Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.      Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Well it’s cloudy, and the forecasters have promised rain for this afternoon, which the ground badly needs, but I also want to go and visit my mother out in the North East end, and it doesn’t make sense to go in the rain. Been putting it off for a couple weeks, finding one excuse after another.

 

Hn! Haven’t seen her for about a year now, if not more, and that’s not a good son’s behaviour. But I know she will forgive my lack of attention, because that’s the kind of person she was. 

Ah friends, forgiveness! One of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. And the greatest words of forgiveness ever spoken are those of Jesus, as He hung, bruised and battered on the old wooden cross, about to breathe His last breath. ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

Yeh friends, can you believe it? After the harsh and unjust punishment Jesus received at the hands of wicked and sinful men, He still could ask the Father to forgive us, because we didn’t know what we were doing! What magnanimity of soul and spirit He exuded there.

The same goes for us in these evil times. Only a person with a large heart and spirit can genuinely forgive another. It’s seldom easy, but yuh know what my people? Forgiveness is the very basis of our faith!  

Our most generous and magnanimous God forgave us our sins because it was in His heart to do so. He didn’t have to do it, but because of His LOVE for us, He chose to do it. And He requires us to do the same; to forgive others as He has forgiven us. And if you don’t, then you’re not a true child of His. 

And that principle of our faith was, and is so important that Jesus made it a part of the basic prayer He taught His disciples: ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

And the scholars explain the verse of our Bit as follows: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ 

And that’s a good thing, because so many of us have so many, even some we don’t know about, that it would take us till everlasting to name them all! (smile) As the li’l quote from the Daily Bread Devotional reminds us: ‘The first step to receiving God’s forgiveness is to admit that we need it.’ And do we ever! 

And Jesus didn’t just leave it there in our Bit, but followed up with this most important corollary: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses (sins, debts), your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) 

Oh my brethren, Jesus could not make it any simpler or clearer than that! If we don’t forgive our fellow man his trespass, then the Lord won’t forgive ours. It’s as simple as that! But we’re such hypocrites and deceivers in this current world that we don’t forgive others but keep on pleading to the Lord for His forgiveness on our behalf. Hn! It won’t work my people. 

The Lord forgave us once on the big stage, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, but now He expects us, as individuals, to live up to our covenant and do unto others as we expect Him and others to do unto us. So we shouldn’t expect someone to give us something that we’re not prepared to give in the first place, or to give back, having received it. That’s not Christ-like. 

But unfortunately that’s not what our current world is all about. Instead, we’re mightily focused on getting something for nothing, not sharing, being greedy and hoarding, simply looking out for number one, me, myself and I! And even more unfortunately, too many of us Christians are falling into the selfish trap that the world is advocating. 

And it doesn’t help us either as individuals or as Christ’s body, the church. It just makes the unbeliever look at us askance and lose interest in God, because that behaviour does not gel with what we preach as believers. So we’re definitely doing ourselves and Christ’s church irreparable harm when we behave in that hypocritical and ungodly manner. 

Oh my people, I guess we’ll need to hear about forgiveness until the very day, or moment that we die, since it’s not always easy to do, and it goes against the very grain of our naturally sinful soul. But forgive we must, if we want to be forgiven!

And like with every other aspect in our walk of faith, God will help us with forgiveness if we come to Him in all humility and sincerity and ask for His help. He’s promised never to turn us away…and He won’t. 

So let’s wisely get on the forgiveness train nuh, because it’s the only one going to heaven. And simple logic dictates that if you’re not on it, then you’re not going to heaven! (smile) But our God is so magnanimous and wonderful, that for those who try to practice what they preach, He’s ordained numerous blessings, as found in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s go home now sincerely declaring them nuh. 

In unison: ‘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!’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! Now let’s go out with a strong sense of purpose and share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…if you’re blessed…then you were meant to share the blessing…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2018 Lamentations 3:21.

Lamentations 3:21.   This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.

