Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2020 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.     ​But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness (generosity), faith (faithfulness, dependability), Meekness (courtesy, consideration), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Awright, up and at ‘em fellow saints of Christ! Time to get up, go out if necessary and live the gospel; the good news of our Lord and Saviour! Remember some of the last words He spoke to the disciples, and consequently to us, who haven’t seen Him in person, but nonetheless believe? 

‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in the earth. 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: 18-20) Wow! What a marvellous command; one thoroughly laced with divine assurance! We call it the ‘Great Commission!’ 

And I like how the scholars describe it: ‘28:18-20. Christianity is not represented here as the mere reverential devotion of disappointed men who honour their martyred leader. Here is a far different scene. The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christi) by the risen Saviour through His disciples.’ 

Yes friends on the basis of Christ’s death and resurrection, His victory over the evil one, He was given power and authority over both heaven and earth, and it’s on that same power and authority that we, His ambassadors, His disciples, are able to carry our His Great Commission to all the world through His body, the church. Glory be, mih bredrin! 

So our major purpose this Monday morning is to display the wonderful characteristics of Jesus, what we term the fruit of the Spirit, seeds of those awesome characteristics that have been planted within us, and are prosperously growing therein, as we continually water and nurture them. 

And what better time and place to remember those precious characteristics called the fruit of the Spirit than right now. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness (generosity), faith (faithfulness, dependability), Meekness (courtesy, consideration), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal. 5:22-23) No my people, against that marvellous fruit, there can be no law! 

However, as Bruh Paul continues to the Galatians: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts.’ (Gal. 5:24). That means when we receive Christ, and the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we become new creatures, giving up our sinful past and evil passions. Which further means: ‘If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:25) That should be understood. If the Spirit gave us new life when we received Christ, then we ought to continue following His leading and guidance for the rest of our lives if we want the spiritual seeds within us to grow and produce much good fruit, and thus we move from glory to glory in Christ Jesus. 

And we have one last, but oh so important warning from Bruh Paul to the church at Galatia. ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (be conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal. 5:26) Now that also applies to us, but unfortunately, both in the church and society at large that is not being practiced. In fact those very emotions of conceitedness, provocation and envy are running rampant throughout our entire society. No wonder the fruit of the Spirit is not as abundant as it ought to be. That’s why as ambassadors and disciples of Jesus we have to get out there and spread the message, make a difference, so that His gospel can reach the entire world as He desires and commissioned us to do. 

And the first thing we ought to do each and every day is pray. So let’s do that nuh, by declaring (awright!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. In strong and confident voice, but with humble and contrite hearts. ‘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 several 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!’ 

And while we wait for God’s help, let’s walk in the Spirit nuh, so that we can produce much good fruit! Much LOVE!

…let your light so shine before men…that they may see your good works…and glorify your Father in heaven… (Matt. 5:16)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2020 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.     ​Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!
 

And this Wednesday morning has opened completely different to the past two days! We’re bathed in bright sunshine and enveloped in cool, gentle breezes, unlike Monday and Tuesday that began with rain and continued all day with a rotation of sunshine and heavenly blessings. But let’s not talk too quickly, because with all the stormy weather in the area, Wednesday could end being just the same, except for the start and finish. And having philosophized on the weather, which we have absolutely no control over, let’s turn now to something that we have some control over, that godly thing we call JOY! 

And that’s the simple but overwhelming title of today’s poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So please pray with me: ‘Joy! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Oh mih people, mih people, I sure hope all of that just brought your own joy bubbling up from the depths of your souls to the surface, like it did mine! For there’s nothing in this world sweeter and more refreshing than JOY! It’s like the difference between honey and sugar. Happiness is like sugar; sweet but uncertain and fleeting and dependent on circumstances. Meanwhile, joy is like honey; thick and rich, steadfast and long lasting, because it comes solely from God! 

