Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 November 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:19.

1 Thessalonians 5:19.       Quench not the Spirit.

Oh Brother, I can’t believe it’s already the 8th day of November nuh! We just celebrated Halloween a few days ago at the end of October. What’s happening with these months eh? They are flying by so quickly, that you hardly have time to really notice and enjoy them. (smile) But in my neck of the words, we really can’t complain because the days have been very warm and sunny considering the time of the year. Let’s just hope that when the real winter season drops down on us, the days fly as quickly. Don’t hold your breath for that though. (smile) 

However, the good thing about being a follower of Jesus Christ is that we don’t have to worry about anything, whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, because He ALWAYS has our backs, even in the greatest storm of our lives, our Lord and Saviour is ALWAYS there to guide and protect, to lead and bring us safely through our trials and tribulations! Wow! What a wonderful Lord and Saviour we serve and worship! 

And all God’s children gave a large, long, and grateful shout of ‘Thank You Jesus! We LOVE you with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds! Without You we are nothing! Please keep looking out for us, as we will keep LOVING and coming to You for Your awesome grace and mercy!’ 

Mama Mia! I have to laugh yes, because that prayer wasn’t planned, but somehow or the other it just kept flowing from my fingers. No doubt the work of the Holy Spirit, sensing our need for some prayer with praise and thanksgiving in these turbulent and perilous times of our world. And yes, there’s no better way of communing with our great God than through prayer, praise and thanksgiving. That’s why Bruh Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-19) 

Yes my fellow believers, life with Jesus is all about rejoicing, praying, giving thanks and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us the way He is supposed to. Most of today’s teachers and preachers don’t pay much attention to the last verse about quenching the Holy Spirit, but it’s very important since it’s through the third person of the Holy Trinity, that we are led and guided to the Lord’s will. 

And the scholars explain that last verse thus. ‘Quench means putting out the fire in Matthew 12:20. Ephesians 6:16, and Hebrews 11:34. Here it is employed metaphorically to mean “stifle” or “suppress.” The Christian can stifle the Holy Spirit’s workings by hindering Him from leading the believer to rejoice (vs.16), to pray (vs.17), to give thanks in adversity (vs. 18), and by despising prophetic utterance (vs. 20) inspired by the Holy Spirit.’ 

And sadly, that’s what many of us do my fellow saints; we quench the Holy Spirit by not listening to His divine guidance, by going our own way, or the way the enemy lies and deceives us into going. That’s why so many of us are leading such troubled lives, inwardly we’re not in sync with the Holy Spirit of God, despite our outward Christian behaviour. 

Unfortunately though, we, the individual believers, are the ONLY ones who can correct that unwise behaviour. Others can talk to us about it, but unless and until we seriously and consciously choose to change it, then we’ll keep on losing the divine blessings and leadings of God’s great Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose. And the only way to get us to wise up and do what we know we ought to do, is to keep bombarding us with scriptures on the subject. (smile) 

So here goes, with Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.. Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. 

Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:4-9) 

Hope that stirred up our souls and spirits some. But we’re not done yet. Remember we’re bombarding. (smile) So listen to Bruh Paul to the Colossians on the subject of Christian virtues. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him’ (Col. 3:12-17) 

Now that’s enough bombardment for today! And if it doesn’t rile up our spirits to do better, then I don’t know what else to say or do. (smile) Oh, upon further thought, I’ll just try to emphasize these two things. First, the putting on of charity or LOVE, the bond of perfectness.’ Meaning that ‘LOVE is the crowning grace completing the list of virtues required for perfectness or spiritual maturity. As a “bond” it binds all other virtues together in harmony and unity.’ And remember Bruh Paul’s famous words to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13) 

Then, the second thing I want to emphasize is that EVERYTHING we do, we should try to do in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in glory to the Father. If we do those two things; live in LOVE, and do all in the name of Jesus, meaning what pleases Him, then I think we will do great things here on earth, live up to our Christian heritage. 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And having said that, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with all those we meet, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and serve like Christ…that’s the Christian motto… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 October 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.         In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

HAPPY  THANSKGIVING  CANADA !

And once again we are gathered here to celebrate God’s Day, Sunday, the day He rested from His labours, after creating the world and all therein in the previous six. And on this Thanksgiving Sunday in our blessed country of Canada, we must remember that gathering in the Lord’s name is not simply a suggestion, but our bounden duty, as the author of Hebrews tells us: ‘Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb. 10:25) 

And the scholars explain it thus. ‘The admonition “Not forsaking the assembling,” involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col. 3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor. 12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’ 

And do I ever like that last line. The body of Christ is one that thrives on total interaction, and we gather not just for spiritual enlightenment but to exhort, to uplift each other in whatever aspect we might need it. So, having seen the many benefits of assembling, (smile) let’s get to giving thanks and praise on this Thanksgiving Sunday by opening with a most appropriate song. It’s fairly new, in comparison to some of our other hymns, and was written by one Johnson Oatman, Jr (1856-1922) an American ordained minster, a very prolific songwriter. 

