Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And what’s going on this Thursday morning in mid-July of this blessed year of 2021 my friends? I know some of you will sneer and angrily ask what kind of blessed year are you talking about eh? Haven’t you seen what the pandemic and all the other negative stuff has done to our world? Yes. So how can you call the year blessed? 

Simply because we are still alive and kicking! Just waking up every day with enough strength in our body to talk and move and LOVE our friends and family is more blessing than we truly realize. It means that once we are alive, the Lord has not finished with us. He still has plans for our lives, otherwise He would have taken us home already. Remember what He said in Jeremiah? ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope) (Jer. 29:11) Glory be, mih people! 

So that cliched saying is quite true: while there is life, there is hope. And with true faith in Almighty God, ANYTHING is possible once His awesome breath of life is still flowing through our mortal bodies. Consequently, regardless of what life might throw our way, we cannot lose hope or give up, because today might just be the day that our life and circumstances turn around through God’s amazing help. 

The problem there, is that we have to believe without seeing any real improvement or receiving any real encouragement. In the world, we accentuate that seeing is believing, but in God’s economy it’s the opposite; believing without seeing. With God, when you believe, then you’ll see. Most likely not before. And I think a particularly good example of that is when Jesus came walking on the water towards His disciples in the boat that was being tossed by the storm on the Sea of Galilee. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out in fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.’ (Matt. 14:26-29) 

Now friends, that’s what faith, hope, and belief can do for you. Peter apparently was the only one bold enough, with enough faith in Jesus, to venture out on the water. But unfortunately, the situation changed very quickly when Peter’s hope and bravery failed, and his fear took over. The Good Book continues: ‘But when he (Peter) saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt. 14:30-31) 

And that’s the crux of the problem right there my brethren, our doubt. We talk a good talk, but when the chips are down, our doubt and fear takes over, and that’s when we begin sinking. If Peter had not doubted, or become afraid, he would have kept on walking on the water with Jesus. But it’s our fears and doubts that keep us from achieving what God truly has in store for us, that stop us from receiving all the blessings He has set aside in our name. 

And it’s important to note what happened after that incident. Turning to the Good Book again, we read: ‘And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:32-33) Yuh see friends, it’s only after the disciples had seen Jesus’ power, that they conceded that He was truly the Son of God. And that’s how we still behave, although we know better. 

And before I forget, here is some interesting info from the scholars on the subject. ‘14:28-32. Peter answered him in his characteristically impulsive manner. This part of the story is recounted only by Matthew, who was in the boat and on whom it must have made a deep impression. The incident is not presented as a parable, but as an actual event involving three miracles. Jesus walks on the water. Peter temporarily does so, and the wind ceases immediately.’ 

Unfortunately, today, we too only believe when we see big miracles. But God doesn’t do that many big ones again. He now specializes in many small ones in our individual lives. But we either ignore them completely, or simply chalk them up to chance or coincidence. But people, there is no chance and/or coincidence in our lives. Everything that happens is vetted by our heavenly Father, whether He begins it or not. And He doesn’t allow us to handle more than we can bear. So, let it be known, that whatever comes against us, we have the heavenly, the divine power to handle it. So there is no need to fear whatever the world throws at us. 

That in a nutshell is our message today my faithful saints in Christ. Let’s stand up strong and fight life through, because our God is always with us to help us, and there is none as powerful, as Him in this universe that He has created. Let’s believe that today, and every day, so we can be divinely empowered. And here is one of the ways God empowers us; through generously bestowing what we call our Thursday Blessings on us, blessings that enable us to do His earthly work diligently and excellently. 

So let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) them now nuh, so that they can be made manifest in our lives. 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now, let’s go out and share those awesome blessings just as generously with others, so that they too can come to know Christ and also get to enjoy His benefits. Much LOVE!

…if you want to see God…yuh better had first believe that He’s there… (smile) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2020 Mark 6:50b.

Mark 6:50b.    Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.
 
