Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2021 Isaiah 41:10a.

Isaiah 41:10a.     Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:

Sunday morning…time for worship…the last one we will have technologically at my church. Thank God! From next Sunday our church will be again opening its doors, so whosoever will, may come. Yes, many people have complained about missing the benefits of physical togetherness in worshipping under the same roof, but it’s still left to be seen how many will show up on opening day. We Christians talk a good talk, but we don’t walk our talk as well as we talk it. (smile) And with the Covid 19 virus still very active in our area, plus all the protests, fearmongering and disinformation being spread about it, some people will still be anxious, leery and somewhat fearful to attend physical church services. 

And under the circumstances, I don’t know if we can really blame them, but being sincere Christians, we ought to have some faith in the promises of our God when He tells us not to fear. As He said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is. 41:10) But unfortunately, even in Jesus’ time, two of His favourite words to the disciples and the people, were ‘Fear not.’ And several times He accused them of little faith. 

We also know these famous words of His, when He promised the disciples the Holy Spirit after He went away. ‘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 a couple chapters later He uttered these awesome, reassuring words to the disciples. ‘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) 

Now those were tough words for the mostly youthful and uneducated disciples to absorb. And even with our better understanding of the scriptures today, it’s also difficult for many of us to hang on to those reassuring words of Jesus. Thus, fear and anxiety are still a major part of our lives, especially with the enemy currently being in worldwide ascension. But fear not friends, (smile) today we will sing a song of worship that will help us to annul any fear or anxiety we might feel. It’s sung by that rising American gospel singer Tasha Cobbs, and it’s aptly titled: ‘No Longer a Slave to Fear.’ 

Wow! And isn’t that good news my people? It surely is! If we can break the bondage that fear has over us, then we are free and clear of the enemy; victorious over his evil deceptions and lies! So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. In full, soulful voice, letting the words rise sincerely up from deep within our hearts, all the way to heaven’s throne, showing our Saviour that we have matured, we now fully and faithfully believe His promises, and are no longer slaves to fear. 

‘(Chorus: I’m no longer a slave to fear, For I am a child of God (2) You unravel me, with a melody, You surround me with a song, Of deliverance, from my enemies, Till all my fears are gone. (Chorus: I’m no longer, a slave to fear, For I am a child of God (2) From my mother’s womb, You have chosen me, Your LOVE has called my name, I’ve been born again, Into your family, Your blood flows through my veins. (Chorus: I’m no longer, a slave to fear, For I am, a child of God (2) Oh oh, oh oh oh. Oh oh, oh oh oh! You split the sea, So I could walk right through, My fears are drowned, In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God …

You split the sea, So I could walk right through it, My fears are drowned, In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God, I am a child of God, I am a child of God…. I know who I am, I know who I am, I am a child of God! He calls me the head and not the tail, Above and not beneath, a lender and not a borrower. So I no longer walk in fear, but in faith. For I am a child of God. If you are a child of God, sing Hallelujah to His glorious name!’ Awright mih bredrin, let’s shout some ‘Hallelujahs’ to our wonderful heavenly Father, because we are indeed His ever-faithful and ever-LOVING children! Glory be! 

And the Lord’s certainly moving in mysterious ways in me these days yes, because as I listened to the song on You Tube, I was again led to scroll down to the commentaries, and there I found this wonderful testimony from a young lady named Sophia G, first posted about a year ago. Please read these heartfelt words with me. She says: ‘Recently I’m experiencing so much pain right now. I’m in high school and all of my “friends” have turned on me and starting to bully me basically. I don’t feel like I’m being bullied because I ask god to fill me up with his Holy Spirit and fruits of the spirits everyday. 

But I do get down because the enemy is trying so hard to let me loose faith in Jesus and to get me depressed. My friends don’t like me because I’m different and no matter how hard they try and get a reaction of negativity out of me I never do and never will. They see god inside me and they don’t like that. But I’ll praise god in the good and the bad no matter how much I get down and this sing just gets me going and for (full) fills me. I love God so much and he is probably letting me experience this for a lesson. But it’s hard and some days I get so down I want to give up completely. Please pray for me and for my friends also so they can get Jesus in their life also, thankyou💞😭’

Now doesn’t that just break your heart? But here is the wonderful part, she recently shared. ‘Hello guys!! It’s been 10 months since I posted this comment and I just want to say Thank you so much for all your love and support. I would have never have ever thought this comment would get so many people praying for me! And oh wow how I have changed. God has blessed me so much and your prayers have helped me more than you could imagine. My mental health was very very bad. I was very depressed I’m not gonna lie. Everyday was a battle for me and every night I would be sobbing myself to sleep. But the devil never wins. 

