Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2021 John 15:13.

John 15:13.     ​Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Up, up and away friends! It’s Monday, the beginning of a brand new work week! That means there are things to do, places to go and people to see, so please, let’s get a move on, for time waits on no one! Awright, thanks for reminding me that some of you still don’t have jobs, and still can’t go to some of the places you want to go to, like the gym, hair salon and barbershop, despite the lifting of some lockdown restrictions. Yes mih bredrin, life can certainly be rough at times oui! 

But please don’t get discouraged, let’s look at the flip side of the coin instead nuh. We have life, which means there is hope, and most of all we have Jesus…Glory be mih people! That then means we have the awesome benefits of grace, mercy, LOVE and salvation! Wow! What a treasure trove of benefits! And all God’s children gave out a loud shout of gratitude and praise. ‘Thank you Jesus, for saving our sinful souls from hellfire and damnation, through your selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary!’ 

Oh my fellow saints, every time I sit down and ponder on Jesus, contemplate His awesome LOVE and selflessness, and the terrible pain and ‘sufferation’ He endured on our account, my heart pains me because I just can’t imagine myself suffering to that degree for someone else. And that selflessness just makes me LOVE and appreciate Him even more. That leads me to consider these heartfelt and life-giving words that He shared with the disciples as His time of sacrifice drew near. 

‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue (abide) in my LOVE. If ye keep my commandments; ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 

This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye LOVE one another.’ (John 15:7-17) 

Oh friends, just look at all the important statements in those few verses nuh. But please note they are all based on one condition: obedience to His commandments. The scholars characterize them thus: ‘abiding in His LOVE (vs.10), full joy (vs.11), LOVE for one another (vs. 12-13, 17; cf. 13:34-35), friends, not servants (vs.14-15), fruit remains (vs.16), and answered prayer (vs.16) Not forgetting that it was Christ who chose them. ‘It was by His appointment, not by their choice they were taken out of the world (vs.19) and sent out to bear fruit.’ 

But the verse I am especially interested in today is our Bit. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ How beautiful is Christ eh, that after calling us friends, and making that statement, that’s exactly what He went out and did; lay down, sacrifice His sinless life for us, sinners, whom He considered friends, disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives. 

No wonder Bruh Paul wrote these powerful words in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re the ways of the believer. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) You can’t argue with that sentiment friends, for it’s the indisputable truth! 

Furthermore, listen to John in his first epistle as he talks about LOVING each other. ‘Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion (his heart) from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him? My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue (mere word); but in deed and in truth.’ (1 John 3:16-18) 

There’s nothing to argue with in those verses either my people. What we need to do, especially in these tough times of sickness, poverty and strife is put them into action; help each other, LOVE each other, the way Christ LOVED and helped us. That’s when we show the world and Christ that we are His true disciples! Now, let’s go talk to the Lord in prayer, pour out our troubles and woes to Him, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Altogether now: ‘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 let’s remember the number one reason for divine help and blessings: OBEDIENCE! Much LOVE!

…plenty talk…with no action…is useless…it helps no one…                                                                        

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2020 Psalm 22:28.

Psalm 22:28.     ​For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations.

So then it was Wednesday – another blessed day for us to draw breath in God’s great universe and give much thanks for the pleasure, just two days before the wonderful day of Christmas, when we celebrate the awesome, incarnate birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And in general, that’s wonderful, but our world, instead of getting better, seems to be getting worse. Like they have discovered some new variant of the Covid-19 virus in Britain, that’s going to cause further problems. 

Meanwhile, some foreign government has hacked into the computers of numerous government and security institutions in the U.S. of A, thus further opening the spying war. And still in the U.S. A, the what you call it of a President, on his shameful way out, hasn’t said a word about that, but has pardoned some 20 crooks, several of whom were his associates, and is hemming and hawing to sign a bill giving millions of starving and suffering Americans some money to ease their ‘sufferation.’ Is democracy dead or what? If it ever was alive? 

And then back here in good ole Ontario, our government has decided to go with a bigger lockdown on Boxing Day, while our Covid-19 numbers remain over two thousand every day. Hn! Now that’s food for thought! Why wait till then eh? That’s what the medical people are asking. But can you imagine the hullabaloo if we were locked down earlier this week, just before Christmas? 

I wouldn’t want to be in the Premier’s shoes cause he would be getting it from both sides simultaneously; the merchants who wouldn’t be allowed to make a quick Christmas penny, and the citizens who wouldn’t be allowed to finish their Christmas shopping, as difficult as it already is. So the Premier took the easiest of the three routes possible; it’s much easier to handle the medical personnel than the citizenry and the merchants. (smile) At least that’s my rational for the whole business. 

