Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2020 Numbers 13:30.

Numbers 13:30.     And ​Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it (take possession of it); for we are well able to overcome it.
 
Come Monday morning we’ll all be up bright and early, dressed and rearing to get out into the evil world and do good work for Jesus! Wow! Now that doesn’t have to be a pipe dream, but can become reality if we are really interested in furthering Christ’s kingdom. But unfortunately, though I am a prisoner of hope, I also am practical and know from hard experience that many of us supposed believers will never reach that high state of being ready and rearing to go on a Monday morning. 

But I am believing that the numbers will lessen as we move forward. Consequently, I can safely say that we will always need our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to act as an antidote for our Monday morning blues. So let’s get on with it nuh. In strong and sincere voice, with humility and confidence that our prayer will be answered because it is within God’s will. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And like magic, (smile) through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, the heavenly worker bee, our souls and spirits and attitudes begin changing right away! A sudden burst of energy shoots through our bodies, while our souls and spirits react with a hitherto unknown enthusiasm and confidence and we’re finally ready to go out and fight who or whatever the world pits against us, all in the name and strength of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! We no longer see ourselves as grasshoppers in the eyes of the world’s evil giants, unable to defeat them, like the ten spies who went out with Joshua and Caleb to espy the Promised Land. (Num. 13:33) 

But we’re now like Caleb, who ‘stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it (take possession of it); for we are well able to overcome it.’ And unfortunately, like the ten fearful and negative spies, such is the state of too many Christians in this day and age. The Caleb’s and Joshua’s are rather few and far between. Thus the people of Israel, listening to the gutless spies, rebelled against the Lord, calling for a captain to lead them back into slavery in Egypt.(Num. 14:1-4) What gutless wonders my brethren! That’s why they wandered 40 years in the wilderness till all those who had come out of Egypt had died, except Joshua and Caleb. 

And while the Israelites were looking to go back to Egypt, the Good Book tells us: ‘Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces (prostrated themselves) before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent (tore) their clothes. (a gesture of deep distress). And they spake unto all the company children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 

If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it to us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against  the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us (food for our consumption): their defense (protection) is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.’ (Num. 14:5-9) 

What a moving speech by Joshua and Caleb. And the reaction from the people? The Good Book  relates it thus: ‘But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of before all the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke (despise) me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the (miraculous) signs which I have showed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.’ (Num.14:10-12) 

What a sad state of affairs friends, and Moses had to intercede for them with the Lord. (Num. 14:13-19) But we can’t be too judgemental of the Israelites, because we’re behaving just like them today. And why do I say so? Because of two explanations by the scholars. The first: ‘13:27-29. The report of the spies was factual: the land was fruitful, the people were strong, the cities were walled and very great, and the giants dwelled in the land. But they had left God out. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith (Heb.3:19).’ And the second: ‘14:11. The purpose of the signs performed in Egypt was to encourage the people to trust in God and follow Him (Ex. 4:5) 

Yes friends, just like the Israelites we have left God completely out of our current situation, and neither do we have the trust and faith in Him that all His many miracles wrought on our behalf ought to have raised to great levels. Thus so many of us are walking around in this evil and ungodly wilderness called the world, lost and forlorn, but still rebellious, even in the face of God’s truth. 

But friends, as the old people would say; however you make up your bed, that is how you have to lie on it. And there are only two ways to make up our beds; faithful and strong with Jesus, or weak and evil with Beelzebub! The choice is yours. But I implore us to choose the former because it’s the wisest and best choice, the one with all the good and lasting benefits! Much LOVE!

…this day…I put before you life and death…choose life…and live forever…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 February 2020 1 Chronicles 16:25.

1 Chronicles 16:25.    ​For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared (held in reverential awe) above all gods.
 
And by now, on this bright and sunshiny, but somewhat chilly Wednesday winter’s morn, most of us will have gotten accustomed to the tumbling tumbleweed motion of our lives as we go through the challenging workweek. (smile) Ah, but friends, we believers don’t need to worry about that tumbleweed motion of our lives because our most remarkable Maker has it purposefully planned, right down to the last teardrop, the last breath! And nothing is going to interfere with His plans to work everything out for our good as He grows our faith and matures us into beautiful replicas of His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! Yes, that’s the Master Plan! 

