Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2019 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
 

Oh, at long last we might have what can be termed a ‘riney’ day in my area! Wow! We haven’t seen one of those for so long that I’ve forgotten what they look like; cloudy and grey skies, wet streets, etc. (smile) But the parched and hard ground and the dry grass are enjoying it immensely, drinking up the heavenly blessings like there was no tomorrow. And who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway, only Almighty God, our Creator and Provider. 

So please let’s be thankful that we do have a today. And yes, the rain induced my late rising, so consequently the Bit is late. I heard it when it began to fall shortly after six, and had all thoughts of getting up at a decent hour, but you know the spirit is weak, and it just lulled me back into a beautiful dream filled sleep. Now that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what gems of wisdom our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh. And it seems like he was in a godly frame of mind this week, for they all have to do with our heavenly Father. Listen to this first one: ‘How has encouragement shaped your life story in some way? Who encouraged you, and how did they do it? How will you encourage someone in your life this week?’ 

Wise words indeed friends, and sentiments we ought to seriously ponder, because we all need encouragement in this mish-mash and troubled life. And can you think of someone who encouraged you, and thus helped you change your life? I’m sure all of us can. 

But then the next question blossoms: whom can we encourage in our own walk of faith, today, tomorrow, this week, or even next year? Let’s keep a close eye out for that someone or someones, for there are oodles of people in these tremulous and strife filled times who are in need of serious encouragement, and one of our jobs is to encourage the lost and downtrodden with the good news of Jesus. 

And our friend Anselm must have been studying our Bit over the last two days, because the next quote is what we’ve been talking about in them: ‘When we walk in the Light, we won’t stumble in the darkness.’ And since we know that’s gospel truth, and we’ve spoken about it just yesterday, we won’t belabour the point, just remind us to make sure we walk in the Light of Jesus, if we don’t want to stumble in the darkness of Beelzebub! 

And hear this most interesting quote: ‘What’s the condition of your spiritual soil? Rocky, thorny, or rich in spiritual “nutrients”? Why? When you follow the Son daily, how does this practice impact your honesty and heart?’ Good questions all my fellow believers, and also stuff that we should ponder in accordance with the parable of Jesus, per the sower and the ground upon which he sowed his seed. (Matt.13:3-23) 

Please read it, and then ask the Lord to grace us as Jesus said: ‘But he that received seed into good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth (produces), some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Matt.13:23) Yes friends, that ought to be our stated goal; to have a heart with fertile soil, where the Word will grow bountifully and produce a big harvest for Christ! Glory to God my faithful brethren! 

And this last quote quite rightly informs us that: ‘Prayer is the bridge between panic and peace.’ So it is my people, so it is! And I think it’s all brought out by the Lord’s announcement to Cousin Sol when he built and dedicated the temple to the Lord. Here’s what He said: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my fellow believers. Now, just think what a difference it would make, with all the wickedness and sin and evil that’s currently in our world, if we would just turn from those negative things, and instead seek the Lord with all of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, as He directed us to do! The world would be a greatly changed and unrecognizable place. But no, we insist on being sinful and wicked and thrusting God out of our society! So what else can we expect but hurt and pain and sorrow and panic eh? 

Now let’s look at a couple of other scriptures that celebrate the importance of prayer in our lives. And the first one is this one from Mark: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark.1:35) 

That’s one of my favourite scriptures, because it shows that though Jesus was deity in human form, He still found it necessary to communicate regularly with His heavenly Father, so why should we mere mortals be any different eh? No reason whatsoever, we need to do it even more than He did! 

And the second scripture is the prayer which Jesus taught His disciples; ‘The Our Father, or Lord’s Prayer.’ That is so rich and beautiful my people, and covers all bases too! But as I said sometime recently, it came from Jesus, so what else would we expect eh? Nothing but greatness from Him! 

And we’ll close with these two momentous verses from James, Jesus’ brother. ‘And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:15-16) 

And there are many more scriptures on the necessity and efficacy of prayer throughout the Good Book. But please my people, please, please, let’s not forget that prayer is the most powerful tool and weapon in God’s great universe, because that’s the method of communication He devised as a link between Himself and His people! And when we pray with sincere hearts and motives, He will answer us! 

