Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2020 Jeremiah 13:15.

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

Oh my people, it is our Lord’s earnest desire that we come together…right now, in His holy name! And it doesn’t matter that it’s a cloudy Wednesday morning friends, any time is a good time to get together in Jesus’ name! And the best way to do that is through prayer. And I want to share this interesting definition of prayer from an old Devotional. It says: ‘Prayer is a creative expression of my spiritual needs. It offers me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and continually reminds me of life’s forces.’ 

Now isn’t that an encouraging word for us to make prayer a major part of our lives, especially since it’s the major way in which we communicate with our Creator; our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God? It certainly ought to! And these further encouraging words, reputed to one Hartley Coolidge, tell us: ‘Be not afraid to pray, to pray is right. Pray, if thou canst with hope, but even pray.’ 

Yes mih bredrin! Prayer ought to be the basic foundation of our lives. That’s why Bruh Paul desired us to pray without ceasing and to pray any and everywhere. For Prayer has no boundaries in time nor place and it keeps us in constant communication with our heavenly Father, allowing wise guidance and direction to be channeled into our lives. Unfortunately though, prayer has not been a major part of our current secular society. We have forsaken God and all that He stands for. 

But these words of the prophet Jeremiah ought to be a wake-up call, for just like they were rather appropriate to the kingdom of Judah back in their ungodly and disobedient days, so they are appropriate to us in these ungodly and disobedient times. ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.’ 

Oh yes friends, our major problem in these times, or in the prosperous times of any nation, is the unfathomable pride that develops, which makes us feel that we no longer need the God of our forefathers, He’s become irrelevant because of all of our wonderful advances in knowledge and science. But pride is one of the things that our God despises most in His people, for it brings on the foolish idea that we no longer need Him, and His anger glows when we behave thus – like how we behaving now. 

Consequently, we should pay serious attention to the words of Jeremiah, as he continues his warning. ‘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. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:16-17) 

Oh my people, Judah did not listen and they were carried away captive to Babylon for a 70 year exile. We won’t be carried anywhere, but we’re already living in the shadow of darkness! Just look at the choke hold, the death grip that the Covid-19 virus and the racial protests have us in nuh. 

And I believe we should pay serious attention to the scholars’ 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.’ Yes, Jeremiah had already warned his people through the lessons of the marred girdle and the filled bottles (Jer. 13:1-14) But they didn’t listen. 

And how do we say it in baseball; three strikes and you’re out? Well they struck out the third time! Shall we do the same? We’re cutting it pretty close. Simultaneous worldwide sickness and strife don’t happen very often, don’t even know if it’s ever happened like this before. And the sad part is that, in our own strength, we don’t seem to be making any real headway against them, but foolishly, we won’t even consider turning back to God for help. Although more people are praying these days than have done so in a long, long time. (smile) 

If there’s one thing that can be said about the Jewish people of olden times is that they knew where to run when times got hard. Just look at the number of times they turned away from God and worshipped idols, and the serious consequences they faced for their disobedience, but every time when they felt the hand of the Lord heavy upon them, they quickly repented and were taken back into His wonderful fold! Now tell me, why can’t we do the same thing eh? 

We don’t know if the Lord’s causing our calamity, but He certainly isn’t helping us to overcome it, He’s allowing us to undergo the darkness for some reason. And I firmly believe it’s because of our foolishly attempting to kick Him out of our lives and our society. But there’s only one way to find out if that’s true; by repenting and turning back to Him! And what do we have to lose eh? Nothing but some foolish pride… And there’s an awesome lot to be gained! So let’s wake up and get with the programme nuh. 

In the meantime, we can go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! As one strong and sincere voice 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 we are assured of that glorious future if see it out to the end. Much LOVE!

…when nothing else works…turn to Jesus…He’s the only sure bet… 

P.S. Want to apologize for a typo yesterday, where I wrote Psalm 43 instead of 34. Won’t lay any blame though… (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 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 friends, it’s Wednesday the 8th of July already! I can’t believe how the days are flying by, although that’s how the summer usually passes, like in a blur of time, barely noticeable, then the cold winter season comes along and lasts for ages. But that’s life, and however it comes, we must learn to live with it, in fact conquer it! 

And with the power of Christ’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we can and do and will conquer everything that comes against us, for our heavenly Father has decreed that NO weapon formed against us will prosper, and that through Christ Jesus we can do whatever is necessary because He strengthens us! 

Wow! And all of God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory to the King of heaven and earth, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose name is higher than any other name, and to whom ALL heads will bow when He comes to reign in His holy kingdom!’ And if that sacrifice of praise doesn’t uplift us fellow saints in Christ, I don’t know what will nuh! (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s so good to be alive on another glorious summer day, that thanks is all that ought to flow out of our mouths. Yes, life is rough for many of us, but again, once we have life, then we can have hope that things will turn around, as they say: ‘better must come!’ And so it will, if we hold on tight to our faith and hope and surrender and trust in Christ Jesus! For He has promised to make our lives worthwhile, and He is indeed faithful to keep all His promises. 

