Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2020 Psalm 103:11.

Psalm 103:11.    For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him.
 
Well it’s another brand new day in the life! Let’s give thanks and praise to our great and mighty God for it, despite the many problems we face in these trying and uncertain times. There’s no need to fear or worry for our God can handle any circumstance and has promised to do so once we cry out to Him for help. That is our most serious problem; not crying out to Him sincerely for help. But thankfully, this Covid-19 virus seems to be slowly changing our outlook. We’re supposed to be a faithful people, and now it’s time for us to show that faith in true blue colours. 

And I got a very interesting note from a friend yesterday which encourages us to do just that. It reads as follows: ‘In three short months, just like He did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship. God said: “You want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians, I will shut down Civic Centres. You want to worship actors, I will shut down the theatres. You want to worship money, I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don’t want to go to church and worship Me, I will make it where you can’t go to church.” 

(And then there’s a quote directly from the Bible; God’s guiding Word and light to mankind:) “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) And the message continues: ‘Maybe we don’t need a vaccine; maybe we need to take this time of isolation from the distractions of the world and have a personal revival where we focus on the ONLY thing in the world that really matters: JESUS!’ 

Oh my people, that’s what I’ve been saying for the last little while. This Covid-19 stuff is no happenstance circumstance, but a warning from our God! And there’s no MAYBE we should turn back to Him. It’s the ONLY Solution to our problem, for even if and when we do discover a vaccine, it might just be too late. Remember God’s promise: ‘If we humble ourselves and pray, and seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear us, forgive us, and heal our land.’ Now humbling ourselves, praying and seeking His face is comparatively easy, but if we don’t change our wicked ways, then nothing’s going to improve. 

It’s mostly the wicked ways, or in everyday parlance, the overwhelming SIN in our world, that causes our problems. And if, as we’re currently doing, venerating everything and everybody else besides Almighty God, in blatant and blaspheming disobedience, then eventually He will take us to task. Just think about all the times God’s Chosen people, the Israelites turned aside from worshipping Him nuh, and how each and every time they suffered some significant dilemma and disaster. Why won’t He do the same to us now eh? Oh yes! He’s still sits on His heavenly throne and still controls the great and wonderful universe He made. 

And in a significant expression of hope, the College of Bishops of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto are encouraging ALL believers to a day of prayer and fasting TODAY, Thursday March 26. And you can turn to the Diocesan Day of Prayer & Fasting, March 26, on the website that follows. You will have to type it in manually, because my limited technological knowledge would not allow me to just copy it for your ease of use. (smile) And there you will find some suggested prayers for morning, noon and evening, and guidelines for fasting. (smile) www.toronto.anglican.ca/2020/03/20/diocesan-day-of-prayer

Oh friends, I cannot stress how important the need is RIGHT NOW for sincere prayer and true repentance! And I just had a thought that made me chuckle. Yuh notice when the Lord start this whole Covid -19 ball rolling – in the season of Lent, when we’re supposed to be more contemplative and godly and into Him and His ways! Remember, NOTHING happens with us and our God without a reason and a purpose. And you know what I LOVE about our God, is that although He punishes us for our disobedience, He never gives us more than we can bear. 

Hear this awesome promise, He makes through Bruh Paul. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) 

And to those inspiring and reassuring words of Bruh Paul, let’s add these momentous words of Bruh David’s. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).  He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.’ (Ps. 103:8-13) 

Yes friends, the Lord is a most merciful and magnanimous God… but to those who fear, who reverence, who sincerely seek and worship Him! The wicked He will cast away like trash, but the righteous He will comfort and care for. And you definitely can’t say that our world has recently been a place of righteousness, but one of infernal wickedness. 

And just a li’l side story on the subject. Yesterday afternoon I went up the street for a walk; the sun was shining brightly and it was somewhat warm, but much to my surprise along the sidewalk somebody or bodies had drawn smiles, and hearts and sunshine in different colours of chalk, as well as written messages like: ‘Thanks to anyone who is helping others.’ Thanks to all the health care workers.’ ‘Stay healthy – keep moving.’ Well that is exactly what I was trying to do, along with a few other people, but nowhere near the amount you would normally have seen out on such a lovely spring-like day. 