Wow! What a blessing and privilege it is to be a replica of Christ! The inherent problem in accomplishing that though, is that such a feat requires a lot of hard slugging, it certainly doesn’t come easy, and we often have to band our jaw and belly, sacrifice a whole lot, cry plenty eyes water just to get a pass mark in the class. (smile) But the wonderful thing about our amazing, magnificent and magnanimous God is that He never asks us to do anything and not give us the tools to do it. 

Thus, in our desire to become like Christ, He gives us His grace, His mercy, LOVE, compassion, forgiveness, strength, assurance, justification, sanctification, confidence, and whatever else we might happen to need to do His will! And He does it all through the power of His Holy Spirit, the third member of our Holy Trinity, our Triune Godhead. Oh my people, we certainly couldn’t ask for anything more! However, sad as it is, we ofttimes ask for more; because we’re too lazy, too afraid, or some such human frailty. In other words, we want God to not only give us the tools to do the job, but also to do it for us. 

But friends, He’s not going to. We have a covenant, a partnership with Him, whereby He does His part and we do ours. End of story! He will certainly help us accomplish our part, but definitely not do it for us. So let’s not hold out any hope in that regard nuh. We’ve got to stand up on our own two feet sometime or the other, whatever it takes! We’re Christ’s ambassadors down here on earth, His hands, feet, eyes and ears, and He’s depending on us to get His work done, to spread the good news of His gospel all over the world. 

Please note the marvellous words of Bruh David in the psalm he gave to Asaph, the cymbals man and band leader, as they celebrated the bringing of the Ark of the covenant to Jerusalem: ‘Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared (held in reverential awe) above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols (worthless things): but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.’ (1 Chr.16:23-27) 

Oh my people, what awesome truth are contained in those words! And until we fully grasp the truth contained therein, we will not fully realize the awesome position we hold in Christ’s company! Now the bringing of the Ark to Jerusalem was a really big do; a most noteworthy event in the annals of the Jewish people, and Bruh David went out all, both in his activities – dancing and playing before the Lord in the company of his subjects, as well as writing some amazing praise music that a whole big band of established musicians played along with him. 

Can you imagine the scene? It must have been like Carnival Tuesday in T&T; the sun shining hot and bright, the big fancy costumes, the bright dazzling displays of colour, the music jamming loud, and people jumping to high heaven! Mama Yo! Who say they didn’t know how to party in them days eh! (smile)  

Now hear some more awesome truth from Bruh David on the occasion nuh: ‘Give unto the Lord , ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Fear (tremble) before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.’ (1 Chr.16:28-31). 

Oh my people, my people, that is exactly what we ought to be saying in these perilous and troubled times! Unless we believers acknowledge the sovereignty of our omnipotent, merciful and gracious God, and behave like it too, how are the unbelievers going to know about Him and the wonderful life that awaits them with Him eh? They won’t. That’s why it’s ever so important that we sing the praises of the Lord and show His true colours to the unbeliever. 

Now here is some interesting info from the scholars on the psalm. ‘16:7. This psalm (with slight variations) is woven into several of the psalms in the Hebrew Psalter (cf. vs. 8-22 with Ps.105:1-15; vs. 23-33 with Ps.96; vs. 34-36 with Ps.106:1, 47-48). It is learned here that those later liturgical adaptations originated with David. The psalm was especially suited for this auspicious occasion. 

This particular psalm exhorts the people to praise Israel’s wonder-working God (vs. 8-11), and encourages its hearers to remember God’s deeds (vs. 12-14), and His unfailing covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (vs. 15-22). David then directs all nations to join Israel in its praise of the holy God to whom all the universe is subservient (vs. 23-33), and closes this song with a section of thanks, petition, and praise (vs.34-36).’  

Let’s do the same nuh: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr. 16:34-36) Oh my fellow believers, that’s how it ought to be, every day of our lives! And yes, we’re only humans with a frail and fickle nature, but that’s no excuse for not praising and worshipping and thanking our great God! 

