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)