Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2021 John 16:33b.

John 16:33b.     ​In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Good morning my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Oh what a glorious day to be alive! One more day walking with Christ, our wonderful Lord and Saviour, on this confused and troubled earth, but knowing that He has the awesome power to make a way for us and provide all that we need, for He sincerely promised that if we walk with Him, we’ll never want for anything that’s necessary and that our souls will be filled with the amazing peace that He offers all His followers! 

Wow! That means we need nothing or no one else but our dear Jesus, for He’s on our side, and all we have to do is stand strong and tall, don’t worry, and do what He asks of us. No other organization in this whole wide world has the benefits that we Christians have, so please let’s enjoy them nuh, and stop being miserable, worried and depressed, because the Good Book has always told us to not worry or fret, but to be of good cheer. 

All the way back in Genesis 42 and 43, we have this example of when Joseph’s brothers came down to Egypt to buy food in the famine and Joseph kept his brother Simeon as a pledge that they would return, and then they found the money they had paid for the food back in their sacks. But were they ever scared on their return with Benjamin, and had Joseph invite them to his house. But Joseph’s steward told them. ‘Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.’ (Gen. 43:23) 

And when yuh talking about being cheerful despite prevailing unfortunate circumstances, Jesus was the master of that! His words were always cheerful and uplifting. Some of His favourite words were ‘Do not fear,’ and ‘Be of good cheer.’ Let’s look at a few examples to encourage ourselves nuh. Remember that time when he healed the paralytic man? The Good Book tells us: ‘And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy (paralyzed man), lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy (paralytic); Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.’ (Matt. 9:2) 

And I just LOVE how Jesus liked to annoy the scribes and the Pharisees, for when He said that, their thoughts immediately turned to blasphemy. ‘And Jesus, knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether (which) is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.’ (Matt. 9:4-7) 

Oh mih people, if we have such a mighty individual, High Priest and Saviour on our side, why do we keep worrying eh? Who knows? I guess, only God and the fearful individuals. And then, we come to the instance where Jesus is walking on the water in the early hours of the morning towards the disciples fighting a torrid storm in their li’l boat on the rough Sea of Galilee. ‘And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’ (Matt. 14:26-27) That’s when Peter took courage and walked on the water, until his courage failed him. 

And then we have this magnificent example when Jesus began talking seriously to the disciples about His approaching death and all the other things that were to come. He said to them. ‘Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own (place), and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 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 16:32-33) 

And that’s the awesome truth friends! Jesus has overcome the world, thus we can be cheerful despite whatever is happening around us. And please note, that though all the disciples deserted Jesus in His time of need, His heavenly Father did not! All glory be to our great God and Creator! And some of Jesus’ last words to the disciples, and consequently to us, was also a promise of never to leave us alone: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) And it’s a promise He faithfully keeps by having His Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts when we receive him as Lord and Saviour. 

And yes, it’s not easy living for Jesus, and all those encouraging words don’t always work for us. But I found, or rather was led to (smile) a passage from a Devotional by Camille Fronk, Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU, written on April 30, 2004 and featured on the Brigham Young University website. Please listen closely to Camille. ‘I wish to focus my remarks today on the role of Christ’s enabling power in our ability to feel cheer amid mortal gloom and doom. Misfortune and hardship lose their tragedy when viewed through the lens of the Atonement. 

The process could be explained this way: The more we know the Savior, the longer becomes our view. The more we see His truths, the more we feel His joy. But it is one thing to know that’s the right answer in a Sunday School class and quite another to experience firsthand a cheerful outlook when current circumstances are far from what we hoped. If we would develop faith to apply the Atonement in this manner and not merely talk about it, awareness of imaginary finite boundaries, inadvertently placed on the Savior’s infinite sacrifice, can be meaningful. Consider two false assumptions that, if pursued, will block our appreciation and access to the Lord’s divine assistance.’ 

And she explains those two false assumptions as being thinking that because we are Christians, we can avoid tribulation, and that we can trust in our own efforts. And yes friends, those are two major stumbling blocks in our Christian walk. But Jesus specifically said that we would all face tribulation in the world, especially if we believe in Him, and try to do His work in this evil and godless society in which we live. And please don’t forget about that scripture verse we are always quoting: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

What’s the point of talking about it if we don’t practice it eh? None whatsoever. So let’s hold our heads up high nuh, and smile, although things might not be going too good for us, because we have Jesus and His promises to keep us strong and fortified. Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us so that we can 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 our turn to share those blessings just as generously with the unfortunate others around us! Much LOVE!

