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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2020 Isaiah 32:17.

Isaiah 32:17.    And the work of the righteous shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 
 

So we greet another beautiful day with God’s LOVE, mercies and compassion! What a wonderful God He is; let’s rejoice, give thanks and be glad in it! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen! So let it be!’ Yes, the pandemic sickness and strife is still going on, possibly getting worse, but I have some good news for those of us who keep our focus on God, make him our number one priority, seek his kingdom and righteousness before anything else. And the good news is the coming reign of the righteous king. 

Isaiah saw it thus: ‘Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgement (justice). And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert (shelter) from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.’ (Is. 32:1-4) 

Oh my people, of course this has not happened as yet, otherwise our world would not be in such a disastrous state, but I assure us, it will happen one day, and possibly sooner than we think or expect. Isaiah foresees life to be pretty rough; ‘Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of the righteous shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 

And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (secure) dwellings, and in quiet resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place (brought low in humiliation). Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.’ (Is. 32:15-20) Yes faithful saints of Christ, one day it will be all right with our world. And in all the current tumult, you ask a nervous and expectant, WHEN? Unfortunately, I don’t know. Only our heavenly Father knows, for He’s set the times and places in His wisdom. 

But listen to how the scholars explain all of that scripture nuh. ‘32:1-20. The king who shall reign in righteousness is Christ Himself. The prophet foresees a time when government will exist that is totally characterized by righteousness and judgement (justice). Such a description does not fit even Hezekiah, the best of Judah’s kings. Rather, Isiah sees a much greater day coming when the godly character of Judah will be as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. This will be a time when the ignorant will understand knowledge (da‘at, moral discernment). He also sees a time of complete national conversion when the spirit will be poured upon us (cf. Joel 2:28).’ 

And the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, where it was made available to all mankind, already occurred on the day of Pentecost, but the rest is yet to come. And since we know that all God’s promises are true, we wait patiently and expectantly, we persevere until He decides it’s time for the Millennial kingdom to come. Now let’s see what that day of the Lord shall look like nuh. Isaiah says: ‘And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks (pruning knives): nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ (Is. 2:4) 

I know friends that we’re all waiting impatiently for that awesome day! (smile) Hear how Bruh Paul characterizes life in the Spirit world and God’s kingdom nuh. ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:5-6) And later on he declares: ‘For the kingdom of God is not meat (food) and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.’ (Rom. 14:17-18) 

Meanwhile James puts it this way. ‘For where envying and strife (self-seeking) is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated (willing to yield), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:16-18) And Cousin Sol adds his two cents worth: ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) 

And finally, the psalmist tells us: ‘Great peace have they which LOVE thy law: and nothing shall offend them (cause them to stumble).’ (Ps. 119:165) It’s all God’s Word, so it has to be true, and if we’re wise and are God’s children as we claim, then we’ll follow it and proclaim peace all across the land! Now let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings, the wonderful blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us to do that work here on earth. 

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

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

And please remember, those blessings are not for us to selfishly store, but for us to share with others, just as the Lord has generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…sow in LOVE…reap in peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 
Welcome friends, to Thursday April 30 in the year of our Lord 2020 – the year of the Coronavirus pandemic! Unfortunately, some three months in, the deadly virus is still causing havoc and confusion amongst us. Nothing much has changed. We still don’t know anything much about it, but everybody has their opinions. Hn! What a bam bam! Now the panic is increasingly becoming not only about contracting the virus, but more about work, money and food, as a serious shortage is beginning to show up in those vital areas. 

And believe me, I wouldn’t want to be a political leader in these times at all, because the virus has dropped them right between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the devil and the deep blue sea, for now the decision has to be made between the medical and economic fronts; either save people and keep social distancing going, or save the economy and open back up the business, which at this crucial time could lead to a worsening of the medical situation. You’re damned if you do either, because there are strong sentiments in the populace for both actions. So friends, let’s pray that our leaders get it right yes, else we’re in for a long, extremely difficult time. 