And those messages also show that people are caring. Let’s see if we can’t ramp up that caring nuh. And we do have the tools for doing so; our Thursday Blessings, generously bestowed on us so we can do the same to others. So, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s loudly and proudly declare them: ‘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 those awesome tools, let’s do whatever we can in our lockdown state to further the kingdom of Jesus nuh! It is our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…seek ye FIRST…the kingdom of God…and His righteousness…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2020 Isaiah 54:13.

Isaiah 54:13.    ​And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
 
One more day friends… One more day to experience heaven right here on earth! Wow! That’s why Jesus came and died for us yes – so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) That means we don’t have to wait until we actually reach heaven to enjoy heaven; we can also get a slice of it right down here on this sinful earth, because of the salvation He died for us to have. We are now children of God; redeemed, reconciled, sanctified and justified by Christ’s death on the cross at Calvary; sealed by the Holy Spirit until forever! 

Wow! Thus, if you’re a born again child of the Most High God, then your life ought to be moving on a higher plane now. Not that you won’t have problems and trials, but because you will be able to overcome them with the awesome help of our wonderful God who has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5) 

And I just espied this wonderful scripture as I opened the Good Book in the writings of Isaiah, where he talks about the Lord’s everlasting LOVE for Israel. ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.’ (Is.54:13-14) Oh my fellow believers, yuh see that? Once again the Lord instills and impresses on us that we MUST TEACH the children about Him and His Word, since that’s the only way they will have peace on this earth. 

And you’ll surely notice that quite a lot of young people nowadays are tied up in uncertainty and don’t know where they’re going and are falling for all sorts of foolish and ungodly stuff, because we the parents have not taught them the Word of God as the Lord requires. Ah friends, the only way the Word of God can survive is if the next generation knows it and keeps passing it on. How do you think we got it eh? Because our parents instilled it in us. As Bruh David says in Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious – ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.’ (Ps. 145:4) 

Oh my people, did our generation praise the works of the Lord to this current one and declare His mighty acts? Not as much as we ought to, else our children would not be as lost and vulnerable to every whim and fancy of this evil world, as they are today. And I know we don’t like to hear of or take the blame for the current situation, but the truth is a lot of it sits on our shoulders because of our reluctance, for whatever reason, to teach our children the Word of the Lord and tell them about his awesome doings. Just like we were told about them by our parents, we are responsible for telling our children. And unfortunately we have not come up to scratch in that department. 

Remember when you train up the children right, that even when they’re old, they’ll still remember what you taught them. That reminds me of the reggae song ‘August Town’ by Duane Stephenson, where he was a bad boy dealing with evil forces, more into guns and ammunitions and striving with God-fearing people, than following the Lord. That disheartens me some, because in my days in Jamaica, August Town, situated right below the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies was a decent enough place, not filled with the crime and violence Duane sings about. 

But as he says “For all the lives that I’ve taken, They can never be replaced, But still Jah Jah chose to remember my face. Though I never lived like He wanted, I’m still mindful of what he taught me. So now I beg and plead, I’m on my bended knees, Cause Father you rescued me.’  That’s what I’m talking about friends, as a child, he was obviously taught the Word, though He never chose to live it as an adult. But yuh see when life got really tough, when it got dark, because of His early training in the Word, he knew where to turn to for help, ‘the only spark, the light at the end of the road.’ 

And obviously, ever-faithful to His promise the Father rescued him. So though it might be a tad late for teaching our children about God, but certainly don’t stop trying with them, we should possibly concentrate more on our grandchildren; getting the Word into their hearts and souls as early as possible. Now Moses told the children of Israel that from the very beginning. ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:6-7) 

Yuh see friends, not only should we teach the children, and teach them diligently, but the Word should always be in our mouths and hearts and minds. That way we have them to quickly draw upon whenever we need them, which is almost constantly in these evil times. End of sermon! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, generously given to us so that we can also generously share them with others while doing God’s 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!’ 

Yes friends, let’s get it together nuh, and show the heathen world what true Christians are really like! They are just dying to see us like we ought to be, so they have a good example to follow! Much LOVE!

…we can only teach what we know…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2020 Psalm 68:19.