Ah mih people, what’s happening in our world eh? Is there no sense of sanity, of togetherness, of coming together? Is there only a sense of division, disunity, hate, anger and strife amongst us? Our world has never been a real peaceful and unified place, but I don’t know if it’s ever been this divided, disjointed and adversarial before, with everybody up in arms about something or the other. Nobody seems satisfied with their lot, be it their fault or not, with all the chickens finally coming home to roost! (smile) 

And this Christmas season is certainly not going to be a merry and jolly one for way too many people because of all the adversity and resentment that’s hovering over and between us. And what’s the answer to it all you ask? Well the only solution I can offer is that we cry out and turn back to the God of our forefathers, like Bruh David did in Psalm 22 – A cry of anguish and a song of praise. Nothing else seems to be working, so what have we got to lose eh? Nothing really. And we have a whole lot to gain, because the Lord has faithfully promised to heal our land and forgive us if we stop being disobedient and return to His fold. 

Friends, it’s time for us to sincerely cry out: ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring (groaning)’ (Ps. 22:1) Now that’s a good start my brethren, but the truth of the matter is not that God is far from us, but we have drifted away from Him. He’s as near to us, as He always is, it’s just that we don’t pay Him much attention or call on Him often enough. 

Here’s how Bruh David puts it a few verses later nuh. ‘Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded (ashamed).’ (Ps. 22: 4-5) Now doesn’t that tell us something my fellow saints in Christ? It ought to. It ought to tell us that trusting in the Lord God of our forefathers is the sensible thing to do, because when they trusted and cried out to Him, He delivered them, and they were not ashamed or confounded like we currently are! 

But no, too many of us feel that we have reached this pinnacle of evolution, enlightenment, or whatever you choose to call it, on and in our own strength. And that’s the biggest falsehood we can ever propagate! Why? Because Bruh David firmly and truly proclaims otherwise: ‘For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations.’ (Ps. 22:28) Now friends, that’s the indisputable truth, and until mankind learns to believe and accept that li’l matter of fact, we’ll certainly be in for a rough ride. 

And Bruh David gives good reason for His proclamation. ‘The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live forever. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee… All they that be fat (prosper) upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust (death) shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul (keep himself alive).’ (Ps. 22:26-27;29)

That says it all friends; we are not the masters of our own lives, it’s all in the hands of Almighty God, our Maker and Provider and Protector! None of us can extend our lives beyond the time that He has set, and the very breath we breathe is His, so why are we being so foolish, obstinately refusing to come to and follow Him eh? 

And as somebody said, even Satan believes in God and all that He supports. Why do you think the evil one fights tooth and nail to keep the earth in such turmoil eh? Friends, no one knows better than the ex-archangel Lucifer the might and power and goodness and mercy and LOVE of God! So if, evil as he is, he can acknowledge it, why can’t we eh? 

Oh my people, the only way our world will ever get better is if we unite under the banner of Christ; fight the good fight of the LOVE Revolution, and steadfastly resist the evil doings of the demonic devil! Now for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

Altogether now. ‘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 let’s remember that if we endure to the end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE…to LOVE…and yet to LOVE…that is the answer… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2020 Mark 8:34.

Mark 8:34.     ​Whosoever will come after me (follow me), let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.

Oh mih people, you’ll be so proud of the ole fella! Yes, yesterday afternoon, despite the inclement weather, I decided to go out in it. And yuh know what? Our God is so great and wonderful that just before I went out, all the precipitate that was precipitating stopped precipitating (smile) and the sun peeked out of the clouds! So I went out in much better weather and got all I wanted to do, some of which glorified Him, with no problems or complications whatsoever. Even in the beer store, where I accidentally dropped a six-pack of Guinness stout, the clerks cleaned it up for me and gave me another one! Glory be to His most holy name! 

That is what you get from sacrifice and obedience. And it wasn’t really a big sacrifice or anything of momentous obedience, just simple everyday stuff…so you can imagine what our wonderful God would do for us if we were to sacrifice big and be much more obedient? And even in the times when God’s people were supposed to offer animal sacrifices to Him, what did He say to them? 

