Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.    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.
 

And another day has bitten the dust…But our world is still alive, though somewhat discombobulated; scarred and scared by the ole Coronavirus, since not enough good, but still too much bad and ugly is happening. And is it ever a good thing that we believers know the Truth, and that the Truth will set us free! Glory to God! A few places are holding their own, but many, like the U. S. are now exploding because of too late precautions. And I understand that mih people in J.A will be under lock and key from tomorrow… 

Hn! Ah talking about a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. And believe me, I know what that is like, having experienced it way back in 1970 with the Black Power Riots in T&T. The voluntary stay at home now is bad enough, but when you can’t be seen in the streets at all during certain hours, that’s a horse of a different colour, especially if the military and the police are out looking for curfew breakers. But not to worry mih bredrin, our good God has it all under control. We just have to obey our leaders, stay home and practice safe routines, and come to Him in sincere prayer with heartfelt repentance for our myriad number of ghastly sins. 

And as He has promised, eventually, everything will be worked out for our benefit. Remember though, that it will all happen in His time, not ours, and that’s the cut-tail part of it all. We hate to wait, and the Lord doesn’t hurry! And if yuh doh believe me, then just try it and see nuh! (smile) Oh my people, this virus business is indeed a serious matter, but too many of us are letting it get us too afraid, depressed and daily losing hope. But now is the time when we believers ought to be on the ascendance with our strong and wonderful faith! 

It’s not the time for us to wilt like faded and dying roses, as so many of us are doing, because the world needs that awesome faith we have more than ever now! Now is the time for us to stand up and really show our true colours; be the amazing salt and light of the world that Jesus desires of us! And yuh know what? If, we believers, with all of our supposed faith in, and awesome promises of God, become fearful and lose hope, what will be the response of the unbeliever be eh, of the rest of the world, who don’t have what we have? Utter chaos and confusion! 

That’s why, as a group, Christians need to stand strong and steadfast, take the matter seriously, but don’t panic and give assurances to the unbelievers. It’s at times like these when we can do our best evangelical work, bringing others to Christ, by the staunch and steadfast examples we set. Jesus knew that we’d face trials and tribulations, thus His encouraging and reassuring words. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In this world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And a lot of us quick to quote those words, but when the time comes to put them into actual action, like now, too many of us falter and fail. If we falter now friends, it means that we don’t have sufficient faith and trust in our God, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that’s supposed to dwell in us and lead and guide us in godly righteousness. We obviously don’t hold Jesus’ many assurances of ‘FEAR NOT!’ in high regard. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but of doing stuff while afraid, with the power of the Holy Spirit assisting us. 

And what about these words of Jesus eh? ‘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) It doesn’t seem as though we are taking those words seriously either. And what if some of us die? We all have to go sometime. As the Good Book says: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb. 9:27) Now don’t get me wrong, very few of us are ready to, or want to die right now, including me, but the truth is that  none of us have the power or authority to prolong our lives, so when the Grim Reaper comes a calling, we just have to go, whether we want to or not. 

The one proviso necessary though before that time comes, is that we go with Christ as our Lord and Saviour tucked away safely and deeply in our hearts. So once you truly have Jesus as the Light of your life, there’s no need to fear death, for what we call death, the physical aspect, is merely a leaving of our physical body behind, with a glorious continuation of life on the other side, in the spiritual plane, with Jesus. Oh friends, just like Christ died once, on our behalf, we can only die once, but with Him in our hearts, we are assured of a resurrection just like Him. 

And thus let’s hold on tight to this somewhat obscure and unknown verse of scripture: ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look (eagerly wait) for him shall he reappear the second time without (apart from) sin unto salvation.’ (Heb. 9:28) So my faithful brethren, instead of dwelling on the worst case scenario in these trying times, let’s instead focus on the big picture nuh; the Second Coming of Christ with the beautiful promise of salvation in His wings! That’s the wise way to handle this current situation, and it will help us to stand strong and steadfast as prisoners of divine hope. 

Now let’s go home showing our mettle nuh, by declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong, fearless voices, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And now, the natural consequence of that declaration (steups!) is to action it in whatever safe way we can. Much LOVE!

…sincere HOPE in Christ…is the ONLY antidote for fear… 

P.S. Yeh, it’s somewhat late, due as usual to my penchant for late nights, (smile) but I like it…and I hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2020 Hebrews 5:8.

