Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 February 2023 James 3:13.

James 3:13.       Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge (has understanding) among you? let him shew out of a good conversation (conduct) his works with meekness of wisdom (that his works be done in wisdom.)

It’s Thursday…and it’s sunny…Glory be! We won’t even bother to talk about the cold because it’s now wintertime in my area, and that means cold. (smile) So what shall we talk about today? Well, I just opened the Good Library and it opened unto the story of Jabez in 1 Chronicles, which is a marvellous story on honour and integrity. So let’s check that out nuh. 

The chapter opens by talking about the descendants of Judah, then, out of the blue declares: ‘And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez (He will cause pain, Son of sorrow), saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.’ (1 Chr. 4:9) Now, we know how Old Testament names were very important and usually spoke of a person’s character and behaviour, however the next verse of the scripture, which we call ‘The Prayer of Jabez’ tends to disagree with the name Jabez’s mother gave him. 

It says: ‘And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast (border), and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me (cause me pain)! And God granted him that which he requested.’ (1 Chr. 4:10) And that’s all we know about Jabez. Now why is that eh? 

The scholars surmise that ‘the retention of this historical information probably indicates that God had granted Jabez’s request. His good accomplishments thus contradict his name “Son of Sorrow.” But I think it’s somewhat more than that. It shows that honour and integrity are very important in God’s framework. And was included in the scriptures as an example for us. Remember, nothing is in the scriptures unless there is a specific purpose. And Jabez’s story is there to show us that God rewards honour, integrity and good character. 

And I like this explanation of what makes a man honourable. ‘The word honorable has to do with people and actions that are honest, fair, and worthy of respect. An honorable person is someone who believes in truth and doing the right thing — and tries to live up to those high principles.’ And those traits are shown to be treasured all throughout the Bible. So let’s look at a few examples nuh. 

This first verse comes from Isaiah. ‘But the liberal (generous, noble) deviseth liberal (generous) things; and by liberal things shall he stand.’ (Is. 32:8) Now that doesn’t sound as explanatory as most of us would like, but this explanation says it much better. ‘A man who is bold, humble, responsible and worthy of respect; a man who trusts in the Lord and obeys Him alone. The honourable man is a leader who fears nothing but the Lord. If you seek to be this man; then this one’s just for you’ 

Yes friends, between those two passages we have a basic definition of honour, and it all traces right back to the things that God finds acceptable in His people. Remember God’s most important mention of honour; so important that He placed it in the Ten Commandments. ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex. 20:12) 

Now that’s the first commandment of promise, meaning that if you do as it says your earthly life will be worthwhile. Unfortunately though, many children don’t treat their parents with respect and honour. And please note the Lord didn’t say if your parents raise or treat you right, you should honour them, but to honour them regardless of their behaviour. That’s your bounden duty. 

And Jesus even called out the Pharisees on it, when He said: ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whosoever curseth father or mother let him die the death (be put to death). But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say a gift (dedicated to the temple), by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, he shall be free. And ye suffer (allow) him no more to do ought (anything) for his father or for his mother. Making the word of God of none (no) effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered (handed down): and many such like things ye do.’ (Mark 7:9-13) 

That’s right, the Jews evaded responsibility to their parents by saying their substance was ‘Corban, ‘or dedicated to God,’ which obviously contradicted God’s law to honour their mothers and fathers. And sadly, many of us do the same thing today; finding all sorts of ways to ignore our parents or not help them in whatever aspect they have need. But one day it will certainly boomerang back on us, either right down here on planet earth, or in the day of judgement. 

And James tells us: ‘Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge (has understanding) among you? let him shew out of a good conversation (conduct) his works with meekness of wisdom (that his works be done in wisdom.)’ (James 3:13) That’s the King James Version, but the New Living Translation (NLT) puts it thus: ‘If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.’ 

Meanwhile, Bruh Paul tells it to us in a simple overall manner in Romans. ‘Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another.’ (Rom. 12:10) Oh my brethren do we ever need to be devoted in honour and LOVE to each other, especially in these very dark and trying times. We need to show great respect for both ourselves and others, as well as the rules we live by. When we are honourable, we keep our word, and do the right thing, regardless of what others are doing. 

And that’s why the Lord has bestowed these amazing Thursday Blessings on us, so we can live the life that honours Him and our fellow man. But we need to declare those blessings to activate them. So let’s do that right now nuh, in strong and sincere voice. ‘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, having declared them, let’s go out and use them to bless others, just as generously as God blessed us with them. Much LOVE!

…from the beginning of time…HONOUR…has been one of man’s important watchwords… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 January 2023 Hebrews 6:19a.

Hebrews 6:19a.       Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,

And the days of this new year are moving swiftly by. Can you believe we’re already moving into the last full work week of January? Yuh better believe it! January will soon be over and we’ll be looking to Valentine’s Day, another big money spinner. But we’ll take it all in stride once we stay strong and steadfast in Christ and fellowship on the Sabbath, which is today. That means thanks, praise, worship and togetherness in the Lord’s sanctuary. Wow! That’s what the Lord’s Day is all about! 

And today we’ll open with an old but beautiful and favourite hymn, recorded by numerous artistes down through the years, aptly titled ‘Whispering Hope,’ written in 1868 by American musician and poet Septimus Winner (1827-1902). The text of the song refers to the anchor that keeps the soul unwavering – the ‘Whispering Hope’ for all Christians.’ So let’s lift our voice in sacrificial praise to heaven in a mid-tempo soulful, harmonious, heartfelt version of the song, letting them know that our souls are unwaveringly anchored in the biggest and best anchor, Jesus Christ. 

