Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 January 2023 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.        Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

So, it’s our lazy day Saturday, but unfortunately I couldn’t stay in bed and be lazy like I desired, because I was just fresh like a daisy, rearing to go. (smile) Imagine that nuh! And what was I so excited to get up and see? Another cold and cloudy day with snow in the forecast. 

Well, if we are expecting more of the white stuff, and we still have plenty left over from the last bout, then apparently winter has finally reached my area. But that’s what we are all about at this time of year anyway, so we just have to grin and bear whatever comes our way. Therefore, let’s get our act together, and, as we do on Saturdays, check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this first one is rather interesting. It says: ‘I am letting go of things that don’t bring me happiness or peace.’ Wow! What a novel idea! (smile) And it would be ever so good if many of us in today’s busy and pressure-filled society would do that; just let go of the things that don’t bring us peace or happiness. And some of us might have to let go of a lot of things because we have so many things in our lives that are not bringing peace or happiness to our blighted souls. 

But the truth be known, there is ONLY ONE WAY to get true peace on this sinful and fallen earth, that’s by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. And why is that? Well because He is the Prince of Peace and His peace is far different than what the world offers. Listen to Him tell it: ‘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) 

Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren! What an awesome promise! And if you still don’t believe that Christ can bring you peace amidst the world’s troubles, then listen to this other affirmation of His. ‘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 that ought to sober us up and stop our flagrant, wasteful worrying because it’s the undeniable truth! 

Then there’s this quote: ‘My life isn’t perfect, but I am thankful for what I have.’ Now that’s the declaration (yesss!!!) of a mature believer! One who has peace in Christ and knows that life isn’t perfect, in fact it will never be perfect, but they are nonetheless thankful for whatever they have. 

Like Bruh Paul wrote to the Philippians: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengetheneth me.’ (Phil. 4:11-13) There again friends, it’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who strengthens us and allows and helps us to endure whatever circumstance we encounter, and to do so with a thankful spirit. Isn’t He just great! He surely is! 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘No matter how good you are, people will judge you according to their mood and needs.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Especially in today’s selfish and fraudulent society! It’s sad, but people are so needy and unstable, more so since almost three years of the Covid pandemic, that they are liable to turn on you for no good reason, on a whim and fancy, although you are doing your best to help them. 

So that’s the unfortunate state to which our society has fallen. It’s every man for himself, regardless of what that selfishness and greed causes. And in getting there, through the revered auspices of the social media, we’ve become a rather judgemental society. Yes, it’s now the custom for us to expound on matters that we know absolutely nothing about. And the sad part is that through the social media we can do that anonymously, without being taken to task for our atrocious behaviour and comments. 

But that’s the new world we live in. Jesus’ admonition on the subject has now been completely thrown out the window. Do we even remember that He said: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) But too many people are getting away with unfair judgement because of the anonymity provided by social media. 

However, as the old people would say, we all get our comeuppance at some time in some way. The Lord is a just God and He will judge rightly and justly. And because of all the above, we come to this last unwise quote. ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line.’ Now that’s not what Jesus teaches, but with the sorry state of our world, you really can’t blame people if they behave thus. It takes a strong, confident and mature believer to put others before themselves. 

And how does Jesus desire us to live? He says: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) That means we ought to LOVE God, ourselves and our neighbours with all of our being. It’s of supreme importance in our faith walk. 

One of the many problems we face though is that too many of us don’t LOVE ourselves, and that’s not meaning in a narcissistic, vain or self-absorbed manner, but just genuinely caring for and liking ourself. When we look in the mirror, we must see someone whom we like, someone whose company we don’t mind being in, someone we’re willing to treat kindly. But until we can do that for ourselves, we’ll never be able to like our neighbours, because you can’t give away what you don’t have. So today, I’m pleading with us to get serious about LOVING God and ourselves, so that we can LOVE our neighbors and bring about the kind of world that Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…in a world filled with hate and evil…only true LOVE and goodness…can make an appreciable difference… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ     

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 November 2022 Psalm 122:1.

Psalm 122:1.         I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. 

It’s the Lord’s Day my fellow believers! Time to gather in worship to celebrate and give praiseful thanks to the Lord our Creator and Provider, either by our physical presence in His sanctuary, or through technological means. Let’s not forget the Lord’s commandment re this day: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) We break enough of them, and this one is fairly easy to keep, compared to some of the others. And Bruh David puts it ever so nicely when he writes in the opening verse of Psalm 122: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) 

Yes friends, it ought to be a pleasure, a privilege, a duty to enter into God’s house to praise and worship Him with other believers. And there are several other passages of scripture that invoke the same sentiment, as Isaiah 2:3, Micah 4:2, and Zechariah 8:21. That means going to the Lord’s house to worship is extremely important. And so, as the ole people would say: ‘Matter fix!’ (smile) We’ve proved our point. But many around the country will be late and inconvenienced with the turning back of the clocks one hour last night to be in sync with the unnecessary daylight saving time ritual. 

