Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2020 Mark 4:41.

Mark 4:41.     ​What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?

‘I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me! Yes, I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me… I am under the rock!’ Oh mih people, mih people, I sure hope you all are under the rock with me yes, because when the storms of life come howling through, as they most certainly will, and are currently doing, under the rock that’s Jesus, in the shelter of His safe, LOVING and comforting arms, is the only place that true refuge can be found! Why? Because He is the ONLY one who can calm those hungry angry winds of the storm! 

Case in point; the evening Jesus and His disciples were in the boat crossing over the to the other side and a most fearsome storm arose, so that it threatened the lives of those on the water. But where was Jesus eh? Mark says: ‘And he was in the hinder part (the stern) of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto him, Master, carest not thou that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38) Doesn’t that just make you chuckle? This great storm is happening, the boat is tossing and turning, most likely taking in water, but our wonderful Lord and Saviour is in the back of the boat quietly and serenely snoozing away like nothing is happening. 

But Jesus knew exactly what was happening and knew exactly what He would do. So Mark continues: ‘And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’ (Mark 4:39-40) And that’s exactly what He’s saying to us in these trying and very troubled times my people: Where is your faith eh? The faith you talk about so much when things are going well, but seem to lose when times get tough. 

And what was the disciples’ reaction to all that eh? ‘And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:41) Oh my people, it was the Creator of the wind and the sea, so that’s why they obeyed Him! But unfortunately, although the disciples had seen Jesus do other miracles, their faith in the actual time of storm was not good enough. But that’s how Jesus operates; often questioning us in order to spur us on to deeper trust and faith. 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation of the scriptures here: ‘4:35-5:43. Jesus takes His disciples from the classroom to the laboratory. Having just taught that God’s power will cause His kingdom to grow to worldwide proportion and influence – the parable of the mustard seed – (4:30-32), Jesus now performs four miracles that demonstrate this divine might. God’s power is seen overcoming (1) the danger of a storm (4:35-41); (2) demons in a victim possessed (5:1-20); (3) disease in a woman physically ravished (5:21-34); and (4) the death of a little girl (5:35-43).’ 

But friends, we can’t be too hard on the disciples nuh, for as the scholars further state: ‘4:41. The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ And so it surely would be to all of us, regardless of how much we knew about Jesus’ divine might! But as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer says: ‘When God awakens you to His presence, everything becomes a whole lot more meaningful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Once you truly understand what’s happening with Christ in your life, your entire life takes on a whole new perspective. 

And talking about refuge in Christ and being under the rock, causes me to think of two interesting situations, the one of Moses, and the other of Elijah. Both were going through some difficult times in their earthly ministry. Moses prayed for God’s presence to lead him in the exodus of Israel from Egypt. He desired God’s assurance: ‘show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; And consider that this nation is thy people.’ (Ex. 33:13). And the Lord agreed. ‘My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ (Ex. 33:14) 

But Moses still was not satisfied, and later said: ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And he (the Lord) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee… (but) Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift (cleft) of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.’ (Ex. 33:18-23) 

And I like this explanation that www.frankgantz.com/the-cleft-in-the-rock offers: ‘A cleft is a narrow space or split. This would have put rock under Moses’ feet, behind his back and on either side of him. In a sense he was wedged into this rock which would hold him in place and provide a stable base. From that vantage point he would behold the back of God’s glory.’ That makes sense doesn’t it. 

The same thing with Elijah; after killing the prophets of Baal he got tired and discouraged and ran away into the wilderness hoping to die. But God made him rest by a brook for a couple of days and fed him divinely. Then he went for forty days and nights in the strength of that food to Mt. Horeb and hid in a cave there. But the Lord called and asked what He was doing there and he claimed that he was tired and scared after being very zealous in doing the Lord’s work, but the children of Israel had forsaken the Lord and wanted to kill him. 

‘And he (the Lord) said, Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord: (1 Kin. 19:1-11) And an earthquake happened, but the Lord was not in it. Then a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in that either. ‘…and after the fire a still, small voice (delicate whispering voice). And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering (entrance) of the cave.’ And there the Lord spoke with him, strengthened and reassured him, then sent him back to continue his ministry. (1 Kin. 19:11-18) 

Yes friends, when we are weak and discouraged, and think we can’t go on, the most desirous place to be is in the comfort of God’s arms, in that safe cleft of rock on the mountain top that shows His mighty power. He will give us the peace and calm and the reassurance that we all need at times, to continue to be of service to Him here on earth. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And now it’s time to put those words into godly action! Much LOVE!

…the best place to recuperate…in the LOVING arms of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2020 Psalm 37:4.

Psalm 37:4.     ​Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 

The day is here at last friends; the day when the Anglican church finally reopens its doors to their sanctuaries to have physical worship. Yes, it’s been five long months of technological worship while the sanctuaries lay quiet and dormant, some thought even dead! (smile) But the reawakening has eventually come, though with all the physical distancing and cleansing mandated by the authorities. 

