Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2021 Psalm 40:4.

Psalm 40:4.     ​Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Ah mih people, Monday has rolled around once more…that’s just a bad habit it has. (smile) But we cannot change the days and times of the Lord, so we are forced to deal with it as best we can. Once upon a time, that’s before the Covid pandemic, Monday was the whipping boy of the week. Many people disliked it because it meant going back out to work after a lazy or partying weekend, and we were usually tired and not very enthusiastic about resuming another week of labour to earn our daily bread. 

However, with the coming of the pandemic and the loss of so many jobs, Monday is not as badly maligned as before because many of us now have nowhere to go on a Monday morning. It’s an amusing though yet a sad occurrence, for now fear, anxiety, sickness, lack of money and worldly goods have become much more problematic than they were before our whole world went into lockdown. But friends, there is no need to worry. 

Oh, there is need for concern…but worry…no. For the Lord God Almighty, the Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein, is still on the throne. He’s still running things, and nothing happens in this life unless He allows it. That means there must be a reason, and a good one too, why He’s allowing this pandemic and all our other problems to come upon us at this time. And I believe that’s because He’s feeling hard done by, feeling left out of our society, relegated to an unimportant role in our modern way of life. 

And if that’s the case, we really can’t blame Him, because so many of us have turned away from Him, even to the point of trying to uproot and throw Him completely out of our society. But here’s a li’l secret friends; that will NEVER happen, because the sovereign power of the universe will not allow it. Remember Satan tried to overthrow God when he was the archangel Lucifer, but he got kicked into fiery furnace of hell and eternal damnation? And that’s what will happen to anyone or ones who try to get rid of the Lord God Almighty. 

What we should be doing instead, is getting closer to Him, getting to know Him and His awesome Son, Jesus Christ better, not listening to our fellow man, the minions of Satan, who’s avowed purpose is to stir up rebellion, and get as many of us as he can to be tossed into hell with him. And the scriptures, the Word of God, tells us so often not to trust in man, but in God, but we’re so hard-headed and stubborn, with an inherent sinful nature, that we don’t listen. So today we’re going to play back some of those scriptures which we all know, to help us turn back to the one and only true Living God. 

Listen to these scriptures from the psalms. ‘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. 118:8-9) And hear this from Psalm 146. ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation) His breath goeth forth (his spirit departs), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is the Lord his God: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever.’ (Ps. 146:3-6) 

What more do we need to come to our senses eh friends? If the God of Jacob is the most powerful being in the universe, why are we foolishly trying to rebel against Him eh, especially when we have numerous examples of what happens to those who do so? But hopefully a couple more scriptures might help turn us around. (smile) Hear Bruh David from Psalm 60 – A prayer for help against the foe. He pleads to the God of his forefathers: ‘Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.’ (Ps. 60: 11-12) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my brethren, for the help of man is uncertain and deceitful, and like the grass, he’s here one minute, then the next, gone back to the earth from when he originally came. Now here is the last scripture from the psalms. Bruh David’s words again, this time from Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer. He joyfully and truthfully proclaims: ‘Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ (Ps. 40:4) And remember people, Bruh David and the other psalmists didn’t write these words from hearsay, but from personal experience. Thus, it is certainly in our best interest to believe them and do what they say. 

Now here is one last scripture, but not from the psalms (smile). It’s even more important, because it’s from the Lord Himself, when He made Joshua leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. He told him, in no uncertain terms: ‘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 whenever Israel complied with the Word of God, thy had good success. When they didn’t, they had serious calamity, like we’re now having. 

So let’s get with some wisdom nuh and turn back to God. And there’s no time like the present time to do so. So right now, let’s go to Him in prayer, pleading for His forgiveness, mercy and grace, without which, we’ll certainly be goners. As one voice, let’s offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

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

Now let’s go out and show that sincere repentance and humility nuh, if we want the Lord to positively answer our prayer. Much LOVE!

…the Lord doesn’t just listen to our words…He looks at the motives of our hearts… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2021 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.     Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

Glory be friends! It’s the first official day of spring in these here parts! But although the sun’s shining brightly and the day seems fine, it’s still got a chill to it. And I won’t be satisfied until I get to stand in the sun and feel its wonderful heat radiating through me like a heavenly fire! (smile) Yeh, I’m tired of the cold like so many others, although I haven’t been out in it as much because of the pandemic, and it hasn’t really been a bad winter. It’s just the overlying shadow of the worldwide sickness and strife and confusion that’s killing people’s spirits and joy. 