And the song is one we all know and LOVE, titled ‘Count Your Blessings.’ I chose it for today because I figured that we can never truly give thanks until we are fully aware of what we’re giving thanks for, and counting our blessings reminds us of all that we have to be thankful for. So, let’s open our harmonious voices, sending up sacrificial praise, in a rollicking rendition of ‘Count Your Blessings. 

Singing: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.) Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain] 

When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain] So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. [Refrain] 2’ 

That was indeed a rollicking rendition my people! Heaven surely knows that we are sincerely grateful for the many blessings they have poured down on us. And what does ‘Count Your Blessings’ really mean eh? I have a note here, don’t remember where I got it from, (smile) but it defines counting your blessings as ‘to be grateful for the good things in your life, often to stop yourself becoming too unhappy about the bad things.’ And that’s all it is really: being thankful for the breath we breathe, for our friends and families, for our jobs, health, food, clothing and shelter, plus the ability and joy of sharing what we have with others. 

Oh my friends, so much of our world right now is in such bad shape, they have nothing at all, that we should be awfully glad and thankful for whatever little we have. As one quote so rightly advises: ‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time for counting your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’ And that’s the gospel truth; there are always opportunities in our troubles to begin again, to turn over a new leaf, to find something useful, some blessing in those same troubles. 

The problem though is that we pay more attention to our troubles than our blessings, when the fact is if we write both our blessings and troubles on a sheet of paper, we’ll most likely find that we have way more blessings than troubles. And it’s not like the scriptures doesn’t continually tell us to give thanks, to be grateful for all we have. So, let’s look at a couple of them. 

And this advice from Bruh Paul the Thessalonians as he exhorts the brethren to good works, is one of the most all-encompassing, but very problematic to many of us. He says first of all: ‘Rejoice evermore.’ Then ‘Pray without ceasing.’ And finally: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

Now those are certainly tough scriptures to continually enact, but with proper understanding and God’s help, we can certainly do them. It’s simply keeping a good attitude regardless of our circumstances, while being in touch with the Lord throughout the day talking to Him about whatever is going on with us and giving Him thanks through Christ for all His help, because that’s what He desires of us. Please remember that the Lord created us so that He could have good fellowship with us, that we should do His will and in so doing, glorify Him. So those three things that Bruh Paul asks of us, is what we were really created for. 

And here is some more advice from Bruh Paul, this time to the Colossians, on the topic of Christian virtues. He writes: ‘And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness (the crowning grace of Christian virtues). And let the peace of God (harmony) rule in your hearts, to the which ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:14-17) 

Right there we have the basic virtues of our Christian faith, beginning with LOVE, the crowning glory, and ending with thanks, sincere appreciation for it all. Now, let’s go home this Thanksgiving Sunday with this beautiful and most useful recommendation from the website http://www.godtube. It says: ‘God truly gives us so many blessings each and every single day. Some may even be so small that we might overlook them. The classic hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ truly reminds us to stop and give thanks for all God has done in our lives. This is definitely a pause we all need to take. Amen.’  

So please my fellow saints, let’s pause today and count our many blessings, then give God our grateful and sincere thanks for them nuh. It will go so much better with us. Much LOVE!

…to God the Father be all the thanks and the glory…through Jesus Christ…the Son… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 May 2022 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.       And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Oh, it’s been a very persistent drizzle; right from yesterday afternoon, through the night…and believe it or not, (smile) it’s still happening in my neighbourhood! So, this middle day of the week, Wednesday is wet and cloudy. It’s the kind of day we expected in April, you know, April showers that bring May flowers. But it hasn’t worked out that way. It’s May, and we still haven’t seen any flowers. What’s with that eh? But after a somewhat colder than normal April, the trees are now venturing to bud. 

And we’re laying it all at the feet of climate change. Now isn’t it strange that we always find something or someone else to blame for our problems rather than the usual cause, that’s ourselves? For sure! We don’t like to accept blame, even when it’s staring us full in the face. And our society is daily getting worse in that respect. But I’m not going to go any further into that topic, because it’s one fraught with all kinds of pitfalls. (smile) But rather, I’m going to revisit our Bit of yesterday, the reassuring and uplifting words of Jesus on prayer. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:22) 

And why is that you ask? Simply because some of the scriptures I had planned to share yesterday never got shared, and I believe they are important enough for us to consider on the subject of prayer. And the first scripture we want to address is this one that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, when His heart was heavy and His spirit pretty low. ‘And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.’ (Mark 14:36) 

Yes friends, we need to note there, that although Jesus would have liked to be spared the ‘sufferation’ of the cross, He was willing to bow to the Father’s will. We saw the same thing with Bruh Paul yesterday, when the Lord refused to remove the thorn from his flesh because it showed the Lord’s power more in his weakness. And that’s the same thing we must understand. God will not always answer our prayers, the way we want them, when our problems serve for His greater good. You can see that instead of taking away the ‘sufferation’ of the cross, He gave Jesus the wherewithal to handle it, and likewise with Bruh Paul, He gave him the strength to handle whatever was the annoying thorn in his flesh. 

