Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2021 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.     I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

And as we move on through life with another new day, I do hope that we are appreciating and enjoying the abundant life that Christ died for us to have. What? You don’t know anything about the abundant life Christ died for us to inherit. Oh, poor souls! Please listen to Jesus, as He talks about His role as the Good Shepherd. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Yes friends, Jesus didn’t die only so that we could go to heaven, but that we could also enjoy life down here on earth. Our heavenly life doesn’t begin when we physically get to heaven, but when we receive Jesus. That’s when all the good things kick in, like the entrance of the Holy Spirit and all its wonderful fruit and God’s goodness and mercy that He lavishes on all believers in His Son Jesus Christ. 

So, although life on earth can be rough, with Jesus in our hearts and souls, we can still enjoy what we have down here, boosted by the promises of what awaits us in heaven. Why do you think the psalmist wrote these marvellous words way back when eh? ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) Because God gives us a new day every 24 hours so that we can awaken fresh and bright and enjoy it. He wants us to leave the old day behind and enjoy the new one. 

Why yuh think Jesus told His listeners: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow); for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof. (Matt. 6:34) That’s because we ought to concentrate on the day in front of us, today, for everyday has its own problems, most of which you can’t control, or even know about until you come to it. So, we should not place as much emphasis on tomorrow as we do on today. 

And just a gentle reminder; (smile) you know tomorrow never comes, because we call every new day ‘today.’ That means we are always living in today, the present, not yesterday, or tomorrow. That’s why the Lord only allows us to live one day at a time. We can barely handle today, much less to worry about tomorrow, or be overly concerned about yesterday, which we can do absolutely nothing about, since it’s already long gone. 

But that doesn’t stop so many of us living in the past, allowing the things that have already gone and been forgiven and forgotten by the Lord to haunt us, make us miserable so that we cannot enjoy today. Remember the words of Isaiah on the Lord’s behalf: ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.’ (Is. 43:25) And Psalm 103 graciously informs us: ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he (God) removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps. 103:12) 

So why can’t we remove our own sins too eh, instead of allowing them to cloud and clog our hearts and souls and stop us from enjoying the abundant life Christ died for us to have? And remember too, God’s promise through Jeremiah of a new covenant, to put His law in the hearts of the people, so everyone will know Him and turn to Him: ‘For I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more.’ (Jer. 31:33-34) 

And that’s what God did when He gave His Son’s life for us, made Him pay for our sins, then placed the Holy Spirit in the lives of all those who choose to believe in Him, that they could have close and intimate communion with Him. What’s the purpose then of Christ dying on our behalf, if we refuse to enjoy the things He died for us to have eh? None whatsoever! 

Now here is an interesting question, one commentator asked. ‘Does God really forget our sins?’ The answer is not so much He forgets, but more like He chooses not to remember. God is omniscient, so He knows everything, and truly forgets nothing. He just chooses to forget our sins because Christ has already paid for them. Just like when we forgive, we choose not to remember the wrongs committed against us. But until we learn to let the past that currently burdens us, dwell in the past and live in the present with great hope for the future, we will never be able to enjoy what Christ has died to provide us. 

Oh my people, our great and wonderful God desires great and wonderful things for us in this earthly life, but we have to let go of the old things before we can get those new ones. We need to take these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth very seriously. ‘Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

Yes friends, when we come to Christ, we need to become a totally new person, throwing away old bad habits and taking up new godly ones. And that’s the job of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, but He cannot do anything on His own, He needs our participation to bring about those new godly changes. And they don’t happen overnight either, that means patience is necessary. But it’s most definitely time to be wise and begin throwing away all the baggage that’s weighing us down. And we can do that if accept Christ’s invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that are labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) 

That’s right precious people, Christ is the answer to whatever ails us this Tuesday morning, and if we sincerely turn to Him, He will indeed give us rest from our problems. And the great thing about Christ is, that although our problems might not disappear, we can still have His peace in the midst of the mightiest storm! Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Oh mercy, mercy me! And that’s the gospel truth! With the peace of Christ circulating in your body and soul, you can be peaceful even amid serious calamity. But to get it, you have to go to Him and ask for it. It won’t come to you by osmosis or simply wishing for it. (smile) Now, for those of us who have accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour and are revelling in His constant communion, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

Altogether now: ‘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!’ Glory be mih bredrin! 

And it now behooves us to go out and share that awesome friendship and amazing LOVE of Christ, so that others will want to know Him by the good example we set. Much LOVE!

…when you become a new creation in Christ…life becomes…oh so exciting and adventuresome…                                                                                             

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2021 Psalm 42:5b.

Psalm 42:5b.​       Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

Welcome to Easter Tuesday friends! And the in-crowd place to meet today is in the town of Buccoo, in sweet Tobago, where Goat Races are the featured event of the day…and has been for many, many years! It’s become so big, that they even built a stadium just to hold it! Awesome! But who knows if it’s going to be happening in this pandemic time, with the lockdown that’s currently in place? 