And now, for those of us who sincerely try, let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our true position in Christ. As one body, in strong voice with sincere hearts. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And will that future ever be glorious…more than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…O…give thanks unto the Lord…for He is good…for His mercy endureth for ever…

P.S. Yes, it’s a tad long…but it’s ever so nice and encouraging…and I enjoyed writing it! (smile) Hope you enjoy reading it… Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2020 John 14:6.

John 14:6.    ​I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 
And so today, Thursday is another day…one that we should be glad and rejoice in, because we did not see our names in the obits! (smile) Oh give glory to God because He chose us to handle His affairs down here on earth! That means we have the parts to do whatever He wants us to do, and He is proud and confident that we will do His holy will! Please note the amount of people He took away last night because they either couldn’t or wouldn’t do His will. 

Ah friends, we ought to consider it a joy and privilege to be alive, and everyday we open our eyes to another day, be it rain, snow, sleet or storm, our thanks and gratitude ought to rise to high heaven with heartfelt sincerity! Yeh, life can sometimes be rough and trouble-filled, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to leave it and go home. (smile) 

Neither is the Lord ready for us to come home because there is lot’s of work yet to be done down here on earth; the gospel has not yet reached ALL of mankind, and Christ’s church is not in the ascendancy over Satan’s infidels, which means the LOVE Revolution is not going as well as it ought to. So those are things we still need to work on because the Lord does not want to lose even ONE of His human creations to that lout Beelzebub! 

There you have it then; good reasons for us to be alive and bright and bubbly and eager to get on with Christ’s winning work of calling all; (whosoever will may come) to salvation and the exclusive and overwhelming ecstasy of eternal life in His holy presence! 

Wow! What a time that will be my friends; hanging out with Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit in heaven for eternity! Nothing could be more blissful than that! It’s certainly something most worthy to look forward to…in fact, there’s nothing better to look forward to! 

And my brethren, contrary to some opinions, the ONLY WAY to get to that Utopian place of eternal rest and peace and joy is through Jesus! He said it Himself, made it very clear when Thomas refused to believe until He saw the nail marks in His hands and side. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

Those are strong words my people, and it takes a lot of gumption to declare them, even if they are true. And if it’s one thing our Lord and Saviour had, and still has, is gumption! (smile) He has it in spades, because He knows the extent of his power! And we ought to know it too, because He bequeathed that awesome power to us through His Holy Spirit, so that we can use that same power to do His work down here on earth. 

But getting back to Jesus’ words, we believers ought to keep reminding ourselves of them, since it’s so easy to think otherwise and go astray, especially when there are a lot of false preachers and teachers recommending all sorts of other erroneous things and methods. 

John, in his epistle thought it important enough to write: ‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:1-3) 

Yes friends, there are numerous spirits and people out there in this big, evil world trying to tell us all sorts of nonsense, and we therefore need to be very careful who and what we listen to and read and test them by comparing them to God’s Word and the knowledge of His Holy Spirit. And I like John’s subsequent contention: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

And all God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout: ‘All praise and honour be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; the most powerful being in the universe!’ And isn’t that a warm, assuring and enduring fact! The most powerful Being in the universe dwells within each and every believer through the auspices of His Holy Spirit! 

Now that should give us overwhelming confidence in our trials and tribulations in this troubled world, especially when we add it to the Lord’s promise, that He will eventually work out everything for good to those who LOVE Him and are called to do His work. 

Mama Mia! What confidence the true believer ought to have with all those things in his favour! But sadly many of us don’t, because we either truly don’t believe, or we’re fearful and full of doubt. That’s why Jesus was so critical of us and so often complained: ‘O ye of little faith!’ 

And why is that eh? Possibly because we don’t read or hear the Word sufficiently, and we don’t commune with the Father sufficiently. Those are the building blocks, the foundation of our faith friends, and we definitely need very strong faith in this overwhelmingly evil world if we want to not only survive, but even more importantly wrest power from Satan and his evil cohorts! 