Aye friends, yuh ever wake up in the morning and just feel tired, exasperated and frustrated with mankind? Well that’s the way I feel this morning. Before I begin writing the Bit, I usually take a gander at the news headlines to get some idea of what’s happening around the world…

And…oh Lord…it’s only strife, anger, war, resentment and hatred! Nothing uplifting! Unless the newsmongers don’t consider anything uplifting to be news! But it’s just so much confusion and ‘cantankerousness’ that it leaves the spirit longing for the day the Lord shuts it all down. 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and it’s the big-wigs who are causing all the heartache, but the workingman does have something to say that will bring a chuckle to the soul and lift the spirit some. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And though the summer finish and school start back, and the long holiday weekends done for now, we still going to have a good time on the weekends! 

Why? Because that’s the only time we have to have a good time! The rest of the week we labouring for massa for piddling, can’t make ends meet wages. So when we get the chance, come hell or high water, we certainly going to party for so, and say, ‘In yuh face massa! Stop we now nuh! But he can’t! That’s why we have to say Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, there’s a certain kind of earthiness in the workingman that you can’t beat. He just lays it out there bare, fair and square. Meanwhile we, the supposed intelligentsia, make such a fuss, have so many unnecessary hang-ups, that we make our own lives more difficult than they need to be. 

Yes, the workingman does tend to go too far out on the limb, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Hopefully, we believers are a li’l more cautious, but still capable of real and true emotion, and show it when it’s necessary. And right now is one of those times, as we declare our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm as the workingman sang his song. 

All together now:  ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes friends, our intentions are different from the workingman, but our enthusiasm for the things of Jesus should be just as great, if not greater! And I’m chuckling here mih people, because I don’t know where all of this is leading to, but the Lord must have a purpose for it all. Let’s see if we can find it…

Glory to God, I found it! I just opened the Good Book and it opened right to the page with these immortal words of Jeremiah in his soulful Lamentations. ‘He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: 

I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3:15-20) 

Ah mih breddren, Jeremiah did have a pretty rough time in trying to bring his people to the Lord. But yuh know what? In his reminiscence, he rightly and sagely concludes. ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. 

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.’ (Lam.3:21-28) 

And Jeremiah did bear the Lord’s yoke in his youth, as did many of us believers. So friends, even though we might be going through a pretty difficult time, there’s no reason to get discouraged and give up, because as Jerry says, the Lord is good to those who seek Him and wait on Him. 

And later on he further declares: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men.’ (Lam.3:31-33) Yeh, friends, though our God is a God of justice, He is also a God of great mercy; He does not take delight in afflicting us. He will punish us for our sins, but nowhere near what we deserve. 

So please, I implore us this Friday morning, to not give up, even though you may not see a way out of your troubles. Remember that our God is the Creator of the universe and He ALWAYS finds a way. So put your trust and hope in Him, hang in there, and eventually, in His time and manner, He will lift the burdens from your soul. He has done it for countless other saints. He will do it for you too…just have faith and hang in there. Much LOVE!

…if the Lord gave His Son’s sinless life for our sinful souls…why would he withhold anything else from us eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 August 2018 Psalm 127:1.

Psalm 127:1.    Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain).

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning! Everything’s going my way!’ Ah friends, I know that life is not always like a bunch of sweet smelling roses or sweet tasting cherries, but the important thing to realize is that we’re alive, and once we’re alive, there is hope that things can improve, especially if we’re true believers in Jesus Christ! Glory be mih people! 

There’s no better or greater avenue to live this earthly life than as followers of Jesus! Jesus has been so good to us, I don’t see how we can even think of not believing in Him, or rebelling against him. That’s utter madness! How else would we get atonement for our sins and a chance to spend eternal life with the Father in heaven eh, for there’s no other way to do that than through Him? 

And our Bit spells that out in spades. ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain).’ And whether you believe it or not, that’s gospel truth! 

Hear how the psalmist continues as he strongly advises the need of relying on God. ‘It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late. To eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.’ (Ps.127:2) Yeh friends, when your life is aligned with God’s you don’t have to stress and strain to make a living, and the Lord gives you restful sleep. 