The psalmist Asaph puts it this way in Psalm 50 – God is the judge: ‘If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving: and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps. 50:12-15) 

Meanwhile the prophet Hosea says it thus on the Lord’s behalf: ‘For I desired mercy (faithfulness), and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.’ (Hos. 6:6) And Cousin Sol wrote it thus in Proverbs: ‘To do justice and judgement (righteousness and justice) is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.’ (Prov. 21:3)

 So although sacrifice, in the form of burnt offerings were an important part of their worship, what the Lord really wanted was their faithfulness and knowledge of Him and their thanksgiving! It was more a personal sacrifice He desired; the effort they put out to know, to LOVE, to thank Him and to live obedient to His laws. And although today we don’t need any burnt offering sacrifices for Jesus has paid the whole debt with the sacrifice of His life, the Lord still needs personal commitment from His followers if His kingdom is going to survive and prosper. 

That’s why Jesus called the people and disciples unto Him and said to them. ‘Whosoever will come after me (follow me), let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.’ (Mark 8:34) And that includes us as well my brethren. And that simply means we have to die to ourselves, stop being selfish, surrender our lives to Christ and be willing to undergo anything that comes across our path, knowing that He won’t allow us to bear more than we can tolerate, and will eventually work everything out for our good. 

But we have to be prepared to bear some ‘sufferation’ for living for Jesus is usually not a Sunday evening stroll in the park. For as He so rightly warned: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) So a life following Jesus will most likely have troubles and disappointments, but He has promised to take care of all who serve Him faithfully. Hear him after telling them about taking up their cross and following Him nuh. 

‘For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ (Mark 8:35-38) 

Ah friends, as usual, Jesus spells it out clearly and simply: If you want to follow Him, then you need to stop worrying about your own desires and worry about His work. And if you are ashamed of Him and His words, then when He comes in His glory, He will also be ashamed of you and leave you out. Oh my brethren, our bodies and the things of this earth are not the most important in our lives, for those things perish and are eventually destroyed by means of rot and moth, but our souls, that is the biggest treasure we have, so we need to look after them very carefully, for they live on through eternity. 

So we need to take Jesus’ advice very seriously. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt. 10:28) That means we should be more afraid of God than men! But it doesn’t seem like we are, because we keep doing what men want us to do and not what God requires of us, and for that there WILL BE consequences, like being left on the outside looking into heaven during the long days of eternity. And believe me, that won’t be fun. 

Then let’s wake up and do what’s required of us nuh as supposed followers of Jesus; let’s sincerely walk the talk, so we don’t get left out of heaven. And to do that we need to first acknowledge God’s divine blessings on our lives, then put them into action. So let’s declare (steups!) our Thursday Blessings with much gusto. 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!’ 

Now it’s time to be as magnanimous and generous to others as God has been to us! Much LOVE!

…why kill your soul…when it can live on forever…in heaven with Christ… 

P.S. The lateness isn’t all my fault. Had to spend half an hour outside with a gentleman fixing my garage door opener. Oh, the joys of comfortable modern day living eh…but are the headaches and costs worth it when they break down…? Who knows eh? (smile) Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2020 Isaiah 43:19.

Isaiah 43:19.     ​Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Well it’s another bright and sunshiny day out there, but probably the last warm one in this long run of Indian summer days! But yuh better believe that we in the north country up here are very thankful for them, for it’s been a long time since we’ve seen so many consecutive warm days in November! Thank You Lord! 

And today is Remembrance Day, where we stand and acknowledge and remember the many who fell in the crazy wars of the last century. ‘Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth. It was originally called “Armistice Day” to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.—on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.’ Yes, that was supposed to be the war to end all wars. 

Hn! What a joke! For twenty something years later, another mighty world war broke out! What a waste of human life eh? And sadly, nothing much has changed. There are still way too many strife-filled countries in our world, and still way too much religious, economic and political differences that only lead right back to warring words and the modern term ‘terrorism,’ cowardly attacks on innocent, unsuspecting people. But I guess from the first killing, that of Cain on his brother Abel, man’s lust for blood has taken centre stage. 

But since this is Remembrance Day, let’s remember; first with as someone puts it: ‘The most sacrosanct and central element in Remembrance is the Two Minutes of Silence.’ – Silence  

And now, let’s really remember through the immortal poem‘In Flanders Fields’ written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres.  

Read with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,LOVEDand wereLOVED, and now we lie,  In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw  The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

What can I say eh? Not a whole lot nuh! But here’s this tidbit of info. ‘The symbol of Remembrance Day is the red poppy, which grows on the First World War battlefields of Flanders (in Belgium) and northern France. As the artillery barrages began to churn the earth in late 1914, the fields of Flanders and northern France saw scores of red poppies appear.’ 