But please, please, let’s not allow that to happen nuh mih people! It’s not what Jesus wants for us. He wants us to stand strong and steadfast in His LOVE, joy and peace, that’s why He says He came that we might have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) Abundant life is not misery, pain and sadness, but the blessings of Jesus despite the prevailing circumstances. So this Saturday morning, this first day of spring, in this pandemic year of 2021, let’s look ONLY to Jesus nuh! He will allay all our doubts and fears. Sermon done now! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, we need to take a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. Here’s the first one: ‘All great changes are preceded by chaos.’ Now I don’t know about that nuh. Generally speaking, there is some truth to it, but I would hesitate to say that chaos is the harbinger of ‘ALL’ great changes. Yes, chaos, by it’s very disruptive nature does bring change, but serenity and peace, LOVE and joy, a relationship with Jesus that didn’t come through chaos in one’s life, also bring great change. So positive things do bring great changes too. Let’s try and remember that, and don’t think that great change in our lives has to necessarily come from chaotic situations. 

And the second quote tells us: ‘We all get scared and want to turn away, but it isn’t always strength that makes you stay. Strength is also making the decision to change your destiny.’ Hang on a minute there friends, I’m trying to figure out what that quote really means. (smile) 

Hn! I think I’ve got it now. It seems to be saying to me, that in tough situations, we all get scared and want to run away, when sometimes we really need to stay, and it’s not always strength that makes us stay. I guess it could also be fear that keeps us where we are. On the other hand, it also takes strength for us to get up and get a move on, to change the course of our lives, to go where we believe we’re to go. But then too, I guess that fear could also be a motivating factor in our wanting to change our destiny. Hope that makes sense. (smile) 

And I think the last two quotes are basically saying the same thing, so we’ll deal with them together. The first one says: ‘It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are. If you don’t use your power for positive change, you are indeed part of the problem.’ And the second proclaims: ‘If you believe very strongly in something, stand up and fight for it.’ 

And I believe they both hit the nail right on the very head! All of us have strong opinions on something(s), but if all we ever do is talk about it or them, and don’t use whatever power we have to bring about positive change in those areas, then we are indeed a part of the problem. One of our societal responsibilities is to get involved in positive change, not just laze around and talk plenty and do nothing positive. Unfortunately though, that is the mantra of these current times: talk plenty and do plenty negative stuff, especially through the very empowering platform of social media! 

Oh, the many woes that social media is causing in our society! And the sad part is that because we can do it without being recognized and held accountable, too many of us are spewing hatred and evil, lies and disinformation – whatever that means – into the belly of our society and causing even more confusion, chaos and corruption. Yes my people, if we just sit around and do nothing, let the negative forces have a field day, we are indeed a part of the blooming problem! And sadly, that’s what a lot of us are doing; through fear, natural apathy, laziness, or whatever reason, we’re just sitting around while the hatemongers and evil doers have the run of the table. 

And that sorrowful group includes too many of us supposed believers. Yes friends, if we would get up and stand strong, fight for what we claim to believe in, our world would never be in such a stellar mess! And we can pontificate all we want and don’t take serious action, then what we believe and supposedly stand for will be washed right away in the hatred and evil doing that’s currently flooding our planet. I know some of you might think those are harsh, undeserved words, but please, let’s all take a look in the mirror nuh, and then ask ourselves, when last have we really stood up for right against wrong eh? 

When last have we taken a stand for something that Jesus told us we ought to take a stand for? Especially in the past year of the pandemic. If we’re honest, too many of us will realize that we haven’t been very Christ-like or Christian this year, but have been inordinately selfish and thinking only of ourselves. But fellow saints, it is in the times of pain and trouble that our Lord and Saviour expects us to step up and do our best work, because we have the parts, the blessings, the peace, LOVE and joy; all the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us that are necessary to make a positive difference in any situation in our failing and groaning world! 

Ah mih people, I’m chuckling here, because it seems like the ole fella’s been on a roll. But it does hurt my heart when we talk a whole lot of Christ and Christian talk and don’t do anything positive about it. Please remember that God is LOVE, and that God LOVES us, and we’re supposed to LOVE Him back, and each other too. But what is LOVE eh? LOVE is an action word; it means doing, helping, caring, giving…not merely shooting off at the mouth, like so many of us are currently doing. 

And I guess the best scripture on the subject is John’s directive in his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God: for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

It couldn’t get any clearer than that my brethren! The Good Book says that God LOVED us, and He could have just sat down there and allowed us to go to hell like we bloody well deserve! But no! Because of His great LOVE, He took action, broke His own heart and sent His only Son to be a sacrifice for a bunch of ungrateful sinners. Yes friends, true or real LOVE involves sacrifice! 

