Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2021 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.     ​And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.


Moving on…Moving on! Thank God we’re moving on! Yes friends, we’re moving on with Jesus through another marvellous day in the annals of our lives! Wow! And what a joy and pleasure it is to be moving through life with Jesus! A body couldn’t ask for a better companion, a better Lord and Saviour, a better friend, a better neighbour than Jesus! And it’s that last accolade, the topic of neighbours that I want to discuss with us today, because it’s a very important part of our faith, and I don’t think we are being as neighbourly as we ought to. 

So, I guess our first question should be, who is our neighbour? Now what did Jesus have to say about that eh? Remember when the foppish, arrogant lawyer tried to test Jesus by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40) 

That’s Matthew’s version. However, Luke tells it thus. (smile) The lawyer asked Jesus, ‘Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He, (Jesus) said unto him, what is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said’ – exactly what Jesus said above. ‘And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he (the lawyer), willing (wanting) to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 

And Jesus answering’, told them the parable of the Good Samaritan, which we all know. At the end of the parable, Jesus asks the lawyer, ‘Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among thieves (robbers)? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do likewise.’ (Luke 10:25-37) 

Yuh see that friends, being neighbourly is basically showing mercy, kindness, LOVE and all the other fruit of the spirit to those around us. But no, it’s not easy with all the negative, angry and cantankerous people that we encounter. But it does get a tad easier if we have the first commandment truly embedded in our hearts, since all LOVE flows from revering our heavenly Father. 

And I like how the scholars explain it. ‘10:37. The lawyer cannot even bring himself to say “the Samaritan.” That’s because of the deep racial hatred between the two groups, although they were related by blood; the Samaritans being Jews who intermarried with Gentiles. ‘However, Jesus shows that racial considerations are utterly transcended by God’s commands to LOVE Him, and thus to LOVE others as He does, without prejudice or partiality.’ Hn! I truly wish that somebody or bodies could get that message across to our world right now yes; a world that’s so inundated with prejudice and partiality, that it’s behind almost every action we take! 

Now, before we get to the meat of our topic, I want to point out one other important aspect of being neighbourly, and that’s Jesus’ warning on the way His Father’s kingdom works. ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) That’s just to remind us that what we sow we will reap, or as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You reap what you sow, more than you sow and later than you sow.’ That means we can’t sow negative seed and expect to reap a positive harvest. 

And all of that finally brings us to the wise and wonderful words of Cousin Sol on the treatment of neighbours from Proverbs. Just a bit more practical advice to help us handle all the cerebral stuff we’ve been talking about. (smile) Cousin Sol begins thus: ‘Withhold not good from them to whom it is due (the owners), when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.’ (Prov. 3:27-28) Oh my people, how often do we do that eh! Holding on to what rightfully belongs to others, until we are good and ready to give it to them is ever so rampant in our current society; which means selfishness and greed are too prevalent. 

And Cousin Sol continues: ‘Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by (in safety with) thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.’ (Prov. 3:30-31) And I don’t know if our world has ever seen such unnecessary animosity and strife between people who live close to each other, even between families and so-called friends, as we are seeing today. The petty squabbles that occur over unimportant things is mind blowing, And the courts are full of foolish litigation over petty peeves. The divorce rate is sky high, possibly higher than it’s ever been! We’ve become so adversarial and antagonistic to each other that it’s causing our world to fall apart. 

But listen further to Cousin Sol. ‘Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward (the perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (secret council) is with the righteous. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation (dwelling) of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (humble).’ (Prov. 3:31-34) 

Yes friends, I know we all envy the prosperous wicked some, but it’s unwise to follow in their footsteps, for it’s said in so many places of the Good Book that the wicked and their evil deeds will eventually be destroyed and what they have given to the righteous. So please, please, let’s not live merely for today’s pleasures and aggrandizement nuh, but seriously contemplate what will most profit us in the long run, what will put us in good stead with Jesus. 

And this last word of warning from Cousin Sol is indeed precious. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) And the scholars break it all down this way. ‘3:27-35. The needy neighbour is to be helped (vs. 27-28); the innocent neighbour is to be respected and left alone (vs. 29-30); and the wicked neighbour is not to be envied (vs. 31-35).’ That makes it oh so simple my brethren! So please let’s be wise nuh, so that we can inherit the glory that’s Jesus! 