…faith and light will overcome fear and darkness…every time… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2021 Isaiah 12:2a.

Isaiah 12:2a.     ​Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:

 Aye mih people, can you believe that we are already entering the fourth month of this most controversial and troubling year of 2021? We thought 2020 was bad, but this one could be even more problematic. And would you believe that we’re on the verge of another province-wide lockdown in this wonderful Province of Ontario? 

And no, it’s not an All Fools, or April Fool’s joke. It seems that all the ICU Departments in the hospitals are filled to overflowing, and we’re back up to some two thousand cases of Covid a day. And yuh better believe more confusion will reign after that decision is announced, because some things that were originally locked down, will apparently now stay open, while others that seem similar will stay closed. 

Why is all of this happening eh? Is it because with vaccines available, some people are no longer obeying the few options we have to keep the virus in check? Or is it that the new variants are more highly contagious and the vaccines are not working so well on them? No one seems to have a good answer for our predicament, which might just be a combination of those two things, and even more. And though this is a serious matter, at times it seems even jokified, that the great creation called human beings with all their knowledge and understanding and foolish pride can’t get a handle on a li’l virus, that you can’t even see without a powerful microscope. 

What does that tell us eh? That mankind is not as powerful, knowledgeable, and smart as we think, and that we’re only an imperfect created being, who ought to bow to his Creator and obey His commandments, not belittle and blaspheme His holy name and try to eradicate Him from our society. I don’t know why we can’t learn from other people’s mistakes nuh. 

And we have a great example from which we can learn; that’s the demise of the archangel Lucifer, (Is. 14:12-16) a created being so much more powerful than us, but who, in his foolish pride and selfish ambition tried to overthrow Almighty God, and was kicked out unsavourily from heaven with the other angels, who foolishly sided with him. They were committed to a life of hell on earth after enjoying the glories of heaven, and eventual eternal damnation. So, why do we think a lesser mortal like us can overthrow our Creator eh? 

It’s so senseless, so ridiculous, and on this Holy Thursday morning, the day before our Lord and Saviour, Jesus sacrificed His sinless life for us on the cross of Calvary two thousand years ago, I’m pleading with us, that instead of trying to get rid of God, to embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, because He is the one who created us, and still looks after us, the One who owns the future and thus holds our future in the palms of His mighty, scar flecked hands. 

Yes friends, instead of turning away from God, we should thank Him for all that He’s done for us, the breath of life He’s given us so we can go through today, the family and LOVED ones He’s provided, the food on our tables, the roof over our heads, the opportunity to get wealth and so much more! We should be offering thanksgiving for His mercies and not blasphemy! 

And the Good Book opened today at this most appropriate song of triumphant praise from the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. So please offer praise with me. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedest me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (awesome deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is. 12:1-6) 

Now that is the kind of stuff we should be doing and saying my people, in appreciation of all that our wonderful God has done for us. Remember all the pain and sorrow Jesus suffered that we could be saved from hell fire and damnation! And on the day before we mourn His sacrificial death, this is a rather good time to think on all the things we’ve spoken about this morning and get ourselves together so we can raise up His name instead of tear it down. And to further show our appreciation, let’s declare (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, that He 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 friends, it’s our bounden duty to go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, not selfishly store them all for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…religious ritual…without spiritual reality…is worthless to our sovereign God…

P.S. Isn’t it wonderful that it’s so short today! (smile) Much LOVE!

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2021 Matthew 17:5.

Matthew 17:5.     ​This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Here we are again people; alive and kicking on another wonderful day in God’s great universe! And all I can say is that we are BLESSED! Most certainly BLESSED to awaken to this day, even though everything’s not going our way. But we are also assured that God is on the case, looking after our affairs, setting it up so that in the end everything will work out for good! 

Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my brethren! Let’s give him some thanks and praise nuh, for allowing us to see another day, for all the new mercies and compassions that He’s prepared new just for today! As I said a few days ago, with our God, there’s no stale stuff left over for the next day! No sir! Every day, everything is brand new! 

And do we appreciate His wonderful blessings? I certainly hope so. But it’s obvious that many of us still don’t appreciate Him, else we wouldn’t be trying so hard to get rid of Him from our society. And how many times do I have to remind us that He won’t ever allow it eh? He’s the supreme ruler and if it’s one thing He doesn’t play with it’s His glory. 

