Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2020 Hebrews 10:35.

Hebrews 10:35.     ​Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
 

And then it was a cloudy and uncertain Tuesday morning, just like the cloudy and uncertain Monday we had yesterday! But it’s oh so refreshing and wonderful when you don’t have to depend on the physical weather to get your sunshine; when you have the bright, amazing and beautiful light of Jesus and His everlasting salvation shining in your souls! Mama Mia! Yeh friends, you can tell that the ole fella is definitely glad to be alive to see another glorious day, be it physically rain or shine! It’s the only way to live this life! It also means that once we’re still here the Lord has big plans for us! Glory be! 

One person who’s no longer here with us though enjoying our earthly friendship is our ever-faithful church sister Mavis Harvey. Mavis died last week, thankfully with her family by her side, after being in poor health for a long time. But you would never have known it from her staunch and positive behaviour. She was the epitome of the sweet, quiet, godly, grandmotherly woman. Didn’t say much, but whatever she said had value. She was one of the few people who religiously attended our Wednesday morning service. 

And talk about stubborn! In the days before the church was shut down, Mavis, who lived a few blocks away and had some ambulatory problems, most always refused a ride to or from church unless the weather was real bad. She had her walker and that gave her exercise. She will always be remembered for her LOVING-kindness; baking stuff for the church, as well as knitting blankets and other baby stuff. It was good that our pastor, Father Jeff, was able to spend some time with her before she went home to glory. Our sincere condolences and prayers go out to her family. May your wonderful soul rest in peace Mavis, my sister. 

Ah friends, for more saints like Mavis in our church families, instead of the rango- tango, gossipy, resentful, petty cliques and divisions that seem to currently proliferate. Sometimes it makes one belief that the world is more inside the church body than outside, the way we behave so much like it. And especially in these tumultuous times when unity is so badly needed, it’s sad and sorrowful that we have such a divided and fractured church. 

But I firmly believe that these tumultuous times are instances that our great and mysterious God has allowed to come upon us partly for the purpose of bringing us together and showing the world that His people, Christ’s church are actually whom they claim to be; kind, LOVING, understanding, unified, helpful and godly folks, by actually doing Christ-like work amongst the poor, sick and needy. Yes, I know it’s a rather convoluted sentence, but full of truth, what I like to call a Bruh Paulian sentence. (smile) 

That’s why precious people of God, I’m here to encourage us, to exhort us to take a true and sincere stand in these uncertain and trying times to be salt of the earth and lights of the world like Jesus desires of us, so that we can rebuild, renovate, fix, make right, whatever is currently wrong with His church. Remember, actions speak much louder than words, and if ever there was a time that plenty action was needed from the church it’s right now! So let’s not faint and give up during this time of pandemic and strife nuh. 

Instead, let’s write this scripture indelibly in our hearts and action it with much vim and vigour. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance, perseverance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36) Yes friends, remember giving up is not in Christ’s vocabulary. And whosoever will endure to the end will receive a crown of glory. And even then, it’s not so much about the eventual reward nuh, but the fact that we LOVE and admire Jesus and all that He’s sacrificed for us and we just want to do His will as best we can. The eventual reward is just lagniappe, brawtha, icing on the cake. It’s not what should really move us. 

And I think this scripture from Peter is very useful for us in these non-understandable times. ‘But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover a multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling). As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister. Let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 4:7-11) 

Oh friends, please remember that whatever we have, be it earthly wealth and power, or spiritual gifts they still belong to God, and we are only stewards down here on earth to ensure that they are well used and distributed. And please allow these words of Bruh Paul to sink deeply into our consciousness and truly live by them. ‘For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office (function): So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one (individually) members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.’ (Rom. 12:3-6) 

Ah mih people, the long and short of the story is that through the grace, the generosity, the undeserved favour of God, we have all been given certain gifts in different areas, and we must use them diligently, without grumbling or greed, to effectively promote Christ’s church. That’s it in a nutshell! (smile) And there’s truly no better time for us to come together and do our thing (stir up the gift of God) than right now when the world is in such a state of confusion and we are the ONLY ones with the ONLY solution: Jesus Christ! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

And do we ever need to share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with this sad and sorrowful world! Much LOVE!

…in tough times…tough people…namely Christians…stand tough…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials),
 

‘Everything’s coming up roses…’ Well friends, it’s not really coming up nuh, it has already come up! We talking about the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and all that does and says for us poor sinners! Wow! And yes, we might be going through some rough and trying times now, but those are only here to test our faith, endurance and perseverance, because we already know the end of the story; Jesus has won the victory over the enemy! Glory be! 