And now, those same blooming sinners find it ever so hard to help each other. Chuh mih bredrin! Don’t you think that that just breaks God’s heart all over again? It surely does! So let’s try and be truly more Christian and Christ-like nuh friends, cause we all have room for improvement. And that would certainly warm the cockles of God’s heart! Much LOVE!

…all talk…and no action…no sacrifice…means NO LOVE… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 January 2021 Isaiah 35:3.

Isaiah 35:3.     ​Strengthen ye the weak (sinking) hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees.

And then Wednesday arrived, the much awaited hump day! Yeh, once we get over hump day we know we’re in the clear, off and running towards Friday and the weekend. 

At least that’s how it used to be. But since Corona and its cousins took over there is no more really looking forward to Friday and the weekend, because for too many of us, everyday seems like Friday; no work, nowhere to go, etc. etc. 

Therefore, there currently exists a lot of fear, doubt, anger, uncertainty and a whole lot of negative emotions in our society, making too many of us feel inadequate, unnecessary and of no use. 

But friends that’s a total lie! We are the children of the Most High God Jehovah, so how can we be ever inadequate and unnecessary eh? No way! 

And I just saw this poem on the wall of my young daughter’s old room, which admirably handles the situation. There is no title or author, but the expressive words say it all. Don’t remember if I have ever shared it before, but if so, it’s definitely worth another go round. (smile) 

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.’ 

And my people, I don’t think that there’s ever been a period in this generation that the children of God need to be more liberated than now! We are the ones who are supposed to show the way, to be the salt and light of the world! Believers in Christ are expected to lead the way when fear, anxiety, doubt and all those other negative emotions show up in abundance. 

Remember what the poem says: ‘We are born to make manifest the Glory of God.’ And that’s the gospel truth! As ambassadors of Christ in this evil and fearful world, we are expected to show strength, to show others what Christ, what true Christianity is all about. 

We’re not supposed to be hiding in fear and compromise, but standing strong so that the unbeliever can also gain strength from our resistance and composure. That’s what Christ expects of His followers! 

But unfortunately, in these troubled times, I don’t think we have been doing enough of that. We have also been too intimidated by the virus and all that comes with it. Oh, we do need to take it seriously and do what we’re required to do to slow it down, but we don’t have to be fearful and exhibit that fear because then we’re making of naught all the promises of God. 

What don’t we remember about, I will never leave nor forsake you? Do not fear, for I am with you wherever you go. What about: ‘Strengthen ye the weak (sinking) hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees. 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. 35:3-4) 

That’s exactly what we believers ought to be doing in these troubled and dangerous times my brethren. But I don’t believe we’re doing it at a sufficiently high level, otherwise there wouldn’t be so much doubt and fear in our society. And sadly, there is also too much supposed bravado and foolishness from those who disregard the virus out of hand and keep doing what they ought not to do. 

When you sit and think about it, mankind is indeed a different breed yes. Some of us are so afraid that we don’t know whether we’re coming or going, while a handful are being respectful and careful, and a whole bunch is making light of the situation and causing even more damage than necessary. 

Even some believers are taking the situation to foolish lengths believing that since we’re God’s children nothing can harm us, and thus behaving like spoilt children, refusing to adhere to the rules, despite the sickness and death of many of their colleagues. Steups! 

Oh friends, it’s wonderful to have faith, great faith, but that faith must be tempered with wisdom, great wisdom, else we become even more foolish than the unbelievers. 

Why do you think James told us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and unpbraideth not (without reproach), and it shall be given him. 

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Oh my people, just like faith comes by hearing and all of that, wisdom also comes by seeking it from the Lord…and being sensible about it. Not because He says He will protect us from the fire and storm means that we ‘re going to jump willy-nilly into the fire or the stormy sea. 

All God’s promises need to be addressed with godly wisdom and common sense, two things that seem to be very sparse in our society right now. But we of this now generation have the ability, and are expected to build it up. It’s for this particular time that we were made, so let’s buckle down and do what the Lord expects of us nuh. We have all the parts to do it. 

And so, with all that good inspiration under us, (smile) let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus and inviting them to join us. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’  

And I guess I need to remind us that we’re in it for the long haul, and if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine. And that’s the indisputable truth! Much LOVE!

