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…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2019 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!

 

Sunday, oh Sunday! Blessed Sunday! Time to go to God’s sanctuary and give Him praises; sing Him songs of worship and adoration, while fellowshipping with other believers and opening our hearts wide to hear, accept and digest His Holy Word, so that we can be refreshed, strengthened and renewed in our faith! What a time it will be in God’s house! Singing and dancing…with joy and good cheer overflowing!

And to get us started on that hallelujah trail, we going to sing a soulful piece of gospel music written by Mary A Baker. I first heard this rendition a couple of days ago while looking through You Tube for a song for today. It’s by a Black Gospel singer named Jessy Dixon. Don’t know if you all know him, but this was the first time I had ever heard about or seen him. He’s tall, dark and handsome, and a natty dresser too…and can the brother ever belt out a gospel tune like back in the good old days!

He reminds me of Wilson Pickett singing ‘In the Midnight Hour.’ That’s for the ole timers. (smile) He has some videos on You Tube with Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Festival. Check them out if you want to see him. But friends, from the time I heard his rendition of ‘The Tempest is Raging!’ with great music and outstanding background vocals, I knew that was our song of praise and worship for today!

So no more talk, let’s get right into nuh! Let’s raise our hearts, heads, hands and voices to high heaven in pure, simple, unadulterated soulful gospel mih people! As one harmonious choir now: ‘Master, the tempest is raging, Oh, the billows are tossing high. The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, Oh, no shelter, no shelter or help is nigh – Carest thou not that we perish? How canst You lie, How canst thou lie there asleep, When it seems like each moment so madly is threatening?

Oh, A grave, a grave, a grave in the angry deep? Get up Jesus because! The winds and the waves shall obey thy will. All You got to say is, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace be still, Peace, be still. Whether the wrath, the wrath of the storm-tossed sea, Or demons, or evil men, or whatever it be. No water can swallow the ship wherein lies, the Master of the ocean, the earth and sky. They shall all sweetly obey thy will, If You say, Peace, peace, peace, be still.

The Lord will give you peace! He wants to give you peace! In the midnight hour, When there’s nobody else there, God will give you peace. When you feel lonely, You have someone who will give you perfect peace! He’ll be your friend, yes He will. The Lord will give you peace, If you’re looking for peace, In all of your needs, In all of your days, Get down on your knees and talk to Jesus! Yes, whatever the Lord says, there will be peace, there will be peace, there will be peace. For He knew it, Yes, He knew it, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace, be still, Peace be still…’

Oh mih people, you can’t beat a good piece of gospel soul nuh! That’s because it really comes from the heart! When our forefathers were suffering during the days of slavery, that’s all they had, all they could do was cry out in heartfelt agony to the God of the same people who were enslaving them. And the Lord eventually hearkened unto their cry, like He had done for the Israelites so many years before down in Egypt land, and set them free.

That’s why soul is such a powerful instrument of music and prayer. And we did a wonderful job there just now! (smile) All heaven was in tears…tears of joy, as we lifted up, exalted the Prince of Glory in soulful song! Oh friends, there’s nobody like our Jesus! Nobody else whom the raging seas and howling winds will obey, when He says just three, simple words to them, ‘Peace, be still!’ That’s the awesome power He possesses as the Creator and Controller of our universe!

And we all know that this earthly life is not only filled with physical storms, but also with figurative raging tempests, that tend to disturb and oftimes capsize our earthly equilibrium, and leave us lost and oh so forlorn. But yuh know what friends, there’s no need to let those storms of life beat us down when we have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, for He’s sincerely promised to safeguard us from the storms and the evils of this world.

But it won’t happen just like that. You have to turn to him and invite Him into your life. Or if He comes knocking on the door of your heart, then you have to open it and let Him come in. As He so politely offers: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev.3:20) You couldn’t want for a better offer than that friends.

But getting back to our song for today, we all know the real life incident it was based on. The Good Book relates it thus: ‘And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 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.8:23-27) That really said something negative about their faith though, especially after seeing Jesus do countless miracles; healing people, feeding thousands with a few loaves of bread and fishes, even raising Lazarus from the dead.

But don’t look down on them for their lack of faith, because we’re just as bad today. And we have even more information and revelation than they had. But we still don’t make enough use of Jesus and His amazing but ever so faithful promises, and still get rather anxious and distraught when the storms of life come against us, instead of feeling the peace and calm His lead and guidance can bring.