However, given the ingenuity of my people, I wouldn’t vote against it happening, though in some reduced form and fashion, especially since I understand that Tobago is now the new playground for Trinidad, as the citizens can’t go further afield. Yes people, when it comes to partying, you can’t beat a Trinbagonian to find unique ways and means to bring it to fruition! 

But what we all need, so much more than partying is to cultivate an intense longing for Almighty God, our Maker, Controller. Deliverer and Provider! That’s because He’s so awesome, so LOVING and compassionate, so protective of His people, hides us from the rain, heals us when we’re broken…! What else do I need to point out for us to understand that our God is great and greatly to be praised eh? And that the number one purpose for which we were created is to praise and worship Him, to have a most excellent communication between the Creator and the created! 

Wow! My God is awesome! He’s the giver of salvation, author and finisher of our faith, high priest of our church…and so many other wonderful things! And instead of partying in the evil sense of the word, we ought to be rejoicing in the righteous way that speaks of Jesus; of His most awesome deliverance of sinful man in this Easter Season! No one else could do the miraculous deeds that He’s done. So we ought to celebrate His mercy, holiness, His forgiveness, grace and wonderful, unconditional LOVE for us, instead of bowing to the evil fool Satan and desiring to enjoy the pleasures of sin, instead of the righteousness of God! 

So what we should be doing, as I said earlier on, is cultivating an intense longing for our awesome God! In these trying and troubled times of worldwide sickness and strife, only a return to God in true and sincere repentance can solve them! Yes my brethren, like the Sons of Korah sing in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – let’s do the same nuh, let’s celebrate and worship our graceful, merciful and awe-inspiring God. So let’s lift our hands, as we lift our voices in prayer. 

‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast).’ (Ps. 42:1-4) 

Yes friends, in earlier times we would go to the Lord’s sanctuary and praise His holy name in song and prayer. But then, as we became successful and prosperous, we began moving away from the very source of our success and prosperity. We forgot that it is the Lord who allows us to get wealth and prosperity, and instead began trying to turf Him out of our society. And now that immense strife and sickness have befallen us, we’re wondering what happened, how such a plague befell us? And the simple answer is that we turned away from God and began praising the devil instead. So now that we can’t find remedies for our awful predicament, we’re wondering what to do. 

But like the sons of Korah asked so long ago: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted with me?’ (Ps. 42:5a) Today friends, the correct answer to the problem is still: ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps. 42:5b) Yes my people, that’s the only sensible answer there is to our current troubles…hope in the God of our forefathers! 

Hear the sons of Korah continue with their praise nuh. ‘O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill (the mount of) Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts (waterfalls): all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 

Yet the Lord will command his LOVING-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones (the shattering of my bones), mine enemies reproach (revile) me; while they say daily (all day long) unto me, Where is thy God?’ (Ps. 42:6-10) 

And yes, my fellow believers, the heathen are at our throats every day with that question. And that then leads us to ask ourselves: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?’ And what’s our reply? ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my giver of salvation) and my God.’ (Ps. 42:11) Oh friends, let’s praise His holy name! Let’s look back over our lives and see where the Lord has brought us from, the mighty and magnificent things He’s done for us, and realize that He can, and will do the same things for us, once we are obedient to His word and will! 

And I like this explanation from the scholars about the overall effects of psalms 42 and 43, which in some Hebrew texts are joined together. ‘Using the refrain Hope thou in God as a marker, the poem yields three stanzas. First, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for God (42:1-5); second, his sad lament and dejection before God (42: 6-11); finally, his sure confidence in God (43:1-5). The three stanzas reveal the changing moods of the psalmist: from longing and regret to perplexity, then to trust and assurance. If only every downcast soul could end up in that third stanza!’ 

And there’s no real reason why all of us can’t find true trust and reassurance in our great and mighty God! We all know His amazing, omnipotent power, and have all experienced some good and awesome benefits while walking in strong tandem with him. So why shouldn’t He do it again, if we sincerely seek Him and His awesome will for our lives? No reason whatsoever! So, for those of us who sincerely believe and diligently try to live for God, let’s go home now declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are. 

Altogether 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 obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out into the confused and godless world and gladly share Jesus’ awesome LOVE and friendship, so that we can overcome our ever so pressing problems! Much LOVE!

…our problems will diminish…in direct proportion…to our sincere longing for God…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2020 Matthew 5:6.

Matthew 5:6.     ​Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Wowee, Wowee, mih bredrin! It’s another bright and beautiful day in God’s great universe! Wow! And the astounding, the amazing, the marvellous, the astounding – oh I think I’ve said that before, but it’s so good that we can say it again, (smile) yes, the astounding thing about this day is that we’re alive and kicking in it, with a wonderful plan of God highlighted for it! Now what can be better than that eh; our great God with a good plan for us? Nothing mih people, absolutely NOTHING! 

