Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 May 2022   2 Timothy 3:5.

2 Timothy 3:5.      Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Oh brother, is it really the 25th of the month already? We just celebrated May Day a li’l while back. Chuh! Time is flying so fast these days. At least it seems so, with all the ruckus that’s going on in our world: wars and rumours of wars, famine, drought, pandemic, economic insecurity, poverty, natural disasters, climate change etc. etc. There seems to be no peace and/or LOVE in our world, everything is just in a crazy uproar, havoc seems to be the order of the day. 

But thank God for Jesus yes! For He seems to be the only sane and sensible option right now. And why is that, you ask? Because He is the only one who can truly promise and deliver peace and LOVE to our confused and stricken hearts, souls, bodies and minds. As the song says: ‘Let’s clap our hands for Jesus!’ Of course, because the Lord is good, and blessed is the man that trusts in Him. Those who look on him are radiant, and they will never be ashamed. 

Yes, those are words from Bruh David in Psalm 34, where he declares that the Lord hears the righteous. And yes, I’ve gotten away from what I wanted to talk about, that’s the peace and LOVE that Jesus brings, but I can’t help it when the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is singing one of my favourites, Psalm 34 in the background. (smile) It just raises my level of peace, trust and excitement. And so it should, if you are a faithful believer. Because God is worthy to be praised, Jesus is worthy of much praise and honour and glory for all that He’s done for us, and is still doing as our mediator and intercessor at the right hand of the Father. 

And besides saving us through His sinless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, Jesus has also given us that much need peace we need to live in this frenzied and strife-filled world. Listen to Him nuh: ‘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) Now if our Lord and Saviour tells us that He’s giving us a peace that’s so unlike the world’s, wouldn’t, shouldn’t we believe Him and act accordingly, let not our hearts be troubled and afraid? 

And if, like we claim, He’s our strong tower, our refuge in times of trouble, our Prince of Peace, in fact our EVERYTHING, shouldn’t we take His promises much more seriously than we’re currently doing? But no, instead we’re allowing the foolishness of the world, the enemy’s lies and deceitful schemes to usurp the Word of God from our hearts. What does that say about our supposed trust and faithfulness in Him eh? Not a whole lot! 

We should be totally ashamed of the way we’ve behaved over the last couple of years. When we should have showed ourselves strong in the Lord’s Word, we fell flat on our faces with fear and doubt. What’s the point of having faith if when the time comes to use it we don’t do so eh? Faith is made for the rough and troublesome times, not the days when everything’s going right. 

And Jesus encourages us once again with these marvellous words on the matter at hand as He declares: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And if we are true believers, then we ought to believe Him, and try our best to do accordingly. No, it won’t be easy. It’s never easy living for Jesus, but the rewards are certainly worth it. 

The life that Jesus lays out for us is always exciting and adventurous though often difficult. Just look at the lives of all the great saints and prophets; none of them had it easy, but they all had very interesting lives, living for Jesus. And if that’s what we say we want to do, then we‘ve got to come up to the plate and live out the rough times with His awesome help in peace and LOVE, trusting Him to look out for us, because He always helps those who sincerely trust in and live for Him. And it’s not like we don’t know these awesome scriptures, but we allow the doubt and fear that the world engenders to steal the joy of the Lord that’s been implanted in our hearts and souls. 

That brings us to these prophetic words of Bruh Paul to Timothy about the eventual apostasy or turning away from God. ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good. Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), lovers of pleasures, more (rather) than LOVERS of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

And we certainly cannot deny that that’s the kind of world in which we are currently living. Yes, there are so many false teachers and preachers, who merely have a kind of religion, but no real spiritual power, and those are the ones who too many of us are following, no wonder out testimony and lives are not worth much, if anything, to the kingdom of God. Oh my people, I don’t know what else to say but to plead with us to do better. To let our faith rise up and overwhelm the world for Jesus, for that’s the best purpose for living! 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And let’s remember too, that if we endure to the very end, then the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. Now isn’t that something to look forward to? It certainly is! So, let’s get out into this ungodly world and live sincerely and successfully for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…successful living is all about…sincere belief and faith in Christ Jesus… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 April 2022 John 14:1.

John 14:1.        Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Only two more weeks to Easter friends! That most important and miraculous time in the Christian calendar, which reminds us of the real event two thousand years ago, when on Good Friday, Christ shed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary to atone for our sins, then three days later, on that first Easter Sunday, rose triumphantly from the grave to ensure our own rising from the grave after death! 

Now why would anyone choose not to treasure those two marvellous happenings deep in their hearts and souls, and consequently bow down and worship Jesus for His unfailing LOVE and faithfulness eh? It certainly boggles my imagination. But I guess many of us feel that since Christ did all of that, living for Him should be nice and easy, like a Sunday evening stroll in the park. But the reality is totally different from that because in the world we will have trials and tribulations whether we want them or not, like Jesus assured us in John 16:33. 

