Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2020 James 1:17.

James 1:17.     Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.

Well at last we have a somewhat sunshiny opening to a day, not the cloudy, overcast stuff we’ve been having recently! And it’s a big Saturday in the northern climes; Halloween Day! It’s the day the society dresses up in ugly, evil looking costumes – the uglier and more evil looking, the better- and have the children go out ‘trick or treating,’ begging at other people’s houses for candy, and the adults have costumed balls and riotous parties. Well let’s see what’s going to happen this year of Covid nuh. 

Halloween hasn’t been officially banned, and there have been all sorts of comments, for and against, but the Covid-19 numbers have not been coming down, although the more populous areas are still in Stage 2 Lockdown. So, in my humble opinion, it is pure folly to have children running around the streets in the dark in this pandemic time to beg for candy from people most of them don’t know, and for adults to be having parties with unprotected crowds without any physical distancing. 

Even in the good times there have been petitions to ban the process because of the evil stuff people were putting in the candy and fruit to harm the children. And worse of all, if it glorifies the evil spirits like witches and goblins and the like, why have such a day in a supposedly godly society eh? But what does the ole fella know eh friends? Obviously not a whole lot. (smile) So we’ll just leave that subject alone and see what transpires later on. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to more appropriate things, like the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he’s adopted a new style, prefacing each quote with the words: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are….’ 

Now I think that statement contains elements of both good and bad. The bad part is that if we focus on it too much, it could lead us to believe that we’re so wonderful and awesome in our own strength and thus we develop proud and narcissistic thoughts and behaviour. However, on the good side, we are awesome and wonderful IN Christ! No doubt about that! So let’s put some wise and sensible reins on our thoughts about our awesomeness nuh. (smile) Anyway, I’m not going to reiterate the opening sentence in each quote, since we already know what it is. I’ll just give us the important last part. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘My life is a gift and I appreciate everything I have.’ The first part is indeed true: our lives are gifts from God Himself. For God Himself, with His own hands, moulded man from the dirt of the earth, in His own image, then breathed His precious breath into his body. (Gen. 1:27; 2:7) And furthermore, James tells us thus: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) 

It stands to reason then, that if our lives and all the good stuff we have are gifts from God, then we ought to appreciate everything we have. But do we truly appreciate them? Not really nuh, not in our current greedy and ‘gravelicious’ society. For we complain more about the few things we don’t have, than we are thankful for the plenty we do have. Consequently, many of us can’t truthfully declare the next quote. ‘I’m calm, happy, and content.’ And we will never be able to do so until we realize that ALL we have comes from Almighty God…and begin appreciating it. 

Yeh friends, calm and content only come with an attitude of appreciation. And also, until you show appreciation for all that God has done for you, and is still doing, you won’t be able to make this next statement either. ‘I’m more at ease every day.’ For ease, likewise, comes only with true appreciation of all our blessings. One can’t be cantankerous, miserable and unappreciative and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus died for us to have. (John 10:10) 

Remember too that Jesus is the biggest and best gift that God gave us, through whom we achieve eternal life, despite our sinful, ungodly beginnings. Bruh Paul put it this way to the church at Rome. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 5:23) And if we have become wise and accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then most likely we’ll be able to proclaim this next quote. ‘I’ll surround myself with positive people who will help bring out the best in me.’ 

Oh friends, that is indeed wisdom from above! Why? Because too many of us surround ourselves with those who bring out the worse and not the best in us. That’s why the Good Book tells us so specifically: ‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort (encourage, lift up) one another daily, while it is called TODAY; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.’ (Heb. 3:12-13) 

Oh mih bredrin, it is ever so important to surround ourselves with wise, godly people, who will encourage us to do good, to do our best, for that’s what Jesus desires of His followers. Remember too that no man is an island, and we can’t live this life alone, or in too much seclusion, for the Lord made us to have fellowship one with another. As the old people would say; ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ And that’s the living truth, since our friends’ behaviour and attitude rub off on us. 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘I approve of myself and LOVE myself deeply.’ Now if all the other quotes are true of us, then we can make that kind of statement, but not too strenuously, (smile) because like believing we’re so awesome, it can lead us away from God, to the heights of narcissism, and we know there’s nothing the Lord dislikes like a proud, supposedly independent, self-LOVING person. Oh yes, we do need to LOVE and approve ourselves, but with a very careful attitude, so that we don’t go overboard and fall victim to the evil inherent in such thinking. As Jeeves would probably say: ‘circumspection my dear man – much circumspection.’ (smile) 

And I can’t think of a better way to end today, than with these immortal words of Jesus as per our earthly duty. ‘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) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people, straight from the Giver of the gospel! So let’s go out and action them nuh. It’s our bounden duty as believers in Christ Jesus! Much LOVE!

