Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2020 2 Kings 6:16.

2 Kings 6:16.    ​And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
 

And it looks like another cloudy day is in the offing in my area… Wonder if we’ll also get rain like yesterday? Ah, it’s so calming and refreshing when the rain falls – it also gets you lazy and in a LOVING mood… Now I could certainly handle that! (smile) But unfortunately we have more serious matters to attend to this Thursday morning in late July of 2020. 

Now today I’ve been led to some scriptures on encouragement in times of peril and need. I guess the Lord sees our overwhelming need for encouragement and assurance in these rather turbulent and uncertain times. So here’s the first one: This from King Hezekiah when the Assyrians under Sennacherib came to do battle against Judah, in particular Jerusalem. 

‘And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably (encouragingly) to them. Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves on (were strengthened by) the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.’ (2 Chr. 32:6-8) 

Oh friends, those are some of the same words our God, that same God, is saying to us today in these frightful times! But are we listening? And if so, are we taking courage like the people of Jerusalem? That’s the million-dollar question! But that brings to mind another similar scripture – this time with the prophet Elisha and his servant when the King of Syria and a mighty host surrounded his house because Elisha was telling the king of Israel the secret things the king of Assyria planned against them. 

Now this particular morning when Elisha’s servant went out early, he saw the host of Syrians surrounding the city, so he ran back and informed Elisha of the grave situation and said: ‘Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.’ (2 Kin. 6:15b-16) What marvellous words of encouragement, but unfortunately the servant could not see what Elisha saw. So Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the servant’s eyes. ‘And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots round about Elisha.’ (2 Kin. 6:17) 

Yes my people, likewise guardian angels are constantly all around God’s children protecting us, so that we do not come to harm. But we have to believe it to see it! Are we believing it though, or are we constantly being ravished by fear and the evil schemes of the enemy? But please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Please my brethren, let’s root that scripture deep in our hearts and souls nuh, and let it grow and flourish to give us strong assurance in these disturbing times! 

Now hear these other encouraging scriptures that our God has been telling us from day one nuh. These from Moses to his people, when he handed over the leadership of Israel to Joshua. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (your enemies): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) Then he called Joshua and told him the same thing. 

And what I LOVE about the passing of the torch from Moses to Joshua is that the Lord Himself told Joshua the very same thing when He appointed him the official leader. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) And not a word of that has changed down to this day my people! So why are we so afraid and fearful of life eh, when we have the assurance of the greatest power in the universe on our side? 

And if yuh want to tell me nonsense about all of that being in the Old Testament which doesn’t matter now – ah Lord eh – then hear Jesus’ most often used words in the New Testament: ‘Fear not!’ And hear His encouraging words: ‘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) That’s Jesus telling us the same thing in slightly different words! So what’s our excuse now for not following them eh? 

Ah mih people, we just like to talk yes! And we must talk some, but all talk without any action is useless. That’s why James, Jesus’ brother wrote these oh so truthful words: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?… Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 1:22; 2:14,17) And yes faith does save our souls like Bruh Paul says, but what’s the point of having faith if you don’t put it to work eh? 

That’s exactly what Bruh Paul did too. As he told Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:’ (2 Tim. 4:7) That meant he had done what the Lord called him to do; preach the gospel to the Gentiles; he had put his faith in God to work, and we all know the numerous trials and tribulations he went through to do it. But the Lord saw him through it all…and so will He with us if we are strong and courageous, if we put our faith to work. 

And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s showered us with numerous blessings, to enable us to do just that! What an awesome God we serve my people! So as we go home now, let’s declare (awright!) some of those wonderful characteristics, what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can empower them in our lives. 

All together 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 having proclaimed them, it’s time to go out and put them to good use now… generously too! (smile) Much LOVE!

…greater is He that is in us…than he that is in the world… (1 John 4:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2018 Joshua 1:9.

Joshua 1:9.    Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Ah mih people, instead of getting later, the Bits seem to be getting earlier! (smile) And today’s reason is not a bout of insomnia, but because I have to catch and early bus to Kingston. Oh yes, I am going back to the big city! I discovered a big sister from another branch of the family and we’re going to hold another gathering! Wow! Don’t I just LOVE the family gatherings, although this one will be mostly of old friends whom I have not seen since I left the university almost fifty years ago. 

