Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2021 Isaiah 11:3.

Isaiah 11:3.     ​The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Oh friends, it’s Tuesday! Give thanks and praises unto our wonderful God that He has blessed us with another beautiful and bountiful day on planet earth; His beautiful universe! What a wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! There’s no other deity like Him in this evil and godless world, and every day He gives us the strength to do whatever He needs us to do. No other supposed deity does that either. 

So why shouldn’t we praise and worship and glorify Him eh, since we know from practical experience that He’s a great and good God? No reason whatsoever! That’s why I think this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin is ever so appropriate for today, any day really. (smile) It’s titled‘Only Goodness.’What a wonderful title! 

So please pray with me. ‘What glorious words of wonder Come from the Apostle Peter. He wrote, “But we are looking forward To God’s promise of new heavens And a new earth afterwards Where there will only be goodness.” (2 Pet. 3:13) O dear God “Where there will be only goodness.” After centuries of war, greed, and lust After indulgences shamelessly practiced After hatred, hostility Jealousy and abuse. Murder and martyrdom Crime and cruelty Curses and rebellion. After whimpering cries from starving children After tragedy and catastrophe Loneliness and despair At last…at long last “There will be only goodness.” O dear Lord Your promise is Your guarantee But please hurry a little.’ 

Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, one fine and glorious day, our Lord would have had enough of this sinful world and replace it with a world where there is only goodness. He has promised it, and we know that His promises are ever faithful, so it’s only a matter of time. And yes, I know that some of us are rather impatient, we can’t wait for that day to come, but as always, it’s in God’s timing, whenever He is ready, and He’s never in a rush like we are, neither is He ever late. I can testify to that! 

And it’s not a new promise nuh mih bredrin. From since the days of the prophet Isaiah, the Lord faithfully promised: ‘And there shall come forth a rod (shoot) out of the stem (stock or trunk) of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow (bear fruit) out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding (his delight shall be in the) fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes (by what he sees), neither reprove after the hearing of his ears (decide by what he hears): 

But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity (decide with uprightness) for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite (strike) the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle (belt) of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins (the belt of his waist).’ (Is. 11:1-5) 

Yes, friends, that was the Lord’s promise of the Messiah’s Millennial Kingdom to His people Israel. But they misunderstood the whole thing. They expected a warrior king to come and release them from the bondage of Rome and were very disappointed when He came as a quiet, peaceful, LOVING rabbi. In any case, that particular promise was not supposed to happen in His first coming, but in the second. As John describes it in Revelation 21; the scripture promise on which our poem is based. 

‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts) of the fountain of the water of life freely.’ (Rev. 21:1-6) 

Oh my people, that’s what the faithful of God have to look forward to! It may not happen for a while yet, but we can be sure that it will happen when the Lord decides the time is right! That means we have to hang in there, keep being faithful even during these evil and godless times, because the promise is not for little while, but for eternity, which is forever! And as the prophet Habakkuk so rightly declared: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab. 3:3) 

Yes friends, the time will eventually come when ‘the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.’ (Is. 11:6) Oh what a beautiful picture of peace and harmony! Those shall be the characteristics of Christ’s eventual kingdom! Glory be mih people! No more predatory stuff, no sin, no evil no pain and sorrow, only goodness and mercy, dwelling with our Triune God, till the end of time! 

Wow! What a glorious time to look forward to! And for those of us who are eagerly looking forward to it, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice: ‘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 stop talking and go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with those who don’t know it. Much LOVE!

…faith without works is dead… (James 2:26)  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2021 Psalm 42:5b.

Psalm 42:5b.​       Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

Welcome to Easter Tuesday friends! And the in-crowd place to meet today is in the town of Buccoo, in sweet Tobago, where Goat Races are the featured event of the day…and has been for many, many years! It’s become so big, that they even built a stadium just to hold it! Awesome! But who knows if it’s going to be happening in this pandemic time, with the lockdown that’s currently in place? 

However, given the ingenuity of my people, I wouldn’t vote against it happening, though in some reduced form and fashion, especially since I understand that Tobago is now the new playground for Trinidad, as the citizens can’t go further afield. Yes people, when it comes to partying, you can’t beat a Trinbagonian to find unique ways and means to bring it to fruition! 

But what we all need, so much more than partying is to cultivate an intense longing for Almighty God, our Maker, Controller. Deliverer and Provider! That’s because He’s so awesome, so LOVING and compassionate, so protective of His people, hides us from the rain, heals us when we’re broken…! What else do I need to point out for us to understand that our God is great and greatly to be praised eh? And that the number one purpose for which we were created is to praise and worship Him, to have a most excellent communication between the Creator and the created! 

Wow! My God is awesome! He’s the giver of salvation, author and finisher of our faith, high priest of our church…and so many other wonderful things! And instead of partying in the evil sense of the word, we ought to be rejoicing in the righteous way that speaks of Jesus; of His most awesome deliverance of sinful man in this Easter Season! No one else could do the miraculous deeds that He’s done. So we ought to celebrate His mercy, holiness, His forgiveness, grace and wonderful, unconditional LOVE for us, instead of bowing to the evil fool Satan and desiring to enjoy the pleasures of sin, instead of the righteousness of God! 

