Today​’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2019 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.   ​According to your faith be it unto you. 
 
And so we come to Wednesday…the mid-week catch yuh breath, second wind day! Everybody feeling refreshed now, having gotten back into the work week routine, and looking forward with much expectancy to the big day of Friday, so they can do their own thing. 

Ah mih people, I wish we could look forward with the same amount of expectancy to the things of Christ, to the things that concern our faith! Yuh remember how Jesus kept complaining about the faith of His people…’O ye of little faith!’ 

He said that several times. Even to His disciples who had been with Him for years and saw all the miracles He had done. When the storm arose on the Sea of Galilee and He was asleep in the back of the boat, they woke him up scared to death. Only to be rebuked after He calmed the storm, by His lashing words: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

And remember too what He said when He healed people. ‘Go, your faith has made thee whole!’ Even when He healed the Roman Centurion’s slave from afar, He commented: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt.8:10) Yeh friends, in several circumstances Gentiles, or people of other nationalities showed more faith in Him than His Jewish people. But overall people were not being buoyed by their supposed faith. 

And I believe the same thing is also happening now. A lot of us talk a good talk about faith, but when it comes to putting that supposed faith into action we sadly fall down and start thrashing about and looking for other avenues instead of first turning to God and waiting on Him. But friends, it’s ALL about our faith, our sincere trust and reliance on the powers and mercy and grace of Jesus! 

Remember what He said to the two blind men who came to him to have their sight restored? ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt. 9: 28-30) 

And nothing has changed since then my people, for our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So why do we think that our faith won’t get us through these rough and difficult times like it did those people of old eh! We have numerous examples of how faith propelled people, armies and nations to victory. Just check out that great chapter of the Good Book, Hebrews 11, where it tells you of all kinds of people who lived and died by faith. 

Think about Abraham leaving his homeland at seventy five to journey into an unknown land just because God told Him to and promised Him great things. That could only come through faith. His wife Sarah also had a son in her old age when she lived up to the faith expected of her. Look at the stories of Isaac and Jacob, of Bruh Joseph and Moses, of Abel and Enoch, of Gideon and Samson, of Bruh David and Bruh Paul, and even of Jesus. 

It was faith by which all of them traversed this evil world. Though Jesus was God, He was also man in the flesh and He too had to have strong faith in His Father else He would not have been able to do all those amazing things He did! Yuh think He just suffered all the abuse and pain of the cross just so? No! The Father enabled Him to go through it all!

And God hasn’t stopped working in believers lives just because this is the 21st century and mankind is on top of His technological and greedy wealth seeking game! In fact we need faith even more now with all the distractions and lies and falsehood and wiles that are now coming against us. 

We need faith to help us discern the sense from the nonsense that is so prevalent in today’s evil and ungodly world. And faith isn’t something we can just pick up or set down anytime we want to! It’s a process, like sowing a seed and watching and waiting for it to grow. And the Lord has done many good things for many of us over our lifetimes, but yet when the rough times come, we forget about those fulfilled promises and cower and fear and doubt under the onslaught of the enemy’s false fire! 

But remember too friends, these precious and immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (1 Tim.1:7) 

And what is this thing called faith you all ask? The Good Book tells us that ‘Faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yeh friends, simply put faith is what we don’t see now, but which we hope for and believe that we will get later on. We never seen Jesus, but we believe in Him. We never seen God create the world or us, but we believe it. 

All of that is done through faith! For as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ (2 Cor.5:7) That’s it plain and simple my brethren! In God’s economy and universe He expects us to believe His Word and the promises contained therein and walk expectantly and eagerly with faith, knowing that they will all come to pass in His time!

And if we can’t do that, if we need to see everything before we believe, like the world proposes, then our faith is small or even non-existent, and we won’t receive ALL the wonderful benefits we can from our wonderful God. Nuff said! 

So for those of us who say we believe and have faith, let’s go home now declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our enviable position in Christ. With much fervor and sense of purpose: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now don’t forget, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine…and it’s all based on our faith! Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6a)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2019 Revelation 3:20.

Revelation 3:20.   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.
 

