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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken, let’s declare (yeahhh!) them right now over ourselves nuh. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

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

…the mind…the battlefield of life… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2020 John 6:47.

John 6:47.     ​Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 
 

Welcome friends to another beautiful day on God’s great earth! Hope you are ready to receive all the new mercies and compassions that He’s made available to us today! Wow! I can’t wait to start receiving them… Oh I’m sorry, I’ve already begun receiving them, the first one was just opening my eyes this morning! Glory be! And then being able to get up and move around without too many problems was the next one. Please note I said without too many problems, not without ANY problems. (smile) 

Having a roof over my head, and clothes to wear, and food in my larder and a LOVING family and good friends like you to write to… They are all mercies and compassions from our wonderful God this new day! And one that particularly thrills me is not seeing my name in today’s obits. Hn, Hn! So whoever says that our God isn’t good, please tell them they talking chupidness! 

But the problem is we must believe. Jesus stated the importance of belief all throughout His earthly ministry. Words like: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. ’ (John 6:47) And we all know His most famous words: ‘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) 

Ah mih people, almost everything in this world hinges on belief in some form and fashion, especially the desire to go to heaven when life on this earth is done. And that’s the cut-tail part; we seem to have problems in believing! I don’t know why, when it’s so straightforward. And Jesus continues: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:17-18) 

Mama Mia! How much clearer does it need to be eh friends? Believe and you’re saved – everlasting life is yours in the company of Jesus! Don’t believe and you’re condemned to eternal death with the evil one, without Jesus! Now that should be a very sobering thought to us all, but it obviously doesn’t resonate with many of us, since so many of us don’t believe, in fact obstinately and foolishly refuse to believe in Christ Jesus. 

Now hear Jesus again on the subject nuh. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.’ (John 5:24) He’s constantly stressing the need for belief, and that time He tried a different tact; not if you believe in Him, but in the One who sent Him. 

And He continues: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.’ (John 5:25-26) Oh my people, please hear those words and believe them nuh, especially ‘they that hear shall live.’ We’re all going to die a physical death, with our earthly bodies turning back to the dust from whence it came, but our spirits will live on until the great day when Christ comes back to claim His throne. 

Then as Bruh Paul proclaims: ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump (trumpet) of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever (always) be with the Lord.’ (1 Thess. 4:16-17) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul is talking about what we believers’ term the Rapture of the church. That is the first phase of Christ’s return, when the trumpet of God will sound and the dead in Christ – believers of the church age – will be resurrected, while those believers who are alive at that time will be caught up, snatched up, raptured, (from the Latin word ‘raptus’ – to carry off) to meet Christ in the clouds, instantaneously receiving glorified bodies. What wonderful promises my friends. 

And as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Wherefore comfort one another with these words.’ (1 Thess. 4:18) What a comfort that ought to be to believers! As the scholars explain: ‘4:18. Comfort: The Christian’s hope of the resurrection brings solace in the face of death – in contrast to the hopelessness of the heathen.’ Yes precious people, that’s what belief in Jesus Christ offers – eternal hope, rather than no hope at all. 

But please remember that all of what has gone before only applies to those who sincerely believe in Christ Jesus. So as they say: a word to the wise is sufficient. Don’t delay, place your trust in Jesus TODAY! For He can return at any time, and you don’t want to be caught napping, or not believing, for then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! 

Now for those of us who sincerely believe and are trying to be good ambassadors for Christ, let’s go home declaring (mama yo!) our Thursday Blessings, which the good Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

So precious saints of Christ, it’s time to generously share those blessings with others, as our Lord and Saviour greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…to end up inside of heaven looking out…you must first believe… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2020 2 Kings 6:16.

2 Kings 6:16.    ​And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
 

And it looks like another cloudy day is in the offing in my area… Wonder if we’ll also get rain like yesterday? Ah, it’s so calming and refreshing when the rain falls – it also gets you lazy and in a LOVING mood… Now I could certainly handle that! (smile) But unfortunately we have more serious matters to attend to this Thursday morning in late July of 2020. 

Now today I’ve been led to some scriptures on encouragement in times of peril and need. I guess the Lord sees our overwhelming need for encouragement and assurance in these rather turbulent and uncertain times. So here’s the first one: This from King Hezekiah when the Assyrians under Sennacherib came to do battle against Judah, in particular Jerusalem. 