And not only that, as the psalmist further details: ‘Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is their reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (warrior); so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.’ (Ps.127:3-5) 

Wow mih breddren! Yuh see how the Lord looks after us when we’re obedient to Him? Amongst other things, He gives us, or better yet, blesses us with lovely children, who stand up for us against our enemies and keeps our house going strong and prosperous! 

And the scholars offer this wonderful explanation of the psalm. ‘Psalm 127. The principle of this psalm is that all human efforts are in vain unless they have God’s blessing. This principle is applied to four areas: building a house (v.1a), guarding a city (v.1b), working long hours (v.2), and having children (vs.3-5). 

It is possible to accomplish all of these things without God’s blessing, but it is not possible to accomplish them purposefully and with eternal value without God’s blessing. The psalm includes, incidentally, two practical reasons for having children: they bring you joy, and they protect you. (v.5).’ 

Now what more can I say eh, except to shout out to my children: ‘Aye mih children, you certainly bring the ole fella joy! That’s for sure! But are you all going to protect me in the gate from the enemy? I’m sure you all will!’ (smile) And thus I can give out a big ‘Thank You and Praise Your Holy Name and Glory Hallelujah to Almighty God because my children will look after me in my old age!’ 

Ah friends, we are indeed blessed when we have children who will honour and protect us in times of need, and I have to acknowledge that my children do so. They’re not perfect, but if I want for anything, they do their best to help me. That’s all I can ask. 

Unfortunately, a lot of parents aren’t so blessed. Why? I don’t know. But as they say, you make the children, but you don’t make their minds. And Cousin Sol proffers a very important lesson: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old (mature) he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6). 

Now that’s generally the case, but I’ve seen children raised in the fear of the Lord, who turn right around and follow Beelzebub. So what’s a parent do eh? Not much but pray and do their earthly best. The important thing though my faithful brethren is that we make room for God in ALL of our daily doings, for without Him in our lives we will not be as successful as we can be with Him in them. 

That’s simply indisputable truth! So please, let’s take that same wisdom we try to put into our children’s heads and use it for our benefit. It’s the only thing that makes sense. 

Now let’s go home declaring that wisdom for all and sundry to hear, in our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. All together now: ‘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 if we were truly sincere in that prayer, then we now have to go out and action it, like Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…examples speak louder than words…so to make a real difference…our lives have to speak very loudly…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2018 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Corinthians 5:17.   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Can you believe it friends, it’s already the first day of August, which means that the summer is almost over! Steups! Only thirty more days before the cold weather begins ominously creeping in… And oh, sometimes it doesn’t even creep in, it just comes roaring in full blast. So we need to make as many special summer memories as we can this month, because with the strange weather patterns going nowadays, who knows what will happen. 

But before we go any further, let me remind us of this momentous and everlasting truth: ‘There is only ONE Power and ONE presence here – God the Good Omnipotent! Wow mih breddren! And is he ever Good and Omnipotent! He had to be; otherwise we’d be ALL now heading for Hades to dwell with Lucifer, instead of having the option to look forward to heaven with Christ! Praise His Holy Name! 

And it really surprises me that so many people refuse to even look at the option with Jesus that brings light to our souls, even thumb their noses at it and stick staunchly with the prince of darkness and evil. Why are we so afraid of light eh? I guess because our deeds are evil and we’re afraid to expose them to the light because then others will see our true colours and know that we’re not what or who we claim to be. 

But friends, when you wisely choose Jesus, that’s not a problem, because He washes away all of that muck with which you’re covered. His sacrifice on the cross at Calvary has already paid for all your sins for all time, and you become a new creation in Him, washed white as snow, atoned for and reconciled to the Father, with the amazing opportunity to go right to the throne room and talk personally with the Father. 

Wow! What an awesome privilege that is my breddren! Yuh think Lucifer has time for you like the Lord does? Yuh think Lucifer is waiting to care for and comfort and relieve your sorrows like the Lord is? Not on yuh life! Lucifer just wants to get you into more evil and compass your soul with more pain and sorrow.  

Thus Bruh Paul tells us in our Bit, in his second letter to the church at Corinth: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ Glory be mih people! What a blessing it is to throw off our old sinful, fleshly nature and receive the new, refreshed spiritual nature of Christ! 

