Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2020 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.    ​And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).
 
So we starting off the week in panic mode eh, because of the Corona virus… Almost everything shut down…and in many countries too. And on a point of interest, I wonder how the Corona Beer is doing in these times eh? (smile) Is it selling more or less? Are they still producing it? Strange, but I haven’t seen or heard any mention of that in any of the many news reports. 

But seriously though, what’s going to happen now eh? Who knows? Only the Most High God! And very few of us seem to be paying Him any attention at all. What a pity, because He is the One who holds everything in the palms of His hands. In times of panic we’re supposed to run to our Maker, but too many of us seem to be running elsewhere! But, as with most things, when we finally run out of our own solutions, we usually turn to Him as a last resort, instead of the First Resort! 

Anyhow, be that as it may, the situation’s so bad that some of us don’t have any jobs to go to, especially if you’re part of the gig economy and your place of employment is shut down due to government edict, and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Hn! What a bam bam eh! Some of us with full time jobs might be blessed enough to get paid to stay home, but I believe that will most likely be the minority. And for those of us who must go out into the fray… Oh, we can’t call it that any longer, since half the world is locked up inside, (smile) many are frightened because of the possibility of contracting the virus from others we meet. 

So what’s the solution eh? That ought to be obvious. We were just talking about our First Resort in times of trouble…the Lord God Jehovah, call on Him for help, turn to Him in sincere prayer. It’s been the number one resort since our faith was born. And hear the Lord to Cousin Sol nuh, when they dedicated the first temple: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr. 7:14-15) 

And that promise still stands firm and faithful to this day. Listen to the scholars. ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ Ah friends, what more can I say eh, especially if, as too many of us think, the Old Testament is no longer of any value to us? 

Then I’ll just have to reinforce it with verses from the New Testament! (smile) The first being from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ And Jesus didn’t only talk the talk, He also walked the walk. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) And if you still need convincing (smile), then listen to Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

And if you think that’s a bit much, then let the scholars explain. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to rejoice (vs.16), to pray (vs.17), to give thanks in adversity (vs.18), and by despising prophetic utterances (vs.20) inspired by the Spirit.’ And we won’t worry to get into Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to pray for all men, and all in power, and that men should pray everywhere (1 Tim. 2:1-8), we’ll just get into some prayer of our own. I’ve sort of rejigged our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. (smile) 

So altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! 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. Some of us still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we know 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 humbly come to you now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as the politicians, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a masterful antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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!’ 

Well that’s the best I could do on short notice. (smile) But please, I beg us to remember that we’ve promised to turn from our evil ways and be more obedient to God’s Word, and if we don’t keep our promise, He’s liable to just let another plague strike the earth, cause He’s still in control of all that happens down here. And remember too that the Lord looks at our hearts, our motives before moving into action, so mere words without sincere, heartfelt motives won’t move Him. Now let’s hunker down and do our part, whatever that might be, faithfully trusting the Lord to do His. Much LOVE!

…prayer…the most powerful tool in our faith box…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2020 Numbers 13:30.

Numbers 13:30.     And ​Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it (take possession of it); for we are well able to overcome it.
 
Come Monday morning we’ll all be up bright and early, dressed and rearing to get out into the evil world and do good work for Jesus! Wow! Now that doesn’t have to be a pipe dream, but can become reality if we are really interested in furthering Christ’s kingdom. But unfortunately, though I am a prisoner of hope, I also am practical and know from hard experience that many of us supposed believers will never reach that high state of being ready and rearing to go on a Monday morning. 

