Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2020 Galatians 2:20.

Galatians 2:20.     ​I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of (in) the Son of God, who LOVED me, and gave himself for me.

And then it was Wednesday, the mid-week day, the day we finally feel like we’ve gotten over the hump… Monday and Tuesday are gone and Friday is right there in sight! Glory be! Yeh friends, what a game of musical days we play during those many years of our working life. And sadly, too many of us don’t ever come to terms with it and thus spend a life feeling frustrated about doing the same basic things on the same basic days, over and over. 

But that’s what life is all about! We can’t have fun and excitement every day, like some of us feel we ought to, we’d get bored and frustrated and tired of that too. So let’s get used to the humdrum, same ole, same ole way of life nuh, because that’s all we’re going to ever have…that is until we reach heaven. (smile) 

And besides that, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ died that we might have and enjoy an abundant earthly life, and have it even more abundantly. (John 10:10) And that doesn’t mean just having plenty of earthly things, but also plenty of heavenly and spiritual things. And is only when we pursue those last two, seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that we really find, really discover the enjoyment that life has to offer. (Matt. 6:33) 

Bubba! What a day when we discover that, believe it, and truly put it into action! Our lives become so much more meaningful than they were previously, and we find that we have so much more to live for. That’s why the wisdom of heaven proclaims that ‘JESUS IS THE ANSWER!’ Yes my people, the name of Jesus is the name that’s above every other name, exalted by the Father because of His unfailing obedience and great sacrifice! He’s been made the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, to whom each knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11) 

And how do we accomplish all of that eh? Through just one word: ‘SURRENDER!’ Yes to really take advantage of all that God has provided for us, we need to completely surrender our lives to Him and His will. Hear these words on that subject nuh, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. 

He asks? ‘How are we guided? The answer is no secret. Surely God speaks to us through the Bible! Those who read it quietly and prayerfully find God’s guidance. And prayer is still the mysterious experience where we tune our minds to the celestial wavelength and ask God to guide us. In addition, there are thousands of people who will testify that in the quietness of worship God entered into their consciousness to illuminate them. But I would suggest that the real secret of receiving divine guidance is deeper than Bible reading, prayer, or worship. 

The key word is SURRENDER! Surrender your sins, your self-centred desires, and your life to Jesus Christ. surrender your mind to the Holy Spirit. Are you sure you want guidance? Would you take it if He gave it? Do you know how to catch a dove? It is interesting that in the New Testament the dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is God who enters into our mental consciousness. 

Hundreds of thousands of visitors to the San Juan Capistrano Mission in southern California try to catch the white doves that flock in the ancient mission. You may reach out with your hand, fingers open, and just as you are about to grasp the feet of the dove, it flaps its wings and flies away. So you try again. You reach out with your hand cautiously, slowly, furtively, and just as you are about to grab the bird, it escapes again. 

The secret is this: Simply extend your hand. Hold it out straight in front of you. Open your palm. Wait quietly. And the dove will come and rest right in the middle of your hand. Surrender your soul, your mind, your spirit that way to God, and He will take over your life and guide you.’ 

Mama Yo mih bredrin! What awesome words of wisdom from Gramps Schuller! That’s the only healthy, sensible and wise way to live this life! Anything else is going to get us nothing but a wasted life! And what does total surrender to God mean and include. Listen to this definition. ‘The word surrender in this sense is derived from the Greek word “paradidomi” which can mean yield up, transmit, and entrust. Surrendering all to God means to yield upward rather than to our current circumstances. God demands a “total cling” to Him—not anyone else.’ 

Peter talks about ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you’ (1 Pet. 5:7) That means God wants us to cast ALL of our cares, anxieties and worries upon Him, surrender everything, entrust ALL we have to Him, make Him the trustee of our entire lives; finances, emotions, health, etc. etc. Now, ‘The key to entrusting is leaving the cares with God and allowing Him to remain the trustee. This can be an ongoing process.’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, surrendering to God is not an overnight process, but a lifelong one. And I don’t think anyone exemplified this better than Bruh Paul when he wrote to the Galatians. ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of (in) the Son of God, who LOVED me, and gave himself for me.’ (Gal. 2:20) 

Now that’s surrendering to God! Giving up all that you are to Him, living your life through the eyes of Christ, allowing Jesus to cultivate His desires, virtues, character and power in us. Living a life of faith, depending on Christ for our strength and ALL our necessities. That’s true surrender! So for those of us who are currently undergoing that surrender process, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our unique and rather exciting position in Christ. 