Now, let’s turn to today’s song of worship, one titled ‘Heaven Help Us All, originally written as a soulful ditty, but with a gospel-infused sound, by Ron Miller in 1970 and made popular by Stevie Wonder. Today though, we’re going to do the Ray Charles/ Gladys Knight version. So it’s time to open up our harmonious vocal pipes in soulful sacrificial praise and let heaven know of our earthly plight. 

Singing: ‘Heaven help the boy who never had a home Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone And Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall Lord, won’t you help us all? Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl Heaven help us all. (Chorus: Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call) 

Oh, yeah Heaven help the boy who won’t reach twenty-one And Heaven help the man who gave that child a gun And Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall Lord, won’t you help us all? (Chorus: Heaven help us all…when we call) Gladys – monologue: ‘I want everybody within the sound of my voice this evening to fall down on their knees and say a prayer; asking for His guidance, His grace, His mercy. You might want to say: Lord, Lord, Lord, have mercy! 

Now I lay me down before I go to sleep In a troubled world, I pray the Lord, the Lord to keep. Keep hatred from the mighty and the mighty from the small Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call. We need You Jesus so won’t you hear us when we call. We can’t do without You, so please hear us when we call. Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call.’ 

Ah mih people, we were so serious and sincere that I’m sure heaven heard our call! And do we ever need plenty of heaven’s help to handle the numerous heart-breaking and gut-wrenching problems we have down here on earth. But since it takes two to tango, it means that heaven alone can’t fix our many problems, we also have to be a major part of the solutions, just as we are a major part of the problems. That entails first of all getting ourselves right with God through prayer, repentance and thanksgiving, then LOVING each other as Christ said when He detailed the two greatest commandments. 

‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

And that’s the gospel truth people! Until we start showing a li’l more reverence and LOVE to our great God, and also to our fellow human beings, none of the problems listed above will ever go away. Our world will always be filled with lots of strife, envy, greed, advantage, poverty, sickness, oppression and evil doing; all deeds espoused by our enemy Satan. And it’s not like we don’t know it, because many more of us are suffering from the negative effects of those things than are prospering from them. But it seems like the lure of sin in these disaster-filled times is greater than the appeal of godliness. 

So the majority of us continue to wallow in Satan’s mire of sin and evil, while only a relative handful fight the good fight on God’s behalf. The sad part is that there are many supposed believers who are not doing their part, either through fear or simple apathy, and thus are allowing the enemy to have his way with their lives. But if the billons, or even millions of us who call ourselves Christian were to truly stand up for Christ, get some belly and backbone, and fight the good fight, our world would never be in the shameful, evil state it’s now in. 

Ah friends, as I keep reminding us, the evil-doers, the iniquity workers are not going to improve our world because they have a vested interest in seeing it fall apart and sink into the devil’s quicksand. It’s only through us supposed believers that our world will ever get a chance to improve. Our generation has already made a mess of it, we can’t allow things to get any worse, otherwise our descendants will certainly end up living in a veritable hell right here on earth. If you think it’s bad now, just wait and see. 

In any case, many of us won’t be around to experience it, we might just be experiencing the real thing, like Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, found in Luke 16:19-31. While here on earth the rich man enjoyed the good life but Lazarus sat poverty-stricken at the rich man’s gate. However, in the after-life, the rich man is in hell feeling the heat, begging Abraham to send Lazarus, now up in heaven, to dip his finger in some water and wet his tongue. But Abraham informs him that there is a great chasm or gulf between the two worlds, so no one can get from one place to the other. 

Then the rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to his five brothers, for maybe they would listen to one who rose from the dead and change their ways. But Abraham also nixed that request telling him that they have Moses and the prophets and if they would not listen to them, then they wouldn’t listen to one who rose from the dead either. 

My friends, that story ought to give us pause for thought. It came from Jesus’ lips, and He doesn’t make jokes over serious stuff. So, I would strongly advise that we all take it seriously and closely look at our lives in light of that tragic tale. It certainly can’t do us any harm, but it might just do us all a lot of good in the long run. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet sound obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ            

Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 September 2022 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.       My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments. 

And then it was Tuesday. That means, Monday is history, and Wednesday is still tomorrow. It therefore behooves us to enjoy today; to put our best foot forward today, or as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say, ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ 

And you know that’s all the Lord really asks of us; to simply be as good as we can be. But sadly, too many of us are instead doing way, way less than our best. That’s one of the reasons our world is in such a ghastly state of havoc and chaos: believers in Christ Jesus just are not stepping up to the plate as they ought to, while the evil doers, the iniquity workers are constantly hitting the ball out of the park. 

And why aren’t we believers doing better eh? I guess it’s a combination of several reasons: the first being fear. Fear of what our friends and family and the world at large will say and/or do; including rejection and belittling. Then there’s downright laziness, a doh care attitude and procrastination, that all lead to disobedience, be it conscious or unconscious. 

But friends, this Tuesday morning in late September, in the fall of this very significant year of 2022, I want to remind us of these very significant words of our Great God, brought to us through the writings of Cousin Sol in the Book of Proverbs. Please listen closely…or rather, please read and inwardly digest with me. (smile) 

‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments. For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck (like a necklace); write them upon the table of thine heart (mind). So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:1-4) 

Ah my fellow saints, it’s all so simple, though not necessarily easy. However, with the help of God, to whom we keep acknowledging that nothing is impossible, we can certainly do it if we sincerely want to and actively try. And what does the scripture say; ‘keep my commandments.’ Why? Because they will give us blessed and lengthy lives, lives filled with peace, favour and esteem from both God and our fellow man. Now isn’t that what we all long for? Absolutely! Then why aren’t we doing as much as we can to further those dreams and desires eh? 

