Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2020 2 Corinthians 12:9a.

2 Corinthians 12:9a.     ​And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).

Oh friends, the old fella is feeling somewhat ‘achy, breaky’ this Monday morning in soul, body and mind. Hn! That means his mental acuity is not up to scratch and thus he is devoid of any wise and encouraging words at this present time. (smile) But don’t despair, for the Lord our wonderful God is near – He always is – and in His time, He will fill me with guidance and direction as to what wonderful, LOVING sentiments He desires me to convey to you all today. (smile) 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella shaking it a tad rough this morning, lack of enough rest I believe, but we not giving up, we soldiering on because we have Christ with us to enable us with His strength and grace…. Oh mih bredrin ah just got the zeppo I was waiting for…Glory be! 

Yuh see I wasn’t lying when I said that the Lord would eventually tell me what He wanted me to talk about today. And He just did that – today’s topic mirrors my present predicament; tiredness, a kind of weakness of body, soul and spirit that causes unavoidable dependence on God’s grace and mercy. And one of the best examples of that in the scripture is Bruh Paul’s conversation with the Lord about removing ‘the thorn in his flesh.’ 

As he puts it in his first letter to the Corinthians. ‘And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (beat) me, lest I should be exalted above measure.’ (2 Cor. 12:7) 

Yeh friends, Bruh Paul had some bodily or mental problem, no one knows for sure what it was, but it was painful (a thorn) and somewhat embarrassing, and he believed it was the devil’s doing, and it also prevented him from exalting himself, from glorying in his own strength and power, because of the amazing revelations that the Lord had showed him. 

And he further explains: ‘For this thing I besought (pleaded with) the Lord thrice (three times), that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).’ (2 Cor. 12:8-9a) 

What a bam-bam mih people! But it’s the same thing that the Lord is saying to us today, and what He just demonstrated in my life, and has done so often over the thirteen years that I’ve been writing the Bit. I’m trying to do His work, I didn’t ask Him for it, He offered it to me, against my wish (smile), so He keeps on showing His faithfulness, never leaves me in the lurch. 

But that doesn’t mean to say it’s always easy. No sir! Sometimes he makes me work very hard to find out what I need or want to say. But in the end, He always comes through. That’s why I can testify to His awesome faithfulness and the fact that He never gives you something to do without giving you the wherewithal, the anointing to do it. 

But getting back to Bruh Paul, as a result of God’s proclamation, about His ‘strength is made perfect in weakness,’ he then declares (yehhh!) ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

Oh friends, ah sorry, but I haven’t reached Bruh Paul’s level yet nuh! I can’t say I take pleasure in those things – don’t know if I’ll ever say so – but I know that I can stand strong and handle them with God’s help because I’ve been doing it, the pleasure part though, that’s a different story. (smile) So all it means is that when we are weak, not up to scratch, it’s the opportune time for God to show up and demonstrate His might on our behalf. Look how often He did it for Bruh Paul, through all the trials and tribulations He allowed Him to go through. So He’ll do it for all His people, if we’ll just believe and have faith in His word and His promises. 

And Peter offers an interesting statement, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘If ye be so reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified.’ (1 Pet. 4:14) Yeh friends, when you suffer for Christ, you are blessed. 

As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:11-12) Yeh precious people, I know that’s easier said than done, but with Jesus’ strength, power and authority, we can do it. 

So let’s go home now offering up our Monday Battle Hymn to Almighty God, asking for His divine help to do what needs to be done. All together now, in confident voice, but humble heart. ‘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 standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

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 to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, 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 as always, sincerity ought to lead to action. So what we waiting for eh? Much LOVE!

…the weakness of God…is stronger than men… (1 (Cor. 1:25a)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2020 Psalm 118:8.

Psalm 118:8.     ​It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

So here we are on a Monday morning in mid-September of this historic year 2020, amidst numerous calamities, many trials and much tribulation, overwhelming adversity like most of us have never seen before – and are not liable to see ever again. But the sad fact is that they are here with us, we can’t run away and hide from them, or simply wish then away, that means we have to step up to the plate and deal with them mano-a-mano. 

And the first step in dealing with any problem is one we all know, but don’t invoke as often as we should. I’m referring to turning to Almighty God in prayer; taking our problems to Him and asking for His divine guidance and wisdom in handling them. The sad fact is that too many of us first try to solve our problems ourselves, or turn to other humans, and when that doesn’t work, then, and only then, will we probably turn to God as a last resort. But friends that’s the ultimate in stupidity! 