Psalm 68:19.    ​Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
 
Well hello there Thursday! Is it ever good to see you, because it means that that longed for day of Friday is not far away. Oh, it’s so ridiculous how we long for Friday! From we step out on Monday morning, we begin thinking about how nice it will be when Friday eventually rolls around! What we should be thinking of and be glad about is that we have the One, True and Living God in us and around us all the live-long day! 

For when we concentrate on that wonderful and most salient fact, then we don’t care what day of the week, month or year it is, our hearts are filled with the amazing joy of the Lord and nothing can disturb our peace that passes all understanding! ‘For the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) Wow mih breddren! That sounds so much better than just miserably hoping to make it through until Friday. 

But to each His own, my friends. I’m here to try and help you not worry, by reminding you of the awesome God we serve and all the benefits we have by doing so with a sincere heart, but if you want to keep on worrying, that’s your business, and there’s nothing I can do about it. But friends, here are some serious and sincere words from Bruh David that speak to the problem. ‘Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.’ 

And those are undeniable facts my people! Our magnanimous God give us benefits each and every day, and most importantly He IS the God of our salvation! He is our everlasting and powerful benefactor! Without Him on our side we’d be forever lost and consumed by eternal darkness. And Bruh David spells out some of those wonderful benefits in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) 

Oh my fellow believers, if we’d just look at, and concentrate on the handful of awesome benefits of our great God listed there by Bruh David, we won’t have time to moan and groan over any negative circumstances or difficult situations. We’d be so taken up with the joy that emanates from having a good relationship with our heavenly Father, nothing will bother us. 

And the list of benefits, goes on and on. Here are a few more as listed by Bruh David. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps.103:8-12) 

Now isn’t that just wonderful! Our God is like unto a LOVING and forgiving Father!  He forgives our sins, showing us mercy instead of the punishment we truly deserve, and gives us awesome grace that we don’t deserve. Mama Mia! What an amazing God we serve my brethren! There is no other like Him in all the universe. So why don’t we truly appreciate Him and show him all the LOVE and reverence He truly deserves eh? 

I really don’t know nuh. Possibly because we’re just too full of our crappy, insignificant selves, that are here today and gone tomorrow, like the grass, that withers in the sunshine. And there’s an interesting verse from way back when, when Moses reminded the children of Israel about what happened at the bitter waters of Marah, that were made sweet by the Lord’s miraculous hand. 

‘And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt  do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ (Ex. 15:26) 

Now I don’t know why I turned to that scripture, but having read it, it occurred to me that we haven’t been keeping the Lord’s commandments or His statutes, so maybe there is a correlation between that failure and the recent pandemics of diseases that we’d never known and had no cure for. I’m talking about things like Aids, Sars, Ebola and the most recent one, the Coronavirus, which is currently wreaking havoc in our world. Just some food for thought my people. (smile)

And there is only ONE way to find out if that’s true; by returning to the Lord our God, seeking Him diligently and keeping His rules and regulations, for remember, He is the BOSS, El Numero Uno! I think it would do us a whole lot of good to remember that! Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, which He’s generously showered down on us to do His earthly work. 

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

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

Now don’t forget that those are not for us to hoard, but to generously share like the Lord has so generously shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…the nature of the one you serve…will determine the benefits you receive…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2020 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Jamaica! Jamaica! Sweet, sweet Jamaica! Everything’s good in Jamaica! Yeahhhh! Well hello there mih lovelies! The ole fella is hailing out to you all on this bright, hot, sunny, tropical afternoon from the paradise island of sweet Jamaica! Yes! We’ve left the cold and the snow and the bleak dreary days behind! 

The Good Lord has seen it fit, in all His wisdom, goodness, LOVE, kindness, mercy, grace and forgiveness to give the duchess and the ole fella a trip to my third homeland of Jamaica, where I turned man some half century ago! Glory be! 

The foundation of the story though is that we’re here to celebrate the wedding of a cousin and close friend on the upcoming weekend…what better excuse to get away from the cold eh? (smile) So please note, that as usual, when the ole fella is vacationing with the duchess the Bit can arrive at any time – early morning or late night depending on how the duchess and the Lord apportion my time. (smile) But you will get it as long as there is breath in the ole bod! 