…faith conquers fear…light conquers darkness…and wisdom conquers stupidity…the undefeatable tools of the believer… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2021 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.     ​I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

Monday’s on the board friends! How are we going to greet it eh? I hope it’s with plenty hope, LOVE, joy and peace, as our Christian tenets teach us, rather than with fear, anxiety and a whole lot of negativity based on our present troubled circumstances. Yes, we will have trouble, persecution, tribulation and what not in this sinful world, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said that, but then He went on to conquer the negative stuff, like hell, death and the grave by His crucifixion and resurrection so that we would not have to worry about all the negative stuff that came our way. 

Here’s how He put it: ‘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) What wonderful news that is my brethren! Jesus has already overcome the world, so we just have get ourselves together and maintain that victory! Maintain it with good cheer; that is LOVE, assurance, hope, faith and the promise of eternal life if we endure to the end. 

And no, living the Christian life in this sinful and ofttimes godless world is not easy, but with Christ’s divine help we can do it. Remember how Bruh Paul characterized it? ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) Now that’s quite true, but there’s something more we must learn, and that’s the context in which he said it. He was referring to a gift from the church at Philippi. And though he appreciated their care and consideration and gift very much, he told them: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil. 4:11) 

And that my fellow believers is something that we all need to learn in these troubled times and times of expected entitlement. Bruh Paul was grateful for their financial gift, but he could also have done without it, because he had learned how to be content whether he had a lot or a little. And the scholars add an interesting message. ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Oh my people, that is a truth that so many believers need to learn. Yes, we ought to be contented in any state in which we find ourselves, with Jesus’ help of course, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and like all other growth it comes with hardship and adversity. So if you’re having trouble in that area, like so many of us in this pandemic time, just remember that you can do all you need to handle the situation with Christ in your corner, but it will take time and also some effort from you. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:12) Yes friends, it’s something that many of us are learning in these Covid times, when work is scarce and the essentials of life are difficult to come by. 

But we do need to learn how to discipline ourselves in times of prosperity and in times of want, to learn the secret of how to be well fed even in the rough going. So let’s not beat up ourselves if we’re not doing as well as we ought to or want to in these troubled days, remember Jesus is just a prayer away with help. 

Yes, I know it might not come right away, but our faith teaches us to wait and be patient and expectant. No wonder Bruh Paul could promise the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) He is aware of their sacrifice on Bruh Paul’s behalf, and thus will generously meet their needs. 

My fellow believers, that’s what God is about; providing, meeting our needs when we sincerely call on Him. That’s His ever-faithful promise. So why don’t we do that right now nuh through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s bare our very hearts and souls to our Creator, as He desires of us. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

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

Now we have to do our part; wait with eager and sincere expectation, that’s faith, and stay repentant and be obedient so the Lord can see that we’re truly sorry for turning away from Him. Much LOVE!

…life’s not easy in this sinful world…but God is good…Glory Hallelujah… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith, worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing,’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘1:2-3.In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2020 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.    ​Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. 
 

Monday, Monday, Monday… Chuh! Another blooming day to go to work! And as if going to work wasn’t bad enough after such a relaxing weekend, we have to go amidst all the confusion and chaos caused by the Covid-19 virus and a host of disgruntled and dissatisfied protesters in the street. Ah Lord eh! What a way we world in a sad mess! 

But friends, the news isn’t all bad! No, there’s some good stuff too – namely that the Creator and Controller of this great universe, Almighty God Himself…Yahweh…Jehovah – whatever name you choose – has His people safely ensconced in the palms of His mighty hands, under the shelter of His powerful wings! And all His children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy to the children of men!’ 

But the problem we encounter though, is that with our free will it behooves us to come to Him, He won’t simply conscript us like soldiers in time of war. We have to join His army of our own free will, and once we do that, we then need to stick ever so closely to Him, like white on rice. (smile) He will keep and protect us. That’s His ever-faithful promise, and all the storms that are currently besetting us will pass, as they all do – just in His time. 

So there’s no need to fear what’s currently happening in our world, although we must be concerned and do our part to help reshape life in a more equitable and Christian manner. And one of the ways we can ALL participate in that reshaping is through prayer; the most powerful weapon in the universe! It’s the method of communication that the Lord, in His eternal wisdom, devised for us to bring our problems and concerns to Him, as well as to just have friendly chats and tete-`a-tetes with Him. 

