Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 December 2022 Luke 2:10.

Luke 2:10.        And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

At last it’s Friday! And many shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday’ have gone up around the world! But in my area we’re especially thankful that the major snowstorm forecasted for yesterday never materialized. Praise the Lord! Instead, wind and rain materialized. However, we’re not yet free from the crazy machinations of the weather, for as we speak, freezing rain is coming down outside my window, and who knows how or when it will end.  And believe me, the freezing rain is indeed worse than the snow; have you slipping and sliding any which way, while freezing up on your windshield, often making visibility extremely difficult despite your wipers strenuously working. (smile) 

So, the proviso for yesterday still holds true for today: don’t go out unless you have to! And since the Lord was gracious enough to give us life this Friday morning, I guess we ought to continue with looking at the Christmas story as we promised. Now we ended yesterday talking about the necessity of humility and peace in Jesus’ philosophy, things that the world doesn’t value very highly. The warmongers, the arrogant, and haughty are whom the world celebrates. But not Jesus. In His kingdom you must be humble, seek peace and be willing to serve others! And that’s the example He gave us during His time here on earth. 

Unfortunately though, too many of us supposed Christians display none, or very little of those attributes that Jesus considers so important to His cause. But that’s another sermon for another day. (smile) Let’s get back to the Christmas story. As we said yesterday, the lowly shepherds were the first people to know of the birth of Jesus. Can you imagine this surreal scene. The shepherds are watching over their flocks in the middle of the night, when the Good Book says: ‘And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid.’ (Luke 2:9) 

And who wouldn’t be afraid eh, if an angel of the Lord suddenly appears in the dark of night with all the Lord’s glory shining round him? And these were mostly unschooled, uneducated, poorer folk, so their fear factor was possibly even higher than most. ‘And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ (Luke 2:10-12) 

And then a heavenly host, a multitude of angels suddenly showed up and began making music, singing and praising God. (Luke 13-14) Can you imagine the shepherds’ predicament? But before we move on, hear this interesting explanation from the scholars on the subject of ‘Swaddling clothes. They were bandage-like strips of cloth wrapped around an infant to ensure that the limbs would grow straight. Not to swaddle a child would be a form of abuse (Ezek. 16:2-4). This wrapping would aid the shepherds in identifying Jesus.’ 

Wow! How different from our procedures today! Wrapping up a child like that now, would probably get you charged for abuse. (smile) However, when all the hoopla had ended and the angels had gone away, the shepherds decided to go to Bethlehem and check out the angel’s news. The Good Book says: ‘And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger (feed trough). And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things told by the shepherds…And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:16-18, 20) 

Ah friends, what a marvellous story! And you’ll notice whom the Lord chose to spread the news of our Saviour’s birth? The poor, lowly shepherds, not the entrenched news media of the day! And they were excited over the news and began praising and glorifying God! That wasn’t the reaction though of the religious leaders and supposedly important people of the society. Anyway, the Lord got the news disseminated the way He desired, and that’s the important thing. (smile) 

But you know one of my favourite verses of scripture deals with Mary and all the things she experienced and heard during Christ’s lifetime. And it’s a simple but very provocative verse. ‘But Mary kept all these things, (that were told by the shepherds) and pondered them in her heart.’ (Luke 2:19) And it wouldn’t be the last time that was written of her. When Jesus was presented in the temple at the eight day, as was the custom, the priest Simeon and prophetess Anna also said wonderful things about Him. ‘And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.’ (Luke 2:33) 

And again, after a visit to Jerusalem, Jesus, as a twelve-year-old had strayed away from the caravan on the way back home, and his parents found Him three days later in the temple ably conversing with the wise men. And we all know Jesus’ answer to His mother’s condemnation. ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.’  (Luke 2:49-51) 

Ah mih people, Mary’s life certainly was not easy. From the day she accepted the Lord’s offer of bearing the incarnate Son of God, it became a roller coaster ride, unto the very end when she had to look at her first born impaled by big, rusty nails on an old wooden cross. But the Lord in His utmost faithfulness, gave her the wherewithal to handle it, like He gives most mothers the ability to raise their children and handle whatever problems they encounter. Now, let’s go to God, and open up our hearts to Him, through our Friday Chant. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the confusion and anxiety caused by the pandemic and our many other serious problems. We can’t fix them on our own Lord, so we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat the simmering unrest in our land. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, without further serious setbacks. 

And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to return backsliders to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a new flock of believers, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic, the bubbling discontent and dissatisfaction in our land, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we want to receive positive answers to our prayers, then we need to do the things we promised. Much LOVE!

…Christmas…a joyful season…despite the many ills in our world… 

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 December 2022 Psalm 118:8.

Psalm 118:8.       It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. (the middle verse of the Bible) 

Well friends, today, Thursday, the penultimate day of the workweek is supposed to bring us a big snowstorm. Thankfully though, so far we’ve only seen wind and freezing rain in my area. But if the weather forecast holds true, the evening commute home will be terrible. Let’s hope and pray that they are somewhat wrong about the intensity of the storm. And why would we desire an intense physical storm when we already have so many intense emotional and spiritual ones eh? 