So please don’t be dismayed if we ask for relief in some way and the Lord provides it in a different way. Remember, whatever we ask for, must be in line with the Lord’s will, and there will be times, when we truly believe we need genuine relief from problems, but facing those problems will accentuate His glory and raise our maturity level, so He might just give us the strength to face them, instead of removing them completely. 

Then there is this very interesting and true statement from Jesus to the disciples, after He came and found them sleeping, instead of watching and praying with Him. He said to them: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye fall into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ (Mark 14:38) And that’s the indisputable truth my people! Our flesh is easily ruled by our sinful nature, and we need to be in a state of spiritual perception to be able to resist the wiles and evil schemes which the enemy constantly throws at us. 

And the best way to do that is through prayer. For when we are praying, temptation cannot overcome us. Now listen to Jesus again to the disciples after telling them that He was the vine and they the branches. (John 15:5) ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you.’ (John 15:8) And that relates directly to the fact that we ask for whatever in Jesus’ name, because it’s only through His work on the cross and His name, that we have access to the Father. So only if we are His true agents and ambassadors, living His Word, will using His name work. 

And these words of James, Jesus’ brother, on the topic of prayer, really tell us how important it is in the believer’s life. He says: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) 

Yes my fellow saints, prayer should be our number ONE response to everything! As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (2 Thess. 5:17) The Lord our God ought to be the first person we tell about any problem. Then He will direct us to the best road to take. As Cousin Sol so wisely and rightly says in Proverbs. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

Truer words were never spoken or written my friends! That’s why we can turn to the first epistle of John to read and hopefully learn these most valuable lessons. ‘Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.’ (1 John 3:21-22) 

Now the scholars give us a very good warning about those passages of scripture. ‘We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth by John in the earlier passages. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself. That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take note of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.’ 

And that hits the nail right on the head my brethren! Prayer is non-functional unless we are living right. In other words, right living determines the successfulness of our prayers! And for those of us who are endeavouring to live right, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

Altogether now: ‘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 the corollary to that is this: if we endure to the very end, then the future will be even more glorious and marvellous than we can ever ask or imagine! Now doesn’t that give us good reason to endure right down to the very end? It surely does! Much LOVE!

…and this is the confidence that we have in him…that if we ask anything…according to his will…he heareth us… (1 John 5:14) 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 March 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.     ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’

There they go again, the powers that be, stealing an hour of my oh so valuable sleep time! I already don’t get enough, (smile) but they insist on speeding up the clock with this Daylight Savings Time business, which no one seems to want, and they can’t prove to whom it’s useful. On the other hand, it’s been proven that it destroys people’s sleeping patterns and the tenor of their lives in general. But unless, and until, a majority of the populace think it’s worthwhile to rise up in opposition, then we’ll continue with the nonsense back and forth every year. 

And although that situation is a veritable thorn in the side, the positive side of the ledger is more than overflowing. That’s right, we always make more of the fewer negatives in our lives than the many positives, but that just keeps us from truly enjoying the many gifts bestowed upon us by our heavenly Father. And today we are going to open with a song which encourages us to take the latter position, namely: ‘Count Your Blessings!’  

Yes, my fellow believers, we are going into God’s gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise this Lenten Sunday morning, singing this wonderful song written by American businessman, local preacher and prolific hymn writer, Johnson Oatman Jr. (1856-1922). The song so wisely teaches us to concentrate on our blessings rather than our sorrows. 

And I like how the website www.godtube puts it. ‘God truly gives us so many blessings each and every single day. Some may even be so small that we might overlook them. The classic hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ truly reminds us to stop and give thanks for all God has done in our lives. This is definitely a pause we all need to take. Amen.’ So friends, let’s take that pause right now nuh, let’s stop and give thanks for all we have as we sing ‘Count Your Blessings!’ in a wonderful, up-tempo version, letting all the true thankfulness shine forth from our hearts through the sacrifices of praise that emanate from our mouths. 

As one beautiful and thankful voice: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain] When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain] 

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. [Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.)’ 

Ah mih people, that is the wisest thing we can do in these days of much loss and plenty travail; remember and give thanks for what we have, and not be weighed down by the memory of the things we’ve lost. It’s the only way to live the abundant life that Jesus died for us to have. As one commentator so wisely says: ‘‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time to count your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all the opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’ 

That’s the gospel truth, for in our difficulties are hidden opportunities for us to improve ourselves and our lives, but we will never see or find them, if we only concentrate on the negative side of the problem. And the fault lies predominantly with us because we don’t take the promises found in God’s word seriously enough. The Good Books talks a whole lot about the blessings to be found in His kingdom. And if you don’t believe me, let’s check out a few. 

Listen to how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer. He confidently declares (yeahhh!!!): ‘Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us ward they cannot be reckoned up (recounted) in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.’ (Ps. 40:5) 

And we all know that Bruh David endured a lot of unfair trouble in his life, as well as the consequences of his own mistakes, but he still could declare (awright!!!) that his blessings and the good thoughts of his God towards him were more plentiful than the negative aspects. And I’m sure if we counted our blessings they would also add up to more than our disasters. 