So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

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

And my people, if our hearts were truly sincere in that prayer, then we know that our faithful God has begun working on the solution to our problems, and they will be eventually conquered, but in His time, when He decides that His purpose for allowing it to happen has been achieved. Until then, we just have to hope and pray and stay strong in His LOVE! And living the way He desires just might help us too. (smile) 

For interest sake, I just opened the Good Book and discovered these inspiring words uttered by the prophet Jeremiah to his people Israel when they were in a period of disobedience. ‘Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness. And before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer. 13:15-16) Now wise people hearing those words would certainly take some time to ponder their lives and see if they are doing what the prophet advises. For who knows if that is one of the reasons our world is currently so dark, so overrun by darkness? 

And the scholars add this interesting explanation: ‘13:15-17. A third illustration concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ 

And the psalmist also had these wise words of advice: ‘Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him all the earth. Say among the heathen (nations) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps. 96:7-10) 

What more can I say eh friends and neighbours? Just that a word to the wise is usually sufficient, and he who has ears to hear, let him hear! Much LOVE!

…obey God…and all will be well…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2020 John 6:39.

John 6:39.    ​And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 
 
Ah mih people, life really not fair nuh, and it is indeed a bully-boy. Just when you’re down, it chooses to put you even further down! Steups! Good example. A few minutes ago I came down with my coffee, already feeling lousy from lack of sleep, and telling the Lord that I needed His help ever so badly this morning because of my poor state. Next thing I know, I put down the coffee and spill it! Chuh man! That only made me more aggravated and later than I already was, because I had to spend some valuable time cleaning up the mess. 

And would you believe in all the years I’ve been doing this, I can’t remember ever spilling the coffee, even one time before now. But as they say, after one time is two. And I have to chuckle, because I didn’t have any opening remarks in mind, so the Lord gave me something to write about. Oh, how He does move in ever-faithful but ofttimes mysterious ways eh! (smile) How then can we not LOVE and adore Him eh? The One who LOVED us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us while we were yet sinners and had no positive relationship with Him? 

The One who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His miraculous and marvellous breath of life into our mortal souls eh! The One who makes a way, where there seems to be no way, and eventually works everything out for our good, despite the prevailing circumstances! And yuh know what friends, our great, merciful and miracle working God is the same one who will find a way for us to withstand the rigours and trepidation and calamity of this Coronavirus pandemic that has so many of us living in fear. As He says, this too will pass! 

But as Jesus told His disciples when they could not cure a young epileptic boy: ‘Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:21) Likewise, this pandemic will only pass through sincere prayer and repentance! Oh friends, I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong nuh, but I feel it deep down in my soul that this plague is a serious wake up call from our heavenly Father. Yes, He is long-suffering and merciful and all that, but there comes a time when even He must get tired of our disobedience and say enough is enough! 

And I believe this is what He’s saying right now. He’s tired and fed up with our efforts to throw Him out of our society and the awful sinful way in which we’re currently living. Remember, He’s a living God, with feelings and emotions just like us, and He’s promised that NO ONE will ever take away His glory: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) And right now in our sinful, idol worshipping society, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do; rob Him of His awesome might and power and honour and glory! 

So don’t be surprised that He might be fighting back. I can assure you, He’s not going to go down without a major fight. That again just goes to show how much He LOVES us, that He’s not willing to see us waste our lives and end up eternally separated from Him, dwelling with the fallen angel Lucifer in Hades, and being eventually destroyed in the lake of fire. Oh friends, Jesus came to earth to save us from sin, and as our Advocate in heaven right now He’s still fighting to save us and give us eternal life. 

Hear these wonderful, reassuring words He spoke down here on earth nuh. ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35). Yeh mih people, Jesus is the One through whom eternal life is found! Glory be! And remember what He told the Samaritan woman at the well? ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water (fountain) springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) 

And how can we consider ourselves wise and not want that eternal life eh? But here’s the crux of the matter. Jesus said: ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up the last day.’ (John 6:37-40) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what wonderful and encouraging sentiments! And if that doesn’t touch you, then listen to these further words of Jesus to the doubting Jews: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) 

And the scholars say of those verses: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Mama Yo! That’s the best news I’ve heard for the day mih bredrin! No one can take us away from Christ or destroy us if we walk sincerely with Him! So why wouldn’t I want to walk in company with him eh? Ah friends, to me it’s cut and dried that the best way to live this life is by following Christ. 

But we each have to make our own decision on that matter, that’s why the Father gave us free will. But please remember that whatever decision we make, once we depart this earthly life, or Jesus comes again, we cannot change our minds then, and we’ll have to bear whatever consequences those decisions bring, come eternity. Matter fix! 