Aye friends, greetings and salutations this wintry Tuesday morn from my house to yours! Hope all is well with you and yours, and as far as I know, it is well with mine. (smile) Yuh know they say no news is good news. Anyway, let’s begin with two powerful acclamations to set the tone for our day. And the first is the most powerful: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) Yes my brethren, that certainly accentuates and reminds us of the innate power that lies within us as believers in Jesus Christ! 

And the second is like unto the first (smile): ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Mama Mia! What a way to begin our day! Acknowledging that Christ’s mighty power is working in us, and that our attitude will be one of joy and gladness ought to raise our level of faith and make the devil cringe and run away and hide from these awesome believers in the King of All Kings! 

And to go with all of that my people, here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that completes the stage setting for the day. It is titled: ‘Make Yourself at Home.’ Please pray with me: ‘With extreme joy, Lord I offer my heart as Your home. I have purposely left it unfurnished Without lavish décor: No plush carpeting No velvet drapes Not even an original oil Or an engraved silver service. Examine it first for cleanliness – Every room Every closet Then furnish it according to Your own magnificent taste. The door is wide open – Don’t even bother to ring the bell.’ 

Ah friends, if only each of our hearts was indeed open to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ like that eh! Our hearts would be so beautifully furnished in Christ’s inimitable (cannot be imitated) manner, with plush, expensive and adorable furniture like mercy, kindness, forgiveness, grace and above all unconditional LOVE! Wow! What beautiful Christians we’d be! The world would be shocked and in awe and run to embrace Him as we did! 

Steups! But unfortunately too many of us supposed believers keep God out of our living rooms, in secluded corners of our hearts and only trundle Him out on Sunday mornings when we go to church and behave ever so hypocritically. That’s why the heathen doesn’t take us seriously. We’re like Jesus called the Pharisees, ‘white washed tombs;’ clean and pretty outside, but filthy and evil inside. 

 That brings us to our Bit, which is also the Bible Promise for our poem. Hear these seminal, seed-bearing, immortal words of our Lord and Saviour to the church at Laodicea, re their lukewarm, not good enough behaviour. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ 

Oh friends, those words also pertain to us today in this evil and ungodly world in which we currently live! Jesus is knocking, like a door-to-door salesman, on every heart that’s available. But it’s just like in real life, where many of us don’t believe in, and don’t like to be bothered by itinerant salespeople at our doors, and don’t answer them, or are rude when you open and see who it is. 

I can tell you about that because in my early days in Canada I was a door-to-door salesman promoting encyclopedias – just for a few days though, couldn’t handle the cold and the rejection. (smile) And sometimes when the white homeowner opened the door and saw a black body there trying to sell them something, you could see the look of displeasure and disgust that quickly passed across their face before they say a cold and barely mannerly ‘not interested today.’ 

That’s how a lot of us are reacting to Jesus’ knock on the doors of our hearts my fellow believers. Please remember that we’re Jesus’ property, we’ve been bought and paid for with His holy, sinless blood. As Bruh Paul told the Ephesians elders: ‘Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (shepherd) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.’ (Acts 20:28) 

That means we are no longer our own, but Christ’s, and our hearts, minds, bodies and souls ought to be totally open to His knocking at any time, and be amenable to whatever furnishings He chooses to place therein! This brings to mind those endearing words of Cousin Sol in his Song: ‘I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of mybeloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my LOVE, my dove, my undefiled (perfect one): for my head is filled (covered) with dew, and my locks (hair) with the drops of the night.’ (Song 5:2) 

Yes friends, that’s our Lord and Saviour, our LOVE, who comes and knocks at the doors of our hearts. So please, when He knocks today – and He knocks EVERYDAY – don’t foolishly turn Him away, but gladly and joyfully open up your heart wide and let Him enter there in and sup with you. It will be the best and wisest thing you’ve ever done! 

And having said all of that, let’s go home now declaring (got it right!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting this ungodly and evil world know who and whose we truly are! In unison, loudly and unashamedly and with a strong sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

The next thing is for us to go out and sincerely share that extraordinary friendship and LOVE of Jesus with others who don’t know or truly appreciate Him. That’s our bounden duty as believers! Much LOVE!