That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus when he asked about eternal things. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) That means a new beginning, however a spiritual one, must be had to be associated with Christ. 

As Jesus further told Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes); and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:5-8) 

Yes friends, once we get in with Jesus, we no longer live an earthly or carnal life, we begin living a spiritual life, one from the inside out, not vice versa. That’s because once you become a believer the Holy Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within you and lead and guide you in a spiritual manner. 

As Bruh Paul reminds us when he wrote to the church at Rome, dealing with life in the Spirit: ‘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. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life, and peace.’ (Rom.8:5-6) 

So to keep on lusting after the things of the flesh, the things of the world is death. However when we become spiritually minded, live in obedience to Christ’s Holy Spirit, we achieve a sense of peace and look forward to eternal life. And Bruh Paul puts it all nicely together earlier on in his missive to the Roman church. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Ah friends, knowing that, how can we not LOVE and revere the Lord eh? If we have the slightest amount of common sense or wisdom, that verse would surely enlighten us to the fact that if we hang out with Jesus, through God’s mercy and LOVING-kindness, His unmerited favour, we won’t get what we deserve; eternal damnation, but rather eternal life. It’s up to each individual though to make a choice. Let’s hope we all make the right one. 

And for those of us who have already made the right decision, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proudly letting the world know our position in Christ. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And my fellow believers, as I keep saying, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…why foolishly choose death…when we can wisely choose life eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2018 John 14:6.

John 14:6.   I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Well friends, it seems like it’s another strife filled day in our strife filled world. Hn! Nothing much has changed from yesterday. But blessed are we of the Christian faith, who don’t have to allow all the bad news around the world to affect us too much. 

Oh we should be concerned about all the unnecessary nonsense that’s taking place, but with Christ first and foremost in our hearts we know the eventual outcome of the situation and our preferred place in it. Thus we do our best to alleviate what we can in our small circle and leave the rest to God, for it’s His universe and He’s the Controller. Amen! 

Now it’s Saturday, sleepy time day, (smile) so let’s look at a couple of quotes I received from our friend Anselm this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first says: ‘No matter how hard you try to make a person who’s miserable all the time happy it’ll never work, until they get a handle on their life and try being happy without a reason. Life doesn’t owe anyone happiness, only you owe yourself happiness.’ 

And that’s the basic truth friends. If a person truly doesn’t want to be happy, you can never make them so. That’s because true happiness has to come from the inside and not merely from outward circumstances. You’re fighting a losing battle from the start if you try to make a diehard grouch happy. (smile) 

Until they wake up and want to be happy, all your efforts will be wasted. As the man said, life doesn’t owe us happiness, but we owe it to ourselves to be happy. 

And the next and last quote declares that ‘ People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.’ I’m sorry friends, but if they are not on the road to and with Jesus, then they are definitely and surely LOST! 

Remember our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ made it so plain when He declared in no uncertain terms: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ Yes my brethren, those immortal words were spoken in response to Thomas, he of the doubting disciple fame. Jesus had just told them that He was going back to heaven to prepare a place for them. 

‘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 14:3) What a glorious promise people, because that promise extends also to us today! Then Jesus adds: ‘And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.’ But Thomas with his bright self, pipes up: ‘Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?’ (John 14:4-5) 

That’s when Jesus lets him have both barrels with our Bit., worthy of being repeated again: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

And until the unbelievers and doubters of this fallen and sinful world get that down their unbelieving craw, they will remain lost! That’s just the simple, indisputable and incontrovertible fact of the matter! All who don’t believe in Jesus will be lost! The Good Book says so, and the Good Book does not lie, because it is the unadulterated word of God, inspired to men of true faith through the Holy Spirit. 

And I like this explanation of the scholars. ‘14:6. Jesus does not tell them about the way, nor does He show them the way. He does not even guide them along the way. He says He IS the way!’ 

And that’s all there is to it my brethren! It’s either the narrow and righteous way of Jesus, or the broad and sinful highway of the enemy! Those are the only choices we have. There is no in-between option. So those of us, who are trying to straddle the fence, please stop it, because there is absolutely no hope of attaining heaven in that manner. 