‘And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably (encouragingly) to them. Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves on (were strengthened by) the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.’ (2 Chr. 32:6-8) 

Oh friends, those are some of the same words our God, that same God, is saying to us today in these frightful times! But are we listening? And if so, are we taking courage like the people of Jerusalem? That’s the million-dollar question! But that brings to mind another similar scripture – this time with the prophet Elisha and his servant when the King of Syria and a mighty host surrounded his house because Elisha was telling the king of Israel the secret things the king of Assyria planned against them. 

Now this particular morning when Elisha’s servant went out early, he saw the host of Syrians surrounding the city, so he ran back and informed Elisha of the grave situation and said: ‘Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.’ (2 Kin. 6:15b-16) What marvellous words of encouragement, but unfortunately the servant could not see what Elisha saw. So Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the servant’s eyes. ‘And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots round about Elisha.’ (2 Kin. 6:17) 

Yes my people, likewise guardian angels are constantly all around God’s children protecting us, so that we do not come to harm. But we have to believe it to see it! Are we believing it though, or are we constantly being ravished by fear and the evil schemes of the enemy? But please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Please my brethren, let’s root that scripture deep in our hearts and souls nuh, and let it grow and flourish to give us strong assurance in these disturbing times! 

Now hear these other encouraging scriptures that our God has been telling us from day one nuh. These from Moses to his people, when he handed over the leadership of Israel to Joshua. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (your enemies): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) Then he called Joshua and told him the same thing. 

And what I LOVE about the passing of the torch from Moses to Joshua is that the Lord Himself told Joshua the very same thing when He appointed him the official leader. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) And not a word of that has changed down to this day my people! So why are we so afraid and fearful of life eh, when we have the assurance of the greatest power in the universe on our side? 

And if yuh want to tell me nonsense about all of that being in the Old Testament which doesn’t matter now – ah Lord eh – then hear Jesus’ most often used words in the New Testament: ‘Fear not!’ And hear His encouraging words: ‘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.’ (John 16:33) That’s Jesus telling us the same thing in slightly different words! So what’s our excuse now for not following them eh? 

Ah mih people, we just like to talk yes! And we must talk some, but all talk without any action is useless. That’s why James, Jesus’ brother wrote these oh so truthful words: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?… Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 1:22; 2:14,17) And yes faith does save our souls like Bruh Paul says, but what’s the point of having faith if you don’t put it to work eh? 

That’s exactly what Bruh Paul did too. As he told Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:’ (2 Tim. 4:7) That meant he had done what the Lord called him to do; preach the gospel to the Gentiles; he had put his faith in God to work, and we all know the numerous trials and tribulations he went through to do it. But the Lord saw him through it all…and so will He with us if we are strong and courageous, if we put our faith to work. 

And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s showered us with numerous blessings, to enable us to do just that! What an awesome God we serve my people! So as we go home now, let’s declare (awright!) some of those wonderful characteristics, what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can empower them in our lives. 

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

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

And having proclaimed them, it’s time to go out and put them to good use now… generously too! (smile) Much LOVE!

…greater is He that is in us…than he that is in the world… (1 John 4:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2020 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     ​Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.
 

Well friends, Wednesday has opened bright and sparkling and promises to be a hot one, not like the last two days that have been comparatively cool. But it’s summer and that’s what we expect…until it gets too hot. (smile) And this morning we have something to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that will break down all the walls and barriers and impediments that we have built up around ourselves and those with whom we interact. It’s appropriately titled, ‘LISTENING LOVE!’ 

Yeh mih people, it’s LOVE that listens. So please pray with me: ‘Listening LOVE is one of the greatest gifts we can give our mates, our families, and our friends. Too often we settle for surface talk or icy silences, for monologues or cutoffs, for defences. What a difference when we follow the principles of Listening LOVE. Listening LOVE is courteous. It says… I will strive not to interrupt or outguess you. I will not finish your sentences or break into your thoughts. Listening LOVE is attentive. It says… I will give you my undivided attention. I will not turn you off or leave you isolated. 