And also, when you live for Jesus, the enemy comes against you even more than normal, so you can never have a problem free life on this earth. However, as Jesus says in that same verse about tribulation, we should be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. And though being of good cheer despite our problems is possible with Christ’s help, it’s not always easy to do. 

So, on this second Sunday before Easter, we are going to open our worship with a song that talks about the good and bad, the ups and downs of life, and how we can handle them in a Christ-like manner. The song was written By Tracy Dartt and made famous by American Gospel singer Lynda Randle. It’s titled ‘God on the Mountain’ Let’s sing a sweet, soulful, heartfelt version, that will remind us of the faith, trust and surrender we need to commit to our wonderful God. And I want to begin with the soul-searching chorus. (smile) 

So let’s raise those sacrifices of praise heavenward: ‘[Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night}Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known But when things change and you’re down in the valley Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone [Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night}

We talk of faith when we’re up on the mountain But talk comes so easy when life’s at its best But in the valley of trials and temptations That’s when faith is really put to the test [Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night…Yes… the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night…’ 

And is that ever so true friends; our God is the One and Only True Living God in Existence, and He rules the day and night, as well as the good and bad times. And please don’t ask me why some negative things happen, if God is so good and great, because I don’t know. Furthermore, I’ve stopped searching for answers because I’ve realized that God doesn’t tell us everything, and even if He did, we would possibly not understand it, since His thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. (Is. 55:8-9) 

I’ve decided to do as He asks; trust in Him and surrender my life to His omnipotent and compassionate will. And I’ve found that works quite well despite all the ups and downs and good and bad times that make up my life. It’s the only way to have peace on earth my brethren. Because as the song so truthfully points out, it’s easy to talk a big talk when you are on the mountaintop and things are going good. But yuh better believe that it’s a completely different story when you end up in the valley and life is just having a good ole time knocking you around. 

To overcome, faith and trust have to become paramount in our lives. And the first thing this entails is changing our thinking, transforming our minds, as Bruh Paul says in Rom. 12:2, for the mind is the battlefield on which all none physical battles are fought. So we have to stop thinking like the world does and start thinking like Christ says we ought to. And we can’t find a better scripture to light up our valley days than these awesome words of Bruh David from Psalm 23 – the Lord is my shepherd, when he confidently declares: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:4) 

Yes friends, only with that kind of confident faith will we ever survive the valley days, and hopefully make it back to the top of the mountain. And we all know that though Bruh David was Israel’s mightiest king, He suffered many ups and down, both through his mistakes and the normal problems that life bring, but he never stopped trusting in the God of his forefathers, and God rewarded him very highly for it. And here’s another verse from Bruh David we need to have stored up in our treasure chest of scriptures for those hard times. ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’ (Ps. 34:19) 

Now, if you can believe that, you’re on your way! And I just LOVE this scripture when the Lord made Joshua the leader of the Israelites after Moses death. ‘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) Now that’s telling him! And that’s the fourth time the Lord told him as much in five consecutive verses (Josh. 1:6-9). And He’s saying the same thing to us in these trying times my people: have faith in me, trust in me, I LOVE you and will not let you down. If I sent my only Son Jesus to die for you, why wouldn’t I help you in other things? 

But we have to believe. Jesus was always telling people to believe. Like He said to the disciples: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ John (14:1) And you can look up the many times He said the same thing to others. It’s all a question of belief in Jesus Christ. the Son of God! 

And we’ll end with this practical quote from Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 4:6-7). Now, it could not be put any simpler or more practically than that my fellow saints.  It then behooves us to action those sentiments if we want to make it through both the mountain top and the valley of the shadow of death. Much LOVE!

…we already have all the tools for Christian living…we’re just not using them…     

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 March 2022 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Oh friends, it’s a bright sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! This Tuesday morning in early spring, there’s nary a dark cloud in the sky! It’s so bright that I had to put on my dark glasses as I went to put out the garbage just now, else it would have blinded me! (smile) And it doesn’t even feel as cold as it did yesterday afternoon when I went out to the mailbox! 

Wow! That gives us the reassurance to confidently acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! And don’t forget that something good is going to happen to us today, and something good is also going to happen through us today! That’s because we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us! And furthermore, our great and wonderful God will provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! That’s why it’s such a joy and a pleasure to live for Jesus. No one else provides the benefits and faithful promises that He does. That’s why He reassures in His word: ‘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 don’t forget this other magnificent upliftment for our souls: ‘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 6:33) 

And that’s the gospel truth, because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has indeed overcome the world by dying and rising from the dead, thus defeating hell, death, Satan and the grave! Glory Hallelujah! What a wonderful warrior is our Jesus! That’s why one of His favourite terms and words of advice while here on earth was ‘Fear not!’ But we still fear, despite all His entreaties and reassurances. 