Singing: ‘Soft as the voice of an angel, Breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion Whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till the tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, After the shower is gone. (Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) If, in the dusk of the twilight, Dim be the region afar, Will not the deepening darkness Brighten the glimmering star? Then when the night is upon us, Why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, Watch for the breaking of day. [Refrain] 

Hope, as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul, Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal; Come then, oh, come, glad fruition, Come to my sad weary heart; Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, oh, never depart. [Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) 

Now wasn’t that just beautiful friends! And I do hope that those encouraging words lifted our spirits, giving us confidence to face the upcoming work week, for that’s one of the purposes of our Sunday fellowship. Now it’s widely acknowledged that the basis for this song comes from Chapter 6 of Hebrews, where the author talks about God’s covenant with Abraham which involves salvation among other things, (Gal. 3:15-24) which he received after he patiently endured. (Heb. 6:13-16) 

However God had more security on His mind, as the author writes. ‘Wherein God, willing (determining) more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. That by two immutable (unchangeable) things in which it was impossible to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered even Jesus, made (having become) a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb. 6:17-20) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘God’s covenant with Abraham, which involves salvation (Gal. 3:15-25), is secure, being based upon two immutable things, that is. elements that cannot change. First, God’s promise is based on His own unchanging Word, He cannot lie, nor will He allow His Word to fail (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17). Further, His word was confirmed by an oath. And since He can swear by none greater, He swears by Himself. He rests His Word on His holy character.’ 

Meanwhile, they further explain that in the last three verses ‘the author uses three pictures to demonstrate the security of being in Christ. First, it is described as a safe retreat for the believer, as were the six cities of refuge in the Old Testament to those allowed their protection (Num. 35:6-32).Second, our hope is sure and steadfast as is a well-placed, unbending anchor. Our anchor is not located in the deepest sea but in the highest heaven. The third figure is that of a forerunner. Though the figure changes, the location does not. Our forerunner is likewise positioned in the sanctuary of the heaven. 

As our forerunner, Jesus is different from the Old Testament priests. In the sanctuary they could intercede for the people, but they could not lead the people in themselves. As our forerunner, Jesus has opened the way before us, that eventually (and certainly) we might enter in with Him.’ Oh, I know that might sound somewhat confusing, but just take your time and read it. Now here is some other info on the song, in particular ‘As an anchor so steadfast.’ Now please don’t ask me where I got it from, because there’s no note to it. (smile) But it might just help us understand the anchor scene better. 

So please read with me: ‘It is a striking likeness when he compares faith leaning on God’s word to an anchor; for doubtless, as long as we sojourn in this world, we stand not on firm ground, but are tossed here and there as it were in the midst of the sea, and that indeed very turbulent; for Satan is incessantly stirring up innumerable storms, which would immediately upset and sink our vessel, were we not to cast our anchor fast in the deep. 

For nowhere a haven appears to our eyes, but wherever we look water alone is in view; yea, waves also arise and threaten us; but as the anchor is cast through the waters into a dark and unseen place, and while it lies hid there, keeps the vessel beaten by the waves from being overwhelmed; so must our hope be fixed on the invisible God. There is this difference, — the anchor is cast downwards into the sea, for it has the earth as its bottom; but our hope rises upwards and soars aloft, for in the world it finds nothing on which it can stand, nor ought it to cleave to created things, but to rest on God alone. 

As the cable also by which the anchor is suspended joins the vessel with the earth through a long and dark intermediate space, so the truth of God is a bond to connect us with himself, so that no distance of place and no darkness can prevent us from cleaving to him. Thus when united to God, though we must struggle with continual storms, we are yet beyond the peril of shipwreck. Hence he says, that this anchor is sure and steadfast, or safe and firm. It may indeed be that by the violence of the waves the anchor may be plucked off, or the cable be broken, or the beaten ship be torn to pieces. This happens on the sea; but the power of God to sustain us is wholly different, and so also is the strength of hope and the firmness of his word.’ 

Now that ought to clear up a few things. (smile) So let’s go home filled with heavenly hope that’s solidly, safely and securely anchored as it ought to in Christ our Lord and Saviour, our High Priest and forerunner or precursor in the heavens. Much LOVE!

…hope is what leads to faith…without hope, you can’t have faith… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 January 2023 Psalm 139:17.

Psalm 139:17.       How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

And finally, we come to the first full work week of this new year. Isn’t that just grand? Many of us won’t think so, because we’ve had a few consecutively short work weeks in the recent past. And before that, it was already tough for us to handle the five-day variety, I just wonder what’s going to happen to us now, that we’re going back to the same old, same old. (smile) But I have faith in us, for our awesome God made us to be resilient to the max! 

How did Bruh David describe our exotic creation in Psalm 139? ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well (very well). My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them, (the plans for my life were written before I was even made). How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps. 139:13-18) 

Now friends, that’s how important we are to our heavenly Father and Creator! He took His time and perfectly planned out our entire course before He even began to make us! That means we are very precious, special and important to our God. Why would He send His sinless Son Jesus Christ to die for us eh, if we weren’t important to Him eh? Jesus said: ‘For God so LOVED the world…’ (John 3:16) That’s why! 

