Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2020 Matthew 8:10.

Matthew 8:10.     ​Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

And on this bright Tuesday morning in late September of 2020, this turbulent and overwhelming year, I do hope friends that we are all bright and thankful and ever so grateful that we’ve made this morning’s wake up list! Glory Be! That means the Lord has more stuff for us to accomplish down here on this confusing and disaster filled earth, else He would have taken us home last night. 

Mama Mia! One of the best things we can do every day is to peruse the obituaries and give much thanks that our name doesn’t appear there. (smile) Oh, one day it will, but until then, we have a sacred responsibility to pursue, with diligence and excellence, whatever plan our Creator, Almighty God has purposed for our earthly lives! And one thing is for sure; our great and wonderful God NEVER gives us a task to do without the underlying anointing and grace to do it, and to do it properly too. 

That’s why we have to take the bull by the horns each and every day and work our work in His holy name. And though things will get difficult and heartbreaking at times, we cannot afford to sit down and let life pass us by, and then in our later years be filled with regrets and ‘I should haves.’ That’s why I believe these words of Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional are so important and encouraging for us today. 

This devotion is titled ‘A Life of Regrets.’ And in it, Gramps Schuller says: ‘Suppose you have a great idea, but having surrendered to fear of failure, you let the golden opportunity pass you by. You remain safe from embarrassment but now you are bored. Boredom doesn’t build self-esteem. What does boredom do? It gives you loads of time to think, “It might have worked.” To quote John Greenleaf Whittier: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been.” 

Yes friends, how often have we already said those sad words in our lives eh? Much too often, I believe. That’s why we can’t allow the fear of failure, or the embarrassment it often brings to keep us back from doing God’s great work! Here’s how Gramps Schuller characterizes it: ‘You grow old, collecting and nursing a multitude of regrets. Why didn’t I do this? Why didn’t I do that? Why didn’t I buy it when I had a chance? 

To further depress yourself, you may see someone else seizing the same opportunity. They are successful and you become jealous. The pangs of further jealousy will make you more bitter and inspire further negative thoughts and actions. Thus fear of failure does not protect your self respect – it prevents and aborts it. If you heed your fears you’ll die never knowing what a great person you might have been.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? It surely is! When we let fear rule the roost, we abort whatever worthwhile job the Lord has tasked us with! And that certainly doesn’t do His kingdom, or us, any good! And that’s why the Good Book, the Lord’s Word constantly reminds to ‘FEAR NOT!’ No my people, if we want to be successful ambassadors of Christ, we cannot let fear be the uppermost factor in our lives. It has to be faith! One of Jesus’ favourite admonishments was, ‘O Ye of little faith!’ 

Remember his fateful words regarding the Roman Centurion who asked for healing for his servant, and when Christ wanted to go to his house, he said that it wasn’t necessary. ‘I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.’ (Matt. 8:8) Now back then that was indeed a big step for a Roman army leader. So much so, that ’When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt. 8:10) 

Now wasn’t that somewhat shameful, that a Roman soldier could show more faith than the Jews, the Chosen People of God, to whom Jesus was specifically sent to heal and to save? It surely was. But that’s how it was back then, and how it still is today. The ones we show special care and affection for are ofttimes the ones who show the least appreciation for it. But it never stopped Jesus from doing His God-given job, and neither should it stop us. We need to persevere and endure in the faith come what may. 

At the end of our time, our words ought to ring out as staunchly and faithfully as Bruh Paul’s last testament to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

Yes my people, those are words we ought to be able to say at the end of our lives because we have sincerely kept the faith and diligently ran the race that God had set out for us. And the only way we can do that is by hunkering down in the word, in prayer and actioning all that’s set before us with LOVE, grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, etc. etc. In other words, living our lives truly led by the Holy Spirit and bearing its good fruit.

As Bruh Paul said to the Colossians: ‘Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in (the) light .’ (Col. 1:11-12) 

Yes precious people of God, persevering through problems and difficulties, and forbearing and forgiving the faults and offences of others is the cross we’re called to bear, just like Jesus did it for us. That’s spiritual understanding which produces the necessary morality and happiness, and how we live in the light of His LOVE!

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And now it’s time to put those words into godly action! Much LOVE!

…when fear comes a-calling…send faith to answer it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2020 Mark 4:41.

Mark 4:41.     ​What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?