No doubt some of us feel that keeping God’s commandments are difficult, but that’s not true, as John says in his first epistle. ‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that LOVETH him that begat (God the Father) LOVETH him also that is begotten of him (Jesus, the Son). By this we know that we LOVE the children of God, when we LOVE God, and keep his commandments. For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (difficult, burdensome.) (1 John 5:1-3) 

And before we go further, let’s find out what are these commandments that we’re talking about nuh, that we’re supposed to keep, and which according to John are not difficult or burdensome. Now according to the Good Book, the Lord issued ten basic commandments to the Israelites when they came out of bondage in Egypt, (Ex. 20:1-17) 

However, Jesus in His immaculate or perfect wisdom, narrowed them down to two, namely. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

So you see my faithful brethren, it’s only two basic things we need to do in this life; LOVE the Lord our God, and then LOVE our neighbours as we LOVE ourselves. Unfortunately though, in this current world in which we live, LOVE seems to be much more difficult to do than its opposite action, hate, since there is ever so much more hate in our world than LOVE. 

We’re obviously not LOVING our God, but trying to get rid of Him, and as per LOVING our neighbours like ourselves, we veritably seem to hate ourselves by the way we treat our neighbours! What’s causing such a misfortune eh? I don’t know. Can it be fear? Certainly not, since John in his first epistle also deals with that, when he points out that ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Oh friends, I know the answer to our problems – a great infusion of LOVE in our society – but unfortunately I don’t know how to do it, and thus I’m asking for your help. If you are a true believer in Christ Jesus, then it behooves you to step up your LOVE walk! That means LOVING the Lord our God more, and also LOVING ourselves more, so that we can transfer that self-LOVE to our neighbours! 

Why do you think the Lord sent Jesus to earth to sacrifice His sinless life for us eh? Because He LOVED us with a burning LOVE, one that knew no bounds! It’s a LOVE that’s unconditional; a powerful, selfless LOVE that never changes or diminishes regardless of what we do! Now doesn’t that mean anything to you? I strongly suggest that it should. It should mean so much that we try to change our evil ways, or simply improve our godly ones, because it’s only through the right actions of believers in Christ that our world will become less chaotic and more LOVING! 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) 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 outstanding proclamation, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with all we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…it’s ALL about LOVE…LOVE created us…LOVE keeps us safe…and LOVE will take us home to heaven… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 January 2022 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.     And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.    

And it’s another cloudy, frosty Wednesday morning! A little of the white stuff fell in my area last night, but not enough to make a difference, but we are still surrounded by a sea of white, although the roads are passable today, and we might have more problems with ice than snow. (smile) Oh, and by the way, the duchess’ prediction re the snow removal, did not come through, because the trucks and scoops came early in the evening to remove it, instead of late in the night as she had forecasted, and as they often do.

But that’s enough about snow and the unfortunate weather we’ve been having. It’s time to talk about something that will truly make a difference. And what’s that you ask? We’re talking about some of the many immortal words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke while on His earthly sojourn. These were spoken around the time of His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, when the disciples informed Him that a group of Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the feast were desirous of talking to Him.

The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And Jesus answered them (the disciples), saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that LOVETH his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honour.’ (John 12:23-26)

Yes friends, Jesus expects a high degree of selflessness from His followers, but to be sure, they are well rewarded for it. Now let’s clear up one major point before moving on. It concerns the matter of LOVE and hate in the scriptures. The scholars offer this explanation of verse 25 above. They say: ‘Whenever we see LOVE and hate contrasted we should understand that LOVE for the one is so undivided that it may appear as hate for the other; although it is not necessarily so (cf. Luke 14:26, disciples hating mother and father; Rom. 9:13. God hating Esau.’

Oftentimes, it’s not an emotional thing, but just the Father’s will; like with Jacob and Esau. Jacob was blessed while Esau was not. So every time we see LOVE and hate in the scriptures, we need to take a moment to stop and consider the true meaning, whether it was an emotional problem or just one party being more favoured than another. And if we consider the verse referenced above in Luke, we can see exactly what they are talking about.

There Jesus counted the cost of following Him, to the multitude around Him, when He says: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:26-27)

Oh my people, it is indeed a high price to pay to follow Jesus, but that’s just how important it is to follow Him. And He doesn’t mean we have to dislike our family or friends, just that, as the scholars put it. ‘In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either-or that this verse sets up.’

And that’s so sad, because Jesus never meant for us to give up our friends and families, but just to put Hm first. But in way too many cases, religiosity unfortunately, and wrongly forces us to give up one or the other. Yes, you can’t serve God and mammon or money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have much money, because money is important in forwarding Christ’s kingdom in this sinful world.

