Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2021 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.     ​Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.

One more time friends, one more time to get out there and work for the Lord! That’s why He’s given us another beautiful day to enjoy and do His wonderful bidding! So let’s say and do as Bruh David so wisely said and did nuh: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it!’ That’s the best decision we can make this day my people! 

So forget, yes, disregard the problems and circumstances that are trying to keep you down, because you are a child of the Most High God Jehovah, and He won’t allow anything to break you down. And He does have the power to turn all the things that are worrying you around. I can testify to that because I have seen my God turn it around…many many times too…for many many people too, so there is no need to give up on your journey because your God can and will turn it around for you also! 

And in these unprecedented times of woe and sorrow in so many of our lives, this is as good a time as any other to listen to the truth of God’s word. Hear the prophet Jeremiah to his people Israel on God’s behalf, when they were in a state of turmoil, just like we currently are. ‘Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.’ (Jer. 13:15) 

And I guess you want to know what the Lord hath spoken eh? Well, please listen very closely. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer. 13:16) 

Oh my people, my people, that is a direct word to us from our great God today in this time of pandemic and strife and all the other negative problems our world is currently experiencing! How can we try to get rid of the Creator and Controller of our universe and expect to live a good life eh? That’s not wisdom in the least! It’s pure foolishness! 

Look at Lucifer, who was so proud and haughty because he was an archangel and wanted to overthrow God, His Creator? It just isn’t possible for the created to overthrow the creator. And where is he now eh? Living in the bowels of hell, the most despicable place in our world! And if we keep thinking we can throw God out of society we’ll suffer the same fate as Lucifer! 

I don’t know why so many of us believe that our God makes promises and won’t keep them. Oh we believe the good ones, but the ones that will come upon us for disobedience, somehow or the other, we convince ourselves that those won’t come to pass. But my friends, let me remind us that our God doesn’t make idle promises. Anything He promises, He will do, if the situations warrant them. And don’t talk stupidness about that’s in the Old Testament, for Jesus made many of the same promises in the New Testament. 

If you don’t believe and obey, you will pay the necessary price. And please, please, don’t try to prove it nuh, because once you die without Jesus, or He comes back and you haven’t received Him as Lord and Saviour, your options are ended. The only thing then would be automatic living with Lucifer! And believe me, that’s an option you don’t want to end up with for eternity! 

So please look at what the Lord said to the people of Judah and understand that He is not a joking God! Oh He is indeed a LOVING God, and will give oodles of chances, but you WILL pay the price for gross disobedience, as the children of Israel did! Now let’s listen to the rest of the message.

 ‘But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:17) And there will be indeed weeping and gnashing of teeth and all sorts of other calamities, exactly like we are suffering right now, because we refuse to swallow our foolish pride and arrogance and return to the God of our forefathers! 

And Jeremiah continues with the warning. ‘Say unto the king and to the queen (queen mother), Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory (your rule will collapse). The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:18-19) And it certainly was carried away captive, because of their obstinate refusal to turn back to God. 

And please note that many of our cities and towns have been shut up in the past year because of the pandemic and awful strife that’s been taking place. So why can’t we at least contemplate that some of the recent happenings are because we have become a godless and disobedient society eh? Nothing we’re trying to do on our own seems to be working. There’s all kinds of rebellion and disobedience towards authority that’s only making matters worse. The only option we haven’t yet tried is a revival of godliness! So why not try it and see eh mih people? We have nothing left to lose, but a whole lot to gain. 

Now here’s an interesting explanation from the scholars, re our text for today. ‘13:15-17. A third illustration (warning to Judah by Jeremiah) concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ 

And let’s hope that many of us today will compare our current situation to that of olden Judah, and don’t follow their foolish ways, because we are not coming out of our predicament with our own efforts. The vaccines might be helping a few, but there’s also strong reactions against taking them, and the racial problems are increasing rather than getting better. Strife, anger, jealousy, and all the negative emotions and actions are now prevalent in our world, instead of the godliness that we so desperately need. 

But there’s good news friends, while we’re still alive there is always hope! And I know that our God can turn it around if we wake up and start doing right by Him. So for those of us who are prepared to stand up and fight for Him, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

As one strong and sincere voice then: ‘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!’ 

So let’s get on with it nuh my fellow saints in Christ. There’s no time to lose, if we want to turn it around…sooner rather than later. Much LOVE!

…God can, and will turn it around…if we first turn ourselves around…return to His fold…in sincerity and truth… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2020 Ephesians 2:8.

Ephesians 2:8.     ​For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving).