Hear what He says on that subject nuh, through the prophet Isaiah. ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) Here Isaiah is talking about the servant of God (the Messiah) coming to earth to glorify God through His earthly ministry. And though man may, and has most certainly disobeyed God and tried to give His glory to false gods and graven images, from God’s perspective, He, the Lord, the Creator will not allow it to happen. 

Oh, He might declare that He is a jealous God, in respect to His covenant with believers, (Ex. 20:5, 34:14) But He is not a selfish God, and He does share His glory with His Son Jesus Christ, who is a member of our Triune Godhead, as so many passages of scripture declare. 

Let’s look at a few nuh. Matthew records Jesus words as He foretells His passion (death) thus: ‘For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:27) Meanwhile, Mark puts it this way. ‘Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ (Mark 8:38) 

Now hear Jesus from John’s gospel, as He speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit. ‘Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself (on his own authority); but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of (what is) mine, and shall show (declare) it unto you. All things the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.’ (John 16:13-15) 

And some more from John, when Jesus prayed for Himself and His own. ‘These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee: As thou hast given him power (authority) over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self (alongside thee) with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’ (John 17:1-5) 

Oh friends, those are words of extreme importance to us believers. Why, you ask? Because the time had come for Jesus to be glorified on the cross and in the resurrection, and that the salvation and eternal life we so highly cherish, depended directly on Jesus’ glorification. Let’s also remember that ‘Eternal life is more than an endless existence. It is a personal relationship with God.’ 

And finally, these words from Peter, re Christ’s temporary glorification at the transfiguration. ‘For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.’ (2 Pet. 1:16) Yes friends, Peter, along with James and John, were eyewitnesses at the transfiguration of Christ, when He was revealed in all His glory. (Matt. 17:1-8) 

The scholars tell us that ‘This was a foreshadowing of Christ’s coming in power and glory to establish His kingdom. The presence of Moses and Elijah on the mountain represented all those who enter the kingdom by death or translation. The declaration of the Father, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.’ (Matt. 17:5) reinforces Christ’s dominion over His kingdom. Application: Since Christians live expectantly looking forward to the return of Christ, they ought to give Him first place in their lives today, just as He will have in the kingdom. (First Ref. Matt. 17:1-9; Primary Ref. 2 Pet. 1:16; cf. Heb. 9:12.) 

Now that makes perfect sense friends. It’s best to give Jesus first place in our lives right here and right now, so we can get accustomed to it, for when He comes in all His glory with His angels, we won’t have any choice. (smile) And it’s now time for us to go home proclaiming our Thursday Blessings. Note, I didn’t say declaring (awright!) because I was afraid of spelling it wrong. (smile) But I did spell it right there. 

So as one strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

It’s now our bounden duty to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

it’s wise…to get prepared for Jesus’ Second Coming…while we wait and look expectantly for it… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2021 Acts 4:12.

Acts 4:12.     ​Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

A good Thursday morning to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, all over God’s good world! Blessings, and peace, and the grace of our wonderful God be with us this blessed day! Let’s remember that our waking up today was both a privilege and a blessing from our Creator, and therefore not waste this awesome day, regardless of how difficult it might be. For every awesome day we spend in His sight is precious and blessed and there is a divine purpose for our being alive to share it. 

The main aspect being that of sharing His Word, the gospel, the good news of His Son Jesus Christ, which has forgiving, saving and resurrection power! Glory be my faithful brethren! For there’s no other name by which we can be saved from eternal death and damnation than by the name of Christ Jesus! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the Good Book, when Peter preached the word to the high priest and his compatriots. 

‘Be it known unto you all, and unto all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders, which is become the head of the corner (the chief cornerstone).Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’(Acts 4:10-12) 

Now that’s a very important scripture friends, for if you’re not saved by the shed blood of Jesus, then you’re not saved at all, and therefore your eternal destiny is set with the fallen angel and his other foolish fiends. And I don’t think that any of us would like that to be our forever destination, or those our forever friends. (smile) Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we all are saved by the blood of Jesus, which includes hearing His word, believing it, and then living faithfully by it. 

It’s no easy task in this sinful and evil world, but the wonderful thing about belief in Jesus, is that when you come to Him in true sincerity, He gives you the power, the grace, the anointing to live the life he desires of you. Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour never asks us to do anything without giving us the wherewithal to do it. Bless His holy name! And if you still find it difficult to believe that Jesus is the ONLY source of salvation, then listen to these other scriptures. The Lord promised salvation through His servant from olden times. 

