Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

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

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with 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 everyday! Amen!’  

Now let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2020 John 15:5b.

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

It was a wet and foggy night, but surprisingly it’s turned out into a dry and sunshiny morning with a cool breeze coquettishly titillating the leaves and branches of the trees. (smile) Oh friends, words can paint such interesting pictures! Unfortunately though, too many of us are resisting the word pictures we’re painting in these troubling and turbulent times; the basic picture that Jesus is our answer, ONLY He can meet ALL of our needs… ONLY He can fix ALL of our problems, as individuals, as a nation and as a worldwide society!  

Yes my people, as I keep reminding us, Jesus is our Be All and End All! It’s as simple as that! And if we want our lives to go relatively smoothly, then we must get attached to Him. He makes it abundantly clear in these momentous words: ‘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) 

Oh mih bredrin, that’s the awesome truth, and Jesus has spelled it out in black and white for us: without Him, we can do nothing! But such is our pride and ego based on the finite knowledge and technological improvements we’ve made in our lives, that we refuse to accept the fact that Jesus is all-powerful and we can’t do anything without Him being involved in it. 

But here are a couple of scriptures from Bruh Paul that reiterate Jesus’ contention. The first comes from his second letter to the church at Corinth, who were having serious behavioural problems. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;’ (2 Cor. 3:4-5) 

And that’s the major stumbling block in our world today; we think too highly of ourselves and not highly enough of God. We believe that we are self-sufficient, but that’s a ghastly lie, and we’re only fooling ourselves and digging ourselves deeper into the pits of hell because of that false and oh so erroneous belief. Just look at the problems in our world today, if we were so self-sufficient and wonderful in our own strength, don’t you think we would have solved most of them by now? 

But we haven’t! And we won’t without divine help! That’s just the way the cookie crumbles! And until we understand that, we’ll just keep cascading down the cataract filled river of life until we come to one too big for us to handle in our own strength. Possibly we’ve just reached it; the pandemic and strife that’s currently overtaken our world, might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

And the second scripture from Bruh Paul comes from his letter to the Colossians, where he’s talking about his service for Christ. ‘If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled (steadfast), and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.’ (Col. 1:23) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:23. If ye continue in the faith (or, “since you will persevere in the faith”): the Colossians future entrance in God’s heavenly presence depends on whether they remain in the Christian faith. The words “since you will persevere” indicate that they will remain loyal to Christ. Perseverance in the Christian’s faith is a test of the reality of one’s trust in Christ. This verse implies that true believers will persevere.’ 

And we better had persevere, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said that very clearly too. ‘But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:13) So yuh see friends, is two things we have to do in this life; sincerely accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then persevere in the faith that He’s proscribed to the end. But unfortunately too many of us refuse to accept those terms, and that’s why our world is spinning out of control, and headed straight for Hades… yes, we going to call it by its nice name, (smile) though we know that down there is a place of utter confusion and torment. 

Remember the saying that pride goes before a fall, well that’s exactly what’s happening to us right now, we’re falling and failing because our pride refuses to accept the fact that we’re not sufficient in our own strength to run our world, and only in Christ Jesus can we do a good job. Ah mih people, this life’s not easy, but with the help of Almighty God, it certainly can be real interesting and adventurous! And that is highlighted by the awesome blessings our wonderful God has given us to do His work down here on earth. We call them our Thursday Blessings. 

So let’s shout them out loud and proud nuh: ‘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!’ 

And with such an awesome array of blessings at our fingertips, let’s go out, or even stay at home, (smile) and use them to bless others just as generously as God has blessed us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…ALL we ever need… 

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…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2020 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.     ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

And then it was Thursday… a beautiful Thursday by the way! And we way way behind the eight ball because of my late bedding down and thus late rising, but also due to a couple of chores I had to do before getting down to brass tacks. And that’s my mea-culpa. (smile) 

Today I have a couple of gems for us from our ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. Long time I haven’t shared anything from that. Some of you might not even know about. It’s just a cardboard poster with that title my young daughter gave me some years ago with some useful life quotes on it. And the first gem says: ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ Quite true that! And the second tells us: ‘We can’t do much about our appearance, but we have total control over the kind of person we become.’ 