James, the half-brother of Jesus puts it quite succinctly when he speaks of faith and humility. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials), Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall, (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.’ Then the scholars note, as per ‘1:4: The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

Yes friends, as a true believer in Christ, we WILL experience testing, and it is NEVER easy to accept trials and tribulations with joy, but if we hold on tightly to Jesus, be the branch that’s seamlessly welded to His vine, we can successfully withstand the rigours of those tests. And remember, He promises not to give us more than we can handle. 

Bruh Paul explains it thus: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) That doesn’t mean we will necessarily escape the temptation, but He will always assist us to land safely on the other side. So as the old people would say: ‘Yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide from temptation and testing!’ (smile) 

And Peter in his first letter to the scattered diaspora of early believers stated it more fully. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be relieved in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-6) 

Yes my people, it’s through God’s abundant mercy, whereby Christ was resurrected, and the faith in Him that we manifest that allows us to look forward to the wonderful indestructible inheritance at the time of ultimate salvation. And though life might be hard for a season, that inheritance down the road helps us to bear these tests. 

As Peter continues: ‘That the trial of your faith (the genuineness), being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 1:7-9) 

Yeh, I know it seems deep and heavy, but remember Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light. We not here for child’s play and constant good times, we here to do a job for Jesus which means we have to buckle down and be diligent about it, letting the eventual rewards keep us strong and faithful. Hear what the scholars offer. ‘1:6-9. The problem of salvation looks to the present. Earthly trials constitute a problem of our salvation, but they are only for a season, or temporary. Manifold temptations means diversified trials. True faith cannot be destroyed though God is in the process of refining faith through our trials.’ 

So what can we do? As always, the number one step is prayer. So let’s pray nuh, raise up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, in true and humble but confident faith. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

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

Now we sit and wait quietly for a while, for God’s wise direction, then we go out and obediently follow it. Much LOVE!

…to endure to the end…we need a combination of…hope, faith, belief and trust…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 June 2020 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.     ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).
 

One more morning, one more beautiful day! Another beautiful morning, has come our way!’ Yes friends, it is a beautiful, sunshiny, cool day in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! Oh yes, we ought to give Him much thanks and praise for every new day we see, especially if it’s a beautiful day, because that simply reinforces the promise we hold of His great and unconditional LOVE for us! And all God’s people declared (steups! – couldn’t wait until the end to misspell it – smile) a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

And it also means that regardless of whatever situations or circumstances we face today, we will have His invaluable help to successfully solve them, as He has also promised never to leave nor forsake us! Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren! And before we go on, let me apologize for a mistake yesterday, re ‘inciteful explanation of the scholars.’ I don’t know if it was just a typo or a brain cramp, (smile) but I really meant ‘insightful,’ to give you greater insight and understanding into the matter – although, come to think about it now, rousing your spirits and stirring you up wasn’t a bad idea either. (smile) 

And if you think our God isn’t a responsive and considerate God, but also one with a sense of purpose and of humour, then listen to this testimony. Yesterday evening I was somewhat under the weather, and I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so lousy and my spirits were at a low ebb, so obviously I went to the Father seeking some understanding. And after communing for a while, you won’t believe the scripture He led me to. The opening verse of Luke 18. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read it. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ 

Then Jesus told them of the unjust judge who refused to listen to the hurt widow, but for her continually bothering him. (Luke 18:2-8) And then he followed that up with the tale of the Pharisee and publican (tax collector) who went into the temple to pray and how the hypocritical Pharisee beat his chest and extolled his religious efforts, while the publican would not even lift up his head but sincerely acknowledged his faults. (Luke 18:9-14) Now here are some ‘insightful’ explanations from the scholars on those passages, which I expect us to read. (smile) 

‘18:1-14. These verses teach on prayer, a prominent emphasis in Luke.’ ’18:1. To faint “means to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ ‘18:6-8. If an unjust judge acts in this way, how much more hope may God’s children place in God? However, the issue is not God’s faithfulness. It is whether believers will persist in supplication (vs.7), or whether their patience and perseverance will give out by the time Christ finally returns (vs. 8; see also vs.1).’ 

‘18:9-14. Here is a parable with special application to ancient or modern Pharisees. Jesus teaching method was generally direct rather than evasive.’ Yes friends, Jesus didn’t mince words, or pussy-foot around the problem. He came straight to the point. And for this next explanation, I think I should spell out the verse. As the Pharisee beats his chest, he declares: ‘I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’ (Luke 18:12) And the scholars explain. ‘18:12. This is not an exaggeration, but an example of how Pharisees truly exceeded the letter of the law in their piety. But their pride and contempt for others reveals their state of heart.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately that sad picture resembles so many of us believers today! We have this pious and righteous outlook, but our hearts are filled with envy and pride and contempt for our fellow man because we think we’re so holy and righteous, which is the wrong attitude for true believers to have. 