And for those of us who have made that momentous and wise decision, let’s go home now proclaiming our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry 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 in these tough and trying times, we need to be reminded that if we endure to the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Wow! What an awesome promise mih people! So let’s hang in there till the end nuh! Much LOVE!

…it is much better to give…than to receive…wise men seek to give…but fools crave to receive… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2020 Luke 5:32.

Luke 5:32.     ​I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Chores, chores, chores! Oh how I hate it when early morning chores impede my already slow and shaky progress in writing the Bit! (smile) Yeh, waking up, when the body is just getting into full sleep mode is hard enough to contend with after some late night shenanigans. So half asleep, all I want to do is get my strong, sweet java and come down here and ask the Lord for help and guidance to write His Bit. 

Chuh man! I don’t need no other foolish, but possibly necessary chores (smile) to intervene there. But who says that life would be easy eh? Nobody. And furthermore, I know I can handle those chores with my eyes closed because I know that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! Glory Hallelujah my faithful bredrin! 

And with Christ beside me, around me like a mighty shield, and within me, I become a mighty conqueror, so that no one can stand against me and no harm can come to me all the days of my life! Mama Yo! What a wonderful Lord, Saviour, Guide and leader we have! Please precious saints, please give Him much thanks and praise, glory and adoration, with reverence that will never end! 

And is the ole fella excited this Tuesday morning or what! But that’s what is supposed to happen to believers in Christ when we truly understand the full power and majesty of His awesome interest in our lives, and the many benefits He’s willing to provide, if we will only do His bidding. 

Ah mih people, we can’t be true Christians if we’re not excited by all that’s possible and available to us in and through Christ! A dull, dour Christian is NO Christian at all! For if we’re not excited for our sins to be forgiven, to be reconciled to Almighty God, to stand justified and righteous before Him and be awakened when the final trump (not Donald) calls, so the promise of eternal life with Christ can be fulfilled, then what’s the point in believing eh? 

I hate to see the supposed pious, the supposed humble, the poor me one, who thinks that they are being so Christian by downgrading and degrading themselves. Yes, we need to be humble and all that, but not to be ashamed to preach Christ and his gospel. Remember He died that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. What does that mean eh? Dragging and eating dust all the days of our lives? 

Certainly not! But to be standing proud and honouring His name and glory; letting ALL and sundry know what He’s done for us in particular, for this sinful world in general, and all the wonderful benefits and promises He has bestowed upon us, especially His momentous and glorious sacrifice of His sinless life for us on the cross at Calvary! And how can you tell people about that, if you’re dragging, ashamed and otherwise not excited eh? How can you offer Jesus’ Great Invitation when you seem like you’re on your last breath and expect people to believe you eh? 

Listen to Him open up His very heart and soul to all who are shaking it rough nuh: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly (gentle and humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Now how can you invite someone to come to Jesus and enjoy those benefits eh, if you yourself are looking and behaving so rough and weary and laden eh? I certainly wouldn’t want to listen to anyone spout the great benefits available when they don’t look like they have received them! 

And that’s partly why the heathen today doesn’t pay much mind to we supposed believers; because we don’t look like and don’t behave like believers are supposed to behave! Too many of us are sour and miserable, cheap and greedy, with generosity a bad word in our vocabulary, and too much like the world around us! 

Ah mih people, why you all start me off eh? (smile) But is true. If you look at the normal, ordinary Christian you’d never know that we different from the world, and we have so many good things going for us. Half of us so unpleasant, like we always sucking lime; and the next half either too proud to beg or to lend a helping hand. But that’s what Christianity is all about. And remember when the hypocrite Pharisees asked Christ why he ate and drank with publicans and sinners, He answered: ‘They that are whole (healthy) need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ (Luke 5:31-32) 

And when Jesus spoke there about the ‘righteous’ He was just mamaguying the Pharisees. He really meant the ‘self-righteous’ like the Pharisees themselves, who thought they were so good and righteous that they needed no repentance. Oh my people, too many of us today also behave like the Pharisees, willing to tell others what to do but not doing anything of the kind ourselves. 

Remember how Jesus lambasted the scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders in Matthew 23? ‘Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter (dish), but within they are full of extortion and excess (self-indulgence). Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter (dish), that the outside of them may be clean also. 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt. 23:25-28) 

Now you can imagine how angry and upset Jesus was by the self-righteous, hypocritical behaviour of the supposed religious leaders who were leading the people astray with a whole lot of man-made tradition and not enough true religious doings, if He could spend so much time telling them off. He really got it off His chest that day. Unfortunately though, times have not changed that much for there are still too many of us supposed believers who behave and act like those long gone scribes and Pharisees, hence the Christian brotherhood, Christ’s church is not held in as high an esteem as it deserves. 