Yes, I know, when you start bandying around terms like a half century, you must be getting on in age. But chuh! Age is simply how you feel, and believe me the ole fella is young. Hn! After the work out they put me through yesterday, I must be a young pup! Brother! They took me out of here about ten thirty in the morning and didn’t bring me back until seven in the evening…but it was an exceedingly good time. 

Hn, hn! I can say that now, but when I was hiking through the nature trail, through brush and bramble, across a fast-flowing stream on rocks, or makeshift boardwalks, holding on to a rope, climbing the high hills, on narrow, rough tracks, swimming in the cold, deep pools, feeling the hips and back resisting the inconvenience, I didn’t think it was so great. And at one time we just kept going up higher and higher, ostensibly towards the waterfall, and I kept asking ‘when are we going to reach it eh?’ 

But we had two wonderful young men as guides, who looked after us admirably. One looked after me in particular because all the others (three women) were more mobile than me, and he kept telling me that my safety was his only concern, and if anything happened to me, he would put me on his back and carry me back. But being a stubborn ole coot, I tried resisting his help in some difficult places. Thanks Mikey! Your professionalism and encouragement played and enormous part in me making it all the way up. 

However, I did not climb the waterfall, I know my limitations. (smile) I just stopped and swam in the pool at the bottom and watched other younger and more mobile specimens clamber up its rocky walls. Twenty years ago, that would be a no brainer, as I did at Dunns’ River Falls. But age does take its toll on the body. 

And after reaching the top, and being promised and easier path back, we discovered that they were repairing that path, so we had to come back the same way we went. But as always, the trip back never seems as laborious as the trip out and we made some good time back. Had a coconut water along the way, as well as being offered some samples of herb, which I refused, but it did smell rich and mouthwatering! (smile) What a way times have changed eh! (smile). 

And if yuh think that once we got back down things were easy, think again! We then had to climb some fifty something concrete steps to get back to the car and the main road. And yuh know what? The duchess took it all in stride, looking out for her husband’s safety all the way. ‘Be careful here dear, Watch your step, it’s steep here. Hold on to this railing, Yuh okay? Yuh think you can make it. Yuh not tired’ and on and on. But though I pretended umbrage, I appreciated the concern. 

 Oh they even bought me a ‘Blue Hole’ T-Shirt. That’s the name of the place, located on the northern outskirts of the tourist mecca of Ocho Rios. It was advertised as a warm mineral spring, but it turned out to be a cold river bath. But not to worry, a fine time was had by all, The Lord carried me on His strong, massive shoulders most of the way, so I was definitely in good hands, better than All State! (smile) 

And as we began our journey back, I began asking for mannish water. After asking a couple of people, we finally found a restaurant that had cow-foot soup. Praise the Lord! And brother, was it ever good! I couldn’t even finish the bowl, had to carry back some. Hope I can have it for breakfast this morning. As I keep saying, I’m here to recuperate, to get stronger, and those kinds of foods are what I need to strengthen the innards. (smile) 

Then the traffic back was disgusting, especially in Mo Bay, where we had to go down to the Bus Depot and pay the fare so we could get a decent discount. And would you believe it, the lady at the Bus Depot didn’t believe that the duchess and I were seniors, had to see our I.D. to believe it. 

And most important of all my people, is that I’m not feeling any real repercussions from the extreme exertion. As they, what doesn’t kill you, will strengthen you. It hasn’t killed me, so let’s hope it will do the latter. And what better scripture to be our Bit today, than the Lord’s eternal words of assurance to Joshua. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ 

With such powerful assurance friends, how could I be anything but strong and courageous yesterday eh? And as always, our great and faithful God kept His promise and looked after me…admirably too. So let’s go home now loudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings, being truly thankful for them as we ought to. 

Altogether 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 if we’re faithful followers, we’ll now go out and share those amazing and awesome blessings with others, as Jesus so greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…true trust and faith in Jesus…can truly lead one to leap over one’s mountains…