Hebrews 5:8.    ​Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
 
Awright mih bredrin, it’s Saturday, so let’s get busy! And I hear a hoarse groan and sad chuckle, as they ask: ‘Busy doing what eh? The same boring things we’ve been doing for the last how long?’ And I have to answer: ‘I guess so. What else yuh going to do eh? Go out the street and walk around, go to work, go to the park or the supermarket? Yes and no to all of them!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s indeed a sad time, but also a rather important time of learning; of learning to get along with ourselves, our families and the world around us. 

This time of isolation isn’t just for helping us to stay healthy, but also for learning the Lord’s most important attribute; that of LOVE! For it’s LOVE that truly keeps us going: LOVE for ourselves, our friends and families, the world, and most importantly for God! And I believe our LOVE tank was very near empty, especially in our reverence for God, that’s why we’ve found ourselves in this untenable situation. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s proceed to consider the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one is certainly interesting: ‘If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?’ Now that’s a very good question. And I’m being the devil’s advocate here, understanding the operative words to be ‘can do.’ (smile) If you are a believer and God gives you something you can do, why not do it eh? And I guess most of us have no real, sincere, justified answer. We might have a lot of excuses, but no good reason to not do His will. It’s not like He’s given you something that seems impossible. And even then, please remember that our wise and wonderful God, NEVER gives us anything to do without the wherewithal to do it. Matter fix! 

And this next quote is tied into the first: ‘You can’t fulfill your calling in your comfort zone!’ And that’s a fact! For our calling always requires us to get up off of our fat fannies and do something that takes some effort. You can’t just lie back and expect to do what is expected without some blood, sweat and tears. Please remember these reassuring, but also galvanizing words from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now when you add those marvellous words of our Lord and Saviour to the facts above, that God never gives us something to do without giving us the tools to do them through the awesome power of His Holy Spirit, then we should have no hesitation in getting up and doing what we’re called to do, since we have the assurance and strength of our omnipotent Triune Deity! That leads us into this next quote: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’ That’s gospel truth my people! 

And we not talking about Jesus’ comment that what you put in you won’t defile you, but what comes out of you. (Matt. 15:17-20) But we’re referring to the dreams and desires and plans that the Lord has put in your personal portfolio. Yes, the Lord has a special and separate plan for each life He creates, and unless we fulfill that plan, we’re doomed to an unfulfilled life that could eventually include spiritual destruction and hellfire. That’s why it’s oh so important to know, and to hold on tightly to these words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh friends, if we don’t know that scripture and believe it with every fibre of our being, then we have nothing to really serve as a proper foundation and give us the hope and faith to carry on regardless of whatever happens. And in effect, our lives would have been worthless. But when we accept the Lord promises and all that he has to offer then our lives blossom and good fruit is produced for His kingdom. For as the next quote tells us: ‘I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.’ 

And that’s more awesome gospel truth my believing brethren! We can only conquer this evil world when the fire in us burns brighter and hotter and longer than that of the world! And remember Jesus said that the world is full of tribulation but in Him we can find peace since he’s overcome hell death and the grave… And all His followers declared a loud and proud: ‘Thank You Jesus!’ And John reassures us of this fact when he reminds us: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirits of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

Mama Mia! That’s why the fire inside believers burns brighter than that that’s in the world: our Lord and Saviour, through his Holy Spirit dwells within us and He’s a million times stronger and hotter than Beelzebub who rules over the world! Thus we come to this last quote: ‘Grow through what you go through.’ And that’s the motto for the true believer. You can only grow when you go through something that flexes your muscles; physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Without a testing of our strength and endurance, there is NO GROWTH! 

So for those of us who want to grow in faith and do great things for Christ without going through some rough and struggling times, forget it. Even Jesus, though he was the Son of God went through serious ‘sufferation.’ As Hebrews so plainly puts it: ‘Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb. 5:8-9) Yes my people, we can only learn obedience by going through things that challenge our sinful fleshly nature. 

And remember that Jesus though God, was also fully man, so His man side had to learn by going through tough times. And that’s why now, since He knows and has experienced the same things we experience, He is fit and capable to sit beside the Father’s throne and advocate on our behalf. Yes, living a life for Jesus is not easy, but following His obedient example and with His strength and power, we can become good and solid Christians and make this evil world a better place! Much LOVE!

