Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.     For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.

And then it was Friday, the last day of the normal workweek; a week of heightened calamity and tension, hatred and overflowing resentment around the world… all of that within the current upheaval caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Oh friends, our world is now in a state ripe for exploding, and if we don’t lessen the tension soon, it will certainly explode. At one stage the pandemic seemed to be bringing us together, but with all the divisive rhetoric spouted on it, highlighting differences of opinion on what it is and where it came from and how to cure it, the obvious and nasty casting of blame and if it’s even true, the stage is set for a lot of national and international disagreement. 

But faithful saints of Christ, please let us remember who created this universe; our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God! And let’s not forget that He is still in complete control of it and whatever goes on therein, and He is not an absentee or weak-kneed ruler, but He’s very present on His throne and has the reins of His universe well in hand. And that means He knows what is happening and why He’s allowing it. It’s all happening according to His divine plan. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours so we’ll not understand all that happens. 

Therefore we must not let fear, worry, anxiety and all the other negative emotions bury us under their heavy yoke and cause us to lose faith, for faith in Almighty God is the only thing that will successfully see us through all the current problems we’re facing. Remember that majestic and most assuring verse of scripture from Bruh Paul to Timothy and now to us: ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ 

Well NOW IS THE TIME for us to put that verse into steadfast action; to stand strong and faithful in the reverence, assurance, wisdom and LOVE of our great and faithful God! Remember, in His Word, He also says that he who survives to end will receive a crown of glory. So please let’s fight the good fight, run whatever race we have to run with diligence and excellence and the utmost faithfulness, so that we can prevail in the end. And no, I haven’t forgotten that today being Friday, many of you are looking forward to what the ordinary workingman has to say. 

And as always, he opens – though somewhat less energetically than usual – with this proclamation: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And thank God the weekend is here at last too. It’s the second week of work since some of the lockdown restrictions lifted…the first full one, since last week Monday was Queen Vic holiday. And am I ever glad to see the weekend, because after such a long time off work, the body’s gotten soft and flabby and thus the work’s become physically harder. And I still need to get back accustomed to waking up so early in the morning. 

But what a crazy world we live in eh Dr. Jack? Like they let some of us out from the zoo, the way we behaving like wild animals with no responsible physical distancing and such, although we still in the throes of the pandemic! Steups! Mankind is something else yes! That’s why they say we’re our own worst enemy…and that’s the gospel truth! No other animal quick to destroy themselves as we humans are. And sadly my views doh make any difference to anybody nuh. All I could do is my best yes…and hope and pray that people soon wake up and realize how bad the situation is oui… Otherwise crapaud certainly smoke we pipe!’ 

And there’s no doubt whatsoever about it friends, if we don’t wake up very soon, there will be pure pandemonium around our world; pandemonium like we’ve never seen before, or might ever see again! And as individuals, there’s not much we can do about the situation, but together, as the Church, as Christ’s body in this confused world, we can stand together and make our voices heard, and behave in a right and responsible manner, and hope and pray! So let’s start with the praying part right now nuh, our Friday Chant. 

As one now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

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

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

Yes friends, we’ve fulfilled the praying part of the solution, let’s now turn our attention to the hope and responsible behaviour that must be done if we’re to be successful in defeating this virus and bringing some desperately needed stability to our world! Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…especially when action is what’s needed…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2020 Proverbs 26:27.

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 May 2020   Proverbs 26:27.
 
Proverbs 26:27.    ​Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon (roll back on) him.
 

Well, well, well! Wonders never cease, but daily they increase! Yes friends, the ole fella actually went to bed early last night, before midnight, and thus got up fairly early this morning! Hn! Strange, but true! And I must admit I definitely don’t feel as tired as in the past few days when I burned the midnight oil. But as a creature of habit, it’s hard to change your modus operandi in mid-stream. (smile) But I won’t say never, because when you’re working with and for our omnipotent God, anything is possible. 

Now it’s Friday, and another beautiful summer-like day seems to be in the offing, so let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. And he does cry our with some of his old enthusiasm: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It was good to go back to work…though ah tired like ah dog now, because I haven’t worked in such a long time. The body’s no longer accustomed to that kind of hard work. And it’s a good thing it was a short week too, with the Queen Vic holiday on Monday. Don’t know what I’d do if I really had to work the whole five days nuh. 

