Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 June 2022 Ephesians 6:4.

Ephesians 6:4.      ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!​

Well, Happy Father’s Day greetings to all us fathers, be we good, bad or indifferent! (smile) The Good Book does say that the father is the head of the household, the leader, the spiritual guide and should be a good example to his children as he raises them in accordance with godly principles. In the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:4) 

Yes friends, fathers have an immense responsibility in rearing children and leading a household. As the scholars say, we must not provoke our children to wrath through things like ‘injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse of authority.’ 

Brother! No wonder many men run away from that kind of awesome responsibility. It is indeed a lot to handle. And on top of all that we have to teach them about the Lord; rear them in proper LOVE and reverence to the Lord God Jehovah. Do as Joshua did, let it be unconditionally known; ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:15d) A father should also be ‘One who ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.’ (1 Tim. 3:4) That means managing his family in the right way, making sure that the children learn obedience in a dignified manner. 

Wow! The good thing about it all though my fellow fathers, is that once we embark on the right track, the Lord helps us to run our families and raise our children. He just doesn’t leave us in a vacuum; tell us to make sure we do this or that and raise them according to His Word, then disregard us and leave us to rear them on our own. As true believers we ought to know that’s not how our wonderful God operates. Whatever He asks or expects of us, He also enables, gives us the tools to accomplish the task. 

Unfortunately though, in today’s world where God is no longer recognized as being a very important part of our lives, many fathers don’t have the knowledge they need to carry out their responsibilities, or just don’t care, or are not living with their children, and thus the family, the smallest and most important group, the foundation unit of our society is sadly falling apart, leading to the malfunctioning and degradation of society as a whole. Yes friends, when the smallest part of an organism or organization is being ruined, it’s not long before the whole edifice collapses. 

And yes, women do a fantastic job of keeping families together, but they can’t do it all by themselves, they need a male partner to help, if the job is to be done properly. And, unfortunately, it’s the children who suffer the most from these broken or dysfunctional homes. And since the males don’t have a decent example of what fatherhood ought to be, they continue in the same dysfunctional manner when raising their families. How many of us fathers are like Job eh? 

The Good Book says: ‘And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about (his children’s feasting was over), that Job sent and sanctified them (set them apart, consecrated them), and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually (regularly).’ (Job 1:5) Isn’t that beautiful my people. Job knew the value of continually praying for his children. How many of us fathers do that nowadays eh? Not enough. 

And yes, like this week we’re having the sermon before we get with the praise and worship. (smile) But that’s just how the spirit moved me this morning. But let’s get to today’s song, one that we all know and LOVE. It’s titled ‘My Hope is built on nothing less,’ written by the British Baptist minister Edward Mote (1797-1874). Oh, I know it’s an old song, but that just attests to its staying power, because it deals with assurance and refuge, of strength and a solid foundation that we find only in Christ Jesus, which I believe is a good sentiment for we fathers to seek this Father’s Day. 

So, let’s offer up our scintillating sacrifices of praise in a joyful mid-tempo version, letting our sincerity pour out of both our mouths and our hearts. In perfect unison and harmony, let’s sing: ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) 

When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] 

When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… Oh thank You Lord…You solid Rock!’ 

Now didn’t that make you feel reenergized and reassured? It ought to…if you were sincere in your vocalizing. (smile) And it’s been said that the song was based on Jesus words from Matthew 7, as He winds down the Sermon on the Mount. It’s a story we all know about the two foundations. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded up a (the) rock.’ (Matt. 7:24-25) 

Yes mih bredrin, wisdom dictates than when we hear the teachings of Jesus that we build our lives and that of our families on Him, because He is the ROCK! A sure place of refuge for all and sundry! Where you are never turned away or left to die on your own. No one else can offer what Jesus offers, so please let’s wake up and heed His urgent call nuh, especially we fathers, for our children, our families and our society as whole are suffering because we are not doing our bounden duty to lead them in a righteous manner in Christ Jesus. Please. I implore us to let today be a serious and sincere turning point in our lives! Much LOVE!

…no other foundation but Jesus…will withstand the battering evil forces of the world… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 December 2021 Psalm 62:7.

