Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2021 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.​     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

What a bizarre time we’re going through my people! One day we hear that the police are authorized to make random stops to find out where you’re going, but the police refuse to do it. So, next day, we hear that authority has been rescinded. The government and the medical people don’t seem to be on the same wavelength at all, as there are too many conflicting statements on how to best handle the pandemic situation. But there’s no way to fix it without a fair amount of consensus among all parties. And when you add all the controversy surrounding the vaccines the whole scene is one chaotic mess. 

But let me remind us, that as sincere believers in Christ Jesus, we always have Him to turn to in times of doubt and despair. Life will never be easy or comfortable, especially when we’re living for Jesus, but He has faithfully promised that whatever negative stuff we are experiencing in the world, we can always turn to Him and receive His awesome peace and comfort that are way better than what the world offers. So, with all the bickering and dispute that’s currently going on, now is definitely a time to turn to Him for solace, comfort and wise guidance. 

A time to remember His amazing words of promise, like these. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Yes friends, that’s sometimes hard to understand and accept when our whole world seems to be falling apart. But we need to keep speaking it, keep believing it, until it sinks into our very soul and becomes a natural tool for us to handle unpleasant situations. 

And what about this other warning of persecution. ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues…And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt. 10:17-18, 22). And as the scholars explain: ‘In the ancient Near East the serpent was commonly regarded as the wisest of beasts. A cautious wisdom was necessary in order to deal with the fierce opposition that the disciples would face.’ 

And up to this day, the situation has remained the same: believers have to be wise and cautious in their dealings with the world. In some places today, the persecution is just as bad as in the days of the early church, but you see what a huge difference the perseverance and strong belief of the disciples made in the world, despite the terrible odds they faced. 

And in our western world, we don’t even have an ounce of the persecution they faced, yet we’re whining and crying. That ought not to be so friends. We are supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The ones to lead others to Christ and all the good benefits He has to offer. And please remember that nothing worthwhile is ever easy to accomplish. 

Now listen to some more inspirational words of Jesus nuh. ‘If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would LOVE his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.’ (John 15:18-19) That’s something we too often forget my fellow saints; that we are IN the world, but not OF the world. So let’s stand up strong and face the world mano a mano nuh. Remember Jesus has already overcome it, and we only need to keep the victory going, with His help obviously. 

And in what is known in some circles, as the long version of the Lord’s Prayer (John 17) Jesus didn’t only pray for the disciples but also for us. ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ ( John 17:20-21) 

Yuh see that mih bredrin, Jesus knew that His plan would work, and that down through the ages people would believe in Him having not seen Him in person, and He wanted them to be separate, sanctified, living as one, not as the many warring denominations we now have. But as we say, while there is life, there’s always hope, and I believe these difficult times were meant to bring us together and back to God, so let’s do just that nuh, be as one, in sincere prayer, and offer up what we term our Monday Morning 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 standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now, having said all of that, we need to show true humility and sincere repentance, if we want God to affirmatively answer our plea. Much LOVE!

…bear patiently the slings of the world…and your reward will be great…both in heaven and on earth… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2021 John 16:33b.

John 16:33b.     ​In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Good morning my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Oh what a glorious day to be alive! One more day walking with Christ, our wonderful Lord and Saviour, on this confused and troubled earth, but knowing that He has the awesome power to make a way for us and provide all that we need, for He sincerely promised that if we walk with Him, we’ll never want for anything that’s necessary and that our souls will be filled with the amazing peace that He offers all His followers! 

Wow! That means we need nothing or no one else but our dear Jesus, for He’s on our side, and all we have to do is stand strong and tall, don’t worry, and do what He asks of us. No other organization in this whole wide world has the benefits that we Christians have, so please let’s enjoy them nuh, and stop being miserable, worried and depressed, because the Good Book has always told us to not worry or fret, but to be of good cheer. 

