Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2020 1 Corinthians 1:25.

1 Corinthians 1:25.     ​Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
 

Grace and peace and LOVE from our heavenly Father be unto you this Friday morning my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! It’s a new day and His mercies are new! Glory be! And the message is that we must abide in Him, regardless of the uncomfortable and dangerous circumstances that surround us, we must be strong and not falter, not give up, for he who endures to the end will be richly rewarded! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, there’s no other name in the universe like that of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, to whom NOTHING is impossible and through whom we can do ANYTHING He desires of us! So let’s take courage, strength and assurance from those facts today nuh and keep on keeping on, keep on fighting the good fight for which we were created so that we can eventually win the crown of glory that we’ve been so faithfully promised! Sermon done! (smile) 

It’s time to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And best of all, the weekend is upon us! But what a hot week this has been! Oh brother, both outside and inside, especially in the blooming slave master factory that don’t have no air conditioning! Steups! 

What a cheap man! He refuse to spend the few dollars to put it in, even though they tell him it going to make the machinery last longer, not to mention his employees. We all lost a couple pounds this week, including him, slaving in the boiling heat! To tell the truth though, sometimes the AC not even good enough at home to quench the fiery heat during the nights and them. It’s what you call a real heatwave…and it looks like it going to last even longer. 

Just hope the weekend not too bad nuh so I can get some much needed rest… And then this pandemic and strife thing still going on, with no end in sight to them either…What a bam bam! Pandemic, strife and heat! What a glorious trio! And not even a drop of rain to put out the fire. Although Toronto got a good deluge this week for an hour or so that cause a whole lotta flooding and damage, but nowhere else on the outskirts had anything but a li’l drizzle. 

But what yuh going to do eh? Life’s never been easy…and nobody ever said it was ever going to be either. Yuh just have to live it as best yuh can…look yuh best and be yuh best, enjoy the fruits of yuh labour and say thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the ordinary workingman might not have a lot of book learning, but he does have life experience that no amount of formal education can ever teach, and it would be very wise of us to pay some attention to his pronouncements, because remember the Lord uses the simple and foolish to upset the applecart of the wise and powerful. 

As Bruh Paul so nicely and wisely put it to the fractious, infighting and thus divided church at Corinth. ‘Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer (debater) of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (the message preached) to save them that believe.’ (1 Cor. 1:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it wasn’t by wisdom that the world learned of Christ Jesus, but by the message of the cross preached by simple men and women, to those who chose to believe. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’ (1 Cor. 1:22-25) 

Oh my people, even on His worst day, God’s foolishness and weakness is much wiser and much stronger than man’s best! For remember, He said quite plainly that His ways and thoughts are way above ours. (Is. 55:8-9) And logically, they would have to be for Him to do all the awesome things that He’s done. So please let’s pay serious attention to Him nuh, for though it might sound like foolishness to the world’s way of thinking, it’s actually wisdom in spades. 

Now let’s go home showing true wisdom, falling on our bended knees and offering up prayerful sentiments to Him in the form of our Friday Chant. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 

And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

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

And having said all of that, our only recourse now is to be faithful believers, both in word and deed! Much LOVE!

…whether times are good or bad…Christ is ALWAYS the answer…

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

1 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 
 

Yes friends, it was indeed a late one, after five, and you know it’s not easy getting up with a mature body like mine, (smile) and then I had to do a couple of things before I got started, so we’re way behind the eight ball this morning. But not to worry, the Lord’s Word is NEVER late, it might be a bit tardy in our estimation, but in reality, it’s NEVER late! And now that we’ve made that crystal clear, (smile) let’s get right into the heart of the matter; prayer, the  refreshing and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, words that have stood the test of time and are ever so valuable to us in our current time of desperate need.

 So Lord, I pray that ‘Unto the church of God, in all parts of the universe, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:’ (1 Cor. 1:2) That applies to us my people! We are numbered amongst the saints of Christ, and corporate prayer, prayer for the entire church, ought to be a most important aspect of our prayer lives. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:2. Sanctified in Christ Jesus could be rendered “made holy by virtue of your relationship with Christ Jesus.” Here Paul has special reference to the Corinthians’ right relationship with God. They are set apart for God’s special use. His aim in the epistle is to bring the Corinthians’ actions and lifestyle into closer harmony with God’s expectations for those He has made His own.’ 

Ah my people, ALL of that applies to us today too! Through our belief in Christ Jesus, we’ve also been made holy and set aside for God’s personal purpose, but our relationship with him needs to be improved a whole lot. Our actions and lifestyle definitely need to be brought into closer harmony with His high expectations of us. We’re way below what’s expected of us, and that’s not a good sign. 