Now for those of us who choose to follow Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful and secure position in Christ. All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we endure until the end, then it will be even better than we can ask or imagine! Much  LOVE

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…else he’ll certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 May 2020 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.    ​What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 
 
Glory be friends! Glory be! We alive and moving forward with Christ Jesus this bright and sunshiny Thursday morning, where it’s finally beginning to look like spring, with new green shoots and leaves finally blossoming on the dry, seemingly dead branches of the stickmen like trees! Hn, Hn! So let’s give Him some much deserved thanks and praise for His ever present goodness and mercies and compassions nuh, that are so bright and new every single morning! 

Please pray with me: ‘Thank You dear Lord, for giving us life this new day, and for leading and guiding us in paths of righteousness! We praise and bless Your holy name through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! Amen!’ Yes my people, when we’re moving forward with Christ, we’re most definitely in the vanguard of all that’s good and wonderful! 

Now here’s something interesting that a friend sent me yesterday which I think is most necessary to share, especially in these trying, uncertain and troubling times. It’s titled ‘The Meaning of Life.’ Now isn’t that a rather interesting and thought provoking title? It surely is! 

So please read with me: ‘Life changes so quickly. We can be happy one day, empty and broken the next. If we learn anything from this pandemic, I hope it is to value the moments, treasure the memories and hold on to what counts. Make time each day to realize how fleeting life is and to thank God for each blessing. Maybe this pandemic will teach us to slow down, appreciate what we have and how quickly it can be gone. My prayer is that it will. LIFE IS A GIFT!’ 

And it most definitely is friends, so let’s learn to truly treasure it nuh, for as the author above says, it can be here today and gone tomorrow, like the grass that’s withered and burnt up in the noon day sun! And believe me, this pandemic isn’t happening just by chance nuh, it’s God’s way of  bringing us to heel, to make us realize that we’re not in control, but He is, though some stupid people, including leaders just can’t seem to get the message. It seems like with Pharaoh of old, the Lord has blinded them from seeing the stark reality that’s our simple mortality, fragility and nakedness before our Creator, the Most High God Jehovah! 

Therefore we ought to worship the Lord with fear and trembling, with an awesome reverence, with childlike surrender and humility, though confident that He is in our corner, and always will be. And I think these following scriptures, these awesome words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, paint a perfect picture for our situation. And even if you don’t think so, it is in your best interest to take them to heart and to follow them! (smile) So let’s consult the Good Book, as we should always do, for in it are the guidelines for our successful earthly living. 

‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:28-32) 

And that’s a wonderful question my brethren, having considered all that has gone before. Why would the Lord not look after us, having called us and justified us and glorified us and given His only Son for a sacrifice for our sins eh? And remember too that His overall plan is to have all of us resemble Christ in character and behaviour, so that He would be the first-born, the Big Brother in our wonderful, LOVING, close knit family! That’s why Bruh Paul could later continue with more awesome words: 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution’ or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written. For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39) 

Mama Yo! Mama Yo! Oh mih people, mih people, it can’t get any better than that! And if after reading all of that, you still don’t believe, or are still rather fearful and/or sceptical and doubting, then I don’t what else to say to help you nuh. Yuh better had get down on yuh knees and beg Almighty God to help you yes, because no human being can’t nuh! Bruh Paul has put out such a true and splendid treatise there, that if you believe any of it, you must believe it all! And his brilliant mind was certainly one of the reasons God chose him to be the lead apostle to us Gentiles. 

And as all of that sinks into our spirits and souls and strengthens and encourages us, let’s go home declaring (wow!) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His marvellous work down here on earth. All together in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

And, especially in these turbulent pandemic times friends, we now need to go out – sorry, stay home, observe social distancing, and share these blessings in the same generous manner, in which ever way we can, for that’s the Lord’s great desire! Much LOVE!

…oh…when the spirit is filled with the Lord…the body and soul are at peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2020 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.    ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.
 
Come Easter Saturday morning, me and my friends, will be heart-broken, thinking of Jesus, His beaten and battered body buried in the tomb, but whose awesome spirit is fighting the devil in hell, so that He can return triumphant on Easter Sunday! Oh glory to God my faithful brethren! He’s such a wonderful God, and LOVES us much that He gave His only Son to die to atone for our sins on that horrible but blessed day called Good Friday! 

