Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2020 Deuteronomy 32:4.

Deuteronomy 32:4.    ​He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 

And so the confusion, the lies, disinformation, false news and whatever continues! I just saw a trailer video of a film supposedly released in 2003, 17 years ago, that talks about all the things that have happened and are happening today: the Coronavirus, lock down, quarantine, chloroquine, etc. etc. And rather astutely, the brown-skinned guy, dressed in a priest’s collar, does not say a word about it, except it was made in 2003 not today. He leaves you to draw your own conclusions. 

So what is one to make of that eh? Is it a man-made plan, an accident, or who knows what? And that is what’s driving the pandemonium in the pandemic – the absence of real truth, too much supposition and theories! But that shouldn’t surprise us when there are supposedly so many different kinds of truth around in these troubled times. I thought there was only one kind of truth; the truth, and there couldn’t be more than one kind, else one would be false, not the truth. If you follow my logic. (smile) 

As the old Oxford dictionary describes it: ‘Quality, state, of being true or accurate or honest or sincere or loyal or accurately shaped or adjusted… in accordance with fact or reality, not fake or erroneous.’ So, apparently, with all the varying info on the same subjects, one can theoretically have several different kinds of truth nowadays. But friends, I’m here to tell us that there is ONLY ONE PLACE one can find TRUTH; real and unvarnished TRUTH! That’s in the Good Book; the Lord’s Law, that was written ages ago and never changes. The Lord God of Israel is the embodiment of TRUTH! 

Moses said it in His song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children (they are not his children because of their blemish): they are a perverse and crooked generation.’ (Deut. 32:3-5) 

And believe me, with all the current havoc and confusion, it’s only in the God of Israel, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that real truth can now be found, through the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He said it as plain as day: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yes friends, no one comes to the Father, the One real, true and living God, but through the Son, Jesus Christ! 

And that’s where our truth begins! Anything else that doesn’t correlate with that is a lie! And it’s strange how down through the years many of the writers of the Bible spoke about truth, or even more about the lack of it. Cousin Sol in Proverbs advised us to: ‘Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.’ (Prov. 23:23) That’s how important those things are in our lives. We’ve got to get them and not lose them because they are the things that lead to a rich and fulfilling life. But our world, since way back when, has always seemed to resist truth. 

Hear Isaiah as he talks about national corruption and consequent suffering. ‘None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:4) Oh my people, my people, is it possible that Isaiah is alive and well today? One could be led to think so since all those things he talks of in olden Israel are also rampant today. Injustice, corruption, lies, evil doing, as well as empty words and promises describe our world to a T! 

But please remember what Isaiah was talking about; national corruption, and consequent suffering. And if you don’t think the consequential suffering has begun with this pandemic thing affecting the whole corrupt world, then good for you. And if you don’t believe Isaiah, then perchance you might belief Jeremiah, as he declares (yeahh!) that disobedience brings God’s judgement… 

Ah Lord eh friends! The computer might be a God-send, but it’s also a tool of the enemy. Some forty five minutes ago, I was going along quite well and was typing Jeremiah’s opening statement when something made me look up. And lo and behold I saw just four inverted commas on the page and nothing I had typed about Jeremiah. Then I couldn’t delete them or type anything else. I called my young daughter for help, but she couldn’t help me either. She suggested shutting it down, but that didn’t work. And when I shut it down a second time I could not even type in the password to get on. Steups! 

So finally, I had to come up and resort to my lonely and hardly used laptop, so I could continue. Satan truly knows how to get under one’s skin yes. But thankfully I didn’t lose my cool. Yes, I was annoyed, but with God’s help, kept my peace, cause the devil’s purpose was obviously to steal my joy since I was talking about so much truth. (smile) So let’s hear, finally, what Jeremiah has to say nuh: ‘Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour (friend), and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour (friend) will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.’ (Jer. 9:2-5) 

And it is indeed sad that all that stuff is still happening in our world. Consequently, we have to be ever so careful of whom we associate with, what we watch and listen to. It’s a full time job just to winnow the chaff from the grain nowadays. Instead friends, we must do like the psalmist did in Psalm 119, cry out to God for help. 