Hear the prophet Isaiah. ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (chosen one), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement (justice) to the Gentiles. He shall not cry (cry out), nor lift up (raise his voice), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking (dimly burning) flax shall he not quench (extinguish): he shall bring forth judgement (justice) unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement (justice) in the earth: and the isles (coastlands) shall wait for his law.’ (Is. 42:1-4) 

What a prophecy! And the scholars explain. ‘42:1-4. My servant is identified here as a person rather than the personification of the nation of Israel. With all the traits of King, Prophet, and High Priest, He is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself. He is also called mine elect (bechiri, “set apart for a definite purpose”) and the One in whom I have put my spirit. The New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 12:18-21). 

The ministry of the Servant of the Lord will be to bring forth judgement (or justice) to the Gentiles and in the earth. His kingdom knows no barriers of nationality or race. Of all the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact the most clearly. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well.’ 

And should we ever be glad for that my people, because if it was to the Jews alone, then we would sadly be on the outside looking in. But that just shows the great LOVE that our Creator, our wonderful God, holds for all His creation, not wanting even one of them to be lost to eternal damnation! 

Now hear the angel of the Lord to Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father when he found out that his betrothed, Mary, was with child before they were married. ‘…fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived (begotten) in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (SAVIOUR): for he shall save his people from their sins.’ (Matt. 1:20-21) 

Oh my brethren, so far we’ve been hearing from others about Christ’s purpose, now let’s hear it from Christ Himself, as He told it to the disciples when Thomas voiced doubt as to His going. ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father , but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my father also, and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’ (John 14:5-7) 

That’s the definitive scripture of them all my precious saints of Christ! Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father, and thus salvation. And furthermore, if, or when we know Jesus, we know the Father and have also seen Him, because Jesus is the spitting image of the Father! Mama Mia! That’s something significant for us to ponder on today. In the meanwhile, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings, those tools which the Lord has given us to do His earthly work. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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, if we truly believe, then it’s our bounden duty to put those blessings to work in Jesus’ name! Much LOVE!

…you can’t say you believe in Jesus…and don’t do the things that truly reflect His awesome character… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2021 Hebrews 12:1b.

Hebrews 12:1b.     …​let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

It’s a new day people, so graciously granted to us by our heavenly Father, so let’s give Him some thanks and praise for it nuh, and promise to enjoy it to the fullest, while doing His awesome will! Yes friends, it feels so good to be alive on this Thursday morning, that despite all my difficulties, I still want to jump and shout for joy and sing praises to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! Hope you are also experiencing the same extraordinary feeling, because it is not a normal emotion that the world, that unbelievers can experience. 

That feeling of peace and calm, of LOVE and goodwill to our fellow beings, even when we are in the midst of a dreadful storm ourselves! And that feeling of euphoria, even in the darkest times is only possible when Jesus has first place in our lives. When we focus on Him, our lives take on a different quality, we rise to a higher level of humanity, we gain a strength and sense of purpose that enables us to run the race that our Creator has set out for us. 

Yes friends, when we embrace all the promises that our God has made down through the ages, we are then able to rise to the occasion, and allow Him to lift us from glory to glory, ever becoming more faithful and Christlike as we live this earthly life. And these awesome words from the Good Book epitomize all that I’m saying. The author of Hebrews, which resonate like the words of Bruh Paul, but which some scholars doubt, gives us this news of great assurance about running our race. 

‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb. 12:1) And I guess it’s only appropriate that I enclose the lengthy, but excellent explanation the scholars provide on that verse, so that we will get the real meaning and understand it perfectly. (smile) 

‘12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter eleven. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses” (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet the Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

This race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner, or the faithful Christian they must be removed.

 Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones). Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance. Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32, 36-38, 11:13).’  

There you have it friends, our race is all about faith, learning from the faithful exploits of those who have gone before us and setting glorious examples, glorious witness and testimony for those who are coming after us. And remember our race is not a sprint, but a marathon, and those require much endurance and strength, both physical and spiritual, that’s why we need to practice, and practice seriously if we truly desire to win our individual races. And friends, the ability to do that is certainly enhanced when Jesus is our focus, cause remember we can do all things through Him, who strengthens us. 

Thus, the second verse of Hebrews 12 boldly continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) Oh my people, that verse is key, for it is Jesus who began our faith and completed the first race in it. 

And the scholars declare it thus: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That makes Him the best example to follow in running our race. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb. 12:3-4) 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’ Make no doubt about that my brethren! Jesus is the example that our heavenly Father wants us to emulate. Yes, He knows that it won’t be easy, but that’s why He has blessed us so profusely with all the parts and trappings to be successful. 