Well right now I’m here admiring the palm trees swaying in the cool sea breeze blowing outside my balcony door, with a beautiful view of the ocean reflecting three colours of blue as it gets deeper; from a light blue in the shallows to a deep blue in the depths. Oh, and another plane just flew by to land at Montego Bay Airport. They jut keep coming and going. 

But yesterday was a rather eventful day; getting up at minutes to three so I could write the bit before leaving. Then hustling to the airport in the early morning traffic and going through all the nonsense that travelling entails these days, and getting on the big bird, the Boeing 737 Dreamliner, they changed it from a stodgy Rouge plane, don’t know why. But who knows why airlines do what they do eh? The flight was good; left around 10 am, and got here around 1.30 pm. 

That was when the real fun began; having to negotiate Immigration and Customs with it seemed thousands of people arriving at same time. But eventually we got out front and proceeded to wait on a cousin to pick us up. Yuh should see the ole fella, taking off his long-sleeved shirt, leaving on just a T-shirt and outside in the sun catching some much needed rays! Wow! Was that ever cathartic! (smile) 

The cousin finally came and took us to a hotel not far from the airport. We should have known that there would be problems from the less than warm welcome at the reception desk. And knowing who I was dealing with, I insisted on seeing the room allocated to us before we moved anything. And just as well, because they took us to a building far away from the main section, with two sets of stairs to climb, no elevator, and then down to the very end of the corridor. And to make matters worse, the room view opened up on to a patch of overgrown bush and a construction site. 

Naturally that raised the duchess’ ire up, and she refused it. When we got back to the reception desk, they seemed less than energetic to try and find something more suitable. But in the meanwhile they advised us to go over the street to the food hut and eat some jerk pork and chicken, which we did. And don’t get me wrong, the property is nice, but as always, it’s the people who spoil stuff. 

When we got back to the desk they arrogantly informed us that they had nowhere else to put us, so the duchess kindly informed them that under those conditions we would not be staying. I guess those were the magic words, because they then told us to wait and they would see what they could do. A short time later they took us to this room in the main section, on the sixth floor, with an elevator, and a beautiful view of the ocean. 

Well that obviously appeased the duchess. And was I ever glad, because all I wanted to do was to go and get a soak in the salt before the beach closed at six. And ohhhh…was it ever wonderful to walk on warm sand and immerse the ole bod in some salt water; the most therapeutic remedy on God’s great earth! When I got back to the room, the duchess informed me that there was a surprise party with a 70’s theme, to go to for the bride at 7.30. 

So I got dressed and went downstairs to the outside dining area, sat there and listened to a trio of Mento singers regale us with some Jamaican folk songs and other more popular stuff in that idiom. Some forty minutes later, the duchess finally came down and went to the front desk to check on what was happening. A few minutes later she came back and told me that the party was actually a bridal shower for females only. 

Hn! Now I wasn’t too annoyed, because I was tired and there was lots of food and drink available and my bed close by. So I did just that: found me a seat with a couple of other guests, ate some island food, while listening to some good music from the live band and was sipping an exotic blue cocktail when the duchess showed up and dragged me off to the party, which turned out be an all genders party after all. 

That party was good too, up on a Mo Bay hill side in a palatial mansion, with a million dollar view of the other side of the harbour, light’s strung out like a necklace of shining diamonds. It reminded us of Cape Town Harbour in South Africa. And then there were people really dressed like 70’s folks and danced routines to songs from that era too. So all in all a good time was had by all. I never got back to the hotel until after eleven. 

And I guess you’re wondering what all of that has to do with the Bit and Scripture. Well let me give you a few verses. First off, Jesus’ memorable words: ‘I am come that they might have life abundantly.’ (John 10:10) We’re just having life abundantly as He promised. And then, though the Lord inflicts us with adversity, listen to these most reassuring words of Jesus. ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Just doing what out Leader says, being of good cheer despite all the problems in the world. 

And here is this one: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ Now how can we ever discount that eh, when despite all the harassment we went through yesterday, everything turned out well and all the people LOVE us now! Well that might be taking it a bit far, (smile) but more importantly is that they have been treating us well. 