Friends, our unchristian behaviour is killing Christ’s church. Please, please, I plead with us to wake up and do better. Remember that this pandemic situation and strife filled world is nothing but a wake up call to Christ’s church to get with the true programme; help the sick and the suffering, look out for the poor and homeless, and all those who are badly wounded, thus we can sincerely bring others to Christ, which is our bounden duty as believers. And I do hope what I’ve said makes sense, but even if it doesn’t, I know that with the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling within you, you are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  

Now let’s go out, or even stay in (smile) and do just that nuh. Much LOVE!

…true Christianity…is all about…helping each other…and spreading the LOVE of Jesus…

P.S. Yes, it long, and somewhat late, but it good…and true too! (smile) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2020 Psalm 119:89-90.

Psalm 119:89-90.     ​Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations: you established the earth, and it endures.
 

This Tuesday morning has opened somewhat dark and cloudy in my area, but the sun is valiantly trying to push through the dark, ominous looking clouds. How successful it will be though, is anyone’s guess. But I just want to remind us that despite the physical darkness or light of this world, we have a spiritual light that emanates from our magnificent Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ which NOTHING in this world can ever dim or darken! Wow! And all God’s children declared a loud, and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and honour be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!’ 

Yes friends, on those three omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present deities or God-heads, is where ALL of our praise, honour, thanks and glory ought to rest. And yuh won’t believe it nuh people, but I just went upstairs to reheat my caffeine, and lo and behold, was greeted by a brilliant burst of sunshine! The sun has actually won the battle! Just goes to show the awesome power of light over darkness! (smile) And what other encouraging words or news do we have to offer today? Well just this: ‘The Facts!’ 

Yeh bredrin, some awesome facts of life are what we’re talking about, as released in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So please pray with me: ‘Lord When I feel I can’t possibly make it When I feel deluged with problems When I feel helpless Against the strange twistings of life When I feel there is no way out The FACT is You have a plan You know what You’re about. The FACT is The greater the strategy of the Enemy The greater the assurance of victory. The FACT is The worst may seem to happen But the best is on the way. God, hold me to the facts.’ 

And it’s all so true my fellow saints in Christ! Whenever life seems to come against us, as the poem says so sweetly ‘the strange twistings of life,’ we need to remember that we have a heavenly Father who is the most powerful, most generous and most LOVING Being in this universe, who will not let anything evil overtake us! But the FACT is, that WE have to remember it and stand strong in His promise! And don’t worry, If we hold on to God, He will help us to hold on to the facts. The facts which are contained in these eternal words of truth, that are associated with today’s poem. 

Now I’m faced with a dilemma here: you all know I’m partial to my King James version of the Word, but the NIV, the New International Version used with the poem sounds good and somewhat more appropriate than the KJV. Steups! And I was just guided by the facts: share them both! Yeah! So here goes. The KJV says: ‘For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled (stands firm) in heaven. Thy faithful ness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth (stands, endures). (Ps. 119:89-90) Now hear the NIV: ‘Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations: you established the earth, and it endures.’ 

Yeh mih people, they say the same basic things but just in a slightly different fashion. And for today, I think I’ll use the NIV as our Bit. Now don’t get worried my purist friends, the KJV will always be our favourite, but sometimes we do need to use other resources. (smile) That brings us to this other powerful verse from Psalm 119. ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) And that’s exactly what the Word was given to us for; to lead and guide us on this strange, twisting journey that we call life on earth! 

But we have to read it, study it, and then keep it, do as it says. Otherwise it is of absolutely no use to us. And that’s why so many of us supposed believers are not living the full and abundant lives that Christ sacrificed his sinless life for us to have: we don’t read, study, or put the Word into action, like we ought to. 

Oh fellow saints in Christ, the Word of the Lord is our most important asset and guide for earthly living. But we have to use it. Hear how Jesus describes it nuh. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt.24:35) Now that’s as simple and straightforward as it can get! Everything else may, and eventually shall pass away, but the Word of the Lord will endure forever! 