In these modern times of advanced medicine and technology, the first part is not so true anymore, because through those avenues we can now change our appearance a whole lot, but the second half is still and will always be true! Changing our appearance doesn’t mean a blooming thing if the kind of person we are doesn’t improve with it. In the long run, who we are, not what we look like, will always be the deciding factor in the outcome of our lives. And since I’m so sweet and generous, here’s a langniappe, a brawtha, something extra thrown in for good measure. (smile) 

‘To change everything, simply change your attitude.’ Wow! What wisdom and truth my bredrin! And do a whole lot of us ever need to change our surly, stupid, selfish, greedy, angry, resentful, hateful, gossipy, unforgiving, jealous, envious, ungodly, unkind, UNLOVING attitudes! Yes friends, all those negative attitudes are taking a severe toll on our individual lives and consequently are then flowing into our society, making it the negative, ungodly society it’s become. 

Some of you might choose to argue that the society itself first had the negative attitudes and we as individuals then adopted them. But that’s like the chicken and the egg story, about which came first. It doesn’t matter who or what infected the other, it just matters that we’ve been infected, and must first begin with individual change if we want to right the situation. And how do we accomplish those changes? I just came upon some very interesting words of Jesus, that memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

When the disciples couldn’t stay awake, He said to Peter. ‘Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ (Mark 14:37-38) And is that ever so true friends! The Spirit of God that dwells within us is ever ready to help us set our lives aright, but the weak flesh that we naturally possess, that desires the ungodly things of the world puts up a pretty good fight against it. And if we aren’t careful, and prayerful, it’s so easy to fall into temptation and thus destroy the godly character we’re trying to build. 

Bruh Paul calls it the struggle of two natures. As he explains in Romans 7: ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would (want to do), that I do not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-19) 

Yeh friends, even the great Bruh Paul struggled with his flesh; the desire to do good, but doing evil instead. And because of that, he’s also a great example, showing us ‘the problems that all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ Yes my people, our flesh; our minds, bodies and souls through the ongoing efforts of the enemy, are often dominated by sin and sinful pursuits. And Bruh Paul said it this way to the Galatians. ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal. 5:17) And that’s the gospel truth fellow saints! 

As the scholars explain. ‘ 5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another. The Christian, then, is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

Oh, it’s definitely not easy my people! But let’s remember that with Jesus running our lives, we can do anything, for ALL things are possible with Him! We just need to bear down, to watch and pray, to stand steadfast and strong in our faith and belief in His crowning glory, and remember that through His death on the cross, and His resurrection, the victory’s already been won, we just have to walk it out now. And we do that by diligently and efficiently using the generous blessings bestowed on us to do Christ’s work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. 

And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken, let’s declare (yeahhh!) them right now over ourselves nuh. In strong voice, with 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

Wow! What a magnanimous God we serve! It blows my mind every time I consider how generous and LOVING He is! So to show our sincere appreciation, let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others nuh, as we are meant to. Much LOVE!

…the mind…the battlefield of life… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2020 Ecclesiastes 9:7.

Ecclesiastes 9:7.     ​Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. 
 

Oh friends, oh friends, thank you ever so much for your prayers on Listening LOVE yesterday! Wow! The duchess and I shared some of it on the A/C problem. She talked… I listened – attentively! (smile) Then I did what she wanted – not turn the A/C as low as I had originally intended. Yuh see it works! That’s why they say: ‘A happy wife, usually leads to a happy life!’ Usually yes, but not all the time. (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s such a joy to be able to laugh and be lighthearted amidst all the sickness, death and confusion that’s currently besieging our world. But you can only do that sincerely when you have Jesus truly running your life, because you are assured that He’s the best pilot there is and He would NEVER guide or lead you astray. Thus, I am asking all of us who sincerely believe in Christ to take life seriously, but please overlay it with that attitude of joy which can only be found in Christ Jesus, especially in troubled times like these. 

It’s that inherent joy that sets us apart from the rest of the world. As the Good Book says: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) And that’s why the enemy always tries to steal our joy first and foremost, because he knows that once he gets us down and depressed, we’re weak and very vulnerable, and thus easily influenced by his evil schemes and lustful desires. But please, let’s remember that our God is a God of joy, of laughter and mirth. 

Hear these memorable words of Moses to the Israelites when he told them about bringing their first fruits to God. ‘And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.’ (Deut. 26:11) Yes friends, our God wants us to enjoy ALL that’s He’s given to us or allowed us to have. He is not a mean, incentive, scrooge-like deity, but a most generous and magnanimous God, desiring to bless his people, when they obey His Will and Word. 