And right now our strife-filled world is desperately in need of prayer from the righteous. So let’s open our righteous hearts and minds and souls and offer up prayers for our societies nuh. The Lord is waiting patiently and expectantly to hear from us, so that He can forgive our monumental sins and heal our disaster-filled land! Much LOVE!

…the believer’s motto…to pray…and yet to pray…and NEVER to faint…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2019 Genesis 28:15.

Genesis 28:15.    ​And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 

Sunday morning, Sunday morning, the Lord is calling‘Come to my house, hear my Word, sing my praises, encourage each other and find joy, unspeakable joy in the house of your God!’ Oh friends, it’s an open invitation to ALL: whosoever will may come! Now that’s an offer we surely can’t refuse, because there’s none better than it! And if you don’t believe me, then please take up the Lord’s offer, try Him, test the reality and faithfulness of His promise. And if it doesn’t work out like He says, then I’ll be your slave for life! (smile) 

And I can make that bold promise because I know from personal experience, that if you check out the Lord’s sanctuary today, you’ll have such a great time, you’ll want to come back each and every week. Mama Mia! Fellowshipping with other believers under the Lord’s watchful and parental eye, with His mercy, grace and forgiveness just flowing freely into our souls and spirits… Brother…it’s just the greatest! 

So let’s start the proceedings as always with a song of praise and exaltation to our great and wonderful Jehovah God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And today’s song is another marvellous hymn that we all know and LOVE: it’s titled ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ The internet site, God Tube, rightly tells us that “Even when we cannot see or feel Him, the Lord never leaves our side. As we walk through each day, let us remember to call upon His name and give thanks. The beautiful lyrics of ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ are the perfect call to the Lord.” 

 It was reputedly written by British hymnist Sarah Flowers in the mid 19th century as a follow up to her pastor’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, known as the story of Jacob’s ladder, or Jacob’s dream. As one vibrant and harmonious voice now, let’s thrill the hordes of heaven with a moderate tempo version of the song. ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Saviour’s LOVE, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Yes friends, the hymn does do the story of Jacob’s dream justice and we also pleased heaven with our rendition. So let’s delve into Jacob’s story a li’l deeper now nuh. All of this happened when his father Isaac sent him away to his families’ homeland of Padan-aram to get a bride from his uncle Laban’s daughters because the daughters of the Canaanites weren’t good enough for him. This was after Jacob had deceived the blind Isaac, who blessed him with what was supposed to be Esau’s birthright. (Gen.27) 

Obviously that created a serious feud in the family, and no doubt Jacob was only too glad to get away from Esau. And it’s said that Jacob’s name meant, cheat, deceiver, con-man, etc. so he certainly lived up to his name. Now one night on his journey, as the sun set, he stopped at a certain place, took up some stones to use for a pillow and went to sleep. Then the Good Book tells us: ‘And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land where thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants). And thy seed (descendants) shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’ (Gen.28:12-15) 

Now doesn’t that just boggle the imagination, that God would use such a trickster to do such meaningful work on his behalf. Change His name to ‘Israel – Prince with God – (Gen.32:28) and thus have him become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. But He did! Just goes to show how He likes to confuse mankind by using those we’d consider very unlikely to be His front-line people. But the Lord’s unconventional approach did seem to work on Jacob, because he awakened afraid, realizing that the Lord was there, unbeknownst to him. 

Then, taking the stone he had used for a pillow, he set it up as an altar to God and poured oil on it, and called the place ‘Bethel’ (the house of God) (Gen.28:16-19) Then he made this life changing vow. ‘If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar (altar), shall be God’s house: and all of that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’ (Gen.28:20-22) 

Ah friends, yuh see how our mighty God moves in mysterious ways? Who would ever have thought that He would use Jacob as one of His main men eh? But that ought to give us hope and encouragement, that no matter how bad we are, how low we fall, that it doesn’t prevent our God of many chances from using us to do big things in His name. So please let the words of the Good Book and the hymn detailing Jacob’s change of heart, resonate in our own hearts, souls, bodies and minds today, and thus cause us to desire the most wonderful option possible… ‘Nearer My God to Thee…Let me draw… Nearer My God to Thee…! Much LOVE!

…no one’s past…eliminates them…from being involved in God’s future…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 July 2019 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.    ​Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 

Aye mih people, it’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood! We’re alive…Glory to God! Yes, we’ve been granted another day on God’s great earth…Give Him thanks and praise for such generosity! And even better…the ole fella’s up early to write you encouraging words…and the icing on the cake is that my trusty desktop behaved perfectly this morning, no rebellion whatsoever. 

