Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 March 2020 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.    ​He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 
Ah friends, this late night and early morning business will eventually kill me yes! (smile) But that’s just the nature of the beast. Some of us are made to be early birds and others night owls. It just so happens that I fall amongst the latter, but still have to get up and write the Bit at a decent hour. And to make matters worse, the computer is slow, guess too many people are on the internet with so many things shut down. And rather unwisely (smile) just now I agreed to a restart for an update, when I had other options, but it simply stood there spinning its wheels, so I had to shut it down and reboot it. 

Ah Lord eh! The things the enemy talks us into doing! (smile) But not to worry, with the Lord’s awesome help, we will accomplish whatever He sends us out to do. And on this bright and sunshiny Saturday morning, it’s His pleasure to keep us all safe and sound from whatever our ever-lurking foe throws against us! So let’s remember to give Him much thanks and praise for being our wonderful guardian Shepherd, especially in these unusual and abnormal calamitous times, so suddenly precipitated by the Covid -19 virus. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord for His absolute kindness to the children of men! His mercies are new every day and endureth forever. Amen!’ 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here’s the first one. ‘It’s not about money or connections, it’s the willingness to out work and out learn everyone. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting quote, and there’s lots of truth in it. However, I’m not so sure about the out working and out learning everybody else. 

We must be diligent and excellent in our endeavours, but I think it’s somewhat impractical to always be trying to out work and out learn everybody around us. I believe we’re wasting valuable time and energy in the competition aspect, which could be better used in other areas. But we must always try to learn from our mistakes and do better the next time around. 

Now hear this one: ‘There is always one more thing to learn.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. Whilst there is life, there are always things to be learned! And despite our age, the old folks say that we should try and learn at least one new thing each and every day. Why? Because learning is the basic foundation of life! If you don’t learn, you can’t live life successfully. 

And that’s the problem so many of us are having nowadays, believers included; for whatever reason, we’re not upgrading ourselves sufficiently in the things that matter most in life; the things of God. Please note Cousin Sol’s words in Proverbs. ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto (acquire) wise counsels.’ (Prov.1:5) 

That brings us to this next interesting quote: ‘When you can’t control what’s happening challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.’ Now that’s something for all we believers to hold on to very tightly. Yes my people, it’s all about attitude; our attitude towards prevailing circumstances. How we respond to those circumstances, especially those over which we have no control, is what’s going to make or break us. Responding to things like anger, rejection or abuse with the same attitude does us no good whatsoever. 

Forget the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth saying. Jesus said to LOVE your enemies, and forgive those who do us wrong. And that’s wisdom of everlasting proportions, for responding in kind is only going to prolong the negative circumstances and cause even more confusion and adversity. Remember Bruh Paul’s invaluable words to the church at Rome: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17a, 21) 

Yes friends, it’s always better to come up over whatever is challenging us with a positive, godly attitude, than a negative, ungodly one. There is simply more good energy in the positive and godly attitude, and it will help us to better handle whatever is coming against us. And there’s no better time to apply it than RIGHT NOW with the serious problems that our world is facing! And this last quote, shows that our friend Anselm is on top of things. (smile) ‘As we deal with the Coronavirus, remember “To ride out your storm”.’ 

Oh friends, that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to teach us these past tough days; we need to ride out these stormy times. And the ONLY WAY to do that successfully is through faith, trust and surrender in Almighty God! For He creates the storms, and He also calms them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these scriptures. Ethan, the Ezrahite, in his contemplative psalm – God’s sure promises to David, puts it thus: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

Now hear the words of the psalmist from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘For he commandeth and rasieth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.’ (Ps.107:25) And when we in fear, reeling to and fro, cry out to Him. ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps. 107:29) Mama Mia! What a most powerful and merciful Deity we serve and worship my faithful brethren! 