Yeah! If you don’t have the Spirit of God, the One True and Living God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob dwelling in you, then it’s impossible for you to have joy! You might have happiness, but certainly not that long-lasting, steadfast emotion we call joy! That’s why the Bible Promise for today’s poem, which is also our Bit, solemnly declares (ah Lord eh!) ‘Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Mama oh Mama! What an awesome truth! That’s why the enemy’s biggest and strongest efforts are all geared towards stealing our joy, making us dejected and sad, fearful and without faith, for he knows that once he steals our joy, he has us like jelly, in the palms of his hands. We’re unable to function the way we ought to without the Lord’s joy, our very strength. And by the way, that translation comes from the New Living Translation. I usually stick to my King James Version, but this one just sounded more in tune with the times and our disastrous situation right now. (smile) 

And I’m chuckling here with joy and mirth because I just turned to the Good Book to find the scripture, and lo and behold it was already opened at Nehemiah, though not at the exact spot! I usually just open it and see if it opens at anything that seems like it’s good and useful for the day, but today I just opened it and didn’t look at where it opened at, but the Good Lord in His mysterious and fascinating ways was, as usual, way ahead of me. How can I not LOVE and cherish him when He looks after me so well eh? (smile) 

Ah friends, knowing the Lord, and having a personal relationship with Him is the best thing you can do in this life! Note, it’s not easy living and working for Him, because He often makes big and scary demands, but He ALWAYS gives us the grace and power to fulfill them. And though we ofttimes have to step out in faith to do His will, His work is always interesting, adventurous and totally fulfilling. 

Believe me, I’m talking from experience here. If you want to experience the most interesting, adventurous and fulfilling life this world has to offer, then you need to consider seriously working for Jehovah God! He will lead you into some times and places that will have you shaking your head in awe and wonder, even as you’re going through some rough times. That’s the beauty of working for Him: you know that you’re in good hands even though the situations might seem to dictate otherwise. 

But friends, you’ll never know or experience much of His largesse and awesome adventures until you make a conscious decision to step up and out and do whatever He’s called you to do. And yes, many times that stepping out will mean taking a big chance, with many voices crying out a loud warning of “NO!” But please note, in the Lord’s economy, there’s no such thing as chance. All His moves are well planned and orchestrated and He never leaves you in the lurch, always gives you the grace and power to do whatever He calls you to do. 

That I can personally testify to! How do you think I’ve been writing this Bit for some thirteen years now eh, possibly only missing two days in all that time? Because of the Lord’s faithfulness and LOVING-kindness! And if you compare where and how I started out with where I am now, it’s like night and day! That’s because the Lord worked with me, once I decided to stop laughing and heed His call to write the Bit. Yes, for those of you who don’t know the story, I did laugh when He first approached me with the idea. Just like Sara did when He promised her a child in her old age. 

But here’s another thing. Whenever the Lord comes a calling, it’s always in your best interest to agree on the first approach, for He’ll make your life miserable and intolerable until you do agree. Yeh, that happened to me. My life just wasn’t running right; not terrible, but not right either. Then I realized why. Hn! Hn! The Lord doesn’t give up on you, when He’s serious. So, finally I agreed. In the beginning I couldn’t write much, because I didn’t know much. My exact excuse for turning down the job. Now, however, I’m writing too much! (smile) 

And again I’m chuckling as I realize the testimonial direction He’s led me in today. And that’s where the joy and strength comes from; that knowing that regardless of what happens on the outside, on the inside there’s a surety that all will be well, because our great and faithful God has promised to work ALL things out for good to those who LOVE Him and are called to do His awesome bidding. Now it’s time us to go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

So in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

That’s another faithful promise you can’t beat friends. It just requires that we endure steadfastly to the end! Much LOVE!

…working for God is not easy…but it sure has wonderful and everlasting benefits… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2020 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.     ​And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 
 

Get on up…it’s Monday! Get on up…there’s work to be done! There’s a pandemic to be conquered and strife to be peacefully quelled, so why the lying in bed and being miserable and negative eh? (smile) Ah mih people, we do have those two problems to solve this Monday morning and unless we get up and get a move on, we will never solve them. 