All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that means if we stay surrendered to the end, the future will be ever so glorious, more than we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…only in giving our ALL to Christ…can He give us His ALL to us… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2020 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.     LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. 
 

And the glorious summer days of 2020 keep rolling along like the tumbling tumbleweed! We could certainly use a li’l rain though to cool the parched ground… and even more, some respite from the ever-present pandemic and the strife and protests that are stirring up our world into a maelstrom of bitterness, hate, resentment and violence. Ah Lord eh people, when the history of this summer – well not only of the summer, but the entire year of 2020 is written, it will consist of nothing but disturbing events – and we still have the important U.S. presidential election to come later this year. 

Bubba! Can you imagine how that will resonate around the world, regardless of how it ends up! Ah Lord eh…! Will mankind ever learn? Or do we have to wait until Jesus comes back? It certainly seems like the last proposition is the correct one! (smile) And that brings us to this most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. 

I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner But neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seed?” 

And yuh know what my friends, we all do just that! We want to sit on the fence and do a li’l to please God and a li’l to please ourselves. But the problem with that situation is that God doesn’t want our leftovers, or what we so generously choose to give Him. He wants ALL of us or NOTHING at all! Remember Jesus’ words as part of our discipleship: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt. 16:26) Those are very good questions that we should all consider my people! 

And Remember Jesus’ earlier advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we seek God and His righteousness first, He will give us all the worldly things we need to make it comfortably in this world. Believe me, there are quite a lot of well off, even filthy rich Christians in this world, so it’s not like God isn’t generous when we try our best to walk the straight and narrow path and not sit churlishly on the fence. 

And remember also when Jesus prayed for the disciples… ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them… They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17: 9-10; 16-17) Yes friends, Jesus was very plain and straightforward about it. He knew we had to live in the world to do His will, but He did not want us to be a part of it. Instead, He desired of the Father that we be set apart for godly purposes! 

But because of our naturally sinful nature, we are so enamoured of the world and all its sinful things, so easily fooled by their pretty but false, empty and deceitful facades. Oh, I know it’s not easy to bypass all those outwardly beautiful things that the world favours, but as true followers of Jesus we must do our best to stay on the straight and narrow road. That’s why John in his first epistle seriously warns us. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2: 15-17) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be put any clearer than that nuh! The world and all its supposedly beautiful things are run by the enemy and he wants nothing better than to get us saints of Christ, so bemused and in LOVE with his stuff that we forsake the things of God and thus besmirch or tarnish our godly reputation and testimony. But my people we need to be strong and ignore all the empty and false advances of the enemy. 

And to help us, hear this explanation of the scholars re Temptation. ‘2:16. Though all people are tempted differently according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires); (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interests). 

Illustration: when Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen. 3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt. 4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures. Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom. 5:12.)’ 

And we all have been thus tempted, and it’s not always easy to refute or refuse them, but let’s hear our Lord and Saviour one more time. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What assurance my brethren! That means we can go home today in such good spirits declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So what we waiting for eh? Let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…for where your treasure is…there will be your heart also… (Matt. 6:21) 

P.S. Don’t pay attention to the lateness, just check out the great substance! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2020 Isaiah 58:11.

Isaiah 58:11.     And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (times of need), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a well-watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
 

Oh my people, my people, finally, after about three or four months, the ole fella actually visited one of the Lord’s sanctuaries yesterday! Glory be! And was it ever good to put foot in a church again, although it was for a sad occasion, the funeral of one of our long-time friends, Herman George Gabay. And it was a fairly new Catholic church, so you know it was fine, (smile) but with all the new regulations, we could only sit in every other pew and not too close to anybody not family. 

And it was indeed strange to see the fifty people now allowed for public gatherings all spread out over the large church and all the tape and ribbon and signs to keep us safely separated from each other, plus everybody, even the priest and his helpers in masks. But I guess that’s the new normal now. So, hopefully, we’ll do it responsibly and thus not have to lockdown the society again. 

Anyway, my condolences go out to the Gabay Family. Herman was indeed a kind, friendly, quiet and generous man, and led a long and interesting life. And did he ever look beautiful and at peace lying there in his coffin yesterday in his off-white suit! (smile) He will be missed by all of us though. 

