Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 September 2021 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.     Have faith in God.

Then it was Saturday…and life keeps moving on regardless! Yes friends, despite what we say, do or think, life is moving on, and it will move on, because that’s what it was programmed to do by its omnipotent Creator. And until He decides that it’s time to curtail life, there’s nothing the creation can do to thwart it. So, having made that indisputable fact clear, (smile) let’s go out then and enjoy life nuh, live life to the full, live it abundantly, as Christ Jesus died to have us do. For there’s no sense in trying to change or disrupt stuff over which we have no power. 

That means letting go of all our worries, anxieties and negative circumstances. We claim to have faith in the One and Only God Jehovah, and in His Son Jesus Christ, who can enable us to do anything, so please, let’s show more of that faith in our everyday lives nuh. Otherwise, we are making ourselves liars, for in these greatly troubled times, great faith in Almighty God is an absolute necessity. So, as life moves on, let’s move on too, and see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. Help me to wrap my head around them and make some sense of them. (smile) 

And the first one says: ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’ I guess that’s basically true. You can’t make progress unless you change up stuff in your life, and it sounds logical that if you can’t change your mind you will never change anything, since change begins and ends in the mind. It’s the control centre of our life. But friends, a serious word of caution here, do all the changing you want, but please don’t ever change your mind about believing in Christ Jesus! For without Him, we are nothing! 

And I guess our friend Anselm was on a faith kick this week, because all the other quotes deal with some aspect of faith. So hear this one: ‘Make a space in your life for the glorious things you deserve. Have faith.’ Now I don’t know how much we deserve, if anything, but the Good Lord does shower us with glorious stuff, and we do need faith to believe that He will continue doing so. Remember that several times Jesus chided those around Him for having little or no faith, and after cursing the fig tree that had leaves but no fruit, He told the disciples: ‘Have faith in God.’ (Mark 11:22) 

But what exactly is faith eh? I found this simple but interesting definition on the pushpay.com/blog website by commentator Allison Sakounthong. She says that ‘Put simply, faith is believing in God and trusting in His plan, even when you don’t understand it and can’t see it. As it applies to our life, however, faith is about more than just a feeling, it’s about living it. We live our faith through obedience to God and acts of service.’ And I think that’s as simple as you can put it. It’s all about believing in God and living for Him, with great expectations of good things in our future. 

That’s segues very nicely into this next quote. ‘Patience is not the ability to wait. Patience is to be calm no matter what happens, constantly take action to turn it to positive growth opportunities, and have faith to believe that it will all work out in the end while you are waiting.’ Now that’s all true, but again we have to transfer it to faith and belief in God, since there are a lot of things we cannot make happen on our own, but remember what Jesus said about the camel going through the eye of a needle, as opposed to a rich man entering the kingdom of God? ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

That’s what we need to believe, with absolutely no doubt whatsoever in our souls, and spirit! Otherwise we will always be lacking something, or even shortchanging ourselves, for it takes great faith to live sincerely for Jesus. Just check out the lives of the great saints before us, like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, and our three Bruhs, Joseph, David and Pablo. (smile) And I guess most of you didn’t know that Joseph was a Bruh eh, because I don’t talk about him much. But to be truthful, I believe he was an even bigger example of patience and perseverance than Job. Just look at all he went through as a teenager; from slavery, to prison, in complete innocence. 

But you’ll notice that he never whined or complained about his unfair treatment, and that wherever he was, be it in Potiphar’s house, or in prison, the Good Book tells us that ‘the Lord was with Joseph…’ (Gen. 39:2, 22) Yes my people, Bruh Joseph had a dream of great things from God, but the way it actually played out in his life seemed very contrary to the promise. But he never gave up, he stuck it out without complaints, possibly sensing deep down that there was a good and godly reason for all his unwarranted hardship. 