So please, let’s not allow religion to drive us to one camp or the other, for in Christ, remember, we are all ONE! There’s no difference between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free, the Jew and the Gentile in Christ’s eyes. It’s only important that we live our lives sincerely trying to obey His will. So what’s the long and short of the story, you ask?

Well, I believe it’s spelled out in two sets of scriptures. The first is Jesus’ sincere admonishment to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Now that’s Jesus telling it like it really is! In this world, we can do nothing of any consequence without Him!

And the second set of scriptures that I believe explains our purpose on this earth, is Jesus response to the question, posed by an uppity, self-righteous, hypocritical lawyer of the Jewish ruling class: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:36-40)

Yes my fellow saints, from the beginning of time, that’s what the prophets been preaching; the absolute and miraculous power of LOVE! It’s marvellous ability to bring things and people together to live in harmony, with Almighty God and with each other! And that’s what our world is sadly lacking in these troubled times; a real sense of caring, of compassion, of LOVE for God and each other. So it seems that’s where our focus should be centred, be concentrated in these calamitous times, if we sincerely desire true improvement in our world. And that’s the long and short of the story! (smile)

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to preach and practice LOVE, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one loud, 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 believe me people, if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and acclaim Christ’s name nuh, like He so richly deserves! Much LOVE!

…to God the Father…be the glory…through Christ Jesus…the Son…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 January 2022 Deuteronomy 30:19b.

Deuteronomy 30:19b.      I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

Monday has come down again friends, that means the weekend is over! And let me tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ as my young daughter would say in her early years. Monday is going to keep coming down every week or eight days, however you choose to count it. (smile) It is going to keep coming after every Sunday, for all the days of our lives, so we might as well get used to it and properly prepare for it by worshipping with other believers on Sundays, and thus renewing our faith in Christ, the One who strengthens us to do His will.

And though it’s the beginning of the work week, many of us won’t be going to work because of the tighter lockdown caused by the quick spreading of the latest Covid-19 variant, Omicron. Ah mih people, when is this pandemic going to end eh? Only the Lord alone knows yes! For every time we seem to be making some headway, a new variant suddenly pops up its ugly head and triggers more problems again.

It’s not only causing sickness and death but religious, economic and political discomfort with loss of jobs, bankruptcy and violent protests in the streets and churches. That’s due to the large pockets of doubt that exist in the society, as to whether the virus is real, and if the vaccine and other supposed protections are truly useful in reducing the virus’ power and rapid spread.

Unfortunately though, that substantial disagreement has led to a lot of unnecessary rancour, resentment and retaliation which only enables the virus to spread more quickly. And unless we soon come to some general agreement on the entire situation, this predicament will be with us for a while yet, leaving our society in a state of perpetual uncertainty and distrust, as sickness, death, religious, political and economic unrest covers our land.

That recalls the immortal words that Moses said to the children of Israel before he died. ‘I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses to) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut. 30:19)

Yes friends, it’s a simple choice, for there are only two options, blessing and life, or cursing and death, but we have to make the decision. And it seems like we have chosen cursing and death with all the disaster and calamity that’s been recently shaking our world. Now, we all like to quote that verse above, but we neglect to ruminate on what comes before and after it.

Before it, come these prophetic words. ‘See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to LOVE the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgements, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.’ (Deut. 30:15-18)

Yuh see my people, the blessings of Israel were dependent on them acknowledging the sovereignty of the Lord and obeying His will. And whenever they strayed from it, as they did several times, much disaster and calamity befell them. And there’s no doubt that in our current society we have strayed far from the Lord God Almighty, disobeying His commandments, turning to idols, even saying that there is no God, while trying to remove Him from our midst.

As I heard one preacher say recently, that atheists spend all their lives trying to remove or dispel a God they don’t believe in. And that’s the gospel truth! Why do atheists work so hard to convince us that there’s no God eh? If there’s none, then they should just leave the whole matter alone and we’ll find out for ourselves. Anyway, let’s see what comes after that seminal verse of Moses’ teaching.

The Good Book follows it with: ‘That thou mayest LOVE the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.’ (Deut. 30:20)

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, right there is our reason for living: to LOVE the Lord our God, to obey His voice and cleave unto Him, because He is our life and our length of days! We all know that without Him we have no life, for it’s His breath of life that makes us alive, not anything that we ourselves do. And He also causes us to live however long we do. He controls our lifespan.

So why are we so foolishly anti-God eh, when He controls all that we ever were, all that we are, and will ever be? It’s not wisdom my brethren? And what’s wisdom, you ask? Wisdom is to turn to Him sincerely, seek His face and His righteousness, His mercy and forgiveness so that we and our descendants shall live eternally. That’s true wisdom!

And in accordance with that, we have but one choice in these trying times, that’s to turn to God in prayer for help. Let’s do that through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn nuh. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

Now please remember what Moses said: to receive God’s blessings we need to keep His commandments, to keep our promises to do His will. Much LOVE!

…for blessings to triumph…there must first be unity in God…disunited, ungodly people cannot prosper…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2021 Philippians 4:7.

