Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2019 John 5:4.

John 5:4.   ​For an angel went down at a certain season (time), and troubled (stirred up) the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
 

Awright friends, it’s time once again to gather at the Lord’s house for fellowship, be it in a palatial cathedral or under a humble mango tree, for wherever two or three are gathered our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ promised that He would be there to join in praise and worship with us. (Matt.18:20) 

What a wonderful friend and Saviour is our Jesus! And there is nothing He likes more than a group of His followers getting together on a Sunday, or any day for that matter, and singing and worshipping and giving awesome praise and thanks to the Father which He so richly deserves.

Then listening to His Word and allowing it to seep into their souls and strengthen, renew and revive them so that they can go out with confidence, wisdom and discernment and face the world without any qualms, fears, or anxieties! 

That brings to mind one of my favourite scripture passages; the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, as he paraphrases the words of Isaiah 52:7 and Nahum 1:15: ‘And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings (good news) of good things!’ (Rom.10:15) Glory to God and His Word my brethren! 

And as always, we begin our Sunday festivities with song, and today’s anthem of praise is a li’l ditty we all know and LOVE titled ‘Wade in the Water.’ And like other Negro Spirituals, it’s been around forever, (smile) possibly since the days of slavery because its’ reputed to have been used by the Underground Railroad – the much celebrated network under Harriet Tubman’s direction, that helped escaped slaves make it to freedom in the North. 

According to Wikipedia: ‘Many Internet sources and popular books claim that songs such as “Wade in the Water” contained explicit instructions to fugitive slaves on how to avoid capture and the route to take to successfully make their way to freedom. An example of this is cited in the book Pathways to Freedom: Maryland & the Underground Railroad. 

The book explains how Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure that the dogs employed by slavers lost their trail.’ Who knows how much of that, if any is true eh, but we do have a wonderful and soulful version of this song to sing, done by the Fisk Jubilee singers, so let’s get on with it nuh! 

In strong voice and sincere heart, in rich song and answer mode, let’s sing praises to our Most High God Jehovah! ‘Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Everybody, Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water. 

I looked over Jordan And what did I see? God’s gonna trouble the water. A band of Angels coming after me God’s gonna trouble the water. They’re going to take me to the heaven (event). God’s gonna trouble the water. Where the streets are paved with gold And there’s no further rage. God’s gonna trouble the water. 

So Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Everybody, Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water. Some say I’ve never been redeemed God’s gonna trouble the water. Just follow me down to the Jordan stream God’s gonna trouble the water. I’ll tell you how the Lord has set my soul free God’s gonna trouble the water. And when I get to heaven How happy I’ll be. God’s gonna trouble the water. 

So Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Everybody, Wade in the water Wade in the water, children, Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water.’ 

 Yeh friends, the song is an interesting mix of Old and New Testament happenings. The verses refer to the Israelites escape from Egypt found in Exodus 14, while the chorus refers to the power of God’s healing as discussed in John 5, where Jesus healed the man who had lain for thirty eight years at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. 

The pool had five porches, and The Good Book states: ‘In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk (sick people), of blind, halt (lame) withered (paralyzed), waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season (time), and troubled (stirred up) the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.’ (John 5:3-4) 

So you can imagine the confusion, the rushing and pushing, shoving and angry names being shouted out when that water was stirred up once a year. Then Jesus goes and heals the man who had lain there for 38 years, from even before Jesus was born. But it all goes to show the mighty healing power of our great God and His faithfulness. He promised that He would set the Israelites free and He did just that. And today He is still faithful to ALL of His promises, and will heal ALL who come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ with sincere hearts, minds, bodies and souls. 

So friends, please, I implore us, let’s not be afraid to wade in the water nuh, if that’s what the Lord requires of us, because our heavenly Father will be right in there with us. That’s for sure! Much LOVE!

…I will never leave nor forsake you…thus saith the Lord… 

P.S. Yes it’s sorta late, but yuh know church has to come first. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2,    When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.

 

Awright my faithful brethren, let’s walk one more time, one more time to the Lord’s sanctuary! It’s Sunday and our presence is required in the house of our great God, to worship and give Him awesome praise, exalt His holy name with other believers, hear His Word and receive His confidence and assurance that He will always be with us, never leave nor forsake us. 

No other Deity has ever made the promises our God has, because they’re not really interested in their followers, and in any case they don’t have the omnipotence to keep such promises. But our heavenly Father sincerely cares about and LOVES us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us. Glory to God! And all He expects from us in return is obeisance and obedience. 

And as always, to soften up our hard hearts, we’ll begin with a song of praise. Today’s song is one written by Don Moen, once the music director for the Hour of Power television ministry, but now retired. I believe the story behind this song is one late night in the mid 1980’s Don was awakened by the incessant ringing of the phone. On answering it, he was shocked to hear the news that His brother in-law and his sister had met in an accident with their four children, and one of the boys had died. 

In his grief and sorrow, Don cried out to God for help, and these are the words he found solace in, as he put them to music in the song, ‘God will make a way.’ So let’s raise our voices in all sincerity and truth, declaring the words of Don’s song with heartfelt thanks. 

In soulful unison now: (‘God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me. He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way.) (Repeat) 

By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me And rivers in the desert will I see Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will remain And He will do something new today. Oh, God will make a way where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my brethren as all of us sincere believers can testify, because at some stage in our walk with Almighty God, He has made a way for each of us, when there absolutely seemed to be no way! Praise his holy name my people! Give Him enormous thanks for being the wonderful Deity He is! 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to this mind boggling promise of our Bit nuh. ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ 

And there are instances where He kept all those promises: When the Israelites fled bondage in Egypt and came to the Red Sea, with Pharaoh and his army hot on their heels, it seemed like they were destined to either drown or be slaughtered by their enemy. But their omnipotent God made a way for them by simply parting the Red Sea and giving them dry land to cross over upon. And it was the mighty Egyptians who drowned that day. (Ex.14:21-31) 

Likewise, when they crossed the Jordan River to go into the Promised Land, the Lord parted the river for them to walk across on dry land once more. (Josh. 4) And if yuh think His talk about the fire scene was just idle talk, then read Daniel 3: 8-30, where the story of the three Hebrew young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is told. 