And if there’s one thing the Bible is chocked full of is verses on hope. That’s why this morning I want to remind us of some of them, in particular this one that touches my heart ever so much. The words of the prophet Zechariah to his people Israel, and words that are ever so appropriate in our current time of pandemic and strife. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ And some of us ask, who or what is our stronghold, where can it be found, and why should we be prisoners of hope? 

Well my people, Bruh David answered those questions for us long ago. Listen to him. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold, fortress).’ (Ps. 18:1-2) 

Oh mih bredrin, is there a more comprehensive and powerful entity than that described by Bruh David? Certainly not! Just look at how many positives he’s laid at the Lord’s door nuh: his strength, his rock, his fortress, his deliverer, his buckler or shield, the horn of his salvation, his high tower! Mama Yo! How could there ever be another being with such power and strength and authority eh? NEVER! That’s why such awesome wisdom lies in putting our entire hope in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

As Bruh David continues: ‘I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:3) Glory be people! If we can’t call upon such an omnipotent Deity with perfect assurance, then whom else can we call on eh? That’s also why Bruh David could later on write: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

And I am proud to say the answer to those questions is definitely NOBODY! Yes friends, when we reverence the great God of Israel, put our sincere trust in him, we need not be afraid of anything or anyone. For as Bruh David proudly and most assuredly proclaims: ‘When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.’ ( Ps. 27:2-3) 

Oh my people, my people, in these troubling times that’s the kind of confidence and assurance we need to show in our God! And what I truly LOVE about Bruh David, is that all the endearing and confident words he speaks about his awesome God are not based on hearsay, but on his personal experience. And I’m sure that most of us have some, enough of that same kind of experience of Jehovah God’s everlasting faithfulness, which ought to enable us to completely surrender to Him and place our eternal trust in His mighty hands. 

Friends, Bruh David surely knew on which side his bread was buttered, and so too should we, if we’re wise and thinking straight, not ensnared by the lies, deceits, the evil and the plentiful poppycock that’s currently running through our society. But as the psalmist asserts: ‘Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps. 119:114-117) 

What more can I say eh friends… except to add these momentous words of Cousin Sol to our mix: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov. 13:12) Yes fellow saints, when we lose hope, we become sick, get depressed. But when our hope is realized… oh me oh my, we are refreshed, revitalized, renewed, and move on with a new vitality. And I know that these anxious times tend to dry up our hope, but please, please, let’s not allow that to happen nuh, let’s stay full of the hope that God has placed in our hearts, and remember that this too shall pass, it’s only a matter of time. 

And having said that, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. With sincere hearts and strong voices: ‘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 don’t let our hope die, we WILL enjoy a glorious future with Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2020 1 Corinthians 13:13.

1 Corinthians 13:13.    ​And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).
 

Greetings and salutations on this beautiful Wednesday morning, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s a joy to come into your homes and visit with you for a few minutes every day! Thank you so much for graciously inviting and then warmly welcoming me. (smile) And the word for today is that monumental and magnanimous one, the chief attribute of our great God; LOVE! And what a magnificent word and attribute it is. But before we delve further into it, here’s something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that beautifully expresses one important aspect of LOVE! It’s titled ‘Remembrance.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord, somewhere I read That when two people LOVE deeply When they live together Sharing Caring Giving Forgiving Eventually they begin To resemble each other. Lord, how long will it be Before I look like YOU?’ Now that my people is indeed an awesome question! Why is that you ask? Because the Lord’s basic intention is to have all His children resemble Himself and His first born. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in the Bible Promise used for our poem above. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding (reflect) as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (His likeness) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term beholding can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ And remember He’ll keep doing that good work in us, right until Christ returns. (Phil. 1:6) So it’s not a vikey vie, or hit and miss thing. (smile) 

Now let’s delve a li’l further into that marvellous attribute called LOVE nuh. And the first thing we need to realize and tearfully acknowledge is this verse from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Now friends, we’ll never understand the true meaning and value of the word LOVE until we sincerely appreciate what our great God did for us, while we were separated from Him by what He most despises; sin! 

Yes, it must have taken a great attribute for Him to sacrifice His only Son for a bunch of ingrates. But He did it because of His unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us, His original creation! And Jesus stated it unequivocally: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Yes my people, it was all about LOVE! That’s why John could write so purposefully in his epistle: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) 

And some of you are still wondering what’s so great about this thing called LOVE – and it’s not the romantic aspect we talking about here, but the brotherly aspect. Well here are a few things that LOVE does within societies. Cousin Sol warns us: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth a multitude of sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) And that is the gospel truth, for if there was more LOVE and less hatred in our world, it would not be in the sad state it’s now in with strife and resentment fomenting from corner to corner. 

Cousin Sol also tells us this bitter truth. ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) And many of us have proven that for ourselves through disastrous and unhappy relationships. Now hear Bruh Paul again to the church at Rome: ‘LOVE worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom. 10:13) Glory be mih people! When we truly LOVE, we won’t, or can’t do wrong to anybody! 