No hugging and shaking hands and masks are compulsory. Even the Eucharist has been changed up; no wine, just the wafer dropped into your hands by the priest with no bodily contact, and still physical distancing between believers as they approach the altar. And no kneeling at the altar either. Neither no singing. Only a soloist with a mask on, or the choir technologically beamed in. 

Chuh! Some people might think the restrictions are too much and not worth the effort, while others will be overjoyed to have worship in church again. Anyway, to celebrate this auspicious occasion, the Lord decreed this special song for today’s worship. It’s by former star calypsonian Denyse Plummer turned Christian artist. It’s a rework of her earlier secular chutney soca hit, ‘Na Leaving,’ which celebrated all the good things of T&T, that those who were leaving there would miss. 

From the first time I heard it, it became one of my favourite soca songs, and not only for the very descriptive lyrics, but also for the beautiful meshing, the impeccable melding of the African and East Indian riddims that we call chutney soca. So you can imagine when a few day ago, a friend sent me a copy of this reworked favourite with gospel lyrics, it was automatic that we should sing it this week. And isn’t it interesting how so many of the big secular artists are turning to gospel music nowadays. Some of them are even doing better than when they were singing the secular stuff, and if not financially, certainly in their soul and LOVE WALK. (smile) 

Anyway, enough talk, let’s get to the sacrificial shout of praise.  And as the sweet, soulful, easy rocking chutney soca music starts, we hear a couple bars, then we shout out ‘Jesus…Yahweh…Yeshua… Jahovah! From revelry to righteousness…Cyar leave Him. From hell-bound to holiness…Cyar leave Him. From sin to salvation…Cyar leave him. A kingdom destination…Cyar leave Him. There I was, in my glee, wallowing deep in a pig pen, full of life, but so empty, on my way to a fiery end. But someone told me about a Saviour, who said He LOVES me and He cares. 

In times of storm He is my shelter, so in His arms you’ll find me there. Yuh see ah cyar live life without Him, He is my King of Kings, He’s the reason I’m still living. Ah cyar leave Him…ah cyar leave Him. Never condemn or forsaken me dread…Ah cyar leave Him…ah cyar leave Him. For God man I living, For God I go dead. There are so few, who made it through, and come from the darkness of this world. But I saw the light, I found the truth. I have more than silver, more than gold. I gave my life over to Jesus, the greatest decision I’ve made. Boy I recommend you try Him, Jesus is the best upgrade. 

He came to earth and died on the cross, rose up just like a boss, when yuh see me smiling, He’s the cause. Ah cyar leave Him…ah cyar leave Him. Never condemn or forsaken me dread…Ah cyar leave Him…ah cyar leave Him. For God man I living, For God I go dead. I am under the rock. The rock is higher than I. Jahovah hides me. I am under the rock. Go tell my enemies, that I am under the rock. Jahovah hides me, I am under the rock. I am under the rock. The rock is higher than I. Jahovah hides me. I am under the rock. Go tell my enemies, that I am under the rock. Jahovah hides me, I am under the rock. 

From revelry to righteousness…Cyar leave Him. From hell-bound to holiness…Cyar leave Him. From sin to salvation…Cyar leave him. A kingdom destination…Cyar leave Him. Jesus…Yahweh…Yeshua… Jahovah! (And we shout again) Jesus…Yahweh…Yeshua… Jahovah!’ 

Wow mih people, what a rocking piece of worship! Please check it out on YouTube. Now yuh better believer all heaven was celebrating too, because they know the truth of those awesome words. And yes, yuh better believe that is the kind of difference, the amazing transformation Jesus performs in our lives when we surrender our all to Him! And yuh know what? Once we get with Him, it’s impossible to leave Him! No, we just cyar leave him at all at all. Mama Mia! Such is the LOVE and inspiration He inspires in us! 

There isn’t an untrue statement in that song. Jesus moves us from sin to salvation, to that kingdom destination of heaven. And just like the prodigal son of whom He spoke, when He finds us in the pig pen, He takes us out, washes and cleanses us, because He LOVES and cares for us so much. He doesn’t condemn not forsake us. In fact He came to earth and died so that we could receive forgiveness and reconciliation. In times of storm He is our shelter, so where else yuh expect to find us eh? In His arms, under the solid rock that He is, which is so much higher than us. 

And there are so few that find the light that He is, and come out of their darkness, so when yuh find the truth, which He also is, yuh must end up with more than silver or gold! And no fooling, the best decision we can ever make is to give our lives over to Jesus; cause He’s the best upgrade! Yuh see how He rose from the grave, just like a boss? That tells you He is the best upgrade you can ever get; the upgrade of all upgrades! So when you consider all of that, how yuh go leave Him eh? NO WAY! Instead we going to run and tell we enemies all about Him, so they could come and meet Him and enjoy the same benefits. 

And the scripture to which I was led to describe all of that was Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked – the immortal words of Bruh David. Please pray them with me nuh: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:1-9) 

And that friends is the gospel truth, and when you receive Christ as your Saviour that is the kind of stuff His Holy Spirit leads you to do. So make that wise decision today nuh, is the best one you could ever make! Much LOVE!

…once yuh find Jesus…yuh cyar ever leave him…He’s so sweet and generous…