Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 November 2021 Isaiah 55:6.

Isaiah 55:6.     Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.

Another bright and sunshiny but windy and chilly day in my neighbourhood! And added to that is the brilliance of the light that Jesus shines in my soul! Wow! And yuh better believe I need them both right now, as I did one of those extra late nights and early mornings and the body is retaliating against me, crying out for sleep. But it has to learn that the work of God comes first, even though it’s my fault. 

We must suffer and sacrifice when we make a mess of things. So here I am suffering and sacrificing this Wednesday morning, (smile) because I refused to listen to Christ’s Spirit and go to bed at a reasonable time, so that I could get up at a reasonable time, refreshed enough to do a respectable job for Him. But I’m not worried friends, the Lord is a wonderful God, and He will forgive and help me, because He knows that my heart is in the right place, and I’m only human, thus liable to make mistakes. 

And furthermore, He will help me just so that I don’t write nonsense and spoil His business. (smile) Remember what He said after Bruh Paul asked three times to have the ‘thorn in his flesh’ removed, some unknown impediment placed there so he would not become too big for his britches, with all the revelations the Lord was giving him. ‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor. 12:9 a)  And that’s the promise I am counting on this morning! (smile) That His divine strength will show up and help me in my human weakness. 

And remember too Bruh Paul’s reaction to that divine decree. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

No my friends, I am nowhere near to Bruh Paul’s taking pleasures in all those negative things, but I have stopped asking to have all the aches and pains removed from my ole body, because I’ve had them long enough, and I’ve asked often enough, that if He was going to remove them, He would have done it already. So, I just do my best to grin and bear them, releasing my faith, that He will enable me to manage them. And so far I have been doing reasonably well, with His help of course. 

Now that’s what I’ve been trying to say for so long my people: our God is a wonderful God! And though He will not put up with our shenanigans forever, and there will often be consequences to pay for them, He will help us if we come to Him with sincerity and repentance. Which other supposed deity has a free offer of mercy to all eh? None whatsoever! 

Listen to Isaiah offer it on behalf of the Lord. ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness (abundance). Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David… Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.’ (Is. 55:1-3, 6) 

Oh my fellow saints, what joyful words of inspiration and comfort the Lord promised so long ago, and made come true in the fullness of time, with the advent and ministry of Jesus! And I like how the scholars explain it. ‘55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to al men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call upon him.’ 

And yes, as faithful as always, the Lord made the covenant with the Gentiles through Jesus, where we also have the opportunity to come to Him for salvation, just like the Jewish people did. And friends, that clarion call of God’s, to seek Him while He can be found and to call upon Him when He is near is still in existence today. So please, please, let’s heed it nuh! It’s not for God’s benefit, but for ours! And it never ceases to amaze me when we turn up our noses in stubborn pride and foolishness at God’s wonderful offers, as though they were for His benefit. 

Steups! We’ve gotten so big for our britches that we have conveniently forgotten who created the universe and who still owns and controls it – God Almighty! And we only exist because of His great LOVE and divine mercy. But one day it will all end. Yes, it will. God has promised it. And there again, we don’t ever seem to take His promises seriously, although they always come true. So, if He promises that one day, all those who don’t believe in Him will end up in hell fire with the foolish Satan, then why don’t we believe it eh? 

But as they say, you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. The same way you can have the good news of Christ’s gospel explained to you, and there’s no guarantee that you will accept it and believe. However, there will come a day, when all those who have heard it, but not accepted or believed it, will pay the most exorbitant price possible for a human being; the loss of his soul. Remember, man can only kill the body, but the Lord can kill both body and soul, which He will do eventually, if you do not accept His son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. End of sermon! 

Now, for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And lest we forget my brethren, if we endure unto the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…if you sincerely seek God…and sincerely call on Him for help…He will sincerely help you…just like He sincerely did for me this morning… (smile)  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2021 Isaiah 30:21.

Isaiah 30:21.      And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Where is the week running off to eh friends? I feel like it’s leaving me behind. (smile) Can you believe that it’s already Wednesday, and I’m only now getting myself in gear? When I should be catching my second wind, I’m only now capturing my first. But I am thankful for small mercies…at least I am catching my wind, late though it may be. (smile) 

However, that’s the wonderful think about our God; though you may come late to His party, He makes sure that you don’t miss out on anything. All He has is always on display for you to check out. And all you have to do is talk to Him about whatever concerns you. He doesn’t try to brow beat or force you to do anything, just gives you the options and allows you to make up your mind. 

