Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2020 1 John 5:5.

1 John 5:5.     Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Well it’s Thursday! We’ve gotten over the hump of Wednesday and every eye is now focused on Friday; that magical day that just seems to lift our spirits with the thought of the no work weekend just around the corner. So what are our plans for today eh friends? I hope they are to live life to the full, while doing the work God has set out for each of us, to the best of our ability. 

For as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes so truthfully proclaimed, having searched after truth, pleasure, wisdom and whatever else the world had to offer, as only he had the means and time to pursue: ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ (Eccl.12:13) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, that is all we’ve been called to do down here on this earth; sincerely reverence our wonderful Creator, and do whatever He has asked us to do, in other words, faithful obedience to His holy will. Now is that so difficult to do? Yes, at times, with the state of our world, it is very difficult to accomplish, as the enemy exerts all his pressure on us to follow his will instead. And with our inherent human nature of fear and doubt that evil, demoniacal pressure makes it even harder. 

But the good news my brethren is that once we’re walking faithfully with Jesus, we do have the means, the wherewithal to avoid, to throw off the enemy’s evil attempts to keep us weighed down in sin and bondage. Christ, by His most sacrificial death on the cross has set us free! But as Christ so plainly said: ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) Yes friends, we have to take up our own cross, die to self, and follow Him, if we want to be truly free of the enemy and his lying, deceitful ways. 

We have to fully embrace Christ and all that He stands for if we want to successfully fight the enemy. And we not talking here about physical war, but a spiritual one, because that’s where the enemy focusses most of his attacks; in our spirits, our souls, our minds, where his manipulative powers can do the most damage. But as we’ve been saying, with Christ in us, and we in Him, we can do anything, because He’s given us the power, the awesome power to fight the enemy mano-a-mano, without fear, and convinced of victory! 

Yes my people, John boldly proclaims it: ‘For this is theLOVEof God; that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith.Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’(1 John 5:3-5) Mama Yo! What powerful words of assurance and victory my bredrin! Hundreds of years later, after encountering Jesus in person, John agrees with Cousin Sol that keeping the Lord’s commandments are imperative to our well-being. 

And Bruh Paul adds his own commentary on the subject in his first letter to the church at Corinth. ‘The sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:56-58) Ah mih people, victory and rewards are assured, but we still need to fight some battles, especially spiritual ones, and can do so very successfully with all the tools that’s been granted to us by the Lord. 

So let’s take a quick look, really a remembrance (smile) of those spiritual tools in our arsenal nuh. Bruh Paul refers to them as spiritual armour in his missive to the Ephesians. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph. 6:11-12) So that means we fighting in the spiritual realm, against demons, world rulers and other forces of darkness and evil, including the prince of darkness, Lucifer himself. 

And since no true soldier goes into battle without protective gear, this is the armour we, the soldiers of Christ, need to successfully stand up to the enemy. Our loins must be girded with truth; the truth, the knowledge of God’s Word. That would be the belt holding the rest of our armour in place. Then there’s the breastplate of righteousness. We talking here about Holy character and moral conduct; obedience to the truth which produces a godly or righteous life. 

And we can’t go into battle without proper footwear, and in our case our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. That means a sense of eagerness or willingness to fight, to advance against the enemy, to take the fight to him. For remember the best method of defence is attack! And then mih bredrin, we need the shield of faith, so that we can stop the fiery darts of the evil one and his evil cohorts. That means taking God at His word, using the faith based promises to strengthen us in times of doubt. 

And we can’t forget the head gear, protection for our heads is invaluable. There we need the helmet of salvation; that’s the hope, the certainty, assurance of salvation; knowing that we’re saved and can’t lose it. Now we can’t go into battle without some sort of weapon to fight with. And ours is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God! 

Brother! I won’t want to bounce up that sword in battle nuh. For remember what they say about it? ‘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 of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb. 4:12) Now that’s the kind of sword you want to go into battle with! 