And hear these immortal words of Bruh David: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps. 27:13) Yeh friends, what’s the purpose of all those other scriptures if we don’t expect to see God’s goodness down here eh? And the final scripture, and my favourite these days – more immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) 

Wow mih breddren! Yuh know since I recently discovered the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir on YouTube singing Psalm 34 – Taste and See- it’s resonated with me very powerfully and I find myself singing it often. Going to check it out when I’m finished here. Now let’s go home, declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings in strong voice and 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 every day! Amen!’ 

We must now go out and share those blessings, for as James says, faith without works is dead. (James 2:17) So let’s show them our faith by our works nuh. Much LOVE!

…a slice of heaven is possible…right down here on earth…only trust and believe… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long, because the ole fella’s excited and just wants to share His blessedness with you, so that you can go through whatever you’re going through without losing your hope and faith, knowing that whatever the Lord’s done for me, He will do for you too, if you’re obedient to His will. Hope it’s not boring. (smile) Much LOVE!

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 26 December 2019 Proverbs 16:9.

Proverbs 16:9.    A man’s heart deviseth  (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
 
Well the big day’s finally over! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day and are now moving into a quieter Boxing Day! Hope you did find some time to ponder on the spiritual aspect of the season betwixt and between all the food and frenetic celebrations, (smile) because it’s that spiritual connection which is going to carry us through the upcoming year. Without it, we’d be simply lost and out of our league. So please hang on to it.  (smile) 

But look at how life changes eh! Remember when Boxing Day was the big day of sales? Now it’s just the baby brother, mostly for returning Christmas stuff that you didn’t want or didn’t fit. All of a sudden it’s been overtaken by Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the premiere sales days. But that’s how it moves, ever so quickly nowadays in our topsy-turvy technological world. Let’s never forget one most significant thing though friends; regardless of how this world turns, the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it’s Creator, is still sitting on His throne in high heaven in total control! 

Yes friends, man can do whatever he wants, because the Lord has given him a free will, but in the overall context, it is the Lord’s purpose(s) that always has and have prevailed, and will always prevail. Let’s check out some scriptures that remind us of this most important fact nuh. And Cousin Sol is a master of these li’l bon mots; these witty but ever so true sayings. Hear him in these words of moral, ethical and spiritual precepts. 

‘The preparations (plans) of the heart in man (belong to man), and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.’ (Prov.16:1-2) All of that simply means that the Lord is sovereign over man’s thoughts and words and is a discerner of our thoughts. He searches our hearts for our motives, doesn’t just accept the words or actions we declare. Therefore, the only wise and sensible way to live this life is to do as Cousin Sol advises: ‘Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.’ (Prov.16:3) 

Now that’s what we, as supposedly sincere believers in Christ Jesus ought to be doing. But too often we let the enemy into our souls and he screws up our lives, making them of none effect for Christ and the Good News we’re supposed to be spreading. But hear Cousin Sol again nuh: ‘A man’s heart deviseth  (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ Oh  my people, why is it so difficult for us to understand that God is sovereign over our scheming and planning eh? When are we going to learn that in the long run, it is always God’s plans that are going to prevail? 

As Cousin Sol says: ‘The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil (doom).’ (Prov.16:4) So even the wicked belongs to the Lord! And Jeremiah adds his two cents worth: ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ (Jer.10:23) And it wouldn’t hurt either if we could pray like Jerry: ‘O Lord, correct me, but with judgement (justice); not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.’ (Jer.10:24) 

Yes friends, as the scholars tell it. ‘10:24-25. Jeremiah surrenders to God’s programme of judgement but asks that the necessary chastisement not be carried out severely (cf. 46:28; Hab.3:2).’ We absolutely need to surrender our lives to God, to get with His programme, and not ours or the enemy’s, if we want to be successful and prosperous in this life and the one to come. Now here are some more words of wisdom on the subject from Cousin Sol, he has so much to offer. (smile) 

‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand… The fear (reverence) of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied: he shall not be visited with evil.’ (Prov.19:21, 23) And furthermore: ‘Man’s goings (steps) are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?’ (Prov.20:24) That’s a very good question my fellow believers. And the answer is simply he can’t, because God’s thoughts, plans, and ways are so much higher than ours. 

