Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 November 2020 Deuteronomy 30:19.

Deuteronomy 30:19.     ​I call heaven and earth to record this day (as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed shall live:

Ah friends, it’s a dark, cold, cloudy sombre morning; this Black Friday, the 13thday of November in the crazy, uncertain, unexpected, divisive, pandemic, election, eccentric year of 2020! Yeh, this year’s been all that, and its eccentricity and divisiveness are not over yet, not by a long shot. The confusion and legal battles over who won the U.S. Presidential election is still ongoing, getting more problematic by the minute, with the wannabe dictator refusing to concede that he lost. 

The Covid-19 pandemic is still raging, going through a second phase all over the world, and we still don’t know how to deal with it properly, and with people refusing to do the things we know would temper it some. And strife is still rampant all over our world. So what new can the forces of evil and darkness perpetrate this Friday the 13th eh? The only place we have left to go is over the cliff, or be brought back to our senses by the awesome word and hand of God! 

Right now those are our only two options friends! The time for pussyfooting is over. We can’t sit on the fence anymore. It’s time to make a final decision. And yuh know that making no decision is indeed making a decision. So please let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we’ll just let it all ride and it will eventually blow over, because this time it most certainly won’t! It’s time for mankind to put up or shut up! And that’s my spiel for today! (smile) 

But it’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say too nuh. And as always he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank God that the weekend is finally here and I could get to stay in mih yard with mih family and don’t have to venture out in this second wave of Covid-19 nuh! Brother! What it is so eh? How come Covid just turn back to bite we so hard again eh? Is it because people not doing what they supposed to be doing? Or we just can’t get a handle on the blooming virus? 

But is more lockdown again…Steups! What in hell and heaven name going on eh? Like the world just gone mad oui! Everywhere is a mess; if not with Covid, then with political and racial and religious strife… So what it going to take to bring us back to normal eh? Ah vaccine for Covid? Who knows, because plenty people already say they not taking no blooming vaccine. Or is it World War 3…? Because all the other foolish strife an’ them not letting up either. 

So what is to become of we world eh? What kinda world we children going to inherit eh? Chuh man! Ah have to shake mih head oui, because only the Lord knows yes…only the Lord knows! But right now ah very thankful for the weekend so I could stay home an consider it all, although I can’t do much about it.’ 

Ah mih people, those sentiments expressed by the ordinary workingman are being voiced all over our world! As I said before, this is the time for us to make some very wise and serious decisions because our problems are not going to go away because we wish them to. It’s going to take a lot of work between all of mankind to even halt them, much less turn them back. And the only power in this world great enough to change our circumstances is the hand of Almighty God! 

And I proffer these two verses of His word from the mouth of Jesus Christ, His only Son and the Saviour of this world, to strengthen my contention. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.’ (John 5:24-25) 

People, I give to you, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the ONLY hope for our salvation! Without Him in our lives, we’re all dead meat. It’s only a matter of time. But with Him, with His awesome Holy Spirit surging through our veins, our bodies, and souls, we are faithfully promised resurrection; life everlasting! There’s NO ONE else who can offer us that! So what’s it to be eh? 

And here’s the clincher; (smile) these words of Moses, on the Lord’s behalf, to the people of Israel many moons ago. ‘I call heaven and earth to record this day (as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed shall live:’ (Deut. 30:19) That’s it in a nutshell friends! Your choice! 

And for those of us who wisely choose life, let’s turn to our God and through our Friday Chant sincerely plead with Him for the healing of our land and our nations! Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Yes my precious and faithful saints of Christ, it now behooves us to go out and handle the situation properly; in Christ-like manner! Much LOVE!

…only the unwise…would choose death over life…especially the eternal kind… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2020 Isaiah 9:2.

