Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2020 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.    ​And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).
 
So we starting off the week in panic mode eh, because of the Corona virus… Almost everything shut down…and in many countries too. And on a point of interest, I wonder how the Corona Beer is doing in these times eh? (smile) Is it selling more or less? Are they still producing it? Strange, but I haven’t seen or heard any mention of that in any of the many news reports. 

But seriously though, what’s going to happen now eh? Who knows? Only the Most High God! And very few of us seem to be paying Him any attention at all. What a pity, because He is the One who holds everything in the palms of His hands. In times of panic we’re supposed to run to our Maker, but too many of us seem to be running elsewhere! But, as with most things, when we finally run out of our own solutions, we usually turn to Him as a last resort, instead of the First Resort! 

Anyhow, be that as it may, the situation’s so bad that some of us don’t have any jobs to go to, especially if you’re part of the gig economy and your place of employment is shut down due to government edict, and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Hn! What a bam bam eh! Some of us with full time jobs might be blessed enough to get paid to stay home, but I believe that will most likely be the minority. And for those of us who must go out into the fray… Oh, we can’t call it that any longer, since half the world is locked up inside, (smile) many are frightened because of the possibility of contracting the virus from others we meet. 

So what’s the solution eh? That ought to be obvious. We were just talking about our First Resort in times of trouble…the Lord God Jehovah, call on Him for help, turn to Him in sincere prayer. It’s been the number one resort since our faith was born. And hear the Lord to Cousin Sol nuh, when they dedicated the first temple: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr. 7:14-15) 

And that promise still stands firm and faithful to this day. Listen to the scholars. ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ Ah friends, what more can I say eh, especially if, as too many of us think, the Old Testament is no longer of any value to us? 

Then I’ll just have to reinforce it with verses from the New Testament! (smile) The first being from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ And Jesus didn’t only talk the talk, He also walked the walk. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) And if you still need convincing (smile), then listen to Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

And if you think that’s a bit much, then let the scholars explain. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to rejoice (vs.16), to pray (vs.17), to give thanks in adversity (vs.18), and by despising prophetic utterances (vs.20) inspired by the Spirit.’ And we won’t worry to get into Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to pray for all men, and all in power, and that men should pray everywhere (1 Tim. 2:1-8), we’ll just get into some prayer of our own. I’ve sort of rejigged our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. (smile) 

So altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Some of us still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we know that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to your Word, but we know that you are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we humbly come to you now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as the politicians, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a masterful antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Well that’s the best I could do on short notice. (smile) But please, I beg us to remember that we’ve promised to turn from our evil ways and be more obedient to God’s Word, and if we don’t keep our promise, He’s liable to just let another plague strike the earth, cause He’s still in control of all that happens down here. And remember too that the Lord looks at our hearts, our motives before moving into action, so mere words without sincere, heartfelt motives won’t move Him. Now let’s hunker down and do our part, whatever that might be, faithfully trusting the Lord to do His. Much LOVE!

…prayer…the most powerful tool in our faith box…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2020 Psalm 119:11.

Psalm 119:11.    ​Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
 

And then it was Wednesday – the hump day of the week – but even more importantly, another new day under the Lord’s safe and protective umbrella! Glory Hallelujah! Yeh friends, we’ve been granted another day of life on earth, for which we all ought to be thankful. So let’s do the acclamation thing nuh! 

All together now: ‘This is the day the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad in it! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! That’s for sure! If God be for us, who can be against us eh? Not a single soul! God will provide all my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus! I will be a lender and not a borrower! I’m the head and not the tail; above and not beneath; a mighty conqueror through Christ Jesus our awesome Lord and Saviour!’ And finally: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today! Yeah! Something good is also going to happen through me today!’ 

Mama Mia! What a whole lot of positive scripture to reinforce our faith my brethren! With all of that flourishing in our souls how can the evil one ever turn us away from Almighty God eh? No way Jose! Ah mih people, we need to know the Word, so when the enemy comes calling we can turn Him away with what our omnipotent and ever-faithful God says about us. That’s why this second section of Psalm 119 – BETH – with the superscription; ‘Thy word have I hid in mine heart’ is so important to a true believer. 