Come Tuesday – another nice summery day, just like Monday! Oh yes, that would indeed be wonderful my people! That’s why we need to give much thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s continually bestowing on us. As the psalmist so rightly says: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.‘ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Wow! What awesome words of wisdom and truth! And don’t forget what our Lord and Saviour Jesus said on the subject. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Mama Mia! If that isn’t a direct directive (smile) of our Lord’s to enjoy and be thankful for this earthly life, then I don’t know what is nuh! In addition to salvation and eternal life when our frail and fragile bodies wear out and return to the dust from which they came, He also desires us to enjoy and prosper and succeed in this earthly life. Oh, He certainly knows that it will not always be wine and song, because like us, He experienced trials and tribulations too. As the Good Book proclaims: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:15) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus experienced all the problems that we experience down here on this evil and ungodly earth, but never did you see Him miserable and downcast, regardless of the circumstances He faced. Just look at how brutally they treated Him in His own home town of Nazareth nuh. I like how the website waynestiles.com puts it. ‘When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He found a warm welcome at the synagogue—that is, until He preached. The young carpenter claimed to have fulfilled the messianic prophecy He had just read from Isaiah 61:1–2 (Luke 4:16-30). 

The hearers took offense that the local-yokel Jesus would dare to be remarkable. After all, wasn’t He the guy who built their dining tables? The townspeople were so enraged that they took Jesus to the edge of the Nazareth Ridge and wanted to fling Him off into the Jezreel Valley. But He passed through their midst and departed. You think that made for awkward subsequent holiday gatherings?’ 

Yes friends, Jesus always exuded a good attitude, which He also expects His followers to exemplify. No, it’s not easy, and He promised us that it wouldn’t be, but with His help we could make 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 if we’re finding it difficult of be of good cheer, then we can always go to our understanding and sympathetic High Priest, who will empathize with us and enable us to have good cheer. 

Hear the author of Hebrews on the topic nuh. ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Brother! Mercy and grace are the two great attributes the Lord uses in our everyday lives. Mercy is not receiving what we ought to, for example punishment for some disobedient act. Many of us know about that from our youth when our parents mercifully did not punish us for some verboten behaviour. 

While grace…ohhh…grace is so marvellous, that there are no words to truly explain it. It’s basically God’s favour; the wonderful things He does for us that we do not deserve. Even salvation is through grace. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving). Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9) So grace is the basis of our salvation, the unmerited favour of God. 

The scholars offer this acrostic of grace. ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth, for it’s only through the expense of Christ’s life on the cross at Calvary did we receive salvation and the marvellous promise of eternal life! 

And hear this li’l tidbit from the great English Baptist Preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) affectionately known as ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ On the subject of ‘By Grace Ye Are Saved,’ he apparently wrote: ‘It is by the grace of God that ungodly men are preserved from instant death. The sharp axe of justice would soon fell the barren tree if the interceding voice of Jesus did not cry, “Spare him yet a little.” And isn’t that the indisputable truth! Were it not for Jesus, the sharp axe of justice would certainly have fallen on sinful, disobedient, ungodly man long ago. 

And yuh know friends, there’s only ONE real reason for all of that mercy and grace yes; God’s unconditional, irrational, indisputable, undying LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient creation. Hear the Good Book: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ (Eph. 2:4) And Jesus verified it, like only He could. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And that says it all my precious saints of Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely believe, and also try to be diligent and excellent followers of Christ, wisely accepting God’s LOVE, grace and mercy, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are! 

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

And the natural consequence of that pledge is for us to keep on trusting Jesus and generously share His awesome LOVE with others! Much LOVE!

…without God’s grace and mercy…His LOVE would have been just an ordinary word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2020 Psalm 119:147.

Psalm 119:147.    ​I prevented (rose before) the dawning of the morning, and cried (for help): I hoped in thy word. 

 

‘This is the day…Yes! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!’ Oh friends, that’s the only sensible option of the two we have today and every day: either to rejoice and be glad in it, or be miserable and sad in it! (smile) And sadly, too many of us will indeed choose that latter option – believers included.

But friends, please, please, let’s remember the momentous words of Jeremiah in his Lamentations nuh: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) 

Yeh mih people, it’s the Lord’s mercies, his LOVING-kindness that keeps us going, and they’re new every day! Wow! No stale mercies for His people! But bright and fresh ones every day, like fresh bread from the oven every morning and you just slather it with butter…Ohhh, awfully good! 

It’s like the manna that the Lord fed the Israelites with for forty years in the wilderness: everyday, except on the Sabbath, they picked it up fresh. They might not have liked it, but it kept them well-nourished in their rough times. Likewise, our Lord’s new mercies everyday keeps us well-nourished spiritually every day, and we’d be foolish not to accept them and cherish them. End of sermon! (smile) 

And lemme make a salient point here before we move on nuh: this thing about going to bed early is really for the birds oui, not for me. I tried it last night, went to bed much earlier than usual, spent most of the night in the bed, but did not sleep as much as I expected, and still got up late. And worst of all, I got up severely pained in body and soul, as if I’d done a night of hard labour! Steups! 

So all yuh could keep this early night nonsense yes! But as for me, I’m going to stick with my night owl business yes, because although I might wake up late the odd time (smile) I don’t get up as pained in body or soul! Now that’s my position…and I’m sticking to it! Chuh! No more of this early night foolishness! And it even make me less productive too…! And now that I’ve said my piece, (smile) let’s see what the Lord has to say to us nuh. 

