Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2020 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,

Aye mih people in my area, I think the time has finally come for us to begin experiencing that small white, cold, fluffy substance called snow! (smile) Yes, it’s all a part of living in the northern climes, but yet still when we see it for the first time in a year, it still astonishes us, although we’ve been expecting it all along. So I saw some of the wet stuff yesterday on my way out the street, and this morning I saw some flakes gently dawdling down from the cloudy sky. Don’t think there’s any risk of the real hard stuff falling right now, but just giving us a heads up, because it will come hard and fast eventually. (smile) 

But yuh know what? When it comes we don’t have to worry because we have been assured by our heavenly Father of His awesome comfort and mercy in whatever adversity comes against us. Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve my brethren! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh. 

‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 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) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, isn’t our God wonderful? He surely is! Comforting us in our troubles so that we can comfort others in theirs. 

And I just want to add a note from the scholars. ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God, (e.g., Eph. 1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise. The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps. 86:5: Dan. 9:9, Mic. 7:18).’ 

Oh friends, until we fully realize that one of our God’s greatest attributes is His merciful character, we will never fully understand and appreciate how great a God He is! It all begins with His unconditional LOVE, where He simply cannot disregard His most wonderful creation. That then leads Him to be merciful unto us, with forgiveness and redemption and reconciliation through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, all of it is a free gift through His awesome grace! Now after all of that mercy and grace, undeserved goodness and favour, how can we not bless, adore and praise Him eh? 

Hear how Bruh David says it in Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto them that call upon thee. (Ps. 86:5) But it’s all important that we acknowledge the last aspect of Bruh David’s words there: ‘them that call upon thee.’ We do need to sincerely call upon God to receive His blessings and mercies. 

And as Bruh Paul said to the church at Ephesus: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, our Lord is indeed worthy of much praise because He has bestowed so many heavenly blessings on us through Christ. Things like our citizenship (Phil. 3:20), our high priest (Heb. 4:14), our hope (Col. 1:5), our inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4) our treasure (Matt. 6:20-21). So there is much to be thankful for through Christ. 

But getting back to our major point of comfort from God, let’s hear some relevant scriptures nuh. And the prophet Isaiah had a lot to say about it. In talking about the comfort of the faithful, he says on God’s behalf: ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die (a mortal man), and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgetteh the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready (as when preparing) to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?’ (Is. 51:12-13) 

Yes my people, down through the ages we have indeed feared man rather than God, but please remember these momentous words of Jesus: ‘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 soul and body in hell.’ And the only person who can do that is God Almighty, so it’s about time we learn to fear Him, rather than mankind which shall perish as the grass in the noonday sun. 

And now this last word on comfort from our Lord God, as spoken through His prophet, Isaiah on the future hope of Zion: ‘As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb (grass): and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward (to) his servants, and his indignation toward (to) his enemies.’ (Is. 66:13-14) 

Oh precious people of God, our heavenly Father has done so much to relieve us of fear, anxiety and tension through the fulfilled promises of His word, I don’t see how we can still be so fearful and anxious about life nuh. From the day He created the world and its life, right through to the day He promises to destroy it, He has ensured safety for those who belief in and look to Him for help and succour. He even sacrificed His only son Jesus for us, so I don’t know what more He needs to or can do to make us believe in Him. 

So the ball is in our court; each of us has to make that fateful decision; to believe, or not to believe. And just a li’l tip, the smart money is on believing. Now for those of us who have chosen the wise way, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our most wonderful position in Almighty God and His most wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

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 remember, we’re guaranteed that if we endure until the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine!Much LOVE!

…the comfort of man…begins in the bosom of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2020 1 Corinthians 13:13.

1 Corinthians 13:13.       Now abideth faith, hope and LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE! 

Well, my fellow saints in Christ, once more we are gathered here to offer sincere praise, worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God, our Creator, Provider, Lord and Saviour! And all God’s people shouted a loud and proud: ‘All thanks and praise be to our heavenly Father!’ 

And finally the indecision in the U.S. has been decided (smile), the wannabe Dictator has been deposed, and will soon be disposed of, regardless of all his bluster and talk of not giving up the Presidency because the election was rigged and illegal! Thankfully there were a few more sensible American voters than foolish ones. 

Anyway, enough on that has been, let’s focus on someone that’s been around from time immemorial, and will be around till even after eternity; His name is Jesus; the person mainly responsible for the salvation of mankind. And today we’re going to open our worship with a wonderful song in His honour, a tune titled ‘Jesus is LOVE!’ And that is exactly who and what He is! That’s why He sacrificed His life on the cross at Calvary for us. 

Now friends, one website tells us: ‘This song comes off of The Commodores (1980) album “Heroes”. It has since become both a gospel and R&B standard. There is an excellent live version of this track on YouTube by the Commodores. Lionel Richie sang this song at Michael Jackson’s funeral. There is an outstanding gospel version with a duet featuring Smokie Norful and Heather Headley.’ 

And believe me that live version is big and bad and beautiful, and it’s what we’re going to sing today: So please be prepared for an awesome visit with ‘The Commodores Live in Las Vegas’ And it’s a real ole throwback piece of touching soul my people, and that’s how I want us to sing it; full of soulful emotion and sincere heartfelt passion. Let our words and actions truly tell the story. 

Now before we get into the song, here’s some info from the website https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13 ‘The song starts with a prayer. Lionel’s prayer is reminiscent of the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13 of the Holy Bible In this story, some of the seeds are (children) that fall by the side of the road. They never reach good soil and are gobbled up by birds, grow among the weeds, or have roots that grow too shallow. This is a prayer for all people in the world to recognize each other with LOVE in their hearts, amen.’ 

And all of that is ever so true friends. Too many of God’s children are falling by the wayside, and that is just not acceptable. Anyway, moving on: Before the band starts playing the drummer comes down front and makes this intro: ‘At this particular time ladies and gentlemen, we would like to do another song from our latest album “Heroes” And we would like to do this song especially for you (the audience) because the Commodores deeply believe, deep down inside, that the world, the world is in need of a song like this today. Ladies and gentlemen, if you please:’ 

So please let’s finally get into an explosion of passionate soul that will move all those in both heaven and earth…and don’t forget to answer the calls in brackets. (smile) ‘Father help your children And don’t let them fall by the side of the road. Mmmm…mmmm And teach them to LOVE one another And heaven might find a place in their hearts. ‘Cause Jesus is LOVE He won’t let you down And I know He’s mine forever Oh, in my heart We’ve got to walk on Walk on through temptation ‘Cause His LOVE and His wisdom Will be our helpin’ hand 

And I know the Truth And His words will be our salvation Lift up our hearts To be thankful and glad That Jesus is LOVE He won’t let you down And I know He’s mine Deep down in my soul Jesus is LOVE Oh, yes, He is He won’t let you down And I know He’s mine, He’s mine, He’s mine, He’s mine, all mine Forever, ohhhh, in my heart Help me, heart, heart Ooh…ooh… (Deep in my heart) I know, I know, I know, I know Ah, cause His LOVE’S the power (Power) His LOVE’S the glory (Glory) Forever (Ever and ever) Ooh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Ooh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Ooh, yeah, yeah (Yeah, yeah) 

Oh wait a minute, I wanna follow your star Wherever it leads me And I don’t mind, Lord I hope you don’t mind I wanna walk with you And talk with you And do all the things you want me to do Cause I know that Jesus (Jesus is LOVE, I know) ‘Cause I know, Lord (And if you ask, I’ll show) (LOVE is the word forever) And ever and ever 

Who can bring you love (Jesus) Who can bring you joy (Jesus) Who can turn your life around (Jesus), oh Ooh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Yeah (Yeah, yeah) Hey Who will pick you up (Jesus) When you fall (Jesus) Who’ll stand beside you (Jesus) Who will LOVE us all Hey, hey, Jesus (Yeah, yeah) Jesus (Yeah, yeah) Oh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) One thing I wanna say Who can heal your body (Jesus) Who can make you strong (Jesus) Who can help you to hold out (Jesus) 

A little while longer Ooh, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Yeah (Yeah, yeah) Jesus LOVES you (Yeah, yeah), Jesus wants you If you call Him, He will answer (Jesus) Call him in the mornin’ (Jesus) Call him in the evenin’ (Jesus) Call him in the midnight hour Hey, hey (Yeah, yeah) Yeah (Yeah, yeah) Yeah, yeah (Yeah, yeah) Yeah, y’all say it for me (Jesus is LOVE)… (Jesus Is LOVE)…’  

That was indeed a soulful rendition friends, and both heaven and earth were moved. But it wasn’t all. At the end Lionel Ritchie got up from the piano, came down to the front of the stage and gave this soliloquy: ‘You know the Commodores, had two ways of letting you leave out of here tonight; either have you dancing in the aisles hollering and screaming, or we had to let you leave with something in your minds and on your hearts. Well tonight, I guess there’s no doubt in your minds, and certainly not in mine; we’re going to let you leave tonight with something on your minds and in your hearts. 

You know, I don’t have to be the one to tell each and every one of you, but the world is in a whole lot of trouble right now everybody, the world is in a whole lot of trouble. And you know the funniest thing is this; everyone is looking for something new, something different to solve the problem. Some of us feel that technology sooner or later, will solve the problem. We feel that money can solve the problem. In 1980 we even feel that a President can solve the problem. But yuh know the funniest thing about the whole thing is this; everybody knows what the solution is; everybody knows what the solution is; because what the world needs now, what the world needs, right now is a little LOVE ,a little sweet LOVE…!’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my people! Can you imagine that forty years ago, our world was in such a messed up state, even without the Covid-19 situation. And we’re in an even worse place today, everybody looking for answers, everywhere but where they are supposed to look; in their hearts, to find the LOVE that our world needs to move forward in unison and compassion. Can you believe that forty years later we’ll still looking to technology, money and a President to correct our situation, when all we need is a li’l LOVE? 

Are we that stubborn, hardhearted and foolish that we can’t see the lack of wisdom in our decisions? What is our problem eh my brethren? Are we like Bruh Paul told the Corinthians; that now we’re seeing through a dark or dimly lit mirror, and right now we only know in part, but later on we’ll see and understand properly. (1 Cor. 13:12) 

Some might use that as an excuse, but believers ought to know better, we ought to know that ‘Now abideth faith, hope and LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE!’ (1 Cor. 13:13) And until we understand that and put it into serious action, for remember LOVE is an action word, our world will be forever in turmoil. Much LOVE!

…only LOVE can break a heart…only LOVE can mend it again… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2020 Psalm 65:2.

Psalm 65:2.     ​O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.

Well it’s Labour Day Monday again, which, to all intents and purposes means the end of the summer. But what a summer eh! Lockdown for most of it, unable to enjoy our usual summer pursuits…but thankfully we have health and life because of our safety practices. And I don’t know if there will be any, or as many Labour Day marches as we’re used to. I don’t even know if the big Labour Day street party in Brooklyn, New York will be taking place, but I doubt it. And that will be the first time in many a year, just like our Caribana here in T.O was cancelled this year. 

Oh what a blow this Covid-19 has dealt us this year eh! But there’s no need to worry because we are children of the King, the Most High God Jehovah, and that means we have lots of staying power, plenty endurance and the ability to persevere despite anything the enemy throws at us! So in God’s good time we will conquer the Covid virus and forget about our lost summer and all the other negatives and instead wisely look to the positive side of the ledger; count our blessings and the plenty that we still have. 

But to do that we first have to come alongside each other, work together in harmony and turn to God with repentant hearts and sincerely invite Him back into our individual lives and our society as a whole, from which we’ve hitherto been trying to oust Him. Remember the marvelous promise of Jesus: ‘Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt. 18:19-20) 

Wow mih bredrin! What a powerful promise. And therefore, it’s only logical to conclude that Jesus is currently in our midst, since right now more than two or three of us agree that we need divine help to solve our problems. So the next action we need to take is communicating our heartfelt desires to Him, that means going to Him in prayer. For as Bruh David says in Psalm 65 – God is powerful in nature – ‘O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.’ (Ps. 65:2) So let’s fulfil his words and do that now nuh, through what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together 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!’ 

Ah my people, our God is a great God, but His truth and justice cry out for obedience and right heart motives, so if our hearts were right and our words true, then we know that He heard our prayer, and in His own time and manner, if we keep our promise, He will respond positively to our heartfelt desires. And that part about keeping our promise is oh so important, for according to Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl. 5:4-5) 

What wonderful words of wisdom my brethren! And that doesn’t apply to God only, but also to our interactions between each other. If more of us kept our promises, life would surely not be as distrustful, deceitful and strife filled as it is. So since we’ve gone to the Lord with supposedly repentant hearts, earnestly seeking His face, let’s now keep that promise and obey His Word and do His divine will nuh… that is if we want Him to keep His bargain and heal our land and our people. It’s as simple as that. 

Remember it takes two to tango, and one hand can’t wash itself, it needs another to help it, and that we’re in a partnership with God, but we need to do our part first. Now it’s time for us to get in some Labour Day celebrations, but with ever watchful eyes and plenty caution, not forgetting that the Covid-19 virus is still out there, and as dangerous as ever, and also remembering Granny’s message: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ (smile) Please have a blessed and joyful day, my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…when will man learn eh…that it’s the Creator who rules…and not the created… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2020 Proverbs 13:17.

Proverbs 13:17.     ​A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health.
 

And then it was Friday and everybody…well most everybody was shouting with glee: ‘The weekend, the weekend, the long weekend at last!’ Yeh friends this is the Civic Holiday weekend, the first Monday in August. And it’s also what should have been Caribana weekend in Toronto with all the carnival stuff happening. But like most everything else the Covid-19 pandemic has put paid to that for this year. What a bam bam of a year this 2020 has been eh! (smile) But what to do eh? We need to know that the Lord God Jehovah is still on His throne and still controlling things and that with the right attitude towards Him and His Word, this too shall pass! 

But enough of me, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say nuh. And as always, he exclaims: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And thank God for this long weekend too! Just hope it not too hot and miserable though. And finally the rest of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is being released into the Stage 3 lockdown mode. More places opening and inside service in restaurants and stuff. That sounds good, but ah wondering how safe or sensible it is for them to make this decision on this long weekend eh, knowing how people behaving irresponsibly all over the place? 

Just think about that house party last week up in Brampton nuh, with some two hundred people and cars parked all over the grass and wherever. Steups! Can yuh imagine how some of them going to behave with the freedom granted them over this long weekend? But who am I to question it eh? The government seem to think they know what they doing…ah certainly hope so yes, for all of our sakes. But me and mine not going to do anything much different, to what we been doing – barbequing and going for walks and playing games together. 

I need to get some rest too, as well as cut down on the drinking and smoking. Ah finally realizing that I’m not as young as I used to be, and can’t burn the candle at both ends like I used to, and get away with it. Hn, Hn! Let us hope though, that the release in this lockdown don’t drive people crazy and they end up doing nonsense to cause the virus to start spreading again nuh, and we have to go back into another lockdown. Brother! Would that ever be a horror show!’ 

And isn’t that the God-awful truth people! Having the society locked down again will definitely cause much more panic and disobedience than the original seclusion did! So let’s pray that people will be sensible, serious and responsible nuh, and we won’t be forced back into a lockdown situation again, but keep reopening li’l by li’l, glory by glory. 

As one voice, with sincere hearts, let’s declare (steups!) our Friday Chant.  ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, so much of this recovery from our current sickness and strife depends on how we, followers of Christ, Christians behave. We need to show the world Christ though not only our talk, but more importantly through our actions and behaviour. Things like LOVE, compassion, care, forgiveness and mercy have to be prominently displayed by us in these dark, angry and dangerous times. This is when we truly have to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, showing forth our faithfulness in spades. 

This is more a time for action rather than talk, and even though some of us are still in lockdown mode we can still do a lot to help those less fortunate than us. We now have so many tools at our convenience that it would be a lie, and a sin, to say we can’t help others. Yes my fellow saints in Christ, this is a time when the cream, we believers in Christ need to rise to the top, be true and good ambassadors of our Lord and Saviour. Bruh Paul said it quite plainly to the Corinthians. ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (behalf), be ye reconciled to God.’ (2 Cor. 5:20) 

Oh friends, we who have been reconciled to God, become righteous and justified, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, now need to go out and do what He wants us to do. He is our leader, and followers ought to do what leaders desire of them. Just like political ambassadors represent their countries in foreign lands, we too need to represent Christ wherever we go. And like Cousin Sol so wisely declares (yeahhh!) in Proverbs: ‘A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health.’ (Prov. 13:17) 

Oh my people, please, I implore us to be faithful ambassadors of Christ in these dangerous and uncertain times, and thus bring health to our society. Much LOVE!

…truly working for Jesus…means diligence and excellence… from a compassionate heart…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2020 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.   ​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.
 
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
 
Oh my fellow saints in Christ, these are certainly rough times we are currently experiencing yes! For the umpteenth Sunday the Lord’s sanctuaries are closed on His day. And today, on Mother’s Day, many mothers will be alone and lonely with no friends or family around them, to celebrate their special day…all because of the lockdown made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic. Today is also a somewhat sad day for some of us due to the passing of our great friend of St. Francis Anglican Parrish, the Rev. Dennis Doloff. 

He wasn’t our Parish Priest, but he attended many of our functions and preached a few times for us when our regular priest was unavailable, all from the confines of his wheel chair. Despite his physical setbacks, he was a most encouraging, enlightening and humorous soul, quick witted and always ready with a joke. We of St. Francis wish his family our sincere condolences and grieve with them, though we’re all glad that his suffering is now over and he’s in a much better place. 

So today, as all those storms come against us, it is ever so appropriate that we sing this wonderful song: ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ It’s good assurance and strength for all of us. We’re letting the enemy know that we’re not giving up, we’re going down fighting and celebrating because we have the Most High God as our refuge in any and all the storms of life. Isaiah said it thus: ‘For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:4) 

So with that in mind, let’s raise up our voices in sacrificial praise and thanksgiving, singing the up-tempo reggae version of this popular gospel song done by the Jamaican Artiste, George Nooks. And the band played…and the voices rose in sweet harmony… ‘Don’t give up, just ride out your storm. You’ve been in the storm and it seems like forever. And your nights of confusion have been too long. Your ship has lost anchor, and the storm’s got you drifting. Just hold on to Jesus And ride out your storm 

(Chorus: Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. You’re hurting now, but your morning is coming…Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm) Remember His promise, He said I’ll never forsake you, though the waters are troubled, they’ll do you no harm. Don’t give up the battle for your answer is coming, just hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Ride out your storm God is still there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting now but your morning is coming, Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. 

Oh Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. Although you’re hurting now, your morning is coming, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. You know He’ll never leave you, so just hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Hold on to Jesus…and ride out your storm.’ 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! There’s no better person to hold on to than Jesus in the time of storm my people. Remember when He was crossing the sea in the ship with His disciples and a great storm arose, and it looked like the boat would capsize, and the disciples were scared to death. What was Jesus doing then eh? Snoozing quietly in the back of the ship. Hn! Hn! 

The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And the disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:25-27) Those disciples really didn’t have much faith nuh mih bredrin. Having seen Jesus do all the earlier miracles, they shouldn’t have been so scared. 

