Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2021 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.     ​I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Brother! I thought that 2020 went fast, but like this new year planning on going even faster! Is already Thursday the 7th, and the year just started. (smile) Just wish our calamities were going away as quickly. But what to do eh? We brought most of them on ourselves, and we’re not behaving in a manner that will encourage them to leave as quickly as they came. 

What a blessing to have Jesus on our side! The Good Book plainly and truthfully states it: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) That means, with His help, His awesome grace, mercy and strength, we can handle anything that comes against us, even if it is of our making. And furthermore, we’re also told: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

Yes mih bredrin, if Christ will strengthen me and cause the Lord to provide all my needs, who or what else do I need eh? NOTHING, or NOBODY! For Christ is sufficient in and of Himself! That’s why He instructed us to ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Oh friends, when we put Jesus Christ first and foremost in our lives, He will provide all that we need to live an abundant life. And that doesn’t necessarily mean rich in personal possessions, but certainly rich in spiritual things, maturity in spirituality, a good example of Christian living. So I don’t understand how so many of us refuse to follow Jesus, or only give Him lip-service and are not truly faithful to and in sync with Him. 

 I’m guessing that’s partly because living for Jesus is not easy. As His ambassadors, His earthly representatives, He expects a lot of us. He expects us to grow tremendously and shine brightly on His behalf, and that is ofttimes a difficult row to hoe. But as the ole people would say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ And that’s certainly highlighted in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled ‘The Pain of Growth.’ 

So please pray with me. ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Or financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. 

Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache and anguish. And very often in my suffering when I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

And that calls for a big ‘AMEN!’ my brethren. For it’s definitely through pain and somewhat uncomfortable circumstances that the Lord grows and matures us in His economy. And there’s nothing in that list of painful things above that Jesus never suffered on our behalf during His earthly sojourn. That’s why He can empathize with our suffering now. 

That’s why the author of Hebrews could confidently proclaim: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (empathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, our Lord and Saviour, our venerable Leader felt every pain and suffering that we’ve ever felt…and more than any of us have ever felt to boot! And in Isaiah 53, Christ suffering is laid out, so much so that He’s known as ‘a man of sorrows.’ (Is. 53:3) And I like how the website www.gotquestions.org explains it. ‘Jesus is called “a man of sorrows” because of how much suffering He had to endure. He suffered first by leaving the glories of heaven and entering the human race as a man. Then He suffered all the things that humanity suffers, and then finally He suffered the wrath of God as the sin-bearer.’ 

So when He asks us to undergo a spot of suffering on His behalf, we ought to just shut our blooming mouths and do it without the hemming and hawing we’re so famous for. What would have happened if He hemmed and hawed about going to the cross for us eh? When Jesus asks us to jump, the correct answer is simply, ‘How high Lord?’ 

And before we run out of time and space, let’s look at the Bible Promise that was used for the poem above. It comes from the great psalm 119: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:75-76) 

Yes people, the psalmist realized that God in His righteousness and justice would not afflict Him without a good reason. And furthermore, His LOVING-kindness, His unfailing LOVE, would comfort him during his trails, just like He promised. 

So please, if we want to be known as true and serious followers of Jesus, let’s cut out the foolishness nuh, and grow up, stop being selfish, petty and afraid and stand up to anything that comes against, because He’s faithfully promised to bring us safely and stronger through our trials and tribulation. And if you can’t believe His promise, what’s the point in being His follower eh? 

So for those of us who are willing to undergo the troubles of the world without too much complaining, let’s go home now sincerely declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, those magnificent blessings the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Wow! 

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!’  

And please remember, those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but generously shared, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…for whom the Lord LOVETH…He chasteneth… (Heb. 12:6) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 December 2018 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.   And Mary, said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.
 