That’s why Cousin Sol, the Preacher said in these Principles for Living. ‘Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment (oil). Live joyfully (enjoy life) with the wife whom thou LOVEST all the days of the life of thy vanity (empty life), which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest (performest) under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.’ (Eccl. 9:7-10) 

What wisdom my people! No wonder Cousin Sol was known as the wisest man ever. And the scholars explain those scriptures thus: ‘9:7-10. For the first time in the passages on enjoyment, the key words of the exhortation are put into the imperative mood; eat, drink, live, and so on. Also, a new motivation is expressed: God now accepteth thy works (vs.7), meaning clearly that God approves of the enjoyment of life. His will is that men enjoy life. 

The idea of enjoyment is further reiterated in verse 8 with two directives. White garments on the body and ointment on the head made life more comfortable in the torrid near Eastern climates; they serve here to symbolize purity (cf. Rev. 3:4) and the enjoyment of life. Another command concerns the enjoyment of life with one’s wife (vs.9). The reasons for these commands are: It is man’s portion in this life (vs.9), and there is no working in the grave (vs.10).’ 

So there is no reason for us not to enjoy our earthly life. Remember Jesus’ memorable words: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And what does ‘abundant life’ mean eh? Wikipedia says it ‘refers to life in its abounding fullness of joy and strength for mind, body and soul.’ Another website explains: ‘Abundant life is eternal life, a life that begins the moment we come to Christ and receive Him as Saviour, and goes on throughout all eternity.’ 

Another website breaks it down as ‘knowing God,’  ‘First John 5:12 says “Whoever has the Son has life,” so Christians have this eternal life from the moment of salvation.’ And it’s also ‘a continuous process. Like salvation, we are given abundant life at the moment of salvation, but we will grow into it.’ 

And finally another website describes the abundant life as ‘a state of being from within, not a result of external circumstances. It is the result of the pruning God does to make us more like Him, and it is what we will take to heaven with us. (1 Cor. 3:11-15). An abundant life is one that keeps on giving. Which is Better – Abundance or an Abundant Life?’ Now that’s a very good question! And I do hope that all of us will answer that the latter is oh so much better. (smile) 

So however we define it friends, Christ came to earth and died not only to pay for our sins, but also that we might have a good life beginning right here on MOTHER EARTH! We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to start enjoying life. Please, let’s remember that nuh and perk up and wear a smile and have a pleasant attitude despite all our problems, for we claim to have a Saviour who can do anything and also enable us to do anything, so let’s live like it’s true and we believe it nuh! 

Ah mih people, I had some other things to say yes, but I got sidetracked with the abundant life story, or the Lord led me to hone in on it. Take your pick. (smile) So let’s go home now declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to enable us to do His work. In strong voice, with 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And those blessings have been given to us for a troubled time such as this, so please, let’s go out and share them just as generously as we received them! Much LOVE!

…enjoy the honest work of thy hands…it is thy God-given right…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2020 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.     ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).
 

One more morning, one more beautiful day! Another beautiful morning, has come our way!’ Yes friends, it is a beautiful, sunshiny, cool day in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! Oh yes, we ought to give Him much thanks and praise for every new day we see, especially if it’s a beautiful day, because that simply reinforces the promise we hold of His great and unconditional LOVE for us! And all God’s people declared (steups! – couldn’t wait until the end to misspell it – smile) a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

And it also means that regardless of whatever situations or circumstances we face today, we will have His invaluable help to successfully solve them, as He has also promised never to leave nor forsake us! Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren! And before we go on, let me apologize for a mistake yesterday, re ‘inciteful explanation of the scholars.’ I don’t know if it was just a typo or a brain cramp, (smile) but I really meant ‘insightful,’ to give you greater insight and understanding into the matter – although, come to think about it now, rousing your spirits and stirring you up wasn’t a bad idea either. (smile) 

And if you think our God isn’t a responsive and considerate God, but also one with a sense of purpose and of humour, then listen to this testimony. Yesterday evening I was somewhat under the weather, and I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so lousy and my spirits were at a low ebb, so obviously I went to the Father seeking some understanding. And after communing for a while, you won’t believe the scripture He led me to. The opening verse of Luke 18. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read it. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ 

