Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2020 1 Peter 5:7.

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

One more Sunday, one more day of technological fellowship and thanksgiving. Hn! And are we ever getting good at it! But it’s never ever going to be the same as worshipping our great God in a physical space together, with hugs and kisses and handshakes and godly greetings, because the Lord made us to be people of physical fellowship, not this over the airwaves stuff. (smile) But since we don’t have much choice right now, let’s enjoy what we have, because the Lord is ALWAYS pleased with praise and worship however, or wherever we perform it. 

So let’s get to some praise with this awesome and oh so appropriate hymn for these turbulent times, written by John W. Peterson (1921-2006) and titled ‘No One Understands Like Jesus.’ And if that isn’t the living truth friends, then I don’t know what is nuh! Therefore, with raised voices, in heartfelt sincerity and soulful harmony let’s thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for His unbiased understanding and sincere empathy, because as a man, He experienced the trials and tribulation of earthly life, like we’re currently doing. 

Now let’s unleash our sacrifice of praise which our God LOVES to hear. ‘No one understands like Jesus; He’s a Friend beyond com-pare. Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for You there. (Chorus: No one under-stands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim. No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; Cast Your every care on Him.) No understands like Jesus; Every woe He sees and feels. Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus ….) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail. You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail. (Chorus…) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way. Though you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon You today. (Chorus: No one under-stands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim. No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; Cast Your every care on Him.) 

Ah mih people, in this time of sickness and strife, there’s no better place to cast our care than upon Jesus, for remember He understands what we’re going through, since He also went through dark nights of rejection, discouragement and enormous pain and suffering. So our troubles are nothing new to Him. That’s why Peter tells us so emphatically: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ And that’s gospel truth or God would not have sacrificed Jesus and have Him pay for our sins. 

And Jesus Himself dearly and desperately wants us to come to Him for hope, comfort and succour, peace, LOVE and joy; all the wonderful things that heaven allows. Hear Him in the Great Invitation nuh… and don’t tell me yuh tired hearing it either, because if we’d only listen and accept it, we wouldn’t have half the problems we now have. So please listen up and positively action the invitation, the greatest one that’s ever been offered! ‘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) 

Oh friends, I don’t understand us nuh; man is supposed to be the wisest creature in the universe, but when we find ourselves in trouble and can’t get out of it on our own accord, we still refuse to turn to Jesus for help. We prefer to suffer in our despair and tribulation. Now is that wisdom? Not in my book! And the sad part is that the scriptures have so many encouraging and comforting words, if we’d only wake up and own them. Let’s check out a couple nuh. Hear this one from the longest chapter in the Good Book, Psalm 119: ‘Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me (given me life).’ (Ps.119:49-50) 

Oh my people, we were created to use the Word as a lifeline; to give us hope and comfort from our afflictions! So why aren’t we using it eh? And hear Bruh David from Psalm 61: ‘Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.’ (Ps. 61:1-3) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, if Bruh David, a man after God’s own heart, could cry unto the Lord when his heart was overwhelmed and find succour, why can’t we eh? 

Now hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.’ (Rom.15:4) Yes mih bredrin, the scriptures were indeed authored so that we could have hope! And if in these disastrous times you don’t have hope, then turn to the scriptures, that’s simple common sense! If there’s one thing we need to live this life successfully it’s hope! Without it, we’re dead in spirit. 

And here’s something I believe I’ve quoted before, but it’s ever so timely right now. It comes from an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope,’ by one Joshua Ryan Butler. And he unequivocally states: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything.’ 

And that’s the kind of world we’re currently living in; one marked by death, and the only real hope for us to move from death to life, is to embrace Jesus and His wonderful revolution of hope, which ultimately fosters His LOVE Revolution. Yes friends, Jesus is, was, and always will be the ultimate revolutionary! Much LOVE

…want to be in a successful revolution… then join Jesus’…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2020 Hebrews 6:19.

Hebrews 6:19.    ​Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil (the Presence behind the veil). 
 