Oh friends, all we’re doing is spoiling our lives by refusing to take Jesus as seriously as we ought to. So please, please, let’s wake up and discover the inevitable joy of a close walk with Him. That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…who alone can calm the storm…with only three simple words…JESUS…!

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2019 Psalm 107:25,29.

Psalm 107:25,29.   ​For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 

And it’s another Saturday in T&T! Glory be! And under a slight cloud cover, which hopefully will soon be dissipated by the bright, rising sun, the wonderful blue-green expanse of sea still lies before me, dotted with nondescript vessels in the foreground, but in the background, in its vastness, seemingly stretching out to forever over the horizon! Wow! What a mouthful! But I like it, and I do hope it conveys the beauty of the picturesque scene in front of me. (smile) 

Well we didn’t do anything of note yesterday, just hung around the hotel and rested, until in the late afternoon a couple of family members came to visit. They ended up taking us down to Petite Valley to get some roti. But imagine that nuh, nowadays yuh have to drive all the way to Petite Valley to get a decent roti. In my time, you could get a good roti on almost every street corner. But as they say times change and so do ways and people and situations. And for the record, the roti was good! (smile) 

But as we usually do on a Saturday, let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘If you spend your life working, sleeping and doing the basics… Congrats! You’ve just wasted your precious life!’ 

Well…that’s somewhat of a toss-up. You need to do the basics of life, including working and sleeping, but just doing barely enough to get by, deprives you of some of the most enjoyable aspects that life can provide. So it’s always necessary to go the extra mile, take a risk, if you truly want to enjoy your life to the fullest. 

And the next quote advises: ‘The big lesson in life is never be scared of anyone or anything. Say what you want to say and do what you always wanted to do. You will never reach your goals if you are always scared of taking the next step.’ There is a fair amount of truth in that statement, and yes we shouldn’t be scared of anything or anyone in this life, because our great and wonderful God has not given us ‘a spirit of fear, but of power, of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) 

However, we can’t just go bulldozing through life to get our way. We need to be careful what we say and to whom, for our words will eventually come back to haunt us, like a boomerang comes back to the thrower. Remember, that there is much power in our words, and as true believers in Christ we have the responsibility to be accountable for our words. So don’t be scared to push ahead, but do have a modicum of circumspection! (smile) 

But we got to take a break go for brekkies now. The duchess is ready. Soon come! 

Back some three hours later after a filling breakfast over the road at the Radisson Hotel and a short nap. Must have that nap! (smile) And talking about quotes. Let’s not forget this one: ‘Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. If you hang on to things for too long, you will end up hurting yourself.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! People and things come and go in our lives for a reason or a season, but when their time is up, please don’t try to hold on to them because you will miss the next good thing that God has earmarked for you. And I’ve had to learn that from hard experience. Yeh mih breddren, when God closes a door, don’t try to push it back open, because He won’t open the new one unless you allow the last one to close. 

And the last quote says: ‘Rise above the storm, and you will find the sunshine. Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.’ That’s for certain sure friends. Above the storm clouds there is sunshine, and not all storms come to make our lives miserable and difficult, but some do come to clear the way. Remember the saying, there’s always a calm after a storm, and that’s gospel truth, as you would see if you look back at the storms you’ve had in your life. 

But friends, the only way to continually rise above the numerous storms that come against us, sometimes out of the clear blue sky, is by hooking your cart to the storm Maker and storm Calmer, Jesus Christ! No doubt about that people! Listen to what the psalmist says: ‘For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…’ And when we cry out to Him for succour: ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps.107:25, 29). 

If you believe that God created the universe and all therein and is still in control of it, then you should have no problem in believing His awesome power to create and calm storms, both literally and figuratively! Isaiah puts it thus in his song of praise by the redeemed. ‘Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. 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.25:3-4) 

That’s how our awesome God deals with the figurative storms in our lives. And per the literal storms, hear Bruh David: ‘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) 

And if you want to see that in literal action, check out Matt.8:23-27 where Jesus was crossing the sea in a ship with the disciples and a raging storm arose, so much so that they began to take in water and the men were terribly afraid, but Jesus meanwhile was fast asleep in the back of the boat. When they woke Him up and made such a fuss, He berated 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.8:26-27) And so they should, because He created them and controls them! 