‘My soul melteth (weeps) for heaviness (grief): strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgements have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.’ (Ps. 119:28-32) And friends, if we’re sincere in all we say and do, then the Lord will help us, not put us to shame and enlarge our hearts! 

So let’s go home this Wednesday morning declaring (yeahh!) our Wednesday Wail nuh, letting all the doubters and unbelievers know of our safe, secure and truthful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong 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 know with indisputable truth, that if we persist and endure to the end, those words will indeed come true! Much LOVE!

…it cannot be truth…if it doesn’t agree with the Good Book…

 

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)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2020 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
 

Aye mih bredrin, we’re back to Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and we still don’t have the option to fellowship together in the Lord’s sanctuary because of the social distancing business, but that’s never stopped us before, and believe me, it won’t stop us today either because we have technology! Technology, the wizardry that allows us to communicate live and in person across major distances, so though we can’t hug and kiss and shake hands, we can still celebrate the Lord’s Day with thanks and praise and reading of His Word and getting His assurance and confidence to successfully handle our difficult circumstances. 

I don’t know how our forefathers managed during their time of plagues and pandemic problems. But they still managed to hand down the gospel to us. Yet we, with all our technology, can’t get it into our children’s heads. But that’s another story for another day. So let’s get to some praise and worship to open the proceedings. And today’s song is of the contemporary Christian genre, titled ‘I’m just a Nobody.’ 

Now there seems to be at least two versions, each with different lyrics in the verses, one a soulful version by the Williams Brothers, but we’re going to follow the Casting Crowns version featuring Matthew West; a rocking, raunchy, good times one, with lots of clapping, dancing, and of course singing! (smile) We’ll begin with some hand clapping, in three fourths time, then sing the first line of the chorus three times acapella, then get into the full chorus as the music comes up. So here goes: clap, clap: ‘I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…’ and then music and everybody going crazy! 

‘Chorus: I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!)  Why you ever chose me, has always been a mystery. All my life, I’ve been told I belong, at the end of the line. With all the other “Not Quites” with all the “Never-Get-it Rights” But it turns out, they’re the ones you’ve been looking for all this time, (Chorus:  Cause I’m just a nobody… living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!) 

Moses had stage fright, and David brought a rock to a sword fight, You picked twelve outsiders, nobody would have ever chosen, and you changed the world. Well the moral of the story is, Everybody’s got a purpose. So when I hear that devil start talking to me saying, “Who do you think you are?” (Chorus: I say, I’m just a nobody… living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!) So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family. And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… 

So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family…That’s all I ever want to be… And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… Cause I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!’ 

Oh yes friends, that was indeed a happily sung ditty; one of hope, faith and rejoicing! And I like what one web site says about the song: ‘The lyrics describe how God uses ordinary people to spread the Gospel of Jesus! We are all flawed, yet the Lord has a purpose for us. In our joy of having been forgiven, we excitedly point to the forgiver, Jesus Christ!’ And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ And that’s indeed our main purpose in this life my brethren; to ‘excitedly point to the forgiver;’ to spread the gospel of Christ with unyielding zest and holy enthusiasm. 

As Jesus declared to His disciples: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) 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. 28:18-20) And that my people is what we refer to as ‘the Great Commission!’ And moreover, against all odds, the disciples were indeed able to do that seemingly impossible task; twelve poor, uneducated men charged with proselytizing the entire world! 

And they certainly laid a good foundation for us to further build onLet’s not forget that we are Christ’s arms, legs, head, hands and body in this dark and sinful world, and that He’s depending on us to show the lost the light of His gospel and lead them to Him so they can be saved; forgiven, granted salvation through grace, which leads to eternal life. Remember Jesus memorable words about why He came into the world: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And that philosophy hasn’t changed down through the ages friends, which means we still need to show interest in and help those lost in the darkness of Satan’s world. 

Jesus also made His Father’s intentions quite clear in these momentous and memorable words that we all know: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Let’s remember that this Sunday friends, as we are unable to worship in physical proximity, and realize in that sense, we are still the lost, and that we still need saving from the Coronavirus, and that Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can do it! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus…we’re all hopelessly lost…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2020 Mark 6:50b.

Mark 6:50b.    Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.
 