…only a few of us will suffer like Jesus…but ALL of us will suffer some…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2020 Psalm 107:6.

Psalm 107:6.    Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
 
So it’s a new day…in a new week, and the war continues between the Coronavirus and mankind. And sadly, right now the virus seems to be holding the upper hand because mankind never expected this war, and thus were not prepared for it. But there’s one thing I know, that Jehovah God made His greatest creation strong, tough and resilient, with the attitude of never giving up, of being able to rebound even from a fight which they never expected and thus were ill prepared for. Thus I can safely say that though the virus is winning the battle right now, it WILL NOT, I repeat, it WILL NOT win the overall war! 

And why is that? Because with God’s help, we WILL produce an antidote for it, and we WILL be the eventual winners, although by then, our world might have been severely ravaged by the enemy virus!  But undoubtedly, then we will rebuild and come back even stronger than we were before, having learned valuable lessons from this lack of foresight. Yes friends, that’s the belief we Christians need to foster in these sad and trying times, for despite all our difficulties, as believers, we must always remain hopeful and faithful. 

That’s because we have been made in the spiritual image of the Most High God Jehovah, and have not been imbued with a spirit of fear, but one of mighty courage through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the unmatchable attribute of LOVE, plus a sound and disciplined mind. Consequently, we won’t run from any fight, because we have all the tools to win any battle… with the Lord on our side. For remember the battle is the Lord’s, the eventual outcome is always in His hands. But with the very sinful and disobedient state of our current world, it is difficult to picture the Lord being on our side right now. 

Oh yes, He still LOVES us, that won’t ever change, but fighting for us in this our time of serious need is another matter. But my people, we have so many examples of Israel’s disobedience and subsequent punishment, then eventual repentance and return to God’s favour and grace that I strongly suggest right now is such a time for us. Oh my faithful brethren, if this isn’t the time for serious repentance, I don’t know when it will ever come nuh. Right now, we’re like the Israelites, wandering aimlessly in the desert. 

As the psalmist says: ‘They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps.107:4-7) Oh friends, right now this virus is running us ragged, our souls are sore afraid, we’re dropping like flies stuck in honey, and many of us don’t know which way to turn. 

But we, the faithful, do know where to turn, to our great God and Father in heaven. It’s a no-brainer, but it does call for sincere repentance. We can’t continue being stubbornly sinful and pigheaded and expect Him to help us. As Asaph says in Psalm 50 – God is the judge – and He certainly is; though we seem to keep forgetting that most salient fact. ‘Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps. 50:14-15) 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my people! Pay the vows we promised; in other words, sincerely repent and begin doing the things we should have been doing all along, and when trouble comes, like now, we can call out to Him in strong confidence, knowing that He will hear us and alleviate our problems. But yuh know what, some of us are so stubborn and foolish, we will refuse to turn to God, our Creator, and the most omnipotent Being in the universe, and instead choose to wait on man to find a solution to our problems. 

Hn! Man; whose life is short and worthless like a vapour, and whose power, the li’l he has, comes from the same Almighty Creator. And friends, this can’t afford to be insincere repentance nuh, because if the Lord doesn’t intervene on our behalf soon, the virus going to tear us up and spit us out like chawing tobacco. Yuh see the sad state Italy is in, and also the mighty U.S. of A; whose claim to fame as the greatest power ever on the face of the earth was said to be because of God’s wonderful favour and grace. But unfortunately, instead of staying aligned with God’s purpose, it has now become the standard bearer for sin and ungodliness. 

One time when Israel’s repentance was insincere, hear the Lord’s comment through Hosea. ‘I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge (confess) their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early (diligently).’ (Hos.5:15) Oh friends, it is of the utmost importance that we diligently seek the Lord’s face RIGHT NOW! So please join me in a sincere prayer of thanksgiving, repentance and a soulful cry for help. 

‘Heavenly Father, we come to you on bended knees, in humble adoration, giving you thanks for keeping us alive this Monday morning. We know that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we also 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 humbly come to you now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading for assistance in stopping this Coronavirus that’s wreaking havoc all over our world. 

Gracious Lord, we don’t know how to handle it, but with Your remarkable help, we know that we can stop, can successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth. So Father, we ask that you graciously and mercifully grant our leaders, scientists, and medical personnel wise guidance and direction, so that they can lead us aright and develop a sure antidote as soon as possible. 