Then Jesus told them of the unjust judge who refused to listen to the hurt widow, but for her continually bothering him. (Luke 18:2-8) And then he followed that up with the tale of the Pharisee and publican (tax collector) who went into the temple to pray and how the hypocritical Pharisee beat his chest and extolled his religious efforts, while the publican would not even lift up his head but sincerely acknowledged his faults. (Luke 18:9-14) Now here are some ‘insightful’ explanations from the scholars on those passages, which I expect us to read. (smile) 

‘18:1-14. These verses teach on prayer, a prominent emphasis in Luke.’ ’18:1. To faint “means to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ ‘18:6-8. If an unjust judge acts in this way, how much more hope may God’s children place in God? However, the issue is not God’s faithfulness. It is whether believers will persist in supplication (vs.7), or whether their patience and perseverance will give out by the time Christ finally returns (vs. 8; see also vs.1).’ 

‘18:9-14. Here is a parable with special application to ancient or modern Pharisees. Jesus teaching method was generally direct rather than evasive.’ Yes friends, Jesus didn’t mince words, or pussy-foot around the problem. He came straight to the point. And for this next explanation, I think I should spell out the verse. As the Pharisee beats his chest, he declares: ‘I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’ (Luke 18:12) And the scholars explain. ‘18:12. This is not an exaggeration, but an example of how Pharisees truly exceeded the letter of the law in their piety. But their pride and contempt for others reveals their state of heart.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately that sad picture resembles so many of us believers today! We have this pious and righteous outlook, but our hearts are filled with envy and pride and contempt for our fellow man because we think we’re so holy and righteous, which is the wrong attitude for true believers to have. 

But coming back to our focal point; the perseverance of believers in prayer, Jesus also spoke of it earlier on when He tells about the friend coming to another friend’s door late at night looking for food to feed an unexpected late arriving guest. And the friend doesn’t get up and give him because he is a friend, ‘yet because of his importunity (perseverance) he will rise and give him as many ae he needeth.’ (Luke 11:8) 

And the scholars explain. ‘11:8. The word translated importunity probably describes the man’s persistence. Jesus is, then, giving an example of prevailing prayer. (see 18:1) The same word does lend itself to a second interpretation. It may refer, not to the petitioner, but to the one being petitioned. In this case the lesson would be that God, because of His desire to uphold His good name, grants the requests of those who seek Him, as a means of bearing witness to his own character and power.’ Yeh friends, however you look at it, once we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, persistent prayer ought to become the mainstay of our lives from then on! 

Several other Bible verses maintain that, many of them from Bruh Paul. For instance: ‘Rejoicing in hope, patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (Rom. 12:12) And hear this to the Ephesians: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Yes mih people, even with God’s armour on, (Eph. 6:13-17) we still need to pray for us to achieve victory! And we’ll end with this well known verse to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing!’ (1 Thess. 5:17) Short and to the point. 

And if there was ever a time for steadfast and sincere prayer, this time of pandemic and unrest is it! So let’s take all that we’ve read today to heart nuh and keep praying. But today’s last prayer is one of thanksgiving, thanksgiving for all the blessings the Lord has so generously poured out on us to do His earthly work. Let’s declare then, in strong voice with sincere hearts, our Thursday Blessings Prayer. 

‘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 the onus is on us to go out and share those marvellous blessings with others, just as generously as God has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet still…to pray…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2020 Isaiah 32:17.

Isaiah 32:17.    And the work of the righteous shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 
 

So we greet another beautiful day with God’s LOVE, mercies and compassion! What a wonderful God He is; let’s rejoice, give thanks and be glad in it! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen! So let it be!’ Yes, the pandemic sickness and strife is still going on, possibly getting worse, but I have some good news for those of us who keep our focus on God, make him our number one priority, seek his kingdom and righteousness before anything else. And the good news is the coming reign of the righteous king. 

Isaiah saw it thus: ‘Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgement (justice). And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert (shelter) from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.’ (Is. 32:1-4) 

Oh my people, of course this has not happened as yet, otherwise our world would not be in such a disastrous state, but I assure us, it will happen one day, and possibly sooner than we think or expect. Isaiah foresees life to be pretty rough; ‘Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of the righteous shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 

And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (secure) dwellings, and in quiet resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place (brought low in humiliation). Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.’ (Is. 32:15-20) Yes faithful saints of Christ, one day it will be all right with our world. And in all the current tumult, you ask a nervous and expectant, WHEN? Unfortunately, I don’t know. Only our heavenly Father knows, for He’s set the times and places in His wisdom. 