So my brethren, as we wind down this Christmas season, I think it’s only fit for us to spend some time pondering our personal situations; re our attitude towards God, and consequently the time we spend with Him, for remember, God doesn’t really need us, but we do need Him…and tremendously too! So having said it all, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings this wonderful Boxing Day, blessings the Lord has so generously bestowed on us so that we can do His work. 

In loud 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!’

Now let’s go out and share those magnificent blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…in Christ Jesus…we have EVERYTHING we need…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2019 Hebrews 4:12.

Hebrews 4:12.    For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (able to judge) of the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.
 
Ah mih people, just six more days to that magical, mysterious, miraculous day we call Christmas Day! Wow! Can you imagine the stir it made in ole Bethlehem that Christmas Eve night when the angels came a-singing and a glorifying and exalting our new born Saviour? Anyhow, today we’re not dealing with the birth of Christ so much as the source from which we get that news: ‘The BOOK OF ALL BOOKS!’ 

Mama Mia! What a marvellous book is our Bible! And so it should be since it’s the Lord’s Word. No other tome has such drama, and in such abundance! The stuff written today pales in dramatic content, promises and story-telling. So let’s get to today’s poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I am overshadowed As I read Your living Word. What power, what pungency I find within its pages. It stirs me, burns within me It challenges me, invigorates me And often disturbs me. When I obey its commands The results are what You claim: Darkness becomes light Crooked places become straight The more I seek, the more I find. Within its pages, God I see beyond mere philosophy I see beyond a neat package of ethics. I crash head-on with a living Person The One who makes all things new. No other book can claim as much.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow believers! No other book is as powerful, mind-bending and moving as the Word of God! I like how the author of the poem talks about its power, its pungency! And ALL of us who have read it, have found it to be at times, burning like a fire within us, like it was with Jeremiah when he lamented against God. ‘Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak anymore in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (holding back), and I could not stay (endure it).’ (Jer. 20:9) 

Yeh friends, that’s just how the Lord’s Word acts on us, especially when we get discouraged. We don’t want to deal with it, but it’s so powerful that it forces us to do so! And which one of us hasn’t found the Word to be ofttimes challenging, invigorating, and downright disturbing eh? NONE! And it will ALWAYS be so, because that’s the purpose of the Word; to challenge, invigorate and disturb us to come to and stay obedient to the Lord! And the great thing is that when we obey the Word, we find the results are exactly what it claims; light overshadows darkness, joy comes in the morning, crooked places are made straight, and we do find more when we seek more. 

But unfortunately, and rather sadly, too many of us read the Word, know that it’s true, but still don’t follow it. Thus our lives are never as successful and prosperous as they can be. Please, please, I implore us to remember the momentous words the Lord spoke to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Oh my people, my people, that is perhaps the most important, provocative, wise and revealing verse in all of the Good Book! It gives us the blueprint for successful and prosperous living in just a few words, and from the Lord Himself! What could be more enlightening eh? Absolutely NOTHING! But yet so many of us supposed believers refuse to take it seriously, or as seriously as we ought to. But friends and neighbours, please listen very closely to these words as found in the Good Book that rather frighteningly describe the true power of God’s Word.

‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (able to judge) of the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart. Neither is any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account to).’ (Heb. 4:12-13) Oh friends, please allow all of that to sink in deep into our souls nuh! The Lord’s Word is indeed living and sharp and very discerning, thus we have to pay serious attention to how we live it. 

Hear the scholars: ‘4:12-13. For the word of God: The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word is quick (living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive; it is powerful (active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even his thoughts and intents. Likewise, God’s eye sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuses or pretense.’ 

Bubba! If that doesn’t shake us up to the reality of God’s ever searching, discerning and plumbing of all our thoughts and intentions, I don’t know what will nuh. All I can say now is let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously granted us. In loud and sincere voice now, because they don’t come into play until we speak them out. 

‘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 the thing to remember now is that those awesome blessings were granted to us so generously so that we can turn around and share them generously with others. So let’s do that nuh, especially at this Christmas season, the season of giving! Much LOVE!

…God’s Word…created the world…keeps it alive…and will in His time…destroy it…

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