However, as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf (concerning you), for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind (short) in no gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 1:3-8) 

Please note my brethren that Bruh Paul doesn’t just pray for the people of Corinth to have wealth etc. but more to be filled with the grace and knowledge of God so that they can live up to the principles of the gospel that they have received. And believe me in these trying and ungodly times it’s grace and knowledge that we need more than ever to stand up for the gospel and promulgate it all over the world, which is our bounden duty! 

Hear the explanation the scholars offer on the verses above. ‘1:3. Grace…and peace: In the former, Paul contemplates all that is understood by God’s gracious unmerited favour as it is extended to sinners. The latter has in mind benefits that fall from the exercise of God’s LOVE.’ Oh my people, those two things, grace and peace and are ever so much more important than wealth and power, and in several of the epistles that’s what Bruh Paul prays for his readers to have. And I believe that should also be a big part of our prayers too. 

‘1:7. While gift has a wide variety of meanings, here it probably has reference to spiritual gifts, a theme developed later in the epistle.’ ‘1:8. Confirm (strengthen, establish, make firm): Historically, the gospel has been confirmed on them. Now they anticipate the prospect of that blessed event when Jesus Christ shall also confirm them blameless before the throne of God.’ Ah faithful saints in Christ, that is the exact position in which we find ourselves. The gospel has been confirmed in us, as indisputable truth, and now we too are waiting for the final revelation of Jesus when He brings it all into reality! 

And I like how Bruh Paul ends his greeting with words of assurance: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) Now that’s something we can also hold on to in these disturbing and dangerous times… ‘God is faithful!’ And plenty of us can testify to that from personal experience, so why don’t we exhibit it more in our daily lives eh? 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:9. Unto the fellowship of his Son: The term “fellowship” includes both union and communion. The Corinthian believers had been brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly, this great truth implies that they had been brought into communion with one another. Here in a nutshell is the theme of this this epistle.’ 

And believe my brethren, just like the church at Corinth, today’s church is too divided and dysfunctional over too many petty and ungodly matters. And we desperately need to come into much better communion with each other if we’re going to serve our earthly purpose(s) with diligence and excellence. I don’t think any of us can doubt that fact with a sincere heart. But nonetheless, for those of us who are truly trying, let’s go home declaring (oh no!) our Thursday Blessings; the magnificent and magnanimous gifts the Lord has so generously bestowed on us, so that we can do His work down here. 

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

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

Now let’s go out and share them generously but safely! Much LOVE!

…he who sows in peace…shall reap an abundant harvest of grace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.     Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
 

Friday, Friday Friday! Welcome! We welcome you Friday with open arms and thankful hearts, as you are the harbinger of the end of the work week! Only wish we would greet Monday so enthusiastically, instead of the constant dislike and resentment we display for it. But them’s the breaks, and however we make up our bed, that’s how we have to lie down on it. (smile) That’s just pure ole time wisdom, which, like our great God, never changes. 

So what’s new today eh? Nothing really. Our world is still in a crazy uproar with sickness and racial protests, and the sickness lockdown is being increasingly opened, and people are not being responsible enough, so we should possibly expect another rise in the Covid-19 situation. Ah Lord eh… Mankind is really something else yes! The only creation of God, that has no innate respect for itself, and kills itself willy-nilly, ofttimes just for the fun of it. But enough of my philosophizing, the workingman’s opinion will be much more interesting than that. (smile) 

And as always, he opens with the declaration: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Mama Yo! The weekend is upon we! No more slave labour for two whole, big days! Glory be! But unfortunately we have to mellow down that enthusiasm because of all the crazy stuff that’s currently happening in our world. The pandemic sickness and the pandemic unrest is just too much to bear for this long oui, and if something good, something positive don’t happen soon, the whole thing just going to blow up in we face yes! The whole thing is just so confusing…and yuh can’t find no truth, or what seems like truth anyway, no consistency in either situation. 

Steups! Everybody spouting some different story which only leading to more panic and dissatisfaction! The leaders and them either not telling we the truth about either situation, or just spinning it for their advantage. But I guess that’s what leaders do to protect their turf. This is one time though, I think that if leaders doh come out with a unified message, plenty ah dem soon won’t have no turf to protect. But what I know eh – a poor, lowly, workingman, still slaving for a living, still trying to make two ends meet in his middle age eh? All I can say is thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, when I can rest mih spirit and mih soul!’ 

Oh friends, the ordinary workingman might not be the brightest bulb in the room, but he certainly does have common sense, something that’s seems to be exceedingly rare these days, if not totally extinct! But these monumental and awesome and truthful words of Cousin Sol, found in the Good Book are right now staring me in the face. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’ (Prov. 4:7) 

Now why should we do that eh? Cousin Sol gives us these reasons. ‘Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov. 7:8-9) Oh friends, who doesn’t want promotion and honour and grace and a crown of glory eh? All of us do! But the only way to get them and have them last is by seeking and finding wisdom! 

