Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2018 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.    According to your faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s the big day, Sunday, the time we make our way to the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship and worship and receive reassurance and confidence in our faith walk.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make it today because of my illness, but my Pastor, Fr. Jeff has promised to come and visit and give me communion after church. So I’m still in the loop. (smile) 

Anyway, as usual, let’s get prepared to hear the word, soften our hearts, by offering up some praise and worship to heaven. And today we’ll offer up that old spiritual song from the movie ‘Student Prince,’ made famous by Mario Lanza. It’s called ‘I’ll walk with God,’ and is such a beautiful way of reaffirming our faith, in this most appropriate time of spring rebirth and a troubled world. 

Let’s sing my brethren, with sincere hearts and strong lungs. ‘I’ll walk with God from this day on. His helping hand I’ll lean upon. This is my prayer, my humble plea, May the Lord be ever with me. There is no death, tho’ eyes grow dim. There is no fear when I’m near to Him. I’ll lean on Him forever And He’ll forsake me never. 

He will not fail me As long as my faith is strong, Whatever road I may walk along. I’ll walk with God, I’ll take His hand. I’ll talk with God, He’ll understand. I’ll pray to Him, each day to Him And He’ll hear the words that I say. His hand will guide my throne and rod And I’ll never walk alone While I walk with God.’ 

And is all of that ever so true my people! If we walk faithfully with God, He’ll look after us. That’s his promise! And He doesn’t ever break promises. I particularly like that last line, about I’ll never walk alone, while I walk with Him. Glory be people! What an awesome statement of truth! 

But first, before all of the above can happen, we need to have the faith to submit, to completely surrender our lives to Him, because God wants to be involved in EVERY aspect of our lives. He can’t be included in some things and not in others. And that’s where the problems come in. We either don’t have faith, or we suffer from weak faith, but a sincere and successful walk with God requires strong faith. 

Oh I know that faith is a process, a continuum along which we grow, from glory to glory, but we have to make the solid, and conscious commitment to do it. We can’t be wishy- washy and stop, or faint as soon as problems arise, because its those same problems that cause our faith to grow. Yeh friends, unfortunately faith only grows by experiencing God’s LOVE, mercy and favour at work in our lives, especially during the rough periods. 

And to show that I know what I’m talking about (smile) listen to this testimony. It’s been a year and half since I’ve been diagnosed with head and heart problems, and in the natural, you’d expect them to be fixed much sooner than they have been. 

Oh, only the head problem has been fixed so far, and that just last week, the heart still remains an enigma. I went into the hospital a month ago to fix the heart problem, but some other thing cropped up and they changed their minds. I’m still waiting to hear from them. 

But what amazes me is that everybody claimed I was so sick, but yet they had me traipsing from hospital to doctor to heart clinic and back again, taking all different kinds of medication and nothing was getting done. Now I could have given up hope and said, ‘Chuh! Forget all this nonsense yes!’ 

But I didn’t, because I’ve been walking with God long enough now to understand that He will keep His promise to work everything out for our good, but in His own time. That’s the cut-tail part about walking with God; in His own time. And unfortunately, His time is seldom our time. He uses these opportunities to grow our faith. 

So if you’re going through some tough and dark times, please, please don’t give up or lose faith. The Lord WILL see you through eventually. He’s just checking to see if you’re truly into Him, as you claim. It isn’t easy people, but our God is faithful, that much I can tell you for sure. And if He sees that you’re willing to take up your cross and walk with Him, without a doubt, He’ll help you to carry it, just like He sent Simon the Cyrene, to help Jesus carry His on that fateful day. (smile) 

He will NEVER leave you in the lurch. And until you sincerely believe that, your faith won’t grow. If you want to work for God, you better had be prepared to suffer stuff, because he doesn’t want people without the necessary experiencing telling His people a whole set of Anansi stories, on subjects they know nothing about. That’s why, most of the stuff I tell you, I can vouch for it from personal experience. 

And I have to chuckle here, because this was never meant to be a personal testimony, but that’s what the Lord apparently wanted. And who am I to say him nay eh? (smile) 

And we’ll end with this most pertinent scripture, when two blind men came to Jesus to receive their sight. ‘And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.’ (Matt.9:28-29) 

Yes friends, according to the level of our faith, the Lord will work in our lives. It’s as simple as that. He’ll meet us at whatever point we are, but we have to first believe that He can do what He’s promised. That’s what faith is all about. Much LOVE!

…faith is believing without seeing…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2018 John 13:34.

John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.

Well my friends and fellow believers it’s Friday, but a special Friday, one that only occurs once a year. And we call it Good Friday! I know some of us must be wondering how can we call a terrible Friday like that good, where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was horribly crucified, shamed and violated without remorse.

But it’s not what happened, so much as the reason for the happening and the resultant consequences. Christ was crucified, gave His life for us, so that we could have eternal life. He took ALL our sins on His shoulders, so that we could have the option to return to a right relationship with Almighty God. That’s what’s good about it friends!