But this morning looks like a Jeremiah Lamentations morning yes, because the Lord is also pointing out the words of Jeremiah to his people Israel when they were facing extremely rough times like we are currently. Hear him nuh: ‘Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.’ (Lam. 2:19) 

Oh my people, there is so much hunger and poverty and strife and negative stuff in our world that we can never correct or even attempt to fix it without the Lord’s help! But we’ve become such a proud, haughty and know it all civilization that we blatantly refuse to acknowledge our Creator and de facto Controller and try to do it our way. With what results eh – pandemic sickness and pandemic struggles and protests in our streets! And yet we still refuse to turn back to Almighty God. How foolish is that eh? 

When we were a fairly godly society, did we have as many problems? I really don’t know nuh. But I know for sure that trying to get God out of our lives right now is definitely not going to work, because He’s not going to allow us to do it. It’s His world and as He said so profoundly a long time ago: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) And if we don’t believe that, then we can continue to fight the losing battle we’re currently fighting. 

Oh my people, when are we going to truly realize and accept that the Most High God Jehovah is the Ruler of the universe eh, and that nothing happens without Him allowing it? We can’t control the most important aspect of our lives, that’s life itself. Regardless of how much money and power we have when the Grim Reaper comes a calling, we have to go. And even when we want to go before time, by taking our own lives, just look at how often we fail. 

But listen to what the psalmist said nuh: ‘I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes. I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. I prevented (rose before) the dawning of the morning, and cried (for help): I hoped in thy word. Mine eyes prevent (are awake through) the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. 

Hear my voice according unto thy LOVING-kindness: O Lord, quicken (revive) me according to thy judgement (justice). They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law. Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.’ (Ps. 119:145-152) 

Yes friends, until we begin again to seriously do the words of the psalmist; cry out sincerely for help to God, acknowledge His sovereignty, and obey His Word, our world will remain in turmoil. It’s as simple as that. The Lord is now crying out to us to turn back to Him in true repentance and acknowledgment, but unfortunately we’re not hearing His cry. So what’s to be done eh? For the relatively small amount of us who do acknowledge his sovereignty, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the rest of the world know who and whose we are. 

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

Now what we waiting for eh? Let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…we expect the Lord to hear us when we call out to Him…but He also expects us to listen and obey…when He replies…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2020 1 Corinthians 3:3.

1 Corinthians 3:3.    For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (according to man).
 
Oh my people, this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it nuh! Yes, that’s the wisest plan we can have for this awesome day! God didn’t make it just for making it sake, but so that His children could enjoy it with all His other wonders, like nature, salvation, grace, mercy, forgiveness, etc. etc. Yeah! And God made us just for this particular time otherwise we wouldn’t be here. That also means we have work to do on His behalf. So let’s get to it nuh and stop dilly dallying for we know not how much time we have left, and come the judgement day, when He asks why we did so li’l with our lives, what good excuse are we going to have eh? The Coronavirus will only cover a small part. (smile) 

And today I want to share a simple but very insightful poem that recently came my way. The author is James Dillet Freeman, and the poem, titled ‘To Thine Own Self’ comes from his book  ‘Angels Sing in Me: The James Dillet Freeman Memorial Book’ (Unity Books, 2004). ‘To Thine Own Self,’ admirably points out a couple of serious flaws in our earthly living; that of comparing oneself to others, and wishing for what they have, not considering what gifts God gave them, because He gave us all different gifts, nor how they achieved whatever they possess, the problems they might have gone through, or whether they have even sold their soul to the devil or some such unwise thing. 

So please read with me: ‘The lake looked at the mountain, and thought: O fortunate mountain, rising so high, while I must lie so low. You look far out across the world and take part in many interesting happenings, while I can only lie still. How I wish I were a mountain! The mountain looked at the lake, and thought: O fortunate lake, lying so close to the warm-breasted Earth while I loom here craggy, cold, and uncomfortable. You are always so peaceful, while I am constantly having to battle howling storm and blazing sun. How I wish I were a lake! All the time, quietly, the mountain was coming down in silver streams to run into the lake, and the lake was rising as silver mists to fall as snow upon the mountain.’ 

Ah friends, in today’s fast paced, mish mash world so much of that kind of envious behaviour is so prevalent that it causes us serious problems, especially when we put all the foolishness of social media on top of our natural jealousy. But our God wasn’t foolish when He made us. Just like the mountain supplies fresh water to the lake, from the mists and snow that the lake provides to the mountain, the Lord made us to be complementary to each other, not competitive against each other and even worse, raising the level of that competitiveness to warlike proportions of envy and jealousy. 

A lot of our world problems stem directly from that unwarranted situation; within societies, as well as between nations. We all aspire to be at the top of the heap, and too often do whatever it takes to get us there. Yes, that might be the way of unbelievers and their unbelieving world, but it is definitely not what Christ desires in His followers, as Bruh Paul so clearly stated in his first missive to the church at Corinth, re carnal minds hindering the growth of the Holy Spirit within us. 

‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (according to man).’ (1 Cor. 3:1-3) And that’s the gospel truth re the situation in many churches and amongst too many believers today! 

Hear the scholars nuh. ‘3:1-3.I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: In the case of newborns babes, this would be natural and to be expected (1 Pet. 2:2). But it is embarrassing at this stage in their development. Milk, figuratively stands for elementary Christian instruction, and meat refers to advanced doctrine. Carnal (lit. “fleshly”). The warfare between the flesh and the spirit receives continual emphasis in Paul’s writings (cf. Rom. 7:14-8:13; Gal. 5:17). The factions that have destroyed the unity in Corinth indicate that these believers were not walking by the Spirit, but were allowing the flesh to direct their behaviour.’ 

And that friends is exactly what’s happening in our churches today. Those who should be mature believers by now, are still in elementary classes, still walking as worldly men and not spiritual believers. And we can’t walk both after the dictates of men as well as of the Spirit. Thus there is way too much dissension and division amongst the different denominations, and even more so amongst their members. Christ’s church is full of way, way too much envying and strife my brethren! 

Remember, we are supposed to be all a part of ONE body, Christ’s church, and if one part is sick or diseased, just like the human body, the rest of it will also suffer problems. We are allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us by being so divided and envious and strife-filled. That means we’re acting just like the world. But remember too that we’re supposed to be in the world, not behave like the world. We are supposed to be the salt and the light, be proactive and productive and show the unbeliever the light, take them out of their darkness. But how can we do that, when so many of us are still living in unproductive darkness eh? 

Let’s rise up then and live like Bruh Paul advised the Galatians nuh: ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other…’ (Gal. 5:16-17a) Yes friends, the flesh and Spirit pull us in opposite directions, but when we know the Word, and with the Spirit’s help, adhere to it, then we become fruitful Christians, salt and light, as Jesus desires of us. 

So let’s endeavour to get rid of all the dissensions and divisions nuh, and just live peacefully with each other, because we are all ONE family, ONE fold of Almighty God. We won’t always agree, but because we are all of God, we can get along with His help. Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (right on!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most enviable position in Christ Jesus. 

As one 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 will that future ever be glorious, if we hang on tightly to that plough with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…it’s time…for those in Christ…to stop drinking milk…and start eating solid food…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2019 Matthew 6:25.

Matthew 6:25.    ​Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?
 

What a way we’ve reached Wednesday, the hump day of our work week, rather quickly! (smile) And I know that many spirits are now relaxed and looking forward to the weekend. But friends, let’s not look too far ahead, for many things, both good and bad, can happen in the interim time. So please, let’s concentrate on today, and do like Bruh David said: ‘This is the day, the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)

That’s the best way to live people, taking one day at a time, and enjoying it too, because God has made the wise decision to only give us one day at a time to live. That’s hard enough to handle, so why bother ourselves too much with the upcoming days eh? As Jesus said: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore 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) 

Yeh mih people, as the scholars explain: ‘When our priority is spiritual, 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.’

And that brings us to some truths about worry from Pastor Corville Peters of the ‘At the Cross Live’ Television Programme. He says: ‘Worry doesn’t take sorrow out of tomorrow, but it does take the joy out of today. Worry pulls tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine. Worry doesn’t help us get ready for tomorrow because God only gives us strength for today.’ 

Wow! What words of indisputable truth my fellow saints in Christ! Worry doesn’t help us at all, it just drags us further down into the mire of life. But unfortunately a whole heap of us nowadays, Christians included, go to the devil’s life school of worry, and worry about everything, resulting in no peace and joy in our lives.

It’s true that our world has become a rather formidable place to live securely and without worry, but if you’re a true believer in Jesus Christ, then your worries should be at a minimum after hearing this awesome advice from our Lord and Saviour. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ And it is indeed my people! 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions. To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’ 

Mama Mia! What words of awesome truth my brethren! Yes, I know it’s hard to not have, and yet to be comfortable and satisfied, but that’s the way it is in Christ’s kingdom. Remember how after our Bit, He points out all the wonderful aspects of nature and its mindless creatures; how they grow and thrive through God’s help, and that we’re much more important to God than them, so why would He not look after us just as well eh? He knows what we need better than we do. (Matt. 6:26-32)

The problem though is that we have to stop worrying about our material needs and possessions, and instead: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we make God our Number One Priority, put Him FIRST in our lives, then all that we need will be given unto us. Note, it doesn’t say all that we WANT, but all that we NEED! Remember what we said above? ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ 

So please, let’s stop all the needless worrying that’s killing our spiritual selves, holding back our maturity in Christ, and instead, concentrate on seeking God and His righteousness, for He’s also promised, that if we seek Him diligently, we will find Him. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, which let’s the world know of our steadfast and faithful position in Christ Jesus.

As one 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 if we stick steadfastly with Jesus, then that future will indeed be glorious, more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…in Christ’s kingdom…all needs will be met…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2019 Matthew 6:34.

Matthew 6:34.   ​Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore 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.
 