And truthfully, we can’t ever stop fear from coming upon or against us, but we can certainly stop it from consuming us. This morning though, I want to share a poem on that malicious word ‘fear’ that I found stuck up on the bedroom wall of my young daughter. There’s no title attached to it, so we’ll just call it ‘FEAR!’ I am sure that I’ve shared it before, but in these fearful and turbulent times, it’s certainly worth hearing again. 

So please read with me: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. 

We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Ah mih people, I couldn’t put it any better! And there’s a lot of truth in that poem, because many of us fear to open up ourselves not wanting to overshadow those around us. But that’s not supposed to be a problem, since when we shine our lights, we give others the encouragement to rise up and shine theirs too. Why do you think Jesus made such a fuss over us being shining lights in this evil world? Because it’s of the utmost importance. We cannot be afraid of this dark and evil world or what it threatens to do to us, because the light of Jesus is greater than any darkness that’s in the world. 

Remember John’s contention: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (could not overcome it).’ (John 1:5) Yes friends light always opens up darkness, and the light of Jesus is the most powerful light in the world. Please remember the promise the Lord made through Isaiah, as he talks about the birth of the Prince of Peace. ‘The people that 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.’ (Is. 9:2) 

That light was Jesus. And that prophecy was considered fulfilled, as it’s recorded in Matt. 4:15-16, when Jesus began His ministry in Capernaum, along the sea coast of the afflicted regions of the northern tribal areas of Israel, like Zebulun and Naphtali which suffered greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Remember too, the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah at his birth, when he got back his speech. ‘Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the day-spring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited (will visit) us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:78-79) 

And how can we ever forget Jesus’ great pronouncement to the Pharisees; and consequently to us, and to all the world: ‘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) And let’s not forget what Jesus said to the people when they questioned His words on His resurrection and ascension. (John 12:30-34) ‘Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children (become sons) of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

Now that’s what we ought to become when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour; the children, the sons of light, because Almighty God is the Father of light, and Jesus is His bright and shining star. But He can’t shine individually to everybody, that’s why He desires to use us, His supposed ambassadors, agents and followers. And that’s why He commanded us thus: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket) but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14-16) 

Jesus says it there loud and clear my people! If we are his followers, then our lights should be blazing forth to a dark and evil world, lighting it up like a Christmas tree! But unfortunately we are not doing that. Our lights are barely pouring forth, flickering like that which comes from a dying battery or a lamp low on oil, or a candle that’s at its end. And that is certainly not acceptable, not if we consider ourselves true believers in Christ Jesus! And sadly, we all know we can do better, but for whatever reason we refuse to make the effort it requires. 

Please friends, for a moment, let’s consider the ‘sufferation’ Jesus bore so that we could be set free and forgiven of our sins nuh, and in a moment of shame, let our resolve rise up to be better purveyors of His light in this dark world. That’s the only remedy that will suffice for our poor showing. Now, for those of us who are already trying to shine our light, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and walk that talk; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE him like we do! Much LOVE!

…when our light shines forth…then peace, joy and LOVE…come to our world… 

P.S.  And yes, it’s long, but I think it’s very good; a good reawakening! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 March 2022 Isaiah 26:3.

Isaiah 26:3.     Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee, because he trusteth in thee. 

Now is it ever bright and sunshiny this Ash Wednesday morning! We could not ask for anything better…well, perhaps no snow on the banks, (smile) although we expect some warmer temps and rain in the next couple of days, which hopefully will melt and wash most of it away. Brother, I’ve never seen such a confused mixture of snow and rain in a winter season yet. But if that’s the way Mother Nature chooses to behave these days, then there’s nothing much we can do, except grin and bear it. 

Anyway, all the frolic, the carnival and bacchanal is done now, and it’s time to get serious about life and about Jesus. The Lenten Season is here, which means a time of praying, fasting, studying God’s word, being more generous and treating each other better! And I guess the Lord knew why He had me ask yesterday about the keeping of our New Year’s resolution, because all those things back there are an integral part of not only Lent, but also of getting closer, becoming involved in a deeper and more intimate relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And do we ever desperately need that in this ungodly, strife-filled, angry and greedy world! And I just saw a scripture that admirably describes our current plight. The prophet Isaiah said of his people Israel in his hymn of praise, a prophecy of the redemption song that will be sung in the Millennial Kingdom, when Christ finally comes to reign for a thousand years. ‘O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us, but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.’ (Is. 26:13) 

And is that ever the gospel truth my people! We have allowed the evil and wicked idols and images to capture our lives and turn us away from the One and Only True God Jehovah! That’s why our lives and our world is in such a terrible mess. But as Isaiah continues: ‘They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore thou hast visited (punished) and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.’ (Is. 26:14) 

Yes friends, the Lord is the process of destroying the false gods and evildoers. He began with the coming of Jesus, that first time two thousand years ago, where He was the first and only deity to die and rise from the grave, and live forever. And the Lord will continue that cleansing of evil from His world with the Second Coming of Christ. And though we might desire the evil and iniquity workers to be gone immediately, in God’s divine wisdom, He’s made it a long, drawn out process, and we can only do as He directs, and trust in His promises and faithfulness. 