So let’s respond as best we can by giving Him a li’l thanks and praise nuh, and agreeing with His marvellous word. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ (Is. 33:22) And for sure, He is all of that my fellow saints in Christ! Make no doubt about it! That’s why we can consequently say with the utmost sincerity and surety: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) 

And we’d be very foolish if we didn’t, because there’ll never be another day like today. Oh yes, there’ll most likely be many other todays, but never one again like this one, because our God never makes the same thing twice. Glory be! Otherwise, can you think of there being more than one of each of us? No siree! There’d be even more confusion that we have now. But the good God in His wisdom and power, wisely said, ‘One is enough!’ And it surely is. 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I believe we all could use today. It’s titled ‘My Glorious Enough.’ So please pray with me. ‘Oh, how I LOVE You, my Lord But not enough. How I hunger and thirst for You But not enough. Pour Yourself lavishly, dear God Into every vacant hollow Into every cluttered chamber Of my longing heart. Free me from every shallow substitute From every hidden pretense Until I shall know With deep, consuming conviction That You are my Glorious Enough.’ 

And mih bredrin, our great and wonderful God is indeed gloriously enough for each and every one of us! In fact, He is more than enough for ALL of us! But the sad truth is that we don’t truly believe it; our less than believing actions show it. When we need to put our sincere trust and faith in Him, we always hem and haw, wondering if He really can help. 

Too many of us doubt, deep down in our hearts. And it doesn’t have to be a big doubt nuh, even a li’l one takes away so much of His awesome power in our lives. That’s why Jesus had to admonish His followers so often for being of li’l faith. Unless our faith is strong and unwavering, we miss out on so many good things God has in store for us. 

No wonder Jesus’ brother, James, penned these wise and true words to the scattered diaspora of saints way back when. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Oh friends, I couldn’t have said it any better. And the problem today with so many of us supposed believers is our doubt, our wavering, our double-mindedness, our lack of true faith! Yes, we talk a good talk, but our real walk is woeful. If it was really good, our world would not be in such a mess, and people would be running towards Jesus rather than dying to get away from Him! 

But here’s a magnificent and most suitable word for us from our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, and it’s the Bible Promise for today’s poem, and also our Bit. We all know it as one of the Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in the opening of His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt. 5:6) More gospel truth my people! 

And the scholars offer this most interesting explanation of the verse. ‘5:6. These future possessors of the earth are its presently installed rightful heirs, and even now they hunger and thirst after righteousness. They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself is a proof of their spiritual rebirth. Those who are poor and empty in their own spiritual poverty recognize the depth of their need, and they hunger and thirst for that which only God can give them. They shall be filled (Gr. chortazo) refers to a complete satisfaction. The psalmist proclaimed: “He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness” (Ps. 107:9).’ 

And that’s the awesome, indisputable truth my brethren! Our God fills those of us who are sincerely hungry for Him and what He has to offer and sincerely seek Him for it. And believe me, those of us who are currently alive have never needed Him and what He has to offer more than we do right now in these disastrous and calamitous times. 

So let’s wake up and turn to Him for the wisdom and spiritual righteousness that we so badly need nuh. And above all, let’s do it without any doubting or wavering nuh, for we have tried everything that we can do in our own strength and it hasn’t worked. So let’s now put all our eggs in one basket, that of the Lord’s, for He is capable of hatching them without breaking or spoiling any of them. (smile) 

And for those of us who are sincerely seeking His righteousness, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are! Altogether now: ‘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!’  

So what we waiting for eh? Let’s go out right now and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of our friend and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…only do not doubt…for doubt destroys faith… and we need faith to live successfully…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 2020 Psalm 89:1.

Psalm 89:1.       ​I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Aye friends, why does life have to intrude on you eh? Chuh man! This morning I got up at a decent hour, did my chores, put out the garbage, then had a sip of water which choked me….Steups! And that set off a set of coughing, causing my asthma to act up. Brother! And yuh think the coughing would stop? No sir! All the puffers didn’t make a difference. So that now I have this wheezy chest and uncomfortable and sour demeanour. (smile) 

And to make matters worse, some app on the bloody computer was so slow that I could not open anything else. Then my coffee got cold and I had to go back upstairs and warm it. Mama! And these days it seems like any li’l thing chokes me. What a task it is getting old oui! So please bear with the ole fella this morning, he’s shaking it somewhat on the rough side; life’s gotten to me. (smile) 

But yuh know what? That isn’t going to stop me from having a good day, from rejoicing and being glad in it, and believe that something good is going to happen to and through me! Glory be mih bredrin! That’s the power of the Holy Spirit in us believers; it gives us the ability to enjoy our day in spite of rough or unpleasant circumstances. 

