Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 September 2022 Matthew 5:9.

Matthew 5:9.       Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children (sons) of God.

Brother, oh brother! What a morning! More costly interruptions than yesterday…but at least these were legitimate. (smile) We ordered some stuff and it came earlier than we expected, so I had to spend time checking it out to make sure it was what we had ordered, because in this flim flam world of new commerce and employee disregard for good service, more often than not you don’t get exactly what you ordered. 

Thankfully, it seems to be what we had ordered, and the Duchess is happy. Now that’s the most important thing; the Duchess’ contentment with her purchase. And though the saying that a happy wife makes a happy life, isn’t always true, yuh better believe that an unhappy wife does make for an unhappy life. (smile) 

Enough of my sob story though, let’s see what the Lord will have us write about today. And as I opened the Good Book, it fell at the Beatitudes in Matthew; those attributes that Jesus spoke of that characterize a saved person. After looking through them, it struck me that the one we most need in our world right now is: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children (sons) of God.’ (Matt. 5:9) And do we ever desperately need peacemakers in this current warmongering, strife filled, angry and hate consumed world! 

It’s so much easier to name the few places in our world that are not currently strife-filled, than to name those where strife is rampant. It’s so very sad to see the numerous places, where brother is at odds with brother, even to the level of internecine war, that’s serious internal destruction and displacement. There are more refugees in our world now than ever before, because every day more unfortunate people are being displaced by strife-filled actions and activities. 

And there are so many Bible verses that preach the importance of peace in Christ’s people and kingdom, that it’s ever so sad to see so many of His supposed believers and followers blatantly ignore them in favour of anger, hatred and strife. Let’s take a look at a few of those scriptures nuh, and see if they can bring us back to the overwhelming importance of peace in Christ’s affairs. 

And this first one from Psalm 34, says it all my brethren. Bruh David writes in the fullness of God: ‘What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’ (Ps. 34:12-14) 

Oh my people, peace doesn’t just come to us, we have to do the things that cause or bring peace, like stopping the flow of evil in our lives, and then consciously seeking peace and pursuing it! We have to run down peace if we truly want it. That’s possibly because our human nature isn’t naturally one that tends to peace, but more towards evil and strife. 

And Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the church at Rome. ‘Let not then your good be evil spoken of. For the kingdom of God is not meat (food) and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify (build up) another.’  (Rom. 14:16-19) Yes friends, God’s people are enjoined to do the things that make for peace, not for strife. How much clearer can it get eh? 

Meanwhile, Peter, in his advice re the behaviour of wives and husbands, writes in heartfelt passion. ‘Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, LOVE as brethren, be pitiful (tenderhearted), be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing (reviling) for railing (reviling): but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye should inherit a blessing.’ (1 Pet. 3:8-9) Then he goes on to quote Bruh David in Psalm 34 as we’ve done above. 

It’s oh so obvious my fellow believers that peace, kindness and brotherly LOVE is of the utmost importance in Christ’s world. Just listen to what the fruit of Christ’s Spirit breeds nuh: ‘LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22) Wow! There’s absolutely no strife, anger or hatred involved in it! So why are we being so envious, angry, resentful, hateful and deceitful to our brothers in Christ eh…and even to our own brothers and sisters by blood? 

Because the devil has invaded our spirits. We have allowed him to gain strongholds in our minds and lives, believing his atrocious lies and deceits. And the author of Hebrews tells us quite clearly that’s not how we ought to behave. Listen up to some of his warning on disobedience…and basically that’s what allows the devil to get his evil grip on us. 

‘Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed. Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail (fall short) of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.’ (Heb. 12:12-15) 

Ah mih people, I know life here on earth is not a bed of roses, it’s not an easy experience, and like the scholars say’ some of us ‘have grown so weary that we have become stooped and need spiritual strength to be straightened up again. We must be given help, yet we ourselves also must straighten our paths by avoiding obstacles that would spiritually trip us up.’ 

And is that ever so true. The easiest way to stay sinless is to avoid those things and areas we know that have sinful power over us. We all have weaknesses, and to improve or conquer them, it’s very necessary to take them to Almighty God for help. That’s the only way we’ll ever overcome them, or at least keep them in check. 