And hear this wonderful power of LOVE from John nuh. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) Mamacita! What more can we ask or expect from LOVE eh? And remember that LOVE is not practiced by believers alone, for when Christ spoke about LOVING one’s enemies, He specifically stated: ‘For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do  not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so?’ (Matt. 5:46-47) 

So LOVE exists in all spheres of our societies, just not between enough of those spheres to make our world a worthwhile place. And we’ll end the LOVE story on this dramatic note, (smile) with these momentous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ Yes friends, the greatest attribute man can ever acquire and most importantly put to work is LOVE. And please note that LOVE means more than just talking, but more importantly implies, calls for action! LOVE means doing, helping, caring for, showing compassion, etc., etc. all action words! 

And having filled our souls and spirits with scriptures of LOVE, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our position in 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 we know, we believe, that if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now is…LOVE…sweet LOVE…not for some…but for everyone… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but yuh know how the ole fella stay (smile) and I think it’s great though. (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2020 James 4:8a.

James 4:8a.    ​Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. 

Well it’s a wet, still and gloomy Wednesday morning… and it ought to be after the majestic thunderstorm we experienced around ten thirty last night. Yeh friends, all the heavy hitters were out: Thor had the heavens rumbling ominously with thunder, while the lightning flashes lit up the dark night sky like daylight, and the rain poured down in heavenly filled buckets! It was a wonderful spectacle, as it always is when the heavens put on a real show. It’s something that man is not even able to come close to approximating, much less beating. 

That just shows where the ultimate power lies – in heaven, not on earth. (smile) And that’s why it is ever so important to be in close contact with, have strong communication with the powers of heaven, like this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin advocates. And it is most appropriately titled ‘Intimate Closeness.’ Please pray with me: ‘You promise, dear God That when I draw close to You You will draw close to me. Lord, I give myself to You unreservedly. Teach me more and more Of intimate closeness And fill my heart with You alone. To walk arm-in-arm with You Down every winding path Seems to me The dearest of all delights.’ 

And so indeed it is my dear friends and saints in Christ! There’s no better companion in any walk or path of life than Almighty God Himself! For He is the First and Last; the Alpha and Omega, the Creator and Ruler of All that exists! So who better can we ever choose to walk with eh? That’s why James, when he talks about worldliness and pride, lambastes us thus: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself an enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

And the scholars explain that verse: ‘4:4. As Israel was a spiritual adulteress, unfaithful to God, so the church is a spiritual adulteress when she is the unfaithful bride of Christ (cf. Hos. 2:5, 19-20; Matt. 12:39). One cannot be both a LOVER of God and a LOVER of the world.’ That’s putting it very plainly my brethren, though some unwise or foolish ones of us try to live with one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom of Christ, but it’s a physical impossibility, we can’t straddle both places at once! Yes, some of us like to play both sides against the middle, and that might work in the world, but definitely not in Christ’s kingdom. 

And as James wisely continues: ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth (yearns jealously) to envy?’ (James 4:5) Oh yes it certainly does! Just look around at our envious, jealous and greedy world nuh! Then James abandons the negative aspect of his exhortation, gets positive, and tells us of God’s good work, quoting Cousin Sol’s words in Prov. 3:34. ‘But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ (James 4:6) 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends, for God despises the proud, since they tend to have no time for or need of Him. But the humble… He greets them with open arms and ever so generously pours out grace, His underserved and unmerited favour, in and on their lives. Wow! Then James gets to the meat of his subject and strongly and wisely advises us to: 

‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) 

Oh friends, if there’s one thing this generation needs more than anything else it’s humility! Our pride has reached such incendiary levels that it’s burning us up and we don’t even realize it. Our level of technology and evolution has made everybody a genius… Hn! We don’t need anybody else; me, myself and I, are the most popular pronouns today! No wonder there’s such little togetherness and so much division, even in Christ’s church. And the only way our world will heal, that includes the church, is by turning to God, not away from Him. Becoming humble in His sight, not trying to run Him out of town! 

Why? As the scholars explain. ‘But he giveth more grace is literally “greater grace” (Gr. meizona). God gives grace that is greater than the world attraction of verse 4 and the inner lust of verse 5 ( Rom. 5:20), and so can withstand both.’ Yes mih people, the only way to withstand the devil and his lustful and prideful temptations is by seeking the greater grace of God. 

Listen to how the scholars explain it nuh. ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: Do not submit to fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet. 5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam. 3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps. 24:3-4).’ 

So it must my brethren, especially in these dangerous and turbulent times. It will also be of great benefit to us to read those scriptures mentioned above. (smile) So, for those of us who are trying to keep humble and seek God’s grace, let’s go home now declaring (oh yes!) our Wednesday Wail, telling of our wonderful situation in Christ Jesus! 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 we know that if we endure steadfastly to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…but where sin abounded…grace did much more abound… (Rom. 5:20b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2020 Deuteronomy 32:4.

