Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 May 2022 Lamentations 3:31.

Lamentations 3:31.      For the Lord will not cast off for ever. 

Oh my people, it’s been a somewhat rough beginning to the Monday morning. For the last four or five days I’ve been plagued with some stomach problems, that’s why the Bit has been so late. It seems that if the stomach is not working properly, the mind won’t function well either. (smile) And thankfully, we are on the road to recovery…we hope. And the Lord in His great care and concern has just caused the duchess to bring me some porridge and dry toast to assist in alleviating the problem. Ah friends, between the both of them I certainly can’t go wrong. (smile) 

And that’s why, when the Good Book opened just now on this awesome scripture of promise, I simply had to use it. It comes from that awesome Chapter 3 of Jeremiah’s Lamentations, when he was undergoing some persecution and difficulties as he tried to do God’s work. However, despite his problems, at one stage he earnestly claimed: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.’ (Lam. 3:31-34) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, though our God might sometimes allow us to be smitten with the bread of affliction, He will never cast us off forever. Because that’s just not His nature, not His style; He’s a genuinely merciful, forgiving, caring and compassionate God. That’s who He is! And, if like me, today you are embroiled in some kind of difficulty that you can’t fix, or doesn’t seem to want to go away, then please do like me too and have hope, be a ‘prisoner of hope,’ turn to the Lord and sincerely ask for His help, for as the sons of Korah truthfully declare in Psalm 46: ‘God is our refuge  and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ (Ps. 46:1) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Our God is indeed an abundantly available help in time of trouble. And though He might not deliver us immediately, or the way we desire, He will help us get through whatever is dogging our footsteps. Don’t worry, I need to believe that too because this stomach problem is certainly painful and annoying, like a li’l mouse just gnawing away at my insides. But it’s also very distracting, not allowing me to concentrate properly on the things I seek to do. Anyway, with the Lord’s help, I know that it will eventually pass, and I will return to normal…it’s just taking so long though. (smile) 

That’s why we say, and believe, that this too shall pass. Jesus reminds us that ‘Heaven and earth, shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt. 24:35) And when we believe that, we gain the strength to understand and accept that our problems, though real and difficult, will not last forever. As one contributing writer to the website, ibelieve.com, Debbie McDaniel writes in an article on the subject. ‘The great news is this: God never leaves us to fend for ourselves in difficult times. He promises to be with us in all that we face, and His whole heart encompasses our pain, surrounds us in peace, and gives us incredible hope and grace to keep pressing through.’ 

Now that ought to reassure us and make us an even bigger prisoner of hope in God! And for those of us who are not familiar with the scripture about the prisoner of hope, it comes from the prophet Zechariah’s prophecy about Zion’s future king coming to bring peace and salvation: ‘lowly and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Zech. 9:9) And we know that prophecy was fulfilled on Palm Sunday when Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, the sign of peace when kings entered a territory. 

Then to encourage his listeners, Zechariah later said: ‘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) Yes friends, our stronghold is the Lord God Jehovah, and if we will become a prisoner of hope in Him today, that is, remain hopeful despite our less than favourable circumstances, in due course He will give us double for our trouble. Like Isaiah said of the Lord in his good tidings of salvation. ‘…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’ (Is. 61:3) 

Oh my fellow saints, our very existence is all about the glorification and honour of our great God, and until we truly appreciate that fact and let it guide our lives, we will not enjoy the abundant life that Christ died for us to have. And to help us come to that awesome realization, let’s approach the throne of grace in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting heaven know of our needs and desires. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. 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, let’s remember, that if we hope to receive positive answers to our supplications, then we need to keep the promises that we’ve made. Much LOVE!

…hope springs eternal…and while there is life…there’s ALWAYS hope… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2021 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.     ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

And then, one more time, it was Friday! Hn! And what does this new day hold for us eh? Only the Good Lord truly knows, but for those who sincerely believe in Him, we do expect good things, like new mercies and compassions, because that’s what He has promised. And remember that He who has promised is faithful, faithful to deliver on ALL of His promises. 

So the expectations of believers should be high for good things to happen in our lives. As the saying goes: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today, and something good is going to happen through me today. Glory be mih bredrin. And it all happens through that magnificent principle called faith; the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (convictions) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) 

Yes friends, when we believe in Almighty God, creator of the universe and all therein, we can expect good things to happen, and wait with patience and perseverance, that’s hope and faith, for them to happen, regardless of how long they make take to come to fruition! 

Wow! That means never giving up or turning against Christ and each other though the trials and tribulations of this evil world bombard us unmercifully it. For if God is for us, NOBODY, or NOTHING whatsoever, not even the powerful and fearful pandemic, can be successful against us! And with that certainty playing in our minds, (smile) let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. 

‘Oh brother! Thank God is Friday oui, and I’m another day closer to death, but also closer to work! When is work going to resume eh? When is this lockdown going to end eh, or even relaxed that a body can make a living to feed deh family and keep a roof over deh heads eh? I guess if you believe in God you have to keep living in hope…but let’s hope it’s not like the Jamaican saying, ‘Yuh live in Hope, but end up, die in Constant Spring!’ 

