Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 July 2022 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.       With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Greetings my Scrip-Bit friends and family on this cool but sunshiny Saturday in early July. It’s our lazy day at last. And believe me, was I ever tempted to be lazy. (smile) Could have gotten up long ago because I went to bed at a rather early hour last night, an early hour for me that is, and stayed in bed all night. Consequently, it wasn’t easy getting out of bed because with that long amount of rest the ole back was obviously acting up. As they say, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t! If I don’t lie down long enough, I don’t get sufficient rest, but if I lie down too long, my back acts up. 

Anyway, the Lord’s work had to be done, so here I am, obediently doing it, aching back and all. (smile) And, as always, on a Saturday we look at the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us in the week past, as he aspires to inspires us for a better tomorrow, and see how they interact with our Christian agenda. 

And the first one says: ‘There are far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.’ And that’s a wonderful truth friends, if you are a true believer in Christ, because with Him, your best days are always out ahead of you. Yes, when we come to Christ, we become new creations, are reconciled to God, and all the old sinful and ungodly things of our previous life are left behind, everything becomes new in Christ and we have a much better day to look forward to. (2 Cor. 5:17-18) 

Now that doesn’t mean that all our problems will just vanish into thin air, it’s possible that we might have even more and greater problems, because with greater responsibility comes greater problems, but we will be able to handle it all better through the help of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Before we come to Christ there is no true help, just Satan trying to drag us down with him, but when Christ enters our lives… oh my people, there is help everlasting! Remember God’s promise through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope). (Jer. 29:11) 

The next quote tells us: ‘Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.’ And that’s very good advice, but we have to put it into our Christian context. That means first of all, as Bruh Paul said to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 5:7) So, with Christ in your life, fears don’t bog you down like they did before. 

However, those dreams must now also become aligned with the will for Christ in your new life. Here’s how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 37. ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps. 37:4-5) Unfortunately, when we come to Christ, we must wait on His timing, which isn’t always easy to do, and also do the things that He desires of us. 

Now, I can tell you from personal experience that He will bring many of your heart’s desires to pass, once they align with His will for your life. I’ve wanted to do a lot of things in this life and faithfully, many times unexpectedly, He has allowed me to do them, though not always to the extent that I’ve desired. But my greatest desires are still out ahead of me, and I do hope that they will align with God’s will for my life, because I would be truly disappointed if some of those never came to fruition. 

But He’s the Boss, and I can only do what He allows. And the good thing is that I’m not worried, a tad concerned yes, (smile) because most of what I want to do is for His greater glory, so why wouldn’t He allow me to do them eh? That’s why you need plenty trust and faith. However, that kind of blind faith and trust don’t come overnight, but only with experience in God’s wonderful grace and mercy. 

Meanwhile, the next quote declares: ‘The only place where your dreams become impossible is in your own thinking.’ Now that might sound sort of contrary because we usually consider our minds to be the only place that all our dreams are possible. But I believe the quote is saying we are the ones who limit our dreams by our limited thinking. And if you are a true believer in Christ, you’ll know that nothing is impossible with Him. As He said to the disciples when they were amazed at His statement that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

And, unfortunately, when we limit our thinking, we also limit the power of God in our lives. For remember what Jesus said earlier on to the disciples. ‘If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you.’ (Matt. 17:20) So, once we are in Christ, it’s essential to believe that all things are possible through Him who strengthens us. 

But then too, like the following quote advises: ‘You have to train your brain to be positive just like you work out your body.’ And that’s the gospel truth! We don’t get powerful and positive minds by simply believing in Christ. No, we have to train our minds, just like we train our bodies. And how do we do that? As believers we need to read and meditate on God’s Word, His Guidebook for Life, the Bible. Then talk to God through prayer, while listening to and obeying the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit that indwells all believers to lead and guide us in the right way, and also fellowshipping with other believers. 