No way! However, those latter storms can be lessened and controlled by being in association with Jesus Christ, the divine storm calmer. But the physical ones are a different story. Oh, He can calm those too, if He so desires, like he did back on the sea of Galilee, when ‘He rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39) But usually, in those cases, He allows Mother Nature to take her course without interference. (smile) 

And I believe the best way to handle that situation is to have Jesus calm our own personal storms, so that we can concentrate on the physical ones around us. But you know another li’l ‘secrat’? Jesus can also help us handle the physical storms around us, help us to stay calm in them and navigate our way safely through them. And all God’s children gave a loud shout of gratitude: ‘All glory and honour be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who enables us to handle whatever storms come into our lives, be they physical, emotional or whatever!’ 

Ah friends, Jesus’ reach is infinite, and His awesome power is unimaginable, unstoppable, without end! As Jesus said so clearly when talking about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter heaven. ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) That my people, is one of the first things we need to believe when we come to Jesus. As Jesus said to the disciples after calming the storm we spoke of above. ‘Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (Mark 4:40) But without that staunch faith, everything else is useless. 

As the Big Library (smile) clearly spells it out in the book of Hebrews: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) Yes my faithful brethren, we must believe that God exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him. And Hebrews goes on to give us examples of the patriarchs who exhibited that kind of strong faith in God and saw most of their dreams and His promises come true. People like, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, etc. etc. 

And in these difficult, evil and turbulent times, it’s that kind of strong faith we believers need to stop the drain of people from Christ’s church, and instead bring them back to His fold, and also bring new believers to Him. But that can only happen if we the current and supposed faithful believers do our jobs; talk about Jesus to others and live the kind of life that will endear them to us and therefore to Him. We have to stop being lazy and lethargic, and override our fear of man and the world, and trust our heavenly Father to take care of us, as He’s so faithfully promised to do. 

At this most important time in the annals of history, we believers need to grab the words of Psalm 118 and eat them, let them fill us up with faith. We must be able to unequivocally declare: (steups!!!) ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps. 118:5-9) 

Wow mih bredrin! That says it all right there! If we sincerely put our trust in Almighty God, we won’t fear what finite and frail man can do to us. And that brings us right to the crux of the problem: fear and faith; their interconnectivity. You simply can’t have both at the same time. It’s either one or the other; for fear kills faith and faith drives out fear. As they say, when faith comes a knocking, send faith to answer the door. And some of Jesus most popular words down here on earth were ‘Fear not.’ 

Yes friends, He was either telling people to not fear, or complimenting them on the strength and power of their faith. And you can find a great example of the latter in Mark 10:46-52, when the blind beggar Bartimaeus kept crying out to Jesus as He was passing through the streets of Jericho: ‘Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.’ (Mark 10:47) Jesus finally had the blind man brought to Him and asked what he wanted. Without hesitation, he replied ‘Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.’ (Mark 10:51-52) 

Now that’s the kind of staunch and believing faith we need today. Unfortunately though, today’s church seems mostly filled with fear and very little faith, otherwise we would be more industrious in working and living for Jesus, and the devil would not have such a stranglehold on the world, especially on our children of this generation. Ah mih people, we can’t allow this fearmongering and strife-filled situation to continue in our world. It’s our job to clean it up. When Jesus comes back, He expects to find a strong, unified, and diligent church. 

Has it ever occurred to us that the reason, or one of the reasons He has not yet returned, is that His church is weak, fearful, disunited and lazy? But even in our unfaithfulness, He’s seen it fit to shower us with undeserved blessings which enable us to do His earthly work. We call them our Thursday Blessings, and they need to be declared (chuh!!!) out loud to be activated. So, let’s do that right now nuh. 

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

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

And I’m chuckling here as I think what a nightmare it would be if I had to write ‘declare’ (steups!!!) so often every week. Thanks for the power of copying. But seriously though my fellow saints, we now need to take those blessings and go out into this evil world and sincerely and diligently use them to proclaim Christ’s wonderful name and His magnificent gospel as we have been commissioned to do! Much LOVE!

…go ye therefore…and teach all nations…that’s our Great Commission… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 December 2022 Luke 1:38.

Luke 1:38.        And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

Then Thursday came on board, a mixture of sunshine and cloud, but nice and dry. It’s also another day in the Advent Season, one day closer to that miraculous time of Christmas. And the incarnate birth of Christ was nothing less than a marvellous miracle! A woman becoming pregnant without knowing a man, what else could that be eh? And to be a true believer in Christ, that’s one of the first things we need to believe; that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, with the sperm of God planted in His mother Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit! 

And if you are unable to believe that, then whatever else you believe is of no consequence, for that’s the foundation of the whole Christmas story, and the basis on which Christ was able to die for us, to redeem our sins and give us His righteousness. As the Good Book says: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) Yes friends, if Jesus wasn’t the de facto Son of God, but the son of a man, he would not have the power to pay for our sins, because a man born of a sinful man cannot pay for other men’s sins. 

Remember too that since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, all men have been born with a sinful nature, so how could a son of man pay for our sins eh? Impossible! But since with God all things are possible, He fashioned a rather innovative plan to redeem our sinful souls and reconcile us back to himself. 

And the whole situation is certainly extremely interesting. It all began with God sending the angel Gabriel down to the city of Nazareth in Galilee, where he appears ‘To a virgin espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came into unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Luke 1:27-28) 

Now, you can imagine our consternation in such a situation, even in this day when we know so much about God. Just think how Mary, a teenager from a relatively low-level family in a backward town in Galilee felt when the angel approached her with such a joyful greeting. The Good Book tells us: ‘And when she (Mary) saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind (considered) what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:29) Of course, we would all wonder why the address in such exalted terms. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Yahweh Is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

And you know what amazes me most about this whole story? Mary’s reaction! She didn’t go crazy and pull out her hair or shout and carry on. She simply took the whole thing in stride, especially knowing how her life would be terribly affected if she was found with child before she was married. And I just LOVE her cool, reasoned response. ‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ (Luke 1:34) She just got right down to brass tacks. How can I get pregnant if I don’t have sexual intercourse?