And yet for another week we are unable to gather physically in the Lord’s sanctuary for fellowship. Who knows when that will end eh? Only the Lord Himself? But though we are discomforted, we are not defeated, we can still fellowship in the virtual realm, through the wonders of modern technology. 

And you know a strange but very possible thought occurred to me a short while ago, that the Lord did not allow this Coronavirus to descend upon us before, or until we had the ability to worship Him sufficiently through technology. All yuh think we God stupid or what eh! Especially when the pandemic was a means to bring us back to Him. (smile) 

But be all of that as it may, it’s Sunday and we getting together to worship in faith through our many technical devices. So let’s get started, as usual with a song of praise and worship that is ever so appropriate for these calamitous times. And this one is for you Scotty mih brother. I know how you like your old time hymns. So I expect to hear your voice loud and clear as we sing the old favourite written by Philadelphia born Septimus Winner (1827-1902) titled ‘Whispering Hope.’ Altogether now, let’s raise our voices to heaven in rich, soulful harmony. 

Soft as the voice of an angel, Breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion Whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till the tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, After the shower is gone. (Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) If, in the dusk of the twilight, Dim be the region afar, Will not the deepening darkness Brighten the glimmering star? 

Then when the night is upon us, Why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, Watch for the breaking of day. [Refrain] Hope, as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul, Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal; Come then, oh, come, glad fruition, Come to my sad weary heart; Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, oh, never depart. [Refrain]’ 

Oh my people, I’m sure that touched heaven’s heart, because when we talking of hope, there’s nowhere else to get a strong and sure and steadfast brand of it than from heaven itself.  And it seems that Septimus used words from Hebrews as his reference for the hymn. ‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil (the Presence behind the veil). Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made (having become) a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb. 6:19-20) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:19-20. Starting at the end of verse 18, the author uses three pictures to demonstrate the security of being in Christ. First, it is described as a safe retreat for the believer, as were the six cities of refuge in the Old Testament to those allowed their protection (Num. 35:6-32). Second, our hope is sure and steadfast as is a well-placed, unbending anchor. Our anchor is not located in the deepest sea but in the highest heaven. 

The third figure is that of a forerunner. Though the figure changes, the location does not. Our forerunner is likewise positioned in the sanctuary of heaven. As our forerunner, Jesus is far different from the Old Testament priests. In the sanctuary they could intercede for the people, but they could not lead the people in themselves. As our forerunner, Jesus has opened the way before us, that eventually (and certainly) we might enter in with Him.’ 

And yes friends, most of understand that Jesus tore down the veil that separated man from God when He died and became the official sacrificial lamb for all time, making it possible for us to now go directly to God than merely through the Old testament priests. He is now our high priest! But listen to this dissertation (smile) from the Hymnary.org website on the way Septimus uses the scripture verse nuh. 

‘19. As an anchor, etc. It is a striking likeness when he compares faith leaning on God’s word to an anchor; for doubtless, as long as we sojourn in this world, we stand not on firm ground, but are tossed here and there as it were in the midst of the sea, and that indeed very turbulent; for Satan is incessantly stirring up innumerable storms, which would immediately upset and sink our vessel, were we not to cast our anchor fast in the deep. 

For nowhere a haven appears to our eyes, but wherever we look water alone is in view; yea, waves also arise and threaten us; but as the anchor is cast through the waters into a dark and unseen place, and while it lies hid there, keeps the vessel beaten by the waves from being overwhelmed; so must our hope be fixed on the invisible God. There is this difference, — the anchor is cast downwards into the sea, for it has the earth as its bottom; but our hope rises upwards and soars aloft, for in the world it finds nothing on which it can stand, nor ought it to cleave to created things, but to rest on God alone. 

As the cable also by which the anchor is suspended joins the vessel with the earth through a long and dark intermediate space, so the truth of God is a bond to connect us with himself, so that no distance of place and no darkness can prevent us from cleaving to him. Thus when united to God, though we must struggle with continual storms, we are yet beyond the peril of shipwreck. Hence he says, that this anchor is sure and steadfast, or safe and firm. 