And that’s what faith in God means: to stand strong and steadfast in your belief, and keep being godly, although the reality of the situation doesn’t match up with your dream. For God doesn’t move us to high positions unless we go through the low ones faithfully. That brings us to this next quote. ‘Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we must trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the contrariness of our great God! Sorry, ‘contrariness’ is not the best word nuh, but I just couldn’t think of it at the time of writing. (smile) I basically mean that sometimes God allows us to go through hardship without any explicit reason, but then He also blesses us with beautiful things, also without any explicit reason. But if we truly know who He is, and how He operates, then those unexpected storms or beautiful sunsets won’t bother us, we’ll take them in stride, knowing that He has a good reason and purpose behind all He does, and as He has faithfully promised, eventually He will work it all out for our good. 

Then there’s this last quote. ‘Believe in a LOVE that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this LOVE there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.’ Oh my fellow saints, we know about that LOVE! We’re talking there about the greatest LOVE EVER! That of our wonderful God for us: The Good Book tells it plainly: ‘But God commendeth (showed) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) 

Now how can ever be a LOVE greater than a Father sending a Son to die for ungrateful, disloyal and disobedient people eh? No way! And though that LOVE is visible right now in our earthly lives, it’s also stored up in heaven for us, as Peter tells us. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-5) 

Oh friends, there’s nothing else I can say nuh, except to rally us to the cross of Jesus, for that is where it all begins and ends! And if you don’t come to foot of that wooden cross at some stage of your earthly life, to lay your burdens down and receive Christ, as Lord and Saviour, then your life would have been a total waste! Much LOVE!

…if God could display so much LOVE…mankind ought to display much more faith…                                                                                                      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.     ​In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Oh friends, it’s a glorious Monday morning; a new day of a new week, and we’re all alive and kicking, so please, in gratitude for such blessing, let’s do as the psalmist decreed so long ago nuh! ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 150:6) Yes my people, everything and everyone that draws the living breath of the Lord this morning ought to shout ‘Hallelujah! Praise the Lord for His goodness to His creations!’ For there’s none like Him, and will never be any other deity with His LOVE and compassion! That’s the indisputable truth! 

And on a lesser level now, you’ll be proud of the ole fella, for remember last Monday I promised to improve my game, to do more of the things I wanted to do? Well, I did! Still not as much as I would have ideally liked to do, because I was somewhat under the weather with allergies and a cough giving me a hard time. But I did do more than I’ve been doing in the last li’l while! Give the Lord some praise for that! (smile) 

Oh precious people, we can never go wrong by giving thanks to God. That’s one place where we are always on solid ground. As Bruh Paul said to the Colossians: ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:16-17) 

And here are some interesting explanations on those verses from the scholars. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing, forgiving (vs. 13), and LOVING (vs.14), toward one another, when peace reigns among God’s people (vs. 15), then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ Now is that the current state of our church, would we say it’s fertile soil? I would say, certainly not! And per ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs. 16), but is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ 

Yeh friends, in giving our ALL to Christ, we allow Him…or are supposed to allow Him to control all aspects of our lives. Unfortunately though, many of us don’t give up total control to Christ, but we still want and expect to get the total blessings that come with His control. We can’t live like that my brethren. All we are doing is shortchanging ourselves when we promise to give all, but then withhold some, for we’ll never get the full benefit of Christ’s goodness under those circumstances. 

And I’m chuckling here, because I had not intended to preach, (smile) but just to give us some good tidings re giving thanks. And I see no reason to not continue down that path. Our next section of thanks comes from Bruh Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, where he sincerely admonishes them…and us, to ’Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

It could not get any plainer than that my fellow saints in Christ. God’s will is for us to rejoice and pray and give thanks through Christ! What an awesome privilege and benefit! And the scholars explain it thus: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Now that brings us back to the famous verse we all know: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God; to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So, if we are well looked after in every circumstance, on every front, by an omnipotent and generous God, how can we not be thankful and live the way He desires of us eh? But the truth is that we have been ungrateful and disobedient and consequently have gotten ourselves in serious trouble, and since He is the only One who can relieve our discomfort, we need to go back to Him with thanksgiving and prayer as Bruh Paul advised. 

And to show our new wisdom and understanding, let’s go to Him right now with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, sincerely laying all our fears and problems at His feet. As one strong voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, unless the Lord sees sincere repentance in our future behaviour, He will not answer our request positively. So it’s obvious that we need to do much better that we’re currently doing. Much LOVE!