Now listen to some more of Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Rome. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard to good things) in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men. …Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17-18. 21) 

And we couldn’t end without these majestic verses of scripture on peace, directly from Christ’s lips. ‘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) Then there’s this even better one. ‘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) 

Glory be mih people! What wonderful words of inspiration and encouragement! And if you choose not to accept them, then that’s your problem. You will suffer the anxiety, fear and worry that comes from not accepting Jesus’ encouragement. However, for those of us who accept and believe it, let’s go home declaring (oh yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘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 just a li’l more encouragement my fellow saints. If we endure to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So, see you at the end. (smile) Much LOVE!

…the peace of God…which passeth all understanding…shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds…through Jesus Christ… (Phil. 4:7)   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 September 2022 John 14:16.

John 14:16.       And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Helper), that he may abide with you forever. 

Well, a good Monday morning to you, my Scrip-Bits friends and family! Hope all is well in your world at the beginning of this new work week. And if by chance, things aren’t so great, then I sincerely hope that you have the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ standing in the forefront endeavouring to straighten them out, because that’s one of His many jobs. 

Oh my people, it’s so wonderful to know that even in times of trials and tribulations, when we are living for Jesus, we can have peace and comfort in them. Why is that eh? As Jesus so compassionately told the disciples: ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Helper), that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15:18) 

Yes friends, that’s the kind of caring and compassionate person our Jesus is! He knew that after He left earth the disciples and His many other followers would be desperate and lonely for guidance, teaching and comfort, so He went about making arrangements for another helper like Himself, this time the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity to eventually dwell in all believers. And the great benefit of the Holy Spirit was it being a spiritual being, not flesh and blood as Jesus was, it could do what He couldn’t do, namely, be in more than one person or place at the same time. 

And Jesus continued explaining the situation to them: ‘These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter (Helper), which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ (John 14:25-26) That’s called making sincere and good preparations for your LOVED ones after you’ve gone home. (smile) So that even though Jesus wouldn’t be there in the flesh, His Spirit would replace Him, and remind His followers of the things He had taught them, as well as lead, guide and comfort them in their tough life’s journey, facing persecution for His name’s sake. 

Now how can you get a better deal than that eh? You just can’t! And we all know the marvellous promise that came after that. ‘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 yes, that is much easier said than done, but the longer you stick with Jesus, the more experience you have with the truth of His words and promises, the easier it becomes for you to have peace and quiet in times of adversity. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have problems, and possibly even more than you had before accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, as you are tested by both the Lord and the evil one. However, as you come to truly believe in the scripture that says: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28) Then your faith will rise up and help you find peace in the midst of difficulties. 

And as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Philippians on the subject. ‘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. 4:6-7) And the long and short of all that is simply not to worry about anything. 

As the scholars explain: ‘This is not a summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

Meanwhile, as per ‘The peace of God, that is the tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. And the “Peace” which passeth all understanding means: (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and His ability to cope with and solve it.’ That peace of God shall stand guard duty over your hearts and minds, when Christ is your Lord and Saviour! 

And it’s very sad that so many believers don’t have that peace in these extremely difficult and troubled times. That’s why so many of us are suffering so much heartache and fear. Possibly because our faith is not as strong as it ought to be. But remember the age-old advice; take it to God in prayer…with thanksgiving. So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one voice: ‘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!’ 

Now my fellow saints, let’s set our house in order, as we just promised, start truly believing, and stop worrying! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus is your number One…then you might have cause for concern…but none to worry… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 August 2022   Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139: 23.      Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: 

Saturday, oh blessed Saturday! Where we can laze about and do as we want. No alarm clocks, running to the baby-sitter or day care with the children and then facing the constant traffic jams that have become a normal part of today’s commute to work! No wonder we LOVE Saturday! And with all of that to do five days a week, it’s not surprising that so many of us are tired and worn out physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

But not all of us can sleep in on Saturdays. The ole fella still has to be up and about the Lord’s business, figuring out something to say about the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Ah Lord eh! No rest for the wicked. (smile) But I can’t really complain because the Lord usually helps me with that task since He’s allotted it to me, and He always gives us the tools to do the work He requires. So Lord, I ask you now to give me those tools, let your Holy Spirit lead and guide me to write sensible stuff today that will not only serve to open the eyes and hearts of our readers, but even more importantly, praise and glorify your holy name. Amen! 