And yuh know what, although we complain when we have to work, this week everybody was happy to come back to work. And I think my lockdown was tough…Hn! Some single fellas had it real rough because they had nobody to talk to, and some of them middle aged and doh have no real computer skills either, so like it was lonely as hell for them. Even the slave master was happy and somewhat pleasant! But it just shows you the real value of real work for our human race. We wasn’t made to just sit around and twiddle we thumbs and live like parasites off of others. 

And after so long apart, the physical distancing and no shaking hands or hugs was somewhat hard, but for the safety of all, we managed. Leh we hope that people stay responsible and we don’t have to go through another lockdown nuh! I couldn’t stand it!  Oh brother, you’ll never hear me curse work again nuh! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And that’s what I like about the ordinary workingman; he always tells it like it is, no setta B.S. and beating about the bush, but straightforward and to the point. And I do hope and pray that we stay responsible with the lifting of some of the restrictions, because that’s the only way we’ll avoid a second wave of illness and another lockdown. And having said all of that friends, let’s now add our two cents worth of hope and encouragement to the ordinary workingman’s as we humbly, but confidently come before our merciful Creator with our Friday Chant. 

As one now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some from work, as some of us went back out this week, but a lot still from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please help those of us who have to go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful world this would be if we’d just stop being selfish and greedy and trust wholeheartedly in the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and Provider! But we have free will, free choice, so we can do whatever we want. The trouble is that we like to do as we please, but can’t stand to pay the resulting consequences, because friends, there are always consequences to our every action. As Cousin Sol wisely points out: ‘Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon (roll back on) him.’ 

And when we do, or plot to do evil, it usually ricochets or boomerangs back on us. That’s why the Jamaican saying, when yuh dig a pit, yuh should dig two, one for yourself too. And we have an exceptionally good example of this from the Good Book, in the story of Esther. ‘So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (subdued).’ (Esth. 7:10) As they say in, it’s Hamlet, I believe: ‘He was hoist with his own petard (small bomb)’ Yeh, he was hurt by the very thing he made to hurt someone else! 

And Bruh David says it so plainly of the wicked in Psalm 7. ‘Behold, he travaileth with iniquity (walks in sinful ways), and hath conceived mischief (trouble), and brought forth falsehood (encouraged lies). He made (dug) a pit, and digged it (dug it out), and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief (wicked scheme) shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate (the crown of his own head).’ (Ps. 7:14-16)  Fear not my brethren, the wicked will receive their just comeuppance in due time, the Lord has promised it, and we all know He’s a stickler when it comes to keeping His promises. 

That’s why Bruh David ended Psalm 7 with these wise and awesome words. ‘I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.’ (Ps. 7:17) Yeh friends, wisdom decrees that we do the same in these turbulent and troubling times! Much LOVE!

…you can’t run from your wrong doings…for they usually come back to haunt you…at some stage of life…and when you least expect them…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. 
 

And after a rainy and soggy Queen Vic holiday, Tuesday has dawned dry, but cloudy, with blustery winds! And rather unfortunately, it’s under those unfavourable conditions that many of us have to return to work after several weeks of being home under the Coronavirus lockdown. It’s good that some restrictions have been lifted, but there are still a whole lot of unknowns and uncertainties surrounding this virus. So let’s not be rash and irresponsible as we go about our newly gained freedom. 

Yes friends, if we want to prevent another serious outbreak, we still need to maintain that careful cleansing and physical distancing and mask wearing routine as more of us move around outside and come into close contact with each other. It’s as simple as that. And yes, it might sound simple in words, but in deeds and in actions, it’s a completely different matter; a horse of a different colour. (smile) 

Ah mih people, I know that our faith has already been tried and severely tested with the sudden appearance of this unknown virus and the shutdown it’s caused, and now it’s going to be further tested with going out and working and behaving in a brand new way. And since we’re only human, mere mortals, we’re therefore subject to fear, especially fear of the unknown and the untested. But please, let’s rely on our strong faith to lead and guide us as we ought to nuh, for it’s in these fearful and uncertain times that we need our faith to come forward and lift us up. 