Psalm 62:7.     In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Now, the sun looks like it’s going to come out today, but it’s not expected to be as warm as the 15 degrees Celsius we experienced yesterday, and hopefully the wind won’t be a major problem today either. The strong winds just made mas with everything yesterday, blowing people and stuff all over the place. You had to hold on to yourself and anything you carried. But you know what? That situation is preferable to trudging through the sludgy white stuff called snow, slipping and sliding, not knowing what’s going to happen with your next footstep, and with nothing to hold on to but Jesus! (smile) 

But the good news is that Jesus is sufficient in every situation, for He’s the strongest, the most stable, solid and unmovable being in the universe. Yes friends, our God is the immovable object that we can build our lives on, because He does not change; as they say, He’s steady as a rock. And there are several scriptures that attest to that strength and immovability of our great God. So let’s check out a few nuh. 

Isaiah said it thus. ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit (breath) of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.’ (Is. 40:8) And that’s the indisputable truth! Like the grass and the flower, we human beings will wither away eventually, but the word of God stands forever like the rock of Gibraltar! Meanwhile the psalmist, Ethan the Ezrahite, in Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David, said it this way. ‘He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.’ (Ps. 89:26) 

Oh my people, God is indeed our Father, our Creator and the strong tower on which we can always rely! And we need to get that fact buried deep in our hearts, so that we can automatically turn to Him, without any hesitation whatsoever, fully knowing that He cares for us and will take care of all our needs and troubles. That’s why Peter tells us: ‘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.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) 

But we can’t do that unless we truly believe that the Lord is the rock of our salvation. And nobody said it as often or as powerfully as Bruh David in Psalm 62. ‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense (strong tower); I shall not be greatly moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 62:1-2) And if you didn’t believe him in the second verse, he reiterates it later on in verse 6, then adding: ‘In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.  Selah.’ (Ps. 62:7-8) 

And that’s more indisputable truth my brethren! But unfortunately, many of us don’t seem to believe it because we don’t go to Him in times of trouble. Some even dismiss His very existence, and others want to rid our society of His presence. But that’s never going to happen! For Almighty God is the Creator and Controller of this universe and He’s not going to let any created being take it over. And He said it in so many words through the prophet Isaiah: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) 

Satan, the ex-archangel Lucifer is a good example of that. He tried to foment rebellion in heaven and become the head honcho, but instead got kicked out on his tush, him and the other fools that tried to rebel against the Father. What will it take for the created to understand that they cannot get rid of their Creator, and whatever power they might have is derived from the one and true source of all power, Almighty God Himself? And He can shut them down, do whatever He pleases with them, and it’s only His great LOVE for us, His most wonderful creation, that stops Him from destroying us completely in His wrath over our stubborn disobedience, sinful and ungodly ways. 

He even broke His own heart by sacrificing His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we could be saved from hellfire and eternal damnation. But too many of us are not paying attention, and are thus experiencing the consequences of sin; an angry, sick, disaster ridden, strife-filled world. Oh friends, too many of us are still dancing in the darkness of this ungodly world when the light of Jesus is shining so brightly all around us. Please, let’s come out of that darkness and look to Him for help nuh, because He is the ONLY ONE, who can provide any real help to us, both individually and corporately. 

Our world’s not getting any better through our own actions, thus Satan is having a field day. And the only other option available to us is Jesus. Remember what He said about building our lives on solid foundations. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock (the rock – that’s Him) (Matt. 7:24) And there’s no disputing that truth! So please, let’s go to Him for help nuh mih bredrin. It’s the wisest decision we can ever make. 

As one sincerely repentant voice, let’s offer up our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 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!’ 

Now, let’s remember that God’s promises there are conditional on us keeping ours. Much LOVE!

…Jesus…the solid rock…on which I stand…all else is sinking sand…                                                                                                                                                       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2021 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.     ​Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.