All the way back in Genesis 42 and 43, we have this example of when Joseph’s brothers came down to Egypt to buy food in the famine and Joseph kept his brother Simeon as a pledge that they would return, and then they found the money they had paid for the food back in their sacks. But were they ever scared on their return with Benjamin, and had Joseph invite them to his house. But Joseph’s steward told them. ‘Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.’ (Gen. 43:23) 

And when yuh talking about being cheerful despite prevailing unfortunate circumstances, Jesus was the master of that! His words were always cheerful and uplifting. Some of His favourite words were ‘Do not fear,’ and ‘Be of good cheer.’ Let’s look at a few examples to encourage ourselves nuh. Remember that time when he healed the paralytic man? The Good Book tells us: ‘And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy (paralyzed man), lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy (paralytic); Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.’ (Matt. 9:2) 

And I just LOVE how Jesus liked to annoy the scribes and the Pharisees, for when He said that, their thoughts immediately turned to blasphemy. ‘And Jesus, knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether (which) is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.’ (Matt. 9:4-7) 

Oh mih people, if we have such a mighty individual, High Priest and Saviour on our side, why do we keep worrying eh? Who knows? I guess, only God and the fearful individuals. And then, we come to the instance where Jesus is walking on the water in the early hours of the morning towards the disciples fighting a torrid storm in their li’l boat on the rough Sea of Galilee. ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:26-27) That’s when Peter took courage and walked on the water, until his courage failed him. 

And then we have this magnificent example when Jesus began talking seriously to the disciples about His approaching death and all the other things that were to come. He said to them. ‘Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own (place), and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:32-33) 

And that’s the awesome truth friends! Jesus has overcome the world, thus we can be cheerful despite whatever is happening around us. And please note, that though all the disciples deserted Jesus in His time of need, His heavenly Father did not! All glory be to our great God and Creator! And some of Jesus’ last words to the disciples, and consequently to us, was also a promise of never to leave us alone: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) And it’s a promise He faithfully keeps by having His Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts when we receive him as Lord and Saviour. 

And yes, it’s not easy living for Jesus, and all those encouraging words don’t always work for us. But I found, or rather was led to (smile) a passage from a Devotional by Camille Fronk, Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU, written on April 30, 2004 and featured on the Brigham Young University website. Please listen closely to Camille. ‘I wish to focus my remarks today on the role of Christ’s enabling power in our ability to feel cheer amid mortal gloom and doom. Misfortune and hardship lose their tragedy when viewed through the lens of the Atonement. 

The process could be explained this way: The more we know the Savior, the longer becomes our view. The more we see His truths, the more we feel His joy. But it is one thing to know that’s the right answer in a Sunday School class and quite another to experience firsthand a cheerful outlook when current circumstances are far from what we hoped. If we would develop faith to apply the Atonement in this manner and not merely talk about it, awareness of imaginary finite boundaries, inadvertently placed on the Savior’s infinite sacrifice, can be meaningful. Consider two false assumptions that, if pursued, will block our appreciation and access to the Lord’s divine assistance.’ 

And she explains those two false assumptions as being thinking that because we are Christians, we can avoid tribulation, and that we can trust in our own efforts. And yes friends, those are two major stumbling blocks in our Christian walk. But Jesus specifically said that we would all face tribulation in the world, especially if we believe in Him, and try to do His work in this evil and godless society in which we live. And please don’t forget about that scripture verse we are always quoting: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

What’s the point of talking about it if we don’t practice it eh? None whatsoever. So let’s hold our heads up high nuh, and smile, although things might not be going too good for us, because we have Jesus and His promises to keep us strong and fortified. Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us so that we can do His earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s our turn to share those blessings just as generously with the unfortunate others around us! Much LOVE!

…faith and light will overcome fear and darkness…every time… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     ​O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And so we move on; another day older and closer to heaven! Can you imagine it friends? Some of us have lived so many days already that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. But be not afraid of what’s in your future, for our great and wonderful God has a distinct plan for every one of us, to be His disciple, His ambassador, agent, representative, call it what you like, and it does not end even when we take our last breath and go over the other side to His golden mansions for eternal rest. 

That’s because He expects the lives that we’ve lived down here, to speak to others, as a glowing example of faithfulness and LOVE, even after we have departed this earthly territory. That means what we do, how we behave, how we treat others, every day of our lives makes a difference. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us; that we make a positive difference in the land as we walk closely with Him. So the question now my friends is, are we making a positive difference on others, as we live this earthly life? 

Are we being good examples of the kind of life the Lord expects of His followers? I do hope that all of us can answer a resounding ‘Yes!’ to it, but I know that that’s certainly not the case, else our world would not be living the selfish, greedy, godless, dog eat dog kind of life we’re currently living. Oh my brethren, if we’re true to ourselves, we’ll all realize that we’re not living the best Christian life that we can, which means we have lots of room for improvement. 