In closing Lord, we ask that You keep the promise in Your Word, that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. That’s what we’re pledging to do now Lord. So please show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now my fellow believers, let’s go out and do our part nuh, so that the Lord won’t have any excuse not to do His. Much LOVE!

…if a disastrous situation like this…doesn’t bring true repentance…then who knows what will eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.
 
Well top o’ the morn to all you wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! And I mean that in a general sense because it’s already a tad late, due to my early morning bed time and consequently late rising. (smile) But all that’s a part of life, and we just have to take it and accept it with God’s good grace. Hn, hn, hn! It sounds like I’m making an excuse for something eh? Who knows? But the long and short of it is that in my area of the world it’s a wet and windy Friday morning. The rain has currently stopped, but the wind is certainly picking up, and according to the weather people, we’re going to have thunderstorms and all other kinds of inclement weather this exciting day in God’s great universe! 

Yeh, as Job says, you can’t expect to get good stuff all the time and never experience some negative affairs. But the good thing about it all is that we have Jesus running our show, and He’s a Leader extraordinaire, so we don’t need to be worried about whatever happens if we’re walking under His awesome command. That’s why this Coronavirus, or whatever it’s called, that’s running rings around our world doesn’t trouble Christ’s believers as much as those who don’t believe! 

We know that it’s dangerous, and we’re to take good and safe precautions, but we also know that our great God has faithfully promised to work everything out for our eventual good, so we don’t panic and get all wired and wound up, but show the world the true faith of Christ’s believers. And the ordinary workingman is pushing me aside so that he can have his say. (smile) 

And as usual, he enthusiastically declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But this is a different kind of Friday – I haven’t worked since Tuesday, because the government said the slave master should shut down the slave shop just in case we spread the virus further. And we going to get pay too… Hn! The government must be helping the slave master pay we for not working because He wouldn’t do that on his own. And as I sit here by mih window looking out on the grey and wet morning, glad that ah not in the slave master shop breaking mih back with work, I have to shake mih head and sadly chuckle. 

Well, well, well! Look what we great world come to eh! Hn! Ah li’l stupid looking virus finally bring we to we knees! Who’d ever have thunked it eh? Brother! The whole world just shut down just so! I wouldn’t believe such a thing could happen if I didn’t see it with mih own two eyes. Leh we just hope that all this social distancing and washing hands and staying home together brings families back together instead of driving them further apart yes, because the family situation was really getting bad there before all this happen. 

Ah Lord eh! What we going to do eh? Just hope that they find a cure soon and too many people doh die from it first, and the economy doh get so bad that it take a long long time to recover! And we keep on thanking God for Fridays and weekends, even though some of us not working and not getting pay!’ 

Yeh friends, even the ordinary workingman has realized the seriousness of our predicament and the urgency for prayer! So what shall we believers do eh? First off, we shall chant our Friday Chant…and I’ve rejigged it somewhat to serve this unusual situation. So let’s chant up a serious and sincere storm nuh, for the safety and survival of our world depends on it. All together in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. 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, but even more importantly, bringing a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also 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 mih people, let’s hope that when the Lord hears our prayer and looks at our hearts to see our motivation, that He will see sincerity written all over them, and thus will unleash His awesome LOVE, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, to help us resolve this situation in the best way possible, that will bring glory and honour and exaltation to his name. Oh friends, I can’t stress enough the importance of prayer and our salt and light leadership of faith in this panic stricken situation. 

We, the believers in Christ are the ones now required to stand strong and show the unbelievers why we have such faith and trust in our Lord and Saviour. We can’t afford to be weak, wishy-washy and insincere in this abnormal time, for this is the time we were born for; the time to show the world the true and powerful attributes of our faith. And this puts me in mind of Bruh Paul’s second letter to Timothy, when the problems in the church at Ephesus were discouraging him. 

‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.’ (2 Tim.1:6-9) 

Yes friends, our God has not given us the spirit of fear, but that of power; the Holy Ghost power; His awesome power of LOVE, and of a sound and disciplined mind. Let us not be therefore weak and ashamed of His gospel, but this is the time to stir up our passion, rise up from our discouragement and do God’s work! We all know what we ought to do, so with God’s help, let’s rise up and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…in tough times like these… it’s the tough faithful who lead the way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2020 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.    ​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.
 

