Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Well folks, we real late this snowy Friday morning. And if by chance yuh wondering why, it’s the same ole excuse; late to bed, late to rise. Hn! This morning was a real late one too. I won’t even tell you all what time I went to bed. (smile) But suffice it to say that I am now up, alive and kicking butt! So let’s turn right away to the words of the ordinary workingman, no time for me to ‘lablache’ this morning. (smile) 

And he begins with a shake of his tired head and a sour ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! But why eh? What ah thanking Him for eh? Ah don’t have no work, or money, and ah don’t know when next I going to have either of them because of this Covid-19 business! Steups! What ‘s happening to our country…and our world eh? Ah doing my part, behaving responsible and staying in mih yard and yet still the Covid-19 numbers not going down, but staying up. So what is the problem eh? 

Like is just me and my family who being responsible, and everybody else just going about their business regardless? And to make it worse, ah not seeing any money coming from the government like I did before. So what they expect me to do eh? They shut down mih workplace, and begging me to stay home, how they expect me to feed mih children eh? We can’t exist on wind pie and nothing chops for ever! And they keep talking about a vaccine coming soon…but how soon is soon eh? When half the people dead? 

Ah Lord eh! And every day ah hearing or reading how the rich getting richer in this pandemic time…Hn! Yuh believe it? But it must be true, otherwise they wouldn’t keep on saying it. Now why should that surprise me eh, when I know from long time that the rich don’t really give a darm about the poor, is only talk deh talk! 

Deh not only rich, but they could talk a good talk too, till even the poor man believe what deh say. Deh great at doublespeak, or as the Indians use to say in the movies, they speak with forked tongues. But what to do eh? I guess I just have to keep on praying, looking to God for some kinda relief yes, because it don’t seem like any coming from man nuh!’ 

Now friends, that’s the most sensible idea right now yes. Look to God for relief. But let me read you a passage from Isaiah why that might be a somewhat difficult task too. It all has to do with national corruption and consequent suffering. Isaiah informed Israel thus: ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. 

For your hands are defiled with blood (bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. 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. 59:1-4) And so it goes on – the sins of the people of Israel for another 15 verses. 

And also our iniquity my brethren, for it’s our sinfulness that’s keeping us from God! We can’t expect to be abominable, unrepentant sinners and still receive God’s grace and mercy! It just doesn’t work like that. If we expect to have good times in our land, then we need to be obedient to God and His word. Worship Him in spirit and truth, not just talk. 

Remember all the promises He made? Remember most of them depended on us being sincere and obedient? And there’s no way we can say that our current world is either obedient or true to God and His word. So obviously there are consequences to our disobedience and demonic worship, and right now we’re experiencing the fruits of our disobedience and outright, doh care sinfulness. So there’s no one to blame but ourselves. 

However, our God is such a wonderful Deity that He has also made provision for us to turn from our sinful ways and be reconciled to Him. So what say we use wisdom this very day and turn to Him for succour eh? Let’s do what He says, pray in earnest, with right motives in our hearts. So what we waiting for eh? Let’s get on our sinful knees and divulge the contents of our hearts to Him, through our Friday Chant. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And I don’t need to remind us that the Lord won’t bother with us if, or when He looks at our hearts and found insincerity and selfish motives there. So we better had buck up and be faithful believers and handle the situation properly! Much LOVE!

…it won’t get better…until we get better… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2020 Hebrews 10:23.

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

And then it was Friday – Black Friday to be precise! The big shopping day down in the U.S after Thanksgiving, and now being copied by so many countries around the world. And since a lot of people rejected the medical advice yesterday to stay close to home and keep the celebrations small, but instead flooded the airports and the highways to go and do their natural Thanksgiving thing, why would they behave any differently on the biggest shopping day of the year eh? 

So instead of staying home and shopping online, expect there to be line ups at the physical stores. And if mankind is lined up anywhere, for whatever reason, but especially for bargain hunting, expect there to be problems. Let’s hope that there won’t be any looting and shooting and serious incidents, but who knows what happens when mankind is let loose eh. (smile) And the merchants themselves are something else too, still encouraging people to come out and buy during their rigged sales. It’s all about the almighty dollar! 