And why aren’t we living the kind of Christian life we want to lead eh? I think if we look to Bruh Paul’s words and examples in Romans, when he talks about the struggles of two natures, we’ll get some insight into the problem. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (don’t understand): for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) And we all have that same struggle between our flesh and the spiritual lives we want to live. 

The scholars however, offer an excellent explanation of our problem, re verse 14. ‘The law is spiritual: The law has characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ And yes, as we said above, we all experience personal struggles with sin, but that is no reason, no excuse not to do better than we’re doing, especially if we’re at a fairly high state of spiritual maturity. 

And I think that’s one of the many problems in the church, in Christ’s body today: the mature believers are not leading exemplary lives, and also are not taking enough interest in the less mature believers. But that’s just what Jesus desires of us, as we said at the outset; a life that makes a positive difference and sets a good example to others. And no, He does not expect us to be perfect, because He did not make us perfect, but He does expect us to do our best. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ And that’s all the Lord is asking of us. 

But too many of us are too immersed in the ways of the world, the fleshly, sinful carnal life. And how do we get out of that? Only one way friends; by keeping our eyes constantly fixed on Jesus. And we have a great example of that with this interaction between Jesus and Peter. It’s that time when Jesus fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves of bread and two fishes, and they took up twelve baskets of remnants afterwards. (Matt. 14:15-21) Then He sent the disciples away in a boat over the lake, the sea of Galilee, while He dismissed the crowd and went up into a mountain to pray. (Matt. 14:22-23a) 

Now the Good Book says: ‘And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship (with the disciples) was now in the midst (middle) of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (from 3-6 a.m.) Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (a ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. 

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:23b-33). 

And right in that li’l passage of scripture friends, we have our basic problem. We talk plenty about Jesus being the Son of God, but when the time comes for us to truly embrace it, we fail miserably. Peter was bold enough to step out of the boat, but when the wind got really strong, he took His eyes off Jesus, and doubt crept into his mind and made him afraid. And that’s what happens to too many of us; when troubles come, we stop looking to Jesus, forget the powerful being that He is, and all His faithful promises, and in fear, fall back on our own strength, which will never be enough to get us through this life. 

So friends, if we want to make a positive difference with our lives, we have to steadfastly keep looking to Jesus; don’t be too afraid, or lose our faith, or forget His promises, when troubles come, as they always will. And what better scripture to close with than these assuring words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And for those of us in whom those words have taken solid root, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 it’s also reassuring to know that if we endure to the end, the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So let’s keep on keeping on in Christ nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…steadfastly looking to Jesus…is the ONLY way…to handle our doubts and fears… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8            

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2021 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (compassion), and the God of ALL COMFORT.

A good Thursday morning to all you my faithful Scrip-Bit friends and family! As Bruh Paul would put it: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2. Cor. 1:2) Yes my brethren, it’s through the grace, peace and mercy of God that we are alive today! So let’s be thankful for it nuh, regardless of whatever problems we are currently undergoing, for our God is big enough, great enough and LOVING enough to get us through them safely, and even grow us spiritually while we’re undergoing the adversity. 

And Bruh Paul continues thus:; ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (compassion), and the God of ALL COMFORT.’ (2 Cor. 1:3) And that’s an indisputable fact my people! Our God is the Father of Comfort. There’s no one as comforting as Him. He is characterized by mercy and compassion. Bruh David describes it like this in Psalm 86. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps. 86:5) 

Meanwhile Daniel declared: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ (Dan. 9:9) And just for argument sake (smile) hear how Micah describes it. ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by (over) the transgression of the remnant pf his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy (LOVING-kindness, compassion) (Mic. 7:18) Now that should convince us that one of our God’s many characteristics is compassion. 

And if it doesn’t, then just check out all the scriptures where those needing comfort cried out to Him and He comforted them. The psalmist said: ‘In the multitude of my (anxious) thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.’ (Ps. 94:19) Yes friends, even when anxious thoughts conflict and bombard us, the comforting presence of our God is there to deflect them. Bruh David reminds us in Psalm 34. ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (crushed in spirit). Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’ (Ps. 34:16-19) 

Oh my people, these are indeed rough and unprecedented times for most of us, and we all have fears and anxious thoughts, but the best place to take them, as with everything else in this life, is to the God who made us, knows us better than we know ourselves and still cares for us with a LOVE beyond compare. We live in a sinful and evil world, therefore troubles and adversity must come against us, most devastatingly at times when least expect them. But God is ALWAYS there for us, if we cry out to Him. Jesus said very plainly: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh friends, I know that isn’t always easy to do, and no doubt the pain will hurt, possibly for some time too, but the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows in our lives. We may not know or understand it, but that’s why He is God. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, for He is the Creator and we are the created. Yes, I know you don’t want to hear about pain and suffering and reasons for them etc. etc., but that is all a part of the Christian life. However, getting back to the comforting aspect, hear how Bruh Paul continues his epistle to the church at Corinth, after telling them that our God is the God of all comfort. 