…from Genesis to Revelation…it’s all about LOVE…God’s LOVE for us…our LOVE for Him…and for each other…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2020 Psalm 49:20.

Psalm 49:20.     ​Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

And yes, at long last is Friday; the day that ends our work week! So we’re joyful and happy and ready to behave like leggo-beasts! But please remember we still can’t go bar hopping and gallivanting on a Friday evening after work like we used to! Forget about the happy hour an’ them and just go straight home and be safe. That’s my li’l chat for today! (smile) 

Now let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say on this first Friday in chilly, leaf turning colour and falling October. ‘Yeah! TGIF! Thank God is Friday and another weekend is here to rest mih tired and somewhat bored bones. Yes, staying home so all the time, especially since the Covid-19 numbers going up again in my li’l corner of the world, is getting somewhat tiresome. Ah not a big go-outer, but when I want to go out, I want to be able to go without having to put on mask and look all around me, and stay away from people, to make sure I don’t catch anything to bring back to mih family. 

And the people an’ them, especially the younger ones, just won’t learn to physically distance and wear deh mask and wash deh hands and be careful. No, they want to party… and the sad thing is that they can’t party nuh, they don’t really know how to have a good time. For them that is drinking and falling down stupid and not knowing what happening. Steups! 

An’ by the way, yuh see who finally catch the Covid business? The one and only Donald Trump, the august President of the United States, dictator in waiting; a man who been denigrating the virus since it begin, and saying is just stupidness and it soon pass and yuh doh need no mask when it causing so much unnecessary deaths in the U.S. 

Well the same way the Lord does move in mysterious ways and is no respecter of people, is the same way Covid does move, so now it finally prove to him the foolishness of his ways…at least ah hope so. But Trump is such an ignorant, arrogant, greedy, hungry for dictatorship power, know it all, that one never know with him nuh. 

And ah hope the people living under him finally wake up and see him for what he really is; a blooming … put in yuh own description. (smile) But as for me and my house, we going to try and stay safe and keep thanking the Lord for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the ordinary workingman is sure worked up today. And so he should be when people not behaving how they should and just spreading the blooming virus willy nilly! All over the world the Covid numbers climbing again, mostly because people stop paying attention to the safety procedures. So what we expect eh, when those are the only things we have to slow down the spread of the virus? Until we get a good vaccine – and people take it – masks and hand washing and physical distancing are the only useful things we have. 

But what does the ole fella know eh? He ain’t no scientist. But hear these magnificent and oh so true words from the Good Book nuh, taken from Psalm 49 – Trust in God, not in wealth – by the sons of Korah. ‘Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.’ (Ps. 49:20) 

Yeh friends, we are supposed to be a little lower than the angels, but higher than the beasts, have dominion over them, but when we don’t pay serious attention to God’s Word, then we become just like the beasts. And hear how Cousin Sol puts it in Ecclesiastes, where he’s writing as the Preacher. ‘For that which befalleth (happens to) the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence (advantage) above a beast: for all is vanity (futility).’ (Eccl. 3:19) 

Yes, it would seem that man and beasts share the same common fate, but later on though, in 12:7, Cousin Sol does affirm that man’s spirt returns to God after death. ‘Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.’ (Eccl. 12:7) So friends, in that most important fact, we are not like the beasts, because our spirits return to God for judgement after death. But when we behave foolishly and ignore God and His Word and Will, then we truly behave like beasts. And unfortunately, in these most disturbing and dangerous times, when we should all have our wits about us, too many of us are behaving like the beasts! 

But thankfully, with our great and wonderful God, all things are possible, and He offers forgiveness and mercy without restraint, to all those who call upon Him in sincerity. So let’s do that now nuh, through our Friday Chant, let’s call on Him for divine help. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help.

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

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

So the corollary to all that now is for us to go out and behave like faithful and trusting believers – like we claim above – and handle the situation the way the Lord desires us to handle it! Much LOVE!

…it’s time for Christians…to stand up strong…and make a real and sincere difference… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2020 1 Corinthians 3:18.

1 Corinthians 3:18.     Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world (age), let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Well can you believe it’s Friday! I can’t. As usual, the whole week has passed by and I haven’t done any of the things I claim I want to do. But what to do eh? (smile) I’m not going to berate myself unnecessarily, or feel terribly guilty – there will be a touch of guilt though – (smile) for in these unprecedented times, who knows what unprecedented and abnormal things will happen in our lives. The important thing is to stay connected with God, and to grow in wisdom and knowledge and obedience to His will and holy word and encouraging others as best we can. 