And Bruh David also addressed the matter of our importance to God in Psalm 40, when he writes: ‘Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order (counted) unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.’ (Ps. 40:5) It just goes to show that we were not simply an afterthought of God, but a greatly desired and well-planned creation. 

Thus, He’s so good, so merciful and gracious unto us. We’re made in His image, living through the breath of His life, and destined to be with Him till eternity! If that doesn’t shout importance, LOVE, and togetherness, then I don’t know what does! The problem though is that our minds are too puny and finite to understand God’s great LOVE for us. As Bruh Paul declares in his epistle to the church at Rome: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways are past finding out!’ (Rom. 11:33) 

That’s gospel truth my faithful brethren! And the prophet Isaiah said it long before Bruh Paul, when he wrote of our Creator: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) That’s putting it mildly my people!  

And the scholars explain: ‘God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts (i.e. purposes or intentions) and ways (directions) are higher than ours. While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purpose.’ Simply stated: we can never fully understand or know our Creator! But that’s why He gave us those things called hope and faith, trust and surrender. So that despite our inability to fully know and understand His purposes and intentions, we can rest assured that His intentions to us are always for good. 

Like Jeremiah puts it: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) Now seeing all the good that the Lord has done for us, in spite of our rebellion, disobedience and blasphemy against Him, why is it so difficult to believe that He truly cares for us and wants only our best eh? And why do we fight against this reassuring scripture eh? ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) 

Our problem is that we are so selfish, greedy and entitled that we don’t want to have any unfortunate circumstances happen to us, we’re just interested in living for today. We don’t care about it all ending up right, we want it right, right now! But that’s not the way the world or our God operates. And if we don’t hurry up and get smart and accept those facts, then crapaud smoke we pipe! We’re going to pay an awfully high price for not believing and trusting Almighty God. 

But for those of us who have already woken up from our slumber, let’s go to our Creator through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, offering thanks and praise, then asking for forgiveness and help. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. 

Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now the ball is in our court; time to keep our promises and turn from our evil ways. Much LOVE!

…humans are the most important of God’s creations…His awesome LOVING-kindness to us…though undeserved…shows that in spades… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 January 2023   2 Corinthians 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.        We walk by faith, not by sight.

Another Sunday is upon us friends, which means it’s time to get together to fellowship in the presence of our Lord God Jehovah. For those who can make it to the Lord’s sanctuary, that’s the best place, but if you can’t, one of the wonders of today’s technological world is online worship, and you are advised to do that, rather than not fellowship at all. (smile) There are simply no excuses these day for not joining in some worship service or the other. 

Anyway, to open our proceedings today, we’ve chosen a favourite song that very appropriately describes what we hope to accomplish for this new year of 2023, that’s to live more keenly for Christ. And the name of the song is ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee.’ Yes, it’s the often recorded traditional gospel song, who’s author remains unknown, despite several stories as per its origin and public attention. 

Needless to say, it’s become a big hit over the years, and today we’ll do it justice by singing an up-tempo version, a la Anne Murray, because it’s a song of praise, pleas and gratitude, and such a song ought to be sung in rousing fashion to show the joy in our hearts. So, with sweet harmony, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise to high heaven. 

Singing: ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.)’ 

Oh friends, that was a great version of a very uplifting song. The scholars say: ‘The title and lyrics of the song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Corinthians 5:7 which states, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” and James 4:8, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” Or, as the King James version puts it: ‘Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.’ 

And there is great truth to those statements, for we can only walk close to Jesus by first getting to know Him, then sticking with Him through faith, as Romans 8:24-25 so wisely and graciously inform us. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, without hope there can be no faith, for hope is the forerunner to faith, and you can only walk with Christ through faith, which is strong trust for the positive expectations of things to come, things that you have not seen, but know deep down that they will eventually come to pass because Jesus promised it. 

There’s also this interesting scripture from 2 Chronicles which puts our walk with God in right perspective. It’s the prophet Azariah’s warning to King Asa. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet (before) Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr. 15:1-2) 

And that’s the living truth my people! If we seek Christ sincerely, we will find Him, but if we forsake Him, He’ll just leave us to do our own thing. And we all know the serious ramifications involved in doing our own thing without God’s divine and omnipotent help: the rate of success is few to none. (smile) 

Meanwhile, the website Hymnary.org offers this commentary on the tune. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace.’ 

Remember Bruh Paul pleading three times with the Lord to remove the thorn from his side. ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor.12:9-10) 

And that’s a fact friends, when our weaknesses come against us, that’s when we’re truly strong, because it’s then that God’s amazing grace rises up to help and protect us. And there are so many useful and encouraging scriptures in the God’s Library on faith and walking with God, that we can spend the whole day talking about them and never exhaust them, (smile) that’s because walking with God in faith is what we’re all about, what God made us to do. 

Unfortunately though, too many of us refuse to get right with God and walk faithfully with Him. Instead in this evil and ungodly world the trend is to walk away from Christ right into the open, deceitful and destructive arms of Beelzebub. How can that ever be a wise decision eh my people, when all Beelzebub has to offer is death and destruction in the fiery halls of hell? 

That’s why this year of 2023 is so important to Christ’s church. We have to turn this exodus from it around, and can only do so by we faithful believers sincerely living for Him, truthfully showing it in our lifestyles and boldly telling it in our speech. That’s the only way to right this ship called the church of Christ! Much LOVE!