So here we go again, another Sunday of virtual gathering. But the important thing is that we gather, not the how or where we do it. The Lord just wants us to gather however we can and celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise for all that He’s done for us this past week, and renew our confidence that He will keep on looking after us in the upcoming week. So, if the earthly powers that be say we can’t gather in large groups under one roof or mango tree, then, being the ingenious people we are, we will gather virtually. (smile) We can’t hug and kiss and shake hands, but we can do most of the other things necessary for worship. 

As always then, let’s begin with a song of praise, something to lively up both heaven and earth, this cloudy spring morning. (smile) Today’s hymn was written by British Baptist minister, Edward Mote (1797-1874) and it’s one of our favourites. Oh brother, do we have many favourites! And why not eh, since they are all celebrating the goodness and glory of our great God? 

Anyway, enough suspense, our hymn is titled ‘My Hope is built on nothing less.’ And is that ever the awesome truth friends! Our hope is indeed built on Christ Jesus and NO ONE, or nothing else. So let’s sing it like we truly mean it nuh, in harmony, loud and clear, at a nice up-tempo speed. 

Altogether now: ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. 

(Refrain) Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.’ 

What a magnificent rendition my people! All heaven was singing along with us, including the Father. He’s usually the first to join in whenever anyone is singing praises to His awesome Son, for He’s a very proud Father! What makes me chuckle though, is how Jesus sits there on His throne, quietly tapping His feet and nodding His head to the music, with that shy, boyish smile on His handsome face, somewhat embarrassed by all the praise. 

But that’s why we LOVE and adore Him so much. Despite all the honour and glory the Father has bestowed on Him, all the accolades He’s received down through the ages, He’s still the same down to earth, unassuming person He’s always been. That doesn’t mean to say He’s a pushover, as the wicked will find out when He comes back the second time, but He’s like the real great men of earth who know their power and don’t need to flaunt it. 

And what was Brother Mote trying to tell or instill in us when he wrote those wonderful words so long ago eh? I think it’s basically that Jesus is the everlasting hope, the assurance, the refuge, the best place to find solace and comfort in this crazy, sinful world. And that’s the indisputable truth friends! Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can sincerely offer us the comfort that we so desperately need in these rather trying and difficult times. Remember His Great Invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) Well He can truly do that! 

Furthermore, His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, paid the price for our sins, and thus puts us in His eternal debt. Oh friends, the blood of Jesus is ever so powerful, it enacted the New Covenant and made blood sacrifices obsolete. His death stopped us from being slaves to sin and Satan, and His resurrection caused us to have new life in the family of God. Yes friends, Jesus is the best foundation on which to build one’s life. Brother Mote said it nicely in our song: ‘Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r.’ What better foundation to build on eh my brethren? NONE! 

Jesus said it this way, when He spoke about the two foundations on which we can build our lives. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:24-27) 

And the scholars offer this explanation on those verses. ‘7:24-27. In drawing His concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word Therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great Master Counselor, Jesus reminded His listener that hearing this message alone will not change his life. He must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men as opposed to “these sayings.” 

Now, we all know that the most important aspect of building anything is the foundation. If the foundation is strong, whatever edifice we erect will stand the test of time and nature. But if the foundation is not up to scratch, then the edifice will eventually tumble down when it comes up against powerful forces. Likewise, in life, there is no doubt that Christ is the best foundation for us to build our lives on, for He is strong and steady, steadfast and solid, impenetrable and immovable, like a rock; the rock of all ages! Much LOVE!

…what’s your foundation built on…the rock…or the shifting sand…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2020 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.     ​Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock:

And then came that lazy day we call Saturday! No work! Glory be! At least no work out the street, but possibly plenty at home where we haven’t accomplished much for the last five days. What a bam-bam eh! Work for we living under the slave master’s stringent rules for five days straight, then have to come home now and do our own work. Somehow that doesn’t seem right. (smile) But that’s the way it is in our modern, busy society, and yuh better fall in line, otherwise life just going to leave yuh behind! (smile) 

That’s why it’s so necessary to have Jesus Christ as the guide and director of our lives, because with Him running the show we can handle anything that comes against us with authority and power downloaded from Him. That’s why we keep saying: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) And that’s an indisputable fact! But the only way you are ever going to find out that it’s true is by actually accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour, through faith and not sight. For in Jesus’ economy, faith is the currency, not sight. End of sermon! 

