Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2020 Matthew 28:18.

Matthew 28:18.    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 

It was a very good day, but an extremely rough night! Chuh! We accompanied the newly wedded couple into the country yesterday afternoon, the backwoods of Hanover Parish, up in the mountains…and we talking real mountain here. Hn! After driving up the rough, hill incline for a couple miles, we finally had to park and walk almost a quarter mile further up the hill to get to our cousins’ property right at the top. 

And it was only a rough, uneven, stony path, always climbing upward. When you got to a bend, you’d think ‘Well this is it.’ But there was always another stretch around that bend. But the duchess/first lady and the ole fella handled it quite nicely. Just took our time and did our thing. Along the way there were all sorts of flora on either side with some big palms trees gracing the hillside, as well as a few houses. 

At one time I told them that I was smelling mannish-water, the Jamaican soup made from goat entrails. What I was smelling though was what they used to make the mannish water; a live ram goat close by in the bushes. I had to laugh because it smelled so authentic. And when we were coming back down I also smelled it. (smile) 

And was the sight at the top ever so lovely; mountains and sea all around, as well as all kinds of fruit trees on the property itself; mango, soursop, sugar apple, caimete, cocoa, pimento, gungo peas etc. Yes, I know that technically speaking those last three aren’t fruits, but the name suits our purposes here. (smile) 

The amusing part is that while going up the rain kept drizzling, and when we got to the top a decent shower came down and we had to shelter in a li’l lean to, as the house on the property had been burned down some years ago. Coming back down was harder than going up, because of the slant of the hill and the uneven, stony ground, but we made it…Praise the Lord! 

And on the way back to Mo Bay, we stopped at the restaurant along the seacoast, Paiche’s, that we’d stopped at last week. And while they had their fish stuff, I had some curry shrimps with fry plantain, fry breadfruit and festival. All in all it was a very interesting day, didn’t get back home until around nine p.m. 

But brother…the night was a different story! Went to be around eleven, got up around two to go to the bathroom, and thereafter it was just horrors! My right hip just kept aching, couldn’t find a comfortable position no which way I tried, but I refused to get up out of the bed. Like a petulant child I just lay there and turned and tossed from side to side. I must have dozed off sometime, because I remember having at least one dream. (smile) 

Oh, somewhere in there I got up and took some Tylenol, but that did not help matters any. And around six thirty, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and finally got up. Steups! I guess though, as Job said, we have to take the bad with the good, that earthly life won’t be a heavenly trip, though I don’t see why not, since we’d all like it to be. (smile) 

And though the Boss has a different take on the proceedings, He does encourage us with His awesome words and promises. ‘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) Wow! What reassuring words my brethren! 

That means that though my hip is lending me beans, I can keep my peace through my faith in Him, since I know that He has already overcome hell, death and the grave and has all authority on earth and in heaven, meaning NOTHING can keep me from my destiny with Him! 

Please note Jesus words when He appeared to His people and gave them the Great Commission: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ (Matt.28:18-19) You can’t make such a monumental statement without sure authority and power! 

And I like how the scholars put it: ‘The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christi) by the risen Saviour through His disciples. All power or authority (Gr. exousia) is now in the hands of Christ, in heaven and on the earth. On the basis of that authority and power the Christian disciple is to carry out the Great Commission of the church.’ 

Yes friends, we have been commanded to go and teach, and also given the power to do so! So what are waiting for eh? And just to show that the Good Book is not just a wishy-washy, hurriedly put together manuscript, but a purposeful and well thought out tome, listen to this foretelling of Jesus’ power and authority way back in Daniel, as he recounts his vision of the four beasts. 

‘I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people (peoples), nations and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.’ (Dan.7:13-14) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord had a plan from long ago, which He implemented when the time was right, and there’s still more to be implemented. Listen as the scholars explain those verses. ‘7:13. The Son of man who came to the Ancient of days is the Son of God approaching God the Father. Evidently Jesus took the title ‘Son of Man,’ which was His favourite way of referring to Himself in the Gospels from this passage.’ 

