Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2020 2 Kings 6:16.

2 Kings 6:16.    ​And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
 

And it looks like another cloudy day is in the offing in my area… Wonder if we’ll also get rain like yesterday? Ah, it’s so calming and refreshing when the rain falls – it also gets you lazy and in a LOVING mood… Now I could certainly handle that! (smile) But unfortunately we have more serious matters to attend to this Thursday morning in late July of 2020. 

Now today I’ve been led to some scriptures on encouragement in times of peril and need. I guess the Lord sees our overwhelming need for encouragement and assurance in these rather turbulent and uncertain times. So here’s the first one: This from King Hezekiah when the Assyrians under Sennacherib came to do battle against Judah, in particular Jerusalem. 

‘And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably (encouragingly) to them. Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves on (were strengthened by) the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.’ (2 Chr. 32:6-8) 

Oh friends, those are some of the same words our God, that same God, is saying to us today in these frightful times! But are we listening? And if so, are we taking courage like the people of Jerusalem? That’s the million-dollar question! But that brings to mind another similar scripture – this time with the prophet Elisha and his servant when the King of Syria and a mighty host surrounded his house because Elisha was telling the king of Israel the secret things the king of Assyria planned against them. 

Now this particular morning when Elisha’s servant went out early, he saw the host of Syrians surrounding the city, so he ran back and informed Elisha of the grave situation and said: ‘Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.’ (2 Kin. 6:15b-16) What marvellous words of encouragement, but unfortunately the servant could not see what Elisha saw. So Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the servant’s eyes. ‘And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots round about Elisha.’ (2 Kin. 6:17) 

Yes my people, likewise guardian angels are constantly all around God’s children protecting us, so that we do not come to harm. But we have to believe it to see it! Are we believing it though, or are we constantly being ravished by fear and the evil schemes of the enemy? But please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Please my brethren, let’s root that scripture deep in our hearts and souls nuh, and let it grow and flourish to give us strong assurance in these disturbing times! 

Now hear these other encouraging scriptures that our God has been telling us from day one nuh. These from Moses to his people, when he handed over the leadership of Israel to Joshua. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (your enemies): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) Then he called Joshua and told him the same thing. 

And what I LOVE about the passing of the torch from Moses to Joshua is that the Lord Himself told Joshua the very same thing when He appointed him the official leader. ‘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 withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) And not a word of that has changed down to this day my people! So why are we so afraid and fearful of life eh, when we have the assurance of the greatest power in the universe on our side? 

And if yuh want to tell me nonsense about all of that being in the Old Testament which doesn’t matter now – ah Lord eh – then hear Jesus’ most often used words in the New Testament: ‘Fear not!’ And hear His encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) That’s Jesus telling us the same thing in slightly different words! So what’s our excuse now for not following them eh? 

Ah mih people, we just like to talk yes! And we must talk some, but all talk without any action is useless. That’s why James, Jesus’ brother wrote these oh so truthful words: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?… Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 1:22; 2:14,17) And yes faith does save our souls like Bruh Paul says, but what’s the point of having faith if you don’t put it to work eh? 

That’s exactly what Bruh Paul did too. As he told Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:’ (2 Tim. 4:7) That meant he had done what the Lord called him to do; preach the gospel to the Gentiles; he had put his faith in God to work, and we all know the numerous trials and tribulations he went through to do it. But the Lord saw him through it all…and so will He with us if we are strong and courageous, if we put our faith to work. 

And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s showered us with numerous blessings, to enable us to do just that! What an awesome God we serve my people! So as we go home now, let’s declare (awright!) some of those wonderful characteristics, what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can empower them in our lives. 

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!’ 

And having proclaimed them, it’s time to go out and put them to good use now… generously too! (smile) Much LOVE!

…greater is He that is in us…than he that is in the world… (1 John 4:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2020 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.   ​And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
 
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
 
Oh my fellow saints in Christ, these are certainly rough times we are currently experiencing yes! For the umpteenth Sunday the Lord’s sanctuaries are closed on His day. And today, on Mother’s Day, many mothers will be alone and lonely with no friends or family around them, to celebrate their special day…all because of the lockdown made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic. Today is also a somewhat sad day for some of us due to the passing of our great friend of St. Francis Anglican Parrish, the Rev. Dennis Doloff. 

He wasn’t our Parish Priest, but he attended many of our functions and preached a few times for us when our regular priest was unavailable, all from the confines of his wheel chair. Despite his physical setbacks, he was a most encouraging, enlightening and humorous soul, quick witted and always ready with a joke. We of St. Francis wish his family our sincere condolences and grieve with them, though we’re all glad that his suffering is now over and he’s in a much better place. 

So today, as all those storms come against us, it is ever so appropriate that we sing this wonderful song: ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ It’s good assurance and strength for all of us. We’re letting the enemy know that we’re not giving up, we’re going down fighting and celebrating because we have the Most High God as our refuge in any and all the storms of life. Isaiah said it thus: ‘For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:4) 

So with that in mind, let’s raise up our voices in sacrificial praise and thanksgiving, singing the up-tempo reggae version of this popular gospel song done by the Jamaican Artiste, George Nooks. And the band played…and the voices rose in sweet harmony… ‘Don’t give up, just ride out your storm. You’ve been in the storm and it seems like forever. And your nights of confusion have been too long. Your ship has lost anchor, and the storm’s got you drifting. Just hold on to Jesus And ride out your storm 

(Chorus: Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. You’re hurting now, but your morning is coming…Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm) Remember His promise, He said I’ll never forsake you, though the waters are troubled, they’ll do you no harm. Don’t give up the battle for your answer is coming, just hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Ride out your storm God is still there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting now but your morning is coming, Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. 

Oh Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. Although you’re hurting now, your morning is coming, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. You know He’ll never leave you, so just hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Hold on to Jesus…and ride out your storm.’ 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! There’s no better person to hold on to than Jesus in the time of storm my people. Remember when He was crossing the sea in the ship with His disciples and a great storm arose, and it looked like the boat would capsize, and the disciples were scared to death. What was Jesus doing then eh? Snoozing quietly in the back of the ship. Hn! Hn! 

The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And the disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:25-27) Those disciples really didn’t have much faith nuh mih bredrin. Having seen Jesus do all the earlier miracles, they shouldn’t have been so scared. 

But we really can’t get on their case too much because we do the same thing nowadays too. Despite the many miracles the Lord has worked or wrought in our lives, we still get scared and doubtful and anxious when storms and life’s difficulties come our way, instead of calmly taking it all to God in prayer and trusting that He will at least walk through the storm beside us. And please don’t forget the Lord’s marvellous promise through His 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.’ (Is. 43:2) 

Please remember that friends: whatever we go through, our great and faithful God is always right there beside us! And ofttimes He does even better than that. Listen to Moses on His behalf, as he gave over the Israelite leadership to Joshua. After warning him to be strong and of good courage, he continues: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ Mamacita! Our God doesn’t only walk with us through life’s storms, He goes one better, goes before us to clear the way for us. 

So friends, this Sunday morning, regardless of what is coming against us, please, I implore us, let’s be strong and of good courage, for we have all those faithful promises of our faithful God to hold on to. He never said that it would be easy, but He would bring us through it, just like He brought the three Hebrew boys out of the fire unscathed, not even smelling of smoke, the same way He brought Daniel out of the lion’s den unharmed. That means we cannot allow the heathen, the unbeliever, or even our fellow believer to look at us and derisively say, ‘O thou of little faith!’ 

And a Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there, for you are the backbone and major source of faith in most of our families! Without you, our faith would be even less than it is. Much LOVE!

…the best pilot in stormy waters…JESUS…