But life goes on, and thankfully we Christians have Jesus to lead and guide us, that is if we listen to Him, and not let the things of the world lead us astray. Enough of me though, let’s listen to what the ordinary workingman has to say, it might just be more interesting. (smile) 

And his whole demeanour is different this week as he angrily shouts: ‘Covid -19, Covid-19! When this blooming thing going to done eh? When people going to smarten up and keep them tail inside and wear the darm mask eh? Is because of so many stupid and irresponsible people that ah get laid off again; the government force the slave master to shut down because of the too close working conditions, so I get mih last paycheque last week – when ah going to get another one eh, since I don’t get pay if ah don’t work, and the place lock down for at least a month. 

Who knows if it going to open back then or stay lock down eh? Who going to feed mih children eh? Steups! This whole thing just going from bad to worse yes…And now yuh telling me nonsense about Black Friday shopping! Look doh let me tell what to do with yuh Black Friday shopping nuh! An’ people so darm foolish, they can’t see how the rich people and them getting richer in them pandemic times, while we the small man getting poorer, with no jobs and no money and so many others facing bankruptcy and whatever. 

And yuh telling me chupidness bout this being a democracy and we suppose to help one another? Well where the blooming wealthy who suppose to help the small man eh? Yuh see any ah dem during this pandemic doing anything for anybody? Not on yuh life! They hiding out in deh comfy homes, eating and drinking as normal, and don’t need to go to no work because the poor minions out there in the pandemic working for them. 

Look, ah sorry that ah ranting this Friday yes, but ah just had it up to mih neck with the foolishness now, suffering for other people bad behaviour, and it just got to me today. Ah still thanking God for what li’l ah have, and ah know ah have more than some people, but ah just had to get the frustration off mih chest today, otherwise it woulda drive me crazy!’ 

Oh friends, the pandemic scene is certainly getting to a lot of people, so much so that people are protesting more than before. But what to do eh? For masks, physical distancing, washing hands and staying in small groups are the only things we have right now that seem to control it. And until we get a good vaccine, and people take it, I don’t know what else we can do to mitigate the pandemic nuh. And in light of all that, our irresponsible behaviour certainly isn’t helping matters any. 

So what advice can I give in these circumstances eh? As believers in Christ Jesus, the first response in times of doubt and fear, of anxiety and lost hope, is to turn to Almighty God in prayer. He has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5) And the Good Book also instructs: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works.’ (Heb. 10:23-24) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, in tough times like these, we need to stay strong and encourage each other to share the LOVE of Christ and to help our fellow man, while we fall on our knees in sincere prayer, asking for God’s grace and mercy and wisdom to handle the anxiety and fear that’s encompassing our lives. So right now, let’s do just that nuh, through our Friday Chant. 

As one strong and prayerful voice: ‘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 handle the situation properly, like true believers, by showing the LOVE and compassion of Jesus to all those who desperately need it in this pandemic time! Much LOVE!

…listen to the Holy Spirit that dwells within…and He will guide you wisely and safely…that’s Christ’s faithful promise… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     ​…for without me ye can do nothing.

And then it was Saturday; that lazy crazy day of the week, where we laze around doing nothing for much of it, then in the evening we hit the party trail! But I think that this Covid-19 business has put a spoke in our party wheel, (smile) and it has probably made us even lazier than usual. Yes my people, this 2020 is the year of change; a year of change like no other most of us has ever seen, and I believe 2021 will be just as chaotic and confusing. 

But enough with the predictions, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And as is his wont these days, he prefaces them with: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But let me remind us that we are all those things ONLY if we have Jesus Christ as the mainstay of our lives! And also, we won’t repeat that preface again. 

So here then is the first quote: ‘I have the power to create change.’ And that’s true to some extent, if we’re willing to invest the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to make and create significant change. Now that change can be good or bad, big, or small, we still have to take time to make it, and unfortunately, in this modern era, too many of us want change but are not willing to invest the necessary time and effort to make it happen, because we are a society of whiners, complainers and entitled. 

