Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2020 Matthew 12:25.

Matthew 12:25.     Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.
 

It’s late, it’s late, it’s late! But, with the Lord’s help, it’ll be great, it’ll be great, it’ll be great! (smile) Morning mih bredrin! How goes it this Friday morning in early July eh? I know some people are singing: ‘Summertime, summertime, summertime!’ enjoying the constant warm weather at last. However, many others are more concerned about all the unprecedented problems that have recently raised up their ugly heads in our society. 

But not to worry, our great God is still in control, and He has promised that no weapon formed against His children will prosper. And Jesus’ two most famous words were: ‘FEAR NOT!’ So let’s do just that nuh; don’t be afraid, but work within the parameters of which we are capable and do our li’l part to help remedy the situation, if it’s only being responsible in a positive manner. And the sermon done right there! (smile) 

Now let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Yeah! And the Canada Day holiday broke up the work week nicely! That day of rest in between was wonderful! This is the best I’ve felt after the few weeks that we’ve gone back to work! Glory be! But the sad part is that the same problems we had last weekend, we still have them! Nothing seems to be getting better in either the virus pandemic or the strife and protests! 

And with the 4th of July celebrations this weekend down in the U.S, yuh could imagine the bacchanal that going to happen down there with all the confusion that already taking place! Ah Lord eh! Good thing ah living in Canada yes, where we a li’l more law abiding and responsible. But when will we ever get back to normal eh, and when this systemic racism thing going to get fixed eh? Only God alone seems to know yes! 

But ah certainly hope we see some positive results in either case sometime soon oui. Ah tired with it now. Ah can’t go out as ah want to, and when I do go out, is always somebody marching in the streets or causing some riot somewhere! Steups! Yes, ah know people have problems, and have rights and want rights and all that, but what about my rights eh? Nobody not concerned about them! Nobody concerned that their rights impinging on mine! 

What a world we live in eh Dr. Jack! Ah only hope mih children don’t have to grow up in that sorta mishmash, unruly, divided and irresponsible world nuh! But all I could do right now yes is simply shake mih head and say thank the Lord is Friday, and ah have some time to sit down and contemplate the situation!’ 

Yes friends, we all need to take some time and contemplate the situation; both as individuals, as well as members of the overall society, and see how we can best put our gifts and talents to work to help improve it. It’s our citizenship responsibility. We won’t always agree, but as they say, we can agree to disagree, and thus get rid of the many small, petty and unimportant things that cause the division amongst us. Jesus said it very clearly: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ 

That’s not rocket science my people, but simple common sense. I’m forgetting though, that common sense is in very short supply these days. (smile) And we’re so foolish, that we seem to prefer to destroy our society, rather than come to some workable agreement. Anyway, as saints of Christ, the first thing we ought to do in any given situation is turn to our heavenly Father and pray, ask for wisdom and guidance to handle the prevailing situation. So let’s do that right now nuh; let’s cry out to Him in humble confidence through our Friday Chant, our prayer for mercy and grace, wisdom and understanding. 

As one loud and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to 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 and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, the Lord heard our prayer, and as we spoke, He was already putting His plans into action to help us. Now it’s our turn to satisfy our part of the covenant, the partnership we have with Him, time to be responsible and show the true colours of Christianity with which we will conquer this evil world! The Lord is counting on us friends, so please, let’s not disappoint Him nuh! Much LOVE!

…as true salt of the earth…and lights of the world…we can win this thing for Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2020 Psalm 145:3.

Psalm 145:3.     ​Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).
 

Happy Canada Day my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Yes, today we’re celebrating the great day of 1 July 1867 when the separate colonies of Canada (Ontario, Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were brought into a Confederation within the British Empire known as the Dominion of Canada. And since then baby, have we ever been going strong! And I don’t care what anybody says, Canada is still the best big country in the world! And do I hear an Amen? 

For sure, as a loud and grateful shout of ‘Amen’ does emanate from God’s people! (smile) But please remember my people, the pandemic is still upon us, and though the lockdown has been eased a fair amount, we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet, so we still have to be very careful and protect ourselves and those around us. So please, no rash and foolish gatherings and celebrations today. 