Well a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve now reached the middle of the Lenten Season. But unfortunately there’ll be no public celebrations in green this year as the lockdown of the world continues… with the panic moving right along with it! Ah Lord eh! Canada has now barred certain people from certain places from entering the country. You’ll have to check out the Canadian Government Website to find out exactly who or whom are no longer welcome.  And sadly, every day, it seems to be getting worse; more people contracting the virus, more people dying, more empty shelves in the groceries and supermarkets, more places closing, but absolutely no word of how and when this pandemic will end, and certainly no reassuring news of some antidote been found to contradict the virus. 

But friends, when the Lord made man, He instilled one truly admirable quality in him; that of hope which leads to faith; of being able to fight through extremely tough situations with His awesome help. And in these turbulent and tremulous times, with no positive end in sight and no medical solution on the near horizon, it’s our faith and trust and surrender to Almighty God that is going to get us through. And to bolster our faith and courage and lessen our fear, here’s ‘A Great Message for the moment.’ A beautifully written piece by one Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM. I received it from a friend yesterday, and thought I just had to share it because it was so true and beautiful and uplifting. Please read carefully, inwardly digest and take the necessary outward actions. It’s titled “Lockdown!” 

‘Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is buying panic. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. 

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today, a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary. All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting. All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way. 

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To LOVE. So we pray and remember that, Yes, there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes, there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is buying panic. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes, there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul. Yes, there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of LOVE. 

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe, listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again. The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by LOVE. Open the windows of your soul. And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, SING!’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that touching! I certainly hope that it resounds powerfully within each and everyone of us. And if you will, please share it, because it’s the first positive reaction I’ve seen throughout these crazy and panic-filled times. And strangely enough, earlier on this morning, when I got up and went to the bathroom, I heard birds singing outside for the first time this year, and smiled to myself, thinking, spring is near! Glory be! (smile) 

And the psalmist said it in spades, so long ago: ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord, he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps.100:1-5) 

Precious people, just in those five verses the psalmist has spelled it all out for us; the Lord God is good and mighty, and we need to bow before Him with singing and praise and thanksgiving! And singing has always been a way to ease the pressures of life. As another psalmist says: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.’ (Ps.104:33-34) And as Bruh Paul told the Ephesians on how to be Spirit-filled: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) 

Ah my people, that is the first move we ought to make in this crisis; seek God! And I do hope that we see His hand at work in this fear-filled time, because it is present. It’s His way of reining us in, of bringing us back to our senses, and as the author says above, of showing us how small we really are and how little control we do have over our lives and situations. It’s His way of bringing us back to him, killing our false and foolish pride, of showing that the most important thing is not worldly wealth and power, but His righteousness. That’s why His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said so emphatically during His earthly sojourn: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

But no, we in our false pride and bravado, with the li’l intelligence we’ve gleaned over the years, have now gotten so big for our britches, that we now desire to, and foolishly believe we can remove our Creator from our society. Hn! What a nonsensical desire and belief! And I have to sadly chuckle when I think about the small virus that the Lord has used to bring us to our knees. Think about it nuh people. Some small, simple, unknown infection is driving the mighty mankind crazy! Can you believe it? 

But yet in all the confusion, many of us are finding, new hope, stronger faith, trust and LOVE! And why is that? Because as John says: ‘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.’ And having said all of that, my faithful followers of Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! 

In strong voice with sincere hearts in these trying times, let’s be strong in our Triune Godhead. ‘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 in our current situation, we do need to share the warm, reassuring LOVE of Christ and His amazing friendship with each other more than ever. Much LOVE!

…when you’re sad…sing songs of praise…and you’ll reclaim your joy…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2020 Philippians 3:7.

Philippians 3:7.    ​But what things were gain to me, those things I counted loss for Christ.
 
Well here it is at last; the churches have been shut down! What’s next? The hospitals! Can you believe it? The scare of the Covid-19 virus, in conjunction with the Government’s directives has caused the Church Leaders to finally pull the plug on church worship. Hn! Did you ever think it possible that one day, most, if not all of the churches would be closed to public gathering? Certainly not! And though it’s not as good as actually gathering in the sanctuary,  there are enough other outlets; radio, t.v. and computer streaming for us to keep in touch with our corporate worship. 