But listen to how the scholars explain all of that scripture nuh. ‘32:1-20. The king who shall reign in righteousness is Christ Himself. The prophet foresees a time when government will exist that is totally characterized by righteousness and judgement (justice). Such a description does not fit even Hezekiah, the best of Judah’s kings. Rather, Isiah sees a much greater day coming when the godly character of Judah will be as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. This will be a time when the ignorant will understand knowledge (da‘at, moral discernment). He also sees a time of complete national conversion when the spirit will be poured upon us (cf. Joel 2:28).’ 

And the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, where it was made available to all mankind, already occurred on the day of Pentecost, but the rest is yet to come. And since we know that all God’s promises are true, we wait patiently and expectantly, we persevere until He decides it’s time for the Millennial kingdom to come. Now let’s see what that day of the Lord shall look like nuh. Isaiah says: ‘And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks (pruning knives): nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ (Is. 2:4) 

I know friends that we’re all waiting impatiently for that awesome day! (smile) Hear how Bruh Paul characterizes life in the Spirit world and God’s kingdom nuh. ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:5-6) And later on he declares: ‘For the kingdom of God is not meat (food) and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.’ (Rom. 14:17-18) 

Meanwhile James puts it this way. ‘For where envying and strife (self-seeking) is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated (willing to yield), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:16-18) And Cousin Sol adds his two cents worth: ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) 

And finally, the psalmist tells us: ‘Great peace have they which LOVE thy law: and nothing shall offend them (cause them to stumble).’ (Ps. 119:165) It’s all God’s Word, so it has to be true, and if we’re wise and are God’s children as we claim, then we’ll follow it and proclaim peace all across the land! Now let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings, the wonderful blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us to do that work here on earth. 

Altogether, in strong voice with 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And please remember, those blessings are not for us to selfishly store, but for us to share with others, just as the Lord has generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…sow in LOVE…reap in peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2020 Revelation 22:12.

Revelation 22:12.    And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

And contrary to the last few days, this Thursday morning in my area has opened bright and sunshiny! Glory to God! There’s not a dark cloud in the sky trying to vanquish the pretty blue ones, unlike our strife filled world where the powers of darkness are fighting madly to overturn the powers of light. Hn! Hn! But has no one ever told them the hard, cold facts of life; that darkness can NEVER dispel light, no matter how hard it tries? Obviously not, else they would not still be trying in vain to do the impossible. 

And here’s something that ties in rather nicely with those statements. It’s something a friend sent me yesterday. The Prologue reads: ‘Not gonna lie. I did not expect the read of the year to come from a Priest.’ And whether you agree or not, that’s up to you. But this is apparently what Robert Hendrickson, the Rector of Saint Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church wrote. 

‘…waving a book he hasn’t read, in front of a church he doesn’t attend, invoking laws he doesn’t understand, against fellow Americans he sees as enemies, wielding a military he dodged serving, to protect power he gained via accepting foreign interference, exploiting fear and anger he LOVES to stoke, after failing to address a pandemic he was warned about, and building it all on a bed of constant lies and childish inanity.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that a very precise and exact description of our current wanna be U.S. dictator? What a sorry excuse for a leader! I certainly think the pastor has hit the nail on the head in every direction. But we’re all entitled to our opinions, so I won’t try to force mine on you. (smile) 

Ah mih people, too often we attempt to rise to heights of power we don’t understand and we simply cannot handle. And unfortunately, those around us are either too foolish or scared to tell us otherwise, choosing instead to unwisely bask in the infamy that arises from the tarnished and destructive situations and conditions that our unbridled lust for power create. That reminds me of this passage from Isaiah, after he had seen the vision of Almighty God sitting on His heavenly throne: 

‘Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone (destroyed); because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.’ (Is. 6:5) Oh friends, how I wish that many more of us would see the King, and declare like Isaiah, because we are a people of unclean lips! There’s no doubt about that. We have no legitimate excuse for the sinful, irresponsible and disobedient way we talk and act. 

And do we ever need to be consecrated like Isaiah! ‘Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.’ (Is. 6:6-7) Yes fellow saints, many of us do need a hot coal on our lips to improve our talk and thoughts. 

Oh, I know that we now have the Holy Spirit living in us to do that job, but it’s not working, for gentle persuasion doesn’t seem to be our thing. (smile) We only seem to understand and appreciate an undesirable situation when physical pain is involved, like the hot coal on the lips. But what can I say eh? We all will have to individually account for our words and actions come the judgement day, so it would be wisdom to the nth degree if we chose our words and actions very carefully from now on. 