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

Oh my people, Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and LOVE!’ (2 John 3) What a most magnificent greeting this Saturday morning in these pandemic times! That’s why the Word of the Lord is so important to believers; it lifts us up, encourages us and keeps our faith strong, so that we can keep on keeping on despite the troubles and problems that surround us. 

So, knowing that the Lord is with us, all the time, if we only believe, and is constantly showering His grace, mercy, peace and LOVE upon us, let’s go forward today without fear, but with courage, wisdom and compassion, as He leads us on the straight and narrow path, right home to Him. Glory be, mih bredrin! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Learn to let go and be clear of where you really want to head for.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting thought, for we can’t go anywhere successfully unless we know where we want to go and drop all the other baggage that’s preventing us from following our destiny. And I want to say here that associating with Jesus, committing your life to Him, is the best way to know where your destiny lies and to find it with a true sense of purpose! That’s because He cares and will always be there to help us navigate the storms and the rough roads of this earthly life. 

Then we come to this quote: ‘LOVING yourself is the greatest revolution!’ Well, I don’t know if it’s really the greatest revolution, but I do know that it’s a very important one in all of our lives, for until we learn to LOVE God and LOVE ourselves, we’re not fit for anything. And the best way I know to express those sentiments is by quoting these marvellous and wise words of Jesus, as to the great commandment. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yes friends, that’s where it all begins and ends – with LOVE! And that’s why this next quote is also important for our well-being: ‘To LOVE yourself is to understand you don’t need to be perfect to be good.’ And that’s quite true. The fact is that no human is perfect, for the Lord God made us intentionally as imperfect beings. The only perfect Being in this universe is our Godhead! And since our Creator knows we’re not perfect, He doesn’t expect perfection from us. He just expects our best and most sincere effort. 

Unfortunately though, too many of us try to be perfect, when it’s impossible, and then get down on ourselves when we mess up. But friends, our great God sees and knows everything, that’s why we refer to Him as omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present. That means He looks at our hearts, and if they are right, then He will forgive, forget and comfort any and all imperfection. But we need to first understand that being perfect is not His expectation, but He does want us to be diligent and excellent in our efforts. 

That brings us to our last quote: ‘Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.’ Now, on a basic and fundamental level that seems to be true, but it’s definitely not the whole story! Granted, it’s good not to let people and events control our emotions too much, however, it’s a natural consequence of being human. And try as we want, it’s not possible to completely shut out other people or events from our emotional roller coaster. (smile) 

And even if, by some fluke, we manage to shut out other things and people, the peace we receive is still not true or lasting, because it’s a peace the world gives, and that can never be worthwhile because it comes from a world that’s plagued by an abundance of sin and evil, and those two things can never bring true or lasting peace. The only place one can find really true and lasting peace in in Christ Jesus! And if you don’t believe me, let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, that’s directly from Jesus, as He so generously bestows what He alone has to offer. ‘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) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s one of the most important and encouraging scripture verses ever! It’s something for us to hold on to tightly if we want to make it successfully through this confused and evil world. But we can’t get it until we sincerely commit our lives to Jesus. And if that wasn’t sufficient to convince you to seek the peace that only Jesus can give, listen to more of his awesome words, as He talks about overcoming the world. ‘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 my people! More good news and encouragement! 

And let’s also remember Bruh Paul’s awesome words on the subject to the Philippians: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Just imagine that nuh; a peace that we can’t even imagine or understand. And I just couldn’t leave out these explanations from the biblehub.com website. This from Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers. 

‘(7) The peace of God–i.e. (like the “righteousness of God,” “the life of God”), the peace which God gives to every soul which rests on Him in prayer. It is peace–the sense of unity in the largest sense–the “peace on earth” proclaimed at our Lord’s birth, left as His last legacy to His disciples, and pronounced at His first coming back to them from the grave (Luke 2:14; John 14:27). Hence it includes peace with God, peace with men, peace with self. It keeps–that is, watches over with the watchfulness that “neither slumbers nor sleeps”–both “the hearts and minds” (or, more properly, the souls and the thoughts formed in them), guarding our whole spiritual action, both in its source and its developments. 

It is “through Christ Jesus,” for “He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14), as “making all one,” and “reconciling all to God.” The comprehensiveness and beauty of the passage has naturally made it (with the characteristic change from the “shall” of promise to the “may” of benediction) the closing blessing of our most solemn church service of “Holy Communion” with God and man.’ 

Now that should open up some interesting comments and contemplations! (smile) And I’m also contemplating adding some more…but it’s already kinda long…Oh shoot! Tough yes! Who doesn’t want to get deeper into God’s word, that’s their business! But for those of us who so desire, here is the Pulpit Commentary on the verse. 

‘Verse 7. – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding. The peace which God gives, which flows from the sense of his most gracious presence, and consists in childlike confidence and trustful love. This peace passeth all understanding; its calm blessedness transcends the reach of human thought; it can be known only by the inner experience of the believer. The similar passage, in Ephesians 3:20, “Unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” seems decisive for the ordinary interpretation. 

Bishop Light-foot, Meyer, and others take another view of the passage: “Surpassing every device or counsel of man. i.e. which is far better, which produces a higher satisfaction, than all punctilious self-assertion, all anxious forethought.” Shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; rather, as R.V. (English Revised Version), shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Peace shall guard – “a verbal paradox, for to guard is a warrior’s duty” (Bishop Lightfoot). 