Isaiah 9:2.    ​  The people that have walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
 

And then all those bright, sunshiny days, morphed into this beautiful one called Friday! And everyone’s thoughts are turned to what this June weekend might hold for us, as individuals, as well as our whole frustrated, discontented, weary, sick, fearful and anxious world! But there is no need to fear my friends, for our great and ever-faithful God has given us an incredible promise: ‘The people that have walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ 

Yeh friends, the Lord promised us a guiding light to lead us out of the darkness and He kept that promise when He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ into the world to show us what He was truly like, and that we would be able to follow the light and come to a sure understanding of the truth found in His Word. But unfortunately, as John says: ‘In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:4-5) 

Now is it ever so sad, that back then, only a minority of mankind appreciated the light and took advantage of what it had to offer. And the same unfortunate situation still exists to this day. But hear this explanation from the scholars nuh: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. (Please check out those references.) In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

Exactly what I’ve been saying: not enough of us have accepted Jesus’ revelation of God, neither His most wonderful offer of salvation and deliverance! No wonder our world is in such a calamitous state! Jesus said it quite plainly Himself: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) So the ONLY way out is for us to accept what God has to offer on a worldwide scale, not trying to run Him out of our society, as we are presently trying to do. Let’s remember that nuh! Sermon done! (smile) 

And since it’s Friday, I know many of you are waiting with bated breath to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. So let’s check it out nuh. As always, he begins with ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is here!’ But these days his enthusiasm and energy level don’t seem as high as they were before the pandemic shut down everything. ‘Yeh, thank God for the two days off from work! But what we going to do with them eh? Is summer time now, and half the place still lock down, and yuh still have to practice social or physical distancing, or whatever yuh choose to call it! 

Steups! And not even that, but I really don’t want to go anywhere because mih body tired, ah still can’t catch mihself, still not gotten back accustomed to the hard labour in the slave master work! Oh what a difference two months away from it makes! And this pandemic thing, as well as the new racial protest and them, doh look like they going away any time soon nuh. 

Ah Lord eh! In all mih born days, ah never see the world in such a mess yet nuh! But what a small man like me going to do about all that eh? Not a hell of a lot. Just grin and bear it as best as I can and pray that it all get better sooner than later! And is a good thing I still have the weekends to look forward to yes, so I can get away from it all. Thank the Lord for that oui!’ 

Ah friends, I know that many of us are experiencing the same kind of frustration and feel like the ordinary workingman does, because we are ordinary working people without a whole lotta say in the big affairs of the society, and the powers that be don’t pay a lot of attention to us, unless we rise up together and make our voices heard. And that ofttimes meets with unfortunate circumstances as the current racial protests are showing. But there’s one place where NO ONE can stop or hold us back…and that’s in the realm of prayer! 

Calls to Almighty God are only monitored by Him and He desires to hear from all of us. So let’s get busy and pray nuh; call out to God for mercy and deliverance through our Friday Chant. As one loud and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. 

Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, like faithful believers, let’s go and do whatever little we can do to help the situation! Much LOVE!

…each one teach one…each one help one…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.    ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

 

As the Genius – Ray Charles, would sing: ‘Here we go again. Another day of Coronavirus lockdown again… Wonder when this live play, this serious tragedy, will end? Oh, by the minute, it just seems to be getting worse…No light at the end of the tunnel yet!’ Ah friends, it is indeed a pretty rough and serious situation, but please remember that we worship the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator and Controller of the universe! And He has promised us that we should not fear, for anything that comes against us, He will be right there to guide, lead and accompany us through it. 

Remember these awesome words of promise declared through His prophet, Isaiah. ‘But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.’ (Is.43:1-3) 

Yes friends, though Israel deliberately rejected the Lord as their king, He yet reassured them of His eventual redemption from earthly spiritual and physical bondage, as well as that to come in eternity. And He has kept His promise to one and all, including we, the Gentiles, by sending His one and only Son Jesus to die for our sins and redeem us. But as it was from the day our forefathers sinned in the Garden of Eden and listened to the voice of the evil serpent, sin has separated us from our Holy God. And sometimes, when we get so sinful and corrupt on a national, and like now, a worldwide basis, the Lord has to remind us of our very unbecoming behaviour, which He won’t tolerate forever. 