Now which other supposed god is like that eh? NONE! All those other false gods try to instill their will upon you and make you do what they want, but the One and Only True Living God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob gives you free will to do whatever you want. That doesn’t mean there are no repercussions for unwise decisions and obstinate disobedience, but you have the right to choose, He will not involve Himself in your affairs unless you ask Him to. 

He will however keep knocking on your door, that’s the door of your heart, seeking entrance to come in and dine with you. But it’s all up to you whether you let Him in or not. Obviously, it’s wise to allow Him to enter your heart, because He can do so much good in your life, but that’s your personal decision…to allow, or not to allow Him into your heart, your most private of private spaces. That’s what He really wants, because He works best from the very inside. 

And I just espied this wonderful and most appropriate scripture for what we are talking about. When the Lord enters your heart, the Good Book says: ‘And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is. 30:21) 

Ah mih people, that’s the beauty of our God; He doesn’t try to control, He desires to lead, and He leads you from the inside through His Holy Spirit that comes to dwell within you when you answer His knock on your heart door and allow Him to enter therein. But you have to listen, ofttimes very carefully, because He doesn’t shout either. It’s usually a still, small voice that He leads with, so unless you are paying serious attention you will often miss His awesome directions and thus suffer dire consequences. 

So, once you allow Almighty God to enter your Sanctus sanctorum, your most private place, through your belief in His Son Jesus Christ, who paid for your sins on the cross at Calvary and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, it then becomes your responsibility to listen for His guidance. If you don’t, then you stand to lose out on some of the wonderful plans, adventures and good times that the Lord has in store for you. And you say that you didn’t know He had good things in store for you…But of course. 

Listen to this other marvellous scripture of promise from 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) And He kept that promise when He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sins, and pay our sin debt in full! Glory Hallelujah! 

Yes friends, Jesus is our future and our hope. He is the One that leads us to the Father, to salvation and eternal life! Only through Him do we get that glorious future the Lord promised. And all it takes is sincere belief in Him and living a life of peace, LOVE, helpfulness and selflessness like He did when He was down here on earth. Now how hard can that be eh? 

To be truthful, that can be very hard, because there are all kinds of people and spiritual powers who don’t want you to live a life that’s worthy of Jesus, so they throw up all sorts of roadblocks and temptations in your way. But please remember, that the Lord, through His Holy Spirit has given us the power to refute and refuse all those evil and ungodly things that come against us. 

And like God told Bruh Paul after he pleaded with Him three times to remove some affliction in his body: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).’ (2 Cor. 12:9) Yes my fellow saints in Christ, the Lord’s amazing power does show out in times when our weaknesses show up. His grace, His anointing, is upon us all, as we walk worthy of Him. 

And as Bruh Paul reminded Timothy, and I want to remind us now of this magnificent scripture: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound or disciplined mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Please, let’s never forget that. As long as we are walking with Christ, we will always be able to overcome whatever comes against us, for His grace empowers us to do whatever we need to do in His name. 

So, for those of us who truly believe, and try to walk faithfully, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And this last thing to remember…if we endure to the end with Jesus, then the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine. Now isn’t that something to look forward to? It certainly is! Much LOVE!

…when fear comes knocking…send faith to answer it…                                                                                               

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2021 2 Corinthians 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.       For we walk by faith and not by sight.

And another summer Sunday is upon us, my dear friends in Christ! And you know that calls for praise and worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider; the One who LOVES us unconditionally, LOVED us so much that He sent His Son to die on our behalf, that our sins could be forgiven and we could be adjudged righteous in His holy and glorious name. That’s why we praise and give Him thanks every Sunday. 

And today we’ll open with a very popular traditional gospel song titled ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee.’ The precise author of the song is unknown, but obviously there are various theories. One holds that it goes right back to the days of slavery, sung by slaves as they laboured in the fields of the plantations in the Southern States of the U.S. of A. 

Another angle claims that Kenneth Morris an American composer, on a trip from Kansas City to Chicago, heard a porter singing the song at one of the train stops where he got off to get some fresh air. At that time, he did not pay much attention to it, but as he continued his trip the song just flooded his mind, and at the next stop, he got off the train and took another one back to the earlier station. He had the porter sing the song for him, and he wrote down the words and music. Then in 1940, after adding some of his own lyrics to add more breadth, he published the song. 

