Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 September 2022   Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.        This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the workweek, with many of us anxiously, hopefully looking forward to that last day tomorrow. But please remember Jesus’ wise advice: ‘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. 6:34). 

Now that’s the overwhelming truth my people! We need to look after, to concentrate on today, which is all we have right now. Tomorrow will look after itself. We don’t know if we’ll even be around to see tomorrow, so why spend so much time concentrating on it eh? Instead, let’s do as the psalmist so wisely proclaimed: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) 

And that’s wisdom in spades. Today is what we have, so let’s enjoy it, otherwise we’re wasting God’s precious time and blessings, especially the new mercies and compassions that He’s prepared new for us this special day. Yes mih bredrin, every day we spend on this planet earth is a special day which the Lord made so that we can enjoy it and do His will. That’s why He blesses us anew every day. 

Jesus said it very clearly: ‘I am come that they (His flock, His followers) might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Now how can we enjoy a more abundant life if we’re always thinking of tomorrow and not focusing on today, as we ought to eh? That’s defeating Jesus’ very plan for our lives. And I like how James admonishes his readers, and consequently us on the subject of tomorrow. 

Describing unchristian conduct, he writes: ‘Go to now (come now), ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings (boast in your arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ ((James 4:13-17) 

Oh my people, James covers a whole lot in those few verses. So let’s see what the scholars have to say on them. Re 13-14: ‘This one is a fool, for he thinks he knows something that he doesn’t. He presumes he has the resources to control his destiny. (cf. Prov. 27:1; Luke 12:13-21).’ And those scriptures are excellent references of our unfortunate concentration on tomorrow. In the verse from Proverbs, Cousin Sol does declare very forcefully. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.’ (Prov. 27:1) 

Meanwhile the passage from Luke is where Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool, who had so much that he had no room to store it. So, in his wisdom, decides to tear down everything and build anew, that he might have space to store all his wealth, and then take things easy: ‘eat, drink and be merry.’  But in his frail and finite wisdom he missed one important thing, he did not factor in God’s will. 

Consequently, when God came along, He said to him. ‘Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:20-21) Yes friends, we are in a partnership with Almighty God and partners are supposed to talk with and cooperate with each other. That means we cannot make plans without including God. 

And going back to the verses from James, the scholars tell us in vs.15: Re ‘This or that. This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James only condemns elaborate planning that omits God. (cf. Prov. 16:9)’ Now, since I delight in spoon feeding us, (smile) here is that verse from Proverbs. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Yes my people, our God is indeed sovereign over our scheming and planning. So it’s His will that usually wins out. 

And moving back once more to James, we discover that in vs. 17: ‘To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ And that’s not rocket science, but simple common sense. If you know what is right to do, and don’t do it, then you’re wrong, and it can therefore be construed as sin. And Jesus, in His telling of the parable of the unfaithful servant, (Luke 12:41-48) says as much. 

‘And that servant, which knew his lord’s (master’s) will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.’ (Luke 12:47-48) 

Oh friends, right there, Jesus is indirectly talking about us. Servants bear a great responsibility to their masters, and if Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, we as His followers, or His servants, also bear a huge responsibility to Him and His will. We need to remember that at all times. Yes, life is good, is better with Jesus than with anybody else, but that good life doesn’t come gratis or free. There is indeed a price to pay, a responsibility to be shouldered, and if we don’t shoulder our responsibilities, then there are consequences to be suffered for our irresponsibility. 

But our God is so good that He doesn’t just send us out to do His bidding without the necessary tools to accomplish it. That’s why we’ve been endowed with what we call our Thursday Blessings, tools to perform His awesome will. So, let’s activate them right now by declaring (steups!!!) them nuh. 

Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And having activated those marvellous blessings, let’s go out now and put them to use in Jesus’ name, as is our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…can you imagine the mountain of sins…we believers pile up each day…by knowing the good and right things to do…and not doing them… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​  

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 September 2022 Matthew 12:25.

Matthew 12:25.       Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

Oh friends, these last few days of September summer have been ever so glorious, beautiful sunshine with warm, shirtsleeve temps. You know we have a habit of cursing September, believing that as soon as Labour Day passes the cold spell sets in. But it hasn’t been that way this year at all. The temperature has dropped some during the night hours, but still at comfortable levels that I can leave my bedroom window open. 

Anyway, since we don’t know how much longer this good spell of weather will last, please, let’s enjoy it, make the most of it, give much thanks, especially when others are experiencing either violent floods or terrible drought. And for those unfortunate ones living in those areas, if we cannot offer physical or monetary aid, then we ought to at least offer up prayers for their welfare in their time of calamity. Remember the Good Book tells us that ‘The effectual (effective) prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16) And since we consider ourselves saints of God, children of God, then we must be righteous, and our prayers very effective. 

Ah mih people, with the surprising increase in communication technology, our world has now become more like a global village than ever. That means we have to take more notice of each other, our pains and our tears, and do much more to help one another. The small-minded, insular attitudes we have, or had when there wasn’t as much easy communication, now has to change. We need to adopt a bigger, or global vision, especially for Christ’s church, which is supposed to be one of the biggest movers and shakers all over God’s world. 