So let’s get on seriously with our faith building nuh, cause Jesus is depending on us; we are his ears, eyes, feet and hands down here, His ambassadors, so let’s show ourselves to be worthy of His confidence nuh! And what I dearly LOVE about our great God is that He always gives us the tools to do His work. And so He has with our Thursday Blessings. 

So let’s declare them loudly and proudly: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Oh friends, what more do we need to do Jesus’ work eh? Nothing really! Just believe His Word and put our best foot forward…Oh, and don’t selfishly hoard those blessings, but share them generously with others, like He generously shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…the ONLY name that really matters…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 January 2020 1 John 5:14.

1 John 5:14.    ​And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
 
So it’s the first Monday of the new year, how are we going to greet it eh? How are we going to operate on this opening day of the first full work week of 2020? Are we going to be sour and miserable and tired like we’ve been for a lot of the year just past? I do hope that since most of us have resolved to walk closer with Jesus this year, that most of us will also adopt a better attitude, through regular fellowship and better rest programmes, so that we can bear plenty good fruit for Him. 

And yes, I know that we’ll have some backsliders every week, because that’s just the nature of the human animal. (smile) But we’ll always have a backup plan to lend strong support, namely our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. And I suspect that plenty of us will need it today since we’re still recuperating from the season’s celebrations. (smile) 

So as one strong and confident voice, let’s float our prayer up to heaven. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And almost immediately, we feel the Holy Spirit moving within us to give us what we asked for. Wow! What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! And why are we so confident in our prayers eh? John explains it thus in his first epistle. ‘And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired (asked) of him.’ (1 John 5:14-15) 

Mama Mia! What other faith has such a built in confidence builder eh? None. As the scholars explain: ‘5:14-15. Assurance of salvation (v.13) leads to confidence in petition. Effectual prayer is according to his will.’  Now that’s the fly in the ointment my faithful brethren: we have to ask for stuff that fall’s within God’s will. So we can’t afford to be too frivolous and ask for stuff that’s carnal minded. 

And John furthermore states in an earlier chapter, as he discusses LOVING one another, not merely in talk, but in deed and in truth. ‘And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure (persuade) our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:19-22) 

And what does all of that mean? We’ll let the scholars explain it: ‘3:19. Cain (v. 12) was “of that wicked one”, believers are of the truth. And hereby: John seems to be saying that assurance of salvation comes in part as one reaches out actively in caring for others (preceding verses).’ Yes friends, believers ought to be involved in the truth, in faith as well as deeds. 

‘3:20. In light of John’s strict teaching above, he may have felt that some readers might begin to despair. He assures them that, although our feeble attempts to honour God may leave us feeling defeated inside, God is greater than our self-awareness (cf. 1 Cor. 4:4) and can justify us even when we would condemn ourselves. He sees not only our actions, which at times are thwarted or misguided, but also the motives and intentions behind them.’ And the intentions and motives of our hearts are ever so important in our faith walk my people, because that’s what God judges us by, not simply our outward actions. 

‘3:21-22. If our heart condemn us not: We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth above. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself. That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers! A successful prayer life cannot be had without a righteous daily life. And I think that’s a fitting note to end on today. So please, let’s sincerely ponder our prayer lives based on the above facts nuh, and try to come up higher this year of 2020, with the Lord’s help of course!  Much LOVE!

…confidence in God…comes from knowing His truth…and living according to His will…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 December 2019 Proverbs 13:17.

Proverbs 13:17.    ​A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health.
 
Well I hope we all had a good and pleasant weekend, filled with God’s mercy and compassion, and were not too traumatized by the inclement weather a lot of us had to undergo. (smile) But be that as it may, today’s that great day we call Monday, where we get our acts together and get out and face the music! So what we waiting for eh? Let’s do it nuh! Yeh, I know, there will always be some laggards, some of us who are just not up to it, for whatever reason. But don’t despair because we have you covered. 