Remember what the psalmist advises: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to put confidence in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps. 118:8-9) So, regardless of the earthly status of a human being, our trust and confidence in them ought to be very carefully considered and not taken for granted. That in turn means, our great and sovereign God ought to be our avenue of FIRST resort, rather than the LAST! That kind of action shows up our foolish pride and our lack of faith in Him. 

And you know one thing our God dislikes with a passion is foolish pride that shows up in our not trusting or needing Him. Hear how Bruh David puts it on the Lord’s behalf: ‘Whoso privily (secretly) slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer (endure).’ (Ps. 101:5) And Cousin Sol further reminds us that amongst the seven deadly sins that the Lord hates is ‘A proud look (haughty eyes), a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.’ (Prov. 6:17) 

But unwisely, those are the very things that we have chosen to pursue in our society. We trust man more than God, so much so that we’ve been trying to get God completely out of society, having already removed Him from our schools, our homes and public places. Sadly too, even a lot of what we preach in the church nowadays is not His truth. And don’t talk about lying tongues and the shedding of innocent blood… Brother! Those are some of the hallmarks of our modern, technological society! 

And we can also add a few more things that are abominations to our God, but which rank very high in our society. ‘A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations (devises wicked plans), feet that be swift in running to mischief (evil). A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.’ (Prov. 6:18-19) Yes my people, all those things which the Lord finds abominable, despicable and distasteful, unfortunately are mainstays of our current society. So what else can we expect if we do all that God dislikes eh? Nothing but pain and sorrow, heartache and calamity! 

But the wonderful thing about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is that He is a most forgiving God, and if mankind repents and turns from his evil ways, the Lord is willing to forgive Him. In fact, He’s rather ecstatic when that happens, it warms the cockles of His heart. And I don’t know how many times I have to say it before we believe it: the Lord might not have brought all our worldwide problems upon us, but He has certainly allowed them because He’s tired of our evil ways and our trying to get rid of Him. That’s it in a nutshell. 

And until we realize the error of our ways and turn back to Him in repentance, our problems will keep on driving us crazy. Therefore, in true wisdom, let’s take our problems to God in sincere prayer this morning nuh, so that He can alleviate, or show us how to alleviate them. So in faithful confidence, with humble, sincere hearts, let’s present our petitions heavenward, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘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 standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

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 to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, 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!’ 

Now, our next move my brethren is to reduce the sin and evil in our hearts and in our land. For remember the Lord doesn’t just listen to our words, but more importantly He checks to see if the motives of our hearts are right. And remember too that we’ve just made a vow to repent and turn back to the Lord, so these words of Cousin Sol writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes are of the utmost importance. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.’ (Eccl. 5:4) End of story! Much LOVE!

…the created cannot overthrow the Creator…Lucifer tried…and failed miserably… (smile)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials),
 

‘Everything’s coming up roses…’ Well friends, it’s not really coming up nuh, it has already come up! We talking about the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and all that does and says for us poor sinners! Wow! And yes, we might be going through some rough and trying times now, but those are only here to test our faith, endurance and perseverance, because we already know the end of the story; Jesus has won the victory over the enemy! Glory be! 

James, the half-brother of Jesus puts it quite succinctly when he speaks of faith and humility. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials), Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall, (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.’ Then the scholars note, as per ‘1:4: The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

Yes friends, as a true believer in Christ, we WILL experience testing, and it is NEVER easy to accept trials and tribulations with joy, but if we hold on tightly to Jesus, be the branch that’s seamlessly welded to His vine, we can successfully withstand the rigours of those tests. And remember, He promises not to give us more than we can handle. 

Bruh Paul explains it thus: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) That doesn’t mean we will necessarily escape the temptation, but He will always assist us to land safely on the other side. So as the old people would say: ‘Yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide from temptation and testing!’ (smile) 

And Peter in his first letter to the scattered diaspora of early believers stated it more fully. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be relieved in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-6) 

Yes my people, it’s through God’s abundant mercy, whereby Christ was resurrected, and the faith in Him that we manifest that allows us to look forward to the wonderful indestructible inheritance at the time of ultimate salvation. And though life might be hard for a season, that inheritance down the road helps us to bear these tests. 

As Peter continues: ‘That the trial of your faith (the genuineness), being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 1:7-9) 

Yeh, I know it seems deep and heavy, but remember Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light. We not here for child’s play and constant good times, we here to do a job for Jesus which means we have to buckle down and be diligent about it, letting the eventual rewards keep us strong and faithful. Hear what the scholars offer. ‘1:6-9. The problem of salvation looks to the present. Earthly trials constitute a problem of our salvation, but they are only for a season, or temporary. Manifold temptations means diversified trials. True faith cannot be destroyed though God is in the process of refining faith through our trials.’ 

