Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 October 2022 Isaiah 55:6.

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

And the week’s moving along as programmed. Thursday has opened cloudy and windy in my neck of the woods, but it’s still a wonderful day to be alive! It just means being prepared for the weather when we go out; dress for it and be careful walking or driving. However, for true believers in Jesus Christ, every day we open our eyes is a marvellous day, despite the weather, and one we should all greet by declaring (yesss!!!) these awesome words of the psalmist. ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) 

Yes friends, we ought to be grateful for each day we awaken and don’t see our names listed in the obits, (smile) even when the mighty storms of life, both literally and figuratively are pounding upon us, and we don’t know what to do. But that’s okay too, because we know someone who knows what to do, how to handle both the literal and figurative storms, His name is Jesus Christ; the Saviour of this sinful world, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the High Priest in the heavens, the Mighty Advocate for those who believe in Him and sincerely surrender their souls to Him; the name that’s above every other name, the one to whom ALL knees must bow and confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father! 

Wow! What a powerful and influential person to know! And unlike most powerful and influential persons down here on earth, Jesus Christ doesn’t play favourites, or turn away anybody who desires to come to Him, regardless of their troubles, physical or spiritual status. In fact, He welcomes ALL and sundry through His Great Invitation. But before we get to that new invitation (smile) listen to this other Great Invitation that our Lord God Jehovah offered His people Israel through the prophet Isaiah, long before Jesus offered His. 

Isaiah gracefully declared (awright!!!) on the Lord’s behalf: ‘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 people, yuh see how our great God was generous from the outset? As the scholars tell us, ‘God’s free gift of salvation is offered to ALL who will receive it. Those who are hungry and thirsty may come and drink without money (freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles (vs. 5) like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to ALL men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, from the very beginning God has been pleading with us to come to Him for succour and nourishment for our souls. But sadly, we have been forestalling Him with excuses, lies and deceptions cast upon us by our enemy Satan, the devourer and deceiver of God’s people. However, as we can see God didn’t give up on us – He NEVER does – and with a heart full of LOVE, sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to save us, by paying for our sins with His sinless blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary. 

So I don’t know how we can ever say that God doesn’t care for us. And Bruh Paul declares it (yesss!!!) thus in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Please note my people, that the Lord didn’t wait for us to change our evil ways and come to Him, He came to us first, with salvation, through His glorious Son Jesus Christ. 

And Jesus, in His turn, also offered us another Great Invitation, where He pleads with mankind: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) I don’t know how else Jesus could plead with us to come to Him nuh. And He did it all through His earthly ministry, but stubborn, unwise, mankind still refuses to believe Him and seek His comfort, peace and salvation that can be found in no one else in God’s great world. 

But that li’l matter of free will keeps cropping up and we keep using it to fulfill our own selfish desires for the things of the world, leaving our souls totally open to be ravaged, plundered and then cast off into the fires of hell by the enemy. That’s certainly not wisdom, especially in a time like this when the whole world is in a negative uproar, one filled with strife, poverty, sickness, natural disasters and inequality of enormous proportions.

 Oh, but we have free will, so we can do what we want. And what we want right now is to drive God out of our society. Hn! What a laugh! We are even more foolish than we seem, if we believe that God will ever allow Himself to be driven out of His own creation! But as Moses told the children of Israel a long time ago ‘I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut. 30:19) 

And just for your information my brethren, that declaration (oh yeah!!!) still stands to this day. So it’s up to you to choose spiritual life or death with your free will. But for those of us who have chosen life, the Lord has bestowed upon us a number of tools to do His awesome work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. So let’s declare them (wow! – that’s 5 times straight) so that they can be activated in our lives. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And now it’s our bounden duty to go out and put those tools to work in Christ’s name. Much LOVE!

…you reap what you sow…you can’t sow sin and expect to reap eternal life…for the wages of sin is death… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 August 2022   Matthew 11:30.

Matthew 11:30.        For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Come on my people, it’s time for us to rise up and go boldly and confidently into the evil and ungodly world and let the enemy know that we mean business this Monday morning! Jesus’ business that is! Yes, it’s high time we release the fear or whatever’s been holding us back from doing the job that Jesus expects of us. And there’s’ no better time to do that than today, right now, as we see the evil and ungodliness in our world rising to new levels. 