Now is that symbolic or what? Death and Birth at the same time! Only an amazing and awesome God like ours could frame such a situation. And with our world currently in a state of pandemic and strife, we need that awesome and amazing God even more than ever, for without His grace, mercy,LOVEand forgiveness, our world willNEVERreturn to some sort of calm. It willNEVERbe like it was before, but some form of peace with less anxiety and frustration and uncertainty won’t return until we make peace with Jehovah God, until we return to His fold, until we give up our sinful, evil, wicked ways and start being obedient and obeisant to Him! 

That brings to mind this awesome scripture from the prophet Isaiah to his people, Israel, on behalf of the Lord their Redeemer, in one of their times of ‘sufferation’ for gross disobedience. ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’(Is. 43:18-19) 

Oh friends, that was always God’s desire for Israel, and He showed them it as He moved them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. But all along they stumbled and turned away from Him and were subsequently afflicted. Now we are in the same godless, sinful position, and the Lord is putting forth that same standing promise for true believers and obedient nations. He is willing to do a new thing in our lives and countries if we are willing to turn back to Him and truly live in obedience and obeisance to His will and word! 

And I never thought it was possible for people to be more foolish than the Israelites of old nuh, but I’m ashamed to say that this generation is so. In times of prosperity, the Israelites often turned away from God, but when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place, they quickly turned back to Him and were received with opened with arms. But we, this proud, knowledgeable, know it all, but yet illiterate generation, refuse to do that, even though nothing we try in our own strength is working! 

As Bruh Paul prayed for the Colossians: ‘we desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his (God’s) will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.’ (Col. 1:9b) Yeh friends, that’s how Bruh Paul usually prayed for the churches he dealt with. Not that they had less problems or such stuff, but that they would be filled with wisdom and knowledge of God. That His will would be revealed in their lives. And that is exactly what we need to pray for in these turbulent and uncertain times: ‘That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.’ (1 Cor. 1:5) 

Oh my people simply praying for God to heal us and our land is not enough, will never be enough! We need to pray that we know Him, the One and Only True God more and more, both personally and societally! That will lead us to better, more godly behaviour: ‘That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.’ (Col. 1:10) 

Friends, we need to seek God very deeply and very sincerely RIGHT NOW, if we want our world to improve. That’s just the simple truth! And for those of us, the relative few, who are endeavouring to do so, let’s go home now declaring (awright!) our wonderful position in Christ through our Wednesday Wail! 

All together now: ‘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!’  

Now let’s see that through the eyes of faith and endure till the end, because our future will indeed be more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…only when we sincerely seek the Lord…will a new thing spring forth… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2020 Jeremiah 4:22.

Jeremiah 4:22.     ​For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish (stupid or silly) children, and they have none (no) understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

So we finally come down to Friday eh…the last day of the work week, and plenty people happy. That is the ones and them who don’t have to go to work again for the next two days. But what happen to those who didn’t have no work to go to this week eh…and those who have had no work to go to for a long time now eh? And it have plenty people like that about the place. Life certainly rough and tough with them. 

Yeh friends, plenty people out there really undergoing ‘sufferation’ in this here Covid-19 time yes. What we doing to help them eh? Remember, we are our brother’s keeper, regardless of what Cain said to the Lord: ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ after he killed his brother Abel in a fit of jealousy, and the Lord asked him of Abel’s whereabouts. (Gen. 4:1-15) 

Oh my fellow believers, in Christ’s kingdom, we are our brother’s keeper. We need to spend time and resources looking after, caring for and being interested in the welfare of those around us, be they real family or not, ofttimes placing their needs before our own, in other words sacrificing ourselves to help others. 

As the website http://www.ucg.org/good news explains it. ‘To be your brother’s keeper means to consider your neighbour’s needs at all times, whether he is present or not. A brother’s keeper is one who understands godly LOVE as expressed in Christ’s sacrifice (John 3:16). ‘For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Yes fellow saints, that means we need to grow in LOVE and understanding for each other and encourage each other as best we can. And remember, Christ’s church, the body to which we belong, is supposed to be helping the poor and needy, the sick and suffering, the lost and weary, being shepherds and ambassadors for Christ, so that they can come to Him and be refreshed and renewed. 

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that we are doing as much of that as we ought to, or as we can, but as of today, I am pleading with us to be better representatives of Christ Jesus in our immediate area. We don’t have to go far and wide, just minister to the needs of those in our vicinity, because too many people are suffering, mentally, physical, emotionally and financially. I don’t know if there’s ever been a time when so many have suffered from so many maladies at the same time. 