But here’s something I heard a preacher recently talk about, something called the Stockdale Paradox, coined by the author Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t.’ And does it ever  seem rather appropriate to our current situation. Apparently Admiral Stockdale, a Navy Pilot spent seven years as a Vietnam prisoner of war and surprisingly he witnessed that those prisoners who were optimists were dying before the pessimists, because after several disappointing episodes of predicting freedom, they lost their hope and gave up. The pessimists, already without hope just went about their business in pessimistic fashion and died off as expected. (smile) 

When asked how he managed to keep his sanity and faith, despite several severe bouts of torture, the Admiral replied: ‘I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.’ Imagine thinking and doing that in a prisoner of war camp nuh!  And he added: ‘You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.’ 

What words of awesome wisdom my people! Words that I believe will certainly help us in these scary and confusing times. Faith will allow us to believe that we will eventually prevail, but we must also be wise and disciplined enough to recognize and confront the hard and unrelenting facts of what we’re currently going through. I think we saw that principle magnificently epitomized in Jesus, especially during His torment in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. 

Yes, as a human being, He was terrified of having to face the cross, so much so that three times He prayed ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.’ (Luke 22:42.) The Good Book further says: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) Yeh friends, Jesus certainly didn’t have it easy. 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations: ‘22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ 

But as the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus knew that was His major purpose for coming to earth was to be the sacrificial lamb for sin, and He really couldn’t escape it. He also knew though that He would win the battle eventually and be resurrected victoriously from the grave. So like Admiral Stockdale said, He didn’t lose faith, although things seemed rather dim, but also faced the reality of His crucifixion, knowing that He would win in the end. And that’s the exact kind of behaviour we believers need to exhibit in these trying times my brethren! 

We know that we will win in the end, Jesus has promised it: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ So we need now to hold on tightly to that promise, while wisely facing our current reality. Remember our motto for this Covid-19 season: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Let’s use them nuh. And in addition to those attributes, we also have our Thursday Blessings, such wonderful blessings that God has also given to us so we can perform His awesome work down here on planet earth. 

So let’s declare them now nuh, in strong voice, with truly sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Now let’s go out and generously share those blessings as the Lord greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…strong faith…with wisdom…and endurance…win the crown every time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.
 
Now bless the Lord, we ‘ve moved on to Thursday, which used to be important as the penultimate day of the work week, because it heralded Friday, which in turn heralded the much looked forward to and desired weekend! But now that work is such a scarce and nebulous thing, mostly virtual, (smile) Thursday has become just like any other day…bland and unappealing, with mostly the same ole, same ole nothing to do – except to delve into social media with even more gusto than before. 

Hn! And is there a lot to delve into! Here’s some more rhetoric that’s traversing the social media. It’s reputed that Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said these words as he warned against people misbehaving during this Covid-19 period. “God has a lot of work, He has the whole world to look after. He cannot just be here in Uganda looking after idiots…’ Now who knows if he really said that eh? But it does make for interesting reading. Now there was another part attached to the message I received, but the sender wasn’t sure if it was the Ugandan president speaking, so we’ll just report this message separately, cause it’s also an interesting message. 

So read with me: ‘In a war situation, nobody asks anybody to stay indoors. You stay indoors by choice. In fact, if you have a basement, you hide there for as long as hostilities persist. During a war, you don’t insist on your freedom. You willingly give it up in exchange for survival. During a war, you don’t complain of hunger. You bear hunger and pray that you live to eat again. During a war, you don’t argue about opening your business. You close your shop (if you have the time), and run for your life. You pray to outlive the war so that you can return to your business (that’s if it has not been looted or destroyed by mortar fire). 

During a war, you are thankful to God for seeing another day in the land of the living. During a war, you don’t worry about your children not going to school. You pray that the government doesn’t forcefully enlist them as soldiers to be trained in the school premises now turned military depot. The world is currently in a state of war. A war without guns and bullets. A war without human soldiers. A war without borders. A war without cease-fire agreements. A war without a war room. A war without sacred zones. The army in this war is without mercy. It is without any milk of human kindness. It is indiscriminate – it has no respect for children, women, or places of worship. 

This army is not interested in spoils of war. It has no intention of regime change. It is not concerned about the rich mineral resources underneath the earth. It is not even interested in religious, ethnic or ideological hegemony. Its ambition has nothing to do with racial superiority. It is an invisible, fleetfooted, and ruthlessly effective army. It’s only agenda is a harvest of death. It is only satiated after turning the world into one big death field. Its capacity to achieve its aim is not in doubt. Without ground, amphibious and aerial machines, it has bases in almost every country in the world. 