But unfortunately, we are not living up to that designation. We are still mostly concerned about, and concentrating on our own li’l insular space. But Christ desires a worldwide ministry, one of togetherness and unity, not the divided and dissension filled church that now passes for His ministry. Remember Jesus words: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ (Matt. 12:25) 

And since Jesus only spoke truth, it’s obvious that if His church is now more divided and dysfunctional than ever, it either won’t stand for long, or will not be very useful in doing His work of spreading the gospel to all ends of the earth and bringing the lost and enslaved to His welcoming kingdom. I don’t believe that there’s ever been a time like right now, when Christ’s church needs to get together more than ever. 

Unfortunately though, every day we see more drifting apart, with new denominations and sub-denominations, cults and other cliques being formed. That obviously is not good for Christ’s ministry, since it means that supposed believers cannot agree on the important aspects of their faith. But please, please, let’s remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians when he wrote to them about the unity of all believers, both Jewish and Gentile. 

‘But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (since) were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he (himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances: for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace. And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain (put to death) the enmity thereby.’ (Eph. 2:13-16) 

And the long and short of all that my brethren is that Jesus by His death on the cross, unified the Jewish and Gentile believers under one banner, the Christian Church, removing the enmity, or the middle partition that the Mosaic law the Jews wrongly felt gave them superiority over the Gentiles. So, if the enmity between Jews and Gentiles has now been dispelled, and unity achieved in one common church of Christ, then why are Gentiles splitting up like crazy eh? 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that division and/or dissension never accomplish a common purpose, which Christ’s church is supposed to have, so it’s time to stop the childish, selfish, power-seeking behaviour that’s rampant in the church right now. Time to stop the bleeding my brethren, because that same divisiveness and infighting is driving many possible believers away from Christ instead of toward Him. The simple fact of the matter is that nothing survives if it keeps on dividing and becoming smaller and less important. 

And with the myriad of problems currently engulfing our world, the one constant body throughout it all ought to be Christ’s church! That’s why He founded it! It ought to be a place of help and refuge for the lost and dispossessed, where food and succour can be found regardless of race, colour and creed. A place to provide peace and salvation when the physical wants of the body have been satisfied. But is that what the church is about these days? I don’t think so nuh…or at least not to the extent that it ought to be. 

And it’s because we are falling down in our basic responsibilities that people are not turning to Christ and His church as much as they should. There’s not enough confidence in what we’re doing, in the examples we’re setting, to draw people to Christ. And the only way that will ever change is when we believers start uniting instead of dividing, and truly start living for one and only one purpose, the glory and manifestation of Christ Jesus. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, the Lord has bestowed upon us tools to accomplish His purpose. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and we activate them by declaring (oh no!!!) them out loud. 

So as one strong, sincere and confident voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And now that we have activated those blessings, let’s go out and use them to bring others to Christ nuh, like we ought to. Much LOVE!

…united, we stand…divided, we fall…it’s as simple as that… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 September 2022 Proverbs 25:28.

Proverbs 25:28.       He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Awright my Scrip-Bit friends and families, we down to the penultimate day of the work week… But wait, is it really Thursday already? Brother, these days passing too quickly for me yes…and I don’t think I’m bearing sufficient fruit in them nuh. It’s also the 8th of September too! The month and week just began, and they are already speeding away from us. But I guess that’s just life, how the Lord designed His universe to function, and those of us who don’t keep up with nature’s momentum, are just going to be like the word that falls on barren ground…left in the dust…fruitless. (smile) 

Anyway, yesterday I did bear one good fruit, that of cleaning up a stack of papers I had sitting below my computer for ages. You know when you are a writer, or claim to be one, you always have li’l bits of paper with notes and such scribbled on them. Well, I’ve been meaning to go through that stack for a while now, but could never get around to it. Don’t go clapping yet, I have another stack on the other side to go through too. (smile) And when I finally got around to it yesterday, lo and behold I discovered this gem of a prayer that I haven’t seen for years. 

That’s one of the benefits of going through old papers; you often find marvellous stuff in them. Now I must have shared this prayer before, because it’s too nice and too appropriate a prayer for me not to have shared, and I guess that’s why it’s been amongst those bits of papers, waiting to be shared again. (smile) It was apparently published in 2015 in a post named ‘Mary’s Musings – Life and times of a small town Nana.’ And is it ever appropriately titled – ‘A Prayer for Later Years.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord, thou knowest that I am growing older. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and particularly keep me from falling into the tiresome habit of expressing an opinion on every subject. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details. Give me wings too to get to the point. Give me the grace, dear Lord, to listen to others describe their aches and pains. Help me to endure the boredom with patience and keep my lips sealed, for my own aches and pains are increasing in number and intensity, and the pleasure of discussing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. 

Teach me the glorious lesson that, occasionally, I might be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not wish to be a saint (saints are so hard to live with), but a sour old person is the work of the devil. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not pushy; independent; yet able to accept with graciousness favours that others wish to bestow on me. Free me of the notion that simply because I have lived a long time, I am wiser than those who have not lived so long –(although it’s often true- my addition). 

If I do not approve of some of the changes that have taken place in recent years, give me the wisdom to keep my mouth shut. Lord knows that when the end comes, I would like to have a friend or two left. The author is unknown but I wish I had written it. I think it is appropriate for those of us of a “certain age.”  

And is it ever my brethren! Yuh know the older you get, the more you believe you have the freedom and the right to do and say as you please. (smile) You believe you have earned that liberty simply by living a long time and seeing many changes. But even when we’re old, we still need to somewhat curtail our mouths and tongues, and not give free reign to every thought that comes into our often forgetful minds. 