So what we should be doing, as I said earlier on, is cultivating an intense longing for our awesome God! In these trying and troubled times of worldwide sickness and strife, only a return to God in true and sincere repentance can solve them! Yes my brethren, like the Sons of Korah sing in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – let’s do the same nuh, let’s celebrate and worship our graceful, merciful and awe-inspiring God. So let’s lift our hands, as we lift our voices in prayer. 

‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast).’ (Ps. 42:1-4) 

Yes friends, in earlier times we would go to the Lord’s sanctuary and praise His holy name in song and prayer. But then, as we became successful and prosperous, we began moving away from the very source of our success and prosperity. We forgot that it is the Lord who allows us to get wealth and prosperity, and instead began trying to turf Him out of our society. And now that immense strife and sickness have befallen us, we’re wondering what happened, how such a plague befell us? And the simple answer is that we turned away from God and began praising the devil instead. So now that we can’t find remedies for our awful predicament, we’re wondering what to do. 

But like the sons of Korah asked so long ago: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted with me?’ (Ps. 42:5a) Today friends, the correct answer to the problem is still: ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps. 42:5b) Yes my people, that’s the only sensible answer there is to our current troubles…hope in the God of our forefathers! 

Hear the sons of Korah continue with their praise nuh. ‘O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill (the mount of) Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts (waterfalls): all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 

Yet the Lord will command his LOVING-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones (the shattering of my bones), mine enemies reproach (revile) me; while they say daily (all day long) unto me, Where is thy God?’ (Ps. 42:6-10) 

And yes, my fellow believers, the heathen are at our throats every day with that question. And that then leads us to ask ourselves: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?’ And what’s our reply? ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my giver of salvation) and my God.’ (Ps. 42:11) Oh friends, let’s praise His holy name! Let’s look back over our lives and see where the Lord has brought us from, the mighty and magnificent things He’s done for us, and realize that He can, and will do the same things for us, once we are obedient to His word and will! 

And I like this explanation from the scholars about the overall effects of psalms 42 and 43, which in some Hebrew texts are joined together. ‘Using the refrain Hope thou in God as a marker, the poem yields three stanzas. First, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for God (42:1-5); second, his sad lament and dejection before God (42: 6-11); finally, his sure confidence in God (43:1-5). The three stanzas reveal the changing moods of the psalmist: from longing and regret to perplexity, then to trust and assurance. If only every downcast soul could end up in that third stanza!’ 

And there’s no real reason why all of us can’t find true trust and reassurance in our great and mighty God! We all know His amazing, omnipotent power, and have all experienced some good and awesome benefits while walking in strong tandem with him. So why shouldn’t He do it again, if we sincerely seek Him and His awesome will for our lives? No reason whatsoever! So, for those of us who sincerely believe and diligently try to live for God, let’s go home now declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are. 

Altogether now, 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!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out into the confused and godless world and gladly share Jesus’ awesome LOVE and friendship, so that we can overcome our ever so pressing problems! Much LOVE!

…our problems will diminish…in direct proportion…to our sincere longing for God…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2021 Psalm 145:3.

Psalm 145:3.     ​Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;and his greatness is unsearchable.

Oh my people, the Lord has blessed us with another wonderful day down here on earth so we can go about and do His marvellous work! Oh what a wonderful privilege that is: working on behalf of Almighty God to bring others to His glory! And it is not a task given to everybody willy-nilly. You have to first believe in and put your sincere trust in his Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And that’s not something we ought to take lightly, because it could mean the eternal salvation or damnation of other folks. So it’s a big responsibility. That means, as we go out today to do His work, we do it with diligence and excellence, with LOVE, joy, forgiveness, mercy and the wise guidance of his Holy Spirit. 

We allow the deep-seated joy of the Lord to be our strength and give us the endurance and perseverance we so badly need to do a good job in His name and bring glory to His kingdom. Consequently, let’s hope that our day begins with LOVE and ends with beautiful memories, so that we will be further encouraged to do the Lord’s bidding. 

And with all of that, I do believe this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin is rather appropriate for us to consider today. Yes, it is also most appropriately titled ‘Celebration!’ And isn’t that something we ought to be consistently doing while we are in the Lord’s service? Of course! For we have so much to celebrate when we live and work for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Christ Jesus! 

So please declare with me: ‘When I think of Your lavish goodness The longings You’ve satisfied The forgiveness You’ve granted The promises You’ve kept When I think of Your irresistible LOVE Your ceaseless care Your unfailing protection… O Lord God I want to raise flags And fly banners And sound bugles. I want to run with lighted torches And praise You From the mountaintop. I want to write symphonies And shout for joy. I want to throw a festive party For ten thousand guests. I want to celebrate with streamers and bright lights And an elaborate banquet.’ 

What a majestic and worthy celebration that conjures up my faithful brethren! But the best part of it all is the Lord’s answer to our suggestion… ‘Fine, dear child. I’m ready.’ Oh, what a wonderful God we serve and worship my friends! There’s no one who LOVES a celebration like our God, and it’s only right that we should be constantly and consistently celebrating His awesome goodness to the undeserving children of men! 

And can you imagine how big the celebration was in heaven when Christ rose from the dead this upcoming Easter weekend, with the most joyful celebrant being the Father, who got back His first born as well as His most precious but long-lost creation – the sons of man. That’s why praise and joy with celebration is ever so important to believers in Christ Jesus! And the Bible Promise for that poem makes that quite clear. It comes from the wise and praiseful words of Bruh David in Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious. 