As Bruh David plainly acknowledges again in that magnificent Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – where he recounts how God knows everything about us and the wonderful way in which we were made. In perfect praise and thanksgiving he declares (yess!!!): ‘How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps. 139:17-18)  

And let’s not forget this one from the prophet Jeremiah that we all know and preach, but don’t action enough, where he proclaims on the Lord’s behalf: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope) (Jer. 29:11) Now isn’t that a scripture to cling to? Of course it is! 

Meanwhile listen to what Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, our God is worthy of much thanks and praise because He has opened a blessings account for each of us in heaven, through the work of Christ, from which He disperses it to us here on earth as we need it. 

And we certainly can’t forget these marvellous words of Peter. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-4) Now can we ever forget the greatest gift and blessing ever, that of salvation through Christ Jesus! No way…not if we are wise! (smile) 

And we’ll close with these most conclusive verses from Bruh Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, where he advises and admonishes: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) Now that’s the epitome, the perfect example of the Christian life; rejoice, pray and give thanks! 

So, in these difficult, turbulent and uncertain times, let’s not forget that our great and wonderful God is still on the throne of heaven and in perfect control of His universe, and all we need to do is immerse ourselves in His word and all the promises found there, because He has NEVER reneged on one promise, and will NEVER do so! Much LOVE!

…remember the good things…forget the bad ones…like God has done… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 January 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:16.

1 Thessalonians 5:16.     Rejoice evermore.

Ah my Scrip-Bit friends and family, this Friday morning has opened beautifully, like a true winter wonderland, with the sun shining so brightly that its reflection off the snow tends to blind you, if you look at it too closely! (smile) And the temperature is just right for such a day too, around minus 16 Celsius. No, I’m not crazy, a certain kind of day deserves a certain temperature. And then we have Jesus abounding in our souls, spirits and bodies, so what more can we ask eh? Nothing! 

So let’s say it like we mean it nuh: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Oh yes my people, every day is made for rejoicing, but some like this one, just takes your breath away, and you can’t do anything else but rejoice; rejoice and give thanks! And that just recalls these marvellous passages of scripture, featuring Bruh Paul’s immortal words to the Thessalonians, where he encourages them to: 

‘ Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance (every form) of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-24) 

Wow friends! That’s one of those bits of scripture, that sort of includes everything a believer needs to live a good Christian life! And the nice thing about it is that it’s simple and straightforward, as well as practical. So, I would suggest we use it as a guideline for our daily lives, where we rejoice that we are alive and have Jesus who reconciles us to God and offers us the most wonderful gift of salvation for simply believing in Him. 

And to help us with all our daily problems we just keep talking to God about everything, not necessarily continuously or audibly, but having an attitude of prayer throughout our day. And for all of that my fellow saints, giving thanks to our wonderful God in any and everything is paramount, because that’s what He expects of us. As the scholars explain: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance  (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Ah friends, that’s like how we say one hand washes the other; prayer helps us to stay thankful regardless of our circumstances! Then we come to a big one: ‘Quench not the Spirit.’ Now that is possibly the most important aspect of Christian living, for the Holy Spirit of God has been placed within us to lead and guide us in a godly life on this ungodly earth. And when you ‘Quench it,’ that means, ‘stifle’ or ‘suppress it’ then it cannot do the job it was sent to do. As the scholars tell us, we are hindered in rejoicing, in prayer, in giving thanks during adversity, and despising prophetic utterances inspired by the Spirit. 

It’s basically what Bruh Paul said to Ephesians: ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) And yuh know what friends, the more we suppress, stifle or repress the Holy Spirit of God in our lives, the less it is able to act on our behalf. It doesn’t sound as loud and clear as it once did, and we are basically left to paddle our own canoe, which certainly is not a wise action. 

Then we come to the next practical aspect of Christian living as prescribed by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.’ (vs. 21) That means be careful of what you believe, try and prove them before you believe them, and hang on to the good ones. It’s similar to what he said more explicitly to the Philippians. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil. 4:8) 

Yes, believers need to think or meditate on the right things, if we want to do the right things, which is ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil.’ (vs.22) And what does that mean? It’s like Bruh Paul explained in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (have regard for good things)… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21). 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my faithful brethren. And when we follow those basic rules, then our spirits, bodies and souls will be sanctified, set apart for our faithful God, and the surpassing peace He promised, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. And the peace of God is the supreme blessing on this riotous, ungodly, deceitful, evil and unfaithful world. When you have that nothing bothers you, and you can go about Christ’s will with diligence and excellence. 

But where I believe we’ve been most sadly lacking in our Christian journey is in the department of prayer. We haven’t been doing that prayer without ceasing thing. But it’s not too late to begin. So let’s do that right now nuh, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, please let’s remember all the stuff we’ve talked about today, and do what it takes to be a true and faithful believer, if we want to see positive changes in our lives and in our world. Much LOVE!

…successfully living for Christ is not easy…but following the guidance of His Holy Spirit…enables us to live right… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2021 1 Thessalonians 6:17.

