Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2020 Psalm 107:6.

Psalm 107:6.    Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
 
So it’s a new day…in a new week, and the war continues between the Coronavirus and mankind. And sadly, right now the virus seems to be holding the upper hand because mankind never expected this war, and thus were not prepared for it. But there’s one thing I know, that Jehovah God made His greatest creation strong, tough and resilient, with the attitude of never giving up, of being able to rebound even from a fight which they never expected and thus were ill prepared for. Thus I can safely say that though the virus is winning the battle right now, it WILL NOT, I repeat, it WILL NOT win the overall war! 

And why is that? Because with God’s help, we WILL produce an antidote for it, and we WILL be the eventual winners, although by then, our world might have been severely ravaged by the enemy virus!  But undoubtedly, then we will rebuild and come back even stronger than we were before, having learned valuable lessons from this lack of foresight. Yes friends, that’s the belief we Christians need to foster in these sad and trying times, for despite all our difficulties, as believers, we must always remain hopeful and faithful. 

That’s because we have been made in the spiritual image of the Most High God Jehovah, and have not been imbued with a spirit of fear, but one of mighty courage through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the unmatchable attribute of LOVE, plus a sound and disciplined mind. Consequently, we won’t run from any fight, because we have all the tools to win any battle… with the Lord on our side. For remember the battle is the Lord’s, the eventual outcome is always in His hands. But with the very sinful and disobedient state of our current world, it is difficult to picture the Lord being on our side right now. 

Oh yes, He still LOVES us, that won’t ever change, but fighting for us in this our time of serious need is another matter. But my people, we have so many examples of Israel’s disobedience and subsequent punishment, then eventual repentance and return to God’s favour and grace that I strongly suggest right now is such a time for us. Oh my faithful brethren, if this isn’t the time for serious repentance, I don’t know when it will ever come nuh. Right now, we’re like the Israelites, wandering aimlessly in the desert. 

As the psalmist says: ‘They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps.107:4-7) Oh friends, right now this virus is running us ragged, our souls are sore afraid, we’re dropping like flies stuck in honey, and many of us don’t know which way to turn. 

But we, the faithful, do know where to turn, to our great God and Father in heaven. It’s a no-brainer, but it does call for sincere repentance. We can’t continue being stubbornly sinful and pigheaded and expect Him to help us. As Asaph says in Psalm 50 – God is the judge – and He certainly is; though we seem to keep forgetting that most salient fact. ‘Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps. 50:14-15) 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my people! Pay the vows we promised; in other words, sincerely repent and begin doing the things we should have been doing all along, and when trouble comes, like now, we can call out to Him in strong confidence, knowing that He will hear us and alleviate our problems. But yuh know what, some of us are so stubborn and foolish, we will refuse to turn to God, our Creator, and the most omnipotent Being in the universe, and instead choose to wait on man to find a solution to our problems. 

Hn! Man; whose life is short and worthless like a vapour, and whose power, the li’l he has, comes from the same Almighty Creator. And friends, this can’t afford to be insincere repentance nuh, because if the Lord doesn’t intervene on our behalf soon, the virus going to tear us up and spit us out like chawing tobacco. Yuh see the sad state Italy is in, and also the mighty U.S. of A; whose claim to fame as the greatest power ever on the face of the earth was said to be because of God’s wonderful favour and grace. But unfortunately, instead of staying aligned with God’s purpose, it has now become the standard bearer for sin and ungodliness. 

One time when Israel’s repentance was insincere, hear the Lord’s comment through Hosea. ‘I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge (confess) their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early (diligently).’ (Hos.5:15) Oh friends, it is of the utmost importance that we diligently seek the Lord’s face RIGHT NOW! So please join me in a sincere prayer of thanksgiving, repentance and a soulful cry for help. 

‘Heavenly Father, we come to you on bended knees, in humble adoration, giving you thanks for keeping us alive this Monday morning. We know that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we also 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 humbly come to you now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading for assistance in stopping this Coronavirus that’s wreaking havoc all over our world. 

Gracious Lord, we don’t know how to handle it, but with Your remarkable help, we know that we can stop, can successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth. So Father, we ask that you graciously and mercifully grant our leaders, scientists, and medical personnel wise guidance and direction, so that they can lead us aright and develop a sure antidote as soon as possible. 