It may indeed be that by the violence of the waves the anchor may be plucked off, or the cable be broken, or the beaten ship be torn to pieces. This happens on the sea; but the power of God to sustain us is wholly different, and so also is the strength of hope and the firmness of his word.’ 

Oh Mama Mia! How beautiful and reassuring are those words eh my fellow believers in Christ! And I won’t spoil it by trying to add anything more to it…that is if I have anything more to add. (smile) So today, please, I implore us to keep on standing strong and sure and steadfast in the eternal hope that only Christ and heaven provide! Much LOVE!

…when hope diminishes here on earth…raise thy voice to Christ in heaven…so it can be replenished…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2020 Matthew 4:4.

Matthew 4:4.    ​It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
 

Aye mih people, it’s another day in the life; another uncomfortable and unpredictable day in the sojourn, the pandemic and panic of Covid-19, with no end really in sight as yet, just more confusion, so let’s do the wise and smart thing and begin our day with some age old encouragement nuh, some acclamations that have been tried and tested and found rather useful down through the ages of time! And if that isn’t a Bruh Paulian sentence, I don’t know what is! (smile) 

So please declare out loud with me: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) And on top of that: ‘God will supply ALL of my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus, our wonderful Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil. 4:19) Mama Yo! What could be more encouraging than that eh? Well this: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) And yuh feel that divine and supernatural strength just flowing through your veins now mih people? I know you do! Because we just know that ‘If God is for us, who the hell can be against us eh? (Rom. 8:31) Not a single, bloody soul my faithful brethren! 

Because He is the most powerful being in the universe, and if He’s got our back, then we’re safe like nobody or nothing else can make us! Therefore, with ALL of that wonderful stuff going for us from and through our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Creator, we can truly and faithfully declare these marvellous words that Joshua declared so long ago: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord!’ (Josh. 24:15) Yes, precious people, as long as we draw breath on this earth, regardless of whatever trials and tribulations may come against us, let us not stray from that tried and true path that leads through Jesus Christ, right to the throne room of Almighty God in the high heavens! Amen! 

And I don’t know about you all, but that has certainly energized me! (smile) So, since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary, most likely out of work, workingman has to say nuh. And as always, he opens with: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ (but not with his usual enthusiasm and expectant tone.) ‘Chuh! But that sounds so hollow though, since there’s nothing to look forward to. Friday’s become just like any other day, not the prelude to the weekend, like it was when I was working. Doh even remember when last I worked. This Covid-19 nonsense been going on for so long now. 

Thankfully though, I’m now getting a few dollars from the government that helps to pay the mortgage and put some food on the table…but it’s definitely not enough to do everything. I can’t even work a li’l overtime to get me over the top. Ah Lord eh! When it all going to end eh? Like we all in jail yes! Can’t even go outside and talk to nobody…got to keep this social distancing foolishness…oh I know it’s necessary, but it’s still seems foolish…staying six feet from people when yuh see them, even though yuh ent see nobody in a long time! Steups! But ah guess we still have to give God thanks that we still alive and kicking some, and as they say, this too shall pass…just hope it don’t take too much longer to pass nuh…’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ Jesus, that’s how this lonely, anxious and unpredictable time is affecting a lot of us, believers included. That’s why it’s ever so necessary for us to delve into God’s Word and find encouragement to keep us going strong in faith and courage. Remember Jesus’ rebuke to Satan when he tempted Him in the first time in the wilderness about making bread from stone. Now that would have been a piece of cake for Jesus to accomplish, but then He would have been bowing to Satan’s request, which as the Son of God, He could not do; therefore He replied: ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ 

He was referring there to Moses earlier warning to the Israelites way back when they came out of bondage from Egypt and the Lord was teaching them how He wanted them to live as His Chosen People. (Deut. 8:3) And that provision still stands today my people. In the Word of God is where we find ALL that we need to successfully live this life! It’s our Guidebook for earthly living! And the Lord specifically said it to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh my people, my fellow saints in Christ, what more has the Lord God Almighty has to say to us to make us listen and get into His most marvellous Word eh? He’s stated it as clearly as possible: when you read it consistently and study it, then put it into practice, then you’ll be successful and prosperous! That’s a no-brainer! 