And to encourage his people, as well as subsequent believers, Isaiah, in the early part of his hymn of praise, also made this promise on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.’ (Is. 26:3-4) 

Oh my fellow saints, the Lord God Jehovah is indeed our ‘Rock of Ages,’ upon whom we ought to place all our trust and faith, to whom we surrender ourselves completely, to live for His Son Jesus, so that we can be amongst those singing that redemption song in the Millennial Kingdom, helping to run it with Jesus. 

And the scholars offer some interesting explanations of those verses. They say that ‘the emphatic expression in the promise of perfect peace (shalom), indicates a peace that goes beyond human comprehension (cf. Phil. 4:7). To have one’s mind…stayed means to lean on God in total confidence and security. Trust is the ultimate expression of that confidence. Notice that the object of one’s faith is as important as the act of trust. Here the object of faith is the Lord Jehovah.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, it’s equally important not only that we trust, but also in whom we trust. And if we want to end up in the Millennial Kingdom and see that perfect peace, we need to trust in Jehovah God, and Him ONLY, because He is the ONLY ONE that can provide the shalom we all claim to seek. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul as he spoke to the church at Philippi. ‘Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

That says it all friends! If we need that perfect peace, that shalom, then the only way to get it is to believe in, surrender to, live for, and trust in Christ Jesus! Otherwise we will always be filled with doubt, distrust and turmoil. And there’s absolutely no doubt that right now we desperately need the peace of Jesus, that passeth all understanding, since none of us can really understand the myriad of sad and unbelievable things that are currently happening in our world. Let me say it once more: It’s only through belief and trust in Christ Jesus that we will ever find some semblance of true peace in this evil world. 

And Jesus said it so clearly on two occasions during His earthly sojourn: The first one goes thus: ‘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) So you clearly see that the peace found in Jesus Christ is not anything like the peace supposedly found in the world. It’s a spiritual kind of peace that operates at a much higher level than that of the world. 

And in the second passage Jesus says: ‘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) Now it’s up to us to believe that God is real and that His promises are faithful! And for those of us who believe that God is real, because we can feel Him deep in our soul, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeah!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

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

And as always, we need to remember that if we endure to the end, that that future with Jesus will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…shalom…shalom…the perfect peace…that’s only found in Jesus… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 February 2022 Matthew 10:31.

Matthew 10:31.      Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Oh my faithful saints of Christ, this Sunday morning, please, let’s do as the psalmist advised. Let’s ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord…Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Therefore enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps 100:1-5)) 

Yes friends, we could not begin our day of worship with a better introduction, because the earth is the Lord’s and all therein and we desperately need to give Him sincere thanks and praise for all the good things He’s done, is doing, and will continue to do on our behalf. And today we have a marvellous gospel song to sing written in 1905 by lyricist Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. It’s the favourite hymn titled ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow.’ 

Now before we sing it, let’s hear the inspiration for this amazing song. The author Civilla Martin says that in the spring of 1905, they were visiting a couple, the Doolittle’s in Elmira, New York. The wife had been bedridden for nearly twenty years, and the husband was a paraplegic who got around in a wheelchair. But despite their afflictions they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. 

On that particular day while visiting, Mr. Martin commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for their secret to such blessed faith. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: ‘His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ Wow! Wish we could all have such simple but extraordinary faith! And according to Mrs. Martin: ‘The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith, gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’ was the outcome of that experience.’ Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren! 

So, having learned or refreshed our memories about the inspiration for the song, let’s sing it now in a soulful, mid-tempo riddim, with joy in our hearts and sacrificial praise in our voices, as we come before our wonderful God with sincere thanksgiving. ‘Why should I feel discouraged, Why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, And long for heav’n and home; When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is he; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. 

(Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me.) “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, And resting on his goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path he leadeth, But one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. [Refrain] 

Whenever I am tempted, Whenever clouds arise; When songs give place to sighing, When hope within me dies, I draw the closer to him, From care he sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. So I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. Yes, I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ 

Oh my people, that was marvellous! And why shouldn’t our faith be strong and confident, when our wonderful God watches over even the small and seemingly insignificant sparrow! Can you imagine then how He watches over us, His most precious and prized creation? We should have no reason whatsoever to doubt His awesome concern for us. But unfortunately too many of us do, that’s why our faith is weak, especially in these turbulent times, when it is supposed to be oh so strong. Please, let’s take a page out of that afflicted couple’s life and raise the level of our faith nuh. 