And we all know or ought to know (smile) the famous story of Jesus and the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee and the terrible tempest that arose and how the disciples were so scared and awoke Jesus who was sleeping comfortably in the stern. And His immortal words to 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. 8:26-27) 

Oh my people, that’s not rocket science, it’s simple logic: The Lord made the seas and the winds, and still controls them, so when He speaks to them, it’s obvious they respond the way He wants them to. What a pity that His greatest creation – mankind – doesn’t respond in the same obedient manner to His will and wishes! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus is your life pilot…then the inevitable storms…won’t be disastrous…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2020 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.    ​Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
 

And life goes on in this Covid-19 season. It has to…and it will…God willing of course! And despite all the bad news, as always, there’s a li’l light at the end of the tunnel, though somewhat far away. (smile) I’m talking about the start of human trials for a vaccine to stop the deadly disease that now holds our world in a tight stranglehold. Glory be! Apparently both in China and the U.S. approval has been given to begin clinical trials on human subjects, but who knows how and when that will prove successful. 

Oh yes, we will defeat the virus eventually, we have to believe that, otherwise all our other efforts will be in vain. The problem though is when will that happen, and how many lives would have been lost and irreparable damage done to our society and economy by then? Ah my fellow believers, this is the time for us to truly show up as salt and light to our unbelieving brethren. This is the time when we have to use our incredible faith to help the world get through this evil pandemic. 

It’s one of those times when the church has got to step forward and be amongst the leading lights, especially in terms of faith. This is a significant occasion for Christians to not only talk, but more importantly walk their talk of faith. Remember Jesus’ alluding at almost all of his healings and miracles to the faith of the receivers, and how He kept accusing those who should have known better: ‘O ye of little faith.’  It wasn’t only His powers that caused the miracles but also the participants faith. 

Remember too when He healed the two blind men. He first asked them: ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this (heal you)? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged (strictly warned) them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country (land).’ (Matt. 9:28-31) 

Oh precious people of God, there are so many lessons for us in that passage of scripture in these trying times. The first being that we have to truly believe without a shred of doubt, that Jesus is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do. That’s where our faith and trust and surrender comes in. Remember, it’s according to the amount of those things we have that our lives can move from good to bad and vice-versa. Remember too, the time Jesus was teaching the disciples about forgiveness, and it was such a hard lesson – just keep on forgiving? (Luke 17:1-4) 

What happened then eh? The Good Book tells us: ‘And the disciples said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-6) Wow! That’s the awesome power of true and strong faith. 

And the scholars add this interesting explanation. ‘17:5-6. The magnitude of the command in verse 4 leads to a plea for assistance. Faith, understood here not merely in a mental sense, but also in the sense of active “faithfulness,” is the key. One’s faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience.’ And I would go even further and say, that that’s the ONLY WAY our faith ever increases! We need to step out in obedience, with whatever faith we then have, and then see God work wonderfully in our lives. And every time we do that, our faith grows! 

Right now, in these trying times friends, we faithful believers need to activate our faithfulness in whatever manner we can to keep the hope of others alive. That’s our bounden duty! We were put here in this time to do that! And that is highlighted by Jesus’ words to Simon Peter when He foretold Peter’s betrayal. ‘And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (you have turned again), strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:31-32) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, but also his transformation back to his former strong faith. And then, he was to help others boost their faith. And I guess that’s what I am now trying to do; keep our faith alive and strong…and even growing too, for remember it’s in the hard and difficult times that our faith grows! 

Now I don’t want to make this as long as yesterday, (smile) so I’ll just remind us of that wonderful chapter 11 in Hebrews; aptly called the Heroes of Faith, that tells us about many great men and women of faith. They all had problems to surmount, but they all surmounted them by FAITH in the God their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I think it will be only fitting for ALL of us to read that awesome chapter as often as we need to keep our faith strong in this time of worldwide calamity. 

And please remember that FAITH is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith is all about the good things we’re hoping for, in the Lord’s Will, that we don’t see, but are eagerly expecting them and waiting for them with patience and perseverance. And our greatest hope right now…a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus. So let’s believe that we will eventually get one, and consequently, wait patiently, earnestly, eagerly and with perseverance for it. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, as we let this primarily unbelieving world know of our enviable position in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts and plenty, plenty faith: ‘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!’ 

Oh yes friends, if we fight the good fight and remain steadfast in our faith to the end, then that future will indeed be glorious; more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…faith can move mountains…as well as molehills…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2020 Matthew 8:27.