And furthermore, Cousin Sol tells us: ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding: for the merchandise (gain) of it is better than the merchandise (profit) of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her (holds her fast).’ (Prov. 3:13-8) 

And now, blessedly, many of us are dying to find wisdom because of all the good things it brings, and are clamouring about where to find it? (smile) Don’t worry friends, listen to James, Jesus’ brother. ‘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.’ (James 1:5) Yes friends true wisdom comes from Almighty God and nowhere else! But as James also says, we must ask in faith, not wavering, not doubtful and wishy-washy, for God doesn’t give it to that kind of people. ‘For a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8) 

And just to show how important wisdom and understanding are, let us go back to Cousin Sol, as he declares (steups!) this awesome truth: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) So you see friends that wisdom and understanding are ever so important that God Himself used them to create the world, and still uses them to keep it together! 

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

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

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

Yes friends, we now need to show that we are indeed true believers! That’s the long and short of the story! Much LOVE!

…sincerely seek God…and you’ll find…wisdom and understanding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2020 1 Samuel 16:7b.

1 Samuel 16:7b.     ​for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Monday, oh Monday…thou day of woe! Poor Monday, it’s been hated, resented and cursed down through the ages for something it has no control over; being the first day of our work week. But yuh know what, any other day, a day by any other name, which hailed the beginning of five days of back breaking labour (smile) would have been met with the same amount of disparagement and scorn that’s been heaped on Monday. Yeh friends, anything that disturbs our peaceful repose is disliked by our soft, lazy, think we’re entitled and inequitable society. 

No doubt many of us are glad that we don’t have to go to work in these dangerous and treacherous times, but then too, we won’t enjoy the fruits of our labour if we don’t labour. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of infinite wisdom: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion… this is the gift of God.’ (Eccl. 5:18; 19b) 

So to keep the motor of the 24-7 society continually running, as it needs must do in these modern times, somebody or bodies must go out and stoke it. We haven’t built a self-stoking engine yet. (smile) Even those fueled by batteries or electricity, have to be occasionally recharged. And sadly, a lot of us who are being hailed as front-line heroes, are not seeing comparative rewards in our paycheques, but instead are losing valuable family time, as well as on the job benefits. Some of our leaders are being two-faced. But what to do eh, it’s the nature of the political beast? 

I’ll tell you what we can do: we can pray for them; pray to our great and mighty God for them, as well as ourselves. It’s what the Lord is waiting for us to do, for He can’t answer our prayers if we don’t pray them. So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Oh my people, if enough of us, that means plenty of us, sincerely pray along those lines, as well as repent of our evil ways and do better, our heavenly Father will indeed keep His promise. He did it several times for Israel, so why won’t He do it for us too eh? But remember, the Lord doesn’t only listen to what comes out of our mouths, for like the Pharisees and other leaders of Jesus’ day, what we speak, often doesn’t truly reflect what’s in our hearts. 

That’s why the Lord said to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel and the good-looking son Eliab stood before Him and Samuel figured he had to be the one. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected ) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Yes friends, until the Lord searches our hearts and sees true repentance and true willingness to change our evil ways, our societies will be forever troubled and in turmoil. Now the Lord saw our need and sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ to help us, that whomsoever believed in Him would have everlasting life. So He’s done His part. The ball is now in our court. We need to accept Christ and receive His peace, joy and LOVE, and show the world that HE IS THE ANSWER…THE ONLY ANSWER…  Much LOVE!

…if the created is wise…he will turn to the Creator for help…

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

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

Monday, Monday, Monday… Chuh! Another blooming day to go to work! And as if going to work wasn’t bad enough after such a relaxing weekend, we have to go amidst all the confusion and chaos caused by the Covid-19 virus and a host of disgruntled and dissatisfied protesters in the street. Ah Lord eh! What a way we world in a sad mess! 

But friends, the news isn’t all bad! No, there’s some good stuff too – namely that the Creator and Controller of this great universe, Almighty God Himself…Yahweh…Jehovah – whatever name you choose – has His people safely ensconced in the palms of His mighty hands, under the shelter of His powerful wings! And all His children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy to the children of men!’ 

But the problem we encounter though, is that with our free will it behooves us to come to Him, He won’t simply conscript us like soldiers in time of war. We have to join His army of our own free will, and once we do that, we then need to stick ever so closely to Him, like white on rice. (smile) He will keep and protect us. That’s His ever-faithful promise, and all the storms that are currently besetting us will pass, as they all do – just in His time. 