In closing Lord, we ask that You keep the promise in Your Word, that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. That’s what we’re pledging to do now Lord. So please 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!’ 

Now my fellow believers, let’s go out and do our part nuh, so that the Lord won’t have any excuse not to do His. Much LOVE!

…if a disastrous situation like this…doesn’t bring true repentance…then who knows what will eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2020 Isaiah 55:7.

Isaiah 55:7.    Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
 

And it’s the Lord’s Day once again, meaning it’s church time… Glory be! But since we can’t participate in corporate fellowship because the physical sanctuaries have been closed on account of the rapidly spreading and dangerous Coronavirus, we just have to make do with our li’l internet-based worship. (smile) Oh, you might think it silly, but the fact of the matter is that any which way you can communicate God’s Word and have praise and worship and thanksgiving, it will be considered worthy and appreciated by our heavenly Father. 

So enough talk, (smile) let’s get to today’s song of praise. And it’s a most appropriate soul song composed way back when, by one Ron Miller and first recorded by Stevie Wonder in 1970. But today we going to sing a churchier version, (smile) one done by Ray Charles and Gladys Knight. And by the way, the name of the song is ‘Heaven Help Us All.’ Yes friends, in these scary, dangerous and uncharted times, all of us do need all the help we can get from heaven above. So let’s raise our voices in harmonious praise and thanksgiving, but also in a sincere plea for help in these most trying times. 

Let’s get soulful with Ray and Gladys: ‘Heaven help the boy who never had a home Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone And Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall Lord, won’t you help us all? Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl Heaven help us all. (Chorus: Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call) 

Oh, yeah Heaven help the boy who won’t reach twenty-one And Heaven help the man who gave that child a gun And Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall Lord, won’t you help us all? (Chorus: Heaven help us all…when we call) Gladys monologue – ‘I want everybody within the sound of my voice this evening to fall down on their knees and say a prayer; asking for His guidance, His grace, His mercy. You might want to say: Lord, Lord, Lord, have mercy! – 

Now I lay me down before I go to sleep In a troubled world, I pray the Lord, the Lord to keep Keep hatred from the mighty and the mighty from the small Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call. We need You Jesus so won’t you hear us when we call. We can’t do without You, so please hear us when we call. Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call.’ 

Ah friends, I do hope our plea was sincere so that the Lord will act on it. Because, as the song says, our backs are against the wall, both literally and figuratively. This generation has never dealt with a problem of this type and magnitude, so we don’t really know how to handle it. We can deal with war and economic disaster, but we certainly aren’t prepared for an unknown germ on a worldwide scale. And more than ever before, we do need to fall on our  knees and pray; offer a pray of sincere repentance first, just in case this tragedy has befallen us because of our very sinful and disobedient condition. Then pray for guidance, grace and mercy to handle it successfully. 

I might be wrong, but I do think this is the Lord’s way of reminding us of how small and truly insignificant we are, and how little control we have over His universe. But that’s just my opinion, though it certainly won’t do any harm for us to come to our senses and repent. Yuh know we always think that the Israelites were foolish, for having experienced God’s mercy and miracles in bringing them out of bondage from Egypt, they still turned away and worshipped pagan gods and man-made idols. 

However, whenever the Lord made them pay for their disobedience, they were quick to run back to Him. They wisely remembered on which side their bread was buttered. But my people, we have been behaving just as foolishly as they did, by trying to push God out of our society, blaspheming His holy name and considering Him of no account. Now, I believe it’s time for us to do the same wise thing they did on so many occasions; return to the ONE, TRUE and LIVING GOD, He of Abraham, Issacs and Jacob, who created us in His wonderful image and still scrutinizes and macro-manages all of our goings and comings, though we don’t seem to think so. 