Ah mih people, a word of warning to the wise: if you’re walking with or working for Jesus, please be prepared for totally unexpected stressful and rather eventful situations to crop up at any time! (smile) Case in point: Yesterday afternoon I was here at home taking it nice and easy…no, that’s not completely true. In fact I was miserable and grumpy because the ole aches and pains were having a heyday in my ole body. 

Then around four o’clock I received this phone call from a lady in the MRI Department of St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto informing me of a scheduled appointment at two thirty this morning. I was quite surprised because both the hospital and the doctor who ordered the MRI had neglected to inform me of that appointment. 

As one would expect, I was definitely in no mood to go into the city at that ungodly hour of the morning for an aggravating and annoying test that I thought I had seen the last of. And if I had had the implant as scheduled last week that would have been oh so true, because once you have metal in your body you can’t do them since they interact badly with the magnets that govern the procedure. So I cancelled the appointment. 

But after thoughtful consideration with the duchess, I called and reinstated it, figuring that might have been why the Lord in His infinite wisdom had the surgery cancelled last week. So lo and behold, at two thirty this morning, there I am, I’m lying on a narrow plastic board, ensconced in a tomb-like plastic structure, with a machine making this infernal racket in my head. But I’m accustomed to it now. I just pray when I get in there to mitigate the claustrophobic effects, then I’m fine. I’ve even been known to doze off in there. (smile) 

The one eventful and unexpected reaction though, was the one I had to the radioactive dye that they injected in to my blood stream. I’ve had it before, and all I’ve gotten was a bad, metallic sort of taste in my mouth. But brother, this morning, soon after they injected the stuff and pushed be back inside the machine, I had a physical reaction that I can’t properly describe; like I was heaving, my stomach was pumping up and down, and I just kept swallowing feverishly. I almost pressed the emergency button in my hand. 

I don’t even know whether I cried out to God or not, I was so surprised at the reaction. But after a couple of minutes the awful sensation passed and I finished the test without any further problems. Believe me though, that’s the last time they’ll ever inject that stuff knowingly in my body! 

I had fully intended to write the Bit when I got home, but at minutes after four, I decided to rest instead, then had to force myself to get up to go to the eight thirty service, then decided to rest when I got back, because I wasn’t fired up enough to write the fiery Bit I had planned to write. 

But as always, man’s plans go awry in the Lord’s eyes, for I could not find a comfortable position in the bed, and my mind was just spinning around with the things I wanted to write. So after half an hour of unsuccessful rest, I just decided to get up and come and write the Bit, come what may. And as you can see, it’s definitely not fiery…not even close! But that’s where I’ve been led by the higher powers. (smile) 

And since we’re lacking time and space to provide that fiery Bit, (smile) as we continue Mary’s faithful and steadfast story, let’s simply do what she did so long ago; ‘proclaim the Lord’s greatness with characteristic humility and grace,’ by singing what’s become known as ‘The Magnificat.’ The name comes from the first line of the Latin text: (“Magnificat anima mea Dominum”) Please sing with me, in loud voice and with sincere hearts, these memorable words of Jesus’ mother as she expresses her joy: 

‘My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name; And His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him. 

He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.’ (Luke 1:46-55) 

Glory be mih people! What wonderful words and sentiments of praise and thanksgiving! Mary was an indeed an exemplary woman and believer for one of such tender age. But I guess when the Holy Spirit is moving in you, all things are possible regardless of age! 

Now here are a couple of interesting points from the Loyola Catholic web page. ‘After Mary gives her famous consent to becoming the Mother of God, — “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38) — she goes “with haste” (1:39) to help Elizabeth, who is delighted to see her. Clearly Mary, in hastening to help her cousin, is focused on service to others. In this way she glorifies the Lord in reflecting (and “magnifying”) His goodness and LOVE. And, of course by becoming the Mother of God she will help Him redeem us for our salvation in His Passion!… 

Speaking of magnifying, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once referred to our Blessed Mother as being like “a magnifying glass that intensifies our LOVE of her Son.” Note that Mary’s joyful claim that “all generations shall call me blessed” in no way takes away from her humility. If she seems to boast here, it is much as St. Paul does later on in scripture when he says “whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord” (2 Cor 10:17), that is to say, in God’s work being done through us.’ 