So there’s no need to fear what’s currently happening in our world, although we must be concerned and do our part to help reshape life in a more equitable and Christian manner. And one of the ways we can ALL participate in that reshaping is through prayer; the most powerful weapon in the universe! It’s the method of communication that the Lord, in His eternal wisdom, devised for us to bring our problems and concerns to Him, as well as to just have friendly chats and tete-`a-tetes with Him. 

So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

And my people, if our hearts were truly sincere in that prayer, then we know that our faithful God has begun working on the solution to our problems, and they will be eventually conquered, but in His time, when He decides that His purpose for allowing it to happen has been achieved. Until then, we just have to hope and pray and stay strong in His LOVE! And living the way He desires just might help us too. (smile) 

For interest sake, I just opened the Good Book and discovered these inspiring words uttered by the prophet Jeremiah to his people Israel when they were in a period of disobedience. ‘Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness. And before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer. 13:15-16) Now wise people hearing those words would certainly take some time to ponder their lives and see if they are doing what the prophet advises. For who knows if that is one of the reasons our world is currently so dark, so overrun by darkness? 

And the scholars add this interesting explanation: ‘13:15-17. A third illustration concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ 

And the psalmist also had these wise words of advice: ‘Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him all the earth. Say among the heathen (nations) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps. 96:7-10) 

What more can I say eh friends and neighbours? Just that a word to the wise is usually sufficient, and he who has ears to hear, let him hear! Much LOVE!

…obey God…and all will be well…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2020 Matthew 22:36

Matthew 22:36.    ​Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?
 
‘May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, Brad May wins it in overtime….!’ That was the memorable call of announcer Rick Jeanneret on April 24 1993 when tough guy Brad May scored the overtime winner in the hockey playoff game between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. But ‘Mayday’ is also an internationally recognized radio word to signal distress. May 1, is also celebrated as May Day, a rite of spring with flowers, maypole dances and other gaiety. 

And last but not least, May Day, May 1 is also a day to celebrate workers rights, ‘commemorating the many historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement,’ and it’s a holiday in many of the approximately 66 countries in which it’s celebrated. Although, according to one web site, the recognition of the Labour Movement is not celebrated on that day in the country where it all began, the U.S. In both the U.S and Canada Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. 

So May Day is really many things in our modern society. And I guess May 1 2020 will also go down in history as the May Day that the Coronavirus pandemic kept us all indoors, with no real celebrations of spring, or labour rights, or anything really! (smile) But them’s the breaks mih people, we just got to grin and bear them! And I wonder how the ordinary workingman is taking it all eh? 

Here’s how: ‘Chuh! Ah tired saying TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui, because it don’t really have no more real significance. Every day is just like the one that went before, and the next one that coming. Nothing different to look forward to. Hn! Never thought I’d ever miss going to work nuh! But such is life. Ah guess when yuh accustomed doing something for so long, to just drop it without no warning for so long does bring some yearning for it. The slave master must be livid too since his business shut down completely and he not making any money. 

But I know he home resting comfortably, not having any real wants, because he personally could afford the shut down, is the people who working for him that can’t afford it. And sometimes now, when I see the protests about going back to work it gets me angry, and I want to join in. But the sensible part in me warns me that we need to take things easy and sensible, because if we open back up too soon, this virus chupidness could just resurrect its deadly head again! Steups! So who really have the answers eh? Hope they find a way to stop it soon yes, else we might just have riots in the street, with so much people not having much money or food to eat! Ah Lord, what’s next eh?’ 

And did our ordinary workingman hit the nail right on the head there mih bredrin! Things are indeed getting somewhat tense this last meeting. But as I said yesterday, our leaders are damned if they do, or damned if they don’t! Because there are so many people calling for either the lockdown, or reopen action, they really find themselves in a rather tough situation. It’s certainly a tough time to be a leader, and history will merely judge them by the eventual results, without any consideration to the many unknown variables that were then playing out. 

But my fellow saints in Christ, we have one solid answer, or starting point for it all; that most satisfying form of communication between ourselves and the impregnable fortress we call God; we talking about prayer! So let’s get to talking to Him nuh, through our rejigged Friday Chant for this Covid-19 season. All together now, as one strong voice, with sincere and pleading hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus 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 use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also 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!’ 

Ah friends, we just have to keep on praying and hoping and eagerly and expectantly waiting in strong faith for God to move, while doing whatever little we can do to help the situation, be it stay at home and observe social distancing, or be out there on the front lines standing strong and steadfast, if you’re an essential worker! There’s only one thing we can be sure of; this too will pass, as so many other tragedies have. We just have to wait for God’s time. 

