Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2021 Isaiah 41:10a.

Isaiah 41:10a.     Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:

Sunday morning…time for worship…the last one we will have technologically at my church. Thank God! From next Sunday our church will be again opening its doors, so whosoever will, may come. Yes, many people have complained about missing the benefits of physical togetherness in worshipping under the same roof, but it’s still left to be seen how many will show up on opening day. We Christians talk a good talk, but we don’t walk our talk as well as we talk it. (smile) And with the Covid 19 virus still very active in our area, plus all the protests, fearmongering and disinformation being spread about it, some people will still be anxious, leery and somewhat fearful to attend physical church services. 

And under the circumstances, I don’t know if we can really blame them, but being sincere Christians, we ought to have some faith in the promises of our God when He tells us not to fear. As He said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is. 41:10) But unfortunately, even in Jesus’ time, two of His favourite words to the disciples and the people, were ‘Fear not.’ And several times He accused them of little faith. 

We also know these famous words of His, when He promised the disciples the Holy Spirit after He went away. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And a couple chapters later He uttered these awesome, reassuring words to the disciples. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now those were tough words for the mostly youthful and uneducated disciples to absorb. And even with our better understanding of the scriptures today, it’s also difficult for many of us to hang on to those reassuring words of Jesus. Thus, fear and anxiety are still a major part of our lives, especially with the enemy currently being in worldwide ascension. But fear not friends, (smile) today we will sing a song of worship that will help us to annul any fear or anxiety we might feel. It’s sung by that rising American gospel singer Tasha Cobbs, and it’s aptly titled: ‘No Longer a Slave to Fear.’ 

Wow! And isn’t that good news my people? It surely is! If we can break the bondage that fear has over us, then we are free and clear of the enemy; victorious over his evil deceptions and lies! So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. In full, soulful voice, letting the words rise sincerely up from deep within our hearts, all the way to heaven’s throne, showing our Saviour that we have matured, we now fully and faithfully believe His promises, and are no longer slaves to fear. 

‘(Chorus: I’m no longer a slave to fear, For I am a child of God (2) You unravel me, with a melody, You surround me with a song, Of deliverance, from my enemies, Till all my fears are gone. (Chorus: I’m no longer, a slave to fear, For I am a child of God (2) From my mother’s womb, You have chosen me, Your LOVE has called my name, I’ve been born again, Into your family, Your blood flows through my veins. (Chorus: I’m no longer, a slave to fear, For I am, a child of God (2) Oh oh, oh oh oh. Oh oh, oh oh oh! You split the sea, So I could walk right through, My fears are drowned, In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God …

You split the sea, So I could walk right through it, My fears are drowned, In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God, I am a child of God, I am a child of God…. I know who I am, I know who I am, I am a child of God! He calls me the head and not the tail, Above and not beneath, a lender and not a borrower. So I no longer walk in fear, but in faith. For I am a child of God. If you are a child of God, sing Hallelujah to His glorious name!’ Awright mih bredrin, let’s shout some ‘Hallelujahs’ to our wonderful heavenly Father, because we are indeed His ever-faithful and ever-LOVING children! Glory be! 

And the Lord’s certainly moving in mysterious ways in me these days yes, because as I listened to the song on You Tube, I was again led to scroll down to the commentaries, and there I found this wonderful testimony from a young lady named Sophia G, first posted about a year ago. Please read these heartfelt words with me. She says: ‘Recently I’m experiencing so much pain right now. I’m in high school and all of my “friends” have turned on me and starting to bully me basically. I don’t feel like I’m being bullied because I ask god to fill me up with his Holy Spirit and fruits of the spirits everyday. 

But I do get down because the enemy is trying so hard to let me loose faith in Jesus and to get me depressed. My friends don’t like me because I’m different and no matter how hard they try and get a reaction of negativity out of me I never do and never will. They see god inside me and they don’t like that. But I’ll praise god in the good and the bad no matter how much I get down and this sing just gets me going and for (full) fills me. I love God so much and he is probably letting me experience this for a lesson. But it’s hard and some days I get so down I want to give up completely. Please pray for me and for my friends also so they can get Jesus in their life also, thankyou💞😭’

Now doesn’t that just break your heart? But here is the wonderful part, she recently shared. ‘Hello guys!! It’s been 10 months since I posted this comment and I just want to say Thank you so much for all your love and support. I would have never have ever thought this comment would get so many people praying for me! And oh wow how I have changed. God has blessed me so much and your prayers have helped me more than you could imagine. My mental health was very very bad. I was very depressed I’m not gonna lie. Everyday was a battle for me and every night I would be sobbing myself to sleep. But the devil never wins. 