And furthermore, especially when it comes to changing ourselves, it’s impossible for us to do it alone; we need the divine power of Jesus! Remember His immortal words? ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him; the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now if that doesn’t tell the whole story, then I don’t know what does! (smile) 

And the second quote says: ‘I’m doing my best and that is enough.’ Well we’re certainly glad to hear that! And it is in fact enough, because your best is the best that you can do, and that’s all Jesus asks of us. But I doubt that many of us are indeed doing our best, because if we were, our world would not be in such a terribly evil condition; filled with so much hate, envy, strife, poverty, sickness, inhumanity, economic depression and suppression, etc. etc. 

In a time of so much plenty, sadly, there is so much lack and want. So fellow believers, can we up the ante, and begin doing our best for Jesus, so that our world could be saved, be renewed, because that’s the only way it won’t sink into the mire of hell. 

Now hear this next quote: ‘I’m in charge of my life and no one will dictate my path besides me.’ Wow! What a boast! But generally speaking, it is true. In most cases we are the pilot of our good ship, me, myself and I. The problem though is do we have the right equipment to guide our lives in the right manner? That’s the million-dollar question. And unfortunately, the answer is that most of us don’t have the parts necessary for such a big and bold task. But we think we do…and the enemy, Satan, encourages us to believe we do. 

But let me remind us here of a small verse of scripture that the Lord our Creator and Maker and Provider and Controller, had the prophet Jeremiah say to his people Israel many moons ago when they were in captivity in Babylon. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Yes friends, our great God has a powerful and great plan for each life He creates. He doesn’t just create vikey-vie, but with a sense of purpose. And the truth is, though He has given us free will to do as we generally please, we will not fulfil the extraordinary plan He has set out for us, before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, unless, and until we turn to Him and His word, and believe in His Son Jesus Christ with all of our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, and follow His commandments to the best of our ability. That is until we make Almighty God our Number ONE Priority! 

So the long and short of the story is that we can indeed do all sorts of things in our own strength, but they will never amount to what we can do with Jesus as the Guide and Leader of our lives. And this last quote proves it even more forcefully. ‘I know exactly what to do to achieve success.’ And the wise ones amongst us indeed do! Here it is in spades, in black and white, straight from the horse’s mouth: 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh precious people, it couldn’t be any clearer than those immortal words the Lord said to Joshua when He made him Israel’s leader after the death of Moses! 

Reading God’s word, meditating on and studying it, then putting it into practice is the best and only way to achieve lasting success. The world may inveigle you to do other things and give you some of its corruptible wealth and power, which don’t last, and which you cannot take with you when your body returns to the dust from whence it was formed. 

However, the incorruptible wealth you amass when you sincerely follow Jesus Christ and His dictates, those my people, you can take with you to heaven, where you already have more treasure stored up through the goodness, from the magnanimity of our heavenly Father! So let’s remember that without Christ we are nothing, and can do nothing. But with and through Him,ALLthings are possible, and He is the one who causes us to get wealth and true, everlasting success!Much LOVE!

…only a fool…would turn his back…on everlasting life through Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2020 2 Timothy 3:1.

2 Timothy 3:1.     ​This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

Oh my people, let’s hope that the mighty winds and slashing rains we received up here yesterday are over and done with today yes, because those sometime darlings of nature did a fair amount of damage in the province on Sunday. A lot of people are still without power, and there’s wind-blown debris scattered all over. Hopefully not too much damage was done to homes and other buildings. 

But the wind was something else yesterday oui! I could hear it raging like a wild animal outside my window, driving the now naked trees into being an unwilling partner in a forceful dance. And it would be nice if our myriad of problems could behave like that; spring up, do their damage and then settle down again. But unfortunately that’s not the case, that’s only a dream scenario. Our problems, individual and societal don’t ever seem to dissipate that easily. They appear to persist forever, despite our efforts to curtail them. 