But yuh know what, that prayer isn’t only appropriate for old folks, but also for young ones…possibly even more so, as the young uns nowadays just like to talk and carry on about stuff they know nothing about. In our days it was, don’t speak until you’re spoken to, and then with as few words as possible. But today, with the lack of manners taught to this generation by we the parents – yes some of the blame must fall on our shoulders – and with the introduction of the internet and social media, the freedom to open our yaps, and anonymously too, is driving our society into the barren ground of chaos and upheaval. 

And what does it all mean eh? I guess that in today’s busy and crazy world, the fruit of the Spirit termed self-control is sadly lacking. And what is self-control? One writer describes it thus: ‘Self-control (“temperance” in the KJV) is, of course, the ability to control oneself. It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our baser desires and fleshly lusts.’ And is our fleshly lusts and baser instincts ever getting away with the proverbial act of murder nowadays! 

Why is that eh? Because too many believers are still dallying with stuff that drives them to sin. And yes, self-control ought to help us avoid them, but oftentimes, the only way to overcome some of those bad habits is to stay completely away from the things that cause them. And there are several scriptures that talk about self-control, like this famous one from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For the Lord hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

That means we have the Spirit of self-control. But why put ourselves unnecessarily in places where we have to use it to a great extent, when we can simply avoid some of those places eh? Cousin Sol also had a lot to say on the subject. Check out these two verses. ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov. 16:32) And the other verse says: ‘He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.’ (Prov. 25:28). 

Yuh see friends, how important self-control is! If you don’t have it, you’re like a defenseless city, open to the invasion of sin. But when you have it…oh…you’re better than the strong man and the conqueror of cities! Wow! And unfortunately, self-control is one of our world’s biggest problems, driving all sorts of strife, evil and ungodly doings. But thankfully, our great and wonderful God has given us tools to handle any situation we encounter, including what we call our Thursday Blessings. So please, declare them with me now, so that we can activate them and get ourselves straightened out. 

As one strong and confident voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Oh my fellow saints, with all those tools in our toolbox, there’s nothing that we can’t handle, especially with God’s added help. So please let’s get out into the world and do our best to spread His gospel nuh, bring good news and glad tidings to the downtrodden and oppressed, so that they too can join His merry band of followers. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…if you can’t handle the heat…then stay out of the kitchen… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​             

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 September 2022 Proverbs 6:4.

Proverbs 6:4.       Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

And it’s the first of September, meaning, soon back to school and back to work from the summer vacation, as well as the beginning of the cooler weather, with ever fewer trips to the cottage for the weekend breaks. We have to start thinking of and preparing for the cold and dreary winter months ahead. It’s a pain in the rear end for us all, and does cut down some on our enthusiasm, but that’s just the way it is if you live in the northern climes. (smile) 

Consequently, we need to have strong shoulders with a good head on them, one that plans with God’s help, doing whatever needs to be done. As Cousin Sol so wisely warns of idleness and falsehood in Proverbs 6, where he solemnly advises: ‘Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe (gazelle) from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler (bird trapper).’ (Prov. 6:4-5) 

Yes friends, we need to be very wise and careful in our dealings with the world, especially in these very fraudulent, culpable and ever so dangerous times. We can’t waste time in sleeping or idleness, because the world will either pass us by or snap us up in its devilish and ungodly schemes. We must do as the old people say, make hay when it shines. Or as Cousin Sol continues: ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide (leader), overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (food) in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.’ (Prov. 6:6-8) 

Ah mih people, for the many sluggards, the habitually lazy persons in our society, the ant teaches us two very important lessons. Firstly, it doesn’t have a leader or taskmaster, but it goes out and does what needs to be done to secure its livelihood. And secondly, it’s wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances like an upcoming winter season, where it goes out and collects food during the summer and stores it for the lean and cold winter months. That means the ant is a self-starter, it doesn’t need anyone or anything to be continually prodding it to work, especially on its own behalf. 

I wish the same could be said for many of us in this entitled society in which we now live. And that’s why these following verses are ever so important in these trying times. Cousin Sol first ponders the question: ‘How long wilt thou sleep (do nothing), O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep (start doing something constructive)?’ Then he provides the answer. ‘Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth (a prowler), and thy want (need) as an armed man.’ (Prov. 6:9-11) 

Now that’s wisdom we should all pay attention to, for constant laziness, or too much sleep, without productive living is anathema, an abomination to the human soul. Why? Because it eventually brings dire poverty, with little or no warning, like a robber who suddenly shows up unexpectedly and robs you of all your belongings. 

And sadly, there are too many people, especially of the upcoming generation, living like that nowadays. They possess no work ethic, no self-discipline or self-control, they just know that they want as much of the currently in-things as possible but refuse to put in a fair day’s labour to achieve them, ofttimes thinking that they are entitled to whatever they desire. And a lot of the blame for that mentality must be laid right at the feet of the parents. For our generation figured that because we had it somewhat rough, our children must have it easy. 

But the truth of the matter is that having life easy only breeds laziness, dissatisfaction and entitlement. The only thing that breeds wisdom and common sense is some difficulty in our lives. That’s what made us, the parents strong; we didn’t have everything handed to us on a silver platter, we didn’t have as many amenities as we now have, which breeds laziness, especially in those unaccustomed to anything else. Many of us grew up with very little, but that’s what made us the strong people that we turned out to be! 

