Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2020 Psalm 118:8.

Psalm 118:8.     ​It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

So here we are on a Monday morning in mid-September of this historic year 2020, amidst numerous calamities, many trials and much tribulation, overwhelming adversity like most of us have never seen before – and are not liable to see ever again. But the sad fact is that they are here with us, we can’t run away and hide from them, or simply wish then away, that means we have to step up to the plate and deal with them mano-a-mano. 

And the first step in dealing with any problem is one we all know, but don’t invoke as often as we should. I’m referring to turning to Almighty God in prayer; taking our problems to Him and asking for His divine guidance and wisdom in handling them. The sad fact is that too many of us first try to solve our problems ourselves, or turn to other humans, and when that doesn’t work, then, and only then, will we probably turn to God as a last resort. But friends that’s the ultimate in stupidity! 

Remember what the psalmist advises: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to put confidence in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps. 118:8-9) So, regardless of the earthly status of a human being, our trust and confidence in them ought to be very carefully considered and not taken for granted. That in turn means, our great and sovereign God ought to be our avenue of FIRST resort, rather than the LAST! That kind of action shows up our foolish pride and our lack of faith in Him. 

And you know one thing our God dislikes with a passion is foolish pride that shows up in our not trusting or needing Him. Hear how Bruh David puts it on the Lord’s behalf: ‘Whoso privily (secretly) slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer (endure).’ (Ps. 101:5) And Cousin Sol further reminds us that amongst the seven deadly sins that the Lord hates is ‘A proud look (haughty eyes), a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.’ (Prov. 6:17) 

But unwisely, those are the very things that we have chosen to pursue in our society. We trust man more than God, so much so that we’ve been trying to get God completely out of society, having already removed Him from our schools, our homes and public places. Sadly too, even a lot of what we preach in the church nowadays is not His truth. And don’t talk about lying tongues and the shedding of innocent blood… Brother! Those are some of the hallmarks of our modern, technological society! 

And we can also add a few more things that are abominations to our God, but which rank very high in our society. ‘A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations (devises wicked plans), feet that be swift in running to mischief (evil). A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.’ (Prov. 6:18-19) Yes my people, all those things which the Lord finds abominable, despicable and distasteful, unfortunately are mainstays of our current society. So what else can we expect if we do all that God dislikes eh? Nothing but pain and sorrow, heartache and calamity! 

But the wonderful thing about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is that He is a most forgiving God, and if mankind repents and turns from his evil ways, the Lord is willing to forgive Him. In fact, He’s rather ecstatic when that happens, it warms the cockles of His heart. And I don’t know how many times I have to say it before we believe it: the Lord might not have brought all our worldwide problems upon us, but He has certainly allowed them because He’s tired of our evil ways and our trying to get rid of Him. That’s it in a nutshell. 

And until we realize the error of our ways and turn back to Him in repentance, our problems will keep on driving us crazy. Therefore, in true wisdom, let’s take our problems to God in sincere prayer this morning nuh, so that He can alleviate, or show us how to alleviate them. So in faithful confidence, with humble, sincere hearts, let’s present our petitions heavenward, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit 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 come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please 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!’ 

Now, our next move my brethren is to reduce the sin and evil in our hearts and in our land. For remember the Lord doesn’t just listen to our words, but more importantly He checks to see if the motives of our hearts are right. And remember too that we’ve just made a vow to repent and turn back to the Lord, so these words of Cousin Sol writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes are of the utmost importance. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.’ (Eccl. 5:4) End of story! Much LOVE!

…the created cannot overthrow the Creator…Lucifer tried…and failed miserably… (smile)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 May 2013 Exodus 20:12

Exodus 20:12.     Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
 
HAPPY  MOTHER’S  DAY!