Yeh, hope springs eternal and all that, but with all the confusion that still going on with this pandemic business a lot of people losing hope – in the government, the medical people and God too. How sad the whole thing is, that this li’l virus can bring this great powerful world to its knees in no time at all and cause even more strife than was already present. Steups! I really don’t know what to say nuh, except that I can’t give up hope – ah have three young children to look after, so I just have to do whatever it takes to look after them as best I can, with God’s help.’ 

And yuh know friends, that’s all any of us can really do; our best, and pray, hope, believe that with God’s help it will turn out to be enough. Our world is really in topsy-turvy mode right now, with so much corruption, strife, tension, disagreements and what have you, that no one knows exactly how it will end or turn out, what the new normal will be. 

One thing is for sure, it won’t be like it was before. We will have to learn and deal with a whole lot of new stuff once this pandemic thing has settled down. And those who adapt to the new way of living the quickest, will probably have an edge over those who don’t adapt quickly. But it will be a whole new world, I don’t know if it will be brave though, (smile) but if we believers are in the forefront of it, it will be brave, because that’s all we know how to do,; be brave with Christ as our Lord and Saviour and Leader! 

That means, we believers have to get out there, right in the middle of the fray and fight for Jesus and His kingdom. That’s why Bruh Paul told Timothy: ‘Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:1,3) And we need not be afraid of getting out there and mixing it up for Jesus: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound and disciplined mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

So we have all the tools to deal with whatever comes against us. So let’s get with it nuh, so that we will be able to say like Bruh Paul did at the end. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all those that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

And the best way to start that, as with ALL things, is by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving. So what we waiting for eh? Let’s come to God in prayer, though our Friday Chant. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce 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 and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Onward then Christian soldiers, faithful believers, let’s get out there and handle the situation so that Christ will be revered and venerated above all others and everything else! Much LOVE!

…we believers were made for this time…to show the confused, topsy-turvy world…that only Christ…can bring it peace and LOVE… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 November 2019 Jeremiah 17:7.

Jeremiah 17:7.    ​Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
 

Well the promised snow did not come during the early morning commute yesterday as promised, but by mid morning it was certainly flying, and continued to do so for most of the day. So yesterday afternoon’s commute was, and this morning’s will be indeed a horse of a different colour! (smile) But please be careful, the white stuff sure looks beautiful when lying quiet and undisturbed, but when tangled with, it’s just as dangerous and deceitful as the prince of darkness himself. Looks like we might even have had a record amount of snow for this time in November, and the month might even be colder and snowier than usual. 

Ah, but not to worry, for we have Jesus, and when we walk closely with Him, He makes everything right! And all His followers gave a loud, proud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless the name of the Lamb that was slain for us! Bless his holy name indeed!’ Oh friends, there never was, and never will be anybody like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And are we ever blessed to have Him as our guide and leader, especially in the evil and ungodly world in which we now live, where everybody wants to do their own thing, and right and wrong are whatever you figure them to be. 

That brings me to this sad, but ever so true commentary. It comes from a recent episode of the comic strip ‘Mutts,’ but is it ever so reminiscent of our current society. One of the characters, a cat, says to two dogs: “I’ve started and endangered list.” “What’s on it?” the dogs ask. The cat simply replies: “Empathy, compassion, kindness, sympathy, decency, sensitivity, integrity, altruism, affection, benevolence, heart, tenderness, LOVE, humanity, charity, grace, courtesy, tolerance, mercy, intelligence, leniency, understanding, common sense, goodwill, patience, wisdom…” 

Yes friends, you don’t have to be a believer, only a half-decent observer, to notice that all those good qualities above are being practiced less and less in this …I don’t know what to call it society! It’s the essence of everything that’s wrong with our current lifestyle! When those things are absent in any group of people, that group is certainly on the downswing towards chaos and anarchy! Why is that you ask? The answer is real simple: It’s those things that create a strong, well-functioning organization, a real and true society. 

The dictionary defines ‘society’ as ‘an organization of a civilized nation.’ And it’s impossible to be civilized without those positive and godly things playing a large part in any group that wants to succeed and grow. So what does that say about our society now eh, when all those things are fading away, and as the cat truthfully says, becoming endangered? Sadly, not a whole lot. But yuh know what? I just discovered that they’d left out one important factor from that endangered list…HOPE! ‘Glory be! And we all know friends that once there’s hope, there is indeed life! So if hope isn’t amongst the endangered habits, then there is still a chance for us to turn this thing around! 