And I have one more set of condolences to send out to the Wilson family in Tobago, as I understand that the neighbour of my youth and big brother Neil also passed away recently. He was much older than me, but I can remember growing up and seeing him dressed in his B.W.I.A (British West Indian Airlines) uniform.

In my time that was a position to which many aspired. We were never bosom chums or anything like that, but whenever we met each other, he was always friendly. I haven’t seen him in many a year, and never knew that over the years, he had become such a stalwart in Tobago politics; Chairman of the PNM party Council in Tobago, as well as ‘the heartbeat of Tobago tourism.’ 

May you both Herman and Neil rest in peace in the arms of the Lord, because that’s where eternal rest and comfort are to be found. And that’s not only for the dear departed my friends, but even more so for the living, as the prophet Isaiah long ago declared: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.’ (Is. 40:1) The prophet saw salvation and comfort in Israel’s future, and that has become even more firmly entrenched for us under the New Covenant with Jesus. 

And do we ever need comfort and consolation and assurance in these uncertain and trying times my brethren. We need all consuming faith so that we can stand strong and steadfast in the mighty purpose of God! And the minster at the funeral yesterday said he teaches the children that faith is the ability of our spiritual eyes to see beyond the short distance that our physical eyes can see. 

And that’s oh so true friends. If we can’t see figuratively far beyond the literal distance of our physical eyes, then there’s li’l or no chance for us. If we can’t see, feel and understand that our great God is ‘Always There’ for us, as described by this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, then we’re in sad trouble. 

Please pray with me: ‘So often, Lord I reach the bottom of the abyss. So often, I taste the dregs Of my own helplessness. Yet it is there, exactly there That You come to my immediate rescue. When I feel totally impoverished Of all self-sufficiency When I want to vanish into nowhere From the depths of despair I call Your name And You are always there for me!’ 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends! Our God is ALWAYS THERE for us – especially in the darkest times of our lives! All we have to do is call out to Him in true sincerity! And I know that these current times of worldwide sickness and strife are amongst the worst ever for many of us, that’s why I’m encouraging us, pleading with us, to call on the name of the Lord through our Saviour Jesus Christ, for He is the ONLY ONE, who can provide care, comfort, true wisdom and guidance and release from our earthly troubles! 

And when we read His Word, we see that He constantly and faithfully promises to look after us if we come to Him, like in this passage from Isaiah, that’s used as the Bible verse for today’s poem. ‘And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (times of need), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a well-watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.’ (Is. 58:11) And the Lord does keep His promises, but He can’t help us until we come a calling on Him. That’s why faith, strong faith is absolutely necessary in these troubled times! 

And just in case you didn’t believe what Isaiah says above there, listen to him again with more substantial and faithful promises of our magnanimous and merciful God. (smile) ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ (Is. 55:1) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

Oh my people, the Lord has done all He can, right down to giving us the New Covenant though the sacrifice of His only begotten Son Jesus! Now it’s up to us to make use of all that He’s provided. And if we don’t, we can’t blame anyone else but ourselves, although nowadays we take great pleasure in playing the blame game! As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I can only lead you to Jesus, I can’t make you accept Him. But for those of us who have wisely done so, let’s go home now declaring {steups! – and I thought I was spelling it right oui – smile} our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to seriously action those statements! Much LOVE!

…blessed…are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…for they shall be filled…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.    ​Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 
 

Yes, it’s Tuesday, the penultimate one in this contrary and unpredictable month of April, in this disastrous year of 2020! And weather-wise, today looks like it’s going to be rather unpredictable too. The sun’s shining but there are some dark clouds hanging around, and the ground’s still wet from rain that obviously fell earlier on. However, the crazy wind that’s been causing an unholy ruckus during most of the night appears to have now settled down. So like everything else, who knows what will happen to day eh? 

Only the Lord God Jehovah! Thus it is imperative that we stay close to Him; in fact cling to Him for dear life! Jesus said it so well: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

That’s telling it like it is friends! Jesus laid it all on the table right there; without Him we can do nothing, we’re helpless to bear any good fruit! So why are we so reluctant to get close and stick to Him like stick-to-itis, like white on rice eh? Because we’re either foolish, high-minded and stubborn, or severely led astray, or even all of those things! And that’s why our world is in the mess that it’s currently in. 

But what we ought to be doing is listening to, and putting into action these wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth. 