And it’s said that the words of the song are inspired by the words of Bruh David in the Psalms and Christ in the gospel of Matthew. So let’s take a look at those scriptures now. In Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness – Bruh David declares of the Lord. ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.’ (Ps. 32:8-9) 

That reminds me of this command and promise that the Lord gave to Joshua when he became the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper (have success, act wisely) withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:7) And that’s exactly what we need today friends, to stay under the commands of God and not turn from them to either side, because that’s the only way our lives and our world will improve. 

Now let’s look at the words of Christ which they say inspired the writing of today’s song. In the Sermon on the Mount, He is teaching about not worrying about clothes and food and asks: ‘Is not life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothes)? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt. 6:25-26) We certainly are! 

And then later on, while instructing the disciples, he tells them: ‘And fear them not which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him, (God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt. 10:28-31) 

Yes my people, we are indeed of much more value to our heavenly Father than the birds of the air, but the problem is that we must believe it and act positively on it, otherwise the scripture is wasted on us. And it’s in tough and troubled times like what we’re currently experiencing that followers of Jesus need to come up exceedingly strong and fight the good fight in His name. But sadly too many of us are wilting like grass in the noonday sun. 

That’s not acceptable my brethren, because it means we are letting down Jesus, not taking up our cross and truly following Him. And I don’t doubt that He’s sitting in heaven right now contemplating our actions, shaking His head and wondering like He so often did down here on earth: ‘O ye of little faith! Where is your faith?’ 

So please, today, let’s all promise to raise the level of our faith by truly believing in Him, by reading and meditating on His word and staying on the straight and narrow path, not turning to the right nor to the left. That’s the only hope for our world and ourselves! Much LOVE!

…the wide and winding path leads to destruction…but the straight and narrow one leads to Christ…to life everlasting… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 February 2022 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.      Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Oh my people, it’s as white as snow out there and the brilliant sunshine is just blinding as it reflects off the white surface! (smile) And it’s white as snow because it is snow! Chuh! Last night the rain and freezing rain changed to snow and a few inches of the beautiful stuff was deposited in our area. And you can imagine the problems it created with this morning’s drive to work. Hopefully, we all took care and there were not many accidents, especially with the undercoating of ice that was on the roads before the snow came. 

And we are certainly blessed to have Jesus in our corner to help with all the stuff we experience in this evil world. His promises of negligible fear and strong faith are ever assuring and confidence building. Listen to these two magnificent promises nuh. ‘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) 

Yes friends, the kind of peace Jesus imbues in His followers is a special kind that overcomes fear and the concerns of this world. And He goes even further to reassure us with these marvellous 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) 

Now that’s how powerful and reassuring is our Lord Jesus! Through His death and resurrection, He’s overcome the evil and darkness of this world, so there is no need for us to fear anything or anyone that comes against us. In fact, it’s been promised that ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) 

And let’s not forget that ‘in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us…and that nothing can separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37, 39) However friends, it’s essential that we remember all of God’s promises concerning our peace and safety and take them to heart, because it’s only through holding His word securely that we can successfully fight the battles that we will all encounter in this earthly life. 

And in these perilous times, which certainly seem to be the last ones, it’s ever so important to keep our trust and faith strong and not the let the evil and deceitful enemy beat us down through fear and misfortune. Remember that Christ has promised to hold our hands as we go through whatever comes against us. And though He doesn’t make the problems go away, be assured that He walks beside us through them all and brings us out stronger on the other side. 

So, we need to have that trust to walk and not be weary, to walk and not faint. And that’s not always easy to do when the evil wiles of Satan come against us, but as Bruh Paul reminds 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) That means we all have what it takes to overcome the enemy, but we need to bring the tools, the weapons He’s given us to the fight. In other words, it’s necessary to ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ (Eph, 6:11) 

And you ask, what’s this armour Paul’s talking about? Well it’s not physical but spiritual armour. ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ (Eph. 6:12) So it’s spiritual, not physical battle we’re waging, which means we need spiritual armour if we are to be successful in that fight. 

And Bruh Paul describes that spiritual armour thus: ‘Having your loins girt about with truth,’ (that’s girded your waist with the truth found in God’s word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts (arrows) of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:14-18) 

So just like a soldier in physical battle puts on armour to protect himself, likewise we believers doing spiritual battle need to have protection as listed above, and then to cover it all with sincere prayer and supplication for all our fellow soldiers in Christ, because prayer is still the number one weapon in our armoury. And since that’s so, let’s offer up prayer right now nuh, through our Friday Chant, taking our problems to Almighty God for His divine assistance. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 

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 let’s go and sincerely action those promises we’ve just made so that the Lord can positively answer our prayer. Much LOVE!