My faith with Jesus has grown. In this world ye shall have tribulation so much now. Now for me this year has been the happiest I’ve ever been.  Even though 2020 had been a very strange year I can say this has been the best year for me mentally in my whole life. I ended losing all my friends which made me quite sad but I realised how toxic they were for me. But now I have the best friends I could ever ask for. All my problems I was in has been erased from my life and I have forgiven everyone. I’m honestly so happy and thankful for you all. God is so good and even in the hardest times you feel like giving up he’s always by my side. 

This just shows how powerful God is and gods people💘💘 I love you all and I appreciate you very much. I still have a lot to learn and I want god to teach me more about life. It took me just less than a year for god to turn my life around but I’m more grateful than ever. I will never forget any of you xxxx.’ 

Mama Mia! And who says our God isn’t a great and powerful God eh? One who answers prayers! But we have to come to Him, to actively and consciously seek His face like that young lady in the testimony above, and allow Him to drive away the fear in our hearts and souls. That’s the only solution to our fear problem my people! Much LOVE!

…God hath not given us the spirit of fear…but of power…and of LOVE…and of a sound mind… (2 Tim. 1:7)                                                                                             

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.     For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.

And then it was Friday, the last day of the normal workweek; a week of heightened calamity and tension, hatred and overflowing resentment around the world… all of that within the current upheaval caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Oh friends, our world is now in a state ripe for exploding, and if we don’t lessen the tension soon, it will certainly explode. At one stage the pandemic seemed to be bringing us together, but with all the divisive rhetoric spouted on it, highlighting differences of opinion on what it is and where it came from and how to cure it, the obvious and nasty casting of blame and if it’s even true, the stage is set for a lot of national and international disagreement. 

But faithful saints of Christ, please let us remember who created this universe; our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God! And let’s not forget that He is still in complete control of it and whatever goes on therein, and He is not an absentee or weak-kneed ruler, but He’s very present on His throne and has the reins of His universe well in hand. And that means He knows what is happening and why He’s allowing it. It’s all happening according to His divine plan. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours so we’ll not understand all that happens. 

Therefore we must not let fear, worry, anxiety and all the other negative emotions bury us under their heavy yoke and cause us to lose faith, for faith in Almighty God is the only thing that will successfully see us through all the current problems we’re facing. Remember that majestic and most assuring verse of scripture from Bruh Paul to Timothy and now to us: ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ 

Well NOW IS THE TIME for us to put that verse into steadfast action; to stand strong and faithful in the reverence, assurance, wisdom and LOVE of our great and faithful God! Remember, in His Word, He also says that he who survives to end will receive a crown of glory. So please let’s fight the good fight, run whatever race we have to run with diligence and excellence and the utmost faithfulness, so that we can prevail in the end. And no, I haven’t forgotten that today being Friday, many of you are looking forward to what the ordinary workingman has to say. 

And as always, he opens – though somewhat less energetically than usual – with this proclamation: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And thank God the weekend is here at last too. It’s the second week of work since some of the lockdown restrictions lifted…the first full one, since last week Monday was Queen Vic holiday. And am I ever glad to see the weekend, because after such a long time off work, the body’s gotten soft and flabby and thus the work’s become physically harder. And I still need to get back accustomed to waking up so early in the morning. 

But what a crazy world we live in eh Dr. Jack? Like they let some of us out from the zoo, the way we behaving like wild animals with no responsible physical distancing and such, although we still in the throes of the pandemic! Steups! Mankind is something else yes! That’s why they say we’re our own worst enemy…and that’s the gospel truth! No other animal quick to destroy themselves as we humans are. And sadly my views doh make any difference to anybody nuh. All I could do is my best yes…and hope and pray that people soon wake up and realize how bad the situation is oui… Otherwise crapaud certainly smoke we pipe!’ 

And there’s no doubt whatsoever about it friends, if we don’t wake up very soon, there will be pure pandemonium around our world; pandemonium like we’ve never seen before, or might ever see again! And as individuals, there’s not much we can do about the situation, but together, as the Church, as Christ’s body in this confused world, we can stand together and make our voices heard, and behave in a right and responsible manner, and hope and pray! So let’s start with the praying part right now nuh, our Friday Chant. 

As one now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who have to go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways.