But yuh know what friends, with all that armour, you still can’t win the battle unless you have the most important and powerful tool in the universe; prayer. As Bruh Paul says: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Yeh friends, prayer is indispensable; without it we can never achieve victory! 

So having reviewed, rather lengthily, I must say (smile) our earthly job and spiritual protection, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, wonderful accoutrements that have been endowed on us to help us do God’s work, for He never asks us to do anything without giving us the grace, the power, the anointing to do it. 

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

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

And the usual corollary is now invoked: let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously as they’ve been shared with us!Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…you soldiers of the Lord… 

P.S. Yeh, it sorta long, but that’s how and where I was led, and I think it’s good. (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2020 Romans 8:18.

Romans 8:18.     ​For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Well Thursday has opened wet and gloomy… Let’s hope it doesn’t stay that way. But the caffeine is excellent – strong and sweet. (smile) And though life might be filled with trials and adversities, anxieties and fears, we believers are able to keep on moving forward successfully because the most powerful person in the universe, Jesus Christ, dwells within us, and we are also in Him! Wow! What a wonderful situation to be in my brethren! That’s why we say with such positivity and assurance: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) 

That’s basic logic. If you are indwelt by the ONE to whom nothing is impossible, then you must also be a champion in life like Him! Glory be! So today, please let us not fall prey to the wiles and deceits and outright lies of the enemy as he tries to encumber our lives with more confusion than we already have. Let’s remember who we are; children of the Most High God Jehovah, believers in Christ Jesus, who ought to be living a Spirit filled life. As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom. 8:1) 

Yes friends, as believers who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of Christ, we ought to listen to Him and follow His direction, because He is our guide, comforter and general advisor. And Bruh Paul continues: ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.’ (Rom. 8:5) And it’s been clearly stated that believers in Christ need to live by the Spirit of Christ else they don’t belong to Him. 

Hear How Bruh Paul puts it. ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Rom. 8:14-15) Oh my people, what beautiful, faith filled scriptures! We have not received Christ and his Spirit only to be filled with fear again, but have been made fearless children of God, through adoption. 

Listen to the scholars. ‘8:15. The Spirit of adoption: The Holy Spirit places the believer as a son in God’s family. Abba (Aram for “father”): This is the intimate name used only by members of the family. It’s use here denotes the intimacy of the believer’s relation to God.’ Now isn’t that a most magnificent and desirous position to be in? Certainly! How can one not desire to be in an intimate relationship with Almighty God – Creator and sustainer of ALL – and be able to go to Him with father-like intimacy, just like we can go to our earthly fathers? That’s definitely not wisdom! 

So Bruh Paul relates: ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ (Rom. 8:16-18) 

Mama Mia! Yuh hear that mih people? If we suffer for and with Christ, we’ll also be glorified with him! And what we suffering down here on earth today can’t be compared with the glory of life with Christ when His kingdom rules! Glory be! So instead of pouting and complaining about the sufferings down here, we should be concentrating on the joys and pleasures that we will receive later on when we’re glorified with Christ! 

But let’s hear what the scholars have to say: ‘8:16. The witness of the Spirit is the inner assurance of God’s truth. One of the conditions of this inner conviction concerning the things of God is obedience to His known will (John 7:17). God uses this ministry of the Holy Spirit to convince us of truth that cannot be understood other than through divine help (Matt. 16:17). 

Illustration: This witness was obvious in Peter’s confession of Christ (Matt. 16:16-17) Even though others had observed Christ and drawn certain erroneous conclusions, Peter received spiritual insight from God as to who Jesus really was (Matt. 16:17). This enlightenment did not mean he had nothing more to learn, because perhaps within minutes of his confession, he was being rebuked by Jesus for his lack of spiritual insight – (Get thee behind me Satan) (Matt. 16:23)

Application: Christians should be careful always to obey the clearly revealed will of God, so as not to hinder this ministry in their lives. (first ref. Matt. 16:17; Primary Ref. Rom. 8:16, cf. Heb. 6:1-2).’ 