And remember we’ve been placed here at this appointed time for that very purpose. That brings to mind the famous words of Mordecai to his niece Esther, who, for fear of losing her own life, hem and hawed about going to the king and asking for mercy for the Jewish people, when the king’s right hand man, Haman, was plotting genocide against them: ‘…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ (Esth. 4:14b) 

Yes friends, we have been placed in the world for a time such as this! That means the Lord has something important, be it large or small, for each one of us to do in these times of turmoil. So let’s be up and about the Lord’s business nuh. But as we all know, the first item on our agenda should always be communication with Him, that powerful tool we call prayer. 

So let’s boldly but humbly come before the throne of grace and pray that corporate prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, thus giving the Lord God a chance to wisely lead and guide us as we set out to do His daily will. All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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 several 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 let’s take a moment to sit and wait…to listen for God’s answer to our prayer, to what he wants each of us to do. We know that He always answers prayer, but we won’t hear Him unless we get quiet and wait. And that’s exactly why so many of us claim not to hear from Him. Prayer is supposed to be a two-way conversation…we talk to God, then we patiently wait for His answer… 

Oh my people, my people, I’ve gotten an answer! I don’t know what He’s told you to do, but he’s told me to share, to bring this most important scripture to your attention today! (smile) ‘And do not be conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Mama Mia! What a powerful and mind-bending scripture! (smile) Yes, that’s exactly what the Lord wants us to do, bend our minds away from the ways of the world. And the battle most certainly begins in the mind. That’s why Cousin Sol says that as a man thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he. (Prov. 23:7) 

So whatever is uppermost in our minds is what we’re going to pursue, and in order to pursue God, we need to actively think on the things of God. That’s why Jesus told us so plainly and concernedly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33)  

And Bruh Paul enlarged on Jesus’ words by purposely telling us: ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are LOVERLY, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil. 4:8) 

So please, let’s stop conforming to the ways of the world nuh, making its values systems, conduct and thinking so important in our lives. And instead do what we’re called to do; the will of God; that’s follow His purpose for our lives by surrendering to His wise guidance and direction, for He’s promised to never forsake us or leave us or lead us astray. And He who promised is faithful! Much LOVE!

…God’s will…bear the fruit of the Spirit…LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control)…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2020 Galatians 5:25.

Galatians 5:25.    ​If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 
 
Well at long last, some sustained heavenly blessings upon our neighbourhood earth! Yes friends, we’re finally getting some rain in my area, after I don’t know how long. And it’s still merely drizzles instead of strong downpours. But I guess the earth and the earth-workers are grateful for every last drop. Not like they could afford to be ungrateful and refuse it anyway. (smile) And this Friday morning indeed seems like it might just be different to many of those of the recent past. Why, you ask? Because some of the work restrictions have been lifted in our Province of Ontario, and some more places will be able to open come Monday. 

So let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say about it all nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui!’ And there seems to be some enthusiasm in his voice today. ‘Yes thank God that mih place of work opening back up on Monday, though still with some restrictions! Brother! Does it ever feel good to mih soul! Never thought I’d be happy to go to the slave master’s work nuh, but after being home for almost two months, I’d be glad to go out and do anything, just to get mihself active again! And ah know nobody happy like the slave master, because he LOVE the job more than anybody else, and making money is only a plus for him. 

And it won’t be hard for us to do things like physical distancing because we don’t work close together anyway, the machines and them more than a few feet apart. And we wear head and face protective gear anyway. But leh we hope that people take this thing seriously yes, and doh go and behave chupid like they were doing earlier on, because we not out of the woods yet nuh. In fact we’ll never be out of the woods until we at least have a vaccine that can actually stop this virus in its tracks. 

And I’m chuckling here because ah know the wife going to be happy to get me from constantly under her foot, although she not going to have anybody to help her with children, who still don’t have no school. And let’s hope that next week Friday, after a solid week of hard work, I’d still be able to say ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday with a smile oui!’ 