And we’ll end with these soul-seeking words: ‘How about you? Does your soul magnify the Lord? We may never be able to approach Him from Mary’s level of sanctity as the Mother of God. Still, we are all called to be saints nonetheless. Your good example, like our Blessed Mother’s, can help others in their spiritual growth. Do people see Christ’s LOVE and goodness in you? Are you letting God work within you to accomplish His will? Let Mary help give you the graces you need to follow her Son and His Church in praying the Magnificat.’ 

Oh friends, I can’t say it any better than that nuh! Much LOVE!

…let Mary’s soul be in us… to glorify the Lord…let her spirit be in us…that we may rejoice in God our Saviour… (St. Ambrose)

P.S. Yeh, it’s long and late, but ti’s all for Christ…and ever so worthwhile! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2017 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.   I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Alive and kicking, alive and kicking serious butt my friends! That’s the way we should be as Christians. But unfortunately, most Christians seem to be barely alive, just going through the motions. For whatever reason, we don’t have the necessary energy or desire to kick butt for Jesus! 

That’s wrong though my fellow believers. How then will Christ be known all over the world if we don’t get up and get moving eh? Remember, we are His body here on earth; His hands, His feet, His mouth. He depends on us to stir up the populace on His behalf. 

And I don’t know if it’s simply fear of the world, or just laziness and procrastination that’s holding us back, but it’s obvious that we’re not doing such a great job on Jesus’ behalf, while the unbeliever is luxuriating in his wicked and evil deeds. 

Anyway, here is something called ‘The Pain of Growth,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I think will shed some light on our problems. (smile) 

It says: ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord. I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. 

The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Or financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. 

Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache And anguish. And very often in my suffering When I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

What words of truth and wisdom my people! None of us like pain or suffering, but it is inevitable in the fallen nature of our lives. And that is simply how we grow in any and everything. As the ole mantra goes, ‘no pain, no gain.’ 

And that’s especially true in our Christian walk of faith, for God matures us through tests and trials which often involve some serious pain. Yuh see the pain and suffering Jesus had to bear to atone for and absolve our sins? 

Likewise we need to go through some tribulation, else we’ll never grow in our Christian walk. Unfortunately though, in these modern times, Christians are a soft, wimpy bunch of people who just want to enjoy the good life without any problems whatsoever. 

In fact our whole society has become soft and wimpy through all the ‘make life easy’ amenities that we now possess. But since the fall of our forefathers in the Garden of Eden, life has never been easy; the consequences of sin have made it tough and as Christians we are expected to weather whatever storm comes against us. 

However, the wonderful news is that we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to help us weather it! Glory Hallelujah! Unbelievers don’t have that luxury, so they have to weather it all on their own. 

So please let’s stop complaining as much as we do, and instead plead the wise and truthful words of our Bit: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.’ 

Yes friends, whatever our ever-faithful and righteous God allows to come against us has a perfect reason behind it. He is the great I AM, who knows the beginning from the end and has everything in His universe under control. 

And we should rightly be saying like the psalmist does after our Bit: ‘Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.’ (Ps.119:76-77) 

Oh my people, our God has promised that though He chastens us, He will not do it out of spite or anger, but out of LOVE. Now listen to these words of Cousin Sol which seal the deal. 

‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of (detest) his correction. For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov.3:11-12) 

There it is in black and white friends! So please not get too antsy about the pain and suffering that comes against us, because it will all work out for our good eventually. Our faithful God has promised that. With all of that in mind then, let’s go home declaring our wonderful blessings, knowing that they will wash away whatever pain we have now, or are yet to face. 

In strong and sincere voice 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!’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my believing brethren! Much Much LOVE!

