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 20 August 2020 Nehemiah 9:3.

Nehemiah 9:3.     ​And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.

Come on friends, it’s Thursday, so let’s rejoice! Let’s rejoice that it’s Thursday nuh! And some foolish person asks: ‘Why rejoice because it’s Thursday eh? Now if it was Friday…then I could understand the rejoicing.’ And somebody answered: ‘Fool! You rejoicing that’s it’s Thursday because you’re alive and kicking on this Thursday morning! You need to rejoice everyday that yuh alive! And furthermore, if you don’t rejoice today, Thursday, who knows if you’re going to be around to see Friday so you could rejoice then eh?’ 

Ah mih people, yuh know what I’ve discovered? That the older you get, the more you become interested in life, that’s real life, not the ‘flittery’, glittery, insubstantial thing the world terms life. But stuff like the true meaning of life, why were we put here on this planet at this particular time, and not some other time? Why nature could be so wonderful at one moment then natural disaster strikes without warning? 

What is mankind really about, why the old people told us about the birds and bees, or the stork bringing life? What happens before and after our earthly journey? Why does strife seem to be an essential part of our evolution? There’s been possibly more years of strife in our world than those of relative peace. I heard somebody say once that the only years when there wasn’t strife on earth was the thirty three years that Christ lived here. Now isn’t that remarkable, if it’s really true? 

And by now some of you must be wondering where I’m going with all this? Well the truth is, I don’t know!  For all I know, they might just be the ramblings of a confused elderly man. Please note that I didn’t say old, but elderly. (smile) That’s because I don’t consider myself old, just getting on in age… 

Oh praise the Lord! I believe I was just shown where I was going with all of that rambling. To the writings of Nehemiah after they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and listened to the law of the Lord being read to them and were so taken with it, that they fasted and repented. Hn! 

The Good Book puts it thus: ‘Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them (dust on their heads). And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers (foreigners), and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.’ (Neh. 9:1-3) 

Yeh friends, as the scholars explain: ‘9:3. One fourth part of the day was three daylight hours, when God’s Word was read publicly, following which the people joined in a great confession of sin led by the Levites (vs. 5-37).’ Oh my people, what a marvellous day that was in old Israel: reading God’s Word publicly for three hours then confessing their sin publicly for another three hours and making a covenant with the Lord at the end. ‘And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.’ (Neh. 9:38) 

Mama Mia! I wonder if we could have something like that in these desperate times eh? Not likely because of the current laws against such large gatherings. But it sure would serve a great and useful purpose if we could have what we use to call revivals…and do we ever need them in this difficult season! But people have hardened their hearts and are afraid, panicked by too many different opinions and supposed facts which don’t seem to add up. And above all, we have turned away from the God of our forefathers on too much of a large scale. 

With God no longer in schools, public places and many homes, and with false teachers in churches teaching all sorts of nonsense, but the real truth of the Word, the reassurance and confidence needed to undergo the trials and tribulations of these times is sadly lacking in our society. Yeh mih bredrin, Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy have certainly come true in our time. Talking about the preachers he says: ‘Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:5) That’s those who have mere religion without the power, without a true spiritual life. Teaching what people want to hear, a feel-good religion without any real substance. 

And yes friends, it looks much worse on us than it did on Israel back then? Why? Because many of them were just coming back from a 70-year exile in Babylon and had never heard the word of Moses read, so it was completely new to them. But we already have a covenant; one with Jesus Christ, and a better one then they had, but we have chosen to break it, to forsake the benefits it offers because we refuse to do the obedience it calls for. 

And the truth of the matter is all the people of Israel did that day was to remember the good and wonderful things that the Lord did for their forefathers and give Him thanks and praise for not destroying them completely. This verse says it all. ‘Nevertheless for thy great mercies sake (in thy great mercy) thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.’ (Neh. 9:31) 

Now many of us have experienced God’s mercies and goodness throughout our lives, but when the hard times come, we forget what He’s already done for us. That’s foolish my people. That’s when we ought to remember how He’s brought us through all the storms and trials and be reassured that if He’s done it before, He can and will do it again. Now I don’t know if sackcloth and ashes or dust are necessary, but I’m sure that fasting and sincere repentance and remembrance of God’s forgotten mercies would help us get through these pandemic and strife-filled times. Why don’t we try them eh? We’d be surprised at their efficacy. (smile) 

Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings that have been generously bestowed on us to do the Lord’s work down here on earth. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

What we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, as Jesus desires! Much LOVE!

…to survive trials…count your blessings…remember what the Lord has done…