And it is always worth noting, that though we’re sorrowful for the abuse, injustice and terrible ‘sufferation’ Jesus experienced on our behalf yesterday, without Good Friday, we would never be able to have the joyous resurrection of Easter Sunday, and thus the amazing promise of eternal life! And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful cheer of ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy and LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s turn now to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says it in spades: ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ And is that ever so true my fellow believers! The seeds of our today doing will be the ones we reap henceforth. As we all know, we reap whatever we sow, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

And ain’t that the gospel truth! Have you ever noticed how much harvest we receive even though we only sow a few seed? Well that’s exactly what will happen to us, with whatever we sow today, good or evil, LOVE or hate. It will be multiplied and measured back to us several fold. So please, lets pay close attention to what we sow today, for it will certainly boomerang on us tomorrow. 

And here’s another nugget of truth: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.’ That’s for certain sure! We like to give it a fancy name like procrastination, but it’s usually an act of laziness, or fear, as we just don’t want to face the problems that have come against us. I can testify to the laziness aspect. (smile) And the truth is, if we just ramp up our efforts and deal with the problems in a timely and effective manner, most of them will quickly go away, for most problems are never as insurmountable as they seem when we shy away from them. 

Therefore, this next quote is rather timely. ‘Don’t brood. Get on with living and LOVING. You don’t have forever.’ And isn’t that what many of us are finally finding out with the Covid-19 pandemic that’s clutching tenaciously at our throats? We can’t allow life to pass us by without making significant efforts to throttle it and keep it in line. We must LIVE and LOVE as though there was no tomorrow! And who knows if there will be eh? 

But still so many of us refuse to do what is necessary to survive, or at least have a reasonable chance of surviving. There is still too much doubt, denial, confusion and totally different messages prevailing amongst the top echelons in our society, so what can we expect from the lower rungs eh, but the same negative behaviour. 

Then there’s this: ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to LOVE yourself to get anything done in this world.’ I don’t know how much truth there is that statement nuh, although I suspect there is some. The long and short of the story though is that Jesus said: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yuh see friends, LOVE for God ought ALWAYS to be first place! And you’ll notice that LOVE for self runs a distant third, because we need to LOVE our neighbours after we LOVE the Lord. The only mention of LOVE for self there is in the context of LOVING our neighbours.  How much we LOVE others, will be in direct proportion to how much we LOVE ourselves! The truth being that we can’t LOVE anyone, or can only LOVE them as much as there is LOVE in our own hearts. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say on the subject: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! If you don’t have LOVE in your heart, you obviously can’t give it away! That brings us to this amazing quote: ‘Keep LOVE in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’ And don’t I ever know that! Oh friends, LOVE is the most important thing in the world, as Jesus reminded us above. LOVE for God, our neighbours and ourselves! For LOVE is truly what makes the world go around! 

As John so clearly tells us in his epistle. ‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But the scholars clarify that by stating: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’  

Thus the LOVE we’re talking about here is that which is securely entwined with true belief in Jesus Christ. And thus John could continue: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘AMEN!’ 

And we’ll close with this reminder from the scholars, re that verse. ‘John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’ 

And that’s why sin had to be justly paid for, before forgiveness could be bestowed. Much LOVE!

…but the greatest of God’s attributes is…LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2020 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm 118:8-9.    ​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.
 
Prologue: Yeahhh! I got it right this time! Just want to apologize for the length and lateness of the Bit, though you all already know my penchant for late nights and many words. (smile) I want us though to take what’s written very seriously, because it could have a serious effect on the eventual status of our world. Much LOVE!

And the calamitous time continues; more contraction of the Covid-19 disease and more deaths. And it does seem that the situation will get worse before it gets better. But that’s normal in many cases of unexpected disaster. However, we will not dwell on the actions and results of the Coronavirus this morning, because talking about it too much only increases the fear, anxiety and panic associated with its disastrous run through the world. Today though we’re going to focus on more proactive stuff like courage and trust. 

And the first word comes obviously form the Good Book, Bruh Paul’s encouraging words to Timothy and also to us in these most trying times. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Right there friends is a most important bit of scripture for us to use in the fight against this dreaded and deadly virus that’s causing fear and alarm all over our world. Our first reaction must be to take courage; that’s if we believe that our great and wonderful God is still in control and will work everything out for our eventual good. 

It’s not possible to serve the Lord from a position of unmitigated fear! So let’s stand strong by putting all the courageous words and promises found on the subject in the Good Book in the forefront of our lives nuh. That’s the first requirement… And the second – it’s like the first (smile) Put out absolute trust in Almighty God, not in man nor machines. And there are so many scriptures that tell us to trust in God and not man that you could possibly spend a whole day just reading them. (smile) They are especially popular in the Psalms, like these verses from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Salvation. ‘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.’  