But coming back to our focal point; the perseverance of believers in prayer, Jesus also spoke of it earlier on when He tells about the friend coming to another friend’s door late at night looking for food to feed an unexpected late arriving guest. And the friend doesn’t get up and give him because he is a friend, ‘yet because of his importunity (perseverance) he will rise and give him as many ae he needeth.’ (Luke 11:8) 

And the scholars explain. ‘11:8. The word translated importunity probably describes the man’s persistence. Jesus is, then, giving an example of prevailing prayer. (see 18:1) The same word does lend itself to a second interpretation. It may refer, not to the petitioner, but to the one being petitioned. In this case the lesson would be that God, because of His desire to uphold His good name, grants the requests of those who seek Him, as a means of bearing witness to his own character and power.’ Yeh friends, however you look at it, once we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, persistent prayer ought to become the mainstay of our lives from then on! 

Several other Bible verses maintain that, many of them from Bruh Paul. For instance: ‘Rejoicing in hope, patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (Rom. 12:12) And hear this to the Ephesians: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Yes mih people, even with God’s armour on, (Eph. 6:13-17) we still need to pray for us to achieve victory! And we’ll end with this well known verse to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing!’ (1 Thess. 5:17) Short and to the point. 

And if there was ever a time for steadfast and sincere prayer, this time of pandemic and unrest is it! So let’s take all that we’ve read today to heart nuh and keep praying. But today’s last prayer is one of thanksgiving, thanksgiving for all the blessings the Lord has so generously poured out on us to do His earthly work. Let’s declare then, in strong voice with sincere hearts, our Thursday Blessings Prayer. 

‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now the onus is on us to go out and share those marvellous blessings with others, just as generously as God has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet still…to pray…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2020 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 

And life goes on one way or the other through this Coronavirus time. But these calamitous times will end one day, when the Lord so desires. Yes friends, this too will undoubtedly pass, when the Lord achieves the purpose(s) for which He allowed it. However, in the mean time, we have two options of living life, as author Daniel Darling proposes in an article I recently read. ‘We can spend the rest of our years angry at what we think we’ve lost, or we can spend them in sweet dependence on God.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! We can either get angry and be miserable about all the negative things that have happened and are still happening, or simply do like our leader, Jesus Christ advises; put our total trust and dependence in Him; the One who has moved us from death and eternal separation from God, to salvation and eternal life with Him. Just consider His Great Invitation nuh: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Wow! Is anybody else offering, or have ever offered such a glorious invitation? No sir! And as author Darling continues in his article: ‘This is the difference, I think, between those whose lives are marked by grace and those whose lives are filled with frustration and anger.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Grace and peace come through association with Jesus, but anger and frustration are the product of a constantly dissatisfied and negative spirit, like that of Satan. And with the free will God granted us, we must now choose our preferred or desired course of action: doing life with Him, or death with the prince of demons. 

As Moses, on God’s behalf said to the Israelites: ‘I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut.31:19) The Lord’s saying the same thing to us today my people. And if that didn’t resonate with you, (smile) then listen to this other invitation that Joshua, Moses’ replacement as the Israelite leader, gave them. 

‘Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (the Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:14-15) 

There it is friends, plainly set out in black and white! Now it’s up to us to choose. And since I know that most of us have obviously chosen ‘life, blessing, and the Lord God of Israel,’ then it now behooves us to communicate with Him and follow His rules and regulations, which can sometimes be onerous, but are always for our benefit. (smile) Okay, some of us doubt that, but if you keep the faith and grow in it, you will eventually realize that it’s oh so true. So let’s communicate with our Creator nuh, in the manner that He set out; purposeful, confident and humble prayer. 

And this Monday morning the most stressful and discouraging thing on our minds is the Covid-19 disease, therefore let’s address that matter uppermost in our prayer, the one we call our Monday Morning Covid-19 Battle Hymn. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Ah friends, if that didn’t get God’s attention, I don’t know what will nuh. (smile) But He is the Boss and it’s His decision! So now we wait with patience, meaning perseverance, faith and hope, eager anticipation, and a trusting heart, because as we said at the beginning, all will be revealed and come to pass in His time, not ours. And yes, unfortunately our great God doesn’t see, or perceive time in the same simple way that we do, but on a more lofty level. 

And to reinforce our differences, He has said through His prophet Isaiah: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways may ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) Now that certainly puts us in our place. And it’s rather sad that so many of us don’t seem to believe it, one of the major reasons why our world is in such a disastrous state. I don’t know what else we need to truly understand that we are not masters of our own fate! Much LOVE!

…to the Creator…belongs…the life and times of the created…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2020 Psalm 130:5.