…it’s time for all Christian soldiers…to put on their spiritual armour…to stand up strong…and fight the good fight for Christ…                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 January 2022 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Ah friends, it’s a cold, partly sunny Saturday morning in my neck of the woods! And would you believe I’ve just learned a life lesson from two of God’s wild creations, a leopard and a lizard, looks like a small iguana. The iguana is trying to cross this dirt road and the leopard is trying to attack it, but every time the leopard comes near, the lizard’s tail flies out and lashes the leopard in his neck area, so he can’t get close to his prey. 

Now, sometimes it seems as though the leopard is getting closer so that he can grab the lizard, but this has been going on for almost ten minutes now, and they are halfway across the road, but no luck for the leopard. Every few steps the lizard makes, the leopard rushes in, but the lizard’s always ready for him. And that just reminded me of how persistent Satan is in trying to get us to do his evil bidding instead of Jesus’ goodwill. And we have to keep on persistently lashing him in the face to keep him away, otherwise we will fall prey to his evil desires. 

One would think that the leopard after so much abuse to his neck would go off and find some other easier prey to capture, but he doesn’t. And that’s the way his royal evil one operates, he’s constantly at us, through every means he can find, trying to break down our LOVE for Jesus. But with the grace, mercy, strength and powerful spirit of Jesus dwelling within us, we can keep lashing him, and driving him away. Let’s never stop doing that my friends, for our very lives, our eternal lives, depend on sternly rebuking the enemy. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday and we do have some quotes from our friend Anselm, as he tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us that: ‘Being sad with the right people is better than being happy with the wrong ones.’ Now that seems to have a kernel of truth within it, for happiness merely reflects our current circumstances, and they can change from minute to minute. But the right people around us give life and hope for the future, and those right people will care for us regardless of our circumstances. 

That why it always pays to have the right folks around us, not the ones that just make us feel happy in the moment. Sadly though, not many of us in this current world are that blessed. No wonder so many lives are being wasted and lived in less than suitable conditions. 

That brings us to this next long, but ever so valuable quote. ‘Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So LOVE the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.’ 

Yes friends, that certainly resonates two of Jesus’ marvellous promises found in the gospel of John. First off is: ‘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 the second is like unto it. (smile) ‘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) 

Ah my brethren, Jesus Himself, speaking from personal experience, promised that this life would not be easy, not the bed of roses that so many of us believers expect. But in Him, we find the peace that we need to get us successfully through this earthly life. And that leads us to the following quote: ‘What seems like the right thing to do could also be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life.’ 

And we all know that’s no lie, for in this evil and ungodly world the right things are often the hardest to do, as we seem to be always fighting an uphill battle when we try to do right. But like the lizard and the leopard above, we must never stop trying to do right, because that’s what Jesus’ kingdom is based on, righteousness; the system of always doing right, even though much opposition comes against us. 

And that brings us to this last long, but ever truthful quote. ‘Get rid of the poor me syndrome. Instead of thinking of what you have lost, focus on what to do next. If you have lost your job, this is the opportunity for you to find another job or start another career. This is your chance to start your own business and become your own boss. You have accumulated many years of working experience and specialized in certain skills and you can make use of them.’ 

Now that’s the gospel truth my people, especially in these rough and overwhelming pandemic times brought on by the Covid -19 virus and its many variants. Now, all of us have suffered to varying extents, and sadly, many of us are feeling sorry for ourselves, due to the unfortunate circumstances which we’ve been thrown into through no fault of our own. And it’s expected that grief and sorrow will be experienced, but the problem is that we cannot allow self-pity, that poor me one feeling to overwhelm us and cause us to give up. 

Rebooting our lives will not be easy, but as we saw above, from those two quotes of Jesus from John’s gospel, He is the One who can bring us through this crisis and lead us on to a fruitful life. Remember what He also said earlier on in John chapter 14: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) And also remember, the glorious statement and promise He made in John chapter 8. ‘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) 

That means we just can’t give up my people, for giving up does not exist in Christ’s vocabulary. Instead, right now, in these most unfortunate times, believers need to dig down even deeper in our souls, than we’ve ever down before, and let all the goodness, grace, mercy, strength and power of Jesus rise up in us, so that we can show the disbelieving world the fortitude and strength of purpose, joy and salvation, we find in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And that’s our sincere prayer for us all today! Much LOVE my fellow saints!

…when tough times come…that’s when tough people…Jesus’ people…get tough and get going… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                

Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 January 2022   2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.      For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.