…there’ll be no excuses in heaven…when your earthly sojourn…shows a lack of pride, passion and purpose… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ  

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 January 2023 Hebrews 10:23.

Hebrews 10:23.        Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Well, although my computer tells me it’s going to be above freezing again, and partly sunny, I have my doubts, because the day’s opened wet and cloudy and ugly. It’s been constant rain for the last couple of days. Makes you want to sing that old ditty; ‘Rain, rain, go away, and come back some other day.’ But you know what, although the last few days have been dark and ugly, once we have Jesus dwelling in us, everything seems beautiful! That’s the awesome reaction His presence gives us. We can just go about singing and dancing and giving thanks and praise despite our prevailing circumstances. 

Awright, so that might be laying it on a bit too thick, (smile) we do have concerns, and every day is not a walk in the park, but when we hold on tightly to Jesus, we do have peace, our hearts are lightened and our souls gush with joy, simply because He’s with us. The One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, The Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Mighty Warrior, Wonderful Counsellor, The Prince of Peace, who’s kingdom shall never end. The One who’s name is above every other, that all knees must bow to and acknowledge God’s glory in and through Him! 

Wow! Can One body really be all those wonderful things? Oh Yes! Our Jesus can…and He is, because He is the Son of God, our Lord and Saviour: the One who sacrificed His sinless life for us on the cross of Calvary, so that our sins could be forgiven, and we be reconciled to God the Father. The One who’s blood flowed from His side, His hands, His feet and washed our sins clean, washed them white as snow. How could He not be our ALL in ALL eh? Especially now that He’s also our High Priest and heavenly Intercessor, sitting at the right hand of the Father pleading our cases, being able to empathize with our earthly problems because He too experienced them while here on earth. 

That’s possibly one of the greatest reasons why we can place our trust in Jesus; He understands from personal experience! As the author of Hebrews puts it so elegantly: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Oh my fellow believers, that says it all! Or, you might say it puts the icing on the cake! (smile) For there’s no better place to seek help than in one who’s already experienced our kind of problems. When we are sick, we go a doctor; to build a house, to a carpenter; to fix our teeth, to a dentist, to help us with prayer, to a pastor, because they are more informed and experienced in those fields. We won’t go to a pastor to help us build our house, or a carpenter to help us when we’re sick. 

However, the beauty of Jesus is that He’s experienced in EVERYTHING! That’s why He should always be the FIRST ONE we go to when we encounter problems, and not the last, like so many of us supposed believers do. He might send us to other mortals for help, but His ear, through sincere prayer, should be the first one to hear of our predicament, or our praise and thanksgiving. And yuh know what amuses, surprises but mostly saddens me, is that we talk so much about Jesus and all the marvellous things He is, has done and can do, but we don’t truly believe them, otherwise we’d revere and worship Him so much more, place every trust in Him, surrender our lives to Him without a doubt in our souls. 

It’s all a lot of blarney, deceptive and misleading talk, because we don’t live out our faith, we don’t hold fast to our profession (confession) of faith like the author of Hebrews advised in that passage above. But that holding fast to our faith is the most important thing we possess, for without our faith we are lost, lost in the darkness and doubt of this evil and ungodly world 

And the author of Hebrews revisits the problem in greater detail later on in his writings, where he admonishes: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:23-25) 

And believe me my brethren, that day is fast approaching, the signs are there, and can, or rather, will come upon us like a thief in the night, unexpectedly, so we had better be ready. And that can only happen if we get serious about our faith in Christ Jesus and do the things we know we ought to do; like prayer, praise, thanksgiving, assembling with each other in holy fellowship, encouraging each other, and above all, LOVING each other like Jesus LOVED us. 

And that’s not merely my admonishment, but His. His own words were: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) The question now my fellow saints is whether or not the world, the unbeliever recognizes us as disciples of Christ? And the general consensus is NO! Because we do not LOVE each other as Jesus LOVED us! 

Can we call what’s happening in Christ’s church LOVE? All the petty bickering, backbiting, resentment, cliques, false teaching, divisions and scandalous behaviour that’s corrupted it, is not LOVE by any stretch of the imagination. His satanic majesty is overjoyed when he looks at the church and sees it so weak and ineffective. He knows then that he has divided and conquered it. But not forever, if we faithful are willing to get serious, to rise up, put on God’s armour and fight tooth and nail to save it. 

And please don’t say we can’t, for remember with Jesus in and with us, everything is possible; we just have to believe and live out that belief. And our God is so wonderful and generous that He’s bestowed many powerful blessings on us, blessings we don’t deserve but are needed to fight the good fight. We call them our Thursday Blessings. So let’s activate them now by sincerely declaring (yesss!!!) them. 

Altogether 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now, having activated those blessings, let’s go out and use them nuh, put them to work, as the Lord desires, as we fight the good fight in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…2023 must be the year Christ’s church…like the phoenix…triumphantly rises from its ashes…and once again…makes a worthwhile difference… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ            

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 December 2022 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.       If any man will (desires to) come after me (be my disciple), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Well, here’s another ‘Can you believe it’: On Thursday 29th December 2022, the sun is shining and the weather is fine! The temperature is about 8 degrees Celsius. That’s in the middle of winter. Rain is expected not snow! As the old people would say, what  en’t reach you, en’t pass you! In other words, you won’t believe it until you see it! So it’s obvious that times are a changing; both in weather and the nature of man, and thus in our society. Mankind is certainly becoming like Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy so long ago. 

‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be loves of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), highminded (haughty), lovers of pleasures more (rather) than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (mere religion without the power of a spiritual life): from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Oh friends, it seems that Bruh Paul is in our midst today writing about the sorry state of our world. For, unless you are blind, deaf, dumb and totally not involved, you have surely noticed the decline of our society, debased to the level of all the things Bruh Paul spoke to Timothy about. I don’t know if there’s ever been an angrier and more strife-filled time in mankind’s history across the whole known world at the same time, like we’re now experiencing, where everybody is in an uproar over something, and nobody’s satisfied about anything. 

I daresay the last days can’t be far ahead. But until that time, it is the bounden duty of we believers to fight tooth and nail to keep the world for Christ! This is the time for which we were created. We have all we need to change things, but we are just fearful and lazy, preferring to enjoy the pleasures of the world rather than do the world-changing work of God. 

Yes my people, please, let’s remember Jesus’ parting desire, His Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

Now my fellow believers, please tell me what aspect of that is rocket science eh, that’s so high that we don’t understand it? It’s simple and clear forward like everything else Jesus says! We just don’t want to make the sacrifice it entails to do His work. But please remember these words of Jesus also; the requirements for being His disciple. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me (be my disciple), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Oh my brethren, the life of a follower of Jesus involves daily sacrifice if necessary. It is a good, abundant and prosperous but also sacrificial life, like Jesus’ was. He never asks us to do what He never did, or will not empower us to do. The problem is that we need to raise the level of our faith, the level of our trust and surrender to His faithfulness. We can’t just lie down and play dead before the evil doings of the world. No! We need to put on the armour of God that we recently spoke about and join the spiritual battle that’s taking place for the soul and spirit of our world, our children and our families! 

Unfortunately though, most of that fight is being conducted by a handful of believers. And when Christ’s church should be so deeply involved in this fight, it’s not, because it’s divided, disunited and torn apart by selfish, petty disagreements. The enemy has successfully divided and conquered it. Yesterday we saw where Bruh Paul spoke to the Colossians about putting off the old man.  Today though is a different day, one where we desperately need to listen and do as he exhorts: ‘And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.’ (Col. 3:10) 

Oh friends, that’s what we need in our world today; the new man, the new person we are supposed to become after accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour. And to paraphrase the scholars, that’s a man with a new nature, a Christ-like one, ‘with new values, aspirations and a new lifestyle. And that new man needs to be constantly renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth! It surely is! That means to improve our Christ-like mettle, improve our faith and desire to do Christ’s bidding, our first priority is to learn more about God, that’s read, study and meditate on His awesome Word. And a dusty Bible, sitting unopened and unused in a corner is not the way to learn about God. Rather, as they say, the Bible is for everyday living, not only for weekends. So you need to open, read and study it, EVERY DAY, if you truly want to know more about your heavenly Father. That’s the long and short of the story! 

And what I LOVE about our great God is His faithfulness and generosity, where He showers us with undeserved blessings so that we can do His earthly work. We call them our Thursday Blessings, but we have to declare them before they can be activated. So let’s do that right now nuh. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 now that those blessings have been activated, let’s get out there and enthusiastically share them faithfully and generously, and thus put and keep the devil in his rightful place…that’s in hell. Much LOVE!

…we believers need a resurgence of faith and courage…which can only come from serious study of the Bible…and a time of serious gospel revival…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 December 2022 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.        If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

And once again, this new day, this lazy Saturday has dawned grey and overcast. However, my computer weather forecast tells me that it will eventually be mostly sunny. Let’s hope that is true, because there’s nothing worse than a cold, cloudy day. And since I’ve already lazed out as much of the day as possible, (smile) I’ve got to get right into the Bit, considering the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now the first quote tells us: ‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ Well, that’s at least partly true, because some things, if you don’t believe in them, you’ll never experience them. That’s just the nature of those things. It’s like belief and faith in Christ. If you don’t believe in Christ, have sincere faith in Him, you’ll never experience the wonderful things He has in store for you. All the many miracles, or what some might call magical moments, in a life lived exclusively for Him. 

It’s the faith, the belief that creates the opportunities. And how is faith defined? ‘The substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Exactly my faithful brethren! Faith is what we hope for, the positive expectation of what we don’t see, but know that it will come along eventually. And that segues very nicely into our next quote. ‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.’ 

That’s the gospel truth. Many of us can think back to moments we never really valued at the time they were happening, but now, many years later, realize how important and valuable they were in our life. I can think of several right off the top of my head. Unfortunately though, not properly appreciating the moments of life when they occur, is a sad drawback to the human nature. 

Why? I don’t know! But we just seem to pass over some moments without paying proper attention to them. And that’s ever so possible and plentiful in our busy society. And later on, we so often hold our heads and bawl: ‘Oh how I wish I’d paid more attention to such and such, or so and so!’ But then it’s too late my people. Let’s hope that this will give us a wakeup call, to consider all the moments in our lives, so that we don’t pass over some of the real important ones, and only have vague memories of them as we go back and forth in our rocking chairs. (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote succinctly informs us: ‘To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.’ And that’s the glorious truth! Be it in the evil doings of this world, or in the wonderful kingdom of Christ. To gain much, one must usually expend much; in time, money, energy, faith and hope! That’s because big rewards just naturally come from big expenditures in whatever you’re seeking to achieve. And if you think that’s not true, then listen to Jesus as He sets out His basic rule for discipleship. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Now if that isn’t a big risk, I don’t know what is. It means that every day we have to put aside our own desires and do God’s will. Be like Jesus said in His darkest hour in the Garden of Gethsemane: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt. 26:42). Yes friends, Jesus would have surely preferred not to go to the cross, but He was willing to do it if it was the Father’s will. Likewise, we are expected to put our desires aside and do Jesus’ will if we want to receive big rewards in heaven. 