Oh my fellow believers, it’s time we shake free of the devil’s hold on us, through whatever activity or scheme it might be. Jesus has promised never to leave nor forsake us, (Heb. 13:5) but we have to take him up on the offer. So, if Satan is still holding us captive, in some form and fashion, as he obviously is, otherwise we would be doing better in Jesus’ service, then let’s take our situation to Jesus and ask for His help. Let’s not be afraid or ashamed to come to Him with our hearts in our hands pleading for His help. 

Please remember these very inviting words He offered to all who were having problems. We call it the Great Invitation. He’s calling out with grace and mercy: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one else has ever offered such a graceful and glowing invitation and also had the means to keep it. A lot of people have offered all sorts of warm and welcoming invitations, but none has ever had the power and grace and mercy like Jesus to keep it. And John in his first epistle reiterates Jesus’ statement, when he writes: ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome).’ (1 John 5:3) 

Yes, Jesus’ rules and regulations are not hard to keep. And furthermore, when we have problems, He assists us in keeping them because it’s to both our benefit that we keep them. And as the scholars wisely inform us: ‘Once again relationship to God and obedience are inseparably linked.’ 

That’s why it’s so unfortunate and lamentable that more of us don’t accept His Great Invitation, since in this current world we are pressured, challenged and tired as never before, despite all the wonderful amenities and facilities we have that are supposed to calm and refresh us. And because of all those challenges and the constant pressure to perform, stress is now the number one killer in our society. We need to keep up with the Joneses; we need to do that and do this, otherwise we will be left out; we need to get another job or simply make more money so that we can have all the wonderful things that others have and be recognized and accepted. 

But please remember that Jesus also warned us in Matthew 6, during the Sermon on the Mount, that all the supposedly wonderful things in the world were not necessary to enjoy your life. He gave Mother Nature as the perfect example where the non-human things and beings of creation don’t sow or reap, but the Lord looks after them anyway, and they are quite happy and comfortable. The same way it is with us. Our heavenly Father knows our needs and is prepared to meet them; however, He requires an act of recognition from us. 

Jesus says: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That’s the long and short of the story friends! Our most important act must be to first seek God’s kingdom and its righteousness before we receive God’s heavenly blessings. And I believe our current troubled and fearful times is a good indication that we have not been seeking God’s kingdom, nor His righteousness, the way we ought to.  

Consequently, our lives and world are getting worse with each passing day. And we simply cannot allow that negative situation to continue. That’s why I am pleading with us, encouraging us to change our attitude today, this Monday morning, to accept Christ’s invitation, to begin seeking His kingdom and His righteousness much more than we’ve been doing recently. It’s time to raise our level of godliness, while lowering that of fear, since God’s not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of LOVE, and of a sound or disciplined mind. 

Yes my faithful brethren, its’ time for us to put all those factors into action and come up higher as workers for Christ and His kingdom. Remember, we are His ambassadors, His agents down here on earth, and His business will only be as good as we transact it, and right now we’re certainly not doing as good a job as we ought to. That’s why there’s so much blasphemy, criticism and mockery of His holy name and person. Too many people don’t take Him seriously because of the way, we His followers behave; undisciplined, licentious, hypocritical and downright evil. 

The current state of the world is a natural reaction to our less than stellar and steadfast fight for the recognition of Jesus and His kingdom. And yes, the war has already been won, because Jesus has already defeated hell, death and the grave by His death and resurrection, but the battle still wages on, for the enemy is not giving up, and therefore we believers cannot afford to sit on our laurels and let him win back any of the territory he’s already lost. And there is no doubt that right now he has the upper hand, that’s why it’s ever so important, so critical for us to uplift our godliness and righteousness and fight him tooth and nail, so that he remains a defeated foe. 

And the first step in all our activities is always prayer. So, let’s go to the throne of grace right now and lay our petitions before it, in confident voice. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. 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 it’s up to us to keep our promises and live the way Jesus expects of us, if we desire to see much needed improvements in our lives and our world. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…that’s what it means to be a Christian… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 May 2022 Psalm 125:2.