Now it does seem that Morris did arrange and publish the song for the first time, but another theory says that happened only after a group of musicians heard a live version in Kansas City and then brought it to Morris’ attention. The long and short of the story though is that it soon became a gospel standard, a Jazz standard and a part of American folk music. However, it is agreed that the first recording was done by the Selah Jubilee singers on October 8, 1941, in New York city. 

And now that we have some idea of its history, (smile) let’s sing an up-tempo version, a la Anne Murray, not like the traditional dirge renditions in new Orleans jazz funerals. In full, sweet, harmonious voice, with the appropriate background vocals, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. 

(Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain].’ 

That’s oh so refreshing my people! There’s nothing better in this life than a steady walk with Jesus. And that all started right at the very beginning when the Lord told the 99-year-old Abram: ‘I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless).’ (Gen. 17:1) One translation says: ‘Walk before the Lord in a way that is pleasing to Him.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! We ought to walk before our God and Creator and heavenly Father in a manner that pleases Him, not the lewd, lustful and ungodly way that so many of us walk nowadays. 

And the scholars tell us that the title of the song and the lyrics allude to these two verses of scripture. The first one is this popular verse: ‘For we walk by faith and not by sight.’ (2 Cor. 5:7) And that’s a foundational scripture friends, since in the Lord’s economy seeing is not believing, walking by faith and trust in His promises and power is what He expects of us. That’s the realization of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

And the second scripture verse is another popular one: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ (James 4:8a) And I want to add this other verse that seems ever so appropriate. ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ James 4:10) Yes friends, if we don’t humble ourselves before the Lord, He certainly won’t lift us up, neither down here on earth, nor to heaven. (smile) 

Now here is this interesting commentary from the website Hymnary.org. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace after he asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

And Paul’s response to that was brilliant: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10) 

Oh my people, regardless of how mature we are in Christ, it is impossible for us to walk righteously, properly, blamelessly or in a pleasing manner before the Lord without His anointing, His grace supporting us. Please, let’s always remember that. It’s His amazing grace that keeps us walking this earth, and without it, we are done like dinner! That means every day we must give God thanks and ask for His grace to do His will, to walk worthy of Him. Much LOVE!

…only as we walk in faith…will we be anointed with grace…                                                                                               

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2021 Ephesians 6:10.

Ephesians 6:10.       ​Finally, my brethren, Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.

Gather round friends, gather round, it’s that time again, the Lord’s Sabbath! That means it’s time for praise and worship, joyful togetherness by technological means, for our physical sanctuaries are still mostly shut down. But as we keep saying, worshipful togetherness by any means is preferable to no worshipful togetherness at all. 

So let’s do away with the talking, (smile) and get on with the praise and worship nuh. And today’s song of praise is one in which we don’t know the author’s name, but its words are so powerful and true that it has lasted for some time and has become a favourite of believers all over the world. It’s titled: ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ 

And friends, I can assure us that there’s no better person to walk this earthly journey in companionship with than Jesus Christ! For He is the way, the truth, the life and the light, also the author and finisher of our faith path. Yes, it just makes sense to follow the one who first blazed the awesome path that you desire to tread, because He knows the way best. So let’s raise our sacrifice of praise heavenwards nuh, with loud but sweet harmonious voices, and hearts filled with sincere LOVE for our Triune God. 

An easy rocking but passionate version. ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain]When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

[Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. There’s a race to be run, there’s a victory to be won, every hour, give me power to go through. Take my hand and let me walk with thee, Blessed Jesus let it be…’ 

Oh mih people, what wonderful, passionate sacrificial praise! All heaven was singing along with us. And why not eh, since we were praising the One and Only Superstar in the universe! Now hear what the website Hymnary.org tells us re the song. ‘In that song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” … For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a, 10b ESV) 

Yes friends, when Bruh Paul asked the Lord three times to take away the thorn from his flesh, whatever it was, the Lord simply looked at him and calmly told him to ignore the thorn, for His grace was sufficient for him to handle the problem, because our weakness brings out His perfect power and strength. What more could Bruh Paul say to that statement eh, but: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

Glory be, mih people! That means when we are weak the power of God takes over on our behalf! What could be better than that eh? Nothing really! That’s why the Good Book tells us in Joel: ‘Let the weak say I am strong.’ And I discovered an excellent explanation on that subject by Richard Roberts of the Oral Roberts ministries. He writes: ‘The Lord promises again and again in His Word that He will strengthen us. He knows that, as human beings, we often feel our weakness to the point where we don’t believe we CAN be strong. 