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

Yes friends, we’ve fulfilled the praying part of the solution, let’s now turn our attention to the hope and responsible behaviour that must be done if we’re to be successful in defeating this virus and bringing some desperately needed stability to our world! Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…especially when action is what’s needed…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2020 Mark 6:50b.

Mark 6:50b.    Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.
 
And the world keeps turning, like the Lord planned it to: it’s pages quietly and unconcernedly rolling along from one day to the next, regardless of what happens from one day to the next! (smile) And it’s finally rolled around to this Saturday in what’s supposed to be spring time, but we haven’t seen any rain in such a long time that the old adage ‘April showers bring May flowers’ is in danger of not being true this year of the Coronavirus. But what else is new eh? Cousin Sol said long ago that there’s nothing new under the sun. Yes: ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:9) 

And yuh know, if the wisest man ever said that, then it ought to be so. (smile) But it also shows up in our age old cliché that ‘History repeats itself.’ And that is oh so true. If we look back we can see every powerful society that ever walked the earth making the same mistake of getting too full of themselves, too big for their britches, replacing God with man made idols as they obtained some basic knowledge of life, and then getting fat and lazy off of their prosperity, which meant they stopped growing and began falling behind into eventual oblivion. 

And the same thing is happening in our current society, and our current worldwide trouble is simply a reflection of our stubbornness, hard heartedness and highly egotistical nature. It’s a wake up call from the Creator to the created, warning that we’re on the edge of a terrible precipice, and if we don’t heed the warning and repent and turn back to Him, a whole lot more damage will be done to our world. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! End of sermon! And friends I’m chuckling here, because I never came out to preach this morning, but that’s where I was led, so please take it easy on the ole fella nuh. 

But moving right along, since it’s Saturday, that lazy, late wake up day – most days are like that now though – let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow…and do we ever need one! And he seems to have been on progress kick this past week. Hear this first quote: ‘Delay is the enemy of progress.’ And so it is! Laziness and procrastination, and anything else that keeps us from doing what we have to do, is in fact delaying our progress. We can’t progress unless we get up off our fat fannies and do what we need to do! 

And the next quote also declares a great truth: ‘Comfort is the enemy of progress.’ Yes my people, as we said above, that’s why most societies eventually die. We start out by working hard and making progress, then when we reach a certain point of prosperity, we believe we can now rest on our laurels and enjoy what we have. But the sad fact of the matter is that continued prosperity depends on continued hard work, and resting comfortable on one’s laurels only eats away at said prosperity. 

It’s like your savings in the bank. The more you put in the more you will have, but when you stop putting in and only withdraw, then it will wither away li’l by li’l until it runs out. Well it’s the same way with progress and prosperity. Unless you keep building, working and saving, you will stop making progress and eventually fall. 

Now hear this one: ‘Some quit due to slow progress. Never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.’ That’s more gospel truth my brethren! Good progress is usually a creeping thing that includes some failure in between. We don’t just begin something today, if it’s a worthwhile project, put in a li’l elbow grease and declare victory or significant progress tomorrow. No friends, progress is a time consuming thing, and ofttimes needs a lot of blood, sweat and tears before it can be significantly achieved. 

And that’s a major problem for this generation. We the parents have not taught the children sufficiently about waiting and working and being satisfied or contented with a little, that’s why they’re all going crazy, feeling entitled to everything while not wanting to work for or make a sacrifice for anything! That thing called true progress is ever so slow my people that sometimes you can’t even see it, although you know you’re making it. So let’s not quit when it looks like positive things are not happening for us nuh. It just means that the Lord is working in the background, doing the hard and dirty work that’s necessary to move us forward. 

In light of all that, it is therefore necessary for us to quickly befriend this next quote and hold on to it tightly, as our very lives may depend on it. ‘Courage means to keep making forward progress while you still feel afraid.’ And isn’t that the living truth! All of us feel afraid at some time or other in our lives, so it’s not a matter of never being afraid, or never having fear, for fear is a natural aspect of human life. But the important thing there is like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: ‘doing it afraid.’ That’s what courage is really all about; doing what we need to despite the fear or anxiety we might feel. 

And the only thing that really conquers fear is faith! That’s why the most used command or warning in the Good Book is ‘Fear not! Do not be afraid!’ Moses said it thus to the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt and the massive Egyptian army was hot on their heels: ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex. 14:13) And that promise did come true in spades as the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea when the Lord closed it back up. 