The peace of God abiding in the heart is a sure and trusty garrison, guarding it so that the evil spirit, once cast out, cannot return. The thoughts issue from the heart; for the heart, as commonly in the Hebrew Scriptures, is regarded as the seat of the intellect, not of feeling only. In Christ Jesus; in the sphere of his influence, his presence. True believers, abiding in Christ, realize his promise, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” 

Yes my fellow saints, it’s long, but interesting, (smile) and we couldn’t have a better ending. Much LOVE!

…the world is longing for true peace…but foolishly refuse to turn to Jesus…the only place that it exists… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2021 Deuteronomy 30:19b

Deuteronomy 30:19b.     ​I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

Okay people, it’s a new day; Monday, to be specific, and we’re all on tenterhooks waiting to see what takes place this coming Wednesday in the U.S. of A, as the new President is inaugurated. One thing is for sure, it won’t be a quiet day. Be assured there will be lots of shenanigans all around the country and around the world, as we look on in further amazement after last week’s assault on the Capitol Building. Only in America, you say. Not really. In any other part of the world, all hell would have already broken loose. But let’s be thankful that the situation did not deteriorate to that ungodly level. 

And just for your info, the corona virus and it’s several variants are also still alive and well and kicking butt… and the vaccines are still in short supply and not being properly distributed. I don’t think we want to get rid of it nuh, else we would be following the rules of engagement: stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary; then wear a mask, stay physically distant from those not of your own household, wash your hands. What’s so hard to understand in that eh? 

I guess we either think we’re supermen or we want to die. It reminds me of when the Lord sent Moses to Pharaoh with instructions to release His people Israel from bondage, the Egyptian monarch blatantly refused. The Lord sent some ten different kinds of plague upon Egypt, but Pharaoh still refused. Possibly because the Good Book says: ‘But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go.’ (Ex. 10:27) 

Is He hardening our hearts now so that we are refusing to take the necessary precautions to stem the worldwide attack of the virus? Or is it Satan’s evil influence? I really don’t know nuh. What I know is that we’re not being very wise or godly, else our many negative situations would not have progressed to the disastrous levels they are at right now. Please people, let’s remember these memorable words of Moses to the children of Israel in the wilderness after they had left Egypt and were giving trouble. 

‘See. I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. In that I command thee this day to LOVE the Lord thy God, to walk in his way, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgements, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land which thou goest to possess.’ (Deut. 30:15-16) Very straightforward talk my brethren! And since the Lord our God does not change, that promise also holds good for us in these trying times. 

So too do the rest of Moses’ words. ‘But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but wilt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce (announce) unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land whiter thou passest over the Jordan to go to possess it.’ (Deut. 30:17-18) More straightforward talk my people. Our God doesn’t mince words, He tells it like it is, which means the onus is on us to be obedient or not. 

And Moses makes it even plainer and more straightforward for them. ‘I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut. 30:19) It’s set out so clearly in black and white, choose death, or choose life: ‘That thou mayest LOVE the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.’ (Deut. 30:20) 

And we all know what the Israelites did? When they got prosperous they forgot the Lord, foolishly thinking that they had achieved prosperity through their own efforts, and they paid the price for that pride and stupidity. Friends, I am putting it to us today, that we have done the very same thing. With our recent amazing technological revolution we have forgotten the Lord and prided ourselves for it all. But please remember the Good Book says, ‘it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.’ (Deut. 8:18) 

And though we have turned away from God, like the Israelites did, and are now suffering the consequences, let’s keep on following their example and turn back to Him nuh. He welcomed them back with opened arms and will do the same for us. So let’s turn to Him in prayer nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, so that He can cleanse our hearts, and renew a right spirit with us. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have 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, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, 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!’ 

It’s up to us now to keep our vows, so the Lord will answer our prayer. Much LOVE!

…the best way to live this life…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…. (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2020 Psalm 37:4.

Psalm 37:4.    ​Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
 
And at long last it does look and feel like spring! Wow! It’s such a beautiful, sun shiny day out there, clean and bright, with most of the trees now dressed in their greenery of spring, instead of the bare, dead-like branches they’ve had for way too long! And since it’s the beginning of the long Victoria Day weekend, you know that despite the pandemic and restrictions and what not, many of us are going to be gearing up for weekend celebrations. But friends, I implore us to be careful. 

In the first place, please remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Haven’t heard that for a long time eh? (smile) And the next thing is to remember that this Covid-19 sickness doesn’t take a holiday; it’s always on the lookout for somebody to infect. It’s like the devil, always on the prowl looking for someone to tempt and lead into deadly sin. So have some fun, more than we’ve probably had in a few months, but please, please, be careful, follow all the golden rules of this pandemic so that we can stay alive and enjoy the good and abundant life that Christ died for us to have! 