If we’re doing that, then I believe we’re fulfilling our purpose for this time when we can’t, or are not supposed to go out and about like we are, or rather were used to doing. And now that I’ve had my say, (smile) let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to share this Friday morning in the last week of September of this crazy and mind-boggling year of 2020. 

As usual, he opens with an enthusiastic: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is here at last! Wow! It’s been a good week, nice warm September weather, with temps even in the mid 20’s. But it’s coming…yes people, winter is coming. The trees already bearing out that indisputable and unchangeable fact; they starting to turn colour. And are they beautiful colours; gold, brown, yellow, red… fall is the best, or rather most colourful season of the year. Like the Lord made it beautiful because He knew that winter was coming when everything would be cold as ice and look dead and dreary, so He wanted to give us something to perk us up before that happen. 

But that lead me to wonder what going to happen with this Covid-19 business, if it going to get worse with the cold weather and flu season? And the numbers now going back up again because people not observing the safety precautions. Steups! Like is only when we catch it, we going to learn. Yuh see the virus is no respecter of people, even the leader of the Federal opposition and his wife have it, as well as the leader of the French party. So what it going to take eh? Another lockdown. They done restrict gatherings in Toronto and Peel and Ottawa… Ah Lord eh! Thank God that me an’ mine doing we best to stay safe yes!’ 

Yes my people, that’s why I have serious concerns about the belief that mankind is the wisest animal on the planet. (smile) He certainly doesn’t show that in his everyday actions. That brings me to this interesting, and I believe appropriate bit of scripture from Bruh Paul’s first missive to the church at Corinth, when they were debating and divided over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or Apollos. ‘Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world (age), let him become a fool, that he may be wise.’ (1 Cor. 3:18) 

That’s good advice, for as Cousin Sol adds in his two cents worth: ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:7-8) And that’s the gospel truth friends! And if you’re wondering why, then listen to Bruh Paul’s explanation. ‘For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. for it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain (futile).’ (1 Cor.3:19-20) And there Bruh Paul is quoting Job and the psalmist. 

Job says of the Lord. ‘To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety. He disappointeth (frustrates) the desires of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprises (plans). He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward (of the wily) is carried headlong (comes quickly on themselves).’ (Job 5:11-13) And the writer of psalm 94 admitted: ‘The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity (futile).’ (Ps.94:11) So it wasn’t anything new that Bruh Paul was preaching. 

And he concludes: ‘Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours. And ye are Christ’s: and Christ is God’s.’ (1 Cor. 3:21-23) Immortal words of wisdom and truth friends! 

As the scholars explain: ‘3:21-22. For all things are yours: The one who belongs to Christ is a child of God, and his Father will do anything for him. The absurdity of their division over allegiances to any of these men is that God gave them “all” to the Corinthians.’ The same goes for us today; whoever is teaching us, they were ALL given to us by God, for His glory, not for us to be foolishly attached to them. 

Now let’s go home chanting our Friday Chant, asking God for His divine help in these turbulent times. With all sincerity now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

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

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

Now it’s time for us to go out and handle the situation like the faithful believers we consider ourselves. Much LOVE!

…anyone can plant…but it’s God ALONE…who gives the increase… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2020 2 Corinthians 12:9a.

2 Corinthians 12:9a.     ​And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).

Oh friends, the old fella is feeling somewhat ‘achy, breaky’ this Monday morning in soul, body and mind. Hn! That means his mental acuity is not up to scratch and thus he is devoid of any wise and encouraging words at this present time. (smile) But don’t despair, for the Lord our wonderful God is near – He always is – and in His time, He will fill me with guidance and direction as to what wonderful, LOVING sentiments He desires me to convey to you all today. (smile) 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella shaking it a tad rough this morning, lack of enough rest I believe, but we not giving up, we soldiering on because we have Christ with us to enable us with His strength and grace…. Oh mih bredrin ah just got the zeppo I was waiting for…Glory be! 

Yuh see I wasn’t lying when I said that the Lord would eventually tell me what He wanted me to talk about today. And He just did that – today’s topic mirrors my present predicament; tiredness, a kind of weakness of body, soul and spirit that causes unavoidable dependence on God’s grace and mercy. And one of the best examples of that in the scripture is Bruh Paul’s conversation with the Lord about removing ‘the thorn in his flesh.’ 