So what can we do? As always, the number one step is prayer. So let’s pray nuh, raise up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, in true and humble but confident faith. ‘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, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also 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!’ 

Now we sit and wait quietly for a while, for God’s wise direction, then we go out and obediently follow it. Much LOVE!

…to endure to the end…we need a combination of…hope, faith, belief and trust…

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 8 June 2020 John 8:12.

John 8:12.    ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
 

Yes…Yes…Yes… It’s Monday! And yuh know what? We coming out fighting! We going out fearless to battle the fearsome and daunting enemy on his own turf – the battlefields of this evil world! And the victory’s already ours, because our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has already defanged and ‘detoothed’ (smile) the ole lion called Satan, and all he has now is a setta mouth, plenty bark and but no bite! Wow! What a mighty avenger is our Lord; the immortal Lion of Judah! 

But we still need to engage Satan in mortal combat because like he doesn’t know or realize that he’s already lost the war for spiritual superiority and keeps showing up and threatening people with his toothless and defanged self. Thus, to add to Satan’s misery, our Saviour has given us a spirit of fearlessness, awesome power through the Holy Spirit that dwells within us to lead, guide and comfort us, plus His amazing LOVE, that shines so brightly, it dazzles the eyes and lights up the darkness, and last, but definitely not least, His everlasting wisdom, through a sound and disciplined mind! 

So poor Beelzebub, he doesn’t stand a chance against us! Glory Hallelujah! Give our Jesus some thanks and praise for being such an awesome ally and giving us all the tools and help we need to keep our victory secure. And who still doesn’t want to hang their hat on Jesus’ hat rack, that’s their business yes, but for sure, me and mine are going to hang ours there! And all those who think like me, shouted a joyful and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, we do need to praise our wonderful God, but we also need to communicate with Him through prayer, the medium that He’s devised for our communication. We need to tell Him our wishes and our woes, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, and sometimes has plans that are different to ours. But since He’s the BOSS, and His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, His desires ALWAYS take priority. And yuh better believe we have a lot to talk to Him about today yes, as we’re faced with double threats of worldwide sickness and worldwide strife and protests. 

So as one strong and sincere voice, let’s call out to Him, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace. ‘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, 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!’ 

Yes my people, we’ve done the first part of our bounden duty; go to God in sincere prayer. Now we need to do the other part; show this dark and evil world the awesome LIGHT and LOVE that resides in Jesus and those who sincerely believe in Him. Remember Jesus’ words about the world: ‘And this is the condemnation, that (the) light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) And two thousand years later my brethren, that is still the case, men still prefer darkness to light because their deeds are still evil and are easily hidden in the darkness. 

But please do not forget Jesus’ awesome proclamation to the Jewish Leaders: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ Now those Jewish leaders didn’t believe Him, because they considered Him to be boasting on Himself, tooting His own horn. But we believe Him! Glory to God! And the logical and natural corollary to all that is when Jesus ascended back to heaven, He left His faithful believers to be light in this dark world. 

Please note His decree to us: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14:16) 

There we have it friends! If you are a true and sincere believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, then it is expected that you will reflect, show the bright LIGHT that He’s placed in you to this dark and evil world, so we can envelop unbelievers in His light, and thus bring them to salvation. That’s it in a nutshell friends! So what are we waiting for eh? Let’s go out today and be like that city on the hill, show the dark world the LIGHT and LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…oh that many more of us…were truly salt of the earth…and lights of the world…so that in Jesus’ name…the Father would be truly glorified…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2020 Genesis 2:17.

Genesis 2:17.    ​But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

‘Monday, Monday…Oh how I hate that day!…Come Monday morning, I’d wake up crying…Monday Monday!’ Ah friends, many of us older folks, please note I said older, not old folks, (smile) will remember those words, or some facsimile thereof (smile) from the hit song by the Mamas and Papas released in 1966, and which has become something of an institution over the years to denigrate Mondays. Thus to this day, some six decades later, Monday is looked upon as an outcast, as the poor relation, the devil day of the week, simply because it heralds the start of our work week, cuts into the good times we’ve been having over the weekend. 

But if we want to eat, some of us have to work. It’s as simple as that. And in these uncertain and turbulent times, when life is so fragile, we need a lot of help just to make it through each day. But the good news is that we have powerful help, reassuring help, our omnipotent God! So let’s communicate with Him nuh, through what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting Him know that we desperately need His divine favour and succour. 