Please read these miraculous, marvelous and momentous words of the psalmist with me. ‘Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgements of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto (contemplate) thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.’ (Ps. 119:9-16) 

Ah mih people, if only more supposed Christians would read those words and take them to heart eh! Chuh! What a wonderful place our world would be! The psalmist lets us know the right way, right up front: by following God’s Word. And what is God’s Word? According to the scholars: ‘Word (dabar) is an all-embracing term for God’s revelation in any form.’ And we have to be serious about seeking God and His Word. It can’t be just a wishy-washy, sometime, half-hearted thing like so many supposed believers engage in. The psalmist said, ‘with my whole heart.’ And that’s the way we need to come to God – with serious intentions! 

And then he pleads that he be assisted in not straying from the Lord’s commandments. Oh friends, all of us need to plead with God for help on that matter! And what are his commandments? Per the scholars: ‘Commandments (mitswot)  is a word assuming the authority of the commander and the inherent necessity of obeying the content of the charge.’ That means in simple terms, the commander is the boss, and we must obey his orders. And in this case, God is our commander and His word is the command we must obey. 

And friends, our Bit says it all: ‘Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.’ That’s the whole purpose of the exercise; not to sin against our heavenly Father! But we can only do that when we have His Word safely ensconced in our hearts, and more importantly, use it to thwart the flaming darts of the enemy that he sends against us. Then the psalmist asks to be taught the Lord’s statutes. And what are statutes? The scholars explain them thus: ‘Statutes (huqim) is related to a verb meaning “to engrave” and thus implies permanent and unchangeable regulations.’ 

That therefore means God’s regulations are permanent and don’t change, like we tend to say and believe rather conveniently in these supposed modern times of the 21st century. Then the psalmist talks about declaring (yeah!) the Lord’s judgements. The scholars describe then thus: ‘Judgments (mispatim) or ordinances refers to decisions God has made as a judge in order to make earthly behaviour conform to His heavenly standard.’ And we all know that above all, our God is a God of justice and sin has no part in His character whatsoever; but much to our benefit, He is a righteous judge! 

And I like the psalmist’s next statement about rejoicing in God’s testimonies as much as in the wealth of the world. Wish many more of us would treasure the Lord’s testimonies that much and not pay so much attention to earthly riches. And the scholars characterize ‘Testimonies (‘edot) emphasizes  the content of the Word as that which God has testified of Himself and His will.’ And should we ever rejoice in the Lord’s testimonies my people, because it tells us of the greatness of our God! 

Then the psalmist promises to meditate, ponder on God’s precepts and contemplate His ways. Now that friends, is the only manner in which God’s Word can be written in our hearts; through meditation, contemplation and ‘ponderation.’ (smile) And according to the scholars ‘Precepts (piqudim) refers to  instructions from a superior regarding the duties of those under him, in this case, from God to man.’ Again, we can only know our duties by learning them and continually thinking about them as we make every effort to put them into action. 

But yuh know friends, we will never get it right until we learn to take true pleasure in our God and all that He’s said and done, all on our behalf! We all know that we comprehend and understand stuff quicker and more deeply when we enjoy it. And that’s why so many supposed believers have problems understanding and adhering to God’s Word; they don’t take pleasure in it. But if we want to have a clean heart and a right spirit, then we must learn to enjoy God and all that He is! And He’s such a multi-faceted character that unless we spend real time with Him and His Word, we’ll never truly come to appreciate and LOVE and obey Him like we ought to. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful and ecstatic position in our great God. In full voice and strong sense of purpose 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 when the joy of Jesus is securely planted in our hearts, then we’re assured that our future with Him will indeed be glorious…Mama Yo…more than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…our Christian character will show out…in direct proportion to our knowledge of…and obedience to God’s Word…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.
 

