Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2019 Luke 17:17.

Luke 17:17.    ​And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
Well it’s Sunday once again, but this time we coming to you from the hot and hazy capital of Jamaica, Kingston. Now the ole fella is a li’l bit in doubt here, for it’s shortly after five in the evening, and I can’t make up my mind whether we should have church or not, because there’s a lot of stuff to share with you re my recent activities in this wonderful land. In any case, whatever I decide, I will have to leave you shortly, until whenever I come back from dinner with one of my sisters. 
Oh yes, I have plenty sisters here in J.A; not the biological kind, but the even more important, actual caring and LOVING kind, who enriched my stay in J.A fifty something years ago! And those kinds of people are ever so important in our lives, whether you see them constantly, or once in a blue moon; just knowing that they are there, and they care, adds a whole lot of satisfaction and glow to our souls. Sorry, got to go now, sis is here. (smile) See you soon. 
Back now mih people, shortly after nine my time, but ten, for many of you. Tried mih best to get back sooner, but just couldn’t make it happen, couldn’t do mih sister a Spanish; eat and run. (smile) Then when I walked into the hotel lobby a group of medical people from the same graduating year were sitting there and they coerced me into joining them for about half an hour. And ah sorry, but the way it looks like we not having no church today. But don’t worry, the ole fella went to church this morning, up in the chapel on the university campus. 
To tell the truth, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been in there. I knew about it, but in those days I suspect that I was not as God conscious as I am now. However the service was good, though somewhat long, with plenty praise and worship. The young lady who led us in that was truly excited about leading worship and I believe her enthusiasm flowed over into many of us. The University Chorale sang for us; a truly fine group of singers. 
The service was a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the U.W.I Graduating Class of 1969 and the U.W.I Mona Library Open Week 2019, and the theme of the whole thing was ‘A HEART OF GRATITUDE!’ And as our preacher, Rev. Dr. Henroy Samuels so rightly said in his sermon, the graduates of that class who walked the campus some fifty years ago, looked good and were still healthy because of their heart of gratitude, exemplified by our return to celebrate and give thanks. Those were certainly true words. 
And the scripture was taken from Luke 17, where Jesus healed the ten lepers. The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And it came to pass, as he (Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he (Jesus) entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ (Luke 17:11-13) They had to stay afar off because their illness was contagious. 
And as always, Jesus did show them mercy. ‘And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.’ (Luke 17:14) Back in those days, lepers were total outcasts and could only be integrated back into society, if they happened to get cleansed, by showing themselves to the priests and getting their permission. Thus Jesus’ directive for them to go to the priests. Now that’s the good part of the story, but what happens next is the kind of thing we’ve been talking about – a heart of gratitude. 
Hear the Good Book: ‘And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.’ (Luke 17:15-16) Right there we see a major problem. Ten men were healed, apparently nine were Jews and one a Samaritan, the bitter enemies of the Jews. But as life would have it, only the Samaritan returned to give thanks to Jesus and the Father. 
As the minister said this morning, who knows, the Jews who didn’t return and give thanks might have believed that because they were the Chosen People, they were entitled to it. and that’s a major problem in our society today! Too many of us believe we’re entitled to too much, and are not grateful and thankful for what we have. We complain so much about what we don’t have, instead of giving thanks for what we do have. But hear the end of the story: ‘And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’ (Luke 17:17-18) That was a stinging rebuke to His Jewish people. 
According to the scholars: ‘17:18. Stranger literally means “of another race of people”; it therefore refers to a Gentile. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. This non-Jew, Jesus points out is more spiritually minded than the nine leprous Jews. Yet “strangers” (to cite a use of the word from outside of the Scripture) were forbidden to enter the temple’s inner confines by prominent signs in the temple precincts.’ I guess that might have made it somewhat difficult for the Samaritan to show himself to the priests. (smile) But anyway, good manners and a grateful heart dictated that the other nine should have returned to Jesus and gave Him thanks. 
They were brave and bold enough to beg Him for mercy, but when He showed them that mercy, they couldn’t even come and say a simple ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Unfortunately, that’s the way too many of us also behave today, even supposed believers. Too many of us are not grateful for all the Lord has done, is doing, and has promised to do on our behalf! And that is totally wrong my brethren. Now hear how Jesus ends it. ‘And he said unto to him, (the Samaritan), Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.’ (Luke 17:19) 
And as the scholars say: ‘17:19. All were healed, but only one gives Jesus thanks. His salvation is complete.’ Ah friends, yuh see the great difference some thanks and gratitude made: The Samaritan was granted salvation, while the Jews were still adrift in their ungratefulness. Please, don’t allow that to happen to us nuh. It doesn’t take a whole lot to say, thank you and be grateful. It could certainly make a big difference in our lives, both here on earth, and in heaven too. Much LOVE!
 