‘8:17. Joint-heirs with Christ: All believers share all of the inheritance together. They also have the promise of glorification if their lives are lived devotedly and sacrificially unto the Lord.’ Yeh friends, just like the inheritance business works down here on earth, so it going to work in Christ’s kingdom…if we live obedient to God. ‘8:18. The sufferings of this present time: See 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. The glory which shall be revealed: The blessed hope of the Christian looks ahead with anticipation to this great moment. See also 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; Titus 2:13.’ 

It’s all about anticipation precious people, about belief, about faith! And I wanted to share some of those scriptures, but we just don’t have the time or space…maybe tomorrow, if the Lord wills. But if you can, please peruse some of them, they are all very relevant to our Christian life. Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been magnanimously bestowed on us to help us in our earthly ministry. 

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

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

And having confessed all those wonderful blessings, let’s get to sharing them just as magnanimously nuh! Much LOVE!

…walk in the Spirit…so we don’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2020 2 Kings 6:16.

2 Kings 6:16.    ​And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
 

And it looks like another cloudy day is in the offing in my area… Wonder if we’ll also get rain like yesterday? Ah, it’s so calming and refreshing when the rain falls – it also gets you lazy and in a LOVING mood… Now I could certainly handle that! (smile) But unfortunately we have more serious matters to attend to this Thursday morning in late July of 2020. 

Now today I’ve been led to some scriptures on encouragement in times of peril and need. I guess the Lord sees our overwhelming need for encouragement and assurance in these rather turbulent and uncertain times. So here’s the first one: This from King Hezekiah when the Assyrians under Sennacherib came to do battle against Judah, in particular Jerusalem. 

‘And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably (encouragingly) to them. Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves on (were strengthened by) the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.’ (2 Chr. 32:6-8) 

Oh friends, those are some of the same words our God, that same God, is saying to us today in these frightful times! But are we listening? And if so, are we taking courage like the people of Jerusalem? That’s the million-dollar question! But that brings to mind another similar scripture – this time with the prophet Elisha and his servant when the King of Syria and a mighty host surrounded his house because Elisha was telling the king of Israel the secret things the king of Assyria planned against them. 

Now this particular morning when Elisha’s servant went out early, he saw the host of Syrians surrounding the city, so he ran back and informed Elisha of the grave situation and said: ‘Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.’ (2 Kin. 6:15b-16) What marvellous words of encouragement, but unfortunately the servant could not see what Elisha saw. So Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the servant’s eyes. ‘And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots round about Elisha.’ (2 Kin. 6:17) 

Yes my people, likewise guardian angels are constantly all around God’s children protecting us, so that we do not come to harm. But we have to believe it to see it! Are we believing it though, or are we constantly being ravished by fear and the evil schemes of the enemy? But please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Please my brethren, let’s root that scripture deep in our hearts and souls nuh, and let it grow and flourish to give us strong assurance in these disturbing times! 

Now hear these other encouraging scriptures that our God has been telling us from day one nuh. These from Moses to his people, when he handed over the leadership of Israel to Joshua. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (your enemies): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) Then he called Joshua and told him the same thing. 

And what I LOVE about the passing of the torch from Moses to Joshua is that the Lord Himself told Joshua the very same thing when He appointed him the official leader. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) And not a word of that has changed down to this day my people! So why are we so afraid and fearful of life eh, when we have the assurance of the greatest power in the universe on our side? 

And if yuh want to tell me nonsense about all of that being in the Old Testament which doesn’t matter now – ah Lord eh – then hear Jesus’ most often used words in the New Testament: ‘Fear not!’ And hear His encouraging words: ‘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) That’s Jesus telling us the same thing in slightly different words! So what’s our excuse now for not following them eh? 

Ah mih people, we just like to talk yes! And we must talk some, but all talk without any action is useless. That’s why James, Jesus’ brother wrote these oh so truthful words: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?… Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 1:22; 2:14,17) And yes faith does save our souls like Bruh Paul says, but what’s the point of having faith if you don’t put it to work eh? 

