Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And what’s going on this Thursday morning in mid-July of this blessed year of 2021 my friends? I know some of you will sneer and angrily ask what kind of blessed year are you talking about eh? Haven’t you seen what the pandemic and all the other negative stuff has done to our world? Yes. So how can you call the year blessed? 

Simply because we are still alive and kicking! Just waking up every day with enough strength in our body to talk and move and LOVE our friends and family is more blessing than we truly realize. It means that once we are alive, the Lord has not finished with us. He still has plans for our lives, otherwise He would have taken us home already. Remember what He said in Jeremiah? ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope) (Jer. 29:11) Glory be, mih people! 

So that cliched saying is quite true: while there is life, there is hope. And with true faith in Almighty God, ANYTHING is possible once His awesome breath of life is still flowing through our mortal bodies. Consequently, regardless of what life might throw our way, we cannot lose hope or give up, because today might just be the day that our life and circumstances turn around through God’s amazing help. 

The problem there, is that we have to believe without seeing any real improvement or receiving any real encouragement. In the world, we accentuate that seeing is believing, but in God’s economy it’s the opposite; believing without seeing. With God, when you believe, then you’ll see. Most likely not before. And I think a particularly good example of that is when Jesus came walking on the water towards His disciples in the boat that was being tossed by the storm on the Sea of Galilee. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out in fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.’ (Matt. 14:26-29) 

Now friends, that’s what faith, hope, and belief can do for you. Peter apparently was the only one bold enough, with enough faith in Jesus, to venture out on the water. But unfortunately, the situation changed very quickly when Peter’s hope and bravery failed, and his fear took over. The Good Book continues: ‘But when he (Peter) saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt. 14:30-31) 

And that’s the crux of the problem right there my brethren, our doubt. We talk a good talk, but when the chips are down, our doubt and fear takes over, and that’s when we begin sinking. If Peter had not doubted, or become afraid, he would have kept on walking on the water with Jesus. But it’s our fears and doubts that keep us from achieving what God truly has in store for us, that stop us from receiving all the blessings He has set aside in our name. 

And it’s important to note what happened after that incident. Turning to the Good Book again, we read: ‘And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:32-33) Yuh see friends, it’s only after the disciples had seen Jesus’ power, that they conceded that He was truly the Son of God. And that’s how we still behave, although we know better. 

And before I forget, here is some interesting info from the scholars on the subject. ‘14:28-32. Peter answered him in his characteristically impulsive manner. This part of the story is recounted only by Matthew, who was in the boat and on whom it must have made a deep impression. The incident is not presented as a parable, but as an actual event involving three miracles. Jesus walks on the water. Peter temporarily does so, and the wind ceases immediately.’ 

Unfortunately, today, we too only believe when we see big miracles. But God doesn’t do that many big ones again. He now specializes in many small ones in our individual lives. But we either ignore them completely, or simply chalk them up to chance or coincidence. But people, there is no chance and/or coincidence in our lives. Everything that happens is vetted by our heavenly Father, whether He begins it or not. And He doesn’t allow us to handle more than we can bear. So, let it be known, that whatever comes against us, we have the heavenly, the divine power to handle it. So there is no need to fear whatever the world throws at us. 

That in a nutshell is our message today my faithful saints in Christ. Let’s stand up strong and fight life through, because our God is always with us to help us, and there is none as powerful, as Him in this universe that He has created. Let’s believe that today, and every day, so we can be divinely empowered. And here is one of the ways God empowers us; through generously bestowing what we call our Thursday Blessings on us, blessings that enable us to do His earthly work diligently and excellently. 

So let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) them now nuh, so that they can be made manifest in our lives. Altogether now: ‘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, let’s go out and share those awesome blessings just as generously with others, so that they too can come to know Christ and also get to enjoy His benefits. Much LOVE!