Psalm 130:5.    ​I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
 
Moving right along…It’s April 1, 2020 – April Fools Day, or as we know it down South- All Fools Day! A day for jokes and hijinks. But not today. No! Please, not this day in the year of 2020! This is a time for very serious behaviour, although we do need some levity in our spirits and souls if we don’t want to go crazy. However, we already have so much false info and misdirection and outright lies in our society, mostly funneled through social media, we definitely don’t want to introduce anymore today, when half the world is locked down and in a state of panic because of the Coronavirus. 

And on a point of interest, in Canada it seems that people are still drinking Corona beer, whilst it’s unavailable in some other places. That just shows how ignorant and/or superstitious we humans are. Just because the brand of beer happens to have the same name as a deadly virus doesn’t mean that it’s undrinkable or in any way connected to it. But that’s the nature of the human animal. (smile) And as always friends, we here at Scrip-Bits believe in acting as catalysts, to help us stay strong in the Word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to give us hope, help us stay imprisoned by it, because without hope, we might as well be dead; in fact without hope, spiritually, we are indeed dead. 

So today, let’s latch on tightly to the hope infusing words of Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord. Yes my brethren, the Lord and His awesome and everlasting Word, which never changes or dies, is indeed the fountainhead of hope! And right now in these scary and frightening times, we need divine hope and help more than ever. So let’s pray with the psalmist nuh: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps. 130:1-3) 

Now that’s a very good question my people. If the Lord should take note of all our iniquities and punish us for them, who shall stand afterwards eh? None of us! ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Oh yes, we’ve fallen far short of God’s righteousness, as the scholars explain: ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: man can exceed his own standards, but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

And nobody knows this better than our Creator, who made us with all our faults and frailties, and that’s why in His eternal wisdom and divine mercy and LOVING-kindness, He’s made ample provision for our iniquities. As the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (held in reverential awe).’ (Ps. 130:4) Oh friends, how mighty and wonderful is the word ‘forgiveness’ and all that it implies! For without it, we would have no hope at all. That’s the divine option that gives us hope! All the other things like LOVE, mercy, and grace are indeed important, but without forgiveness we’d still be in the same khaki pants; lost and doomed to damnation and hell-fire! 

And how do we access these essential things called  hope and forgiveness. It begins, like the psalmist says: ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.’ Now that’s the first movement in the divine symphony; patience (perseverance) and trust in His Word. But how do we get patience and trust in God’s word eh? By knowing it; hearing it, reading and studying it. Remember the immortal words of God to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) The Lord couldn’t have been any plainer or more explicit than that my people. It’s by reading and studying His Word and doing what’s written in there that we can achieve prosperous and successful lives! So in these uncertain and disastrous times, it’s plain to see that we have to get into God’s Word more than ever, and do what it says we ought to. 

As the psalmist continues: ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.’ (Ps. 130:6) Yes friends, he is hungry for the Lord! And that’s how we have to be also, especially in these calamitous times, for the Lord God Almighty, the One who created us, is the ONLY One who can truly save us! Thus the psalmist concludes: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, it is imperative that we turn to the Lord God Jehovah and cry out to Him for deliverance if we truly want to get rid of this Covid-19 scourge that’s currently plaguing the earth. Remember, as the scholars said above, in his own strength, man can never achieve the righteousness of God, and that also extends to his wisdom and ingenuity. Therefore, since we can’t find the answer to our problem, we need to go to a Higher Power; the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s where we will find ALL the answers! 

And now, for those of us who truly believe that and sincerely try to adhere God’s Word, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And yes, my faithful brethren, regardless of what’s happening in our world today, we who sincerely believe and try to do God’s Will, will indeed have a glorious future with Jesus; one, more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…prayer and supplication…perseverance and thanksgiving…our most urgent needs at this time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2020 Hebrews 11:1.

Hebrews 11:1.    ​FAITH: the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.
 
Now it’s Tuesday, a wet, dark day in my area. Hn! What a sudden change from the nice sunny, bright and warmish weather of the weekend! And by the way, I do hope that most of us have gotten over whatever negative effect(s) the change back from Standard to Daylight Saving Time caused on the weekend. Steups! I still don’t understand or see the reason for these time changes nuh. And besides, almost all the population are against it, for it does cause sleep and other related problems. Furthermore, a whole lot of places have either cut it out, or are now making preparations to do so. However, in our Province of Ontario there doesn’t seem to be any serious move to get rid of it, although many people complain about it. 

Personally, I don’t know if it causes me any backlash nuh, because sleep and I don’t seem to be on the same wavelength anyway. (smile) A good example of that is last evening, after having an after dinner nap, I didn’t go back to bed until three something, but by four fifteen my eyes were wide open. I got up and went to the bathroom, then by six something my eyes were wide open again, and try as I wanted, I couldn’t get back to sleep again, partly due to the aches and pains and not being able to find a comfortable contortion for my ole bod.