And the Good Book opened this morning to this most appropriate scripture, the words of the Lord our God through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen (prophets) over you, saying, hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.’ (Jer. 6:16-17) 

Oh my people that accounts for a lot of our problems right there! Our stubborn disobedience and hard-heartedness has made our lives unnecessarily difficult. And when you factor in our sinful, foolish and impossible effort to remove God completely from our society, it just makes our situation even worse. And God said it quite plainly through Jeremiah. ‘Hear, O earth: behold I will bring evil (calamity) upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.’ (Jer. 6:19) 

And the Lord did indeed punish Israel for not obeying Him. So why yuh think He won’t do the same to our ever so sinful and disobedient society eh? And please don’t tell me any foolishness about that was the Old Testament! For neither do God’s laws nor His nature change! The only thing that has really changed from the Old to the New Testament is Jesus coming and allowing us to be saved and our sins atoned for by grace and His precious blood, rather than animal blood sacrifices. The Ten Commandments are still the Ten Commandments, regardless of whether we faithfully teach them or display them publicly. 

And likewise, the answer to the sarcastic, pompous and tempting question: ‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?’ Per Jesus, it’s still the same as it always was and ever shall be: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord 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 law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22: 37-40) 

Precious people, until this world starts acknowledging that Almighty God is its Creator, Provider and Controller and that we need to admire, reverence and exalt His Holy Name, while walking in sincere LOVE for each other, our world will never know real or true peace and contentment! Much LOVE!

where there is no vision (divine revelation)…the people perish… (Prov. 29:14a)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2020 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22.    For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
 

And it’s a cloudy, drizzly Tuesday morning…Thank the Lord for Life and some spring blessing, so that in these cold and dry northern climes, His earth can return to it its wonderful green and flowery nature! Yeh friends, whatever the situations or circumstances in our individual lives and our overall world, we need to give our heavenly Father much thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness and mercy and grace to us undeserving children of men. For without those benefits, we’d be lost forever in a state of sin, shame, disgrace and eventual death! 

Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that brings home that very truth. It’s most appropriately titled ‘Wrong Question.’ Please pray with me: ‘My faithful God I see afresh this morning The grave error of my question “Don’t You LOVE me anymore?” I ought always to ask instead “How can You LOVE me so continually With such immeasurable LOVE?” Now that my fellow saints in Christ is the zillion dollar question – how can a holy, just and righteous Deity LOVE a bunch of ingrates so much eh? 

Well the answer is really quite simple: our God is also a God of LOVE, of mercy, of grace and of forgiveness, and above all, we are His own creation, created to have purposeful fellowship and communion with Him, so it’s obvious that He can’t simply throw us away even though we’re rather disobedient and sinful! Remember too that He’s also the God of second, third, fourth and unlimited chances. So it would be against His very nature to just cast us off without any form of help. As Bruh Paul told Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

Yes friends, the Lord cannot deny what He is, or go against His natural attributes. And remember too, He promised to redeem mankind after He kicked our forefathers Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for their unfaithfulness. So it’s finally come right around full circle: the Lord’s kept His word and gave us a Saviour in Christ Jesus, redemption and salvation bought and paid for by His precious blood shed sacrificially on the cross at Calvary. So alright, I said it was simple, and to the Lord it was and is; though to us it might seem rather convoluted. (smile) 

But precious people, all we need to know and believe is that Christ died to save us, and true belief in Him and His righteous cause will lead us to eternal life. And a li’l while ago, when I opened the Good Book, what positive and proactive and promising scripture do you think it opened at eh? Hear the voice of the prophet Isaiah: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ Mama Mia! That says it all my brethren! The Lord God of Israel is all of those things to us, and we need to badly acknowledge Him as them if we want to see long life and good days. 

Unfortunately though, our world has turned away from God and has made the prince of darkness it’s new leader. But friends, lemme tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ nuh; the Lord is not going to allow the fallen angel Lucifer to usurp His earthly creation, just like He didn’t allow him to usurp His heavenly kingdom. So for all of those who want to put their trust in Satan now, it will be a sad day for them when that day of judgement arrives, as it most certainly will. The Good Book says it quite plainly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:’ (Heb. 9:27) 

And then it will be too late to change our minds, so please, please, I beg of us, let’s disassociate ourselves from the darkness of the world nuh, and instead seek the light, the bright, shining and everlasting light of Jesus, for in Him will we find the true life, the true reason for living! And I just got a good allegory for that: like we doing social distancing now for Covid-19, the same way we ought to do social distancing from Satan! Oh yes, I likes it! It’s rather appropriate! Let’s keep our social distance from this world and all it’s sinful temptations and cling to that Master vine that’s Jesus, so that crapaud don’t smoke we pipe when the end times come. 

That’s wisdom at its highest mih people, so please let’s joyfully embrace it now nuh. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) defines wisdom: something you do now that will benefit you later on down the road of life! And believe me, clinging to Jesus is the most beneficial thing we can ever do in this life! And the scripture verses for the poem above is also rather apropos for today’s discussion. They’re taken from, or rather all of Psalm 117 – ‘The truth of the Lord endureth forever.’ 

