Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 October 2022 Psalm 146:5.

Psalm 146:5.       Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

Awright friends, it’s another colourful, sunshiny autumn morn in my area! All thanks and praise be to our great and merciful God! Yes, I’m surely thankful for being able to see this lazy Saturday morning unfurl. And wherever you are, whatever the weather or your personal situation, if you opened your eyes this lazy Saturday morning, then I’d strongly advise you to also give much thanks for that heavenly blessing, because there are many others who did not get that awesome opportunity of seeing a new day. 

Please remember these immortal and very wise words of the psalmist from way back when. ‘Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100:4-5) And with that wise and wonderful scripture under our belt, (smile) let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now this first quote tells an awesome truth. It says: ‘We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.’ And I know that many of us can identify with that, because it’s when we are not productively engaged that we get into the most trouble and feel the most fearful. As the old saying goes, the devil finds work for idle hands to do. And it’s quite true, for when you are inactive your mind wanders to all sorts of unlikely places and scenarios, many induced by the enemy’s suggestions and deceptions, and thus you are more susceptible to fear and anxiety. But when we are busy doing stuff, especially God’s will for our lives, there’s little or no time for fear to intrude into our hearts, bodies and souls. Glory be! 

Then there’s this interesting quote: ‘What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’ And I believe there’s much truth in that, for in achieving one’s goals, provided they are worthwhile in God’s eyes, then your personal growth is also enhanced in ways you cannot see or even imagine. But that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us, has planned from day one for each of His creations; growth and maturity in His fold, steadily moving forward to a likeness or uncanny resemblance to His Son Jesus Christ. 

As Bruh Paul writes in Romans: ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) Yes friends, from the very beginning God planned to make every Christian increasingly more like Christ, moving them along life’s path from glory to glory. (Eph. 3:18) So technically speaking, whenever we achieve goals, be they bad or good, we grow either in godliness or evil, but God’s avowed purposed is for all to grow in likeness to His Son, and I guess Satan also wants those under his control to grow in evil-doing like him. 

And it all segues quite nicely into this next quote. Yes, the second quote is like unto the first. (smile) ‘Dreams don’t have to just be dreams. You can make it a reality; if you just keep pushing and keep trying, then eventually you’ll reach your goal. And if that takes a few years, then that’s great, but if it takes 10 or 20, then that’s part of the process.’ Now that’s what we’re talking about! Dreams become goals, and goals become reality, but not necessarily in a short time, for early on there are usually mistakes and failures, but through persistence, and strong belief in God and one’s goal, you can eventually succeed. 

If you look around our world at the many stunning inventions and amenities we enjoy, they all began with a dream, that was then turned into a goal, and then worked hard and long at to achieve. From the dream to the reality, it’s all a process, more often long than short, and it’s the same with our becoming like Christ; it doesn’t happen overnight, or easily, but it’s a lifelong process with plenty of ups and downs, however, there’s a marvellous reward of salvation and eternal life at the end. 

And this next quote amplifies it all. ‘The moral of my story is the sun always comes out after the storm. Being optimistic and surrounding yourself with positive LOVING people is for me, living life on the sunny side of the street.’ Now isn’t that what we are all seeking and searching for? To be surrounded by positive LOVING people, that will help us live on the sunny side of the street. Unfortunately though, that’s one of the most difficult things to do in this current evil, ungodly world, because Satan’s appeal is so widespread that people can no longer be trusted to have your back. 

We’re becoming increasingly greedy and selfish, behaving like ungodly crabs in a barrel, all struggling to reach the top without regard to the welfare of those around us. So, we must be optimistic, for that’s what Christ, our Leader teaches, but we must also be very careful in these treacherous times of whom we let into our private sanctuaries. And yes, after a storm, there’s usually the sun shining brightly, but please note that there are more storms in the forecast, because storms are simply a natural part of life. 

We just have to be as prepared as we can be, and trust our Lord and Saviour to lead and guide us through them successfully, since we don’t have the power to do so on our own. That’s why the Good Book warns us in Psalm 146: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation)…Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps. 146:3, 5) Now that says it all friends: Mankind can’t help us with salvation, and his trustworthiness in earthly matters also leaves a lot to be desired. Only Jehovah God can be trusted to help us fix our lives in a worthwhile manner. 

And that brings us to this last and very interesting quote. ‘When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.’ And my fellow believers, the only time and place you can truly see beyond yourself is when you see yourself through the eyes of our gracious and merciful God. When you are convinced that salvation is yours, that you have been reconciled to the Father, have become a child of God, made righteous through belief and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, with total surrender to His awesome will for our lives. 

That is the pinnacle God wants us all to desire, to reach for with perseverance and trust, and eventually achieve. So please, let’s keep reaching forward for said pinnacle nuh, because it’s where the Prince of Peace dwells, and only when we get there, will we ever find true peace. Much LOVE!

…peace I leave with you…my peace I give unto you…not as the world giveth…give I unto you…let not your heart be troubled…neither let it be afraid… (John 14:27) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 September 2022 Matthew 7:13.

Matthew 7:13.        Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate and broad the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many they be which go in thereat.

It’s the Lord’s day friends, the Lord’s day, so gather round, let’s give thanks and praise for being alive to see another Sunday, and being able to fellowship with each other, despite the rainy weather conditions, either physically in the Lord’s sanctuary, or by telecommunications. Remember, there’s no distance in prayer. What a glorious day Sunday is; one where believers all over the world gather to celebrate Christ and His marvellous doings for mankind! 