That’s exactly what Bruh Paul did too. As he told Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:’ (2 Tim. 4:7) That meant he had done what the Lord called him to do; preach the gospel to the Gentiles; he had put his faith in God to work, and we all know the numerous trials and tribulations he went through to do it. But the Lord saw him through it all…and so will He with us if we are strong and courageous, if we put our faith to work. 

And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s showered us with numerous blessings, to enable us to do just that! What an awesome God we serve my people! So as we go home now, let’s declare (awright!) some of those wonderful characteristics, what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can empower them in our lives. 

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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And having proclaimed them, it’s time to go out and put them to good use now… generously too! (smile) Much LOVE!

…greater is He that is in us…than he that is in the world… (1 John 4:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2020 Isaiah 30:21.

Isaiah 30:21.     ​And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right, and when ye turn to the left.
 

Oh precious people, our enemy the devil is still out there roaring like a false lion with his toothless gums, and sadly, many of us are listening to him, and becoming anxious and afraid about all that’s currently going down. But I’m here to tell us on this sunny Thursday morning that all he has is bark and NO bite! The only way he can really harm us is if we give him that power. But please remember Jesus’ most often used words, were ‘FEAR NOT!’ And as His followers that’s what is expected of us. 

And we all know it’s harder said than done, so we need some encouragement, and today we’re going to turn to the best place for help, the Lord God Almighty – where else eh? Isaiah appealed to his people Israel to turn to the God of their forefathers after they had stopped relying on Him and were turning to Egypt for help. Hear these words re the futility of relying on anyone else but the Lord, and please do not let them fall on deaf ears. 

‘Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering (devise plans, weave a web), but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth (my advice); to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion (humiliation). (Is. 30:1-3)

 Oh friends, rather unwisely, that is the very same thing we have done. We have turned to various other gods and idols and seek advice from everywhere else except from the Lord God Jehovah. To the point that we are trying to get rid of Him from the society He created.  What utter foolishness! Do you think He’ll allow us to just throw Him out without a fight? I guess so, otherwise we wouldn’t be trying to win an unwinnable battle. It resembles Satan’s futile efforts to defeat Jesus over the battle for hell, death and the grave! Jesus came out victorious with the keys to all of Satan’s dominions! And so will the Lord God Jehovah, despite our best efforts to annihilate Him from our society; His creation! 

It’s also obvious that we don’t believe what He says. Remember He says in the Ten Commandments that He is a jealous God. (Ex. 20:5) And the same thing is mentioned all through the Old Testament. Remember when He was heartbroken because his special people Israel desired a human king like all the other nations? (1 Sam. 8) Yes friends, the Lord made us for Himself; to be His people, to fellowship with Him, for Him to be our God, and anytime we desire to change that, we WILL get some kind of opposition from Him. 

Thus says He: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) That should tell us ALL we need to know, but it obviously doesn’t. So we keep on trying to uproot God from our midst and are now suffering serious adversity, the consequences of our ungodly behaviour, like Israel did back then. And like Isaiah did, so am I appealing to us to turn back to Him in these rough and unprecedented times, for He is indeed the ONLY ONE who can get us out of this earthly hell in which we’re now totally ensconced. 

Hear these words: ‘And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is. 30:20-21) Oh my people, are we hearing the Holy Spirit whispering in our souls, actively seeking to show us the right way? That’s what He’s there for. And I know He’s sincerely doing His thing, but apparently we’re not listening, for we’re going in the wrong direction; away from God, rather than towards Him. 

Oh friends, hear this other verse from just before nuh. ‘And therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ (Is. 30:18) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for Him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God. The reference to the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction shows that God teaches us lessons through circumstances when we will not listen to our teachers who call us to walk in the way (i.e. the way of God).’ 

Oh my people, there’s absolutely no doubt that our great and merciful God is trying to teach us some very useful lessons right now in these times of much sickness and strife! But are we conscious of that though? And if we are, are we learning anything from it? For all of our sakes, and those of our descendants, I do hope so, otherwise we’ll pay a great price for our disobedience and utter disregard for the Lord, His Holy Word and righteous desires for our lives. 