The once and for all sacrifice, the once and for all payment for our sins, that’s what makes it good! Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Lord washed clean all our sins, forgave us of our disobedience and welcomed us back as His children. Wow! How can we not call such an event good eh?

True, it resulted in the terrible abuse and violence toward Jesus, but that was the only way for our sins to become paid up; forgiveness called for a blood sacrifice. And today, as we flock to the Lord’s house to sing His praises and glorify His holy name, let’s remember the significance of this day.

And as always, before we hear the word, let’s offer up some praise and worship with sacrificial voices to our heavenly Father. And today we’ll sing one of my all time favourites, one that I cherished since I was a boy growing up in Tobago.

It appropriately describes the scene that took place at Calvary, two thousand years ago. The words apparently were written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) and the music by John H Gower (1855-1922) and it was based on the scriptural texts of John 19:16-20 and Hebrews 13:12.

Please sing with me: ‘There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where our dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good, that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin, he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yeh friends, the story’s told simply and tenderly, but the reality of it all is oh so heart wrenching and tear jerking! Just imagine an innocent man nuh, being crucified; one of the worse methods of death and punishment ever subscribed to by man, to pay for the sins of a motley, unappreciative group of people.

And the beauty of the story is that He underwent that gruesome ordeal without a word of complaint, because He knew that He was the ONLY person who could pay for the transgressions of the entire world, and besides, that was what His heavenly Father required of Him. As the Good Book says: He was ‘obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:8)

Ah mih people, yuh see what Jesus did for us, for you and I? But how many of us are obedient to the Lord’s doing nowadays eh? Not as many as there should be. But let me point out the most important part of our hymn above: ‘O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’

Yes precious people of God, that’s all Jesus requires of us in return for His sacrificial death on this day so long ago: LOVE as He LOVED; trust in His redeeming blood; and do the work He wants us to do!

Oh, my fellow believers, it does look simple and sounds good on paper, but from personal experience I know that it’s not easy to do. However, if we are serious about living and working for Christ, we can do it with His help, because we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13)

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.’ Yes friends, I purposely stayed away from the story of the cross, because we all know it and rehashing it isn’t going to make much difference at this stage of the game.

What we truly need to know and recognize is why Christ died for us; and the simple answer is that He LOVED us. And His earthly ministry was one of sincere LOVE. Plus the only new thing He told us is that we must LOVE each other as He LOVED us. And that LOVE is just treating each other and ourselves in a decent, pleasant manner, not necessarily going overboard in our attentions.

But unfortunately, in today’s cruel, crazy and godless society, those pleading words of Jesus have fallen on deaf ears. However friends and fellow believers in Jesus, I’m pleading with us, today, as we recognize Jesus’ immense sacrifice on our behalf, let’s learn that the lesson the cross really teaches us, is not one of death, but of LIFE and LOVE.

Jesus died because He LOVED us, and wanted us to have life eternal. Let’s show our appreciation by living the way He wants us to nuh. Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…means living in LOVE…

P.S. Yes I know we didn’t sing the workingman’s song, or our Friday Chant, but this was a special Friday. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 August 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Wonderful days are here again! O Glory be my people! And our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is leading the big parade down Main Street decked out in all His splendour and glory! 

Let’s hope that you are a member of that glorious band of soldiers and saints, pilgrims and ambassadors for Jesus, else you’ll be missing out on the most important aspect of your life; your salvation and what will happen to your spirit in eternity! 

Yeh friends, only when you are in league with Jesus, do you know that you will live happily ever after with Him till the end of time! 

So why don’t you make that decision today eh, and stop leaving your soul in limbo? For there are only two places it can go after death; heaven or hell. And believe you me, separation from Almighty God is the last thing you want to happen to you; it’s the worst possible scenario in the chain of life. 

Anyway, today is Saturday, so let’s consider some quotes from our friend Anselm, as we do every Saturday, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.’ 

And that’s gospel truth my fellow believers, for we know that whilst there is life, there is always hope. And the greatest source of true hope is found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That gives us even further confirmation of the wisdom of hooking our star to His bandwagon. 

Now the second quote says: ‘Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.’ More obvious gospel truth friends! You can’t be pessimistic, looking on the dark side all the time and expect to be powerful! 

And this next quote is very interesting especially for us Christians. ‘What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.’ And why is that you ask? Simply because it’s especially true in our Christian experience. 

We can’t grow in our Christian faith unless we are tested; pass through the fire and the flood to see how strong we truly are. And oftimes what looks like a total disaster is only a trial that has a blessing waiting on the other side if you pass the test. 

And that quote segues very nicely into this one: ‘There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.’ 

Yes my brethren, we all talk about freedom, and we all want freedom, but freedom is NEVER easily gained. That’s something a lot of us nowadays still need to learn, and stop talking about it as though you can just go out and buy it cheaply or pick it up on any street corner. 

