Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2020 Matthew 3:17.

Matthew 3:17.     ​And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Awright, so we running a li’l long and late this cloudy Thursday morning… so what else is new eh? (smile) But that was just due to a rather late bedtime. I am trying to reform, to change my nocturnal habits, but even with the Lord’s help it is proving to be a somewhat formidable task. And I guess it would, if deep down you don’t really want to change. (smile) 

And have you ever noticed that when yuh running late that the enemy always manages to insert his obnoxious self into your business to try and make you even later? Well, just now, as I was coming down the basement stairs with my cup of java, the basement door knocked the elbow of my hand that held the cup and spilled some of it on the steps. Steups! Thus I had to stop and clean up the strong, sweet java wasted on the floor. And those are all my excuses this morning…and I am sticking to them because they are the indisputable truth! 

So what shall we talk about today eh friends? Well the Good Book opened today on an interesting subject, the temptation of Jesus, so I assume that’s what the Lord wants us to talk about. (smile) Anyway, after Jesus’ public baptism by John in the Jordan River, where John felt unworthy to baptize His awesome cousin, since He needed no repentance for sin, saying to Him: ‘I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?’ (Matt.3:14) But Jesus reasoned thus with him: ‘Suffer (allow) it to be so now: for thus it becometh us (is fitting for us) to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.’ (Matt.3:15) 

And the scholars explain: ‘3:15. Suffer it to be so means allow it to be or let it happen. Jesus sought this outward identification with John’s ministry to fulfill all righteousness. By identifying Himself with those He came to redeem, Jesus inaugurated His public ministry as the Messiah. In regard to the Jewish religious observances, such as synagogue worship, attendance at feasts, and payment of temple tax, Jesus always met the duties of a faithful Jew.’ And we all know what happened when Jesus was baptized by John. As a young boy, it used to be one of my favourite passages of scripture. 

Hear how the Good Book describes it nuh: ‘And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Matt. 3:16-17) Wow! Can you imagine being on the banks of the Jordan that day and experiencing that momentous experience! Unless is John alone who saw and heard it. 

And again we have some interesting info from the scholars: ‘3:16-17. In the process of His baptism Jesus went up…out of the water, the prepositions suggesting that He was completely in the water and came up out from it, again indicating immersion. The descending of the Spirit of God fulfilled the predicted sign to John in order to indicate the true Messiah (cf. John 1:33, Is. 11:2). The dove was a symbol of innocence and purity (cf. 10:16) and served as an ideal symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit. 

The voice from heaven is that of the Father (see also 17:5 where He speaks at the Transfiguration and just prior to the Crucifixion), giving His verbal approval to the ministry of His beloved Son. There can be no doubt that all three persons of the Trinity are actively involved here as distinct persons of the Godhead. The Father speaks, the Spirit descends, and the Son is baptized.’ 

Only our great God can do such things you say! And you are right! No other supposed deity can manage a task like that! And I’m chuckling here friends because I’m realizing that we are not talking about Jesus’ temptation but His baptism. And yuh think we God easy…not at all nuh, because that is what first came to my mind to talk about, but I figured that it was easier to get my mind around the temptation situation than the baptism. But the Lord, in His awesomeness, slyly guided me back to where He wanted me to go! 

Mama Mia! How can I not LOVE Him plenty plenty eh, because He is so faithful, and never gives me a task without giving me the enabling, grace, power, mercy and strength to perform it. Even when I shy away, He is wonderful enough to draw me back to where He wants me to be. And since we in Christ’s baptism, I guess it’s only right to check out the sign that John the Baptist was given for knowing the Messiah. Hear the Good Book from the gospel of John. 