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: LOVE her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver thee.’ (Prov. 4:1-9) 

Oh my people that’s more exceedingly wise advice from the Good Book – the Book of Life! What don’t we understand about ‘keep my commandments and live’ eh? Likewise, what don’t we understand about wisdom being the principal thing eh? If we don’t have wisdom we can’t live this ofttimes cruel and deceitful life wisely. But we have to seek it, and get it, and then hold on to it tightly for goodness sake! 

And the scholars offer this explanation on those verses. ‘4:3-4. Three generations are linked together in the transmission of wisdom: (the one that’s going out, the one that’s currently in ascendance, and the one that’s coming up). Note too that it is (wisdom) transmitted by personal influence, especially in the home.’ 

And that’s where we’re falling down badly my people. The Word of the Lord is no longer taught in our schools or written in public places, and neither are we teaching or practising it sufficiently in our homes, so how can the young people learn wisdom eh? And yuh see the good things wisdom and understanding will do in our lives when we adhere to their wise ways and commands? They’ll promote us, bring us honour, give us a bundle of grace, and a crown of glory! Now who wouldn’t want those things in this crazy and confusing life eh? All of us obviously. But it doesn’t just happen by osmosis my brethren, we have to make it happen. 

And how do we make it happen? Cousin Sol also gives us that info: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov. 1:7) And isn’t that the awesome truth! Wisdom comes from the Lord, and it’s oh so important in our world and life, because it’s the same wisdom the Lord used to create our universe. Hear Cousin Sol again: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) 

So friends, if the Lord God Almighty used wisdom to create our world, why wouldn’t we, in heaven’s name, need it to live in that self-same universe eh? No reason whatsoever! Except that we’re stubborn and hard-headed and like to do what we want to do, figuring that with our puny minds and free will, we know best. And perhaps to disavow that false thinking, is why Cousin Sol wrote the Book of Proverbs Here is it’s stated purpose: ‘To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding (understand or discern); To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity; to give subtilty (prudence) to the simple. To the young man knowledge and discretion.’ (Prov. 1:2-4) 

But unfortunately too many of us shy away or simply refuse to accept those provisions for earthly living, and therefore we fail badly at it. Now let’s look at some explanations the scholars provide on the words used. ‘1:2. Wisdom is the key word of the book (of Proverbs), and basically means “skill in living.” It refers to the skill to live life successfully. Instruction refers to the moral discipline of one’s life, not to classroom instruction. Understanding means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

‘1:3. Wisdom, a different Hebrew word from that used in verse 2, means “wise behaviour,” “wise dealing,” “good sense.” Justice is the same word as righteousness and refers to conformity to God’s law. Judgement is a legal term used of a judge’s verdict and refers to right behaviour. Equity is fairness in one’s dealing with others.’ ‘1:4. The simple are naïve young people open to any influence, among the chief addressees in the book. Knowledge mean the apprehension of reality, including an experiential knowledge of God. Discretion refers to the power of formulating and carrying out the right measures.’ 

‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ So there we have it friends, some basic descriptions on the basics of living this earthly life in a Christian manner! (smile) 

Let’s hope that these disastrous times will help draw us closer to those precepts and principles from which we have too long and too far gone astray. Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now we need to go out, or stay in social distance (smile) and action those sentiments! Much LOVE!

…simple common sense dictates…the created must reverence the Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2020 Psalm 130:5.

Psalm 130:5.    ​I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
 
Moving right along…It’s April 1, 2020 – April Fools Day, or as we know it down South- All Fools Day! A day for jokes and hijinks. But not today. No! Please, not this day in the year of 2020! This is a time for very serious behaviour, although we do need some levity in our spirits and souls if we don’t want to go crazy. However, we already have so much false info and misdirection and outright lies in our society, mostly funneled through social media, we definitely don’t want to introduce anymore today, when half the world is locked down and in a state of panic because of the Coronavirus. 

And on a point of interest, in Canada it seems that people are still drinking Corona beer, whilst it’s unavailable in some other places. That just shows how ignorant and/or superstitious we humans are. Just because the brand of beer happens to have the same name as a deadly virus doesn’t mean that it’s undrinkable or in any way connected to it. But that’s the nature of the human animal. (smile) And as always friends, we here at Scrip-Bits believe in acting as catalysts, to help us stay strong in the Word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to give us hope, help us stay imprisoned by it, because without hope, we might as well be dead; in fact without hope, spiritually, we are indeed dead. 