As one strong voice: ‘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. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. Our anxieties have even deepened in the last few days because some restrictions have been lifted, and more of us have to go to work now. 

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 this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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!’ 

Now all of that sounds good and proper, but yuh know what friends, we are our own worst enemy. And why do I say that? Because of the gross irresponsibility a lot of us are showing in these dangerous and unpredictable times. Good example; yesterday, Sunday, with the recent lifting of some park restrictions, and with the wonderful weather and temperature conditions, the small Trinity Bellwoods Park in the south western part of the city of Toronto saw several thousands of people picnicking and partying there, with no regard whatsoever to the terrible backlash  their irresponsible behaviour could provoke, as we still don’t have a proper handle on the virus that’s holding us to ransom. 

The only way we can control it right now is by physical distancing, which obviously wasn’t being practiced in that park yesterday. And in the U.S. on their Memorial Day weekend, there have already been numerous incidents of crowds on beaches and in parties in parks and elsewhere causing controversies with the authorities. And no doubt there’ll be more on the holiday today. 

So what’s a body to say to that kind of irresponsible behaviour eh? Yes, it’s hard been locked down for a long while, but which do we prefer, to be safe and somewhat stir crazy, or free and easy and dead eh? And it’s not like people aren’t dying in large numbers from the Covid-19 disease. So why this crazy reaction? We really shouldn’t be surprised nuh, because flouting rules and regulations seems to be the natural nature of man. Look at how our forefather’s Adam and Eve screwed it up in the Garden of Eden when they had it so good. 

Yuh know is one, ONE simple rule the Lord gave them: ‘And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat freely: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ (Gen. 2:16-17) Oh friends, according to the scholars, ‘2:16. The Hebrew words expressly emphasize, ‘you may eat to your heart’s content, of every other tree but that one in the middle.’ 

But as they say further: ‘Note Satan’s subtle assertion in 3:1. As he focused on the “one” tree they could not eat from. In so doing, he excluded the abundance in this verse.’ Yuh see how the ole serpent smart; he teased them with the one thing they couldn’t have, ignoring the abundance of all the other things they could have. And that’s the exact way we are still behaving to this day. We ‘re never satisfied with what we do have, but are always in search of what we don’t have, but think we ought to. 

It’s simply a combination of greed and stupidity. But when we suffer the necessary consequences, then we hold our heads and bawl; ‘If I’d only known eh…’ But you did know because it was spelt out in spades, but you chose to disobey it. And with Adam and Eve, death was a sure thing if they disobeyed. But Satan again weaved his deceitful web around them by blatantly denying God’s promise and saying to Eve: ‘Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (God), knowing good and evil.’ (Gen. 3:4-5) 

And yes technically speaking, their eyes were opened. ‘But the problem was that their eyes were opened to behold all things in the light of their own sinfulness. They would have a fixed moral nature like God; but it was fixed in sin, not righteousness. They knew good, but were unable to do it; and they knew evil, but were unable to resist it. There has always been the temptation to be like God. Here it suggests that God is holding something back from Adam and Eve.’ 

Yuh see how Satan could tie us up with unsaid suggestions or intimations. And today, unfortunately, we still falling for his deceitfulness, just like Adam and Eve. Nothing’s really changed nuh friends, we’re still disobedient to the rules and regulations of both our heavenly Father and our earthly leaders. And yuh know what? The same thing, certain death is forecasted for many of us if we insist on being disobedient! Much LOVE!

 …for dust thou art…and unto dust shalt thou return… (Gen. 3:19b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2020 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 

And life goes on one way or the other through this Coronavirus time. But these calamitous times will end one day, when the Lord so desires. Yes friends, this too will undoubtedly pass, when the Lord achieves the purpose(s) for which He allowed it. However, in the mean time, we have two options of living life, as author Daniel Darling proposes in an article I recently read. ‘We can spend the rest of our years angry at what we think we’ve lost, or we can spend them in sweet dependence on God.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! We can either get angry and be miserable about all the negative things that have happened and are still happening, or simply do like our leader, Jesus Christ advises; put our total trust and dependence in Him; the One who has moved us from death and eternal separation from God, to salvation and eternal life with Him. Just consider His Great Invitation nuh: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Wow! Is anybody else offering, or have ever offered such a glorious invitation? No sir! And as author Darling continues in his article: ‘This is the difference, I think, between those whose lives are marked by grace and those whose lives are filled with frustration and anger.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Grace and peace come through association with Jesus, but anger and frustration are the product of a constantly dissatisfied and negative spirit, like that of Satan. And with the free will God granted us, we must now choose our preferred or desired course of action: doing life with Him, or death with the prince of demons. 