Psalm 125:2.      As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. 

Well, lovely days seem to be here again friends! Glory Hallelujah! But unfortunately, the dandelions, who don’t miss a trick, (smile) are also pushing their weedy yellow heads up through the new green spring grass, causing much dissatisfaction to lawn owners. But although they are considered weeds, I like them, like the bright yellow colour they provide to the fresh spring atmosphere. 

But best of all, with these warmer days arriving, I will now be able to sit on my porch in the afternoons and watch the world go by, as well as sit there in the quiet of the early morning hours and commune with my wonderful Maker. And it’s an interesting communication, because we don’t talk much, we just let the silence wash over us, and the beauty of nature fill our souls with a peaceful joy. 

That’s one thing I miss a lot during the many cold and dreary winter months. And why shouldn’t we just sit in quiet and peaceful companionship eh, when as the song says, ‘All my hope is in Jesus. Thank God my yesterday’s gone, All my sins are forgiven, And I’ve been washed by the blood.’ 

Mama Mia! Life couldn’t get any better than that my people! And that’s what we all get when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour; forgiven sins and a soul washed and cleansed in His Holy blood. We also receive His awesome peace and joy, and the promise of salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven or wherever He chooses to reside (smile). 

So why do so many of us refuse to accept His invitation to come to Him and lay all our burdens and heavy loads at His feet and receive the rest for both our bodies and souls that He alone can provide? The overwhelming refusal of His Great Invitation just boggles my imagination, for the enemy has nothing to compare with what Jesus’ offers. ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Satan’s yoke and burden are exactly the opposite of Jesus’ – hard and heavy. So why are so many of us still fighting ourselves and each other to live under Satan’s hard yoke and heavy burden eh? I wish I knew, then I might be able to convince us of the folly of that decision. 

Remember, whatever Satan enables us to have down here, like earthly wealth and power, we cannot take when we depart this life, and we’ll just end up in the fiery halls of hell with him. But the things that we get from Jesus, like peace, joy, LOVE and salvation, we carry them into eternal life with us, to dwell with Him right down through eternity. There’s nothing to compare with that friends! But I guess that our sinful nature is so strong within us that we like to dabble in it, enjoy its fleshly lusts, it’s pride and greed, it’s strife and resentment, as the evil one feeds our minds with his iniquitous thoughts and schemes. 

And yes, we all know that it’s not easy to live a righteous life in this sinful world, constantly bombarded by the enemy’s devious and evil machinations, but if we sincerely turn to Jesus, He will surely help us with those problems. That’s His faithful promise. Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, in simple terms, we all fall under the burden of temptation, but our caring and compassionate God will not allow us to bear more temptation than we can handle. He will either find a way for us to escape it, or give us the necessary tools to endure it. In any case, no temptation will overwhelm us if we put our faith and trust in Jesus. He will give us the wherewithal to handle them all. And these words of encouragement from Psalm 125 – God surrounds his people – just add to our faith and strength in Christ Jesus. 

Please read with me. ‘’They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed (moved), but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked (the sceptre of wickedness) shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous (the land allotted to the righteous); lest the righteous put forth (reach out) their hands unto iniquity.’ (Ps. 125:1-3) 

That’s gospel truth my people! And please remember what Cousin Sol says about iniquity workers. ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod (sceptre) of his wrath (anger) shall fail.’ (Prov. 22:8) It’s for certain sure that the iniquity workers will eventually be destroyed when the Lord thinks it’s time. So mih bredin, how much more do we need before we believe eh, before we surrender completely to Jesus, our Maker, our God, Creator, Provider, Saviour and Friend? He even went so far as to come to earth as a man and selflessly sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be forgiven, made righteous, be reconciled to the Father and have the option of salvation. 

And we’ll let this awesome truth He spoke linger in our hearts as we wind down today. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) And He called us friends before He went to His death on the cross on our behalf.  I don’t know what else to say to convince us that Jesus is real and His promises are ever-faithful. As Jesus also said: ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matt. 11:15) Words of eternal wisdom from our Saviour. 

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

Now don’t forget that if we endure with Jesus to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So please, please, let’s endure nuh mih people! Much LOVE!