But I am believing that the numbers will lessen as we move forward. Consequently, I can safely say that we will always need our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to act as an antidote for our Monday morning blues. So let’s get on with it nuh. In strong and sincere voice, with humility and confidence that our prayer will be answered because it is within God’s will. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And like magic, (smile) through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, the heavenly worker bee, our souls and spirits and attitudes begin changing right away! A sudden burst of energy shoots through our bodies, while our souls and spirits react with a hitherto unknown enthusiasm and confidence and we’re finally ready to go out and fight who or whatever the world pits against us, all in the name and strength of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! We no longer see ourselves as grasshoppers in the eyes of the world’s evil giants, unable to defeat them, like the ten spies who went out with Joshua and Caleb to espy the Promised Land. (Num. 13:33) 

But we’re now like Caleb, who ‘stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it (take possession of it); for we are well able to overcome it.’ And unfortunately, like the ten fearful and negative spies, such is the state of too many Christians in this day and age. The Caleb’s and Joshua’s are rather few and far between. Thus the people of Israel, listening to the gutless spies, rebelled against the Lord, calling for a captain to lead them back into slavery in Egypt.(Num. 14:1-4) What gutless wonders my brethren! That’s why they wandered 40 years in the wilderness till all those who had come out of Egypt had died, except Joshua and Caleb. 

And while the Israelites were looking to go back to Egypt, the Good Book tells us: ‘Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces (prostrated themselves) before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent (tore) their clothes. (a gesture of deep distress). And they spake unto all the company children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 

If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it to us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against  the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us (food for our consumption): their defense (protection) is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.’ (Num. 14:5-9) 

What a moving speech by Joshua and Caleb. And the reaction from the people? The Good Book  relates it thus: ‘But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of before all the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke (despise) me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the (miraculous) signs which I have showed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.’ (Num.14:10-12) 

What a sad state of affairs friends, and Moses had to intercede for them with the Lord. (Num. 14:13-19) But we can’t be too judgemental of the Israelites, because we’re behaving just like them today. And why do I say so? Because of two explanations by the scholars. The first: ‘13:27-29. The report of the spies was factual: the land was fruitful, the people were strong, the cities were walled and very great, and the giants dwelled in the land. But they had left God out. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith (Heb.3:19).’ And the second: ‘14:11. The purpose of the signs performed in Egypt was to encourage the people to trust in God and follow Him (Ex. 4:5) 

Yes friends, just like the Israelites we have left God completely out of our current situation, and neither do we have the trust and faith in Him that all His many miracles wrought on our behalf ought to have raised to great levels. Thus so many of us are walking around in this evil and ungodly wilderness called the world, lost and forlorn, but still rebellious, even in the face of God’s truth. 

But friends, as the old people would say; however you make up your bed, that is how you have to lie on it. And there are only two ways to make up our beds; faithful and strong with Jesus, or weak and evil with Beelzebub! The choice is yours. But I implore us to choose the former because it’s the wisest and best choice, the one with all the good and lasting benefits! Much LOVE!

…this day…I put before you life and death…choose life…and live forever…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2020 Psalm 1:1.

Psalm 1:1.    ​Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
 
Get on up children…get on up! That fateful day called Monday has come around once more, and thus it’s time for us to go on out and labour for our daily bread. And yuh better believe that those of you who have the weekend off every week are quite blessed, because the workers in the hotel where I’m staying work six days a week, with only one day off, and not necessarily on the weekend…and most likely for a pittance too. 

The only redeeming feature seems to be that they apparently work 7 hours a day and not eight. So please stop complaining about how much you have to work, for there are always people worse off than you. Matter fix! 

And yes that won’t stop many of us from being mean, grouchy and miserable on a Monday morning when the alarm goes off, heralding a new week of work, which means we’ll always have need or our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that wonderful antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning. (smile) So let’s get to it without further ado nuh. In humble, contrite but confident manner, as one strong voice: 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh my, my! I can feel the awesome power of the Holy Spirit working in me already! My mind is more alert and receptive and my emotional wellbeing has improved immeasurably! No more Monday morning blues, for they have been driven away, in answer to our prayer. Wow! What an incredible God we serve my fellow believers; one who answers prayer as quickly as it’s needed, once it’s in His will! Yeh, His timing is always right; He’s never too early or late, but always right there on the button! Give Him some much deserved thanks and praise nuh. 

And I just got the feeling in my spirit, that because this is the first day of the work week, we need a reminder of how we should behave out in the ungodly world as ambassadors of Christ. And this psalm just shot into my mind. Oh friends, there is no better reminder than this amazing psalm of wonderful advice and constant hope. ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.’ 