But it’s interesting to see how one small, unknown, but apparently powerful virus has brought the world to its knees in just a couple of weeks. Personally, I think we’ve overreacted and caused unnecessary fear and panic. There’s no need to be buying out the stores and stocking up as though we’re going to war, or suffering from a nuclear fallout. But that’s the problem with too much easy and convenient communication and too many fearful and ungodly people in the world. And though it’s a serious matter I still have to chuckle. If we can’t handle a simple virus with all our modern technology and medical prowess, can you imagine the mess Egypt must have been in when the Lord brought those 8 plagues on them to force Pharaoh to set His people free.

 Can you imagine been pestered by lice and flies and blood and frogs and locusts and death and whatever? But before we move on, here’s something to ponder on, a li’l food for thought. Remember Moses’ warning to the Israelites: ‘If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ (Ex. 15:26) 

Oh my people, can this be a warning from our God? We certainly are not keeping His commandments and doing as He desires, and all throughout the Good Book, He’s warned of serious penalties for willful sin and disobedience. And since this virus has now become pandemic in nature, all over the world, who knows if it’s the hand of our mighty God moving in one of His many mysterious ways to remind and warn us of our sinful ways? And in these last tumultuous days, that is something we should surely ponder on, but I doubt too many of us will. 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, so let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘It’s the little things you do that make the big things happen.’ And that’s a fact my people! Unless we do the small things, and do them well, the big things won’t turn out right. That’s why we’re warned to pay particular attention to the small things in our lives, since God, or no man will ever give us big things if they see we can’t take care of the small ones. And remember the Jamaican saying: ‘One one cocoa full basket.’ But unfortunately, in this brave new, but very foolish world of ours we don’t treasure the small stuff, everybody just wants to be on the big stage! 

And the second quote says: ‘He who stops being better stops being good.’ And there is a lot of truth in that also. If we don’t keep getting better but insist on sitting on our laurels, then we’ll eventually rub out, use up, whatever good we have, because we need to keep replenishing our souls and spirits every day. That leads us quite nicely into this next quote. ‘Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still.’ Whoa! Is that ever the killing of the human soul! Standing still is definitely not an option, especially if you’re a child of the Most High God Jehovah! And you can’t get truly better overnight; it all takes time. It’s like learning a craft; only with continuous practice and time spent with it will you ever learn it. And that’s what life is really, the craft of living! (smile) 

Now the next quote is like the previous two: ‘Practice the philosophy of continuous improvement. Get a little bit better every single day.’ Now that is basic logic and common sense. But sadly those two very important things are almost nonexistent in our current society, where we value the need for speed, now for now, above all else. But in the words of some wise person, let’s remember ‘that speed kills!’ It certainly does. If you do anything too fast it most likely will end up in a mess. But it’s how our society views life nowadays; we desire and want to have everything right away. The number one technological aspiration these days is how to make everything work quicker and faster. But there are undoubtedly stumbling blocks in that approach, which we’ll discover as time goes by. (smile) 

And the last quote wisely advises: ‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ Now that is gospel truth. The only perfect being in our universe is our Creator, and He did not make us to be perfect, but He does expect us to do our best in that direction, being diligent towards it, and thus ending up excellent. Yuh know the two most important things in being ambassadors of Christ is being diligent and excellent in His service. We can’t be wishy-washy, irresponsible and lazy, for that’s not the lifestyle He wants us to portray to the unbelieving world. 

And I think one of the best scriptures in that regard is Bruh Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where after listing all his earthly accomplishments, he sincerely declared. ‘But what things were gain to me, those things I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (rubbish, refuse), that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) 

Oh friends, the most excellent thing we can ever seek in this world is the knowledge of Christ! All of our earthly accomplishments, wealth and power, mean absolutely nothing until we have Jesus securely embedded in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies! That’s the only true and sure way to live this earthly life! So on this controversial Saturday, where the whole world is in an uproar, please let us, the truly faithful, place all of our cares in the Lord’s hands, and just relax our souls and spirits and minds. Incessantly worrying about Covid-19 won’t make it go away, but with God’s Spirit working in us, we can be relaxed and rest in His promise that He is indeed Jehovah Rapha…the God who heals! Much LOVE!

…what’s the purpose of faith…if you don’t use it in times of crisis eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2020 Hebrews 12:6.

Hebrews 12:6.    ​For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, (even as a father the son in whom he delighteth).