Our great God has taken all possibilities into consideration and has designed this one specially for our Monday morning ills. It’s titled our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because it gets us fighting ready for battle with the devious and deceitful enemy. So as one pleading, but humbly hopeful and expectant voice, let’s take our problem to the halls of heaven nuh, where our Advocate, Jesus Christ, is there waiting to take our case to the Father. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And with a wonderful Advocate like Christ on the case, what else can we expect but VICTORY! Yes friends, almost immediately, we all feel the renewing of our spirits and the overwhelming enthusiasm filling our souls through the miraculous working of God’s Holy Spirit! And now we’re just bursting with a flaming desire and seemingly inexhaustible energy to get out into the evil world and knock some sense into some foolish heads on Christ’s behalf! 

But the truth of the matter is that Jesus doesn’t really want us to physically knock sense into the heads of those who refuse to accept Him as their Lord and Saviour, but rather to teach them, by the quality of our lives, our own LOVE, care and compassion for them in this rough and tumble world. For remember, as the man said so long ago, (smile) … Oh brother, now I can’t remember the rather appropriate quote from the 18th century novel, ‘Joseph Andrews’ by Henry Fielding. Steups!  But in today’s parlance it boils down to something like actions speak louder than words. And indeed they do. 

Thank God for computers yes, they do serve some useful purposes sometimes! (smile) I got the bright idea to google the book and author’s name, and lo and behold, much to my surprise, there it was; the whole book. But all I needed was the first line of the first page: ‘It is a trite but true observation, that examples work more forcibly on the mind than precepts: and if this be just in what is odious and blameable, it is more strongly so in what is amiable and praiseworthy.’ Wow! It’s amazing how that passage has stuck with me, having read it fifty something years ago in High School. 

That means our lives, as living examples for Christ, will touch others much more than what we say to them. It’s like people will forget what we say, but not how we treat them. That’s why Jesus encourages us to be good salt and bright lights in the world, leading exemplary lives. Note, not perfect ones, but as close as we can get. Remember we’re supposed to be ambassadors for Christ, His earthly  messengers, and in the wise words of Cousin Sol: ‘A wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble): but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health’ 

That’s why in this world ambassadors are carefully chosen and have to know a fair amount of the culture and laws and mores of the places where they are sent, so they don’t bring shame and disgrace or trouble to their country or government. Likewise friends, we can only be good ambassadors for Christ if we read and study and inculcate His Word, so that we know what to do and how to live in this evil world, so that we don’t bring disgrace to His name and His kingdom. For as Cousin Sol also says: ‘For as the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.’ (Prov.25:13) 

Are we refreshing Christ’s soul with our earthly lives friends? No wonder Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray (implore) you in Christ’s stead (on Christ’s behalf), be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him’ (2 Cor. 5:20-21) Yes my people, it’s all for Christ’s sake! How can we not settle down and be good ambassadors for Him eh, after the Lord put our sins on Him, and His righteousness on us? 

So this Monday morning, as we’re in the process of celebrating Christ’s birth, please, I implore us, let’s take a serious look at our ambassadorship in His name and with God’s help try to make it better. We can all come up higher for Christ, that’s a fact! Much LOVE!

…for what Christ has done for us…a worthy ambassadorship is…the best gratitude we can show…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2019 Psalm 136:1.

Psalm 136:1.    ​O Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.

 

Come now precious people of God, let us get ourselves together in fine style and fashion this Monday morning, and go out and do Jesus’ work with a good, upstanding attitude nuh! It’s the least we can do to show our gratitude for all that He’s done for us. And all God’s children said: ‘Praise the Lord!’ It’s amusing, but sad, that every Monday morning the enemy clogs up so many of our souls and spirits that we can’t function the way we ought to. It’s just something we have to keep fighting through though. 

And to help us do that, we have this awesome prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we take our troubles to the Lord, asking for His beneficence in this our time of need, reminding Him that it’s His Son’s work we’re seeking strength, courage and wisdom to do. So altogether now, let’s raise our hearts, souls and voices to high heaven: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, heaven heard that sincere, heartfelt prayer and the Lord immediately directed the Holy Spirit to begin working in us, to start energizing us so that we can go out and successfully do Jesus’ work; LOVING people, helping them, and causing them to want to come to Him to lay down their heavy burdens and find rest for their weary souls. No wonder the psalmist could pay the ultimate tribute to our God by declaring (steups!) in the very first verse of his psalm: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’ What  gospel truth friends! 