So today, let’s latch on tightly to the hope infusing words of Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord. Yes my brethren, the Lord and His awesome and everlasting Word, which never changes or dies, is indeed the fountainhead of hope! And right now in these scary and frightening times, we need divine hope and help more than ever. So let’s pray with the psalmist nuh: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps. 130:1-3) 

Now that’s a very good question my people. If the Lord should take note of all our iniquities and punish us for them, who shall stand afterwards eh? None of us! ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Oh yes, we’ve fallen far short of God’s righteousness, as the scholars explain: ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: man can exceed his own standards, but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

And nobody knows this better than our Creator, who made us with all our faults and frailties, and that’s why in His eternal wisdom and divine mercy and LOVING-kindness, He’s made ample provision for our iniquities. As the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (held in reverential awe).’ (Ps. 130:4) Oh friends, how mighty and wonderful is the word ‘forgiveness’ and all that it implies! For without it, we would have no hope at all. That’s the divine option that gives us hope! All the other things like LOVE, mercy, and grace are indeed important, but without forgiveness we’d still be in the same khaki pants; lost and doomed to damnation and hell-fire! 

And how do we access these essential things called  hope and forgiveness. It begins, like the psalmist says: ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.’ Now that’s the first movement in the divine symphony; patience (perseverance) and trust in His Word. But how do we get patience and trust in God’s word eh? By knowing it; hearing it, reading and studying it. Remember the immortal words of God to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘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) The Lord couldn’t have been any plainer or more explicit than that my people. It’s by reading and studying His Word and doing what’s written in there that we can achieve prosperous and successful lives! So in these uncertain and disastrous times, it’s plain to see that we have to get into God’s Word more than ever, and do what it says we ought to. 

As the psalmist continues: ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.’ (Ps. 130:6) Yes friends, he is hungry for the Lord! And that’s how we have to be also, especially in these calamitous times, for the Lord God Almighty, the One who created us, is the ONLY One who can truly save us! Thus the psalmist concludes: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, it is imperative that we turn to the Lord God Jehovah and cry out to Him for deliverance if we truly want to get rid of this Covid-19 scourge that’s currently plaguing the earth. Remember, as the scholars said above, in his own strength, man can never achieve the righteousness of God, and that also extends to his wisdom and ingenuity. Therefore, since we can’t find the answer to our problem, we need to go to a Higher Power; the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s where we will find ALL the answers! 

And now, for those of us who truly believe that and sincerely try to adhere God’s Word, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And yes, my faithful brethren, regardless of what’s happening in our world today, we who sincerely believe and try to do God’s Will, will indeed have a glorious future with Jesus; one, more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…prayer and supplication…perseverance and thanksgiving…our most urgent needs at this time…

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 25 March 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.    ​But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 
Oh friends, the birds are singing their Hallelujah Chorus… but sadly there’s no one out and about to hear their beautiful song of praise and thanksgiving to their omnipotent Creator and ever-generous Provider! And Jesus made it quite clear about the birds when He said in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt. 6:26). 

I guess in the big picture the answer to that question might be yes, but in relation to our reactions to our heavenly Father, the answer is certainly no! That’s because we don’t worship and praise and give as much thanks to our Creator and Provider as they do, or as we should. We seem to feel that He doesn’t do anything for us, that all we have and have achieved have come through our own efforts. But that’s not true, for remember Bruh Paul assured us that ‘my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And He will…if we follow His Word and Will. 

But instead, we foolishly still insist in going our own way. We foolishly shout: ‘Yippee! We have free will, so we will use it as we please!’ But what good has that done us eh? None whatsoever! For from the day Eve bowed to the duplicity of the wily ole enemy, Satan, he has used that free will to dupe us into doing his desires instead of the Lord’s! And because of it, we are engaged in constant strife, resentment, anger, war and a host of other negative actions and activities. Because we refuse to listen, as per the Bill Gates warning yesterday, we’re caught up in another germ attack, this one seeming to be the most pervasive and widespread yet. 

Ah mih people, what’s wrong with our minds eh? Why have we been caught flat-footed by Aids, Sars, Ebola and now the Coronavirus eh, when there’s enough brain power, wealth and technology in the world to either prevent them, or stop them sooner in their tracks? I guess because we concentrate on the things of the world too much and not enough on the things of God. Too many of us apparently don’t take Jesus’ words as seriously as we should. When He says earlier on in the Sermon on the Mount: 

‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches, material things). Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothes)?’ (Matt. 6:24-25) Yes my faithful and precious people of God. Life certainly is more than food and clothing. 