‘Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:4) Glory be mih people! What a magnificent and thoughtful God we serve! Wow! He comforts us so that we can use that same godly and divine comfort to comfort our fellow human beings! Now isn’t that very thoughtful of Him? It surely is! Now just a few more scriptures to cement the fact (smile) that our God is indeed the God of all comfort. 

Hear Isaiah as he talks about the faithful being comforted. ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a (mortal) man that shall die, and the son of man which shall be made as grass?’ (Is. 51:12) Good question that friends. Please think on it. And from Psalm 119 comes this verse. ‘Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:76) And the amplified version of that is: ‘May your unfailing LOVE be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.’ 

Meanwhile, Bruh David says it simply and heartfelt like no one else besides Jesus can. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:4) Yes my faithful saints in Christ, our God is always near and always ready to comfort us in times of trouble, but we need to cry out to him, come to Him with our tears and prayers. And there’s no better invitation in all the world than this one made by Jesus so long ago and is still in effect. 

‘Come unto me, all ye that are 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) That is as simple and explicit as it can get my brethren. So the rest is up to us. We can only comfort or help ourselves so much, likewise our fellow man, but the God of ALL COMFORT can do a much better job than us. So let’s wisely turn to Him in these dark and tremulous times nuh. 

Now, for those of us whom He has comforted and given us the opportunity and tools to comfort others, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, exulting with thanksgiving, for the wonderful tools He’s bestowed on us. Altogether now: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s use those blessings to uplift ourselves and others in Christ’s name nuh! Much LOVE!

…comfort ye oh my people…comfort ye…says our God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2021 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.     ​Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.

Welcome to Friday; somewhat snowy and blustery, but all a part of the winter system. Hope I think so when I have to go out the street later. (smile) So how’s your day going so far eh? I hope for those of you in my time zone it’s begun on a good note, and for those of you whose day is almost ending, hoping that you had a good one, despite whatever difficulties you encountered, as you walked with Christ beside you all the way. 

Oh my people, I shouldn’t have to remind us, but I will, (smile) that walking with Christ is the ONLY way to handle, to mitigate some of the troubles and difficulties we’ll experience in this evil and dangerous world. Remember Jesus promised that we’d have problems, but once we’re walking with him, things would be all right. Here’s what He said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes friends, we all know that scripture, but do we really consider it when hard times come against us? That is the question. Do we remember promises like that when we’re facing uphill battles and need reassurance? I hope so, because that’s what those scriptures are for; to reassure us of the goodness of God and His promise to work things out eventually for the good of all those who LOVE Him, and sincerely try to do His will. 

So please, I implore us, in these rough and uncertain times, to keep the promises of our God front and centre in our lives, so we can use them to raise our faith and keep walking in His awesome and amazing LOVE! Otherwise, our supposed faith is just a waste of time. It doesn’t make sense having faith if you don’t use it positively. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. And he is somewhat crochety. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes, and I’m still alive, though just barely. And I don’t know what you all expect me to say nuh. Nothing has changed in the last little while; we still on lockdown, I still don’t have no job, money in short supply, the virus an’ them still running rampant all over the world…So what new thing all yuh expect me to say eh? 

Oh, they thinking about sending some of the children back to school…when? I don’t know, and don’t really understand why everybody want them to go back to school. If big people can’t handle the situation, how yuh expect children to handle it in such crowed schools like we have eh? 

Steups! I just give up yes! Things too conflicting, yuh getting all sorts of different information from different people, and everybody claiming that theirs is the truth. So what’s an ordinary body to do eh? I don’t know about nobody else nuh, but me, I’m just going to keep me peace, and do the best I can with what I have. That is provided this lock up home situation don’t drive me crazy before we get the situation under control. Until then, I’ll just have to thank God and ask Him to keep me and mine safe oui.’ 