‘I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me! Yes, I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me… I am under the rock!’ Oh mih people, mih people, I sure hope you all are under the rock with me yes, because when the storms of life come howling through, as they most certainly will, and are currently doing, under the rock that’s Jesus, in the shelter of His safe, LOVING and comforting arms, is the only place that true refuge can be found! Why? Because He is the ONLY one who can calm those hungry angry winds of the storm! 

Case in point; the evening Jesus and His disciples were in the boat crossing over the to the other side and a most fearsome storm arose, so that it threatened the lives of those on the water. But where was Jesus eh? Mark says: ‘And he was in the hinder part (the stern) of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto him, Master, carest not thou that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38) Doesn’t that just make you chuckle? This great storm is happening, the boat is tossing and turning, most likely taking in water, but our wonderful Lord and Saviour is in the back of the boat quietly and serenely snoozing away like nothing is happening. 

But Jesus knew exactly what was happening and knew exactly what He would do. So Mark continues: ‘And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’ (Mark 4:39-40) And that’s exactly what He’s saying to us in these trying and very troubled times my people: Where is your faith eh? The faith you talk about so much when things are going well, but seem to lose when times get tough. 

And what was the disciples’ reaction to all that eh? ‘And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:41) Oh my people, it was the Creator of the wind and the sea, so that’s why they obeyed Him! But unfortunately, although the disciples had seen Jesus do other miracles, their faith in the actual time of storm was not good enough. But that’s how Jesus operates; often questioning us in order to spur us on to deeper trust and faith. 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation of the scriptures here: ‘4:35-5:43. Jesus takes His disciples from the classroom to the laboratory. Having just taught that God’s power will cause His kingdom to grow to worldwide proportion and influence – the parable of the mustard seed – (4:30-32), Jesus now performs four miracles that demonstrate this divine might. God’s power is seen overcoming (1) the danger of a storm (4:35-41); (2) demons in a victim possessed (5:1-20); (3) disease in a woman physically ravished (5:21-34); and (4) the death of a little girl (5:35-43).’ 

But friends, we can’t be too hard on the disciples nuh, for as the scholars further state: ‘4:41. The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ And so it surely would be to all of us, regardless of how much we knew about Jesus’ divine might! But as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer says: ‘When God awakens you to His presence, everything becomes a whole lot more meaningful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Once you truly understand what’s happening with Christ in your life, your entire life takes on a whole new perspective. 

And talking about refuge in Christ and being under the rock, causes me to think of two interesting situations, the one of Moses, and the other of Elijah. Both were going through some difficult times in their earthly ministry. Moses prayed for God’s presence to lead him in the exodus of Israel from Egypt. He desired God’s assurance: ‘show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; And consider that this nation is thy people.’ (Ex. 33:13). And the Lord agreed. ‘My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ (Ex. 33:14) 

But Moses still was not satisfied, and later said: ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And he (the Lord) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee… (but) Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift (cleft) of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.’ (Ex. 33:18-23) 

And I like this explanation that www.frankgantz.com/the-cleft-in-the-rock offers: ‘A cleft is a narrow space or split. This would have put rock under Moses’ feet, behind his back and on either side of him. In a sense he was wedged into this rock which would hold him in place and provide a stable base. From that vantage point he would behold the back of God’s glory.’ That makes sense doesn’t it. 

The same thing with Elijah; after killing the prophets of Baal he got tired and discouraged and ran away into the wilderness hoping to die. But God made him rest by a brook for a couple of days and fed him divinely. Then he went for forty days and nights in the strength of that food to Mt. Horeb and hid in a cave there. But the Lord called and asked what He was doing there and he claimed that he was tired and scared after being very zealous in doing the Lord’s work, but the children of Israel had forsaken the Lord and wanted to kill him. 

‘And he (the Lord) said, Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord: (1 Kin. 19:1-11) And an earthquake happened, but the Lord was not in it. Then a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in that either. ‘…and after the fire a still, small voice (delicate whispering voice). And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering (entrance) of the cave.’ And there the Lord spoke with him, strengthened and reassured him, then sent him back to continue his ministry. (1 Kin. 19:11-18) 

Yes friends, when we are weak and discouraged, and think we can’t go on, the most desirous place to be is in the comfort of God’s arms, in that safe cleft of rock on the mountain top that shows His mighty power. He will give us the peace and calm and the reassurance that we all need at times, to continue to be of service to Him here on earth. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And now it’s time to put those words into godly action! Much LOVE!

…the best place to recuperate…in the LOVING arms of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2020 Proverbs 6:16.

Proverbs 6:16.    ​These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him (His soul).
 