So why do we doubt the Word of God eh, and not put it to proper use in our lives eh? Because we’re proud and foolish and believe that we no longer need God in our lives, we can do it all on our own. But if we look closely at the state of our world right now we’d see that we cannot make it on our own, the problems of life are too big for our finite, puny minds and oversized egos! 

But please listen as Peter uses the words of Isaiah 40:6-8 to address us. ‘For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:24-25) What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. But just remember that one day we’ll all have to stand and answer for our deeds here on earth, and as Sun Rise says, we can’t take the big house, the big car and the plenty money with us to the grave, we have to leave them all here for others to use and abuse. (smile) 

So let’s go home now declaring… (brother, can’t spell that word right for LOVE nor money!) So let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Tuesday Mantra telling the world who and whose we are, to whom we gloriously belong. All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to all that is for us to now go out and share the wonderful LOVE, trust and friendship of Jesus that’s supposed to distinguish us from the rest of the world. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2020 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     ​Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.
 

Well friends, Wednesday has opened bright and sparkling and promises to be a hot one, not like the last two days that have been comparatively cool. But it’s summer and that’s what we expect…until it gets too hot. (smile) And this morning we have something to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that will break down all the walls and barriers and impediments that we have built up around ourselves and those with whom we interact. It’s appropriately titled, ‘LISTENING LOVE!’ 

Yeh mih people, it’s LOVE that listens. So please pray with me: ‘Listening LOVE is one of the greatest gifts we can give our mates, our families, and our friends. Too often we settle for surface talk or icy silences, for monologues or cutoffs, for defences. What a difference when we follow the principles of Listening LOVE. Listening LOVE is courteous. It says… I will strive not to interrupt or outguess you. I will not finish your sentences or break into your thoughts. Listening LOVE is attentive. It says… I will give you my undivided attention. I will not turn you off or leave you isolated. 

Listening LOVE is patient. It says… I will not rush you or insist on a right-now conclusion. Listening LOVE is kind. It says… I will not shame you with sarcastic retorts. I will not belittle you. Listening LOVE is objective. It says… I will try to be informative rather than opinionated. I will not attempt to think for you. Listening LOVE is unselfish. It says… I will guard against overconfidence and trite “spiritual” answers. Listening LOVE is prayerful. It says… I will pray for insight, for wisdom, and for gentle reactions.’ 

Oh my people, Listening LOVE is indeed difficult to practice when all the problems of the world are weighing us down! But please pray that there will be Listening LOVE between the duchess and I today, (smile) because I’ve already turned on the A/C  after it was off for the last two days, and that’s usually a source of contention between us. But although practicing Listening LOVE is difficult, it is indeed possible, if we took our time and thought about our reactions before we engaged them. Unfortunately though, that’s also a difficult thing in this new and modern world of speed and now for now decision making. 

And I guess that’s why Bruh David prayed this solemn prayer at the end of Psalm 19, which is our Bit and also the Bible Verse associated with today’s writing. ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ Yes my brethren, it’s only with the Lord’s help that we can truly practice Listening LOVE! The world and the sinful nature that exists within us do not allow us to be patient, thoughtful, kind, courteous and all the other things that Listening LOVE requires. 

 I guess that’s why Cousin Sol also wisely proclaimed: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth all sins.’ (Prov. 12:19) And again why he later on declared (yeahhh!) ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) Oh my people, LOVE is such a wonderful thing! And it ought to be, since it’s the most valuable attribute of our magnanimous and magnificent God! ‘And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor. 13:13)

But since the fall of man, when sin entered our lives, true LOVE seems to be so difficult for us to practice. And the great efforts of the fallen angel Lucifer, now his satanic majesty, against it doesn’t help us in the least. Satan hates LOVE because he knows that LOVE comes from God. and he doesn’t like it one bit when John says: ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But as true believers in Christ, that is exactly what we are called to do! All the greed and selfishness of the world should not be showing up in the sons and daughters of Almighty God. Sadly, however, it is showing up to a great extent because we are still too contaminated by the ways of the world and we are not seeking the righteousness of God as much as we ought to. And a very good example of how we ought to behave is given by Bruh David when the prophet Nathan eventually accosted him re his adultery with Bathsheba and the premeditated murder of her husband Uriah. 

He prayed: ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps. 51) Yeh friends, our sin nature is responsible for a lot of stuff. But please listen to these wise words from the scholars. 