Well friends, it’s the first Sunday in Advent! And why is that important eh? Because in the church’s calendar, this is the time of year we begin preparing for Christ’s coming! Originally it seems like it was a time to think of Christ’s Second Coming, a cry for the Messiah to come back and take over the evil world. But apparently down through the years it got intertwined with the First Coming of the Messiah, what we call Christmas, so now we celebrate Advent by looking back nostalgically at the First Coming, while excitedly and expectantly looking forward to the Second One! Only in the Christian faith can we have such double celebrations my people! (smile) 

Anyway, as we gather today in joyful fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, to give thanks and praise and worship His Holy Name, we not going to open with an Advent hymn because I got a zeppo intimating that the Lord wanted to hear this particular tune, ‘Stand up for Jesus!’ I guess He’s feeling that believers are not being strong and steadfast enough in the faith. We’re being too fearful and wishy-washy, sitting on the fence, wavering like a leaf in the wind, and too ready to compromise so that we can go on with our comfortable lives! 

Consequently, He wants us to get our acts together, get really serious about our cause, and like true warriors come out fighting valiantly under Jesus’ banner, even to the death, if needs be! So let’s raise our voices in strong and solemn song, as we sing these most excellent sentiments, but also truly fighting words, written in 1858 by George Duffield (1818-1888) in honour of his dear departed friend and leader, Dudley Atkins Tyng (1825-1858) in a tragic farm accident. It’s reputed that Tyng’s last message to his associates was for them to, ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ and this became the theme of Duffield’s song. 

And to make it even more powerful, we going to do a scintillating, rocking Reggae version, a la Miss Carlene Davis. Wow! Rockers time mih people! (smile) So altogether now: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. (Bridge: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up.) 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally. (Extro: Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour, standing on the promises of God. Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up, Stand up, stand up, stand up for Jesus, children stand up….!’ 

Aye friends, I hope we truly meant what we just sang, because our world is desperate for somebody, for serious somebodies to stand up to the evil one in Jesus name! And it’s sad that we all know the scripture that characterizes that song, but we’re not putting it into full and proper use. Hear Bruh Paul as he articulates to the Ephesians, re the whole armour of God: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’ (Eph.6:10) 

As Christians we’re engaged in a spiritual battle from now until Christ’s Second Coming that we’re looking forward to this first Sunday in Advent. And there must be ‘no quarter given, no ceasefire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities.’ But to do that successfully, we have to stand strong, be strengthened in and through the Lord’s might and power. And this next verse is also of the utmost importance: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes)  of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, no soldier worth his salt, goes into battle without armour, without protective gear. And since in this case our battle is not physical but spiritual, we need specialized protection: Our loins must be girded with God’s truth; the knowledge of the truth of God’s Word. Our chests must be protected by a breastplate of righteousness, holy character and moral conduct, through obedience to God’s truth. And then our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must be eager and willing to take on the satanic one and his demoniac cohorts, take the fight to him, and we get that from the gospel of peace, that frees us of any anxiety and fear. 

Then we need the shield of faith so we can repulse all the fiery darts of the wicked one. That means taking God at His Word, believing His awesome promises, dispelling all doubt Satan might try to induce. And we must have a helmet; that of salvation; the hope of and assurance of salvation, the surety, that we’re saved. And you can’t fight without a sword, in this case the sword of the Spirit; the powerful and ever-conquering Word of God! 

But along with all of that protective armour friends, we still need to use the most powerful tool in the universe; prayer! Without it, the armour is useless. So let’s hope all of this has lit a fire in our bellies, reignited our passion for Christ, so that we can become better soldiers in His victorious army! Much LOVE!

…Christians…put on your spiritual armour…the time to fight is NOW…

​Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2019 Nehemiah 1:7.

Nehemiah 1:7.  We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances), which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Greetings my people! It’s somewhat late, but the sun is shining brightly and the temp is somewhere up in the high twenties! Wow! It’s a bit cloudy though, so it’s obscuring the downtown and harbour scene somewhat… Ah friends, the ole fella’s in sunny Jamaica! Yeh, the land of wood and water! And ah know some of you jealous too, (smile) wondering how he could be travelling so much. But friends, no one was sorry for me when I never left good ole Canada for three sickly years, from March 2016-October 2018. No one was there when I lay in the lonely bed looking out at the planes flying by and wondering when, if ever, I’d be able to travel in one again! 