And the world keeps turning, like the Lord planned it to: it’s pages quietly and unconcernedly rolling along from one day to the next, regardless of what happens from one day to the next! (smile) And it’s finally rolled around to this Saturday in what’s supposed to be spring time, but we haven’t seen any rain in such a long time that the old adage ‘April showers bring May flowers’ is in danger of not being true this year of the Coronavirus. But what else is new eh? Cousin Sol said long ago that there’s nothing new under the sun. Yes: ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:9) 

And yuh know, if the wisest man ever said that, then it ought to be so. (smile) But it also shows up in our age old cliché that ‘History repeats itself.’ And that is oh so true. If we look back we can see every powerful society that ever walked the earth making the same mistake of getting too full of themselves, too big for their britches, replacing God with man made idols as they obtained some basic knowledge of life, and then getting fat and lazy off of their prosperity, which meant they stopped growing and began falling behind into eventual oblivion. 

And the same thing is happening in our current society, and our current worldwide trouble is simply a reflection of our stubbornness, hard heartedness and highly egotistical nature. It’s a wake up call from the Creator to the created, warning that we’re on the edge of a terrible precipice, and if we don’t heed the warning and repent and turn back to Him, a whole lot more damage will be done to our world. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! End of sermon! And friends I’m chuckling here, because I never came out to preach this morning, but that’s where I was led, so please take it easy on the ole fella nuh. 

But moving right along, since it’s Saturday, that lazy, late wake up day – most days are like that now though – let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow…and do we ever need one! And he seems to have been on progress kick this past week. Hear this first quote: ‘Delay is the enemy of progress.’ And so it is! Laziness and procrastination, and anything else that keeps us from doing what we have to do, is in fact delaying our progress. We can’t progress unless we get up off our fat fannies and do what we need to do! 

And the next quote also declares a great truth: ‘Comfort is the enemy of progress.’ Yes my people, as we said above, that’s why most societies eventually die. We start out by working hard and making progress, then when we reach a certain point of prosperity, we believe we can now rest on our laurels and enjoy what we have. But the sad fact of the matter is that continued prosperity depends on continued hard work, and resting comfortable on one’s laurels only eats away at said prosperity. 

It’s like your savings in the bank. The more you put in the more you will have, but when you stop putting in and only withdraw, then it will wither away li’l by li’l until it runs out. Well it’s the same way with progress and prosperity. Unless you keep building, working and saving, you will stop making progress and eventually fall. 

Now hear this one: ‘Some quit due to slow progress. Never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.’ That’s more gospel truth my brethren! Good progress is usually a creeping thing that includes some failure in between. We don’t just begin something today, if it’s a worthwhile project, put in a li’l elbow grease and declare victory or significant progress tomorrow. No friends, progress is a time consuming thing, and ofttimes needs a lot of blood, sweat and tears before it can be significantly achieved. 

And that’s a major problem for this generation. We the parents have not taught the children sufficiently about waiting and working and being satisfied or contented with a little, that’s why they’re all going crazy, feeling entitled to everything while not wanting to work for or make a sacrifice for anything! That thing called true progress is ever so slow my people that sometimes you can’t even see it, although you know you’re making it. So let’s not quit when it looks like positive things are not happening for us nuh. It just means that the Lord is working in the background, doing the hard and dirty work that’s necessary to move us forward. 

In light of all that, it is therefore necessary for us to quickly befriend this next quote and hold on to it tightly, as our very lives may depend on it. ‘Courage means to keep making forward progress while you still feel afraid.’ And isn’t that the living truth! All of us feel afraid at some time or other in our lives, so it’s not a matter of never being afraid, or never having fear, for fear is a natural aspect of human life. But the important thing there is like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: ‘doing it afraid.’ That’s what courage is really all about; doing what we need to despite the fear or anxiety we might feel. 

And the only thing that really conquers fear is faith! That’s why the most used command or warning in the Good Book is ‘Fear not! Do not be afraid!’ Moses said it thus to the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt and the massive Egyptian army was hot on their heels: ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex. 14:13) And that promise did come true in spades as the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea when the Lord closed it back up. 

