Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’  

Now let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8

Deuteronomy 31:8.   And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

And then it was Tuesday my friends – Easter Tuesday! Now that means it’s also time for the great spectacle of goat races in Tobago! 

Yes my brethren, it’s time to get us down to Buccoo and enjoy an afternoon of goat races and great partying at possibly the only stadium in the world built to host that sport. Only in T&T, you say! 

They had a small offering while I was there the other day and it was really enjoyable. I hadn’t seen goat races in many a year. I vaguely remember the last time as being completely wasted and partying down the place with a friend’s sister on the verandah of a house near the track. 

Ah Lord eh! Those were the days! In those times they had individual parties at houses that surrounded the track. But now, progress has come along, and it’s held in a brand new state of the art facility, with all the amenities; food, drink, music, etc, all in one place. So don’t hesitate to check it out. (smile) 

And since Today is Tuesday, it’s of the utmost importance that we declare our Tuesday Mantra, with sincerity, joy and a true sense of belief and purpose. 

All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly who we are, the beloved of God; a fact that NO ONE can take away from us. So as many of us go back out to work after the long Easter weekend, let’s hold that thought, that fact, close to our hearts, and let it empower us as we go about our day, doing the Lord’s work. 

Let’s remember too that Jesus is our friend, in fact our BEST Friend; one who sticketh, stands closer with us than a brother, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs 18:24. And basically, all we are called to do is share His LOVE with the world. Now that shouldn’t be too hard to do, should it? (smile) 

Unfortunately though, our world today is not interested in true LOVE, the agape, the brotherly kind of LOVE that Jesus desires to share. But friends, we’ve got to keep on keeping on and pursue our vocation to LOVE with a strong, never-ending zeal, for that’s what makes us true believers and followers of the triumphantly risen Christ! 

Now here is something from our One Year book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is titled ‘At Such Times.’ 

And it says: ‘God, there are times In the midst of heartache and heartbreak When there is no comfort, no solace Anywhere at all. There are times When in my crumbling state of mind I feel I can no longer endure – Not for a day, not even an hour. 

It is at such times, O God That I draw heavily upon Your unfathomable LOVE. At such times I implore Your transforming peace. At such times I live By the power and promises Of a Father who cares infinitely more Than I can begin to grasp or comprehend. Today, dear God, is a “such time.” 

Oh my precious and beautiful people of God, I’m sure that resonates so truthfully with us all, because there are times in all our lives when we feel lost and alone, and Almighty God is the ONLY One who understands our situation, and the ONLY One who can provide us true solace and comfort! 

So let us never be afraid, ashamed or whatever, to call upon our heavenly Father for His peace and LOVE, because He’s always there, ready and able to help us. 

And the Biblical Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ 

Yes friends, our God made that promise through Moses oodles of years ago, and it still stands even to this day! 

And all God’s people loudly declared: ‘O heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises! We don’t always put our full trust in them, but deep down we know that they are solid, solid as a rock, and that You will never renege on any of them, because You are a faithful and true God. 

Please help us to stand more securely on the many promise You have made to us over the years, for that is the only way we will ever successfully handle the evil and ungodly world that now surrounds us. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.’ 

And one of the best-known instances of our God going before His people and neither forsaking nor failing them is this passage from Exodus when the Lord took the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. 

‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex.13:21-22) 

And please note the last verse there friends. I believe the writer added it to assure us that God did keep His promise for the long haul. And we’ll close with these words from the scholars re the pillars of cloud and fire. 

’13:21. This glowing cloud was the shekinah glory of Yahweh, which later filled the tabernacle (40:35) and then Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:10), and finally departed from the temple and the city just before the Babylonian captivity (Ezek 8-11). 

This “glory of the God of Israel” will not return to Israel until the second coming of Christ (Ezek.43:1-7), at which time the glowing cloud will once again cover God’s earthly people (Is.4:5). It guided the people through the wilderness, assured them of God’s presence, and protected them from the Egyptians (cf.14:19-20).’ 

Oh friends, what a faithful and mighty God we serve. Please never let us forget that. Much LOVE!

…the God of Israel…faithful and true…is His name and nature… 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness. Just too much late night Easter Monday partying. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2015 Psalm 31:24

Psalm 31:24.  Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Arise O people of God and put on your battle armour! Don’t you hear the trumpet sounding the call to arms? It’s Monday morning and there’s no time to waste, for the enemy is already lined up in battle formation and our fearless Leader, Jesus Christ is also out at the front surveying and reconnoitring the situation. 

So get thee up and about, arm thyself with helmet, breastplate, belt, shoes, shield and sword, and having asked protection of heaven, join in the fray with enthusiasm, strength, wisdom and expectations of victory! 

Yes Friends, it’s our favourite day Monday; the one we LOVE to hate, but one that we need to put to good use, if we want the rest of the week to go smoothly. That’s because Monday takes its cue from Sunday, and the remainder of the week from Monday. 

Have you ever noticed that when you have a rough Monday, the rest of the week usually goes the same way? That’s why I keep on encouraging us to come out strong and vibrant, just rearing to go on Mondays.  