No one heard my sobs and cries to Almighty God asking what’s going on? Neither did they hear His rely of ‘Keep your peace my son! All in good time! Just trust me!’ And I did. Now He’s keeping the promise He made, enabling me to fly all over the world! So how can I not LOVE Him eh? He’s always done as He says…though not necessarily on my timetable! (smile) All praise and glory to our wonderful and faithful God my fellow saints in Christ, for He is indeed a keeper of His Word! 

But the real reason I’m in J.A. right now is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Graduating Class of the University of the West Indies, of which I am a member. That means I’m going to see some people I haven’t seen for fifty odd years! Can you believe it? I saw some of them when I was down here a year ago, and will most likely see them again, but there are many others I haven’t seen since 1969. That just brings back the good memories…and a few of the rough ones…that I experienced back then, when J.A. didn’t have as many problems as it now has, was a comparative paradise!  

And talking about problems, I’m having one here with my hitherto trustworthy mouse. Steups! The bloody thing not working. I thought it might have been the battery, went and bought two new ones at some exorbitant price, only to find out that the battery is not the problem. And since I’m not the fingers guy on the computer, I’m having a hard time doing some of the stuff I want to do, like highlighting stuff. Don’t laugh mih young daughter. But the ole fella’s plodding along nonetheless. And I know the Lord will help us to do a good job anyway…because that’s just the kind of helpful Deity He is! Bless His holy name! 

So what we writing about today eh? Let me open the Good Book and see what the Lord has in mind nuh. Soon come. And I’m back in less than a minute, chuckling too, for the Good Book opened at this rather appropriate verse of Nehemiah’s prayer: ‘We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances), which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.’ Now I believe we might have used that for a Bit just recently, I’m not sure, but even if we have, it’s still the Lord’s prerogative to tell us again, because it is still a most appropriate scripture for these evil and ungodly times! 

Oh friends, our world is so evil and ungodly nowadays that it just boggles the imagination! I don’t know if there’s ever been a generation that’s as bad as this one. Maybe it’s just that we have easier and faster communication these days, so we know about more stuff. But the same quick communication is itself causing all sorts of evil and ungodliness in our world! Without the social media and all the platforms that facilitate it, many of those who are pursuing evil now would not have been able to pursue it, especially so blatantly, recklessly and anonymously! 

Sometimes when I hear about some of the stuff that’s pervading social media, as well as the atrocities committed in many of our societies, by our own supposed leaders, especially those against women and innocent children, it just makes me want to hold mih head and bawl! How can we be so cruel and evil to our own people eh? I guess I must be just naïve yes. But I like me the way I am. And the sad part is that many who are committing these atrocities are calling themselves Christians too. What a crying shame! And even declaring that some of those awful deeds are being done in the name of Jesus! Steups! 

Ah Lord eh! It’s a good thing the Lord is still on His throne oui, looking down at things and taking notes until He’s ready to act. The old people say, ‘time longer than twine,’ and is true, but ‘even the longest rope does have an end.’ And I wouldn’t want to be around when the Lord reaches the end of His rope nuh because it will be hellfire and damnation for the wicked! And it’s very instructive to listen to the voice of Daniel in his prayer from so long ago, because the content of his words still resonate very loudly today. 

‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (And in our time, that includes Jesus.) ‘Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.’ (Dan.9:9-11) Oh my people, our sin profile today is much like the Israelites’ back then, way too high, and if we continue along the same sinful path, we will also pay the price for our ungodliness. 

And as Daniel writes: ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.’ (Dan.9:13) Yes my people, the Lord has given us an out from the calamity stored up for the wicked, but we have not, and apparently are not going to repent of our sinful ways and go back to obeying His commandments. But please, please remember these fateful words of Daniel: ‘Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:14) 

Friends, God cannot, and will not tolerate sin, and if we continue to blatantly disobey God’s commandments, as we are currently doing, you think we’re going to get away Scot free? Not on your life! Remember what Samuel said to Saul: ‘Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (listen) than the fat of rams.’ (1 Sam.15:22) Saul didn’t do what the Lord commanded him to do, so he lost the kingship. And remember too, what the Lord promoted Jesus to the highest name there is besides His…for OBEDIENCE! Nuff said! Much LOVE!