…when there’s a knock on your door…open it with a bright, inviting smile…for it might just be Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2018 Ephesians 4:32.

Ephesians 4:32.   ​And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
 
And so it’s Tuesday, the day before the next Big Day. Steups! Let’s hope it happens as planned now yes, and no more silly postponements! That means friends, many prayers bombarding heaven for the ole fella’s safe and productive surgery tomorrow. Glory be! That is if you want him to be around for a long time writing these interesting and provocative Bits! (smile) 

And I sincerely thank you for all the support I’ve gotten so far, and I know that the effective and fervent prayers of you righteous people will be heard and positively answered in heaven. So I’m not worried, just a li’l skeptical that something might happen to put it off again. Let’s hope that this is now the Lord’s time! Amen! 

And with that, let me share a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘Slow Growth!’ Please pray with me: ‘In my fretful patience I am so often inclined to ask “Why can’t she change?” “Why is he always so slow?” “Will they ever learn from their past mistakes?” 

And then You begin to impress me With my own slow progress upward. I see Your stretched-our patience. I remember how long you’ve waited for me. And I grieve that my attitude Is so often intolerant. O God, keep fresh the imprint Of my own need to grow And make me more flexible More understanding And always more LOVING.’ 

Ah mih people, not one of us can truly say we don’t see ourselves in that picture, because impatience and intolerance with the attendant hypocrisy are big parts of our society today. We all show some of those negative traits at some time or the other because we are human and live in a fallen society. But as sincere Christians, true believers in Christ, we ought to show those negative characteristics on as few occasions as possible. 

Instead my faithful brethren, we ought to let these momentous words of Bruh Paul sink into our consciousness and lead us on a more Christ-like path. Hear him to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ: ‘And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32) 

Oh my people, what a treasure trove of practical ideas for godly and righteous living! If we’d only adopt a few of them, our lives would be oh so much better. And it’s not like they are so difficult to put into practice. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us and seals us forever. Consequently our behaviour ought to change, granted, not all at once, but there must be some newness in our behaviour otherwise Jesus is not truly dwelling within us. 

And hear these oh so practical options nuh: No more lying, but truth speaking to everybody, because we are all members of Christ’s body, His church. No keeping of anger after sundown, because it destroys our sleep and we wake up angry the next day. As best we can, don’t give the enemy any opportunities to invade our souls. Like no more stealing, but productive work, so that we can share with the unfortunate. 

No cursing and corrupt communication, but words that can edify and uplift those who hear them. And put away all the negativity of vs. 31, which tend to be Satanic in nature. But instead, we ought to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, showing grace and mercy to others, just like our heavenly Father has showered down all that stuff on us. 

Remember these immortal words of Jesus, the basic foundation upon which our faith has been founded and still rests: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6: 14-15) 

Friends, it couldn’t be any simpler or plainer than that! So please, let’s seriously get ourselves together and begin treating each other the way we ought to nuh. Remember, it’s all for our benefit, not God’s! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

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

And if we truly believe it, then let’s go out and action it! Much LOVE!

…true Christianity places much more emphasis…on action…than on talk…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2018 Lamentations 3:21.

Lamentations 3:21.   This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.

Aye friends, yuh ever wake up in the morning and just feel tired, exasperated and frustrated with mankind? Well that’s the way I feel this morning. Before I begin writing the Bit, I usually take a gander at the news headlines to get some idea of what’s happening around the world…

And…oh Lord…it’s only strife, anger, war, resentment and hatred! Nothing uplifting! Unless the newsmongers don’t consider anything uplifting to be news! But it’s just so much confusion and ‘cantankerousness’ that it leaves the spirit longing for the day the Lord shuts it all down. 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and it’s the big-wigs who are causing all the heartache, but the workingman does have something to say that will bring a chuckle to the soul and lift the spirit some. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And though the summer finish and school start back, and the long holiday weekends done for now, we still going to have a good time on the weekends! 