And it reads thus: ‘I will extol (exalt) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.’ (Ps. 145:1-3) What indisputable truth my fellow saints! Our God is certainly great and greatly to be praised, because there’s NO ONE else like Him! 

And if you’re wondering why that is so, just ask yourself these questions. Who gives you the breath of life and keeps you alive every day? Who allows you to get food and wealth and all the necessities of life? And then promises a great life eternal with Him in heaven if you believe in His Son Jesus Christ? It’s definitely not Satan! For Satan has no power to do much of anything but evil, especially since Christ took away the keys of hell death and the grave from him when He arose victorious on that first Easter morn! 

That means Satan has nothing to offer but hell and eternal damnation. So why do we keep on giving him power over us by doing his evil bidding and not God’s good work eh? I guess because our natural nature is sinful and evil, and it takes more of an effort to do good than to do evil. But friends, if we sincerely want to do good, our heavenly Father will indeed give us the wherewithal to do so, we just have to ask Him in all sincerity and truth, and then stick to the message! It’s not always easy, especially in this increasingly evil world, but remember that God is the Creator and Controller and nothing is impossible to Him. That means the problem(s) most often lies with us. 

But here are some encouraging words from Bruh David on the subject from Psalm 145. ‘The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works… The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. 

Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. The Lord is nigh (near) unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy.’ (Ps. 145: 8-9; 14-20) 

Oh people, I don’t know how we can get any more encouragement than that from a created being nuh. And please remember that Bruh David didn’t talk from hearsay, but from real life experience with God, so there is power and truth in his words. Therefore, this last verse of Psalm 145 is also very important. ‘My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145:21) 

And that’s exactly what we have been created to do my people; praise and worship and bring glory to our great God! So let’s go home doing that nuh, as we declare 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!’ 

It now behooves us to go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with the rest of the world! Much LOVE!

…wisdom dictates that one praise and worship…the Great Creator…not the anemic, imbecile destroyer… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2021 Romans 15:5.

Romans 15:5.     Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

Well, at last, and I breathe a sigh of relief, after all sorts of interruptions and annoyances – none really detrimental, we can finally get down to business with the Lord’s work! (smile) And it’s a cold, cloudy morning in my area, but the ole fella’s heart and spirit are bright and warm with the amazing LOVE of Jesus Christ flowing through it! 

Wow! I just hope that all of you out there are experiencing the same joy and fire that I’m experiencing, for that’s the only thing that will successfully get us through these turbulent and destructive times! Oh friends, our world badly needs Christ and all that He has to offer and all that He is, if we hope to solve our current problems. 

And today, I want us to look at something that’s oh so important to all of us, something called ‘unity in Christ.’ That simply means accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour, then behaving in the manner He desires, walking together, in brotherly LOVE, not in dissension and disunity. But let’s hear how Bruh Paul said it to the church at Rome nuh, he puts it much better than I can. (smile) 

Read with me: ‘We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities (weaknesses) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification (to being built up). For even Christ pleased not himself; but as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.’ (Rom. 15:1-3) 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘15:1-3. Strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak: The strong brother is morally obligated to take the initiative and bear with the weak brother in those things that bother him. The stronger brother must forego his liberty for the good of the weaker, so he is not offended or impaired in his spiritual life. The best example is Christ, who took our sins upon himself.’ 

And I can hear some steupsing and grumbling from some of us because we don’t agree that we should be our brother’s keeper, and should not allow his weakness to affect our lives. But look at this way nuh friends: What did Christ do for us eh? As our strong, big brother, He took the weight of all of our sins on His sinless shoulders so that we could be reconciled to the Father and gain salvation rather than eternal damnation! 

Now wouldn’t you say that’s going a whole lot further than any of us are expected to go in helping the spiritual growth of our fellow man? It certainly is! And yes, it’s not always easy to subjugate our feelings, our emotions and actions to those of our weaker brothers and sisters in Christ, but that’s what is expected of us, and it’s what we must strive to do. I know we won’t always be successful in doing it, but the important thing is that we have to try, have to get our hearts with the right motives, though our actions might be a bit off kilter. 

And these words of Christ ought to inspire and remind us of our great privilege and responsibility. That night in the Garden of Gethsemane, before His crucifixion, when He went to pray. He said to His disciples: ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt. 26:38-39) 

Oh my people, do you think Jesus really wanted to face the painful and oh so agonizing death on the cross? Obviously not! But because the Father desired it on our behalf, He ceded His will to the Father’s! Now, if we can’t cede our will sometimes, in much less difficult circumstance for our fellow brethren in Christ, then we don’t deserve to be called Christians! 

What could ever be a better example of unity and brotherhood and LOVE, than ‘the Righteous One dying a substitutionary death for guilty mankind?’ And the simple but impeccable, faultless and perfect answer is NOTHING!’ So let’s look to getting rid of our selfish and petty scruples when it comes to helping our fellow brethren in Christ nuh. 

And as Bruh Paul continues to the Roman church: ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.’ (Rom. 15:4) Yuh see that friends! The scriptures were written so that we could have hope and comfort and cultivate faith and patience through perseverance and endurance. 

Oh my fellow saints, the entire Christian faith and belief is based on endurance and perseverance, because it’s not an easy life to lead, especially in this evil world ruled by the prince of darkness, Satan himself! Jesus didn’t have it easy, and He assured us that we wouldn’t have it easy either, but with true grit and firm, faithful belief in Him, we could do it. 