And the psalmist felt so strongly about it that he continued: ‘O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of Lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.’ (Ps. 136:2-3) And yuh better believe that the other 23 verses of the psalm all end in “for his mercy endureth for ever.’ (smile) According to the scholars, ‘The psalm was no doubt sung antiphonally with the people responding with the refrain: “for his mercy endureth for ever.” The word mercy was important in the Psalter. It refers to God’s loyal LOVE for His people. He is in covenant with them, and He LOVES to be loyal to that covenant.’ 

And just to show how important mercy (LOVING-kindness) was to the psalmists, please check out Psalms 106 and 107, they both begin the same way. Jeremiah also declared it when he promised that Judah would be revived. ‘The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land (the captives to return), as at the first, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.33:11) 

And just to remind us, the Lord still delights in the sacrifice of praise. So if you’re in dire need of mercy, of LOVING-kindness, then that’s the way to go! (smile) Even Bruh David used it in his psalm of thanksgiving after he’d brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.16:34-36) 

Oh my fellow believers, we could not end this morning on a better note. So please, let’s cry out to our great God, He of our salvation, to help and save us, and offer up a sincere sacrifice of praise. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord!’ Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing that delights the Lord more…than hearing His awesome praises being declared…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2019 2 Thessalonians 3:3.

2 Thessalonians 3:3.    But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish (establish) you, and keep you from evil (the evil one).
 

Here we go again friends, the beginning of another work week! I know sometimes we shake our heads, sigh, and wonder if they will ever end. (smile) But the sad truth is that they won’t. They will keep cropping up every seven days, until they drive us crazy and we end up in the loony bin, we just get tired and give up, which, as a believer is not a viable option, or we get too old for the work force and they put us out to pasture, or the last option; the Lord calls us home. Until one or all of those things happen my people, most Monday mornings we will have to arise, whether we like it or not, ofttimes in the dark and in the cold, and join the human throng unhappily headed for a place called work. 

And please remember Bruh Paul’s warning to the Thessalonians, that he who doesn’t work, shouldn’t eat? (2 Thess. 3:10) So I don’t know why we don’t try and plan for it properly, so we’re not disgruntled and frustrated come Monday morning. You know the human spirit can rise above anything  if it really wants to, and if you are a sincere follower of Jesus, He will enable you to get over these weekly Monday morning blues. But as always, just in case you stumble, (smile) we’re here to catch you with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the perfect antidote for your ailment. So let’s turn to the most powerful tool in the universe, prayer, to help get our day started right. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And yes, precious people of God, before we could even finish praying, the Holy Spirit had already begun working His miracles in our souls and spirits! Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! Please give Him some much deserved thanks and praise because most of us are now ready and able to go out and join the tumultuous fray that’s the working world, on Jesus’ behalf! And the thing we so badly need to remember here friends is that our God is FAITHFUL! Whatever we ask for in sincere belief, He will provide, if it’s within His will or plan for our lives. 

And Bruh Paul reminds us of that most salient and important fact: ‘But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish (establish) you, and keep you from evil (the evil one).’  No doubt whatsoever about that! And we’re just going to wind down with some scriptures on the Lord’s faithfulness. Bruh Paul mentioned it quite a few times. To the Thessalonians, he also said: ‘Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.’ (1 Thess. 5:24) 

Then to the Corinthians: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) And also: “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) Then to Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

And it’s most appropriate to close with this compelling verse from Isaiah, re, Israel, the Lord’s servant. ‘Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his (its) Holy One, to him whom man despiseth (the despised of soul), to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princess also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose (has chosen) thee.’ (Is.49:7). That was all about the coming of the Messiah, and we know that it was fulfilled with the coming of Jesus. 

Yes friends, our God is faithful; He will do whatever He’s promised, but in His own time. Look how long it took for the promised Messiah to come, centuries. But He did come…in God’s good time. I know His timing isn’t usually in concert with ours, but I can assure you, from personal experience, He’s NEVER late! Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please…a faithful God…

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