But how can we do that eh, when we have so much divisiveness, disunity and disagreement on the causes of the problems and the best way to solve them. It’s so difficult to get two people to agree on anything nowadays, much less to get a whole nation or society. The problem is we have too many choices and too many false teachers are spreading too much false doctrine. That brings us to these fateful words of Bruh Paul to Timothy re the coming apostasy – rejection of religion, in this instance, Christianity. 

‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be LOVERS of their own selves, covetous (money LOVERS), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), LOVERS of pleasures, more (rather) than LOVERS of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Ah friends, you’d think that Bruh Paul was living down the street, because all that he said so long ago is coming true right now. Those descriptions above fit our current world to a T. So if our world is so ungodly and divisive, how can we ever live in peace and harmony eh? 

And just a couple of notes from the scholars on the verses above. ‘3:1-4.The last days began with the birth of Christ, and will culminate in Christ’s return to the earth to set up His kingdom. The prediction of perilous times indicates that apostasy will characterize the final days of the church age.’ And are we ever seeing droves of people turn away from God in these times. ‘3:5-9. A form of godliness is mere religion without power or spiritual life. Paul commands Timothy to turn away from these false teachers.’ 

And so too should we my faithful brethren, because as Bruh Paul continues: ‘For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.’ (2 Tim. 3:6-7) And believe me, these false teachers are not only leading silly women astray, but also many silly men, for too many of us today are very susceptible to the false doctrines of false teachers. We like too much feel good religion. 

And the scholars explain: ‘Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth condemns not intense study but some esoteric quest for truth apart from God’s Word.’ Again, we find a whole lot of people today searching for truth in so many different places – esoteric, exotic and what have you – but all of them lacking any real substance of truth. Oh my people, let’s wake up nuh and come to the realization that in the Word of the Lord, is the ONLY place where the real truth exists, and thus Almighty God is the ONLY One who can help us to solve our problems. 

So with that in mind, let’s go to Him now nuh, and through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, lay all those problems before Him. As Peter so rightly says, let’s cast all our care upon Him, for He cares for us. (1 Pet. 5:7) So 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 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 having said all of that, the only wise and sensible thing to do now is to sincerely turn from our evil ways, so that the Lord can heal our land. Don’t think we can fool Him with empty words nuh, because He’s not going to set anything in motion until He checks out our hearts and find that they are sincere and true! Much LOVE!

…ONLY God…through Christ Jesus…can settle, strengthen and establish us… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 November 2020 Proverbs 6:9.

Proverbs 6:9.    ​How long wilt thou sleep (lie down), O sluggard (lazy one)? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Summer days are here again friends, summer days are here again! Yes, this past week has been sunny and fairly warm, especially yesterday, when I was out on my front porch getting a tan in the afternoon, enjoying the hot, bright rays of the sun, providing, storing up warmth in my soul for the upcoming winter, doing like the wise, self-starting ants. (smile) Who, like Cousin Sol says, doesn’t have a ruler or overseer or taskmaster, but nonetheless wisely gathers food in the summer harvests for the cold, famine like, winter days. (Prov. 6:6-8) 

And according to the weather forecasters, we might even have a few more decent days this week. Thank the Lord yes! For how often do you have such summery weather in November eh? Not very often nuh. So let’s enjoy it while it lasts, because after that… Hn! After that comes the cold. (smile) And having spoken about the wisdom of the ants, Cousin Sol goes on to ask a most insightful question of us: ‘How long wilt thou sleep (lie down), O sluggard (lazy one)? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?’ (Prov. 6:9) 

Now that’s a question which is very appropriate for our easy come, easy go society, where privilege and entitlement play such a great part, where so many of us are unproductive, not contributing anything worthwhile to our world. As the saying goes, if you don’t sow, you can’t reap. But then again, what you reap depends on what you sow. And if so many of us are sowing laziness and unproductivity, then what do we expect to reap eh, just more of the same? And Cousin Sol answers his question thus:‘Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep (to rest): So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth (as a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov. 6:10-11) 

Oh my people poverty and misfortune don’t always fall upon us all at once, but more often it’s a process, when we’re not wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances or eventualities. Consequently, constant laziness will eventually bring dire poverty. And the sad part is that we don’t usually notice it, it creeps up on us gradually, until one day it suddenly hits us full in the face like an armed robber whom we didn’t expect to encounter. 