Ah mih bredrin, I think that’s the best advice for all of us yes; don’t give up, obey the rules as best we can, don’t put ourselves in any untenable situations, and talk to the Lord in all sincerity about the situation. It’s all in His hands friends, and He’s promised that this too shall pass, and also that no weapon formed against us will prosper, and every tongue that speaks ill of us will be condemned. (Is. 54:17) 

And Bruh Paul has also reminded us of our divine heritage with these words. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35, 37-39) And all of God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I do hope that we are all truly persuaded that NOTHING will separate us from God’s LOVE, because if we don’t, then our faith is again a waste of time and crapaud will smoke we pipe. And having said all that, let’s do the first thing we ought to do each and every day, and when we are in troubled times, turn to God in sincere prayer. And some of you might be wondering why I keep talking about sincerity, but that’s simply because the Lord doesn’t just hear our words, but checks the motives, the sincerity of our hearts before He considers our requests. 

So with sincere hearts (smile) let’s lift up our Friday Chant to heaven. As one voice 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!’ 

And now that we’ve shown our hearts to be sincere, let’s show the world that we are truly faithful believers in Christ Jesus and handle the situation as we ought to! Much LOVE!

…faith is belief in action…so let’s get some serious action going nuh…to show some serious faith…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2021 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.     ​I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

Monday’s on the board friends! How are we going to greet it eh? I hope it’s with plenty hope, LOVE, joy and peace, as our Christian tenets teach us, rather than with fear, anxiety and a whole lot of negativity based on our present troubled circumstances. Yes, we will have trouble, persecution, tribulation and what not in this sinful world, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said that, but then He went on to conquer the negative stuff, like hell, death and the grave by His crucifixion and resurrection so that we would not have to worry about all the negative stuff that came our way. 

Here’s how He put it: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) What wonderful news that is my brethren! Jesus has already overcome the world, so we just have get ourselves together and maintain that victory! Maintain it with good cheer; that is LOVE, assurance, hope, faith and the promise of eternal life if we endure to the end. 

And no, living the Christian life in this sinful and ofttimes godless world is not easy, but with Christ’s divine help we can do it. Remember how Bruh Paul characterized it? ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) Now that’s quite true, but there’s something more we must learn, and that’s the context in which he said it. He was referring to a gift from the church at Philippi. And though he appreciated their care and consideration and gift very much, he told them: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil. 4:11) 

And that my fellow believers is something that we all need to learn in these troubled times and times of expected entitlement. Bruh Paul was grateful for their financial gift, but he could also have done without it, because he had learned how to be content whether he had a lot or a little. And the scholars add an interesting message. ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Oh my people, that is a truth that so many believers need to learn. Yes, we ought to be contented in any state in which we find ourselves, with Jesus’ help of course, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and like all other growth it comes with hardship and adversity. So if you’re having trouble in that area, like so many of us in this pandemic time, just remember that you can do all you need to handle the situation with Christ in your corner, but it will take time and also some effort from you. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:12) Yes friends, it’s something that many of us are learning in these Covid times, when work is scarce and the essentials of life are difficult to come by. 

But we do need to learn how to discipline ourselves in times of prosperity and in times of want, to learn the secret of how to be well fed even in the rough going. So let’s not beat up ourselves if we’re not doing as well as we ought to or want to in these troubled days, remember Jesus is just a prayer away with help. 

Yes, I know it might not come right away, but our faith teaches us to wait and be patient and expectant. No wonder Bruh Paul could promise the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) He is aware of their sacrifice on Bruh Paul’s behalf, and thus will generously meet their needs. 

My fellow believers, that’s what God is about; providing, meeting our needs when we sincerely call on Him. That’s His ever-faithful promise. So why don’t we do that right now nuh through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s bare our very hearts and souls to our Creator, as He desires of us. 

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

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now we have to do our part; wait with eager and sincere expectation, that’s faith, and stay repentant and be obedient so the Lord can see that we’re truly sorry for turning away from Him. Much LOVE!

…life’s not easy in this sinful world…but God is good…Glory Hallelujah… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2020 John 14:15.

John 14:15.     ​If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

Sunday morning’s come down friends! And we’ll do what we do every Sunday morning, be it sunshine, rain or snow; get together and praise, worship and give thanks to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider! Only thing is that these days many of us are worshiping and giving thanks through virtual technology because of the pandemic lockdown. Yes mih people, they may stop us from gathering together physically, but they can’t stop us from giving thanks and praise! And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise be to God!’ 