‘Sin nature: 51:5. When the word sin appears in the singular, it usually denotes the sin nature of humanity. This sin nature, which everyone possesses, influences us to sin and is the source of lust. It negatively affects people’s minds (Rom. 1:28). Illustration: The sin nature is partially responsible for blinding people’s thoughts and understanding, so that they cannot perceive spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Although our sin nature continues to operate within us, it was judged when Christ died (Rom. 6:6-7). 

Application: Until Christ returns, we must live in the strength of the new man, to overcome the sinful desires arising from the sin nature. We cannot eradicate our sin nature, but we can allow the Holy Spirit to control us so that we do not give in to temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 6:5; Primary Ref. Rom. 3; cf. Rom. 5:12).’ 

Ah friends, life can be somewhat difficult at times, but with Christ in us, and we in Him… Oh we can do any and all things through His most wonderful strength and grace and mercy. So please, let’s not fall or falter by anything evil that comes against us. And please read those scriptures the scholars outlined above, because they are so educational and uplifting, and do we ever need uplifting stuff in these turbulent times! Now let’s go home declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our serious, sincere and most excellent position in Christ Jesus! 

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 endure to the end, we WILL experience that glorious future with Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t know Christ…you’re missing real life…the best life possible… 

P.S. Sorry it’s late, but I had to go out the street and do some time sensitive stuff first. But it’s a good read. (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 1 July 2020 Psalm 145:3.

Psalm 145:3.     ​Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).
 

Happy Canada Day my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Yes, today we’re celebrating the great day of 1 July 1867 when the separate colonies of Canada (Ontario, Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were brought into a Confederation within the British Empire known as the Dominion of Canada. And since then baby, have we ever been going strong! And I don’t care what anybody says, Canada is still the best big country in the world! And do I hear an Amen? 

For sure, as a loud and grateful shout of ‘Amen’ does emanate from God’s people! (smile) But please remember my people, the pandemic is still upon us, and though the lockdown has been eased a fair amount, we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet, so we still have to be very careful and protect ourselves and those around us. So please, no rash and foolish gatherings and celebrations today. 

And I know that some people are pleased as punch with a holiday in the middle of the week, while others are displeased, preferring to have their public holidays on the weekend, but let’s just be thankful that we do have an extra day off – with pay to boot– and less likelihood of catching the virus, as most of us spend a quiet day at home, doing some of what Bruh David so proudly declared in Psalm 145, his psalm of praise. 

‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps. 145:1-3) And is that last verse ever so true my people! Our God is the greatest! His people have been saying that from the beginning of time, and we, in our time, have also discovered that it’s the awesome truth! There’s none other like him! 

That’s why Bruh David continues: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly (eagerly) utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 145: 4-7) 

Oh my people are we following in Bruh David’s footsteps, praising our great God, telling of His glorious majesty, His marvellous works, His wonderful goodness to the children of men, and singing of His amazing righteousness? If we are not, then we are doing Him a great injustice! How can we not sing the praises of a God, who as Bruh David says: ‘The Lord is generous, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps. 145:8-9) 

Mama Yo! What a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve my brethren! He’s so wonderful that ‘All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.’ (Ps. 145:10-12) Yes friends, that’s our number one purpose here on this earth, to make known to all and sundry the great power and might, mercy and grace of our wonderful God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And if we’re not doing that in some form and fashion, we’re therefore not fulfilling our earthly purpose. And we can’t give the excuse that we don’t have the means to do so, because there’s never been a time in man’s history when the gospel of Christ can be more easily spread, for technology has given us numerous ways to do so. That means we must have a serious conversation with ourselves and see how we can improve, and with God’s help do so, because the good news of the gospel is desperately needed in these dangerous and uncertain times. 

And in these deadly days, we need to remember more than ever that ‘The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait (look expectantly) upon thee; and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.’ (Ps. 145: 14-16) That means friends that the Lord will look after us in these dreadful times, if we fix our minds and actions on Him. We will not suffer harm or lack any good and necessary thing! And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘ Praise the Lord! Praise his holy Name! Praise Him for His goodness to those who call upon Him!’ 

Thus we can say with the utmost certainty: ‘The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. The Lord is nigh (near) unto all them that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear (reverence) him: he will also hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145: 17-21) Wow mih bredrin! Is there any other supposed Deity like our great God? Absolutely not! There couldn’t be, because He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING GOD! 