And I know that some people are pleased as punch with a holiday in the middle of the week, while others are displeased, preferring to have their public holidays on the weekend, but let’s just be thankful that we do have an extra day off – with pay to boot– and less likelihood of catching the virus, as most of us spend a quiet day at home, doing some of what Bruh David so proudly declared in Psalm 145, his psalm of praise. 

‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps. 145:1-3) And is that last verse ever so true my people! Our God is the greatest! His people have been saying that from the beginning of time, and we, in our time, have also discovered that it’s the awesome truth! There’s none other like him! 

That’s why Bruh David continues: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly (eagerly) utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 145: 4-7) 

Oh my people are we following in Bruh David’s footsteps, praising our great God, telling of His glorious majesty, His marvellous works, His wonderful goodness to the children of men, and singing of His amazing righteousness? If we are not, then we are doing Him a great injustice! How can we not sing the praises of a God, who as Bruh David says: ‘The Lord is generous, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps. 145:8-9) 

Mama Yo! What a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve my brethren! He’s so wonderful that ‘All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.’ (Ps. 145:10-12) Yes friends, that’s our number one purpose here on this earth, to make known to all and sundry the great power and might, mercy and grace of our wonderful God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And if we’re not doing that in some form and fashion, we’re therefore not fulfilling our earthly purpose. And we can’t give the excuse that we don’t have the means to do so, because there’s never been a time in man’s history when the gospel of Christ can be more easily spread, for technology has given us numerous ways to do so. That means we must have a serious conversation with ourselves and see how we can improve, and with God’s help do so, because the good news of the gospel is desperately needed in these dangerous and uncertain times. 

And in these deadly days, we need to remember more than ever that ‘The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait (look expectantly) upon thee; and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.’ (Ps. 145: 14-16) That means friends that the Lord will look after us in these dreadful times, if we fix our minds and actions on Him. We will not suffer harm or lack any good and necessary thing! And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘ Praise the Lord! Praise his holy Name! Praise Him for His goodness to those who call upon Him!’ 

Thus we can say with the utmost certainty: ‘The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. The Lord is nigh (near) unto all them that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear (reverence) him: he will also 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: 17-21) Wow mih bredrin! Is there any other supposed Deity like our great God? Absolutely not! There couldn’t be, because He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING GOD! 

And if you sincerely believe that, then let’s go home with our mouths singing His awesome praise through our Wednesday Wail. All together now in strong 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 if we are wise, we will keep looking steadfastly to that future and will also keep telling the rest of the world about it! Much LOVE!

…praise Him, praise him…Glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2020 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.
 

Well thank the Lord, some early morning showers of blessings graced the parched earth in my area! And I’m sure the earth was mighty thankful for them because it has been a few dry and hot days since they were last watered. And now the earth looks nice and clean as the reflection of the shining sun sparkles the drops of water on the green leaves and green blades of grass. 

Oh friends, there’s nothing like being cleansed; and that in body, spirit, mind and soul, for it cleans, refreshes and brings a new perspective to our thinking, to our way of life!  That’s why Bruh David pleaded with God in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) 

So let’s all send that prayer heavenward this bright, clean and beautiful Saturday morning nuh, as we take a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote states: ‘Whether it’s forced or invited, change is inevitable.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! There are only three things in this world we’re very sure about; death, taxes and change! And the comforting thing about them all, (smile) is that they all often come at some unforeseen and unbidden times.

 But change is a must, if the human race expects to survive. And we’re going through such a time right now with the double situations of the Covid-virus pandemic and the protests in streets all over the world. Things are going to change before those two babies are put to bed, that’s for sure! And this next quote falls in line with what we’ve just been talking about. I also like its expansiveness. (smile) ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.’ 