Its movement is not governed by any war convention or protocol. In short, it is a law unto itself. It is Coronavirus. Also known as Covid-19 (because it announced its destructive presence and intention in the year of our Lord 2019). Thankfully, this army has a weakness and it can be defeated. It only requires our collective action, discipline and forbearance. Covid-19 cannot survive social and physical distancing. It only thrives when you confront it. It LOVES to be confronted. 

It capitulates in the face of collective social and physical distancing. It bows before good personal hygiene. It is helpless when you take your destiny in your own hands by keeping them sanitized as often as possible. This is not a time to cry about bread and butter like spoilt children. After all, the Holy book tells us that man shall not live by bread alone. Let’s obey and follow the instructions of the authorities. Let’s flatten the Covid-19 curve. Let’s exercise patience. Let’s be our brother’s keeper. In no time, we shall regain our freedom, enterprise and socializing.’ 

Phew! That was long, but certainly interesting. I know many of us can’t associate with the pictures of war that the author draws, but coincidentally, I am currently reading a book about the Nigerian civil war when the nation of Biafra was born for a short while – May 1967- January 1970, and one of the fears of the populace was indeed young men being forcibly drafted in to the army that was training in previous school compounds, as well as a serious shortage of food and housing. 

And yuh know what, Jesus did respond to one of Satan’s temptations in the wilderness with the man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt. 4:4). So let’s find some suitable words from God’s mouth that we can live by in these turbulent times nuh. What about these from Psalm 46, titled ‘God is our refuge and strength?’  The words of the sons of Korah are indeed encouraging and reassuring, so please recite them with me: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble. 

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah. … Come behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3; 8-11) 

And there is nothing stronger or more reassuring than knowing that our great God is with us my faithful brethren! He will end this crazy war – in His own time! So let’s not fear! Instead let’s loudly and joyfully declare our Thursday Blessings, that He so generously bestowed on us to do His awesome work in tough times such as these. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

So what we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and generously share all that stuff… or rather, share it through social media and social distancing! (smile) Much LOVE!

…this is not a war we can win on our own…we desperately need the Lord’s help…so let’s repent…and pray for it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2020 Isaiah 54:13.

Isaiah 54:13.    ​And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
 
One more day friends… One more day to experience heaven right here on earth! Wow! That’s why Jesus came and died for us yes – so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) That means we don’t have to wait until we actually reach heaven to enjoy heaven; we can also get a slice of it right down here on this sinful earth, because of the salvation He died for us to have. We are now children of God; redeemed, reconciled, sanctified and justified by Christ’s death on the cross at Calvary; sealed by the Holy Spirit until forever! 

Wow! Thus, if you’re a born again child of the Most High God, then your life ought to be moving on a higher plane now. Not that you won’t have problems and trials, but because you will be able to overcome them with the awesome help of our wonderful God who has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5) 

And I just espied this wonderful scripture as I opened the Good Book in the writings of Isaiah, where he talks about the Lord’s everlasting LOVE for Israel. ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.’ (Is.54:13-14) Oh my fellow believers, yuh see that? Once again the Lord instills and impresses on us that we MUST TEACH the children about Him and His Word, since that’s the only way they will have peace on this earth. 

And you’ll surely notice that quite a lot of young people nowadays are tied up in uncertainty and don’t know where they’re going and are falling for all sorts of foolish and ungodly stuff, because we the parents have not taught them the Word of God as the Lord requires. Ah friends, the only way the Word of God can survive is if the next generation knows it and keeps passing it on. How do you think we got it eh? Because our parents instilled it in us. As Bruh David says in Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious – ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.’ (Ps. 145:4) 

Oh my people, did our generation praise the works of the Lord to this current one and declare His mighty acts? Not as much as we ought to, else our children would not be as lost and vulnerable to every whim and fancy of this evil world, as they are today. And I know we don’t like to hear of or take the blame for the current situation, but the truth is a lot of it sits on our shoulders because of our reluctance, for whatever reason, to teach our children the Word of the Lord and tell them about his awesome doings. Just like we were told about them by our parents, we are responsible for telling our children. And unfortunately we have not come up to scratch in that department. 