…it is our bounden duty…to give thanks and be grateful…for all the Lord’s blessings…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2018 1 Peter 5:10.

​1 Peter 5:10.    But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm) strengthen, settle you.

 

Oh friends, oh friends, a reprieve, a reprieve! Yes the ole fella’s been granted a reprieve! He’s not going home today as originally planned! Glory be! The good Lord looked down from His throne on high and apparently saw that I was not doing, recuperating as well or as fast as expected, and in His infinite wisdom and abundant goodness and LOVING-kindness granted me a few more days in this paradise called Jamdown (Jamaica)! 

Wow! Praise His holy name my people because He is such a wonderful deity who comes through for you when you least expect it. Ah friends, it’s like Jesus said, all you need is a grain of faith as small as a mustard seed and you’ll be able to move mighty mountains. (Matt.17:20) 

And  it was indeed a small seed that was planted. A few days ago the idea of extending our stay suddenly flitted into my thoughts and I shared it with the duchess. Then unbeknownst to me, she picked up the baton and ran with it. Between her and our two daughters they made it a reality.

Oh my people, the Lord’s been so good to me, how can I not LOVE Him with all my heart, mind and body, be eternally grateful, testify to His amazing faithfulness, help spread His Word and seek to maximize His LOVE Revolution?  I would be exceedingly ungrateful if I did anything less, and He would be quite right to cut me off. 

And if you’re wondering why and how come the Bit is so early today, as always, with the ole fella the answers are invariably simple. (smile) I got up around five to go to the bathroom, then went back to bed. However, after an unsuccessful half an hour of trying to find a comfortable position for back, knees and elbows to coexist so I could fall asleep again, I just decided to get up and begin the day earlier than expected. 

Ah Lord eh friends! The things we are asked to go through in our later years! (smile) But I’ll gladly put up with them in return for the many blessings I’m currently enjoying. 

And my faithful brethren, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate Bit for today than these most reassuring words of Peter to the scattered diaspora of Christians in the early days of our faith. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm) strengthen, settle you.’ 

What a wonderful God we serve my fellow believers! After allowing us to go through the fire, the flood and whatever adversity He might deem appropriate to move us from glory to glory, to mature us and make us more Christlike, He will eventually settle us down, strengthen and establish us. 

Mama Mia! Let’s hope that’s what He is doing with me right now yes, because I really don’t feel up to any more sickness and suffering at the present time. I need a break from it, so I can recuperate properly and thus be able to handle the next round with a good attitude. But I’m not really worried because I know the Lord doesn’t give us more than we can handle, so whatever He allows to come against me, He will help me to overcome. 

Remember friends, we are covenant partners with the Lord, and whatever we can’t handle, He’ll step in and control. That’s the awesome benefit of partnering; what one can’t do the other will. But remember too that we first have to do OUR part, or the Lord will not step in to help. 

Now listen to these majestic and most reassuring words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians on the subject of grace and being called and confirmed by Christ. ‘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 (spiritual) 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. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor.13-9) 

Oh my people, we are like those Corinthians; granted grace and peace through Christ, brought into and everlasting union with Him and strong communion with each other. So let us enjoy it all and work diligently and excellently to preserve and spread it nuh, so that at Jesus’ return we might be found blameless. For whatever God has promised to those who believe in His Son, He will fulfill. 

Now let’s go home declaring (Steups! Spelt it wrong again!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our exact position in Christ Jesus.  In true sincerity and strong sense of purpose: ‘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 that’s a future we can’t even begin to imagine! Much LOVE!

…and am I ever glad…in fact ecstatic…to be alive…on this bright and sunny day…hope you are too…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2018 Isaiah 55:8.

Isaiah 55:8.   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Hn! I can’t believe that it’s Thursday already! How can it be eh, when it was just Monday? (smile) Yuh mean to tell me that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday gone already? Mama Mia! And what have I done for the week beside write the Bits eh? Absolutely nothing! 