Now that might boggle some of our minds, but it really is true. And right now we’re seeing the perfect example of it; sickness all over the world and protests all over the world. Those things are not relegated to small pockets of our world, but the entire universe, where much change, much improvement is certainly needed! And when it’s all over, the entire earth will have effected some change(s) be they large or small, but hopefully good and necessary. 

Yes, nowadays, the whole world is our playground; it is indeed a global village, where most things affect everybody in every part of it. For example, even the dust from the Sahara Desert, thousands of miles away, is currently affecting the citizens of Jamaica. It’s really a small, small world! 

Now the next quote is especially significant to the Christian believer. ‘Don’t say it cannot be done, rather say, you don’t know how to do it yet.’ And I say that, not only because it’s a useful way to view life, but with Christ as Lord of our lives, there’s nothing we cannot do, since all things are possible with Him, because He is God incarnate. And remember, He strengthens us to do whatever He requires us to do. That leads us to this quote, a rather interesting one, and one that’s also significant to the believer. (smile) 

‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ And isn’t that the living truth friends? It surely is! And it’s also what Christ expects from His followers; steadfast diligence that nurtures an attitude of excellence. We know that we can’t be perfect, but if keep reaching for high levels, levels of excellence in all that we do, we will get as close to perfection as an imperfect being can get, and that’s what Jesus desires of us. But this last quote is the champion, (smile) and is again especially significant to believers in Christ Jesus. ‘If you believe in a cause, be willing to stand up for that cause with a million people or by yourself.’ 

Yes people, standing up for whatever we believe in is extremely important, whether it’s with a throng of millions, or by ourselves! If we don’t do that, then it says that we don’t truly believe what we profess. And standing up for our beliefs is NEVER easy, not even with millions involved, like the worldwide protests we’re now experiencing.  So you can imagine how difficult it can be when you’re standing up by yourself. But standing up is what we must always do, especially as faithful saints of Christ. 

And in these trying and troubling times it is even more important than ever for us to stand up for what we believe in, namely the gospel, the good news of Christ and His kingdom, which is at hand. This is a significant moment in time when the Lord our God is calling mankind to repent and return to His fold, and we are the workers on whom He is depending to get that job done. Remember Jesus words to His disciples when He saw the multitude that needed saving. ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt. 9:37) 

Well friends, the good news is that we Christians are the labourers that the Lord is sending forth to reap the harvest of an unsaved and evil world. And no, it’s not easy, but I guess it’s time to remind us of the terms of discipleship which we agreed to. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.’ Now do you remember agreeing to that? If you consider yourself a follower of Christ, then you either explicitly or implicitly agreed to it. And you can’t complain that you didn’t read the fine print. (smile) Ignorance is no excuse!  

I’d also like to emphasize the point that taking up one’s cross and following Jesus is a DAILY exercise, not a once in a while, an occasional thing, as so many of us supposed Christians believe and do. Every day we need to get up and be counted; like soldiers, be prepared to stand our ground on matters of principle, in unity, on the true foundation of God’s Word which is our guidebook and lifeline. That is the only way Christ’s church will ever be successful! 

So let’s take some time today to ponder our walk with Christ nuh; let’s check out whether we’re really taking up our crosses DAILY and following Him, then, with the Lord’s help, make whatever changes are necessary. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet calls obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2020 1 Samuel 16:7b.

1 Samuel 16:7b.     ​for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Monday, oh Monday…thou day of woe! Poor Monday, it’s been hated, resented and cursed down through the ages for something it has no control over; being the first day of our work week. But yuh know what, any other day, a day by any other name, which hailed the beginning of five days of back breaking labour (smile) would have been met with the same amount of disparagement and scorn that’s been heaped on Monday. Yeh friends, anything that disturbs our peaceful repose is disliked by our soft, lazy, think we’re entitled and inequitable society. 