But we’ve become so blooming full of ourselves and figure the li’l knowledge we have is so great, that we refuse to follow the simple, but tried and trusted way set out in the Lord’s guidebook. That’s foolish friends, especially in these disturbing and scary times. So let’s get wise and return to the Good Book nuh, where we can find enormous encouragement, assurance, grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life! It’s the ONLY answer to ALL our problems! Now let’s go home doing what we’ve also been encouraged to do, communicate with Holy God through prayer; our rejigged Friday Chant. 

As one sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 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. 

And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also 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 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!’ 

And then we do what the Good Book says: wait expectantly, displaying hope and faith; keep on reading and praying, and doing good and not evil. Much LOVE!

…without bread…the body dies…but the spirit lives by…the Word…

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 13 April 2020​ 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
 
And the Easter Celebrations continue, though somewhat muted because of the Coronavirus pandemic. But do you think anything at all can stop we believers from celebrating Christ’s revolutionary resurrection that assures us of life after earthly death? No way Jose! Yes, we couldn’t get together physically like we are accustomed doing at such a joyful time, but it in no way lessens the importance and awesome promise of the amazing event and consequently celebrations and church services were held in all forms and fashions, with the help of our modern technology. 

But unfortunately, so far, that modern technology has not been able to come up with an answer for the virus that’s causing us so much devastation, grief and heartache. But also, as true believers and followers of Christ, whom we believe can do anything, we keep hoping and praying and believing that a cure, an antidote, will soon be found. Yes friends, we are indeed ‘prisoners of hope.’ (Zech. 9:12) And speaking about ‘prisoners of hope,’ I recently read an article by one Joshua Ryan Butler with that exact title, and he had a rather interesting characterization of ‘hope.’ 

He says: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into the now – an explosion of life into a world marked by the death. It changes everything.’ And is that ever so true! Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection certainly catapulted us into the future, showing us God’s great, preordained plan for our lives. And there is no better verse of scripture that describes that situation than these words of Peter: 

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ And has Jesus’ resurrection ever given us hope for the future, for salvation! The scholars explain: ‘1:3-2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.” Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’ 

But remember what Joshua said in his definition of ‘hope’ above? It ‘breaks in from the future and transforms today.’ That means we don’t have to wait till we die to enjoy the benefits that Jesus died for us to have, but can begin enjoying heaven down here on earth right now! As Jesus said: ‘The thief cometh not but (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And that’s the beauty of the Christian faith and life! We also have a now, as well as a then. 

The only problem is all of that doesn’t just happen automatically; there are some requirements, the first one being Jesus’ directive to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God…. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3, 5) So if we don’t meet that requirement, then we can forget about salvation through Jesus. Then we have to believe in Jesus as the Way, the Truth, the Light and the Life. All of which gives us hope that leads and morphs into faith, which makes us strong and keeps us going. Glory to God, my fellow believers! 

And now that we’ve said all that, let’s turn to the operating system of the situation; the real work horse of the Christian life, the ultimate means of communication with our Saviour and Father; prayer! Yes friends, prayer is our very life blood! Without it we’re just lost and alone; but with it, in God’s company, we’re powerful and NEVER alone! So let’s talk to our Father right now about our greatest need at this current time nuh; relief from the Covid-19 pandemic. Yes, in strong voice, with confident humility (smile) let’s cry out to Him for help through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Easter 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!’ 

And now that we’ve fulfilled one aspect of our role in our covenant, our partnership with God, let’s go out and do the rest, basically living for Jesus, with supreme hope and faith in our hearts. And as He has faithfully promised, the Father will do the parts we can’t do. Much LOVE!

…without living hope…and strong faith…one can’t live for Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2020 Isaiah 40:1.