Remember how in the Old Testament the priest went into the secluded Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, by himself, once every year and offered a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. (Heb.9:7) That meant that the people did not have a direct connection to God; only the priest had that once a year. 

However my friends, however, when Jesus died to pay for our sins, everything changed miraculously! The heavy veil that separated the Holy of Holies was rent asunder from top to bottom, because the blood of the Holy sacrificial Lamb had paid for ALL SINS, for ALL TIME! Glory Hallelujah! 

Listen to how the author of Hebrews puts it. ‘And their sins and iniquities (lawless deeds) will I remember no more. Now where remission (forgiveness) of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.’ (Heb.10:17-20) 

And the scholars add: ‘10:20. Jesus is the new and living way by which believers have direct access into the very Holy Place of God. (cf.4:14; 6:20; 7:25; John 14:6).’ Please check out those scriptures. 

That brings us to this dramatic and glorious end: ‘And having a high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works.’ (Heb.10:21-24) 

Ah friends, with Jesus leading and guiding our lives, EVERYDAY is one of celebration, of hope, sure faith, and eternal glory! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus as the rudder in life…you’re inevitably drifting to eternal damnation…

 

                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2018 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.    Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.

Well mih people, we might not have as nice a day as the last few, because they’ve called for showers, and we did have a small thunder squall earlier in the morning, but yuh know what? Right now, though it’s somewhat cloudy, the Sun is fighting valiantly to come out and shine, shine, shine! Yeh it does look hopeful out there. And yuh know the SON is always out there doing His thing! So no need to worry on that side of the ledger. (smile) 

Unfortunately however, those people in Hawaii are experiencing more volcanic activity, so let’s keep up our prayers for them, that the whole thing will soon settle down without further disruption and disaster. 

Now here is something from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It gives us a very good insight into problems, and is appropriately titled: ‘Let Your Problem Lead You to God.’ 

Gramps Schuller writes: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.” There are vast untapped resources of faith and talent that can only be discovered in adversity.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! It’s unfortunate, but the fact is that only through adversity can we build or discover true faith. And when adversity comes, the way we handle it will indeed make us a better or worse person. If we try to run away from it and hide, or adopt a completely negative attitude, then it will eat us up faster than the bat of an eyelash. 

But if we keep our peace and recognize that the problem is bigger than us and take it to God, then we’re already in the driver’s seat! Glory to God! Remember friends that you and God are a majority in EVERY situation, and with Him by your side, you can win every battle. 

If you are a wise believer, then taking your problems to God is a no-brainer, because that’s what He has asked us to do. He wants to be involved in EVERY situation in our lives, big, small or otherwise! And if we don’t involve Him in everything, He feels left out and pouts, just like we do, when we’re not invited in. (smile) 

Oh friends, we cannot pick and choose which situations in our life to allow God into, that’s why I’ve chosen this encouraging scripture from the prophet Zechariah, as he talks about Zion’s future king, to be our Bit today. ‘Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what wonderful advice! And though it was given thousands of years ago, it’s still as pertinent today as it was back then. It only makes sense to turn to whatever is strong in our lives, not what is weak. And the strongest thing there is, is Almighty God, so why wouldn’t we turn to Him in all wisdom eh? 

But what I like most about that passage of scripture is the phrase, ‘prisoners of hope!’ Wow! It sounds like the perfect name for believers. Imprisoned by hope in Jesus Christ, we just keep trucking on in faith and never give up! I think it’s high time we emblazon that phrase on our mental billboards, and truly begin considering ourselves as prisoners of hope. We can never go wrong if we do. 

And yuh see what happens when we do behave as prisoners of hope? The Lord renders double unto us. He blesses us even more than He has already. So why not become a true prisoner of hope then eh my people? Wisdom and common sense demand it!  

And now, I just want to add a couple of obscure scriptures that most of us might not know, but which encourage us to turn to God. Listen to Hosea, as he talks about Ephraim’s sins being rebuked by God. ‘Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy (LOVING-kindness, faithfulness) and judgement (justice), and wait on thy God continually.’ (Hos.12:5-6) Now that’s a proven winner! 