 ‘And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) And that’s how Jesus could be sinless, because He was conceived by God, although He was human in every other respect! But Gabriel wasn’t finished with his good news. He continued to Mary: ‘And, behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:36-37) 

Oh my people, another miracle. John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth had been barren until the Lord stepped in, until it was time for the prophecy as spoken by the prophet Malachi, regarding John the Baptist to be fulfilled. ‘Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Mal. 3:1) And the scholars tell us that prophecy is uniformly applied to John the Baptist, the only prophet besides Jesus who was the subject of prophecy. 

And Matthew in his gospel also acknowledged it, by writing of John the Baptist. ‘For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, (Is. 40:3) saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ (Matt. 3: 3) You see how our God had everything well planned, with John being born just before Jesus, so their paths could interact to fulfill His prophecy. But the best part of that whole conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel was her last words to Him. ‘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) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s what you call mature faith, trust and surrender! And it’s oh so rare to be found in a such a young woman! She didn’t fight it, or throw any tantrums like so many of us would have done! She just calmly accepted the will of the Lord. Oh, how our lives would be so much better if we just accepted His will for our lives like Mary did. And it’s an interesting response, when contrasted with that of Zechariah’s, John the Baptist’s father. When the angel told hm the good news of his wife’s Elizabeth’s pregnancy and the important part his son would play, he doubted and was thus made dumb until the day of John’s christening. (Luke 1:11—25) 

Ah friends, if we’d only believe, if we’d only believe and act on our belief. But there’s still hope for us. And our faithful God has given us the tools to help us believe, build our faith and witness to others. We call them our Thursday Blessings. So, let’s activate them by declaring (steups!!!) them right now nuh. As one voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

Now, let’s use those undeserved blessings to go out and show others how wonderful it is to be a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…if God says to jump…our automatic reaction should be…how high Lord… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 October 2022 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.        Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (continue doing it) until the day of Jesus Christ.

Then it was that day we call lazy day Saturday. And have I ever been lazy this bright but chilly Saturday morning despite having stuff to do. But it’s oh so glorious to just laze around, especially in bed, and allow nothing to disturb your peaceful equilibrium! (smile) Life goes on though, and if we don’t want to get left behind, we cannot allow that lazy spell to continue for too long. So here I am writing the Bit, contemplating the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote says: ‘The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts today.’ And that has some truth to it, because if we are in a doubting frame of mind today, then tomorrow we will not be as confident as we should be to move ahead with whatever God has planned for us. It’s a definite fact that doubts today will affect tomorrow’s outcomes. However, on the other hand, we need to remember Jesus’ admonition about tomorrow. ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Yes friends, we ought to consider tomorrow, but our concentration should be on today, on enjoying today as fully as possible, because what’s called tomorrow will have its own problems, which we can take care of when it’s called today. (smile) Then this next quote tells us: ‘Don’t be afraid. Because you’re going to be afraid. But remember when you become afraid, just don’t be afraid.’ That’s somewhat confusing, but in a strange way it does have a certain amount of truth. 

Oh, we will all be afraid many times during our lives, it’s just a natural fact of life, but the big difference lies in how we handle that fear. Some of us whimper and cower and are totally devastated by our fear, while others find courage to overcome their fear. And I like how Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it. ‘Just do it afraid!’ Now that’s easier said than done, but believers in Christ Jesus have the awesome power to do just that, since our Lord and Saviour through His Holy Spirit enables us to overcome the fear in our lives. Remember one of His favourite pronouncements was ‘Fear not.’ 

And these two scriptures spoken by Jesus, give us the ability to handle fear. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yes my people, when we have the peace of God dwelling within us, through the power of his Holy Spirit, fear will come against us, but it will not incapacitate us, we will be able to do whatever needs to be done in Jesus’ will. 

Now listen to this other verse of marvellous fear limiting. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Wow! What encouragement from our Lord and Saviour. We will all face troubles in this fallen and sinful world, but if we place our sincere trust in Him, those troubles will not lessen our ability to do His will. That’s the second time we’ve said it in the last few lines, so let’s hope it makes some inroads into our consciousness. (smile) There’s absolutely no doubt that we will face fear, and we will be afraid, but with Christ in our lives, that fear won’t overcome us, we will overcome it! 

And this next quote leaves me scratching my head somewhat. ‘You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.’ I’m not sure what it’s saying, but I believe it means, philosophically speaking, whatever point you are at in life, that’s where you need to be, if you are going to go where you need to.’ In other words, to get to your preferred destination, there’s a certain place or places you must first pass through, before you can get there. (smile) 

Now this quote is much simpler and straightforward. ‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people, especially if you are a true believer in Almighty God because true believers never stop learning, growing or dreaming, for once there is the breath or the Spirit of God in their bodies, they can think, act and dream. In fact, they are expected to think, act and dream. And how did Bruh Paul put it to the church at Philippi? ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (continue doing it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) 

Yuh see my brethren, God is going to continue growing us, continue making us into the likeness of Christ, until the day Christ returns to take us home with Him. That means we are not to just sit on our laurels waiting for Jesus to come back, but to continue growing in His image, every day that we’re alive, and that means dreaming dreams, setting goals and actioning them, until the very day we die. 