Remember when you train up the children right, that even when they’re old, they’ll still remember what you taught them. That reminds me of the reggae song ‘August Town’ by Duane Stephenson, where he was a bad boy dealing with evil forces, more into guns and ammunitions and striving with God-fearing people, than following the Lord. That disheartens me some, because in my days in Jamaica, August Town, situated right below the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies was a decent enough place, not filled with the crime and violence Duane sings about. 

But as he says “For all the lives that I’ve taken, They can never be replaced, But still Jah Jah chose to remember my face. Though I never lived like He wanted, I’m still mindful of what he taught me. So now I beg and plead, I’m on my bended knees, Cause Father you rescued me.’  That’s what I’m talking about friends, as a child, he was obviously taught the Word, though He never chose to live it as an adult. But yuh see when life got really tough, when it got dark, because of His early training in the Word, he knew where to turn to for help, ‘the only spark, the light at the end of the road.’ 

And obviously, ever-faithful to His promise the Father rescued him. So though it might be a tad late for teaching our children about God, but certainly don’t stop trying with them, we should possibly concentrate more on our grandchildren; getting the Word into their hearts and souls as early as possible. Now Moses told the children of Israel that from the very beginning. ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:6-7) 

Yuh see friends, not only should we teach the children, and teach them diligently, but the Word should always be in our mouths and hearts and minds. That way we have them to quickly draw upon whenever we need them, which is almost constantly in these evil times. End of sermon! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, generously given to us so that we can also generously share them with others while doing God’s work. All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

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

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

Yes friends, let’s get it together nuh, and show the heathen world what true Christians are really like! They are just dying to see us like we ought to be, so they have a good example to follow! Much LOVE!

…we can only teach what we know…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2020 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.    ​And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
 
Greetings my brethren on this beautiful Thursday after Ash Wednesday. Yesterday I was so excited to get the Bit out early that I even forgot that it was Ash Wednesday. (smile) And strangely enough Ash Wednesday is a holiday in J.A. It’s the only place I know of that celebrates it as a holiday…and celebrate it they do. 

Now Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent; a time in our spiritual lives when we become somewhat ascetic, that means becoming a li’l less self-indulgent and more prayerful, abstaining from some things of the flesh, with fasting and prayer becoming more important in our everyday lives. The forty days of the Lenten season correspond to the forty days our Lord and Saviour spent fasting in the wilderness after He was baptized and before He effectively began His earthly ministry. 

In this time we’re expected to seriously think about our faith, and what it really means to us, how we can improve it and thus get a deeper and better understanding of our great and wonderful God, and thus develop an even better relationship with Him, because that’s what He wants; a strong and beautiful relationship with His children, sinful and ignorant though we may be. (smile) 

But friends, that’s the amazing kind of God we serve and worship, regardless of our faults and mistakes, His everlasting goal is for us to come into a sincere and prosperous relationship with Him, for He is our Father, and we are His children. And just like we earthly parents desire to have good relationships with our children, in the same manner our heavenly Father desires to have great relationships with His earthly children.  

And our God is so wonderful my fellow believers, that having caused Israel to be in bondage in Babylon for their disgraceful disobedience, He promised that they would return to their homeland after a period of seventy years… Oh, let the Good Book tell us the story, it can do it better than I can. (smile) ‘For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good work toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope). Then you shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:10-13) 

Yes friends, that’s what our God desires of us, to seek Him with our whole hearts, with every fibre of our mortal being. And when we do that, then we will find Him, ready, willing and able to hear and respond positively. He doesn’t just require lip-service, but true, heartfelt, diligent seeking of Him. What yuh think Jesus did in the wilderness for those forty days eh, beside not eat eh? 

PRAY! That’s what He did, seeking guidance and understanding from His heavenly Father so that He could do His earthly work with diligence and excellence. That’s why in this Lenten season we also ought to seek our heavenly Father’s face even more than usual, to get right with Him, to get His plans for our lives, how He wants us to go. 

Remember He says He has a plan for each and every one of us, not to bring us down, but to build us up, to give us a future filled with hope and good things. But we need to seek Him. I don’t know how to get that most important fact home to us nuh my people, but it’s simple logic; if we don’t diligently look for Him, we won’t find Him. 