As he puts it in his first letter to the Corinthians. ‘And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (beat) me, lest I should be exalted above measure.’ (2 Cor. 12:7) 

Yeh friends, Bruh Paul had some bodily or mental problem, no one knows for sure what it was, but it was painful (a thorn) and somewhat embarrassing, and he believed it was the devil’s doing, and it also prevented him from exalting himself, from glorying in his own strength and power, because of the amazing revelations that the Lord had showed him. 

And he further explains: ‘For this thing I besought (pleaded with) the Lord thrice (three times), that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).’ (2 Cor. 12:8-9a) 

What a bam-bam mih people! But it’s the same thing that the Lord is saying to us today, and what He just demonstrated in my life, and has done so often over the thirteen years that I’ve been writing the Bit. I’m trying to do His work, I didn’t ask Him for it, He offered it to me, against my wish (smile), so He keeps on showing His faithfulness, never leaves me in the lurch. 

But that doesn’t mean to say it’s always easy. No sir! Sometimes he makes me work very hard to find out what I need or want to say. But in the end, He always comes through. That’s why I can testify to His awesome faithfulness and the fact that He never gives you something to do without giving you the wherewithal, the anointing to do it. 

But getting back to Bruh Paul, as a result of God’s proclamation, about His ‘strength is made perfect in weakness,’ he then declares (yehhh!) ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

Oh friends, ah sorry, but I haven’t reached Bruh Paul’s level yet nuh! I can’t say I take pleasure in those things – don’t know if I’ll ever say so – but I know that I can stand strong and handle them with God’s help because I’ve been doing it, the pleasure part though, that’s a different story. (smile) So all it means is that when we are weak, not up to scratch, it’s the opportune time for God to show up and demonstrate His might on our behalf. Look how often He did it for Bruh Paul, through all the trials and tribulations He allowed Him to go through. So He’ll do it for all His people, if we’ll just believe and have faith in His word and His promises. 

And Peter offers an interesting statement, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘If ye be so reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified.’ (1 Pet. 4:14) Yeh friends, when you suffer for Christ, you are blessed. 

As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:11-12) Yeh precious people, I know that’s easier said than done, but with Jesus’ strength, power and authority, we can do it. 

So let’s go home now offering up our Monday Battle Hymn to Almighty God, asking for His divine help to do what needs to be done. All together now, in confident voice, but humble heart. ‘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 standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

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 to bring our problems under control. 

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

And as always, sincerity ought to lead to action. So what we waiting for eh? Much LOVE!

…the weakness of God…is stronger than men… (1 (Cor. 1:25a)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2020 Deuteronomy 33:27

Deuteronomy 33:27.     ​The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

Welcome to Sunday friends, the day when we take serious time to worship our great God in fellowship with other believers. And yes, our churches are now open for business, though with strict regulations as to the cleaning and social distancing and number of people allowed to attend… and I think they have even reduced the number this weekend because of the rise in Covid-19 cases. But even with all those restrictions, it’s still better than no physical gathering at all. So let’s get to worship, to some singing of God’s praises without further ado nuh. 

And today’s hymn is an old favourite and very appropriate in today’s anxious and distressful circumstances. It’s titled: ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms of God.’ And believe me, there’s no better place in this universe to lean than on the arms of the mighty One that created us and despite our less than stellar behaviour, still LOVES us with a LOVE so strong and unconditional that NOTHING can break the special bond between us. Glory be mih people! 

But before we get into the singing, here’s some info on the origin of the song from the website Godtube. ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is a hymn published in 1887 with music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman. Showalter had received letters from two of his former pupils informing him their wives had died and were seeking consolation. When writing them back, he was inspired by the phrase in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” 

But after thinking of the verse furthermore, he decided those words would make a great theme for a hymn. He then wrote the words for the refrain and music for the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” But he needed help with the stanzas, so he went to see Elisha Hoffman author of over 2000 gospel hymns. Hoffman provided the stanzas while Showalter created the refrain and music to this hymn. One of the greatest hymns for times of solace as he encouraged “leaning on the everlasting arms” of God when seeking comfort.’ 

And is that ever the glorious truth! Now let’s sing the hymn and do what the website Hymnary.org tells us to do. ‘As the hymn is sung, contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ Mama oh Mama! Let’s get to it nuh friends; in strong, soulful harmony, with sincerity just oozing out of our hearts and souls! 

‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

[Refrain]What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus…leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour…’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, that’s exactly where ALL believers ought to be leaning full on in these perilous times: on the everlasting arms of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! If we’re not leaning there, then He’s not truly our Saviour or our Lord, because that’s what Saviours and Lords are for! 