And is this last quote ever a marvellous one. It says: ‘The simple act of listening to someone and making them feel as if they have truly been heard is a most treasured gift.’ Mama Mia! That’s the truth in spades my fellow believers! But sadly, not all of us can do it. Some of us just can’t do without hearing ourselves talk, but sometimes, no, very often, all we need to do is listen, because all our brethren need is a listening ear, so that they can get their problems off their chests. 

And this scripture of Bruh Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians enables us to do that, if we take it seriously. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4) 

Glory be my people! What a wonderful God we serve! Which other supposed god comforts their people so that they can comfort others eh? None other than Jehovah God! That’s one of the many reasons why He’s so wonderful, and why we LOVE Him so much! So today, as we go about His business, let’s take a moment to stop and give Him sincere thanks for all the many blessings He’s so generously bestowed on us, in Jesus’ name. 

As Bruh David so eloquently reminds us in Psalm 103: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) 

Now, if that doesn’t give us cause for much thanks and praise…then sadly, I don’t know what will nuh. Much LOVE!

…living for Christ offers both earthly and heavenly benefits…while living for Satan only offers the polluted and destructible benefits of earth… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 August 2022   Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139: 23.      Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: 

Saturday, oh blessed Saturday! Where we can laze about and do as we want. No alarm clocks, running to the baby-sitter or day care with the children and then facing the constant traffic jams that have become a normal part of today’s commute to work! No wonder we LOVE Saturday! And with all of that to do five days a week, it’s not surprising that so many of us are tired and worn out physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

But not all of us can sleep in on Saturdays. The ole fella still has to be up and about the Lord’s business, figuring out something to say about the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Ah Lord eh! No rest for the wicked. (smile) But I can’t really complain because the Lord usually helps me with that task since He’s allotted it to me, and He always gives us the tools to do the work He requires. So Lord, I ask you now to give me those tools, let your Holy Spirit lead and guide me to write sensible stuff today that will not only serve to open the eyes and hearts of our readers, but even more importantly, praise and glorify your holy name. Amen! 

And the first quote goes off with a bang! ‘The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.’ Now that’s wonderful advice, but not so easy to put into action, since nowadays fear is all around us. Fear of disease, fear of fraudulent operators, fear of economic failure, fear of natural disasters, fear of government actions, fear of church brethren, and all of that leads to fear of life itself. Yes friends, everywhere we turn these days, fear seems to be staring us straight in the eye. But fear can be overcome through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, that’s a guaranteed fact. Oh, we’ll always feel it, but with Jesus in our corner, it won’t get us down or cripple us like it’s doing so many people today. 

One of Jesus’ favourite statements was ‘Fear not!’ And I guess it’s only right to quote two of His most famous sayings on the subject. Listen to this first one. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yes friends, when we have true peace, fear cannot invade our souls or bodies. And the true source of real peace is Christ Himself! No one or nothing else can give you the kind of uplifting, spiritual peace that He offers; the peace that conquers fear. 

Now listen to Him again. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) There you have it! With Jesus and His Holy Spirit in your life, you have the peace of God living right there within you, so there’s no need to fear anything, because your Lord and Saviour has already overcome the evil world and all its tricks and trade. But for good measure, (smile) here’s one more scripture that as we said yesterday ought to be continually in our mind’s eye. These famous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Ah mih people, the only way to numb fear is by having Jesus Christ in our lives, and then sincerely accepting what He tells us. But that doesn’t come easily or overnight, which leads us to this next quote: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Now that’s gospel truth right there my brethren! We simply cannot live a life without examining it, to see what kind of life we’re living. And I guess the best way to begin doing that is to by following Bruh David’s example in Psalm 139, where he pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 139: 23-24) 

Oh friends, how refreshing and renewing is self-examination! Especially when we do it with God’s help. It shows up the things we need to drop, and the places we need to improve. But we need to take it seriously and do what the Lord shows us, or what we know needs to be done. And it helps when we go to the Lord with sincere sentiments like Bruh David does in Psalm 51: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) The Lord will never turn us away with those kinds of sincere sentiments in our hearts. 

That brings us to this next quote which advises: ‘Turn your wounds into wisdom.’ And it does make sense to let our hurts teach us a wiser way to live. It’s basically learning from our mistakes. And that’s exactly what successful people do, for if you don’t learn from your errors, you will continue making the same mistakes and thus getting the same hurtful and wounding results. 

And how do we do that? I believe this advice from Cousin Sol in Proverbs makes a good start. He says: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make 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. 3:5-8) Yuh know friends, if you must choose one passage of scripture to remember, one that encompasses all you need to know, that’s it right there! Once you have the basic knowledge of scripture in your hearts and souls, that’s all you really need to live by. 

And that segues very nicely into our next quote, which offers great advice: ‘Don’t settle for what life gives you; make life better and build something.’ Ah mih bredrin, with Jesus in our lives, that’s exactly what He expects of us! When life gives us lemons, He expects us to take them and make lemonade. (smile) That means to improve on whatever we are given. Don’t just sit there and accept life’s handouts without any thought of making them better. Unfortunately though, that’s just what many of us do. Life hands us misfortunes and instead of trying to build something better on them, we simply accept them, and do the proverbial thing, lie down and die. 