Well we’re up to, or down to Wednesday, the middle of the week – anyway you want to put it, and we’re finally into the groove of the weekly rat race. It’s strange how we go to work almost every week, but yet it still takes us a couple of days to get back into the swing of things. Oh, the strange make up of the human animal! It doesn’t take us long to get into the swing of things we like though. (smile) 

And I’m chuckling here because today I want to share a prayer posted on the door of my office which I pass several times a day, and did not even know it was there…in fact I happened to read several prayers up there a few days ago, and was I ever surprised to see them there. And I know they’ve been up there for some time, because they all sound very strange and new to me. (smile) 

And you might ask, what’s the purpose of putting them up there then if you don’t see them? Now that’s a good question, to which I can’t give a good answer. Now interesting and encouraging stuff is stuck up all around the office, but the truth is, I come in and out of the office everyday and don’t see most of them. And I daresay that many of us face a similar problem, too busy and otherwise preoccupied to notice what’s in front of us. 

Anyway, let’s get on with this prayer, titled ‘A Prayer for Today,’ written by one Winifred Brand that I apparently got sometime ago from a Silent Unity Publication. So please pray with me. ‘Lord, give me strength just for today, to do the tasks that come my way, to say the word, to think the thought with which real strength of soul is wrought. 

Lord, give me courage to resist the urge to worry or persist in borrowing from future years, trouble unknown or futile tears. Just for today Lord, let me find true strength and faith and peace of mind, and I will tomorrow pray, when it becomes a new today.’ 

And does that ever make a whole lotta sense my people! All we need is the wherewithal to make it through each and everyday. As the saying goes, ‘take it one day at a time.’ And to tell the truth, you can’t take it any more than that nuh, because we’re only gifted with one day at a time. Thus too the sweet song: ‘One day at a time, sweet Jesus, One day at a time, that’s all I’m asking of You.’ 

And neither will He give us more than that. And Jesus made that quite clear after telling His listeners in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added to you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore 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.6:33-34) 

Ah mih people, right in those two verses we have two most invaluable lessons; the first is that we must seek God’s kingdom first, and the second is not to worry about tomorrow, look after today, because tomorrow will look after itself. Just live one day at a time; today. As the prayer above so wisely says: ‘and I will tomorrow pray, when it becomes the new today.’ And that’s quite right, because in reality, what we call tomorrow never really comes, it’s always becomes today! 

So friends, let’s learn to live for today nuh. It doesn’t mean we don’t think about or consider or put aside for tomorrow, but let’s focus most of our concentration and concern on the things of today, because if we don’t do what we need to do today, we might not have a hearty, healthy and happy tomorrow! (smile) 

And we really don’t have any need to worry about what happens today, tomorrow or even next week, next month or next year because we have so many wonderful and glorious promises from our magnificent and magnanimous God, re our provisions in this earthly existence. 

Listen to a few nuh, beginning with Bruh Paul’s encouragement to the church at Philippi. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) Yes my brethren, if we seek God sincerely, and help others, even when we too are in need, then God will gloriously supply all that we need through His unlimited resources through His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

Now hear this other reassuring scripture from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. As it is written, He hath dispersed (distributed) abroad; He hath given to the poor: His righteousness remaineth for ever.’ (2 Cor.9:8-9) In verse 9 there, Bruh Paul is quoting from Psalm 112:9. 

And in talking about God’s assurance in scripture for His faithful followers, there is no passage as immortal and as widely known as those uplifting words of Bruh David in the opening of the 23rd Psalm: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.’ 

Mama Mia! What an impactful and insightful statement! Please note, Bruh David did not see it fit to list any provisos or conditions for his declaration. There are no ifs, ands or buts. It was a simple statement of fact based on his life experience of faithfully following the God of his forefathers, and the same applies to us, if we follow in his august footsteps. 

So having all that reassurance, faith and whatever other good and godly thing there is exciting our souls and spirits, let’s go home proudly declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! As one, in sincere sense of purpose: ‘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 will that future ever be so glorious my people, so glorious that we can’t even imagine what it will be truly like. So please stand strong and steadfast in the Lord if you want to enjoy it nuh. Much LOVE!

…this is the day the Lord has made…let us rejoice and be glad in it…it’s the only thing that makes sense…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2018 Matthew 19:14.

Matthew 19:14.   But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.

                               HAPPY  4TH  OF  JULY  U. S. OF A !

Oh friends, this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it nuh! And you ask why? Because it’s the wisest and most sensible thing to do…And because that’s why the Lord made it…And because that’s why Jesus died, so we could have life and have it more abundantly….And abundantly means plentiful. So if we don’t enjoy each and every day that we’re alive, we’re just wasting Jesus’ sacrificial death. 

And having settled that argument (smile) let’s move on to wishing the U.S. of A, a very Happy 4th of July, Independence Day. Now they are a tad older than us in Canada, 242 to 150, but in terms of age, compared to other European and Asian countries they are still young pups. 

And for all you believing celebrants down there, please don’t forget Granny’s warning: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. That’s right, we don’t want to give Lucifer even a li’l toenail entrance into our spirits. (smile) Because if he gets even that, he’ll just settle himself there and unobtrusively dig and dig and dig until he gets right into our lives and spoil them. 

Anyway, like us, down south they will be having a scorching, steamy day to celebrate one of their biggest holidays. Let’s hope there are no negative happenings to mar the day. What with the current state of confusion and divisiveness that’s overshadowing the country. And I know one place that will be definitely feeling the heat is out in Northern California where firefighters are battling a wildfire, hampered by winds of up to 25 miles (40 km) per hour. 

Ah mih people, let’s pray for them, and the country as a whole, because they are certainly mired in some deep and uncharted waters, and only the Lord in His grace, mercy and forgiveness can extricate them without even more strife and hatred than what’s already being experienced.  

And here is a li’l something from the Daily Bread Devotions that dovetails nicely with what we’re talking about; joy in our spirits. Please pray with me. ‘Father in heaven, please restore to us the childlike joy that appreciates your good gifts.’ 

And do we ever need to have a childlike appreciation of God’s great gifts to us my brethren! We’ve become so hardhearted and worldly, taking all that God has given us so much for granted, that most of us can’t even recognize those excellent gifts again. 

But please remember what Jesus said, and how He rebuked the disciples when they tried to stop children from coming to Him. ‘But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.’ 

Yeh friends, heaven is made up of people with childlike faith and joy! And besides, you really can’t believe in and about Jesus until you experience simple faith and trust like that exhibited in children. Yuh see how your children trust you to take care of them and not to abuse and mistreat them, even though their small and undeveloped minds don’t understand what’s really going on? 

Well it’s the same way we have to accept Jesus in simple, childlike fashion, if we are going to grow in faith and produce good fruit in His name. And please remember His immortal words when the disciples came and asked Him about the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

‘And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me. But whoso shall offend (cause to sin) one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.’ (Matt.18:2-6) 

Extremely strong words my brethren! And if Jesus used them, then they must be true. So to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must be converted, (born again) and become humble and obedient like little children. And just like He said about the poor and needy, if you receive a young believer with open arms, it’s like you are receiving Him. However, if you cause one of those young believers to go astray, then your punishment will be great. 

So friends, the long and short of the story is that believers ought to be humble, obedient, sincere and kind to others, including strangers. If we are not those things, then we are simply fooling ourselves, and when Jesus comes to His throne, unfortunately, we will be numbered amongst the goats who will be thrown into outer darkness. 

Now that is a situation we definitely don’t want to experience. So please, let’s use the wisdom that God has so generously granted us and do whatever it takes to be numbered amongst the sheep that will dwell serenely in heaven with Jesus for all time nuh. And for those of us who have already made that wisest of all decisions, let’s go home proclaiming to all the world, our enviable situation in Christ. 

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 because Jesus promised it, we know that eternity with Him will indeed be glorious. Much LOVE!

…it’s not always easy to have childlike faith…but to be a sincere Christian…it is essential…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2016 Luke 8:50

Luke 8:50.   But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

Ah friends, once more we have been blessed with another wonderful day on God’s marvellous creation called planet earth! And believe me, there’s method to God’s madness for allowing us to see another day. It means we still have things to do in the great plan that He’s mapped out for us since the beginning of time. 

So let’s be joyful and declare as the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)  Yes my fellow believers, under the circumstances, it’s the only attitude that makes sense. 

And furthermore, since the psalmist wrote those words, we have even more reason to celebrate because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died to cleanse our sinful souls, reconcile us to the Father and offer us the magnificent gifts of salvation and eternal life by simply believing in Him and being obedient to His Word! Wow! What a Saviour!  

And this summer Sunday morning I’d like us to sing an old hymn, a favourite of mine in my youth, which tells of Jesus’ great sacrifice on our behalf. It’s called, ‘There is a green hill far away.’ 

Please sing loudly and lustily with me. ‘There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there. 

There was no other good enough To pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate Of heav’n and let us in. Oh, dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do.’ 

Oh precious people, it is so good to offer up praise and thanks to our God after what He’s done for us. Just look at it nuh; Jesus was the ONLY one who could unlock heaven’s’ gate so that we might enter because He was sinless! And he did it so selflessly, enduring the horrendous pain without any complaints! 

Meanwhile, we soft, pampered people today, cry and complain so much if we have even a li’l hang nail. (smile) I don’t think many, if any of us, could have borne even one tenth of Jesus’ suffering without going crazy from the abuse and the pain. 

However, thankfully, we’re not called on to do that, but we are called on to bear some trials and tribulations in this earthly life, which we should try to do without too much caterwauling and complaining.  And the formula for doing that is given at the end of the hymn above. ‘LOVE Jesus, trust in His redeeming blood and diligently try to do His work.’ 

It’s all right there in a nutshell friends, just waiting for us to put it into action. And that’s exactly where we as supposed followers of Christ fall down. We talk a good talk, but can’t match it with our walk. And that’s not right, because the only way others will want to come to Jesus is by seeing His grace and truth, mercy, forgiveness and LOVE in action in our lives. 