And our job, our bounden duty as believers in Christ Jesus, as Christians, is to help as many as possible in as many ways as possible. So please let’s try and do more than we’ve been doing nuh – I know we can – so that we, Christ’s church, can make a difference. That’s my heartfelt plea today. (smile) And no, I have not forgotten the ordinary workingman’s spiel. I just had a longer and I believe more important one myself. (smile) 

So hear him nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the weekend is upon us once more. But this is going to be a crazy and disturbing and controversial weekend because is Halloween. Some people want it to go on as normal, others want to make changes, while others just want to ban it completely. Steups! Another instance of ungodly contention in we ranks! How we going to ever get through all this Covid business if we can’t agree on nothing eh? As for me, my children staying home yes! 

Yuh don’t want big people outside and visiting others they not in a bubble with, but yuh want young children running around from house to house, in the dark night begging people they don’t know, for candy which yuh been telling them all the time is not good for them. Steups! What foolishness and what adult doubleface eh! Meanwhile the dentists, who themselves pan candy and sugar, going to be laughing all the way to the bank in a few months, after the children eat up all the sugar candy. Hn! 

But that is the state of today’s world. Standards falling all over the place. No more real truth to be had, because everybody making up their own truth now. Chuh! That is why I stay in my own li’l world yes, and let them do their thing, because it just too much for me. Call me old fashion if yuh want, but I like it so yes!’ 

Ah mih people, this new world is indeed a handful to navigate, and not a whole lot of old-timers can do it successfully. But as believers, we are expected make a difference, a good difference, and as we do so, we make Jeremiah’s lament over Judah, less applicable to our society. (smile) ‘For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish (stupid or silly) children, and they have none (no) understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.’ (Jer. 4:22) 

And we can begin turning around that rather applicable statement right now, by falling on our knees before Almighty God and offering up prayer in the form of our Friday Chant. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

So let’s get to it nuh, you faithful believers, let’s handle the situation like Christ desires! Much LOVE!

…remember…we are our brother’s keeper…through Christ our Lord… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

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

Now let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2020 Deuteronomy 6:5.

Deuteronomy 6:5.     ​And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And then it was Wednesday; another beautiful autumn day! So let’s be glad and rejoice in it nuh, celebrate our great God and give Him thanks for all He’s done, still doing and faithfully promised to do for us in the future! Yeh, times might be a tad rough right now, but He has also promised to see us through those tough times, and bring us out better on the other side…if we have faith and trust in Him. That means we have to show faith and trust now more than ever, since the rough times seem like they’re going to last for longer than we expected. (smile) 

As Jeremiah so wisely warned his people long ago, I am here today to warn us of the consequences of lack of faith and trust, of ungodliness and willful disobedience and sinfulness. ‘Hear ye and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:15-17) 

Ah mih friends, I know that sounds like a dire proposition, but it’s a true one. Sinfulness and ungodliness, especially when laced with a major dose of pride, WILL undoubtedly bring negative consequences from Almighty God! And our society has been guilty of all those things, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if we’re suffering some major heartaches now. And the sad part is that though our efforts to quell our problems in our own strength aren’t working, we still refuse to turn to the great healer, Jehovah Rapha for help. 

Oh, we’re so stubborn, hard-headed and prideful, thinking that we know so much, when in actual fact, we don’t know a blooming thing! That’s why we can’t even cut down the numbers of the Covid-19 pandemic, for so many of us refuse to do the only things we know will ease the pain. So we not only disobedient and stubborn towards God, but also towards man. That means ‘sufferation’ will be in the cards…unless we smarten up and get back to LOVING and praising, sincerely worshipping and reverencing our Creator. It’s as simple as that. 

And yuh know, the Lord doesn’t have to bring anything negative against us nuh, because we are doing it to ourselves. We are our own worst enemies with all the hate, anger, bitterness, strife, greed, power-hungriness and inhumanity that’s currently running rampant in our society. No society can withstand the barrage of negative stuff that’s happening right now and survive, much less prosper. And I have to chuckle sadly as I turned the pages of the Good Book and these rather appropriate words shot out at me. Isaiah’s warning to Israel. ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.’ (Is. 54:13) 

Unfortunately though, we have not taught our children of the Lord, so they obviously cannot find peace. They know only one option; that put forth by the world. And I don’t blame the children, I blame us, the parents, because it’s our duty to teach them about God, and it’s obvious that we haven’t done such a good job because so many of them don’t believe, and don’t even want to hear about God. 