But when you’re follower of Jesus, that’s not acceptable. He expects us to be always improving, always learning, always persevering to become more like Him. Look at the hand that He was dealt when He came to earth nuh. One of persecution, rejection, and abnormal suffering, what I like to term ‘sufferation’ Most of us would have gone crazy and run away. But He stood up and faced it all, obviously with the help of His heavenly Father, and turned the whole world upside down, an upheaval from which it still hasn’t recovered two thousand years later, and never will! 

And as the Good Book reminds us, He is the example we all must follow. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) So whatever life slings at us, we must let Jesus help us to take it and make it better. That brings us to our last quote: ‘Sing like no one’s listening, LOVE like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.’ 

Oh friends, that’s the abundant life, and it’s just how God intended for us to live! But nowadays, in this fallen and sinful world we can only live it if we’ve received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and keep Him first and foremost in our hearts minds, bodies and souls! That’s the kind of life Jesus died for us to have. He said very clearly. ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) So, the long and short of the story friends, is that to do all those things our quotes tell us, we must be true and strong followers of Christ Jesus! Anything less than that will not cut it. End of story! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…that’s the ONLY way to go… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 August 2022   1 Corinthians 9:24.

1 Corinthians 9:24.      Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.

Wednesday, oh Wednesday! The middle day of the work week, where we catch our second wind, so we can finish the week’s race, strong in Jesus’ name. Yes friends, every week is a sprint race, with life being an overall marathon. And we win them just one day at a time, then one week at a time, with rest and rejuvenation on the weekend, to come back out bursting with confidence and energy on a Monday morning, ready to take on all comers in the race of life, in the mighty and wonderful name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

That’s how Bruh Paul characterized the Christian life, like a race, when he told Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim. 4:7) Oh my fellow believers, it’s important that we realize that our Christian faith is indeed a race, and a long one too; one necessitating much faith, sacrifice, and perseverance. It’s definitely not meant for the faint of heart, or the weak in spirit. And we can only run it successfully by having the utmost faith and trust in our Triune Godhead, sincerely believing that through their amazing help and assistance we will eventually be victorious. 

That’s how all the great men and women of God were able to run their difficult races. And though our races today might be somewhat easier than theirs back then, it still necessitates great faith, because the enemy is still out there just chomping at the bit to cut us down and make us useless to Christ, like unflavoured salt or darkness of spirit. Now, listen to how Bruh Paul explains the Christian race to his readers in Corinth. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.’ (1 Cor. 9:24) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all of his readers. They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was familiar to his readers as modern football is to most Americans.’ 

I guess those games was the forerunner to our modern Olympic Games. So, since everybody knew of them, the idea of a race was something they would all understand. It’s like Jesus talking about a shepherd to His listeners, something with which they were all familiar. And me talking to us about Christ, whom we all know about. (smile) 

Anyway, after proposing the race idea, Bruh Paul sets it up thus: ‘And every man that striveth for mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown, but we an incorruptible (imperishable). (1 Cor. 9:25) 

That’s the big difference between the physical and spiritual races friends. The physical one gives us a crown that perishes or can be destroyed by moth or be stolen by thieves. However, the spiritual crown is set up for us in heaven, incorruptible, imperishable, cannot be destroyed or stolen. That’s what makes it so important, and the winning of our earthly race so necessary. 

Consequently, Bruh Paul strenuously advises: ‘I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I. not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (be disqualified). (1 Cor. 9:26-27) Ah mih people, as we said earlier on the Christian race is indeed not for the weak in spirit or faint of heart. And if you don’t believe me, listen to the scholars explain what Bruh Paul was writing about. 

They say: ‘ The expression I keep under loses much of the original sense. It has the idea of to “give one a black eye,” “buffet,” or “bruise.” Paul’s readers knew that in the Isthmian Games, the boxers wore gloves consisting of ox-hide bands covered with knots and nails, and loaded with lead and iron. To prepare for such an event, a man would have to brace himself to endure all forms of physical abuse. 

Lest that by any means…I myself should be a castaway (lit. “So that…I myself will not be disqualified”). Paul was not afraid of losing his salvation: his subject is still Christian liberty. The point is that the believer must discipline himself to avert both being disqualified from Christian ministry, and forfeiting the rewards for such service.’ 

And we think that our modern-day boxing is brutal! Hn! Bruh Paul’s zeal about the Christian race must have frightened off some people, thinking that to be a believer, they had to put up with such awful physical abuse. It’s no different from the way some of us behave today, desiring no sacrifice or hard times on our Christian journey. But that’s simply impossible, for life itself brings hard and sacrificial times whether you’re a believer or not. 

It all begins with self-discipline though my brethren! If we are to live successfully for Christ, we need to conquer our flesh, our carnal nature, and that can only be done by constant training. And that training means constantly meditating on God’s word, through prayer and thanksgiving, and putting it all into action in our lives. 

But don’t believe me, hear it directly from the horse’s mouth, (smile) when the Lord Himself explained it to Joshua, on making him the Israelite leader after Moses’ death. ‘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) And friends, if the Lord says it’s so, then so it is! (smile) Who are we to dispute it eh. 

So please, let’s get serious about living for Christ nuh. Life itself is difficult enough, and Christ’s desires adds more to it. But the good thing is that He never asks us to do stuff we can’t do, or not give us the tools to do it. But we must believe, to come up with the necessary faith. And that only comes from daily experience with Him. As we give our lives to Him, and see how He faithfully handles them, then our faith grows. But we have to let go and jump in feet first, take the first step; then, taking one step at a time grow in grace and faith. As Christ reassuringly advises: ‘Fear not.’ That’s the only way to do it. 