Yes my people, that’s what we ought not to do when we claim to be representing Jesus! But now, here is the right and better side of the equation; what we ought to do: ‘But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.’ (Ps.1:2) Now that’s how a good ambassador of Christ behaves! He studies Christ’s Word so that he can go out and dutifully, kindly and generously replicate them. 

Remember we’re disciples of the Great Rabbi, which means we’ve got to follow as closely as possible in His footsteps, in each and every area of our lives. Apparently the disciples of the early rabbis had to walk and talk and behave exactly like their teacher did, even walk in his physical footsteps. (smile) But that’s what discipleship is all about; doing what your teacher does. 

And if you think that’s too hard, then see if this wonderful reward won’t change your mind. ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:3) Mama Yo! What a great reward that my breddren! Yes friends, when we do what Jesus desires of us in the right spirit, with the right motives and attitudes, He plentifully  rewards us with a prosperous and blessed life. 

And according to the scholars: ‘Psalm 1: The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence, the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man. The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (vs.1); he delights in God’s Word (vs.2); therefore God causes him to prosper.’ 

Words of a future and a hope my people. But hear the other side of the coin nuh. ‘The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.’ (Ps.1:4-5) Yuh see friends, the ungodly are not worth anything but the chaff, the husk of the wheat or whatever seed you choose, which the wind blows away, and his destiny is judgement. 

And then we come to the final verse. ‘For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:6) Oh my people, our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God knows both sides of the coin, because He is the eternal God who created and still controls everything, and has determined that the ungodly shall not see His face in heaven, but perish in the darkness of eternal damnation, and whatever He says, goes! 

Please remember that, as it’s ever so important in where you end up. And we’ll close with some encouraging and enlightening words from the scholars. ‘The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter (Book of Psalms) since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God.’ 

But it all depends on the individual, into which group he or she falls. So please, let’s be wise and seriously consider our beliefs and actions, starting right now nuh, because we know not when the grim reaper will come a calling, or Jesus will come again, and once either situation occurs, all bets are over. Much LOVE!

…wisdom cries out for righteousness…but stupidity makes evil its master…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2020 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.    ​Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
 

Awright, here we go again, Monday, the first day of the work week. At least I think so, cause I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. (smile) And since we’re a bit on the late side, we hope everybody got to work safe and sound, regardless of flood, fire and storm. (smile) 

Oh I know the Good Lord will protect His saints wherever they are, so I’m not worried, but for the fearful and frustrated few – or should I say many, we still going to offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn for help to get us through these troubled and disturbing times. As our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ informed us: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ So let’s ask and knock and see what opens. 

Altogether now in confidence and humility: remember if we want to get good and serious answers, those two attitudes are quite important when we come to the Lord in prayer‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh my people, yuh feel the blessings? I know you do, because I feel them too! And do I ever LOVE that about out magnificent and magnanimous God; before we’re even finished praying, He begins to work His wonders on and in us! Give Him some thanks and praise my fellow believers, because He’s so wonderful and faithful and so deserving of our praise and worship and exaltation! 

As Bruh David so rightfully proclaimed in Psalm 34: ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps. 34:3) And why would he do that eh? Because as he claims: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ (Ps. 34:4) Yes friends, Bruh David was always seeking the Lord! That’s why, despite his many shortcomings the Lord could still call him His friend and a man after His own heart! 

And so it should be with us; we ought to keep seeking the Lord despite the troubles we encounter and the mistakes we make. The Lord knows our fears, frailties and weaknesses better than us because He made us with them, so He’s not surprised at what we do, but desires us to come to Him in ALL circumstances. That’s the crux of the matter. As Jesus said we must ask if we want to receive. 

And as Bruh David further said: ‘They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them’ (Ps. 34:5-7) Yuh see people, when we look to the Lord, call on him in humility, confidence and sincerity, we are never ashamed, and our faces are radiant, expressing the joy and LOVE that’s found in Jesus. 