Wow! Would the Lord ever be mighty thankful if we could be that obedient! My spelling seems to be somewhat atrocious this morning though, for I made about five mistakes in that last sentence. (smile) And make no doubt about it, the evil one and his cronies are also up and about early, for I just received a phone call purporting to be from my Credit Card Company, warning me that they had stopped some unauthorized payment on my card and I should call such and such a number. 

I don’t know why I even answered the phone because I don’t usually answer numbers that I don’t know. But to be on the safe side, I did check out my Credit Card Company and they did not call me. Just goes to show we have to be on our p’s and q’s each moment of every day, because the master of deceit, falsehood and thievery is always on the lookout for a chance to creep into our souls and our business. 

Anyway, with our Lord and Saviour constantly riding shotgun with us, there’s no need to worry! Give Him some more thanks and praise, exalt His mighty name! And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at what words of wisdom our friend Anselm had to offer this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this one: ‘People will always have an opinion, but you have to live life the way you want to.’ And that’s no lie, especially in these crazy and dangerous times of social media. But you indeed have to live your life the way you see it, though in line with the way our heavenly Father wants us to live our earthly lives. That is the supreme opinion to which you ought to pay constant and faithful attention. 

And then there’s this: ‘Success is a process that continues, not a status that you reach. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned and things you can do.’ Ah mih people, in the first place success from the world’s viewpoint, is definitely not the same as God’s. But in both instances, we have to work towards that successful point, it doesn’t just happen, and once we’re alive, we are supposed to keep on learning, for that’s the whole purpose of being alive! (smile) 

What’s the purpose of being alive and not learning anything eh? None whatsoever! It’s ever so important to keep on learning, both what the phony, evil world is really about, and what God’s righteousness calls for. And the next quote highlights that in spades: ‘Saying good words to people will never go out of style. The truth is everybody likes encouragement; everybody likes somebody cheering them on.’ Now that we can all attest to! 

And it is the duty of Christians to cheer each other on, as well as non-believers! Cousin Sol says it thus: ‘A word fitly spoken (spoken at the right time) is like apples of gold in pictures (settings) of silver.’ (Prov.25:11) and the scholars explain: ’25:11. A timely and fitting word is precious and pleasing.’ And Jesus was all about encouragement, just read His words, and so should His followers be. 

But unfortunately there’s way more discouraging words being spoken in this confused and strife-filled world than encouraging ones, and it is the Christian’s job, to get out there and shine, shine, shine, bring light and encouragement to a dark and tumultuous humanity! As Jesus so desperately desires of us: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven’ (Matt.5:16) 

And this next quote gives some indication of how we’re doing, re maturing faith. ‘A good sign of how secure you are, is what it takes to “offend” you. The more secure you are, the less offended you get.’ And that’s gospel truth! The more secure we are in Jesus, the more it takes to get us offended. And brother, are we ever easily offended these days! 

But just look at Jesus’ example nuh. They said all kinds of rotten and blasphemous things about Him, but He went about His Father’s business nonetheless. He just let it all roll of like water off a duck’s back. He knew whom and whose He was, and His purpose here on earth, so He did not allow the naysayers to get Him off track with their evil words and deeds. And we’ll add this scripture here as a lagniappe. (smile) ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) Let’s remember that friends, it’s all about our dependence on God Almighty! 

Now hear this last quote: ‘As you keep your mind and heart focused in the right direction, approaching each day with faith and gratitude, I believe you will be empowered to live life to the fullest and enjoy the abundant life He has promised you.’ Yes my faithful brethren, Christ did come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b) But the important thing, as our quote says, is to be focused in the right direction. 

And what is the right direction, you ask? Well I believe that right direction is found in these wonderful and wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov.3:5-10) 

Oh my people, my people, no better direction can be found in all the world than those given there by Cousin Sol! Obviously the Lord inspired them, and if we’d just do those few but all-important things, our lives would be ever so wonderful! Not that we won’t have problems, because this world has natural problems coming out of its kazoo, but we’ll be able to prosper and stand strong in Christ despite them all. So please let’s take those words of Cousin Sol to heart this Saturday morning in July of 2019 nuh, so that our lives will manifest the Saviour to this lost and darkened world! Much LOVE!