 Hn! Yuh think it easy? Getting on in age brings a whole lotta problems we not prepared for. (smile) Granted, some of my problems might be attributable to my hating to take  the pain pills…Steups! I’m already taking so many blooming pills for my other problems! Don’t want to turn into a pill popper anymore than I already am. (smile) So I only take the pain stuff when things get real uncomfortable. But yuh know what? With the awesome help of our magnificent and magnanimous God, we can handle anything that comes against us, for as the Good Book faithfully proclaims: ‘We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13) 

And again: ‘Our God shall supply all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And if neither of those scriptures lifted your spirits, then try this one: ‘And Jesus, looking upon them saith, with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.’ (Mark 10:27) Yes my fellow believers, that is the gospel truth in capital spades! And if you don’t believe that, then you’re wasting your time calling yourself a true believer because you are sadly lacking in faith. 

And remember what the Good Book firmly stipulates: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He truly exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) Now that is what God is all about: ‘FAITH: the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ Yes my people, sincerely coming to God is all a matter of trust and surrender and large hope, that resounds as faith. You can’t see it, but you can surely feel it. 

And Bruh Paul puts it plainly and clearly to the church at Rome, when he wrote: ‘ For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom. 8:24-25) Ah friends, what magnificent and reassuring scriptures! That’s what our faith is built on; hope that leads to perseverance and eager expectancy! But we must first believe, before we see it. That’s how it operates in God’s economy. We don’t adhere to the seeing is believing motto that the world holds on to so tightly and foolishly. 

And it’s not like we don’t have a whole host of examples of strong faith: The Good Book tells us about Noah, who was warned by God of the things to come, and having not seen any evidence of it, still believed, ‘moved with fear (reverence), prepared and ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.’ (Hebr.11:7) And yuh see what happened? Noah’s family was the only one saved when the Lord destroyed the sinful world by flood. 

Likewise Abraham, the father of our modern faith. The Lord called Him to leave his family when he was some seventy years old and go out to a land that he knew nothing about. But the Lord promised Him lots of good stuff and Abraham believed God, trusted Him impeccably, and went out, not knowing whither he went. And look at how the Lord prospered Abraham for his faith nuh. Look at Sarah his wife, who laughed when the Lord promised them a child from their own loins. Yes, it did take twenty five years, but it happened, and note when, when Abraham was a hundred and Sarah was ninety. 

Do you still think that ALL things are NOT possible with God? Look at Moses, look at Jacob, at Bruh Joseph – yes we do have a third Bruh, although we don’t talk about him as much as the other two, David and Paul. (smile) And that ofttimes hurts me, because his story is such a fascinating one, one of awesome faith and perseverance, where despite the wonderful dream promised him, time and time again, he is innocently thrown into serious adversity. But he always keeps his cool under pressure. And you’d note that wherever he went, he always found favour with his bosses, until the Lord was ready to lift him up to the second highest post in the then known world; second only to the great Pharaoh himself! 

No, it’s not easy having true faith, but as we said earlier on, through Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Father; our triune Godhead, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! But we do need to believe it first, and then live by it. And I’m chuckling here, because this wasn’t the sermon I intended to preach this morning…in fact I didn’t have any sermon in mind, (smile) but this is where I was led, and I do hope that it makes some impact on us all today, since our faith needs serious bolstering if we are to make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s camp. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful Lord and Saviour we serve! Let’s go out now and share that LOVE and friendship we have with Him, so that others can come to know Him too! Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope and LOVE…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 March 2020 Matthew 23:28.

Matthew 23:28.    ​Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).
 
Well Saturday has dawned dry and sunshiny… Thank the Lord yes! Unlike yesterday, which had a constant drizzling of snow in all it’s various shapes and sizes; wet, dry, light, heavy. Thankfully though, none of it stayed on the ground and we’re now looking forward to a warm weekend. Glory be! I’m not accustomed to this cold and snow business nuh! (smile) Somebody was against me yesterday, or trying to send me some kind of message, because on my first day back from ‘paradisiacal’ Jamaica, every time I looked out the window all I saw was this white stuff floating down from the heavens. Chuh man! It’s enough to depress a body! (smile) 

But now it’s Saturday, a new and different day; one filled with the many new mercies and compassions of our magnificent and magnanimous God! Bless His holy name! So let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one says: ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’ And it’s strange how all of us can look at the same thing and see something different. A good example of that is a ghetto or a sorrowful person. 

Some of us will be disgusted by either sight and simply walk away as quickly as possible. On the other hand, some will see the sad plight of the place and person and be filled with compassion, and feel a burning desire to help.’ It’s all in our attitudes friends, the state of our hearts. And as believers in Christ, we ought to display the latter attitude. Our hearts ought to be filled with compassion for the lost, the sick and lonely, like Jesus’ heart was, and still is filled with compassion for us. 