Remember that’s one of the basic purposes of faith, of God’s indisputable Word in our lives. And we need to allow faithful and promising scriptures like this one to keep us strong and confident in our great God Jehovah! In the majestic and faith lifting words of Bruh Paul to his young protégé Timothy, let us confidently remember: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yes friends, in these sad and doubtful times we need to have that scripture amongst many others continually echoing in our hearts and souls to keep us strong and faithful. 

And to help us do that, today, we’re featuring this encouraging and reassuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled: ‘You Did All the Rest.’ So please pray with me: ‘O Lord God! I did what You asked me to do: I just opened windows Wide… Wide… And You did all the rest! You poured into my heart A blessed, blissful contentment. You saturated my mind with gigantic thoughts of You. You struck an artesian well within me Until sheer joy sprang forth. 

You led me out of the valley of despair Into a succession of incredible happenings. Problems which seemed insurmountable Melted like wax before my eyes. Fears faded away like threatening clouds. You startled me You amazed me With the glory of Your revelation. It is true Gloriously true…I have literally walked and breathed with God. I just opened windows Wide… Wide… God, You did all the rest!’ And that’s exactly what our wonderful, great, magnificent and magnanimous God will do my faithful brethren if we open the windows of our hearts and souls WIDE… WIDE.. to Him! Glory Be! 

So as the Word faithfully promises: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev. 3:20) Oh friends, I’m sure that Christ is knocking on many doors of many of our hearts today; Right Now! So please, please, let’s not turn Him away nuh. Let’s open the doors and windows and whatever openings there are wide, wide, so that He can come in and be with us and relieve us of whatever fears and problems and troubles and uncertainties that have flooded our souls! 

Remember Christ is the ANSWER! The ANSWER to whatever ails us! And the scripture verse that buoys up our poem, comes from Psalm 46, mighty words indeed that show how great a God, our God is. Hear the psalmist tell it like it is nuh: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46:1-3) 

Yes my faithful friends in Christ, let’s stop for a moment and ponder those words of enormous faith nuh. Let’s allow them to sink into our hearts, bodies and souls and strengthen and encourage us! For there is nothing else in this world that can lift us up like the unerring and ever-truthful Word of God! And I recommend that after reading the Bit, we should all get out our Bibles and read Psalm 46 in its entirety, because it is such a powerful and encouraging  piece of scripture. So much so that I’ll share what the scholars say about it. 

‘Psalm 46. This psalm expresses thanks for the deliverance of Jerusalem, the city of God (vs. 4). It contains three key ideas. First. God is a place of security when all else is insecure (vs. 1-3). Second, God protects His city, giving its people assurance and comfort (vs. 4-7). Third, all men are called upon to consider God’s works and submit to His authority (vs. 8-11). The unshakeable confidence with which the psalm leaves the believer prompted Martin Luther (a German priest, one of the Leaders of the 16th century Protestant Reformation) to pen one of the greatest hymns of all time, ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” 

 Oh my people, my people, it’s that unshakeable confidence I want us to display today…and every day!  And we can do it today, when in strong voice with sincere hearts we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. Wow! 

All together 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!’ 

Now let’s go out, or stay in, (smile) and do exactly that now nuh! Much LOVE!

…ONLY in Christ…can we ever find…ALL that we ever want and need…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2020 2 Chronicles 7:15.

2 Chronicles 7:15.    ​Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.
 
Chuh! One more Sunday without physical corporate worship friends. But don’t worry, we’re drawing close to the day when the Lord’s sanctuaries will again be opened, and we’ll greet each other with hugs and kisses and handshakes and other physical greetings, as we sing and dance and enjoy physical fellowship together under one roof. (smile) As children of the Most High God Jehovah we must resonate with hope. And the restrictions are being slowly loosened, so it’s not like I’m totally talking out of my hat. 