Oh Friends, on this comparatively chilly Sunday morning in May, where we’ve gone from highs of twenty odd last week, to highs of around ten this weekend, with rain in the forecast, a lot of Mother’s Day celebrations will have to be brought inside. But nonetheless, we wish each and every mother a joyous and happy Mother’s Day! It’s unfortunate that we only set aside one day every year to celebrate Motherhood, when in fact it should be celebrated every day, in view of their very valuable contribution to society. Do you realize that once a woman becomes a mother, she never has a real day off, because she’s always concerned about something in her family, be they old or young. And sadly too, like so many other festive occasions, Mother’s Day has become more of a commercial undertaking than a true emotional celebration. But regardless of all the negative aspects that have crept into the day, all mothers should be celebrated, whether they are good, bad or indifferent. And that’s the outspoken and provocative dictate of Almighty God, our Creator and Controller! Our Bit states it in no uncertain terms. ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ Yuh see my brethren, honouring one’s parents was so important to our great and wise God that He made it one of the rules, one of the Ten Commandments He gave to the Israelites when He made them His chosen people. So giving mothers honour and respect should not depend on their individual qualities, but on the blanket command of our God. And really Friends, which member of all societies is truly the most important eh? Without a doubt it’s Mothers! For they carry us in their womb for nine months, imagine the discomfort nuh, all the time still working and keeping the home. Then consider the pain and agony of childbirth. No pain in this world can be as excruciating as that. That’s what mothers say, and I won’t doubt them. I’m just glad I don’t have to experience it. (smile) But yuh know what? After all that pain and anguish, when they think that their nether regions will be torn apart, they embrace the young one with such LOVE and joy, it’s unbelievable. And then, the many years they spend guiding the young, nurturing them physically, mentally and emotionally, having to put up with a lot of negative behaviour from the same ones they’re trying to raise and help. That reminds me of our behaviour with our LOVING God. And nowadays, in these rough economic times, many mothers are forced to go out to work, while still bearing the responsibility of looking after her husband, children and home. And yuh tell me they’re not worth much more LOVE and affection than we show! One day a year can never recompense them for all the LOVE, pain, heartache, neglect and abuse they suffer from the very ones they LOVE and care about. No wonder the Lord commanded Moses to tell the Israelites once again in Leviticus: ‘Ye shall fear (revere) every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.’ (Lev.19:3) Yes Friends, our parents are God’s representatives here on earth, so just as we revere the Lord, we ought to hold our parents in great reverence. And I know that there are many unworthy parents out their in our evil and troubled world, but the quality of parenting doesn’t really matter in the larger scheme of things, for they are all human and thus fallen and liable to make mistakes. The Lord however says to respect them, simply because they are your parents. And if you’re a believer, then you ought to do just that, whether or not their parental efforts deserve it. And it’s also very unfortunate that mothers bear the brunt of scorn and negative recognition in most societies, almost all of which are patriarchal, with the father figure holding enormous sway. But wise fathers know the real power behind their thrones, the mothers! For without them, family life would suffer even more than it’s doing now, because they are the cornerstones of the family, the ones who hold it together despite all the negative factors. There’s no doubt also that women are the stronger of the sexes, for men, with all their machismo and strong, well sculpted bodies could never do all the jobs that mothers do without whining and complaining every step of the way. I appreciate mothers, but sure am glad that I’m not one. (smile) And Molls baby, I haven’t forgotten you sugar. This is the second Mother’s Day that I’m without you, but you know you’re always right here in the centre of my heart, you and God. How could I ever forget you eh, after all that you’ve done for me? NEVER! NO WAY! I miss the good times we use to have, and the way I could come to you with any problem and you wouldn’t put me down, even though I was wrong. Above all, you showed me real unconditional LOVE in action. I know you never took an easy step in your life, and sometimes I didn’t understand what was happening, but you never complained, just did what you had to do. And your LOVE for the Lord enabled you to make it through those many rough spots in your life. You showed me the way a true mother ought to behave, though I didn’t always agree with you. And for that I will be forever thankful. I know that one day we’ll meet again, when there’ll be no tears, no pain, no sorrow, just joy and gladness in worshipping the Lord. Till then, I’ll do my best to be worthy of your LOVE and upbringing. Now Friends, let’s end this Mother’s Day Bit with appropriate advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.’ (Eph.6:1-3) That’s the ultimate in wisdom my people! So let’s honour our parents, especially our mothers today. The Lord will look upon us with favour for doing that. Much LOVE!…a mother is the closest thing to God on earth…conceiving, bearing, birthing, nurturing, guiding, providing, caring, LOVING…etc, etc…

 

 

 

Today”s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2012 Luke 26:46

Luke 26:46.     And (Jesus) said unto them. Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. 
                                                                 

 GOOD  FRIDAY!