And in the comparison of the wise and foolish, Cousin Sol continues the advice. ‘He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack (negligent) hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in the harvest is a son that causeth shame.’ (Prov. 10:4-5) 

There’s no getting away from it friends, an unproductive life will leave us poor as the proverbial church mouse. (smile) And if you consider yourself, or claim to be a follower of Christ Jesus, then slackness, negligence, too much sleep and laziness cannot be numbered amongst your traits, because Jesus demands excellence, diligence and productivity from His followers. 

Remember what He said to the disciples? ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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 15:4-5) 

That says it all my fellow believers! Without Christ as the leading light of our lives we are unable to do much of anything. But with Him, running the show…oh my brethren, we can do amazing things; things we can’t even ask or imagine, like bringing forth a hundredfold of fruit! (smile) And our God is so wonderful that He’s bestowed awesome blessings on us, blessings we certainly don’t deserve but are necessary to help us do His earthly work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. 

So, let’s declare them now nuh, so they can take a hold of our souls and spirits and raise them to higher levels. Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

Now, with those blessings under our belts, let’s get out there and use them in Christ’s name, being diligent, excellent, fruit-bearing examples of His amazing LOVE, grace and mercy. Much LOVE!

…laziness will get us nowhere…but hellfire, death and damnation… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 August 2022   Psalm 4:8.

Psalm 4:8.        I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety.

And as we come to Thursday, the penultimate day in the work week, many of us are feeling a sense of anticipatory relief quietly washing over us as Friday and the weekend draw near. However, our sense of anticipatory relief should not be emanating from the nearness of the weekend or any man-made factor, but from our nearness to Jehovah God; the personal intimacy we share with the Creator of the universe and all therein, which includes our frail and fragile bodies and souls. 

For ONLY He can give us sincere, rock-solid promises and security when life doesn’t go the way we desire. ONLY our great God can assure us of His peace, mercy, grace and salvation when things go wrong and the darkness and the evil of this ungodly world clouds our very lives. And yuh know what friends? There is so much evil and darkness in our world right now, that at some stage and time of our lives, some of that pervasive negative influence will automatically invade our lives, at least for a short season. 

And if we don’t know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, it will be nigh impossible to get rid of it, once its evil, ungodly, octopus-like tentacles get a foothold in our souls and bodies. But when we know Jesus as Lord and Saviour… Oh then… ‘Beautiful Things Happen!’ Yes, they do my brethren, as this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin ascertains. So please read it with me, with a sense of anticipatory relief. (smile) 

‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet you day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed By changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To your whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Wow mih people! That is the God awesome truth! Our great and wonderful God can do so much more for us in one day than we can ever do for ourselves in an entire lifetime! But we have to believe, to buy into Him and His Word with the utmost confidence. We must be filled to the brim with the hope and faith that He is able to do all that He promises. That’s the only way to enjoy the marvellous wonders of a personal intimacy with Him. 

And I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to believe that our Heavenly Father, our Creator LOVES us and only desires the best for us nuh, when He sent His ONLY son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross of Calvary so that our sins could be forgiven and we could get back into His good graces. The Good Book says it so clearly and beautifully: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Yes friends, why would anybody, man or God, allow their only child to die for a bunch of sinful ingrates eh, unless they had a real true and genuine LOVE and compassion for them? 

And Jesus Himself said it to the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) And that’s exactly what He went out and did; laid down His life for us, so that we could obtain forgiveness, be reconciled to the Father, and have salvation and eternal life through His substitutionary death. 

So please, let’s forget this foolishness that God doesn’t LOVE us, and remember instead that He is our Sovereign Lord, as well as our Father, and just like we don’t take nonsense from our children, He doesn’t take nonsense from us. And just like we provide rules and regulations for our children to follow, likewise, there are rules and regulations we need to follow if we want to end up in His fold. And just like we punish our children when they don’t toe the line, so He punishes us when we move away from the straight and narrow path. 

But the one big difference between us and our heavenly Father is that He NEVER puts us out of His fold, NEVER asks us to leave when we misbehave to the point where He can’t take it anymore. That’s because He is long-suffering, LOVING and compassionate, while we human parents have a finite amount of patience and LOVE, and when we reach that point, we ask our children to leave our homes, and ofttimes have nothing more to do with them, unless they come up to our levels of responsibility. 

But our heavenly Father doesn’t do that. When we succumb to the evil and darkness of this world, that’s when He gets down and dirty and comes seeking us with a passion that can never be matched by a human parent, and He sticks with us through all the dark and tough times and helps us to renew our strength and confidence. The evil enemy Satan doesn’t do that, because he has no LOVE for us. He just wants to drag us as deep as possible into the mire in which he’s immersed. The deeper we sink, the more he gloats. 

And I’m chuckling here, because in my passion to prove that God LOVES us, it seems like I’ve completely forgotten about our poem, and the Bible Verses on which it was based. But that’s how it is when the goodness and grace of God gets into your spirit. And that’s exactly what our poem is saying; although life can be rough and tough, walking with Jehovah God is so wonderful, so mind boggling, so unexpectedly different, that at any moment anything can happen, a new adventure could just rise up unexpectedly and carry you away to a land of bliss you’ve never known or even expected. 