And not only that, but the month of August is also quickly flying by. It just recently began and it’s already the 16th! Chuh! The summer days are flying by too quickly for my liking yes! Only wish the winter days would go by as quickly. Hn! Hn! But you know that’s not going to happen. 

However friends, our one consolation is that whatever time or season it is, we ALWAYS have Jesus Christ on our side! Glory to God!  And that’s more than enough, for He will help us through each and every difficulty we face and bring us through more mature, confident and secure than when we started. 

How can we not be grateful for such help and LOVING-kindness eh? It certainly disappoints and dismays me when I see or hear people bad talking and/or blaspheming Jesus. I feel sorry for them because they don’t know what they’re missing, and the hellish life that they’re setting themselves up for. 

Oh, how I wish the Lord would just send His Holy Spirit into those people and wake them up, let them rise up and smell the sweet savour of the roses He has to offer. And He can do it if He wants to. He has the power to do it. But He wants us to come to Him voluntarily through His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

But yuh know what Lord, this free choice thing isn’t getting us anywhere nuh! Look at the lack of LOVE and the amount of strife, anger and hatred that has our world in a tight stranglehold. But as always, you are the Boss, and it’s your will, your overall plan that will prevail. So if you choose not to step in and fix it in one fell swoop, then who am I to complain eh? I just have to grin, say ‘Thank You Lord!’ and continue doing the best I can to bring the lost and confused to You. 

Ah friends, unfortunately our thoughts and actions don’t always line up with the Lord’s, but as I said above, He’s the Boss, and His will and plan prevails in the universe regardless of what might or can be. And He tells us that plainly, and in all seriousness through His prophet Isaiah. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’ (Is.55:8-12) 

And that’s telling us friends! Whatever God sends His Word to do, it will accomplish it. So the fact that I am questioning His generous act of free choice is of no importance whatsoever. His Word will accomplish the same thing that I’m seeking in His time, for whatever higher reasons He chooses. 

And arguing with God, or trying to argue with Him, is a waste of time, for He won’t get into any arguments with us. Just look at how He draped up Job in Job chapter 38, when Job got a li’l too bright and too big for his breeches. The long and short of the story my brethren is that the Lord created the universe and all therein, and His Will shall prevail, regardless of who likes or dislikes it. 

He might be sweet and LOVING and all that, but when it comes to running His universe, no li’l creature of His creation will tell Him what do. Amen! We just have to know our place and keep it. He’s given us Jesus and all the wonderful stuff associated with Him, now we have to go out and do our part. End of story! 

And the scholar’s offer this explanation. ‘55:8-13. God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts (i.e., purposes or intentions) and ways (derakim, or “directions”) are higher than ours. While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes. Therefore, He reveals Himself to men by His word, which shall not return to Him void (in vain). The word of God, therefore accomplishes His purpose in announcing salvation to all mankind.’ 

And who don’t want to accept it, then crapaud simply smoke deh pipe! But for those who have wisely and joyfully accepted the Lord’s most generous offer of salvation, He’s blessed us significantly. So let’s declare our Thursday Blessings, letting the unbelieving world know what they’re missing when they don’t accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. 

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

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

Oh how great and generous is our God! But please remember those blessings are not to be hoarded, but to be shared with the less fortunate. So let’s go out and do just that nuh. Much LOVE!

…oh there’s no more magnificent and magnanimous Being in the universe….than our GOD…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2018 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Well friends, amongst all the strife, war, hatred, anger and all the other negative stuff that’s taking place in our once beautiful world, I noticed one of the most foolish and insensitive actions take place yesterday. Yuh know the big contention that’s currently going on in the U.S… and some of you are asking which one? (smile) Well I’m talking about the recent major push to separate immigrant children from their parents. 

Now apparently, yesterday, the first lady of the U.S went to visit one of the centres where children are being held and she wore a jacket that had written on the back in big white letters: ‘I don’t really care, do u?’ How how insensitive is that eh? Even if you don’t care, half of the country you represent cares, and that’s only a slap in the face to them. But that’s the state of the U.S. these days. Matter done! 

It’s Friday, and the workingman is out there singing his happy song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The working soon finish… and the partying soon start! What a bam bam! It’s going to be party fuh so in this summertime weather! Nobody going to stop we from carrying on anyway we want! 