…whatever comes from God…comes in LOVE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Aye mih people, it’s another wonderful day on God’s great earth! Give Him thanks and praise! 

And though I’m somewhat tired from running around between hospitals yesterday, was I ever glad to open my eyes to another glorious morn, even if it’s cold and snowy. (smile) But then, the physical aspects of the day don’t really matter that much, once it’s not a devastating natural disaster. 

And even then, with the SON of God dwelling deep in our hearts, minds and souls, we can handle anything. Let’s never forget that! Glory to God!  

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, which fits in quite nicely with those sentiments. It’s titled ‘Be Thou Exalted.’ 

Please pray with me. “Be thou exalted, Lord In thine own strength; So will we sing And praise thy power.” Yes, Lord, Yes! David’s prayer is my prayer. Be exalted in my day-by –day agenda In my motives and dreams My priorities and goals. Even in my failures, Lord As you turn them into stepping stones Toward spiritual growth. 

Be exalted in my worship and praise In my sobbing and singing. Be exalted in my secret thoughts My emotional responses. Be exalted in my daily routine The delays, the unexpected emergencies The disappointments that often come. Lord God, as You are exalted In heaven and on earth Be exalted in Your home – my heart.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that beautiful? It surely is! And I especially like the last line, where, if we are to be exalting God continually, His home must be in our heart. That must be where He truly resides continually, otherwise all our outward actions are false and hypocritical. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem comes from Psalm 57 – Bruh David’s Prayer for deliverance when he fled from Saul in the cave. ‘Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.’ (Ps.57:11) 

Yes mih breddren, that’s exactly what we need to happen in this evil world! But that can only begin and remain steadfast when we do as our Bit advises. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, as Christians, we can’t successfully fight the evil spiritual forces that exist in this world without the protection of the Lord’s spiritual armour. And before we get into the whys and wherefores of all that, let’s check out this explanation of our Bit by the scholars. 

‘6:11. Put on (Greek ingressive aorist imperative)??? denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. To stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical position in battle. The wiles of the devil (or, “the Devil’s strategy”): Satan carefully devises schemes and tactics against believers.’ 

So you see my fellow believers that our situation is dire! In order to fight a good fight, we need to put on our spiritual armour IMMEDIATELY! And then stand strong against the enemy’s evil schemes, not giving an inch of the ground we’ve won! 

Oh, I know some of you are not taking me seriously, but this not my message, but Bruh Paul’s from the Lord our God! And he explains, as he continues after our Bit. 

‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph.6:12) 

Oh people, that is one of the things we Christians badly need to realize and understand; we’re not engaged in a flesh and blood war, but a spiritual encounter against the powerful forces of evil that exist in the high places of our world. And until we fully understand that, all our efforts will be in vain. 

You have to fight fire with fire, which means you can’t fight a spiritual battle with flesh and blood, but with spiritual elements. And the first strategy in any battle is to arm oneself with the proper weapons of war, hence the need before all else for our spiritual armour. 

Now here is some useful info from the scholars on that least verse. ‘6:12. Wrestle, used of hand-to-hand combat, emphasizes the personal and individual nature of spiritual warfare waged against each local church and Christian. 

Flesh and blood refers to humanity. Such is not the church’s adversary. Instead she opposes principalities (rulers), powers (authorities), rulers (world-rulers), spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings), that is, fallen angels, demons, and Lucifer himself.’ 

Yuh see friends, the battle is being fought both on an individual basis as well as collectively. Once you proclaim yourself a Christian, then the evil spiritual hordes will automatically come against you. However, when we are dressed in our full battle armour and have Jesus as our Leader, we are guaranteed success! Glory be! 

And we’ll go home with further encouragement by loudly declaring our Wednesday Wail with the utmost sincerity and truth. Let’s wail: ‘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!’ 