Just check out the lyrics in the hymn nuh; the sweetness and appropriateness. Words like ‘what a fellowship, what a joy divine.’ Remember our joy comes from His strength. (Neh. 8:10) And ‘how bright the path grows from day to day…so what have I to fear, what have I to dread,’ when I’m leaning on Christ’s everlasting arms eh? Absolutely nothing! With Him so near, we ‘have blessed peace, safe and secure from all alarms.’ Wow precious people, what else do we need but Jesus eh? Again, the answer is a loud and proud‘NOTHING!’For He is ourEVERYTHING, wrapped up all in One! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the psalmist spell it out. ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler (bird trapper), and from the noisome (perilous, deadly) pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust (take refuge): his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (small shield).’ (Ps. 91:1-4) And it goes on promising security my people, for the Lord is the greatest power in the universe He created. 

And yes, Satan does get in a few licks in this evil world, but we all know that eventually the Lord’s purpose will prevail, per His promises. Jesus said, that when we stand up for Him, we’ll have problems, even be put to death ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

And that rolls us into these two immortal promises: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Then Bruh Paul further elucidates: (smile) ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …(NOTHING!) shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35)

And it means exactly what it says my fellow believers; if you sincerely stand up for God, through Jesus Christ, then He will eventually make everything right for you. Working for Christ isn’t easy, but the eventual rewards are literally out of this world. (smile) So let’s go out and earn some out of this world rewards nuh. Much LOVE! 

…true wisdom is working for God…depending on Him…and LOVING Him with all you have…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2020 Psalm 33:12.

Psalm 33:12.     ​Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Welcome to Friday at last friends! And everybody shouted: ‘Thank the Lord for that yes!’ Ah mih people, in this, our modern society, we can’t seem to get away from the stranglehold Friday has on us nuh. As we said yesterday, it heralds the upcoming weekend and a bit of freedom – never enough though – (smile) from the restrictive embrace of the many tentacles of work that has us uncomfortably wrapped up during the week. 

But that’s life, and God has put us here for this specific time, so we just have to grin and bear it and do what He asks of us with a good and godly attitude. Matter fix! And the beauty of it all is that when we sincerely seek God and do His will, our lives are ever so wonderful! And all God’s people said a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord! We praise and bless Your Holy Name!’ Now that’s more like it! (smile) 

So let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself today nuh, as he always has some interesting tidbit to impart. And though his knowledge and understanding of God might be merely elementary, he knows to always give thanks to the Creator in his opening remarks. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the weekend comes! Not going to be much of a weekend though because it starting to get chilly and the blooming people an’ them out there not observing the safety precautions for the pandemic so the Covid-19 seems like it coming back again! The numbers slowly creeping back up again! Steups! 

Ah don’t know what people need to make them listen nuh? Ah guess is only when the darm thing hit them themselves that they going to smarten up. Chuh man! As soon as yuh give them a li’l leeway, they get stupid and take advantage of it. As the old people would say, yuh give them a inch, they take a nail, or sometimes even a mile! Now they have the bloody government looking to start restricting things again. Ah Lord eh! 

And it look like is the young people an’ them who causing the nonsense now yes, because is people under forty who showing up with the deadly virus now! But we the old folks don’t have nobody but we selves to blame because we never teach them obedience when deh young; we just allow them to run about as they want, just like leggo beast. Now we paying the price for it. The chickens and them coming home to roost now, as we parents always told we they will. But ah still thanking God that ah have life, an’ health, an’ a job, an’ a decent family, as the weekend rolls around!’ 

Oh friends, those of us who can say the same thing, better believe that we truly blessed yes, because it have plenty people out there who don’t have them things at all. So we too had better remember to say, ‘Thank God!’ Remember He is the One who created us, in His own spiritual image to boot. 

As Bruh David says in Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well. My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as yet they were none.’ (Ps. 139:13-16) 

Yes my people, the Lord knew all about us before He even created us in our mother’s womb! And furthermore, as Moses told the people of Israel long long ago: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut. 8:18) 

Oh mih bredin, the Lord God Jehovah did not only create us, but He is also the cause for the power that we have to gain wealth, to live a rich and fruitful and joyful life! But this power only lasts for any length of time when we sincerely reverence Him and are obedient to His holy will. The psalmist said it quite clearly: ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’(Ps. 33:12) And Cousin Sol echoes that sentiment, that solemn truth, when he proclaims: ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach (shame, disgrace) to any people.’ (Prov. 14:34) 

And if the Bible is God’s truth, then what do we expect when we live in such a sinful, evil and ungodly world like ours now eh? Nothing but adversity, trials, tribulation and disaster, for that’s what the Good Book decrees! But the wonderful thing about our great God is that forgiveness and reconciliation are available through belief in His atoning Son Jesus Christ, with sincere repentance and humble prayer! Wow! So let’s get right to it, through our Friday Chant nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

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

So faithful believers, what are we waiting for eh? Let’s get out there and handle the situation in godly and righteous fashion nuh! Much LOVE!