Listen to His words to Israel, through Isaiah again. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is.59:1-4) 

Oh my people, just like the Israelites sins separated them from God, so do ours right now! And there’s no one around, and in their right mind who can truthfully say that our world is currently not a sinful cesspit; possibly the most sinful it’s ever been! And I don’t know why we think that other sinful societies suffered the Lord’s wrath, but we will not. And it’s amazing how the Lord could point out our iniquity through such a small and yet very dangerous germ. His ways of working are indeed very mysterious…but also very productive! (smile) 

And it’s good to see that people are taking it seriously and are remembering that God is still on His throne, still controlling things, and at least trying to turn back to Him. Enough preaching for the day though. (smile) It’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank God for the Coronavirus yes…! Well not really, except for the fact that it’s my second week off work with pay, and that’s nice. But you can only take your family being always around you for just so long, then everybody begins to get on everybody else’s nerves. And you can only go around the block so often in a day. 

Steups! I’m getting stir crazy! And ah have to laugh too, because I’m actually missing work and my buddies down there. Chuh! I can only drink so much by mihself too! And the wife has definitely gone stir crazy, since she’s not accustomed to having all of us underfoot the whole bloody day, every day! And to make matters worse, all you can hear on the radio and tv and social media is about the virus; how so many people have it, and how it killing so many people. And we still don’t have no real way to fight it. No wonder people panicking! But what can I say or do in my li’l corner eh? Nothing but thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, and hope they find a cure soon!’ 

Ah friends, I’m sure a lot of people feel useless like the ordinary workingman there, but we all are useful in these trying times. And the first and most important use we can put ourselves to is that of prayer. And then if we can help anybody else in whatever safe shape or form, then please do so. And since it’s Friday, let’s chant our rejigged Friday Chant in answer to the workingman’s song. All together now, with strong voices and sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, let’s put our faith into action, as Jesus so desperately desires of us. Much LOVE!

…pray without ceasing…and remember…to give thanks too…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2019 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
 

Now that’s what a beautiful autumn morn looks like! Yeh friends, the glorious sun is shining brightly on the multicoloured leaves, reflecting God’s variety of wonderful colours, and showing that He too can like beauty, just for beauty’s sake! (smile) Ahh! And it’s Saturday too, and the ole fella got up late, but that’s the beauty and purpose of Saturday eh? (smile) Saw the clock, thought it was eight, but it was actually nine. Hn! That’s what happens when you go to bed in the wee hours of the morning. Anyway, let’s see what inspiring quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.’ And that’s usually true! Most of us get where we are by working our way to the top of the ladder. Unfortunately though in this lazy, turbulent society of ours, where the work ethic is almost dead, a lot of people want to, and expect to rise to the top of the heap by merely wishing and hoping. They simply don’t realize the necessity for blood, sweat and tears in the accomplishment of anything. And also the fact that we appreciate stuff more when we work for it. Look at the vast number of those who don’t work for what they have, who don’t truly appreciate it, and lose it quite soon thereafter. Think of the Lotto players, and those who receive enormous windfalls from their deceased relatives. 

And this second quote is challenging: ‘Think progress, not perfection.’ Yes mih people, many times we seek perfection in our search for progress, but progress does not have to always mean perfection. It’s quite alright to make progress without it being perfect. Once we’re moving forward, that’s the important thing. Remember too, that not many things, and NO people, are perfect in this fallen world. Now listen to this next quote: ‘When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my believing brethren! The winds of change are always blowing in our world. That’s one of the few things we can be certain of in this life; things will change whether we want them to or not. And what makes the difference is whether we build walls to try and keep out the changes, or if we do things that will help us yolk those changes for our benefit. Like in the rest of life, it’s all about attitude. 

And I can personally testify to that because I don’t like many of the changes that are currently taking place in our society, especially with the social media thing, but I’m not trying to build walls around it to protect myself, I’m just trying to use it astutely (smile) to enhance my purposes. I can’t get away from it, or change it, so why battle it? And it’s like that in all phases of life. We have to learn how and when to choose our battles, and understand when it’s wiser just to go along for peace and the Lord’s sake. (smile) 

That leads us to the next quote: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’ And I guess that’s somewhat true, because if we look at all the varied species of life that have become extinct it’s because many of them could not adapt to the changes that were happening in their lives, in their habitats. But it’s not easy to change when your habitat is changing because of outside influences. That’s why we have the scary talk these days about climate change. 