Now let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first quote is indeed a dandy: ‘Worry is the most wasteful thing in the world.’ That’s also another indisputable fact! Worry creates nothing but more worry! And as Sister Joyce likes to say: ‘Worry is like a rocking chair; you can sit in it and rock all day, but get nowhere, not moved from the same spot.’ Yes friends, all worry does is ramp up our fear, anxiety and doubt, thus stealing the li’l productive energy we have left to handle our problems. 

And another major thing we need to do in this mish-mash world is to ‘Focus on being productive, instead of busy.’ Yeh too many of us run around like chickens with our heads cut off, proclaiming we so busy that we don’t have time to do anything, and in the supposed busyness, we not really doing a blooming thing in true! Ever ask anybody why they not doing this or that? And the stock answer is ‘too busy.’ And when you ask what they so busy doing, they can’t tell you. It’s such a laughable situation, but one fraught with disappointment and defeat, unless we cut it out NOW. 

And to help us do that, we need to learn to ‘Manage the cause, not the result.’ That means looking to the root of the problem, what caused it in the first place, and not focusing on the result, because if we don’t fix the problem, we’ll keep on getting the same wrong result every time. But that’s also another bad habit we have in our modern-day society; we look the wrong places for solutions to our problems. Like we spend a whole lot of time and money in mental therapy, when most of the time all we need is the Good Book and the Word of the Lord to get us through our tough situations. 

The medications from the shrinks and charlatans ofttimes eases up one problem but causes several others, some worse than the original one. But that’s how our world operates, and if we don’t smarten up and recognize the enemy, the imperial prince of darkness hiding in some of those corners, we’re liable to end up in serious trouble. But then again, ‘If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.’ Ah mih people; the right question eh… 

Now that is ever so important in our deceitful, fraudulent society. There’s a scam in almost every situation these days, and if you don’t know the right questions to ask, you’ll most likely get the wrong answer and eventually do the wrong thing. And that’s ever so important for the older folks nowadays, because the scam artists like to prey on those they think are very gullible and easily fooled. Steups! They are worse than the predatory animals in the wild! 

That’s why the saying, ‘man’s inhumanity to man makes thousands mourn,’ is so true and heartbreaking. We think nothing these days of bilking an older person out of their entire life savings; in fact bilking anybody out of their possessions is fair game this meeting! But yuh know what my brethren? I’m here to tell you with this last quote that ‘Everything can be improved.’ And that’s the gospel truth! But you definitely need to connect with Jesus; to make him the Number One Priority in your life if you desire to see improvements in any or all areas of it. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these awesome words of Jesus as He speaks about the two foundations on which life can be built. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock.’ (Matt.7:24-25) 

Ah precious people, Jesus is that rock upon which we need to build our lives, so that when the storms come, like they are coming right now, our houses, our souls and spirits will stand strong and be able to fight them off! Yes, we desperately need the sure foundation that’s Jesus if we desire to thwart the enemy and overcome the storms of life! 

Now listen to the other side of the equation as expounded by Jesus. ‘And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:26-27) 

Oh my people, my people, those are words of everlasting truth from the Son of God Himself! And if we can’t accept them as such, then there’s little or no hope for us. Note the simplicity and clarity of Jesus’ teaching. He talks about things we can easily understand. It’s obvious that if we build a house on sand it won’t stand up as well as one built on a strong foundation of rock when the elements come against it. And right now we have the perfect storm of a pandemic and worldwide strife that’s showing what kind of foundation our lives have been built on. 

Unfortunately, we’re seeing that too many of them have been built on the insecure and unsafe one of sand, that’s why there’s so much fear, doubt and panic at this time of crisis. But it’s not too late friends…with Jesus it’s never too late to accept His wonderful 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) 

That friends, says it all! Accept Jesus…and your lives will improve… Don’t accept Him…and they will only get worse…The decision is up to you. But you have to make it soon…preferably RIGHT NOW! Much LOVE!

…you can lead a horse to water…but you can’t make him drink…likewise…you can be led to Jesus…but no one can make you accept Him…it’s a personal decision…