No doubt many of us are glad that we don’t have to go to work in these dangerous and treacherous times, but then too, we won’t enjoy the fruits of our labour if we don’t labour. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of infinite wisdom: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion… this is the gift of God.’ (Eccl. 5:18; 19b) 

So to keep the motor of the 24-7 society continually running, as it needs must do in these modern times, somebody or bodies must go out and stoke it. We haven’t built a self-stoking engine yet. (smile) Even those fueled by batteries or electricity, have to be occasionally recharged. And sadly, a lot of us who are being hailed as front-line heroes, are not seeing comparative rewards in our paycheques, but instead are losing valuable family time, as well as on the job benefits. Some of our leaders are being two-faced. But what to do eh, it’s the nature of the political beast? 

I’ll tell you what we can do: we can pray for them; pray to our great and mighty God for them, as well as ourselves. It’s what the Lord is waiting for us to do, for He can’t answer our prayers if we don’t pray them. So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘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 hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

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. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, 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!’ 

Oh my people, if enough of us, that means plenty of us, sincerely pray along those lines, as well as repent of our evil ways and do better, our heavenly Father will indeed keep His promise. He did it several times for Israel, so why won’t He do it for us too eh? But remember, the Lord doesn’t only listen to what comes out of our mouths, for like the Pharisees and other leaders of Jesus’ day, what we speak, often doesn’t truly reflect what’s in our hearts. 

That’s why the Lord said to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel and the good-looking son Eliab stood before Him and Samuel figured he had to be the one. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected ) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Yes friends, until the Lord searches our hearts and sees true repentance and true willingness to change our evil ways, our societies will be forever troubled and in turmoil. Now the Lord saw our need and sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ to help us, that whomsoever believed in Him would have everlasting life. So He’s done His part. The ball is now in our court. We need to accept Christ and receive His peace, joy and LOVE, and show the world that HE IS THE ANSWER…THE ONLY ANSWER…  Much LOVE!

…if the created is wise…he will turn to the Creator for help…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Well mih people, hope you all are having a fine Saturday, sleeping in or lazing on the couch. Some of us can’t afford those luxuries though, we have to get up and labour away, just like any other day. (smile) But it’s all in the Lord’s name, so I guess it’s okay. And the confusion in the streets and in the medical community still reign. In some places it’s better, in some it’s worse, but be it known that this is indeed a monumental time in the history of mankind. 

And who knows what the outcome will be? For sure there will be changes, but what changes and to what extent? And are they going to make a difference, a substantial or meaningful difference in the way our world operates. Right now, ONLY the Lord alone knows, but let’s all hope and pray, that at the end of this pandemic and these protests that our world will wake up in a new and better place. And all God’s people said a loud and prayerful ‘Amen!’ 

Now let’s get into our Saturday mode and look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one directly addresses one of our current problems. ‘It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.’ 

And I know that some of you, particularly the privileged ones, won’t agree with that statement, because you have never walked a day in a black man’s shoes, but I do, wholeheartedly. That’s because all over the world, the people of African heritage are treated differently than others. It’s so ridiculous that even if you have a white parent, and you look white, you are considered black, because dislike of black skin or heritage is so deeply entrenched in our white ruled society. Now that’s not to say that other minorities aren’t treated in a poor manner too, but nowhere near as badly as black people are treated. 

And the next quote informs to the first one: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And isn’t that the living truth! For some reason, possibly because we’re all so selfish and greedy, injustice travels faster and further than justice! The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly, while those of injustice just seem to race along. Have you ever noticed how quickly injustice spreads amongst a hitherto reasonably just society, but how long it takes for justice to be restored when the injustice has been broken down? 

What can I say eh? I guess it’s just the nature of the human animal, that’s why there’s so much truth in the saying, ‘Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.’ No doubt our Creator made us to be LOVING, humane beings, but with our free will, we have evolved to be the exact opposite. And the next quote interestingly advises: ‘If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.’ 

Hn, Hn! I like it. It sounds saucy and somewhat rebellious! And why not eh? If people keep jawing in your ears about your inability to move up and on, then simply do so well, move on and up so far, that you can’t hear their negative caterwauling any longer. (smile) It’s so sad when you realize the vast amount of people who never reach their potential because of loudmouthed naysayers! And that’s exactly why our next and last quote is so awesomely true: ‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.’ And that’s the backbone of our Christian faith: ‘NEVER GIVE UP!’ 