1 Thessalonians 6:17.     Pray without ceasing.

It’s Thursday…the first day of July! That means it’s Canada Day! Our Independence Day! And celebrations are in order. Unfortunately though, the problems of the pandemic and racial problems, plus the recent discoveries of several unmarked, unknown burial sites of Indigenous children has marred the celebratory attitude. Many are calling for a boycott of the celebrations, but that won’t change the past, and we all know that every country in the world has some very unpleasant skeletons from terrible atrocities hidden in its closet, that’s just the nature of nation building followed by mankind down through the ages. 

Canada is still one of the best countries in the world, and if we try to tear down all the other good things we’ve built, there will be no going forward, just backward. We need to temper the harshness with some wisdom and common sense, using education and reconciliation and truth to handle this unpleasant news. 

So, despite the heaviness that’s currently sitting on the conscience of our country, I’m wishing us a Happy Canada Day! Celebrate with a modicum of reservation, appreciating the hurt that many others are experiencing today. Right now, our world is such an angry and negative place with so little positivity and compassion that we don’t need any more to drag it further down into the mire. And while looking through our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, I came upon this poem which I believe typifies our lives, and thus the current state of our world. It’s rather appropriately titled ‘The Reason.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘God, why am I so often defeated? Why am I so full of dread and anxiety? Why am I so lamentably weak – So perilously susceptible to temptation? Why am I often inhospitable So intolerant of the needs of others? Why am I so undisciplined So restless and dissatisfied? Why do I protest so violently? Above all. God Why do I so frequently lose The sense of Your shining Presence? God, why? Why? — Because you pray so little.’ 

And isn’t that an awesomely accurate portrait of so many of us, and consequently our world in these trying times, in these last days? It certainly is! There is indeed much more negativity than LOVE and compassion! The prince of darkness has our world in the palm of His hand and is trying to squeeze the very life blood out of it. And one of the reasons why that’s possible is because we supposed believers in Jesus Christ don’t pray enough, therefore we are not divinely inspired enough to get up and fight, to beat back the enemy. 

So what’s the answer eh? Obviously, we have to begin by praying more, by sincerely seeking Jesus more, giving Him a bigger space and place in our lives than we’re currently doing. Remember, He’s the answer to ALL our prayers, the calm in the storm, our refuge and fortress, and all those other good things! But if we don’t communicate with him, pray and acknowledge His power and presence, we won’t be able to handle the enemy who’s so intent on coming against us. And the Bible verse that’s used as the promise for our poem are the simple but very powerful words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess. 5:17) 

It could not be any simpler or clearer than that my fellow saints in Christ! Prayer is the ultimate means of communication with our heavenly Father, and just as we don’t get much from our earthly fathers if we don’t talk or communicate with them, likewise, lack of communication with God, does little or nothing for us. Bruh Paul said it thus to the Ephesians, when he told them about putting on the armour of God to fight the enemy. ‘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 friends, even with God’s powerful armour encasing our souls, prayer is still necessary to make it all work. And if you still don’t believe that prayer is absolutely necessary, then listen to these words of Jesus as He rebukes His inner circle in the Garden of Gethsemane when He, Himself went to pray at the most anguished time of His earthly life, the night before His crucifixion. They were supposed to be watching with him, but had fallen asleep. ‘He saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ (Matt. 26: 40-41) 

And we know that’s the gospel truth friends! Our flesh is by nature weak and sinful, so we need the power of the Spirit, the grace of God to be truly strong. Now one last word from Jesus on the subject of prayer. Luke opens chapter 18 with these telling words. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) He could not be more definitive than that my brethren! And we all know that prayer was Jesus’ most powerful passion. As Mark immortalizes it in his gospel. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

So friends, if the Son of God found it necessary to pray often, to have close communication with His heavenly Father, why would we, mere mortals, finite creations, not have the same expectation and desire eh? I’ll leave that question for each of us to answer in our own way and time. (smile) In the meanwhile, for those of us who are sincerely trying to make a difference, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!) our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

Altogether 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 every day! Amen!’  

Now it’s time for us to go out and share those blessings just as generously with those we meet on our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…prayer…the most important tool…in a Christian’s tool kit…                                                                                    

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.     ​In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Oh friends, it’s a glorious Monday morning; a new day of a new week, and we’re all alive and kicking, so please, in gratitude for such blessing, let’s do as the psalmist decreed so long ago nuh! ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 150:6) Yes my people, everything and everyone that draws the living breath of the Lord this morning ought to shout ‘Hallelujah! Praise the Lord for His goodness to His creations!’ For there’s none like Him, and will never be any other deity with His LOVE and compassion! That’s the indisputable truth! 

And on a lesser level now, you’ll be proud of the ole fella, for remember last Monday I promised to improve my game, to do more of the things I wanted to do? Well, I did! Still not as much as I would have ideally liked to do, because I was somewhat under the weather with allergies and a cough giving me a hard time. But I did do more than I’ve been doing in the last li’l while! Give the Lord some praise for that! (smile) 

Oh precious people, we can never go wrong by giving thanks to God. That’s one place where we are always on solid ground. As Bruh Paul said to the Colossians: ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:16-17) 

And here are some interesting explanations on those verses from the scholars. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing, forgiving (vs. 13), and LOVING (vs.14), toward one another, when peace reigns among God’s people (vs. 15), then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ Now is that the current state of our church, would we say it’s fertile soil? I would say, certainly not! And per ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs. 16), but is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ 

Yeh friends, in giving our ALL to Christ, we allow Him…or are supposed to allow Him to control all aspects of our lives. Unfortunately though, many of us don’t give up total control to Christ, but we still want and expect to get the total blessings that come with His control. We can’t live like that my brethren. All we are doing is shortchanging ourselves when we promise to give all, but then withhold some, for we’ll never get the full benefit of Christ’s goodness under those circumstances. 

