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!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2019 Daniel 6:16b.

Daniel 6:16b.    Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
 

Ah friends, the weather nowadays can be so finicky and capricious, just like… hold that thought mih brother, because in these days of female empowerment, the fairer sex is liable to get all over yuh case. (smile) But seriously though, just two days ago there was snow all over the rooftops and ground, but now there’s little trace of it, because the temperature went up to almost double digits yesterday, thus it ended up being a rainy day, and all the snow was washed away. 

And I must say that I now miss seeing the snow covered rooves of the houses when I look out my window. Imagine that nuh! But that’s the kind of guy the ole fella is; if it’s pleasing to the eye, then say so, although the presence of said thing might be inconvenient and dangerous. (smile) 

And I just want to point out to us today, how unconventional our great God can be. Remember when Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because he refused to fall in line with King Darius’ decree ‘that every man who shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?’ (Dan. 6:12) Now we all know that was simply a set up to get Daniel thrown into the lion’s den since they knew he would not bow down to any other God save that of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

And when the king realized that he’d been played by his senior bureaucrats, he was heartbroken, ‘sore displeased  with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (greatly strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.’(Dan.6:14) That shows how important and close Daniel was to the king. But unfortunately he couldn’t do anything about it because no decree or statute of the Medes and Persians could be changed once the king established it. So with a sad heart he watched as Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. 

But here’s what I want us to pay particular attention to; the kings last words to Daniel before he was thrown in. ‘Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.’  Wow! What words of faith and encouragement the Lord placed in the pagan king’s mouth! The king knew of Daniel’s faithfulness to his God, and obviously had heard and seen some of the miracles He wrought in and through Daniel, so his supposedly last words to Daniel were not as far-fetched as they might at first seem. 

Oh my people, how many of us can truthfully say that we serve our great and wonderful God with zeal such as Daniel eh? Not very many; certainly not enough, especially in this current mish-mash world of ours! But NOW friends, NOW is the time when our zeal for the Lord ought to be the highest it’s ever been, because the enemy is getting more powerful every day, and we simply cannot allow that to happen! We simply cannot allow the fear of the world to stop us from fighting tooth and nail for Jesus’ eternal cause. We desperately need to stand on the words of king Darius: that the God whom we serve continually will deliver us in any and every situation! 

It’s all about belief and faith friends! And those two things will bring trust and surrender and courage and confidence! It’s already all inside of us, we now have to water those seeds with faith and let them grow strong and true! If we’re to be victorious in Jesus’ cause, then we have to hunker down NOW, just like the enemy is doing, and fight, fight the good fight in our Lord and Saviour’s name! Nothing less will do! Now it’s not going to be easy, since life’s never easy, but with Almighty God in our hearts and souls remember that everything is possible; we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! 

This is the time when we need the powerful and reassuring Word of God to reassure us. But it can’t do that unless we seriously and continually read, study and write it indelibly in our hearts. Please remember the immortal words of the Lord to Joshua when He appointed him leader of Israel after Moses died. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Oh my faithful brethren, that is the most defining verse in the entire Word of God! Study it, and live it, then you will have good success! It’s clear as day! Please note the importance of the word ‘good’ there, for you can have success by following the enemy, but that’s bad success, a success that never lasts or get’s one into eternal life with God. And that’s simply why so many of us are not leading lives as prosperous as we can; we don’t spend enough serious and sincere time in the Word, and thus we can’t live it as we ought. 

Oh my people, I do hope that my words, or rather the words put into my heart and fingers by the Holy Spirit will be of great encouragement to us today, because we do need to increase our faithfulness and trust, so that we can fight the good fight that’s called for in these most trying and turbulent times! 

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

Now that should lead us to put on our battle armour and excitedly go out and share Christ’s LOVE and friendship! Much LOVE!

..the time is NOW…the time is NOW…NOW is the time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2019 Luke 1:45.