Yes my faithful believing friends, those words don’t exist in Christ’s vocabulary. His motto is ‘KEEP KEEPING ON!’ And anyone who chooses to seriously follow Him must also make that their number one goal. And Jesus said it ever so plainly: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ It couldn’t be any clearer than that. And for good measure, He said it a second time when talking about the signs before the end. ‘And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the LOVE of many shall wax (grow) cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:12-13) 

And we’re seeing that right now; lawlessness abounds and LOVE is a meaningless word. But as a true believer, you just have to tell your awesome pilot, Jesus: ‘Steady as she goes!’ (smile) We just have to keep on keeping on, enduring and persevering right down to the very end. We can’t be like the seed in the parable of the sower that are sown on stony ground, who hear the word and ‘immediately receive it with gladness. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17) 

No friends, true believers need to react in Bruh Paul’s words, like Charity, like LOVE: ‘Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (! Cor. 13:5-7) Yes mih people, true Christian behaviour is not an easy row to hoe, but with Jesus’ help we can certainly accomplish it, if we truly believe as we like to say: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And it’s why He also told Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) We believers are all supposed to be soldiers in Christ’s army, and good soldiers endure hardship for their leader and their cause. What we must therefore endeavour to truthfully say at the end, are these momentous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now friends, if we would all make that our sincere goal, and work diligently towards it, then our world will be eventually turned right side up, and we’ll get our just rewards in heaven. Much LOVE!

…with strong faith and trust in Christ…we can persevere and endure…whatever comes our way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2020 Isaiah 9:2.

Isaiah 9:2.    ​  The people that have walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
 

And then all those bright, sunshiny days, morphed into this beautiful one called Friday! And everyone’s thoughts are turned to what this June weekend might hold for us, as individuals, as well as our whole frustrated, discontented, weary, sick, fearful and anxious world! But there is no need to fear my friends, for our great and ever-faithful God has given us an incredible promise: ‘The people that have walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ 

Yeh friends, the Lord promised us a guiding light to lead us out of the darkness and He kept that promise when He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ into the world to show us what He was truly like, and that we would be able to follow the light and come to a sure understanding of the truth found in His Word. But unfortunately, as John says: ‘In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:4-5) 

Now is it ever so sad, that back then, only a minority of mankind appreciated the light and took advantage of what it had to offer. And the same unfortunate situation still exists to this day. But hear this explanation from the scholars nuh: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. (Please check out those references.) In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

Exactly what I’ve been saying: not enough of us have accepted Jesus’ revelation of God, neither His most wonderful offer of salvation and deliverance! No wonder our world is in such a calamitous state! Jesus said it quite plainly Himself: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) So the ONLY way out is for us to accept what God has to offer on a worldwide scale, not trying to run Him out of our society, as we are presently trying to do. Let’s remember that nuh! Sermon done! (smile) 

And since it’s Friday, I know many of you are waiting with bated breath to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. So let’s check it out nuh. As always, he begins with ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is here!’ But these days his enthusiasm and energy level don’t seem as high as they were before the pandemic shut down everything. ‘Yeh, thank God for the two days off from work! But what we going to do with them eh? Is summer time now, and half the place still lock down, and yuh still have to practice social or physical distancing, or whatever yuh choose to call it! 

Steups! And not even that, but I really don’t want to go anywhere because mih body tired, ah still can’t catch mihself, still not gotten back accustomed to the hard labour in the slave master work! Oh what a difference two months away from it makes! And this pandemic thing, as well as the new racial protest and them, doh look like they going away any time soon nuh. 

Ah Lord eh! In all mih born days, ah never see the world in such a mess yet nuh! But what a small man like me going to do about all that eh? Not a hell of a lot. Just grin and bear it as best as I can and pray that it all get better sooner than later! And is a good thing I still have the weekends to look forward to yes, so I can get away from it all. Thank the Lord for that oui!’ 