And I’m chuckling here, because I had not intended to preach, (smile) but just to give us some good tidings re giving thanks. And I see no reason to not continue down that path. Our next section of thanks comes from Bruh Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, where he sincerely admonishes them…and us, to ’Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

It could not get any plainer than that my fellow saints in Christ. God’s will is for us to rejoice and pray and give thanks through Christ! What an awesome privilege and benefit! And the scholars explain it thus: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Now that brings us back to the famous verse we all know: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God; to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So, if we are well looked after in every circumstance, on every front, by an omnipotent and generous God, how can we not be thankful and live the way He desires of us eh? But the truth is that we have been ungrateful and disobedient and consequently have gotten ourselves in serious trouble, and since He is the only One who can relieve our discomfort, we need to go back to Him with thanksgiving and prayer as Bruh Paul advised. 

And to show our new wisdom and understanding, let’s go to Him right now with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, sincerely laying all our fears and problems at His feet. As one strong voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

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

Now, unless the Lord sees sincere repentance in our future behaviour, He will not answer our request positively. So it’s obvious that we need to do much better that we’re currently doing. Much LOVE!

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…                                                                

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2021 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.     Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Oh friends, it’s another bright and sunshiny morning with more springlike temps! And best of all, the Lord chose to wash the earth clean last evening with a glorious thunderstorm. So out there looks fresh and new now, and there’s a feeling of hope in the air! Yuh know how we usually feel clean and refreshed after a shower! Well that’s how the earth looks this morning! Glory be! 

And here’s some more good news. The ole fella now has a podcast on the Anchor website of WordPress, where our blog is displayed. Our God is certainly something else yes, great and mysterious. I’d been wondering about doing a podcast since it’s all the rage now, but thought it would be too complicated, however, a few days ago, when I was posting the blog, I noticed a sign that said turn your blog into a podcast. But that day I ignored it. 

The next day though, I ventured into the unknown and soon thereafter, without a whole lot of fuss our Scrip-Bits Podcast was born! Glory to God my people! So for those of you who prefer to hear me, rather than read me, (smile) you can go to this link https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8 and sign in to Spotify with whatever you choose. Now it’s just a simple podcast, so don’t look for fabulous sounds and sights, (smile) just my growly voice. 

And oh, here’s something else, I never told you about. If you want to hear my gravelly voice, well done, with music, then you can contact me at randyobrien50@hotmail.com to purchase a C.D, or rather a double C.D, titled ‘Some of My Favourite Script-Bits, Vol. 1’ which I recently put out. It’s not available on a website or streaming as yet. But you’ll get two for one: The spoken word with music behind them, and just music alone. And the music is quite eclectic, varied, so you’re sure to find several things you like. 

Believe me, producing that C.D has truly been what we call a labour of LOVE! It’s been about ten years in the making. Ah Lord, when I think about the process, I just have to shake my head and chuckle. I had the vocals all ready to go from the beginning, but couldn’t find anyone willing to write the music. Then, in the Lord’s time, He sent someone along to do it. And even then, there were roadblocks all along the way. But would you believe that’s in the height of the pandemic, He allowed me to complete it. 

Ah mih people, I keep telling us that the Lord surely moves in mysterious ways and His timing can be somewhat tough and overbearing, but when we wait on Him, He does good things when we least expect it. And today’s certainly a good news Friday, for here’s what the ordinary workingman has to say. His enthusiasm has certainly been raised a notch, as he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday…And though a whole lot hasn’t changed, there is at least a li’l light at the end of the tunnel. My boss called this week and said that we’d be able to go back to work in the next easing stage of the lockdown! Glory be! 

And since I’m one of the older employees, I’ll be amongst the first to go back. It’ll sure feel good to earn some money after such a long time! Let’s hope the next easing stage doesn’t take too long nuh, because then I’ll be so out of shape, I might not be able to do all the heavy lifting and physical stuff we need to do on the job. And with the vaccine being handed out, it’s the first sign of optimism I’ve felt in many a day. Ah Lord eh! Let’s hope that the foolish people out there don’t relax their caution either, now that there’s a vaccine and cause another corona wave to start nuh. So things looking up. Thank God oui!’ 

Oh mih bredrin, as Bruh Paul so rightly said to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) And isn’t that the indisputable truth! 

And we on a roll here friends, for when I opened the Good Book just now, to look for some scripture to back up all that we’ve said, it opened at this interesting section of Ecclesiastes, where Cousin Sol proclaims: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18) Yes friends, enjoyment is a gift of God, and we ought to be excited and motivated to do just that, as our life is so short here on planet earth. Oh we can’t get away from troubles, but in our honest toil and labour with God beside us, we can certainly find joy. 