And the first quote goes off with a bang! ‘The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.’ Now that’s wonderful advice, but not so easy to put into action, since nowadays fear is all around us. Fear of disease, fear of fraudulent operators, fear of economic failure, fear of natural disasters, fear of government actions, fear of church brethren, and all of that leads to fear of life itself. Yes friends, everywhere we turn these days, fear seems to be staring us straight in the eye. But fear can be overcome through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, that’s a guaranteed fact. Oh, we’ll always feel it, but with Jesus in our corner, it won’t get us down or cripple us like it’s doing so many people today. 

One of Jesus’ favourite statements was ‘Fear not!’ And I guess it’s only right to quote two of His most famous sayings on the subject. Listen to this first one. ‘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, when we have true peace, fear cannot invade our souls or bodies. And the true source of real peace is Christ Himself! No one or nothing else can give you the kind of uplifting, spiritual peace that He offers; the peace that conquers fear. 

Now listen to Him again. ‘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) There you have it! With Jesus and His Holy Spirit in your life, you have the peace of God living right there within you, so there’s no need to fear anything, because your Lord and Saviour has already overcome the evil world and all its tricks and trade. But for good measure, (smile) here’s one more scripture that as we said yesterday ought to be continually in our mind’s eye. These famous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Ah mih people, the only way to numb fear is by having Jesus Christ in our lives, and then sincerely accepting what He tells us. But that doesn’t come easily or overnight, which leads us to this next quote: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Now that’s gospel truth right there my brethren! We simply cannot live a life without examining it, to see what kind of life we’re living. And I guess the best way to begin doing that is to by following Bruh David’s example in Psalm 139, where he pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 139: 23-24) 

Oh friends, how refreshing and renewing is self-examination! Especially when we do it with God’s help. It shows up the things we need to drop, and the places we need to improve. But we need to take it seriously and do what the Lord shows us, or what we know needs to be done. And it helps when we go to the Lord with sincere sentiments like Bruh David does in Psalm 51: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) The Lord will never turn us away with those kinds of sincere sentiments in our hearts. 

That brings us to this next quote which advises: ‘Turn your wounds into wisdom.’ And it does make sense to let our hurts teach us a wiser way to live. It’s basically learning from our mistakes. And that’s exactly what successful people do, for if you don’t learn from your errors, you will continue making the same mistakes and thus getting the same hurtful and wounding results. 

And how do we do that? I believe this advice from Cousin Sol in Proverbs makes a good start. He says: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8) Yuh know friends, if you must choose one passage of scripture to remember, one that encompasses all you need to know, that’s it right there! Once you have the basic knowledge of scripture in your hearts and souls, that’s all you really need to live by. 

And that segues very nicely into our next quote, which offers great advice: ‘Don’t settle for what life gives you; make life better and build something.’ Ah mih bredrin, with Jesus in our lives, that’s exactly what He expects of us! When life gives us lemons, He expects us to take them and make lemonade. (smile) That means to improve on whatever we are given. Don’t just sit there and accept life’s handouts without any thought of making them better. Unfortunately though, that’s just what many of us do. Life hands us misfortunes and instead of trying to build something better on them, we simply accept them, and do the proverbial thing, lie down and die. 

But when you’re follower of Jesus, that’s not acceptable. He expects us to be always improving, always learning, always persevering to become more like Him. Look at the hand that He was dealt when He came to earth nuh. One of persecution, rejection, and abnormal suffering, what I like to term ‘sufferation’ Most of us would have gone crazy and run away. But He stood up and faced it all, obviously with the help of His heavenly Father, and turned the whole world upside down, an upheaval from which it still hasn’t recovered two thousand years later, and never will! 

And as the Good Book reminds us, He is the example we all must follow. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) So whatever life slings at us, we must let Jesus help us to take it and make it better. That brings us to our last quote: ‘Sing like no one’s listening, LOVE like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.’ 

Oh friends, that’s the abundant life, and it’s just how God intended for us to live! But nowadays, in this fallen and sinful world we can only live it if we’ve received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and keep Him first and foremost in our hearts minds, bodies and souls! That’s the kind of life Jesus died for us to have. He said very clearly. ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) So, the long and short of the story friends, is that to do all those things our quotes tell us, we must be true and strong followers of Christ Jesus! Anything less than that will not cut it. End of story! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…that’s the ONLY way to go… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 August 2022   James 2:18.