Deuteronomy 32:4.    ​He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 

And so the confusion, the lies, disinformation, false news and whatever continues! I just saw a trailer video of a film supposedly released in 2003, 17 years ago, that talks about all the things that have happened and are happening today: the Coronavirus, lock down, quarantine, chloroquine, etc. etc. And rather astutely, the brown-skinned guy, dressed in a priest’s collar, does not say a word about it, except it was made in 2003 not today. He leaves you to draw your own conclusions. 

So what is one to make of that eh? Is it a man-made plan, an accident, or who knows what? And that is what’s driving the pandemonium in the pandemic – the absence of real truth, too much supposition and theories! But that shouldn’t surprise us when there are supposedly so many different kinds of truth around in these troubled times. I thought there was only one kind of truth; the truth, and there couldn’t be more than one kind, else one would be false, not the truth. If you follow my logic. (smile) 

As the old Oxford dictionary describes it: ‘Quality, state, of being true or accurate or honest or sincere or loyal or accurately shaped or adjusted… in accordance with fact or reality, not fake or erroneous.’ So, apparently, with all the varying info on the same subjects, one can theoretically have several different kinds of truth nowadays. But friends, I’m here to tell us that there is ONLY ONE PLACE one can find TRUTH; real and unvarnished TRUTH! That’s in the Good Book; the Lord’s Law, that was written ages ago and never changes. The Lord God of Israel is the embodiment of TRUTH! 

Moses said it in His song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children (they are not his children because of their blemish): they are a perverse and crooked generation.’ (Deut. 32:3-5) 

And believe me, with all the current havoc and confusion, it’s only in the God of Israel, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that real truth can now be found, through the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He said it as plain as day: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yes friends, no one comes to the Father, the One real, true and living God, but through the Son, Jesus Christ! 

And that’s where our truth begins! Anything else that doesn’t correlate with that is a lie! And it’s strange how down through the years many of the writers of the Bible spoke about truth, or even more about the lack of it. Cousin Sol in Proverbs advised us to: ‘Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.’ (Prov. 23:23) That’s how important those things are in our lives. We’ve got to get them and not lose them because they are the things that lead to a rich and fulfilling life. But our world, since way back when, has always seemed to resist truth. 

Hear Isaiah as he talks about national corruption and consequent suffering. ‘None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:4) Oh my people, my people, is it possible that Isaiah is alive and well today? One could be led to think so since all those things he talks of in olden Israel are also rampant today. Injustice, corruption, lies, evil doing, as well as empty words and promises describe our world to a T! 

But please remember what Isaiah was talking about; national corruption, and consequent suffering. And if you don’t think the consequential suffering has begun with this pandemic thing affecting the whole corrupt world, then good for you. And if you don’t believe Isaiah, then perchance you might belief Jeremiah, as he declares (yeahh!) that disobedience brings God’s judgement… 

Ah Lord eh friends! The computer might be a God-send, but it’s also a tool of the enemy. Some forty five minutes ago, I was going along quite well and was typing Jeremiah’s opening statement when something made me look up. And lo and behold I saw just four inverted commas on the page and nothing I had typed about Jeremiah. Then I couldn’t delete them or type anything else. I called my young daughter for help, but she couldn’t help me either. She suggested shutting it down, but that didn’t work. And when I shut it down a second time I could not even type in the password to get on. Steups! 

So finally, I had to come up and resort to my lonely and hardly used laptop, so I could continue. Satan truly knows how to get under one’s skin yes. But thankfully I didn’t lose my cool. Yes, I was annoyed, but with God’s help, kept my peace, cause the devil’s purpose was obviously to steal my joy since I was talking about so much truth. (smile) So let’s hear, finally, what Jeremiah has to say nuh: ‘Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour (friend), and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour (friend) will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.’ (Jer. 9:2-5) 

And it is indeed sad that all that stuff is still happening in our world. Consequently, we have to be ever so careful of whom we associate with, what we watch and listen to. It’s a full time job just to winnow the chaff from the grain nowadays. Instead friends, we must do like the psalmist did in Psalm 119, cry out to God for help. 

‘My soul melteth (weeps) for heaviness (grief): strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgements have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.’ (Ps. 119:28-32) And friends, if we’re sincere in all we say and do, then the Lord will help us, not put us to shame and enlarge our hearts! 

So let’s go home this Wednesday morning declaring (yeahh!) our Wednesday Wail nuh, letting all the doubters and unbelievers know of our safe, secure and truthful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong voice 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 we know with indisputable truth, that if we persist and endure to the end, those words will indeed come true! Much LOVE!

…it cannot be truth…if it doesn’t agree with the Good Book…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2020 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.    ​Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 
Morning friends and family, the ole fella starting out a tad late because he got up late, although I went to bed early, (smile) and then I had a couple of problems to attend to before I could get to the Bit. But as the ole people say, better late than never! So what we going to talk about today eh? I’m not sure, but there’s this piece of paper in front of me with some jottings, so let’s see what it says nuh. Oh friends, it’s ever so good! It’s talking about our most important tool and weapon; PRAYER! God Almighty! There’s nothing better that we can ever talk about than prayer, especially in these pandemic times. 