Luke 1:45.    ​And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 

‘Snow, snow, snow… Canadian snow!’ Yeah friends, yesterday it was just a mere veneer, (smile) and the day turned into a rather nice one. Today though it’s a full blown coat – white everywhere! (smile) And I guess it must have blindsided many commuters when they hit the road this morning, because I went to bed around 3, and there was none of that fresh stuff on the ground then. So please be very careful if you have to go out today. I know I’m not going anywhere! (smile) But since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Yes, Friday has shown up at long last! It’s been a roughish week; what with the children harassing me to get into the Cyber Monday nonsense, some bad weather and the boss in a sour mood…even more sour and snarly than usual, and for some reason I can’t sleep properly when the night come, so all day ah more tired than anything else. Steups! Don’t even have no enthusiasm for Christmas when I am usually a Christmas man, it’s my favourite season of the year. And then the wife been nagging me to put up lights and Christmas tree and what not. 

Chuh! Usually, she don’t have to badger or bully me to do that. But this year ah just not in the mood for all the Christmas stuff. Don’t know if I’m just getting old and tired, or I need a long vacation in a hot climate, with sea, salt, sand and rum! Now there’s an interesting idea! It’s really sparked my interest. How wonderful it would be to get away from this cold, snowy weather for a while eh! But right now that’s just a pipe dream because I can’t afford to take the whole family away, and I can’t just go by mihself. So I’ll just have to come back down to earth and say, Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui, hoping that I can get some proper sleep during the weekend, and that my normal enthusiasm for Christmas will return after that!’ 

Ah friends, the vagaries of life and the weather eh! We never know when whatever will hit us and just change our mood and attitude, but once we hold on tightly to Jesus, no mater what we go through, we know we will come out of it okay; no burning in the fire, or drowning in the flood. None of us are immune from such situations, but we at least have a more positive song to sing come the weekend, what we call our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it now nuh with sincere thanks and strong sense of purpose. 

As one voice: ‘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!’ At least when we’re down in the dumps, we have a great God, Helper and Comforter to cry out to. 

And I think it’s necessary for us to continue with Mary’s story to see just how the Lord administers His faithfulness to those who faithfully do His work. Remember yesterday we saw where Mary accepted the Lord’s will without a hassle. But then the Good Book tells us: ‘And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted (greeted) Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation (greeting) of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation (greeting) sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.’ (Luke 1:39-44) 

Oh friends, what a great dramatist is our God! Knowing that Mary would need human help and confidence and support in the unenviable task He had given her, He sent her to her cousin Elisabeth, who, in her own lesser way, was tasked with God’s holy will. For, hitherto barren, she was then carrying John the Baptist, the forerunner of Mary’s child, Jesus. And the Master Dramatist set it up so skillfully through the Holy Ghost, that when Mary greeted Elisabeth, her eyes were opened to God’s proposed doing, and the unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in her womb, cause he also felt the godly connection. 

And who says our wonderful God doesn’t move in strange, mysterious and awesome ways eh! But they always have a useful purpose. Now hear these interesting words that God also put into Elisabeth’s mouth for Mary’s encouragement. ‘And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is our God eh! From Mary’s acceptance of her task, He began encouraging her and building her faith even more. Thus after hearing Elisabeth’s prophecy, she was able to declare the awesome words of faith we know as ‘The Magnificat!’ 

‘And Mary said, 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…’ (Luke 1:46-48) Unfortunately friends, we don’t have space or time to record all of Mary’s words on that most auspicious occasion, but you can read them in Luke 1:46-55. Then the Good Book adds this important info: ‘And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.’ (Luke 1:56) 

So the Lord allowed Mary to spend a good while with Elisabeth so that she could be further encouraged. And He does that with all who work sincerely for Him my brethren. I can tell you that from personal experience. Without His awesome help and encouragement I could not write this Bit everyday. So whatever God has given you to do, please don’t despair, call out to Him for help, if needs be, and He will faithfully offer it. You can better your bottom dollar on it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…working for the Lord…might be hard…but it’s certainly adventurous and awe-inspiring…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 November 2019…Psalm 3:3.