Why? Because that’s the only time we have to have a good time! The rest of the week we labouring for massa for piddling, can’t make ends meet wages. So when we get the chance, come hell or high water, we certainly going to party for so, and say, ‘In yuh face massa! Stop we now nuh! But he can’t! That’s why we have to say Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, there’s a certain kind of earthiness in the workingman that you can’t beat. He just lays it out there bare, fair and square. Meanwhile we, the supposed intelligentsia, make such a fuss, have so many unnecessary hang-ups, that we make our own lives more difficult than they need to be. 

Yes, the workingman does tend to go too far out on the limb, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Hopefully, we believers are a li’l more cautious, but still capable of real and true emotion, and show it when it’s necessary. And right now is one of those times, as we declare our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm as the workingman sang his song. 

All together now:  ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes friends, our intentions are different from the workingman, but our enthusiasm for the things of Jesus should be just as great, if not greater! And I’m chuckling here mih people, because I don’t know where all of this is leading to, but the Lord must have a purpose for it all. Let’s see if we can find it…

Glory to God, I found it! I just opened the Good Book and it opened right to the page with these immortal words of Jeremiah in his soulful Lamentations. ‘He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: 

I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3:15-20) 

Ah mih breddren, Jeremiah did have a pretty rough time in trying to bring his people to the Lord. But yuh know what? In his reminiscence, he rightly and sagely concludes. ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. 

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.’ (Lam.3:21-28) 

And Jeremiah did bear the Lord’s yoke in his youth, as did many of us believers. So friends, even though we might be going through a pretty difficult time, there’s no reason to get discouraged and give up, because as Jerry says, the Lord is good to those who seek Him and wait on Him. 

And later on he further declares: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men.’ (Lam.3:31-33) Yeh, friends, though our God is a God of justice, He is also a God of great mercy; He does not take delight in afflicting us. He will punish us for our sins, but nowhere near what we deserve. 

So please, I implore us this Friday morning, to not give up, even though you may not see a way out of your troubles. Remember that our God is the Creator of the universe and He ALWAYS finds a way. So put your trust and hope in Him, hang in there, and eventually, in His time and manner, He will lift the burdens from your soul. He has done it for countless other saints. He will do it for you too…just have faith and hang in there. Much LOVE!

…if the Lord gave His Son’s sinless life for our sinful souls…why would he withhold anything else from us eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2018 Psalm 37:3.

Psalm 37:3.   Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).

Well a blessed Tuesday morning to all my Scrip-Bit friends and families! Glory to God, who has so mercifully and graciously continued His awesome breath of life flowing in our bodies, so that we can do His perfect will! Yes friends, we’re only alive to put whatever plan He has for our lives into effect, so let’s do it as best we can nuh. 

Very few of us can make changes that cover the whole world, but we can all improve lives and situations in our own little sphere of influence, and that’s all God is asking of us. And the great thing about working for God is that He will help us do whatever He calls us to do. 

That’s why Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) the British Protestant Christian Missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission, could say with confident assurance: ‘God’s will done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.’ Isn’t that wonderful to know friends? It certainly is! 

So let’s not worry about the enormous amount of strife and ungodliness that is rapidly plunging our world down to unimaginable disaster, just let us set our hearts to do as our Bit commands in the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).’ 

Ah mih people, I know we used this scripture passage as our Bit recently, but it’s one of those scriptures that we need to hear over and over again so that it can truly sink into our hearts and minds, especially with all the ungodliness that’s out their trying to get our attention and tear us away from truly serving Almighty God. 

Wow! What a mouthful! (smile) But it’s the truth! The world doesn’t want us to serve God, and will do anything in its power to pry us away. But we won’t be pried away by any means whatsoever! Let’s tell the enemy that in no uncertain manner. Whatever they throw at us, we will repel with God’s help. 

And today I want to do something a li’l different with our Bit. I want to show forth scriptures of how men of faith come to faith. And one of the most amazing and well-known ones is that of Job, when he defends his integrity before his false friends. ‘Though he (God) slay me, yet will I trust in him: but will I maintain mine own ways (defend my own ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job.13:15-16) 

And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Oh my people, what great faith Job displayed there. Even though God had apparently taken him from the palace and put him in the pig sty, his faith never crumbled. That’s the kind of faith we need as Christians in these very harsh and trying times. Oh, I know it’s not easy to do, but if we’re serious about our God and our faith, we can do it with God’s help. 