Matthew 8:27.    But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’
 
And on this first day of February, in the leap year of 2020, some snow did fall in my area, not a whole lot, but enough that we can say snow fell. (smile) Yeh, it looks bad if you’re in winter and there’s not even a touch of the white stuff on the ground. Hn, hn! And I didn’t even know that this was going to be a leap year until recently when I checked out the February calendar and saw 29 days. I had to look again to make sure that I was seeing right. 

Times surely have changed yes! Once upon a time a leap year was a big thing, all sorts of stuff was supposed to happen in one, you’d hear that news all over the place. But now, no one seems to pay much attention to it; nobody’s even mentioned it to me in passing. Don’t even know if the young people nowadays know what’s a leap year, or how it comes about. We have so much bloody information now that it’s hard to choose what to read or listen to, and more importantly, what to believe (yeah!). 

But anyhow it’s Saturday, so let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week in his sincere effort of aspiring to inspire us. And this first quote is ever so appropriate because it’s exactly what Anselm is trying to do with us. ‘The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.’ Yeh friends, the Christian’s bounden duty is to try and lift up, encourage, and inspire those around us to come up higher in anything they choose to do. 

Remember the motto of Jesus’ people is ‘diligence and excellence.’ We have to work sincerely at stuff, and do it in an excellent manner, not wishy-washy, like is so common nowadays. Our jobs and lives might be difficult, even unfair, but Jesus still desires a solid and sincere effort from us. For in His dominion, ‘Failure is impossible.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Jesus doesn’t hold with failure at all. There’s absolutely no giving up in His kingdom! 

As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (stumble into calamity).’ (Prov.24:16) And according to the scholars: ‘24:16. The righteous man always recovers, but the wicked man faces permanent destruction.’ Yes friends, if you check out Jesus’ dictionary you won’t find the words ‘failure’ or ‘give up’ in it. Because He’s the Master of Everything; the possible as well as the impossible! 

And if you are a part of His dominion then you need to think like Him and behave like Him, and remember that through Him we can do ALL things, because He strengthens us! Then there’s this next quote; a dandy: ‘A good thing to remember is somebody’s got it a lot worse than you do.’ And is that ever gospel truth my people! We might think we have it rough, but believe me, a lot of other people are usually having it rougher, much rougher than us. 

I remember complaining to my mother when things were rough with us, and she’d tell me, yes, times were tough, but they were a lot of people even worse off than us. In my youthful naivety I couldn’t believe that was possible, but as I went around the neighbourhood with a greater awareness, I was surprised to see many families living  worse off than we were. And now, when you think of the rampant poverty, homelessness and sickness in our Western Society, we complain about how bad it is, but just check out the numerous societies and cultures on the other side of the globe who have it much worse than us, and tell me in which one you’d rather be. 

At least in ours there seems to be some smidgen of hope for better times and conditions, but in many of those others there’s not even a smidgen of hope for anything better. Many were born into abject poverty, sickness and homelessness and will live and die the same way. So when you think you’re having such a bad day, and times are so rough, just think about those other more unfortunate people, and gratefully say, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And this last quote succinctly informs us: ‘Anyone can take the wheel of the ship in calm water but it’s not so easy when it’s not calm water. You can’t just enjoy the good times, you have to be resilient in the tough times.’ And that word ‘resilient’ seems to have faded from our vocabulary and lifestyle in these modern days, for the words backbone and belly which make us resilient are non-existent. 

There’s never been as much complaining and whining in our world as there is now, even in the midst of great prosperity! Partly because we have allowed the young generation to grow up in an easy and non-sacrificial manner, no chores before or after school, always getting what they want, so now when real life hits them, they can’t cope with it. They think they are owed an easy life, have an inalienable right to it, because we the parents didn’t raise them right, and God is usually the furthest thing from their minds. 

But friends, it’s only in and through Jesus that we can acquire the parts to stand strong when life comes against us. And one of the best examples of that occurs when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee and a violent storm arose. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto them, Why are ye 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. 8:24-27) 

Friends, Jesus is the man who made the winds and the seas, that’s why they obey Him! He is also the man who made us in His own image, that’s why we ought also to obey Him! Despite the free will He gave us, it behooves us, it’s the epitome of wisdom to believe and obey Him, because He is the ONLY one who can right the ship, or better yet calm the storms, the raging seas and gusting winds that inevitably confound our lives in this fallen world! Much LOVE!