‘7:14. The commencement of Christ’s everlasting dominion will take place at His second coming (cf. Matt. 24:30; 25:31; Rev. 11:15).’ So it’s all set in place my fellow believers! Our wise and wonderful God didn’t leave anything to chance, so there’s no need for us to fear. So with all of that in mind, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 

In strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful Saviour we have my people! Let’s go out and tell the world about Him nuh! Let’s not be selfish and keep Him all to ourselves! Much LOVE!

…are you using Jesus’ power to do His work…or just aimlessly wasting it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2019 Luke 21:15.

Luke 21:15.    ​For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay (refute) nor resist.
 

So it’s Wednesday; the middle of the week, and everybody breathes a sigh of relief, saying: ‘Three down, only two more to go!’ Ah friends, what is it with us and work eh? The majority of people don’t like what they do for a living, and would rather not do it, but they have limited choices, so they acquiesce and do the job half-heartedly. And that includes Christians too! 

The only problem there is that as Christians we’re not supposed to be working unto man, but unto God, and if we have Jesus dwelling in us then we’re supposed to do as good a job as possible even if we don’t like it. And furthermore we’re supposed to be contented and grow wherever He plants us. 

So if you’re the lone believer where you work and get a lot of heat for it, then believe that’s where Jesus wants you at this time, so you can shine your light in that dark world of unbelief and allow your salt to spice up and make tasty the corrupt and corroded atmosphere! But hear what Jesus says will happen when we suffer for His name’s sake. ‘Take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say; for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.’ (Luke 12:11-12) 

Now here is an interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘12:12. The Holy Ghost shall teach: Remember that (1) these men had Jesus as a personal teacher; (2) these disciples being Jews, had a great command of Old Testament Scripture; and (3) the New Testament was not yet begun. 

This is not to say that Jesus’ promise has no application today, since the experience of persecuted Christians in this century proves otherwise. Yet it would be dangerous to presume on direct, supernatural guidance without doing all possible to avail oneself of means already at hand to learn of God and His ways.’ 

Yeh friends, they’re not saying that supernatural guidance is impossible, but it’s much easier for you to stand up strong in Jesus’ name when you know His Word and thus for the Holy Spirit to remind you of certain truths to use when you’re under the gun. 

And I like how Luke further puts it: Jesus tells them: ‘Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay (refute) nor resist.’ (Luke 21:14-15) 

Ah mih people, we don’t have to beat up ourselves as to what we ought to say when we encounter opposition, for the Holy Spirit, our guide and comforter, our inspiration and constant companion, will lead us to say the right things. But you have to know the Word so you can associate it with whatever and wherever He guides you. 

And we have this further assurance from Jesus: ‘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 you’re a true believer that verse of scripture ought to quell whatever anxiety and worry that’s in your heart right now! 

That’s the wonderful thing about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; when you sincerely believe in Him, even in the midst of trials and tribulation we can have peace in our souls! No other faith can promise, guarantee and deliver such a wonderful situation! But friends, it doesn’t just happen overnight, you have to go through those trials so you can grow and mature in the faith. 

And I can testify to that because years ago, I was holidaying in California when my mother died unexpectedly up here. Obviously I was devastated by her unexpected death, but I clearly remember a surprising peace that suddenly came over me, and I was able to handle the situation with the necessary fortitude. But the people around me were also surprised at how cool, calm and collected I was despite the devastating news. 

It doesn’t mean that I wasn’t sad and didn’t cry and display all the other emotions associated with unexpected loss, but the important thing is that I didn’t fall apart and become useless to myself and those around me. And every time I look back at that situation, I can only smile and realize that it was indeed the goodness of God, the overwhelming peace of Jesus that got me through the situation. 

