fortress upon which we build our lives is unchangeable certainly breeds stability and trust my brethren! Yes, things within God’s world might change, but God doesn’t. Hear this powerful assurance of God’s, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah.

‘Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax (grow) old like a garment, and they that dwell within shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished (broken). (Is.51:6)

Ah mih people, the things that God made, the heavens, the earth and people shall disappear and fade and die, but the Lord’s salvation and His righteousness will live forever! What wonderful, reassuring news!

And if that verse didn’t touch your hearts (smile), then listen as Isaiah continues: ‘Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.’ (Is.51:7-8)

Ah mih breddren, if that did not touch you, then you don’t know righteousness and the law of the Lord is not in your heart, and for your great benefit, you’d better right that situation as soon as possible. Because here’s what will happen eventually: ‘Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning (sighing) shall flee away.’ (Is.51:11)

And the scholars offer this explanation of all that: ‘51:1-16. Heavens shall vanish away…and the earth: Isaiah looks down the corridor of human history to a time when the heavens (atmosphere) and the earth will be no more. He likens the earth to an old…garment, meaning the earth will one day wear out (a fact borne out by the second law of thermodynamics) and only the ransomed and redeemed shall return with singing unto Zion and experience everlasting joy.’

Oh what a joyful time that will be my fellow believers…but only for those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour! So I’d strongly advise you to get with the programme immediately, if you want to be one of the ransomed and redeemed singing with everlasting joy in the not too distant future! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are.

In strong voice, and with sincere sense of purpose: ‘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!’

So having said all of that, to be true to our calling, we now have to go out and share it! Much LOVE!

…only through Jesus…will you come to everlasting singing…salvation…and joy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries