Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2020 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.    ​Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.
 
Well here I am, on this first Thursday in the new year, anxiously asking the Lord what I should write about today. Hn! It certainly seems like the ole fella is lacking in mental …what’s the word…I think it’s acuity – mental sharpness, this cold but somewhat sunny winter’s morn. And I seem to remember the great philosopher Plato saying something like, remember the beginning is the most important part of the work. And the beginning certainly is important, that’s why I want to begin good today. (smile) 

But I don’t know if it’s the most important part, because with Jesus, it doesn’t matter so much where we begin, but more so where we end! And on His continuum, as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘I’m not where I want to be just yet, but thank God, I’m certainly not where I used to be’ ….or something to that effect. (smile) And is that ever good news my fellow believers! 

The fact that Jesus will take us however and wherever we are, at any particular moment in time, and make us into what He desires us to be, with the long term goal of being fashioned in His unbeatable and wonderful character, which ought to lend a spark of hope to all who hear His Word and believe His awesome promises! A Bruh Paulian sentence, if there ever was one! (smile) And believe me my brethren, that just sparked a thought, obviously a God-given one, re what I should write about today. 

Yuh see God’s awesome faithfulness! One of my favourite scriptures just jumped up and became number one for today. Hear this great promise from the Lord our God, through the mouth of the prophet Zechariah when talking about Zion’s future king; a prophecy that Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday uniquely fulfilled. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what a beautiful promise! But what I like most about that scripture is the descriptive term, ‘prisoners of hope.’ It just so aptly describes what followers of Jesus ought to be; people with unending hope because He is the ‘stronghold,’ the fortress, the high tower, the fountain, the eternal source from wherein hope is spread abroad. 

Yes mih breddren, hope is the believer’s greatest treasure, since it’s the forerunner of faith. You can’t have faith without first having hope. Because as the Good Book says: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things HOPED for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) So you see faith is indeed based on hope. And  as Bruh Paul reasons in Romans: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Now that’s what separates the goats from the sheep, what shows up the true prisoners of hope! If we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said, done and promised, then with strong hope and faith, meaning endurance and perseverance, we will eagerly await His coming and the fulfillment of His awesome promises! But friends, it’s all got to begin with belief and hope that lead to an indestructible faith! No wonder we have the clichéd but oh so true statement, that while there is life, there is hope! 

Indeed there is, especially in Christ Jesus, who never turns away anybody, even when they are down to their last and dying breath! Wow! So how can we not have strong faith and indescribable hope if we claim to be true believers eh? O mih people, this new year of 2020 is calling us to be awesome prisoners of hope and faith because our world is in a very disastrous place, right on the edge of the precipice of imploding into war, darkness and hellfire! More than ever, we believers need to be the sensational salt and light of this misdirected world as Jesus declared of and still desires of us. 

The fate of our world, and thus our children’s and children’s children lives depend on our faith and hope and desire to try and set things right! There’s no denying that so far our generation hasn’t done a great job, we’ve allowed our world to keep falling to hell, like you know what in a handbasket. But as we said earlier on, while there is life there is always hope. So this morning I’m imploring, begging, bullying; yes whatever it takes, for us to get on our horses and ride; ride for Jesus sake, also for our descendants sake, for if we don’t do something in the near future, we won’t like to see what our world will come to. 

And I guess that’s the highly inflammable, important, and urgent word the Lord wanted me to pass on this morning! (smile) Let’s get serious friends, and realize the sense of immediacy, of urgency in His message, and thus get totally and seriously involved. And we can’t say that we don’t have the wherewithal to do the job, because the Lord has already given us all the tools we need, so artfully contained in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s declare them out loud now nuh, so that they can be put into force. 

In strong voice and sincere purpose: ‘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!’ 

In closing, I must remind us that those tools are to be generously shared, not hoarded for our selfish benefit, especially in this new year, which will be such a pivotal one in the annals of mankind! Much LOVE!