And what made that peace even more welcome is that I had disembarked in Las Vegas and driven to California, and the price to change my flight to leave from California was astronomical, so I had to drive all the way back through the desert to Las Vegas that took a fair amount of time. But though my heart was heavy, it was at peace, thanks be to Jesus! 

And yuh know friends, even during these last two and a half years of sickness and medical procedures, I was never worried about making it through, I was more annoyed than anything at having to go through all that stuff. (smile) And that’s because by then I had matured enough to believe God’s promise of if He puts me through it, He will bring me through it, stronger than before. And I am stronger than before! 

That’s my testimony and I’m sticking to it. (smile) Hope it does offer some encouragement to those of you who are going through serious problems right now. You just have to believe, despite the darkness of the situation. And the Lord might not change the situation, as He might just be testing you, but He will change you, so that you can handle the situation! 

Enough sermonizing for today though! Let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail telling all and sundry our wonderful position in Christ! As one strong, sincere and enthusiastic voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And please remember that if we stand strong and finish our race with vim and vinegar, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…true faith…only comes and grows…by experiencing trials…and sincerely believing in…the faithful promises of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2019 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   ​God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

 

Allow Trouble to Lift You: ‘Truly we learn courage when we face danger; we learn patience when we endure suffering; we learn tenderness when we face pain; we learn to prize true friends when false ones forsake us; we treasure health when illness strikes and we learn to prize freedom when we are in danger of losing it! 

Without trouble we would be like plants that have sprouted, grown, and been nurtured in the overprotected shelter of a hothouse, too tender ever to live in the open.’ Oh what words of gospel truth those are! 

And furthermore: ‘We have matured as Christians when we learn that there is no progress without pain; there is no conversation without crises; there is no birth without painful travail; there is no salvation without agonizing repentance and no Easter without a Good Friday! There is no service without suffering…’ 

Yes friends, I couldn’t put it any better than that! Unfortunately those are not my words, but Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. And yes, until we supposed Christians realize that a Christian life is not a sweet and fairytale life devoid of pain and hardship, but one fraught with periods of suffering, just like Christ’s, we’ll never mature, never grow in Christ as we ought to. 

Because as Gramps Schuller so rightly points out, if our lives are just easy and smooth, we won’t be able to face the rough and tumble trials that are truly life in this evil and ungodly world! In good, smooth, comfortable times we don’t grow, we just float along without a care in the world. But when adversity hits, that’s when we separate the goats from the sheep, that’s when we see what we’re truly made of, how strong is our backbone and belly! 

And in so doing, if we have the necessary faith and courage to stand strong in Christ, that’s when we grow! As Gramps Schuller also says later on: ‘Your trouble may be your greatest opportunity!’ And that’s no lie, because then you have to stir yourself and get yourself moving to solve your problems, in tandem with Almighty God if you’re wise! 

Remember Jesus didn’t promise that His followers would have clear and uneventful sailing in this topsy-turvy world, but exactly the opposite: ‘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 you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that Jesus doesn’t lie. Neither does He make idle promises. So if He says that life will contain rough times, then it will, but on the other hand, if He promises His peace during those times, then that will also come to pass. 

And remember He’s already vanquished the devil in his own territory; hell, death and the grave, by rising triumphantly on Easter Sunday, so we should not be overwhelmed by all the nonsense the enemy tries to tell us, for the victory is already ours! Glory to God! 