And we all know about Bruh David’s close relationship to God; being called his friend and a man after His own heart. Hear how he declares his trust in the immortal words of psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Oh my breddren, my breddren, what awesome conviction on Bruh David’s part! Even though he’s surrounded by death, he won’t fear, because like a Good Shepherd, the Lord our God will be there to comfort and look after him. Do we have such conviction in these difficult times my fellow believers? We ought to, else we won’t get through them in a godly manner. 

And then we have the also immortal advice of Cousin Sol: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth, straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. 

It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov.3:5-10) 

Glory be mih people! Right there is the best synopsis you can ever get of the Good Book and the true way to live a Christian life! Bubba! It just covers everything in a few short verses. And don’t fool yuh fat, the Lord inspired Cousin Sol to write those words as a guideline for us. So please, let’s be wise and follow them nuh, cause they are only for our benefit, not the Lord’s. 

Now for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home declaring to the entire world, who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 if our hearts are right, then the next action is for us to go out and share Jesus with others. Much LOVE!

…faith… connects our weakness…to God’s strength… (Daily Bread Devotional) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 May 2018 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

‘Sleeping in, sleeping in, sleeping in late on a somewhat cloudy Saturday morning!’ Yeh friends, the ole fella slept in this morning. But what’s the point of being alive if you can’t participate once in a while in some naughty antics eh? (smile) It really wasn’t planned though. I just happened to get up around six, as hungry as ever, and came down and had something to eat. Obviously, after that I had to go back and lie down. And the rest is history. (smile) 

Oh friends, there is so much strife and confusion and bitterness and anger going on all over our world that I don’t know what to comment on. So I’ll just stay with the volcano in Hawaii. At least that’s not a man made disaster. But it does seem to be getting worse rather than better. So let’s keep on praying for them and helping as best we can nuh. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s take a look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who truly aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.’ 

And that’s quite true people. The Lord has prepared a plan for each of our lives, with the wherewithal to be successful at it. So there is something out there for each of us to successfully accomplish. But it means we have to seek God’s plan for our individual life and proceed to put it into operation. 

And the second one says: ‘The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.’ Another particle of truth friends! It’s just the way life works. When we celebrate life, life celebrates us back in return, by giving us more stuff to celebrate. It’s just the positive attitude versus the negative one. 

And I believe that not enough of us celebrate the things we do, especially the small ones, falsely thinking that only big, momentous happenings are worthy of being celebrated. But if that’s true, then we’ll very seldom celebrate, because most of us don’t have many big happenings in our lives. Amen! 

Then there is: ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ Yes my brethren, life is like a roller coaster ride; up one side, then down the other. But the trick to living it successfully is to stay as even as possible. 

And remember when we are basking on the mountaintop, not to get too full of ourselves, because at some point in the future we WILL be heading for the valley. And when we hit the valley, just remember Bruh David’s immortal words; ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s ever so important for us to remember and put into practice, because in the valleys we will experience some very rough times, and it’s only our strong faith and God’s faithful help that will bring us back up to the mountain top. 

And the last quote declares: ‘The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.’ 

Now I want to question that somewhat. Happiness does matter but is that the main reason for us being on earth. I doubt it. It’s true that Jesus said he came that we might have abundant life and enjoy it to the full. (John 10:10) But more importantly, He also said we shouldn’t be overly concerned with the needs of our lives, because we can’t serve two masters at once. (Matt.6:24-32) 

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

There you have it my fellow believers; our most important action on this fragile and confusing earth. Seeking and searching, and knocking and finding God’s kingdom here on earth is our first and major priority. And the beauty of it all, is when we do that sincerely, everything else will fall into place. That’s Jesus’ faithful promise! 

That’s why Jesus continues: ‘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 is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:33-34. This portion of the Sermon on the Mount is summarized by seek ye first the kingdom of God. The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and its righteousness. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. 

The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom, and then all these things (material thing) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. 

We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

Oh my people, I don’t know how it could be stated any simpler nuh. But regardless of how many times we hear it, too many of us still seek the things of the world before the things of God. Remember though friends, there is always a price to pay for disobedience, and sometimes it can be quite high. So to him who has an ear to hear, let him hear. Much LOVE!