Isaiah 40:1.    ​Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
 
Well Friday’s rolled around again friends. What’s happening eh? I guess it’s the same old, same old. No work for most, too much for a few, and very little play for anybody. But for the foreseeable future, that seems to be the new state of affairs, so we’d better get accustomed to it. And since it’s Friday, let’s get straight to the workingman’s song, because he’s just dying to get a word in sideways. (smile)

 ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend here! But is not the same nuh, because there’s no work to go to, or come home from, and every day is just the same. So the weekend doh really mean nothing. Steups! It really playing havoc with mih mind yes. I can’t handle this every day is the same thing business. You can only do so much when yuh lockdown in a small house with small children and a tired wife. Never thought I’d miss going to the slave master work, but I do. 

At least it use to give me a sense of purpose, like I was doing something useful. But now, what ah doing eh…with this Corona virus thing that shut down almost everything? Not a blooming thing! Ah tired watching tv…and besides all yuh see on the so and so television is more bad news about the virus, so why watch that and drive mihself more crazy than I already am eh? Steups! And ah can’t drink mihself stupid every day either. The children tired too playing with the same ole toys and driving deh mother mard. 

And though the weather been nice this past week, you could only spend so much time outside because it still fairly cold, and yuh can’t go the park or anything so. Ah Lord eh! What we going to do? Ah guess we just have to grin and bear it and hope they find some cure for this bloody thing soon oui! Else we going to have a whole world of even madder people than before…for those who manage to survive it.’ 

And isn’t there a lot of truth in the workingman’s statements. Boredom and aggravation have begun setting in for many people. And being continuously locked up together is certainly going to cause problems in some families, especially the larger ones living in smaller homes. Being constantly underfoot is not something we humans handle very well. But we’d better learn to handle it, because this virus doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. 

And yuh know what? We believers in, and followers of Jesus Christ are the ones expected to be in the forefront of the battle, leading the way through our good and faithful example! Being fruitful examples of salt and light to a hopeless and disbelieving world! Yes friends, that’s what Jesus expects of us. And the first step in our battle is to talk to our great and merciful God, give Him thanks and ask for guidance and direction and divine relief from our misery. So let’s do so now by chanting our rejigged Friday Chant, in strong and confident, but humble voice. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 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. 

And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also 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 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!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s up to us Christians to stand up strong and steadfast, leading the way, so that the world can see what true faith looks like, and realize that it’s ONLY through Jehovah God that hope and life exist. And hear these words from our comforting Deity that speak to the bleak situation at hand: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably (comfort) to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished (ended), that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.’ (Is.40:1-2) 

Oh friends, ONLY through sincere trust in the Lord can we receive true comfort. Remember Christ’s Great Invitation: ‘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) Oh precious people of God, who else has ever had the parts to make such an offer eh? NO ONE BUT JESUS! Because He is the ONLY ONE who can make that offer come true! And that offer is still open, and is even more relevant in these disastrous times than ever. So please be wise and accept it. 

And we’ll end with this interesting message I got through social media yesterday. A lot of it floating through the airways is nonsense, but I thought this was interesting enough to share. It reads: ‘I don’t know who wrote this, but it’s beautiful. We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another. Suddenly Disney is out of magic. Paris is no longer romantic, New York doesn’t stand up anymore, the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty. 

Hugs and kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents and friends becomes an act of LOVE. Suddenly you realize that power, beauty and money are worthless, and can’t get you the oxygen you’re fighting for. The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it’s sending us a message: “You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.” 

Yes friends, the world was fine until God made man and woman, and they in their stupidity chose to move away from their Creator. And it will be fine again if He removes us from it through this current pandemic. Throughout the ages, it’s always mankind who has been the fly in the ointment. Everything else unfurls as God planned it. And here’s how He’s planned it; thankfully with our benefit in mind: 

‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:10-11) 

Oh, how beautiful are all the promises of our wonderful God! So today, please, please, let’s be wise and take them sincerely and seriously to heart nuh, and thus move forward strong and steadfast, as He desires of us! Much LOVE!

…God is ALL we need…especially in the times of calamity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2020 Deuteronomy 30:19.

Deuteronomy 30:19.    I call heaven and earth to record this day (stand as witnesses) 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.
 