Ah friends, unfortunately storms are an essential part of life, and the ONLY way to handle them with suitable aplomb and patience is by having the Lord Jesus Christ as your guide and pilot in this life and the one to come. That’s wisdom and understanding of the most awesome kind! Much LOVE!

…when Christ is our pilot…storms don’t scare us…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2019 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.   ​According to your faith be it unto you. 
 
And so we come to Wednesday…the mid-week catch yuh breath, second wind day! Everybody feeling refreshed now, having gotten back into the work week routine, and looking forward with much expectancy to the big day of Friday, so they can do their own thing. 

Ah mih people, I wish we could look forward with the same amount of expectancy to the things of Christ, to the things that concern our faith! Yuh remember how Jesus kept complaining about the faith of His people…’O ye of little faith!’ 

He said that several times. Even to His disciples who had been with Him for years and saw all the miracles He had done. When the storm arose on the Sea of Galilee and He was asleep in the back of the boat, they woke him up scared to death. Only to be rebuked after He calmed the storm, by His lashing words: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

And remember too what He said when He healed people. ‘Go, your faith has made thee whole!’ Even when He healed the Roman Centurion’s slave from afar, He commented: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt.8:10) Yeh friends, in several circumstances Gentiles, or people of other nationalities showed more faith in Him than His Jewish people. But overall people were not being buoyed by their supposed faith. 

And I believe the same thing is also happening now. A lot of us talk a good talk about faith, but when it comes to putting that supposed faith into action we sadly fall down and start thrashing about and looking for other avenues instead of first turning to God and waiting on Him. But friends, it’s ALL about our faith, our sincere trust and reliance on the powers and mercy and grace of Jesus! 

Remember what He said to the two blind men who came to him to have their sight restored? ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt. 9: 28-30) 

And nothing has changed since then my people, for our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So why do we think that our faith won’t get us through these rough and difficult times like it did those people of old eh! We have numerous examples of how faith propelled people, armies and nations to victory. Just check out that great chapter of the Good Book, Hebrews 11, where it tells you of all kinds of people who lived and died by faith. 

Think about Abraham leaving his homeland at seventy five to journey into an unknown land just because God told Him to and promised Him great things. That could only come through faith. His wife Sarah also had a son in her old age when she lived up to the faith expected of her. Look at the stories of Isaac and Jacob, of Bruh Joseph and Moses, of Abel and Enoch, of Gideon and Samson, of Bruh David and Bruh Paul, and even of Jesus. 

It was faith by which all of them traversed this evil world. Though Jesus was God, He was also man in the flesh and He too had to have strong faith in His Father else He would not have been able to do all those amazing things He did! Yuh think He just suffered all the abuse and pain of the cross just so? No! The Father enabled Him to go through it all!

And God hasn’t stopped working in believers lives just because this is the 21st century and mankind is on top of His technological and greedy wealth seeking game! In fact we need faith even more now with all the distractions and lies and falsehood and wiles that are now coming against us. 

We need faith to help us discern the sense from the nonsense that is so prevalent in today’s evil and ungodly world. And faith isn’t something we can just pick up or set down anytime we want to! It’s a process, like sowing a seed and watching and waiting for it to grow. And the Lord has done many good things for many of us over our lifetimes, but yet when the rough times come, we forget about those fulfilled promises and cower and fear and doubt under the onslaught of the enemy’s false fire! 

But remember too friends, these precious and immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (1 Tim.1:7) 

And what is this thing called faith you all ask? The Good Book tells us that ‘Faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yeh friends, simply put faith is what we don’t see now, but which we hope for and believe that we will get later on. We never seen Jesus, but we believe in Him. We never seen God create the world or us, but we believe it. 

All of that is done through faith! For as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ (2 Cor.5:7) That’s it plain and simple my brethren! In God’s economy and universe He expects us to believe His Word and the promises contained therein and walk expectantly and eagerly with faith, knowing that they will all come to pass in His time!

And if we can’t do that, if we need to see everything before we believe, like the world proposes, then our faith is small or even non-existent, and we won’t receive ALL the wonderful benefits we can from our wonderful God. Nuff said! 

So for those of us who say we believe and have faith, let’s go home now declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our enviable position in Christ. With much fervor and sense of purpose: ‘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 future will be even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine…and it’s all based on our faith! Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6a)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​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.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘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.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith now: ‘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 the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

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