…time for believers to stop talking…and instead…show forth godly action…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 September 2020 Romans 8:18.

Romans 8:18.     ​For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

And it’s another damp and cloudy morning…but this one is Friday! Whoopee de! And if it turns out as decent as yesterday, then things should be all right. Oh friends, things will be all right regardless of the weather! Remember we have Jesus, His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, to lead and guide us, and we are also with Him, and that’s a combination nothing in this evil world can ever beat. Let’s remember that God and anyone of us, are always a majority! Glory be! So with that in mind, like I promised yesterday, if the Lord willed, and it looks like He wills, (smile) we’d consider some of the awesome scripture that we couldn’t get to back then. 

But before we get to them, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say nuh. And he always opens his monologue with the same basic words, though the emphasis varies according to his state of mind. And today’s mood seems somewhat less than effusive. (smile) ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And ah really glad for this weekend yes, although I only working four days this week, what with the Labour Day holiday on Monday. For some reason though, ah more tired than usual, and I just can’t put mih finger on why. 

Steups! Now isn’t that the most irritating thing? Yuh not feeling right, but yuh can’t figure out why! Chuh man! Ah just feeling low down for no reason at all. Ah feeling drained of energy…and is not like ah work so hard this week. To be honest, I didn’t do a whole lot, so why this lousy feeling eh?. Ah don’t think ah catching a cold… so what else eh…? Heaven forbid ah pick up this Covid-19 thing yes! Ah hear is so it start…you losing energy and feeling tired, then developing a fever and cold symptoms. 

But ah not feeling feverish, or like the cold coming on… so where the hell could I have caught that nonsense eh? I didn’t go nowhere else beside work this week…unless is the li’l gathering we went to by mih in-laws on Labour Day. But everybody there was family…and we been seeing each other without mask for some time now… Oh forget the worrying yes, whatever happens going to happen, worrying not going to make it better. Later on ah going to get a few stiff ones, and that going to drive all the blues and worries away. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, that’s how the enemy works; throw out a li’l doubt and worry, then slowly rope you in like a fish on a line. Good for the ordinary workingman, he decided not to fall for the enemy’s wiles. However, sadly, many of us believers fall for it. That brings us to our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Most definitely my fellow saints in Christ! Our ‘sufferations’ down here will seem like child’s play when we see what’s stored up in heaven for us. But enough of my talking let’s get to the truth; the Word of the Lord. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (2 Cor. 4:17-18) Yeh friends, our problems here on earth, the things we see and experience are only for a short time, but the good things of heaven that we look forward to, are of eternal duration. Now which one would you prefer to have eh? 

Then listen to Bruh Paul proclaim the answer to the church at Colossae. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col. 3:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, if we have turned over our lives to Christ, then we need to leave our old earthly  ways, vices, and habits behind, and instead seek things above; ‘like a deeper knowledge of Christ, a closer relationship with him, experience of His resurrection power, victory over sin (vs.5-11); the development of godly virtues (vs.12-17); the fulfillment of domestic and social responsibilities (3:18-4:1); an effective prayer life (4:2); fruitfulness in witnessing (4:3-6) – in a word, the attainment of Christian maturity, and all the spiritual benefits God has for His people during their days on earth. To have been raised with Christ and not seek these blessings would be a contradiction.’ 

And there you are, the scholars have told us in no uncertain terms that our lives no longer belong to us, but to Christ, and therefore we have to behave like Him, in true and characteristic Christian fashion, having our treasures centred in heaven rather than here on a decaying and deteriorating earth! Matter fixed! And no, I haven’t forgotten our Friday Chant. Let’s chant up a heavenly storm now. (smile) 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

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

So let’s go out now and do what faithful believers do nuh; handle the situation in a Christian manner! Much LOVE!

…worrying NEVER solves a problem…but involving Christ will… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2020 Psalm 65:2.

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

Well it’s Labour Day Monday again, which, to all intents and purposes means the end of the summer. But what a summer eh! Lockdown for most of it, unable to enjoy our usual summer pursuits…but thankfully we have health and life because of our safety practices. And I don’t know if there will be any, or as many Labour Day marches as we’re used to. I don’t even know if the big Labour Day street party in Brooklyn, New York will be taking place, but I doubt it. And that will be the first time in many a year, just like our Caribana here in T.O was cancelled this year. 