…God has faithfully promised…never to leave nor forsake us…and He keeps all of His promises… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 March 2022 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

And a good morning to all you my wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family out there in the many parts of this crazy and turbulent world! I do hope that your day is going well, that you are filled with the joy, peace and LOVE of Christ Jesus, for that is the ultimate way to live. But I know that’s not always easy because of our constantly changing circumstances, which tend to confuse and muddy the waters of this earthly life. (smile) However, if we want to stay sane and unruffled in the midst of the unprecedented confusion that’s going on around us, we have to get as close to Jesus as possible, and more importantly, stay as close to Him as possible, like white on rice. (smile) 

Why is that you ask? Because it’s only when we are closely aligned with Him that we can successfully handle the trials and tribulations that surround us. Nothing, or no one else but Jesus can give us the confidence and the faithful promises of always walking beside us, of never leaving nor forsaking us, of their indwelling Holy Spirit leading and guiding and comforting us through all the hardships of our earthly journey. 

Jesus Christ is the ONLY ONE who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross to pay for our sins, and who rose again from the grave, thus defeating death and its allies, and thereby giving us the magnificent opportunity to be reconciled with God the Father and rise also from the dead and live forever with Him! No one else can lay claim to such a miraculous feat! Now to me, that means Jesus is someone very worthy to be associated with, to live for…and even to die for! 

And living for Christ is not that difficult if we truly consider it. Listen to how He puts it in His Great Invitation to all who would put their sincere trust in Him. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Mama Mia! Can you find a better invitation than that anywhere in this world my brethren? Obviously not! And the good thing about it is that we know Jesus has the parts and the power to keep all the promises He makes! So why do we refuse to accept His marvellous invitation eh? Especially when we don’t have any better to turn to. Would you consider what Satan offers, better than Christ’s? Not on your life! Because all Satan has to offer is a bunch of lies, deceit, and fraud, with worldly stuff that rots and grows old. 

Listen again, to how Jesus makes His case for hanging out with Him. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt. 6:19-21) Yes friends, the treasures of this world are not worth losing our souls over, for they eventually rot and turn to dust, even when thieves steal them. (smile) 

Furthermore, as Bruh Paul said to Timothy: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim. 6:7) Now that’s the gospel truth! We came with nothing and will leave with nothing!  Even if they embalm you and put all your worldly wealth in a tomb like the Egyptian Pharaohs did, your spirit will float away to the next life and leave it all behind. So what’s the point of running down earthly wealth. 

And the scholars provide a rather interesting explanation of that verse. They say: ‘Man enters the world at birth possessing nothing, in order to teach him that he will exit the world in the same manner – taking nothing with him. This is a divine means of showing man that since material wealth is relatively insignificant, he should pursue the important things mentioned in verse 11.’ 

Now what are those things you ask? Hear Bruh Paul spell them out. ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (the LOVE of money, the root of all kinds of evil, the striving for material wealth and the resultant woes they bring); and follow after (pursue) righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness.’ (1 Tim. 6:11) And those are the things which will cause us to store up treasures in heaven, as well as live a good and godly life down here on earth. 

And the scholars explain those things as follows: ‘Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’ And that’s the way we live for Jesus, in simple, practical and understandable terms! 

Now tell me, is living for Satan in hate, sin, anger, evil, fraud, lies and deceit better than living for Jesus? No way! Especially when Jesus can also give you the worldly wealth without you having to sell your soul, like Satan requires. And whatever Jesus gives you will not diminish or disappear like whatever comes from his Satanic majesty! 

And furthermore, does the evil enemy bestow on you any of these things we call our Thursday Blessings? That’s blessings we don’t deserve, but which Jesus oh so generously bestows on us so we can do His earthly work. Absolutely not! Now let’s declare them in strong voice so that they can take hold in our souls, bodies and spirits, and thus be manifested in our daily lives. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And having said that, it’s now time for us to go out and let those blessings bear good fruit…some sixty, some a hundred-fold. Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…is the only wise way to live life… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 January 2022   1 John 5:5.