Listen as He reassures us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has overcome the world by defeating hell, death and the grave and wresting the keys of death from Satan through His awesome resurrection on that first Easter morn. So there’s nothing left to fear from the toothless tiger, the devil only has power when we give it to him. 

And Bruh Paul ends his li’l speech with these most important words. ‘Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom. 15:5-6) And that’s how it ought to be friends; living in unity, glorifying our heavenly Father, for that’s His number one purpose in creating us. 

Now for those of us who have accepted that role, let’s go home declaring (steupsss!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly and loudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. Altogether now: ‘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 then, what we waiting for eh? Let’s get a move on, let’s start sharing that awesome LOVE of our trusted friend Jesus! Much LOVE!

…the number one stumbling block in today’s church…selfish, petty dissension and disunity… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2021 John 13:34.

John 13:34.     ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.

Well, it’s a bright, spring-like morning…notice I said spring-like, not spring, (smile) because the warm day time temps we’re currently having are only a façade, for winter is not quite over yet. I’ll take that intermittent break though from the cold winds which March usually bring, but it’s not enough to lift my spirits this morning, for I discovered yesterday that the eldest of my younger sisters had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. And I use that description because I have a sister that’s older than me. (smile) 

Oh friends, it’s difficult when anyone passes away, but even more so when they do so unexpectedly and also alone, with no friends or family around to wish them a pleasant and speedy journey to the hallways of heaven. That’s apparently what happened to my sister, Cheryl Brown a couple of days ago. From all reports she wasn’t sick unto death, just had a case of bronchitis, but when she could not be reached by phone and they went to check on her she was found unconscious and passed away soon thereafter. 

Some of you might be wondering how come I’m talking about sisters when by nature I’m an only child. Well that’s one of the Lord’s greatest miracles in my life. Some fifty odd years ago when I went to live in Jamaica to attend the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, the Brown family kindly took in a penniless son of Tobago, put a roof over his head and fed and nourished him with both food and family LOVE! And thus they became my family, for which I will be eternally grateful and dread thinking of how much rougher my life would have been if they had not taken me in. 

Yes, it’s true that Cher (my nickname) and I always had a contrary relationship, and that’s normal in most families, but when it really mattered, the LOVE always shone through. She had a heart of gold, though she worked overtime to make it seem otherwise. Adult life wasn’t always easy for her, but she persevered and made her family proud by representing Jamaica at several United Nations talks, while ending up as a working lawyer. I heard that she was up and about even during the pandemic with her two bad knees. But that’s the kind of persevering person she was. 

And she will definitely be missed by her two grown daughters, her granddaughter and her three younger sisters, plus her wide-ranging extended family. Cher sweetheart, you always knew your big brother LOVED you, and I will certainly miss the interesting conversations we had every so often; the last one being a couple of months ago when we spoke about my trying to contact you on what’s app and you kindly, but firmly informing me that if it wasn’t working the way it was, then too bad, because that’s exactly how it would stay. 

Ah mih sister, so sad you had to go so early, but I do know that you were prepared because Jesus was always in your heart, thoughts and actions, and that it will be a wonderful reunion with your parents, Aunt Ames (Amy), and Uncle Aubs (Aubrey) in the hallowed halls of heaven. We miss you, and will always remember your kindness and compassion, but we know that you are in a better place now, free from all the problems of this earthly life, so please rest in peace and enjoy the wonders of heaven with Jesus. 

Oh my fellow saints, it brings tears to my eyes when I remember the unexpected kindness and LOVE of the Brown family so long ago. They didn’t know me from Adam, yet took me in, while paying for Cher to live on the campus. And no, they weren’t wealthy, just ordinary hard working, kind-hearted Christian people. I remember the times when I’d complain that my mother wasn’t sending me any money, and Aunt Ames would quickly shut me up by asking, ‘How can she send money when she doesn’t have any eh?’ 

That’s the kind of down to earth people they were. And it’s stuff like that, that has made me the person I am today. How can I be anything other than kind and compassionate when so many people down through the years have been so good to me eh? And in these troubled times, that’s the kind of reaction we Christians need to show to so many who are in need. Yes, some of us might be in dire need too, but as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘The best way to forget about your problems is to go and help somebody else.’ 

And it’s quite true, when you’re helping others, your problems don’t seem quite as worrisome, and then God turns around and helps you. And it’s all a function of LOVE my people! Jesus said it so plainly: The first and great commandment was to LOVE God with all you had, then the second was to LOVE your neighbour as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-40) And later on, even when He gave them a new commandment, it was still based on LOVE.‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.’(John 13:34) 

Yeh friends, all that we do in Jesus’ name should be based on the characteristic of LOVE. Why? Jesus gives us the answer. ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:35) Plain and simple friends. Meanwhile, John, in his first epistle tells us that God is LOVE. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) That means God’s redeeming LOVE, not just mere human LOVE. 