Mankind has made so many of God’s creations extinct by changing their habitat, and now we’re in the process of making ourselves extinct by the way we’re destroying the Eco system, the carefully planned and synchronized work of God. Listen friends, our planet and all therein is a finely tuned and balanced machine. God left nothing to chance. And when we disturb anything, it causes repercussions in all areas. So let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh. If we continue in today’s careless manner of destroying our planet, then we too will eventually become extinct. 

And here’s the last quote: ‘The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.’ And the first name that comes to mind is Jesus! Yes friends, He was probably the craziest of us all! He came to earth in what we’d now call a backward time, chose twelve uneducated men and sent them out to change the world. The disciples must also have been somewhat off their rocker to believe Christ’s words and accept such an impossible looking challenge. But yuh know what? They indeed changed the world! That’s why today we’re still talking about Christ and heaven and hell and all that godly stuff! 

The fact is that they had certain assurances, and they believed them. I guess the first and biggest assurance was Jesus when talking to them about a camel passing through the eye of a needle said: ‘With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’ Ah mih people, that’s the basic foundation, and until we believe that, like those disciples did, we won’t be able to make any worthwhile improvements or changes in our lives or our societies. And then Jesus inspired them with acclamations like: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:13,14,16) Yeah friends, they believed that and went out and did what Jesus desired, and were successful, as we very well know. 

And we’ll end with these last words of Jesus to the puzzled and unsure but ever-faithful disciples. ‘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; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And they took those fateful words, what we call the Great Commission and ran with them to all and sundry people and parts of the world, especially when as Jesus promised the Holy Ghost came and indwelt them in a fiery display of power on Pentecost Morn.  

Now that same baton has been handed down to us, and we have many more tools to do the work than those disciples had, so why are we so reluctant to take up our task and do it eh? Are we too sacred, or not crazy enough? That’s for us to work out individually with God! Much LOVE!

…if you are a Jesus follower…then the impossible…is in your power…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2019 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.   ​   Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

And so we continue round the merry go round of our work life once again, as Monday has blazoned into our consciousness on this beautiful and sunny day in sweet Tobago! Glory to God! I’m truly sorry to hear that you all had snow in my area in the northern climes yesterday, but them’s the breaks, that’s what the northern climes are all about! (smile) 

Hope you didn’t have to trudge and drive through any snow to get to work this morning while I blessedly sit here writing on the porch, listening to the birds chirp their sweet songs of thanksgiving, admire the beautiful flora and listen to the sea lap gently and playfully on the rocky shore line. No, don’t be jealous! Let your Christian nature take hold and be glad for me, seeing that I have not enjoyed such blessings in a number of years! (smile) 

Oh don’t worry, I know it’s hard not to be envious when one of your associates is enjoying fair weather while you are experiencing the foul kind! But wherever we are in this fine universe of God’s, it’s Monday and we need to get out and labour to provide the necessities of life for our families and ourselves. And regardless of how hard we try, somehow we still always get fouled up by Monday’s. I guess it’s just the nature of the beast. 

But thankfully we have an antidote for all of our Monday morning ailments, called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it just chases away all those dark and cloudy Monday skies. So let’s raise our voices and declare it (chuh- wrong again!) in sincere faith, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

 But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Ah friends, what a quick and pleasant change sincere prayer can make in our sad and miserable spirits eh! It’s simply the awesome power of God! The amazing solution that He has developed to right our spirits; those who believe in Him and His Son Jesus Christ! For if you don’t believe in them, then NONE of what we’re talking about will work! 

As this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional so truly declares (right ho!) ‘Grateful praise satisfies us and pleases God!’ Yes my people, both parties are satisfied with words uttered in praise and thanksgiving; it corrects our spirits, and it pleases God, who made us most of all to be a source of vital communication, through praise and thanksgiving. 