And since today is Saturday, we’ll mosey along and see what goodies our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Aw shucks! He sent us only one quote all week! Wonder what’s up with him? I hope he’s not sick, haven’t caught this virus business. And we pray that whatever the reason, the Lord will rectify it, and that he’ll be back in business this coming week. But even the one quote he sent us is an interesting one: ‘LOVE yourself enough to work harder.’ 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I could certainly take that as my motto right now in these lazy, dreary, dispassionate days I’m now experiencing. Ah friends, what better motive can we get to work harder and better than a sincere desire to improve ourselves eh? Ofttimes we tend to work harder to please others rather than to please ourselves, but it’s ever so important for us to work towards the dreams and desires the Lord’s placed in our hearts. Otherwise what’s our purpose on planet earth eh? What good are those God-given desires if we don’t fulfill them eh? 

Bruh David puts it thus: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:3-4) Yeh friends, to truly achieve the desires of our hearts, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord our God, for He is the One who makes those desires come true! And as Bruh David said earlier from Psalm 21 – Praise for victory. ‘The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not witholden (withheld) the request of his lips.   Selah. 

For thou preventest (meeteth) him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad (joyful) with thy countenance (presence). For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 21:1-7) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord planted desires in our hearts when He made us, and consequently only He can grant those desires, make them come true. And we turn once more to Bruh David’s writings (smile). ‘The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. 

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145:15-21) 

Ah precious people, everything in this world boils right down to LOVE: to achieve our desires and do God’s will, there must be true LOVE in our hearts for God, for ourselves and our fellow man. Remember Jesus’ words when asked which was the greatest commandment. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Therefore my fellow believers, in these tremulous and rather turbulent times, it is of the utmost importance that we understand that LOVE must be the NUMBER ONE THING, the overwhelming factor in our lives, if we’re to successfully navigate and circumvent the calamity and exceedingly tough times that lay ahead of us. We can’t simply talk it, we need to show it in spades, for LOVE is an action word! 

And we’ll end today with these most fitting words of John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) It can’t be put any plainer and clearer than that friends! Much LOVE!

…true LOVE can only inflame our hearts and souls…if God is truly ensconced therein…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2020 Matthew 22:36

Matthew 22:36.    ​Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?
 
‘May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, Brad May wins it in overtime….!’ That was the memorable call of announcer Rick Jeanneret on April 24 1993 when tough guy Brad May scored the overtime winner in the hockey playoff game between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. But ‘Mayday’ is also an internationally recognized radio word to signal distress. May 1, is also celebrated as May Day, a rite of spring with flowers, maypole dances and other gaiety. 

And last but not least, May Day, May 1 is also a day to celebrate workers rights, ‘commemorating the many historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement,’ and it’s a holiday in many of the approximately 66 countries in which it’s celebrated. Although, according to one web site, the recognition of the Labour Movement is not celebrated on that day in the country where it all began, the U.S. In both the U.S and Canada Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. 

So May Day is really many things in our modern society. And I guess May 1 2020 will also go down in history as the May Day that the Coronavirus pandemic kept us all indoors, with no real celebrations of spring, or labour rights, or anything really! (smile) But them’s the breaks mih people, we just got to grin and bear them! And I wonder how the ordinary workingman is taking it all eh? 

Here’s how: ‘Chuh! Ah tired saying TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui, because it don’t really have no more real significance. Every day is just like the one that went before, and the next one that coming. Nothing different to look forward to. Hn! Never thought I’d ever miss going to work nuh! But such is life. Ah guess when yuh accustomed doing something for so long, to just drop it without no warning for so long does bring some yearning for it. The slave master must be livid too since his business shut down completely and he not making any money. 

But I know he home resting comfortably, not having any real wants, because he personally could afford the shut down, is the people who working for him that can’t afford it. And sometimes now, when I see the protests about going back to work it gets me angry, and I want to join in. But the sensible part in me warns me that we need to take things easy and sensible, because if we open back up too soon, this virus chupidness could just resurrect its deadly head again! Steups! So who really have the answers eh? Hope they find a way to stop it soon yes, else we might just have riots in the street, with so much people not having much money or food to eat! Ah Lord, what’s next eh?’ 

And did our ordinary workingman hit the nail right on the head there mih bredrin! Things are indeed getting somewhat tense this last meeting. But as I said yesterday, our leaders are damned if they do, or damned if they don’t! Because there are so many people calling for either the lockdown, or reopen action, they really find themselves in a rather tough situation. It’s certainly a tough time to be a leader, and history will merely judge them by the eventual results, without any consideration to the many unknown variables that were then playing out. 

But my fellow saints in Christ, we have one solid answer, or starting point for it all; that most satisfying form of communication between ourselves and the impregnable fortress we call God; we talking about prayer! So let’s get to talking to Him nuh, through our rejigged Friday Chant for this Covid-19 season. All together now, as one strong voice, with sincere and pleading hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 

But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, we just have to keep on praying and hoping and eagerly and expectantly waiting in strong faith for God to move, while doing whatever little we can do to help the situation, be it stay at home and observe social distancing, or be out there on the front lines standing strong and steadfast, if you’re an essential worker! There’s only one thing we can be sure of; this too will pass, as so many other tragedies have. We just have to wait for God’s time. 