One day while John the Baptist was baptizing by the Jordan, the Pharisees sent some messengers to find out who he was. And when John admitted that he was neither Christ, Elijah, nor Isaiah they wondered aloud why then was he baptizing if he was none of those three? (John 1:19-25) 

‘John answered them saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than me), whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me (ranks higher than I): for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 

And John bare record (witness) saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode (remained) on him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record (witness) that this is the Son of God.’ (John 1:26-34) 

Now doesn’t our God work in wonderful ways! And I’ve always wondered about John the Baptist and Christ’s relationship, seeing that they were cousins. But the scholars answered my question. They explain that ‘Before Jesus’ baptism, John knew Jesus only as a good cousin, not as the Lamb of God. Not until he saw the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus did John realize that He was the Son of God.’ Our God does move in mysterious ways, way beyond our level of thinking, so anything’s possible. (smile) And to avoid any controversy and confusion between the gospels of Matthew and John, I guess ‘the next day’ John talks about is the day after Christ was baptized. 

And now that we’re all up to date on Jesus’ baptism and not His temptation, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, that have been so magnanimously bestowed on us by our most magnificent and magnanimous heavenly Father. 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

It’s now our bounden duty to go out, or stay in, in these Covid-19 times, and share them just as generously as they were shared with us. Much LOVE!

…except a man be born…of water and of the Spirit…he cannot enter into the kingdom of God… (John 3:5) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2020 Psalm 4:7.

Psalm 4:7.     Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. 

Welcome to Thursday friends, the penultimate day of our work week, and this particular one that’s the first day of October in our crazy year of 2020. And though you must be tired of hearing me say it, (smile) the days are just running by like lightning! September just started, we just celebrated Labour Day, now September done already! It’s already Thanksgiving time in Canada. I don’t know if is me alone who find that the days passing by quickly nuh, but it scary, especially in the kind of year we been having. 

But the good thing about being a servant of the Lord is that though the times may be scary, we don’t have to be scared, because as we said yesterday our Lord, Creator and Guide looks after those who serve Him. ‘‘There may be many that say, Who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps. 4:6-8) 

Yes my people, when we seriously and sincerely interact with Jehovah God, He brings gladness and joy to our hearts, and we can lie down and sleep without any problems. As Bruh David so wisely says in Psalm 3 – A prayer of confidence in God – when he fled from his son Absalom, who was fomenting discord and revolution against him. ‘But thou O Lord, art a shield for (around) me; my glory, and the lifter up of (the one who lifts up) mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.  Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.’ (Ps. 3:3-6) 

Oh friends, what powerful words of faith!Now it’s definitely not a pleasant or easy thing when your son is trying to overthrow you, to kill you and take over your kingdom. (2 Sam. 15) But in one of Bruh David’s lowest times, he kept his faith supreme in the God of his forefathers. And what happened? The Lord pulled him through those tough times successfully, he eventually got back his kingdom from Absalom. (2 Sam. 18) 

Now that’s the kind of faith we believers need to exhibit in these pressing and uncertain times. And if we do, the Lord will see us safely through them, for we all know that this too shall pass, these times can’t last forever, but the ones who will come out successfully are those who hold on tightly to the hands of the Lord God Almighty. 

Yes, these are certainly dark and dubious times, but let’s look at some scripture that ought to uplift us as believers in God. The psalmist proclaims with authority: ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (his holy name).’ (Ps. 97:10-12) 

Now that’s the kind of thing believers ought to be doing right now; faithfully believing in the Lord, worshipping Him and rejoicing in His awesome goodness and glory! Now is the time my friends when we are expected to be more than ever the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Believers are expected to rise up when times get tough. As Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) so famously coined: ‘tough times don’t last, but tough people do!’ And we believers are expected to be tough people! And why not eh, since we have the Creator of the universe looking after us? 

Hear this verse from Psalm 112 – Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord. ‘Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man showeth favour (is gracious), and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion (justice).’ (Ps. 112: 4-5) Now that’s the kind of person we’ve been called to be, especially in these hurting and calamitous times; gracious, giving, lending, LOVING, just, and all the other things that describe a true believer! 

And yuh know Cousin Sol must have a word of wisdom to offer. (smile) ‘But the path of the just is as the shining light (bright light), that shineth more and more (ever brighter) unto the perfect day.’ (Prov. 4:18). Mama Yo! Trust Cousin Sol to say it like it is. Our lights are supposed to get ever brighter friends as we count down the days to Jesus’ triumphant return! 

And we all know this immortal verse from Isaiah. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) Yes, these disturbing times seem like we’re walking in the shadow of death, but remember the light that’s Jesus is constantly shining down on us despite our tough circumstances. 