Listening LOVE is patient. It says… I will not rush you or insist on a right-now conclusion. Listening LOVE is kind. It says… I will not shame you with sarcastic retorts. I will not belittle you. Listening LOVE is objective. It says… I will try to be informative rather than opinionated. I will not attempt to think for you. Listening LOVE is unselfish. It says… I will guard against overconfidence and trite “spiritual” answers. Listening LOVE is prayerful. It says… I will pray for insight, for wisdom, and for gentle reactions.’ 

Oh my people, Listening LOVE is indeed difficult to practice when all the problems of the world are weighing us down! But please pray that there will be Listening LOVE between the duchess and I today, (smile) because I’ve already turned on the A/C  after it was off for the last two days, and that’s usually a source of contention between us. But although practicing Listening LOVE is difficult, it is indeed possible, if we took our time and thought about our reactions before we engaged them. Unfortunately though, that’s also a difficult thing in this new and modern world of speed and now for now decision making. 

And I guess that’s why Bruh David prayed this solemn prayer at the end of Psalm 19, which is our Bit and also the Bible Verse associated with today’s writing. ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ Yes my brethren, it’s only with the Lord’s help that we can truly practice Listening LOVE! The world and the sinful nature that exists within us do not allow us to be patient, thoughtful, kind, courteous and all the other things that Listening LOVE requires. 

 I guess that’s why Cousin Sol also wisely proclaimed: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov. 12:19) And again why he later on declared (yeahhh!) ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) Oh my people, LOVE is such a wonderful thing! And it ought to be, since it’s the most valuable attribute of our magnanimous and magnificent God! ‘And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor. 13:13)

But since the fall of man, when sin entered our lives, true LOVE seems to be so difficult for us to practice. And the great efforts of the fallen angel Lucifer, now his satanic majesty, against it doesn’t help us in the least. Satan hates LOVE because he knows that LOVE comes from God. and he doesn’t like it one bit when John says: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But as true believers in Christ, that is exactly what we are called to do! All the greed and selfishness of the world should not be showing up in the sons and daughters of Almighty God. Sadly, however, it is showing up to a great extent because we are still too contaminated by the ways of the world and we are not seeking the righteousness of God as much as we ought to. And a very good example of how we ought to behave is given by Bruh David when the prophet Nathan eventually accosted him re his adultery with Bathsheba and the premeditated murder of her husband Uriah. 

He prayed: ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps. 51) Yeh friends, our sin nature is responsible for a lot of stuff. But please listen to these wise words from the scholars. 

‘Sin nature: 51:5. When the word sin appears in the singular, it usually denotes the sin nature of humanity. This sin nature, which everyone possesses, influences us to sin and is the source of lust. It negatively affects people’s minds (Rom. 1:28). Illustration: The sin nature is partially responsible for blinding people’s thoughts and understanding, so that they cannot perceive spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Although our sin nature continues to operate within us, it was judged when Christ died (Rom. 6:6-7). 

Application: Until Christ returns, we must live in the strength of the new man, to overcome the sinful desires arising from the sin nature. We cannot eradicate our sin nature, but we can allow the Holy Spirit to control us so that we do not give in to temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 6:5; Primary Ref. Rom. 3; cf. Rom. 5:12).’ 

Ah friends, life can be somewhat difficult at times, but with Christ in us, and we in Him… Oh we can do any and all things through His most wonderful strength and grace and mercy. So please, let’s not fall or falter by anything evil that comes against us. And please read those scriptures the scholars outlined above, because they are so educational and uplifting, and do we ever need uplifting stuff in these turbulent times! Now let’s go home declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our serious, sincere and most excellent position in Christ Jesus! 

All together 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 if we endure to the end, we WILL experience that glorious future with Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t know Christ…you’re missing real life…the best life possible… 

P.S. Sorry it’s late, but I had to go out the street and do some time sensitive stuff first. But it’s a good read. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials),
 

‘Everything’s coming up roses…’ Well friends, it’s not really coming up nuh, it has already come up! We talking about the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and all that does and says for us poor sinners! Wow! And yes, we might be going through some rough and trying times now, but those are only here to test our faith, endurance and perseverance, because we already know the end of the story; Jesus has won the victory over the enemy! Glory be! 