That’s why in this Christmas season – only 3 more days to the Big Day – I will, and we should do like Ethan the Ezrahite says in Psalm 89 – God’s sure promise to David. ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’ (Ps. 89:1)

The sad part of that though is we have not sung of God’s mercies enough, or sufficiently made known His faithfulness to this current generation, that’s why they are so ungodly and uninterested in the spiritual life that’s oh so important for each of us, seeing that our physical body only lasts a short while, but the spiritual one lasts forever. 

But then, there is that masterful and magical thing called hope; which as believers, we are full of, so this Christmas season, when we can’t gather as we want to, and when we are finally realizing how much we truly need each other, let us all rise up and cheer each other on nuh. Let us find some way to encourage the sick and suffering, the poor and lonely, even the rich and well to do, who sometimes are even lonelier than others, fortified in their big, soulless houses, with all their inanimate, useless money, that can’t buy true LOVE! 

And let us do, as best we can, like the Israelites did after the prophet Ezra read the law for them. ‘And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh. 8:6) 

Wow! What a great day that must have been in ole Israel eh? How I wish that we could have a day like that in our time. It would just drive ole Satan mard, but cause lots of rejoicing in heaven! Glory be! How many of you remember those Revival times of long ago eh? When the big tents were full of worshippers every night and God’s name was all over the place – Number One in the land! Not like now, when half of the people don’t even know who God is…or even care! Steups! 

And furthermore, as Nehemiah, the Governor, Ezra, the priest and the scribes and Levites who explained the Good Book to the people of Israel on that momentous and memorable day said unto them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’ (Neh. 8:9) 

Oh how I long for an outpouring of sincere tears of repentance and understanding and knowledge and reverence on behalf of our great God! A true LOVE Revolution! It would make the enemy stand up and take serious notice, that the soldiers of Christ were on the move, bad and beautiful, and in no mood to be played with! 

And these next words of Nehemiah to the people, are words that should also echo far and wide across our land today, like they did way back then in Israel. ‘Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Oh my people, in these crazy and hard times of the pandemic and lack of work, food and money, it behooves those of us who have to share joyfully and generously with those who don’t have, especially in this Christmas season when we celebrate one of the greatest gifts ever given to mankind, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! We can do no better, give no better testimony to His wonderfulLOVEand grace, mercy and forgiveness, than sharing what He’s so magnanimously blessed us with! 

Ah mih fellow saints, I’m chuckling here, hoping that what I’ve written makes sense, because the passion and excitement is flowing non-stop, though my chest is still wheezy. (smile) That is what happens when you all stir up the ole fella! And for good measure, let’s throw in these two wonderful verses of Ethan the Ezrahite, from Psalm 89. ‘For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’ (Ps. 89:6-7) 

And for those of us who agree wholeheartedly with those words, and who do hold the Lord in reverence, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now, with the ingenuity of Jesus flowing in our veins, let’s go out, or even stay in, and share His awesomeLOVEand friendship this Christmas season, where joy and gratitude ought to abound!Much LOVE!

…can somebody shout…Revival time is here again… 

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… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2020 Psalm 119:89-90.

Psalm 119:89-90.     ​Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations: you established the earth, and it endures.
 

This Tuesday morning has opened somewhat dark and cloudy in my area, but the sun is valiantly trying to push through the dark, ominous looking clouds. How successful it will be though, is anyone’s guess. But I just want to remind us that despite the physical darkness or light of this world, we have a spiritual light that emanates from our magnificent Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ which NOTHING in this world can ever dim or darken! Wow! And all God’s children declared a loud, and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and honour be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!’ 

Yes friends, on those three omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present deities or God-heads, is where ALL of our praise, honour, thanks and glory ought to rest. And yuh won’t believe it nuh people, but I just went upstairs to reheat my caffeine, and lo and behold, was greeted by a brilliant burst of sunshine! The sun has actually won the battle! Just goes to show the awesome power of light over darkness! (smile) And what other encouraging words or news do we have to offer today? Well just this: ‘The Facts!’ 

Yeh bredrin, some awesome facts of life are what we’re talking about, as released in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So please pray with me: ‘Lord When I feel I can’t possibly make it When I feel deluged with problems When I feel helpless Against the strange twistings of life When I feel there is no way out The FACT is You have a plan You know what You’re about. The FACT is The greater the strategy of the Enemy The greater the assurance of victory. The FACT is The worst may seem to happen But the best is on the way. God, hold me to the facts.’ 

And it’s all so true my fellow saints in Christ! Whenever life seems to come against us, as the poem says so sweetly ‘the strange twistings of life,’ we need to remember that we have a heavenly Father who is the most powerful, most generous and most LOVING Being in this universe, who will not let anything evil overtake us! But the FACT is, that WE have to remember it and stand strong in His promise! And don’t worry, If we hold on to God, He will help us to hold on to the facts. The facts which are contained in these eternal words of truth, that are associated with today’s poem. 