But please my brethren, let’s remember these most powerful and memorable words of Bruh David from his immortal psalm – The Lord is my shepherd. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:4) Yea, mih people, the Good Shepherd is looking after us, so there’s no need to fear! That means we can now go home declaring (ah Lord eh…) our Thursday Blessings, which God has so generously blessed us with so that we can do His work. 

All together now in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And though I shouldn’t have to remind us, just to be on the safe side, I will. (smile) Now let’s go out and share those blessings with others just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…let your light so shine before men…in these calamitous times… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2020 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.     ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

And then it was Thursday… a beautiful Thursday by the way! And we way way behind the eight ball because of my late bedding down and thus late rising, but also due to a couple of chores I had to do before getting down to brass tacks. And that’s my mea-culpa. (smile) 

Today I have a couple of gems for us from our ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. Long time I haven’t shared anything from that. Some of you might not even know about. It’s just a cardboard poster with that title my young daughter gave me some years ago with some useful life quotes on it. And the first gem says: ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ Quite true that! And the second tells us: ‘We can’t do much about our appearance, but we have total control over the kind of person we become.’ 

In these modern times of advanced medicine and technology, the first part is not so true anymore, because through those avenues we can now change our appearance a whole lot, but the second half is still and will always be true! Changing our appearance doesn’t mean a blooming thing if the kind of person we are doesn’t improve with it. In the long run, who we are, not what we look like, will always be the deciding factor in the outcome of our lives. And since I’m so sweet and generous, here’s a langniappe, a brawtha, something extra thrown in for good measure. (smile) 

‘To change everything, simply change your attitude.’ Wow! What wisdom and truth my bredrin! And do a whole lot of us ever need to change our surly, stupid, selfish, greedy, angry, resentful, hateful, gossipy, unforgiving, jealous, envious, ungodly, unkind, UNLOVING attitudes! Yes friends, all those negative attitudes are taking a severe toll on our individual lives and consequently are then flowing into our society, making it the negative, ungodly society it’s become. 

Some of you might choose to argue that the society itself first had the negative attitudes and we as individuals then adopted them. But that’s like the chicken and the egg story, about which came first. It doesn’t matter who or what infected the other, it just matters that we’ve been infected, and must first begin with individual change if we want to right the situation. And how do we accomplish those changes? I just came upon some very interesting words of Jesus, that memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

When the disciples couldn’t stay awake, He said to Peter. ‘Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ (Mark 14:37-38) And is that ever so true friends! The Spirit of God that dwells within us is ever ready to help us set our lives aright, but the weak flesh that we naturally possess, that desires the ungodly things of the world puts up a pretty good fight against it. And if we aren’t careful, and prayerful, it’s so easy to fall into temptation and thus destroy the godly character we’re trying to build. 

Bruh Paul calls it the struggle of two natures. As he explains in Romans 7: ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would (want to do), that I do not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-19) 

Yeh friends, even the great Bruh Paul struggled with his flesh; the desire to do good, but doing evil instead. And because of that, he’s also a great example, showing us ‘the problems that all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ Yes my people, our flesh; our minds, bodies and souls through the ongoing efforts of the enemy, are often dominated by sin and sinful pursuits. And Bruh Paul said it this way to the Galatians. ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal. 5:17) And that’s the gospel truth fellow saints! 

As the scholars explain. ‘ 5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another. The Christian, then, is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

Oh, it’s definitely not easy my people! But let’s remember that with Jesus running our lives, we can do anything, for ALL things are possible with Him! We just need to bear down, to watch and pray, to stand steadfast and strong in our faith and belief in His crowning glory, and remember that through His death on the cross, and His resurrection, the victory’s already been won, we just have to walk it out now. And we do that by diligently and efficiently using the generous blessings bestowed on us to do Christ’s work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. 

And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken, let’s declare (yeahhh!) them right now over ourselves nuh. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Wow! What a magnanimous God we serve! It blows my mind every time I consider how generous and LOVING He is! So to show our sincere appreciation, let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others nuh, as we are meant to. Much LOVE!