…to hope…or not to hope…that is the question for believers today…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2019 Jeremiah 10:23.

Jeremiah 10:23.    ​O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
 

Well friends, we’re seeing another brand new day! Bless the Lord, oh my soul! Yes, obviously the number of our days have not yet been accounted for, so there is good reason to give our great and most generous God much thanks and praise for lengthening our glorious days on planet Earth! 

I don’t know about you nuh mih people, but the ole fella sure isn’t ready to give up this earthly life as yet. Though it can be rough and tough, it’s the only one I know, (smile) and I still have plenty work to do for the Lord. In fact I haven’t done anything really worth talking about as yet, which means the best days of my life are still out there before me. Glory be! 

And before you go thinking that I’m boasting or counting on my own efforts to bring that glorious future to pass, hear me say and acknowledge, like Jeremiah: ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ 

And I wish that the whole world, this evil and ungodly society in which we now live would come to that realization, sooner, rather than later, so that our wonderful world can find some peace and much less war and strife. Instead of counting on our own strength, we ought to be praying like Jeremiah: ‘O Lord, correct me, but with judgement (justice); not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.’ (Jer.10:24) 

And believe me my brethren, if the Lord really pours forth His anger on us, as He has the right to, in view of our abominable, sinful and ungodly behaviour, we will be brought to nothing! The scholars tell us:‘10:24 –25. Jeremiah surrenders to God’s program of judgement but asks that the necessary chastisement not be carried out severely (cf. 46:28; Hab.3:2).’ 

And so should we be praying too my friends, because our God is just as angry with us these days, as He was back in Jeremiah’s time, with the Israelites backsliding and disgusting worship of idols. It’s hard to see how Israel could have fallen so completely to idolatry in the light of all the Lord had done for them. 

But we are doing the same thing. In light of our prosperity and advancement, we now believe that it’s all our doing and are pushing God aside and leaning on, and in our own strength and thus worshipping the idols of material wealth and power. But please remember Moses’ warning to the Israelites way back when. 

‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee the power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut.8:18) And that most salient fact has not changed, not even one iota my brethren! It’s still the Lord God Almighty who gives us life and the power to get wealth! 

So how can we move away from Him and expect to prosper for any real length of time eh? That’s pure folly, utterly lacking in wisdom, the wisdom we like to pride ourselves so much on! It’s now time therefore to listen to some of the wise words of Cousin Sol, beginning with these most applicable ones: ‘Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’ (Prov.16:18) 

It’s a fact of life that we all know, yet for some foolish reason believe that it will happen to everybody else, but not to us. That’s a fool’s wisdom friends! And hear Cousin Sol again. ‘The preparations (plans) of the heart in (belong to) man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes: but the Lord weigheth the spirits…A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov.16:1-2,10) 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘16:1. The Lord is sovereign, even over a man’s thoughts and words.’ ‘16:2. The Lord is the great discerner of motives.’ ‘16:10. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ And it’s not like we don’t know all of that, but we’re just stubborn, hardheaded and hardhearted, just like the Israelites were. But yet we expect to have a different ending than they did! Steups! 

Ah friends, that’s just more ‘foolish folly’! Remember, we can’t sow sin and ungodliness and expect to reap righteousness and justice! What we need to be doing instead, is as Cousin Sol wisely states. ‘Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.’ (Prov.16:3) 

And furthermore: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or smooth) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body) and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov.3:5-7) 

Oh my people, after accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour, those are possibly the wisest words in the Good Book! So please let’s actively live them nuh, not just talk them! They will cause us to be blessed with true health and strength! And talking about being blessed, its’ time for us to go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) the amazing Thursday Blessings that our magnanimous God has given us to work with here on earth. 

As one voice, in sincerity and true sense of purpose: ‘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 just a reminder that those awesome blessings are to be generously shared in doing Christ’s work, not selfishly hoarded for our own selfish purposes! (smile) Much LOVE!