Oh friends, oh friends, before beginning to write the Bit this Thursday morning in these very concerned Covod-19 times, I needed a touch of divine inspiration and so I turned to some praise and worship, music that truly moves me, Psalm 34 sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. And as always, it certainly did the job! There’s something about that version of that song that just gets me going! Thus, I invite you now to bless the Lord with me! Let’s magnify His name together! Let’s  exalt it together! 

There’s no better form of praise than to glorify His most holy name for ever and ever! For He surrounds His saints with divine protection and no one who calls on Him in sincerity and truth will ever be ashamed. He will hear their pleas and protect them from their enemies! Wow! What other faith can say that about their God eh? NONE! That’s why it’s ever so important to stay true to the God of our forefathers if we want to be delivered from the enemy and receive redemption and forgiveness and eventual salvation. 

But I know that’s not easy to do, even in normal times, much less in these very trying and uncertain ones. And the only way to do it is by keeping hope and faith alive through prayer and meditation and strong action. That’s why today I was guided to share a couple of passages from the Hour Of Power Devotional with writings by our dear, departed Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). Long time we haven’t turned to him for some wise advice, (smile)  but he does give some that’s very pertinent to our faith in these Covid-19 times. 

So please read with me, this first devotional he so wisely titles ‘Choose Hope.’ ‘Yes, I believe God is still alive. He knows where I am and how I got here. He’s way ahead of me, manoeuvring in the silence and the shadows. He really cares. I trust Him. The alternative is an unthinkable, unacceptable mental attitude that’s certain to lead me down a path of hopeless despair. Yes I am addicted to hope. That’s my decision. My hopes may not be completely fulfilled, but at least they’re keeping me alive and alert and pragmatic. 

Hope promises to generate and sustain life (and then does). Despair promises to generate and deliver depression and death (and then does). I’d rather choose HOPE (an emotional reaction that promises life but can’t guarantee that all of its promises will be fulfilled) than choose despair (an emotional reaction that guarantees that its promises of failure and death will surely be kept).’ 

Oh my people, all of that is oh so true and wise! Hope might not be able to guarantee everything it says, but at least it gives you a fighting chance. Despair and hopelessness on the other hand, does guarantee and provide death and failure. So as the Good Book says, ‘I call heaven and earth to record this day (stand as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may life.’  

Precious people of God, that’s wisdom from heaven itself, straight from the mouth of our great God and Creator! And He offers that wise advice because He knows what’s best for us. So please, I implore us to take that divine advice and choose life and not death in these scary times; a life that is only provided through hope, faith, trust and true surrender to Almighty God! And to help us do that, here’s the second passage from Gramps Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional: ‘A Prayer for Hope.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘I have a strong, serene feeling that God is planning something good for me today. I cannot explain it, but I have a deep feeling that wonderful things are in store for me. I am expecting God to surprise me with His tender mercy. He will turn my hurts into halos. He is guiding my life in such a way that whatever happens to me will prove to be a beautiful blessing. Thank You Lord. Amen!’  

And I do hope that as we prayed that prayer a new and higher layer and level of hope, faith and trust rose up in us. Yes friends, we do need abundant and divine hope in these rough times. And the only way to get it is to believe that God is truly for us and will do all that He’s promised, and will work everything out for our good eventually. 

That’s why Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today. And something good is going to happen through me today!’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Remember, there is awesome power in the Word of God my people, for with it He created the world and all therein. So let’s use it to our advantage nuh. That’s why He gave it to us…to use – day and night! 

And who says good things aren’t happening to us today, right now eh? Lots of wonderful things are happening; we’re being showered with our Thursday Blessings! So let’s declare (yeahh!) them in strong voice and sincere hearts nuh, as we lift up our great and wonderful God, who’s provided us with such awesome blessings. 

‘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!’ 

Wowee, Wowee! How can we not LOVE and worship and reverence such an amazing and faithful God eh! But one word of reminder; those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but to be generously shared with the less fortunate, just as the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…addiction to HOPE…is what we need right now…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2020 Psalm 130:5.