No wonder Bruh Paul informed the Ephesian church thus: ‘Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ And there are no truer words than those to be found in our faith my people! And Bruh Paul said the same basic thing to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him. (Col.3:17) 

 And the scholars have this to say about that verse: ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs.16), but it is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ Yuh see that friends, thanks and praise and the Word of God are to be the mainstays in a believer’s life! 

You can’t be running around crazily with and longing for the things of the world, ignoring Almighty God, your Creator and Provider and expect to flourish, either in this life or the one to come! And you’ll notice too that even Jesus, the Son of God gave thanks. Check out when He fed the four thousand with seven loaves of bread and a few fishes: ‘And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.15:36) 

And He did the same thing when He fed the five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fishes. ‘Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.’ (Luke 9:16) Yes friends, Jesus knew where His bread was buttered; in heaven, at the Father’s throne, and the only reason He could do those miracles is because He looked to the Father and also gave thanks! 

And if Jesus needed to do that, then how much more we mere sinful mortals need to come to the throne of grace in humility and thanksgiving eh? Even when Jesus initiated the holy act of communion in His remembrance; ‘He took bread and blessed it…And He took the cup, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.26:26-27) 

Not much more to say friends, except to add Bruh Paul’s directive to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) Now as obedient children of God, let’s go out and do exactly that today nuh! Much LOVE!

…continue in prayer…and watch in the same…with thanksgiving…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2018 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

And it’s just another day of winter weather! (smile) No, the rain and higher temps have not melted the ice and snow on the ground, so please be careful if you have to go out. Ah friends, what yuh going to do eh? If you want to live in the northern climes then you’ll just have to grin and bear it, obviously with the help of our heavenly Father. 

Now before we go any further let me share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I’ve shared it before, but it’s so important, especially in these rough and difficult times, that we need to hear it again. It comes from a message titled ‘God Needs Us.’ And so He does. Why? 

Because ‘Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today. He has no feet but our feet to lead us on the way. He has no tongues but our tongues to tell us how he died. He has no help but our help to bring us to His side.’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! Christ has no one else to do His work and spread His wonderful word but us, His earthly ambassadors. 

And if we don’t do it, do it diligently and with excellence, then His church, His LOVE Revolution will fail, and much of the world will go to hell in a hand basket with Lucifer. Christ’s sacrificial death would also have been a waste of time, because He died that ALL people could have access to Him. And I’m sure we don’t want either of those things to happen. 

So that’s why we, as Christians, have to get really serious about our work for Christ and improve in all areas, with His help of course. Once we have contact with other human beings, Christ wants to use us, wherever we are, in whatever we do, to bring others to Him, so that they too can enjoy the free gift of grace that brings salvation and eternal life. Remember, He died so that sinners could be saved from their sins. 

As a man, Christ could only be in one place at one time, that’s why when He ascended to heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in His disciples and all those others who would believe in Him, so that they could go out and perform the words of our Bit: the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ 

And that is what they did my people. And that’s also what we are expected to do. Christ can only work, and is working through His Holy Spirit in our minds and bodies so that we can get His message out, which is becoming more urgent with each passing day, as He prepares to return and take His rightful place as our Lord and King. And unfortunately, when He does return, all who are not then a part of His church will be left out forever. 

That’s not a very nice fate to suffer, so it’s imperative that we His disciples and followers ramp up our efforts to bring the numerous unbelievers out there to Him: ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ (Matt.28:20a) Yeh friends, we’re all teachers in some form or fashion, either by the words we speak or the lives we live. 

The spreading of the Word is not left to pastors and church elders only, but to ALL those who believe. We all have something important to impart to another human being on the topic of Jesus. Let’s remember that nuh and get serious about the way we live our lives and what we say to others, for we are representatives of Christ, and whatever image we portray is the image others will get of Him. 

Please note that much of the recent swelling of the rolls of the ungodly can be laid right at the feet of so-called believers. We have been too wishy-washy and hypocritical in our walk with Christ and others have seen it and therefore been put off of Christ. That’s a crying shame my brethren! Instead of turning OFF people from Christ, we ought to be turning them ON to Him. 