…the mind…the battlefield of life… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2020 Ecclesiastes 9:7.

Ecclesiastes 9:7.     ​Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. 
 

Oh friends, oh friends, thank you ever so much for your prayers on Listening LOVE yesterday! Wow! The duchess and I shared some of it on the A/C problem. She talked… I listened – attentively! (smile) Then I did what she wanted – not turn the A/C as low as I had originally intended. Yuh see it works! That’s why they say: ‘A happy wife, usually leads to a happy life!’ Usually yes, but not all the time. (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s such a joy to be able to laugh and be lighthearted amidst all the sickness, death and confusion that’s currently besieging our world. But you can only do that sincerely when you have Jesus truly running your life, because you are assured that He’s the best pilot there is and He would NEVER guide or lead you astray. Thus, I am asking all of us who sincerely believe in Christ to take life seriously, but please overlay it with that attitude of joy which can only be found in Christ Jesus, especially in troubled times like these. 

It’s that inherent joy that sets us apart from the rest of the world. As the Good Book says: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) And that’s why the enemy always tries to steal our joy first and foremost, because he knows that once he gets us down and depressed, we’re weak and very vulnerable, and thus easily influenced by his evil schemes and lustful desires. But please, let’s remember that our God is a God of joy, of laughter and mirth. 

Hear these memorable words of Moses to the Israelites when he told them about bringing their first fruits to God. ‘And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.’ (Deut. 26:11) Yes friends, our God wants us to enjoy ALL that’s He’s given to us or allowed us to have. He is not a mean, incentive, scrooge-like deity, but a most generous and magnanimous God, desiring to bless his people, when they obey His Will and Word. 

That’s why Cousin Sol, the Preacher said in these Principles for Living. ‘Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment (oil). Live joyfully (enjoy life) with the wife whom thou LOVEST all the days of the life of thy vanity (empty life), which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest (performest) under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.’ (Eccl. 9:7-10) 

What wisdom my people! No wonder Cousin Sol was known as the wisest man ever. And the scholars explain those scriptures thus: ‘9:7-10. For the first time in the passages on enjoyment, the key words of the exhortation are put into the imperative mood; eat, drink, live, and so on. Also, a new motivation is expressed: God now accepteth thy works (vs.7), meaning clearly that God approves of the enjoyment of life. His will is that men enjoy life. 

The idea of enjoyment is further reiterated in verse 8 with two directives. White garments on the body and ointment on the head made life more comfortable in the torrid near Eastern climates; they serve here to symbolize purity (cf. Rev. 3:4) and the enjoyment of life. Another command concerns the enjoyment of life with one’s wife (vs.9). The reasons for these commands are: It is man’s portion in this life (vs.9), and there is no working in the grave (vs.10).’ 

So there is no reason for us not to enjoy our earthly life. Remember Jesus’ memorable words: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) And what does ‘abundant life’ mean eh? Wikipedia says it ‘refers to life in its abounding fullness of joy and strength for mind, body and soul.’ Another website explains: ‘Abundant life is eternal life, a life that begins the moment we come to Christ and receive Him as Saviour, and goes on throughout all eternity.’ 

Another website breaks it down as ‘knowing God,’  ‘First John 5:12 says “Whoever has the Son has life,” so Christians have this eternal life from the moment of salvation.’ And it’s also ‘a continuous process. Like salvation, we are given abundant life at the moment of salvation, but we will grow into it.’ 

And finally another website describes the abundant life as ‘a state of being from within, not a result of external circumstances. It is the result of the pruning God does to make us more like Him, and it is what we will take to heaven with us. (1 Cor. 3:11-15). An abundant life is one that keeps on giving. Which is Better – Abundance or an Abundant Life?’ Now that’s a very good question! And I do hope that all of us will answer that the latter is oh so much better. (smile) 

So however we define it friends, Christ came to earth and died not only to pay for our sins, but also that we might have a good life beginning right here on MOTHER EARTH! We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to start enjoying life. Please, let’s remember that nuh and perk up and wear a smile and have a pleasant attitude despite all our problems, for we claim to have a Saviour who can do anything and also enable us to do anything, so let’s live like it’s true and we believe it nuh! 