Anyway, we’re still restricted from gathering physically to worship, but not through all the handy technological means we have today. So let’s get on with it nuh, let’s sing and dance and listen to the Word and gain confidence and enthusiasm and strength from it through our technological interaction, in our own personal spaces, adhering to the restrictions of physical distancing, but enjoying the social and spiritual closeness that we so badly need. And in these pandemic times, times of much anxiety and uncertainty, when our world is caught between a rock and a hard place with this Coronavirus that’s overwhelming us, we need a song of praise and worship that encourages and strengthens us and gives us hope for the future. 

And today we have one such song, most appropriately titled ‘God answers Prayer,’ sung by a young Jamaican lady who calls herself Da Flame. It’s a medium tempo soulful song, that details our many problems, but gives us hope, because we have someone who looks after us in our time of need. So in soulful harmony, let’s raise our sacrifice of praise and pleading to high heaven, drawing every emotion from deep down in our hurting and anxious hearts. ‘If you’re ever feeling down and like you have no where to go. If you’re feeling like an outcast as your problems overflow, just remember there is someone, and all it takes is for you to know, is that God is the answer, and God answers prayer. 

(Chorus: He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. I get down on my knees, and I say Saviour help me please. Because one thing is for certain, is my God answers prayer) You may be broken and feel battered, but your strength will surely come, in the midst of all your heartache. Your battles are already won. Just remember in the hard times, don’t give up, don’t say you’re done, because God is the answer, and God answers prayer. 

(He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. I get down on my knees, and I say Saviour help me please. Because one thing is for certain, is my God answers prayer. Oh He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for us. So let’s get down on our knees, and say, Saviour, help us please. Because one thing is for certain…our God answers prayer.’ 

Oh yes friends, that’s an indisputable fact: our great and faithful, merciful and gracious, forgiving and ever-LOVING God answers each and every prayer we offer up to Him with a sincere heart. He might not give us what we want when we want it, but He does answer our requests, with either an outright no, because it’s not in His will, a wait, not yet, or a definite yes.

And the one good thing that this Covid-19 disease is doing is turning more people than ever to prayer, because we realize that man made answers are not being quickly forthcoming, and when the chips are finally down, when we have no where else to turn, many of us turn to God, as our last resort, our final hope. 

And nothing’s wrong with that, although He should be our first avenue of help. The problem though is when we finally turn to Him and He doesn’t respond as quickly as we like, we get annoyed and go back to blaspheming and bad talking Him. But that’s another sermon for another day. (smile) Today we’re talking about Him answering our prayers. And that He certainly does, though not necessarily in our time. Remember He says that His thoughts and ways and timing are higher than ours, so one of the things we have to do is learn to wait on Him. He might take a while, but I can assure you, He’s NEVER late. 

And if you don’t believe me that He answers prayer, let’s look at a couple of scriptures that reassure us of it. Remember when Cousin Sol dedicated the majestic temple in Israel? Well he asked the Lord for one basic thing; if His children faltered in their obedience, but then returned and prayed at the temple, His house: ‘Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.’ (2 Chr. 6:35) 

And what was the Lord’s reply? ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent (attentive) unto the prayer that is made in this place.’ (2 Chr. 7:14-15) And we see it happen all the way through the Good Book, where the Israelites turned away from God, then turned back, and He heard their prayer and forgave them. The same thing goes for us today my brethren. 

As the scholars tell us: ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-10).’ 

Yes friends, God answers prayer, but our hearts, our motives must be right. Now are our hearts and motives right, are we being truly repentant in these pandemic times, or are we just mouthing platitudes, and as soon as He heals our land, we’ll go back to our old, wicked ways?  I don’t know, but He will certainly check it out first. 

And Bruh David verified that the Lord answers prayer, when he declared: ‘In the day when I cried thou answeredst (answered) me, and strengthenedst (strengthened) me with strength in my soul.’ (Ps. 138:3) And Jesus faithfully promised the disciples: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22) Meanwhile, John says it thus: ‘And whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:13-14) 

Ah mih people, our God does answer prayer, but there are indeed some requirements for us to meet. Much LOVE!

…answered prayer…calls for…sincere hearts…and true belief in Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2020 Galatians 5:25.