And finally, (smile) here are the Bible verses on which the poem is based. None other than the last two verses of Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. Please read and inwardly digest with me, these wonderful words of Bruh David. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety.’ (Ps. 4:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is that eh! When we sincerely have Christ in our lives, then our hearts are filled with gladness, and we can lie down and sleep in peace despite all the troubles around us! Now it just doesn’t happen overnight, or with no effort on our part, but the Lord is such a good God that He bestows benefits and blessings on us that we don’t truly deserve, but which enable us to do His earthly work, to be good ambassadors on his behalf. We call them our Thursday Blessings, which we need to say out loud for them to be activated. 

So, let’s do that right now nuh. In strong and confident voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go out and use those magnificent blessings to help others come to Christ. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…LOVE never fails…LOVE never gives up…LOVE is the be all and end all… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 August 2022   Psalm 147:5.

Psalm 147:5.      Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (cannot be measured).

And the week keeps moving right along to this new and sparkling day of Thursday, where all God’s mercies and compassions are also new. Yes friends, it’s a new batch of those wonderful things that our great and merciful God has brewed up afresh this Thursday morning, since we’ve either used up yesterday’s batch, or He just doesn’t like to use leftovers on a new day. (smile) But whatever the reason, we ought to give Him much thanks and praise for being the awesome God He is! A God of LOVE, Mercy, Forgiveness, Grace, Justice and Righteousness, Salvation and Eternal Life, all in one! 

Yes! As the psalmist so rightly declares: ‘Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (cannot be measured).’ (Ps. 147:5) And I’m chuckling here because that was not what I meant to write, but once I got into the description of our marvellous God, I just got caught up and lost in it! Oh, it’s so easy to do that when you truly appreciate your Creator and the Provider of your livelihood. 

Anyway, what I had intended to say was something like this. Have you ever noticed that despite all the happenings in our world and in in our individual lives, the forces of nature never stop carrying out their jobs, they never change from one path to the other? The days keep moving on, the birds keep singing, the flowers keep growing as the bees keep buzzing around them, seasons change from summer to winter and back again, the sun rises in the day and the moon at night, with no interruptions, regardless of the wars, strife, hatred and enormous evil that fills the world. 

That can also be attributed to the amazing power of our God, for His creation of the universe with its beauty and continuity, and oh so intricate workings, still leaves us awe stricken when we truly consider it. That’s also why the psalmist proclaimed that all creation ought to praise Almighty God. So please read with me, these beautiful words from the opening verses of Psalm 148, a psalm of universal praise. 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him from the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise ye him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps. 148:1-5) 

That’s what I’m talking about my people; the mighty power and awesome creativity of our magnificent God. He simply commanded all those things to be made and put in place…and they were! And what I truly like is the following verse, where the psalmist proclaims: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.’ (Ps. 148:6) Glory be my faithful brethren! The Lord’s made a decree that will never pass! Wow! Can any other supposed god or idol do that? No way Jose! 

But the psalmist doesn’t stop there, for there are more things than the heavenly beings and bodies to praise the Lord. So, let’s continue reading: ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures) and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour: stormy wind fulfilling his word. Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:’ (Ps. 148: 7-10) Yes, friends, the psalmist then turns there to the things of the earth; even Mother Nature ought to praise the Lord because she is so wonderfully made! 

And no, he hasn’t forgotten God’s greatest creation; mankind, the only thing He didn’t speak into existence but actually made with His two hands! So let’s continue reading. ‘Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven.’ (Ps. 148:11-13) 

Now we getting down to brass tacks mih bredrin! The Lord God Almighty deserves the praise of all His creation, especially mankind, whom He’s made in His own image, and gave His breath of life, His Holy Spirit to aid us in living a good and abundant life on His marvellous earth. That’s why the psalmist concludes the psalm with these telling words. ‘He also exalteth the horn (strength, dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 148:14) 

Now do we still need encouragement to praise our great God? We shouldn’t after reading of all His mighty works and experiencing His LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, grace, compassion and salvation. But we’re such a disobedient, stubborn and prideful human animal that we take pleasure in using our free will to thwart the Lord’s desires for us. But yuh know what friends, the joke is really on us yes, because we’re not doing the Lord anything by being disobedient and intractable, we’re only harming ourselves. 

Think about it nuh! The Lord is sitting on His fine throne in His marvellous heaven, enjoying life, while we are down here struggling with sin and evil, the punching bag of the enemy, stubbornly refusing God’s LOVING advances, filled with all sorts of good things to make this life and the other more wonderful than we can even imagine. Nothing we do will affect God’s good living, except possibly break His heart for the umpteenth time by stubbornly and foolishly refusing His wonderful gift of salvation and eternal life. 

So, who’s the loser in this whole scenario eh? Definitely not God, the Creator…but we foolish human beings, the created! But thankfully our God is so good, and a handful of us are wise enough to accept His marvellous offer. That’s why, to do His earthly work, He’s bestowed so many undeserved blessings on us. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and it’s time for us to declare them so that they can be activated and show out in our lives. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s go out now and use those blessings to encourage others to come to Christ in all sincerity and truth. Much LOVE!

…let everything that has breath praise the Lord…and even those that don’t have breath…let them also praise Him…for He rightfully deserves the praise… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 August 2022   James 2:18.