Oh my people, our Jesus is oh so wonderful! There’s absolutely no doubt about it! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2016 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Oh friends, can you believe that it’s already the beginning of December? Wow! This year of 2016 has passed rather quickly, and before you know it, we’ll be into Christmas and then the New Year of 2017. 

Wonder what that will hold for us eh? Hopefully it will be better than this one, more blessings and less trials and tribulations. But what we need to ask ourselves right now, is did we grow and mature in our faith this year? 

Did we have a closer relationship with Jesus? Did God play a larger, a more significant role in our lives? Are we closer to where we’re supposed to be, and further away from where we started? Have we matured to the point where we are eating solid food and not drinking milk still? 

I do hope the answer to all those questions are in the affirmative, otherwise we have wasted precious time, lost our way in the most important aspect of our lives; our personal relationship to Almighty God. 

But the good news is that it’s not too late to begin, we can begin right now! Our God ALWAYS receives those who sincerely come to Him with open arms. There is no condemnation, just lots of LOVE and affirmation. 

So if you haven’t done as well as you should have this year, then simply turn to Him right this moment and ask for His help. He will not refuse it. But be forewarned, the journey with Jesus will not always be smooth, but oftimes rough and rocky, just like Jesus’ earthly life was. 

However, with all of His faithful promises and the guidance, leading and comfort of His Holy Spirit we will be able to overcome anything that comes against us. Remember we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. (Rom.8:37)  

So we have conquering power over what’s in the world, ‘because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour is greater than the prince of darkness who rules this evil world! 

That means we have nothing to fear in our earthly pilgrimage, for God and us, are a majority against any foe. 

This brings us to our Bit, which can be very discouraging to some. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Yeh mih people, we should not be afraid when trials come upon us because God uses these trials to test us, to mold and grow us in the likeness of His wonderful, sinless Son Jesus Christ. 

None of us likes these trials, especially when they suddenly spring up against us, but as I keep on saying, with God’s help we can over come any and everything. Listen to this awesome promise of our omnipotent God from Isaiah. 

‘Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. 

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.’ (Is.43:1-3) 

What an awesome promise my brethren! And the Lord kept it by redeeming us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. So what’s there to fear eh? NOTHING, once we are in league with Jesus! 

Now, remember yesterday, we saw after our Bit, Peter talking about rejoicing in trials and tribulations, because if we suffered with Christ, we will eventually rejoice with Him. Hear now James’ take on the subject. 

‘My brethren, count it all joy, when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials). Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing. (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars give us this info: ‘1:2-3 …These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…. 

It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Ah friends, that says it all; unless we are bruised, victoriously come through fiery trials, we are of no use to God. Anyway, let’s end on a brighter note; instead of trials, let’s end with blessings. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing, until it’s been spoken over someone. 

So, as one strong voice, let’s declare our Thursday Blessings with sincere passion and strong belief. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! 

I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! 

I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And don’t forget to also bless those around us, our friends and families, for they need blessings too. Much LOVE!

…working for the Lord is not easy…but it’s surely interesting and adventurous…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2016 2 Peter 3:18‏‏

2 Peter 3:18.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Wow people! Friday has certainly come around quickly! No wonder the joyful noise in the streets and workplaces. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday once again yes! And the good ole weekend is here! Glory be! How we going to party down the place like leggo beast and don’t have a care these next couple days! Friday, oh Friday! How we LOVE you! That’s why we shout: TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui!’ 

Ah friends, I guess we cannot control the joy and enthusiasm that a Friday brings to working people. However, we can guide the response in a much better way than just libertine living. So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows us the better way to use the weekend. 

As one harmonious chanter 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, that’s a much more sensible way to use the couple days off we get every week. Simple licentious living doesn’t add any glory to God, just to Beelzebub. And I know that is definitely not what we intend to, or want to do. So please let’s use these vital days in a much more godly manner nuh. 