So let’s open, as we always do, with a song of praise and thanksgiving. And today’s song is an old one, we don’t know who wrote it, or when, but it’s in the vein of the Negro Spirituals, made popular during the time of slavery. It’s titled ‘One More River To Cross.’ We all know it, so let’s sing it with plenty passion, in a soulful, mid-tempo, down home, Southern, hand clapping bluesy style. 

But before we open up our harmonious pipes in sacrificial praise, we have a spoken intro, borrowed from the song ‘One more mountain to climb,’ that sounded very appropriate for our song too. (smile) It says: ‘(Hey Lord, my troubles never seem to end, Tell me, are you still my friend? I got such a heavy load. When will I reach that glory road?)  Now that’s a question I’m sure we would all like a positive answer to. (smile) 

And then we begin swinging with the chorus. (Chorus: One more river to cross, one more mountain to climb One more valley that I’ve gotta go thru then I’m leaving my troubles behind One more battle with the devil, then I know he’ll understand I’m going thru with Jesus, Hallelujah, Holding to His nail scarred hand, holding to His nail scarred hand.) Oh, I’ve had a lot of troubles and trials, in my little life span And when I’m standing alone, and the battle gets hard, I always do the best I can I’ve crossed a million valleys, and shed a million tears, But when I come to the River of Jordan, Hallelujah, then I’ll have no fear (repeat)

 (Chorus: One more river to cross, one more mountain to climb One more valley that I’ve gotta go thru then I’m leaving my troubles behind One more battle with the devil, then I know he’ll understand I’m going thru with Jesus, Hallelujah, Holding to His nail scarred hand, holding to His nail scarred hand.) Yes, There’s been a lot of people talking ‘bout me since I’ve walked this narrow way But that’s just another little valley, I came thru it when I prayed, I’ve climbed a lot of high mountains and crossed a lot of little streams But when I see ol’ Jordan cold and dark, that’ll be the last for me (repeat)

 (Chorus: One more river to cross, one more mountain to climb One more valley that I’ve gotta go thru then I’m leaving my troubles behind One more battle with the devil, then I know he’ll understand I’m going thru with Jesus, Hallelujah, Holding to His nail scarred hand, holding to His nail scarred hand.) repeat.’ 

Ah mih people, what peace and joy it brings to a believer’s heart to be able to sing such encouraging and uplifting songs! And the wonderful thing about that song is that it names many of the problems we go through in this earthly life, but if we’re wise, we’ll find Jesus, and go through them all holding His nail scarred hands by which He was cruelly impaled on the cross at Calvary, all for our sins. 

Wow! Thus, the problems of this world pale in comparison to the peace, joy and LOVE we get from going through it with Jesus as our Leader and Guide, our Lord and Saviour. And I like how the song says: ‘One more battle with the devil, then I know he’ll understand I’m going through with Jesus, holding on to His nail scarred hands.’ Yes friends, at some stage the devil will be forced to understand that it’s Jesus we desire and not Him. He’s S.O.L, cause he’s never done anything like what Jesus has done for us. 

And isn’t it strange, but rather interesting, how none of the people who initiated the words of this song ever saw the River Jordan, but used crossing it as the landmark in their dream of entering heaven, like the Israelites crossed it to enter the Promised Land. But please notice that the Israelites didn’t just go across the Jordan without their own problems. The priests that bore the Ark of the covenant had to, by faith, step into the overflowing river, before it to backed up, and then stand there while the Israelites crossed on the dry ground around them. (Josh. 3:11-17) In the same manner, we need strong faith to cross over to whatever home we’re seeking with Jesus. 

Then there’s the part of the song which says: ‘There’s been a lot of people talking about me since I walked this narrow way.’ And that’s just the straight and narrow path that leads to Jesus and His righteousness. As He rightly proclaims: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate and broad the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many they be which go in thereat. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt. 7:13-14) 

Yes, it’s sometimes rough travelling that straight and narrow path, but in the end it’s all worth it! And how did our forefathers put it in the song? ‘But that’s just another little valley, I came thru it when I prayed,’ Oh, do we ever need to pray when we’re in those valleys, struggling to get a foothold on life, struggling to climb up the formidable looking mountains set before us, because that’s the only thing that will bring us out of them, help us reach the mountain tops. Like Bruh David says in Psalm 23: ‘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.’ (Ps. 23:4) 

Isn’t it wonderful to know that even in the deepest and darkest valleys that we are not alone, that the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ leads and guides us even in those dismal times. So, though ‘we’ve crossed a million valleys, and shed a million tears’ when we come to the end, we won’t be afraid, because Jesus will be right there with his nail scarred hands outstretched, waiting to meet us and help us cross over that ole River Jordan. 

However, that means getting prepared from right now, because none of us know when we’ll come to that river with Jesus waiting on the other side. And if you’re not ready when you get there, then His nail scarred hands won’t be outstretched to meet you. So, a word of warning to the wise. Much LOVE!

…with Jesus as our guide…there are no problems we can’t handle… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 September 2022 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.       Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his home upon a rock. 

It’s time friends, to gather at the Master’s place to celebrate another Sunday of abundant life with praise, thanksgiving and worship! And do these Sundays ever come around quickly. (smile) But we do enjoy the awesome fellowship and togetherness they engender, as we meet and greet and encourage each other in the Lord God Almighty. There’s nothing like a group of sincere believers singing, praising and worshipping our Creator! It’s so filled with LOVE, joy and peace that unbelievers can’t believe their eyes when they see us worship. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin the celebrations with this wonderful song of praise and thanksgiving written way back around 1837, by the English pastor Edward Mote, (1797-1874) titled ‘My Hope is built on Nothing Less.’ It must be a wonderful song to have stood the test of time. (smile) Oh yes, it is! Therefore, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, with heartfelt sincerity, in a harmonious, scintillating up-beat tempo, because it’s a joyful song. 

‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) 

Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… Oh thank You Lord…You solid rock…’ 

That was most excellent my faithful brethren! It left heaven with no doubt that we truly believe in and appreciate our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, using Him as the foundation stone, ‘the corner stone that the builder refused’ upon which to build our lives. I don’t think we can pay Him a greater compliment than that, especially after He gave up His life so that we could be saved from eternal damnation. And it’s obvious that Pastor Mote had the awesome words of Jesus re the two foundations that one can build upon in this world, at the forefront of his mind when he wrote the song. 

Please read with me, what Jesus taught His followers. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his home upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.’ (Matt. 7:24-25) 

Yes friends, that house was founded upon THE rock called Jesus, so no wind, rain or flood could destroy it, because Jesus is also the Master of the wind, rain and flood. Note how He calmed the storm out on the Sea of Galilee, when the disciples were so afraid that the boat would capsize because of the stormy sea and they would drown, while Jesus was napping unconcernedly in the stern of the boat. 

In answer to their frightful pleas of ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ Jesus got up, no doubt somewhat annoyed that His peaceful nap was disturbed by a bunch of wimps, who hadn’t really learned anything about Him, despite the time they spent with Him. The Good Book says: ‘And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:38-41) 

Now, if they had been paying serious attention to Jesus’ words and deeds they would have realized that He created the winds and the seas, so they would naturally obey Him! In any case, I like these two explanations that the scholars offer re verses 40 and 41. As per 40, where Jesus asks the disciples why they were so afraid and had no faith, they say: ‘Jesus constantly questions in order to spur people to deeper trust. See 2:8, 19, 25, 26: 3:4, 23, 33; 4:13, 21, 30.’ Please look up those references, they are rather interesting and enlightening. 

And as per verse 41, where the disciples were deathly afraid, the scholars say: ‘The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ And is that ever the truth. I believe that even today, even with all that we know about Jesus powers, if we saw Him talk to a storm and it quietens right away, we too would be somewhat scared. So we can’t be too harsh and condemning on the young disciples. 

But let’s get back to our major topic, Jesus’ discourse on the two foundations. He continues by saying: ‘And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:26-27) Please note friends, that the house didn’t just fall, but great was its fall. That means more important negative stuff happened when the house fell. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation on Jesus’ words. They say: ‘In drawing his concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great Master Counsellor, Jesus reminded His listeners that hearing His message alone will not change his life. he must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrine of men as opposed to “these sayings” of Jesus.’ 

So it’s obvious friends, that although we may labour long and hard to build our spiritual lives, if we build them on human opinions and the doctrines of men, instead of the strong foundation rock-like sayings of Jesus, our lives will eventually take a big tumble, all because of our unwise actions in building on insecure and shifting sands, as dictated by the prince of darkness and this world. 

And we’ll close today with these fitting words of Bruh David from Psalm 18, sub-titled – Thanksgiving for Deliverance- when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies, including Saul. Bruh David opens the psalm with this joyful proclamation: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:1-3) 

Oh friends, if it’s one thing you cannot say about Bruh David, is that he had little faith. (smile) So please let’s get ourselves together and build our faith, so that we can proudly declare like Bruh David did, and live the way Christ desires of us. Much LOVE!

…only two options…build on Satan’s shifting sand…or on the solid rock of Jesus…it’s your choice… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 August 2022   John 14:16.

John 14:16.      And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. 

Well, glory be, another new work week has begun friends! It’s a bright and beautiful Monday morning, filled with all kinds of promise, if we would only seriously engage God’s Word and put it into action with His omnipotent help. Wow! Nothing could be better than having the Creator of the universe and all therein on our side in ALL that we do! 

Remember, yesterday in our praise and worship session, we sang about surrendering our ALL to Him? Well now is the most appropriate time to do just that. Please let him have ALL of us, so that He can work miracles in our lives; enabling us to have the abundant life that He sacrificed His own life for us to have. 

And what does that entail, you ask? Well, merely giving us our daily bread, keeping us contented with our earthly possessions, while filling our souls with His LOVE, joy, peace, forgiveness and the promise of eternal life in heaven with Him at a future date. It’s also that we can encourage others to come to Him for salvation, by the way we live our lives. Now that’s not hard to handle eh? (smile) 

But unfortunately, it all doesn’t just fall in our laps like manna from heaven. No! We have to put some effort into making it happen, by first discovering God’s will for our individual lives, that’s asking Him about it, then going out into the evil and ungodly world and making it happen, with the help of His Holy Spirit that indwells us for just that purpose. 

And if you’re wondering about the Holy Spirit, then listen to these awesome words of Jesus to the disciples, and consequently to us too. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) 

Yes, my fellow believers, Jesus made provision on His return to heaven for us to be looked after by the third body of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit! He calls it another Comforter, another like Himself. And the scholars offer this marvellous explanation re the Comforter. ‘The Greek word ‘parakletos’ literally means “one called alongside to help,” hence the idea of a comforter. The Holy Spirit is called ‘another comforter’ because this is also one of Christ’s titles (1 John 2:1, translated “advocate.”. 