…I’ll say it again…Jesus is the answer…to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.    ​But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 

So we made it through Monday quite nicely, why can’t we do the same today, Tuesday eh? Especially when we have the Creator and Controller of this great universe riding a continual and steady shotgun beside us? No reason whatsoever my faithful brethren since He’s promised to give us all that we need and never leave or forsake us! Brother! Those promises are surely worth more than their weight in gold! 

And yes, in this busy, evil, trouble-filled world, it’s sometimes hard to keep our wits about us and our heads above water, but if we truly believe in the Lord God Almighty and His awesome Son Jesus Christ and the amazing working of the Holy Spirit, then we can do whatever we need to do in their names and strength to fulfill the mandate they’ve given us; that is to spread the gospel all over the world and be obedient to their commands; living a life of LOVE and good fellowship. 

Now here’s a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the matter from His Hour of Power Devotional, something he calls ‘the Possibility Thinker’s Creed.’ Please pray with me: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help!’ 

Mamma Mia! That’s what you call tenacity and stick-to-itiveness! (smile) And that’s exactly what is expected of the true believer, the true Christian soul – no giving up, because the words ‘give up’ don’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. And how could it eh friends, when He claims to be able to do ALL things, impossible or otherwise, and support us in doing the same? 

And giving up also makes this verse of scripture which we like to quote of no consequence: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) If that is a true statement then with Jesus’ help, we can keep on keeping on as long as it takes, and as difficult as the task is. 

Yuh see what Gramps Schuller says he’ll do when a mountain gets in his way: He will keep on striving, looking at all the alternatives; climb over it, find a pass through it, tunnel underneath it. And if all of that fails, then he’ll just stay right there and turn the mountain into a gold mine. And that’s how we believers ought to behave; do everything in our power, with God’s help, to succeed, but if none of our efforts are successful, then it means that the Lord wants us to stay right where we are and grow and do His will right there! 

And yuh know what my people, our unsuccessful efforts usually stem from a few basic things. First off, an insufficient amount of mountain moving faith. And one of Jesus’ most critical remarks was: ‘O ye of little faith.’ (Matt.6:30, 8:26, 14:31) Hear His rebuke to the disciples when they could not heal a demon possessed boy and asked Him why. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21) Yes my people, a believer with even a little faith can do a lot of things, especially if his actions are accompanied by sincere prayer and fasting. And I think that’s a catch 22 situation; the li’l faith is built up, made stronger by the prayer and fasting. (smile) 

And the next place we go wrong in living our lives is by ignoring Jesus’ serious command: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Jesus, as throughout all of the Sermon on the Mount keeps emphasizing the importance of the spiritual living over that of the material. Yes friends, once we have pledged our lives, our allegiance to Christ, we then need to live primarily in the Spirit, and not the flesh, meaning the material things of this world ought not to be our first LOVE. 

‘The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides.’ It all comes right back to faith my people: if you believe in God, then you must believe that He can and will do whatever He says. 

That’s why Hebrews tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ So basically friends, to be a true believer, we must believe that God exists, then have true faith in Him, and then live the way He wants us to live, not the way we want to live. 

Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do those things, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship, as Jesus so greatly desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…believe that there is a God…have sincere faith in Him…be truly obedient to His will…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2019 Matthew 14:33.

Matthew 14:33.    ​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.

 

And then it was Sunday…Oh beautiful Sunday! Time to join fellow believers in praise, worship and thanksgiving at the Lord’s house on His special day. What a wonderful privilege to come into His presence with others of like mind, to hear His Word, exalt His holy name and receive His awesome confidence, LOVE, mercy, grace and strength that enable us to keep on fighting the good fight in His name! So, without further ado, let’s do as we always do nuh, (smile) begin with a song of praise. And today’s song is aptly titled: ‘LOVE LIFTED ME!’ And so it did friends; Christ’s great LOVE for us, lifted us out of the mire of sin, through His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary that paid the price of sin for all time. 