So now, let’s check out some scriptures that can help us handle trouble when it comes against us. And if anybody knew trouble, though he was certainly blessed, it was Bruh David. But he stoically declares (steups, wrong again) ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:4-5) 

That means friends we just can’t run to God when times become rough, but must be in good communication with Him during the good times too. Now listen to the Sons of Korah: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, let’s take a moment and contemplate on that nuh! Is our faith that strong? It ought to be, if we are truly walking in righteous and godly paths. And listen to Bruh David once again: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps.138:7) 

Oh my people, that’s the kind of unwavering confidence we ought to have in our omnipotent God, for with Him ALL things are possible! And no treatise on trouble would be complete without these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed;’ (2 Cor.4:8-9) 

And why is that my faithful brethren? Because we’re ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:10) And now that we’ve conquered trouble, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) all the wonderful things contained in our Thursday Blessings. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

…if we are in Christ…and Christ is in us…then we can overcome ANYTHING that comes against us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2016 John 14:27

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

So it’s Friday! And all over God’s great earth, working people are celebrating! They are ecstatic that the weekend is upon them, and are joyfully singing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! When this working day is done, my time will be my own! No more slave master to drive me crazy, to keep my nose to the grindstone! I’ll be free! Doing my own thing! Glory Be! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, we all know how important the weekend is for most of us, trying to get things done that we couldn’t do during the work week. But we can’t afford to encumber ourselves with too much of our own activities either, for we’ll just continue the stress of the workweek. The weekend is a time when we must recapture some semblance of balance in our lives. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a better idea of how to achieve that balance. 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 my brethren, we must find some way to get rest, relaxation and fellowship into our weekends if we want to be able to function at a high level the following week. And in keeping with that philosophy, here’s an interesting quote from one Robert H Davies. In checking though, there were so many people with that name, I couldn’t figure out which one said it. 

Nonetheless here it is. ‘One of the signs of maturity is a healthy respect for reality – a respect that manifests itself in the level of one’s aspirations and in the accuracy of one’s assessment of the difficulties which separate the facts of today from the bright hopes of tomorrow.’ 

Yes friends, a healthy dose of reality is what a lot of this world needs right now, especially with all the huge emphasis we’re currently placing on what is called virtual reality. Today, if true reality hits some of us in the face we won’t even recognize it! (smile) 

But we do need to be more mature and sensible about what has gone before, what’s happening today, and our prospects for the future. We must stop living in the past, learn to accept the present, and refrain from painting too bright a future, which when it doesn’t come to pass will only drag us down into the depths of despair. 

Goals and dreams are great to have, but we must temper them with a modicum of circumspection, of reality, otherwise they can mess up our lives. Essentially what we need in our lives, especially in these trying times, these rush and push days, is a proper sense of balance. 

And you know what my people, that can only be accomplished with a big, wonderful dose of Jesus: of His LOVE, His peace, His care and compassion! And nowhere is that more readily seen and available than in the words of our Saviour, as highlighted in our Bit. 

‘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.’  

Ah friends, what encouraging and reassuring words! Jesus was there telling His disciples of the necessity for Him to go away so that the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Comforter could be sent to us. 

Now obviously it takes some maturity in the Christian faith to accept those words of Jesus at face value. But it’s the only way that we can truly handle the vicissitudes of this life, our changing circumstances and fortunes. Only through the peace and harmony gained by associating with Jesus, can we ever successfully navigate the stormy seas and strong winds of this life. 

And please note the priestly benediction that the Lord gave Moses for the children of Egypt way back when. ‘The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee (look on you with favour), and give thee peace.’ (Num.6:24-26) 

Yeh friends, without the peace and favour of our wonderful God moving in our beings, our lives will never be stable and successful. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’  (Phil.4:4-7) 

Oh precious people of God, what a moving and encouraging set of scriptures! Through constant prayer and thanksgiving we are able to invoke the wonderful peace of God, that’s always close by, through the Holy Spirit! A peace that our finite minds can’t even understand, but we can surely feel it. 

And we’ll end with these reassuring and triumphant words of Jesus. ‘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) 

Friends, as true believers in Christ, let’s therefore go forth today, and everyday, holding those words of enduring truth in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, so that we can successfully navigate our way through this evil and ungodly world, for that is wisdom to the nth power! 

Much LOVE!…Jesus is the blueprint for successful earthly living…so let’s copy as much of His style as possible…