Now I’m faced with a dilemma here: you all know I’m partial to my King James version of the Word, but the NIV, the New International Version used with the poem sounds good and somewhat more appropriate than the KJV. Steups! And I was just guided by the facts: share them both! Yeah! So here goes. The KJV says: ‘For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled (stands firm) in heaven. Thy faithful ness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth (stands, endures). (Ps. 119:89-90) Now hear the NIV: ‘Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations: you established the earth, and it endures.’ 

Yeh mih people, they say the same basic things but just in a slightly different fashion. And for today, I think I’ll use the NIV as our Bit. Now don’t get worried my purist friends, the KJV will always be our favourite, but sometimes we do need to use other resources. (smile) That brings us to this other powerful verse from Psalm 119. ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) And that’s exactly what the Word was given to us for; to lead and guide us on this strange, twisting journey that we call life on earth! 

But we have to read it, study it, and then keep it, do as it says. Otherwise it is of absolutely no use to us. And that’s why so many of us supposed believers are not living the full and abundant lives that Christ sacrificed his sinless life for us to have: we don’t read, study, or put the Word into action, like we ought to. 

Oh fellow saints in Christ, the Word of the Lord is our most important asset and guide for earthly living. But we have to use it. Hear how Jesus describes it nuh. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt.24:35) Now that’s as simple and straightforward as it can get! Everything else may, and eventually shall pass away, but the Word of the Lord will endure forever! 

So why do we doubt the Word of God eh, and not put it to proper use in our lives eh? Because we’re proud and foolish and believe that we no longer need God in our lives, we can do it all on our own. But if we look closely at the state of our world right now we’d see that we cannot make it on our own, the problems of life are too big for our finite, puny minds and oversized egos! 

But please listen as Peter uses the words of Isaiah 40:6-8 to address us. ‘For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:24-25) What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. But just remember that one day we’ll all have to stand and answer for our deeds here on earth, and as Sun Rise says, we can’t take the big house, the big car and the plenty money with us to the grave, we have to leave them all here for others to use and abuse. (smile) 

So let’s go home now declaring… (brother, can’t spell that word right for LOVE nor money!) So let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Tuesday Mantra telling the world who and whose we are, to whom we gloriously belong. 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 obvious corollary to all that is for us to now go out and share the wonderful LOVE, trust and friendship of Jesus that’s supposed to distinguish us from the rest of the world. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2020 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.     ​If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
 

Aye mih people, can you believe we almost at the end of July already? Not really nuh, because my mind is saying we just celebrated Canada Day and the 4th of July so how can it be the 21st already eh? But that incredible thing we call time doesn’t seem to be waiting on me at all. The duchess tired telling me that, but I can’t seem to understand it. (smile) Anyway, it’s Tuesday, and another wonderful summer’s day in my neighbourhood, so I’ll just get out there and enjoy it, with all the new mercies and compassions and manna and whatever else that’s been showered down for our enjoyment today! 

And here’s a super thought for today…don’t remember where I got it from: ‘A little faith can bring your soul to heaven. Great faith will bring heaven to your soul.’ Now isn’t that an awesome truth! All it takes is a li’l faith to get to heaven, but when your faith is strong, heaven will come to you! Wow! Now that’s something to work towards my people! 

And yuh see why I don’t like social media… One of my sisters bothering me here, but still want me to write a good Bit. (smile) She doesn’t realize that I’m only black and beautiful, not superman! And also from the ole school – no good at multitasking. But yuh know what – I’ll just ignore her until I’m done! But she won’t take my ignoring… 

But what’s the purpose of life if you can’t have a li’l fun with your friends and family every so often eh, especially in these highly explosive times, with all the physical distancing and lack of our normal social interaction? None whatsoever! That’s all a part of the abundant life that Christ came to earth and died that we could have. (John 10:10) And yes, we must take life seriously, but sometimes we take it too seriously, while at other times we don’t take it seriously enough! 

Life is a complicated balancing act which we can only successfully balance with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose! That’s why these words of Bruh David from Psalm 34 are ever so important in our LOVE walk. ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.’ (Ps. 34:3-6) 

Oh friends, what magnificent and encouraging words! Who else can do all of that for us eh? NOBODY! None but the great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s why we need to turn to Him in these trying and troubled times, why prayer and repentance should be our number one priorities, because He is the ONLY ONE who can help us solve the very vexing problems that are currently consuming us and driving so many of us crazy! And as I keep saying, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that some of the negative stuff we’re now experiencing is directly related to the lack of God and godliness in our society! 

You can’t denigrate and try to kick out your Creator from amongst you and still be successful. As Moses asked the people of Israel: ‘Do ye thus requite (repay) the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?’ (Deut. 32:6) Yeh friends, foolishly, like the Israelites, we’re repaying our great God with corruption, lies, deception, and all the other works of the evil one! So what can we expect eh? 

Like Israel, every time they turned away from the God of their fathers, they experienced calamity and untold disaster. So why should we be any different eh, when it’s the very same God that we’re supposed to be worshipping? Some people seem to think we’re different, but I think that’s a fool’s wisdom. So why don’t we take another page from the Israelites book eh? When they disobeyed God and found themselves between a rock and a hard place, they were wise enough to repent and run back to Him. So why can’t we do the same thing now too? I’m sure that’s all He’s asking. 