So please declare (steups!) with me: ‘O Praise (glorify) the Lord, all ye nations (gentiles): praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise (glorify) ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 117:1-2) And it couldn’t be said, any sweeter or shorter than that nuh mih bredrin. So let’s do it right now nuh; praise and glorify our magnificent and magnanimous God by declaring (Steups! Like I have to go back to school and learn to spell declare (yeah!) and its derivations yes!) our Tuesday Mantra. 

So 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 though the Coronavirus and social distancing might bridle us a bit, they certainly won’t stop us from sharing Christ’s LOVE and friendship with the many others who desperately need it in these calamitous times! Much LOVE!

…it’s definitely foolish…for one created…to trust another created…more than their common Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2020 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
 

Aye mih bredrin, we’re back to Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and we still don’t have the option to fellowship together in the Lord’s sanctuary because of the social distancing business, but that’s never stopped us before, and believe me, it won’t stop us today either because we have technology! Technology, the wizardry that allows us to communicate live and in person across major distances, so though we can’t hug and kiss and shake hands, we can still celebrate the Lord’s Day with thanks and praise and reading of His Word and getting His assurance and confidence to successfully handle our difficult circumstances. 

I don’t know how our forefathers managed during their time of plagues and pandemic problems. But they still managed to hand down the gospel to us. Yet we, with all our technology, can’t get it into our children’s heads. But that’s another story for another day. So let’s get to some praise and worship to open the proceedings. And today’s song is of the contemporary Christian genre, titled ‘I’m just a Nobody.’ 

Now there seems to be at least two versions, each with different lyrics in the verses, one a soulful version by the Williams Brothers, but we’re going to follow the Casting Crowns version featuring Matthew West; a rocking, raunchy, good times one, with lots of clapping, dancing, and of course singing! (smile) We’ll begin with some hand clapping, in three fourths time, then sing the first line of the chorus three times acapella, then get into the full chorus as the music comes up. So here goes: clap, clap: ‘I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…’ and then music and everybody going crazy! 

‘Chorus: I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!)  Why you ever chose me, has always been a mystery. All my life, I’ve been told I belong, at the end of the line. With all the other “Not Quites” with all the “Never-Get-it Rights” But it turns out, they’re the ones you’ve been looking for all this time, (Chorus:  Cause I’m just a nobody… living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!) 

Moses had stage fright, and David brought a rock to a sword fight, You picked twelve outsiders, nobody would have ever chosen, and you changed the world. Well the moral of the story is, Everybody’s got a purpose. So when I hear that devil start talking to me saying, “Who do you think you are?” (Chorus: I say, I’m just a nobody… living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!) So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family. And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… 

So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family…That’s all I ever want to be… And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… Cause I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!’ 

Oh yes friends, that was indeed a happily sung ditty; one of hope, faith and rejoicing! And I like what one web site says about the song: ‘The lyrics describe how God uses ordinary people to spread the Gospel of Jesus! We are all flawed, yet the Lord has a purpose for us. In our joy of having been forgiven, we excitedly point to the forgiver, Jesus Christ!’ And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ And that’s indeed our main purpose in this life my brethren; to ‘excitedly point to the forgiver;’ to spread the gospel of Christ with unyielding zest and holy enthusiasm. 

As Jesus declared to His disciples: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) And that my people is what we refer to as ‘the Great Commission!’ And moreover, against all odds, the disciples were indeed able to do that seemingly impossible task; twelve poor, uneducated men charged with proselytizing the entire world! 

And they certainly laid a good foundation for us to further build onLet’s not forget that we are Christ’s arms, legs, head, hands and body in this dark and sinful world, and that He’s depending on us to show the lost the light of His gospel and lead them to Him so they can be saved; forgiven, granted salvation through grace, which leads to eternal life. Remember Jesus memorable words about why He came into the world: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And that philosophy hasn’t changed down through the ages friends, which means we still need to show interest in and help those lost in the darkness of Satan’s world. 

Jesus also made His Father’s intentions quite clear in these momentous and memorable words that we all know: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Let’s remember that this Sunday friends, as we are unable to worship in physical proximity, and realize in that sense, we are still the lost, and that we still need saving from the Coronavirus, and that Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can do it! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus…we’re all hopelessly lost…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2020 1 Corinthians 3:3.