And why is LOVE so important in our lives? Because it’s God’s major characteristic. Why yuh think He sent His sinless son to die for us eh? Because He LOVED us! And Bruh Paul in his famous dissertation on the way of LOVE in 1 Corinthians 13, declares (ah Lord eh!) that though one has everything else but no LOVE, then you’re useless. Read that chapter and you’ll see why Peter echoes Cousin Sol in Prov. 10:12, when he says: ‘And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins.’ (1 Pet. 4:8) 

And it surely does my people, meaning that LOVE forgives! Covering sin is basically forgiving it, not sweeping it under the rug, but confronting it, then forgetting it, not bringing it up all the time. And then there’s James’ two cents’ worth. (smile) ‘Let him know, that he which converteth (turns) the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide (cover) a multitude of sins.’ (James 5:20) 

That says it all friends! LOVE should be the number one driving force in our lives! Our lives should reflect a strong LOVE walk! And having acknowledged that, let’s go home now letting the whole world know who and whose we are, by declaring (yeahhh!) 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? Time is short. Let’s get a move on and share Jesus’LOVEwith the world nuh!Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope, LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor, 13:13) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2021 James 1:17.

James 1:17.     ​Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.

A good Tuesday morning to all you my beautiful, wonderful and faithful friends in Scrip-Bit Land! Grace and Peace, Mercy, LOVE and Friendship to us all from our heavenly Father. And as James, Jesus’ brother puts it: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) Wow! And isn’t it good to hear that ALL good things come from our heavenly Father, our God, Creator and Redeemer! But what does all of that mean eh? And we have plenty info to share on all of that. (smile) 

Let’s begin with this general description from the gotquestions.org website. ‘It would be reasonable to conclude that the title “Father of lights” in James 1:17 communicates the idea that God is the author of all that is not darkness. There is no sin or transgression in Him. Everything represented by light is exemplified by God. Integrity, loyalty, honor, glory, wisdom, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), compassion, and LOVE are all qualities of God and examples of spiritual “light.” 

Physical lights, too, owe their existence to God: the starry heavens and the planetary kingdoms are all created by the Father of lights for His glory and purpose. As the Father of lights, God embodies all that is good and right. Just as God is LOVE (1 John 4:16), so God is light (1 John 1:5). God does not merely possess LOVE and light, as though they are qualities that can be taken away. God is LOVE and light, which makes Him the Father and originator of all lesser lights.’ So technically speaking, God has everything to do with the light we enjoy, be it physical, spiritual, emotional, or whatever! (smile) 

Now let’s look at the part about variation and changing, as the scholars talk about the Immutability of God. ‘1:17. Since all changes are either for the better or for the worse, God is unchanging because He is perfect and cannot get any better nor become worse. The Scriptures describe God’s nature, will, and character as immutable or unchanging. Illustration: To be immutable, however, does not mean to be immobile. God also has the qualities of personality and can act, think, create and make decisions. Application: God is unchanging; therefore Christians can depend on His LOVE and power, because God has not changed since biblical times (First ref. Ps. 9:7); Primary ref. James 1:17; cf. Lev. 19:2).’ 

And all God’s people gave out a loud, and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and honour to the Most High God Jehovah! The First and the Last! The Alpha and Omega! Who was, is and always shall be!’ Yes friends, we’re so blessed to have the Lord God Almighty in our corner. I just wish many many more of us would realize it and accept His free and wonderful gift of salvation through His amazing and awesome Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour! 

Then there’s also this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:17. Three great principles are presented: (1) God is the Father, or Creator, of the heavenly bodies. (2) As their Creator, He is certainly more stable than they. With God there is not even the slightest change; He is immutable. (3) God is only good – and always good. This third principle relates verse 17 to the preceding context. It answers the implication of verse 13 that God may sometimes tempt man to evil. Though God tries the saints (John 6:6; Heb. 11:17), He NEVER tries with evil intent so as to tempt them.’ 

And now that we’ve got that straight, (smile) that our God never tempts mankind with any evil intent, I guess we should go back and look at the previous verses that could cause some of us to think differently. James says: ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

And the scholars offer this explanation for that verse. ‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials bring God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape. God desires that they mature in the situation than move from it (cf. Rom. 5:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). 

He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor. 10:13). God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of his people, is revealed in the Mosaic Law. ‘That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end (Deut. 8:16).’ 

Oh my brethren, it’s in our own interest that we endure trials rather than always trying to escape them, for maturity, spiritual growth and heavenly blessings come when we endure temptations. And that’s why it’s suggested that we meditate on James 1:12, which encourages us to stand strong under the temptations, rather than 1 Cor.10:13, which talks about finding a way to escape them. And that’s definitely why a lot of us are not more blessed and spiritually mature, because we always seek the easy way out through escape. 

And James continues: ‘Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (desire), and enticed. Then when lust (desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin: and sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death.’ (James 1:13-15) And that’s the gospel truth! 

Now please pay particular attention to these explanations from the scholars as they provide some very important points about trials and temptations. ‘1:13-15. The temptation of verses 13-15 differs from that in verses 2-12, as the context shows. Here the source is identified as internal, from one’s own lust, and the outcome is death. In verses 2-12 the “temptations” or trials have an external origin in that they fall on man. The trials of verse 2-12 cannot be avoided, so believers are encouraged to endure them, and mature as a result. 

The temptations of verses 13-15 must be avoided, according to God’s express commandments (Rom. 13:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). The progression of sin, from temptation to death, has an analogy in the physical life cycle: conception, birth, maturity, and death. James uses words with the same Greek root in verses 2-12 and 13-15 to express different concepts. Outwardly, trials and temptations may appear the same, and what may start as a trial may develop into a temptation, if not properly answered by the Word of God.’ 