Illustration: The Father is also known as the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). Though those in the early church often endured persecution, they found their comfort in the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31). Application: Today, Christians can find comfort in the Holy Spirit when trials come. (First Ref. John 7:37-39; Primary ref. John 14:16-18).’ What a powerful tool for all us followers of Christ. And by the way, our homework for today is to check out John 7:37-39, to see what else Jesus had to say about the Holy Spirit. (smile) 

And furthermore, the scholars also explain that ‘The ministry of the Holy Spirit, promised to believers of this age, is unique since it is given to all believers alike, and is permanent, that is, “takes up residence in them.” And we all know that the Holy Spirit first came to indwell believers on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus had ascended back to heaven. 

The Good Book describes the strange scene thus: ‘And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they (the believers) were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (in other languages) as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:2-4) 

Ah mih people, yuh see how our great God can move in miraculous and mysterious ways! Imagine the stir that must have made in Jerusalem that day nuh! And you can read all about it in the rest of Acts 2; with Peter’s great speech, the acts of the other believers, and the many who accepted Christ that day, ‘some three thousand.’  (smile) And since then, everyone who has claimed Christ as Lord and Saviour has had the Holy Spirit automatically indwell them, to lead and guide them on their wonderful, though sometimes difficult journey with Christ. 

But again, we need to stress that the believer has to engage the Holy Spirit, to ask for help, and listen carefully, because it does not always shout out to us, but more often responds in a still, small voice, and it will not try to force us to do anything. So, although it’s there, and will always try to point us in the right direction, our actions are still up to us, we still have complete free will. And with that free will, let’s turn to God in prayer, where our day should always begin. 

So, as one sincere but confident voice, let’s invoke our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. 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!’ 

With that prayer, it now becomes necessary for us to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts so that the Lord can look positively on our situation. Much LOVE!

…the Holy Spirit is called to lead…and the believer to follow…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 August 2022   Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.       So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 

It’s the Lord’s Day my people! The first day of the new week…Sunday, glorious Sunday! Just the fact that it’s Sunday, with its peace, quiet and contentment, is enough for celebrations, and when you add the factors of gathering and worship in the Lord’s sanctuary, or by the awesome means of technology that we now have, oh brother, the day gets even brighter! 

That’s why Christians are so joyful all over the planet this Sunday morning…and well they should be, as there’s nothing more important than gathering to give our wonderful God much thanks and praise for His everlasting kindness to us, although we don’t deserve it. 

And as always, we’ll begin today’s proceedings with a song of humble acknowledgement of God’s awesome LOVE, grace and mercy, written around 1896 by the American hymn writer, Judson W. Van De Venter (1855-1939). It’s a song we all know and LOVE, one that’s aptly titled: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ So, without further ado, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise in a soulful and harmonious version of the song, letting heaven know of the high regard in which we hold our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And the choir sang: ‘All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow, Worldly pleasures all forsaken. Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all..) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Saviour, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. (Refrain: I surrender all…) 

All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all… All to Thee, my blessed Saviour, I surrender all…’ 

Oh friends, that word ‘surrender’ is possibly the most important word when it comes to our relationship with Jesus, because if we don’t wholly surrender our lives to him, He won’t be able to do any meaningful work in them. He want’s ALL of us, or nothing at all, because He’s interested in even the smallest, apparently meaningless aspect of our lives! Yes, and when we surrender our all to Him, it shows that we sincerely revere and trust him. 

Now, I believe we can break down this term surrender into two aspects; the first being giving up our worldly possessions in the name of Jesus’ work, like He says in the gospel of Luke: ‘So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:33). It’s like how the brothers, Peter and Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John just gave up their fishing business and families and followed Jesus when He called them. (Matt. 4:18-22) 

And the scholars explain that verse from Luke thus. ‘Forsaketh means literally “renounce” or “give up.” Disciples must live in constant readiness to put their means at the disposal of the Lord’s ends.’ That’s why the rich man who wanted to follow Jesus and was told he first had to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, went away sad. Like many of us, he found it difficult to give up his worldly possessions. Thankfully though, Jesus doesn’t always want us to give up everything, but He does expect us to sacrifice on His behalf whenever the situation calls for it. 

And thus, when in sincere astonishment, Peter asked who could be saved, if the rich man would have problems entering heaven? Jesus replies with this promise. ‘And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or fathers, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands (fields), for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life,’ when the Son of man shall sit on His throne of glory. (Matt. 19:29) 

So, we lose some earthly possessions down here living and working for Jesus, but we will be well rewarded for the sacrifices we make when Jesus assumes His rightful place on the throne of His father David. However, I do believe that the other aspect of surrendering, that of our soul, hearts, and bodies, is more important and even more difficult. Why? Because things are easier to give away than oneself, and are also easier to earn again. But the giving away of one’s heart, mind, body and soul, is a horse of an entirely different colour. (smile) 

And just look at how Bruh Paul solemnly and seriously puts it in His letter to the Roman church nuh. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.’ (Rom. 12:1) 

And the scholars explain: ‘By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans chapters 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs. 1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs. 6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs. 9-11). That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex. 29:37). This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. Your bodies: The body has been an instrument of sin (ch. 6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’ 

Oh my, my! Remember I said the second aspect was harder than the first. (smile) But Bruh Paul is so thoughtful, that whenever he gives us a hefty spiritual task, he always gives us some practical way(s) to perform it. So, here’s how we go about presenting our bodies a reasonable service to God. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect (mature), will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes, my fellow believers, all true surrender begins with transforming our minds, because that’s where the battle for supremacy between the flesh and the Holy Spirit takes place. And if you keep on thinking like the world does, you won’t be able to give your all to Jesus. Many of us try to ride the fence, with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom, but that’s useless, because you’ll never be successfully transformed until you give ALL, not some to Jesus! 