As Moses, on God’s behalf said to the Israelites: ‘I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut.31:19) The Lord’s saying the same thing to us today my people. And if that didn’t resonate with you, (smile) then listen to this other invitation that Joshua, Moses’ replacement as the Israelite leader, gave them. 

‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (the Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:14-15) 

There it is friends, plainly set out in black and white! Now it’s up to us to choose. And since I know that most of us have obviously chosen ‘life, blessing, and the Lord God of Israel,’ then it now behooves us to communicate with Him and follow His rules and regulations, which can sometimes be onerous, but are always for our benefit. (smile) Okay, some of us doubt that, but if you keep the faith and grow in it, you will eventually realize that it’s oh so true. So let’s communicate with our Creator nuh, in the manner that He set out; purposeful, confident and humble prayer. 

And this Monday morning the most stressful and discouraging thing on our minds is the Covid-19 disease, therefore let’s address that matter uppermost in our prayer, the one we call our Monday Morning Covid-19 Battle Hymn. Altogether now: ‘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. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

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 this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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!’ 

Ah friends, if that didn’t get God’s attention, I don’t know what will nuh. (smile) But He is the Boss and it’s His decision! So now we wait with patience, meaning perseverance, faith and hope, eager anticipation, and a trusting heart, because as we said at the beginning, all will be revealed and come to pass in His time, not ours. And yes, unfortunately our great God doesn’t see, or perceive time in the same simple way that we do, but on a more lofty level. 

And to reinforce our differences, He has said through His prophet Isaiah: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways may 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.’ (Is. 55:8-9) Now that certainly puts us in our place. And it’s rather sad that so many of us don’t seem to believe it, one of the major reasons why our world is in such a disastrous state. I don’t know what else we need to truly understand that we are not masters of our own fate! Much LOVE!

…to the Creator…belongs…the life and times of the created…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2020 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    ​Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
 
Arise people, it’s Monday, the start of another week of work, even for those of us who are working from home. Let’s not abuse the privilege and try to be just as diligent and excellent in our work habits as when we had to physically venture out into the evil world. Nothing much has changed; confusion, uncertainty and panic still abound, but more importantly, our great and wonderful God is still on His heavenly throne overseeing things! And in that everlasting fact, we can put our sincere hope, faith and trust, knowing that He will keep His promise and work everything out for our good eventually. But we still have to do our part in the partnership, and at this moment, that’s prayer. 

So right now, in this turbulent time, let’s come before the Lord and ask for His help, as we pray our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘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. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

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 this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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!’ 

Now we just have to do like Bruh David says: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:14) And when we have faithfully waited on the Lord, you know what will eventually happen? We will sing the song of praise of the redeemed, like Isaiah writes: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Oh friends, there is no better feeling than having waited faithfully, eagerly and expectantly for God’s promise, to be fulfilled in His time, and then having it come to pass. And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name; now and forever!’ And do we ever need to do that as often as possible, since He is indeed very worthy to be praised! Now hear these words of further encouragement from Cousin Sol: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! For as the scholars explain: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ That’s an indisputable fact! When our dreams and hopes don’t come true, we tend to fall into bouts  of depression. But when they come to pass…oh boy…the joy that they bring is overwhelming. That’s why friends, we need to do like Zechariah advises: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech. 9:12) And you know who is the stronghold He speaks of? Zion’s future King; Jesus Christ! 

Oh my people, our ONLY true help in this time of crisis is the Creator and Controller of our Universe, the Lord God Almighty, in conjunction with His Son, Jesus Christ, the name above all names, who redeemed us by His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, and His Holy Spirit, who works His miracles in our souls and spirits! So please, this Monday morning, in this time of pandemic, let’s not lose hope in our great God and His faithful promises. Instead, let’s ramp up our hope, and do like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: 

‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good. Be ye kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another; Not slothful in business (lagging in diligence); fervent (boiling over) in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer; Distributing to the necessity (needs) of saints; given to hospitality. Bless (speak well of) them which persecute you: bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.’ (Rom. 12:9-15) 

And don’t tell me we can’t do those things friends, because they are all a part of basic Christianity, a part of the foundation, the example Jesus laid down for His church to follow! And believe me, we, the church of Christ, need to do them more than ever in these cruel and trying times, if we desire and expect to have any hope of survival. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…but the greatest of these three is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)