…it’s amazing…but totally foolish…how the created…can think…they’re greater than their Creator…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2019 Matthew 6:24.

Matthew 6:24.   ​No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly riches).
 
And yes, it’s a cloudy, foggy Thursday morning in my li’l part of the world, but hopefully the sun will push through and decimate all the fog and cloud in a short while. But even if it doesn’t, if the sun doesn’t shine, we must remember that we have a friend, a Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ who controls the calm and the storm alike and He can decimate whatever ills, or storms that are blowing through our lives with one single, simple touch of His favour, mercy, grace and/or LOVING-kindness! Give Him the thanks and praise He so well deserves my faithful brethren! 

Ah mih people, our Jesus is so wonderful that there are no words in any language that can truly describe Him! We try, but all our man-made descriptions fall far short of the ideal, of the magnificent Deity that He is! Only Deity like Himself might be able to find language to truly describe Him. 

But until we get to heaven and hear the Father and the Holy Spirit describe Him, we’ll have to settle for insufficient terms like: ‘Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Rose of Sharon, Lily of the Valley, Emmanuel, A name above every other Name, to whom ALL knees must bow, Heavenly Advocate, High Priest, Son of God, Saviour of the World, ‘Uniter’ of Jews and Gentiles, He of the Immaculate Conception and of Virgin Birth…etc. etc.’ 

Yes friends, those are only some of the many names we use to describe Jesus, but the great thing about it is that ALL of them are true and reflect some aspect of Jesus’ great and godly character and the extensive list of jobs that He performs with such grace and majesty! How can we not LOVE and revere Him eh? And if we LOVE and revere Him, then we ought to be delighted to do His bidding, be obedient to His Word and His dictates! 

But unfortunately that’s where too many of us draw the line! Yes, we all claim to LOVE Jesus and spout a good talk, but when it comes right down to the nitty gritty, doing as he says, that’s an entirely different subject. We hem and haw about giving up our independence, about surrendering completely to the One who LOVES us so much that He sacrificed His sinless life for our sinful ones. He took our sin and gave us His freedom, His sinless character. 

But friends, there can only be one driver of a vehicle or ship or plane at any one time, and it’s either we surrender our lives completely to Jesus and let Him run them as He sees fit, or we don’t. There’s no halfway or in-between measure! You can’t sit on the fence and hope one side or the other will work out. With Jesus, it’s either ALL or NOTHING AT ALL! 

As He says so vividly in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (earthly riches).’  

Yes my people, that’s gospel truth! In this world you have to serve somebody, but you can only truly serve ONE somebody at a time, and the choices we have are simply Jesus Christ or the riches of this world controlled by the evil Satan himself. And today I just want to look at a few scriptures that promote serving Jesus as opposed to the evil one and his lure of earthly wealth and power. 

First up is Bruh Paul in his first missive to Timothy, where he warns. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (to give), willing to communicate (share). Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim.6:17-19) 

Yes friends, nothing is basically wrong with being rich, God gives earthly riches to many of us, but we need to be generous and godly with those blessings. As the scholars explain: ‘6:19. When wealthy believers generously share (v.18), they secure an assurance (laying up in store for themselves a good foundation) that in the future (against the time to come) they will indeed enter heaven (lay hold on eternal life). 

Salvation is not purchased by the giving of money, but generosity demonstrates the reality of one’s faith. Since the believer trusts God and not money, he gives. This giving shows where his heart is and that he views his wealth in light of eternity.’  

Now James says it thus: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be (makes himself) a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) Yes my people, we cannot be both LOVERS of God and the world at the same time, as John says so clearly in his epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

Ah friends, please pay particular attention to the part that says the things of the world pass away, but he who does the will of God abides forever, because it’s gospel truth. End of sermon! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has rained down on us to assist us in doing his earthly work. 

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

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

Oh true believers in Christ, how blessed we are! Now let’s go out and share those wonderful blessings as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…all that we’ve been given…is meant to be generously shared…not selfishly hoarded…