James 2:18.      …show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

Well, we on the homestretch now friends; it’s Thursday and we counting down to that day we all so look forward to, Friday and the exciting possibilities of the weekend. But we have to get through Thursday before we ever arrive at Friday, so let’s just concentrate on doing that nuh, and let the chips fall wherever they please when Friday comes. As Jesus so wisely said: ‘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. 6:34) 

Ah mih bredrin, unfortunately though many of us worry about what will happen tomorrow and thus don’t pay sufficient attention to today. We don’t live a full life on the present day because our thoughts are slanted too much to tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. But yuh know what, some wise person once said, ‘tomorrow never comes.’ And that’s the indisputable truth, for when the day we call tomorrow comes, it comes as today. So, in actual fact, we never live the tomorrows we dream of, it’s always the todays. (smile) 

And the scholars offer this very perceptive explanation. They say: ‘When our priority is spiritual, that’s “seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” 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.’ 

Yes friends, when we think too much about what might happen tomorrow, we are not able to give enough attention to the things that are happening today. And if you’ve ever sat down and contemplated the number of times those troubles you expect to happen tomorrow actually take place, I’m sure you’ve noticed that they are certainly not as many as we expected. 

So a lot of the stuff we’re concerning ourselves about is merely our projection, our anxiety and worry, and Jesus has already commanded us not to fear or worry. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Then, later on He reiterated the very same sentiments. ‘’These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if we are true followers of Christ then we ought to listen to and believe what He tells us, because He only speaks truth. But too often in this confused and evil world, we allow the enemy to deceive us into thinking that things are so bad that we cannot handle them, or they will never get good and all our fears will come to pass. However, the truth is that as a believer in Christ we can handle ANYTHING that comes against us! For Jesus has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and also that we can do anything through Him, because He strengthens us to accomplish His will! 

But we must truly believe all of that stuff and then put it into action into our lives, otherwise it’s of no real use. We’re talking here about faith in action! And that’s really the only kind of faith there is! You can talk all the talk you want and don’t engage your talk, then it’s not faith. As James, Jesus’ brother so correctly points out. ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2: 17-18) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, we must remember that Christianity is simply faith in action! It’s more of a doing, a helping and caring rather than talking concept. Note how Jesus got up every day and went out and did stuff; helped people, healed the sick and suffering, and generally spread His LOVE around to those who needed and wanted it. But He was always doing or going somewhere to do something, except when He was teaching. And remember Jesus also told us that if we had even a li’l bit of faith as a mustard seed, that we could move mountains. (Matt. 17:20) 

But we first have to believe it, then put it into action. And that’s where our Christian faith is falling down. There is not enough action on our part in our society. I’m sure you’re seeing how the evil doers, the iniquity workers are doing their best to control the world, while too many of us supposed believers are merely sitting on the sidelines, scared, or just not interested enough to make a positive difference. But we spout a whole lot of foolishness about being Christians. Steups! 

We clap and shout and sing ‘Praise the Lord’ in church, but outside of the church in the rough and tough places where we’re desperately needed, we’re nowhere to be found. Read the Good Book friends. Jesus didn’t just sit around talking, He was out there in all the places where the hypocrite Pharisees thought He shouldn’t be. But that’s because He came to save the lost, the sick and suffering, not the righteous. And you can’t save people unless you go where they are or have them come to you. 

And that’s exactly what He did, and what He expects of us, His supposed ambassadors down here on earth. And why do you think He was so generous to give us what we call our Thursday Blessings eh? Because we deserved them? Obviously not, but that we could use them to do His work, to help others, teach them of His grace, goodness and mercy, so that they too could come to Him, like we did, and find salvation and relief for their souls. 

So, right now, let’s activate those blessings by declaring (yesss!!!) them out loud. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

Now, it’s our bounden duty to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as Christ shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…Christians need to stop talking so much faith…and instead…begin doing plenty more faith… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 August 2022 Jeremiah 33:3.

Jeremiah 33:3. Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee mighty (inaccessible) things, which thou knowest not.

And we’re moving right along, no haste, no hurry, but just a steady pace of life and times, as Thursday opens somewhat cloudy. But I have a question for the weather people. What ever happened to the rainstorm we were expected to get last night eh? My computer was pointedly telling me ‘Rain coming.’ In the early evening hours the skies became black like tar, and you’d believe that the whole sky was going to open up and drench and/or drown us with heavenly blessings. But all we got was a mere sprinkle, a dusting of rain, so to speak. 

And this morning, it’s again cloudy out there, with what’s going to happen, no one seems to know. Some other area must have gotten a good downpour, but we certainly didn’t Meanwhile, the earth, the flowers, the trees, and the animals, in other words, Mother Nature is crying out for thirst.

 But my theory on the subject is that the strong winds we’ve recently been experiencing, are blowing away the rain clouds. Yes, we now have stronger than normal winds regularly blowing in our area. And I’m chuckling here because when that happens, I invariably tell the duchess that the wind’s going to blow away the rain. She laughs at me, but I usually turn out to be right. (smile) 

That brings us to these marvellous words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah on the Lord’s behalf, when He promised a glorious return from captivity to His people Israel. The Lord spoke thus: ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee mighty (inaccessible) things, which thou knowest not.’ (Jer. 33:3) 

Now why was that necessary eh? Because Judah had turned away from the Lord God of their forefathers and adopted the paganistic culture of their neighbours and thus He allowed them to be taken into captivity in Babylon. Consequently, God had stopped hearing their pleas for mercy from their captivity in a foreign land. 