And what amazes me is that despite all the promises of our God, we still stubbornly refuse to repent and return to Him. Listen to a few of them. Nehemiah says it all: When the Israelites refused to obey and wanted to rebel against Moses and go back to Egypt, the Lord didn’t punish them: ‘for thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.’ (Neh. 9:17) 

And even when they made a molten calf to worship, despite such provocation: ‘Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go. Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.’  (Neh. 9:19-20) 

And Isaiah said it straight up on the Lord’s behalf: ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ Wow! Friends, if we can’t accept and believe that scripture in light of all the other faithful promises God has made, then I don’t know what else to say. I can certainly try to persuade you with more promises of pardons for repentance, like in Jeremiah 33:6-9, but I won’t because it will make the Bit too long, and furthermore, at this level of our faith, we shouldn’t need a whole lot of scripture to convince us of God’s awesome promises. Much LOVE!

…what’s the point of having promises…if you don’t believe them eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2020 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.    ​And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
 
Greetings my brethren on this beautiful Thursday after Ash Wednesday. Yesterday I was so excited to get the Bit out early that I even forgot that it was Ash Wednesday. (smile) And strangely enough Ash Wednesday is a holiday in J.A. It’s the only place I know of that celebrates it as a holiday…and celebrate it they do. 

Now Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent; a time in our spiritual lives when we become somewhat ascetic, that means becoming a li’l less self-indulgent and more prayerful, abstaining from some things of the flesh, with fasting and prayer becoming more important in our everyday lives. The forty days of the Lenten season correspond to the forty days our Lord and Saviour spent fasting in the wilderness after He was baptized and before He effectively began His earthly ministry. 

In this time we’re expected to seriously think about our faith, and what it really means to us, how we can improve it and thus get a deeper and better understanding of our great and wonderful God, and thus develop an even better relationship with Him, because that’s what He wants; a strong and beautiful relationship with His children, sinful and ignorant though we may be. (smile) 

But friends, that’s the amazing kind of God we serve and worship, regardless of our faults and mistakes, His everlasting goal is for us to come into a sincere and prosperous relationship with Him, for He is our Father, and we are His children. And just like we earthly parents desire to have good relationships with our children, in the same manner our heavenly Father desires to have great relationships with His earthly children.  

And our God is so wonderful my fellow believers, that having caused Israel to be in bondage in Babylon for their disgraceful disobedience, He promised that they would return to their homeland after a period of seventy years… Oh, let the Good Book tell us the story, it can do it better than I can. (smile) ‘For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good work toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 

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). Then you shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:10-13) 

Yes friends, that’s what our God desires of us, to seek Him with our whole hearts, with every fibre of our mortal being. And when we do that, then we will find Him, ready, willing and able to hear and respond positively. He doesn’t just require lip-service, but true, heartfelt, diligent seeking of Him. What yuh think Jesus did in the wilderness for those forty days eh, beside not eat eh? 

PRAY! That’s what He did, seeking guidance and understanding from His heavenly Father so that He could do His earthly work with diligence and excellence. That’s why in this Lenten season we also ought to seek our heavenly Father’s face even more than usual, to get right with Him, to get His plans for our lives, how He wants us to go. 

Remember He says He has a plan for each and every one of us, not to bring us down, but to build us up, to give us a future filled with hope and good things. But we need to seek Him. I don’t know how to get that most important fact home to us nuh my people, but it’s simple logic; if we don’t diligently look for Him, we won’t find Him. 

And without Him in our lives we’re absolutely nothing! Jesus said it quite plainly when He spoke about Him being the vine and we 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) It could not be said any plainer than that friends. 

And note too that when the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer tried to tie up Jesus by asking which is the great commandment? ‘Jesus said unto him, 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.’ (Matt. 22:37-38) And Jesus was only repeating the words that Moses had told the Israelites long before when they came out of bondage in Egypt. (Deut. 6:5) 

And nothing has changed since then. That is still the first and great commandment. And that’s also why Jesus so strongly advised us to: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Oh my people, running down the foolish things of the world that corrupt our souls and don’t last for any length of time, but rust and depreciate, is not the wisdom of God, but of the world. 

And moreover, Jesus said that if we seriously and sincerely follow the Father, then He will give us all those worldly things that we do need. Bruh David said it too in such precise and wonderful terms. ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) And Bruh Paul was also very sure when he declared to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

I don’t know what else to say nuh friends except to let us go home now declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, whereby the Lord has provided for our needs in His everlasting faithfulness. So altogether now, let’s declare those blessings with strong voice and sincere hearts. ‘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 please remember that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate, just like the Lord generously shares them with us! Much LOVE!