James, the half-brother of Jesus puts it quite succinctly when he speaks of faith and humility. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials), Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall, (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.’ Then the scholars note, as per ‘1:4: The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

Yes friends, as a true believer in Christ, we WILL experience testing, and it is NEVER easy to accept trials and tribulations with joy, but if we hold on tightly to Jesus, be the branch that’s seamlessly welded to His vine, we can successfully withstand the rigours of those tests. And remember, He promises not to give us more than we can handle. 

Bruh Paul explains it thus: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) That doesn’t mean we will necessarily escape the temptation, but He will always assist us to land safely on the other side. So as the old people would say: ‘Yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide from temptation and testing!’ (smile) 

And Peter in his first letter to the scattered diaspora of early believers stated it more fully. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be relieved in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-6) 

Yes my people, it’s through God’s abundant mercy, whereby Christ was resurrected, and the faith in Him that we manifest that allows us to look forward to the wonderful indestructible inheritance at the time of ultimate salvation. And though life might be hard for a season, that inheritance down the road helps us to bear these tests. 

As Peter continues: ‘That the trial of your faith (the genuineness), being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 1:7-9) 

Yeh, I know it seems deep and heavy, but remember Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light. We not here for child’s play and constant good times, we here to do a job for Jesus which means we have to buckle down and be diligent about it, letting the eventual rewards keep us strong and faithful. Hear what the scholars offer. ‘1:6-9. The problem of salvation looks to the present. Earthly trials constitute a problem of our salvation, but they are only for a season, or temporary. Manifold temptations means diversified trials. True faith cannot be destroyed though God is in the process of refining faith through our trials.’ 

So what can we do? As always, the number one step is prayer. So let’s pray nuh, raise up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, in true and humble but confident faith. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, 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 we sit and wait quietly for a while, for God’s wise direction, then we go out and obediently follow it. Much LOVE!

…to endure to the end…we need a combination of…hope, faith, belief and trust…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2020 Psalm 27:14.

Psalm 27:14.     Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.
 

Oh my people, please sing this soulful ditty with me: ‘One Monday morning, I won’t be around to answer the call. Ohhh…One Monday morning, I won’t be here, to answer the tolling bells of work. (Repeat) But while I’m here…while God’s awesome breath of life, still surges through my body and soul, I’ll do my best, to answer the call, of those tolling work bells, on as many Monday mornings as I can.’ 

Yes my brethren, as true believers in Christ Jesus that should be our heart’s desire. (smile) Not the opposite reaction, hardening our hearts to the tolling work bells, as so many of us practice in these crazy times. As the ole people would say, ‘work never kill anybody yet nuh…. But plenty people die from starvation when they don’t work!’ 

But be that as it may, in these unprecedented times, when many of us are mired in anxiety and want because of all the stuff that’s happening, and some can’t work even though they want to, we have to look at the situation in an entirely different light. Nothing that’s happened before has prepared us for the complexities involved, so we have to come up with entirely new ways of handling it. And we know that this too shall eventually pass, the problem though is how and when is it going to pass, and what will be the resultant situation when it does? 

Unfortunately, there’s only one Being right now who knows the answers to those questions, our omnipotent God, but in His infinite wisdom, He’s not telling. So our best shot is to bow down, surrender our hearts and lives to the Creator and Controller of our great universe; the Supreme Being who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His Spirit of life into us, and earnestly pray that He will extend a helping hand to our troubled world. He has said that when problems overwhelm our finite minds, we should turn to Him to get His supreme wisdom and guidance. 

So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s invoke our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy, grace and divine guidance in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, 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!’ 

Yes friends, we’ve done the first part of our task; pray. The next part is to do whatever is in our power to help the situation, with faith and earnest expectation that our prayer will be positively answered in the near future. That brings to mind Bruh David’s prayer from Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. 

‘Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put (turn) not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me). 

Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain (smooth) path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty (violence). I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:7-14) 

Unfortunately, I can’t give any better advice than Bruh David’s my fellow saints in Christ. And it certainly worked for him, so I don’t see why it won’t work for us too. Much LOVE!

…in troubled times…God must be our FIRST refuge…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2020 Isaiah 58:11.