And the psalmist gives us this small but everlasting treasure: ‘The Lord is on my side, I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ (Ps.118:6) Yes friends, if the Lord is on our side, man cannot prevail over us. And Isaiah drives it home on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) And he did exactly that through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And when Jesus walked on water towards His disciples and they were afraid, His comforting words were simply: ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’  Yes my people, simple, but oh so reassuring words from our Master. That’s the beauty of His philosophy and words! 

And we’ll end with this most important warning from Bruh Paul to Timothy in his tough times, which we all ought to know by now, even if we didn’t know it before Covid-19. (smile) ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Now let’s go out and use those marvellous gifts in His work nuh! Much LOVE!

…fear and courage…two sides of the same coin…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.
 
Now bless the Lord, we ‘ve moved on to Thursday, which used to be important as the penultimate day of the work week, because it heralded Friday, which in turn heralded the much looked forward to and desired weekend! But now that work is such a scarce and nebulous thing, mostly virtual, (smile) Thursday has become just like any other day…bland and unappealing, with mostly the same ole, same ole nothing to do – except to delve into social media with even more gusto than before. 

Hn! And is there a lot to delve into! Here’s some more rhetoric that’s traversing the social media. It’s reputed that Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said these words as he warned against people misbehaving during this Covid-19 period. “God has a lot of work, He has the whole world to look after. He cannot just be here in Uganda looking after idiots…’ Now who knows if he really said that eh? But it does make for interesting reading. Now there was another part attached to the message I received, but the sender wasn’t sure if it was the Ugandan president speaking, so we’ll just report this message separately, cause it’s also an interesting message. 

So read with me: ‘In a war situation, nobody asks anybody to stay indoors. You stay indoors by choice. In fact, if you have a basement, you hide there for as long as hostilities persist. During a war, you don’t insist on your freedom. You willingly give it up in exchange for survival. During a war, you don’t complain of hunger. You bear hunger and pray that you live to eat again. During a war, you don’t argue about opening your business. You close your shop (if you have the time), and run for your life. You pray to outlive the war so that you can return to your business (that’s if it has not been looted or destroyed by mortar fire). 

During a war, you are thankful to God for seeing another day in the land of the living. During a war, you don’t worry about your children not going to school. You pray that the government doesn’t forcefully enlist them as soldiers to be trained in the school premises now turned military depot. The world is currently in a state of war. A war without guns and bullets. A war without human soldiers. A war without borders. A war without cease-fire agreements. A war without a war room. A war without sacred zones. The army in this war is without mercy. It is without any milk of human kindness. It is indiscriminate – it has no respect for children, women, or places of worship. 

This army is not interested in spoils of war. It has no intention of regime change. It is not concerned about the rich mineral resources underneath the earth. It is not even interested in religious, ethnic or ideological hegemony. Its ambition has nothing to do with racial superiority. It is an invisible, fleetfooted, and ruthlessly effective army. It’s only agenda is a harvest of death. It is only satiated after turning the world into one big death field. Its capacity to achieve its aim is not in doubt. Without ground, amphibious and aerial machines, it has bases in almost every country in the world. 

Its movement is not governed by any war convention or protocol. In short, it is a law unto itself. It is Coronavirus. Also known as Covid-19 (because it announced its destructive presence and intention in the year of our Lord 2019). Thankfully, this army has a weakness and it can be defeated. It only requires our collective action, discipline and forbearance. Covid-19 cannot survive social and physical distancing. It only thrives when you confront it. It LOVES to be confronted. 

It capitulates in the face of collective social and physical distancing. It bows before good personal hygiene. It is helpless when you take your destiny in your own hands by keeping them sanitized as often as possible. This is not a time to cry about bread and butter like spoilt children. After all, the Holy book tells us that man shall not live by bread alone. Let’s obey and follow the instructions of the authorities. Let’s flatten the Covid-19 curve. Let’s exercise patience. Let’s be our brother’s keeper. In no time, we shall regain our freedom, enterprise and socializing.’ 

Phew! That was long, but certainly interesting. I know many of us can’t associate with the pictures of war that the author draws, but coincidentally, I am currently reading a book about the Nigerian civil war when the nation of Biafra was born for a short while – May 1967- January 1970, and one of the fears of the populace was indeed young men being forcibly drafted in to the army that was training in previous school compounds, as well as a serious shortage of food and housing. 