And without Him in our lives we’re absolutely nothing! Jesus said it quite plainly when He spoke about Him being the vine and we the branches. ‘He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) It could not be said any plainer than that friends. 

And note too that when the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer tried to tie up Jesus by asking which is the great commandment? ‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt. 22:37-38) And Jesus was only repeating the words that Moses had told the Israelites long before when they came out of bondage in Egypt. (Deut. 6:5) 

And nothing has changed since then. That is still the first and great commandment. And that’s also why Jesus so strongly advised us to: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Oh my people, running down the foolish things of the world that corrupt our souls and don’t last for any length of time, but rust and depreciate, is not the wisdom of God, but of the world. 

And moreover, Jesus said that if we seriously and sincerely follow the Father, then He will give us all those worldly things that we do need. Bruh David said it too in such precise and wonderful terms. ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) And Bruh Paul was also very sure when he declared to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

I don’t know what else to say nuh friends except to let us go home now declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, whereby the Lord has provided for our needs in His everlasting faithfulness. So altogether now, let’s declare those blessings with strong voice and sincere hearts. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! 

I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

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

Now please remember that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate, just like the Lord generously shares them with us! Much LOVE!

…it’s extremely foolish…not to believe and act on…the words of the one who made you…then selflessly saved you…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2020 Psalm 119:103.

Psalm 119:103.    ​How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
 
And the snow flew during the night…and the snow is flying again now…making it all a pretty white picture! (smile) Ah friends, we have a mid-winter tradition about certain ground hogs, or woodchucks coming out of their lair on a certain day, and if they see their shadow or not, spring will either be here shortly, or it will take a while to come. 

Now I’m not sure which situation means what, (smile) but whatever the recent reaction was, meant that spring would soon be a coming. However, they didn’t say what kind of weather we’d have in between. Now that’s the cut-tail question. (smile) Spring might soon come, but we can have all sorts of bad weather before it comes. So the promise of an early spring doesn’t mean a blooming thing!  

But here’s what we ought to be more interested in…the Word of our wonderful God which helps us to successfully handle whatever situations or circumstances that come against us! As the psalmist so poignantly and truthfully says: ‘How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.’ 

Wow mih people! Isn’t that something? Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Not many people. But it certainly is true. And why is that? The psalmist explains: ‘Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps.119:104-105) 

Mama Mia! The rules and guidelines of God give us understanding and wisdom in living this earthly life, so clearly, that His Word appears to be like a lamp and a light guiding us on our everyday journey. What more can we ask for eh friends? Not a whole lot. 

But the problem is to get that wisdom and understanding we have to read, study and meditate on the Lord’s Word, so that we can have it indelibly instilled in our souls and spirits, and thus available to give us the guidance we need to go gratefully and confidently through this evil and ungodly world. 

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 34, after escaping from Saul and running to the Philistines for succour. ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that (reverence) fear him.’ (Ps. 34:8-9) 

And Bruh David ought to know about trusting and reverencing God, since that’s what kept him alive for so long, both from Saul’s murdering intentions and the many other enemies he had. So why do we doubt, or not pay serious attention to his words eh? Because we in this supposed modern age think we know more than the sages of olden times.

Yes,these are the modern times, so we must embrace modern things. Steups! But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom. The Lord our God doesn’t change, neither does his Word. So if it was good three thousand years or however far back, that means it’s still good today! 

Hear Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 19 – The creation and covenants of God. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (restoring) the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey comb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ (Ps. 19:7-11) 

Oh my people, precious people of God…what more will it take for us to get to LOVE and sincerely practice the Word of God eh? Look at what it does for us nuh: restores our souls, makes the simple wise, rejoices our hearts, enlightens our eyes, endures for ever, it’s true and righteous, it’s even more desirous than the best quality gold to be found, it’s sweeter than the honey from the honeycomb, plus it warns us, and oh boy, oh boy, we get great rewards when we keep it! 

Now tell me, is there anything else in this great wide, modern, technological and far reaching world of social media that can do ALL of those things? Not on your life! Only the Word of God has that awesome power because that’s why it was specifically created; to give us guidance and understanding and teach us how to handle each and every situation that we encounter on our earthly pilgrimage! 