But from day one, Moses instructed Israel and all those who accept the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob thus: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:4-7) 

And have we done those things? Hardly…or not to the extent that we should have. Our parents taught us about God and the way we ought to go, so we knew the two options available, but for some reason we have not done the same for our children, thus putting them at a disadvantage in this sinful world. Why? I don’t know. Possibly because we got too full of ourselves with the knowledge revolution that was going on in our time. 

But hear what the Lord Himself told Joshua nuh. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Now have we spoken of the book of the law, or meditated on it continually? Obviously not! 

And yes, some of us have had what the world terms success, but it’s not the good kind, the lasting kind. We’ve sold our souls to the devil to acquire worldly things, but be it known that that gentleman – hn! – will eventually come calling to collect his rightful dues. And what then eh? Hellfire and damnation…? Most likely. 

But when we adhere to God’s Word and Will, the result is heaven… and rewards.. a peaceful and prosperous eternity with Jesus as the Light and King of our lives. I don’t know about you, but I think I much prefer to live for Jesus than Satan. It might be harder, but it’s much more rewarding in the long run. In any case, it’s an individual choice we all must make, hopefully we ALL will make the right one…Jesus! 

And for those of us who have already made that right and most wonderful choice, let’s go home now telling all and sundry our wonderful position in Christ Jesus, through our Wednesday Wail. 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 as Jesus has so faithfully promised, if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…that’s true wisdom… (Dr. Charles Stanley) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2020 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.     ​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.
 

‘And God spake all these words saying… Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex. 20:8-11) 

As always friends, our God never minces words, He comes straight out and tells it like it is. And by the way, for those of you who don’t know, that is one of the original Ten Commandments! (smile) Thus we have been told that we have to keep the sabbath day, which we celebrate on a Sunday, holy and in remembrance of God, with rest and praise and worship. 

Unfortunately, though churches have recently been given the green light to open for a specific percentage of people, with numerous safe conditions, most of them are not quite ready to do so. That means we still have to worship and sing and praise through technological methods. But it has never stopped us before, and neither is it going to stop us now. (smile) So without further ado, let’s get started with today’s song of praise nuh, a hymn appropriately titled for these rough and dangerous times: ‘Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace!’ 

Yes friends, that’s how our wonderful Lord expects us to come to Him – boldly, with confidence and faith in His undying LOVE, grace and mercy, but also humbly. Boldly, doesn’t mean arrogant and bold-faced. (smile) And now, with soulful voices, sincere hearts, and perfect harmony, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise, boldly to the throne of God. 

‘Come boldly to the throne of grace, Ye wretched sinners come, and lay your load at Jesus feet, And plead what He has done. How can I come? Some soul may say, I’m lame and cannot walk; My guilt and sin have stopped my mouth, I sigh, but dare not talk. Come boldly to the throne of grace, Though lost, and blind, and lame; Jehovah is the sinner’s friend, And ever was the same. He makes the dead to hear His voice; He makes the blind to see, The sinner lost, He came to save, And set the prisoner free. 

Come boldly to the throne of grace, For Jesus fills the throne; and those He kills, He makes alive; He hears the sigh or groan; Poor bankrupt souls, Who feel and know, the hell of sin within; Come Boldly to the throne of grace; The Lord will take you in. Come Boldly to the throne of grace; The Lord will take you in…the Lord will take you in…Yes the Lord will take you in…take you in’ 

And He certainly will! The Lord will NEVER refuse anyone, despite their terrible sins, who comes to Him with a sincere heart of repentance. Because that’s exactly whom He came to earth to save; the lost, the sick, the weary, the tired and downtrodden! Jesus said so Himself: ‘For the Son man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) If He says so, then it must be so! (smile) 

But here are the passages of scripture that our song was most likely based on, those to do with the sympathetic Christ, as recorded by the author of Hebrews. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (conviction, faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:14-15) 

And that’s where Jesus wins them my brethren; He is able to sympathize, to empathize with our predicaments, our ‘sufferation’ because He also suffered them as a man here on earth and knows exactly how they hurt and can be detrimental to our very beings! The only difference is that because He was also God, He did not fall to the temptations like we do. Glory be mih people! And that’s why the author of Hebrews could continue in strong proclamation: ‘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. 4:16) 

Mama Yo! What a glorious proclamation and scripture of assurance! How can we not turn to Jesus eh, since NO ONE else offers such a wonderful opportunity? We’d be truly foolish not to accept such a magnanimous gesture! And, furthermore, if this isn’t a time of rather acute need my friends, I don’t know what it will take to call it such nuh. With sickness and protests simultaneously enveloping our entire world, that certainly sounds like a time of need to me. 