And I want to point out some scripture here that ought to drive home the point to us. ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other Gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.’ (Deut. 8:18-20) 

Now isn’t that exactly what we have been doing in our society? And we like to say that the Lord and His Word never change, they are the same today and forever. That means the negative consequences of disobedience won’t change either. That sounds like good logic to me. (smile) But He’s such a wonderful God and Father that He’s made provision for us to turn again to Him, whenever we’re ready. Hear what He told Cousin Sol at the dedication of the first temple. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr. 7:14) 

Back then, they had to go to the temple to sacrifice and pray, but we’ve had Jesus sacrificed for us once and for all time, and His Spirit now dwells within us, so we don’t need to go to the temple, we can come boldly to the throne of grace, and pray anywhere, without ceasing. That’s the most significant change in that area. So please fellow saints, fellow Christians, called by Christ’s name, let’s wise up and repent and pray and seek His face nuh, so that He can hear us and heal our land…in Jesus name. 

Now it’s finally time to go home, declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to go out – with care – or stay at home, and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE and beautiful friendship! Much LOVE!

…prayer…the tool that moves heaven on earth…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2020 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.     Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. 
 

‘Turn, turn, turn!’ Oh friends, remember that popular sixties song written by Pete Seeger and made famous by the British band ‘The Byrds’? Oh, I forgot that some of you might be too young to remember! (smile) You can look it up on You Tube though. And yes, it was based on Cousin Sol’s marvellous and ever so true words from Ecclesiastes 5: ‘A time for Everything.’ Oh my people, those words are ever so important and appropriate for these troubled days. Hear them nuh, and please take them to heart. 

‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born (to bear), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 

A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (sew together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl. 5:1-8) 

Oh friends, oh friends, right now our world is so filled with turmoil, adversity, hate, war and tearing apart, of throwing stones, of weeping and mourning, that if we seriously hope to survive, we desperately need to turn it around and instead make it a time of LOVE, healing, sewing together, of peace, of gathering stones, of embracing, and building up, so that we can eventually laugh and dance together! As the song says, ‘What the world needs now, is LOVE, sweet LOVE!’ That’s the ONLY thing of which we have a real shortage! 

But then again, how can we ever find that abundance of true LOVE that we need to make our world livable and sustainable for our descendants eh? Only ONE Way, and from ONE Place! By turning back to Almighty God, the ONE and ONLY LIVING GOD! He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Because we’ve turned away from Jehovah God, our Creator and Provider, and become dependent on our own inferior and finite wisdom, our world has fallen apart! It’s obvious that we are not fit, either in mental or emotional acumen to successfully rule ourselves. 

When God gave us free will, He expected us to see that and remain under His august umbrella of safety, freedom, peace and LOVE! But when we got so big and bright and full of ourselves, we decided that we no longer needed Him. But my people, that’s the furthest thing from the truth! How can we not need the One who made us and keeps us alive and kicking through His breath of Life eh? But the long and short of the story is this my bredrin! 

As Jeremiah told his people of Israel when they were turning away from God and experiencing the same sort of calamity and disaster like we’re now doing: ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer. 13:15-16) 

Yes people, the Lord is giving us a serious warning and we need to heed it without delay, otherwise we might end up like Israel, who did not listen. ‘But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive. Say unto the king and to the queen (queen mother), Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down (your rule shall collapse), even the crown of your glory.’ (Jer. 13:17-18) 

And that is exactly what’s happening right now friends, the proud, evil rulers and leaders are beginning to lose their power and their glory under the simultaneous onslaught of pandemic sickness and worldwide unrest. These things have never happened together on such a worldwide scale before this, and any fool ought to see it as a serious warning of some kind. A warning that things are not right in our world and we need to change. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation of the scholars: ‘13:15-17. A third illustration concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ 

Ah friends, our warning above was Jeremiah’s third example of what would happen to Judah if they did not renounce their foolish pride and return to the God of their forefathers. And, unfortunately, the same thing is being said to us today: we are in danger of being swallowed up in the evil and frightful darkness of the enemy if we don’t swallow our pride and stop trying to turf God out of our society, His Creation! 

And if there’s one thing the Lord hates more than any other is the sin of pride, because it says, shouts out loud, that we don’t need Him! That’s a situation to which He has long ago made clear: ‘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) So for those of us who are currently bowing down to all sorts of ungodly images and idols, please let that be a serious and timely warning! 

And having said all of that, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

So then, let it be, let us go out and do Jesus’ will and share His awesome LOVE and friendship with a dark and unfriendly world! Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Dr. Charles Stanley)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2020 Psalm 119:147.

Psalm 119:147.    ​I prevented (rose before) the dawning of the morning, and cried (for help): I hoped in thy word. 