And there’s no need to be afraid or ashamed of our belief and faith in Christ, because at the end of the Commission He faithfully promised: ‘and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:20b) There you have it my people, Jesus’ promise to be with us ALL the time, even to the end of the world. 

So why are we afraid or ashamed of speaking out and living for Him eh? Remember, man can only kill the body, not the soul. However Almighty God can kill both, so if you choose to become a people pleaser instead of a God pleaser, then you’re in for big trouble. 

Oh my fellow believers, hear this explanation of the Great Commission from the scholars. ’28:18-20. The Great Commission brings the first Gospel to its grand finale. Christianity is not represented here as the mere reverential devotion of disappointed men who honoured their martyred leader. 

Here is a far different scene. 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 by the risen Saviour through His disciples.’ 

And so it is my fellow believers, so let’s treat it as such and do justice to Christ’s victory nuh. It’s the wisdom that’s been granted to us. Now let’s go home declaring to all the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

Sincerely, loudly and proudly now: ‘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!’ 

More gospel truth friends! So let’s go out and diligently share it nuh, as we’re meant to.. Much LOVE!

…a wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble)…but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health…  (Prov.13:17)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2018 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.    Giving thanks always for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my Irish friends and family! Please don’t get too immersed in the green stuff, especially the many different libations of the day. (smile) 

Yeh, St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is the time the Irish celebrate their culture and religion, the legend being that the missionary St. Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland somewhere around the fourth century, and eventually drove out all the snakes from Ireland. 

Whatever the truth be though, the 17th of March has become a traditional festival of Irish culture all over the world, especially the imbibing part, with all things green being highlighted. 

What I remember most about St. Patrick’s Day is that as a young boy growing up in T&T, that was the only day you heard a Calypso on the radio, or you could have a party during the season of Lent. Now that state of affairs might have been somewhat stringent, but what happens now is downright ridiculous, with no serious or sincere observance of the Lenten season. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to the quotes we got from our friend Anselm this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. And our friend certainly had some interesting quotes this week, conveniently all tied up together. (smile) 

Listen to this first one: ‘Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.’ Now that’s wisdom of untold proportions! As Christians, we’re instructed to count our blessings, and concentrate on them, for they will always add up to more than our misfortunes and keep us happy and contented in the Lord. 

And the second quote declares: ‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.’ Oh glory to God my people! That is the gospel truth! Whenever we concentrate on our blessings rather than our misfortunes, our lives suddenly turn around in such dramatic fashion! I don’t understand why more of us aren’t counting the blessings and forgetting the misfortunes. 

And then there’s this invaluable quote: ‘Cultivate the habit of being grateful.’  What wise and wonderful advice my faithful followers of Christ! Everyday we preach that! There’s nothing that affects our lives as being grateful for all that we have, and which has been sent to us from our magnanimous God. 

But then I like this associate quote: ‘Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.’ Yeh, what is the point of being grateful if you don’t show it eh? Then no one knows that you’re grateful. It’s like saying you LOVE someone, but not showing them that LOVE. It’s simply wasted. All talk and no play. Gratitude is one of those words that can only be appreciated through our actions. 

And as always, I’ve left the best for last. ‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. ‘Thank you’ expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding.’ Oh my people, if only we’d say more ‘thank you’s’ to each other, and to our awesome God, what a wonderful world this would be! 

You know, being grateful, counting our blessings and saying ‘thank you’ are the basic foundation stones of our Christian faith, because they all display LOVE in action! And that’s what Jesus’ people are all about: LOVE in action! 

And our Bit is one of the most encompassing scriptures in the Good Book, on the three topics we’ve covered today. It’s Bruh Paul’s direction to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, it’s something we continually hear, and know deep down in our hearts that we should do, but yet we don’t do it half as much as we should. We ought to be thanking our magnificent and magnanimous God, almost every minute of everyday for all that He’s done for us, especially when we don’t deserve ANY of it! 