And who doh like it…Hn! Tough tits yes! Let them try to do something about it nuh. They don’t know how we grateful for the break from all the weekday slavery nuh, both physical and mental. Steups!  Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Yeh mih people, we Christians are also grateful for Fridays and the weekends, but we just show it in a less bacchanalian way. (smile) We don’t go to the extremes, like the worldly culture around us does. So let’s chant our corresponding Friday Chant and show them how we believers do it nuh. 

As one sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, we have a more organized way to spend or use our weekends – while celebrating, still keeping our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ uppermost in our minds and behaviour. And I just spied a quote from a Daily Bread Devotional that highlights it quite nicely. I’ve shared it before, but it’s important enough to share again and again. ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Everyday we awaken, we need to commit ourselves anew to Christ! That’s the only way we can stay on the tried and true path that leads to the Father. That’s why the psalmist declared in our Bit: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’  

Yeh mih breddren, the only way to stay committed to Christ is by constantly reading, meditating and putting His word into action, for the enemy is fighting an ever-constant battle to win our souls. Remember those memorable words of the Lord to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death? 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh.1:8) 

Oh friends, that one verse says it all: to be prosperous and have success, one must know the word and practice it! And yet we wonder why so much of us individually, as well as nationally are not having success. But the answer is right there before our very eyes; turn to God and do His will. That’s not rocket science; it’s plain and straightforward. 

And though in some cases it might be somewhat difficult to do, the Lord has faithfully promised us His awesome help all along the way. But like the workingman, many of us seem to prefer Beelzebub’s easy and sinful ways, which only lead to hellfire, death and eternal damnation. 

Yuh see how EVERY TIME, Israel turned away from God how they suffered, and how we are suffering now in our ungodliness? It’s no mistake that our world is currently engulfed in all sorts of negative problems; the hand of God and a touch of His wrath are upon us. Notice I said only a touch of His wrath, because we could never withstand the full force of His anger. 

Oh friends, the Good Book is the inspired Word of our Creator and it does not lie. So why do we think we can go against what it says and be truly successful eh? That’s why I’m imploring us, like the Lord implored Joshua and all the other leaders of the faith, to sincerely meditate on His Word, talk about it to our children and each other, and then put it into action. That’s the ONLY way our desperately struggling world and us will ever know peace and success. Much LOVE!

…how can the blind lead the blind out of darkness eh…only through the light inspiring word of Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2.   When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.

Well it’s a brand new day and brand new mercies are being noised abroad by our wonderful God! Give Him plenty, plenty thanks nuh people, for the grace and unadulterated LOVING-kindness He shows to us when we absolutely don’t deserve it. But that’s the kind of God He’s always been and will always be! 

Look at how while we were still sinners He sent His only Son Jesus to die for us… Does that tell of an unmerciful and angry God? No way Jose! So let’s be wise and grateful and give Him thanks for ALL that He’s done, is doing and has promised to do for us in the future. 

In the meanwhile let’s pray for those unfortunate people undergoing the volcano situation in Hawaii, and also in Guatemala where the Fuego volcano exploded a couple of days ago, causing much loss of life and many injuries. I tell you friends, a volcanic explosion is the closest thing we can come to hell here on earth. And remember too the people in Colorado and New Mexico where the first wild fires of the season are blazing away. 

Brother! The natural disasters are beginning to pile up already. But friends, there is no need to panic, because our great and mighty God is still on the throne in full control of things! 

And to help us handle whatever comes against us, here are these encouraging words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘I Will Move…’  I’ve shared them before, but I think we need to share them again. 

So please pray with me. ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you, Lord. Amen!’ 

Oh my people, is there any other way we can come up higher than through the Lord’s help? Absolutely not! So I implore us this morning to turn to Him for help in whatever situation or circumstance that we’re going through. Now he might not change or ease up the situation, but He will certainly give you the strength, wisdom and whatever you need to come through it successfully. That’s the magnanimous and magnificent God we serve! 

Yuh see what he says in our Bit, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah? ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ 

Oh friends and fellow believers, what marvellous promises! And did the Lord keep them? Of course He did! Just look at how He parted the Red Sea for His people to cross over on dry land, while drowning Pharaoh and His Egyptian army behind them! Then check out how He backed up the Jordan River for them to cross over into the Promised Land! 

And if you say that’s only water, He can’t handle fire, then think again and see how the Hebrew lads, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, when they refused to bow down to a golden image, survived the fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than normal, and came out not even smelling of smoke! 