James 2:18.      …show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

Well, we on the homestretch now friends; it’s Thursday and we counting down to that day we all so look forward to, Friday and the exciting possibilities of the weekend. But we have to get through Thursday before we ever arrive at Friday, so let’s just concentrate on doing that nuh, and let the chips fall wherever they please when Friday comes. As Jesus so wisely said: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Ah mih bredrin, unfortunately though many of us worry about what will happen tomorrow and thus don’t pay sufficient attention to today. We don’t live a full life on the present day because our thoughts are slanted too much to tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. But yuh know what, some wise person once said, ‘tomorrow never comes.’ And that’s the indisputable truth, for when the day we call tomorrow comes, it comes as today. So, in actual fact, we never live the tomorrows we dream of, it’s always the todays. (smile) 

And the scholars offer this very perceptive explanation. They say: ‘When our priority is spiritual, that’s “seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

Yes friends, when we think too much about what might happen tomorrow, we are not able to give enough attention to the things that are happening today. And if you’ve ever sat down and contemplated the number of times those troubles you expect to happen tomorrow actually take place, I’m sure you’ve noticed that they are certainly not as many as we expected. 

So a lot of the stuff we’re concerning ourselves about is merely our projection, our anxiety and worry, and Jesus has already commanded us not to fear or worry. ‘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) Then, later on He reiterated the very same sentiments. ‘’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 followers of Christ then we ought to listen to and believe what He tells us, because He only speaks truth. But too often in this confused and evil world, we allow the enemy to deceive us into thinking that things are so bad that we cannot handle them, or they will never get good and all our fears will come to pass. However, the truth is that as a believer in Christ we can handle ANYTHING that comes against us! For Jesus has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and also that we can do anything through Him, because He strengthens us to accomplish His will! 

But we must truly believe all of that stuff and then put it into action into our lives, otherwise it’s of no real use. We’re talking here about faith in action! And that’s really the only kind of faith there is! You can talk all the talk you want and don’t engage your talk, then it’s not faith. As James, Jesus’ brother so correctly points out. ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2: 17-18) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, we must remember that Christianity is simply faith in action! It’s more of a doing, a helping and caring rather than talking concept. Note how Jesus got up every day and went out and did stuff; helped people, healed the sick and suffering, and generally spread His LOVE around to those who needed and wanted it. But He was always doing or going somewhere to do something, except when He was teaching. And remember Jesus also told us that if we had even a li’l bit of faith as a mustard seed, that we could move mountains. (Matt. 17:20) 

But we first have to believe it, then put it into action. And that’s where our Christian faith is falling down. There is not enough action on our part in our society. I’m sure you’re seeing how the evil doers, the iniquity workers are doing their best to control the world, while too many of us supposed believers are merely sitting on the sidelines, scared, or just not interested enough to make a positive difference. But we spout a whole lot of foolishness about being Christians. Steups! 

We clap and shout and sing ‘Praise the Lord’ in church, but outside of the church in the rough and tough places where we’re desperately needed, we’re nowhere to be found. Read the Good Book friends. Jesus didn’t just sit around talking, He was out there in all the places where the hypocrite Pharisees thought He shouldn’t be. But that’s because He came to save the lost, the sick and suffering, not the righteous. And you can’t save people unless you go where they are or have them come to you. 

And that’s exactly what He did, and what He expects of us, His supposed ambassadors down here on earth. And why do you think He was so generous to give us what we call our Thursday Blessings eh? Because we deserved them? Obviously not, but that we could use them to do His work, to help others, teach them of His grace, goodness and mercy, so that they too could come to Him, like we did, and find salvation and relief for their souls. 

So, right now, let’s activate those blessings by declaring (yesss!!!) them out loud. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 bounden duty to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as Christ shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…Christians need to stop talking so much faith…and instead…begin doing plenty more faith… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 July 2022 John 16:33b.

John 16:33b.      In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.

Good, ole reliable Tuesday is here friends! Yes, it takes away the memory of Monday, the first day of the work week, which is usually somewhat mysterious and unsettling, or even intimidating, because we’re never sure what it will bring after a weekend away from the halls of labour. (smile) But Tuesday is always placid and calm, letting us know that there’s nothing to fear; Monday is in the box, and all’s well with our world! 