And the Good Book opened this morning to this most appropriate scripture, the words of the Lord our God through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen (prophets) over you, saying, hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.’ (Jer. 6:16-17) 

Oh my people that accounts for a lot of our problems right there! Our stubborn disobedience and hard-heartedness has made our lives unnecessarily difficult. And when you factor in our sinful, foolish and impossible effort to remove God completely from our society, it just makes our situation even worse. And God said it quite plainly through Jeremiah. ‘Hear, O earth: behold I will bring evil (calamity) upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.’ (Jer. 6:19) 

And the Lord did indeed punish Israel for not obeying Him. So why yuh think He won’t do the same to our ever so sinful and disobedient society eh? And please don’t tell me any foolishness about that was the Old Testament! For neither do God’s laws nor His nature change! The only thing that has really changed from the Old to the New Testament is Jesus coming and allowing us to be saved and our sins atoned for by grace and His precious blood, rather than animal blood sacrifices. The Ten Commandments are still the Ten Commandments, regardless of whether we faithfully teach them or display them publicly. 

And likewise, the answer to the sarcastic, pompous and tempting question: ‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?’ Per Jesus, it’s still the same as it always was and ever shall be: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22: 37-40) 

Precious people, until this world starts acknowledging that Almighty God is its Creator, Provider and Controller and that we need to admire, reverence and exalt His Holy Name, while walking in sincere LOVE for each other, our world will never know real or true peace and contentment! Much LOVE!

where there is no vision (divine revelation)…the people perish… (Prov. 29:14a)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2020 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.    ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.
 
Come Easter Saturday morning, me and my friends, will be heart-broken, thinking of Jesus, His beaten and battered body buried in the tomb, but whose awesome spirit is fighting the devil in hell, so that He can return triumphant on Easter Sunday! Oh glory to God my faithful brethren! He’s such a wonderful God, and LOVES us much that He gave His only Son to die to atone for our sins on that horrible but blessed day called Good Friday! 

And it is always worth noting, that though we’re sorrowful for the abuse, injustice and terrible ‘sufferation’ Jesus experienced on our behalf yesterday, without Good Friday, we would never be able to have the joyous resurrection of Easter Sunday, and thus the amazing promise of eternal life! And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful cheer of ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy and LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s turn now to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says it in spades: ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ And is that ever so true my fellow believers! The seeds of our today doing will be the ones we reap henceforth. As we all know, we reap whatever we sow, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

And ain’t that the gospel truth! Have you ever noticed how much harvest we receive even though we only sow a few seed? Well that’s exactly what will happen to us, with whatever we sow today, good or evil, LOVE or hate. It will be multiplied and measured back to us several fold. So please, lets pay close attention to what we sow today, for it will certainly boomerang on us tomorrow. 

And here’s another nugget of truth: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.’ That’s for certain sure! We like to give it a fancy name like procrastination, but it’s usually an act of laziness, or fear, as we just don’t want to face the problems that have come against us. I can testify to the laziness aspect. (smile) And the truth is, if we just ramp up our efforts and deal with the problems in a timely and effective manner, most of them will quickly go away, for most problems are never as insurmountable as they seem when we shy away from them. 

Therefore, this next quote is rather timely. ‘Don’t brood. Get on with living and LOVING. You don’t have forever.’ And isn’t that what many of us are finally finding out with the Covid-19 pandemic that’s clutching tenaciously at our throats? We can’t allow life to pass us by without making significant efforts to throttle it and keep it in line. We must LIVE and LOVE as though there was no tomorrow! And who knows if there will be eh? 

But still so many of us refuse to do what is necessary to survive, or at least have a reasonable chance of surviving. There is still too much doubt, denial, confusion and totally different messages prevailing amongst the top echelons in our society, so what can we expect from the lower rungs eh, but the same negative behaviour. 

Then there’s this: ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to LOVE yourself to get anything done in this world.’ I don’t know how much truth there is that statement nuh, although I suspect there is some. The long and short of the story though is that Jesus said: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yuh see friends, LOVE for God ought ALWAYS to be first place! And you’ll notice that LOVE for self runs a distant third, because we need to LOVE our neighbours after we LOVE the Lord. The only mention of LOVE for self there is in the context of LOVING our neighbours.  How much we LOVE others, will be in direct proportion to how much we LOVE ourselves! The truth being that we can’t LOVE anyone, or can only LOVE them as much as there is LOVE in our own hearts. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say on the subject: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! If you don’t have LOVE in your heart, you obviously can’t give it away! That brings us to this amazing quote: ‘Keep LOVE in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’ And don’t I ever know that! Oh friends, LOVE is the most important thing in the world, as Jesus reminded us above. LOVE for God, our neighbours and ourselves! For LOVE is truly what makes the world go around! 

As John so clearly tells us in his epistle. ‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But the scholars clarify that by stating: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’  

Thus the LOVE we’re talking about here is that which is securely entwined with true belief in Jesus Christ. And thus John could continue: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘AMEN!’ 

And we’ll close with this reminder from the scholars, re that verse. ‘John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’ 

And that’s why sin had to be justly paid for, before forgiveness could be bestowed. Much LOVE!

…but the greatest of God’s attributes is…LOVE…

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