And if you sincerely believe that, then let’s go home with our mouths singing His awesome praise through our Wednesday Wail. All together now in strong voice: ‘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 wise, we will keep looking steadfastly to that future and will also keep telling the rest of the world about it! Much LOVE!

…praise Him, praise him…Glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2020 Job 32:8.

Job 32:8.    ​But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration (breath) of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 
 

Well I’m like the weather this morning; some early rain with the sun pushing through some dark clouds that are still hanging around. Hn! I guess the truth is I don’t have any remarkable opening remarks to offer this morning. There are some things I would like to say, but prefer not to touch on because they will only provide negative vibes, and I really don’t want to sully my soul, or yours, with too much negative stuff since there’s enough circulating around the globe in what we call the news to dampen the spirit of the strongest personality in the universe.

 Instead, I’m going to throw out a few verses that I just noticed in the Good Book, verses that seem to have a particular reference to these troubling times. They come from the book of Job, when Elihu, the youngster in the group of Job’s friends finally got up to speak. Like a well-mannered young man, he had allowed his elders to speak first… something that’s no longer an accepted way of life in these modern days. Elihu had been afraid to voice his thoughts because of the age of his friends and his relative youth. 

‘I said, Days (age) should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration (breath) of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men (men of many years) are not always wise: neither do the aged (always) understand judgement.’ (Job 32:7-9) Ah friends, those words are even truer today than they were back in Elihu’s day. Technically speak, men of great years ought to be wise, but as we are seeing in these turbulent times that is certainly not the case. 

And even with the Holy Spirit now living in believers, and ought to give us understanding, for whatever reason, too many of us are not listening to the Lord’s Spirit and following its instructions. That’s why there is so much strife and dissension and struggle in our world. We’re not seeking wisdom and understanding like Cousin Sol did back when the Lord raised him up to the throne of his father, Bruh David. When the Lord asked him in a night vision what he wanted, he replied: ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people.’ (1 Kin. 3:9) 

And it pleased the Lord that Cousin Sol hadn’t asked for long life, riches, or the life of his enemies. Unfortunately though friends, those are the things that too many of us are asking for these days, instead of wisdom and understanding. And what did the Lord do? ‘Behold I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.’ (1 Kin. 3:12-14) 

Yuh see friends, that’s the magnanimity of our great and wonderful God showing out there. When we’re not preoccupied with the things of this world, then the Lord showers us with some of those very things. As Christ advised. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) My people, the Lord knows what we need to live this earthly life and if we keep Him first in our lives, we will be well looked after. That’s His faithful promise. 

And it’s a sad commentary on Cousin Sol, that when he got on in years he turned away from the Lord who had given him such wisdom and understanding and wealth. His many wives apparently led him to turn to their pagan gods. And no, I won’t say it. Don’t want to get into trouble with the wives. (smile) I guess what I’m trying to say is that our elders and leaders with age and experience behind them, ought to be doing a better job of leading the people than they’re doing. 

And whether it’s through their own greed, lust for power, the devil’s machinations, or simply failing brain functions, or a combination of them all, the world leaders are not leading properly, there’s no wisdom and understanding amongst them, and consequently the world’s going up in both real and psychological flames. You can’t remove the great stabilizing power of Jehovah God from society and expect it to run smoothly, for Beelzebub is the prince of chaos and destruction. And right now he is indeed ruling the roost. 

Friends, we need leaders and elders who are actively seeking wisdom and understanding to lead their people, rather than wealth and power and revenge and a heavy hand to keep them in subjugation. And as James says: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Oh my people, faith in Almighty God ought to be our driving force, else we’ll end up lost and drifting aimlessly in the wilderness like the Israelites. And above all, we must seek wisdom and understanding, so that we can appoint the proper people to lead and guide us, for remember the words of Cousin Sol: ‘Where there is no vision (revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov. 29:18) Our leaders need to have more godly counsel, and our morality must be based on God’s revealed will. 

Fellow believers, the long and short of the story is we the people must be actively involved in our government, not just leave it up to a bunch of greedy and evil politicians. We must elect godly people, and make sure they toe the line. Ensure that they remember, they are working for us, not we for them! Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, describing our wonderful situation in Jesus. 

‘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 it will be, if we endure to the end. Much LOVE!

…righteousness exalteth a nation…but sin is a reproach (shame, disgrace) to any people… (Prov. 14:34)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2020 John 3:3.