And yuh know what, Jesus did respond to one of Satan’s temptations in the wilderness with the man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt. 4:4). So let’s find some suitable words from God’s mouth that we can live by in these turbulent times nuh. What about these from Psalm 46, titled ‘God is our refuge and strength?’  The words of the sons of Korah are indeed encouraging and reassuring, so please recite them with me: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble. 

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah. … Come behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3; 8-11) 

And there is nothing stronger or more reassuring than knowing that our great God is with us my faithful brethren! He will end this crazy war – in His own time! So let’s not fear! Instead let’s loudly and joyfully declare our Thursday Blessings, that He so generously bestowed on us to do His awesome work in tough times such as these. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

So what we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and generously share all that stuff… or rather, share it through social media and social distancing! (smile) Much LOVE!

…this is not a war we can win on our own…we desperately need the Lord’s help…so let’s repent…and pray for it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2020 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 

So the caffeine’s hot and strong and sweet and plentiful…just the way I like it, (smile) and everything remains the same. Yes the Covid-19 still has a stranglehold on us and we are still fighting amongst ourselves to determine the truth about it, rather than putting all of our combined energies into finding a cure or something that will stop its rapid spread. Steups! But that seems to be the way of our current world, even when we’re dropping like flies in vinegar or honey and we don’t know why. 

Oh, and that raucous wind we said had died down yesterday…well that was only for a time. By midday it had picked up again, squealing through the leafless trees and the over the rooftops. I went out in mid-afternoon to run some errands and did it play games with me. At one stage I dropped a glove and the wind just kept moving it further away from me. Then it blew off my hat…and it was a joke to see me running down the middle of the street after my ole dungaree hat. It’s a good thing the road was empty of traffic. One fellow who saw my epic run, told me that I had gotten my exercise for the day. 

And would you believe that in the wind storm, there were also flakes of that white stuff twiddling down from the sky yesterday afternoon, and that this Wednesday morning, the 22nd of April there are remnants of that white stuff on the ground and on the rooftops! Granted, it’s not a lot, but it sure is noticeable, and it surely makes you sit up and wonder…Hn! Makes you think of Mother Nature and ponder on her eccentric ways. (smile) But getting to more important matters; here is this rather interesting and oh so truthful message I got from a friend a couple days ago, re the Coronavirus…what else eh! (smile) It’s titled: ‘We Are Not In The Same Boat.’ 

So let’s read together. ‘I heard that we are all in the same boat. But it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa. For some quarantine is optimal: moment of reflection, of re-connection. Easy, in flip flops, with a whisky or tea. For others, this is a desperate crisis. For others it is facing loneliness. For some, a peace, rest time, vacation. Yet for others, torture: How am I going to pay my bills? Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter (this year there were no rich chocolates). Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days. 

Some were in their “home office”. Others are looking through trash to survive. Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine. Some need to break the quarantine to stand in line at the banks. Others to escape. Others criticize the government for the lines. Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, some are not sure their LOVED ones are going to make it, and some don’t even believe this is a big deal. Some of us who are well now may end up experiencing it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know. 

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come. So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm. Some with a tan from their pool. Others with scars on the soul (for invisible reasons). It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, more than looking, seeing. See beyond the political party, beyond religion, beyond the nose of your face. 

Do not underestimate the pain of others if you do not feel it. Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other. Don’t be a judge. Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him. We are on different ships looking to survive. Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.’ ~Unknown Author~ 

Yes friends, it’s all gospel truth! And it’s sad that author’s name isn’t known, because I think he, or she, covered the situation quite well. It’s a sad time for sure, and there are different realities for different people; from being able to enjoy moments of peace and reflection in a prosperous manner, right down the line to facing severe want, even poverty, hunger, homelessness, and total destitution. And we do need to treat this most serious and very dangerous situation with respect, empathy, and responsibility, for our situations can change in the blink of an eye, and then we’ll need others to respond that way to us. 

