Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 November 2020 Proverbs 29:18.

Proverbs 29:18.     ​Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Uh oh…it’s Friday! Already? Yes boy, with bright sunshine too, something we haven’t seen around here for a few days now! But don’t let the sunshine fool you nuh, it also have a strong chilly wind blowing with it! Well what else do you expect eh, it’s time for the cold days to come creeping into these northern climes. Only thing is they don’t creep in, they generally just hit you with an unexpected rush. (smile) 

But thankfully, there’s no need to worry because we have our Lord and Saviour, Guide and Protector, Jesus Christ looking out for our welfare, and we know that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us, who imbues us with divine strength and protection! Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! 

With Jesus in our corner ALL things are possible and nothing that comes against us will harm or have victory over us because He has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us, and we know for a fact that He keeps every one of His promises, for faithful and true is He! And that’s my li’l sermon, my li’l reminder of God’s goodness and mercy for today. (smile) 

Now let’s hear the ordinary workingman’s spiel nuh. And sadly, he doesn’t seem to be his usual enthusiastic, ebullient self. His opening remarks are somewhat lacklustre, and with good cause too. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is finally here!’ And so is the blooming Covid-19 virus yes! It coming back for a second go round. Why eh? Because we so stupid and childish we can’t keep weself quiet and stay home for a li’l bit! 

Oh Lord, the only thing we have to safeguard us from the virus is masks and social distancing, so why we can’t do them simple things eh? Steups! Since when we this big social animal that we must get together all the time eh? In normal times, so often we don’t see each other for long periods because we too busy, but all of a sudden we must get together! Foolishness yes! 

What a world we living in eh Captain Jack! And then that other jack down in the U.S not even bothering with the Covid situation, he only intent on trying to retain his wannabe dictator powers and causing so much confusion in the land, when he full well know that he lost the so and so election. And yuh know why he fighting so hard to stay in power? So that he and his blooming crooked family could stay outa jail, because he know that as soon as he step foot outa the white house, they going to lock up him and his crooked and thiefing family. 

Brother! Ah never see such imbecile and incompetent and thiefing leaders like we have all over the world nowadays nuh! Ah sorry for mih children if this state of affairs continue yes. But ah keep on thanking the Lord for Fridays and weekends, so I could get some rest from the slave master work and spend some quality time with mih family.’ 

Yes friends, the ordinary working man is not a happy camper, and he has a right not to be, because it’s the ordinary working people who are suffering the most in this pandemic situation. They are the ones who have lost most of their jobs, and thus are having money, food and housing problems, while the rich and well to do are getting richer and more well to do. The sudden pandemic has certainly shown up the vast inequity in our society, and if we don’t do something about it soon, then our society will eventually implode. 

And we’re already seeing serious signs of implosion because quite a large part of the population is suffering unnecessary injustice and inequality. But the powers that be don’t seem to truly care. Once they can fill their already bulging pockets and bellies all’s well with them. But for the creation who is supposed to be God’s greatest and wisest, we’re sadly ignorant and selfish too. That brings us to this eternal saying of Cousin Sol. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ (Prov. 29:18) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people. Where there is no prophetic vision, no thought of, or word from God in a society, the people cast off restraint, do as they please and eventually fall into oblivion, for a society can’t survive successfully without the word of God as it’s banner. A society can’t sincerely rise to its challenges and commitments without a godly infrastructure. 

Thus the words of the psalmist Asaph from Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness – hold true. ‘For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee (are unfaithful to thee). But it is good for me to draw near to God. I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps. 73:27-28) 

Oh friends, history is filled with the rubble of so many great societies who turned away from God when they became rich and prosperous, do we want ours to be numbered amongst that infamous lot? I certainly hope not! That means we have to do our best to keep God’s word and His mores alive in our society. And the first step in doing that is turning to Him in prayer, asking for help, mercy, grace and divine succour. So let’s do that right now nuh through our Friday Chant nuh. 

Altogether with sincere hearts. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we were truly sincere in our plea and vow, then we now have to go out and handle the situation as faithful believers. Let’s not let down our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ nuh! Much LOVE!

…unless the people wake up to God…they will be cast aside…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2020 1 Peter 5:6.

1 Peter 5:6.     ​Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 

Happy Independence Day T&T! Congratulations on 58 years of sterling nationhood! (1962-2020) And in that time you have certainly made important contributions to all aspects of human life – been a beacon of hope and light in the Caribbean! We wish you many long years of success as an innovative, refreshing and enduring nation. 

Wonder how the celebrations going to go on today with the pandemic situation and the resultant lockdown? Oh not to worry, T&T is the best partying nation in the world. Nobody LOVES a party like we, and we going to find some innovative way to celebrate Independence Day. It surely won’t pass without some kind of celebration, regardless of what the law says. (smile) You can bet yuh bottom dollar on that! 

However, it’s Monday, the last day of August, and most of us are not concerned about celebrations, but rather about the start of a new work week, and possibly anxious about what this week in this year of calamity will bring. But as the Good Book tells us, when worries beset us, take them all to the Good Lord in prayer and He will ease the anxiety in our souls. 

Peter puts it thus: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And since that’s gospel truth, let’s do it now nuh through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So in confident, but humble voice, let’s come before God’s throne and empty our hearts of all the confusion and uncertainty residing there. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

And yes friends, we have certainly sinned against our great God, fallen into wilful disobedience, and are now experiencing the consequences of that disobedience. As Jeremiah says in his lamentation over Israel’s adversity. ‘Wherefore doth (how can) a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try (examine) our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned. Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted (pursued) us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.’ (Lam. 3:30-44) 

Oh my people, if the Lord could punish His chosen people for their wilful disobedience, why wouldn’t He do the same thing to us eh? Yes, He is indeed patient and long suffering, but even the Lord’s patience will run out at some time if His prize creation keeps going headlong down the path of evil and disobedience. But here’s why He is indeed a great God, the ONLY TRUE and LIVING GOD! 