Like everything else, we only grow through practice and experience…and it all takes time. So, please don’t be discouraged if you find yourself floundering, keep keeping on, because there is no giving up when you are in Christ. That brings us to our last quote: ‘You need to be able to manage stress because hard times will come, and a positive outlook is what gets you through.’ The first part is true, trials and tribulation will come, but a positive outlook ALONE, will not get you through. A positive outlook with Christ in your life is what will get you through! 

Please note the many people with only positive outlooks who didn’t get through the recent pandemic – sorry, it’s not done yet – the current pandemic, because it takes more than just a positive outlook. It takes strong belief, faith, trust and surrender to the power that’s greater than us, the power that created and controls the universe and all therein, and that’s Almighty God! That’s the backdrop, the foundation you need for your positive outlook! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ Jesus…will you find all that you need for living this life…as well as the next… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 July 2022   1 Peter 5:7.

1 Peter 5:7.      Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

It’s come around again friends, the Lord’s Day, that marvellous day called Sunday, where we gather to praise, worship and renew our commitment to Almighty God and receive His awesome renewal of strength and perseverance to face the upcoming week! Wow! No wonder Sunday is indeed the first and best day of the week! Glory Hallelujah! 

And to celebrate today’s praise and worship, we are going to sing a fairly recent composition, written in the mid twentieth century by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006). It’s a song that I truly wish so many more of us would take to heart and sincerely accept by putting its sentiments into action. The song is very appropriately titled: ‘No One understands like Jesus!’ And if that isn’t the gospel truth, then I don’t what is. 

Now here is a li’l background on how the song came about, which I think will endear it to us even more. It seems that Mr. Peterson, the author was at one time employed by a prestigious gospel ministry and was led to believe that an open supervisory position would be offered to him. And according to Mr. Peterson: ‘I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new joy. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position. There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter.’ 

I guess many of us would react the same way. However, matters got worse when the new supervisor made some hurtful remarks to Mr. Peterson. And he says: ‘Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation–in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He.’ 

Words of awesome truth my fellow believers!  And soon after that He began to write the song. ‘Discouragement gripped him. He felt alone and forsaken, and was tempted to become bitter, until he began thinking about the great compassion of the Lord. Who cares? HE does!’ Now let’s sing this marvellous, empathetic song in a soulful, mid-tempo, heart-felt version, opening our mouths and hearts, offering up sincere sacrifices of praise to our amazing Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

As one sweet sounding, harmonious choir: ‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. (Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail; You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail! (Chorus) 

No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way; Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!  No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him! Cast your every care on Him, Cause no one understands like Jesus.’ 

Oh my people, there is no one in this world who understand like Jesus! Why, you ask?  Because on His earthly sojourn, He underwent, He experienced the trials, temptations and tribulation that mankind suffers every day on this evil and ungodly earth. So, He can indeed empathize with the stuff that we are forced to bear. And when He faced His storms and troubled times, He went to His Father for strength and encouragement, just like He now expects us, His followers to come to Him for compassion and understanding when we are beset by troubles that test our souls and faith. 

And we all know the basic scriptures on which the song is based, beginning with this awesome advice from Psalm 55 – A cry against deceitful friends. Bruh David writes from personal experience: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit, allow) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:22) Yes my fellow believers, if we cast our burdens on the Lord, He will never allow the enemy to overcome us! And in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked – Bruh David again wisely advises us to: ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.’ (Ps. 37:5) 

Now if that isn’t sufficient proof for you, (smile) then listen to Peter, another recipient of Jesus’ great grace and mercy. He advises us to: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) 

Now none of those scriptures could be more explicit than they are. It’s simple: with sincerity and trust, take all your concerns to God, to Christ, who cares ever so deeply for you, otherwise they would not have allowed Jesus’ blood to be shed on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, and then send His Holy Spirit to indwell us, so that He can lead and guide us on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life. 

And I really don’t know what else it will take for us to truly accept that our heavenly Father allowed Christ to die for us because of His deep and abiding LOVE for us nuh. I guess that’s why He gave us free will, so that we could decide to whom we would give our allegiance, to Him or Beelzebub. I can guarantee us one thing though; Satan doesn’t care one iota about us, he only wants us to lose our heavenly destiny and end up with him in Hades, and ultimately in the lake of fire. So, it’s a decision each one of us must make. 