But for those of us who are aware, and sincerely trying to learn those lessons, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously and graciously bestowed upon us to help those who need it. So in strong belief, as one voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

And now, let’s go and share them very generously, for this is the time; that of sickness and strife,  for which we were made and so blessed! Much LOVE!

…the earth is the Lord’s…and the fullness thereof…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 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 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…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2019 Hebrews 12:12-13.

Hebrews 12:12-13.    ​Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed.
 

 

I know it’s late and all that, but please remember that the ole fella is on vacation and sometimes I have places to go and people to meet during the day and cannot get to the Bit until late. (smile) Today was one such day. But before we get to that, let me apologize for the error date on yesterday’s Bit. I put the 10th, when it was only the 9th. I guess when you’re out and about on vacation having fun, the days and dates get mixed up. (smile) Don’t know how many of you even noticed that, because I only noticed it just now when I came to write today’s Bit and saw the computer telling me that it was the tenth. 

Anyway, I was out and about early this morning, up to the campus for a bus tour. And brother, has the place ever grown! Not in actual space, but in the amount of new buildings, including faculties and halls of residences that weren’t there in my time. The green space has been sadly lessened…in the name of what some will call progress. And progress is fine if you do it properly, but in my opinion there wasn’t any proper planning, and it just seems like a hodge-podge of buildings painted in a variety of non-matching colours., with the same roads, not in the best of conditions. 

And wonder of wonders, there are all the famous food places on the campus now…from KFC to Burger King, to Juici Patties, plus pizza and who knows what else. Hn! In my time there was only a small snackette we called the ‘Soda Fountain.’ However the University does seem to be growing, with a lot of day and part time students, as well as on-line participants. But it’s lost one of the most important aspects of a university, the togetherness and cumulative expression of the students as a body, like belonging to one of the halls of residence and getting that strong team vibe, team spirit. 

Just for instance, the group that came out today was a mixture from different residences, but all felt that their hall was the best in their day. I don’t think there’s that kind of hall spirit any longer, because the university has become so large and more concerned with individuality than a more come together scene. Ten years from now, when the recent graduates get together, if they do, they won’t have the camaraderie that we, the older ones had, because they won’t have shared or built the same kinds of close and lasting relationships that we have.  

Anyhow, after the bus tour we assembled on the grass in front of the Alumni Building where two tents were set up and we had lunch, to the accompaniment of the Energy Band – I think that’s the name, a group of older fellows with a banjo and guitar and bass playing some old folk tunes as well as some reggae songs in their own special style. It sounded good, there was even some dancing at the end. It was only spoiled by too much speechification in between. (smile) Didn’t get back home till sometime after four. So it was a good day. Tomorrow, is the gala. That’s in the evening, so I will have time to write the Bit during the day…that’s provided no other social activities get in the way. (smile) 

And that brings us to an interesting section of scripture from Hebrews 12, where we’re first told to run our race with strength and sincerity of purpose, but then warned of God’s discipline and the consequences of disobedience. ‘Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed.’ 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘12:12-13. Some of the runners of verse 1 have grown so weary that they have become stooped and need spiritual strength to be straightened up again. They must be given help, yet they themselves also must straighten their paths by avoiding obstacles that would spiritually trip them up.’ Oh friends, that’s all so true; too many of us have become tired and weary in this race of life, and it’s easy to do in these difficult times, but as children of God, we have the necessary wherewithal to strengthen ourselves and each other through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. 

But it’s worth noting one comment by the scholars, we must stay away from situations that will trip us up spiritually, as much as possible. As the ole people would say ‘prevention better than cure.’ Simply meaning that it’s much better to prevent something, than to allow it to happen, then try to fix it. Meanwhile, Isaiah say it thus: ‘Strengthen ye the weak (sinking) hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:3-4). 