And then there’s this: ‘A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.’ I guess the basic premise there is greed. How many things do we need to feel materially wealthy, as opposed to how many things we don’t need, because we’re spiritually rich? Now that’s a good question. And the best answer I can give is Jesus’ warning: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) The things of the world ought not to have us in such a deadly grip that we don’t put the Lord first place in our lives. 

And the next quote says: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ Now that should be obvious, since it’s basic common sense. But it also implies that we will be growing in the meanwhile. However, unfortunately, a lot of us are not growing, or in the way we should, and that includes believers. So how can we do better eh? That means we have to try our best to grow in the right way, in godliness, because we can only do better when we grow, and grow in the right way. 

We certainly waxing philosophical this morning oui! (smile) And we’ll also get scriptural too. (smile) For as James warns us: ‘Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:17) So if we know that we should improve in a godly way, so we can do good, and don’t do it, then it just might be imputed to us as sin. Now that ought to stir us up to some godly movement. (smile) 

That leads us to this last quote, a relative to the previous one. ‘Persistence, perseverance, and continuous improvement are the ingredients for forming a successful person.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! Regardless of how rich and educated you are, even if you are filled with Bible knowledge, you will not be successful unless you put some blood, sweat and tears into your endeavour, whatever it may be. Yes friends, even when you know and practice the Word of God, persistence and perseverance are still necessary to be successful. 

And these well known words of Calvin Coolidge, (1872-1933) the 30th President of the U.S. puts it all in the proper perspective. ‘Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.’ And that’s no lie, since you can’t solve a problem unless you keep pressing on to solve it. Philosophy 101! 

Unfortunately though, we as true believers in Christ Jesus need those words more than any other set of people in our current world, because we drastically need to step up our fight against the evil and darkness that’s shrouding our world like a blanket. We’re definitely not as persistent and determined as we need to be. There is too much disunity and dissension in Christ’s body, the church, and then it’s members are also  too laid back, lazy and compromising. That’s why evil is currently ruling the roost. 

And if you didn’t know it before, let me enlighten you now. We, the supposed true believers in Christ, are the ones who are expected to fight the good fight of faith, to run a glorious and powerful race in Jesus name! Remember, Christ expects us to be the salt and light of the earth. But we’ve apparently lost our saltiness, and talk about lacking in light – we don’t seem to be shining at all. You have to look hard to find a decent Christian these days. Remember we are to be known by our works… 

Well, not enough of us are doing enough sincere works with the right motives, so that we can be noticeable and have others come to want Jesus. Instead, the main word you’ll hear re Christians is ‘hypocrite!’ And sadly that’s the truth, because we’ve become so much like the Pharisees that Jesus condemned in Matt. 23, like whitewashed  tombs, who appear beautiful on the outside but on the inside it’s another story. ‘Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness.)’ 

And unfortunately that can be said of too many supposed believers today, and it’s a convenient excuse for many who refuse to go to church because there are too many hypocrites within its walls. But the truth of the matter friends, is that we are ALL hypocritical in some respect and to some degree, thus going to church will only add one more to the group. (smile) Seriously though my brethren, it’s time we stop being so clean and righteous on the outside and so sinful and nasty on the inside because it doesn’t draw others to Christ, just turns them away. 

So please, let’s ask the Lord, starting right now, to clean us up inside nuh, so that both sides of us will truly be the same and we can then be good and sincere ambassadors of Christ. Much LOVE!

…it’s what comes out of the mouth…that defiles a man…not what goes in… (Matt.15:11)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2020 Hebrews 12:1.

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

Greetings and salutations this dreary looking Tuesday morning my Scrip-Bit friends and families! And as Bruh Paul liked to say in his letters to the New Testament churches: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen!’ (Gal. 1:3-5) Yes my faithful brethren, EVERY DAY, we ought to remember the Father and the wonderful things He’s done for us through Christ Jesus and give Him the necessary praise and thanksgiving! 

And please don’t tell me it’s too difficult, or you’re too busy and you don’t have time…Make time! You make time for other not so important stuff, but you can’t make time for God, the most important thing, being and element in your life? Steups! Just take a moment and consider your state if He had not shown His amazing LOVE and compassion through the incomparable gift of His Son! You’d be headed straight for hell and the eternal company of Lucifer, the fallen angel and now the deceitful, lying devil! 

But through Christ, He’s offered us another option, much better than what we had – eternal life with Him and Christ in heaven – and yuh boldfaced enough to tell me that you can’t make time to spend a few minutes with Him every day! Chuh! Pure foolishness that mih breddren! Anyway, here’s a most appropriate writing for this time of year and our current winter affliction; SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. And it’s also appropriately titled ‘January.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales. But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken and marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. When You said “Behold I make all things new” Did You forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget You?’ 