Please note that all the people mentioned as being of great faith and doing great things in the Bible, all took great risks and sacrificed much. Names like Abraham, who packed up and left his family simply on God’s say so. A God He did not even know. Likewise, Moses, led the Israelites at great sacrifice to himself. Bruh Joseph experienced much heartache and betrayal in his young life, but he held on staunchly to the promise of His God and was eventually greatly rewarded by being made the Prime minister of Egypt, then the greatest power on earth. 

Look at the lives of Bruh David, Bruh Paul, Job, etc. etc. All laid down their own desires to follow that of their God, and were well rewarded, not necessarily here on earth, but definitely in heaven, where Jesus said it was the best place to store one’s treasure. (smile) 

And then, there was this quote: ‘To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the ‘what is next’, of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.’ Now, all of that is technically true; without dreams and goals we’re merely existing, and that’s not why God made us. But to live a truly fulfilled life, one must be living for Jesus! For He is the only one who can bring real fulfillment to our souls and spirits. 

The world might bring fulfillment to our bodies, but those pass away back to the dust from which they were originally formed. However, our souls and spirits live on, and that’s why they ought to be properly taken care of. And remember only Jesus gives eternal life, peace, true joy and unconditional LOVE! But that doesn’t mean that our desires and dreams are unimportant to our God. Definitely not, since he is the One who originally put them there! 

And let’s not forget this magnificent advice of Bruh David, which he wrote from personal experience: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps. 37:1-5) 

Obviously you won’t get everything you want, especially if it conflicts with God’s will, but my people, that’s the only way to live a truly fulfilled life on God’s great earth! That brings us to this last quote, another dilly. ‘The most wasted of days is one without laughter.’ And yuh better believe it! A day without laughter is indeed a wasted day. Now, we’re not talking about just maniacal, delirious laughter, but moments when the soul and spirit exude a joy that lifts us up, that enables us to continue steadfastly on the straight and narrow road. 

And Cousin Sol, in his infinite wisdom, described laughter thus. ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ (Prov. 17:22) Yes friends, it’s been scientifically proven that laughter is one of the best, and the cheapest medicines ever. Here are some of the things laughter does. It lowers blood pressure; reduces stress hormone levels, and right now stress is the biggest killer in our society. Laughter also works your abs. Oh yeah! When you laugh your stomach muscles contract and expand like when you intentionally exercise your abs. 

It improves cardiac health; gets your heart pumping and improves blood flow. It boosts ‘T-cells’ a natural immune system that helps us fight off sickness. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, another facet of our natural pain relief system. And finally, laughter produces a general sense of well-being. It certainly does! And doctors have discovered that those with a positive outlook on life, who laugh a fair amount, also live longer than those who are on the negative side of the equation and don’t laugh as much. So please, let’s go out today and be positive, bask in the joy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and laugh a lot, so we can live longer! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus might be tough…but it’s always interesting… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 December 2022 John 14:15.

John 14:15.       If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

And I have to open today’s Bit on December first, 2022, with a chuckle. Why you ask? Because yesterday we were talking about the rain and snow situation in our northern climate, and were somewhat surprised but very appreciative for seeing rain and not snow, but noting that the white stuff will certainly come in due course. Well, some of it did come last evening as the rain ended. Not much, but enough to leave traces of white on the lawns and housetops this Thursday morning as the sun shines brightly in an unclouded sky. 

That’s what amuses me: one day rain and cloudy skies, next day snow and sunny environs. But that’s simply how the cookie crumbles, and you just have to learn to take it as it comes, both the good and the bad. That’s why Job didn’t curse God and carry on nasty when the Lord allowed the devil to bring down his earthly fortunes and destroy his family. And though it’s never easy to accept the bad, especially after a season of good, if we sincerely believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we must also have the faith to understand God’s ways, how He operates in the lives of His people. 

And the first step in doing that is accepting this foundational scripture that Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Yes friends, our great God has promised that in the end, He will make all things right for those who put their sincere trust in Him. He doesn’t promise that life will be a constant bed of roses or a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park, but the ending will surely be worthwhile. 

And to further strengthen our faith we need to remember these magnificent words of Jeremiah on the Lord’s behalf. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope). (Jer. 29:11) Now why would He make such a promise if He didn’t intend to keep it eh? That brings us to another important aspect of our faith; to understand and believe that our God does not lie. 

Listen as the Bible informs us: ‘God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.’ (Num. 23:19-20) Oh my people, after LOVE, faithfulness is perhaps God’s greatest attribute! He WILL NEVER renege on a promise! He does exactly what He says! And we need to understand that in spades, if we intend to loyally follow and fellowship with him. 