And for some further practical advice on how to transform oneself, you can check out Bruh Paul’s advice to the Ephesians in chapter 4:21-32. That’s our homework for today. (smile) Now let’s go home rejuvenated, and inspired, filled with the confidence of our heavenly Father, that we can successfully handle whatever comes against us in this new week. Much LOVE!

…to the Father…to the Son…and to the Holy Spirit…be the glory…now and for ever more… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 June 2022 Matthew 25:2.

Matthew 25:2.      And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Awright friends, that’s two days straight that the weather has stayed bright and sunshiny right through! Glory be! Don’t know what this Sunday will bring though, because like rain fell last night and it’s wet and cloudy outside, though the sun is putting up a valiant effort to ascertain itself. (smile) That small detail however, will not stop us from gathering to worship our wonderful Lord on His day, be it physically in our sanctuaries or by technological means. (smile) And today, Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate our Three in One Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we’ll open our praise and worship session with an uplifting, scintillating old traditional gospel spiritual titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ 

And we know that’s a rollicking ole song, so let’s lift our sweet voices in sacrificial praise in a rocking West Indian riddim version. Altogether now: ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me LOVE in my heart, I pray. Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Give me joy in my heart, I pray. Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Give me faith in my heart, I pray. Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) 

Jolly good show mih people! We rocked…and heaven rocked along with us! That’s the beautiful thing about heaven, they LOVE their music up there too, since a lot of singing and praising of God also goes on up in that wonderful realm. But on a more serious note, it’s claimed that the song we just sang was based on Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-13. Jesus likened the kingdom of God to ‘ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.’ (Matt. 25:1-4) 

But as always happens the bridegroom was late, and they all slept. However, when he finally arrived at midnight and they all went out to meet him, the lamps of those who had brought no oil went out, and in desperation they begged for oil from the wise ones who had brought some extra oil just in case the bridegroom was late. But those wise ones refused, figuring that there wouldn’t be enough oil for all of them. So, the foolish ones had to go out and buy oil, but by the time they returned the bridegroom had locked his doors, the celebrations had begun, and those five foolish ones were left out of the good times. 

The bridegroom obviously refers to Christ as the ‘Bride of the Church,’ and the five wise or prepared virgins represent the saved of the Great Tribulation. The scholars tell us that ‘The lamps seem to refer to their lives which are either prepared or unprepared. The oil refers to that which prepares them to give forth light and may properly be illustrative of the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.’  

One commentator says for believers the song conjures up ‘an interpretation that signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ That seems to hold true, as this other commentator declares: ‘In the song someone is asking God for the “oil” of the Holy Spirit to light up their lamp – or their life – and keep them “burning”.  I think they want to be on fire for their Lord!….. Oil is symbolic in Scripture of the Holy Spirit. (Is. 61:1)’ 

That’s when Isaiah introduces Christ with his Good tidings of salvation to Zion. And he prophesies: ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (poor); he hath sent me to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ (Is. 61:1) And what did they anoint with in those olden times? Oil of course! 

As Bruh David says in Psalm 133 – The joy of brotherhood. ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment (oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts (edge) of his garments.’ (Ps. 133:1-2) So it’s very logical to believe that the author of the song was indeed invoking the Holy Spirit for assistance in problematic times or simply in daily life. 

And if you still don’t believe me, let’s see what constitutes the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the Galatians. ‘But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal. 5:22-23) 

And aren’t those the very things the singer is asking for: the oil of faithfulness to keep him burning bright for Christ; LOVE in his heart to keep him sharing; joy in his heart to keep him singing till the break of day; and faith in his heart to keep him praying, also to the break of day, or continually? 

So, my fellow saints, let’s hope that as we sang those telling words, our hearts also invoked the Holy Spirit to refill, to regenerate us with its fruit, that we too can go on burning forever for Jesus, as He desires us to do! And it’s also imperative that we remember these telling words of Jesus to John in Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) Much LOVE!

…be prepared…be ready…should be the believer’s motto… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 November 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.     With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

So what does Saturday have to say for itself eh? Nothing much nuh. Just a weary sigh, as it tries to recover from a rough work week. Unfortunately, that is made even more difficult when it looks outside and sees the sun and the dark clouds struggling to see who is going to rule the roost for the day. Ah Lord eh, it complains. It’s always a battle, always a struggle, always a fight to see who will rule. Why can’t we just live in simple peace and harmony eh? 

Then it sighs again, as the reality hits home. Apparently, that wasn’t meant to be until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom. So, till then, like we have no choice but to keep up the good fight as we live for Jesus. And on Saturdays, we try to philosophize biblically (smile) on the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us in the past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

The first one says: ‘It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.’ And that’s fairly true. A bad, or ‘no can do’ attitude at the beginning of any task will just make it even more difficult than it is already. We have to inject some measure of positivity into our thinking if we even expect to accomplish the task, much less accomplish it with as little heartache as possible. 

That applies even more when you are a believer in Christ, because He has promised to strengthen and help you in everything you do, once it falls under His will. So, as a Christian, you must come to everything with a positive, I can do this though it seems difficult attitude, because your help comes from Christ, your Lord and Saviour, your Enabler. 