And that’s when Jesus spoke about the fowls of the air. Then asked: ‘Which of you by taking thought (worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?’ (Matt.6:27) And the answer is not a single one of us! So Jesus continues: ‘And why take ye thought for raiment (do you worry about clothes)? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed) like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe (clothes) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith.’ (Matt.6:28-30)

 Oh friends, we do not serve a stupid or unconcerned  God! Whatever He’s made, He will take care of! That’s all Jesus is trying to point out to us. So if He looks after the birds and flowers so wonderfully, and they are low down the totem pole, why wouldn’t He look after us, His children even better eh? But the problem seems to stem from Jesus’ last words above: ‘O ye of little faith.’ That seems to be the tantamount problem with God’s children; a sad lack of sufficient faith. 

And the Good Book says it right up front: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ That’s what it’s all about friends; belief and faith! We talk a lot about having faith, but when the time comes to put it into action we falter and fail. And that’s exactly why Jesus directed us in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34) 

He wasn’t joking my brethren. He was quite serious. We ought to concern ourselves first of all with spiritual things, make God our first priority, and then He will give us all the material things we need. For as the scholars so wisely say: ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people…but we must have sufficient faith to live it. And hopefully, this dreadful time in which we’ve found ourselves, will have a lot more people sincerely crying out to God for help, and will help to build the faith of those of us who already believe. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our serious and faithful position in Christ. 

As one, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And is that ever something to look forward to friends: the day when there’ll be no more pain, sorrow, sickness, death or tears, just eternal joy and life with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2020 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.    ​There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.
 

Well a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve now reached the middle of the Lenten Season. But unfortunately there’ll be no public celebrations in green this year as the lockdown of the world continues… with the panic moving right along with it! Ah Lord eh! Canada has now barred certain people from certain places from entering the country. You’ll have to check out the Canadian Government Website to find out exactly who or whom are no longer welcome.  And sadly, every day, it seems to be getting worse; more people contracting the virus, more people dying, more empty shelves in the groceries and supermarkets, more places closing, but absolutely no word of how and when this pandemic will end, and certainly no reassuring news of some antidote been found to contradict the virus. 

But friends, when the Lord made man, He instilled one truly admirable quality in him; that of hope which leads to faith; of being able to fight through extremely tough situations with His awesome help. And in these turbulent and tremulous times, with no positive end in sight and no medical solution on the near horizon, it’s our faith and trust and surrender to Almighty God that is going to get us through. And to bolster our faith and courage and lessen our fear, here’s ‘A Great Message for the moment.’ A beautifully written piece by one Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM. I received it from a friend yesterday, and thought I just had to share it because it was so true and beautiful and uplifting. Please read carefully, inwardly digest and take the necessary outward actions. It’s titled “Lockdown!” 

‘Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is buying panic. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. 

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today, a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary. All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting. All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way. 

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To LOVE. So we pray and remember that, Yes, there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes, there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is buying panic. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes, there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul. Yes, there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of LOVE. 

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe, listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again. The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by LOVE. Open the windows of your soul. And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, SING!’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that touching! I certainly hope that it resounds powerfully within each and everyone of us. And if you will, please share it, because it’s the first positive reaction I’ve seen throughout these crazy and panic-filled times. And strangely enough, earlier on this morning, when I got up and went to the bathroom, I heard birds singing outside for the first time this year, and smiled to myself, thinking, spring is near! Glory be! (smile) 

And the psalmist said it in spades, so long ago: ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord, he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps.100:1-5) 

Precious people, just in those five verses the psalmist has spelled it all out for us; the Lord God is good and mighty, and we need to bow before Him with singing and praise and thanksgiving! And singing has always been a way to ease the pressures of life. As another psalmist says: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.’ (Ps.104:33-34) And as Bruh Paul told the Ephesians on how to be Spirit-filled: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) 

Ah my people, that is the first move we ought to make in this crisis; seek God! And I do hope that we see His hand at work in this fear-filled time, because it is present. It’s His way of reining us in, of bringing us back to our senses, and as the author says above, of showing us how small we really are and how little control we do have over our lives and situations. It’s His way of bringing us back to him, killing our false and foolish pride, of showing that the most important thing is not worldly wealth and power, but His righteousness. That’s why His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said so emphatically during His earthly sojourn: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

But no, we in our false pride and bravado, with the li’l intelligence we’ve gleaned over the years, have now gotten so big for our britches, that we now desire to, and foolishly believe we can remove our Creator from our society. Hn! What a nonsensical desire and belief! And I have to sadly chuckle when I think about the small virus that the Lord has used to bring us to our knees. Think about it nuh people. Some small, simple, unknown infection is driving the mighty mankind crazy! Can you believe it? 