Now, for those of us who are doing our best to live for Christ, let’s go home letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Him, by declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail. As one strong, confident 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!’ 

Now, let’s get out there and run that race of glory for Christ, as is our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…to successfully run a race…one must prepare seriously for it… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 May 2022 Hebrews 13:5b.

Hebrews 13:5b.       for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.

Come Monday, everything will be all right… although it’s opened wet, foggy and cloudy! Yes friends, everything will be all right this first Monday in the month of May 2022, as we step out into this evil and ungodly world to begin another week of work! And why is that you ask? It’s simple: because the Lord God Almighty is still sitting on His throne in the high heavens and He’s promised to look after us like a good shepherd, like a caring and responsible Father. 

And what more can we ask eh, since He keeps all of His promises?  And this is one of the most important ones, as written by the author of Hebrews. ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’ (Heb. 13:5) 

Wow! What an awesome promise from the Most High God, Creator of the universe and all therein! And it’s a promise that’s been repeated several times in the Good Book, most noticeably by Moses to the children of Israel and the Lord to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. And I believe it will do us much good to have a closer look at those scriptures. (smile) 

As Moses’ wound down His life, he said to the Israelites about the enemies they would face in the Promised Land: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: For the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee not forsake thee. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them: and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ (Deut. 31:6-8) 

So, the promise of never failing nor forsaking His followers is one that’s been in existence from the time the Lord called people like Noah, Abraham and Moses to do His bidding. And then the Lord Himself told it to Joshua after anointing Him leader of the Israelites. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh. 1:5) 

And thus, that marvellous promise has come right down through the ages to all believers, including us at this very important and controversial time, for we were made for a time such as this. And like the author of Hebrews, that promise ought to cause us to feel so reassured of God’s preservation, ‘So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall (can) do unto me.’ (Heb. 13:6) 

What a great faith we have my people, when a simple promise can cause such tremendous reassurance! And we all know the magnificent words on the subject from the pen of Bruh David in Psalm 27. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

Now those are very good questions, and because of the Lord’s promises, they led Bruh David to further claim: ‘When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.’ (Ps. 27:2-3) And likewise friends, we should also feel the same way, be very confident in the promises of our God this day, and every day of our lives. 

Then Bruh David wisely continues: ‘One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps. 27:4-5) 

Ah mih people, you see that to feel secure in the Lord’s promise, one must also seek His face sincerely, spend time with Him, and get to truly know Him. Reassurance doesn’t just come from hearing the promise, because you can only believe it when you know why it’s so strong and faithful. 

And I just LOVE these reassuring words from this other psalmist: In psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s salvation – he boldly proclaims: ‘Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth forever. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me?’ (Ps. 118:4-6) 

And my fellow saints, if we are of the same opinion as the psalmist there, then our only respite is to call upon the Lord in these times of distress that so many of us are undergoing. So, let’s do just that nuh, go to God in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, baring our hearts and souls to Him, because He has promised to fix our problems. 

Therefore, as one strong, confident but humble voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

And as always, if we expect to receive a positive answer from heaven, then what our mouths have said, must align sincerely with our hearts. That’s just the way it is! Much LOVE!

…it is better to put trust in the Lord…than to put confidence in man… (Ps. 118:8) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 March 2022 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Oh friends, it’s a bright sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! This Tuesday morning in early spring, there’s nary a dark cloud in the sky! It’s so bright that I had to put on my dark glasses as I went to put out the garbage just now, else it would have blinded me! (smile) And it doesn’t even feel as cold as it did yesterday afternoon when I went out to the mailbox! 

Wow! That gives us the reassurance to confidently acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! And don’t forget that something good is going to happen to us today, and something good is also going to happen through us today! That’s because we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us! And furthermore, our great and wonderful God will provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! That’s why it’s such a joy and a pleasure to live for Jesus. No one else provides the benefits and faithful promises that He does. That’s why He reassures in His word: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And don’t forget this other magnificent upliftment for our souls: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 6:33) 

And that’s the gospel truth, because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has indeed overcome the world by dying and rising from the dead, thus defeating hell, death, Satan and the grave! Glory Hallelujah! What a wonderful warrior is our Jesus! That’s why one of His favourite terms and words of advice while here on earth was ‘Fear not!’ But we still fear, despite all His entreaties and reassurances. 

And truthfully, we can’t ever stop fear from coming upon or against us, but we can certainly stop it from consuming us. This morning though, I want to share a poem on that malicious word ‘fear’ that I found stuck up on the bedroom wall of my young daughter. There’s no title attached to it, so we’ll just call it ‘FEAR!’ I am sure that I’ve shared it before, but in these fearful and turbulent times, it’s certainly worth hearing again. 

So please read with me: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. 

We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Ah mih people, I couldn’t put it any better! And there’s a lot of truth in that poem, because many of us fear to open up ourselves not wanting to overshadow those around us. But that’s not supposed to be a problem, since when we shine our lights, we give others the encouragement to rise up and shine theirs too. Why do you think Jesus made such a fuss over us being shining lights in this evil world? Because it’s of the utmost importance. We cannot be afraid of this dark and evil world or what it threatens to do to us, because the light of Jesus is greater than any darkness that’s in the world. 