…sin can be forgiven…but only through repentance…belief in Jesus…and righteous living…

P.S. Certainly hopes this turns out good yes, cause I had a hell of a time writing it! (no smile)  Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2019 Isaiah 1:3.

Isaiah 1:3.    ​The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.

 

Oh yeah, the sun finally won the battle of the weather titans yesterday! It came out shining brightly in the afternoon, but without any real strength, so there was a resultant chill in the air. And some premonition tells me that this is the time for the big chill to finally begin! (smile) 

There will now be very few warmish days, as autumn gets into full swing. The leaves on the trees are already losing their green colour and turning a rustic brown, yellow and gold. Despite the cold winter months it heralds, autumn is still the most beautiful of all the seasons, colourful like a Carnival Tuesday in T&T! Remember, God invented colour! (smile) 

And the last time I looked, the sun was valiantly trying to peek out of the large cloud cover that hid it from sight. But regardless of what happens, today, or any other day, the Good Book assures us that we can do anything and everything through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who strengthens us. (Phil, 4:13) 

And that’s gospel truth my Christian brethren! Through the LOVE and grace and mercy of Christ, NOTHING is impossible to us, we can handle any situation or circumstance that comes against us with true assurance and courage…if we believe! Now let’s turn to our Saturday programme, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I had a good chuckle at this first one: ‘It’s better to sit in a bar and think about God, than to sit in a church thinking about beer.’ Now that might sound like blasphemy or some such thing, but it’s really the truth! Wherever you are, it’s always better to think about God, than what your situation might naturally induce you to think about, simply because when we think about God, we’re led to do godly things, even in a house of sin. (smile) 

Listen to this next one: ‘Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.’ Yes that’s what we all need to do. God promises us the best, but in this evil world, the worst is also possible, that means we have to be prepared for anything that comes against us. And we’ve already said that we can handle it with Christ’s help, so there’s no need to worry there, especially since we also are assured that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Is.54:17) Glory to God my faithful brethren!  

That brings us to this similar quote: ‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.’ Ah mih people, in this evil and ungodly world we’re sure of one thing, obstacles! Whatever we do, especially if it’s for God, the enemy will always try to put obstacles and impediments in our way, so that we don’t reach our goals. But then we don’t need to give up or change our goals, but merely change the direction in which we originally planned to meet them. And does it ever feel good when we thwart the enemy, with God’s help of course! 

And the necessary ingredients for doing that are found in this next quote. ‘You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.’ Yes friends, if we try to do anything in this world, some failure is inevitable. As the saying goes, you can’t succeed until you fail. 

But please remember too that failure is not permanent, unless you allow it to be. Most of the successful people in this world have failed on numerous occasions, but they got back up, hopefully with God’s help, and kept pressing on until they were successful. And we all have to do the same thing; don’t let one or two, or even three failures cause us to give up on our godly dreams, but learn from each failure, for each one has lessons to teach us, then get up and keep on fighting the good fight. That’s the only way to really succeed. 

And this last quote is really interesting, something that most of us never really consider. ‘A person can LOVE you and still cheat, just like we LOVE God and still sin.’ Think on that for a moment nuh! So many of us claim to LOVE God, but yet we engage in a lot of sin and think nothing much of it. But let someone who claims to LOVE us go astray, or step out of line slightly, yuh see the big noise we make, the way we carry on as though the world is falling down on us! 

But have we ever considered how God feels when we betray Him? We obviously don’t class our sinful behaviour towards God in the same light as someone’s wrong toward us. We behave as though the latter is ever so important, while we sort of overlook the former, saying or thinking that God will forgive us. But what about us forgiving those who do us wrong eh? That brings us to an interesting and oh so appropriate scripture from Isaiah, where the Lord complains. 

‘Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ And as it was true of God’s chosen people, Israel, way back then, so is it also true of us in these sinful and ungodly times; we have rebelled against Him after enjoying His goodness and grace and mercy, becoming proud and arrogant, behaving as if we gave ourselves all the good things we have. 