Jeremiah himself said it earlier on: ‘For the Lord will not cast off forever. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth, To turn aside the right of man (justice due) before the face of the most High, To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.’ (Lam. 3:31-36) 

Yes my brethren, our God is a merciful God, but He is also a holy and just Deity and to be true to His Word, He must cause justice to be done in the affairs of man. So if we have sinned and come short of His Word, then it’s expected that at some time we will suffer the negative consequences. But as He promised, if we repent and turn back to Him, He will indeed forgive us and heal our land. And without a doubt, right now our land is in dire need of healing, and the Lord God Jehovah is the ONLY ONE who can do it. 

So let’s wise up nuh, let’s show ourselves to be the wise and wonderful creation He wonderfully made and repent and joyfully receive Him back into our society, so that our children, and our children’s children will have a decent future to look forward to. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…the wise way to do life…is to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him… (Dr. Charles Stanley) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2020​ 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.    ​But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Happy Easter

First there was Christmas – the birth of Christ, the greatest gift ever to mankind; then Good Friday – the savage torture, injustice and horrible crucifixion He endured for the payment of our sins; then today – Easter Sunday, His triumphant resurrection from the dead! Yes friends, today is possibly the most important of those three days, because without Christ’s resurrection our faith would be worthless, since eternal life would have been merely a pie in the sky promise. That’s why it’s ever so important that Jesus won the battle with Satan for the keys to hell, death and the grave and rose victorious. 

Jesus told it thus to John in His Revelation: ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.’ (Rev. 1:17c -18) Oh my bredrin, it couldn’t be any plainer than that! And though we have no corporate fellowship these days because of the lockdown for the Covid-19 virus, it is still such an important occasion in our faith calendar that we must do our best to celebrate it with whatever means are at our disposal. 

And as always, we’ll open with a song of praise and worship, one that is ever so appropriate for this momentous occasion. It’s the old hymn by that magnificent writer, Charles Wesley, titled ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today!’ But before we get into it, listen to this enthusiastic monologue that opens the version of the hymn from the Simple Series Musical ‘Mercy Tree’ available on Youtube. ‘We have gathered to lift up the name of Jesus. We rejoice in His victory over sin and the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna! Save us now!’ have been answered. Our Redeemer has conquered death! And because we are certain of that, we have reason to celebrate!’ 

Mama Mia! What awesome truth that is! So, without further ado, let’s celebrate, let’s rejoice in the resurrection of Christ, the redemption of our sins and the sure promise of eternal life! In a rollicking, but soulful and harmonious fashion let’s sing the praises of Christ our wonderful King! ‘Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! 

LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Oh friends, what a magnificent rendition of a magnificent hymn! Wow! And as somebody wrote, every word in it truthfully refers to Christ’s work in the resurrection! And I particularly like two statements therein. The first is ‘LOVE’S redeeming work is done!’ And is it ever! The enormous price of Christ’s life has been paid for our sins for ALL TIME! Now that’s certainly nice to know! And the other statement that captivates me is: ‘Christ has opened paradise.’ And that He surely has done, by giving us the option to believe in Him and spend eternity in His amazing presence. 

Now since all of us know the Resurrection Story itself, with the women coming in the early morning to check on Jesus, finding the tomb empty and two angels telling them that He is risen and gone to Galilee to meet them, and they running to tell the others, and Peter and John coming to check it out, and Mary Magdalene mistaking Jesus for the gardener until He calls her name, (smile) we won’t get into it, rather we’ll look at some other scriptures that have to do with our own resurrection and how we ought to behave. 

The first thing is Bruh Paul’s advice to Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) Now that’s rather important if we want to set a good example to the unbelievers and create heavenly rewards. And yes, ministry is not an easy task, especially with the enemy constantly trying to spoil our testimony. We must be willing to suffer privation if we want rewards. And I like how Bruh Paul continues later on: ‘It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:11-13) 

Yes friends, it’s all a matter of standing strong and faithful, of growing and maturing; of suffering with and for Christ, if we want to reign with him in eternity. As the scholars explain: ‘2:11-13. The principles of endurance are enumerated on the basis of the assurance of salvation.’  And there’s no better time for us to show true faith and endurance than RIGHT NOW in this scary pandemic situation! 

And to bring it all together, hear these marvellous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave (Hades), where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 15:54a-57) Now all of that is gospel truth my people. Death and the grave were defeated. They can’t touch us anymore, because of Christ’s victorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. And we owe it all to the great LOVE that our heavenly Father had, and still has, and will always have for us. 

But in the long run, the crux of the matter is our behaviour, as Bruh Paul said to Timothy above, and as follows to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:58) Oh my fellow believers, not because we achieved victory through Christ’s sacrificial death we can afford to now sit on our laurels and our fat fannies and do nothing. 

Please note, that the enemy, though he was soundly defeated by Christ, has not turned tail and run home whimpering, but has revamped his army of evil minions and is still out there fighting, trying to recapture his lost territory. That means that we also need to continue working as hard as we can, keep on fighting the good fight, doing what Jesus desires of us; spreading the gospel to all parts of the earth, and thus helping to making disciples of the unbelievers. That’s what Christ’s death, resurrection, redemption and atonement of our sins requires of us. So let’s get to it this Easter Sunday as we celebrate and rejoice over His magnificent victory nuh! Much LOVE! 

…though victorious in battle… a wise army…NEVER lets down it’s guard…or lowers its work ethic…