…to the true believer…Jesus is our BE ALL…and our END ALL…our EVERYTHING…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2019 Isaiah 41:6.

Isaiah 41:6.    ​They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong).
 

It done, it done! Yes friends and family, the radiation business finally done! Thank the Lord! I went back yesterday for the final zap and it went off as smooth as oil, none of the problems of last Friday! Let’s just hope that it accomplished what it was meant to accomplish, because I really don’t want to go back through the inconvenience and side effects again. 

So all I can say is, ‘Thank You yes Lord! Thank You for bringing me through it safely, and I’m leaving everything in your hands. But please give me a break from all the medical issues nuh. I know you are trying to lengthen my life, but by the same token, it does get a bit tiresome and discouraging. Anyway Lord, my life is in your hands, please do as you will with it. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, yuh think it easy? No, it not easy nuh! And remember that Jesus didn’t have it easy either, and He said that we’d face trials and tribulations in this evil and ungodly world, but we were to have peace and be of good cheer, because He had overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

And we all know that that is much easier said than done, especially with all the distractions and enemy attacks that we are currently facing in this degenerate world. But if we are serious and truly turn to Almighty God for help, we WILL be able to handle the world like Jesus recommended. So let’s look at some encouraging stuff nuh. 

And first off is this footnote from a Daily Bread Devotional. It tells us that ‘Encouragement is water to the soul!’ And is it ever my people! For just like our physical bodies need water to survive, so does our souls need encouragement to stay hopeful and alive! Without positive encouragement, we all will sink to undesirable depths of hopelessness, something that Jesus doesn’t want us to ever do. That’s why we need to get together and encourage each other. 

But in these days of lightning quick communication, we can also encourage each other from afar. The important thing is to keep in contact with people of the faith. Now here is this prayer of encouragement, enshrined in plastic, (smile) that I found on my desk from the Anglican Church, Diocese of Toronto. Please pray with me: ‘Sustain us, O Lord, with Your Holy Spirit. Give us an enquiring mind and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to LOVE You, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, a simple but ever so far-reaching prayer! And it asks for exactly the things we need to get us successfully through this trouble-filled world. And I do hope that it encouraged us, that it strengthened our backbone and belly some, (smile) caused us to stand up a li’l stronger and straighter, and to keep the faith in, and of Jesus, burning like a holy fire in our souls, bodies, hearts and minds! 

Wow! What a way the ole fella waxing philosophical and encouraging this Tuesday morning in the wonderful summer of 2019! (smile) But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the whole purpose of the Bit; to keep us strong and encouraged in the faith! So if I’m not encouraging you, then I’m not doing what the Lord requires of me…And no way, do I want Him to ask me, come the judgement day, why I didn’t do what He asked. So let’s keep up with the encouragement nuh. (smile) 

Brother! Is it ever a smiley kind of day! But that’s how it ought to be anyway. (smile) And it’s no mistake that within a couple of chapters of the Good Book that the Lord commanded Moses to encourage Joshua. ‘But Joshua, the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go thither (into the promised land): encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.’ (Deut.1:38) 

And the Lord commanded Moses again when He took him up the mountain to see the Promised Land from afar. ‘But charge (command) Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.’ (Deut.3:28) That shows how big our God is on encouragement, and so should we be too. 

Now hear this wonderful and encouraging scripture from Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel. ‘They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong). So the carpenter (craftsman) encouraged the goldsmith (refiner), and he that smootheth with the hammer, him that smote (struck) the anvil, saying, It is ready for sodering  (of the soldering, it is good): and he fastened it with the nails (pegs), that it should not be moved (totter).’ (Is.41:6-7) 

Ah mih people, if only the saints of Jesus would be as encouraging to each other eh! What a wonderful world this would be! But too often, those who should encourage us, discourage us instead, and then we need to take matters into our own hands, like Bruh David did when his men wanted to stone him, after the Amalekites burned down their city of Ziklag and took all their women and children captive. The Good Book tells us: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ (1 Sam.30:6b) 

Yes precious people of God, we can’t always depend on others to encourage us, but when the heifer dust hits the fan (smile) we need to also be able to encourage ourselves in Jehovah God. That’s when the true strength and maturity of our faith really shows out. So please be encouraged today…and everyday, for we serve an encouraging and faithful God! 