1 John 5:5.     Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.

So this is what they call a winter wonderland eh? The white snow spread all over, with ice in between, and try as you can, you cannot get away from either of them. (smile) But last weekend’s major snow storm, with high winds and a dash of rain, plus a tornado down in the U.S, really mash up North America. It showed our frailties and weaknesses, as well as our unpreparedness for the mighty onslaught of Mother Nature, whenever she desires to pay us a powerful visit. And when you add the negative effects the Covid-19 storm has already caused, you can’t help but wonder what’s next, and how much more we can stand? 

But you know what friends, we have an answer for that. We can withstand a whole lot more! How, you ask? Because we have Jesus, that’s how! For He ‘is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea.’ (Ps. 46:1-2) 

Yes my fellow believers, in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, through His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, we have the sure and safe rock of salvation to whom we can take all our troubles, and find a reassuring place of refuge under His mighty wings. We don’t need anything or anyone but our Jesus, both in the good and bad times! 

And to open today’s worship, with mostly electronic gatherings, because of the Covid restrictions,  we are going to raise our rooves, that’s figuratively now (smile) with an African American spiritual that goes by several names, including: “Down by the Riverside”, Ain’t Gonna Study War No More” and “Gonna lay down my burden.” For our purposes today though, we’ll call it ‘Gonna Lay Down my burdens.’  

The Wikipedia website tells us that ‘Its roots date back to before the American Civil War, though it was first published in 1918 in Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland, Chicago, by the Rodeheaver Company… The song was first recorded by the Fisk University Jubilee Quartet in 1920 (published by Columbia in 1922), and there are at least 14 black gospel recordings before World War II… Because of its pacifistic imagery, “Down by the Riverside” has also been used as an anti-war protest song, especially during the Vietnam War. It is also included in collections of socialist and labor songs.’ 

Wow! What an all-purpose song! And just like it has several different titles and versions, it also ‘has many lyrical variations, though usually, each stanza follows a standard form, with one sentence that differs from one stanza to the next.’ And for our purposes today (smile), here’s what we’re gonna sing, in an up-tempo, scintillating, modern contemporary style, with plenty music, dancing and joy, a la the Craig Adams version, as befits a soul that truly declares: 

‘I’m gonna lay down my burdens down by the riverside Down by the riverside down by the riverside Oh I’m gonna lay down my burdens down by the riverside Ain’t gonna study war no more Well I ain’t gonna study war no more ain’t gonna study war no more Ain’t gonna study war no more I ain’t gonna study war… I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside Down by the riverside down by the riverside I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside Ain’t gonna study war no more Well I ain’t gonna study war… I ain’t gonna study war…ain’t gonna study war no more. 

I’m gonna put on my long white robe, down by the riverside, gonna put on my long white robe down by the riverside Ain’t gonna study war no more Well I ain’t gonna study war no more ain’t gonna study war no more Ain’t gonna study war no more I ain’t gonna study war… I’m gonna try on my starry (golden) crown down by the riverside Down by the riverside down by the riverside I’m gonna try on my starry (golden) crown down by the riverside Ain’t gonna study war no more Well I ain’t gonna study war…I ain’t gonna study war…Ain’t going to study war no more.’ 

That was marvellous my people! And according to Wikipedia, ‘The song suggests baptism in water, using the metaphor of crossing the River Jordan to enter the Promised Land in the Old Testament. The refrain of “ain’t gonna study war no more” is a reference to a quotation found in the Book of Isaiah 2:4: “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”  

Now, if we could only truly lay down our burdens at the feet of Jesus, at the foot of His cross, where He pleads with us through His Great Invitation to ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden (burdened), and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

And that is indeed the greatest invitation ever meted out to mankind my brethren! But sadly, too many of us unwisely refuse to accept it, when it’s simple acceptance can radically change our entire lives… for the better that is! It’s all about joy and peace in Jesus despite the troubles of the world. Listen to how John puts it in his first gospel nuh. 

‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.’ (1 John 5:3-5) 

Oh my people, it could not be said any plainer or simpler. Only those who believe in Christ Jesus, who have a strong relationship with Him, and who obey His commandments can overcome the world, can truly lay down their burdens by the riverside! That’s the long and short of it all! 