And yes, my fellow believers, it’s good news to a certain extent, although I don’t think the ordinary workingman realizes that Monday is a public holiday; Queen Victoria’s Day, so most likely, him and a lot of others won’t be going back to work until Tuesday. This weekend also usually marks the beginning of cottage country getaways, but it’s going to be different this year as people are advised not go up to their cottages, if at all possible, or just go with immediate family and stay right in their cottages, because we don’t want the country districts to be overflowing with visitors and thus increase the possibility of the virus spreading even further. 

And ah have to laugh yes. Yuh see how one li’l virus, that you can’t even see without a strong microscope, change up we whole way of life in just a few months. So let’s hope that Ontarians behave in a responsible manner this weekend and as more businesses begin to open next week, because the next wave of this thing will be even worse than the first. Now let’s do our part in the prayer department and chant our Friday Chant nuh. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And with this lifting of more restrictions by the government, we implore you to touch the hearts of all those who go out into the open spaces, and make them understand that we still need to behave responsibly and take serious precautions so we don’t have a further setback. And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And the major problem there is if we, Christ’s ambassadors on this earth, are truly doing things, behaving the way that will make the heathen want to come to Him. Yes friends are we walking in LOVE, with the fruit of the Spirit pouring out of us in all unity and worthiness? Are we living like Bruh Paul recommends? ‘I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness (gentleness), with long-suffering, forbearing (bearing with) one another in LOVE; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Eph. 4:1-3) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, is that how we’re living? Because if it isn’t, then we we’ll just push people further away from Christ rather than bring them to Him. And these words from Bruh Paul to the Galatians should remind us of our bounden duty. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (be conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal. 5:22-26) 

Yes friends, only if we truly live by the dictates of the Spirit will we produce righteous fruit that will encourage, and eventually convince the unbeliever that Christ has what he needs to make him whole, to give him a brand new life! So today, let’s examine our lives nuh, and then, with God’s help, make the necessary changes. Much LOVE!

…the righteous…walk not after the flesh…but after the Spirit…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2020 Job 13:15.

Job 13:15.    ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain (defend) mine own ways before him.
 
Hi yah Wednesday! How yuh doing eh? Hope yuh doing good. But yuh know what? Even if you not doing good, we going to do good, because we believe in Jehovah God, the most mighty and excellent One, and He has promised to provide all our needs according to His riches in glory through His most wonderful Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior! Glory be! 

That same Son who died on the cross at Calvary so our sins could be forgiven and cast away as far as the east is from the west and we could once again come to the Father in good relationship like our forefathers Adam and Eve did! Wow! What good news…the best news ever! And thus, with all of that in mind, we can therefore say, ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ 

And furthermore, because of all that has gone before, I can confidently proclaim that as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord God Jehovah all of our days! Now that’s telling the foolish enemy Satan! Yes, despite all of his best shots we not going to renege on our promises to our heavenly Father, just like we know He’s not going to renege on His to us. 

That’s what yuh call faithfulness friends! And faithfulness can only be built on trust. And trust can only be built when people and God spend serious time in each other’s company. And there are no words in the Good Book that portray a more magnificent sense of trust, of acceptance, than those of Job, rightfully called the father of patience. 

In all his sorrow and suffering and rejection by his friends and family and knowing that he had not committed any heinous sin that could have brought all that tribulation upon him, he still made this awesome promise: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain (defend) mine own ways before him.’ 

Oh friends, how many of us under the same situation would have been able to make such a confident statement eh? Not many. Just look at the comparatively small challenges we go through nowadays and yet so many of us are quick to get angry with God and renounce Him. But to be true believers, a faith and trust resembling Job’s is what we need to have. 

As the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ Yes my people, I know that kind of unquenchable faith is not easy to come by and only through serious trials and tribulations will we ever come to it, but it is the height of faith to which we ought to aspire. 

And it is only through strong and expectant hope and faith that we will be able to handle the many trials and tribulations of this evil and ungodly world. And if we look at the chapter in the Good Book, Hebrews 11, called the ‘Heroes of Faith,’ we’ll see that all of those heroes lived by faith rather than by sight, they conquered their fears and their worlds through certain trust in the Lord their God. 