In Joel 3:10 we read, “Let the weak say, I am strong.” Notice that strength is first something we confess with our mouths. We SAY to ourselves, “I am strong.” Note, too, that the Bible doesn’t say we were strong or that we will be strong. It says we are to speak to ourselves in the NOW of our circumstances and say, “I AM strong!” What a good word that is to us when we are feeling weak…unable to cope or to bear up under the pressure, to be patient or have courage. In that very moment…in that very circumstance…we can claim, by our faith, the provision of God to us: “I AM STRONG!” 

On what is our strength based? Our strength is not in ourselves but in Christ Jesus who lives within us by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 40:28–29, the prophet said, “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”Our strength does not come from our own abilities or power, but from the wisdom and power of God, which is poured into us on a daily basis any time we admit our weakness and ask Him to replace our weakness with His strength.’ 

I like how he explains that. I hope you do too. Then there’s this further scripture from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘Since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live by the power of God toward you.’ (2 Cor. 13:3-4) Now isn’t that marvellous and very reassuring? Yes, it certainly is. The same power that was with Christ in His weakness, will also be with us in ours! No wonder we worship and glorify Him and call Him Lord and Saviour. 

And we’ll let Richard Roberts have today’s last word. (smile) ‘The apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, my brethren, Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10). Take that as God’s word to you today! You can be strong in any situation or circumstance you face today because the Spirit of God is strong within you!’ Much LOVE!

…God plus you…equals Almighty strength… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2021 Matthew 5:12.

Matthew 5:12.     ​Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Oh friends, this lazy, hazy, bleak looking Saturday morning in the winter of 2021 has begun a tad rough on the ole fella. (smile) Ah the pleasures of a late night…but the travesty of an early morning. But as the ole people would say, when you do not listen you will feel, and believe me, I am feeling now. (smile) But that’s neither here nor there, God’s work needs to be done, and I know that He will give me the strength and wisdom to do it in a good and sound manner. Why? Because He has faithfully promised: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor. 12:9a) 

Yes friends, that’s what the Lord told Bruh Paul after he had complained for the third time about a nagging and uncomfortable body problem. And that’s the promise He makes to all of us who are weak and pained; in our pain and weakness His strength and glory are shown forth. Please remember that in those times when you feel weak and in pain; the Lord’s grace will show out in you if you turn to Him in all sincerity. Enough preaching now though. And I know you’re thankful for that. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week. And the first one, makes this dramatic statement. ‘Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.’ Now that statement does have a lot of truth in it, but whether it’s the greatest enemy of truth, I don’t know. And we do have an exceptionally good recent example of it; the crowds of Americans who listened to the lying and deceitful rhetoric of Donald Trump and the other high up, powerful but oh so deceitful crooks around him, and blindly believed in the lies and deceits they so blatantly spouted. That is what has caused the wide, unamicable split, the hateful and resentful division we now have in the U.S. of A. 

So blind belief in authority does carry serious negative problems to overall truth. And the second quote proudly proclaims: ‘Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.’ And you really can’t find any problems with that statement nuh my people, for it’s totally true. All those characteristics are choices that one must make if you want to embrace them. 

And furthermore, they are all characteristics that the believer in Jesus Christ ought to espouse, because they are all a part of his philosophy, a part of His wonderful gospel! That means choices are an invaluable part of our life, we can’t get away from them, but the essence of the whole thing is that we must be sure to choose wisely, for unwise decisions usually cause, or bring dire consequences, even life-changing, lifetime ones. And having said that, I would be amiss not to tell us that the best choice we can ever make in this life is to believe in Jesus Christ, make him our Lord and Saviour and follow him from now until eternity! 

And interestingly enough, that last quote segues nicely into this next one. ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ! Although we know that when the Lord closes one door He usually opens another, we get so caught up in what we might have lost, that we fail to realize and recognize the better things that the Lord is offering in the new situation. 

I guess that’s just a normal human reflex action. We miss the good things we lose, more than we look forward to the better things that are ahead. But let’s not beat up ourselves over that fact nuh because mourning and grief over the lost all takes time. But we do have to make sure that we don’t make that sad time too long since it would just break us up even further. Remember the Lord doesn’t close doors on us, unless he has better ones to open. And when those doors close in future, let’s contemplate the promise He made to His people, Israel, through the prophet Isaiah so long ago; ‘to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ (Is: 61:3) 

But as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t get the beauty until you give up the ashes.’ And that’s oh so true. We have to turn away from the closed door, though it may be sad and hard, else we’ll never see the newly opened one. It’s all a matter of maturity, of growing in God’s Spirit, of being lifted up from glory to glory! 