So friends, let’s do what we know to be right nuh, and stop embracing and following the foolishness of this world. Remember, Satan was once the high angel Lucifer, so he knows more about heaven and how it works than we do, that’s why He expends so much energy in keeping us away from the Good Book and all that it entails. But thankfully we know his deceitful ways and won’t fall for his lies and evil schemes. 

So let’s go home now declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, wherein the Lord has generously blessed us with all that we need to do His work successfully down here on His great earth. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

Now don’t allow Satan to throw us off and not go out and generously share those many blessings with the less fortunate, for that’s why we were granted them. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing more powerful…and more beneficial…on God’s earth…than God’s Word…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2020 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.    ​Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 
Oh friends, the weather forecasters got it right this time! It’s out there, in decent enough proportions; white and cold and beautiful, but extremely dangerous! (smile) We talking about a snow storm that hit the area last night and has most likely made and is still making a mess of the morning commute. But what to do eh? It’s all a part of the life scene in the northern climes, so we just have to grin and bear it and ask the Lord to help us get through it safely. 

And would you believe this is the day that I have to go into the city for a cat-scan on my head? Steups! I haven’t quite made up my mind if I’m going, but it’s not until late afternoon, so we still have time to make a decision. Cancelling it though could mean another couple of months to get another appointment. And it’s all for my benefit, to make sure the tumour they removed from my pituitary gland almost two years ago is not growing back. But not to fear, the Lord will help me to make a wise decision. (smile) 

And talking about wise decisions, this most appropriate scripture just came to me: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’ Oh my people, wiser words were never spoken! It ought to be a no-brainer to trust securely in the One who made the universe and all therein, but unfortunately it isn’t! Mankind feels because his Maker gave him dominion over the earth and all within it, that his own wisdom is sufficient to handle all his affairs. Heifer dust! 

And as he’s grown more prosperous and technologically intelligent, so has his foolish pride in his own superiority increased. But what he’s foolishly not realized is that although the Lord gave him free will, He stills holds the reins, though somewhat loosely, and still controls the bit in his mouth. (smile) And Cousin Sol reminds us of that in two verses of Proverbs: ‘The preparations (plans) of the heart in (belong to) man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.’ (Prov.16:1) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘16:1. The Lord is sovereign, even over a man’s thoughts and words.’ 

And later in the same chapter, Cousin Sol tells us: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov.16:9) And the scholars explain: ‘16:9. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ So yuh see friends, our God whom we consider omnipotent and can do anything, is in reality the ruler of our thoughts, words, schemes and plans. He just allows us to make them, but He does the final directing. And until we wake up and realize that awesome truth, and stop trying to make decisions in our own strength, we will never really enjoy all that the Lord has prepared and planned for mankind. End of story! 

And the next few verses after our Bit are probably some of the most important and wisest in the Good Book, meaning that if we follow them sincerely, we will never go too wrong, or fall off the straight and narrow path. Listen to these amazing words of truth and wisdom nuh from the writings of Cousin Sol. ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov.5:6-8) 

Oh mih people, yuh see the awesome benefits to our health and strength from listening to the Lord, from asking for His direction and guidance! And then there are these two amazing verses that deal with our prosperity: ‘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.3:9-10) Mamacita! 

Friends, it’s all laid out right there for us in black and white: Give to the Lord of the first fruits of your bounty, and He will enlarge you! But for some foolish reason(s) we refuse to give to the Lord what is actually His. Yes, ALL that’s in the heaven and earth and sea belongs to Him! We are only stewards of His business. That’s what we forget, or don’t know. And how often do the scriptures recommend that we give eh? Very often! 

The Lord even complained that the Israelites robbed Him by not giving their tithes like they should, and that led to a lot of their ‘sufferation.’  However if they did, He would open the windows of heaven and pour down a blessing that they wouldn’t have room for. (Mal.3:8-10) And friends the same direction applies to us nowadays. But like the foolish and greedy Israelites, we too refuse to give to God what’s His rightful due. 

And precious people, all He asks for is ten percent of what we make so that He can have provision in His house for those who do His work and those who come to them for help and succour. And so many of us wonder why our earthly means are so measly…because we don’t give enough and give generously from the heart. Remember the Good Book says the Lord LOVES a cheerful giver! (2 Cor. 9:7) 

And sadly, that’s one of the important factors in churches going belly up these days; many of the congregants are not giving sufficient funds to keep the churches running. They all want to come to church and see everything looking good and hear an uplifting sermon from the pastor, but they don’t think that pastor needs to be paid a living wage, just like them, and the church has bills just like their houses. 