 They refused to bow to a golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and were thrown into a furnace of fire heated seven times hotter than normal. Hn! It consumed the men who threw them in, but those faithful young men came out without a scorch, not even smelling of smoke! 

Wow mih breddren! As I rave every day: what a wonderful and powerful God we serve and worship! Give Him the praise and thanks He so rightfully deserves nuh! And the hordes of foolish people, believing Lucifer’s lies that we ought to get rid of God from our society? Deh mad yes! We ought to be begging Him to come back, not go away! 

And if yuh think all of that was in the now irrelevant Old Testament, then listen to Bruh Paul writing 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 will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Yes friends, even when the tempter comes with His best shot, our ever-faithful God will find a way for us to escape the temptation entirely, or walk through it with us, helping us to endure it. But He will NEVER allow us to handle more than we can bear! That’s His promise! 

And even more compelling are these words of assurance from Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘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)

Oh my people, our wonderful God is working out ALL things for good, but we who LOVE Him appreciate that fact more than others because we LOVE Him no matter what! Like Shadrach and them told King Neb, we know the Lord can save us from the fire, but whether He chooses to save us or not, we not bowing to yuh foolish lifeless golden idol! And that is that! You could do whatever yuh want now! 

Oh my fellow followers of Jesus, that is the kind of salt and belly and backbone that we need to have in these oh so evil and ungodly times!  For Jesus’ sake, let’s get our act together and be solid nuh. We way too wishy-washy and compromising with the world! Much LOVE!

…remember…we must be in the world…but showing Jesus’ glowing colours…not be of the world…in the dark and evil likeness of Beelzebub…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2018 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.   And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Cooler days are here again! You can bet your bottom dollar on that friends! Come September, the cool weather just explodes on us. Although in these times of climate change who knows what will happen. Yesterday evening though, I noticed that some maple trees in my area have already begun turning brown in preparation for the long, dry, cold, winter months. 

Do they know something that we don’t know! It’s possible. But not to worry, once we’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, we can face anything that comes against us, remember we’re conquerors in His Name! Glory to God! 

And with it being Saturday, let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Throw kindness around like confetti.’ 

Mama Mia! And if you’re a sincere follower of Jesus, that is exactly what you ought to be doing, for kindness is, was, and always will be the hallmark of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and if it’s not in your repertoire of attributes, then you’re not a sincere follower. 

And this next one says: ‘It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! You’re certainly better off alone than with the crowd going in the wrong direction. Some of us will remember being cautioned by our parents: ‘Don’t follow the crowd!’ And that’s usually wise advice, for the crowd is usually taking the easy way out, following Lucifer, and doing what they’re not supposed to do. 

So even if you get lonely treading that wise path that leads in the right direction, remember you’re NEVER really alone, because Jesus is ALWAYS with you, faithfully keeping His promises to never leave nor forsake you! Oh, our Jesus is so wonderful! How could we not LOVE Him eh! 

And this next quote reminds us to: ‘Remember, for everything you have lost, you have gained something else. Without the dark, you would never see the stars.’ Likewise friends, if we didn’t have rain, we would never appreciate the sun and its brilliant light. So please try to not focus so much on what you’ve lost, but on what you’ve gained through the loss. (smile) 

Now hear this tongue breaker: ‘One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what is not. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.’ 

Glory be for that day my brethren! That’s the day when we truly discover the Lord in our hearts! When we truly surrender our lives to Him and realize that He is ALL that really matters! Wow! What an enlightening day that usually is! 

And this last quote is the basis for our writing today: ‘Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.’ And that’s no lie my fellow believers! The right path in this life is following Jesus, but hear what He says in our Bit for those who want to follow Him. ‘And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Now that’s definitely not an easy row to hoe my people! That’s a daily denial of self! Note the young ruler who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Note his sad, despondent reaction when Jesus told him eternal life would be his, if he sold his many possessions and gave to the poor, then came back and followed him. (Matt.19:16-22)

Unfortunately too many of us feel that way about our earthly possessions. But yuh see what Jesus went through on our behalf? It wasn’t easy for Him, even though He was God in human flesh. Now we most likely won’t go through as much ‘sufferation’ as He did, but we will definitely go through some, most likely more than we desire or care for. (smile) 

And Jesus didn’t mince words on the subject. He very clearly informed the disciples, and consequently all who came after, like us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace: In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What reassuring words my breddren! Though He tells us very clearly that we will face trouble in this evil world, we’re not to worry about it, because He has overcome the world with His sacrificial death and resurrection. And even when trials come against us, if we’re sincerely walking with Him, we’ll find peace; the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, that shall keep (guard) our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Yeh friends, that peace is so special, that only true believers in Christ can experience it. Hear how Jesus explains it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yeh friends, that peace is not of this world, but it comes from the Prince of Peace, so it’s a mighty tool in the lives of believers. 

And we’ll close with some more authoritative words of Jesus, re our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)?’ (Luke 9:24-25) 

Now that’s a very good question friends? Do we want to have all the earthly wealth and lose our eternal soul, be separated from our Triune God in eternity? For all our sakes, I hope not. That means we have to seriously buckle down, and each and every day, pick up our cross and walk with it, the way Jesus did with His, in true obedience to His Father’s will. Much LOVE!

…earthly life might be difficult…but the rewards of eternity with God are certainly worth it…