And with the Christmas season upon us, when we celebrate the earthly birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I thought it would only be right to open with a timely song, a Christmas carol we all know and LOVE; ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’an adaptation of a Latin hymn Adeste Fidelis. It’s rather appropriate for this time as it ‘harkens to the biblical story of the birth of Christ. It is considered a reference to the shepherds, after hearing the angels singing, coming to Bethlehem to adore their new-born savior. Today this hymn signifies and celebrates our coming together in worship to adore the LOVING blessing of Jesus, as he sacrificed himself for our salvation.’ 

So let’s worship nuh, in strong soulful, harmonious voice. ‘ O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! (Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.) God of God, light of light, Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; True God, begotten, not created: (Chorus) 

O Sing, choirs of angels; sing in exultation O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above. Give to our Father, Glory in the highest! (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be the glory giv’n; Word of the Father, Now in the flesh appearing, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

And is Christ ever worthy of our adoration my people! For no one has ever done what He did; give up His heavenly position and come to earth in manly form, for the main purpose of sacrificing His sinless life so that we could become children of God, with all the wonderful benefits that entails. Mama Mia! What a Lord and Saviour! 

But what does it really mean when we sing about ‘faithful’ eh? First let’s look at some definitions from the Merriam Webster dictionary. ‘1: steadfast in affection or allegiance : LOYAL – a faithful friend. 2: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : CONSCIENTIOUS – a faithful employee. 3: given with strong assurance : BINDING – a faithful promise. 4: true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original – a faithful copy. 5: obsolete: full of faith.’ And you’ll notice what they say about the last one; that it’s obsolete, but a lot of people still believe that’s what it means, and who’s to say them nay eh? (smile) 

So you see all the different meanings ‘faithful’ can have. They left out one word though; integrity, for you can’t be all or any of those things without integrity. And I like how Wikipedia explains it: ‘Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something, and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. It may be exhibited by a husband or wife who, in a sexually exclusive marriage, does not engage in sexual relationships outside of the marriage.’ 

Therefore, in our case we can say ‘faithful’ means that we remain unfailingly loyal to Christ, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. And that’s not an easy thing to do, especially in these rather turbulent and topsy-turvy times. But if we seriously want to be a faithful follower of Christ, then we must buckle down and do the things He commands us. Listen to His all-encompassing statement to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) 

Typical Jesus, plain and straightforward. No beating around the bush. And that’s what it means to be faithful; do the things that the person or organization to which you are faithful requires of you. And don’t forget this other requirement of being faithful to Jesus. ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his soul shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt. 16:24-25) 

That means friends, all that wonderful singing we did above does carry serious consequences if we truly want to observe and honour Christ’s call and be faithful. That’s not to say we should not enjoy the merriment and festivity of the season, but we should also consider the job we have to do, after all the merriment is over. Note, after the shepherds went and saw Jesus, they went back to guarding their sheep, though with a more joyful heart. Likewise, our hearts should also be joyful, as we go through this season of Advent, contemplating the importance of Christ’s birth and what it means to us in these modern times. 

And we’ll end with these appropriate words, but please don’t ask me where I got them from, because I don’t remember. (smile) ‘The encouragement to “come, all ye faithful, . . . to Bethlehem” situates the singer both among the shepherds who rushed to see Christ and in the great continuation of the “faithful” that have traveled to Bethlehem in a spiritual nature for over 2,000 years. Although today, we cannot actually witness Jesus in the manger, we can come to Bethlehem in a symbolic sense. We can be there in our imaginations as we allow the Christmas story to hearten our spirits.’ 

Yes precious people, let’s raise our spirits, be faithful and joyful in this Christmas season, despite the many troubles in our world. For that’s what Christians – faithful, steadfast and loyal believers in Jesus do, especially when one of His commands is to be of good cheer, because he has overcome the world! Much LOVE!

…the joy of the Lord is our strength… (Neh. 8:10) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2020 Matthew 5:48.

Matthew 5:48.     ​Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

So it’s Saturday; that lazy, slouchy day again! And do I ever want to laze and slouch about… But it’s just not possible right now, cause I have the Lord’s work to do, and we can’t afford to laze and slouch when God’s work needs to be done! Amen! The problem though is that we talk a good talk about doing God’s work, but half the time that’s all we do; talk! If there was more truly Christian action from supposed believers, our world would certainly not be in the mess that it’s currently in. 