Ah friends, I think the correct answer is more like the last one – we forget the Lord, because He’s promised NEVER to leave nor forsake us, and He always keep His promises. That we know for a fact. So if any forgetting goes on, it’s most surely on our side of the equation. And the strange thing is that the drearier and more downcast the weather and our souls are, the more we need to find consolation in God, not forget or move further away from Him. It’s like when you’re sick, that’s when you certainly need a doctor, and the worse you get, the more you need the medic! You run to Him more than ever then, not away from him. 

And it’s the same with our great God; we need Him more than ever when things are not going so good. So let’s think on that some today nuh, and see if we’re falling into that common rut. And we should also think on the Bible Promise from the poem, which is our Bit for today. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Yes friends, we have so many heavenly witnesses looking on at our race of faith, who earlier ran the same race and testified to the LOVE and faithfulness of God, that we need to get serious and put aside any and everything that will hinder us in our own faith walk. And please remember that our race of faith is not a sprint, but a long-distance race, a marathon; one that requires lots of endurance and energy, not merely simple patience. As Bruh Paul said to the Roman church: ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (Rom.12:12) 

That’s the kind of belly and backbone we need to run our race friends! And though we have plenty of other believers to look at as examples, the best and brightest is as the Good Book says: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (originator and perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

Oh my people, how can there ever be a better example than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ eh? NEVER! For He is the One who blazed the trail, made the way, didn’t consider the shame or rejection or all the other negative stuff thrown at Him, and finished the race in steadfast and enduring faith! Wow! What a giant is our Jesus! That’s why the Father exalted Him to sit at His right hand of His throne ‘and given Him a name which is above every other name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

And likewise my brethren, if we are faithful and run our race with an abundance of the necessary Christian elements, then we too will also be rewarded at the end. As Peter calls it: ‘a crown of glory that fadeth not away.’ (1 Pet. 5:4) So let’s up the ante this cold and dreary-looking winter’s day nuh – and even if you’re in the blazing sunshine too! (smile) Let’s raise the level of our faith so that we can witness for Jesus, like the true salt and light we’re meant to be. 

And we can begin doing that by declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra with strong voice and sincere hearts. As one now: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Then the next move is to actually go out and share Jesus’ wonderful LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the race of life…the hardest to run…but the most rewarding to win…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2020 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
And on this first Saturday in the new year, there is a veneer, a patina of snow on the ground. (smile) Oh, it’s not much, but we haven’t seen any for a few days now because the temperature has been around 4 or 5 since New Year’s Eve. But let’s not get too complacent, these are the northern climes in the winter season, and as such, are supposed to receive a fair amount of snow. So though climate change has somewhat disrupted the schedule, don’t worry, we will get our fair share eventually. (smile) 

And with that prognostication – what a way the ole fella using big words this morning! Just hope he’s using them right. (smile) So let’s stay prepared! Anyway, it’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he continues aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he’s certainly waxed long and wise this past week. 

Hear this first one: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ Now how can I find any fault with that eh, since it calls for sincere belief, endurance and perseverance, three of the most important aspects of a believer’s life. 

My only comment is that I hope our biggest fantasy, well not really a fantasy, but rather a goal, is to walk closer with Jesus this new year of 2020! Now if we do that, then things will be awesome, the Lord will work out everything for good, as He’s so faithfully promised! Glory Be! And following on from that, is this gospel true quote. ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Now friends, that is an eternal truth we can never escape! All of us want to be great. But too many of us don’t realize that to be a notch or two above the ordinary also takes more sacrifices than it does to be just ordinary. Take a close look at the lives of any great person, and you’ll see the abnormal amount of sacrifices he or she made to reach the level we consider great. Rising up in this life was never, and will never be easy. Look at Jesus. Our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God; His achieved His greatness at considerable sacrifice, the ultimate in sacrifice, His sinless life. 

And as followers of His, we are also called to make sacrifices. Most likely not as much, or as painful as He did, but definitely some that will indeed hurt our flesh. So, if we want to truly follow Jesus this year my brethren, we have to be prepared to make some serious sacrifices, not merely talking a good talk, because walking in His footsteps calls for exactly that! And this next quote is long but wise and very doable, and one we should all try to implement, with Jesus’ help of course. 

Listen up: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. Things to think about for 2020: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray. Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ 

And it’s rather unfortunate, but quite true, that ALL of us can take those six steps to heart this new year and implement them in our lives! But please remember that the most important step is the last one: ‘PRAY!’ Yes friends, prayer is ever so important because it means serious communication with God; the source, the fountainhead of all that we are, of our very being; the holy, immortal and omnipotent One who fashioned us in His celestial image, and breathed His awesome breath of life into our dirt based bodies! 