My faith with Jesus has grown. In this world ye shall have tribulation so much now. Now for me this year has been the happiest I’ve ever been.  Even though 2020 had been a very strange year I can say this has been the best year for me mentally in my whole life. I ended losing all my friends which made me quite sad but I realised how toxic they were for me. But now I have the best friends I could ever ask for. All my problems I was in has been erased from my life and I have forgiven everyone. I’m honestly so happy and thankful for you all. God is so good and even in the hardest times you feel like giving up he’s always by my side. 

This just shows how powerful God is and gods people💘💘 I love you all and I appreciate you very much. I still have a lot to learn and I want god to teach me more about life. It took me just less than a year for god to turn my life around but I’m more grateful than ever. I will never forget any of you xxxx.’ 

Mama Mia! And who says our God isn’t a great and powerful God eh? One who answers prayers! But we have to come to Him, to actively and consciously seek His face like that young lady in the testimony above, and allow Him to drive away the fear in our hearts and souls. That’s the only solution to our fear problem my people! Much LOVE!

…God hath not given us the spirit of fear…but of power…and of LOVE…and of a sound mind… (2 Tim. 1:7)                                                                                             

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.

And then it was Saturday…somewhat late in the day though, and many of you won’t notice, because like the ole fella you also slept in some. (smile) But what’s life eh, if once in a while you can’t sleep in and not be run ragged by the busyness of this insane world? The Lord’s LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness will still be there when we get up. 

Oh how wonderful is the God we serve and worship my brethren! He is always thinking about our welfare, so we need to be very thankful and grateful as we walk arm in arm with Him. And remember too, that NO ONE can separate us from Him, but us. And such a move on our part would be rather foolish. Nuff said. 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm has to say on this bleak and gloomy Saturday morning. First off, he tells us that ‘Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.’ 

I have serious doubts about that yes, because in this society there are oodles of people right now with lots of formal education, who can’t even get a job, much less earn a living. And if and when they do get one, the wage is definitely not in line with their standard of education. It’s surprising that in this supposed first-world economy, the number of university grads who are making minimum wage. 

And in my province of Ontario, at the beginning of the year, the government raised the minimum wage from eleven something to fourteen something, and as expected all the business people are up in arms, threatening all sorts of retribution. 

Some Tim Horton’s franchises have already cut back paid breaks, tips and stuff, taking away what little the employees already had, in their greedy desire to keep their profit margins high. So who knows, self-education might just be the answer. 

And I like this next quote. ‘If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.’ That’s oh so true my fellow believers. I’m sure most of us have had that experience at some time(s) in our lives. 

Times when we actually buckled down and did stuff we had to do, and was surprised at the quality and quantity of work we accomplished because we had set our minds to it. Many of us never reach our full capability, because we’re either not challenged to, or we just settle for average results. 

That leads us to this quote. ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’ And there’s much truth in that advice, especially in these modern times, where a lot of supposed successful people add li’l or no value to the society. Check out the celebrity culture that currently rules the world. 

How many of them add anything worthwhile to the society eh? Not many. That’s a big reason why the world is in such a mess. So friends, in our lives, please let’s concentrate on adding value to our lives and our society. Value usually means success in the real world, but not necessarily the other way around. 

And finally Anselm tells us that ‘Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.’ There is indeed substance to that remark, because the more we practice not being afraid, the more we will learn to conquer fear. 

But the basic foundation for conquering fear comes from our association with Jesus Christ. That’s who gives us the strength and wisdom to conquer fear. Oh friends, throughout the Good Book there are numerous warnings about fear. And one of the most powerful is that found in our Bit; Bruh Paul’s admonition to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Our wonderful God has not given us a fearful spirit, we allow the enemy to put fear into our hearts. And all I want to do today is highlight a few scriptures where God warned us not to be afraid. And one of my favourites is the one He commanded Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) Ah mih people, the Lord could not have been more explicit. 