Remember John’s contention: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (could not overcome it).’ (John 1:5) Yes friends light always opens up darkness, and the light of Jesus is the most powerful light in the world. Please remember the promise the Lord made through Isaiah, as he talks about the birth of the Prince of Peace. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) 

That light was Jesus. And that prophecy was considered fulfilled, as it’s recorded in Matt. 4:15-16, when Jesus began His ministry in Capernaum, along the sea coast of the afflicted regions of the northern tribal areas of Israel, like Zebulun and Naphtali which suffered greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Remember too, the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah at his birth, when he got back his speech. ‘Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the day-spring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited (will visit) us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:78-79) 

And how can we ever forget Jesus’ great pronouncement to the Pharisees; and consequently to us, and to all the world: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) And let’s not forget what Jesus said to the people when they questioned His words on His resurrection and ascension. (John 12:30-34) ‘Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children (become sons) of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

Now that’s what we ought to become when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour; the children, the sons of light, because Almighty God is the Father of light, and Jesus is His bright and shining star. But He can’t shine individually to everybody, that’s why He desires to use us, His supposed ambassadors, agents and followers. And that’s why He commanded us thus: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket) but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 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) 

Jesus says it there loud and clear my people! If we are his followers, then our lights should be blazing forth to a dark and evil world, lighting it up like a Christmas tree! But unfortunately we are not doing that. Our lights are barely pouring forth, flickering like that which comes from a dying battery or a lamp low on oil, or a candle that’s at its end. And that is certainly not acceptable, not if we consider ourselves true believers in Christ Jesus! And sadly, we all know we can do better, but for whatever reason we refuse to make the effort it requires. 

Please friends, for a moment, let’s consider the ‘sufferation’ Jesus bore so that we could be set free and forgiven of our sins nuh, and in a moment of shame, let our resolve rise up to be better purveyors of His light in this dark world. That’s the only remedy that will suffice for our poor showing. Now, for those of us who are already trying to shine our light, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 let’s go out and walk that talk; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE him like we do! Much LOVE!

…when our light shines forth…then peace, joy and LOVE…come to our world… 

P.S.  And yes, it’s long, but I think it’s very good; a good reawakening! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 December 2021 Luke 2:11.

Luke 2:11.     For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS ! 

Well, the Big Day, Christmas Day is here at last and there’s lots of joy in the air. Unfortunately, those who were wishing for the traditional white Christmas have been disappointed because the snow has all melted away and it’s a wet, grey morning, with temps expected to reach about 6 or 8 degrees Celsius. And look at me nuh, the great weather forecaster, who thought that those springlike temps were forever behind us, at least until next spring. (smile) But my people, we need to realize one thing, that in God’s great universe, anything is possible, at any time. 

And in accordance with that maxim, two thousand years ago, when the time was ripe, the Lord sent His only Son Jesus Christ in to the world, born of a virgin, the immaculate conception, as the angel bringing Mary, Christ’s mother, the good news of her finding favour with God explained to her, when she declared: ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 

And, behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. 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 1:34 -38) 

Oh yes friends, right in that moment the Lord showed that He could do anything; make a barren woman pregnant in her old age, as He did for Sara, Abraham’s wife many centuries back, and make a woman pregnant without knowing a man, so that the child could truly be called the ‘Son of God!’ Glory Hallelujah! The Lord was setting the stage for Christ’s birth on that Christmas day long ago, in addition to the birth of John the Baptist (Elisabeth’s son) who was to be the forerunner of Christ, as his father Zechariah prophesied of God’s goodness and mercy when John was born. 

‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath raised up a horn of salvation (a mighty deliverer, Jesus) for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began (from the ages). That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 

In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (the Dawn, the Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing (manifestation) unto Israel.’ (Luke 2:67-80) 

Oh my brethren, what a mighty dramatist is our God! Who else could set the stage like that for the coming of John the Baptist to preach the coming of Christ. As Luke later states: ‘And he (John the Baptist) came into all the country about Jordan (the surrounding region), preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,’ (Luke 3:3) Meanwhile Matthew, in his gospel, describes John’s entrance in simpler words: ‘And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt. 3:2) 

Now those were not just idle statements of the gospel writers, for John’s coming had been prophesied long before by the prophet Isaiah, when he declared: ‘The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert the highway for our God.’ (Is. 40:3) And we all know that on this first Christmas day that this other prophecy of Isaiah was also fulfilled. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ (Is. 9:6) 

And it all climaxed on that cold winter’s night around the town of Bethlehem, another prophecy fulfilled, (Mic. 5:2) where shepherds were watching their flock, when an angel appeared to them and joyfully declared: ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (bands), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:11-14) 

Oh friends that’s how the first Christmas day was initiated; with joyful shouts of praise from the hosts of heaven! And yuh notice who the angels came to first with the good news of Christ’s birth? Not the rich and powerful, but the poor and powerless, just like the Lord chose to have His Son born into lowly and humble surroundings, because the tenor of His earthly life was going to be lowly and humble, for that’s whom He came predominantly to save. 

And I know that we usually look at the quotes of our friend Anselm on a Saturday, but since today is Christmas Day, I thought it would be better to get into a li’l of the Christmas story itself and how it came to be. But there is one quote of Anselm’s that I would like to share. It’s long, but very interesting and encouraging. It says: ‘The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.’  