And that is exactly what’s happening too much in our world today. Too many of us are resting on our laurels and as a result our standards are falling, our work ethic is slowly disappearing. And you know what eventually happens when the standards and work ethic of a society, of a nation decrease – that nation is on the way down! 

And these words of Cousin Sol later on in Proverbs provide an appropriate picture of such unfortunate circumstances. ‘I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding. And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof (its surface), and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.’ (Prov. 24:30-32) 

And what instruction do you think he received from that sorry state of affairs eh? The same thing he discovered earlier: ‘‘Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep (to rest): So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth (as a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov. 24:33-34) 

Thus, as the scholars explain: 24:3-34. The slothful is too lazy to keep thorns and nettles out of his vineyard or to keep his stone wall repaired. His laziness is further exhibited in sleeping late when he should be working. Therefore his poverty shall come as one that traveleth; that is, a bandit or a vagabond. Small surrenders lead to great disasters.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Small, seemingly unimportant things, do add up to large disasters. And right now our society is suffering from a lot of small happenings over time, that have finally become major matters, which we can’t seem to deal with successfully. So what is the answer eh, beside being productive and diligent? Turn to the One who created us, and is mightier than us. That’s wisdom to the nth degree! That’s the true road to success! So let’s do that right now nuh, through 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!’ 

Yes precious people, our ONLY true hope is in our God, through our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus! Please, I implore us to sincerely turn back to Him in true repentance, so that He can keep His promises and heal us and our land! Much LOVE!

…remember God…for it is He…who gives you the power to be successful… (Deut. 8:18) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2020 1 Corinthians 13:13.

1 Corinthians 13:13.       Now abideth faith, hope and LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE! 

Well, my fellow saints in Christ, once more we are gathered here to offer sincere praise, worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God, our Creator, Provider, Lord and Saviour! And all God’s people shouted a loud and proud: ‘All thanks and praise be to our heavenly Father!’ 

And finally the indecision in the U.S. has been decided (smile), the wannabe Dictator has been deposed, and will soon be disposed of, regardless of all his bluster and talk of not giving up the Presidency because the election was rigged and illegal! Thankfully there were a few more sensible American voters than foolish ones. 

Anyway, enough on that has been, let’s focus on someone that’s been around from time immemorial, and will be around till even after eternity; His name is Jesus; the person mainly responsible for the salvation of mankind. And today we’re going to open our worship with a wonderful song in His honour, a tune titled ‘Jesus is LOVE!’ And that is exactly who and what He is! That’s why He sacrificed His life on the cross at Calvary for us. 

Now friends, one website tells us: ‘This song comes off of The Commodores (1980) album “Heroes”. It has since become both a gospel and R&B standard. There is an excellent live version of this track on YouTube by the Commodores. Lionel Richie sang this song at Michael Jackson’s funeral. There is an outstanding gospel version with a duet featuring Smokie Norful and Heather Headley.’ 

And believe me that live version is big and bad and beautiful, and it’s what we’re going to sing today: So please be prepared for an awesome visit with ‘The Commodores Live in Las Vegas’ And it’s a real ole throwback piece of touching soul my people, and that’s how I want us to sing it; full of soulful emotion and sincere heartfelt passion. Let our words and actions truly tell the story. 

Now before we get into the song, here’s some info from the website https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13 ‘The song starts with a prayer. Lionel’s prayer is reminiscent of the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13 of the Holy Bible In this story, some of the seeds are (children) that fall by the side of the road. They never reach good soil and are gobbled up by birds, grow among the weeds, or have roots that grow too shallow. This is a prayer for all people in the world to recognize each other with LOVE in their hearts, amen.’ 