But yet in all the confusion, many of us are finding, new hope, stronger faith, trust and LOVE! And why is that? Because as John says: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ And having said all of that, my faithful followers of Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! 

In strong voice with sincere hearts in these trying times, let’s be strong in our Triune Godhead. ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And in our current situation, we do need to share the warm, reassuring LOVE of Christ and His amazing friendship with each other more than ever. Much LOVE!

…when you’re sad…sing songs of praise…and you’ll reclaim your joy…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2020 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    ​Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.
 
Well a fine Sunday morning to you my friends and neighbours! I do hope the Lord has blessed you mightily….and you better believe He has if you are reading this missive! (smile) He has indeed blessed us with the wonderful breath of life and clear eyesight to see the words I write. So for just that we ought to be eternally grateful. And if you add all the other blessings, then I don’t think we have the capacity for enough gratitude, (smile) but we’ll certainly try. 

And one of the ways we’ll do it is by gathering today, on His special day, in His holy sanctuary, or wherever we can, to praise and give thanks and hear His mighty Word. Oh my people, there’s nothing more moving and momentous that a group of believers fellowshipping with sincere praise and thanksgiving! 

So as always, let’s begin our proceedings with this old favourite by Isaac Watts, titled ‘At the Cross.’ And was that ever a turning point in the annals of man! So let’s convince heaven of our heartfelt thanks for Jesus’ death on the cross, and all that it accomplished in our sinful lives. 

As one, in strong, soulful and harmonious voice: ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! 

(Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do. 

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’

Oh my people, my people, the wonder of the cross…words cannot truly describe it. Because it was there that the whole world was turned upside down and a new era in mankind’s story began! The story of salvation, of reconciliation, of total forgiveness, of redemption, justification, sanctification…and all the other good things that flowed…and are still flowing from Jesus’ selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! 

And as the song so rightly says: ‘Drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe.’ And is that ever the gospel truth friends! No amount of tears, of heartfelt eyes water can ever repay the debt of LOVE that we owe our heavenly Father. I’m sure our puny and finite minds can’t even begin to understand the heartbreak He felt in having to crucify His one and only, so amazing Son, so that a bunch of stubborn, hard-hearted sinners could have the option to be set free. 

But such was His LOVE for us, that He took the one holy, just and righteous avenue open to Him. And it wasn’t by chance He did that either nuh, but by conscious design. Why yuh think? Listen to Bruh Paul in his first letter to Timothy, as he exhorts him to constant prayer. ‘For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.’ (1 Tim. 2:3-4) 

Yes friends, that has been the Lord’s desire ever since the day He kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden. He doesn’t want to lose even one single soul of His most precious creation to the evil fool Satan. That’s why He went to such awesome lengths to get us back into right standing with Him. And He’s been saying it all the time. 

Listen to Him speak through the prophet Ezekiel: ‘Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways, and live?… For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.’ (Ezek. 18:23; 32) 

Yes my breddren, our magnanimous and magnificent God doesn’t want even those who want eternal death to die! How much more does He have to so to convince us to change from our wicked ways and live eh? I really don’t know if there’s any more He can do, except strip us of our free will and make us come to Him automatically. But He’s not going to do that, because He promised us free will and He doesn’t renege on His promises. 

And yuh know the second part of our Bit which talks about coming to the knowledge of the truth? Well here is what the Lord said through Jeremiah on the subject. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercises LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice) and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24) 

For sure, my fellow believers, the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS MAN’S GLORY! And until we know that, accept it, and live it we’ll keep on being lost! And it’s only fitting to close with the words of Jesus on the topic. He said this when He prayed for His own. ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.’ (John 17:3) 

Yeh friends, knowing the ONE true God, through His Son Jesus Christ, is the ONLY WAY to eternal life! So let’s get smart and get to know Him nuh, so that come the last day, we will not find ourselves on the outside looking in, for that’s the worst thing that can happen to a human soul. Much LOVE!