Isaiah 58:11.     And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (times of need), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a well-watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
 

Oh my people, my people, finally, after about three or four months, the ole fella actually visited one of the Lord’s sanctuaries yesterday! Glory be! And was it ever good to put foot in a church again, although it was for a sad occasion, the funeral of one of our long-time friends, Herman George Gabay. And it was a fairly new Catholic church, so you know it was fine, (smile) but with all the new regulations, we could only sit in every other pew and not too close to anybody not family. 

And it was indeed strange to see the fifty people now allowed for public gatherings all spread out over the large church and all the tape and ribbon and signs to keep us safely separated from each other, plus everybody, even the priest and his helpers in masks. But I guess that’s the new normal now. So, hopefully, we’ll do it responsibly and thus not have to lockdown the society again. 

Anyway, my condolences go out to the Gabay Family. Herman was indeed a kind, friendly, quiet and generous man, and led a long and interesting life. And did he ever look beautiful and at peace lying there in his coffin yesterday in his off-white suit! (smile) He will be missed by all of us though. 

And I have one more set of condolences to send out to the Wilson family in Tobago, as I understand that the neighbour of my youth and big brother Neil also passed away recently. He was much older than me, but I can remember growing up and seeing him dressed in his B.W.I.A (British West Indian Airlines) uniform.

In my time that was a position to which many aspired. We were never bosom chums or anything like that, but whenever we met each other, he was always friendly. I haven’t seen him in many a year, and never knew that over the years, he had become such a stalwart in Tobago politics; Chairman of the PNM party Council in Tobago, as well as ‘the heartbeat of Tobago tourism.’ 

May you both Herman and Neil rest in peace in the arms of the Lord, because that’s where eternal rest and comfort are to be found. And that’s not only for the dear departed my friends, but even more so for the living, as the prophet Isaiah long ago declared: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.’ (Is. 40:1) The prophet saw salvation and comfort in Israel’s future, and that has become even more firmly entrenched for us under the New Covenant with Jesus. 

And do we ever need comfort and consolation and assurance in these uncertain and trying times my brethren. We need all consuming faith so that we can stand strong and steadfast in the mighty purpose of God! And the minster at the funeral yesterday said he teaches the children that faith is the ability of our spiritual eyes to see beyond the short distance that our physical eyes can see. 

And that’s oh so true friends. If we can’t see figuratively far beyond the literal distance of our physical eyes, then there’s li’l or no chance for us. If we can’t see, feel and understand that our great God is ‘Always There’ for us, as described by this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, then we’re in sad trouble. 

Please pray with me: ‘So often, Lord I reach the bottom of the abyss. So often, I taste the dregs Of my own helplessness. Yet it is there, exactly there That You come to my immediate rescue. When I feel totally impoverished Of all self-sufficiency When I want to vanish into nowhere From the depths of despair I call Your name And You are always there for me!’ 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends! Our God is ALWAYS THERE for us – especially in the darkest times of our lives! All we have to do is call out to Him in true sincerity! And I know that these current times of worldwide sickness and strife are amongst the worst ever for many of us, that’s why I’m encouraging us, pleading with us, to call on the name of the Lord through our Saviour Jesus Christ, for He is the ONLY ONE, who can provide care, comfort, true wisdom and guidance and release from our earthly troubles! 

And when we read His Word, we see that He constantly and faithfully promises to look after us if we come to Him, like in this passage from Isaiah, that’s used as the Bible verse for today’s poem. ‘And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (times of need), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a well-watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.’ (Is. 58:11) And the Lord does keep His promises, but He can’t help us until we come a calling on Him. That’s why faith, strong faith is absolutely necessary in these troubled times! 

And just in case you didn’t believe what Isaiah says above there, listen to him again with more substantial and faithful promises of our magnanimous and merciful God. (smile) ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ (Is. 55:1) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

Oh my people, the Lord has done all He can, right down to giving us the New Covenant though the sacrifice of His only begotten Son Jesus! Now it’s up to us to make use of all that He’s provided. And if we don’t, we can’t blame anyone else but ourselves, although nowadays we take great pleasure in playing the blame game! As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I can only lead you to Jesus, I can’t make you accept Him. But for those of us who have wisely done so, let’s go home now declaring {steups! – and I thought I was spelling it right oui – smile} our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to seriously action those statements! Much LOVE!

…blessed…are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…for they shall be filled…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘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) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

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