But we really can’t get on their case too much because we do the same thing nowadays too. Despite the many miracles the Lord has worked or wrought in our lives, we still get scared and doubtful and anxious when storms and life’s difficulties come our way, instead of calmly taking it all to God in prayer and trusting that He will at least walk through the storm beside us. And please don’t forget the Lord’s marvellous promise through His prophet Isaiah: ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ (Is. 43:2) 

Please remember that friends: whatever we go through, our great and faithful God is always right there beside us! And ofttimes He does even better than that. Listen to Moses on His behalf, as he gave over the Israelite leadership to Joshua. After warning him to be strong and of good courage, he continues: ‘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.’ Mamacita! Our God doesn’t only walk with us through life’s storms, He goes one better, goes before us to clear the way for us. 

So friends, this Sunday morning, regardless of what is coming against us, please, I implore us, let’s be strong and of good courage, for we have all those faithful promises of our faithful God to hold on to. He never said that it would be easy, but He would bring us through it, just like He brought the three Hebrew boys out of the fire unscathed, not even smelling of smoke, the same way He brought Daniel out of the lion’s den unharmed. That means we cannot allow the heathen, the unbeliever, or even our fellow believer to look at us and derisively say, ‘O thou of little faith!’ 

And a Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there, for you are the backbone and major source of faith in most of our families! Without you, our faith would be even less than it is. Much LOVE!

…the best pilot in stormy waters…JESUS…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2019 Isaiah 55:11.

Isaiah 55:11.    ​So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 

Well it’s started out wet and cloudy again in my neck of the woods. But who knows what’s going to happen later – only the great God who created it all and still controls it! So let’s give Him some thanks and praise for our joyful awakening to another faithful and fruitful day in our earthly lives, as we commit to seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. 

So let’s sincerely acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! And consequently: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’  Now it’s up to us, as true believers to keep those two promises…just like the Lord keeps His. And the promise of God that I want to look at today is that found in His free mercy to all, as prophesied by Isaiah. 

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’(Is.55:8-11) 

Oh friends, the Lord has spelt it out in His usual forthright manner. His thoughts and ways are indeed higher than ours, and His Word will not return empty, but fulfill its purpose! Glory Be! And we all know that He keeps ALLof his promises! And having made that unbreakable promise, the Lord further promises through the mouth of His prophet Isaiah: 

‘For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir (cypress) tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.’ (Is.55:12-13) 

What wonderful promises my fellow saints in Christ! That’s the kind of stuff we have to look forward to, since the Lord has sincerely promised it! And the scholars explain: ‘55:8-13. God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts (i.e., purposes or intentions) and ways (‘derakim’, or directions) are higher than ours. 

While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes. Therefore He reveals Himself to men by His word, which shall not return to Him void (in vain). The Word of God, therefore, accomplishes His purpose in announcing salvation to all mankind.’ 

And are we ever delighted by that announcement my people! For it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to mankind since the great Creation itself! Wow! Without that promise, and the keeping of that promise, through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, we’d all be goners! All praise and glory to God the Father, Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One who works it all out in us! 

And it’s not the first time He’d promise salvation. Listen to Him from an earlier chapter in Isaiah; re salvation will come only by the Lord. ‘For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it not in vain (empty or a waste), he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain; I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are (have) escaped of (from) the nations: they have no knowledge that set up (carry about) the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 

Look (turn) unto me, and be ye saved, and all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (take an oath).’ (Is.45:18-23) 

Ah friends, just like the Lord there was calling His people Israel to assemble from out of the nations of the Gentiles and come to Him for salvation, the same way He is calling us today, we Gentiles, to come to Him through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for salvation, because it’s ONLY through Him, that salvation is possible and available! Shall we not answer that call my people? It would be wisdom extraordinaire to do so, for the only other option we have, eternal death and hellfire, is not even thinkable! 

And our Lord is so great and generous that He even gave us a multitude of blessings, which we call our Thursday Blessings, to go out and use them to bring others to Him, so they too can receive those awesome things called salvation and eternal life. Let’s declare them now in strong voice and true sincerity: 

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

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

Now, with a true sense of purpose, let’s go out and put them to use nuh, for that’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…listen to Jesus…heaven and earth…shall pass away…but my words…shall not pass away… (Matt.24:35)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2019 Proverbs 11:25.