And the last quote trumpets this eternal truth: ‘Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.’ And yes, that’s an indisputable fact! If mankind would only change its evil, wicked, inhumane and unjust ways, this world would be such a wonderful place! But I guess that’s never going to happen, at least until Jesus sets up His kingdom here on earth. 

In the meanwhile though, He expects his faithful and sincere followers to exhibit those magnificent tendencies of truth, compassion, honesty and justice, and to stand up forcefully against the powers of greed, inhumanity, injustice and all the other negative things that make life so difficult for so much of mankind. And I believe the best way to close today is with some memorable words of Jesus taken from His Sermon on the Mount., the opening of His earthly ministry. 

And it’s worthwhile to note that He began with the Beatitudes, statements that the scholars explain ‘deal with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute truth of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestations of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples… It’s a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone.’ 

So let’s listen to these last few Beatitudes. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:9-12) 

Oh friends, it is tough living for Jesus, but oh so rewarding. Hear the scholars as they explain just why living for Jesus is the most glorious thing we can do in this life. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase “Rejoice and be exceeding glad,” means even more, exult (triumph, jubilation)! Great is your reward in heaven focusses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Let’s think on that nuh this Saturday my precious people. Much LOVE!

…blessed are those who believe in Jesus…and follow His example… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2020 2 Corinthians 12:10b.

2 Corinthians 12:10b.     ​For when I am weak, then am I strong.

And as the weekly cycle cycles through its seven-day cycle, it inevitably comes right back to that awesome but much despised day we term Monday! Hn, hn! And no, I’m not mentally challenged because I refer to Monday as being awesome, because so it is. Why? Because, unfortunately, it is the first day of our work week and wakes us up from our weekend lethargy and is thus ofttimes liable to a veritable barrage of abuse, which it confidently takes every week, without batting an eyelash, like a stalwart soldier, and keeps coming back for more, unperturbed by the venomous diatribe so often hurled its way. 

Wow! What a sentence! Bruh Paul would have been proud of it. (smile) But the truth is, I wish that more of us supposed believers were more like Monday, tough and battle-ready, able to withstand the rigours of this pilgrim world, rather than the complaining, fragile Friday, so many of us resemble. Yes friends, Monday has committed no crime. It just happens to be the day that gets us up off of our fat, lazy and lethargic derrieres, so that we can go out and earn our keep, and for that reason alone, we intensely dislike it. But it completely ignores us and keeps doing its job, coming back every seven days to taunt and haunt us. 

And that’s how true disciples of Jesus ought to be; not giving up, even in the face of persecution, of intense trials and tribulation, but getting up every time we fall down and continuing to preach Christ and testify to the good news of His gospel with renewed energy, sincere enthusiasm and expectant hope of a brighter tomorrow. And how do we do that you ask? By remembering the promises of God, found in His holy Word, having them writ indelibly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, so we can raise them up when necessary, and also what He’s already done for us. 

So we’ll just quote a few scriptures that I believe should be at the top of our list. The first is what Jesus asked us to do; what we call the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ ( Matt. 28:19-20) So that’s what He requires of us, and most importantly, He’s also promised that while we are doing His bidding, to be constantly with us, through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. 

Then there’s this from Bruh Paul. ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) Yes friends, whatever we need to do, whatever adaptations we need to make, we can do them with Christ’s enabling power. So that if need to live abased, we can do it with confidence in Christ’s strength, and likewise if we need to live prosperously. That brings us to this awesome promise where God rebuffed Bruh Paul’s prayer to remove a thorn in his flesh, letting him know in no uncertain terms: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).’ (2 Cor. 12:5) 

Glory be mih people! If we sincerely believe that, then we can conquer anything that comes against us. As Bruh Paul proclaims: ‘For when I am weak, then am I strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:10b) Yes friends, we’re always strong, if not in our own strength, then surely in the Lord’s! 

Now here’s some more assurance that was revealed to Bruh Paul. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) So we have no doubt that God will continue to work His good deeds in us through His marvelous grace, to make us more like Christ, move us from glory to glory until whenever Christ returns. That gives us eternal security, ‘for His saving work will neither be abandoned nor unrealized.’ 