Psalm 3:3.    ​But thou, O Lord, art a shield for (around) me; my glory, and the lifter up of (the one who lifts up) mine head.
 

Top o’ the day my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Sorry, but it looks like another wet and cloudy day in my area. Chuh! That’s three in a row! But what to do eh? Not much but grin and bear it and open our hearts, minds, bodies and souls even more to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He is the One who can help us do all things through His amazing strength and goodness, mercy, grace and compassion! Glory be mih people! How blessed we are to have such a wonderful Leader, Guide and Enabler! 

And all God’s people declared in a loud and grateful voice: ‘Bless His holy name! Bless the Lamb that was slain for us; our High Priest and Advocate at the Father’s right hand, who understands our problems because He faced them too, but yet did not sin. Consequently, the only one found worthy to open the seven seals!’ Yes friends, whatever we need, we can find it in Jesus…our EVERYTHING! 

And as Bruh David so rightly declared long ago in Psalm 3 – his prayer of confidence in God: ‘Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God.    Selah.  But thou, O Lord, art a shield for (around) me; my glory, and the lifter up of (the one who lifts up) mine head.’ (Ps. 3:2-3) Ah mih breddren, today the infidel is still doubting the power and LOVE of our great God, but ever so wisely, we are still rocking and rolling in His utmost faithfulness and tender mercies for those who come sincerely seeking Him! 

Bruh David in his day had numerous problems and enemies, but he was able to confront them all because of his amazing trust in the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And regardless of why he was crying out to God, he always made sure to declare his ultimate trust in God. For example, in Psalm 28 – a prayer for God’s help, he confidently proclaims: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) 

And I’m sadly chuckling here, because in these troubled and perilous times, I don’t think many of us take the time to acknowledge God’s power and majesty when we cry out to Him for help, we just want His help immediately. But the Lord likes it when, even in rough times, we take a moment to sincerely acknowledge His might and power, because then we truly show our trust in His everlasting faithfulness and LOVE, we’re not just out to get our wants satisfied. Remember, the true motives of our hearts are more important to God, than our outward actions. 

Now hear the kind of absolute declaration we can make when that absolute trust in our God permeates our entire being: ‘I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill (mountain).   Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps.3:4-6) Oh my fellow believers, if we put our whole faith and trust in the Lord God of Israel, it’s the same way He will sustain us when we cry out to Him, because that’s His faithful promise. 

As I keep saying, despite all Bruh David’s faults and foibles, he knew on which side his bread was buttered, and the Lord certainly rewarded him for that sincere trust. And He will do the same for us if we come to Him in all sincerity? But unfortunately, too many of us supposed believers don’t put our whole and absolute faith and trust in Christ Jesus, we still try to do too much in our own strength, that’s why our lives are not as steady and forthright as they ought to be. And yes, I know that putting our last ounce of faith in Christ can sometimes be difficult, but that’s what faith is all about, and you won’t grow or learn until you step out of your comfort zone and take a radical step towards Him. 

Oh, believe me, I can only spout this stuff because I’ve learned from personal experience, and hard personal experience too…and I’m still learning…from hard experience, because it’s a process. God is working a work of faith and trust in us, so that hopefully, everyday we can become more like His Son. That’s the long term plan. And remember His Son did not have it easy here on earth, so we should not complain if we occasionally have it rough. 

Thus, we need to believe like Bruh David prayed: ‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ (Ps.5:11-12) Ah friends, what a great God we serve and worship, but we can’t get ALL the benefits available unless we invest ALL the trust! It’s as simple as that. 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our solid and uncompromising position in Christ. As one sincere voice: ‘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 you stand steadfast and true, that future will be even more glorious than you can ever imagine! Much LOVE!