And here’s why it’s oh so necessary to turn to Jesus and to hold on tightly to our faith. The scholars explain: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

Yes mih people, NO other faith allows it’s members such reassurance! They have to go and beg and plead and try to browbeat their supposed deity. But as Christians, true believers in and followers of Christ, we are gifted with the provision to come boldly to the throne of God and ask for His amazing grace, His powerful favour, all because of Christ’s work on the cross at Calvary! 

That’s why Bruh Paul could confidently write to the Ephesians: ‘In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.’ (Eph. 3:12) In other words, in Christ and through faith in Him we may enter God’s presence with boldness and confidence. It can’t get any better than that friends! That’s why I encourage us today to put our whole trust, surrender our entire beings, hearts, souls and bodies to Christ Jesus, for only in Him is there any hope for the lost, the sick and the weary! Much LOVE!

…faith doesn’t make it easy…faith makes it possible…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.     ​Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 

Top O the morn my people! A cool and crazy wind is blowing through my area this morning, making it feel more spring-like than the summer time it’s supposed to be. But that’s the current reality of the weather in these dangerous and contrary times! More importantly though my friends, today I’ve been asked to inform us, to remind us of three of the most salient facts in this our earthly lives. 

And these cardinal truths are: ‘There is only ONE Power and ONE Presence here – God the Good Omnipotent! And the next essential truth decrees: ‘The Bible is God’s Word to us! Furthermore, it is still fresh, exciting and relevant. It has been thus down through all the ages and will continue to perform it’s God given function till the end of time. No ifs and buts about that! And if we read, study and meditate on it, we WILL find God’s wisdom on its pages. And the third maxim, or fundamental principle is this: ONE Truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man!’ 

Glory be mih bredrin! Now I don’t want to preach, (smile) but I’m sure that if we sincerely embraced those three truths our earthly lives would be oh so much better than they currently are. And I am willing to bet that a lot of our ‘sufferation’ stems directly from our lack of adherence to those three great, fundamental and foundational truths. 

And as I look at a page of that same Bible, God’s mighty Word to us, that’s open in front of me, my eyes confront this amazing and oh so true statement from the wisest man who ever lived; Cousin Sol. And it says: ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) Oh friends, never were truer words spoken! 

And just for argument sake, (smile) let’s consider who made Cousin Sol, not only the wisest but the richest man ever; the ONE and ONLY, TRUE, LIVING GOD of his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! What does that tell us eh? That the God we worship, the God who gave us the Bible, is indeed a powerful, magnanimous and magnificent Being! There is none other like Him in all the world, in all creation! And until we, finite fools that He created in His own image and gave breath and life to through the inbreathing of His Spirit, take those facts seriously and bow down and worship and obey Him the way He deserves, our lives will be filled with unnecessary pain and hardship. 

That’s not to say if we humble ourselves and live the way He desires, that there will be no pain and troubles, because in this world of evil and sin, those things come automatically, as Jesus said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And that, basically, is why it’s so sensible, so wise to sincerely believe in Jesus. Despite all the troubles and torment of this world, through Him we are able to stay peaceful and joyful and deal positively with whatever situations come against us. 

But because so many of us think that believing in Jesus will curtail our sinful behaviour and opportunities – and it will to a certain extent – we shy away from embracing Him as our Lord and Saviour. But friends, as, I believe it’s Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) I heard say: ‘The worst day with Jesus is better than the best one without Him!’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Supposedly good days without Jesus just don’t compare favourably with any kind of day in His fold. 

And why is that you ask? It’s simple. As Bruh Paul explained to the church at Ephesus: ‘For he (He Himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation: ‘2:14-15. Who hath made both one: Jesus has formed the two antagonistic groups of Jew and Gentile into a single new party, the Christian Church. He did this by removing the middle wall of partition, that is the Mosaic Law. The law was meant to protect Jews from pagan corruptions, but by misconstruing the purpose of the law, the Jews felt superior to Gentiles, who were incensed at this arrogance. So Jesus abolished this enmity (hatred), caused by an abuse of the law, by making the law invalid for His church. Of twain one new man: As above, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles now compose this “one new man” or Christian church.’ 