And the psalmist gives us this small but everlasting treasure: ‘The Lord is on my side, I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ (Ps.118:6) Yes friends, if the Lord is on our side, man cannot prevail over us. And Isaiah drives it home on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) And he did exactly that through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And when Jesus walked on water towards His disciples and they were afraid, His comforting words were simply: ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’  Yes my people, simple, but oh so reassuring words from our Master. That’s the beauty of His philosophy and words! 

And we’ll end with this most important warning from Bruh Paul to Timothy in his tough times, which we all ought to know by now, even if we didn’t know it before Covid-19. (smile) ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Now let’s go out and use those marvellous gifts in His work nuh! Much LOVE!

…fear and courage…two sides of the same coin…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.
 
Well top o’ the morn to all you wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! And I mean that in a general sense because it’s already a tad late, due to my early morning bed time and consequently late rising. (smile) But all that’s a part of life, and we just have to take it and accept it with God’s good grace. Hn, hn, hn! It sounds like I’m making an excuse for something eh? Who knows? But the long and short of it is that in my area of the world it’s a wet and windy Friday morning. The rain has currently stopped, but the wind is certainly picking up, and according to the weather people, we’re going to have thunderstorms and all other kinds of inclement weather this exciting day in God’s great universe! 

Yeh, as Job says, you can’t expect to get good stuff all the time and never experience some negative affairs. But the good thing about it all is that we have Jesus running our show, and He’s a Leader extraordinaire, so we don’t need to be worried about whatever happens if we’re walking under His awesome command. That’s why this Coronavirus, or whatever it’s called, that’s running rings around our world doesn’t trouble Christ’s believers as much as those who don’t believe! 

We know that it’s dangerous, and we’re to take good and safe precautions, but we also know that our great God has faithfully promised to work everything out for our eventual good, so we don’t panic and get all wired and wound up, but show the world the true faith of Christ’s believers. And the ordinary workingman is pushing me aside so that he can have his say. (smile) 

And as usual, he enthusiastically declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But this is a different kind of Friday – I haven’t worked since Tuesday, because the government said the slave master should shut down the slave shop just in case we spread the virus further. And we going to get pay too… Hn! The government must be helping the slave master pay we for not working because He wouldn’t do that on his own. And as I sit here by mih window looking out on the grey and wet morning, glad that ah not in the slave master shop breaking mih back with work, I have to shake mih head and sadly chuckle. 

Well, well, well! Look what we great world come to eh! Hn! Ah li’l stupid looking virus finally bring we to we knees! Who’d ever have thunked it eh? Brother! The whole world just shut down just so! I wouldn’t believe such a thing could happen if I didn’t see it with mih own two eyes. Leh we just hope that all this social distancing and washing hands and staying home together brings families back together instead of driving them further apart yes, because the family situation was really getting bad there before all this happen. 

Ah Lord eh! What we going to do eh? Just hope that they find a cure soon and too many people doh die from it first, and the economy doh get so bad that it take a long long time to recover! And we keep on thanking God for Fridays and weekends, even though some of us not working and not getting pay!’ 

Yeh friends, even the ordinary workingman has realized the seriousness of our predicament and the urgency for prayer! So what shall we believers do eh? First off, we shall chant our Friday Chant…and I’ve rejigged it somewhat to serve this unusual situation. So let’s chant up a serious and sincere storm nuh, for the safety and survival of our world depends on it. All together in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible, but even more importantly, bringing a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also a whole new flock who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that when the Lord hears our prayer and looks at our hearts to see our motivation, that He will see sincerity written all over them, and thus will unleash His awesome LOVE, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, to help us resolve this situation in the best way possible, that will bring glory and honour and exaltation to his name. Oh friends, I can’t stress enough the importance of prayer and our salt and light leadership of faith in this panic stricken situation. 

We, the believers in Christ are the ones now required to stand strong and show the unbelievers why we have such faith and trust in our Lord and Saviour. We can’t afford to be weak, wishy-washy and insincere in this abnormal time, for this is the time we were born for; the time to show the world the true and powerful attributes of our faith. And this puts me in mind of Bruh Paul’s second letter to Timothy, when the problems in the church at Ephesus were discouraging him. 

‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.’ (2 Tim.1:6-9) 

Yes friends, our God has not given us the spirit of fear, but that of power; the Holy Ghost power; His awesome power of LOVE, and of a sound and disciplined mind. Let us not be therefore weak and ashamed of His gospel, but this is the time to stir up our passion, rise up from our discouragement and do God’s work! We all know what we ought to do, so with God’s help, let’s rise up and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…in tough times like these… it’s the tough faithful who lead the way…