 

My most humble apologies friends as we’re a bit late this bright and sunshiny Wednesday Morning. That’s because I had one of those late nights, or early mornings, your choice, and then the muse called sleep was pretty good to me, kept me under for a decent spell. (smile) But welcome nonetheless to a new day of mercies and compassions from our most merciful and compassionate God Jehovah! Give Him thanks for His amazing, awesome and unconditional LOVE for us, who don’t deserve even one iota of His goodness. 

But His heart of LOVE couldn’t help itself way back when He sent His only son Jesus to save us, and even now, despite our abominable sinfulness and disobedience and desire to rid our society of His overall presence, He still LOVES us with the undying LOVE of a heavenly Father! Wow! I know it’s hard to believe that with all the ungodly stuff we do and the low esteem in which so many of us hold Him, that He still goes gaga over us. (smile) But we’re His greatest creation, so just like how we hold important people in our lives to our hearts, He holds us to His. 

Now isn’t it simply wonderful to know that we have a God, a Creator, who LOVES us dearly, despite our many shortcomings? It certainly is! But that doesn’t mean He won’t punish or discipline or chasten us for our disobedience, but even then it’s because He LOVES us that He chastens us. Hear the Good Book tell it nuh, as the author of Hebrews quotes Cousin Sol from Proverbs 3:11-12. 

‘My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (even as a father the son in whom he delighteth). If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate), and not sons.’ (Heb. 12:5-8) 

Oh friends, a lot of us believe that if God is so good, He should not punish us, but that’s not right, He punishes us because He LOVES us, the same way our earthly fathers punish us for wrongdoing because they are interested in our well being! Remember Hs is not only a LOVING God, but also a holy, righteous and just Deity, which means wrongs have to be righted and justice done. Jesus, in his message to the church at Laodicea, says it thus to John in Revelation: ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev. 3:19) That’s also wonderful advice for us today friends. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH, he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in line) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly).” (Prov. 13:24: cf. 22:15; 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous; they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Now my people, please look at those reference scriptures because they are rather important in parenting. And it’s exactly why this generation is so unruly, undisciplined, ungrateful, irresponsible and figure the world owes them a living; we parents have not administered the necessary punishment for their wrongdoings. And don’t get me wrong, corporal punishment is not the only way to discipline children, but it is a necessary and useful method. Oh, we parents get so soft-hearted and foolish nowadays believing that if we hit our children it’s child abuse…Steups! 

Yes, some parents overdo it, to the point where it does become abuse. But when there is no sensible punishment and the children turn back and are rude and unmannerly and even hit and kill us, as we’re seeing so much these days, we wonder why it’s happening. But it’s basically our fault; we did not train up the children right and the society is giving them too much leeway for irresponsibility, not holding them sufficiently responsible for their wrongs. And I’m sure that many of us parents, in our youth, were punished for our wrongs, and if it was within reason, I’m sure we’re much better off today because of it. 

It taught us obedience, and responsibility. And sometimes just the threat of punishment is sufficient to keep us from doing wrong. I know in my case, my mother was LOVING and kind, but if she said do something, or don’t do something, and I stubbornly or foolishly refused to comply, I could get the strap. I didn’t always get it, sometimes she was indeed merciful, (smile) but I had no doubts whatsoever that it could be very quickly forthcoming if I didn’t obey. So friends this idea we have that because the Lord is so good and LOVING, bad things shouldn’t happen to us, and we shouldn’t be punished for our wrongs is totally unjustified. 

We live in a sinful and fallen world, with sinful and fallen humans, so sin and wrongdoing and disasters will happen. The Lord never said that He would prevent us from going through all the rough times, but that He would be right there beside us in them. That’s because we need to go through the flood, the fire and the storm if we want our faith to grow, for it’s only in adversity do we see the real us come out and our backbone and belly grow. So today let’s concentrate on doing the best we can, with what we have nuh, and leave the rest to our wonderful heavenly Father, for He has promised to provide all our needs if we seek Him first. And He IS faithful to keep all His promises. 

So let’s go home now declaring (yeeahh!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ! All together now, 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!’ 

Ah mih people, that is certainly Wisdom 101! Living for, and with, and through, and in Jesus… Oh that’s the wisest action we can ever take in this sinful world. So let’s take it and stay with it till the end nuh, for if we do, the future will indeed be mucho mucho glorious! Much LOVE!

…come to Jesus…stick with Him…and everything will be made right…eventually…

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