The chapter mentions heroes like, Noah, Enoch, Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the harlot Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, not to mention Bruh Joseph, Bruh David and Bruh Paul who all stood strong and did God’s bidding through enormous faith. Yes, I know Bruh Paul wasn’t mentioned there, that’s possibly because he wrote the Book of Hebrews. (smile) But no one had as much faith and zeal for the Lord after the Lord made him see the error of his ways on his journey to Damascus. 

And please remember this oh so important verse of scripture my faithful brethren: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists, is alive and kicking), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently see him.’ (Heb.11:6) And under the prevailing tenets of our faith, that is just basic logic and common sense, but it still needs to be taught. (smile) 

And that’s why Cousin Sol wrote these wise, outstanding and immortal words to which we ought to pay great heed if we want to live successful lives. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (make straight or smooth thy way). 

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:5-10) 

Oh my people, my people, that is Christianity 101 right there! Technically speaking, that is all we need to know and do to live a successful Christian life, since it possesses all the elements of our wonderful faith. So please, let’s take a serious look at our lives today nuh, and see if we’re truly living the faith we claim to believe in as per those directives above. And since we can all do better, (smile) let’s ask the Lord for help to do so. 

But in the meanwhile, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. All together in strong voice with sincere hearts. ‘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!’ 

Yes my brethren! Let’s keep looking forward to that wonderful future nuh, with strong hope, faith and trust, because it will be even more wonderful than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…the stronger our faith…the greater our success…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2020 Psalm 18:32.

Psalm 18:32.    ​It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
 
Monday, oh Monday, how good you are to me! I truly do LOVE you! You cause me to get up early in the morning…while it’s still dark…and I haven’t had enough sleep…to fumble around and struggle to get dressed and go out in the freezing cold, to a freezing car, and then inch my way on a blocked up highway, full of sleepy-eyed and grouchy people just like me. 

And after it takes me an hour to make a normal fifteen minute drive, I get to the concrete jungle and search for another fifteen minutes to get a parking spot, that costs an arm and a leg, I finally get to my desk and plop myself down in the chair more tired than ever, but now expected to put in a full and productive 8 hour day, doing stuff that doesn’t turn my crank! And this is only the first of five consecutive days of this nonsense! (smile) 

Ah friends, we give Mondays such a bad rap eh, when the problem lies with us; we don’t prepare ourselves properly for what we know is going to happen on most Mondays of our working life! But it’s a long time human trait; cast the blame everywhere else than where it rightfully belongs, on us. Check out our forefathers, Adam and Eve after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent, and Adam blamed Eve. (Gen.3:12-13) 

So now that we’ve eased our conscience by blaming Monday for our woes, (smile) let’s get serious and go to the ONLY One who can really help us at this stage of the game nuh, our heavenly Father. And to make it easy, we’ve developed this ‘antidotal’ prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that automatically fills in all the blank spaces, but does not get us an answer unless we go about it the right way; that’s humbly, confidently and sincerely to the throne of grace. 

So as one humble, confident and sincere voice now, let’s lift up our petition to heaven: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And yes, that incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit is now moving in all of us who prayed that prayer sincerely and humbly! That’s how quickly our God can move when it’s necessary! He knows that we have to go out and do Jesus’ work at a certain time, with not much to spare, so right away He acts on our request, raising our spirits, strengthening our belly and backbone, thus giving us the courage and confidence we need to go out and fight a good fight in His Son’s name. 

No wonder Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies. ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried (proven): he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him. For who is God save (except) the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.’  (Ps.18:30-32) 

And that is the indisputable, gospel truth friends! Our God, the most potent Being in the universe, is the One who looks after all our needs on this troubled earth, just like Bruh Paul declared (yeah!) it to the Philippians. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

And when Bruh David wrote that psalm, his needs were mainly those of a warrior, thus he declared (steups!): ‘He maketh my feet like hinds’ (deer) feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken (a bow of bronze can be broken) by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of salvation: and thy right hand hath holden (held) me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.’ (Ps.18:33-35) 

Ah precious people of Christ, wherever we are, at whatever stage of life we’ve reached, the Lord God Almighty, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will supply whatever we need to be victorious! It’s imperative that we believe it and act like we believe it too, through the auspices of our wonderful faith! Otherwise our faith is useless. Remember faith involves believing for something like we’ve already seen it and received it, when, in reality it hasn’t yet happened, but we know for sure that through God’s largesse and faithfulness it will happen in His time! 