And let’s thank our lucky stars, or should I say, our heavenly Father, (smile) that very few of us will have to undergo and endure the sad and brutal punishment that Jesus endured for our sinful sakes. That means we need to show gratitude by putting our best foot forward in supporting and promoting His wonderful cause. And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s even given us the tools to help us do His work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. Wow! So let’s remind ourselves of them as we go home this bright but cold Thursday morning nuh. 

As one strong, confident but humble voice. ‘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!’ 

And having declared them, let’s now go out, or stay in, or whatever, and share them with others, use them to benefit others, just as magnanimously as Christ has done with and for us. Much LOVE!

…the Lord knew we needed help in witnessing…that’s why He provided so many good examples…the best being Jesus…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2021 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.     ​I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Brother! I thought that 2020 went fast, but like this new year planning on going even faster! Is already Thursday the 7th, and the year just started. (smile) Just wish our calamities were going away as quickly. But what to do eh? We brought most of them on ourselves, and we’re not behaving in a manner that will encourage them to leave as quickly as they came. 

What a blessing to have Jesus on our side! The Good Book plainly and truthfully states it: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) That means, with His help, His awesome grace, mercy and strength, we can handle anything that comes against us, even if it is of our making. And furthermore, we’re also told: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

Yes mih bredrin, if Christ will strengthen me and cause the Lord to provide all my needs, who or what else do I need eh? NOTHING, or NOBODY! For Christ is sufficient in and of Himself! That’s why He instructed us to ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Oh friends, when we put Jesus Christ first and foremost in our lives, He will provide all that we need to live an abundant life. And that doesn’t necessarily mean rich in personal possessions, but certainly rich in spiritual things, maturity in spirituality, a good example of Christian living. So I don’t understand how so many of us refuse to follow Jesus, or only give Him lip-service and are not truly faithful to and in sync with Him. 

 I’m guessing that’s partly because living for Jesus is not easy. As His ambassadors, His earthly representatives, He expects a lot of us. He expects us to grow tremendously and shine brightly on His behalf, and that is ofttimes a difficult row to hoe. But as the ole people would say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ And that’s certainly highlighted in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled ‘The Pain of Growth.’ 

So please pray with me. ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Or financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. 

Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache and anguish. And very often in my suffering when I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

And that calls for a big ‘AMEN!’ my brethren. For it’s definitely through pain and somewhat uncomfortable circumstances that the Lord grows and matures us in His economy. And there’s nothing in that list of painful things above that Jesus never suffered on our behalf during His earthly sojourn. That’s why He can empathize with our suffering now. 

That’s why the author of Hebrews could confidently proclaim: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (empathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, our Lord and Saviour, our venerable Leader felt every pain and suffering that we’ve ever felt…and more than any of us have ever felt to boot! And in Isaiah 53, Christ suffering is laid out, so much so that He’s known as ‘a man of sorrows.’ (Is. 53:3) And I like how the website www.gotquestions.org explains it. ‘Jesus is called “a man of sorrows” because of how much suffering He had to endure. He suffered first by leaving the glories of heaven and entering the human race as a man. Then He suffered all the things that humanity suffers, and then finally He suffered the wrath of God as the sin-bearer.’ 

So when He asks us to undergo a spot of suffering on His behalf, we ought to just shut our blooming mouths and do it without the hemming and hawing we’re so famous for. What would have happened if He hemmed and hawed about going to the cross for us eh? When Jesus asks us to jump, the correct answer is simply, ‘How high Lord?’ 

And before we run out of time and space, let’s look at the Bible Promise that was used for the poem above. It comes from the great psalm 119: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:75-76) 

Yes people, the psalmist realized that God in His righteousness and justice would not afflict Him without a good reason. And furthermore, His LOVING-kindness, His unfailing LOVE, would comfort him during his trails, just like He promised. 

So please, if we want to be known as true and serious followers of Jesus, let’s cut out the foolishness nuh, and grow up, stop being selfish, petty and afraid and stand up to anything that comes against, because He’s faithfully promised to bring us safely and stronger through our trials and tribulation. And if you can’t believe His promise, what’s the point in being His follower eh? 

So for those of us who are willing to undergo the troubles of the world without too much complaining, let’s go home now sincerely declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, those magnificent blessings the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Wow! 

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!’  

And please remember, those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but generously shared, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…for whom the Lord LOVETH…He chasteneth… (Heb. 12:6) 

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…

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