And the world keeps turning, like the Lord planned it to: it’s pages quietly and unconcernedly rolling along from one day to the next, regardless of what happens from one day to the next! (smile) And it’s finally rolled around to this Saturday in what’s supposed to be spring time, but we haven’t seen any rain in such a long time that the old adage ‘April showers bring May flowers’ is in danger of not being true this year of the Coronavirus. But what else is new eh? Cousin Sol said long ago that there’s nothing new under the sun. Yes: ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:9) 

And yuh know, if the wisest man ever said that, then it ought to be so. (smile) But it also shows up in our age old cliché that ‘History repeats itself.’ And that is oh so true. If we look back we can see every powerful society that ever walked the earth making the same mistake of getting too full of themselves, too big for their britches, replacing God with man made idols as they obtained some basic knowledge of life, and then getting fat and lazy off of their prosperity, which meant they stopped growing and began falling behind into eventual oblivion. 

And the same thing is happening in our current society, and our current worldwide trouble is simply a reflection of our stubbornness, hard heartedness and highly egotistical nature. It’s a wake up call from the Creator to the created, warning that we’re on the edge of a terrible precipice, and if we don’t heed the warning and repent and turn back to Him, a whole lot more damage will be done to our world. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! End of sermon! And friends I’m chuckling here, because I never came out to preach this morning, but that’s where I was led, so please take it easy on the ole fella nuh. 

But moving right along, since it’s Saturday, that lazy, late wake up day – most days are like that now though – let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow…and do we ever need one! And he seems to have been on progress kick this past week. Hear this first quote: ‘Delay is the enemy of progress.’ And so it is! Laziness and procrastination, and anything else that keeps us from doing what we have to do, is in fact delaying our progress. We can’t progress unless we get up off our fat fannies and do what we need to do! 

And the next quote also declares a great truth: ‘Comfort is the enemy of progress.’ Yes my people, as we said above, that’s why most societies eventually die. We start out by working hard and making progress, then when we reach a certain point of prosperity, we believe we can now rest on our laurels and enjoy what we have. But the sad fact of the matter is that continued prosperity depends on continued hard work, and resting comfortable on one’s laurels only eats away at said prosperity. 

It’s like your savings in the bank. The more you put in the more you will have, but when you stop putting in and only withdraw, then it will wither away li’l by li’l until it runs out. Well it’s the same way with progress and prosperity. Unless you keep building, working and saving, you will stop making progress and eventually fall. 

Now hear this one: ‘Some quit due to slow progress. Never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.’ That’s more gospel truth my brethren! Good progress is usually a creeping thing that includes some failure in between. We don’t just begin something today, if it’s a worthwhile project, put in a li’l elbow grease and declare victory or significant progress tomorrow. No friends, progress is a time consuming thing, and ofttimes needs a lot of blood, sweat and tears before it can be significantly achieved. 

And that’s a major problem for this generation. We the parents have not taught the children sufficiently about waiting and working and being satisfied or contented with a little, that’s why they’re all going crazy, feeling entitled to everything while not wanting to work for or make a sacrifice for anything! That thing called true progress is ever so slow my people that sometimes you can’t even see it, although you know you’re making it. So let’s not quit when it looks like positive things are not happening for us nuh. It just means that the Lord is working in the background, doing the hard and dirty work that’s necessary to move us forward. 

In light of all that, it is therefore necessary for us to quickly befriend this next quote and hold on to it tightly, as our very lives may depend on it. ‘Courage means to keep making forward progress while you still feel afraid.’ And isn’t that the living truth! All of us feel afraid at some time or other in our lives, so it’s not a matter of never being afraid, or never having fear, for fear is a natural aspect of human life. But the important thing there is like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: ‘doing it afraid.’ That’s what courage is really all about; doing what we need to despite the fear or anxiety we might feel. 