So what does my jotting say about prayer? According to Pastor Corville Peters: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance (to help us), but it is laying hold of God’s willingness to act on and in our behalf!’ Wow! Isn’t that wonderful of Him? It surely is! Yeh friends, we don’t have to try and force God to help us through prayer, because that’s His avowed intention! He created prayer as a method of communication between Him and us so that we’d have a direct line to Him, one that’s never busy or malfunctioning. 

And as the jottings on my piece of paper further say: ‘Prayer is the best way to confront your problems.’ And that’s the gospel truth my bredrin! The first place we ought to turn in times of trouble or anxiety or uncertainty should always be to the throne of God, through His direct line of prayer. Remember this is His universe, we are His creation and He’s still in control of both! So it only makes sense to go to Him when we have problems we can’t fix or are uncertain as to what direction to take. 

And my jottings continue: ‘God, the big problem solver, answers prayer!’ Mama Mia! That’s for sure! Otherwise why would He tell us to come to Him through prayer when we have problems and fears and anxieties eh? So we can deduce at least one thing from all of that; that there’s awesome power in prayer, since it allows God to move on our behalf! As we said earlier on, it is our most important tool and weapon! God pointedly designed it as such. That’s  why throughout the Lord’s Word, the Bible, there are so many references to prayer. 

Prayer is supposed to be the backbone of a believer’s life. Yes friends, prayer is our lifeline to our heavenly Father! And if that lifeline is cut, broken or neglected, then we’re lost and alone in this big, crazy, dangerous universe without the help of the Most High God. And that’s certainly not in our best interest. And praying is so important precious people of God that Bruh Paul made these statements regarding prayer. To the Ephesians, re putting on the armour of God and standing strong: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

And the scholars append these most important explanations to that verse: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine help is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, yuh see how important prayer is in our lives, that even when we have on God’s protective armour, we still need to pray to achieve victory. Then to the Thessalonians, Bruh Paul said it ever so simply: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (2 Thess. 5:17) That means our minds should always be filled with thoughts of God, of reaching out to Him for direction and guidance in all we do and say. Then to Timothy, Bruh Paul says: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim. 2:8) 

So friends, yuh see how we always should be in pray mode, and praying any and everywhere? Prayer is the great equalizer, whether yuh rich poor, Jew, Gentile, or even an idolater, because you still have to make obeisance to your idol. And possibly the best example we have of prayer is that of Jesus. Although He was God, but being the Son of Man here on earth, come to fulfill the Father’s purpose, prayer was a constant part of His everyday life. As a human being, He needed God’s direction and strength to endure His earthly problems. 

And Mark illumines this by telling us: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) Yes friends, Jesus had a persistent prayer life, talking to His Father pretty early in the mornings before He began His days. Now if Jesus, though being God, could submit Himself to prayer, why can’t we mere mortals, creations of dust do the same eh? Unfortunately, we’ve gotten too big for our britches, thinking that we don’t need God anymore, He’s nothing more than an outdated dinosaur now, only good for casting aside and trampling underfoot like unflavoured salt. 

But mih people, have you seen what’s happening in this coronavirus pandemic time? People are turning to God in droves, coming to Him like crazy in prayer. Hn! And the longer the pandemic lasts, with no vaccine available, the more people are going to turn to prayer, because there are no more man-made solutions. And as always, we’ll only turn to our great God, our merciful and forgiving, healing and ever-LOVING Creator as a last minute substitute, instead of the first person we turn to. But that’s why He gave us free will, so we could do as we please. But remember, there are always consequences to our every action. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now for those of us who know and try to do better, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail letting the unbeliever know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 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 I like to remind us that if we stand steadfast and strong to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we could ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet to pray…that’s salve for the soul…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2020 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 

So the caffeine’s hot and strong and sweet and plentiful…just the way I like it, (smile) and everything remains the same. Yes the Covid-19 still has a stranglehold on us and we are still fighting amongst ourselves to determine the truth about it, rather than putting all of our combined energies into finding a cure or something that will stop its rapid spread. Steups! But that seems to be the way of our current world, even when we’re dropping like flies in vinegar or honey and we don’t know why. 

Oh, and that raucous wind we said had died down yesterday…well that was only for a time. By midday it had picked up again, squealing through the leafless trees and the over the rooftops. I went out in mid-afternoon to run some errands and did it play games with me. At one stage I dropped a glove and the wind just kept moving it further away from me. Then it blew off my hat…and it was a joke to see me running down the middle of the street after my ole dungaree hat. It’s a good thing the road was empty of traffic. One fellow who saw my epic run, told me that I had gotten my exercise for the day. 

And would you believe that in the wind storm, there were also flakes of that white stuff twiddling down from the sky yesterday afternoon, and that this Wednesday morning, the 22nd of April there are remnants of that white stuff on the ground and on the rooftops! Granted, it’s not a lot, but it sure is noticeable, and it surely makes you sit up and wonder…Hn! Makes you think of Mother Nature and ponder on her eccentric ways. (smile) But getting to more important matters; here is this rather interesting and oh so truthful message I got from a friend a couple days ago, re the Coronavirus…what else eh! (smile) It’s titled: ‘We Are Not In The Same Boat.’ 