And the last scripture is also awesome and very reassuring. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Mama Mia! So if we are called to do God’s work and do it with LOVE and obedience, no matter what, then He will work it all out for our good eventually. But my people, having all those promises means nothing unless we talk to God, communicate with him through the awesome medium of prayer. So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting Him know our fears and concerns and asking for His divine favour to help solve them. 

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

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

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

Now we need to display that supposedly sincere repentance in our everyday behaviour, for He’s looking at our hearts, not merely listening to our words. Much LOVE!

…to stand strong in God…we must first know…and then sincerely believe…the promises in His Word… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2020 2 Corinthians 12:9a.

2 Corinthians 12:9a.     ​And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).

Oh friends, the old fella is feeling somewhat ‘achy, breaky’ this Monday morning in soul, body and mind. Hn! That means his mental acuity is not up to scratch and thus he is devoid of any wise and encouraging words at this present time. (smile) But don’t despair, for the Lord our wonderful God is near – He always is – and in His time, He will fill me with guidance and direction as to what wonderful, LOVING sentiments He desires me to convey to you all today. (smile) 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella shaking it a tad rough this morning, lack of enough rest I believe, but we not giving up, we soldiering on because we have Christ with us to enable us with His strength and grace…. Oh mih bredrin ah just got the zeppo I was waiting for…Glory be! 

Yuh see I wasn’t lying when I said that the Lord would eventually tell me what He wanted me to talk about today. And He just did that – today’s topic mirrors my present predicament; tiredness, a kind of weakness of body, soul and spirit that causes unavoidable dependence on God’s grace and mercy. And one of the best examples of that in the scripture is Bruh Paul’s conversation with the Lord about removing ‘the thorn in his flesh.’ 

As he puts it in his first letter to the Corinthians. ‘And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (beat) me, lest I should be exalted above measure.’ (2 Cor. 12:7) 

Yeh friends, Bruh Paul had some bodily or mental problem, no one knows for sure what it was, but it was painful (a thorn) and somewhat embarrassing, and he believed it was the devil’s doing, and it also prevented him from exalting himself, from glorying in his own strength and power, because of the amazing revelations that the Lord had showed him. 

And he further explains: ‘For this thing I besought (pleaded with) the Lord thrice (three times), that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses).’ (2 Cor. 12:8-9a) 

What a bam-bam mih people! But it’s the same thing that the Lord is saying to us today, and what He just demonstrated in my life, and has done so often over the thirteen years that I’ve been writing the Bit. I’m trying to do His work, I didn’t ask Him for it, He offered it to me, against my wish (smile), so He keeps on showing His faithfulness, never leaves me in the lurch. 

But that doesn’t mean to say it’s always easy. No sir! Sometimes he makes me work very hard to find out what I need or want to say. But in the end, He always comes through. That’s why I can testify to His awesome faithfulness and the fact that He never gives you something to do without giving you the wherewithal, the anointing to do it. 

But getting back to Bruh Paul, as a result of God’s proclamation, about His ‘strength is made perfect in weakness,’ he then declares (yehhh!) ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor. 12:9b-10) 

Oh friends, ah sorry, but I haven’t reached Bruh Paul’s level yet nuh! I can’t say I take pleasure in those things – don’t know if I’ll ever say so – but I know that I can stand strong and handle them with God’s help because I’ve been doing it, the pleasure part though, that’s a different story. (smile) So all it means is that when we are weak, not up to scratch, it’s the opportune time for God to show up and demonstrate His might on our behalf. Look how often He did it for Bruh Paul, through all the trials and tribulations He allowed Him to go through. So He’ll do it for all His people, if we’ll just believe and have faith in His word and His promises. 

And Peter offers an interesting statement, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘If ye be so reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified.’ (1 Pet. 4:14) Yeh friends, when you suffer for Christ, you are blessed. 

As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:11-12) Yeh precious people, I know that’s easier said than done, but with Jesus’ strength, power and authority, we can do it. 

So let’s go home now offering up our Monday Battle Hymn to Almighty God, asking for His divine help to do what needs to be done. All together now, in confident voice, but humble heart. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. 

We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

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

And as always, sincerity ought to lead to action. So what we waiting for eh? Much LOVE!