Mama Yo! That’s the amazing and awesome power of our God my brethren! And He is still in the business of doing miracles and such amazing things for His people, if we turn to Him and sincerely and humbly seek Him. As He said again through Isaiah: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) Are we doing that my brethren? For all our sakes, I sincerely hope so. 

But just in case we aren’t, listen to the following verse, which expands on the first. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is.55:7) 

Oh friends, I don’t know why it’s so difficult for us to follow the Lord’s guidelines nuh, since He spells them out so plainly and simply! Especially when we’re in dire need of mercy and pardon! But we can only talk; talk till we’re blue in the face (smile), everyone still has to come to their own decision; to accept, or not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in their individual lives. 

Let’s hope we ALL will make a positive decision, sooner, rather than later, for a time will come when it will be too late. Now for those of us who have already made it, let’s go home positively declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

Altogether now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share all of that with other unfortunate folks, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t need your Maker…then who else do you need eh…Lucifer…hn, hn!…what a joke…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2018 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.

And then it was Saturday…somewhat late in the day though, and many of you won’t notice, because like the ole fella you also slept in some. (smile) But what’s life eh, if once in a while you can’t sleep in and not be run ragged by the busyness of this insane world? The Lord’s LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness will still be there when we get up. 

Oh how wonderful is the God we serve and worship my brethren! He is always thinking about our welfare, so we need to be very thankful and grateful as we walk arm in arm with Him. And remember too, that NO ONE can separate us from Him, but us. And such a move on our part would be rather foolish. Nuff said. 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm has to say on this bleak and gloomy Saturday morning. First off, he tells us that ‘Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.’ 

I have serious doubts about that yes, because in this society there are oodles of people right now with lots of formal education, who can’t even get a job, much less earn a living. And if and when they do get one, the wage is definitely not in line with their standard of education. It’s surprising that in this supposed first-world economy, the number of university grads who are making minimum wage. 

And in my province of Ontario, at the beginning of the year, the government raised the minimum wage from eleven something to fourteen something, and as expected all the business people are up in arms, threatening all sorts of retribution. 

Some Tim Horton’s franchises have already cut back paid breaks, tips and stuff, taking away what little the employees already had, in their greedy desire to keep their profit margins high. So who knows, self-education might just be the answer. 

And I like this next quote. ‘If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.’ That’s oh so true my fellow believers. I’m sure most of us have had that experience at some time(s) in our lives. 

Times when we actually buckled down and did stuff we had to do, and was surprised at the quality and quantity of work we accomplished because we had set our minds to it. Many of us never reach our full capability, because we’re either not challenged to, or we just settle for average results. 

That leads us to this quote. ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’ And there’s much truth in that advice, especially in these modern times, where a lot of supposed successful people add li’l or no value to the society. Check out the celebrity culture that currently rules the world. 

How many of them add anything worthwhile to the society eh? Not many. That’s a big reason why the world is in such a mess. So friends, in our lives, please let’s concentrate on adding value to our lives and our society. Value usually means success in the real world, but not necessarily the other way around. 

And finally Anselm tells us that ‘Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.’ There is indeed substance to that remark, because the more we practice not being afraid, the more we will learn to conquer fear. 

But the basic foundation for conquering fear comes from our association with Jesus Christ. That’s who gives us the strength and wisdom to conquer fear. Oh friends, throughout the Good Book there are numerous warnings about fear. And one of the most powerful is that found in our Bit; Bruh Paul’s admonition to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Our wonderful God has not given us a fearful spirit, we allow the enemy to put fear into our hearts. And all I want to do today is highlight a few scriptures where God warned us not to be afraid. And one of my favourites is the one He commanded Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) Ah mih people, the Lord could not have been more explicit. 

Then in Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel, He warns His people the same way. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be thou 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) 

Now hear one of the first ‘fear not’ instructions; that from Moses when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt. ‘And Moses said unto the people, 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. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And so said, so was it done. The Lord drowned the Egyptians in the closing of the Red sea. And we’ll end with these words of Jesus as He talked about care and anxiety and seeking God’s kingdom above all else. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And it is indeed the Lord’s desire to give us the kingdom, if we seek Him above all else. So friends, there is no need to fear man nor beast once we are walking hand in hand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please, let’s therefore rid ourselves of all the unwanted and unnecessary fear that is secreted in our hearts, by giving it to God. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be conquered by faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…  

 

 

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