Now my people, that says it in black and white. And during this pandemic we’re seeing a lot of instances where we can’t put trust in normal man or even princely men, for all sorts of hypocrisy and lies and half-truths are flying around and people are not keeping their promises, especially in a time like this when trust is so necessary. And right now I’d like to share the Quote of the Week from a message that a friend sends me. And is it ever so apropos to our current situation. 

Please read with me. ‘God always requires total trust in Him alone for our victories in life. Throughout Scripture we are cautioned not to place our trust in the strength of horses, other men or our own abilities. In 1 Chronicles, David’s decision to take a census was a failure to keep his trust totally upon the Lord. David’s purpose in counting his population was to assess his military strength. David’s commander evidently recognized the grave error that his king was about to make. 

Joab was right — the census displeased the Lord. David was falling into the temptation of trusting in the size of his army rather than in the Lord. In consequence, God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men. How do you avoid placing your trust in God today? Do you trust your bank accounts, your skills and the security of your workplace? When you begin to place your faith in these things instead of in the Provider of these things you get into trouble with God. What a lesson this is for each of us. Today, let’s place our total trust in the Lord for all of our needs.’ 

I couldn’t have said it any plainer or better my fellow believers! Total trust in the Lord is the NUMBER ONE requirement in life, especially when we’re under heavy duress like now! And we can see how Bruh David seemed to get too big for his britches from the first verse of 1 Chronicles 21. ‘And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (moved) David to number (take a census of) Israel.’ 

And the scholars put forth a very interesting explanation from 2. Samuel 24:1, which also deals with the situation. ‘24:1. Taking a census was not the wrong thing to do per se. God Himself had previously ordered Moses to make two censuses (cf. Num. 1:2-3; 26:2). However, in this case Satan (cf. 1 Chr. 21:1) seized upon the growing pride of David’s heart (vs.2-3) to incite him into taking a census, so the king might have a ground of boasting (cf. Dan. 4:30 – Nebuchadnezzar’s boast). God, the controller of all things, allowed the deed to be done so as to bring David to a place of humility and reality (vs.10). God and Satan are often involved in the same event, but for different causes (cf. Job) – God, so that the believer might be instructed and grow, but Satan, to discredit the believer and therefore, God Himself.’ 

Ah friends, the same way Nebuchadnezzar ended up going crazy and living like a beast for seven years after boasting about His might and glory, same way Bruh David received chastening before the Lord. The Good Book says: ‘And David’s heart smote him (his conscience bothered him) after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ (2 Sam. 24:10) 

And that’s why Bruh David could be called a friend of God and a man after His own heart! He had a heart for God, and God knew that, but being a man, and thus by nature sinful, he obviously made mistakes. But once those mistakes were made known, he never hesitated to fall before the Lord in sincere prayer and repentance. That’s why the Lord, though he punished him for his mistakes, still never took away his special place from him. And I think we all should read what happened after Bruh David took the census. That’s found in 2 Samuel 24:10-25. Here’s a brief synopsis (smile). 

The Lord sent the prophet Gad to Bruh David…and wonder of wonders, He gave him the opportunity to decide his own punishment. Did He ever LOVE Bruh David! The choices were: seven years of famine, him fleeing for three months before his enemies, or three days pestilence in the land. ‘And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait (great distress): let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.’ (2 Sam 24:14)  So the Lord sent a plague into the land – just as He is doing to us right now, and some seventy thousand men died. And many have died, and many more will die, until we come to the Lord with sincere confession and repentance. 

Then, like the Lord did with Israel, He will stay His hand and the deaths will stop. (2 Sam. 24:16) Then David repented and made his peace with God. (2 Sam. 24:17-25) As the scholars say: ‘24:17. God’s chastening had achieved its desired effect. David recognizes that as the king of Israel his primary task was that of a shepherd with his sheep. He manfully and humbly repents of his sin and pleads for his beloved people. Despite his oft-besetting sins, David had a tender heart toward God and God’s people. Accordingly, David is commended as a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22).’ 

So friends, I do believe that the Lord will deal the same way with us, if we bow down and repent and turn back to Him, for there’s no denying that our world is so steeped in sin and wickedness that most of us don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on. And for those of us who recognize the seriousness of the situation and are tuned into the Saviour, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the next action is to truly communicate and share God’s LOVE and friendship with others, any way we can, in these really tough and trying times! Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord…and do good…regardless of the circumstances…

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