Oh brother, am I ever tired. I don’t know which one is worse, packing to go away, or unpacking when you come back. I suspect though that it’s the latter, because I haven’t finished unpacking, and there’s still a lot of stuff to catch up on, plus a million and one letters to check out. Hopefully though, most of them will be junk, thus needing only a perfunctory glance. 

Boy, does stuff ever pile up quickly when you go away. And then yesterday I had to go running around in the constant drizzle to get stuff that we needed. But all in all it was a good day. Thank You Lord!  

And per our Bit, I did grow a little in grace yesterday. ‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.’

Ah friends, that word ‘grace’ is something else yes! The dictionary has 14, yes 14, definitions for it. But the one we’re most concerned here with is: ‘Favour, benignant (kind, kindly) regard, or its manifestation, on part of superior.’ 

That brings into play the grace, the favour, the manifestation of our wonderful, magnificent and magnanimous God, who showers us with His grace and favour every single day! Oh glory to God my people for that constant shower of grace! Without it, we would be truly like lost sheep, wandering aimlessly in the wilderness; a perfect and easy target for the enemy. 

And yuh know what? We grow in grace and favour with God, when we grow in knowledge of His will, power and LOVING-kindness. The one, brings on the other. 

And I want to share here some explanations of the scholars, re the verse from Ephesians that we looked at a couple days ago; the one that talks about the whole body fitly joined together and compacted (knit together). 

‘4:16. Fitly joined together and compacted: As He unites Christians with Himself, Christ also brings them into a harmonious relationship with one another. This harmonious relationship is accomplished by that which every joint supplieth or, “by every supporting ligament.” 

The spiritual gifts mentioned in verses 7-15 are figuratively likened to the various “ligaments” of a body. Removing this figure, Christ joins believers together and unites them by the divinely ordained ministries of Christians who possess diverse spiritual gifts, which are exercised and used among believers for the common good. 

The church’s spiritual growth, then, comes from Christ through the believer’s ministry to one another as they employ their spiritual gifts.’ 

Oh friends, please note that the whole theme of whatever Christ does is always unity and harmony, especially amongst the body of believers called ‘His church.’ 

But in actual fact, His supposed church is not becoming more united and harmonious. In fact it is breaking up, with more divisions happening every day, and more fighting and disharmony even amongst those divisions. So how then do we expect the church to do the job it was created to do, if there is more disharmony than harmony within it eh? 

We all have diverse gifts which we are supposed to use for the common good. But are we doing that? Obviously not, otherwise the church would not be as divided and antagonistic as it is. Our selfishness seems to be paramount in relationship to the good of the body. 

Ah friends, I don’t know what else to say to get us to think in terms of unity, rather than disunity nuh. But until, and unless we put our selfish and foolish pride aside, and begin truly seeking what’s good for us all, then Christ’s church will always be divided and easily conquered by the enemy. That’s simple logic. Much LOVE!

…when we work against each other…then we’re dong the enemy’s work…not Christ’s…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2016 2 Peter 3:18

2 Peter 3:18.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever Amen.

Well friends, the music has ended, and the D.J is packing up his equipment, that means the party’s over! Steups! So sad, but oh so true. 

The simple fact of the matter is that we can’t party for ever, we also have to have periods of work if we want to live balanced lives as the Lord, our Maker intended. 

And all of that is just to say that the ole fella’s vacation in paradise, on sweet Tobago is over. Chuh! But them’s the breaks! Sadly, it’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind in the cold North country. 

No longer will I be waking up to the sweet singing of the birds, coming out the front door and inhaling the fresh salt air from the sea as the waves rush foam-filled over the reef and crash against the rocky shore. No more sitting out on the patio in the early morning hours communing with the Father, watching the sun rise and feeling it’s heat permeate my very being. 

No more watching the birds and insects play amongst the bunch of young date palms on the small tree as they go about their business, God’s business of pollinating the flowers so that life can go on. 

And I have to stop and say what a wonderful and ingenious God we serve, the ingenious way He designed for nature’s reproduction. Please give Him all the glory! 