Yes friends, when we’ve broken our covenant with the Lord, He stops hearing our requests. As the psalmist so rightly points out: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps. 66:18) And the scholars tell us that ‘Where there is godless living (Is. 56:11-12), lack of concern for others in their need (Is. 58:6-9) where the characteristics of true religion are explained, carelessness with regard to the clear instruction of the Word of God (35:17),’ then, ‘God cannot honour the one who prays; rather, such a one stands in danger of divine judgement (Zech. 7:8-14).’ 

That’s where the prophet Zechariah talks about the disobedience that led to their captivity. And yuh know what my brethren, those are the very same things that we are guilty of in these supposed modern times. We’ve turned away from God, not doing the things found in His Word, not taking care of each other, being godless and greedy, thus He’s stopped hearing our maudlin, self-pitying and insincere prayers, and allowed us to live on our own, as we so desperately wanted. 

Now look at the results of that foolish decision. Our world is full of strife, war, anger and hatred. Peace, LOVE and righteousness have fled away! Is that the way we truly want to live my people? I very much doubt it. But that means sincerely turning back to God, our Creator and Provider. And why is that? Because as the scholars tell us: ‘Where intimacy of communion exists with God, He answers the call of His own. See Job 13:22; 14:14; Psalms 22:24-25; 91:15; 102:1; Is. 58:9; 65:24).’ 

And yuh know what? All those verses speak about calling on the Lord for help in times of trouble. They tell us that He is the only true help we have in this mish-mash world. So, my fellow saints in Christ, the only way to reverse some of the many problems we are now experiencing is to get back into intimate communion with our heavenly Father. 

And the only way to do that is like Isaiah says: ‘Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke (of sin and godlessness), the putting forth (pointing) of the finger, and speaking vanity (wickedness). And if thou draw out (extend) thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity (darkness), and thy darkness (gloom), be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (dry places), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.’ (Is. 58:9-11) 

Wow friends, that’s what comes to us when we practice true religion and true intimacy with God! And isn’t it certainly much better than what we’re currently experiencing? Of course! So why are we so foolish, stubborn, pig headed and unwilling to turn back to the God of our forefathers eh? I really don’t know nuh. Is it because the push and pull of Satan and his iniquity workers is so strong that we can’t escape its grasp? I certainly hope not, otherwise crapaud smoke we pipe! 

Oh my people, please remember that our God is stronger than the powerless, deceitful devil, so if we truly want to escape him, we can do it with God’s help. So please, let’s stop making silly, childlike, selfish excuses for the way we are living nuh. And instead try to turn back to a way of life, where, as the Lord promised through Isaiah: ‘And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.’ (Is. 65:24) 

Now isn’t that a most wonderful way to live; getting answers before we even call and hearing us while we are yet speaking? It certainly is! And we can return our lives to that glorious time if we sincerely and diligently use the many undeserved blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. And what blessings are those you ask? We call them our Thursday Blessings, and we’ll activate them right now by declaring (steups!!!) them out loud. 

As one strong voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And now, as true believers in, and workers for Christ, we need to go out and use those blessings to encourage others to come to Him, so they can receive His awesome gifts of LOVE, mercy, grace, salvation and eternal life! Much LOVE!

…we obviously can’t handle our own affairs…so why not try the other option available…that’s living for Almighty God 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​           

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 July 2022 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.      I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day in our workweek, but around here in the Greater Toronto area, not many people are thinking of work, but of the upcoming Caribana weekend and the Simcoe holiday on Monday. Yes friends, this is T.O’s big weekend, where it’s parties galore and the big street parade on Saturday. Oh, sorry, I believe I called the celebration by the wrong name. It’s now something like Toronto Caribbean Carnival, or some such moniker, because of the legal dispute over the ownership of the ‘Caribana’ name. But call it what they will, it will always be popularly known as ‘Caribana.’ End of story! (smile) 

Now, today we are going to consider an interesting writing from our One Year Book of Bible Promises authored by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘It Takes a Lifetime.’ Please read with me. ‘How I LOVE the words of the apostle Paul. ‘I don’t mean to say…that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 

No, dear brothers and sisters. I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.’ (And it’s noted there that that passage comes from the New Living Translation of Phil. 3:12-14.) 

But then the writing continues: ‘What tremendous encouragement! Paul, who knew Jesus Christ so intimately, whose consuming desire was to please Him, who endured illness, imprisonment, shipwreck, beatings, mockery, and heartache all for the sake of Christ – this very same Paul confessed he hadn’t “arrived.” God was still growing him! I see again, while my conversion took but a moment, my growth takes an entire lifetime. In God’s great wisdom and knowledge He anticipates the finished product while He LOVINGLY takes me through the long, long process.’ 

And is that ever the glorious though difficult truth my fellow believers! It certainly is! Yes, coming to Christ takes but a moment, but becoming like Christ takes an entire lifetime because it is not an easy process. And that is what a lot of us don’t seem to understand. God’s eventual purpose is to make us all over in the image of Christ, as the Good Book says: ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) 

And to be made over into anything at all doesn’t happen overnight, and to be made like Christ…brother! That will obviously take ages! And, as the writing intimates, if Bruh Paul was so closely involved with Christ, knew Him so intimately and still didn’t consider himself ‘arrived,’ then it’s obvious that those of us who are not as intimate still have a long way to go. As Bruh Paul says in 2 Corinthians. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (that of Christ) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

Yes, it’s the Lord’s Spirit that transforms us into Christ’s likeness from glory to glory or step by step, not all at once. And Bruh Paul assures us earlier on in his missive to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (complete it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh isn’t that wonderful to know my brethren! God will not stop transforming us into the image of His Son, until his Son comes back to take over His kingdom! Glory Hallelujah! 