And all of that is ever so true friends. Too many of God’s children are falling by the wayside, and that is just not acceptable. Anyway, moving on: Before the band starts playing the drummer comes down front and makes this intro: ‘At this particular time ladies and gentlemen, we would like to do another song from our latest album “Heroes” And we would like to do this song especially for you (the audience) because the Commodores deeply believe, deep down inside, that the world, the world is in need of a song like this today. Ladies and gentlemen, if you please:’ 

So please let’s finally get into an explosion of passionate soul that will move all those in both heaven and earth…and don’t forget to answer the calls in brackets. (smile) ‘Father help your children And don’t let them fall by the side of the road. Mmmm…mmmm And teach them to LOVE one another And heaven might find a place in their hearts. ‘Cause Jesus is LOVE He won’t let you down And I know He’s mine forever Oh, in my heart We’ve got to walk on Walk on through temptation ‘Cause His LOVE and His wisdom Will be our helpin’ hand 

And I know the Truth And His words will be our salvation Lift up our hearts To be thankful and glad That Jesus is LOVE He won’t let you down And I know He’s mine Deep down in my soul Jesus is LOVE Oh, yes, He is He won’t let you down And I know He’s mine, He’s mine, He’s mine, He’s mine, all mine Forever, ohhhh, in my heart Help me, heart, heart Ooh…ooh… (Deep in my heart) I know, I know, I know, I know Ah, cause His LOVE’S the power (Power) His LOVE’S the glory (Glory) Forever (Ever and ever) Ooh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Ooh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Ooh, yeah, yeah (Yeah, yeah) 

Oh wait a minute, I wanna follow your star Wherever it leads me And I don’t mind, Lord I hope you don’t mind I wanna walk with you And talk with you And do all the things you want me to do Cause I know that Jesus (Jesus is LOVE, I know) ‘Cause I know, Lord (And if you ask, I’ll show) (LOVE is the word forever) And ever and ever 

Who can bring you love (Jesus) Who can bring you joy (Jesus) Who can turn your life around (Jesus), oh Ooh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Yeah (Yeah, yeah) Hey Who will pick you up (Jesus) When you fall (Jesus) Who’ll stand beside you (Jesus) Who will LOVE us all Hey, hey, Jesus (Yeah, yeah) Jesus (Yeah, yeah) Oh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) One thing I wanna say Who can heal your body (Jesus) Who can make you strong (Jesus) Who can help you to hold out (Jesus) 

A little while longer Ooh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Yeah (Yeah, yeah) Jesus LOVES you (Yeah, yeah), Jesus wants you If you call Him, He will answer (Jesus) Call him in the mornin’ (Jesus) Call him in the evenin’ (Jesus) Call him in the midnight hour Hey, hey (Yeah, yeah) Yeah (Yeah, yeah) Yeah, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Yeah, y’all say it for me (Jesus is LOVE)… (Jesus Is LOVE)…’  

That was indeed a soulful rendition friends, and both heaven and earth were moved. But it wasn’t all. At the end Lionel Ritchie got up from the piano, came down to the front of the stage and gave this soliloquy: ‘You know the Commodores, had two ways of letting you leave out of here tonight; either have you dancing in the aisles hollering and screaming, or we had to let you leave with something in your minds and on your hearts. Well tonight, I guess there’s no doubt in your minds, and certainly not in mine; we’re going to let you leave tonight with something on your minds and in your hearts. 

You know, I don’t have to be the one to tell each and every one of you, but the world is in a whole lot of trouble right now everybody, the world is in a whole lot of trouble. And you know the funniest thing is this; everyone is looking for something new, something different to solve the problem. Some of us feel that technology sooner or later, will solve the problem. We feel that money can solve the problem. In 1980 we even feel that a President can solve the problem. But yuh know the funniest thing about the whole thing is this; everybody knows what the solution is; everybody knows what the solution is; because what the world needs now, what the world needs, right now is a little LOVE ,a little sweet LOVE…!’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my people! Can you imagine that forty years ago, our world was in such a messed up state, even without the Covid-19 situation. And we’re in an even worse place today, everybody looking for answers, everywhere but where they are supposed to look; in their hearts, to find the LOVE that our world needs to move forward in unison and compassion. Can you believe that forty years later we’ll still looking to technology, money and a President to correct our situation, when all we need is a li’l LOVE? 