So let’s read together. ‘I heard that we are all in the same boat. But it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa. For some quarantine is optimal: moment of reflection, of re-connection. Easy, in flip flops, with a whisky or tea. For others, this is a desperate crisis. For others it is facing loneliness. For some, a peace, rest time, vacation. Yet for others, torture: How am I going to pay my bills? Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter (this year there were no rich chocolates). Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days. 

Some were in their “home office”. Others are looking through trash to survive. Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine. Some need to break the quarantine to stand in line at the banks. Others to escape. Others criticize the government for the lines. Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, some are not sure their LOVED ones are going to make it, and some don’t even believe this is a big deal. Some of us who are well now may end up experiencing it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know. 

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come. So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm. Some with a tan from their pool. Others with scars on the soul (for invisible reasons). It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, more than looking, seeing. See beyond the political party, beyond religion, beyond the nose of your face. 

Do not underestimate the pain of others if you do not feel it. Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other. Don’t be a judge. Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him. We are on different ships looking to survive. Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.’ ~Unknown Author~ 

Yes friends, it’s all gospel truth! And it’s sad that author’s name isn’t known, because I think he, or she, covered the situation quite well. It’s a sad time for sure, and there are different realities for different people; from being able to enjoy moments of peace and reflection in a prosperous manner, right down the line to facing severe want, even poverty, hunger, homelessness, and total destitution. And we do need to treat this most serious and very dangerous situation with respect, empathy, and responsibility, for our situations can change in the blink of an eye, and then we’ll need others to respond that way to us. 

But as always, as firm, and true believers, in these desperate times, we desperately need to turn to our Creator and heavenly Father who has sincerely promised to never leave nor forsake us: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:11) Yes friends, this is a time of faith testing! And we believers do have to answer that call in a true manner; like Jesus says, be the salt and light of the earth! Now is not the time to hide our lights under a bushel, but be like those proud sentinels of earlier times; the lighthouses on the rocky shores with the waves crashing mercilessly against them. 

And there’s many a sad tale that those lighthouses prevented from happening because of their protective and warning light, and we also need to be like lighthouses right now my people. Let’s step up to the plate, reignite our passion, and obey Jesus’ heartfelt declaration: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ And there’s never been a time in our generation when that has been ever more necessary than now! So please my faithful brethren, let’s stand up and show our true colours nuh, the beautiful colours of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And we’ll begin by declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our true and oh so enviable position in Christ. All together 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 if we are true and faithful to the end, then that glorious future will be even more glorious than our finite and foolish minds can think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…it’s time…for ALL believers to stand up and face the music…be shining lights for Jesus…in this dark, evil  and very dangerous world…  

P.S. There’s still some coffee left in the cup, but it’s cold now…Steups! I’m still drinking it though… (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2020 Psalm 130:5.

Psalm 130:5.    ​I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
 
Moving right along…It’s April 1, 2020 – April Fools Day, or as we know it down South- All Fools Day! A day for jokes and hijinks. But not today. No! Please, not this day in the year of 2020! This is a time for very serious behaviour, although we do need some levity in our spirits and souls if we don’t want to go crazy. However, we already have so much false info and misdirection and outright lies in our society, mostly funneled through social media, we definitely don’t want to introduce anymore today, when half the world is locked down and in a state of panic because of the Coronavirus. 

And on a point of interest, in Canada it seems that people are still drinking Corona beer, whilst it’s unavailable in some other places. That just shows how ignorant and/or superstitious we humans are. Just because the brand of beer happens to have the same name as a deadly virus doesn’t mean that it’s undrinkable or in any way connected to it. But that’s the nature of the human animal. (smile) And as always friends, we here at Scrip-Bits believe in acting as catalysts, to help us stay strong in the Word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to give us hope, help us stay imprisoned by it, because without hope, we might as well be dead; in fact without hope, spiritually, we are indeed dead. 

So today, let’s latch on tightly to the hope infusing words of Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord. Yes my brethren, the Lord and His awesome and everlasting Word, which never changes or dies, is indeed the fountainhead of hope! And right now in these scary and frightening times, we need divine hope and help more than ever. So let’s pray with the psalmist nuh: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps. 130:1-3) 

Now that’s a very good question my people. If the Lord should take note of all our iniquities and punish us for them, who shall stand afterwards eh? None of us! ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Oh yes, we’ve fallen far short of God’s righteousness, as the scholars explain: ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: man can exceed his own standards, but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

And nobody knows this better than our Creator, who made us with all our faults and frailties, and that’s why in His eternal wisdom and divine mercy and LOVING-kindness, He’s made ample provision for our iniquities. As the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (held in reverential awe).’ (Ps. 130:4) Oh friends, how mighty and wonderful is the word ‘forgiveness’ and all that it implies! For without it, we would have no hope at all. That’s the divine option that gives us hope! All the other things like LOVE, mercy, and grace are indeed important, but without forgiveness we’d still be in the same khaki pants; lost and doomed to damnation and hell-fire! 

