Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.
 
Well top o’ the morn to all you wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! And I mean that in a general sense because it’s already a tad late, due to my early morning bed time and consequently late rising. (smile) But all that’s a part of life, and we just have to take it and accept it with God’s good grace. Hn, hn, hn! It sounds like I’m making an excuse for something eh? Who knows? But the long and short of it is that in my area of the world it’s a wet and windy Friday morning. The rain has currently stopped, but the wind is certainly picking up, and according to the weather people, we’re going to have thunderstorms and all other kinds of inclement weather this exciting day in God’s great universe! 

Yeh, as Job says, you can’t expect to get good stuff all the time and never experience some negative affairs. But the good thing about it all is that we have Jesus running our show, and He’s a Leader extraordinaire, so we don’t need to be worried about whatever happens if we’re walking under His awesome command. That’s why this Coronavirus, or whatever it’s called, that’s running rings around our world doesn’t trouble Christ’s believers as much as those who don’t believe! 

We know that it’s dangerous, and we’re to take good and safe precautions, but we also know that our great God has faithfully promised to work everything out for our eventual good, so we don’t panic and get all wired and wound up, but show the world the true faith of Christ’s believers. And the ordinary workingman is pushing me aside so that he can have his say. (smile) 

And as usual, he enthusiastically declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But this is a different kind of Friday – I haven’t worked since Tuesday, because the government said the slave master should shut down the slave shop just in case we spread the virus further. And we going to get pay too… Hn! The government must be helping the slave master pay we for not working because He wouldn’t do that on his own. And as I sit here by mih window looking out on the grey and wet morning, glad that ah not in the slave master shop breaking mih back with work, I have to shake mih head and sadly chuckle. 

Well, well, well! Look what we great world come to eh! Hn! Ah li’l stupid looking virus finally bring we to we knees! Who’d ever have thunked it eh? Brother! The whole world just shut down just so! I wouldn’t believe such a thing could happen if I didn’t see it with mih own two eyes. Leh we just hope that all this social distancing and washing hands and staying home together brings families back together instead of driving them further apart yes, because the family situation was really getting bad there before all this happen. 

Ah Lord eh! What we going to do eh? Just hope that they find a cure soon and too many people doh die from it first, and the economy doh get so bad that it take a long long time to recover! And we keep on thanking God for Fridays and weekends, even though some of us not working and not getting pay!’ 

Yeh friends, even the ordinary workingman has realized the seriousness of our predicament and the urgency for prayer! So what shall we believers do eh? First off, we shall chant our Friday Chant…and I’ve rejigged it somewhat to serve this unusual situation. So let’s chant up a serious and sincere storm nuh, for the safety and survival of our world depends on it. All together in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible, but even more importantly, bringing a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also a whole new flock who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that when the Lord hears our prayer and looks at our hearts to see our motivation, that He will see sincerity written all over them, and thus will unleash His awesome LOVE, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, to help us resolve this situation in the best way possible, that will bring glory and honour and exaltation to his name. Oh friends, I can’t stress enough the importance of prayer and our salt and light leadership of faith in this panic stricken situation. 

We, the believers in Christ are the ones now required to stand strong and show the unbelievers why we have such faith and trust in our Lord and Saviour. We can’t afford to be weak, wishy-washy and insincere in this abnormal time, for this is the time we were born for; the time to show the world the true and powerful attributes of our faith. And this puts me in mind of Bruh Paul’s second letter to Timothy, when the problems in the church at Ephesus were discouraging him. 

‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.’ (2 Tim.1:6-9) 

Yes friends, our God has not given us the spirit of fear, but that of power; the Holy Ghost power; His awesome power of LOVE, and of a sound and disciplined mind. Let us not be therefore weak and ashamed of His gospel, but this is the time to stir up our passion, rise up from our discouragement and do God’s work! We all know what we ought to do, so with God’s help, let’s rise up and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…in tough times like these… it’s the tough faithful who lead the way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2014 Acts 4:19

Acts 4:19.      But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

And then it was Friday…Friday the 13th to boot!