Oh what a blow this Covid-19 has dealt us this year eh! But there’s no need to worry because we are children of the King, the Most High God Jehovah, and that means we have lots of staying power, plenty endurance and the ability to persevere despite anything the enemy throws at us! So in God’s good time we will conquer the Covid virus and forget about our lost summer and all the other negatives and instead wisely look to the positive side of the ledger; count our blessings and the plenty that we still have. 

But to do that we first have to come alongside each other, work together in harmony and turn to God with repentant hearts and sincerely invite Him back into our individual lives and our society as a whole, from which we’ve hitherto been trying to oust Him. Remember the marvelous promise of Jesus: ‘Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt. 18:19-20) 

Wow mih bredrin! What a powerful promise. And therefore, it’s only logical to conclude that Jesus is currently in our midst, since right now more than two or three of us agree that we need divine help to solve our problems. So the next action we need to take is communicating our heartfelt desires to Him, that means going to Him in prayer. For as Bruh David says in Psalm 65 – God is powerful in nature – ‘O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.’ (Ps. 65:2) So let’s fulfil his words and do that now nuh, through what we call our 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 standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

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 to bring our problems under control. 

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

Ah my people, our God is a great God, but His truth and justice cry out for obedience and right heart motives, so if our hearts were right and our words true, then we know that He heard our prayer, and in His own time and manner, if we keep our promise, He will respond positively to our heartfelt desires. And that part about keeping our promise is oh so important, for according to Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl. 5:4-5) 

What wonderful words of wisdom my brethren! And that doesn’t apply to God only, but also to our interactions between each other. If more of us kept our promises, life would surely not be as distrustful, deceitful and strife filled as it is. So since we’ve gone to the Lord with supposedly repentant hearts, earnestly seeking His face, let’s now keep that promise and obey His Word and do His divine will nuh… that is if we want Him to keep His bargain and heal our land and our people. It’s as simple as that. 

Remember it takes two to tango, and one hand can’t wash itself, it needs another to help it, and that we’re in a partnership with God, but we need to do our part first. Now it’s time for us to get in some Labour Day celebrations, but with ever watchful eyes and plenty caution, not forgetting that the Covid-19 virus is still out there, and as dangerous as ever, and also remembering Granny’s message: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ (smile) Please have a blessed and joyful day, my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…when will man learn eh…that it’s the Creator who rules…and not the created… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2020 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.     ​If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And it looks like it’s going to rain… Yeh it looks like it’s going to rain today… Oh my brethren, have you ever realised that even if our circumstances are good, when you awaken to a dark and cloudy, rain-like morning, like today, that your soul sort of automatically goes in to a ‘saddish’ sort of mood? But when you awaken to a bright and sunshiny day, even when your circumstances are not the best, your soul seems to react more positively, it sparkles and is joyfully uplifted! (smile) 

I think that’s because the Lord created our souls to process light positively, not darkness and gloom. And that’s why He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to sacrifice His sinless life for us; that despite all the darkness of this evil world, we could always have sunshine in our souls, as our sins are forgiven, we’ve become reconciled to the Father once again and heaven is our future home, with eternal life guaranteed. Let’s remember that today friends as we voyage out into the world to do Jesus’ work. And that’s my penny’s worth for this morning. (smile) 

So since it’s Friday… and I do hope that the fellow who didn’t want to rejoice yesterday because it was Thursday, is still alive and kicking and rejoicing today, the day he believes ought to be celebrated, and that the Lord didn’t call him home during the night, like He did the rich fool who only wanted to build his barns bigger so he could store more, and was not rich towards God. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee:’ (Luke 12:20) So when will you rejoice again eh? (smile) 

Yeh friends, it only means that we should never forget to be rich towards our great God, refusing at no time to rejoice and give Him the thanks and praise to which He’s due. Now how did we get here eh? (smile) Oh, there’s nothing wrong with a li’l levity, especially in disturbing times like these. But before we run out of space and time, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this morning nuh. 

And he waxes philosophical: ‘Well, well, well! If it isn’t Friday! Now I can truly shout, TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the restful weekend is here at last! There’s no day in our society like Friday! We look forward to it with a sense of rejoicing. Yes, because it promises a glorious two days away from hard labour; two days of rejoicing or sleeping or just doing nothing; two days when you can take control of your own life – that’s to the extent that that’s possible in the autocratic society in which we live. 