 

‘This is the day…Yes! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!’ Oh friends, that’s the only sensible option of the two we have today and every day: either to rejoice and be glad in it, or be miserable and sad in it! (smile) And sadly, too many of us will indeed choose that latter option – believers included.

But friends, please, please, let’s remember the momentous words of Jeremiah in his Lamentations nuh: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) 

Yeh mih people, it’s the Lord’s mercies, his LOVING-kindness that keeps us going, and they’re new every day! Wow! No stale mercies for His people! But bright and fresh ones every day, like fresh bread from the oven every morning and you just slather it with butter…Ohhh, awfully good! 

It’s like the manna that the Lord fed the Israelites with for forty years in the wilderness: everyday, except on the Sabbath, they picked it up fresh. They might not have liked it, but it kept them well-nourished in their rough times. Likewise, our Lord’s new mercies everyday keeps us well-nourished spiritually every day, and we’d be foolish not to accept them and cherish them. End of sermon! (smile) 

And lemme make a salient point here before we move on nuh: this thing about going to bed early is really for the birds oui, not for me. I tried it last night, went to bed much earlier than usual, spent most of the night in the bed, but did not sleep as much as I expected, and still got up late. And worst of all, I got up severely pained in body and soul, as if I’d done a night of hard labour! Steups! 

So all yuh could keep this early night nonsense yes! But as for me, I’m going to stick with my night owl business yes, because although I might wake up late the odd time (smile) I don’t get up as pained in body or soul! Now that’s my position…and I’m sticking to it! Chuh! No more of this early night foolishness! And it even make me less productive too…! And now that I’ve said my piece, (smile) let’s see what the Lord has to say to us nuh. 

But this morning looks like a Jeremiah Lamentations morning yes, because the Lord is also pointing out the words of Jeremiah to his people Israel when they were facing extremely rough times like we are currently. Hear him nuh: ‘Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.’ (Lam. 2:19) 

Oh my people, there is so much hunger and poverty and strife and negative stuff in our world that we can never correct or even attempt to fix it without the Lord’s help! But we’ve become such a proud, haughty and know it all civilization that we blatantly refuse to acknowledge our Creator and de facto Controller and try to do it our way. With what results eh – pandemic sickness and pandemic struggles and protests in our streets! And yet we still refuse to turn back to Almighty God. How foolish is that eh? 

When we were a fairly godly society, did we have as many problems? I really don’t know nuh. But I know for sure that trying to get God out of our lives right now is definitely not going to work, because He’s not going to allow us to do it. It’s His world and as He said so profoundly a long time ago: ‘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) And if we don’t believe that, then we can continue to fight the losing battle we’re currently fighting. 

Oh my people, when are we going to truly realize and accept that the Most High God Jehovah is the Ruler of the universe eh, and that nothing happens without Him allowing it? We can’t control the most important aspect of our lives, that’s life itself. Regardless of how much money and power we have when the Grim Reaper comes a calling, we have to go. And even when we want to go before time, by taking our own lives, just look at how often we fail. 

But listen to what the psalmist said nuh: ‘I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes. I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented (rose before) the dawning of the morning, and cried (for help): I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent (are awake through) the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. 

Hear my voice according unto thy LOVING-kindness: O Lord, quicken (revive) me according to thy judgement (justice). They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law. Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.’ (Ps. 119:145-152) 

Yes friends, until we begin again to seriously do the words of the psalmist; cry out sincerely for help to God, acknowledge His sovereignty, and obey His Word, our world will remain in turmoil. It’s as simple as that. The Lord is now crying out to us to turn back to Him in true repentance and acknowledgment, but unfortunately we’re not hearing His cry. So what’s to be done eh? For the relatively small amount of us who do acknowledge his sovereignty, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the rest of the world know who and whose we are. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Now what we waiting for eh? Let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…we expect the Lord to hear us when we call out to Him…but He also expects us to listen and obey…when He replies…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2020 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm 118:8-9.    ​It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
 
Prologue: Yeahhh! I got it right this time! Just want to apologize for the length and lateness of the Bit, though you all already know my penchant for late nights and many words. (smile) I want us though to take what’s written very seriously, because it could have a serious effect on the eventual status of our world. Much LOVE!

And the calamitous time continues; more contraction of the Covid-19 disease and more deaths. And it does seem that the situation will get worse before it gets better. But that’s normal in many cases of unexpected disaster. However, we will not dwell on the actions and results of the Coronavirus this morning, because talking about it too much only increases the fear, anxiety and panic associated with its disastrous run through the world. Today though we’re going to focus on more proactive stuff like courage and trust. 

And the first word comes obviously form the Good Book, Bruh Paul’s encouraging words to Timothy and also to us in these most trying times. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Right there friends is a most important bit of scripture for us to use in the fight against this dreaded and deadly virus that’s causing fear and alarm all over our world. Our first reaction must be to take courage; that’s if we believe that our great and wonderful God is still in control and will work everything out for our eventual good. 