Ah mih people, I had some other things to say yes, but I got sidetracked with the abundant life story, or the Lord led me to hone in on it. Take your pick. (smile) So let’s go home now declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to enable us to do His work. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And those blessings have been given to us for a troubled time such as this, so please, let’s go out and share them just as generously as we received them! Much LOVE!

…enjoy the honest work of thy hands…it is thy God-given right…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2020 Revelation 22:12.

Revelation 22:12.    And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

And contrary to the last few days, this Thursday morning in my area has opened bright and sunshiny! Glory to God! There’s not a dark cloud in the sky trying to vanquish the pretty blue ones, unlike our strife filled world where the powers of darkness are fighting madly to overturn the powers of light. Hn! Hn! But has no one ever told them the hard, cold facts of life; that darkness can NEVER dispel light, no matter how hard it tries? Obviously not, else they would not still be trying in vain to do the impossible. 

And here’s something that ties in rather nicely with those statements. It’s something a friend sent me yesterday. The Prologue reads: ‘Not gonna lie. I did not expect the read of the year to come from a Priest.’ And whether you agree or not, that’s up to you. But this is apparently what Robert Hendrickson, the Rector of Saint Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church wrote. 

‘…waving a book he hasn’t read, in front of a church he doesn’t attend, invoking laws he doesn’t understand, against fellow Americans he sees as enemies, wielding a military he dodged serving, to protect power he gained via accepting foreign interference, exploiting fear and anger he LOVES to stoke, after failing to address a pandemic he was warned about, and building it all on a bed of constant lies and childish inanity.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that a very precise and exact description of our current wanna be U.S. dictator? What a sorry excuse for a leader! I certainly think the pastor has hit the nail on the head in every direction. But we’re all entitled to our opinions, so I won’t try to force mine on you. (smile) 

Ah mih people, too often we attempt to rise to heights of power we don’t understand and we simply cannot handle. And unfortunately, those around us are either too foolish or scared to tell us otherwise, choosing instead to unwisely bask in the infamy that arises from the tarnished and destructive situations and conditions that our unbridled lust for power create. That reminds me of this passage from Isaiah, after he had seen the vision of Almighty God sitting on His heavenly throne: 

‘Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone (destroyed); because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.’ (Is. 6:5) Oh friends, how I wish that many more of us would see the King, and declare like Isaiah, because we are a people of unclean lips! There’s no doubt about that. We have no legitimate excuse for the sinful, irresponsible and disobedient way we talk and act. 

And do we ever need to be consecrated like Isaiah! ‘Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.’ (Is. 6:6-7) Yes fellow saints, many of us do need a hot coal on our lips to improve our talk and thoughts. 

Oh, I know that we now have the Holy Spirit living in us to do that job, but it’s not working, for gentle persuasion doesn’t seem to be our thing. (smile) We only seem to understand and appreciate an undesirable situation when physical pain is involved, like the hot coal on the lips. But what can I say eh? We all will have to individually account for our words and actions come the judgement day, so it would be wisdom to the nth degree if we chose our words and actions very carefully from now on. 

And who knows how much time we have before that fateful day eh? NONE of us! But from the Good Book we do know that the revelation from God to John is true, and that Christ Himself said: ‘Behold I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book (Revelation).’ (Rev. 22:7) So it’s imperative that RIGHT NOW, we begin preparation for His Second Coming! For He also said: ‘And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.’ 

So again, Christ declares His imminent coming, this time with His rewards, which will depend on our work. So once more, wisdom decrees that if we want to be amongst the risen with Christ, then we need to genuinely believe in and on Him, keep His commandments and for great rewards, do good work! End of sermon! 

And our God is so wonderful, so magnificent and magnanimous, that He’s already shared some rewards with those of us who are serious about doing His earthly bidding; we call them our Thursday Blessings. So let’s all invoke them in strong voice with sincere hearts now nuh: ‘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!’ 

So let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously as the Lord shares them with us. No, I shouldn’t have to remind us of that, but anyway, I’m going to err on the side of caution. (smile) Please have a blessed day, walking hand in hand with Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you sincerely believe…then your lifestyle ought to show it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2020 Psalm 66:12.