Then no more walks along the rocky coastline after devotions… Hn! No more dips in my waterhole either. No more sitting on the patio with the duchess taking in the sights and sounds of nature, as she says, enjoying the ambiance. (smile) And she certainly won’t be able to see, or hear her boats, the ferries speed back and forth along the horizon. 

And she won’t be able to have me drive miles down the road to get some of Rosie’s rock cake! Hn! Three times this past week I drove all the way down to this local bakery, in the hot sun to boot, only to discover that she was closed, or she had no drops. I wasn’t very thrilled. 

But you know what friends; the vacation might all be over in reality, but the wonderful time we had on Crusoe’s Isle will never be forgotten, will never be erased from our memories. For as Johnny Bristol says in his old song: ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad, They’re always something that you have.’ 

And that is gospel truth my people! And believe me, we made many many good memories over the last few weeks. As I sit in my rocking chair during the cold days and nights, I will recall many of them, chuckle and give thanks to the Almighty for having allowed me to make them. 

And to all of you in T&T who made our stay so memorable, the duchess and I give you thanks from the very bottom of our hearts. We sincerely appreciated your warmth and kindness, and hope that we can savour some more of it next year, the Lord in favour. Can’t wait to come back! (smile) 

Anyway, today is Tuesday, so let’s get on with our Tuesday Mantra nuh. Altogether 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.’ 

Glory to God my people for those true and wonderful sentiments! Please, let’s remember that what the world says or thinks about us is of no importance, once we are sincerely trying to do the Father’s bidding. We are indeed children of God and friends of Jesus! That’s our designation; nothing else! 

And today I want to share a rather important message from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s aptly titled, ‘Worth the Waiting.’ 

Listen closely: ‘Growing spiritually is such a long, slow process! It’s painful too. Every day at the turn of the road I become acquainted with new pitfalls and heartaches. Sometimes the pain backs me into a corner. For example: There is a woman I know who is so sarcastic, so curt and unkind. Am I ever excused? Is forgiveness always a part of my growth? 

So often I feel like a spiritual midget while my husband and friends appear to be spiritual giants. I seem to shrink in my own home. Another thing: I confess that I am a coward about pain. Emotional pain. Physical pain. The pain of loneliness, the pain of grief. 

Yet, again and again it is true. What I must learn in my pain is that it is leading to something positive, something beyond what I can see in the present darkness. I do want to grow! I want to become more and more like Jesus. Even though it takes so long, surely it is worth the waiting.’ 

And friends, that is the immutable truth! Becoming more like Jesus, is indeed a long and ofttimes painful process, but believe me, it is worth the wait! 

So for all of us who have problems like those above, and we all do at some time or other, the important thing is never to give up, just keep holding on tightly to Jesus, because in due time, in His time, He will bring us through the fire transformed, more like Him. 

And the Bible Promise for that passage is also our Bit for today. ‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, the only way to handle the wickedness and the temptations of this evil world is by growing in the grace and knowledge of our great and wonderful God. Without the bulwark that His favour and word provide, we’re easy pickings for the enemy. 

And remember God’s basic plan for each of us is that we grow more like the Saviour each and every day, by studying His Word, praying and fellowshipping with other believers. Those things need to be constants in our lives, if we are to mature successfully. 

And we have a very relevant scripture to quote from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. As pertaining to the new life in Christ, he tells them. ‘That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (trickery) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 

But speaking the truth in LOVE, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted (knit together) by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual (effective) working in the measure of every part (of each part doing its share), maketh increase (causes growth) of the body unto the edifying of itself in LOVE.’ (Eph.4:14-16) 

Yes my brethren, the church of Christ is like the human body, to grow successfully, it needs proper food and all the parts working together in harmony. And the best way to do that is to come up over our problems with LOVE; the LOVE of Christ! Much LOVE!

…in all things…the LOVE of Christ suffices…

 

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