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…                                                                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2015 Psalm 73:26

Psalm 73:26.    My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (the rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Sunday, Sunday! Oh how glad we are that it’s here at last! For it’s the day that most Christians, most believers in Jesus Christ gather together in the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship with each other; to sing and praise, give thanks, worship and glorify our wonderful Creator and Provider. Glory Hallelujah! 

It’s also a time of rejuvenation; a time when our spirits are lifted, our faith and trust increased, our confidence strengthened, as the immutable and holy Word of God flows through, percolates in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! 

And all God’s people shouted loudly and proudly: ‘Blessed be the Lord our God who sacrificed His Son Jesus Christ so that we could be reconciled to Him, and who now pours out His never-ending bounty on us, more than we can ask or even imagine! Thank You Lord. We offer up our sacrifice of praise and vow to walk obedient to your will. In Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes Friends, it is indeed a wonderful, a magnificent God we serve, and every day I open my eyes to greet a new day, I can’t help but give Him some serious thanks and praise for all that He’s done, is doing and has promised to do in my life. Glorify Him my people, for there’s none else like Him! No other supposed deity even comes close to Him, for they are all dead, but our Jehovah God is alive and kicking; kicking mightily too! 

So this Sunday morning, let’s all make it a stated purpose to get to His sanctuary and enjoy much needed fellowship with other believers nuh, so that our souls can be primed and ready to meet and greet tomorrow, Monday, with a burst of enthusiasm and rich desire to get out into the working world and serve the Lord with all that we possess. 

Remember, the tempo, the mood, the attitude towards the first day of the work week, and all those that follow, are set, are determined by how we spend the first day of the week, Sunday. So please get out and renew your faith, raise your hopes today. End of sermon! (smile) 

Oh Friends, some of you might think that I’m joking, or just being overzealous, but the reality is that our God does faithfully reach out to those who trust in Him. Let’s take the case of the psalmist Asaph. Way back when, he saw the wicked prospering and couldn’t understand it. 

Consequently, he almost fell into the snare of the ungodly, wanting to have their prosperity. Many of us fall for the same scam today. But through the goodness, the LOVING-kindness of God, he woke up in time and saw the foolishness of that mindset. Therefore, he could contritely admit in Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness. 

‘Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins (grieved in my mind). So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden (held) me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy council, and afterward receive me to glory.’ (Ps.73:21-24) 

Oh my people, as I said just now, many of us today are still being wowed by the prosperity of the wicked, but please believe that is only a temporary situation. They will all eventually get their rightful comeuppance; death and destruction. 

But those who sincerely follow the risen Lord, the atoning Saviour Jesus Christ, will be guided away from wickedness by His Holy Spirit which indwells each and every believer. Then, like Asaph says, at the end of our earthly days we will be received in glory to our heavenly home. 

Now hear how Asaph continues: ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (the rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ (Ps.73:25-26) 

My brethren, my brethren, do you hear that declaration of faith and trust which includes our Bit! Can we declare likewise, with the same confidence? I surely do hope so, because unless we can, we will be seriously shortchanging ourselves in the mercies and blessings of our awesome God. 

And why is that? Listen to the next verse from Asaph. ‘For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee (who are unfaithful to thee).’ (Ps.73:27)  

Yes Friends, wickedness and unfaithfulness may pay for a time, and might look rather enticing, but believe me, it will not get you into heaven, will not bring you salvation and eternal life. Only trust and belief in Jesus Christ will do that. 

And Asaph confidently and wisely ends the psalm thus. ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps.73:28) 

Glory Hallelujah my people! Words of unadulterated wisdom! And if you haven’t declared those sentiments as yet, I’ll advise you to do so as soon as possible. And today, right now, will be a most appropriate time to do it. Because, remember when Jesus returns in all His majestic glory and splendour, which could happen at any time, if you are found wanting, then it will be too late, and as the old people would say, crapaud smoke yuh pipe! 

So please, please, I implore us, let’s not be found wanting, let’s put our absolute trust in Jesus right now, let’s surrender our entire lives to Him, so that we will be received into glory at the end times. That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…knowing, trusting, LOVING and walking with Jesus…is the ONLY panacea for our troubles…