Mama Yo! It’s a lot to take in, but we need to get serious and do take it in, for our eternal destiny and rewards depend on how we handle these consummate forces of earthly life. And it will also do us a lot of good if we check out some of those many scriptures listed today. It’s plenty for us to ponder today, and I never intended or expected to get into so much stuff, but that’s where I was led. And as faithful children of God, I know we can handle it. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice: ‘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 are we waiting for eh? Let’s go and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…life is full of lusts and temptations…but with God’s Word in our hearts…and His divine help…there’s no need to fear…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2021 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.     ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

And after the snow comes the mild temperatures…then comes the snow again! I guess that’s how life is, how the Lord orchestrated it to happen; feast then famine, sorrow then joy, one good then bad and so on. But throughout it all He expects us to have a good attitude, to trust Him to work all things out together for our good, as His faithful promise proclaims. (Rom. 8:28) 

And yes, that good attitude is not always easy to come by, especially when the evil and trouble of the world comes against us, but if we are sincere in our trust and belief in Christ Jesus, then we will be able to do it; He will empower us to come up higher in His name. But we have to reach that level of faith where we know that we know that we know ALL His promises are faithful and leave it all in His mighty hands. 

Oh friends, we need to reach the level of faithful maturity so that we can say like Job, when his whole world suddenly came tumbling down. ‘Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (accused Him with wrong).’ (Job 1:21-22) 

Yeh mih people, all of that is much easier said than done, but as believers that’s where we need to get to in this earthly life. How many of us accuse God, even curse Him when things go wrong in our lives even while we’re trying to live right eh? Too many! We need to remember that God is the BOSS, and whatever He says goes, even though it may seem unfair to us. 

And remember too that His mind and ways are higher than ours, thus His plans and purposes we will never fully understand. And if we intend to live a fairly peaceful and productive life here on earth, we need to understand, believe and live His faithful word. ‘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).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh my brethren, once we can get those promises written down deep in our hearts, minds and souls, then we can live the kind of earthly life Jesus died for us to live; one of peace and abundance, with our eyes focused on the things of heaven, not those of the earth. And if you don’t believe me, then check out how God dealt with Job nuh. After He allowed Satan to inflict wrong on Job so He could prove Job’s faithfulness, He gave Job twice as much as he had in the beginning. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please notice praying for his friends was also an important aspect of God restoring Job’s fortunes. And please note too that Satan had to go to God to get to Job. The Good Book says: ‘Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the Adversary) came also among them.’ (Job 1:6) 

And if we’re wondering how that was possible, hear the scholars. ‘1:6. Sons of God in this passage refers to angelic beings. Satan is considered one of them, though fallen from his original sinless state. His name means “Adversary,” and in this narrative he lives up to its meaning. The passage shows that Satan has access to God’s presence, though this does not seem to be Satan’s abode.’ 

Oh my people, nobody knows how God operates better than Satan, because he was once one of His top operatives before his pride and lofty position made him too big for his britches, and he got kicked out of heaven for trying to overthrow God. Just imagine the ‘boldfacedness’ of the created being nuh! Unfortunately though, we’re doing just like he did, trying to kick God our of our society. But a word of warning to the wise: that will NEVER happen! 

Anyhow, moving on with the story from the Good Book. ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) The scholars tell us that refers to Satan’s activity, and though he does not admit it there, his many travels are for evil purposes. (1 Pet. 5:8) 

‘The activity of Satan indicates that he has only limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (be in several places at once). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ to that. Then, I like how God boasted on Job to Satan. ‘Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?’ (Job 1:8) Oh brother, I don’t know if I want the Lord to boast so on me to the enemy nuh. (smile) 

But as the scholars explain: ‘1:8. The initiative in the conversation lies with God, but He may well have simply expressed what was on Satan’s mind. God’s view of Job is the same as the description given in 1:1.’ And Satan failed miserably in trying to get Job to curse God. 

Instead he worshipped Him. Despite all the inaccurate and hurtful things his supposed friends said against him, and the way that people despised and turned away from him, Job stood strong in the faith of his God. These word of his, say it all. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Mama Yo! That’s what yuh call ‘strong faith!’ And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Now friends, it’s that kind of unquenchable faith that we need to have, especially in these very rough times that we’re currently experiencing. It’s not easy, and will never be easy, once we live here on planet earth with the prince of darkness it’s ruling force. But we know that Jesus will come again and eventually make everything right. 

And this note from the scholars on the turning around of Job’s life is important. ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather, that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom. 8:28; 1Thess. 5:18).’ And that’s what I’ve been trying to say from the very beginning friends! (smile) 

So for those of us who sincerely believe and implicitly trust, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘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 let’s go and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the Christian motto…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2021 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

Please note friends, that this is simply an aberration, not a regular occurrence. (smile) I’m talking about receiving the Bit so early on a Tuesday morning. But it has been forced upon me by an early morning appointment for some tests in the hospital, and with the bad weather out there and the confusion in the hospitals, I’m not sure when I’ll be back. 

And believe me, if it was in normal times when tests were fairly easy to come by, I would certainly have cancelled this one after the snowstorm passed by last night and dropped a few inches on us. But things have changed so much during these pandemic times that I am forced to brave the beautiful white, but oh so dangerous stuff this early morning. (smile) And since this Bit will be short and sweet, let’s get going with something Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) called ‘The Possibility Thinker’s Creed,’ a li’l encouragement for a cold and snowy Tuesday Morning. 