But gee…is the populace ever happy when Friday comes! And I remember hearing when it wasn’t so at all, when you had to labour seven days straight without a day off! Hn! And if you give the greedy slave masters and them the chance, they’d likely go right back to that. But over my dead body…and those of my fellow workers! Man wasn’t born to be slaves to work, but to enjoy the fruit of his labour, and how can you enjoy the fruit of your labour when you don’t have any time off to enjoy it eh? That’s why we’ll keep on joyfully shouting: ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And is the ordinary workingman ever full of surprises! You never know what gems of wisdom he’ll come up with each week from his humble position. Now why can’t we saints of Christ have that same joyful, do or die attitude as we step out each day to do Jesus’ work eh? And not the attitude like it’s oh so hard, like pulling teeth without anaesthetic, like making fire in cold weather from two pieces of dry sticks. Ah mih people, what’s our Saviour Jesus going to do with us eh?  Let’s remember the terms of our discipleship nuh. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Please note the importance of that word ‘daily’ – meaning ‘every day’ – not when we feel like! Are we doing that to the best of our ability my people? I doubt it, else our world would not be in the unrighteous and unholy mess that it’s in. Let’s not forget these words of Christ either. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefitted), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? (Luke 9:24-25) Those are just some good questions for us to ponder this weekend my fellow saints in Christ. 

Now let’s turn to our wonderful God in sincere prayer, releasing our Friday Chant in strong voice, with humble hearts. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

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

And having prayed that prayer, we now need to go out and indeed show that we are faithful believers, and stand strong and steadfast in trusting faith! Much LOVE!

…whosoever doth not bear his cross…and come after me…cannot be my disciple… (Luke 14:27)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2020 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.     But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 
 

‘Come leh we go, come leh we go!’ Yeh friends, is Monday morning, and that means is time for many of us to get up and go off to work, as safely and carefully as we can. Some of us have the benefit of being able to work from home, but many of us are not so blessed. And even worse, many of us don’t have a job to go to, and don’t know where and when the next penny or mouthful of food is going to come from, or when they are going to be evicted from their homes and businesses through non-payment of rent or mortgage. 

Ah mih people, these are indeed trying and uncertain times. Times like we’ve never had to deal with before, so there’s no example for us to follow, that’s why we’re making it up as we go and are stumbling at times, making mistakes like we will when the path is not clearly defined or lit. But the important thing is for us to realize that we’re ALL in this together, although we’re not ALL being affected in the same way. Thus it behooves us to work together as much as possible, and help the worse off ones when and where we can, because it’s only with a common goal and destination, and everyone taking our responsibilities seriously, that we’ll ever conquer our problems. That’s my penny’s worth! (smile) 

Let’s move on to a higher power, the Lord God Jehovah, let’s take our concerns to Him through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one strong voice 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 standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

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 to bring our problems under control. 

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

Yes my brethren, Jehovah God is the ONLY ONE who can truly help us with the many problems we are currently facing. But that will mean a complete turnaround in our attitude towards Him and His Word. And the billion-dollar question is are we ready to sincerely do so? We must be very serious about the matter, not just playing games like we so often do. We will have to give up our evil ways, our worldly lusts, the seeking of worldly treasure, wealth and pleasure. 

That means, as Jesus so wisely advised in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:33-34) That should be clear and self-explanatory my people. True believers in Jesus, those who truly accept Him as their King, their Lord and Saviour, who have pledged their allegiance to Him, need to continually seek His kingdom, and its righteousness. Yes, it’s a continual seeking. 

As the scholars explain. ‘6:33-34. The contrast between the spiritual and material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

I don’t know what else to say nuh friends, except to quote Jesus again from earlier on the topic of worrying. ‘Which of you by taking thought (by worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?’ (Matt. 6:27) And the answer to that friends, is NONE of us! So why do we keep on allowing the enemy to get into our heads and cause us to worry eh? For worrying is like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, rocking in a rocking chair all day, but not moving anywhere. Worry helps nothing, only cause more problems, by draining away the li’l positive energy we have and turning it into a negative stumbling block. 

So when worry assails us, let’s do like Bruh Paul advises nuh: ‘Casting down imaginations (arguments) and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5). In other words, ‘We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought and make it obedient to Christ.’ (NIV). 

‘Taking your thoughts captive simply means gaining control over what you think about yourself and your life. What you put in your mind has an effect on what you think. God has provided a way to overcome unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, and gain the self-control you seek. It’s a matter of taking charge of your life – His way.’ (crosswalk.com) 

So, in a nutshell, we need to stop listening to the devil, control our thoughts and seek God and His righteousness first in our lives. Much LOVE!

…if God is not our number one priority…then our lives are not right… 

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