Psalm 130:5.    ​I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
 
Moving right along…It’s April 1, 2020 – April Fools Day, or as we know it down South- All Fools Day! A day for jokes and hijinks. But not today. No! Please, not this day in the year of 2020! This is a time for very serious behaviour, although we do need some levity in our spirits and souls if we don’t want to go crazy. However, we already have so much false info and misdirection and outright lies in our society, mostly funneled through social media, we definitely don’t want to introduce anymore today, when half the world is locked down and in a state of panic because of the Coronavirus. 

And on a point of interest, in Canada it seems that people are still drinking Corona beer, whilst it’s unavailable in some other places. That just shows how ignorant and/or superstitious we humans are. Just because the brand of beer happens to have the same name as a deadly virus doesn’t mean that it’s undrinkable or in any way connected to it. But that’s the nature of the human animal. (smile) And as always friends, we here at Scrip-Bits believe in acting as catalysts, to help us stay strong in the Word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to give us hope, help us stay imprisoned by it, because without hope, we might as well be dead; in fact without hope, spiritually, we are indeed dead. 

So today, let’s latch on tightly to the hope infusing words of Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord. Yes my brethren, the Lord and His awesome and everlasting Word, which never changes or dies, is indeed the fountainhead of hope! And right now in these scary and frightening times, we need divine hope and help more than ever. So let’s pray with the psalmist nuh: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps. 130:1-3) 

Now that’s a very good question my people. If the Lord should take note of all our iniquities and punish us for them, who shall stand afterwards eh? None of us! ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Oh yes, we’ve fallen far short of God’s righteousness, as the scholars explain: ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: man can exceed his own standards, but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

And nobody knows this better than our Creator, who made us with all our faults and frailties, and that’s why in His eternal wisdom and divine mercy and LOVING-kindness, He’s made ample provision for our iniquities. As the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (held in reverential awe).’ (Ps. 130:4) Oh friends, how mighty and wonderful is the word ‘forgiveness’ and all that it implies! For without it, we would have no hope at all. That’s the divine option that gives us hope! All the other things like LOVE, mercy, and grace are indeed important, but without forgiveness we’d still be in the same khaki pants; lost and doomed to damnation and hell-fire! 

And how do we access these essential things called  hope and forgiveness. It begins, like the psalmist says: ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.’ Now that’s the first movement in the divine symphony; patience (perseverance) and trust in His Word. But how do we get patience and trust in God’s word eh? By knowing it; hearing it, reading and studying it. Remember the immortal words of God to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) The Lord couldn’t have been any plainer or more explicit than that my people. It’s by reading and studying His Word and doing what’s written in there that we can achieve prosperous and successful lives! So in these uncertain and disastrous times, it’s plain to see that we have to get into God’s Word more than ever, and do what it says we ought to. 

As the psalmist continues: ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.’ (Ps. 130:6) Yes friends, he is hungry for the Lord! And that’s how we have to be also, especially in these calamitous times, for the Lord God Almighty, the One who created us, is the ONLY One who can truly save us! Thus the psalmist concludes: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, it is imperative that we turn to the Lord God Jehovah and cry out to Him for deliverance if we truly want to get rid of this Covid-19 scourge that’s currently plaguing the earth. Remember, as the scholars said above, in his own strength, man can never achieve the righteousness of God, and that also extends to his wisdom and ingenuity. Therefore, since we can’t find the answer to our problem, we need to go to a Higher Power; the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s where we will find ALL the answers! 

And now, for those of us who truly believe that and sincerely try to adhere God’s Word, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. 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 yes, my faithful brethren, regardless of what’s happening in our world today, we who sincerely believe and try to do God’s Will, will indeed have a glorious future with Jesus; one, more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…prayer and supplication…perseverance and thanksgiving…our most urgent needs at this time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 

And another day has bitten the dust…But our world is still alive, though somewhat discombobulated; scarred and scared by the ole Coronavirus, since not enough good, but still too much bad and ugly is happening. And is it ever a good thing that we believers know the Truth, and that the Truth will set us free! Glory to God! A few places are holding their own, but many, like the U. S. are now exploding because of too late precautions. And I understand that mih people in J.A will be under lock and key from tomorrow… 

Hn! Ah talking about a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. And believe me, I know what that is like, having experienced it way back in 1970 with the Black Power Riots in T&T. The voluntary stay at home now is bad enough, but when you can’t be seen in the streets at all during certain hours, that’s a horse of a different colour, especially if the military and the police are out looking for curfew breakers. But not to worry mih bredrin, our good God has it all under control. We just have to obey our leaders, stay home and practice safe routines, and come to Him in sincere prayer with heartfelt repentance for our myriad number of ghastly sins. 