It’s not possible to serve the Lord from a position of unmitigated fear! So let’s stand strong by putting all the courageous words and promises found on the subject in the Good Book in the forefront of our lives nuh. That’s the first requirement… And the second – it’s like the first (smile) Put out absolute trust in Almighty God, not in man nor machines. And there are so many scriptures that tell us to trust in God and not man that you could possibly spend a whole day just reading them. (smile) They are especially popular in the Psalms, like these verses from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Salvation. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’  

Now my people, that says it in black and white. And during this pandemic we’re seeing a lot of instances where we can’t put trust in normal man or even princely men, for all sorts of hypocrisy and lies and half-truths are flying around and people are not keeping their promises, especially in a time like this when trust is so necessary. And right now I’d like to share the Quote of the Week from a message that a friend sends me. And is it ever so apropos to our current situation. 

Please read with me. ‘God always requires total trust in Him alone for our victories in life. Throughout Scripture we are cautioned not to place our trust in the strength of horses, other men or our own abilities. In 1 Chronicles, David’s decision to take a census was a failure to keep his trust totally upon the Lord. David’s purpose in counting his population was to assess his military strength. David’s commander evidently recognized the grave error that his king was about to make. 

Joab was right — the census displeased the Lord. David was falling into the temptation of trusting in the size of his army rather than in the Lord. In consequence, God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men. How do you avoid placing your trust in God today? Do you trust your bank accounts, your skills and the security of your workplace? When you begin to place your faith in these things instead of in the Provider of these things you get into trouble with God. What a lesson this is for each of us. Today, let’s place our total trust in the Lord for all of our needs.’ 

I couldn’t have said it any plainer or better my fellow believers! Total trust in the Lord is the NUMBER ONE requirement in life, especially when we’re under heavy duress like now! And we can see how Bruh David seemed to get too big for his britches from the first verse of 1 Chronicles 21. ‘And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (moved) David to number (take a census of) Israel.’ 

And the scholars put forth a very interesting explanation from 2. Samuel 24:1, which also deals with the situation. ‘24:1. Taking a census was not the wrong thing to do per se. God Himself had previously ordered Moses to make two censuses (cf. Num. 1:2-3; 26:2). However, in this case Satan (cf. 1 Chr. 21:1) seized upon the growing pride of David’s heart (vs.2-3) to incite him into taking a census, so the king might have a ground of boasting (cf. Dan. 4:30 – Nebuchadnezzar’s boast). God, the controller of all things, allowed the deed to be done so as to bring David to a place of humility and reality (vs.10). God and Satan are often involved in the same event, but for different causes (cf. Job) – God, so that the believer might be instructed and grow, but Satan, to discredit the believer and therefore, God Himself.’ 

Ah friends, the same way Nebuchadnezzar ended up going crazy and living like a beast for seven years after boasting about His might and glory, same way Bruh David received chastening before the Lord. The Good Book says: ‘And David’s heart smote him (his conscience bothered him) after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ (2 Sam. 24:10) 

And that’s why Bruh David could be called a friend of God and a man after His own heart! He had a heart for God, and God knew that, but being a man, and thus by nature sinful, he obviously made mistakes. But once those mistakes were made known, he never hesitated to fall before the Lord in sincere prayer and repentance. That’s why the Lord, though he punished him for his mistakes, still never took away his special place from him. And I think we all should read what happened after Bruh David took the census. That’s found in 2 Samuel 24:10-25. Here’s a brief synopsis (smile). 

The Lord sent the prophet Gad to Bruh David…and wonder of wonders, He gave him the opportunity to decide his own punishment. Did He ever LOVE Bruh David! The choices were: seven years of famine, him fleeing for three months before his enemies, or three days pestilence in the land. ‘And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait (great distress): let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.’ (2 Sam 24:14)  So the Lord sent a plague into the land – just as He is doing to us right now, and some seventy thousand men died. And many have died, and many more will die, until we come to the Lord with sincere confession and repentance. 

Then, like the Lord did with Israel, He will stay His hand and the deaths will stop. (2 Sam. 24:16) Then David repented and made his peace with God. (2 Sam. 24:17-25) As the scholars say: ‘24:17. God’s chastening had achieved its desired effect. David recognizes that as the king of Israel his primary task was that of a shepherd with his sheep. He manfully and humbly repents of his sin and pleads for his beloved people. Despite his oft-besetting sins, David had a tender heart toward God and God’s people. Accordingly, David is commended as a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22).’ 

So friends, I do believe that the Lord will deal the same way with us, if we bow down and repent and turn back to Him, for there’s no denying that our world is so steeped in sin and wickedness that most of us don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on. And for those of us who recognize the seriousness of the situation and are tuned into the Saviour, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the next action is to truly communicate and share God’s LOVE and friendship with others, any way we can, in these really tough and trying times! Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord…and do good…regardless of the circumstances…

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