So this Monday morning, although things might be a tad on the rough side, let’s believe that the situation will change because our wonderful and ever-faithful God has promised that it will! He will work all things out for our good! (Rom.8:28) Now that should be more than enough to raise our desire to get out into our distressed world and do our best for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus can be difficult…but it’s ALWAYS rewarding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Well it’s Wednesday; the middle of the work week, the hump day, where we feel like we’ve finally gotten hold of, gotten over that invisible hump, where work takes up most of our time. But work certainly takes up most of our time in this life yes! Most of us work five days a week for an average of forty years, then we retire, thankful that there’s no work on the horizon, the early mornings and late nights are finally done! 

But yuh know what? After doing something for forty years it’s hard to get accustomed to not doing anything, to not have to get up and go to work every day, although we complained most days about having to get up and go to work! Hn! And if we just loll about in retirement and don’t keep busy, then our bodies give up and we head back to the dust from which we’ve come, sooner than expected. We’re creatures of habit. That’s the contrariness of the human animal! (smile) 

And I finally finished watching the second half of the movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it is indeed an epic story. But if the truth be told, nothing has really changed in our world since then nuh; that civil  war didn’t solve a whole lot, possibly besides the end of slavery, because there have been several bigger and more brutal wars since then, there’s still too much racism, overt and covert, still too much avarice and greed and jealously and strife, too much poverty and sickness and advantage, too much injustice and discrimination, be it by race, colour, class or creed, despite all the supposed advances we’ve made! 

Yes friends, our world is still a hotbed of dissension and disagreement! And yuh know what? It’s getting worse! Just look around at all the discontent between friends and families, between neighbours and nations…we’ve come closer together in terms of distance and communication, but we’ve gotten further apart in terms of true fellowship. There are more lonely people around now even with the advent of cell phones and social media, because that communication is basically impersonal; half the time you don’t even know who you’re really dealing with. 

Oh my people, the ONLY true solution to what ails our world is JESUS! He is the ONLY ONE who can truly bring us all together and give us the peace, LOVE and joy that we all seem to clamour for, but are far from experiencing! But strangely enough, Jesus is also one of the biggest factors of contention in our world; you either LOVE Him or hate Him with a passion! 

But let me ask you a few questions? Who is the ONLY ONE that came down from heaven, was made man, made in our image and lived amongst us like us eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died on a cross to take away our sins, to give us another option besides hellfire and damnation with Satan eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died and rose from the grave and ascended back into heaven with the promise to come back for us when we have made disciples of all the nations so that nobody will be lost to Beelzebub eh? JESUS CHRIST! 

Oh precious people, who said these momentous words with this awesome promise? ‘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 and 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) 

Oh friends, Jesus had no cause to lie. They saw Him do numerous miracles. They saw Him crucified on the cross at Calvary, then rise up again. Yuh think if the early believers didn’t see Christ after He rose from the dead, they would have believed him and done what He asked and waited for Him? No way Jose! 

Hear the scholars: ‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’ And a great shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’ echoes far and wide across the land in anticipation of that most wonderful promise! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who desires to build a group of people, His church, on the basis of LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control). And if you didn’t recognize them, they are the fruit of the Spirit, seeds of which are planted in our own spirit when we do the wise thing and receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It’s then left up to us to water and nurture them and let them grow in and through us, by reading His Word and sincerely living it. 

That’s why Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them,’ speaking of false prophets and evil deceivers. (Matt.7:20) A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. And we need to also remember these famous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13). 

Yes brothers and sisters, LOVE is indeed the greatest, because God is LOVE, and LOVE does no harm, but covers a multitude of sins, neither is there any fear in LOVE! And if  God first LOVED us, then we should also LOVE Him, and LOVE one another too: those are His two greatest desires! And now that all of that is indelibly written in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, let’s go home celebrating our position in Christ by declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail. 