Galatians 5:25.    ​If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 
 
Well at long last, some sustained heavenly blessings upon our neighbourhood earth! Yes friends, we’re finally getting some rain in my area, after I don’t know how long. And it’s still merely drizzles instead of strong downpours. But I guess the earth and the earth-workers are grateful for every last drop. Not like they could afford to be ungrateful and refuse it anyway. (smile) And this Friday morning indeed seems like it might just be different to many of those of the recent past. Why, you ask? Because some of the work restrictions have been lifted in our Province of Ontario, and some more places will be able to open come Monday. 

So let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say about it all nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui!’ And there seems to be some enthusiasm in his voice today. ‘Yes thank God that mih place of work opening back up on Monday, though still with some restrictions! Brother! Does it ever feel good to mih soul! Never thought I’d be happy to go to the slave master’s work nuh, but after being home for almost two months, I’d be glad to go out and do anything, just to get mihself active again! And ah know nobody happy like the slave master, because he LOVE the job more than anybody else, and making money is only a plus for him. 

And it won’t be hard for us to do things like physical distancing because we don’t work close together anyway, the machines and them more than a few feet apart. And we wear head and face protective gear anyway. But leh we hope that people take this thing seriously yes, and doh go and behave chupid like they were doing earlier on, because we not out of the woods yet nuh. In fact we’ll never be out of the woods until we at least have a vaccine that can actually stop this virus in its tracks. 

And I’m chuckling here because ah know the wife going to be happy to get me from constantly under her foot, although she not going to have anybody to help her with children, who still don’t have no school. And let’s hope that next week Friday, after a solid week of hard work, I’d still be able to say ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday with a smile oui!’ 

And yes, my fellow believers, it’s good news to a certain extent, although I don’t think the ordinary workingman realizes that Monday is a public holiday; Queen Victoria’s Day, so most likely, him and a lot of others won’t be going back to work until Tuesday. This weekend also usually marks the beginning of cottage country getaways, but it’s going to be different this year as people are advised not go up to their cottages, if at all possible, or just go with immediate family and stay right in their cottages, because we don’t want the country districts to be overflowing with visitors and thus increase the possibility of the virus spreading even further. 

And ah have to laugh yes. Yuh see how one li’l virus, that you can’t even see without a strong microscope, change up we whole way of life in just a few months. So let’s hope that Ontarians behave in a responsible manner this weekend and as more businesses begin to open next week, because the next wave of this thing will be even worse than the first. Now let’s do our part in the prayer department and chant our Friday Chant nuh. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And with this lifting of more restrictions by the government, we implore you to touch the hearts of all those who go out into the open spaces, and make them understand that we still need to behave responsibly and take serious precautions so we don’t have a further setback. And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And the major problem there is if we, Christ’s ambassadors on this earth, are truly doing things, behaving the way that will make the heathen want to come to Him. Yes friends are we walking in LOVE, with the fruit of the Spirit pouring out of us in all unity and worthiness? Are we living like Bruh Paul recommends? ‘I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness (gentleness), with long-suffering, forbearing (bearing with) one another in LOVE; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Eph. 4:1-3) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, is that how we’re living? Because if it isn’t, then we we’ll just push people further away from Christ rather than bring them to Him. And these words from Bruh Paul to the Galatians should remind us of our bounden duty. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (be conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal. 5:22-26) 

Yes friends, only if we truly live by the dictates of the Spirit will we produce righteous fruit that will encourage, and eventually convince the unbeliever that Christ has what he needs to make him whole, to give him a brand new life! So today, let’s examine our lives nuh, and then, with God’s help, make the necessary changes. Much LOVE!

…the righteous…walk not after the flesh…but after the Spirit…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.
 
Now bless the Lord, we ‘ve moved on to Thursday, which used to be important as the penultimate day of the work week, because it heralded Friday, which in turn heralded the much looked forward to and desired weekend! But now that work is such a scarce and nebulous thing, mostly virtual, (smile) Thursday has become just like any other day…bland and unappealing, with mostly the same ole, same ole nothing to do – except to delve into social media with even more gusto than before. 