And who knows how much time we have before that fateful day eh? NONE of us! But from the Good Book we do know that the revelation from God to John is true, and that Christ Himself said: ‘Behold I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book (Revelation).’ (Rev. 22:7) So it’s imperative that RIGHT NOW, we begin preparation for His Second Coming! For He also said: ‘And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.’ 

So again, Christ declares His imminent coming, this time with His rewards, which will depend on our work. So once more, wisdom decrees that if we want to be amongst the risen with Christ, then we need to genuinely believe in and on Him, keep His commandments and for great rewards, do good work! End of sermon! 

And our God is so wonderful, so magnificent and magnanimous, that He’s already shared some rewards with those of us who are serious about doing His earthly bidding; we call them our Thursday Blessings. So let’s all invoke them in strong voice with sincere hearts now nuh: ‘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!’ 

So let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously as the Lord shares them with us. No, I shouldn’t have to remind us of that, but anyway, I’m going to err on the side of caution. (smile) Please have a blessed day, walking hand in hand with Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you sincerely believe…then your lifestyle ought to show it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2020 Psalm 66:12.

Psalm 66:12.    Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.
 
Wow mih bredrin! Another bright, warm and sunshiny day like yesterday seems to be in the offing, with somewhat of a coolish breeze! (smile) Yes, it’s days like those we desperately need to lift our spirits and help carry us through these unexpected and uncertain times of crisis. And here’s some more good news this Thursday morning, from a friend on the good news trail. 

‘Get ready to rise. When that storm is over, you’re not going to be defeated. You’re going to rise up, healthy, blessed, prosperous. You’re not going to look like what you’ve been through. Nobody is going to be able to tell that you went through a difficulty. What I LOVE about God is He doesn’t just bring you through the storm, He makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble.’ Mama Mia! What a mighty, magnificent, merciful and magnanimous God we serve! 

Oh friends, everyday we wake up and see another day, we ought to be ever so thankful and grateful, because it’s only through His wonderful mercies, new and heart-warming everyday, that that’s possible. We ought to rise up and sing, shout His praises, give Him much honour and glory, because He is indeed a great and generous and ever-LOVING God! Yes, without a doubt He is! 

And all His children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord! For He is indeed mighty in the heavens and on the earth! Forever merciful and generous to the undeserving children of men! Amen!’ 

And per the encouraging news above, it’s the gospel truth, because the Good Book says it. Hear the author of psalm 66 -re the Great Works of God. ‘O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life (among the living), and suffereth not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us: thou hast tried (refined) us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.’ (Ps. 66:8-12) 

Yes friends, though the Lord might allows us to be afflicted and tried and tested, His thinking is that it will always be for our betterment. And I don’t usually like some of these new fangled translations of the Bible, but in this instance I think the new translation of verse 12 above hit the nail on the head, does it real justice. It says: ‘You’ve allowed our enemies to prevail against us. We’ve passed through fire and flood, yet in the end you always bring us out better than we were before, saturated with your goodness. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.’ 

And believe me friends, there is no other God in the world who can and will do such a thing, because there is NO OTHER LIVING GOD in this whole wide world, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! All the other supposed gods are either man-made objects, or mere figments of man’s imagination. That’s why we need to stay close to Jehovah God, worship and praise and obey Him, because He holds the very breath of our lives in His mighty hand. Please remember and take sure hold of these promises through the Lord’s prophet Isaiah, as he talks about ‘The Lord, the ONLY Redeemer.’ 

‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee (in thy place). Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (honoured), and I have LOVED thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.’ (Is. 43:2-4) 

Oh my people, our God still finds us precious and still LOVES us, and He gave His only Son for us, so there’s no doubt that He fulfills ALL of His promises. It’s therefore necessary for us to read and study and meditate on His Word, so that we can know what’s in it and be able to use it for our earthly, everyday life, and also talk to Him on a regular basis, so that He can keep us strong and completely focused on Him. But enough sermonizing for today (smile), let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

All together in strong voice, believing: ‘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!’ 

And I shouldn’t need to remind us, but I will, (smile) that those glorious blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! So let’s get to doing just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…walking with God…brings trials and testing…but in the end…abundance and everlasting life…

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