Oh friends, our God is so good and thoughtful that over the last few days He’s opened each day with bright sunshine to help those of us who might be feeling down because of the inclement weather or suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Praise His holy name! And thus, in conjunction with the light and life that Jesus brings, believers should have no problems adjusting to whatever comes against them in these turbulent times.

For just as the prophet Isaiah declared the Lord’s LOVE to the people of Israel, that same LOVE also applies to us right now. And Isaiah’s reassuring message was as follows: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17)

Now, add to that, Bruh Paul’s message to the church at Rome, where he declares: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) Brother! Does all of that ever provide an airtight cushion of LOVE to protect us from the enemy’s assaults. And all God’s children gave a grateful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the children of men!’

And to further encourage us, Bruh Paul continues his message by saying: ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:38-39)

And that should come as no surprise to us my fellow believers since Bruh Paul also told the Ephesians: ‘And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) That means once we receive Christ as Saviour and His Spirit comes to dwell within us, then we are sealed as belonging to Him, and no one can break that seal.

So there is no real reason to fear anything that comes against us in this life. Yes, we must be careful and concerned, and some fear will always come upon us when life surprises us, but lasting fear should not ever be numbered amongst our many attributes. That brings us to this other most encouraging scripture, more words of Bruh Paul, this time to his protégé 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)

And that’s the gospel truth friends! Through Christ Jesus we have received all the tools we need to run this race of earthly glory in His mighty name! And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then hopefully, you will believe Jesus, when He says: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27)

But some of you remark, that’s all well and good for Him to say so, but how do we do that in real life? Well, I believe if you follow Bruh Paul’s recipe to the Philippians you can certainly accomplish it. Listen up as he details it. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (He is coming back soon and He is always spiritually near).

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) And there you have it my brethren; the way to find the peace of God in this unpeaceful world!

Now, that’s not always easy to do, especially with the evil and ungodly world doing their best to derail our good intentions. Meaning, it only comes through experience, in other words, through plenty practice and perseverance. (smile) But when we continually rejoice, are gracious, thankful and prayerful, with the wonderful fruit of the Spirit thriving in us and manifesting itself in our lives, then obtaining that peace of God should not be a problem.

And on top of all that, our God is so wonderful that He’s also bestowed numerous blessings on those who choose to sincerely follow His will and do His bidding. We call them our Thursday Blessings. And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been declared, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) them right now nuh, so that they can be put in place for godly use.

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, it’s our duty to go out and share all those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! That’s His ardent desire! Much LOVE!

…fear and faith don’t mix…but only through Christ…can the latter prevail…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 December 2021   2 Timothy 1:6.

2 Timothy 1:6.     Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands.

The big day of Monday is up friends, let’s get out there and handle it with the grace and strength that we derive from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s what He expects of us, and what we should expect of ourselves as His disciples. And most likely it’s not going to be easy to achieve our purpose, but that’s what Jesus brings to the table; the ability for us to do what He desires of us. Remember what He told the disciples when He bade them to go out all over the world and make other disciples in His name? ‘…and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) 

That’s why we also have scriptures like ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And ‘My God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil, 4:19) They remind us that Christ is always with us through His Holy Spirit, both in the good and bad, hard and easy times, but we have to know the Word, then activate in our lives when the moment arrives. 

And then we come to the main topic for today, exhortation for endurance, like Bruh Paul made to Timothy, when he told him. ‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands.’ (2 Tim. 1:6) Bruh Paul was there urging Timothy to ‘stir up,’ keep alive the flame that God gifted him, that’s the grace of God. And likewise, we are also required to keep the flame of our gift of grace from God burning brightly. Remember we are the light of the world. 

And we have all the tools to do it, because as Bruh Paul continues: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yes friends, we have it all; all that we need to retake the world from the evil forces that are now controlling it. The power, meaning the ability to accomplish whatever God wills, the LOVE, that’s the agape or brotherly affection and compassion for each other, and the sound or disciplined mind to keep it all on track. 

Then Bruh Paul said it like this to the church at Rome. ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Rom. 8:14-15) Oh my faithful brethren, if we have become the adopted children of Almighty God, then we cannot be in bondage to fear, because the mighty power and Spirit of God dwells and works in us to dispel fear. 

That points us to this reassuring scripture passage from Jesus, where He tells the disciples: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And we all know that is not very easy to do in the carnal and ungodly world in which we currently live, but if we use all the tools that Christ has given us, we will be able to endure and even burn brightly while we are enduring. (smile) We must use God’s word to do His will and His work. 