Hn! And is there a lot to delve into! Here’s some more rhetoric that’s traversing the social media. It’s reputed that Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said these words as he warned against people misbehaving during this Covid-19 period. “God has a lot of work, He has the whole world to look after. He cannot just be here in Uganda looking after idiots…’ Now who knows if he really said that eh? But it does make for interesting reading. Now there was another part attached to the message I received, but the sender wasn’t sure if it was the Ugandan president speaking, so we’ll just report this message separately, cause it’s also an interesting message. 

So read with me: ‘In a war situation, nobody asks anybody to stay indoors. You stay indoors by choice. In fact, if you have a basement, you hide there for as long as hostilities persist. During a war, you don’t insist on your freedom. You willingly give it up in exchange for survival. During a war, you don’t complain of hunger. You bear hunger and pray that you live to eat again. During a war, you don’t argue about opening your business. You close your shop (if you have the time), and run for your life. You pray to outlive the war so that you can return to your business (that’s if it has not been looted or destroyed by mortar fire). 

During a war, you are thankful to God for seeing another day in the land of the living. During a war, you don’t worry about your children not going to school. You pray that the government doesn’t forcefully enlist them as soldiers to be trained in the school premises now turned military depot. The world is currently in a state of war. A war without guns and bullets. A war without human soldiers. A war without borders. A war without cease-fire agreements. A war without a war room. A war without sacred zones. The army in this war is without mercy. It is without any milk of human kindness. It is indiscriminate – it has no respect for children, women, or places of worship. 

This army is not interested in spoils of war. It has no intention of regime change. It is not concerned about the rich mineral resources underneath the earth. It is not even interested in religious, ethnic or ideological hegemony. Its ambition has nothing to do with racial superiority. It is an invisible, fleetfooted, and ruthlessly effective army. It’s only agenda is a harvest of death. It is only satiated after turning the world into one big death field. Its capacity to achieve its aim is not in doubt. Without ground, amphibious and aerial machines, it has bases in almost every country in the world. 

Its movement is not governed by any war convention or protocol. In short, it is a law unto itself. It is Coronavirus. Also known as Covid-19 (because it announced its destructive presence and intention in the year of our Lord 2019). Thankfully, this army has a weakness and it can be defeated. It only requires our collective action, discipline and forbearance. Covid-19 cannot survive social and physical distancing. It only thrives when you confront it. It LOVES to be confronted. 

It capitulates in the face of collective social and physical distancing. It bows before good personal hygiene. It is helpless when you take your destiny in your own hands by keeping them sanitized as often as possible. This is not a time to cry about bread and butter like spoilt children. After all, the Holy book tells us that man shall not live by bread alone. Let’s obey and follow the instructions of the authorities. Let’s flatten the Covid-19 curve. Let’s exercise patience. Let’s be our brother’s keeper. In no time, we shall regain our freedom, enterprise and socializing.’ 

Phew! That was long, but certainly interesting. I know many of us can’t associate with the pictures of war that the author draws, but coincidentally, I am currently reading a book about the Nigerian civil war when the nation of Biafra was born for a short while – May 1967- January 1970, and one of the fears of the populace was indeed young men being forcibly drafted in to the army that was training in previous school compounds, as well as a serious shortage of food and housing. 

And yuh know what, Jesus did respond to one of Satan’s temptations in the wilderness with the man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt. 4:4). So let’s find some suitable words from God’s mouth that we can live by in these turbulent times nuh. What about these from Psalm 46, titled ‘God is our refuge and strength?’  The words of the sons of Korah are indeed encouraging and reassuring, so please recite them with me: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble. 

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah. … Come behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3; 8-11) 

And there is nothing stronger or more reassuring than knowing that our great God is with us my faithful brethren! He will end this crazy war – in His own time! So let’s not fear! Instead let’s loudly and joyfully declare our Thursday Blessings, that He so generously bestowed on us to do His awesome work in tough times such as these. All together now: ‘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!’ 

So what we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and generously share all that stuff… or rather, share it through social media and social distancing! (smile) Much LOVE!

…this is not a war we can win on our own…we desperately need the Lord’s help…so let’s repent…and pray for it…