Ah friends, enough for today! (smile) Let’s go home now declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, blessings that the Lord has provided for those of us who are seriously interested in doing His work. Remember, He doesn’t give us work to do without the tools to do them.  

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

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

And as always, the corollary to that, is for us to go out and generously share those blessings with others, just as the Lord has generously shared them with us. They are definitely not to be hoarded! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom comes from the Lord…give…and it will be given unto you…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2020 John 8:12.

John 9:12.    ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
 
Well it’s begun as a somewhat grey and unappealing Thursday morning, but let’s hope that it will eventually turn into a bright sunshiny day like yesterday, although it was a tad on the chilly side. Yes friends, there’s something to be said for sunshine, even when it’s freezing cold! (smile) It just lifts the spirits…don’t know if it’s because of the light and our spirits were made to enjoy light, not darkness, but it certainly does help to see a nice, bright day filled with sunshine, especially when things are not going too well. 

But yuh know what? We believers don’t really need to depend so much on the physical sunlight because we have the one who made that sunlight, who is also that sunlight, dwelling deep down inside of us! And consequently, when the physical sunlight is not apparent, we can faithfully call on the spiritual light of Jesus to brighten up our days…and also our nights! Wow! That’s why He could make this awesome, but oh so true statement: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ 

Ah friends, what a blessing it is to have the Light of the world in our lives; dwelling securely and faithfully in the souls and spirits of each believer! (chuh!) Give Him much thanks and praise for He is certainly deserving of them! Now hear how John characterizes Him nuh: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ (John 1:1-4) 

Yes my people, Jesus was there from the very beginning: He was the Word; the awesome Word that God spoke to create the universe! ‘Let there be light…and there was light.’ (Gen. 1:3) He was also ‘the life’, which was the light of men, meaning when we have Jesus, we have both life and light! Glory be! And as the scholars explain: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

That’s why it’s so sad and unfortunate when John continues: ‘And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:5) Yes, Jesus came to shine light into a darkened world, but the world did not cotton to His light. Why, you wonder? Because as Jesus said in His famous discourse to Nicodemus: ‘And this is the condemnation of the world, that light (the light) is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) 

No wonder we refused the life and light that was, is, and will always be Jesus! It’s hard for evil man to give up his evil deeds because it’s just an inherent part of his nature. But friends, that evil nature will not get us anywhere except hellfire and damnation, eternal separation from Almighty God, which is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul and spirit! That’s why the Father sent Jesus to earth to redeem us and to reconcile us to Him, otherwise come the big judgement day, we’d be left on the outside looking in. And believe me friends, whatever that might entail in reality, it certainly will not be a good thing! 

Now listen to Jesus again on the subject of ‘the light of the world,’ when He was about to heal a man born blind and the disciples asked Him who had sinned that he was born blind? ‘Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (be revealed) in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the  light of the world.’ 

Yes precious people of God, certain things are made to happen in this evil word so that our God can cause them to be rectified and thus glorify His most blessed and holy name! But the most important part of those statements is the fact that while Jesus was in the world, He was indeed the light of the world, but once He left the world, the duty of being light to a darkened world fell on us, His believers. Like He said back on the Sermon on the Mount after the Beatitudes: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. …Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Ah my fellow believers (yeah!), we are now the reflection of Jesus’ shining light to this evil world, so let’s go out and shine nuh… Oh and don’t forget we’re also the salt of the earth, so we have to be tasty too, otherwise we’ll just be cast out and ground underfoot. (smile)  And the great thing about Jesus is that He never gives us a task to perform unless He gives us the wherewithal, the tools to perform it. And He’s certainly given us the tools to be the salt and light of the earth in our Thursday Blessings, so let’s declare (yeah!) them now nuh, so we can invoke them in our daily routine. 

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

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

And if we truly believe and are truly sincere, then we’ll go out now and generously share those blessings with others as Jesus desires of us, and don’t selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…oh…what a joy and pleasure it is…to be the salt and light of this evil world…in Jesus’ name…

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