But as always, as firm, and true believers, in these desperate times, we desperately need to turn to our Creator and heavenly Father who has sincerely promised to never leave nor forsake us: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:11) Yes friends, this is a time of faith testing! And we believers do have to answer that call in a true manner; like Jesus says, be the salt and light of the earth! Now is not the time to hide our lights under a bushel, but be like those proud sentinels of earlier times; the lighthouses on the rocky shores with the waves crashing mercilessly against them. 

And there’s many a sad tale that those lighthouses prevented from happening because of their protective and warning light, and we also need to be like lighthouses right now my people. Let’s step up to the plate, reignite our passion, and obey Jesus’ heartfelt declaration: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ And there’s never been a time in our generation when that has been ever more necessary than now! So please my faithful brethren, let’s stand up and show our true colours nuh, the beautiful colours of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And we’ll begin by declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our true and oh so enviable position in Christ. All together 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 if we are true and faithful to the end, then that glorious future will be even more glorious than our finite and foolish minds can think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…it’s time…for ALL believers to stand up and face the music…be shining lights for Jesus…in this dark, evil  and very dangerous world…  

P.S. There’s still some coffee left in the cup, but it’s cold now…Steups! I’m still drinking it though… (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2020 Matthew 11:28.

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

And life goes on one way or the other through this Coronavirus time. But these calamitous times will end one day, when the Lord so desires. Yes friends, this too will undoubtedly pass, when the Lord achieves the purpose(s) for which He allowed it. However, in the mean time, we have two options of living life, as author Daniel Darling proposes in an article I recently read. ‘We can spend the rest of our years angry at what we think we’ve lost, or we can spend them in sweet dependence on God.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! We can either get angry and be miserable about all the negative things that have happened and are still happening, or simply do like our leader, Jesus Christ advises; put our total trust and dependence in Him; the One who has moved us from death and eternal separation from God, to salvation and eternal life with Him. Just consider His Great Invitation nuh: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Wow! Is anybody else offering, or have ever offered such a glorious invitation? No sir! And as author Darling continues in his article: ‘This is the difference, I think, between those whose lives are marked by grace and those whose lives are filled with frustration and anger.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Grace and peace come through association with Jesus, but anger and frustration are the product of a constantly dissatisfied and negative spirit, like that of Satan. And with the free will God granted us, we must now choose our preferred or desired course of action: doing life with Him, or death with the prince of demons. 

As Moses, on God’s behalf said to the Israelites: ‘I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut.31:19) The Lord’s saying the same thing to us today my people. And if that didn’t resonate with you, (smile) then listen to this other invitation that Joshua, Moses’ replacement as the Israelite leader, gave them. 

‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (the Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:14-15) 

There it is friends, plainly set out in black and white! Now it’s up to us to choose. And since I know that most of us have obviously chosen ‘life, blessing, and the Lord God of Israel,’ then it now behooves us to communicate with Him and follow His rules and regulations, which can sometimes be onerous, but are always for our benefit. (smile) Okay, some of us doubt that, but if you keep the faith and grow in it, you will eventually realize that it’s oh so true. So let’s communicate with our Creator nuh, in the manner that He set out; purposeful, confident and humble prayer. 

And this Monday morning the most stressful and discouraging thing on our minds is the Covid-19 disease, therefore let’s address that matter uppermost in our prayer, the one we call our Monday Morning Covid-19 Battle Hymn. Altogether 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!’ 

Ah friends, if that didn’t get God’s attention, I don’t know what will nuh. (smile) But He is the Boss and it’s His decision! So now we wait with patience, meaning perseverance, faith and hope, eager anticipation, and a trusting heart, because as we said at the beginning, all will be revealed and come to pass in His time, not ours. And yes, unfortunately our great God doesn’t see, or perceive time in the same simple way that we do, but on a more lofty level. 

And to reinforce our differences, He has said through His prophet Isaiah: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways may ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) Now that certainly puts us in our place. And it’s rather sad that so many of us don’t seem to believe it, one of the major reasons why our world is in such a disastrous state. I don’t know what else we need to truly understand that we are not masters of our own fate! Much LOVE!

…to the Creator…belongs…the life and times of the created…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2020 1 Corinthians 3:3.