And how do we access these essential things called  hope and forgiveness. It begins, like the psalmist says: ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.’ Now that’s the first movement in the divine symphony; patience (perseverance) and trust in His Word. But how do we get patience and trust in God’s word eh? By knowing it; hearing it, reading and studying it. Remember the immortal words of God to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘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) The Lord couldn’t have been any plainer or more explicit than that my people. It’s by reading and studying His Word and doing what’s written in there that we can achieve prosperous and successful lives! So in these uncertain and disastrous times, it’s plain to see that we have to get into God’s Word more than ever, and do what it says we ought to. 

As the psalmist continues: ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.’ (Ps. 130:6) Yes friends, he is hungry for the Lord! And that’s how we have to be also, especially in these calamitous times, for the Lord God Almighty, the One who created us, is the ONLY One who can truly save us! Thus the psalmist concludes: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, it is imperative that we turn to the Lord God Jehovah and cry out to Him for deliverance if we truly want to get rid of this Covid-19 scourge that’s currently plaguing the earth. Remember, as the scholars said above, in his own strength, man can never achieve the righteousness of God, and that also extends to his wisdom and ingenuity. Therefore, since we can’t find the answer to our problem, we need to go to a Higher Power; the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s where we will find ALL the answers! 

And now, for those of us who truly believe that and sincerely try to adhere God’s Word, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. 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 yes, my faithful brethren, regardless of what’s happening in our world today, we who sincerely believe and try to do God’s Will, will indeed have a glorious future with Jesus; one, more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…prayer and supplication…perseverance and thanksgiving…our most urgent needs at this time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2020 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.    ​Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
 

And life goes on in this Covid-19 season. It has to…and it will…God willing of course! And despite all the bad news, as always, there’s a li’l light at the end of the tunnel, though somewhat far away. (smile) I’m talking about the start of human trials for a vaccine to stop the deadly disease that now holds our world in a tight stranglehold. Glory be! Apparently both in China and the U.S. approval has been given to begin clinical trials on human subjects, but who knows how and when that will prove successful. 

Oh yes, we will defeat the virus eventually, we have to believe that, otherwise all our other efforts will be in vain. The problem though is when will that happen, and how many lives would have been lost and irreparable damage done to our society and economy by then? Ah my fellow believers, this is the time for us to truly show up as salt and light to our unbelieving brethren. This is the time when we have to use our incredible faith to help the world get through this evil pandemic. 

It’s one of those times when the church has got to step forward and be amongst the leading lights, especially in terms of faith. This is a significant occasion for Christians to not only talk, but more importantly walk their talk of faith. Remember Jesus’ alluding at almost all of his healings and miracles to the faith of the receivers, and how He kept accusing those who should have known better: ‘O ye of little faith.’  It wasn’t only His powers that caused the miracles but also the participants faith. 

Remember too when He healed the two blind men. He first asked them: ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this (heal you)? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged (strictly warned) them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country (land).’ (Matt. 9:28-31) 

Oh precious people of God, there are so many lessons for us in that passage of scripture in these trying times. The first being that we have to truly believe without a shred of doubt, that Jesus is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do. That’s where our faith and trust and surrender comes in. Remember, it’s according to the amount of those things we have that our lives can move from good to bad and vice-versa. Remember too, the time Jesus was teaching the disciples about forgiveness, and it was such a hard lesson – just keep on forgiving? (Luke 17:1-4) 

What happened then eh? The Good Book tells us: ‘And the disciples said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-6) Wow! That’s the awesome power of true and strong faith. 

And the scholars add this interesting explanation. ‘17:5-6. The magnitude of the command in verse 4 leads to a plea for assistance. Faith, understood here not merely in a mental sense, but also in the sense of active “faithfulness,” is the key. One’s faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience.’ And I would go even further and say, that that’s the ONLY WAY our faith ever increases! We need to step out in obedience, with whatever faith we then have, and then see God work wonderfully in our lives. And every time we do that, our faith grows! 

Right now, in these trying times friends, we faithful believers need to activate our faithfulness in whatever manner we can to keep the hope of others alive. That’s our bounden duty! We were put here in this time to do that! And that is highlighted by Jesus’ words to Simon Peter when He foretold Peter’s betrayal. ‘And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (you have turned again), strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:31-32) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, but also his transformation back to his former strong faith. And then, he was to help others boost their faith. And I guess that’s what I am now trying to do; keep our faith alive and strong…and even growing too, for remember it’s in the hard and difficult times that our faith grows! 

Now I don’t want to make this as long as yesterday, (smile) so I’ll just remind us of that wonderful chapter 11 in Hebrews; aptly called the Heroes of Faith, that tells us about many great men and women of faith. They all had problems to surmount, but they all surmounted them by FAITH in the God their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I think it will be only fitting for ALL of us to read that awesome chapter as often as we need to keep our faith strong in this time of worldwide calamity. 