And that’s exactly how our lives become when we accept Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour! There’s nothing to fear…and even if the world is actually falling apart around us, we’d still be able to say, ‘all is well with me. All is well with my soul!’ Why? Because Jesus has promised us peace, joy, LOVE and eternal life if we are wise and live under the shadow of His wings. Listen to some of His awesome promises nuh. 

While speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit, He told 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 heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And later on, Jesus again encourages the disciples by telling 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: I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh my fellow believers, how encouraging and reassuring is that eh? Knowing that your Lord and Saviour has overcome the world, destroyed the enemy and has in His hands the keys to hell, death and the grave, it surely is a comfort to the most unbelieving and discouraged heart! And then Bruh Paul offers his two cents worth when he writes to the church at Philippi: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing 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. 4:7) 

What a legacy we have through Christ my people! We’ll receive the peace of God, that divine tranquility that transcends all human understanding, when through prayer and thanksgiving we take all our problems to Almighty God in Christ’s name! You could not do any better than that friends! That’s the ultimate in peace! 

And as per joy, the Good Book tells us that the ‘joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy always tries to steal our joy. He knows that if we lose it, we’ll be weak and easily defeated. However, it’s also important to note that joy doesn’t depend on our circumstances, it depends on our faith in God. Happiness is the fleeting emotion that’s ruled by our circumstances. 

And I like how this commentator on the biblestudytools.com website puts it. ‘Bible verses about joy can help Christians who may be going through a difficult season as a reminder of calm happiness through faith in God. Joy is rooted in who God is. It is not fleeting or based on circumstances. Worldly possessions, accomplishments, even the people in our lives, are blessings that make us happy and fuel joyfulness. However, the Bible teaches that the source of all joy is Jesus. God’s plan from the beginning, the Word made flesh to dwell among us is rock solid, allowing us to navigate difficult situations in the absence of happiness while sustaining our joy.’ 

Oh friends, what joy is found in Jesus! As Jesus told the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy shall be full.’ (John 15:11) And as Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome. ‘Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.’ (Rom. 15:13) 

Then Jesus, after telling the disciples about His return to heaven: ‘A little while, ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.’ (John 16:16) He saw their sorrowful look, indicating a lack of understanding, and reassured them. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.’ (John 16:20) 

Then He compared their situation to a pregnant woman afraid of the upcoming labour pains, but once it’s over, she no longer remembers the pain but is filled with joy that a child was born. ‘And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you…Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:22, 24) 

Oh what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have my brethren! He fills our lives with joy despite our circumstances, and we can ask the Father for anything in His name. Now that doesn’t mean we’ll always get what we ask for, especially if it is not in the Father’s will for our lives, or we’ll get it when we ask for it, but we are always assured of a hearing in heaven. That’s indeed a good beginning.

And when we start talking about LOVE and Jesus…well friends, there’s nothing greater, because they are one and the same! John says it plainly: ‘For God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:8) And if the Father is LOVE, then the Son must be LOVE too. And there are numerous passages of scripture extolling Christ’s LOVE, but I think this one from John’s gospel puts it all in proper perspective. 

‘As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue ye (abide) in my LOVE. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept the Father’s commandments , and abide in his LOVE… This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain… These things I command you, that ye LOVE one another.’ (John 15:9-10, 12-17) It couldn’t get any clearer than that my people. LOVE is the number ONE requirement amongst Christ’s followers. As John said: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 3:8) 

Now, as per eternal life, since time and space are running out on us, we can only get in these two verses on the subject. However, they are more than enough to prove the point. We all know this magnificent verse: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And then there’s this verse where John the Baptist testifies of Jesus. ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) That says it all friends: believe and you’ll see eternal life; do not believe, and you’ll perish under God’s wrath. 

Now for those of us who believe and are doing our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!!!) 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!’ 

And having made that declaration, (yesss!!!) it’s now our bounden duty to go out and 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!

…need a continual flow of LOVE, joy and peace that ends in eternal life …then Jesus is your answer…the ONLY answer… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 July 2022 Micah 7:8.

Micah 7:8.       Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.