Meanwhile, the next quote tells us to ‘Limit your “always” and your “nevers.” Now that’s a very good idea. You know how we like to use those two words a lot; for example, we’ll ‘always do this or that,’ and we’ll ‘never do that or this.’ Well for our sake, it’s wise to cut down on the times we say always and never, since those absolute pronouncements have a habit of coming back to bite us in the butt, like a boomerang comes back to the one who throws it. And I can testify to that from personal experience, because in my younger years there were a couple of things I promised myself to never do, but, as life would have it, I ended up doing them. 

Then we come to this interesting quote. ‘What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’ I believe that has a lot of truth to it, if your goals are worthwhile in the first place. That’s because to achieve your goal you have to work at it and while you are working you are also growing character wise. So, by the time you have reached your goal, you will be at a higher level of maturity than when you began. 

And growth in our earthly walk is as important a part of setting goals as achieving them. We have that picture laid out perfectly before us as believers, when we consider that we need to walk in the Spirit and at the same time, bear the fruit of the Spirit. Bruh Paul wrote thus to the Galatians. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal. 5:16-17) 

So friends, to achieve our goal of bearing good fruit, as Christ desires of us. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) And what is the fruit of the Spirit that’s so important to us? 

Bruh Paul characterized it thus: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:22-23, 25) The goal is to bear good spiritual fruit, (those nine things listed above), but to do that we have to walk in the Spirit, and as we do both things, we will become more spiritually mature with each step we take. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ That’s oh so true, for without belief in the success of whatever you are planning to do, you will put a negative spin, or curse on it before you even begin. Jesus said it so often during His earthly sojourn. It’s a sister quote to the one we dealt with above:  ‘It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.’ Our prevailing attitude is always very important in whatever we do. With a good or positive attitude, we enhance the success of our project, while with a bad or negative attitude, we sort of jinx our project from the very start. 

Now here is our last quote, which says: ‘Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!” The play on the word ‘impossible’ is certainly interesting. But then again, as believers in Christ Jesus, we all know that nothing is impossible, because all things are possible with the Creator of the universe. 

Jesus Himself said so when talking to the disciples about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. The Good Book tells us: ‘When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:25-26) 

Oh my fellow saints, what a wonderful note to close on this cloudy Saturday morning. Please, let’s spend some time considering all the ramifications of that most encouraging statement. Much LOVE!

…Christians…the most optimistic people on planet earth…                                                                                                                                       

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 October 2021 Mark 5:36.

Mark 5:36.     Be not afraid, only believe.

Saturday, oh Saturday, the day of leisure…and hopefully pleasure! Yes friends, it’s the big day called Saturday, where we party and play and do things we can’t do on workdays, including housework, laundry and grocery shopping. (smile) Yeh, some of us work harder on a Saturday than we do all week at our workplaces. But that’s all a part of our wonderful modern life. On Saturdays, we also turn to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us during the past week and see if we can make sense of them. So let’s get with that task nuh. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘Everyone visualizes whether he knows it or not. Visualizing is the great secret of success.’ And we all do visualize stuff, see it in our mind’s eye, see it the way we would like it to look in reality. But I don’t know if I will call it the secret of success, though it is an important aspect of being successful, because we can’t bring something to pass successfully unless we have some idea of how the project will look and operate. And that falls right into the lap of this next quote, which says: ‘To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.’ 

That’s the gospel truth! Dreaming is a part of visualizing, of looking forward to what can be, or what you’d like to see come to pass or accomplish. And after you’ve dreamt about it, looked at it from all different angles, then you formulate a plan to make it a reality. But in all those stages, one thing is absolutely necessary for success, that’s belief that the project will be successful. You must believe it deep down in your heart and soul, else you will not put the necessary energy and effort, the plenty elbow crease, and constant starting over that some projects need to bring them to fruition. 

Belief, strong belief is vital in all we do! The problem though is often the source of our belief, whether it can actually do what it promises, or we believe it can. Note what Jesus said to Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, who came and pleaded for Him to come and heal his sick twelve-year-old daughter. On the way there, Jesus healed the woman with the blood issue who came through the throng and touched his clothing. (Mark 5:21-34) But while He was talking to the woman, Jairus’ people came and said that his daughter had died. However, as soon as Jesus heard it, He said to Jairus: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:37) 

Now what did Jesus mean there eh? Basically, that Jairus was to believe that Jesus would and could do what He had promised, that is heal his daughter. And so it is with us, who claim to believe in Jesus. We must believe in the promises He’s made to give us a good future and a hope, of forgiveness of sins, leading to salvation and life eternal with Him in heaven. 

The problem with belief is that it must be based on something solid, like tying a rope to big, sturdy rock, or a ship to a big anchor. And the sturdiest, safest and surest thing in this world is Jesus! He’s shown how strong, sturdy and reliable He is by His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension back to heaven, and His sending of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in His place. Wow! You couldn’t get any more reliable than that. 

Meanwhile, the next quote says: ‘Most people are thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again.’ And is that ever so true, for what we focus on is what we usually get. Cousin Sol said it long ago in Proverbs. ‘As a man thinks, so is he.’ (Prov, 23:7) That’s why, if we don’t want to reap negativity, then we need to stop concentrating on the negative aspects of life and instead concentrate on the positive ones, so that we can reap positive actions or results. 

And that segues right into the following quote. ‘Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.’ Words of heavenly wisdom my brethren! Especially in this society of plenty, where we all have so much stuff, stuff that we don’t use or can’t find, yet we still desire more. It’s a symptom of what we just spoke about; what you concentrate on is what will happen. If you keep thinking about more earthly stuff, then you will go out seeking it. With that kind of mindset you will never be satisfied with or appreciate what you already have. 