…if you want to see God…yuh better had first believe that He’s there… (smile) 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     ​O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And so we move on; another day older and closer to heaven! Can you imagine it friends? Some of us have lived so many days already that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. But be not afraid of what’s in your future, for our great and wonderful God has a distinct plan for every one of us, to be His disciple, His ambassador, agent, representative, call it what you like, and it does not end even when we take our last breath and go over the other side to His golden mansions for eternal rest. 

That’s because He expects the lives that we’ve lived down here, to speak to others, as a glowing example of faithfulness and LOVE, even after we have departed this earthly territory. That means what we do, how we behave, how we treat others, every day of our lives makes a difference. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us; that we make a positive difference in the land as we walk closely with Him. So the question now my friends is, are we making a positive difference on others, as we live this earthly life? 

Are we being good examples of the kind of life the Lord expects of His followers? I do hope that all of us can answer a resounding ‘Yes!’ to it, but I know that that’s certainly not the case, else our world would not be living the selfish, greedy, godless, dog eat dog kind of life we’re currently living. Oh my brethren, if we’re true to ourselves, we’ll all realize that we’re not living the best Christian life that we can, which means we have lots of room for improvement. 

And why aren’t we living the kind of Christian life we want to lead eh? I think if we look to Bruh Paul’s words and examples in Romans, when he talks about the struggles of two natures, we’ll get some insight into the problem. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (don’t understand): for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) And we all have that same struggle between our flesh and the spiritual lives we want to live. 

The scholars however, offer an excellent explanation of our problem, re verse 14. ‘The law is spiritual: The law has characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ And yes, as we said above, we all experience personal struggles with sin, but that is no reason, no excuse not to do better than we’re doing, especially if we’re at a fairly high state of spiritual maturity. 

And I think that’s one of the many problems in the church, in Christ’s body today: the mature believers are not leading exemplary lives, and also are not taking enough interest in the less mature believers. But that’s just what Jesus desires of us, as we said at the outset; a life that makes a positive difference and sets a good example to others. And no, He does not expect us to be perfect, because He did not make us perfect, but He does expect us to do our best. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ And that’s all the Lord is asking of us. 

But too many of us are too immersed in the ways of the world, the fleshly, sinful carnal life. And how do we get out of that? Only one way friends; by keeping our eyes constantly fixed on Jesus. And we have a great example of that with this interaction between Jesus and Peter. It’s that time when Jesus fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves of bread and two fishes, and they took up twelve baskets of remnants afterwards. (Matt. 14:15-21) Then He sent the disciples away in a boat over the lake, the sea of Galilee, while He dismissed the crowd and went up into a mountain to pray. (Matt. 14:22-23a) 

Now the Good Book says: ‘And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship (with the disciples) was now in the midst (middle) of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (from 3-6 a.m.) Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (a ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. 

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:23b-33). 

And right in that li’l passage of scripture friends, we have our basic problem. We talk plenty about Jesus being the Son of God, but when the time comes for us to truly embrace it, we fail miserably. Peter was bold enough to step out of the boat, but when the wind got really strong, he took His eyes off Jesus, and doubt crept into his mind and made him afraid. And that’s what happens to too many of us; when troubles come, we stop looking to Jesus, forget the powerful being that He is, and all His faithful promises, and in fear, fall back on our own strength, which will never be enough to get us through this life. 

So friends, if we want to make a positive difference with our lives, we have to steadfastly keep looking to Jesus; don’t be too afraid, or lose our faith, or forget His promises, when troubles come, as they always will. And what better scripture to close with than these assuring words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘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) 

And for those of us in whom those words have taken solid root, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere 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!’ 

And it’s also reassuring to know that if we endure to the end, the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So let’s keep on keeping on in Christ nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…steadfastly looking to Jesus…is the ONLY way…to handle our doubts and fears… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2020 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.   ​And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
 
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
 
Oh my fellow saints in Christ, these are certainly rough times we are currently experiencing yes! For the umpteenth Sunday the Lord’s sanctuaries are closed on His day. And today, on Mother’s Day, many mothers will be alone and lonely with no friends or family around them, to celebrate their special day…all because of the lockdown made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic. Today is also a somewhat sad day for some of us due to the passing of our great friend of St. Francis Anglican Parrish, the Rev. Dennis Doloff. 