And lastly, these most encouraging words from the vision of Daniel re the time of the end. ‘And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.’ (Dan. 12:3) 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! And since we consider these times, the end times, what better way to go than by being wise and shining brightly and turning others to Christ! Mama Mia! That verse surely excited me! (smile) 

Now, since we are wise, and are prisoners of hope, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, all that the Lord has given us for being so smart. Hn, hn! Altogether 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!’ 

What a wonderful God we serve and worship! But remember people, that’s not all for us, but also to share with the less fortunate. So let’s go and do that now nuh. Much LOVE!

…if you’ve got to be a prisoner…there’s none better…than being one of hope in Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2018 Ezekiel 11:19.

Ezekiel 11:19.    And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.

Wow friends, it’s Friday already! A week since I had the surgery, and hopefully I’m on my way to a full recovery. But it’s going to take time.  And isn’t it strange how time seems to go by quickly when you don’t want it to, and slowly when you want it to go by quickly. 

Hn! I guess you’d call that life. But anyway, there’s not much we can do about it, but hope that it comes up in our favour and we have the patience and perseverance to bear how ever long time takes. (smile) 

Anyway, sorry about that break, a friend came to visit and we had a nice long chat. Thanks for the visit Mabel. And regardless of what I might have to say, the workingman is still going to sing his song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Oh people, oh people, the weekend here! Is we time now. No more work…just party and enjoy we selves… and doh care who doh like it. Heh, heh, heh! Enjoy yourself…Enjoy yourself…it’s later than you think…and yuh better believe it! Time not waiting on you. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, as usual, the workingman does have some good points, but he just goes a tad too far out on the limb. We believers are not allowed, or rather supposed to go that far out. We have boundaries that serve to keep the enemy from getting even a toehold in our affairs. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. So with just as much, if not more enthusiasm, let’s chant it now nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as faithful followers of Jesus, our lot is to stay within the boundaries that Jesus set. Enjoy ourselves, but don’t get too lustful and licentious. Don’t allow our flesh to control us, but rather let the Spirit of Jesus lead and guide our earthly journey. 

Oh my people, from way back when, the Lord promised that Holy Spirit. Listen to Him through Ezekiel from our Bit.‘And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.’ 

Why, you wonder? ‘That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances (judgements), and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’ (Ezek.11:20) And as always friends, the Lord kept His promise on that first day of Pentecost. 

As the Good Book tells it: On that faithful day, the apostles were all sitting together, ‘And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) 

What a faithful and awesome God we serve people! One who keeps His promises though we may have to wait on His timing for them. Under the Mosaic covenant, the Holy Spirit would fall upon individual people at certain times, and act in an external manner, but after Jesus ascended back to heaven, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, then was sent to dwell in the hearts and souls of each and every believer. 

The Lord took away our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of soft, pliable and malleable flesh, hearts filled with His LOVE and compassion, rather than the enemy’s hate, anger and evil purposes. Glory to our great and wonderful God my brethren! Such an awesome and ever-LOVING Deity who while we were yet sinners, sacrificed His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our abominable sins, so that we could be made sons, heirs to His kingdom. 

Mama Mia! How could we not LOVE and revere, and adore and exalt Him eh? We’d have to be the most ungrateful and selfish of creatures. And unfortunately there are way too many of us like that. And I’m not going to get into all the works and actions of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we all know them, or should by now. 

I’m just going to end with two pieces of Old Testament scripture that are still very relevant to our modern day lives. The first is a warning from Cousin Sol: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov.16:32) 

That means, controlling ourselves is of enormous importance, and although the Holy Spirit is there to lead and guide us, we still have to make the decision to listen to the Spirit’s guidance and accede to His wishes. And we’ll end with this beautiful bit of heart-felt scripture from Bruh David, after he acknowledges his sin with Bathsheba. 

‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) Yeh friends, our magnanimous God will NEVER turn down a sincere, heartfelt plea like that. So when we feel things aren’t right with us, don’t be afraid to call out to Him for help. He’s always available to help us. Much LOVE!

…the worker bee of the Holy Trinity…Holy Spirit…

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