Psalm 66:12.    Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.
 
Wow mih bredrin! Another bright, warm and sunshiny day like yesterday seems to be in the offing, with somewhat of a coolish breeze! (smile) Yes, it’s days like those we desperately need to lift our spirits and help carry us through these unexpected and uncertain times of crisis. And here’s some more good news this Thursday morning, from a friend on the good news trail. 

‘Get ready to rise. When that storm is over, you’re not going to be defeated. You’re going to rise up, healthy, blessed, prosperous. You’re not going to look like what you’ve been through. Nobody is going to be able to tell that you went through a difficulty. What I LOVE about God is He doesn’t just bring you through the storm, He makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble.’ Mama Mia! What a mighty, magnificent, merciful and magnanimous God we serve! 

Oh friends, everyday we wake up and see another day, we ought to be ever so thankful and grateful, because it’s only through His wonderful mercies, new and heart-warming everyday, that that’s possible. We ought to rise up and sing, shout His praises, give Him much honour and glory, because He is indeed a great and generous and ever-LOVING God! Yes, without a doubt He is! 

And all His children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord! For He is indeed mighty in the heavens and on the earth! Forever merciful and generous to the undeserving children of men! Amen!’ 

And per the encouraging news above, it’s the gospel truth, because the Good Book says it. Hear the author of psalm 66 -re the Great Works of God. ‘O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life (among the living), and suffereth not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us: thou hast tried (refined) us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.’ (Ps. 66:8-12) 

Yes friends, though the Lord might allows us to be afflicted and tried and tested, His thinking is that it will always be for our betterment. And I don’t usually like some of these new fangled translations of the Bible, but in this instance I think the new translation of verse 12 above hit the nail on the head, does it real justice. It says: ‘You’ve allowed our enemies to prevail against us. We’ve passed through fire and flood, yet in the end you always bring us out better than we were before, saturated with your goodness. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.’ 

And believe me friends, there is no other God in the world who can and will do such a thing, because there is NO OTHER LIVING GOD in this whole wide world, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! All the other supposed gods are either man-made objects, or mere figments of man’s imagination. That’s why we need to stay close to Jehovah God, worship and praise and obey Him, because He holds the very breath of our lives in His mighty hand. Please remember and take sure hold of these promises through the Lord’s prophet Isaiah, as he talks about ‘The Lord, the ONLY Redeemer.’ 

‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee (in thy place). Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (honoured), and I have LOVED thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.’ (Is. 43:2-4) 

Oh my people, our God still finds us precious and still LOVES us, and He gave His only Son for us, so there’s no doubt that He fulfills ALL of His promises. It’s therefore necessary for us to read and study and meditate on His Word, so that we can know what’s in it and be able to use it for our earthly, everyday life, and also talk to Him on a regular basis, so that He can keep us strong and completely focused on Him. But enough sermonizing for today (smile), let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

All together in strong voice, believing: ‘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!’ 

And I shouldn’t need to remind us, but I will, (smile) that those glorious blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! So let’s get to doing just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…walking with God…brings trials and testing…but in the end…abundance and everlasting life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat rough Thursday morning, possibly because of my extra late late night. (smile) But we hanging in there, we not giving up, we getting it together, with the Lord’s help of course, and the strong, sweet caffeine. So we right on the ball! And to get this ball rolling here is something encouraging and challenging that I received yesterday. 

Please pray with me: ‘O God of peace, so often You say to me” do not let your heart be troubled,” and yet, without fail, I let worry and fear take over. I let my doubts overrule what I know to be true – that You, my God, will never abandon me, that whatever the situation, You already know the solution. Strengthen my faith today O God that I may abandon myself to your peace; that I may stand on your words of comfort and assurance; and that I may cling to You as my only anchor. Draw me closer to You today Father, that I may feel again the warmth of Your presence, covering me with your peace. Today, O God, I will not let my heart be troubled.’ 