Please read with me. ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ Now that should liven us up this morning, and give us some strength and strong desire to keep keeping on and NEVER to give up, because Christians don’t do that sort of thing. Hn! And I do hope that I find a pass through the mountain of snow when I get out there, because I really don’t feel like climbing over it, tunnelling underneath or staying and turning it into a gold mine. (smile) 

Now here is something else I’d like to share, one of my favourite prayers. It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My HeartfeltThanks!’ It was prepared by the Life -Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut some years ago, and I’ve shared it already, but I think the time’s come to share it again. (smile) So please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And Ithank Yousincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! 

You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of YourLOVEfor me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! 

Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2021, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, as far as I am concerned you could not get a much better overall prayer than that! It certainly covers all bases. And it’s based on this wonderful scripture from Psalm 107.‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! If mankind was a li’l more thankful and praiseful and grateful to the Lord God Almighty, I’m sure we would not be in the terrible mess in which we’re now in! But we like to use our free will, be proud of our independence and do our own thing. Hn! Therefore, when we make the wrong decisions, we have to pay the price, But unfortunately, though we doLOVEto be proud and arrogant, we don’t have the concomitant parts to stand our bounce when we do wrong and the tough consequences come a calling. Only then do we know God and cry out to Him for help! 

And the psalmist thought that our Bit was so important that he included it three more times in the one psalm; verses 15, 21 and 31. Now here’s what he says after verse 15; ‘For he hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.’ (Ps. 107:16-17) And that’s no lie friends, as we and all our foolish and evil doings, can all attest to. 

And after verse 21, the psalmist declares (yes!) ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107. 22) Oh how much better off we’d be my people, if we did more joyful singing and thanksgiving than the inordinate amount of complaining we do. And after verse 31, the psalmist makes another profound statement. ‘Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps. 107:32) 

More sound and wise advice my brethren. Let’s try and take some it this Tuesday morning nuh. It would be oh such sweet balm to our tired and wounded souls. And now it’s time to go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the whole world who and whose we are. 

Altogether in strong, sincere voice now: ‘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 let’s mosey on and do just that nuh.Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us free will…so that we would use it wisely…not foolishly… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2021 2 Timothy 1:12a.

2 Timothy 1:12a.     ​for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

Well a good Tuesday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family. It’s a tad snowy, but not too bad. And we need to remember that it’s winter in my neighbourhood and that’s what happens in winter; it gets cold and it snows. (smile) And I’m happy to say that after a couple of weeks and much dinero, I’m back on my desktop in my basement office again. But chuh! It’s taken a long while to set it back up. Ah, this technological society eh? It will be the ruin of us, in more ways than one, especially when our A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) gets so good that our robot friends start manipulating us, instead of the other way around. 

Yes friends, at some stage of the game, we’re going to get so lazy and pampered by all the stuff that A.I does for us that we’ll completely lose our minds, bodies and souls to it. It’s already happening. I see it when I send messages on What’s App, I don’t have to type in everything, like they read my mind, and on some things they are even more accurate than me. (smile) 

Now there is a comparative scenario, our relationship with our God, our Creator. The big difference here is that God is very vigilant and protective of His realm and won’t allow any interlopers whatsoever. So though we try, like Satan did, to use Him for our own ends, it won’t work. He might allow us some leeway, but take over, NO WAY Jose! 

We, on the other hand, want to just relax and enjoy life as easily as possible, so every day we are turning over some of our power to other sources. This in no way augurs good for the future, for as the ole people would say, when you don’t use it, you lose it. And that’s gospel truth my people. When we don’t use our faculties we lose them, they keep diminishing until they atrophy completely. 

But that’s the history of mankind, of the many powerful and wise societies that have inhabited our planet. Once they get prosperous and successful, they become lazy and their standards fall…and keep falling until the society is no longer a powerhouse or of any international importance. And we are in that critical stage right now, the only difference being that we are inventing machines, not people, to take over. And with the pandemic difficulties and the host of other problems in our world, I don’t know what the eventual outcome will be. 

But friends, there is some stuff ‘I Do Know.’ And that’s the title of the poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I know that you also know these things, so please declare them with me. ‘There is much I cannot begin to fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. 

But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. I know that I, a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. I know that my life has purpose and dignity. I know that God has chosen me as the object of His lavish LOVE; that His thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that He has inscribed me in the palms of His hands. I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know.’ 

Oh my people, I do hope that we know that we know those things yes, else we’re completely lost, now and forever! If we don’t know the Father’s wonderful and unconditional LOVE, not confidently or consistently steeped in it, then we can’t be a part of the Son’s awesome life, or experience the amazing power of the Holy Spirit. Yes friends, it all begins with the LOVE of the Father, Him wanting to justly reclaim and reconcile us to Himself,  then flows through to the other two aspects of our triune Deity. 

And we see that so plainly in the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) That’s oh so important to know and believe my friends, for it truly shows the extent of God’s LOVE for His disobedient creation. And I don’t know why it’s so hard for some of us to believe in God’s mighty LOVE nuh, for why else would He send His Son to die on the cross for a bunch of disobedient degenerates eh? It had to be LOVE, the greatest emotion in His arsenal. 