Ah friends, I know that many of us are experiencing the same kind of frustration and feel like the ordinary workingman does, because we are ordinary working people without a whole lotta say in the big affairs of the society, and the powers that be don’t pay a lot of attention to us, unless we rise up together and make our voices heard. And that ofttimes meets with unfortunate circumstances as the current racial protests are showing. But there’s one place where NO ONE can stop or hold us back…and that’s in the realm of prayer! 

Calls to Almighty God are only monitored by Him and He desires to hear from all of us. So let’s get busy and pray nuh; call out to God for mercy and deliverance through our Friday Chant. As one loud and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. 

Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to 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 and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, like faithful believers, let’s go and do whatever little we can do to help the situation! Much LOVE!

…each one teach one…each one help one…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2020 1 Corinthians 13:13.

1 Corinthians 13:13.    ​And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).
 

Greetings and salutations on this beautiful Wednesday morning, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s a joy to come into your homes and visit with you for a few minutes every day! Thank you so much for graciously inviting and then warmly welcoming me. (smile) And the word for today is that monumental and magnanimous one, the chief attribute of our great God; LOVE! And what a magnificent word and attribute it is. But before we delve further into it, here’s something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that beautifully expresses one important aspect of LOVE! It’s titled ‘Remembrance.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord, somewhere I read That when two people LOVE deeply When they live together Sharing Caring Giving Forgiving Eventually they begin To resemble each other. Lord, how long will it be Before I look like YOU?’ Now that my people is indeed an awesome question! Why is that you ask? Because the Lord’s basic intention is to have all His children resemble Himself and His first born. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in the Bible Promise used for our poem above. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding (reflect) as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (His likeness) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term beholding can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ And remember He’ll keep doing that good work in us, right until Christ returns. (Phil. 1:6) So it’s not a vikey vie, or hit and miss thing. (smile) 

Now let’s delve a li’l further into that marvellous attribute called LOVE nuh. And the first thing we need to realize and tearfully acknowledge is this verse from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Now friends, we’ll never understand the true meaning and value of the word LOVE until we sincerely appreciate what our great God did for us, while we were separated from Him by what He most despises; sin! 

Yes, it must have taken a great attribute for Him to sacrifice His only Son for a bunch of ingrates. But He did it because of His unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us, His original creation! And Jesus stated it unequivocally: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Yes my people, it was all about LOVE! That’s why John could write so purposefully in his epistle: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) 

And some of you are still wondering what’s so great about this thing called LOVE – and it’s not the romantic aspect we talking about here, but the brotherly aspect. Well here are a few things that LOVE does within societies. Cousin Sol warns us: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth a multitude of sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) And that is the gospel truth, for if there was more LOVE and less hatred in our world, it would not be in the sad state it’s now in with strife and resentment fomenting from corner to corner. 

Cousin Sol also tells us this bitter truth. ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) And many of us have proven that for ourselves through disastrous and unhappy relationships. Now hear Bruh Paul again to the church at Rome: ‘LOVE worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom. 10:13) Glory be mih people! When we truly LOVE, we won’t, or can’t do wrong to anybody! 

And hear this wonderful power of LOVE from John nuh. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) Mamacita! What more can we ask or expect from LOVE eh? And remember that LOVE is not practiced by believers alone, for when Christ spoke about LOVING one’s enemies, He specifically stated: ‘For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do  not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so?’ (Matt. 5:46-47) 

So LOVE exists in all spheres of our societies, just not between enough of those spheres to make our world a worthwhile place. And we’ll end the LOVE story on this dramatic note, (smile) with these momentous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ Yes friends, the greatest attribute man can ever acquire and most importantly put to work is LOVE. And please note that LOVE means more than just talking, but more importantly implies, calls for action! LOVE means doing, helping, caring for, showing compassion, etc., etc. all action words! 