And Cousin Sol wraps up the Book of Ecclesiastes with these awesome words. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl. 12:13-14) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Our job is to obey God and do His will, but we will all answer for our actions or lack thereof come the judgement day. 

Now let’s go to God with that awesome privilege of prayer, through our Friday Chant, and empty our hearts, pour out our hopes and dreams before His holy throne. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the 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 must 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 and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we truly want the strife and sickness in our world to be lessened, then we have to keep our vow to God; be faithful believers, and handle the situation properly with true repentance and LOVE for Him and each other! Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us life…so that we could enjoy it…within His boundaries… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2021 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.     ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

And after the snow comes the mild temperatures…then comes the snow again! I guess that’s how life is, how the Lord orchestrated it to happen; feast then famine, sorrow then joy, one good then bad and so on. But throughout it all He expects us to have a good attitude, to trust Him to work all things out together for our good, as His faithful promise proclaims. (Rom. 8:28) 

And yes, that good attitude is not always easy to come by, especially when the evil and trouble of the world comes against us, but if we are sincere in our trust and belief in Christ Jesus, then we will be able to do it; He will empower us to come up higher in His name. But we have to reach that level of faith where we know that we know that we know ALL His promises are faithful and leave it all in His mighty hands. 

Oh friends, we need to reach the level of faithful maturity so that we can say like Job, when his whole world suddenly came tumbling down. ‘Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (accused Him with wrong).’ (Job 1:21-22) 

Yeh mih people, all of that is much easier said than done, but as believers that’s where we need to get to in this earthly life. How many of us accuse God, even curse Him when things go wrong in our lives even while we’re trying to live right eh? Too many! We need to remember that God is the BOSS, and whatever He says goes, even though it may seem unfair to us. 

And remember too that His mind and ways are higher than ours, thus His plans and purposes we will never fully understand. And if we intend to live a fairly peaceful and productive life here on earth, we need to understand, believe and live His faithful word. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh my brethren, once we can get those promises written down deep in our hearts, minds and souls, then we can live the kind of earthly life Jesus died for us to live; one of peace and abundance, with our eyes focused on the things of heaven, not those of the earth. And if you don’t believe me, then check out how God dealt with Job nuh. After He allowed Satan to inflict wrong on Job so He could prove Job’s faithfulness, He gave Job twice as much as he had in the beginning. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please notice praying for his friends was also an important aspect of God restoring Job’s fortunes. And please note too that Satan had to go to God to get to Job. The Good Book says: ‘Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the Adversary) came also among them.’ (Job 1:6) 

And if we’re wondering how that was possible, hear the scholars. ‘1:6. Sons of God in this passage refers to angelic beings. Satan is considered one of them, though fallen from his original sinless state. His name means “Adversary,” and in this narrative he lives up to its meaning. The passage shows that Satan has access to God’s presence, though this does not seem to be Satan’s abode.’ 

Oh my people, nobody knows how God operates better than Satan, because he was once one of His top operatives before his pride and lofty position made him too big for his britches, and he got kicked out of heaven for trying to overthrow God. Just imagine the ‘boldfacedness’ of the created being nuh! Unfortunately though, we’re doing just like he did, trying to kick God our of our society. But a word of warning to the wise: that will NEVER happen! 

Anyhow, moving on with the story from the Good Book. ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) The scholars tell us that refers to Satan’s activity, and though he does not admit it there, his many travels are for evil purposes. (1 Pet. 5:8) 

‘The activity of Satan indicates that he has only limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (be in several places at once). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ to that. Then, I like how God boasted on Job to Satan. ‘Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?’ (Job 1:8) Oh brother, I don’t know if I want the Lord to boast so on me to the enemy nuh. (smile) 

But as the scholars explain: ‘1:8. The initiative in the conversation lies with God, but He may well have simply expressed what was on Satan’s mind. God’s view of Job is the same as the description given in 1:1.’ And Satan failed miserably in trying to get Job to curse God. 

Instead he worshipped Him. Despite all the inaccurate and hurtful things his supposed friends said against him, and the way that people despised and turned away from him, Job stood strong in the faith of his God. These word of his, say it all. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Mama Yo! That’s what yuh call ‘strong faith!’ And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Now friends, it’s that kind of unquenchable faith that we need to have, especially in these very rough times that we’re currently experiencing. It’s not easy, and will never be easy, once we live here on planet earth with the prince of darkness it’s ruling force. But we know that Jesus will come again and eventually make everything right. 

And this note from the scholars on the turning around of Job’s life is important. ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather, that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom. 8:28; 1Thess. 5:18).’ And that’s what I’ve been trying to say from the very beginning friends! (smile) 

So for those of us who sincerely believe and implicitly trust, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘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 and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the Christian motto…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2021 Psalm 19:14.

Psalm 19:14.     ​Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.