…it’s extremely foolish…not to believe and act on…the words of the one who made you…then selflessly saved you…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2020 Proverbs 3:12.

Proverbs 3:12.    ​For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
 
Ah mih people, I know you’ll be proud to hear that the ole fella made that adventurous trip into the concrete jungle yesterday afternoon, although by then the roads were clean, wet but clean. The only place I encountered snow was in my own lane and driveway. (smile) I was a little miffed though, because thinking that the traffic and road conditions would be bad, I took an early bus, but neither was bad. So I got to my appointment half an hour early, then had to wait a further hour before they dealt with me. 

I left home around 1 pm, and did not get back until after six! No wonder going into the city is undesirable, because it eats up most of your day, and by the time you get home, you’re tired and miserable and don’t want to do anything constructive. And though we got another bout of the white stuff last night, I really don’t care because I’m not going out there today! (smile) 

Ah friends, who says life isn’t nice eh! We might have all sorts of troubles and problems, but let’s consider them surmountable with our Lord’s help nuh, and remember that many others around the world have it much worse than us. And all God’s people said a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord! We praise and bless your holy name for treating us as well as you do! Amen!’ 

And since it’s Friday, the ordinary workingman is waiting patiently and quietly in the wings to sing his weekend song. So let’s bring him on stage nuh. And as he enters, he enthusiastically belts out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! I don’t know what I’d do if I had to work another day nuh! Ah really work hard this week, for the same chouncy pay, and it doh look like the ole body could handle that much hard work again nuh. 

Hn, hn! Like we getting old…and the body telling us to slow down. But it don’t realize we can’t really slow down when we have a family to mind and bills to pay in this ever increasing expensive society. Now I understand why it could have so many homeless and destitute people in the world. We get paid a pittance of our real worth, and the greedy slave master always trying to cut back or take back something we work so hard for. 

And then they keep raising the prices on the basic things like food, clothing and shelter, so people must fall behind even though they working a lot. Steups! This capitalist society eh! Is just a setta robber barons yes! But let them know one thing for me: they never going to take away my weekend, my two days of freedom! I’ll fight to the death to preserve that! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yuh see friends, even the ordinary working man has stuff that he will fight to the death for, much less we blessed believers in Jesus Christ, for whom God provides all our needs! Shouldn’t there be stuff that we are also prepared to die for? Of course! But the problem is that most of us supposed Christians are a wimpy, shallow and frightened lot. We’ve gotten so accustomed to the good life, that we turn the slightest disappointment into a major happening. Anyway, we won’t get into that now nuh, (smile) let’s get to our weekend song, our Friday Chant, which is so different to the workingman’s offering. 

All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, believers (steups!) do have to be more cognizant of their circumstances and surroundings so that we don’t allow the evil one unfettered access to our lives and souls, because all he wants to do is destroy our witness and LOVE for Christ! But I’m sure we won’t give him that opportunity! Now today I want to continue with some wise words of Cousin Sol that I never finished yesterday. And they are some hard words, but truly worthwhile to hear and remember. ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of (detest) his correction. For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov.3:11-12) 

Yes precious people, those are such great words! We correct our children because we LOVE them, likewise the Lord corrects us because He LOVES us! That’s nothing new, cause it was said way back in Deuteronomy by Moses, on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Thou shalt also consider (know) in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God. To walk in his ways , and to fear him.’ (Deut. 8:5-6) 

Oh it’s so simple friends: we punish our children when they disobey us, the Lord punishes us when we disobey him. But for whatever reason we think that’s wrong, because we have free will and ought to do as we like. But please note friends, that free will doesn’t give us the right to sin without punishment, because sin will ALWAYS be punished by the Lord since it’s diabolical and against His very nature! Hear these wise words of Job on the subject. ‘Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.’ (Job 5:17-18) 

Yes my people, our God might punish us for disobedience, but He’ll never leave us to suffer unnecessarily, He will heal whatever wounds He causes. That’s the beauty of our God! Although He punishes, He never leaves nor forsakes the punished! How great is the God we worship eh? Mucho great! 