Oh friends, what an encouraging prayer, with a whole lot of truth in it! One that all of us most likely need to declare right now in these crucial times enveloping our world. Oh yes, we know the scripture: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ But do we seriously adhere to it? Not really. Like so much other scripture we quote but don’t really adhere to, else we wouldn’t have all the doubts and anxieties and uncertainties we have. And I want to share the scholars’ explanation of that verse because it contains such wonderful assurances and encouragement for us believers. 

‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially of His return.’ 

Yes my brethren, belief in Jesus’ Second Coming is ever so important to the believer. Jesus said it thus: ‘In my father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there may ye be also.’ (John 14:2-3) That’s a major promise of Jesus friends; going to prepare a place for us, then coming back to get us to be with Him wherever He is! 

Wow! What a marvellous event to look forward to! The point though, is that if we believe Him and look forward to his Second Coming, we can’t be as anxious and doubtful and uncertain as so many of us are. But let’s not be too hard on ourselves, for Thomas didn’t understand when Jesus said: ‘And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.’ (John 14:4) Jesus had to specifically inform him. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

Philip didn’t understand either, when Jesus said in response to Thomas’ query: ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’ (John 14:7) He piped up: ‘Lord show us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?’ (John 14:8-9) 

Yes friends, though the disciples had been with Jesus for a long time, they still had their doubts and uncertainties, as we do, but we have the benefit of all the gospel and scriptures and experiences of millions of Christians down through the years since then, we ought not to be still as doubtful and hesitant and uncertain as so many of us are, especially now in this time of world wide pandemic. Yes, we must ask questions, and we must be concerned, but deep down we ought to have that saving faith, especially when we read scriptures like this. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Ah mih people, what more can we ask eh? More scripture? Well try this one on for size nuh. (smile) ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if neither of those two scriptures reassure you, then try this from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi. ‘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 Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Oh precious people of God, the best way to quell our anxieties and concerns are to be prayerful about everything, but with thanksgiving and gratitude in our hearts for what the Lord has already done for us and promised to do in the future. Then we’ll be divinely granted that peace which man, the world cannot understand, but which will quieten our fears and worries. Glory be! 

Now let’s go home declaring (ayeahh!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us to share with our fellow man. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Awright fellow saints in Christ! Let’s put those blessings into action right now nuh, however we can, remembering of course, the unfavourable conditions under which we’re now living. Much LOVE!

…peace…like a silent river…floweth…when Jesus is truly in our hearts…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 
Welcome friends, to Thursday April 30 in the year of our Lord 2020 – the year of the Coronavirus pandemic! Unfortunately, some three months in, the deadly virus is still causing havoc and confusion amongst us. Nothing much has changed. We still don’t know anything much about it, but everybody has their opinions. Hn! What a bam bam! Now the panic is increasingly becoming not only about contracting the virus, but more about work, money and food, as a serious shortage is beginning to show up in those vital areas. 

And believe me, I wouldn’t want to be a political leader in these times at all, because the virus has dropped them right between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the devil and the deep blue sea, for now the decision has to be made between the medical and economic fronts; either save people and keep social distancing going, or save the economy and open back up the business, which at this crucial time could lead to a worsening of the medical situation. You’re damned if you do either, because there are strong sentiments in the populace for both actions. So friends, let’s pray that our leaders get it right yes, else we’re in for a long, extremely difficult time. 

But here’s something I heard a preacher recently talk about, something called the Stockdale Paradox, coined by the author Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t.’ And does it ever  seem rather appropriate to our current situation. Apparently Admiral Stockdale, a Navy Pilot spent seven years as a Vietnam prisoner of war and surprisingly he witnessed that those prisoners who were optimists were dying before the pessimists, because after several disappointing episodes of predicting freedom, they lost their hope and gave up. The pessimists, already without hope just went about their business in pessimistic fashion and died off as expected. (smile) 

When asked how he managed to keep his sanity and faith, despite several severe bouts of torture, the Admiral replied: ‘I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.’ Imagine thinking and doing that in a prisoner of war camp nuh!  And he added: ‘You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.’ 

What words of awesome wisdom my people! Words that I believe will certainly help us in these scary and confusing times. Faith will allow us to believe that we will eventually prevail, but we must also be wise and disciplined enough to recognize and confront the hard and unrelenting facts of what we’re currently going through. I think we saw that principle magnificently epitomized in Jesus, especially during His torment in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. 