Yes my faithful brethren, all those things are true, and when we cap them with the action of LOVE, like Christ did, and still does, then all heaven and earth will sing praises to the glory of God the Father! Like the lowly shepherds did on that first cold Christmas night after they returned from seeing the Christ child. The Good Book describes it thus: they were ‘glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:20) 

So, let’s do like those shepherds this Christmas Day nuh, praise and glorify Almighty God for all the wonderful things He’s done for us through the amazing gift of His most wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That’s the only fitting conclusion to this day! Much LOVE!

...joy to the world…the Lord is come…let earth receive her King…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 December 2021 Psalm 56:3.

Psalm 56:3.      What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

And the rains fell…and the land is water-logged and foggy this Saturday morning in the middle of the Advent season, when we’re all looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, two weeks hence. Let’s remember the reason for the season though; the birth of Christ, and ensure that He is an integral part of our celebrations, not paying attention to just the festivities surrounding His birth. 

As Christians, we must emphasize the keeping of Christ in Christmas! And that’s no joke, because the pagan world is desperately trying to remove Him from the spotlight and simply make it a pagan festival of shopping, binge eating and drinking. But what’s Christmas all about eh? The coming of Christ! And without Him there would be no season, no holidays, no festivities labelled Christmas. And it’s our job as believers to remind the world of that most salient fact. It’s no ‘Happy Holidays’, but a ‘Merry, Merry Christmas!’ 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The most wasted of days is one without laughter.’ And is that the gospel truth or what! A day without laughter is indeed a wasted day, because laughter is one of the best medicines for the soul, in fact for whatever ails you. When you laugh, a positive feeling automatically rises up within you and your troubles seem lessened. Of course they are still there, but they don’t bother you as much. 

And on top of all that laughter is FREE! How can you beat such a wonderful remedy eh? And the Good Book is filled with passages of laughter and joy, the most famous being these endearing words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ (Prov. 17:22) And the scholars explain that as: ‘A cheerful mind is revitalizing to the entire person.’ That’s for sure! 

And the next quote declares: ‘You must do the things you think you cannot do.’ And I’m here chuckling because that quote applies to me right now. I don’t think I, or rather feel like I can handle the breaking down of the quotes today, because my spirit is at an ebb tide, but I have to handle them…and with God’s help, I certainly will. 

But that just goes to show how the enemy, through our feelings, our emotions, can deceive us and lead us astray, make us think we can’t do certain things, when with Christ’s awesome help we can do anything! That’s why we need the strength, courage, direction and leadership engendered by the Holy Spirit of Christ that dwells within us. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘The job of the conscious is to make the unconscious conscious.’ And I don’t think that’s dealing with the physically conscious or unconscious body but with our mindset, where some of us are simply wandering lost in this dangerous and evil world. And it’s the job of those who have a serious bent, preferably as Christians, to wake up those without a serious cause for living, for life is made for living, and the best life is found when it’s lived for Jesus Christ! And all God’s people said a loud and proud ‘Amen!’ 

Remember what Christ said: ‘The thief cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) So there’s no denying that Jesus’ purpose was to give us a better life, not only in heaven, but one starting right here on earth when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour. As Bruh David so rightly declared in Psalm 27: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps. 27:13) 

Yes friends, our God is a good God, and He blesses those who trust and surrender their lives to Him down here on earth. So, let’s look for and expect His goodness to begin right down here in this evil and ungodly world. Wow! And who said I couldn’t do it eh? (smile) The enemy…but as always, he was wrong. 

And the next quote says? ‘The secret of life is to have no fear; it’s the only way to function.’ I don’t agree with that, because there is no such thing as ‘no fear.’ Fear is always with us. It is a human trait, which we can never entirely get rid of, we can lessen it and work around it, but once we are in this world with both physical and spiritual enemies always coming against us, we will always have fear of some kind or other. But the good news is that with Christ in our lives, we can function well even when gripped by fear, for Christ allows us to have courage and overcome our fear. 

There’s no need to fear, or be afraid of fear, for the words ‘fear not’ have been immortalized in the Good Book. One saying has it in there 365 times, one for each day of the year, including a leap year. (smile) Now that’s not true, but it is in there numerous times. And one of Jesus most used phrases was, ‘fear not.’ Check out these passages in the gospel of Mark. 4:39-40; 5:36; 6:50. They all have to do with not being afraid. 

And Bruh David said it best in Psalm 56. ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps. 56:3-4) And he thought that those words were so important that he repeated them in verses 10-11. Please let us believe their importance too. 

Now the last quote tells us: ‘The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart.’ Now that’s very true! For God made us to be in relationships, both with Him and between ourselves, so He made that innate, inherent aspect where we all long for, or feel better when we are in a relationship. That’s why there are friends, LOVERS, families, neighbourhoods, societies, nations; all having that pull to be together rather than being apart. 

So, although the enemy tries to pull us apart through disagreements, hatred and other negative constraints, we always naturally gravitate back to togetherness. And as believers in Christ Jesus, it’s even more important, because we are all one body in Christ, regardless of our race or nationality. As Bruh Paul says to the church at Rome: ‘So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another.’ (Rom. 12:5) And to the church at Corinth, he wrote: ‘For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond (slaves) or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.’ (1 Cor. 12:13)

Yes friends, in Christ Jesus we are all ONE, regardless of our background or our heritage. Please, let’s remember that and live like it nuh, not the disunited and dysfunctional way we are currently living. I am sure it breaks Jesus’ heart when He sees it. Much LOVE!

…with Christ…you can…if you believe you can… 

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