It’s something you have to work hard and constantly at, while passing through the dark, shadowy valleys many times. More lives have been lost through history in the name of freedom than any other ideal. And even when you seem to have attained the mountaintop, you still won’t have freedom, because it’s an elusive ideal, linked to utopia. 

Oh friends, we are NEVER really free, since, if we want to do it right, that thing called responsibility ALWAYS corners us. In any society, true freedom leads to anarchy, if we all want to do what we want, when and how we want to do it. Hn! Hn! But how did we get on that discourse eh? (smile) 

And the last quote is one ascribed to Marcus Garvey. It says: ‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ No doubt about that people! 

As the saying goes; if you don’t know where you’re coming from, you won’t know where you’re going to! You must know something about your background to successfully plan your future. That’s why History is so important in our lives. 

And that plays right into our Bit. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

Yes, my fellow believers, we know exactly where we’re coming from – a state of total sin – but we also know where we’re going to – a state of total transformation in Jesus Christ. We’re taking off the old, sinful man and putting on the new regenerated, transformed, cleansed and saved one. Glory Hallelujah! 

And to do that successfully it has to all begin in our minds. Thus James says: ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (to get angry). For the wrath (anger) of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God. 

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (wickedness), and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:19-22) 

There we have it friends! if we want to put on the new man, then we have to drastically change first our thinking, then our behaviour. We can’t behave and think the same we were before finding Christ. And it’s not always easy to do. But as I keep saying, if we go to God sincerely seeking help, He will ALWAYS help us. 

I speak there from personal experience. But you have to listen to Him, and do what He says, when He says to do it. That’s called obedience to His will and word. (smile) So today, let’s go out and obey nuh, for that’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…the best way to live…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…(Charles Stanley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2016 Hebrews 12:11

Hebrews 12:11.    Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.

And all over God’s great earth, on this blessed Friday morning in July 2016, the joyful cry of the working class rises like a touching, soulful song to heaven! 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the workweek is almost over! Thank God that the weekend is upon us, bringing freedom from mental and physical slavery for two big days! We can do whatever we want to do without massa looking over our shoulders! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Yes friends, it is a viable cry, but we must still be careful about doing what we want over the weekend. We can’t just behave like leggo beast and give the enemy a chance to invade our souls. We need to always be wary of his deceitful tactics to gain entrance to our souls and his evil intent, to wreak havoc there. 

Instead, let’s chant our Friday Chant that gives us a better perspective on the use of the weekend. All together 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.’ 

Ah mih people, the way we handle the weekend sets the tempo and standard for our new workweek. Unless we are fresh and reinvigorated, we won’t be able to do a good job for Jesus when the time comes. So please be careful and handle the next couple of days in appropriate godly fashion. (smile) 

Now here’s a beautiful quote attributed to one George Elliston (1883-1946), a female American journalist and editor who bequeathed a large sum of money to the University of Cincinnati to open a chair in poetry. At some stage of her life, she reputedly proclaimed: ‘How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! When kindness touches a day, there’s nothing left but for it to indeed be beautiful, because kindness comes from the heart of God! Oh how our world is dying from unkindness and desperately waiting and desiring to experience much more kindness amongst God’s greatest creation, mankind. And until we achieve that experience, our world will continue to be topsy-turvy, dangerous and deceitful. 

But my people, thankfully there’s a saving grace, if you can call it that, displayed in the words of our Bit. ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ 

Yes friends, we can count on our heavenly Father to chasten, to discipline us when we step out of line and follow our own devious devices and plans. Oh, I know from personal experience that it’s not a welcome decision, but it seems to be necessary for our eventual growth and maturity in Christ Jesus. 

Anyway, there’s not much we can do about it, except try to give the Lord as few instances as possible to chasten and discipline us. Now let’s continue looking at some scriptural examples of how important chastening is to God. And nobody spoke on it more often than Cousin Sol. 

Listen to him. ‘Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with a rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.’ (Prov.23:13-14) 

Now I know some of you will be up in arms over those statements, but I’m only quoting the Good Book. And as much as you might dislike punishing your children, yuh better believe that God will punish us, like children, for disobedience. Not necessarily with a rod of correction, but in some manner that He deems suitable. 

Now hear what the Lord said to Bruh David when He made His covenant with him. ‘And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes (strokes) of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I put away before thee.’ (2 Sam.7:12-15) 

Yes friends the Lord was speaking there about the rise of Cousin Sol. And please note the serious warning about chastening for disobedience, because it hasn’t changed one iota since then. 

So my fellow believers, in closing, I just want to remind us that although we don’t like chastening by God, because in the short term it seems a bit on the rough side, be assured that in the long run it will be to our benefit. Our God does NOTHING in our lives that’s not for our benefit. 

Now let’s go out and see if we can do as little as possible to deserve His chastening, for that’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…to walk this earth successfully…a disciplined life is essential…  

P.S. I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of this new Outlook setup. Glory Hallelujah! Much LOVE!