And in closing, let’s remind us that we ought to make the wise choice, choosing life, BEFORE the Lord takes us home, or Jesus comes back the second time, and either scenario could occur at any time. So, the best time to do it is RIGHT NOW! That’s the long and short of the story my people! Much LOVE!

…the wise money is always on Christ…because He first defeated Satan in heaven…and again here on earth…Satan is a loser… why turn to him…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 April 2022 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.      It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

And so, Friday has opened bright and sunshiny, but somewhat chilly, not as warm as it ought to be at this time of spring. But that’s okay, we can handle anything that comes against us because of the Holy Spirit of Jesus that indwells us. It gives us the boldness, the confidence to declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ 

And since it’s a day He has made, we shall therefore rejoice and be glad in it! So, please give our great God some thanks and praise for His wonderful works to us undeserving children of men. Let’s gratefully remember, as Jeremiah said in his Lamentations: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) 

Oh my people, it is indeed because of the Lord’s compassion, His mercy and faithfulness that we are not totally destroyed. And He especially showed His great LOVE and compassion for us in this past Easter Season when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross so he could justly and righteously have reason to forgive our sins! No greater LOVE than that can ever be found! 

And in explaining ‘faithfulness,’ the scholars tell us that: ‘The word root from which it comes stresses that real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and an attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God (c.f. 1 Sam. 26:23; Ps. 37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

Yes friends, just like God has been faithful throughout His long existence, so we His creation and joint-heirs with Christ need to be faithful in all walks of our lives. And I believe that shows up positively in Jeremiah’s life when he remembers how he was mistreated, locked up and derided for preaching God’s word, and though he tried to get rid of it, the fire of the word still burned in his belly. ‘And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me. This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.’ (Lam. 3:18-21) 

That’s when he talks about the Lord’s compassions and mercies that we’ve spoken of above. Yuh see, once you’ve been associated with our wonderful God, and seen His faithfulness, it’s difficult to lose faith in Him, even when you go through real tough times on His behalf. That hope He imbues within us just doesn’t die, because deep down, we know that He is Almighty God; omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, to whom all things are possible, the One who can bring us through any untoward situation if He so chooses. 

Sometimes though, unfortunately, He doesn’t choose to make us escape the difficulty, because He has some good reason for us experiencing it. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He will NEVER allow us to go through something alone; He is always beside us monitoring our progress through the particular situation and through life itself. 

That’s why the psalmist could also confidently declare in Psalm 130. ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:5-8) 

Wow! What hope, and trust in God the psalmist shows there! His soul is waiting more deeply for God, than those who are keeping watch for daybreak. And he says it twice, for us to know how deep His trust and faith are in the God of his forefathers! Now that’s the kind of faith that we modern day believers ought to be showing, especially in these contrary and oh so difficult times, which seem to mimic the beginning of the last days that Jesus spoke about. 

‘Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers (various) places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows (birth pangs)…And the gospel must first be published among all nations.’ (Mark. 13:5-8, 10) 

But Matthew is more explicit per that last verse. He recalls Jesus saying: ‘ And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ (Matt. 24:14) And we are indeed seeing the beginnings of those sorrows for all that Jesus spoke about is currently happening, with wars and rumours of wars, famines in a world with wonderful farming skills and technology, deception everlasting, pestilence, sickness and natural disasters like we’ve never seen before. 

And above all, with our wonderful technology the gospel has already been preached or proclaimed to most of the world, and it should not take very long to do as Jesus desires; proclaim it to ALL the world. But in the meantime, we the faithful, must remain faithful and true to His name, and do what He desires of us. And the first thing in our arsenal is always prayer, that awesome method of communication between us and our heavenly Father. So let’s go to Him in prayer right now nuh, through our Friday Chant, seeking His divine help in these rather difficult times. 

As one strong, but humble voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 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!’ 

Now that means cleaning up our act and having our hearts sincerely reflect what our mouths have just spoken. That is, if we want to receive a positive response from Almighty God! Much LOVE!