And as He has promised, eventually, everything will be worked out for our benefit. Remember though, that it will all happen in His time, not ours, and that’s the cut-tail part of it all. We hate to wait, and the Lord doesn’t hurry! And if yuh doh believe me, then just try it and see nuh! (smile) Oh my people, this virus business is indeed a serious matter, but too many of us are letting it get us too afraid, depressed and daily losing hope. But now is the time when we believers ought to be on the ascendance with our strong and wonderful faith! 

It’s not the time for us to wilt like faded and dying roses, as so many of us are doing, because the world needs that awesome faith we have more than ever now! Now is the time for us to stand up and really show our true colours; be the amazing salt and light of the world that Jesus desires of us! And yuh know what? If, we believers, with all of our supposed faith in, and awesome promises of God, become fearful and lose hope, what will be the response of the unbeliever be eh, of the rest of the world, who don’t have what we have? Utter chaos and confusion! 

That’s why, as a group, Christians need to stand strong and steadfast, take the matter seriously, but don’t panic and give assurances to the unbelievers. It’s at times like these when we can do our best evangelical work, bringing others to Christ, by the staunch and steadfast examples we set. Jesus knew that we’d face trials and tribulations, thus His encouraging and reassuring words. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In this world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And a lot of us quick to quote those words, but when the time comes to put them into actual action, like now, too many of us falter and fail. If we falter now friends, it means that we don’t have sufficient faith and trust in our God, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that’s supposed to dwell in us and lead and guide us in godly righteousness. We obviously don’t hold Jesus’ many assurances of ‘FEAR NOT!’ in high regard. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but of doing stuff while afraid, with the power of the Holy Spirit assisting us. 

And what about these words of Jesus eh? ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) It doesn’t seem as though we are taking those words seriously either. And what if some of us die? We all have to go sometime. As the Good Book says: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb. 9:27) Now don’t get me wrong, very few of us are ready to, or want to die right now, including me, but the truth is that  none of us have the power or authority to prolong our lives, so when the Grim Reaper comes a calling, we just have to go, whether we want to or not. 

The one proviso necessary though before that time comes, is that we go with Christ as our Lord and Saviour tucked away safely and deeply in our hearts. So once you truly have Jesus as the Light of your life, there’s no need to fear death, for what we call death, the physical aspect, is merely a leaving of our physical body behind, with a glorious continuation of life on the other side, in the spiritual plane, with Jesus. Oh friends, just like Christ died once, on our behalf, we can only die once, but with Him in our hearts, we are assured of a resurrection just like Him. 

And thus let’s hold on tight to this somewhat obscure and unknown verse of scripture: ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look (eagerly wait) for him shall he reappear the second time without (apart from) sin unto salvation.’ (Heb. 9:28) So my faithful brethren, instead of dwelling on the worst case scenario in these trying times, let’s instead focus on the big picture nuh; the Second Coming of Christ with the beautiful promise of salvation in His wings! That’s the wise way to handle this current situation, and it will help us to stand strong and steadfast as prisoners of divine hope. 

Now let’s go home showing our mettle nuh, by declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong, fearless voices, 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!’ 

And now, the natural consequence of that declaration (steups!) is to action it in whatever safe way we can. Much LOVE!

…sincere HOPE in Christ…is the ONLY antidote for fear… 

P.S. Yeh, it’s somewhat late, due as usual to my penchant for late nights, (smile) but I like it…and I hope you do too. Much LOVE!

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)

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