And please remember that FAITH is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith is all about the good things we’re hoping for, in the Lord’s Will, that we don’t see, but are eagerly expecting them and waiting for them with patience and perseverance. And our greatest hope right now…a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus. So let’s believe that we will eventually get one, and consequently, wait patiently, earnestly, eagerly and with perseverance for it. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, as we let this primarily unbelieving world know of our enviable position in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts and plenty, plenty faith: ‘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!’ 

Oh yes friends, if we fight the good fight and remain steadfast in our faith to the end, then that future will indeed be glorious; more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…faith can move mountains…as well as molehills…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2020 Hebrews 12:6.

Hebrews 12:6.    ​For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, (even as a father the son in whom he delighteth).

 

My most humble apologies friends as we’re a bit late this bright and sunshiny Wednesday Morning. That’s because I had one of those late nights, or early mornings, your choice, and then the muse called sleep was pretty good to me, kept me under for a decent spell. (smile) But welcome nonetheless to a new day of mercies and compassions from our most merciful and compassionate God Jehovah! Give Him thanks for His amazing, awesome and unconditional LOVE for us, who don’t deserve even one iota of His goodness. 

But His heart of LOVE couldn’t help itself way back when He sent His only son Jesus to save us, and even now, despite our abominable sinfulness and disobedience and desire to rid our society of His overall presence, He still LOVES us with the undying LOVE of a heavenly Father! Wow! I know it’s hard to believe that with all the ungodly stuff we do and the low esteem in which so many of us hold Him, that He still goes gaga over us. (smile) But we’re His greatest creation, so just like how we hold important people in our lives to our hearts, He holds us to His. 

Now isn’t it simply wonderful to know that we have a God, a Creator, who LOVES us dearly, despite our many shortcomings? It certainly is! But that doesn’t mean He won’t punish or discipline or chasten us for our disobedience, but even then it’s because He LOVES us that He chastens us. Hear the Good Book tell it nuh, as the author of Hebrews quotes Cousin Sol from Proverbs 3:11-12. 

‘My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (even as a father the son in whom he delighteth). If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate), and not sons.’ (Heb. 12:5-8) 

Oh friends, a lot of us believe that if God is so good, He should not punish us, but that’s not right, He punishes us because He LOVES us, the same way our earthly fathers punish us for wrongdoing because they are interested in our well being! Remember Hs is not only a LOVING God, but also a holy, righteous and just Deity, which means wrongs have to be righted and justice done. Jesus, in his message to the church at Laodicea, says it thus to John in Revelation: ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev. 3:19) That’s also wonderful advice for us today friends. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH, he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in line) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly).” (Prov. 13:24: cf. 22:15; 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous; they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Now my people, please look at those reference scriptures because they are rather important in parenting. And it’s exactly why this generation is so unruly, undisciplined, ungrateful, irresponsible and figure the world owes them a living; we parents have not administered the necessary punishment for their wrongdoings. And don’t get me wrong, corporal punishment is not the only way to discipline children, but it is a necessary and useful method. Oh, we parents get so soft-hearted and foolish nowadays believing that if we hit our children it’s child abuse…Steups! 

Yes, some parents overdo it, to the point where it does become abuse. But when there is no sensible punishment and the children turn back and are rude and unmannerly and even hit and kill us, as we’re seeing so much these days, we wonder why it’s happening. But it’s basically our fault; we did not train up the children right and the society is giving them too much leeway for irresponsibility, not holding them sufficiently responsible for their wrongs. And I’m sure that many of us parents, in our youth, were punished for our wrongs, and if it was within reason, I’m sure we’re much better off today because of it. 

It taught us obedience, and responsibility. And sometimes just the threat of punishment is sufficient to keep us from doing wrong. I know in my case, my mother was LOVING and kind, but if she said do something, or don’t do something, and I stubbornly or foolishly refused to comply, I could get the strap. I didn’t always get it, sometimes she was indeed merciful, (smile) but I had no doubts whatsoever that it could be very quickly forthcoming if I didn’t obey. So friends this idea we have that because the Lord is so good and LOVING, bad things shouldn’t happen to us, and we shouldn’t be punished for our wrongs is totally unjustified. 

We live in a sinful and fallen world, with sinful and fallen humans, so sin and wrongdoing and disasters will happen. The Lord never said that He would prevent us from going through all the rough times, but that He would be right there beside us in them. That’s because we need to go through the flood, the fire and the storm if we want our faith to grow, for it’s only in adversity do we see the real us come out and our backbone and belly grow. So today let’s concentrate on doing the best we can, with what we have nuh, and leave the rest to our wonderful heavenly Father, for He has promised to provide all our needs if we seek Him first. And He IS faithful to keep all His promises. 

So let’s go home now declaring (yeeahh!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know of our enviable 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!’ 

Ah mih people, that is certainly Wisdom 101! Living for, and with, and through, and in Jesus… Oh that’s the wisest action we can ever take in this sinful world. So let’s take it and stay with it till the end nuh, for if we do, the future will indeed be mucho mucho glorious! Much LOVE!

…come to Jesus…stick with Him…and everything will be made right…eventually…

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