But we all know that, so let’s check out something that we might not know, namely the story behind today’s hymn. According to the web site GodTube, it was written and published in 1912 by Arthur James Rowe (1865-1933), a copper miner’s son, an immigrant to the U.S from Ireland in 1889. He worked for ten years on the New York railroads, then became an inspector for the Hudson River Humane Society. The hymn was inspired by two biblical stories, both about Jesus and His disciples on the stormy seas of Galilee. (Matt.14:22-33) & (Matt.8:23-27). ‘Rowe masterfully incorporates both stories, using sinking or being swamped into the sea as an illustration for “sinking deep in sin…sinking to rise no more.” Jesus, “Master of the sea,” hears our pleas for help, reaches out to us in LOVE, and lifts us up into the well being of grace.’ Oh what a beautiful description! 

So now that we have some idea of what the hymn is all about, let’s sing it nuh, in strong, soulful voice, with exquisite harmony, and much sincere thanks and gratitude appropriately flowing from our hearts. Altogether now: ‘I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, now safe am I. (Refrain: LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me. LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me.) 

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling, In his blessed presence live, ever his praises sing. LOVE so mighty and so true merits my soul’s best songs; Faithful LOVING service, too, to Him belongs. [Refrain] Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves; He will lift you by His LOVE out of the angry waves; He’s the master of the sea, billows His will obey, He, your Saviour wants to be, be saved today. [Refrain: LOVE lifted me…When nothing could help…LOVE lifted me…’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? It’s only something as powerful as LOVE that could have ever lifted us out of the depths of sin! The amazing LOVE of Jesus is the only thing ‘that can lift us out of despair to salvation.’ Now let’s refresh our memories about those two stories on which today’s hymn was based. The first one tells us about Jesus entering a ship with His disciples. ‘And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye 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.8:24-27) 

Ah friends, as the hymn says, Jesus is the ‘Master of the sea.’ He was intimately involved in making it, therefore, it must do as He directs it. The second story happens after Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod. When Jesus heard of it, He was saddened, and took a ship to a deserted place to be alone. But the crowds followed Him, and Jesus being Jesus, was filled with compassion and He taught them and healed their sick, then later on He fed them; five thousand men, beside women and children. (Matt.14:1-14) After that, He sent the disciples away in a ship, dispersed the multitude, then went up into a mountain by himself to pray. However, while Jesus was up on the mountain praying, the disciples were having an extremely hard time crossing the sea of Galilee because of a severe storm, brewed up by a contrary wind. 

By the fourth watch (3-6 a.m.) they were obviously tired from rowing all night and not making much progress. Then suddenly this apparition appeared unto them walking on the water. They claimed it was a ghost and cried out in fear. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid. Then Peter with his impulsive self blurted out: ‘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.14:27-33) 

Ah mih people, please note Jesus response in both situations: ‘O ye of little faith.’ He challenged them on the substance of their faith. They had seen Him do all sorts of miracles, yet still they were scared of their own shadows. When He walked on water to them, a few hours earlier they had seen him feed over five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two small fishes, and still pick up twelve full baskets of left overs. So why should they be so afraid seeing Him walk and water and calm the stormy seas eh? The sad part of the story though is that unfortunately, we are in the same boat as the disciples. We talk a good talk, but when adversity strikes, we forget all the wonderful miracles that Jesus has done in our lives, and we too cry out in faithless fear. 

But the long and short of the story is that we know much more about Jesus and how He works, than the disciples did, so we ought not to be as afraid as so many of us are. Each adversity we undergo, and He brings us through successfully, ought to build our faith and make us stronger. So please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve said today nuh, and promise ourselves to try and do better, faith wise, with God’s help of course. Jesus needs us to show strong faith to the unbelievers, so that they too will want to share His salvation! Much LOVE!

…it should not be as hard for us…as it was for the disciples…to truly believe…that Jesus is the Son of God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2019 Acts 12:5.

Acts 12:5.    ​Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
 

Oh friends, 11 of them down, ONLY 22 more to go! Wow! And I’m not talking about friends passing on, (smile) I’m talking about visits to the hospital for them to zap some cancer cells they claim are existing and thriving where my prostate once lay. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the doctor told me I needed 33 sessions! 