Now let’s show that faith by declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and 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!’ 

Wonderful friends, wonderful! Now let’s go out and fulfill that promise by encouraging others, through sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the less fortunate. That’s His ultimate desire! Much LOVE!

…encouragement…one of the believer’s most important tools…in his or her ministry…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2019 Joshua 24:15d.

Joshua 24:15d.   But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
 
Well friends, what do we have to say about Wednesday eh? Does it bring us the mid-week blues? Or does it offer us a li’l encouragement, knowing that we’ve made it successfully to the middle of the week, thus causing a dim light to appear at the end of the tunnel? However yuh take it, it’s Wednesday, and you can’t get away from it! (smile) 

So just buckle down and keep on fighting the good fight in the glorious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; the name that’s above every other name, and to whom all knees must eventually bow and worship to the glory of God the Father!

Wow! What a mouthful! But what a truthful, energizing and encouraging one! One that will reward us with everlasting life and unimaginable blessings, mercies, grace, forgiveness and unfathomable, unconditional LOVE! 

You certainly can’t get any better than that nuh my people! That’s why I’m always amazed and sorrowful when believers turn away from Jesus, and proceed to blaspheme His holy name, or others simply reject Him out of hand. That’s not wisdom, but pure stupidity, for who or what else offers the benefits that Jesus does eh? NOBODY or NOTHING! 

It’s like when we’re looking for a job, we usually try to find one with good benefits, even though the pay might be a bit smaller, because benefits cost much more and thus we often can’t afford to pay them out of our own pockets, even when we get a healthy raise. 

No wonder many companies these days are not offering the kind of benefits they used to, because they’ve become so expensive and hurt the bottom line…and we know in our capitalistic, read greedy society, everything is about the bottom line, the social aspect hardly matters anymore! 

So as the man says, when times get tough, who yuh gonna run to eh? Beelzebub? Steups! He doesn’t have anything good to offer. All he has is a nice looking façade on the outer portion of his business, the inner portion stinks; because it’s rotten, evil, greedy and strife-filled! Plus he lies, steals and is very deceitful. 

You can’t believe anything he says. Not to mention the fact that all the supposed fancy baubles he offers are just nicely coated junk, and start to deteriorate as soon as they are made and you certainly can’t take them with you when you die! So why would anybody in their right minds want to knowingly associate with the prince of darkness eh? But that just means there are a lot of people in this world who are definitely not in their right minds! (smile) 

Thankfully my fellow brethren, we are not numbered amongst that unfortunate lot. For we believe in the ONE TRUE and FAITHFUL GOD, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who’s Son is Jesus, our Redeemer, heavenly Advocate and Prince of Peace, amongst many other things, and as we said before, the Name that’s above every other name! Praise His High and Holy Name! He is faithful and true and offers benefits like they’re going out of style! (smile) 

And Jesus goes one step further, the extra mile, by showing concern for our earthly status as well as our life in the hereafter. Satan doesn’t give a damn about that! He just wants to get us in his evil grip here on earth, and then see us perish down in Hades with him. 

But hear what Jesus says: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16)  You can’t beat that friends! The Lord our God is concerned about all aspects of our existence because He created us with His own two hands, that’s why He LOVES us so much and was willing to undergo extreme heartbreak to save us. 

As Jesus continues: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) Glory to our great God! In other words, God is concerned with saving us from the damnation of hell, while Lucifer wants us to go down there and suffer with him. Now which one will you choose? I do hope you choose the right one yes friends, because if you don’t, life will be a real hell, both here on earth and in hell below. 

And I’ll quote these famous words of Joshua to the Israelites on the above subject. ‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (Euphrates river), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. 

And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (Euphrates River), or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:14-15) 

Yes friends, in this world we must serve somebody, and there are really only two options, Satan or Jehovah God. The decision is yours to make. Let’s hope you choose the wise one like Joshua and myself, and choose to serve the Lord God Almighty, your Creator as well as your eventual judge. 

And for those wise ones, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, proudly letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that future will certain sure be glorious indeed my people! If Jesus promised it, then you can bet your bottom dollar on it! Much LOVE!

…you’ve got to serve either God…or mammon…you can’t serve both…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. 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 all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith now: ‘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 the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

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