And then it was Saturday – lazy day. But yuh know what? Some of us are so dog-tired after yesterday’s hectic Canada Day celebrations that we’re too tired to even be lazy! (smile) Yes, it is indeed possible to be too tired to even be lazy. That’s because lazy is a state of mind, and tired is more a state of body. But anyway, whatever you are this Saturday morning, we do hope that you are in good health and still madly in LOVE with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Yes, we talking about the Son of God, who so unselfishly sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us, a bunch of ungrateful sinners, on the cross of Calvary. Thus, taking our abundant and ugly sins on His shoulders, while giving us His magnificent righteousness. What an unfair exchange! But He did it because He LOVED us and wanted to save us from the clutches of Satan and his fiery domain of hell. That’s why it’s ever so important that we LOVE Him in return and do our best to live the way He desires. 

And having made that rousing call on Jesus’ behalf, (smile) it’s now time to check on the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us: ‘Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success.’ Now, I wouldn’t necessarily say that negative thinking is the ‘single greatest obstruction to success,’ but it certainly is a big obstruction. That’s because from the time you think or say, ‘I can’t,’ you inject your project, or whatever it is, with an added burden, an extra weight of doubt and disbelief that you don’t need. 

It’s difficult enough to get things going, you definitely don’t want or need to add any extra weight to your problems. And please remember that all the fighting between good and bad positive and negative goes on in your mind, so the less confusion you have there, the more peace of mind you have, the better off you are. And don’t forget either that the best peace you can ever get is from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He said it Himself. ‘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 on top of that, if you sincerely believe in Jesus then you will also know that ALL things are possible with Him, and consequently we can joyfully and confidently say: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) Yes, anything that’s worthy and noble, etc. anything that is in Christ’s will, He will enable us to do it. So there is no need to ever think negatively. 

That brings us to the next quote: ‘A problem is a chance for you to do your best.’ And that’s no lie, since problems are opportunities for us to come up higher, to show what we have, to expose our inner fortitude, confidence and wisdom. As they say, problems are made to be solved. Yeh friends, problems are merely chances to show our mettle. (smile) And life is full of them. In fact, life itself is usually our biggest problem. (smile) So it does no good to turn away from a problem as soon as it shows up, but instead we must put our best foot forward, which means also turning to Christ for help and direction. 

And granted, we will not be able to solve all of our problems, but we should not be found wanting in the trying, should at least get an ‘A’ for effort. And we have the perfect example of that in the following quote. ‘Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.’ 

Oh my people, that’s indeed the gospel truth! Believers in Christ ought never to give up because the words ‘give up’ or ‘failure’ aren’t found in His vocabulary. And ofttimes mere persistence is all we need to overcome a problem. It’s legendary in talking about famous people who failed time after time but never gave up and finally succeeded. We are talking about people like Henry Ford, the automotive success, Thomas Edison, the lightbulb creator, Walt Disney, the creator of our greatest entertainment attractions. 

Each one of them failed several times, were even considered failures by their counterparts, before they eventually found success. The thing is that they never gave up, kept working on their problems, with a positive mindset. They obviously had the idea that Cousin Sol puts forward in Proverbs. ‘For a just (righteous) man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity).’ (Prov. 24:16) 

Just like Jesus said we ought to forgive at least seventy times seven, in other words continually, so we are expected to get up each time we fall, for failure is not failure until we stop trying, until we give up. But until then, while we keep trying, we have not failed, just not being successful as yet. (smile) For as the prophet Micah confidently proclaimed: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.’ (Mic. 7:8) 

And so, we come to the last quote: ‘Every day may not be good… but there’s something good in every day.’ And do we ever need to believe that because it’s more gospel truth! Every day won’t go completely smooth, because that’s just the way life is. But in every day there will be stuff and times that are good, and we must look for those good things and times instead of merely concentrating on the problems and difficult moments. That’s one of the reasons why so many of us live unhappy lives, we overlook the many good things and focus on the few bad or troublesome ones. 

If you don’t believe me, then try this. Get pen and paper and write down the good things and the bad things that happen to you. I’m sure that you’ll find more good things than bad, but unfortunately you focus more on the bad ones. And friends, if that’s the way we behave, then we won’t live the abundant life that Christ died for us to live right down here on God’s great earth. He said that unlike the thief, or the evil one, ‘who only comes to steal and kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’(John 10:10) 

So, the only way to live that abundant life is to stay under Christ’s marvellous umbrella, in peace, LOVE and joy, spreading His word, while living a life that glorifies Him, so that others can come to Him and find salvation, which we all so desperately need, if we ever hope to see God! Much LOVE!

…in Christ alone…is salvation found… 

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

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        

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