And if you’re still uncertain about following God based on His promises, or you think all we’ve said so far is simply Old Testament stuff, then listen to these marvellous New Testament promises from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and let your faith soar!  First off is this promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Helper), that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) 

Wow mih bredrin! What a marvellous promise! Jesus was going back to heaven but promised His disciples and future followers that He would be with them through the indwelling presence of the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, which so excitingly happened at the Pentecost celebration some fifty days after Jesus ascended back to heaven. And you can read all about it Acts chapter 2; as His followers sat together, and a sound from heaven broke into the room, like a rushing mighty wind, and cloven (divided) tongues of fire appeared and sat on each of them, and the Holy Spirit filled them all up, and they began speaking in various languages! 

Mama Mia! That’s how our Christian church was born! What a marvellous and exciting moment that must have been. But my people, it all hangs on our believing in Christ Jesus and on our growing in faith in Him! And that is brought into question right after He promises the coming of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, when He declares: (yesss!!!) ‘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) 

And all of that follows what He had earlier said to them. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) And that’s why we’re following Hs commandments, growing our faith and ever watching so closely for His return, that we could be with him in heaven or wherever He is forever! 

Now there’s one last promise of Jesus that seals the deal. He says: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Yes my fellow saints, our Lord and Saviour has overcome the world, defeated Satan and all his iniquity workers, and it’s just a matter of time before they are destroyed forever, while we will enjoy eternal life with the Lord! 

And if all that doesn’t lift your faith, then check out what we call our Thursday Blessings, that’s been bestowed on us to do the work God has enlisted us to do down here. And since they must be declared (awright!!!) out loud for them to be activated, let’s do that right now, as one loud and sincere voice. 

Altogether: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let us go out and use those blessings wisely and generously as Jesus desires of us. And I do hope that all we’ve spoken of today will encourage us, and bring a refreshing breath of life to our faith! Much LOVE!

…without an abundance of hope, faith and LOVE…there can be no Christian brotherhood… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 September 2022 Matthew 12:25.

Matthew 12:25.       Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

Oh friends, these last few days of September summer have been ever so glorious, beautiful sunshine with warm, shirtsleeve temps. You know we have a habit of cursing September, believing that as soon as Labour Day passes the cold spell sets in. But it hasn’t been that way this year at all. The temperature has dropped some during the night hours, but still at comfortable levels that I can leave my bedroom window open. 

Anyway, since we don’t know how much longer this good spell of weather will last, please, let’s enjoy it, make the most of it, give much thanks, especially when others are experiencing either violent floods or terrible drought. And for those unfortunate ones living in those areas, if we cannot offer physical or monetary aid, then we ought to at least offer up prayers for their welfare in their time of calamity. Remember the Good Book tells us that ‘The effectual (effective) prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16) And since we consider ourselves saints of God, children of God, then we must be righteous, and our prayers very effective. 

Ah mih people, with the surprising increase in communication technology, our world has now become more like a global village than ever. That means we have to take more notice of each other, our pains and our tears, and do much more to help one another. The small-minded, insular attitudes we have, or had when there wasn’t as much easy communication, now has to change. We need to adopt a bigger, or global vision, especially for Christ’s church, which is supposed to be one of the biggest movers and shakers all over God’s world. 

But unfortunately, we are not living up to that designation. We are still mostly concerned about, and concentrating on our own li’l insular space. But Christ desires a worldwide ministry, one of togetherness and unity, not the divided and dissension filled church that now passes for His ministry. Remember Jesus words: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ (Matt. 12:25) 

And since Jesus only spoke truth, it’s obvious that if His church is now more divided and dysfunctional than ever, it either won’t stand for long, or will not be very useful in doing His work of spreading the gospel to all ends of the earth and bringing the lost and enslaved to His welcoming kingdom. I don’t believe that there’s ever been a time like right now, when Christ’s church needs to get together more than ever. 

Unfortunately though, every day we see more drifting apart, with new denominations and sub-denominations, cults and other cliques being formed. That obviously is not good for Christ’s ministry, since it means that supposed believers cannot agree on the important aspects of their faith. But please, please, let’s remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians when he wrote to them about the unity of all believers, both Jewish and Gentile. 

‘But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (since) were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he (himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances: for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace. And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain (put to death) the enmity thereby.’ (Eph. 2:13-16) 

And the long and short of all that my brethren is that Jesus by His death on the cross, unified the Jewish and Gentile believers under one banner, the Christian Church, removing the enmity, or the middle partition that the Mosaic law the Jews wrongly felt gave them superiority over the Gentiles. So, if the enmity between Jews and Gentiles has now been dispelled, and unity achieved in one common church of Christ, then why are Gentiles splitting up like crazy eh? 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that division and/or dissension never accomplish a common purpose, which Christ’s church is supposed to have, so it’s time to stop the childish, selfish, power-seeking behaviour that’s rampant in the church right now. Time to stop the bleeding my brethren, because that same divisiveness and infighting is driving many possible believers away from Christ instead of toward Him. The simple fact of the matter is that nothing survives if it keeps on dividing and becoming smaller and less important. 

And with the myriad of problems currently engulfing our world, the one constant body throughout it all ought to be Christ’s church! That’s why He founded it! It ought to be a place of help and refuge for the lost and dispossessed, where food and succour can be found regardless of race, colour and creed. A place to provide peace and salvation when the physical wants of the body have been satisfied. But is that what the church is about these days? I don’t think so nuh…or at least not to the extent that it ought to be. 