Listen to another encouraging bit of scripture from Jesus nuh. ‘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) Nobody knew better than Jesus that we would have trials and tribulation, persecution and resistance. He mentioned it in the Sermon on the Mount when talking of the Beatitudes. ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:11-12) 

Yes, it can be rough being a follower of Jesus, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. They persecuted Him, and they are likely to persecute those who follow Him. And He repeated it again later on specifically to the twelve disciples, after He had chosen them. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’  (Matt. 10:22) 

Oh my fellow saints, following Jesus is an exercise in faith and endurance, or what the old folks called ‘belly and backbone.’ If you don’t have either of them, life in His camp will be extremely difficult. But the good thing is that they can be learned, and Jesus gives us all the tools we need to do it when we accept Him as Lord and Saviour. But we must get down to brass tacks and play our part. Following Jesus is not for whiners. As He says, to be His disciple, we have to sacrifice our will for His, then take up our cross and follow Him. It’s not easy, but it’s very possible, and most adventurous. 

And He never turns us down when we have problems and come to Him in sincere prayer seeking comfort and consolation. And do we ever need those things right now in this divided and troubled world. So, let’s go to our God and Saviour for divine favour and succour through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And it would help, if we were sincere in our pleas and promises. Much LOVE!

…let the weak say…I am strong…                                                                                                                   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 October 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Come on down my fellow believers in Christ Jesus, it’s time to get together and worship on this the Lord’s Day! And today we have a wonderful song to open our praise and thanksgiving session. It’s an old favourite titled ‘CRYING IN THE CHAPEL.’ The story goes that Artie Glenn wrote the song in 1951 for his son Darrell but left it in a drawer for two years, until Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders. After some rejection, it finally became a local hit and was then picked up by other artists. 

There have been numerous versions over the years, but my favourite has always been Elvis Presley’s, that is until yesterday when I was listening to some other versions and came upon one by the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, simply known as Sissel. Her version blew me away with its simplicity and the uniqueness of her voice, as she is supposedly one of the world’s best sopranos. 

And it seems like I’m not the only person who’s been impressed by her version, for in the comments section of the video, Cliff Glenn, Artie Glenn’s oldest grandson writes: ‘Sissel.  I have never heard this beautiful lady sing Crying in the chapel till just now. Wow! my grandfather would have loved her version. My grandfather actually wrote this song in 1951, stuck it in a drawer for 2 years, until my dad, Darrell Glenn recorded it in 1953. I’ve heard an unbelievable amount of different versions in my life, including my own. but never one soooo beautiful, “sorry dad, and Elvis. is this lady single by any chance, lol!’ 

Unfortunately, she is not Cliff. (smile) And please don’t think that Sissel is a newcomer to music, although her version was recorded sometime in the 1990’s, since then she’s sold some 10 million albums of all kinds of music. And just one more accolade before we sing, this from another admirer. ‘Angelic. The sweet siren like sound I had only previously heard from Elvis’s back-up singer- Kathy Westmorland.’ (smile) 

So now that we know Sissel is easy on the eyes and can also sing, let’s do her version. Unlike Elvis’s soulful but dark version, hers is soulful but joy-filled and bright, like a sparkling spring morning, as opposed to a dark winter evening. Therefore, without further ado, let’s fill the fall morning air with sacrifices of praise to heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind 

Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way)…yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Yes friends, it’s short but sweet and soulful, touches you right down in the very depths of your being! And that’s because it’s oh so true. We can find peace, contentment and the lightening of our burdens in God’s house, in prayer, since that’s what He invites us to do. Please note Jesus’ Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh my people, it could not get any better than that…but it does! (smile) Listen to Jesus again, as He offers even more incentive to accept His way of life, when He proclaims: ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35) Yes, Jesus is the bread that gives life, spiritual and eternal life. You can’t get those from anywhere or anybody else, for He also lets us know with supreme confidence: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

So what is left that Jesus can’t give, or doesn’t provide eh? And what about peace and comfort and good cheer you ask? Oh, He has all of that covered too. Hear these marvellous words of encouragement. ‘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 if you still desire more encouragement, then listen up as our Lord and Saviour gives it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And indeed He has, by taking away the keys of hell from Satan, through His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Wow, mih bredrin! What more can you ask eh? Nothing! 

But our Saviour Jesus is ever so generous that He offers us even more than that, as He faithfully promised the disciples, and consequently us. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. The Spirit of truth… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16-18) And that promise was fulfilled on Pentecost Day when the Comforter, the Holy Ghost fell upon, baptized all the believers in the upper room, and thereafter indwells ALL believers. (Acts 2:2-4) 

So you can see Jesus has all the bases covered. He’s left nothing to chance. It’s just for us now to accept His Invitation to come to the Father through Him, to receive salvation and eternal life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity my people, so please, please, let’s not waste it nuh, for the only other option available is eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, and that’s the worst mistake we can ever make, for the wages of sin is death…eternal death! Much LOVE!

…and…lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt. 28:20) 

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