…the weakness of God…is stronger than men… (1 (Cor. 1:25a)  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2015 Deuteronomy 31:6

Deuteronomy 31:6.   Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 

Well Friends, at last it’s Friday… And that statement, as usual, is greeted by joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend’s here! Glory Hallelujah! The heavy labouring is done for two days. Now it’s my time to let my hair down and do my own thing. Thank You again Lord for Friday!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s our time to do what we want now, but please be careful, for when you let your hair down, you also let your guard down, which gives the ole crook Lucifer a possible avenue to invade your soul with his evil thoughts and wicked ways. 

And we definitely don’t want that to happen, so let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a somewhat better perspective on how to spend our weekend. 

Please chant with me. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh Friends, a small modicum of circumspection – not a big one (smile) is necessary when we consider how we’re going to spend our short but oh so valuable weekends.

But let me let you all into a li’l secret here. For many people in Toronto and the surrounding area, the weekend actually began last night; yes Thursday night, with some rocking Reggae music down on the Lakeshore. 

Yeh mih breddren, last night was Reggae Night down at the Ex; the C.N.E; the Canadian National Exhibition, that big, annual country fair that happens during late August and early September. I’m sorry, but to me it has always been just a big country fair, with hucksters of every nature and rides of different kinds. To me it’s always been more about children. I’ve only been to it about two or three times in my entire Canadian sojourn. 

However Friends, with an interesting evening of Reggae promised down by the Bandshell of the Ex, the ole fella put on his brand new knee supports – bought them a couple weeks ago when my knees were acting up, but never used them – and along with my trusty ole cane – which just hangs up on my stairs for most of the time – I boldly and confidently ventured down to the Exhibition grounds, via the Go Train with the Duchess and a young cousin from Merry Ole England. 

Now the walk from the Go Train Station to the Bandshell was indeed plentiful, but with my props I had no problems. And it was indeed a very rewarding evening, for local boy Jay Douglas and once upon a time Torontonian Leroy Sibbles of Heptones fame mash up the place with some lively and lovely roots music, such that I haven’t heard in many a day. 

Reminded me of the times back in the seventies and eighties when T.O was a real Reggae Town, with numerous local Reggae bands, possibly the biggest and best outside of J.A. 

Now that I believe was also my first real outing for the summer, and most likely my last. (smile) But it was certainly worth it, as me and my trusty ole cane partied down the place. Obviously not as heartily as once possible, but heartily enough to satisfy my soul. 

The fairly large crowd was rocking – everybody stood up when Leroy came on – and sang boisterously to all the old songs from way back when. What better way to spend a somewhat cloudy summer evening down by the lake eh Friends? None really! 

The rough part though began on the walk back to the train station. But as always my fellow believers in Christ, when my Saviour saw that it was getting a tad difficult for the ole fella, He just took me up in His strong, LOVING and comfortable arms, placed me on His broad shoulders and carried me safely back to the station. O Glory to God! 

And you all wonder why I LOVE Him so much! That’s why; because He NEVER let’s me down, NEVER leaves me in the lurch, NEVER allows me to carry more than I can bear. Praise His Holy and ever-faithful name Friends! 

And you’d think that my knees would be a mess this morning, but they’re not. It’s my back that’s acting up, because I laid in bed for too long. Steups! Explain that to me nuh. 

Now I guess with all that garrulousness, it doesn’t leave much time nor space for our Bit. (smile) And it’s rather an appropriate one. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ 

Yes my brethren, in this extremely tempestuous world, it is indeed necessary for us to be strong and of a good courage, because it’s rough out there. But thankfully the fight’s not ours, it’s the Lord’s. He it is who goes before us and clears our paths, makes straight our ways and imbues us with His strength and awesome grace. 

So we don’t have to be afraid of anything or anybody, once we’re in thick with the Lord God Jehovah, once we’re one of His heirs with Jesus, to His heavenly kingdom. 

Now I could have said yesterday that the walk and otherwise would be too long and difficult, and just stayed at home and be disappointed about missing the show. But the Lord caused a strong faith and strength to rise up in me, and I went merrily along my way, confident that He would enable me to do whatever was necessary. 

Oh my people, please let that same confidence and faith and trust in our wonderful and omnipotent God be in us today, as we obediently go out to do His bidding and His will, bringing His Word and His unconditional LOVE for ALL to this ungodly world. Do not be afraid or anxious, for He WILL enable us to do whatever He desires of us. ALWAYS remember that. Much LOVE!

…my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power)…is made perfect in weakness (weaknesses)… (2 Cor.12:9)