…in the immortal words of Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley)…our wisest action is to…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2018 Isaiah 25:4.

Isaiah 25:4.   For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 

Ah friends, we’re sailing on the good ship Sunday, towards the sanctuary of God, where we will fall on our knees and praise and worship Him, give Him innumerable thanks, exalt His holy name and glorify Him without ceasing! 

Wow! What a time we will have in the sanctuary as we fellowship with each other, encourage each other, hear God’s word and bury it deep in our hearts, and souls, and eventually leave the sanctuary fortified with His strength and confidence, able to withstand whatever comes against us. And please remember the immortal words of the psalmist; this is the day the Lord hath made, let us all rejoice and be glad in it! That’s both wisdom and common sense friends! 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with worship in sweet song. This morning we’ll sing a Christian Gospel tune titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ It was originally written by a pastor, songwriter called Lawrence Chewning. Apparently the year of 1992 became known as the year of sorrows for him and his family. 

One sorrow after another hit them and finally Lawrence, depressed and discouraged, was left burnt out, so he took a six month sabbatical from his pastoring duties and during that time began playing the piano more, in an attempt to get closer to God. In this sorrowful time he read stuff about the long dark night of the soul, when it seems you just can’t find God anywhere, and also experienced that emptiness for a while. 

Then, one day, in his many hours of playing the piano, he discovered that he was writing a song, a song that was coming from deep down in his soul. It was so touching that it provided him with therapeutic help in his depression and discouragement. But the song was some ten minutes long. However, a couple of years later, he offered the song to his friend, Christian singer songwriter, Ray Boltz, who edited and recorded it and made it a hit. 

Ah friends, ‘The Anchor Holds’ is one of my favourite Gospel songs because I can testify to the truth of those immortal words. And if you’re a true believer, so too can you. So let’s offer it up through the sacrifice of our lips now nuh, with appropriate reverence and heartfelt sincerity. In glorious harmony: ‘I have journeyed Through the long dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone Sight unknown And yet His eyes were watching me (Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn) 

I have fallen on my knees As I faced the raging seas The anchor holds In spite of the storm I’ve had visions I’ve had dreams I’ve even held them in my hand But I never knew They would slip right through Like they were only grains of sand (Chorus) I have been young But I am older now And there has been beauty these eyes have seen But it was in the night Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved His LOVE to me. 

(Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn. Ohhh yes, The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn).’ 

Ah mih people what words of truth and encouragement! And it’s only when we are going through a stormy period in life that we can write such heartfelt words. You’ll notice too, that it’s during the storm that God proves His wonderful and unconditional LOVE to us, more so than when the seas are calm and quiet. 

Because that’s when we need Him the most, when we discover that our efforts are too puny to withstand the storm that’s bruising and battering us. And only when we take refuge in His safe harbour, when we allow Him to anchor our hearts and souls in the sheltered bay that’s His awesome LOVE and grace that we truly find rest and rejuvenation for our troubled, storm-filled lives. 

Oh what a wonderful God is our God! No wonder in Isaiah’s song of praise by the redeemed the survivors of the Great Tribulation exalt the Lord, lift their voices in praise to God for His protection. ‘O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap (a ruin); of a defensed (fortified) city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built (rebuilt). 

Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:1-4) 

Yeh friends, our God runs things; He controls it all. So in your time of need, who are you going to call eh, who are you going to run to for refuge? Almighty God, if you are wise! As the old reggae song says, ‘You’ll run to the rock for rescue, but there will be no rock.’ But if you run to the Creator of the universe, you’ll find Him ready, willing and able to offer help. 

As Isaiah prophesies about Jerusalem’s glorious future. ‘And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow (shade) in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert (shelter) from the storm and from rain.’ (Is.4:6) 

Oh friends, there’s no better place to hunker down in stormy times than under the wings of our heavenly Father, just like chicks hide under the mother hen’s wings when it rains, for under there we are guaranteed safe passage through the storms of life. Much LOVE!

…through the heartache…through the storm…take my hand precious Lord…lead me on…

 

 

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