 

Ah Friends, it’s Friday; Good Friday, time for your sacrificial demise! How does it feel now that the moment is truly at hand eh? Many of us are off work today because it’s a public holiday in Christian societies, so there’s no need to shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ implying a grateful release from our weekly labours. In fact, I doubt that any of us would really be thanking God for this particular Friday, if it truly meant our sacrificial demise on a wooden cross, because we’re all afraid, not so much of dying per se, but dying such a horrible, excruciating death. Fear of the terrible pain, the endless humiliation, the hot sun beating down on our bruised and battered bodies, would bring immense concern to any normal human being. And Jesus was a normal human being in one sense; He felt pain and sorrow like us all, thus the thought of His sacrificial demise did affect Him, although He knew that was the major purpose for His birth. Now that ability to experience pain and suffering, and so understand ours, is just one more thing that enamours us to Him. Consequently, on the night prior to His crucifixion, Jesus went up into a spacious but quiet Garden, Gethsemane, along with His disciples. He left the majority at one spot, telling them: ‘Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder (over there).’  (Matt.26:36) Then He took Peter, James and John and went deeper into the garden, ‘and began to be sorrowful (deeply grieved) and very heavy (deeply distressed).’ (Matt.26:37) The pressure was getting to Him. And His next words to the three with Him, clearly manifests this. ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye (stay) here and watch with me. And he went a little further and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:38-39) Note that Jesus desired His favourite trio to watch and pray with Him, but unfortunately they didn’t understand the true significance of His actions and fell asleep. None of them really believed that His crucifixion was imminent. Therefore, when Jesus came back and saw them sleeping, He scolded Peter: ‘What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt.26:49-41) Ah Friends, it’s the same way we often behave when others close to us are going through unfortunate situations, especially when we don’t truly know or understand what’s happening in their lives. What’s really important though, is Jesus asking the Father, if at all possible, to relieve Him of the upcoming adversity. However, He did acknowledge that the Father’s will was supreme. And so should we in times of adversity, if we’re faithful believers. Twice more did Jesus go and pray the same prayer: ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except (unless) I drink it, thy will be done.’ (Matt.26:42) Though Jesus asked to be relieved of the obligation to save sinners by the painful shedding of His precious, innocent blood, like an obedient Son and Servant, He acquiesced to the Father’s will, knowing that it was the ONLY solution under God’s justice system. Now here’s an interesting observation from the scholars: ‘The prayer for the cup to pass is not due to Jesus fear of death. Jesus questions the will of the Father as to the necessity of drinking the cup. While this may refer to death (“he tasted death”) it is more likely that the cup represents the wrath of God against sin, the divine wrath Christ would incur on the cross as man’s sin-bearer. In the awful anguish of that moment, the sin of the world was poured on Christ and He became “sin for us” (2 Cor.5:21). Thus the Righteous One dies a substitutionary death for guilty mankind.’ Anyhow Friends, regardless of whether Jesus was afraid to die, or He just didn’t want the weight of all the world’s sins on His shoulders, yet He obediently sacrificed Himself on this Good Friday two thousand years ago to pay an extraordinary, exorbitant price with His sinless life, so that sinful souls like us could be rescued from the waiting depths of Hades. We call it Good Friday, but it was really a bitter-sweet day: bitter because Christ had to die such a cruel death, but sweet because it was only through His dying and rising again that we could ever receive the gracious promises of Salvation and Eternal Life. And All God’s people cried out in loud, unified voice: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Oh my brethren, we all know what happened after: Judas, comes to Gethsemane with a mob from the Jewish elders, betrays Jesus with an unholy kiss, and all His disciples run away and leave Him in the lurch. Then He is brought before the Jewish Council, the Sanhedrin, where He is cross examined and humiliated, with Peter denying Him three times. Then He’s taken before the Roman Governor Pilate, who finds Him innocent, but sends Him to Herod, because He’s under Herod’s jurisdiction. But Herod sends Him back, and Pilate finally washes his hands of the whole affair. Then, instead of releasing Jesus, as was expected, he bows to the demands of the crowd, stirred up by the elders, and releases Barabbas, a convicted murderer. Then comes the flogging and further humiliation, and finally the awful crucifixion. While hanging from the cross, Jesus is so concerned about us that He even asks for our forgiveness: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Then just before His final moment, Jesus utters the words that we believe shows His greatest hurt or disappointment. ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt.27:46) Separation from His Father was the most acute hurt. There He uses the opening line of Psalm 22, Bruh David’s cry of anguish and song of praise. And after all that ‘sufferation’ He bore on our behalf, yet we don’t truly appreciate Him. How sad my people. This is not what I had planned to write, but it’s where the Holy Spirit led me, and trying to be obedient like Jesus, (smile) I complied. Tomorrow we’ll see my original plan. Till then my fellow believers, please spend some serious time contemplating what this day truly means to us, and hopefully we’ll all come to a greater appreciation of Jesus’ and LOVE Him even more than we now do. Much LOVE!…to know, know, know Him, is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…