Altogether now, in strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘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 in light of all Jesus has promised, friends, it will certainly be a glorious future indeed! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the answer to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts nuh. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2019 Matthew 4:19.

Matthew 4:19.    ​And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
 
Welcome to another glorious day friends…! And we talking here about the overall day, not just the physical weather pattern, which by me, for the last few days, have been dark and damp and dreary. It’s just great to be alive and kicking and enjoying all the benefits of living for Christ, like the new mercies and compassions that are new every single day! 

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my faithful brethren! I know some of you tired hearing me say that, but it’s the gospel truth, and if we are indeed true believers, we ought to acknowledge it with pleasure, each and every day, because it’s the same wonderful God, who breathed His awesome breath into our nostrils at birth and keeps us alive and kicking every day and provides ALL of our benefits, both earthly and heavenly. So how can we not be grateful eh? Gratitude friends…gratitude. The next best thing after LOVE! Matter fix! (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. And he expounds: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…the weekend cometh, and no work until Monday! Have been on holidays all week though. And it’s certainly been a great Christmas week! Forgot how good it is to spend time at home with the family and have friends drop over to celebrate Christmas. The old bod is well rested…but satiated with food and drink though. The children liked their presents and so didn’t behave like spoiled brats, as they can do when they’re not happy. 

Oh, the wife was also thrilled with her presents…even got a nice big hug and sweet, long kiss from her. Mama! Could certainly use some more of those yes. But life so busy, we don’t find that much time to enjoy ourselves together. But I promised her, and mihself too, that this coming year of 2020, we going to make time to get away to some romantic place, just the two of us…can’t wait for it to happen. Yes, life ain’t bad at all! It ain’t always easy, but you just have to take it with a grain of salt, else it surely going to drive you crazy. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth. Life isn’t easy, but if you face it with the right attitude, it will surely turn out all right. So what’s the right attitude, you ask? Well it starts by having Jesus Christ in your life as El Numero Uno; Number ONE! And then sticking to stuff like what’s contained in our Friday Chant. Let’s chant it loud and proud now nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s our basic job; to help unbelievers come to Christ! And the verse that I was led to for today’s Bit is ever so appropriate in conjunction with out Friday Chant. Hear these immortal words of Jesus as He called Peter and his brother Andrew to work for Him. ‘And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Now that’s the same call Christ has issued to each one of us who claim to be His follower. And we all know that He doesn’t lie, He keeps every promise He makes! 

So why are so many of us so reluctant and hesitant to truly follow Christ eh? Is it that we don’t truly believe, or simply think it will interfere with our carnal or earthly lives? Oh yes, I think we need to take a moment’s thought before doing it, and I’ve always been amazed at how the first disciples didn’t even seem to contemplate it, just got up and followed Jesus when He called. The Good Book puts it this way: ‘And they (Peter and Andrew) straightway left their nets, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:20) 

Wow! They simply left all their equipment and their livelihood and followed this poor, itinerant Rabbi, whom they didn’t even know. And if you think that was amazing, then listen to this next part. ‘And going on from thence, he (Jesus) saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:21-22) Wonder of wonders! James and John just upped and left their poor father Zebedee and followed Jesus. How many of us would ever do that eh? Not many. 

But the scholars make this rather true and appropriate statement as to the situation in verse 22 above. ‘The statement in verse 22 that they immediately responded to His call gives us a perfect picture of true obedience to the Lordship of Christ.’ And does it ever! No hesitation or reluctance to His call is what the Lord would prefer from us, but knowing our frailties and weaknesses and fears, He ofttimes gives us a li’l leeway, but He doesn’t relent or reverse the call. And the longer you take to accept it, the more difficult He makes your life. 