And the asking and knocking and seeking is very prevalent in the New Testament, so let’s look at a few of those scriptures nuh. Hear Jesus after He cursed the fig tree for not having fruit when it ought to: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive it.’ (Matt. 21:22) Then, later He spoke the parable of the widow who kept harassing the wicked judge for justice, indicating that ‘men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) 

Oh precious people of Christ, it is ever so important that we don’t ever stop praying, regardless of whatever happens! If you’re a believer, then it’s your bounden duty to pray, because sometimes the Lord is just trying to test our faith by not immediately answering our prayer requests. And as James wisely tells us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). 

For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) And those aren’t my words friends, but those of Jesus’ brother James who eventually came to believe that His big brother was who He really claimed to be; the Messiah. 

And John adds his two cents worth: ‘And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:22) Now therein lies the rub my people: we need to live a godly life, if we want to have a successful prayer life. As the scholars tell us: ‘Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ And to add to that, our motives and the things we ask for must be in the Lord’s will, because the Lord looks at the state of our hearts before considering our prayers. 

And what better scripture to close with than this one from Jesus: ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto (for) you.’ (John 15:7) So there you have it my brethren, ask and seek and knock with right motives, with Jesus’ words abiding in our hearts, and we’ll have what we need. Much LOVE!

…Jesus’ words…words to live by…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2020 Matthew 10:36.

Matthew 10:36.    ​And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
 
So here we go again for the umpteenth time… and we still have umpteen more times to go! (smile) Yes friends, it’s that stalwart day we call Monday, the one that gets us moving, but which we all like to hate and unrealistically blame for so many of our woes. Unfortunately though, we can’t get away from it, especially the way our Western society is set up. 

And I believe that if Tuesday was the first day of the work week, we’d intensely dislike Tuesday just like we do Monday. The dissatisfaction merely stems from the fact that the first day means we have to get up off of our fat fannies after a lazy and self-indulgent weekend and go out to make a living, accompanied by all the other unpleasantness and headache that action brings with it. (smile) 

And since we’re prisoners of hope, we believe that every Monday morning there is one less person suffering from the Monday Blues of those who wisely associate with us. In other words, at least one person matures and grows spiritually each week, so that Mondays no longer affect them as negatively as before. Wow! That is what you’d call great hope! (smile) But since with our great God ALL THINGS are possible, that’s not too great a leap of faith. 

Luckily for some of us though in Ontario and five of the other Provinces, today we’re celebrating the provincial statutory holiday called  Family Day. That means many of us in those provinces won’t be going out to work today… And no it’s not a day to party hearty, but to spend in communion with one’s family, to get to know each other better and bring it closer together, (smile) because in these modern times, the main pillar, the  foundation of our society, the family, is sadly falling apart and becoming of less and less importance. 

So let’s see if we can’t get one more person over the hump nuh, by humbly and confidently going to the throne of grace and asking for leading and guidance. All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And though we said that the holiday was not for partying but for renewing the family, you could hear quite a bit of slurring and hoarseness in some of those voices, signifying that they were already into the mind numbing and tongue tying sauce. (smile) But for those who have to get out into the chilling cold, or burning heat, or anything in between, it was a most worthwhile exercise since they have felt their energy and enthusiasm suddenly grow, their thoughts become positive, and they now walk with a strong sense of purpose; that purpose being to go out and do good work for Jesus! And who says our great God isn’t able eh? Foolishness! 

But on a more serious note friends, since today is Family Day, I thought we’d look at the condition of that most marvellous and worthwhile institution in our current society. As we said earlier, for a number of reasons, over the last couple of decades, the family has become rather fragmented and not as strong, or as important as it was once. But you know it has been the backbone, the one stabilizing influence that we could count on during man’s rather scarred, torn and tattered history. 

It was the one thing we could always come back to. It was the rock, the foundation on which every society was built. Even the extended family was pretty strong and useful in its time. But sadly, right now, the pure, direct family is falling apart, and the extended isn’t even recognized again. Oh friends, our society is falling apart through moral turpitude, depravity and wickedness, just like back in Micah’s day when he bewailed Israel’s moral failure. 