…to know God…is to know the glorious truth…and be set free… 

P.S. Didn’t do anything yesterday because of the stormy weather. They wouldn’t even allow to me get a dip in the salt since it was so rough. I did get a burger and some jerk pork over at the beach hut though, and washed it down with two nameless exotic pink cocktails. (smile) Today is sunny, so let’s see what the Lord will bring to pass in my life. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2020 Jeremiah 29:13.

Jeremiah 29:13.    ​And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
 
Greetings my brethren on this beautiful Thursday after Ash Wednesday. Yesterday I was so excited to get the Bit out early that I even forgot that it was Ash Wednesday. (smile) And strangely enough Ash Wednesday is a holiday in J.A. It’s the only place I know of that celebrates it as a holiday…and celebrate it they do. 

Now Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent; a time in our spiritual lives when we become somewhat ascetic, that means becoming a li’l less self-indulgent and more prayerful, abstaining from some things of the flesh, with fasting and prayer becoming more important in our everyday lives. The forty days of the Lenten season correspond to the forty days our Lord and Saviour spent fasting in the wilderness after He was baptized and before He effectively began His earthly ministry. 

In this time we’re expected to seriously think about our faith, and what it really means to us, how we can improve it and thus get a deeper and better understanding of our great and wonderful God, and thus develop an even better relationship with Him, because that’s what He wants; a strong and beautiful relationship with His children, sinful and ignorant though we may be. (smile) 

But friends, that’s the amazing kind of God we serve and worship, regardless of our faults and mistakes, His everlasting goal is for us to come into a sincere and prosperous relationship with Him, for He is our Father, and we are His children. And just like we earthly parents desire to have good relationships with our children, in the same manner our heavenly Father desires to have great relationships with His earthly children.  

And our God is so wonderful my fellow believers, that having caused Israel to be in bondage in Babylon for their disgraceful disobedience, He promised that they would return to their homeland after a period of seventy years… Oh, let the Good Book tell us the story, it can do it better than I can. (smile) ‘For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good work toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope). Then you shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:10-13) 

Yes friends, that’s what our God desires of us, to seek Him with our whole hearts, with every fibre of our mortal being. And when we do that, then we will find Him, ready, willing and able to hear and respond positively. He doesn’t just require lip-service, but true, heartfelt, diligent seeking of Him. What yuh think Jesus did in the wilderness for those forty days eh, beside not eat eh? 

PRAY! That’s what He did, seeking guidance and understanding from His heavenly Father so that He could do His earthly work with diligence and excellence. That’s why in this Lenten season we also ought to seek our heavenly Father’s face even more than usual, to get right with Him, to get His plans for our lives, how He wants us to go. 

Remember He says He has a plan for each and every one of us, not to bring us down, but to build us up, to give us a future filled with hope and good things. But we need to seek Him. I don’t know how to get that most important fact home to us nuh my people, but it’s simple logic; if we don’t diligently look for Him, we won’t find Him. 

And without Him in our lives we’re absolutely nothing! Jesus said it quite plainly when He spoke about Him being the vine and we the branches. ‘He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) It could not be said any plainer than that friends. 

And note too that when the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer tried to tie up Jesus by asking which is the great commandment? ‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt. 22:37-38) And Jesus was only repeating the words that Moses had told the Israelites long before when they came out of bondage in Egypt. (Deut. 6:5) 

And nothing has changed since then. That is still the first and great commandment. And that’s also why Jesus so strongly advised us to: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Oh my people, running down the foolish things of the world that corrupt our souls and don’t last for any length of time, but rust and depreciate, is not the wisdom of God, but of the world. 

And moreover, Jesus said that if we seriously and sincerely follow the Father, then He will give us all those worldly things that we do need. Bruh David said it too in such precise and wonderful terms. ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) And Bruh Paul was also very sure when he declared to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

I don’t know what else to say nuh friends except to let us go home now declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, whereby the Lord has provided for our needs in His everlasting faithfulness. So altogether now, let’s declare those blessings with 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!’ 

Now please remember that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with the less fortunate, just like the Lord generously shares them with us! Much LOVE!

…it’s extremely foolish…not to believe and act on…the words of the one who made you…then selflessly saved you…

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