And where does that wonderful thing called HOPE come from? From the Lord our God! Hear Jeremiah declare it: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ Wow! And in his Lamentations, he reiterates that sentiment, recalls the Lord’s goodness in his time of great sorrow and need: ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:21-26) 

Please notice my people, that it’s because of two things on the endangered list why we’re still around; the Lord’s compassion and mercy! That means we ought to show the same sentiments to our fellow humans. Now let’s look at some scriptures that encourage and fill us with hope in the Lord. Hear Bruh David from Psalm 31: ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:24) And the sons of Korah declare: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my salvation), and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

And we all know these awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom. 8:24-25) Yes friends, hope is not what we see, for if we see it, why do we hope for it? Hope is the essence of our very being, our spiritual connection with Almighty God! That’s why this verse from Zechariah, when he’s talking about Zion’s future king, is one of my favourites on hope. ‘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) 

Oh my people, the Lord God Almighty is indeed our stronghold, our rock, our fortress, and I’m pleading with us to be ‘prisoners of hope, because that’s our only positive solution to turning around our embattled and embittered society!  Now let’s go home showing that we’re true prisoners of hope, by declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ Now let’s action those words nuh! Much LOVE!

…when you’re a true believer…hope springs eternal…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.   ​And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.
 
And it seems like a cloudy Saturday morning, just right for sleeping in, but the ole fella is up early, couldn’t sleep in any longer. I did have a decent enough night’s rest though. The persistent cough I’ve had over the last few days seems to have eased up some, but I still can only sleep comfortably on my right side, which doesn’t enamor me to my back and right hip. (smile) And that’s what caused me to get up earlier than I desired. But that’s life! 

So what’s the action eh friends, on this Saturday two days before we ring out the Old Year and ring in the New One? Let’s hope that the LOVING and generous nature of the Christmas season is still fermenting in our souls and bodies and still being shown to all and sundry! This brings to mind an idea I recently read at the bottom of a Daily Bread Devotion, which says ‘as we put away the Christmas decorations, do not put away the Christmas spirit.’ 

Now doesn’t that sound very interesting, enlightening and Christ-like? It surely does. So let’s ponder on that statement nuh, as we begin taking down the decorations in the next week or so, and just allow the wonderful spirit of Christmas to flow over into, and all through the New Year!  Hope does spring eternal! (smile) 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm provided over the last week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one is rather interesting: ‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ And we can take that to mean that we should live extravagantly, beyond our financial means, up to our necks in debt etc. etc. 

But that is definitely not a very good way to live one’s life. One ought to live within the realm of what one can afford, and not go overboard and cause yourself more heartache and trouble than is necessary. However, the other side to statement is that one ought not to just live a comfortable life without stepping out of one’s comfort zone every so often, because that’s what really makes life interesting. 

We ought to set our goals, our caps, a little higher than we can reach on tippy toes, so that it will stretch us, cause us to put ourselves out some, and thus add some light and lustre to this dark and evil world. That’s what our Lord and Saviour expects of us when He says we are the light of the world. We are to be constantly reaching for something better and brighter in His holy name. 

Then we have this one: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ Now there’s some wisdom in that statement. Generally speaking, our decisions to be happy or sad should be ours, because we are the ones who have to bear the repercussions of either decision. Others can certainly tell us what they think, and we can listen to their well-intentioned advice, but only we can decide what state of mind is right or wrong for us at any particular time. 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ And I guess those are things we all would certainly like to do in this earthly life. But please note that the only way we can successfully do the last three is if we are successful at the first! Very little of true worth will happen to us if we don’t LOVE ourselves. And even if it does, we won’t be happy because our spirit’s not at peace. 

And we don’t mean LOVE in a narcissistic way either, but just being comfortable with whom you are, knowing that you’re doing your best, having Jesus as your guiding light. As they say, you ought to like you, because you take you everywhere with you! And that’s gospel truth! If you don’t like you, then most likely others won’t like you either. How can they when the dislike for yourself comes through in your words and behaviour eh? 

That’s why, in talking about great commandments Jesus stipulated in our Bit: ‘And the second is like unto it (the first), Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ Yeh friends, we only need two commandments yes; LOVE God, and LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves! 

Please note that Jesus didn’t just say LOVE your neighbour, but as you LOVE yourself! And that means if you don’t like yourself, then you won’t be able to like your neighbour either. So friends, it all depends on how we feel about ourselves, because what we have inside is what is going to come out. 

As Jesus specified to the multitude, and the Pharisees in particular: ‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:10-11) Likewise friends, if we don’t have true LOVE in our hearts, true LOVE won’t ever come out of us. And the only way to have true LOVE in our hearts is by making Jesus our Lord and Saviour and living by His example and desires. 

And we’ll close with these immortal words of Jesus on the subject. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) And that’s why our world is such an awful and evil place; we’re not LOVING each other the way Jesus LOVED us. It’s as simple as that friends! 

Now let’s spend some time seriously pondering the state of LOVE in our hearts nuh, and then ask the Lord to help us make the necessary changes. That’s the only way our world will improve. Much LOVE!

…it all begins and ends with LOVE…LOVE for God…LOVE for ourselves…and LOVE for our neighbours…