‘The good (faithful, loyal) man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly (successfully), the prince asketh (asks for gifts), and the judge asketh for a reward (a bribe); and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous (evil) desire: so they wrap it up (scheme together).’ (Mic. 7:2-3) And isn’t that way it is today my brethren; greed, power struggles and corruption running blatantly and rampantly! 

And two verses later, Micah continues: ‘Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion): keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.’ (Mic. 7:5-6) Now how can a family like that ever stay together and make a positive impact on our society eh? No way! 

But Jesus also warned of the failure of this foundational institution in times of persecution: ‘And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.’ (Matt. 10:21) Now families have always fought, but these days it seems to be way out of line. And we seem to be making Jesus’ words a real reality: ‘And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.’ 

Oh friends, there’s simply too much infighting amongst families in these turbulent times, and it’s obvious that if the basic foundation of our society fails, our society won’t be far behind. So I implore us today, this Family Day, to spend some positive and productive time making our families strong nuh, so that our society will rebound with glowing promise. Much LOVE!

…families must be built on the solid rock that’s Jesus…not the shifting sand that’s Satan…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2020 Psalm 18:32.

Psalm 18:32.    ​It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
 
Monday, oh Monday, how good you are to me! I truly do LOVE you! You cause me to get up early in the morning…while it’s still dark…and I haven’t had enough sleep…to fumble around and struggle to get dressed and go out in the freezing cold, to a freezing car, and then inch my way on a blocked up highway, full of sleepy-eyed and grouchy people just like me. 

And after it takes me an hour to make a normal fifteen minute drive, I get to the concrete jungle and search for another fifteen minutes to get a parking spot, that costs an arm and a leg, I finally get to my desk and plop myself down in the chair more tired than ever, but now expected to put in a full and productive 8 hour day, doing stuff that doesn’t turn my crank! And this is only the first of five consecutive days of this nonsense! (smile) 

Ah friends, we give Mondays such a bad rap eh, when the problem lies with us; we don’t prepare ourselves properly for what we know is going to happen on most Mondays of our working life! But it’s a long time human trait; cast the blame everywhere else than where it rightfully belongs, on us. Check out our forefathers, Adam and Eve after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent, and Adam blamed Eve. (Gen.3:12-13) 

So now that we’ve eased our conscience by blaming Monday for our woes, (smile) let’s get serious and go to the ONLY One who can really help us at this stage of the game nuh, our heavenly Father. And to make it easy, we’ve developed this ‘antidotal’ prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that automatically fills in all the blank spaces, but does not get us an answer unless we go about it the right way; that’s humbly, confidently and sincerely to the throne of grace. 

So as one humble, confident and sincere voice now, let’s lift up our petition to heaven: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And yes, that incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit is now moving in all of us who prayed that prayer sincerely and humbly! That’s how quickly our God can move when it’s necessary! He knows that we have to go out and do Jesus’ work at a certain time, with not much to spare, so right away He acts on our request, raising our spirits, strengthening our belly and backbone, thus giving us the courage and confidence we need to go out and fight a good fight in His Son’s name. 

No wonder Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies. ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried (proven): he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him. For who is God save (except) the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.’  (Ps.18:30-32) 

And that is the indisputable, gospel truth friends! Our God, the most potent Being in the universe, is the One who looks after all our needs on this troubled earth, just like Bruh Paul declared (yeah!) it to the Philippians. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

And when Bruh David wrote that psalm, his needs were mainly those of a warrior, thus he declared (steups!): ‘He maketh my feet like hinds’ (deer) feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken (a bow of bronze can be broken) by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of salvation: and thy right hand hath holden (held) me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.’ (Ps.18:33-35) 

Ah precious people of Christ, wherever we are, at whatever stage of life we’ve reached, the Lord God Almighty, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will supply whatever we need to be victorious! It’s imperative that we believe it and act like we believe it too, through the auspices of our wonderful faith! Otherwise our faith is useless. Remember faith involves believing for something like we’ve already seen it and received it, when, in reality it hasn’t yet happened, but we know for sure that through God’s largesse and faithfulness it will happen in His time! 