And having filled our souls and spirits with scriptures of LOVE, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our position in Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 we know, we believe, that if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now is…LOVE…sweet LOVE…not for some…but for everyone… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but yuh know how the ole fella stay (smile) and I think it’s great though. (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!

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 13 June 2020 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.    ​Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.
 

One more time to the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yes my faithful brethren we’ve been given another day on God’s great earth to make some sort of difference, no mater how small or insignificant it might be. Please don’t only seek to do the big things which you believe will bring lots of glory, because ofttimes many small things put together bring more glory, may be more valuable than one big thing. 

And that’s the word for today; don’t disparage or underestimate small doings, for as my Jamaican people wisely say; one one cocoa full basket. (smile) And that’s the living truth! So today, let’s focus on the many small things we can do rather than search out the big thing that our lustful souls selfishly desire. Now, they tell me it’s Saturday, (smile) so that means we have to look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one hits the proverbial nail right on the head: ‘Don’t wait for opportunity, create it.’ That’s gospel friends! We can’t always wait for opportunity to come along before we get up and get going, for sometimes opportunity never comes. It’s often left up to us to create our own opportunity. Just look at many of the great inventors, they had an idea or ideas and didn’t wait for opportunity to present itself on a silver platter, but went ahead and created the opportunity they needed. I guess in these times of fancy words and phrases they might call it something like ‘self-motivation.’ 

And all we believers in Christ need to have lots of self-motivation seeing that we have lots of demanding work to do in His name. That leads to this next quote: ‘It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.’ Yeh mih people, very few worthwhile endeavours in this life come easily, so if you want to do anything worthwhile, especially for Jesus, you have to learn to bite the bullet and just keep going regardless of the problems and hardships you face. Remember Jesus’ words to the disciples re a rich man entering heaven? ‘With men this is impossible; but with God ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

So if you’re working for Jesus, you don’t have to worry about impossibilities, because there are NONE! And that brings up this quote: ‘Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.’ Now isn’t that the living truth…especially if you’re in Jesus’ employ! (smile) Yes friends, our Lord tries us continually to see what we’re made of, how strong our faith is, to see if what’s in our hearts really lines up what we claim through our mouths. The Good Book mentions testing many times. 

Let’s check out a few. Look at King Hezekiah, who seems to have sincerely trusted the Almighty. The Good Book recounts: ‘Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try (test) him, that he might know all that was in his heart.’ (2 Chr. 32:31) And if you want to know more about that story please check it out in 2 Kings 20:12-19. 

And remember this promise in Zechariah, re the cleansing of Jerusalem? ‘And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try (test) them as gold is tried (tested): they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.’ (Zech. 13:9) 

But this is what we believers ought to be saying in our time of testing: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ (Job 23:10) Mama Mia! What words of awesome faith from Job even though he was going through hell here on earth! How many of us can make such a definitive statement eh? Not too many of us. But it’s what we ought to aspire to, if we truly want to be strong, faithful Christians. 

And this next quote gives us some wise direction. ‘The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles.’ That’s for certain sure! We need to keep our minds focused on the goals we’re working towards, rather than the obstacles we encounter while working towards them. The obstacles will try to take away our focus, but we must not let them. We can’t ignore them, for sometimes they do present more and even better opportunities, but our minds ought to be stayed on our goals, assuming they are worthwhile ones. 

And this last quote says it all. ‘I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.’ It’s obviously comes from some sports figure. But he makes the very salient point all of us need to write deep in our hearts, failure is not failure until we stop trying. And in God’s economy there is no giving up, which means there’s no failure. 

We’re not going to win every round, but we MUST get back up each time we fall and continue keeping on. That’s the nature of the truly successful person in any walk of life! Get back up on your horse and ride again; that ought to be the believer’s motto. And we have this awesome promise of God to help us do all that we need to do. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, we can rest assured that whatever good work the Lord begins in us, He will keep on doing it, and complete it when Christ returns. So let’s hang in there and do the right things nuh. We all know what they are, but allow our sinful fleshly desires to thwart our righteous ones. Much LOVE!

…you can’t fail…if you never stop trying…

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