So please, let’s take all that we’ve said to day and sincerely and seriously ponder it nuh, and make the necessary changes in our individual lives, so that we can truly become one of those saints of Christ, who truly accept His invitation, and gratefully lay down our burdens at His redeeming cross. That’s the wisest decision we can ever make in this life, and it will definitely go a long way in deciding where we spend the next one!  Much LOVE!

…only through Christ…can earthly burdens…be truly laid down… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 November 2021 Proverbs 14:12.

Proverbs 14:12.     There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.

And now it’s Tuesday! We aced Monday, so Tuesday should be like a Sunday evening walk in the park. (smile) Yes, but my walk in the park began with scraping up a pile of leaves in my driveway, so that the garbage people could take them away. Hope that’s the last time for that exercise. (smile) Now my ole back is aching from so much bending down. 

What really hurts though, is that I look around the other driveways, and not even one single, solitary leaf litters any of them, but mine is littered with hundreds, if not thousands. But with the Lord’s awesome help, I picked up most of them, and with His help I’ll handle the backpain and whatever else comes against me on this wonderful day of being alive in Christ Jesus! 

One can’t have anything better than that in this crazy world. Jesus is the one, solid, sure thing we can depend on in this ever-changing and unfaithful world! He NEVER changes. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever! LOVING, merciful, compassionate and kind to all who call upon His name for comfort and eternal life! 

And for the life of me, I cannot fathom why so many people refuse to accept His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly (gentle and humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

And yuh better believe that there are millions of people on this groaning and falling apart earth who are labouring and heavy laden, who could use the rest He provides. But yuh think they will even consider coming to Him and getting rest for their souls? No! Because they think that they know better than the One who created the world and all therein and still controls all aspects of their lives. 

It’s like the prophet Jeremiah declared on the Lord’s behalf, re the destruction of Judah. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls, But they said, we will not walk therein.’ (Jer. 6:16) 

Oh how foolish and hard ears were the people of Judah back then, just like we are today. Instead of running to God to alleviate our problems, we are running away from Him, trying to solve them on our own, which is only creating a messier, more dangerous, cruel and evil world! And the scholar’s explanations on that verse is so true of today also. 

They say: ‘6:16. The people’s stubborn refusal to walk in the traditional ways of true righteousness is often mentioned by Jeremiah (12:16; 18:15; 23:12; 31:21). Moving in their own paths and following their own way could only lead to Judah’s destruction (cf. Prov. 14:12). The contrast of the way of righteousness and life with the way of the ungodly and death is often made in the Scriptures (e.g. Ps. 1; Matt. 7:13-14).’ 

Oh my brethren, the very same thing applies to us today; our world is facing destruction because we are trying to move in our own paths and not the paths of righteousness. And Cousin Sol hit the nail right on the head when he wrote in Proverbs: ‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.’ (Prov. 14:12) Yes, that’s the verse the scholars referenced above. 

And Cousin Sol found it so important that he wrote it once again as Prov. 16:25. And it’s so important and necessary for us to realize, to acknowledge to ourselves, that the way which seems right to us may not always be the best or right way. Until we come to that understanding, we will face the critical and unfortunate situation of being led along the wrong path, that of unrighteousness and wickedness which only lead to death and destruction. 

The psalmist said it thus: ‘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. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder on) day and night. 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. 

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. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps. 1:1-6) 

Yes friends, as the scholars explain: ‘Blessed or happy is the righteous man, the one who avoids evil influences, deeds and attitudes, but delights in God’s word (vs. 2), and God causes him to prosper (vs.3). On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (vs. 4), and his destiny is judgement (vs. 5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (vs. 6) The Lord knows the way of both the righteous and the ungodly. He will bless the former, but the latter shall perish.’  

And if you don’t believe what the psalmist says, then listen to Jesus tell it again. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow)  is the gate, and narrow (difficult) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt. 7:13-14) 

Oh my people, there are ONLY two ways to live this life; one is righteous and godly, while the other is unrighteous and ungodly. The latter is wide and open, but also leads to destruction and eternal separation from God. Meanwhile, the former which leads to eternal life is narrow and difficult to navigate, but with Jesus’ help it is readily attainable. However, we need to want it badly enough to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve it. 