And no, it’s not a difficult situation, because the radiation only takes about 15 minutes per session, but is it ever inconvenient; five days a week, Monday to Friday, with a full bladder and empty bowels. That is where the difficulty comes in. And the cut-tail part for me is that the heart people don’t want me to have too much fluid in my body, so they give me stuff to get it out, but these radiation people want me to full up my poor soul and body with water. 

I’ve already begun drinking water for today’s session. (smile) So for one part of the day I’m piling in the water, then the next part I’m letting it back out. Brother, can it ever be a pain…in the you know where! (smile) It even interferes with my sleep! But if they say it’s all for my good, then I can’t really complain. And I was able to get the treatments transferred to a cancer hospital close to me, because no way was I going into the big city five days a week for almost 7 weeks. 

And now you’re up to date on all the renovations the Lord’s putting me through… And to be truthful, I wasn’t really expecting this one nuh. I thought we were all done with renovations. It’s going on two and half years of steady renovations now. And the medical people were so aggressive! I was willing to put it off for a while, but they wanted it done now! Ah Lord eh! Sometimes I think they just take pleasure in zapping people. (smile) And are there ever a lot of people coming to get zapped! 

But let’s hope it’s all because the Lord intends for me to live a much longer life than I would have without those renovations …otherwise it doesn’t make sense. (smile) So what else is new eh? Not much nuh… Oh you know that Alyssa has come home from the hospital and is recuperating slowly but surely. She still needs our prayers though to help her stand strong and face the unpalatable situation. So please keep praying for her. 

And for your info, she’s a lay-reader in her church, and right now we’re pretty short on lay-readers, so we need her back as quickly as possible to help do the Lord’s work on a Sunday. (smile)  And today I’m being led to highlight the importance of prayer for our fellow believers by individuals, as well as the church community as a whole. 

And this was shown so clearly and powerfully in the early church after Herod killed James and imprisoned Peter. The Good Book states it thus: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’  

Oh friends, that is something we don’t do nearly as much as we ought to, especially in these very evil and ungodly times. That’s a big part of what the church is supposed to be about. But unfortunately in this ‘I, me and myself ‘ society, we don’t have much time for others, even fellow saints in Christ. That’s because we supposed saints are behaving too much like the world, being of it, and not merely in it, like Jesus commanded. 

And we all know what happened when the church prayed for Peter, at least I hope so (smile). The angel of the Lord came and helped him escape from prison. (Acts 12:6-10) Poor Peter never even knew what was really happening, it happened so quickly and so miraculously. Please read it if you don’t know it. 

And I like how the Good Book says: ‘And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:11) Yes my people, our great God still does those things on behalf of His people. 

But what happened after Peter was left on the sidewalk outside the prison by the angel, is cause for some concern. He ended up at ‘the house of Mary, the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken (answer) named Rhoda. 

And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad (out of your mind). But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.’ (Acts 12:12-16) 

No wonder Jesus continually derided His people with the words, ‘O ye of little faith!’ Just imagine nuh, that group of believers were praying intently and fervently for Peter’s safety, but when the Lord answered their prayers, they found it difficult to believe. As the scholars so aptly put it. ‘12:12-16. Though the prayer of the church was fervent due to Peter’s situation (v.5), there was a deficiency in faith (vs.15-16) Evidently they did not believe God would answer in this miraculous way, or so soon.’ 

And unfortunately that deficiency in faith still exists even today when we have so much more reason to be strong in faith than the early church had. It all depends on ‘belief’ friends. Listen to Jesus tell it like it is nuh. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) 

What’s the point of praying if you don’t think you’ll receive what you pray for eh? You won’t get all you pray for, especially if it’s outside the Lord’s will, but you won’t get it either if you don’t have strong belief. That’s what faith is all about my people. So let’s try and get a li’l stronger in the belief and faith department nuh my people. With God’s help obviously, since we can’t do it on our own. 

And having sifted and settled all of that in our souls and spirits (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our safe and steadfast position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

And believe you me my faithful brethren, that future will be so awesome and magnificent, that our small, simple minds can’t even contemplate it! Much LOVE!

…it’s a smiley kind of day…and why not…the sun’s shining brightly…and the Good Lord is in His heaven running things…Glory be…

 

 

 

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