So having said all of that, here’s the last quote: ‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for you to get it right.’ And what do we mean by that? Well two scriptures stand out in my mind right now. The first is Jesus’ assurance to his disciples, and consequently to us His modern-day followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And so He has my fellow believers. He has defeated hell, death and the grave, and has the keys of both heaven and hell attached to his key ring, so we don’t have to worry about anything, just  receive His awesome peace that passes all the understanding our puny and finite minds can muster, and be cheerful because of all the wonderful things He’s done on our behalf. 

But nonetheless this next scripture is the one that will really cause us to enjoy all the blessings, and endure with strong faith, all the ‘sufferation’ that’s inherent in a believer’s life. Again, the wise advice of Jesus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

Now my people, that’s our first step for this new year. Please, let’s take it, and take it very seriously, so that our greatly disturbed, badly directed, desperate world and all therein, can benefit from God’s goodness! Much LOVE!

…2020…must be the year…we sincerely talk the talk…and even more importantly…walk the walk…in Jesus’ name… Amen!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2020 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.    ​Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.
 
Well here I am, on this first Thursday in the new year, anxiously asking the Lord what I should write about today. Hn! It certainly seems like the ole fella is lacking in mental …what’s the word…I think it’s acuity – mental sharpness, this cold but somewhat sunny winter’s morn. And I seem to remember the great philosopher Plato saying something like, remember the beginning is the most important part of the work. And the beginning certainly is important, that’s why I want to begin good today. (smile) 

But I don’t know if it’s the most important part, because with Jesus, it doesn’t matter so much where we begin, but more so where we end! And on His continuum, as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘I’m not where I want to be just yet, but thank God, I’m certainly not where I used to be’ ….or something to that effect. (smile) And is that ever good news my fellow believers! 

The fact that Jesus will take us however and wherever we are, at any particular moment in time, and make us into what He desires us to be, with the long term goal of being fashioned in His unbeatable and wonderful character, which ought to lend a spark of hope to all who hear His Word and believe His awesome promises! A Bruh Paulian sentence, if there ever was one! (smile) And believe me my brethren, that just sparked a thought, obviously a God-given one, re what I should write about today. 

Yuh see God’s awesome faithfulness! One of my favourite scriptures just jumped up and became number one for today. Hear this great promise from the Lord our God, through the mouth of the prophet Zechariah when talking about Zion’s future king; a prophecy that Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday uniquely fulfilled. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what a beautiful promise! But what I like most about that scripture is the descriptive term, ‘prisoners of hope.’ It just so aptly describes what followers of Jesus ought to be; people with unending hope because He is the ‘stronghold,’ the fortress, the high tower, the fountain, the eternal source from wherein hope is spread abroad. 

Yes mih breddren, hope is the believer’s greatest treasure, since it’s the forerunner of faith. You can’t have faith without first having hope. Because as the Good Book says: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things HOPED for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) So you see faith is indeed based on hope. And  as Bruh Paul reasons in Romans: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Now that’s what separates the goats from the sheep, what shows up the true prisoners of hope! If we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said, done and promised, then with strong hope and faith, meaning endurance and perseverance, we will eagerly await His coming and the fulfillment of His awesome promises! But friends, it’s all got to begin with belief and hope that lead to an indestructible faith! No wonder we have the clichéd but oh so true statement, that while there is life, there is hope! 

Indeed there is, especially in Christ Jesus, who never turns away anybody, even when they are down to their last and dying breath! Wow! So how can we not have strong faith and indescribable hope if we claim to be true believers eh? O mih people, this new year of 2020 is calling us to be awesome prisoners of hope and faith because our world is in a very disastrous place, right on the edge of the precipice of imploding into war, darkness and hellfire! More than ever, we believers need to be the sensational salt and light of this misdirected world as Jesus declared of and still desires of us. 

The fate of our world, and thus our children’s and children’s children lives depend on our faith and hope and desire to try and set things right! There’s no denying that so far our generation hasn’t done a great job, we’ve allowed our world to keep falling to hell, like you know what in a handbasket. But as we said earlier on, while there is life there is always hope. So this morning I’m imploring, begging, bullying; yes whatever it takes, for us to get on our horses and ride; ride for Jesus sake, also for our descendants sake, for if we don’t do something in the near future, we won’t like to see what our world will come to. 

And I guess that’s the highly inflammable, important, and urgent word the Lord wanted me to pass on this morning! (smile) Let’s get serious friends, and realize the sense of immediacy, of urgency in His message, and thus get totally and seriously involved. And we can’t say that we don’t have the wherewithal to do the job, because the Lord has already given us all the tools we need, so artfully contained in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s declare them out loud now nuh, so that they can be put into force. 

In strong voice and sincere purpose: ‘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!’ 

In closing, I must remind us that those tools are to be generously shared, not hoarded for our selfish benefit, especially in this new year, which will be such a pivotal one in the annals of mankind! Much LOVE!

…to hope…or not to hope…that is the question for believers today…

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