And as the Lord continues: ‘Ah sinful nation, a people laden (weighed down) with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone (turned) away backward.’ (Is. 1:4) And if we are truthful, we will admit that our society, like that of ancient Israel, has become oh so evil and turned away from God so much, even trying to force Him out, that He must be seething with anger. 

And don’t tell me that God doesn’t get angry; it says so throughout the Good Book. He’s just long-suffering; holds in His anger for a long time, but when it finally erupts, as it has done, and will again some day if we keep on the way we’re going; it’s deadly! The scholars explain it thus: ‘1:2-4. Children…rebelled: Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents. These verses serve as a “great arraignment” of the chosen people who have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet calls them back to obedience to God.’ 

Likewise friends, the Lord is calling us back to obedience, to repentance and the godliness our society once knew. And if we don’t obey, but continue down the ungodly path we’re now treading, then someday, sooner or later, He’s going to lose His patience with us, and we’ll end up like the Israelites did, when they did not heed His warnings; devastated, hounded by calamity! Now that’s not a very good legacy to bequeath to our descendants, so please let’s seriously try and change it now nuh! That’s about all I can say. Much LOVE!

…continued rebellion against God…will always bring disastrous consequences…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2019 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

 

Awright my people, let’s do our Monday morning thing nuh: arise, give thanks for seeing another wonderful day and being imbued with the grace and mercy to face it, then get ourselves together and get out into the war-like world and battle valiantly for Jesus! Oh what a joy and a privilege it is to fight under Jesus ‘banner! Especially since there is no doubt whom the victorious conqueror will be…Jesus Christ Himself! In fact, He’s already won the battle, having defeated the toothless lion Satan and taken away the keys of hell, death and the grave through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension! All praise and glory be to our Lord and Saviour my brethren! 

However, since we’re only frail humans, it’s obvious that not all of us will be bright and beautiful and enthused so early in the morning, that’s why we have this antidote for what ever ails you on a Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it’s specially programmed to get us in to the swing of things. (smile) So let’s declare it like we truly mean it nuh. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Gotcha mih breddren! The Holy Spirit is working miracles in you right now…I can see it! Your attitude has improved, you’re smiling and anxious to get into the fray now, singing psalms and hymns as you get ready, and promising to do your best, be diligent and excellent in Jesus’ name! And that’s the way it ought to be friends…Jesus’ people being ready, willing and able to do battle on His behalf at the beginning of each and every day, but more so on a Monday morning, the first day of the workweek, for generally speaking, how you begin is how you finish! 

That’s why it’s oh so important to believe and action what the scriptures tell us: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ What wonderful words of wisdom precious people of God! And yuh know what, to make it even better, we have the best example possible when coming to running the ofttimes difficult and always contrary race of life in our Lord and Saviour. 

As the author of Hebrews continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) Yes my fellow saints, Jesus didn’t have it easy; He was shamed, ridiculed, despised, humiliated, flogged, suffering all the negative aspects of rejection, but He never gave up, He simply focused on running the race His heavenly Father had mapped out for Him…and so too should we. 

Jesus knew there would be rewards for His obedience…and so will we. Yes, it wasn’t easy for Jesus, and it won’t be easy for us either, but that’s why we were given the Helper and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to assist us in doing it. The problem though is we have to buckle down and follow the Spirit’s leading and guidance, if we want to be successful in this earthly race. 

Now here are a couple of encouraging words from Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize so run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate (has self-control) in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body (discipline it), and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (be disqualified).’ (1 Cor,9:24-27) 

Yeh my people, if we don’t want to be disqualified from Christian ministry and lose our heavenly rewards for that service, then we need to discipline both our bodies and our spirits. That’s the ONLY way we can run a successful earthly race, and thus be able to say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh friends, I can’t say much more than that, except to implore us to go out today and fight a good fight, run a good race in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…pray, believe and stay steadfast…so that you don’t get weary…in running your earthly race…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.    ​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.
 