Are we that stubborn, hardhearted and foolish that we can’t see the lack of wisdom in our decisions? What is our problem eh my brethren? Are we like Bruh Paul told the Corinthians; that now we’re seeing through a dark or dimly lit mirror, and right now we only know in part, but later on we’ll see and understand properly. (1 Cor. 13:12) 

Some might use that as an excuse, but believers ought to know better, we ought to know that ‘Now abideth faith, hope and LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE!’ (1 Cor. 13:13) And until we understand that and put it into serious action, for remember LOVE is an action word, our world will be forever in turmoil. Much LOVE!

…only LOVE can break a heart…only LOVE can mend it again… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 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.

And the election craziness and confusion continues in the good ole U.S. of A! What a surprise! (smile) On this spring-like Friday morning with glorious sunshine in my neighbourhood, it’s hard to pay much attention to the foolish antics that’s happening down there. The only sure thing is that there’s no sure thing, and won’t be for a while, what with all the hemming and hawing and legal wrangling and fake news and all the other stuff that’s recently made the U.S. look like one of those long-ago Banana Republics in South and Central America. 

I wish them the best of luck, but it seems that with the pending results, we will have four more years of overwhelming, divisive partisan leadership down there, which doesn’t bode any good for anybody, neither the country itself nor the whole world looking on, who unfortunately suffer in some way according to how the U.S. goes. Prayers are in order, rather absolutely necessary, for all of us! End of spiel! (smile) 

Now let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. And as always, he crows: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And it’s going to be a wonderful day, with sunshine and warm temps. Imagine that nuh, way down in November we been having temps in the high teens…Mama Yo! Today it might even rise to about twenty… Well that I can certainly handle! Ah don’t care what nobody says, but a blast of sunshine and warm weather brings out the best in mankind, at least in me! So let it shine bright and stay warm all the time nuh…Hn, hn hn! 

Oh I know that is only a pipe dream up here in these northern climes, but who says a body can’t dream eh? And the pandemic still raging all over the world, but plenty more worried and concerned about what happening with the U.S elections, but not me nuh, because I know them people down there don’t care a darm about nobody else but themselves, so if they want to fight and kill each other over foolishness, I say let them go ahead yes! But unfortunately, we up here in Canada too tie up with the U.S yes, so whatever happens down there, we certain to feel some backlash up here, especially since we have plenty up here who like to play, monkey see monkey do, and behave like them down there. Steups! 

Ah Lord eh, ah don’t know what the world coming to nuh, but it surely not as nice and warm and welcoming as it used to be. All a small man like me could do though is hope and pray and live one day at a time and give God thanks for Fridays and the li’l rest from the slave master work on the weekends yes!’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! The most a lot of us can do is hope and pray for better times and give God thanks for our situations. And yes, I know that’s difficult in a world that is on edge, that’s just waiting and ready to fall over the precipice, but we believers have been charged with the enormous task of not letting it go over the brink and plummet into war and all the negative things that will happen if we reach that unfortunate stage. And all I can do is quote these immortal words of Jesus concerning our behaviour and duty in this confused and divided world. 

Please listen closely to our Leader, our Lord and Saviour. ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand) ; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:13-16) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what our leader expects of us; to shine bright like the morning sun and be full of salt, well flavoured in our lives, being good examples of His gospel, ambassadors of His kingdom, offering, help, encouragement and meeting the needs of our fellow man, wherever and however we can! Oh, I know it’s never been, and will never be an easy task, but with His awesome help, we can do it. So let’s spend a li’l time right now and go to Him for that help we need nuh. Let’s cry out to Him through our Friday Chant for endurance and perseverance and whatever else it will take for us to stop our world going over the brink. 

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!’ 

Now, as the faithful believers we claim to be, let’s go out and do our best nuh; handle the situation in the best way we can! Much LOVE!

…in a world of violence and widespread unrest…Christians must show their mettle…be true salt and light… 

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… 

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