And the only thing that really conquers fear is faith! That’s why the most used command or warning in the Good Book is ‘Fear not! Do not be afraid!’ Moses said it thus to the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt and the massive Egyptian army was hot on their heels: ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex. 14:13) And that promise did come true in spades as the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea when the Lord closed it back up. 

And the psalmist gives us this small but everlasting treasure: ‘The Lord is on my side, I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ (Ps.118:6) Yes friends, if the Lord is on our side, man cannot prevail over us. And Isaiah drives it home on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) And he did exactly that through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And when Jesus walked on water towards His disciples and they were afraid, His comforting words were simply: ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’  Yes my people, simple, but oh so reassuring words from our Master. That’s the beauty of His philosophy and words! 

And we’ll end with this most important warning from Bruh Paul to Timothy in his tough times, which we all ought to know by now, even if we didn’t know it before Covid-19. (smile) ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Now let’s go out and use those marvellous gifts in His work nuh! Much LOVE!

…fear and courage…two sides of the same coin…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2018 Deuteronomy 31:6.

Deuteronomy 31:6.   Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

And then it was the Tuesday after the Labour Day weekend; time to go back to school and work! And it seems like it’s going to be another hot, hazy and humid day in my neighbourhood. But we’ll take it, though some of the promised rain would be nice. However, we can’t blame the weather forecasters too much, because with the screwed up climate we have nowadays, their predictions can easily be thrown off. 

Anyway, today we’re going to talk about two words that play a very big part in our lives, both as normal humans and Christian believers. Those words are FEAR and COURAGE! First up are a couple of definitions of those words from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) Here’s what he says about Fear. 

‘Fear – An uneasy feeling, a feeling of dread…an internal alarm that goes off inside of us when we are feeling imminent danger; feel threatened, or feel helpless to avoid or change it.’ In other words, Fear seems to be a negative disposition; one that has us nervous and jittery, feeling weak, especially when we can’t do anything about the prevailing circumstances. 

As per Courage, Uncle Charles says: ‘Courage: The quality of mind or spirit enabling us to meet danger, face opposition, or the challenges of life with fearlessness, calmness and firmness.’ Courage then boosts us up, makes us strong, has us feeling we can do whatever it takes to meet a certain situation. 

But for whatever it’s worth, both of those emotions play a very large part in our lives. These days with our world in such a sorry state of war, resentment, anger, hate and strife, fear is very common and a frequent visitor to too many of us. And it takes a lot of courage to ignore that kind of stuff and move on with a positive and productive life. 

Now we all entertain fear at some time or other in our lives, but as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, we need to do it afraid. So courage isn’t necessarily not having fear, but also doing whatever we need to do while being fearful or afraid. 

And one of the first directives Moses gave to the Israelites when he was dying are the words contained in our Bit. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’  

What a magnificent promise my brethren! And when the Israelites held to it, they were fine, and when they didn’t they suffered serious harm. And I’d like you to know that that promise still holds true even to this day, so many thousands of years later. 

And on the death of Moses, the Lord God Himself even reiterated it to Joshua after making him leader of the Israelites. ‘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) 

That seems to intimate that followers of Jehovah God should not be afraid of anything or anyone that comes against them because their great, powerful and caring God is always with them wherever they may go. And that’s the indisputable truth friends: our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God is all over, all the time! His eyes are always on us, as He walks, before, behind and beside us. 

So there’s no need to fear. We can be sometimes anxious, but definitely not fearful. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus with the ultimate word on the situation. ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And Jesus was always cheering up His followers, advising them to have courage. Listen to him as He came walking on the water towards His scared disciples on the boat. ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:27) 

And hear Him again when He tells them He’s going back to heaven and promises to send the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide them. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

And later on He again warns them: ‘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 (take courage); I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) That’s the faithful promise of our Lord and Saviour, my people! Powerful words for us to hold on to securely and courageously live by! If you’re a true believer, that’s the ONLY way to live! 

And Bruh David adds his two cents worth (smile) ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:14) More invaluable advice my brethren! So please take it. But now it’s time to go home, and we’ll do so declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts 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!’ 