1 Corinthians 3:3.    For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (according to man).
 
Oh my people, this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it nuh! Yes, that’s the wisest plan we can have for this awesome day! God didn’t make it just for making it sake, but so that His children could enjoy it with all His other wonders, like nature, salvation, grace, mercy, forgiveness, etc. etc. Yeah! And God made us just for this particular time otherwise we wouldn’t be here. That also means we have work to do on His behalf. So let’s get to it nuh and stop dilly dallying for we know not how much time we have left, and come the judgement day, when He asks why we did so li’l with our lives, what good excuse are we going to have eh? The Coronavirus will only cover a small part. (smile) 

And today I want to share a simple but very insightful poem that recently came my way. The author is James Dillet Freeman, and the poem, titled ‘To Thine Own Self’ comes from his book  ‘Angels Sing in Me: The James Dillet Freeman Memorial Book’ (Unity Books, 2004). ‘To Thine Own Self,’ admirably points out a couple of serious flaws in our earthly living; that of comparing oneself to others, and wishing for what they have, not considering what gifts God gave them, because He gave us all different gifts, nor how they achieved whatever they possess, the problems they might have gone through, or whether they have even sold their soul to the devil or some such unwise thing. 

So please read with me: ‘The lake looked at the mountain, and thought: O fortunate mountain, rising so high, while I must lie so low. You look far out across the world and take part in many interesting happenings, while I can only lie still. How I wish I were a mountain! The mountain looked at the lake, and thought: O fortunate lake, lying so close to the warm-breasted Earth while I loom here craggy, cold, and uncomfortable. You are always so peaceful, while I am constantly having to battle howling storm and blazing sun. How I wish I were a lake! All the time, quietly, the mountain was coming down in silver streams to run into the lake, and the lake was rising as silver mists to fall as snow upon the mountain.’ 

Ah friends, in today’s fast paced, mish mash world so much of that kind of envious behaviour is so prevalent that it causes us serious problems, especially when we put all the foolishness of social media on top of our natural jealousy. But our God wasn’t foolish when He made us. Just like the mountain supplies fresh water to the lake, from the mists and snow that the lake provides to the mountain, the Lord made us to be complementary to each other, not competitive against each other and even worse, raising the level of that competitiveness to warlike proportions of envy and jealousy. 

A lot of our world problems stem directly from that unwarranted situation; within societies, as well as between nations. We all aspire to be at the top of the heap, and too often do whatever it takes to get us there. Yes, that might be the way of unbelievers and their unbelieving world, but it is definitely not what Christ desires in His followers, as Bruh Paul so clearly stated in his first missive to the church at Corinth, re carnal minds hindering the growth of the Holy Spirit within us. 

‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (according to man).’ (1 Cor. 3:1-3) And that’s the gospel truth re the situation in many churches and amongst too many believers today! 

Hear the scholars nuh. ‘3:1-3.I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: In the case of newborns babes, this would be natural and to be expected (1 Pet. 2:2). But it is embarrassing at this stage in their development. Milk, figuratively stands for elementary Christian instruction, and meat refers to advanced doctrine. Carnal (lit. “fleshly”). The warfare between the flesh and the spirit receives continual emphasis in Paul’s writings (cf. Rom. 7:14-8:13; Gal. 5:17). The factions that have destroyed the unity in Corinth indicate that these believers were not walking by the Spirit, but were allowing the flesh to direct their behaviour.’ 

And that friends is exactly what’s happening in our churches today. Those who should be mature believers by now, are still in elementary classes, still walking as worldly men and not spiritual believers. And we can’t walk both after the dictates of men as well as of the Spirit. Thus there is way too much dissension and division amongst the different denominations, and even more so amongst their members. Christ’s church is full of way, way too much envying and strife my brethren! 

Remember, we are supposed to be all a part of ONE body, Christ’s church, and if one part is sick or diseased, just like the human body, the rest of it will also suffer problems. We are allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us by being so divided and envious and strife-filled. That means we’re acting just like the world. But remember too that we’re supposed to be in the world, not behave like the world. We are supposed to be the salt and the light, be proactive and productive and show the unbeliever the light, take them out of their darkness. But how can we do that, when so many of us are still living in unproductive darkness eh? 