1 Corinthians 3:3.    For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (according to man).
 
Oh my people, this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it nuh! Yes, that’s the wisest plan we can have for this awesome day! God didn’t make it just for making it sake, but so that His children could enjoy it with all His other wonders, like nature, salvation, grace, mercy, forgiveness, etc. etc. Yeah! And God made us just for this particular time otherwise we wouldn’t be here. That also means we have work to do on His behalf. So let’s get to it nuh and stop dilly dallying for we know not how much time we have left, and come the judgement day, when He asks why we did so li’l with our lives, what good excuse are we going to have eh? The Coronavirus will only cover a small part. (smile) 

And today I want to share a simple but very insightful poem that recently came my way. The author is James Dillet Freeman, and the poem, titled ‘To Thine Own Self’ comes from his book  ‘Angels Sing in Me: The James Dillet Freeman Memorial Book’ (Unity Books, 2004). ‘To Thine Own Self,’ admirably points out a couple of serious flaws in our earthly living; that of comparing oneself to others, and wishing for what they have, not considering what gifts God gave them, because He gave us all different gifts, nor how they achieved whatever they possess, the problems they might have gone through, or whether they have even sold their soul to the devil or some such unwise thing. 

So please read with me: ‘The lake looked at the mountain, and thought: O fortunate mountain, rising so high, while I must lie so low. You look far out across the world and take part in many interesting happenings, while I can only lie still. How I wish I were a mountain! The mountain looked at the lake, and thought: O fortunate lake, lying so close to the warm-breasted Earth while I loom here craggy, cold, and uncomfortable. You are always so peaceful, while I am constantly having to battle howling storm and blazing sun. How I wish I were a lake! All the time, quietly, the mountain was coming down in silver streams to run into the lake, and the lake was rising as silver mists to fall as snow upon the mountain.’ 

Ah friends, in today’s fast paced, mish mash world so much of that kind of envious behaviour is so prevalent that it causes us serious problems, especially when we put all the foolishness of social media on top of our natural jealousy. But our God wasn’t foolish when He made us. Just like the mountain supplies fresh water to the lake, from the mists and snow that the lake provides to the mountain, the Lord made us to be complementary to each other, not competitive against each other and even worse, raising the level of that competitiveness to warlike proportions of envy and jealousy. 

A lot of our world problems stem directly from that unwarranted situation; within societies, as well as between nations. We all aspire to be at the top of the heap, and too often do whatever it takes to get us there. Yes, that might be the way of unbelievers and their unbelieving world, but it is definitely not what Christ desires in His followers, as Bruh Paul so clearly stated in his first missive to the church at Corinth, re carnal minds hindering the growth of the Holy Spirit within us. 

‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (according to man).’ (1 Cor. 3:1-3) And that’s the gospel truth re the situation in many churches and amongst too many believers today! 

Hear the scholars nuh. ‘3:1-3.I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: In the case of newborns babes, this would be natural and to be expected (1 Pet. 2:2). But it is embarrassing at this stage in their development. Milk, figuratively stands for elementary Christian instruction, and meat refers to advanced doctrine. Carnal (lit. “fleshly”). The warfare between the flesh and the spirit receives continual emphasis in Paul’s writings (cf. Rom. 7:14-8:13; Gal. 5:17). The factions that have destroyed the unity in Corinth indicate that these believers were not walking by the Spirit, but were allowing the flesh to direct their behaviour.’ 

And that friends is exactly what’s happening in our churches today. Those who should be mature believers by now, are still in elementary classes, still walking as worldly men and not spiritual believers. And we can’t walk both after the dictates of men as well as of the Spirit. Thus there is way too much dissension and division amongst the different denominations, and even more so amongst their members. Christ’s church is full of way, way too much envying and strife my brethren! 

Remember, we are supposed to be all a part of ONE body, Christ’s church, and if one part is sick or diseased, just like the human body, the rest of it will also suffer problems. We are allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us by being so divided and envious and strife-filled. That means we’re acting just like the world. But remember too that we’re supposed to be in the world, not behave like the world. We are supposed to be the salt and the light, be proactive and productive and show the unbeliever the light, take them out of their darkness. But how can we do that, when so many of us are still living in unproductive darkness eh? 

Let’s rise up then and live like Bruh Paul advised the Galatians nuh: ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other…’ (Gal. 5:16-17a) Yes friends, the flesh and Spirit pull us in opposite directions, but when we know the Word, and with the Spirit’s help, adhere to it, then we become fruitful Christians, salt and light, as Jesus desires of us. 

So let’s endeavour to get rid of all the dissensions and divisions nuh, and just live peacefully with each other, because we are all ONE family, ONE fold of Almighty God. We won’t always agree, but because we are all of God, we can get along with His help. Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (right on!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most enviable position in Christ Jesus. 

As one 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 will that future ever be glorious, if we hang on tightly to that plough with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…it’s time…for those in Christ…to stop drinking milk…and start eating solid food…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2020 Matthew 26:28.

Matthew 26:28.     ​For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.
 