That recalls Jesus words from the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yes friends, the wise action is to seek God first; above everything else, and He will provide all that you need. Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians? ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And He is a God who faithfully keeps His promises, as we can see from this last quote: ‘Stop waiting for somebody to elevate your game. You are already equipped with everything you need to manifest your own greatness.’ 

And if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, then that’s the indisputable truth! And you ask in a perplexed manner, what am I talking about? I’m talking about the fruit of the Holy Spirit my people; that’s LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness) meekness, temperance (self-control). (Gal. 5:22-23) Yes, it was all deposited in us when we received Christ, now it’s just left for us to water, prune and nourish those seeds so that they can grow and bear bountiful fruit, so that others can see and also believe. 

As Bruh Paul advises us, ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ And it’s not to work for salvation, because you can’t do that, since it’s a free gift of grace from God. (Eph. 2:8) The scholars explain it thus: ‘2:12. Work out your own salvation does not mean that you should work for salvation in order to obtain it. The Greek phrase “work out” denotes the expression, manifestation, or actualization of something one already possesses. The Philippians are to “work out” the salvation God has already wrought in them (vs. 13), carrying it to its logical conclusion. 

God has granted them salvation not just for their own profit, but for the good of others as well. If they work out and manifest the new life divinely worked in them, they will live lives worthy of the gospel (1:27), in harmony with each other (vs. 2), seeking the progress of the gospel. They will also regard one another as more important than themselves (vs.3), be concerned with the needs of their fellows (vs. 4),and make the appropriate sacrifices in obedience to God, as did Jesus, In doing all this they will work out or express the new life they have through Christ.’ 

And it’s the same thing we need to do my fellow saints in Christ, even more so in these desperate and dangerous times we are now living in. If we are to be true believers, then we need to raise the level of our faith and faithful action right now, obviously with God’s help! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe in Jesus…the King of Kings…Lord of Lords…the Prince of Peace… and the Son of Jehovah God…in whom then will you believe eh…                                                                                                      

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2021 Galatians 5:22.

Galatians 5:22.     But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering…

And then there was a big collective sigh…with a mumbling of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! I couldn’t go on for one more day like this nuh!’ Ah friends, we always think we can’t go on, that we’ve come to the end of our rope, because our capacity for stress and strain is ever so low these days in our affluent, entitled society. But in truth, when the heifer dust really hits the fan, we discover that there’s another gear we can put our lives into; that’s the one where Christ Jesus reigns. Glory be! 

Yes, if we needed to go on one, or even two more days, He would have enabled us to do it, because He is our enabler, the pent up or emergency strength that gives us our second wind. As Bruh David so assuredly writes in Psalm 138: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps. 138:7) 

Wow! What a most definitive promise my people! That’s exactly what I was saying; the Lord will always give us the strength to go on, even though we think we don’t have it. And when Jesus says in His spiel on LOVING your enemies: ‘And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).’ (Matt. 5:41) How do you think we will get the strength to do that eh? He will provide it because we are doing whatever it is in His name, as His agent and ambassador! 

Ah friends, despite having the Lord God Almighty in our corner, these days we give up much too easily. That’s because we have become too soft and lazy, living the good life with all the wonderful amenities our society provides. We don’t have to struggle much for anything nowadays, for almost everything is right at our fingertips, which means our patience level has also declined, we want everything so quickly, sometimes even like yesterday. But in Christ’s economy friends, waiting, that’s patience, is a must! 

And the first thing we need to know is that patience doesn’t come overnight or easily. It is born of trials and tribulations. So, if you are thinking about acquiring patience, just be sure that you will endure problems, because that’s the only way to acquire it. And it’s ever so important in a believer’s life because it is listed as one of the fruit of the Spirit. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering…’ (Gal. 5:22) Yes, that’s patience. It’s only a nice word for long-suffering. (smile) 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that try to teach us about patience nuh. And we’ll begin with this one from Jesus, that we seldom pay attention to. It’s when He is talking about the end times. He says to the disciples: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) That means we need to have patience and wait until whenever the Lord decides to do His thing. But in the waiting, we won’t be harmed. 

Meanwhile Hebrews tells us this about Abraham. ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb. 6:15) And we all know that the Lord called Abraham out from among his family to go out to an unknown land, and promised him a son from his own loins, but it all took a long time with much wandering and frustration, but Abraham kept the faith and eventually received all that the Lord had promised Him. 

Meanwhile we have this amazing but oh so truthful verse from Bruh David out of Psalm 37 that says it loud and clear. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him that prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.’ (Ps. 37:7) And Bruh David, like Abraham, was another man of God, promised great things, anointed king in his teens, but had to endure a lot of hardship and learn patience before he received the promise. 

We can never leave out this awesome verse from Isaiah either. ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is. 40:31) And Bruh Paul adds a few scriptures of his own too. First off, he tells Timothy: ‘Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering (patience), for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.’ (1 Tim. 1:16) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul endured a lot of hardship for Christ, so that the Gentile believers, including us, could learn from him. Then to the church of Rome, he declared (steups!!!) ‘But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait for it.’ (Rom. 8:25) Then to the Colossians on the subject of Christian virtues, he strongly advised: ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering.’ (Col. 3:12) 

And it’s obvious the wisest man ever must have had something to say on patience, because he didn’t get to be the wisest and richest overnight. (smile) Listen to Cousin Sol. ‘He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit (impulsive) exalteth folly.’ (Prov. 14:29) And you can count on Cousin Sol to hit the nail on the head. 