What a wonderful promise my people! And yuh know what? He’s kept His awesome promise, and blessed us tremendously, so we can go and carry out Isaiah’s directions. Therefore, let’s go home sincerely declaring (steups!) what we call our Thursday blessings nuh. In loud voice and sincere hearts. As one posse of saints: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

Now it’s sharing time! Much LOVE!

…to share generously…is to be like God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2019 Jeremiah 10:23.

Jeremiah 10:23.    ​O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
 

Well friends, we’re seeing another brand new day! Bless the Lord, oh my soul! Yes, obviously the number of our days have not yet been accounted for, so there is good reason to give our great and most generous God much thanks and praise for lengthening our glorious days on planet Earth! 

I don’t know about you nuh mih people, but the ole fella sure isn’t ready to give up this earthly life as yet. Though it can be rough and tough, it’s the only one I know, (smile) and I still have plenty work to do for the Lord. In fact I haven’t done anything really worth talking about as yet, which means the best days of my life are still out there before me. Glory be! 

And before you go thinking that I’m boasting or counting on my own efforts to bring that glorious future to pass, hear me say and acknowledge, like Jeremiah: ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ 

And I wish that the whole world, this evil and ungodly society in which we now live would come to that realization, sooner, rather than later, so that our wonderful world can find some peace and much less war and strife. Instead of counting on our own strength, we ought to be praying like Jeremiah: ‘O Lord, correct me, but with judgement (justice); not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.’ (Jer.10:24) 

And believe me my brethren, if the Lord really pours forth His anger on us, as He has the right to, in view of our abominable, sinful and ungodly behaviour, we will be brought to nothing! The scholars tell us:‘10:24 –25. Jeremiah surrenders to God’s program of judgement but asks that the necessary chastisement not be carried out severely (cf. 46:28; Hab.3:2).’ 

And so should we be praying too my friends, because our God is just as angry with us these days, as He was back in Jeremiah’s time, with the Israelites backsliding and disgusting worship of idols. It’s hard to see how Israel could have fallen so completely to idolatry in the light of all the Lord had done for them. 

But we are doing the same thing. In light of our prosperity and advancement, we now believe that it’s all our doing and are pushing God aside and leaning on, and in our own strength and thus worshipping the idols of material wealth and power. But please remember Moses’ warning to the Israelites way back when. 

‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee the power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut.8:18) And that most salient fact has not changed, not even one iota my brethren! It’s still the Lord God Almighty who gives us life and the power to get wealth! 

So how can we move away from Him and expect to prosper for any real length of time eh? That’s pure folly, utterly lacking in wisdom, the wisdom we like to pride ourselves so much on! It’s now time therefore to listen to some of the wise words of Cousin Sol, beginning with these most applicable ones: ‘Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’ (Prov.16:18) 

It’s a fact of life that we all know, yet for some foolish reason believe that it will happen to everybody else, but not to us. That’s a fool’s wisdom friends! And hear Cousin Sol again. ‘The preparations (plans) of the heart in (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…A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov.16:1-2,10) 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘16:1. The Lord is sovereign, even over a man’s thoughts and words.’ ‘16:2. The Lord is the great discerner of motives.’ ‘16:10. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ And it’s not like we don’t know all of that, but we’re just stubborn, hardheaded and hardhearted, just like the Israelites were. But yet we expect to have a different ending than they did! Steups! 

Ah friends, that’s just more ‘foolish folly’! Remember, we can’t sow sin and ungodliness and expect to reap righteousness and justice! What we need to be doing instead, is as Cousin Sol wisely states. ‘Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.’ (Prov.16:3) 

And furthermore: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or smooth) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body) and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov.3:5-7) 

Oh my people, after accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour, those are possibly the wisest words in the Good Book! So please let’s actively live them nuh, not just talk them! They will cause us to be blessed with true health and strength! And talking about being blessed, its’ time for us to go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) the amazing Thursday Blessings that our magnanimous God has given us to work with here on earth. 