So what are we waiting for eh? Let’s go out and do as we just declared. Much LOVE!

…faith in Jesus…that’s the only thing that will quench…fear of the world…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2018 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Oh mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies and blessings, so let’s be wise and enjoy it and give the Lord thanks for allowing us to see it nuh! 

And I’d certainly like to know what it is between me and lighting yes! Remember a couple of days ago I told you about going out on my front porch to see the rain and how two flashes of lightning immediately drove me back inside? 

Well yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my porch reading, waiting for my young daughter to come and pick me up and take me out. The rain was merely drizzling, when out of the blue, a fiery bolt of Zeus’ lightning suddenly lit up the dark and dreary-looking sky. Then soon thereafter, Thor unleashed a thunderous thunderclap of thundering thunder! (smile) Hn! Yuh know where I ended up? Back inside, of course! 

Ah Lord eh! A body can’t even sit down quietly on his porch without being threatened eh, without fearing for his life! (smile) And quite appropriately, today we’re going to talk about fear, starting with some wise insights on the subject from Uncle John (John Hagee). 

And the first thing he says is ‘Don’t let fear destroy you.’ But sadly we live in such fearful times, when both the physical world and mankind seem to be in serious upheaval that fear is rampant, even among Christians. However, according to Uncle John, the two words that Jesus used most were ‘Fear not!’ And He did indeed tell us quite often not to be afraid, but so many of us lack spiritual maturity that we let fear rule our lives. 

Now hear are some things Uncle John said we should not be afraid of in particular and good reasons why not. The first is: ‘Don’t fear death – For Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Don’t fear the past – Because it’s forgotten and forgiven. Do not fear the unknown – Because God is the revealer of every secret. Do not fear powers and principalities  – Because you have the power of the cross. 

You have the power of Jesus’ Name. You have the power of His Word. You have the power of His blood. You have more firepower than the U.S President… (smile) And it comes to you just with the mention of the name of Jesus!’ 

Glory be mih people! Yuh see all the reasons why we should not be afraid. Jesus is the omnipotent ruler of this world, and if we’re supposed to be living under His umbrella, His jurisdiction, then we should have little or no cause to be afraid of anything! 

And we’ll continue by highlighting a few scriptures where Jesus told His people not to be afraid, beginning with our Bit. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the indisputable truth! Why else would He have sent his most precious possession, His Son, to die for a bunch of ingrates like us eh? But we can’t just sit on our fannies and do nothing. We have to genuinely seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as well as watch and wait for Jesus’ return. 

And earlier on, while telling them whom to fear and whom not to fear, Jesus declared. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) Oh my, my! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:4. The body’s death is not the end of a person’s life. 12:5. God is the One with this power (to cast into hell) (James 4:12).’ And since I LOVE you all so much, and want you to know the scriptures, and know you won’t look it up for yourselves, I’ll spoon-feed you with that verse. (smile)  

It occurs when James is talking about us having consideration for our brother. ‘There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:12) And that’s a very good question with all the unsubstantiated judgemental behaviour that’s going on these days. 

But turning back to Jesus. Listen to Him on Easter morning, having triumphantly risen from the dead. To those who first saw Him, He said: ‘Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.’ (Matt.28:10) What an occasion was Jesus’ resurrection eh friends! The most momentous occasion the world has seen so far! 

And we have time for just one more of Jesus’ ‘be not afraid.’ This one to His disciples on the boat on the stormy sea, and He comes walking towards them on the water. When they saw Him, were they ever afraid and cried out in fear that it was a spirit. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:27) Ah mih breddren, what else can I say eh? You heard it all from Jesus Himself! 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings, a mark of Jesus’ bountiful benediction to His followers. 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!’ 

The next step is to go out now and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate, because that’s why Jesus so generously endowed us with them. Much LOVE!

…the only fear mankind should have…is that of displeasing Almighty God…