So it’s Tuesday – seven days into the vacation – seven days ahready! Brother, the time really flying fast sir! And can you believe that the ole fella has not done anything exciting as yet! Chuh! In fact I’ve only left the confines of the property once since I got here, to go to the wedding last Saturday. It’s all inclusive so I don’t really need to go anywhere to get much of anything. But I know that you all are bored with my just going over the street to the beach and back. (smile) I sincerely promise though, before it’s over, I’m going to have some exciting things to report. So just bear with me nuh. 

And today is the big mas day in T&T, Carnival Tuesday with all the pretty costumes and winer girls on the road, shaking their booties! But I was never that big a mas fan, and the stuff today pales in comparison to the productions of yesteryear. The costumes are much more expensive and much skimpier; like a bra top and bikini bottom and some feathers on your back. 

That’s not mas as I know and appreciate it. But it still resonates strongly with some people. Good for them. So what’s the plan for today eh? As usual – nothing! But I am trying to get the Bit out early so I can do stuff if the opportunity arises. And most appropriately for Carnival Day, I’ve been led to this oh so relevant scripture, since so many untoward things happen on this particular day. (smile) And we talking about the seven deadly sins, according to the wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him (His soul).’ 

And I know some of us are just dying to hear what those seven abominable things are that the Lord hates. Well here goes: ‘A proud look (haughty eyes), a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations (devises wicked plans), feet that be swift in running to mischief (evil), A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.’ (Prov. 6:17-19) 

There we have them friends, seven deadly sins which are unfortunately very prevalent in today’s society, with we supposed Christians doing our fair share of them. We all know we should not participate in them, but I guess the pull of the enemy and our human nature are too strong for many of us. Now let’s see if we can find some scriptures that deal with those abominations. 

Hear Bruh David from Psalm 101 – A commitment to holy living. ‘I will set no wicked (worthless) thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside (to wickedness); it shall not cleave (cling) to me. A froward (perverse) heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person (wickedness). Whoso privily (secretly) slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off (destroy): him that hath a high look and a proud heart will I not suffer endure.’ (Ps. 101:3-5) 

Yuh see friends, even Bruh David refused to put up with wickedness and haughtiness and slander. Much less our holy and just God. And the psalmist in Psalm 120 tearfully asks the Lord to: ‘Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given unto thee? Or what shall be done unto thee, thou false (deceitful) tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty (warrior), with coals of juniper (the broom tree).’ (Ps.120:2-4) 

Yuh see that mih people, for lying and deceitful tongues he’s calling for arrows from the strong and coals to burn thy tongue, possibly like how Isaiah’s was burnt when he was anointed. (Is. 6:5-7) And Isaiah himself earlier on tells us to stay away from abominations: 

‘And when ye spread forth your hands (pray), I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood (bloodshed). Wash you, make you clean; put away your evil doing from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgement (justice), relieve the oppressed, judge (vindicate, defend) the fatherless, plead for the widow.’ (Is.1:15-16) 

Oh my precious brethren, those are words this evil, oppressive and bloodthirsty world of ours would do well to take to heart! We badly need a call to worldwide repentance! And I don’t know, but the devil just seems to be so strong in us that from early o’clock we’ve been evil, so evil, that way back when in Genesis, the Lord had to shake His head and bawl. Why? 

‘And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart (all his thoughts) was only evil continually (all the day). And it repented the Lord (the Lord was sorry) that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.’ (Gen.6:5-6) 

Yuh see how hurt God was back then when mankind was pure wickedness friends? Yuh think He’s not the same way now that we’ve come back to that point, and possibly are even worse than then, because we have invented so much more depravity with our increased learning and knowledge. That great disappointment led Him to destroy all living things except Noah and his family and one pair of each animal. 

How do we know He won’t do the same thing again eh, except not with water, because He promised no more water destruction, but what about fire and brimstone eh? The Lord can destroy us in ways we don’t even know about? Who’s to say that the many new diseases and reoccurrence of old ones and all the other unfortunate and negative disasters currently happening in our world is not a part of His plan eh? 

And when you add the wars, strife and rumours of wars, it might just be His plan for us to eradicate ourselves, because that’s exactly where we are heading, if we continue down this evil road we’re currently on. I had some more scriptures to add yes, but I’ll leave them for another day. I think we’ve gotten the idea the Lord wants us to get. (smile) 

So let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the wicked shall be cast into the darkness of eternity…but the righteous shall dwell in everlasting light and peace with the Lord…