Another snow-filled morning…but who’s counting or bothering eh? Certainly not me, or any of those Jesus filled believers who have to trudge out and about in it! (smile) That’s because with Jesus both in us and by our side we will not fear, regardless of what the world and its evil self choses to throw against us. And all of God’s children said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness and strength to the children of men!’ And that’s for sure friends, the Lord deserves much more thanks than we give Him. 

But remember, we promised to change that for this new year of 2021. Yes, this blessed year of 2021, we going to be sincerely singing the praises of our Lord and Saviour as we diligently carry out His work! We going to rise up and be who we ought to be; powerful and authoritative people of God, but filled with peace, LOVE, thanks, grace, mercy and all the other fruits of the Spirit! 

Wow! Beware evil world, Christ’s mighty army is coming against you this year, we going to be fighting you tooth and nail, right down to the wire, until your evil carcass lies wasted, lies a rotting in Hades! What powerful sentiments and promises friends. I do hope we keep them. (smile) 

Now, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to tell us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank the Lord, there is no preface to deal with this week! (smile) Yes it’s somewhat different this week. And it unfurls with this greeting and word of advice: ‘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. Do stay safe.’ 

Ah precious people of God, our friend Anselm hit the nail on the head right there! Much talking must stop and be replaced by much action, with many sacrifices, cause that’s the example our Leader, Jesus set us. All of us want to be great, but we don’t want to expend the labour, the blood, sweat and tears it takes to do it. So we just talk up a storm, but do nothing worthwhile about it, because we just plain scared or lazy or whatever to truly confront the world in Jesus’ name. 

Remember Jesus told us not to fear so often that it ought to be seared into our minds, souls, bodies and spirits. And furthermore, He informed us that there would be trouble in the world but He had already conquered it, so we should be cheerful and just keep on doing what we ought to, because He would always be with us, right down to the very end of the age! That’s means, the world and its evil rulers can’t conquer us if we stand up strong with Jesus all around us, as He’s promised. 

So then, here’s this most interesting and very worthy advice from our friend Anselm. ‘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.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? We always seem to look for the bad parts in us, but seldom the good ones. We do have good parts yuh know, parts filled with lots of potential that God placed there for us to work on and fulfill our destiny and His purpose for our lives. Unfortunately though, we don’t pay sufficient attention to that aspect of our lives. 

And per Anselm, here are some ‘Things to think about for 2021:’ And the first bit of advice is ‘Talk less; listen more;’ Brother! Is that ever appropriate for many of us, including me. I even promised my family that I wouldn’t talk as much as I do. So there you see, I’m already on the right track. Hope I can fulfill that promise though, because it’s not an easy one to keep, but we can do it, if we cry out to God for help, like Bruh David did: ‘Set a watch (guard), O Lord, before my mouth; keep (watch over) the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties (delicacies).’ (Ps. 141:3-4) 

And if we’re sincere about it, the Lord will certainly hear our prayer and help us. Or we can also plead like Bruh David in Psalm 19: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’ (Ps. 19:14) Yes friends, we know we’re maturing when our words and the motives of our hearts are not displeasing to our heavenly Father. 

But moving right along, Anselm then tells us: ‘Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe;’ Now that’s certainly interesting because too many of us believe that we run the world; that it should run like we say or think. But for our information, that’s God’s job! We’re just a li’l speck in the great plan He has for His universe! So let’s not go messing with it nuh, as though it’s ours to set straight, for the Lord doesn’t take kindly to others trying to run His business. (smile) Let’s just concentrate on the li’l portion He gave us to look after nuh. We not even doing that properly, but we want to look after the world. (smile) 

And in the process, Anselm informs us that another useful endeavour would be to ‘Sit on your ego;’ And oh, do we ever need to do that in this ego driven, celebrity worshipping world of ours, where every li’l knuckle head – not the word I really wanted to use – (smile) thinks, believes and acts like a superstar. Steups! But fortunately, many of them flame out just as quickly as they catch fire. Oh friends, until we realize that there’s ONLY ONE SUPERSTAR in this universe, JESUS, and start worshipping Him and not our fellow weak, mortal, frail and finite man, our lives won’t be worth a whole lot! 

Now according to Anselm, we ought to also ‘Take one day at a time;’ And that’s wise advice, since Jesus told us the same thing long ago. ‘Take therefore no thought for (don’t worry about) the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) Yeh, we can make some plans, with God ‘s help, but if we don’t look after today, who says we’ll be around to see tomorrow eh? 

And while we’re doing that, it would also be wise to ‘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;’ Absolute words of wisdom my brethren! Brother Anselm’s been preaching to us today! (smile) I would like to add one thing to that though, if you can’t do anything about the situation, but it’s real important, then give it to God, let Him hold it for you, while He works on it. We don’t need to hold it if we can’t fix it. Just give it to the Master Fixer. 

And last but not least, possibly most important, Anselm advises us to ‘PRAY!’ Ah mih people, that is indeed the crowning glory of all we do! As Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) And that is indeed God’s will for His people! 

Then Anselm ends by wishing a ‘Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ And I wish the same for all of us my precious saints in Christ! Let’s make 2021 a banner year for the church and people of Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe…then you ought to rejoice…pray…and give plenty thanks… 

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