Ah friends and fellow believers, we can never repay the debt, the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. And He doesn’t want or expect us to. He made the sacrifices so we can sincerely follow Him, if like so many of us claim, we want to live in peace and have eternal life. For He is our peace; NO ONE and NOTHING ELSE serves that wonderful purpose! Listen to him nuh, as He reassures us: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Oh friends, how can those sincere sentiments not grip your heart eh? His peace is not peace like the world offers, but an eternal, everlasting peace which the world doesn’t know, and will never know until and unless they accept Him as Lord and Saviour! That’s why He is called ‘THE PRINCE OF PEACE!’ And having established all those truths this morning, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

As one 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!’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, in these turbulent and troubled times, we need more than ever to manifest, to show the world true Christian behaviour, because that’s the ONLY thing that will truly bring our world together! Much LOVE!

…right now… Christians need to stand up and be counted… be the true salt of the earth…and light of the world…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2020 1 John 4:8.

1 John 4:8.    ​He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.
 
Come Easter Saturday morning, me and my friends, will be heart-broken, thinking of Jesus, His beaten and battered body buried in the tomb, but whose awesome spirit is fighting the devil in hell, so that He can return triumphant on Easter Sunday! Oh glory to God my faithful brethren! He’s such a wonderful God, and LOVES us much that He gave His only Son to die to atone for our sins on that horrible but blessed day called Good Friday! 

And it is always worth noting, that though we’re sorrowful for the abuse, injustice and terrible ‘sufferation’ Jesus experienced on our behalf yesterday, without Good Friday, we would never be able to have the joyous resurrection of Easter Sunday, and thus the amazing promise of eternal life! And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful cheer of ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy and LOVING-kindness to the children of men!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s turn now to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says it in spades: ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ And is that ever so true my fellow believers! The seeds of our today doing will be the ones we reap henceforth. As we all know, we reap whatever we sow, and as Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

And ain’t that the gospel truth! Have you ever noticed how much harvest we receive even though we only sow a few seed? Well that’s exactly what will happen to us, with whatever we sow today, good or evil, LOVE or hate. It will be multiplied and measured back to us several fold. So please, lets pay close attention to what we sow today, for it will certainly boomerang on us tomorrow. 

And here’s another nugget of truth: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.’ That’s for certain sure! We like to give it a fancy name like procrastination, but it’s usually an act of laziness, or fear, as we just don’t want to face the problems that have come against us. I can testify to the laziness aspect. (smile) And the truth is, if we just ramp up our efforts and deal with the problems in a timely and effective manner, most of them will quickly go away, for most problems are never as insurmountable as they seem when we shy away from them. 

Therefore, this next quote is rather timely. ‘Don’t brood. Get on with living and LOVING. You don’t have forever.’ And isn’t that what many of us are finally finding out with the Covid-19 pandemic that’s clutching tenaciously at our throats? We can’t allow life to pass us by without making significant efforts to throttle it and keep it in line. We must LIVE and LOVE as though there was no tomorrow! And who knows if there will be eh? 

But still so many of us refuse to do what is necessary to survive, or at least have a reasonable chance of surviving. There is still too much doubt, denial, confusion and totally different messages prevailing amongst the top echelons in our society, so what can we expect from the lower rungs eh, but the same negative behaviour. 

Then there’s this: ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to LOVE yourself to get anything done in this world.’ I don’t know how much truth there is that statement nuh, although I suspect there is some. The long and short of the story though is that Jesus said: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

Yuh see friends, LOVE for God ought ALWAYS to be first place! And you’ll notice that LOVE for self runs a distant third, because we need to LOVE our neighbours after we LOVE the Lord. The only mention of LOVE for self there is in the context of LOVING our neighbours.  How much we LOVE others, will be in direct proportion to how much we LOVE ourselves! The truth being that we can’t LOVE anyone, or can only LOVE them as much as there is LOVE in our own hearts. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say on the subject: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! If you don’t have LOVE in your heart, you obviously can’t give it away! That brings us to this amazing quote: ‘Keep LOVE in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’ And don’t I ever know that! Oh friends, LOVE is the most important thing in the world, as Jesus reminded us above. LOVE for God, our neighbours and ourselves! For LOVE is truly what makes the world go around! 

As John so clearly tells us in his epistle. ‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

But the scholars clarify that by stating: ‘In context, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is somehow a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others. Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor. 13).’  

Thus the LOVE we’re talking about here is that which is securely entwined with true belief in Jesus Christ. And thus John could continue: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘AMEN!’ 

And we’ll close with this reminder from the scholars, re that verse. ‘John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’ 

And that’s why sin had to be justly paid for, before forgiveness could be bestowed. Much LOVE!

…but the greatest of God’s attributes is…LOVE…

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