Then in Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel, He warns His people the same way. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be thou not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

Now hear one of the first ‘fear not’ instructions; that from Moses when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And so said, so was it done. The Lord drowned the Egyptians in the closing of the Red sea. And we’ll end with these words of Jesus as He talked about care and anxiety and seeking God’s kingdom above all else. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And it is indeed the Lord’s desire to give us the kingdom, if we seek Him above all else. So friends, there is no need to fear man nor beast once we are walking hand in hand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please, let’s therefore rid ourselves of all the unwanted and unnecessary fear that is secreted in our hearts, by giving it to God. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be conquered by faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2016 Isaiah 41:10.

 Isaiah 41:10.    Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Well top o’ the morn to you my Scrip-Bit family! Hope this missive finds you alive and kicking on this lazy, hazy Saturday. (smile) Life is short so we might as well enjoy it. We know not when our time will be up, so here is the first of two quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us to greater heights. 

And first off he tells us: ‘Make each day count. We don’t have all the time in the world. So focus on today and do the things you really want to do.’ That’s exactly what I was saying above. It is imperative that we make hay while the sun shines! 

And the second quote is also inspiring. ‘Reprogram your information intake. Program out negative and cynical thoughts from the media and society. Reduce your information intake. Then program in positive news and entertainment, more of your own thoughts and useful information such as personal growth tapes and books. Be selective and keep it positive.’ 

Ah friends, a lot of us certainly need to do that in this age of so much information and misinformation! Our world is going crazy with the wealth of information that’s now available. The problem though is that too much of it is negative and we can’t easily tell what is truth from prevarication to out and out lies. Therefore our minds are filled with lots of unnecessary and unproductive stuff, that’s why Anselm’s advice is so worthwhile. 

We desperately need to clean up our minds; purge what’s not useful and negative, and then replace it with only useful, positive, godly stuff. Give the television and social media a break; spend more time with God, your family and yourself.  That way we won’t be bombarded with all the nonsense that’s out there, seeking to invade our minds and spirits. 

And last but not least, seek to raise our faith and trust in the God of our fathers. Believe what our Bit says: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ 

Oh my people, why are so many of us supposed Christians still walking in deep fear of the world around us, when we have such awesome promises from our awesome God eh? We know He’s faithful to keep those promises and that He will work out everything for our good in the end, so why are we still so fickle and feckless? 

As Job says, we have to learn to take the good with the bad. (Job 2:10) We can’t be fearful of every little hiccup in our lives. And this morning I want to bombard us with some ‘Fear nots’ in the hope that it will encourage us to stand steadfast and strong in the power of God’s Word.  

Listen to Moses on the occasion of the biggest miracle of the time, when the departing Israelites were caught between the army of Pharaoh and the deep Red Sea.  ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex.14:13) 

And as promised, Moses stretched out his hand over the Red Sea which parted and allowed the Israelites to cross over on dry land, but when the Egyptians followed, the two halves came together again and drowned Pharaoh’s army. Now one would think that after such a mighty miracle, the Israelites would have been trusting and steadfast forever. Hn! But in the wilderness, three days later, at the bitter waters of Marah they were complaining, wanting to return to Egypt. 

Now hear Isaiah, as he talks about Israel being restored to Zion. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:4) 

And now, listen to these words of Bruh David that we all know and claim to LOVE and believe. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the day so my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23) 

Yeh mih people, if we believe all that Bruh David says there, then we should not be afraid of the vicissitudes of life. Then there’s Jesus to his disciples: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul….Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:28,31)  

Yes friends, ONLY the Lord can destroy body and soul, and we are much too valuable in His sight, for Him to destroy us, that’s why He sent Jesus to save us. 

And we’ll close with a simple, but powerful statement of Jesus. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32)  

How much more do we need eh my brethren, before we can truly stand strong and steadfast on the solid foundation of God’s eternal LOVE and ever-faithful promises eh? Steups! God alone knows yes! Much LOVE!

…it’s high time for those of us who call ourselves Christians… to FEARLESSLY stand up and be counted….