And I can tell you that from personal experience. When He first approached me about writing the Bit, I laughed and said I couldn’t because I didn’t know enough scripture. But He kept up the call, and suddenly I found some obstacles in my way that seemed rather strange and unnecessary. He eventually wore me down and I began writing a verse or a few lines every day. And over the last thirteen years, I’ve certainly learned of His amazing faithfulness, in that whatever He gives you to do, He also gives you the tools to do it and helps you too. Do you think I write all the stuff in the Bit every day in my own strength? Not on your life! The Lord helps me everyday! 

So friends, my best advice is, whenever the Lord calls, our best and wisest reaction is to immediately ask, ‘how high do you want me to jump Lord?’ (smile) Because, He’ll just keep upping the bar every time you refuse His offer, until you have no choice but to eventually accept it. (smile) Much LOVE!

…when the Lord wants you…He will get you…come what may…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2019 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.    ​My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
 

Ah friends, it seems like one of those days where the ole fella is somewhat under the weather! And when your first job is to dress up in winter fashion and go outside to put the recycling bin on the curb, that certainly doesn’t endear the cold, dark and dreary morning to your tired and aching soul! (smile) And a couple of errant snowflakes floating down from on high doesn’t help maters either. But thankfully, we have the Supreme Being called Jesus Christ in our corner, so we don’t really have to worry about the weather or the state of our physical bodies, because He will brighten our spirits and our lives if we just ask Him sincerely! 

Give Him much thanks and praise yes mih people, because I don’t know what we’d do without Him nuh! Especially on a cold, dreary morning when my mind is in the dumps and I don’t know what to write about… And how about that? By the time I could finish the thought of not knowing what to write about, I received an amazing direction: ‘Write about faith; in particular, Mary’s faith, when the Holy Ghost told her about having an incarnate birth, having a child without knowing a man.’ So how can I not LOVE and revere the Lord’s faithfulness eh? 

So we all know that Mary didn’t quibble or quiver when she heard the news which would have caused a million problems in her life. But once Gabriel explained the situation, and told her that with God nothing shall be impossible, she bowed to the Lord’s wishes. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) And you’d notice the awesome difference in standards of faith when you check out Zechariah’s response to Gabriel’s message re, he’d be the father of John the Baptist. 

He was in the temple burning incense as was his priestly duty. ‘And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zechariah saw him, (the angel of the Lord) he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not Zechariah: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord his God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ (Luke 1:11-17) 

Yes precious people, Zechariah was also informed of the good news of the upcoming birth in his family, and one would think that as an older, wiser and more worldly person than Mary, as well as a priest in God’s universe, his faith would have been at a higher level than hers. 

But listen to his response. ‘And Zechariah said unto the angel, whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken (advanced) in years. And the angel answering, said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to thee these glad tidings (this good news). And behold, thou shalt be dumb (mute), and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season (own time)’ (Luke 1:18-20) 

So Zechariah remained dumb until John’s birth. Meanwhile Mary, his wife’s cousin, who later came to visit and got such a great reception from his wife and unborn son (Luke 1:39-45) that her spirit was filled with such joyful faith that she could declare: ‘My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maidservant): for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen (helped) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.’ (Luke 1: 46-55) 

Wow mih people! Imagine a teen aged girl from a backwater town called Nazareth emoting so magnificently on the Lord’s behalf nuh! Today we call her speech’ The Magnificat!’ But that’s what happens when you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, regardless of your colour, class, creed, race, gender or age! (smile) So since we all now have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, let’s do as Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians nuh. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.’ (Eph. 5:18) 

Yes friends, as the scholars say: ‘5:18. The words ‘be filled’ here mean “be continually filled,” emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. A person filled with wine is under its influence, but God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Holy Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer.’ Amen, to that my people! 

And for those of us sincerely and consistently endeavouring to allow the Holy Spirit more of us, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms who and whose we are! All together now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ So let’s go out now and do just that nuh; trust Jesus and share his awesome LOVE! Much LOVE!

…to be filled with the Spirit…one must allow Him…to control one’s…thoughts, attitudes and actions…

P.S. I have to chuckle at how much I eventually wrote, when I didn’t know what to write. But that’s the Lord’s Holy Spirit for you! (smile) Much LOVE!

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