That’s the whole crux of the matter; whether we want it badly enough to believe and trust and surrender our lives to Jesus, so we can spend eternity with Him. Now, for those of us who have made the wise decision to follow Jesus’ lead, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are, shouting out loudly to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. (smile) 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having said all of that so boldly, we now have to go out and walk the talk, sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and serve Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…the road to eternal life might be narrow and difficult…but with Jesus as our guide…we’re sure to make it home…                                                                                                                                   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 September 2021   1 John 5:3.

1 John 5:3.     For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome).

Well, the old adages are certainly true, especially this one; late to bed, late to rise. (smile) Yes, friends, the ole fella was up until the early hours of the morning, consequently my time of rising was even later than usual. But when the body needs rest, there is nothing we can do to stop it. That seems to have been my predicament this morning; the ole bod was crying out for rest. I seem to forget that I’m not as young as I used to be, and consequently can’t burn the candle at both ends like I once did, because it takes a quicker and greater toll on me in these later stages of life. 

But one thing mankind is famous for is being stubborn and hard-headed, and doing things that He knows will hurt Him, if not right away, but in the near future. Why else are so many of us refusing to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, especially in these very troubled and dangerous times, when we know deep down that’s the wrong decision, one that will seriously compromise our eternal destiny? 

Because we have freedom of choice and we believe that the yoke of Jesus is too heavy, when He declares it’s easy. We refuse to walk the straight and narrow road because it doesn’t have enjoyable sins that we seem to desire. The broad and directionless road with all the foolishness of sin, with it’s nice looking outer shell, and no serious or sincere substance catches our eyes and draws us to it like a fly to a spider’s web. And you know what happens to an insect when it’s caught up in the silky, nice looking but deadly web of a spider; death invariably occurs. 

And it’s the same thing that happens to those who chose to follow the broad and deadly path of the world and its ruler Satan; eternal death and damnation is their lot. But those who choose to accept the yoke of Jesus and follow Him on the straight and narrow path will one day receive everlasting life and not everlasting death like the evil doers. And Jesus says it so clearly and sincerely: ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:30) Now Jesus has no reason to lie like Satan does, because He knows His power and LOVE will overcome, in fact has already overcome the world, the devil and his evil minions. 

And for those of us who think that Christ’s yoke is burdensome, John tells us quite differently in his first epistle. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome).’ (1 John 5:3) And John should know, because he walked with Jesus on this earth, had personal knowledge of Jesus and His ways. That means if he says Christ’s commandments aren’t burdensome, they aren’t, for why would a young man like John lie, if his teacher’s rules were hard to follow? No reason whatsoever! 

And John, though young in years, was wise enough to understand what Christ was teaching them, and the great benefits it held for their future, unlike the evil doings of the world. Thus, he continues in his epistle. ‘For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.’ (1 John 5:4) Yes friends, every believer, everyone born of God; that is born of water and of the Spirit, as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3, has the opportunity, or rather the ability, to overcome the world through his faith! 

Hear how John puts it nuh: ‘Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:5) Matter fix friends! Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and is reborn of water (the baptism of Christ), the blood of His atoning death and accept His indwelling Spirit can overcome the world! That’s it in a nutshell. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘5:5. There is conquering power through this confession because God is sovereign over the world, and only through the Son does man have access to and find favour with God.’ And Jesus proclaimed that fact quite clearly when He told the disciples: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) Clear, simple and self-explanatory words, my brethren! 

And Bruh Paul, that other great man of God, also spoke of victory gained through Christ, when he wrote to the church at Corinth in his first letter: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 15:57) And in his second missive, he reiterates his earlier contention: ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth (leads) us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place.’ (2 Cor. 2:14) 

Please understand my brethren, that it’s only through faith and belief in Christ Jesus will we ever have victory in our lives, because He has overcome hell, death and the grave through His triumphant resurrection on Easter morning! So, if you want victory, then you have to hook up with Jesus And until we get that through our proud, stubborn and foolish heads, we will not have victory in this world nor the next. Now for those of us who believe that and try to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Thursday Blessings, generously bestowed on us by our LOVING heavenly Father so we can do His work down here on earth. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, our duty is to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! Much LOVE!

there’s only ONE way…to God the Father…through Christ…the Son…                                                                                                                              

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