…it’s all about…trust…surrender…and belief…in Christ Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2019 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.    ​But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Aloha people! It’s Monday, that means it’s time to rise and shine and join the battle lines where Jesus awaits us! Like any good Field General, He’s the first one at the front surveying and reconnoitering the situation, so He can draw up good battle plans to ensure our victory. Remember, without good, solid, wise plans victory is never possible. 

Consequently, we His soldiers also ought to have good, wise battle plans for our day. And the first one is to arise with enthusiasm, to greet the new day full of vim and vinegar, giving our Lord thanks and praise for allowing us to see another day! Oh, I know that’s not possible for all of us, but don’t worry, we have the secret ingredient to help us get up to par. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, a simple but most productive prayer, suitable for any ailment you have on a Monday morning. 

So let’s join together in saying it nuh, because we all need prayer regardless of how strong and faithful we are. As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yuh feel it friends? Yuh feel the power of the Holy Spirit just working its way through your soul and spirit? I know you do, because I feel it too! It never ceases to amaze me that whenever we pray that prayer, how my enthusiasm level just rises another notch, even when it’s already high! That’s the giddy answer (smile) of our great God to our genuine and sincere prayer. And believe me, I needed a boost this morning, because it seems I caught some bug on the plane. 

When you’re packed like sardines with so many people hacking and sneezing, with one lady right next to me, it’s not unusual to catch something. Brother! After church yesterday, where I was feeling lousy, with my throat aching, I came home, had breakfast and went straight to bed. Remember I don’t have my I-pad, so I couldn’t play any games first. (smile) And I spent the whole day there, just getting up for supper in the afternoon and going straight back. 

I also spent most of the night there, waking and sleeping, listening to the strong wind that kept blowing all day through the trees. Sometimes it sounded like rain, but when I opened my eyes and looked, it was still just the wind. Sometime in the early morning hours I did get up and say some prayers, not fully conscious though, but I know our wonderful God understood, because my heart was in the right place. 

Oh friends, I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful God we serve and worship because He doesn’t look at our outward actions but at the motives of our hearts, and if they are true and sincere, He does accept our faults and frailties. In any case, He already knows them better than us. And we see this plainly in the words of the Lord to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel. Samuel looked at Eliab, big and strong and handsome and thought ‘This must be the one‘ 

‘But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’  But that doesn’t mean that the Lord doesn’t like good-looking people, for it was said of Bruh David: ‘he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look at.’ (1 Kin.16:12) Meaning he had bright eyes and was also good-looking, and he must have been strong too from all those hours out in the wild. (smile) 

Oh my people, unfortunately we can only look on the outward actions of our fellow man, so we can’t tell what is truly in their hearts, but the Lord can. And we see the good motives and intentions of our hearts played out quite plainly in Bruh David. Although he made many mistakes, and the Lord did punish him for them, He never left him, because Bruh David never left Him either. He always stuck to the God of His Fathers. 

Note too, the prayer of Cousin Sol, when the Lord asked him what he wanted. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people. And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon has asked this thing.’ (1 Kin.3:9-10) ‘And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore.’ (1 Kin.4:29) 

Yes friends, most of what we ask for, if it falls within the Father’s will and our hearts are true, we will get them. But note when Cousin Sol got old and turned to the gods of his many wives, how the Lord blanked him. ‘And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel which had appeared unto him twice. And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded.’ (1 Kin.11:9-10) 

Therefore the Lord told Cousin Sol he would take away the kingdom from him, but not in his days, but in his son’s. And why was the Lord so generous? ‘For David thy father’s sake…for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.’ (1 Kin.11:12b,13c) Yuh see mih people, though Bruh David did a whole lot of wrong, his heart never strayed from his God, and that eventually made him a measuring stick for faithfulness in the Old Testament. 

Are we faithful, can the Lord use us as a measuring stick for others today? Possibly not, but if we keep striving to be faithful and keep doing our best, one day the Lord might even deign to consider us His friend and a man after His own heart, like He said of Bruh David. I can think of no higher accolade that our great God can pay us. Much LOVE!

…the motives of our heart…must be right…when we come to the Lord in prayer…

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