So why don’t we stop talking and start doing eh? As James says, ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:22) Yes friends, only by showing our faith through our works will our world get out of the turbulence and calamity in which it’s now engulfed. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now it’s time to check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And yes, the preface is still there: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content,’ but that’s the only time we will write it. And please remember that you can ONLY do those things contained therein if Jesus Christ is truly your Lord and Saviour! 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I’m worthy of respect and acceptance.’ And that’s the God awesome truth my brethren! All God’s children, all His creation is worthy of acceptance and respect, for we are made in His image, with the breath of His life flowing through us and His Holy Spirit indwelling us! So how can we not be worthy of respect and acceptance eh? 

So please, let’s put all the tomfoolery about race, religion, power, wealth and all the other negative stuff we use to disrespect and refuse acceptance to each other aside so that our world could be a better place nuh. I don’t know how we can ever think that our world will be a better place with all that nonsense so prevalent and destructive in it. 

The next quote tells us: ‘I can absolutely do anything I put my mind to.’ Now that’s definitely not true, for as a mere mortal, who perishes like the grass in the noon day sun, you cannot do anything you set your mind to because of your own strength. However, if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you can do anything, through Christ who strengthens you.’ (Phil. 4:13) Glory be! Can you move a mountain in your own strength? Certainly not! But with Christ in your corner, you can, because as the Creator and Controller of this universe, ALL things are possible through Him! Wow! 

And don’t forget too, this special statement Christ made the last time He visited us in human form: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now that’s certainly telling it like it is! And having said that, this next quote should follow on from it: ‘My life becomes richer as I get older.’ 

Yes friends, as we get older and deeper in Jesus, our lives ought to get richer, not necessarily in money and earthly wealth, but in bearing good fruit for Christ, for as he says above, if we consistently hang out with Him, we will bear much good fruit. And He has no cause to lie about that. So yes, as we increase in age, with Christ in our lives, we get wiser and more peaceful and relaxed, less anxious and all those good things. The cares of the world don’t trouble us as much, for we have reached a stage where we can accept Christ’s truth in a practical manner in our lives. 

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Now how can we have good cheer when our world is falling apart? Again because of these awesome words of Jesus: ‘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 14:33) And you’re wondering how you can ever do that with the wicked storms that are continuously howling around you? 

Simple. Because you have the peace of God working in and through you. ‘The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Yes, the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard us. Oh, how wonderful it is to experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand! But that only comes with age and maturity in the faith. Now, when we can accept all of that without necessarily understanding it all, then the last two quotes become even more important. ‘I make a significant difference to the lives of people around me,’ and ‘My contributions to the world are valuable.’ 

Ah mih bredrin…how I wish that I could truthfully say that we are all making significant differences, or rather positive significant differences to the lives of the people around us, because too many of us, including believers are making no difference, or instead negative differences that are causing more harm than is necessary. Yes, many of us are doing much worthwhile work, making plenty positive significant differences, but the truth of the matter is that it’s just not enough! Way too many of our fellow men are suffering either because of our many evil, inhumane thoughts and actions, or because of not enough compassionate and merciful ones. 

Precious people, there is only ONE way for us to climb out of the disgusting and life destroying mire in which we’re now engulfed, and that’s through LOVE! It’s the only way! We must learn to LOVE even our enemies. Let’s listen as our Lord and Saviour puts it in its proper perspective nuh. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. 

That ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:43-48) 

And that’s it in a nutshell! (smile) Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible with Christ helping us. And as the scholars explain, ‘perfect here doesn’t mean sinless perfection, but “complete,” that is possessing a complete LOVE that, like God’s (vs. 45), embraces those who LOVE you as well as those who do not.’ I guess the best all-round definition and/or summation would be Jesus’ words which we characterize as the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…’ (Matt. 7:12a) Much LOVE!

…LOVE in action is tough…but when times get tough…the tough (Christians) get going… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2020 Deuteronomy 8:18.

Deuteronomy 8:18.     ​Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he who giveth thee the power to get wealth…

Oh, it’s a lazy, hazy Saturday morning… and I’m late and hazy and lazy too! (smile) Did some other things before coming down to write the Bit, and now I’m a li’l miffed at myself for not getting started earlier. But them’s the breaks. Get over it self! (smile) 

And what’s the news this morning eh? Nothing has changed! The world is still in a volatile, unholy, strife-filled mess. And if you like the status quo, then I suppose that’s good news for you. If you don’t… well what can I say eh? Nothing but keep praying, repenting, getting back to God…and tell everyone you know, shout it from the rooftops that that’s the ONLY way our world will ever recover some semblance of normalcy! Nothing much is going to improve until there’s a big God-centred Revival in our world; a LOVE Revolution! Now that’s my stand…and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

So, since it’s Saturday, let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And again, I only got three quotes instead of the usual five. And no, I’m not complaining – no way – because now I only have to wrap my head around three and not five quotes. Glory be! 