Well it’s the first of August, that means the summer is almost done, one more month, then any number can play. But that’s okay, we can handle it, with Jesus’ help. But today we going to get into a serious concoction in the Bit. Yuh know like in the olden days when you had a cold and fever and your mother just boiled up a whole lot of different bushes and made tea for you, bad, horrible tasting stuff…Ugh! 

And she also mixed up a whole lot of different medicines and rubbed your chest and back and forehead with them, and put some coconut oil in your head – will make the cold run down? Hn, hn! We didn’t like it, but it worked. Well that’s what we making here today: a concoction of scripture and good advice. And let’s hope that that will work for us today too. (smile) 

Now let’s begin with this most appropriate ingredient from one Joseph Addison (1672-1719), an English essayist, poet, playwright and politician. And he reputedly said that ‘There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! For there is nothing we dislike more than advice because it suggests that we don’t know what we’re doing. 

And even when it’s given with the best interests at heart, and we know it’s the best advice we can get, something though still sticks in our craw, and we don’t really treasure it as we should. I guess though that’s just man’s independent nature showing up, where we don’t like anybody telling us what to do, even though it’s right. 

And the next choice ingredient comes from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller), from his Hour of Power Devotional, where he sincerely and wisely advises us to: ‘Choose the best, shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ Wow friends! Pure words of wisdom and mucho good advice and also what Jesus desires of His followers. 

But are we going to take it? Hn! Who knows? Because though it’s true and good and wise and of Jesus, there’s just something that sits wrong with us in taking advice. But then I’m only here to bring you wise words and wise, godly advice, so please don’t blame or get annoyed at me, for I’m only the messenger. (smile) 

And the last ingredient of our concoction comes from an old Devotional of Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) called ‘Starting Your Day Right.’ Could barely make out the name because it’s so old and faded, and the pages are falling apart, so I keep it together with a rubber band, (smile) because I like it’s simple, down to earth style. Can’t take all this new-fangled stuff. 

Anyhow, Sister Joyce gives this wonderful advice at the end of one of the devotionals. ‘The way to victory is a narrow path that requires discipline regardless of our feelings. Sometimes it may look too narrow to even squeeze through. But victory comes by obeying God’s Word to us, in spite of our feelings. Follow faith, not feelings today.’ 

Mama Mia!  What wonderful advice! What godly advice! And are we going to take it my brethren? I surely hope so, because as she so rightly says, we can only get victory by obeying God’s Word, and it takes a strong and sincere faith to do so, not wishy-washy feelings, like so many of us live by. 

And that’s why, Jesus, in His immortal wisdom, knowing that too many of us live by our wishy-washy feelings, directed us to ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.’ (Matt.7:13) 

Oh my people, how true that is in these ungodly times. People are just ‘LOVERS of pleasure,’ as Bruh Paul told Timothy. (2 Tim.3:4) And like foolish sheep without a shepherd, are all blindly headed for the precipice of damnation! But thankfully precious people, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a good, kindly and caring shepherd and he takes wonderful care of His own. But His own also have to listen to His voice, else they too will go astray on the wide and destructive path. 

And He says to us: ‘Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.’ Yes friends, those are words we have to pay serious attention to, because if we want to live and work for Jesus and eventually gain eternal life with Him, then we can’t go the way of the world. We have to follow the straight and narrow path that calls for obedience, discipline and excellence. 

And we all know those are things against which our human flesh naturally rebel, which means calling forth a superhuman effort if we have to do it alone. But thankfully we don’t have to do it alone! Jesus Christ foresaw our problems and wisely gave us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in His ways! Glory to God! We’re not alone…will never be alone once we stay in Jesus’ fold! 

And let’s remember friends, that Jesus is both the way that leads to life, and also the life. As He said to doubting Thomas: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Please my people, let’s write those words indelibly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, because they are ever so important for our life-long journey. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) those Thursday Blessings the Lord has so generously lavished on us nuh so we can do His work. In strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment!

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

Oh my people, what a generous God we serve and worship! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with the less fortunate as Jesus intends for us to do, and not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Yes, I’ve got to remind us, else we tend to forget. (smile) And let’s hope that the concoction we made up today also works, because we all need it badly! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live life…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

 

 

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