Yes, as a human being, He was terrified of having to face the cross, so much so that three times He prayed ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.’ (Luke 22:42.) The Good Book further says: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) Yeh friends, Jesus certainly didn’t have it easy. 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations: ‘22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ 

But as the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus knew that was His major purpose for coming to earth was to be the sacrificial lamb for sin, and He really couldn’t escape it. He also knew though that He would win the battle eventually and be resurrected victoriously from the grave. So like Admiral Stockdale said, He didn’t lose faith, although things seemed rather dim, but also faced the reality of His crucifixion, knowing that He would win in the end. And that’s the exact kind of behaviour we believers need to exhibit in these trying times my brethren! 

We know that we will win in the end, Jesus has promised it: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ So we need now to hold on tightly to that promise, while wisely facing our current reality. Remember our motto for this Covid-19 season: ‘For God hath 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) Let’s use them nuh. And in addition to those attributes, we also have our Thursday Blessings, such wonderful blessings that God has also given to us so we can perform His awesome work down here on planet earth. 

So let’s declare them now nuh, in strong voice, with truly sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and generously share those blessings as the Lord greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…strong faith…with wisdom…and endurance…win the crown every time…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In strong voice and sincere purpose: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2019 Isaiah 55:11.

Isaiah 55:11.    ​So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 

Well it’s started out wet and cloudy again in my neck of the woods. But who knows what’s going to happen later – only the great God who created it all and still controls it! So let’s give Him some thanks and praise for our joyful awakening to another faithful and fruitful day in our earthly lives, as we commit to seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. 

So let’s sincerely acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! And consequently: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’  Now it’s up to us, as true believers to keep those two promises…just like the Lord keeps His. And the promise of God that I want to look at today is that found in His free mercy to all, as prophesied by Isaiah. 

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’(Is.55:8-11) 

Oh friends, the Lord has spelt it out in His usual forthright manner. His thoughts and ways are indeed higher than ours, and His Word will not return empty, but fulfill its purpose! Glory Be! And we all know that He keeps ALLof his promises! And having made that unbreakable promise, the Lord further promises through the mouth of His prophet Isaiah: 

‘For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir (cypress) tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.’ (Is.55:12-13) 

What wonderful promises my fellow saints in Christ! That’s the kind of stuff we have to look forward to, since the Lord has sincerely promised it! And the scholars explain: ‘55:8-13. God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts (i.e., purposes or intentions) and ways (‘derakim’, or directions) are higher than ours. 

While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes. Therefore He reveals Himself to men by His word, which shall not return to Him void (in vain). The Word of God, therefore, accomplishes His purpose in announcing salvation to all mankind.’ 

And are we ever delighted by that announcement my people! For it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to mankind since the great Creation itself! Wow! Without that promise, and the keeping of that promise, through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, we’d all be goners! All praise and glory to God the Father, Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One who works it all out in us! 

And it’s not the first time He’d promise salvation. Listen to Him from an earlier chapter in Isaiah; re salvation will come only by the Lord. ‘For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it not in vain (empty or a waste), he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain; I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are (have) escaped of (from) the nations: they have no knowledge that set up (carry about) the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 

Look (turn) unto me, and be ye saved, and all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (take an oath).’ (Is.45:18-23) 

Ah friends, just like the Lord there was calling His people Israel to assemble from out of the nations of the Gentiles and come to Him for salvation, the same way He is calling us today, we Gentiles, to come to Him through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for salvation, because it’s ONLY through Him, that salvation is possible and available! Shall we not answer that call my people? It would be wisdom extraordinaire to do so, for the only other option we have, eternal death and hellfire, is not even thinkable! 

And our Lord is so great and generous that He even gave us a multitude of blessings, which we call our Thursday Blessings, to go out and use them to bring others to Him, so they too can receive those awesome things called salvation and eternal life. Let’s declare them now in strong voice and true sincerity: 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now, with a true sense of purpose, let’s go out and put them to use nuh, for that’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…listen to Jesus…heaven and earth…shall pass away…but my words…shall not pass away… (Matt.24:35)

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