That’s why the author of Hebrews could wrap up his dissertation on God’s discipline thus: ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb.12:11) And that’s a fact my brethren; discipline never seems good to us in the present moment, but afterwards, if we’re wise, we’ll surely see its benefits. 

So today, let’s take a moment to contemplate our individual lives nuh, and see where the Lord might have disciplined us for disobedience, and how it affected our lives thereafter. That will help us to understand and appreciate the Lord’s doings. (smile) Much LOVE!

…you’ll reap what you sow…more than you sow…and later than you sow… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2019 Jonah 2:2.

Jonah 2:2.    And said, I cried by reason of  mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
 
Yes, I know it’s Monday, and as far as some of us are concerned the only thing good about it is that it’s the eve of Christmas Eve, meaning things might be slow at work, or we might just get off work early, or steal some time to go and finish shopping. (smile) But friends, however we frame it, it is still the first day of the work week and we still have to show up. So why don’t we just be sensible and do it with a good attitude eh? We’d all feel a whole lot better. 

But just in case you can’t bring yourself to that point on your own, for whatever reason, we do have an alternative option; that of crying out to our great and generous God for help. And believe me, it works! So why don’t we all, in strong and confident voices, but humble attitude, declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, what and honour and a privilege we’ve been granted to be able to come before the Most High God in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving!  And what I particularly like about that prayer is before we’re even finished praying it, we feel our spirits begin to lift as the Lord directs His Holy Spirit to start activating us. And if you think praying when you’re down in the dumps is a waste of time, then check out Jonah’s prayer when He disobeyed God and ran in the opposition direction to which he was sent. 

We all know the story of how the Lord appointed a big fish to swallow him… And who says our God doesn’t have a sense of humour eh? He could have simply saved him, but Jonah needed to be a taught a lesson in obedience, just like so many of us today my bredrin, because disobedience is rife in our world, even amongst supposed believers. And what a way to teach him a lesson; three days and nights in a fish’s belly. You certainly know the slime and entrails and all the other junky, distasteful stuff we see in a fish’s innards when we clean them out. So just imagine swirling around in that for three days and nights nuh. (smile) It would surely teach you a lesson in anything at all! 

And learn his lesson, Jonah did! The Good Book describes the situation thus: ‘Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly. And said, I cried by reason of  mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.’ (Jon. 1-2) Oh friends, of one thing we can be sure; whenever we cry out to the Lord in sincerity, He WILL hear and answer our cries! Not always the way we want, or when we want, but He will respond to our cry! You can bet your bottom dollar on that. 

And Jonah knew that secret, so although it looked like it was cleaners for him, he could still reason: ‘Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.’ (Jon.2:4) Yes faithful believers, there is lots of truth in the old adage; while there is life there is hope, especially with our God, He of many chances! And after Jonah described his perils in depths of the fish and the sea, (Jon. 2:5-6) he finally acknowledged: ‘When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came in (went up) unto thee, into thine holy temple.’ (Jon.2:7) 

Ah mih people, there’s no wiser action in this life, than to turn to the Lord in sincere prayer when you find yourself in trouble! And I like how Jonah ends his prayer. ‘They that observe lying vanities (worthless idols) forsake their own mercy (LOVING-kindness). But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.’ (Jon. 2:8-9) Words to live by my people! 

And the result of Jonah’s cry? The Good Book details it: ‘And the Lord (ever generous and merciful) spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon dry land.’ (Jon. 2:10) Yes siree! And yuh know what? Jonah did learn his lesson, because the next time the Lord told him to go and preach to Nineveh, he went without a word of protest. (smile) 

And we’ll close with these wise and warning words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Israel. ‘Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition (instruction), upon whom the end of the world (ages) are come.’ (1 Cor. 10:11) Yes friends, Jonah’s experience and all the other acts of disobedience have been written down in the Lord’s Word so that we can read them and learn from them, otherwise, we too will suffer the inherent consequences, which can ofttimes be terrible experiences. The Lord is indeed a Good God, but He doesn’t cotton much to disobedience. Please remember that. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2019 Psalm 81:9.