And we’ll end with a timely word from James. ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (farmer) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish (establish) your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (has come near).’ (James 5:7-8) We can never go wrong with those words of wisdom my faithful brethren! Living for Christ does take a lot of patience, waiting, perseverance and long-suffering! But we can all do it, because He enables us with His awesome strength and power. 

Now, let’s end as we always do on a Friday, by going to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant. As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. Also, please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 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 I must remind us, that the answers to our prayers will only be as positive to the extent that we keep our promises. Much LOVE!

…wait (patiently) on the Lord…be of good courage…and he shall strengthen thine heart…wait (patiently)…I say, on the Lord… (Ps. 27:14)                                                                                                                                   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2021 Matthew 15:11.

Matthew 15:11.     Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

And then it was Saturday, our lazy, couch surfing day! And the nature of today is even more conducive to lazing around. Meaning that it’s a wet and windy Saturday morning. Oh yes, we had rain from yesterday afternoon straight through to the early hours of this morning. As the old people would warn; be careful what you wish for eh, because you might just get it. 

But thankfully, though we wished for rain, it was not the shower bound type we received, but just a constant drizzle. That meant the ground had time to absorb it and thus lessen the possibilities of flooding. Our God is so good and understanding! Give Him some thanks and praise nuh people! 

Now, let’s turn to our Saturday business, checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘It’s sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.’ Now is that ever so true! A lot of times we are heart broken when our relationships end, especially when it was someone whom we thought we’d do a lifetime with and then they end rather nastily too. 

But that’s life friends. We have people in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. But most of them are either for a reason or a season, very few are there for a lifetime. And until we learn that and move on, broken relationships will always cause us more heartache than necessary. 

And that brings us to the second quote which follows from the first. ‘Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.’ Yes friends, growth and change are painful, but ofttimes that’s what a broken relationship portends; it’s time for us to move on up. And those people in our lives are not the ones to move on up with us, so they have to go. As they say, the Lord closes one door, then opens another that has different people in it, with a brighter future. 

And though it’s always hard to give up the old stuff, if you stay with it, you will eventually become more frustrated and disgusted with your old situation, than if you had moved on to the new one. Sooner or later, you will feel as though you are spinning your wheels in mud, or stuck in a rocking chair, rocking vigorously but not going anywhere. Yes, change isn’t always pleasant, but sometimes it’s necessary to get our adrenaline flowing. 

Then we come to this quote. ‘Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.’ And is that ever true! Life owes us nothing my people! In fact, it’s we who owe life. We owe it the duty of being responsible and making a positive and productive difference in it. We are not put here just to enjoy the perks of life, but to add to them. 

Entitlement is not our God-given due, as so many of us seem to think. So, unless we are making a positive difference in our everyday walk, we are shortchanging life. And that’s even more important for believers in Christ Jesus, because His desire is for us to make disciples of those we meet by telling them about the good news of His gospel and more importantly, living the way His gospel dictates. For people respond more to examples than words. 

And all of that leads us to this next quote. ‘Sometimes you’ve got to be able to listen to yourself and be okay with no one else understanding.’ Yes my brethren, though others can and will give us advice, both good and bad, in the long run, we are the ones who must make the final decision. And that’s not always easy, especially in our current mish-mash, topsy-turvy world. But it is important that we are strong enough to live with whatever decisions we make, regardless of whether others understand or appreciate them. For, in the long run, we are the ones who have to live with the decisions we make, not the other people. 

And when you are a child of the Most High God, you are enabled by His Holy Spirit to make right decisions, and to stand strong with them. No need to be wishy washy, and wavering, or fence-sitting to see what eventually happens. Yes, precious people, being able to make timely, positive decisions is definitely one of the benefits of being a child of Jehovah God! Glory be! 

That brings us to our last quote. ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Ah my brethren, that’s true in spades! We must all face the death of our mortal bodies at some time or the other, we cannot do anything about that, but we certainly can stop the good aspects of our lives from dying while our bodies are still alive. And we’re talking about our humanity, the thing that makes, or is supposed to make us different from the wild animals; compassion and caring for each other. 

Hn! But today, unfortunately we behave more like the wild animals than the wild animals, the inhumane and uncaring way we treat our fellow man. Most of us are born with good ideals and inclinations, despite our basic sinful nature, but the sad part happens when we refute those good inclinations and accept the bad ones that so much of our world tend to recognize as more beneficial. We are talking about things like greed, envy, taking advantage of others, and the complete renunciation of the fruit of the Spirit. That’s ‘LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control).’ 

Oh my people, when any of those things die in us, while our bodies are still alive, the loss to ourselves and the world is incalculable. It means our world is about to get darker, the enemy is winning the battle, as we become less tolerant and caring, but more negative and adversarial. That’s not the kind of world we want to live in, or leave for our children to experience. And remember what Jesus said about our internal traits. ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! What we put into our mouths doesn’t defile us, but what comes out of our mouths defiles us. That’s because the things that come out of our mouths come from our hearts, while what goes in comes out as bodily refuse. As Jesus explains: ‘For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things that defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defile not a man.’ (Matt. 15:19-20) 

So whenever the goodness of God dies in us friends, it is indeed a sad day; a day to mourn for the well-being of our world. And right now, so much of the goodness of God has died in so many of us, that it’s no wonder our world is going through a rather dark and grievous time. And for it to turn around, it means that we, the disciples of Christ must do a better job than we’re currently doing. So let’s get to it nuh. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…                                                                            

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

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