As one voice, in sincerity and true sense of 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!’ 

And just a reminder that those awesome blessings are to be generously shared in doing Christ’s work, not selfishly hoarded for our own selfish purposes! (smile) Much LOVE!

…it’s amazing…but totally foolish…how the created…can think…they’re greater than their Creator…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2019 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 

Ah friends, the sun is out, but even more importantly, the Son is out in the ole fella’s soul, body and spirit! Wow! And do I ever need Him this morning as the aches and pains are running somewhat rampant from all the physical activity involved in going down to the Ex last night to check out the David Rudder show. 

And it was a grand show; beautiful lighting and wonderful music from an excellent band composed of mostly local musicians! David is also an excellent performer. He went on at 8.30, and with the obvious encore didn’t finish until 10:15. And the fans LOVED him, because he is a personable and engaging raconteur, does a lot of talking and encouraging in his songs. And though the rain began drizzling around 9:15, it never stopped the Madness of the party! 

And you can imagine the crowd response when he sang some of his many hits like, Hammer, Bahia Girl, Calypso Music, This is Madness, Islands in the Sun, and ended with his anthem, Give Thanks! I never got home until around midnight, and after doing the usual bedtime routing didn’t get to bed until after one. Thus the tardy awakening and consequently the lateness of the Bit. (smile) 

But here is an interesting quote that we can all use, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, and theologian, who was active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. ‘The essence of optimism is that it…enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not abandon it to his enemy.’ 

What an eternal truth that is my people! And more so for Christians than anybody else because we have the best earthly life and eternal heavenly future planned out by our wonderful God for us! Jesus died partly so that we could have life here on earth, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), then He promised that he was going back to heaven to prepare a home for us and would eventually come back and take us with him there. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus Himself. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what an awesome promise! And we all know that our Godhead ALWAYS keep their promises! So why are so many of us so negative and unoptimistic eh? Being a follower of Jesus is the best cause for optimism in this evil and ungodly world. Too many of us are fearful, anxious and unsure about our lives and earthly situations, but Jesus has on several occasions told us to be otherwise. 

Remember two of His favourite words were ‘FEAR NOT!’  And in our Bit He tells us quite plainly: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ How much more can He say eh? But He does say more. (smile) Hear Him when He promises the disciples the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

That’s why Christians should always be the eternal optimists! And this definition of an optimist is both excellent and true. ‘An optimist, regardless of personal problems, is eager to arise in the morning – to get to work, to be with friends or family, to live the happiness of the day. People are drawn toward optimists, for their joy shines on everyone around them.’ 

And that’s exactly how we believers ought to be! But in actual fact, would that be a good description of our current lives? That’s for each of us to know and work out with God. But please remember Jesus said that we should let our light shine before men, so that they could see our good works, and thus glorify our heavenly Father. (Matt.5:16) Well friends, we can’t do that unless we truly believe in Him and are joyfully optimistic about our future. 

And I’ll quote us one more encouraging scripture from Jesus: ‘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) Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, how else and how often must Jesus say it for us to believe it eh? 

He has already given us the victory by conquering hell, death, the grave and Satan through His sacrificial death and awesome resurrection, we just have to keep the victory going now, and we can only do so by resisting the wiles and taunts of the evil one and being strong and optimistic in Jesus! 

And I certainly hope that what we’ve said today has raised all our optimism levels, and set us on a path where our lights can shine brightly and we can make a true and useful difference in the world as Jesus so greatly desires. And He has shown us His own optimism by not only dying for us, but also by giving us His wonderful Thursday Blessings so that we can do His earthly work. 

And since they don’t work unless we invoke them, let’s declare them all now, in loud, clear, sincere and optimistic voices. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Yeh mih people, that’s the way Jesus wants us to declare His word and blessings. Now let’s go out and do the most important part; share them with the less fortunate…Remember now, don’t hoard them, share them as generously as He has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…‘life is an adventure of choices to be lived…not an ordeal to be survived…I choose…optimism…and joy…’

 

 

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