Psalm 81:9.    ​There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

Welcome to another wonderful day on God’s great earth my people! And I won’t be presumptuous and pass judgement on the kind of weather we’re going to have today, although it is dark and cloudy. (smile) Why you ask? Because I did that yesterday and much to my surprise the ugly duckling at the beginning had turned into a beautiful princess by early afternoon, with bright sunshine and temps up to 8 degrees Celsius! (smile)

And if the weather forecasters are right, today is supposed to follow in the same footsteps. So instead of bad-mouthing the day, let’s look forward to another glorious one, with a good attitude, in which we do God’s will and work in an excellent and diligent manner. 

And all God’s children said, ‘Praise the Lord!’ And speaking of praise, last night while reading the Daily Bread Devotional, I learned that the Israelites had a psalm appointed to be sung on each day of the week, and Thursday’s was Psalm 81, a psalm of Asaph, so I decided we should check it out and sing it today.

So here we go: ‘Sing aloud unto God our strength; make a joyful noise (shout) unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm (raise a song), and bring hither (strike) the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery (lyre). Blow up the trumpet in (at the time of) the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was the statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.’ (Ps. 81:1-4) 

And according to the scholars: ‘Psalm 81. The background of the psalm appears to be the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:34-44) which reminded the people of God’s law and also constituted the feast of ingathering (Ex. 23:16).’ So the people had constant reminders of God’s law and His overwhelming goodness to their forefathers! 

Ah friends, if we could only begin each day with songs of praise and worship to Almighty God, how wonderful that would be! But most of us just get up and go our way, without even a thought of giving thanks for seeing another day, possibly so overwhelmed by the troubles facing us, that that’s all we can think about. But if we would do like Jesus says and bring all our burdens to Him, we’d find rest and peace for our weary souls. (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Now hear this part of the psalm that the Lord kept pounding in the Israelites’ ears, and is still pounding in our own to this day: ‘There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.’ (Ps. 81:9-10) Yes people, that’s the First Commandment of the ten that the Lord gave to Moses for the Israelites to live by, and consequently all later believers. (Ex. 20:3) 

I don’t know what’s so hard to understand in that nuh: No other God is supposed to rival the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But Israel only listened when it was convenient to them, when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place because of their obstinate and willful disobedience. And sadly, we’re doing the same thing today; we’re trying to push God out of our society, a society that became prosperous and powerful because of His goodness and mercy. Steups! How foolish can we get eh? 

No wonder the Lord commented: ‘But my people would not hearken (heed, listen to) my voice; and Israel would (have) none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust (stubbornness), and they walked in their own counsels.’ (Ps. 81:11-12) And yuh see what happened to Israel when they walked in their own counsel…sufferation everlasting! And it’s the same so and so thing that’s happening to us today because we refuse to walk in God’s will! Look at the strife torn world we’re currently living in nuh! 

Look at the great amount of poverty, sickness, joblessness and homelessness in the midst of so much plenty! No generation has ever been as prosperous and powerful as ours, but we’re letting it go down the drain because of our greed, foolish pride and refusal to worship the One True God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the One who gives us power to get wealth! (Deut. 8:18) Yes friends, it’s not our own strength or wisdom that causes us to prosper in this evil world, and until we come to our senses and remember that, our world will continue to fall apart and go right down to hell in a handbasket! 

And as Bruh Paul later put it to the church at Rome: ‘And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (debased) mind, to do those things which are not convenient (fitting); Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate (strife), deceit, malignity (evil-mindedness); whisperers…’ (Rom. 1:28-29)

And that’s not the whole list. But seriously my brethren, if we take a look around us that’s what our world has become; one of pure evil and ungodliness, and if we continue down that path, all we’ll eventually reap is death and destruction, because that is what God has promised to those who don’t follow His will. 

But the wonderful thing about our God is that He never gives up on us. Hear how He agonized over the Israelites, and still agonizes over us. ‘Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.’ (Ps. 81:13-14) So let’s remember that while there is life, there’s always hope. Consequently, for those of us who seriously believe and are concerned about the state of our world, let’s use these tools, what we call our Thursday Blessings, that God has so generously granted us, to right our fallen world nuh. 