…commit thy way unto the Lord…trust also in him…and he shall bring it to pass… (Ps. 37:5) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 November 2021 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

It’s that time again my brethren, Sunday morning, where we gather to worship our wonderful God, to sing His praises, hear His refreshing and enlightening Word, and give Him much thanks for His awesome LOVE and compassion towards us, His most undeserving children. But that’s the kind of God we serve and worship. And today’s opening song is a not so old hymn, (smile) as compared to some others we sing, written by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006), in the early years of his ministry, and aptly titled ‘No One understands like Jesus.’ 

And believe me friends, that’s the indisputable truth! And why shouldn’t it be true eh, since He is God whose thoughts and understanding are incomparable, and when you add the fact that Jesus Himself underwent all the stuff that we go through down here on earth, it certainly adds up to a wealth of understanding. That’s why Hebrews can tell us: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (who cannot sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:15-16) 

Anyway, enough talk, time to do some singing. And in our usual harmonious and soulful manner let’s offer up our sacrifices of praise to heaven and our marvellous Godhead. ‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail; You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail! (Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way; Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him! Cast your every care on Him, Cause no one understands like Jesus.’ 

You can say that again my people: ‘No one understands like Jesus!’ (smile) And there seems to be an interesting and heart-felt story behind the writing of this song, as there usually are behind many of our favourite tunes. Mr. Peterson appears to have been quite involved in Christian music and tells the story thus: ‘”At one time I had a responsible position with a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position opened up in my department. I was led to believe that I was to be promoted to this position. I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new joy. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position.  

There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter. One night I had occasion to spend an evening with the man who was brought in for “my” position. For some reason or other, though otherwise a very pleasant fellow, that night he became quite caustic in some of his remarks to me; and I was deeply hurt. Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. 

Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation–in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). 

And Peter, who witnessed the perfidy of Judas, echoed his words: “Casting all your care [anxiety] upon Him, for He cares [is deeply concerned] for you” (I Pet. 5:7). Discouragement gripped him. He felt alone and forsaken, and was tempted to become bitter, until he began thinking about the great compassion of the Lord. Who cares? He does!’ 

Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does care deeply about us, else why would He leave the joys and comforts of heaven and come to earth in human flesh to suffer the humiliation and abuse He did eh? These awesome words of His speak plainly of caring. ‘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.’ (Jon 3:16) There was no reason for the Father to do that, except that His LOVE and compassion for us was so great, He couldn’t just allow us to lose our souls and end up in Hades with Beelzebub. 

So Jesus’ coming to earth was all about caring. And the Good Book tells us in so many instances of God’s care and concern for us. Let’s check out a few nuh. Mr. Peterson mentioned a couple. The first one being the words of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – A cry against deceitful friends – where he declares in no uncertain manner: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit, allow) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:22) and if you are a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then it’s imperative that you believe those words! 

Then there was Peter, who experienced Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, as well as his own, when he thrice denied knowing Christ, having been forewarned by Christ that he would do it. And when the cock crowed and Jesus looked around at Peter, he must have wished the earth could open up and swallow him, the shame he felt. (Luke 22:55-62) But the Lord not only forgave Peter, but also encouraged him, ‘Feed my sheep.’  (John 21:15-19) And Peter rose to be one of the leaders of the church. 

All of that caring and compassion of Jesus, must have compelled him to write: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Peter experienced it, so he could testify to it. Likewise, many of us have also experienced the Lord’s care and compassion in our normal everyday lives, but you know what, in these turbulent and dangerous times we need to seek His care and compassion even more than usual, since the world is in such turmoil. 

And Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked – has a couple of interesting verses that we should all take hold of. ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.’ (Ps. 37:5, 23-24) 

Oh my fellow believers there’s no doubt whatsoever that Jesus cares for us. How else can you interpret these words of His: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) My fellow saints, please ponder those words today, and see if they don’t add up to a tender and heartfelt caring on the part of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…no one understands…or cares…like Jesus… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8