Ah Lord eh…it’s just one of those days! Yuh know when nothing seems to go right. Chuh! I got up late, what else is new eh? (smile) Then I began writing the Bit…but lo and behold the Roofers finally showed up to fix my roof, from which shingles had blown off during the strong winds in the past couple of weeks. So I dealt with them, then came back to the Bit, only to discover that I could not find all the information I needed to continue in that vein. Steups! And it was a very interesting vein. That meant I had to discard all that I’d previously written and start all over again. 

So obviously I’m not a happy camper, as I hear the roofers pounding on the roof, for a significant outlay of money, and I am having to reset my thoughts. But I’ll just have to grin and bear it, as I keep telling others when they go through some annoying times. (smile) And on this Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday in Holy Week, why should I expect to have no problems eh, when Jesus trials were just coming to a head? If we expect to rise with him, then we should also expect to suffer with Him. 

Anyway, on this Maundy Thursday, so called because of Jesus washing His disciples feet. He also instituted the ceremony of Communion or Holy Eucharist, during what we call the Last Supper that He held with His disciples at the beginning of the Passover Feast. It was a very moving supper. First off, as they sat eating, Jesus declared : ‘Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.’ (Matt. 26:21) What a bombshell to throw out to your followers on a supposed day of rejoicing!  

Obviously that stirred up things. ‘And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, (“that indicated the highly personal and intimate nature of the betrayal”) the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.’ (Matt. 26:23-24) Steups! Just had another interruption. The roofers were finished and I had to go and pay them. But we’ll get through it, with the Lord’s help…and it will be good! (smile) 

Now after that, there’s a verse that in my opinion is very significant, but you never hear anybody really talking about. ‘Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master (Rabbi), is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said (it)’ (Matt.26:25) In other words, Jesus told him, ‘yes.’ So how come more attention isn’t paid to that by any of the gospel writers eh? Matthew and John and Simon Peter were there. But as John writes, I guess Simon and he were too busy with their own li’l drama, with John, the disciple Jesus LOVED, (Hn!) leaning back on Jesus’ chest, and Simon motioning that he should ask who it was. 

And according to John, ‘Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop (a piece of bread) when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon (not Simon Peter). And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly…. He then having received the sop went immediately out, and it was night.’ (John 13:26-27, 30) 

Now according to John, nobody in the gathering knew why Jesus spoke thus to Judas, possibly thinking that because he held the communal money, he was to go out and buy things for the feast or give to the poor. (John 13:28-29) But the scholars seem to think that possibly only John heard the exchange between Jesus and Judas.

 ‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it (drink from it all of you – hence the communal cup); For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.’ (Matt. 26:26-28). Oh friends, what a monumental moment that was! 

Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘Jesus took bread: The head of the Jewish household was accustomed to doing this during the Passover Feast. Jesus gave a completely new significance to the action. This is my body: During the Passover feast the Jewish householder took bread in his hand  and said, “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt,” meaning of course, that the one represented the other. 

By His words the Lord changed the whole significance and emphasis of the feast from looking back to the typical redemption from Egypt to faith in the redemption from sin accomplished by His death. The bread and wine were only outward symbols of our Lord’s death. Nothing in the Gospels indicates that these were to be viewed as a means of grace, sacraments, or that they were physically necessary for one’s salvation.’ 

Yes friends, celebrating the Eucharist is important, but it’s only and outward sign of our inner acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Saviour. And we have one more set of explanations from the scholars. ‘The cup: Three cups were passed around by the Jewish householder during the Passover meal; the third, which is probably the one referred to here, being known as “the cup of blessing.” My blood of the new testament taken from the Greek Septuagint version of Exodus 24:8, (please read it) with allusions to Jeremiah 31:31 and Zechariah 9:11. 

The covenant in Exodus was sealed with blood. The word ‘testament’ (Gr. diatheke) can also mean “a covenant.” Shed for many for the remission of sins: Here is a clear statement that the death of Jesus was necessary to enable God to forgive sins. It, in fact, made it right or morally justifiable for Him to do so.’ 

Oh my people, so many other important things happened on Maundy Thursday that we don’t have space nor time to talk about them. Like Jesus foretelling Peter’s denial, then going to the Garden of Gethsemane and praying for guidance and strength, so impassioned that His sweat seemed like drops of blood, and finally being arrested through Judas’ recognizing kiss and a mock trial, where Peter betrayed Him. But you can read all of that for yourself in the gospels. I just hope that this Bit makes sense and gives us some new insight into the last supper and it’s meaning, since I had so many interruptions and changes of mind set. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, so generously granted to us to help us with our earthly work…spreading the gospel of Jesus. In strong voice, with sincere hearts – that’s the only way to do it (smile) –  ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

Now let’s share those divine blessings as best and as generously we can with the tough constraints we’re currently under. Much LOVE!

…to be blessed is wonderful…but to share the blessing is heavenly…

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