That’s why these words of Bruh Paul are so important. And we’ll read them in the more powerful King James version. (smile) ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (arrived): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

And all of that simply means that he has given up all his earlier accolades, like his great education and position as a powerful Pharisee, in his determined pursuit to know the risen Christ. As he also said earlier on the same letter: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ….and do count them but dung (rubbish) that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) So knowing and winning Christ, and the divine prize, that’s ‘the joyful and personal satisfaction of having attained it,’ is all that he was then focused on. 

And it’s all that we should also be focused on, truly knowing Christ should be our life’s goal. So much so that when we come to the end of this earthly stage of life, we can say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto them also that LOVE his appearing (eagerly await His second coming).’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now that’s what we ought to be working towards! And let’s hope that those scriptures we’ve considered this morning will light, or relight the flame in our souls and spirits for Christ, so that we can sincerely put our best foot forward and do His divine bidding with excellence, diligence and a true sense of purpose. And to help us do that, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us to enable us to do our earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And having activated those blessings by declaring (steups!!!) them aloud, we must now go out and generously use them in winning souls for Christ! Much LOVE!

…we can’t sincerely press toward the heavenly prize…unless the flame of Christ burns brightly in us… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 July 2022 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.      Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 

So it’s Thursday now…one of those days in the life when things seem all topsy-turvy. First of all, I got up later than usual, only to further find that a couple things I thought I had done, successfully yesterday were actually unsuccessful, so I have to go and do them over again today. It’s frustrating to say the least. And now I’ve got to put that aside and get my head around to writing the Bit. 

But I’m not really worried, just a tad concerned, (smile) because I know in my weakness the Lord will help me, especially since it’s His work I’m trying to do. He’s promised never to leave nor forsake me, and to strengthen me through His most awesome Son Christ Jesus, so that I can do all things that need to be done. Therefore, I ask myself? ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.’ (Ps. 42:11) 

Glory be my people! That’s the beauty of scripture: we can always find a word to uplift our spirits regardless of what we’re going through. The problem though is that we need to seek it out. Sometimes, if we know enough scripture, it might come to us, but generally speaking we need to actually dive into the Good Book and find the right antidote for whatever ails us. That’s what I just did. I didn’t know what I needed, but knew that I needed something to refresh my fallen spirit. The search wasn’t long, but I did have to look for it. And that’s what so many of us refuse to do, actively look for the Lord and His redeeming power. 

Remember the words the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah? ‘And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:13) Yes, friends, we need to actively seek the Lord if we truly want to find Him and His restoration. It reminds us that Christianity is an active faith, one of plenty action, not mere talk. And Jesus himself encouraged us to stay active, to stay persevering in prayer, when He declared (chuh!!!): 

‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?’ (Matt. 7:7-11) 

Oh my people, Jesus could not make it any clearer than that! But for our benefit, the scholars try to do so. (smile) They say: ‘Jesus illustrated His point by comparing the willingness of a human father to give his child a gift, with our heavenly Father who will gladly give us what we need. The term evil (vs. 11) is used here of man’s sinful nature. Even sinful men are kind to their children; therefore, how much more shall your heavenly Father delight to answer your prayers.’  

However, the scholars also say, that though ‘Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God… It is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin. (1 Sam.12:23)’ And I do hope that all of that ramps up the importance of prayer in our individual and corporate lives, for without prayer we’re nothing, our communication with our heavenly Father will be non-existent. 

Now, let me spoon feed us with that verse above from 1 Samuel that indicates that not praying is sin. Samuel was appealing to his people Israel to serve God and be His people, when he said: ‘Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.’ (1 Sam. 12:23) In other words, Samuel would not give up the fight to teach Israel the right way. He would consistently do his divine duty. 

And so should we all today my faithful brethren. It’s our bounden duty to do right and to teach those around us what is right. Unfortunately, we are not doing such a good job of it, that’s why there’s so much evil and evildoing in our world. And though we are doing some praying, I guess we might not be praying for the right things as James, Jesus’ brother says in his epistle. 

‘From when come wars and fightings (conflicts) among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts (desires for pleasure) that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (desires of pleasure). ‘ (James 4:1-3) 

Yes friends, a lot of what we ask for is not in God’s will for us. Our prayers are often pleasure driven not God centred. And thus, as the scholars point out. ‘James emphasizes the strife so common among his readers, stemming from their unsatisfied, selfish, desires. Instead of wrestling with God in prayer, these believers are striving with one another.’ And sadly, nothing has changed today, for instead of going to God in prayer we are still striving with each other over selfish and sinful desires. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

But thankfully, some of us, though certainly not enough, have decided to stick with the Lord through thick and thin, and thus He has bestowed on us several blessings to enable us to do His earthly work. So, let’s activate what we term our Thursday Blessings right now nuh, that we can be refreshed and maintain our sincere witness for Christ. 

As one voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, let’s get out into the evil world and use those heavenly blessings to raise up the name of Christ in all the earth, as He expects us to do! Much LOVE!

…it’s okay to ask…but we must ask for the right things… 

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