And it’s high time we start doing better, if we want to carry the day for Jesus. But we need to first believe that it’s possible and then that we have the necessary parts to do it.  

Listen to Jesus’ admonition to Jairus the synagogue ruler when he heard that his daughter had died. ‘But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’ 

Yes friends, the starting point for everything is BELIEF! If you don’t believe, generally speaking, it won’t happen. Now let’s look at a couple of other instances where Jesus invoked belief. 

Let’s begin with His early morning journey from Bethany to Jerusalem. He was hungry and approached a fig tree expecting to find figs because it was fig season. However the tree was barren of all fruit. Jesus then declared to the fig tree: ‘Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.’ (Matt.21:19) 

Obviously the disciples were amazed at the fig tree’s sudden demise. ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:21-22) 

And friends, please note that the important word in that last sentence is ‘BELIEVING!’ If you don’t believe, all your prayers are useless. 

Now let’s turn to our final example, that time when Jesus heard that His friend Lazarus was deathly ill, but He stayed where He was for another two days before returning to Bethany. By then Lazarus had died and his sister Martha met Jesus on the way and criticized Him. 

‘Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ (John 11:21-27) 

Ah friends, Martha surely believed, but she did not understand Jesus’ intention to raise her brother in the current time. Thus when they took Him to Lazarus’ tomb and He ordered them to roll away the stone from the mouth, ‘Martha saith unto him, Lord by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (John 11:39-40) 

And we all know that after Jesus spoke to His Father, for the people’s sake, He ordered Lazarus to come out and he came out, alive and well and many of those who saw Jesus’ work, believed. 

I ask us now friends, do we believe that strongly so that we can see the glory of God? For all of our sakes, I sincerely hope so. Much LOVE!

…without belief…not much is possible…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 November 2015 Psalm 95:1‏

Psalm 95:1.   O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.

Ah Friends, these late nights and early mornings going to be the death of the ole fella yes! But I’m just naturally a night owl! (smile) I awoke earlier on, looked at the clock and decided it was time to get up, but then thought I’d just roll over and soak for a while. 

Hn! But it seems that I fell asleep again, and it was almost an hour later that I finally finished soaking. Hn, hn! What a life eh! 

Then I discovered that today, Thursday, was another British type weather day; constant drizzle. Yesterday afternoon turned out beautifully though, with bright sunshine. Let’s hope that today will do the same. 

But regardless of how the day turns out, it is still the day that our great and wonderful God has made, filled with plenty new blessings and mercies, so let us rejoice and be glad in it, as we were meant to do. 

Now here is something I’ve been trying to share for about three days now, but was thwarted by the Holy Spirit every time. I guess I wasn’t meant to share it until today. So here it is, something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘LEARN TO KNOW GOD.’  

That’s something we all need to do my people! So please pray with me. ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to know you better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy old door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. 

I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You, Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen.’ 

Yes Friends, our God is definitely good, no doubt about it! So hopefully, if we prayed that prayer sincerely, at whatever level of maturity in Christ that we are currently at, we will soon hear new doors opening and feel Jesus beginning to move at a higher level in our lives. 

For remember, it’s all a lifetime process, and we never finish learning and maturing until we take our final earthly breath. And to help us do that, in terms of the praise and thanksgiving aspect, we’ll continue our series of messages along those lines. 

And our Bit once again wisely invites us: ‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.’ 

Oh Friends, there’s nothing better in this life than giving thanks and praise to our most wonderful and ever-LOVING God! Why? Because that’s one of the main things we were created for! 

But unfortunately we have relegated it to the back parts of our Christian walk. You don’t hear believers singing as often and as joyfully as we once did, because we have been caught up in, entangled by the tentacles of the evil world and all its false and deceptive deeds and teachings. 

But today my brethren, we’re going to attempt to correct that with some joyful scripture. Here is Bruh Paul’s prescription to the Ephesians ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yes my people, we should always be in thanksgiving and praising mode, regardless of our circumstances. Remember how Bruh Paul and Silas reacted during their imprisonment in Philippi? The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard.’ (Acts 16:25) 

Yes Friends, even in one the darkest hours of their lives, they were praying and singing hymns, giving glory to God. And you know what happened; an earthquake came and broke down the prison gates, but none of the prisoners fled, which all led to the saving of the jailer and his family, and no doubt some of the other prisoners also. (Acts 16:26-34) 

So you see my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, there is no telling what our God will do when we praise and glorify Him, even in our saddest times. James says it quite right. ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) 

And Asaph, in Psalm 50 – God is the judge – tells us what our God desires of us. ‘Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps.50:14-15) 

Yes Friends, whenever we sincerely and faithfully call upon our God, we give Him a chance to deliver us, and thus glorify His Holy Name. And we’ll end with these beautiful and most assuring words from Psalm 92 – Praises for the Lord’s goodness. 

‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: To show forth (declare) thy LOVING-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery (lute or lyre); upon the harp with a solemn (harmonious or melodic) sound. For thou Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.’ (Ps.92:1-4) 

Oh my people, my people, please, I’m imploring us to ramp up our acts of praise and thanksgiving to our God and Creator, regardless of our circumstances. 

Why? Because when we come to Him in praise and thanksgiving, it gives Him an opportunity to work miracles in our lives and thus raise the level of our faith and trust. It’s wisdom at its best! Much LOVE!

…O sing unto the Lord a new song…sing unto the Lord…all the earth… sing unto the Lord…bless his name…show forth (proclaim the good news of) his salvation…from day to day… (Ps.96:1-2)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2015 2 Chronicles 7:14‏‏

2 Chronicles 7:14.  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Well a wonderful Wednesday morning to you readers out there in Scrip-Bit Land! It’s a tad on the chilly side today, as it was yesterday. Ah Lord eh! What is the weather coming to eh? We had a beautiful Victoria Day weekend, then yesterday it suddenly turned cold and windy.

As one Friend told me yesterday evening, ‘you were boasting in the Bit about sitting on your porch last night communing with nature. Let me see if you will do it tonight too.’ (smile)

And Friends, sad to say I didn’t. It was just too so and so cold. But them’s the breaks! And furthermore, the sun is shining, we are alive and kicking and all is right in God’s world! Bless His Holy Name. That’s why we can say, as the psalmist did eons ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)

We might as well my brethren, because the only other alternative is to be sad and miserable, and God gave us the day to be fruitful and multiply, both in terms of children and in His work here on earth. Anyway, we’ve reached the halfway point of the workweek – rather quickly and easily I must say –  (smile) so there’s no turning or looking back now, just straight ahead to the finish line.

And to help us do that, here’s something from Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, on the subject of courage, which we can never get enough of. He claims that courage isn’t a gift, but a decision. And ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the presence of a calling – a dream that pulls you beyond yourself. Hence it is something you can never lose. It is always something that you can choose. So, choose it today!’

And then, in a little poem, he declares: ‘I have it! My fears are going, going, gone! I feel a mysterious, calm, quiet, tranquil assurance rising deep within my being. This remarkable spirit of courage is overpowering me. It is the very presence of God working peace at the core of my invisible soul. Thank You Lord. All my fears are gone. What a relief! Amen.’

Yes my people, courage, like all other good things, comes from Almighty God! It is He who gives us the wherewithal to bear our burdens with chutzpah, and not give up to the fear the enemy tries to instill in us. So please, today, let’s be filled with courage, as we endeavour to do God’s work and be fruitful.

And we will need plenty of courage if we are to fulfill the words of our Bit, especially with the power of the unbeliever in today’s world, and his determined purpose to remove all aspects of God from our society. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’

Ah mih breddren, what a most worthy promise! One that should allay all our fears. But even if we’re still fearful, we can do like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Do it afraid.’  We just can’t afford to let fear hold us back in these very difficult and trying times.

And we can punctuate that with these encouraging and uplifting words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) And that’s the absolute truth Friends, so please let’s not give into the fear mongering of this evil world, for the power that’s within us, the Holy Spirit, is greater than that which is in the world.

And all of God’s people gave out a loud shout of, ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’

Now let’s turn to some scripture that pertains to the first of the four things in our Bit, that we need to do to turn back to God, so that He can heal us and our land. That’s ‘humble themselves.’

Oh Friends, one of the things our God thoroughly dislikes is pride. As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs 8: ‘The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (perverse) mouth do I hate.’ (Prov.8:13)  And in Proverbs 1.17, he mentions ‘a proud look (haughty eyes)’ as one of the seven things that are an abomination to our God.

So Friends, it’s obvious that we can’t come before our heavenly father in pride and arrogance, for He will just ignore us, possibly just have us thrown out from His presence. (smile) Now hear how He rewards humility.

Way back when, in the days of the apostasy of Rehoboam, king of Judah, Shishak, the king of Egypt, came to fight against Jerusalem with a mighty army. And he captured several cities of Judah before he came to Jerusalem.

‘Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore I also left you in the hand of Shishak. Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous.

And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be his servants; that they may know my service (distinguish my service from) the service of the kingdoms of the countries.’ (2 Chr.12:5-8)

Yuh see Friends, even though God provided them with some relief for their humility, they still had to pay a price for their earlier pride and arrogance. And I wonder why our world is in so much turmoil eh? Could it be partly because of our pride and arrogance and turning away from the ways of God?

You can bet your bottom dollar that our intransigence plays a big part in the disastrous state of our world my people!

And we shall close with one of the most notable scriptures on the subject. This from James: ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:10)

Oh my people, my people, there is no better advice to be had than that! So please, let’s just grab it and run with it nuh, so that our world, our children, will stand a much better chance of life and prosperity than we now do. That’s wisdom and common sense at the zenith! Much LOVE!

…humility…it is the first…and most important requirement…for gaining entrance to the Lord’s presence…