‘So what,’ shouted the people? ‘Who believes in those old-wives tales any way? We’ll still sing TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And thank God the weekend is finally here! No evil forces can stop that. For it’s the Lord’s will and desire! So shout it out loud and proud: TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend’s here!’

Yeh Friends, sure believers in Jesus don’t worry about the evil forces who are supposed to be in the ascendance on a Friday the 13th. Simply because none of those evil forces can stop God’s time. Jesus has already defeated them all, so they are only ‘flimming and flamming’ now, without any real power at all, just working on our natural fears and anxieties.

So let’s chant our Friday Chant with much energy and enthusiasm, that some will rub off on all of those who hear us. As one harmonious voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Good chanting Friends, good chanting! Now let’s go and put it into practice. (smile)

And we’ll continue studying the stuff that the mighty moving of the Holy Spirit wrought at that memorable Pentecost, some two thousand years ago.

Yesterday we saw the apostles, Peter and John, stand up strong and brave to the Jewish leaders, with Peter boldly declaring that the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ was the source of their power. And that Jesus was the only one by whom salvation could be obtained.

Now the Jewish leaders were obviously unhappy with the situation, but what could they do? They had a group of uneducated, lower class men speaking bravely and powerfully to them, and a lame man who had been healed through their instigation, in the sight of countless people.

Those were facts they could not deny. But how were they to handle the delicate situation, without losing face and power; that was their quandary.

So they put Peter and John outside and ‘conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle (a remarkable sign) had been done by them is manifest (known) to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly (severely) threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.’ (Acts 4:16-17)

Oh Friends, how the forces of evil are troubled and affrighted by the name of Jesus! So much so, that they try and stop us from speaking His Holy Name. Hn! But they do try in vain!

As the scholars so wisely and rightly declare: ‘4:12. The name of Jesus Christ is the centre of contention (v. 7, 10, 12) and ever will be. Salvation for Jew and Gentile alike is exclusively through the name of Jesus Christ (cf. John 14:6).’ 

Oh yes my fellow believers, you can bring up any other name in the world, in any kind of company, and none will cause as much contention as Jesus’!

Why my people? Because of the inherent power vested in that most remarkable name! It just touches a hidden nerve in our beings; a chord programmed thus by our Creator, at our creation. Else why would a single name cause so much contention, consternation and dissension eh?

Anyway, having made their decision, the Jewish leaders called the apostles back into the room. ‘And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’ (Acts 4:18-20)

Oh mih breddren, what a way Peter has developed into this brave and courageous believer! So that he can now look the Jewish elders in the eye and tell them to get lost. Oh the power of Christ’s Holy Spirit! For it was simply Holy Ghost power that Peter was operating on.

‘So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how (for which) they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed (had been performed).’ (Acts 4:21-22)

Oh Friends, I just LOVE it! I just LOVE the way our wonderful God moves in His most mysterious ways, His works to perform! The problem though is whether we are allowing His Holy Spirit to put such courage and confidence in our everyday lives? That is the trillion dollar question my people!

And it’s obvious that as a church, as a body of worshippers in the name of Jesus Christ, we are falling far short of expectations, otherwise our world would not be in such an awful mess, lacking LOVE and kindness, but full of hate and resentment. 

Oh my brethren, it’s time for us to conquer our fears, anxieties, or whatever is keeping us from doing a good job in Jesus’ name. It’s full time we allow His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in all truth and righteousness, so that we can joyfully and fearlessly proclaim His name to all the world, as He desires.

We’ve seen how the Holy Spirit moved in the early believers, and it’s still working the same way today. It’s just that we aren’t making the most of it, although we have more information, freedom and opportunity to do so.

Ah Friends, let’s wake up and smell the sweet perfume of those lovely roses nuh. Let’s see the evil and hateful world for exactly what it is – a stinking cesspool – and come to the great realization that without our best efforts, our world will only become more evil and hateful.

Is that the legacy we want to bequeath to our descendants? I greatly doubt it. So let’s hitch up our breeches, pull up our socks and allow the Spirit of Jesus to work in us as it should nuh… for our children’s sake. That’s wisdom to the nth power! Much LOVE!

…a believer who doesn’t embrace the leading and guiding power of Christ’s Spirit…is no true believer at all…