So let’s declare them now with loud voice and strong conviction, for they are only invoked when we speak them aloud. Altogether: ‘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!’ 

Yes mih faithful breddren, now it’s time to go out and generously share them with the unfortunate and unwise, as Jesus so dearly desires! Much LOVE!

…history speaks for itself…the haters of God were destroyed…and will continue to be destroyed…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2019 Hebrews 12:12-13.

Hebrews 12:12-13.    ​Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed.
 

 

I know it’s late and all that, but please remember that the ole fella is on vacation and sometimes I have places to go and people to meet during the day and cannot get to the Bit until late. (smile) Today was one such day. But before we get to that, let me apologize for the error date on yesterday’s Bit. I put the 10th, when it was only the 9th. I guess when you’re out and about on vacation having fun, the days and dates get mixed up. (smile) Don’t know how many of you even noticed that, because I only noticed it just now when I came to write today’s Bit and saw the computer telling me that it was the tenth. 

Anyway, I was out and about early this morning, up to the campus for a bus tour. And brother, has the place ever grown! Not in actual space, but in the amount of new buildings, including faculties and halls of residences that weren’t there in my time. The green space has been sadly lessened…in the name of what some will call progress. And progress is fine if you do it properly, but in my opinion there wasn’t any proper planning, and it just seems like a hodge-podge of buildings painted in a variety of non-matching colours., with the same roads, not in the best of conditions. 

And wonder of wonders, there are all the famous food places on the campus now…from KFC to Burger King, to Juici Patties, plus pizza and who knows what else. Hn! In my time there was only a small snackette we called the ‘Soda Fountain.’ However the University does seem to be growing, with a lot of day and part time students, as well as on-line participants. But it’s lost one of the most important aspects of a university, the togetherness and cumulative expression of the students as a body, like belonging to one of the halls of residence and getting that strong team vibe, team spirit. 

Just for instance, the group that came out today was a mixture from different residences, but all felt that their hall was the best in their day. I don’t think there’s that kind of hall spirit any longer, because the university has become so large and more concerned with individuality than a more come together scene. Ten years from now, when the recent graduates get together, if they do, they won’t have the camaraderie that we, the older ones had, because they won’t have shared or built the same kinds of close and lasting relationships that we have.  

Anyhow, after the bus tour we assembled on the grass in front of the Alumni Building where two tents were set up and we had lunch, to the accompaniment of the Energy Band – I think that’s the name, a group of older fellows with a banjo and guitar and bass playing some old folk tunes as well as some reggae songs in their own special style. It sounded good, there was even some dancing at the end. It was only spoiled by too much speechification in between. (smile) Didn’t get back home till sometime after four. So it was a good day. Tomorrow, is the gala. That’s in the evening, so I will have time to write the Bit during the day…that’s provided no other social activities get in the way. (smile) 

And that brings us to an interesting section of scripture from Hebrews 12, where we’re first told to run our race with strength and sincerity of purpose, but then warned of God’s discipline and the consequences of disobedience. ‘Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed.’ 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘12:12-13. Some of the runners of verse 1 have grown so weary that they have become stooped and need spiritual strength to be straightened up again. They must be given help, yet they themselves also must straighten their paths by avoiding obstacles that would spiritually trip them up.’ Oh friends, that’s all so true; too many of us have become tired and weary in this race of life, and it’s easy to do in these difficult times, but as children of God, we have the necessary wherewithal to strengthen ourselves and each other through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. 

But it’s worth noting one comment by the scholars, we must stay away from situations that will trip us up spiritually, as much as possible. As the ole people would say ‘prevention better than cure.’ Simply meaning that it’s much better to prevent something, than to allow it to happen, then try to fix it. Meanwhile, Isaiah say it thus: ‘Strengthen ye the weak (sinking) hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:3-4). 

What a wonderful promise my people! And yuh know what? He’s kept His awesome promise, and blessed us tremendously, so we can go and carry out Isaiah’s directions. Therefore, let’s go home sincerely declaring (steups!) what we call our Thursday blessings nuh. In loud voice and sincere hearts. As one posse of saints: ‘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 sharing time! Much LOVE!

…to share generously…is to be like God…

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