John 3:3.    ​Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
 

‘Beautiful days are here again…Beautiful days are here again…’ Sing it with me please friends: ‘Beautiful days are here again… Beautiful days are here again…. Glory Hallelujah!’ Yeh, the days themselves have recently been physically beautiful, but what’s been happening within them, is a completely different story. 

But as children of God, imbued with His awesome power of word and mind, we need to see it all by faith and not by sight, we have to call it as we want it to be, not as it is. That’s why we’re singing: ‘Beautiful days are here again…Beautiful days are here again… Glory Hallelujah!’ And they will be, in the Lord’s time, as all our current difficulties and troubles will eventually pass – if only to make room for new ones, (smile) but pass they will, that we can be sure of! 

And I know that many of you are just dying to hear what our friend Anselm said this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. So here goes. The first quote advises: ‘Dream bigger. Do bigger.’ I guess the psychological principle is being invoked here, of the bigger you dream, the bigger will be your results and success, as compared to small dreams which reputedly only bring small success. 

Yes, there is this theory that if we want ten, we need to dream for twenty, because we always seem to get less than what we dream for. My only contention with all of that is we also need to realize that the bigger we dream, it’s the more responsibility and work we’ll have to contend with. So if you don’t want those last two, then don’t do the first one. (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘Little things make big days.’ And we Christians ought to be more aware of that then the rest of the world, because that’s the way our great God usually works in our lives. But then again, that’s why so many of us are lost and can’t fathom why miracles aren’t happening in our lives…because we have this mindset that miracles are big, newsworthy things, when in fact miracles in God’s understanding are small, everyday occurrences. If we look at the small happenings in our lives, we’ll see that on a daily basis the Lord does something that doesn’t all add up in our way of thinking. Those are the daily miracles, the small things we need to look for and appreciate. 

It’s like the Jews who knew a Messiah was coming to save them, but they mistakenly taught that it was a warrior statesman who would rid them of their enemies and slave-like conditions. But in fact it was a simple rabbi coming to sacrifice His life, so that their sins could be forgiven and give them another option besides merely going to hell at death. 

They didn’t want that though, they wanted the now for now physical solution to their earthly life. But unfortunately friends, life doesn’t always go as we desire. So let’s be wise and look for, and appreciate the small things in life nuh, because that’s where we usually find God, more often than in the big things. 

And this next quote should be self-explanatory: ‘Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.’ Yes mih bredrin, we ought to wake up determined to do something good for God…and do it too! Each and every day, let’s put in a sincere and genuine effort, and if we can, bring some good work to fruition, so that both God and us can be satisfied with our days efforts, as we lay us down to sleep. That’s how I understand it. (smile) 

And what about this one eh? ‘Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.’ That’s gospel truth friends, and we need to hear it ever so much, especially in this soft, pampered and fragile society in which we currently live, where everybody gets tired so quickly, and are quick to stop, to give up, when they aren’t seeing any quick positive results. 

But believers are not supposed to be of that ilk. We’re supposed to keep on keeping on, go the extra mile, don’t stop till we’re done! When we’re tired, that’s when we take a deep breath, catch a second wind and get back into the race. There’s no stopping for believers until Christ takes us home…and even then, we’ll be continually celebrating and regaling Him in heaven, so our work is never done…just getting more enjoyable! (smile) 

And as always, we’ve left the best for last. ‘Do something today that your future self will thank you for.’ And the best thing we can ever do for ourselves, today, or any other day that we’re alive, is to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! Yes friends, it’s what our great God greatly desires of us, that’s why He sacrificed Jesus on Calvary’s cross to pay for our sins. 

Sins that would have caused eternal death and separation from the Almighty, but through Jesus’ sacrificial payment, we now have the option to come to Him in reconciliation and forgiveness and receive the free gift of grace that leads to salvation and eternal life, eternal dwelling with Him in what we call heaven, a place of unimaginable beauty and exceptional living. 

As Jesus so plainly stated to Nicodemus when he came asking for information. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ And when Nicodemus queried Jesus’ answer, He further explained: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes), and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whiter it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’ (John 3:5-8) 

So my brethren, the best thing we can ever do today for our future lives is to be born again! There needs to be a new work from above in our sinful lives, a new beginning; a supernatural spiritual birth is called for if we want to enjoy God’s kingdom. That’s the long and short of the story! Much LOVE!

…eternal life calls for…two births…one earthly…one spiritually…

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…

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