And he’s also continuing this new style of prefacing each one with this proviso: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But please remember we are only awesome and truly happy, calm and content in Christ Jesus; when He’s in us and we are in Him! Much LOVE and thanks to our wonderful Lord and Saviour! And also as usual, we’ll leave out the proviso from here on in. But please remember it in the context of Jesus. 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I choose not to criticize myself or others around me.’ Now that’s such a wonderful attitude! And besides our world is filled with too much criticism these turbulent days, unsupported criticism at that too. It’s one of our favourite games in this time of social media and rampant technology. And it’s one of those games where we like to give, but can’t take. We all LOVE to criticize, but we can’t accept it, even when it’s useful and true. 

Let’s stop for a moment and remember these awesome words of our Leader, Jesus Christ nuh. ‘Judge not (condemn not, criticize not), that ye be not judged (condemned, criticized). For with what judgement (condemnation, criticism) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) 

In other words friends, do unto others as you would like them to do unto you, because whatever you do, in whatever measure, it will eventually boomerang right back to you, and most likely you will be appalled at it. (smile) As the ole people would say: ‘Do so ent like so!’ And that’s the gospel truth, for we don’t like getting back the negative stuff we throw in other’s faces. 

But listen to this explanation from the scholars on the subject. ‘7:1-4. Judge not refers to an unfavourable and condemnatory judgement. This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgement of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudiced information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgement for with what…ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgement of God rather than our own judgement.’ 

Hope that clarifies the subject and means that our criticism level will drop by at least three quarters, because a lot of the time we criticize, it’s not even that we have prejudiced info, but NO info at all. That’s how bad criticism is in these troubled and uncertain times! 

And the second quote proclaims: ‘My potential to succeed is limitless.’ Now that is certainly true…but again under the right situation and circumstances. One must first be filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus and being obedient and obeisant to Him, so that we can be calm, happy and contented. But here’s the kicker in these words of Moses to the Israelites: ‘Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he who giveth thee the power to get wealth…’ (Deut. 8:18) Yes friends, unless we are living under God’s protective and powerful umbrella, our lives won’t be as thrilling, adventurous and successful. 

Remember His words to Joshua on remembering and meditating on His word and doing all contained therein? Why? ‘…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) It couldn’t be any plainer than that my people. And the thing we don’t understand about being successful in God’s mercies, is that with Him, success is lasting, not the uncertain, fleeting kind that comes when we try to accomplish it in our own strength following the ways of the world. 

So here’s the last quote…and it’s a dandy! (smile) ‘Difficult times are part of my journey and allow me to appreciate the good.’ And is that the indisputable truth! Thus the sayings like: ‘you can’t appreciate the sun until you experience the rain,’ ‘you can’t appreciate joy until you have experienced sorrow.’ It’s only when we experience the bad that we can truly appreciate the good. And nowhere is that clearer than in Jesus’ economy, for ofttimes He allows us to go through rough times to test our mettle, to mature us in His style. For we all know that we only truly grow in difficult times, not much in good ones. 

Now in this evil and sinful world difficulties do abound. And Jesus didn’t hesitate to remind us of that when He said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And He certainly overcame, hell, death and the grave. So he knows what He’s talking about. 

And His brother James puts it thus: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) Yes friends, we need to look at our trials from God’s viewpoint; that they are maturing us and making us more like Jesus in character which is God’s eventual plan for ALL of his children.

 And yes, most of us try to find a way to escape from the trials and temptations, but it’s necessary that we go through them if we want to mature and grow in our Christian faith. And remember too that the Lord has promised to always be with us, helping us all the way. Now that belief is what our faith is built on, and with it we can successfully navigate any problems we encounter in this world! So let’s stand strong and steadfast, surrounded by all of God’s faithful promises! Much LOVE!

…when trials and tribulation come…God’s saints successfully rise up over them…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website waynestiles.com puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

All together now, 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!’ 

And the natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

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