How did Bruh Paul put it to the church at Corinth? ‘And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor. 13:13) And so it is my brethren. That’s why Jesus said the two greatest commandments are to LOVE your God with all you have, and to LOVE your neighbour as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-40) 

But coming back to the poem above and what we do know, Bruh Paul says it quite assuredly in the Bible Promise that’s associated with the poem. This is his assurance to Timothy. ‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ (2 Tim. 1:11-12) 

Oh my fellow believers, we too need to be that assured, not ashamed and very persuaded (smile) that whatever we’ve committed to Jesus, our earthly life, as well as our eternal salvation, that He can keep and guard them to the day when we stand before Him in judgment. That’s the great difference between believers and unbelievers; we are assured that Christ can do all that He says! 

And Peter tells us thus: ‘Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.’ (1 Pet. 4:19) Wow, mih bredrin! If our Creator isn’t LOVING and faithful, who is then eh? And because we know whom we have believed and are not ashamed of, we can go home declaring (aw shucks) who and whose we are through our Tuesday Mantra. 

Altogether now: ‘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 let’s go and do just that nuh!  Much LOVE!

…if you are ashamed…and not assured…then you don’t truly believe…  

P.S. Not all my fault that it’s late. I also had a doctor’s telephone consultation thrown into the mix. And as wonderful believers, I know you all understand. (smile) Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2021 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.     Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Oh friends, come join with me this cold but bright and sunny winter morning to magnify the Lord nuh, for He is ever so good to us! Yes, He woke us up this morning with a new set of mercies and compassions and a strong breath of life so we can do His divine bidding. That’s more than enough to give Him much thanks and praise. 

So as the Good Book decrees: ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together….The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him.’ (Ps. 34: 3,7-10) 

Yes my people, that is the indisputable truth! Those who reverence the Lord God Jehovah are protected and want for nothing that’s necessary to live this life. But the onus is upon us to reverence Him. It just doesn’t happen on its own; energy and effort have to be put into it. 

And one of the most important things for believers to do, especially in these uncertain and disastrous times is to speak God’s Word, to be positive and constantly remind ourselves that we are children of the Most High God and thus blessed and favoured, sanctified, justified, reconciled, forgiven and the host of other blessings we receive when we honour Him. 

Remember the Lord spoke the world into existence. The only thing He made manually or physically was man. That means there is lots of power in our words. Remember Cousin Sol’s warning? ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ (Prov. 18:21) 

Oh mih bredrin that is something we should try and remember all the time because it’s the absolute truth. Our words can either speak life or death. And these words from Rev. Marcia Martin of the Vian United Methodist Church explain the situation very well. 

‘My dad gave me a piece of advice when I was a know-it-all teenager. He said, “Never say in anger what you don’t mean, because you can say you’re sorry, but you can’t take it back.” Satan can use our tongue to cause division, putting others down, bragging, false teaching, exaggeration, complaining, or just flat out lying. 

It only takes a few words to hurt someone. Wounds heal but they leave scars that never disappear…Your words can either speak life, or your words can speak death. Our tongues can build others up, or they can tear them down. 

An unchecked fire doubles in size every minute. Gossip and false teaching are no different. It’s been said that great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.’ 

And I don’t need to tell you that it’s all gospel truth, because you already know it. And that’s one of the reasons why our world is in such a dreadful mess these days; we use words without thinking about their effect, sling hurtful words without thinking twice about what’s coming out of our mouths. And just like Cousin Sol says we’re now enjoying the negative fruit of our negative words. 

Remember what James said in Chapter 3 about the dangers of the tongue. He likened it to the rudder of a ship, the small thing that guides the big ship in the direction that the pilot wants it to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small thing that boasts a lot of power. 

‘Even as the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter (forest) a little fire kindleth (sets on fire). And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members (the tongue is so set), that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature (our existence); and it is set on fire of hell.’ (James 3:5-6) 

Yes friends, as the scholars put it. ‘3:6. The tongue is a system (world) of iniquity that sets on fire the whole course of life, and is even set on fire by Satan (cf. 3:15).’ And that’s the living truth, for it’s the tongue, our words, that mainly cause wars and divisions, disunity, resentment, hate, anger and all the other negative stuff that’s so prevalent in our world today. 

And not only in the world itself, but also in the church of Christ. James must have thought that he was writing to our current church which is filled with so much negative, petty stuff, like slander, gossip, false teaching, etc. etc. 

James continues: ‘But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude (image) of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be.’ (James 3: 8-10) 

Oh my people, blessing and cursing out of the same mouth is certainly inconsistent, and should not be mentioned amongst our attributes. And how do we solve the negativity of the tongue? The Lord said it quite clearly 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 (shall be constantly in) thy mouth:’ Josh. 1:8a) That’s it right there friends! We need to keep speaking God’s word; positive, proactive words, thinking before we speak. If we do that, then our tongues won’t do as much damage to our lives. 

But how do we accomplish that, you ask? The Lord also spells it out for us in the same verse: ‘but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.’ (Josh, 1:8b) It’s not rocket science my people. To constantly speak God’s word, we must constantly read and study God’s word. Simple as that! 

But here is the best part of the Lord’s advice: ‘for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8c) Oh fellow saints of Christ, that is the panacea for ALL of our ills! Read and study the word, then speak it, and voila! Success will be ours. Yes friends, true success only comes from sincerely meditating on God’s word and then putting it into action. Nothing less will do! 

So for those of us who are engaged in that wonderful course, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are! 

In one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

The next step is easy; we go out and share Christ’s LOVE and friendship! (smile) Much LOVE!

…to tame our tongues…we must have on the yoke of Christ… 

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