Now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with zest, urgency and sense of purpose. As one harmonious choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh Friends, that rendition wasn’t bad at all! You could see traces of a smile forming on Jesus, our choirmaster’s face, but nowhere good enough for a standing ‘O’ from the halls of heaven. (smile) Anyway we’ve gotten the message, our adrenalin is running, so let’s get out in the evil, deceitful and strife-filled world and spread some LOVE and cheer, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and good news, Jesus style nuh. 

And to help us do that with strong faith and sincere trust, listen to the encouraging and uplifting words of our Bit from the pen of Bruh David. ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, when we come to the Lord with hungry hope and expectant faith, He will strengthen us and give us the wherewithal to do His will. So be not afraid to get out there and face the heathen, once you are dressed in your spiritual armour, backed up by prayer and the Lord’s power is running through your veins.  

Now let’s back that up with earlier testimony from Bruh David in Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 

Yes my brethren, if we don’t expect to see and receive God’s goodness and blessings down here on Mother Earth, then we might as well be dead. But when we expect the Lord’s grace and mercy to flow down on us, then in faith and with patience, we wait for it. He has promised to bless us if we are obedient to His Word, and we all know that He is faithful to keep his promises. So there’s no need to worry once we’re doing our best to follow His leading and guiding. 

And this can all be reinforced by the words of Isaiah in the song of praise by the redeemed. ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:9)  And yuh know Friends, that is exactly what happened. The Father sent the Son, Jesus Christ to save us, to be our salvation… Oh glory to God! 

Listen to Jesus talk about His role. ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And again: ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’ (Luke 9:56) Then: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And finally: ‘And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.’ (John 12:47) 

Oh my people, Jesus couldn’t be any clearer about His main purpose in coming to earth…to save its inhabitants. He laid it all on the line for us, including His sinless life, so I don’t know what else we expect from Him. He threw down the gauntlet to us, now it only remains to see if we have the parts and the wisdom to accept the challenge. Only time and time alone will tell! Much LOVE!

…O LOVE the Lord…all ye his saints…for the Lord preserveth the faithful…and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer…  (Ps.31:23)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 March 2014 Daniel 2:20

Daniel 2:20.    Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his.
 
Well Friends, it’s that day again – Friday… And strangely the shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ are not as loud as usual. (smile) I guess we’re too tired from all the partying we did earlier on in the week, and then the Lenten Season’s seriousness added it’s own li’l bit of moderation and ‘modicum of circumspection,’ as Jeeves would say.
 
And that’s definitely not a bad thing my people, because every so often we do need to tone down our boisterous selves and take a more serious approach to, and look at life, meaning the things and people that surround us. And as we’ve been saying all week, Lent is the best time to do that, since it’s a season for contemplation and adjustments. 
 

And as always, our Friday Chant will help us get the right perspective on handling the weekend. So let’s chant up a storm. Hn, hn! Sorry, I forgot that we’re too tired to chant up a storm, but let’s just do the best we can. (smile)
 
As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Hopefully Friends, that prayer will restore some of our energy and zest, and allow us to go out and do a good job for Jesus. Don’t worry about it though, just talk to Jesus as you go along, and He will enable you to do whatever you need to do.
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his.’
 
Yesterday, we saw where the Lord blessed Daniel with supernatural discernment, re the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation. Today, I want to look at a few scriptures where other people of God echo Daniel’s sentiments.
 
Sadly, I could only find one scripture pertaining to the blessing of God’s Name, and that comes from Psalm 113, God’s mercies are many.
 
After opening the psalm with praise, the psalmist continues: ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.
 
The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!’ (Ps.113:2-6)
 
Yeh mih people, who is like unto our God eh? And all God’s people joyfully trilled: ‘NOBODY!’ And that my brethren is an indisputable fact! 
 

However, concerning God’s wisdom and might, there are numerous scriptures that shout it out. Let’s take in a couple, beginning with Bruh David’s thanksgiving and prayer when he was preparing to hand over the throne of Israel to Cousin Sol.
 
Oh, oh fellow believers, the Holy Spirit just guided me to another scripture where the Lord’s name is blessed. Thank You Lord! I sincerely bless Your Holy Name! And lo and behold it comes right before the passage I intended to quote.
 
So here it is all together. ‘Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
 
Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.’ (1 Chr.29:10-13)
 
What beautiful words of prayer and praise to our wonderful God, my brethren!
 
And we’ll close with an interesting note from the scholars’: ’29:10. David again shows himself to be a man of prayer (cf. 16:2, 7-36; 17:26-27). Those who stand before God’s people should likewise be capable of leading them in genuine intercession and communion with God.’
 
Oh Friends, we can never overestimate or overstate the importance of prayer in our daily lives, neither the importance of our leaders being able to lead us in genuine communication with God, for it’s one of the necessary attributes, a necessary ability of a leader.
 
Now may the Lord of heaven and earth bless and keep us safely, and cause His countenance to shine brightly upon us this day, as we journey on our path to heaven, to be with Him forever in LOVE, Peace and Harmony! Much LOVE!
 
…walking and talking with God…ought to be the believer’s unbreakable passion… 
 
P.S. Oh my people, please note how short and sweet the Bit is today, and say a grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ (smile) Much LOVE!