He wasn’t our Parish Priest, but he attended many of our functions and preached a few times for us when our regular priest was unavailable, all from the confines of his wheel chair. Despite his physical setbacks, he was a most encouraging, enlightening and humorous soul, quick witted and always ready with a joke. We of St. Francis wish his family our sincere condolences and grieve with them, though we’re all glad that his suffering is now over and he’s in a much better place. 

So today, as all those storms come against us, it is ever so appropriate that we sing this wonderful song: ‘Ride Out Your Storm.’ It’s good assurance and strength for all of us. We’re letting the enemy know that we’re not giving up, we’re going down fighting and celebrating because we have the Most High God as our refuge in any and all the storms of life. Isaiah said it thus: ‘For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:4) 

So with that in mind, let’s raise up our voices in sacrificial praise and thanksgiving, singing the up-tempo reggae version of this popular gospel song done by the Jamaican Artiste, George Nooks. And the band played…and the voices rose in sweet harmony… ‘Don’t give up, just ride out your storm. You’ve been in the storm and it seems like forever. And your nights of confusion have been too long. Your ship has lost anchor, and the storm’s got you drifting. Just hold on to Jesus And ride out your storm 

(Chorus: Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. You’re hurting now, but your morning is coming…Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm) Remember His promise, He said I’ll never forsake you, though the waters are troubled, they’ll do you no harm. Don’t give up the battle for your answer is coming, just hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Ride out your storm God is still there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting now but your morning is coming, Lord have mercy, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. 

Oh Ride out your storm, God is there with you, you may not feel him, but you’re not alone. Although you’re hurting now, your morning is coming, just hold on to Jesus and ride out your storm. You know He’ll never leave you, so just hold on to Jesus, and just ride out your storm. Hold on to Jesus…and ride out your storm.’ 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! There’s no better person to hold on to than Jesus in the time of storm my people. Remember when He was crossing the sea in the ship with His disciples and a great storm arose, and it looked like the boat would capsize, and the disciples were scared to death. What was Jesus doing then eh? Snoozing quietly in the back of the ship. Hn! Hn! 

The Good Book reports it thus: ‘And the disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matt. 8:25-27) Those disciples really didn’t have much faith nuh mih bredrin. Having seen Jesus do all the earlier miracles, they shouldn’t have been so scared. 

But we really can’t get on their case too much because we do the same thing nowadays too. Despite the many miracles the Lord has worked or wrought in our lives, we still get scared and doubtful and anxious when storms and life’s difficulties come our way, instead of calmly taking it all to God in prayer and trusting that He will at least walk through the storm beside us. And please don’t forget the Lord’s marvellous promise through His prophet Isaiah: ‘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.’ (Is. 43:2) 

Please remember that friends: whatever we go through, our great and faithful God is always right there beside us! And ofttimes He does even better than that. Listen to Moses on His behalf, as he gave over the Israelite leadership to Joshua. After warning him to be strong and of good courage, he continues: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ Mamacita! Our God doesn’t only walk with us through life’s storms, He goes one better, goes before us to clear the way for us. 

So friends, this Sunday morning, regardless of what is coming against us, please, I implore us, let’s be strong and of good courage, for we have all those faithful promises of our faithful God to hold on to. He never said that it would be easy, but He would bring us through it, just like He brought the three Hebrew boys out of the fire unscathed, not even smelling of smoke, the same way He brought Daniel out of the lion’s den unharmed. That means we cannot allow the heathen, the unbeliever, or even our fellow believer to look at us and derisively say, ‘O thou of little faith!’ 

And a Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there, for you are the backbone and major source of faith in most of our families! Without you, our faith would be even less than it is. Much LOVE!

…the best pilot in stormy waters…JESUS…