So this Monday morning, although things might be a tad on the rough side, let’s believe that the situation will change because our wonderful and ever-faithful God has promised that it will! He will work all things out for our good! (Rom.8:28) Now that should be more than enough to raise our desire to get out into our distressed world and do our best for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus can be difficult…but it’s ALWAYS rewarding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 January 2020 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.   ​and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
 
Life’s realities: ‘Ugh! AnOtHer MoNdAy?’ Didn’t we JuSt have one LasT WeEk!?’- or – ‘Today I will celebrate MoNDay! I will embrace the potentiality of the new week…tinged by the after shocks of the old week…’ Yes friends, those are the realities of life as found in the funnies! And it sure is strange how we find so much real life in the comic section of our newspapers…actually one of the few places that we find real life nowadays, as everything else is now about virtual reality, for real reality no longer seems to exist. (smile) 

And the first comment comes from the Mutts Comic strip, appropriately under the heading of Sourpuss’s Dear Diary, and the second from Between Friends, but they all reflect the truth of our Mondays in this crazy, evil, strife-filled and divided world! Whichever camp you fall in though, we have the real and true antidote to relive your pain. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; it’s a sincere prayer that does yeoman work on our behalf. So let’s go to the throne of grace in all humility, but confidently expecting a positive answer to our heartfelt supplication. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And what I like about this prayer, is that on a Monday morning when we cry out to heaven for help, before we’re even finished, our great and wonderful God has already instructed His Holy Spirit to begin moving in the spirits and souls of His children, to energize and strengthen them, so they can confidently and bravely go out into the great unknown and do Christ’s work with diligence and excellence. Wow! And who says our God isn’t a magnanimous and magnificent Deity eh? 

On a point of interest: The ONE and ONLY! There could never be more than one of Him, cause there’s just not enough space for two such Beings to exist in the same universe! (smile) And I like it when I get carried away talking about God’s magnanimity and greatness…the words just flow unbidden… it just comes naturally with the territory. 

But seriously speaking my fellow believers, (steups!) the main reason we can go out and do Jesus’ work without any fear is because of the awesome promise He made at the end of the Great Commission: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Now we need to believe that in spades, if we are ever going to make any headway against the enemy. 

And I like two instances of Christ’s reassurance to Bruh Paul when things seemed to be getting out of hand. The first is down in Corinth. The Good Book tells us: ‘And when Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit (compelled by the Spirit) and  testified to the Jews that Jesus was (is the) Christ. And when they opposed themselves (disagreed with him), and blasphemed, he shook his raiment (garments), and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.’ (Acts 18:5-6) 

But nonetheless, several prominent Jews and their families believed (yeah!) and were baptized. And notice too, that the Holy Spirit never pressed Paul to talk to the Jews until he had back-up with Silas and Timothy. And furthermore: ‘Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace (don’t keep silent): For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee (attack you): for I have much people in this city.’ (Acts 18:9-10) 

Mama Yo! Yuh see how our God keeps His promises! Bruh Paul had no idea that there was plenty of help to be found in the city. It just goes to show friends, that our Lord and Saviour can indeed be trusted to look after our welfare; spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. That’s why Bruh Paul could afford to tell the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

The next event I want to point out is when Bruh Paul appeared before the council in Jerusalem and dissension broke out between the Sadducees and Pharisees over the question of the resurrection of the dead, which the latter believed in, but not the former. The situation got nasty, bedlam broke out, and the captain of the army, fearing that they were going to tear Bruh Paul to pieces, sent his soldiers to take him out by force to their barracks. (Acts 23:1-10) 

But the Good Book says: ‘And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.’ (Acts 23:11) Yuh think we God don’t know what He doing? Bruh Paul was His main man, especially to us Gentiles, He wouldn’t let him get hurt before he finished His work. 

Likewise friends, our God won’t let anything untoward happen to us while we still have work to do. Life might get a tad rough and troublesome, but no one will stop us from doing His will. Please remember that and let’s go out into the world today, and everyday, with that attitude of victory percolating deep in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! Much LOVE!

…if yuh working for Jesus…then yuh know yuh safe from all harm…

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