And it’s because we are falling down in our basic responsibilities that people are not turning to Christ and His church as much as they should. There’s not enough confidence in what we’re doing, in the examples we’re setting, to draw people to Christ. And the only way that will ever change is when we believers start uniting instead of dividing, and truly start living for one and only one purpose, the glory and manifestation of Christ Jesus. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, the Lord has bestowed upon us tools to accomplish His purpose. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and we activate them by declaring (oh no!!!) them out loud. 

So as one strong, sincere and confident voice. ‘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!’ 

And now that we have activated those blessings, let’s go out and use them to bring others to Christ nuh, like we ought to. Much LOVE!

…united, we stand…divided, we fall…it’s as simple as that… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 August 2022   Psalm 4:8.

Psalm 4:8.        I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety.

And as we come to Thursday, the penultimate day in the work week, many of us are feeling a sense of anticipatory relief quietly washing over us as Friday and the weekend draw near. However, our sense of anticipatory relief should not be emanating from the nearness of the weekend or any man-made factor, but from our nearness to Jehovah God; the personal intimacy we share with the Creator of the universe and all therein, which includes our frail and fragile bodies and souls. 

For ONLY He can give us sincere, rock-solid promises and security when life doesn’t go the way we desire. ONLY our great God can assure us of His peace, mercy, grace and salvation when things go wrong and the darkness and the evil of this ungodly world clouds our very lives. And yuh know what friends? There is so much evil and darkness in our world right now, that at some stage and time of our lives, some of that pervasive negative influence will automatically invade our lives, at least for a short season. 

And if we don’t know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, it will be nigh impossible to get rid of it, once its evil, ungodly, octopus-like tentacles get a foothold in our souls and bodies. But when we know Jesus as Lord and Saviour… Oh then… ‘Beautiful Things Happen!’ Yes, they do my brethren, as this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin ascertains. So please read it with me, with a sense of anticipatory relief. (smile) 

‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet you day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed By changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To your whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Wow mih people! That is the God awesome truth! Our great and wonderful God can do so much more for us in one day than we can ever do for ourselves in an entire lifetime! But we have to believe, to buy into Him and His Word with the utmost confidence. We must be filled to the brim with the hope and faith that He is able to do all that He promises. That’s the only way to enjoy the marvellous wonders of a personal intimacy with Him. 

And I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to believe that our Heavenly Father, our Creator LOVES us and only desires the best for us nuh, when He sent His ONLY son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross of Calvary so that our sins could be forgiven and we could get back into His good graces. The Good Book says it so clearly and beautifully: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Yes friends, why would anybody, man or God, allow their only child to die for a bunch of sinful ingrates eh, unless they had a real true and genuine LOVE and compassion for them? 

And Jesus Himself said it to the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) And that’s exactly what He went out and did; laid down His life for us, so that we could obtain forgiveness, be reconciled to the Father, and have salvation and eternal life through His substitutionary death. 

So please, let’s forget this foolishness that God doesn’t LOVE us, and remember instead that He is our Sovereign Lord, as well as our Father, and just like we don’t take nonsense from our children, He doesn’t take nonsense from us. And just like we provide rules and regulations for our children to follow, likewise, there are rules and regulations we need to follow if we want to end up in His fold. And just like we punish our children when they don’t toe the line, so He punishes us when we move away from the straight and narrow path. 

But the one big difference between us and our heavenly Father is that He NEVER puts us out of His fold, NEVER asks us to leave when we misbehave to the point where He can’t take it anymore. That’s because He is long-suffering, LOVING and compassionate, while we human parents have a finite amount of patience and LOVE, and when we reach that point, we ask our children to leave our homes, and ofttimes have nothing more to do with them, unless they come up to our levels of responsibility. 

But our heavenly Father doesn’t do that. When we succumb to the evil and darkness of this world, that’s when He gets down and dirty and comes seeking us with a passion that can never be matched by a human parent, and He sticks with us through all the dark and tough times and helps us to renew our strength and confidence. The evil enemy Satan doesn’t do that, because he has no LOVE for us. He just wants to drag us as deep as possible into the mire in which he’s immersed. The deeper we sink, the more he gloats. 

And I’m chuckling here, because in my passion to prove that God LOVES us, it seems like I’ve completely forgotten about our poem, and the Bible Verses on which it was based. But that’s how it is when the goodness and grace of God gets into your spirit. And that’s exactly what our poem is saying; although life can be rough and tough, walking with Jehovah God is so wonderful, so mind boggling, so unexpectedly different, that at any moment anything can happen, a new adventure could just rise up unexpectedly and carry you away to a land of bliss you’ve never known or even expected. 

And finally, (smile) here are the Bible verses on which the poem is based. None other than the last two verses of Psalm 4 – An evening prayer of trust in God. Please read and inwardly digest with me, these wonderful words of Bruh David. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety.’ (Ps. 4:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is that eh! When we sincerely have Christ in our lives, then our hearts are filled with gladness, and we can lie down and sleep in peace despite all the troubles around us! Now it just doesn’t happen overnight, or with no effort on our part, but the Lord is such a good God that He bestows benefits and blessings on us that we don’t truly deserve, but which enable us to do His earthly work, to be good ambassadors on his behalf. We call them our Thursday Blessings, which we need to say out loud for them to be activated. 

So, let’s do that right now nuh. In strong and confident voice: ‘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, let’s go out and use those magnificent blessings to help others come to Christ. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…LOVE never fails…LOVE never gives up…LOVE is the be all and end all… 

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