Proverbs 11:25.    ​The liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat (prosperous): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
 

And then it was Friday; the worker’s favourite day, especially in the summer where the dress rules are sometimes relaxed for something called ‘casual Fridays.’ Some people don’t even work on Fridays during the summer months, they take the time off to get to the cottage and enjoy a longer weekend. 

All power to them yes! Less wealthy or privileged folks like me can’t afford to do that, so we have to stay here in the city and bear the brunt of, endure the heat of the raging sun. (smile) But I’m okay with that, because going to the cottage also has its own drawbacks. I’m comfortable right where I am, and with age creeping up on me, the desire for change is not that strong. (smile) 

And the ordinary workingman seems to agree with my sentiments as he belts out his weekend song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Thank Him for granting us this release in the weekend, specially in the summer, else we’d all die from heat exhaustion and overwork. And though the weekend sorta too short, we still going to enjoy it as much as possible. 

And where yuh see we in the full swing of summer now, with all the summer heat and flash floods and inconsistent rain, the weekend is we only saviour, where we could get to do what we want, when we want, with no slave driver flashing his figurative whip at you any time yuh try to take a rest. 

But nobody ever said life was going to be easy, but you have to enjoy the fruits of your labour, and this weekend we surely going to do that; eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you might die! We going to party, go out and play in the park… and since I can’t afford to go to the cottage by the lake, we just going to go and dunk we self in the public swimming pool, like all mih other working class friends and them. 

We not greedy, but we do like to be able to enjoy we time some. So as you enjoy the weekend, please remember to give thanks to God for whatever li’l you have eh, because it have plenty people who have plenty less than you!’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! Whatever little you have, there is always someone, somewhere who has even less than you. What a paradox! Even in the supposedly first world countries there’s a level of poverty in some areas that’s just mind-boggling. You can’t believe that amongst all the prosperity there is such a dearth of basic necessities. But that’s the reality of life, and for some reason or other we just can’t seem to, or want to fix it. 

However my fellow saints in Christ, please remember what Jesus said, about the unfortunates and those who helped them. ‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) 

Yes precious people of God, that’s the kind of thing we’re supposed to be doing as servants and followers of Jesus, because if we don’t, when Jesus comes to judge, He’ll put us on the left hand with the goats, who’ll be thrown ‘into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’ (Matt.25:41) Yes friends, ‘even as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:40) 

So please, let’s stop concentrating on ourselves and concentrate on what Jesus wants us to do nuh; that’s helping the poor and needy. Remember too that we reap what we sow. And as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say, we reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow. So be it bad or good, our sowing produces a big harvest of the same things we sow. 

And though it’s nice to have earthly wealth and be comfortable, that’s not the prescription for greatness in Christ’s kingdom. Hear how Cousin Sol, in his God-given wisdom, puts it nuh. ‘The liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat (prosperous): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.’ That’s how it is in God’s kingdom my people. The more you give, from a right heart, with proper motives, the more the Lord will increase you. And that’s exactly how it ought to be. 

Consequently, Christians ought to be the biggest and most generous givers in this whole wide world! But unfortunately we’re not. We’re even more miserly than plenty of the unbelievers. And strangely, but unfortunately, where we’re most miserly is in giving to God’s church. 

We’ll go out and buy all the nonsense the world has to offer without a qualm, but giving an extra penny to help do God’s work, brother, for so many of us believers, it’s like pulling teeth without any anesthetic. But everybody wants to see a nice, clean, spruced up church. How yuh thing it’s going to get so eh, if we don’t give generously of our time, talent and treasure eh? 

Anyhow, enough sermonizing for today! And who knows if it will make any difference anyway. (smile) So let’s go home chanting our Friday Chant, in all sincerity and true sense of purpose. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Enjoy the weekend friends, but please keep in the back of your minds, which hand you want Jesus to put you on; on the left as goats, or on the right as sheep, for your actions today, will help make that monumental decision then. Much LOVE!

…Jesus came to help…the poor, the sick, the lost and the needy…and that’s also what He expects of His followers…