Just the mere fact that His wonderful and amazing breath of life is currently coursing through our mortal bodies of dust and clay is sufficient reason to be everlastingly grateful and shout out a whole load of thanks to Him! But what to do eh? Mankind, being the only thinking creation, has always been the most ungrateful creation of the Lord. (smile) 

However, let’s see if we can change that some nuh, by going home declaring these wonderful words of Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘I will bless the Lord at ALL times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

Ah friends, there’s nothing better that we can do than magnify and exalt our great God! So let’s get ourselves together and begin doing it much more nuh. It’s basic common sense and wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing that lifts our spirits…and warms the cockles of God’s heart…like His people showing gratitude…and giving sincere thanks…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2016 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Ah friends, I don’t know who decided that we need eight hours of sleep per night nuh, but it obviously does not apply to me. Why am I saying that? Because last night, after a busy day, I decided to go to bed fairly early, around 11 p.m and get a good night’s rest.

But lo and behold, when I got up at 6 this morning, my ole back was a mess. I was stepping around gingerly, like an old man. (smile) I had to go and find my back brace and put it on, something I have not done in ages. 

The sad part is that I know I can’t lie in bed for such long periods, but it never reverberated in my brain, (smile) until I got up. This getting old is something else yes! 

But yuh know what? If that is my biggest problem for today, then I’m certainly giving much thanks, since it’s something I can handle. Anyway, let’s get the day started with our Tuesday Mantra, to renew our faith and trust. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, we have it all! Glory Hallelujah! We are LOVED unconditionally by Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of the universe, and we have a most wonderful friendship with His Son, Jesus Christ, who selflessly laid down His sinless life to pay for our abominable sins. 

Wow! It couldn’t get any better than that nuh mih people! And all we have to do is to share His LOVE with the rest of the world; tell them about His wonderful gospel, the faithful promise of salvation and eternal life, if they make Him their Lord and Saviour too. 

But unfortunately, that isn’t as easy to do as it sounds, because we get a lot of resistance, resentment and lack of interest from the masses, who, under the evil influence of the prince of darkness, are more into the flimsy, worthless things of the world, rather than the everlasting things of God. 

That doesn’t mean we have to stop trying. In fact it ought to make us try harder, as we follow Jesus’ directive in our Bit, what is known as the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ 

Ah mih people, proselytizing, evangelizing, converting and baptizing are to be our earthly tasks. And we need to take them seriously, though not to the point that we make a nuisance or a fool of ourselves. 

And here is a very important scripture that directly relates to Jesus’ directive. Before our Bit Jesus said to His disciples: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt.28:18) That means Christ indeed had the authority to give the order that He then gave. 

Now our Bit was only the first part of the Great Commission, hear the rest of it. ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:20)

Yuh see my fellow believers, even when Jesus gives us a task to do, He doesn’t leave us all alone to do it. He promises to be always with us, and we all know that He is ever faithful to keep His promises. 

So why aren’t we doing better than we are eh? Why are people leaving the church in droves and walking to the beat of the world eh? I don’t know. What I do know is that we’re not doing such a bang up job for Jesus, and we definitely need to come up higher. 

Now listen to some interesting info from the scholars on the subject. ’28:18-20. The Great Commission brings the first Gospel to its grand finale. Christianity is not represented here as the mere reverential devotion of disappointed men who honour their martyred leader. 

Here is a far different scene. 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. 

Go ye, though a participle, conveys the force of a command: “Go.” In other words the idea expressed is that you must go and make disciples. Teach all nations can be translated “disciple all nations.” Thus the converting influence of the gospel is indicated here. 

The “all nations” clearly indicates that the commission to the church is a worldwide one, encompassing the entire missionary effort. The church is not to be merely “missionary-minded.” The church is the vehicle of Christ’s mission to the world.’ 

Ah friends, the scholars really give it to us there! From what they say, Christ’s church is not doing as well or as much as it should, else we’d be having more converts than backsliders. 

Anyhow, the church, though one body, is made up of many individuals, and it all begins with each of us. So today, please let’s take a serious look at how the Great Commission is being enacted in our own lives; if we are doing our best to enforce it. 

And as always, whatever answer we come up with, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and ask Him to help us do better, because we can always do better. And He never refuses a sincere plea for help. Much LOVE!

…discipleship means living our lives as Christ’s ambassador…and a worthy one at that…