Let’s rise up then and live like Bruh Paul advised the Galatians nuh: ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other…’ (Gal. 5:16-17a) Yes friends, the flesh and Spirit pull us in opposite directions, but when we know the Word, and with the Spirit’s help, adhere to it, then we become fruitful Christians, salt and light, as Jesus desires of us. 

So let’s endeavour to get rid of all the dissensions and divisions nuh, and just live peacefully with each other, because we are all ONE family, ONE fold of Almighty God. We won’t always agree, but because we are all of God, we can get along with His help. Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (right on!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most enviable position in Christ Jesus. 

As one 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 will that future ever be glorious, if we hang on tightly to that plough with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…it’s time…for those in Christ…to stop drinking milk…and start eating solid food…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
 

Well just imagine that nuh; no goat races this Easter Tuesday in Buccoo in sweet Tobago! It almost amounts to sacrilege! (smile) I don’t think that those races have been cancelled more than a handful of times ever since I was growing up there in Tobago. But today, the stadium – the only one in the world I believe that was built specifically for goat races will be empty, and no setta parties with loud music and plenty dancing will grace the beautiful seaside village of Buccoo, on this the most important day of their year. 

But what to do eh? Coronavirus has spoken: ‘thou shalt be locked down, if thou wantest to prevent my worldwide spread and ghastly destruction!’ And so, what worldwide war has not been able to do; a tiny, but rather deadly and virulent virus has succeeded in doing; shutting down the world! But friends, let us never forget that the Creator and Controller of this wonderful universe is still sitting on His heavenly throne running things, and thus this virus business will end eventually, but in His time, because He has a purpose for allowing it. 

So we just have to believe and have faith and carry on as necessary until then, for this too shall pass, as so many other disasters have, it’s just a matter of time. And to help us do that, here is an encouraging poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘My Personal Rainbow!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, right now I struggle with clutching fear. Waves of agony pour over me as I face the darkest moments In my life’s history. But my conviction still stands firm: You are my God!’ (Glory Hallelujah my people!) ‘And though I cannot predict my future Or even tomorrow I am sustained by the reminder That the longest storm The world has ever known… And the worst… Came to an end one clear-sky morning. It was true for Noah It will be true for me. Though as yet I see no deliverance I watch I wait I expect My personal rainbow!’ 

Mama oh Mama! And do we ever believe and expect to see that beautiful rainbow with it’s wonderful pot of gold at its end! Why, you ask? The answer’s simple: because the Lord God Almighty promised it, and He does not renege on His promises. They have ALL been faithfully executed since the beginning of time and will continue to be faithfully executed… until the end of time! And there’s no doubt about that because He has said so unequivocally in His Word. ‘And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

And if you don’t believe that, then you don’t LOVE God, and you’re not called according to His purpose! Simple as that! And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working ALL things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

That’s why, as true believers, in these most trying and fearful times, we are not afraid. Yes, we are concerned, and we do pay strict attention to the rules, but fear does not take us over and make us like jelly – flapping and flubbing around uselessly. And that’s also because our great ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE (His most significant attribute), and of a sound mind (discipline and self-control).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

And with all of that solidly planted and growing in us friends, we need not be afraid of what will and can happen to us, but are able to take it all in stride as we lean and depend on the Lord, our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God to defend and protect us as He’s faithfully promised to do. Consequently, as Bruh Paul continued to Timothy: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou (a) partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power 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 (before time).’ (2 Tim. 1:8-9) 

Yes friends, God has called and saved us with a salvation through Christ that we definitely did not deserve, but did it for His own purpose; basically, His endearing, unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us! So if we truly believe, then we need to take up our cross and follow Christ, unashamedly, through all the afflictions of this life, knowing the wonderful reward of eternal life that awaits us. And if all of that doesn’t move you, or reduce your fears and anxiety, (smile) then listen to these other most reassuring verses from Psalm 37; Bruh David’s declaration on The true state of the wicked. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 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. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass… 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:1-5; 7-9) 

Brother! What wonderful advice! And the good thing about it all, is that Bruh David is not speaking from hearsay, but from personal experience! So for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

All together now, 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!’ 

The natural next step is now for us to go out and do just that – share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…man was made by God…to LOVE…and be LOVED…

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…

Previous Older Entries