Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 August 2022   Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139: 23.      Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: 

Saturday, oh blessed Saturday! Where we can laze about and do as we want. No alarm clocks, running to the baby-sitter or day care with the children and then facing the constant traffic jams that have become a normal part of today’s commute to work! No wonder we LOVE Saturday! And with all of that to do five days a week, it’s not surprising that so many of us are tired and worn out physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

But not all of us can sleep in on Saturdays. The ole fella still has to be up and about the Lord’s business, figuring out something to say about the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Ah Lord eh! No rest for the wicked. (smile) But I can’t really complain because the Lord usually helps me with that task since He’s allotted it to me, and He always gives us the tools to do the work He requires. So Lord, I ask you now to give me those tools, let your Holy Spirit lead and guide me to write sensible stuff today that will not only serve to open the eyes and hearts of our readers, but even more importantly, praise and glorify your holy name. Amen! 

And the first quote goes off with a bang! ‘The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.’ Now that’s wonderful advice, but not so easy to put into action, since nowadays fear is all around us. Fear of disease, fear of fraudulent operators, fear of economic failure, fear of natural disasters, fear of government actions, fear of church brethren, and all of that leads to fear of life itself. Yes friends, everywhere we turn these days, fear seems to be staring us straight in the eye. But fear can be overcome through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, that’s a guaranteed fact. Oh, we’ll always feel it, but with Jesus in our corner, it won’t get us down or cripple us like it’s doing so many people today. 

One of Jesus’ favourite statements was ‘Fear not!’ And I guess it’s only right to quote two of His most famous sayings on the subject. Listen to this first one. ‘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) Yes friends, when we have true peace, fear cannot invade our souls or bodies. And the true source of real peace is Christ Himself! No one or nothing else can give you the kind of uplifting, spiritual peace that He offers; the peace that conquers fear. 

Now listen to Him again. ‘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) There you have it! With Jesus and His Holy Spirit in your life, you have the peace of God living right there within you, so there’s no need to fear anything, because your Lord and Saviour has already overcome the evil world and all its tricks and trade. But for good measure, (smile) here’s one more scripture that as we said yesterday ought to be continually in our mind’s eye. These famous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Ah mih people, the only way to numb fear is by having Jesus Christ in our lives, and then sincerely accepting what He tells us. But that doesn’t come easily or overnight, which leads us to this next quote: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Now that’s gospel truth right there my brethren! We simply cannot live a life without examining it, to see what kind of life we’re living. And I guess the best way to begin doing that is to by following Bruh David’s example in Psalm 139, where he pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 139: 23-24) 

Oh friends, how refreshing and renewing is self-examination! Especially when we do it with God’s help. It shows up the things we need to drop, and the places we need to improve. But we need to take it seriously and do what the Lord shows us, or what we know needs to be done. And it helps when we go to the Lord with sincere sentiments like Bruh David does in Psalm 51: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) The Lord will never turn us away with those kinds of sincere sentiments in our hearts. 

That brings us to this next quote which advises: ‘Turn your wounds into wisdom.’ And it does make sense to let our hurts teach us a wiser way to live. It’s basically learning from our mistakes. And that’s exactly what successful people do, for if you don’t learn from your errors, you will continue making the same mistakes and thus getting the same hurtful and wounding results. 

And how do we do that? I believe this advice from Cousin Sol in Proverbs makes a good start. He says: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8) Yuh know friends, if you must choose one passage of scripture to remember, one that encompasses all you need to know, that’s it right there! Once you have the basic knowledge of scripture in your hearts and souls, that’s all you really need to live by. 

And that segues very nicely into our next quote, which offers great advice: ‘Don’t settle for what life gives you; make life better and build something.’ Ah mih bredrin, with Jesus in our lives, that’s exactly what He expects of us! When life gives us lemons, He expects us to take them and make lemonade. (smile) That means to improve on whatever we are given. Don’t just sit there and accept life’s handouts without any thought of making them better. Unfortunately though, that’s just what many of us do. Life hands us misfortunes and instead of trying to build something better on them, we simply accept them, and do the proverbial thing, lie down and die. 

But when you’re follower of Jesus, that’s not acceptable. He expects us to be always improving, always learning, always persevering to become more like Him. Look at the hand that He was dealt when He came to earth nuh. One of persecution, rejection, and abnormal suffering, what I like to term ‘sufferation’ Most of us would have gone crazy and run away. But He stood up and faced it all, obviously with the help of His heavenly Father, and turned the whole world upside down, an upheaval from which it still hasn’t recovered two thousand years later, and never will! 

And as the Good Book reminds us, He is the example we all must follow. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) So whatever life slings at us, we must let Jesus help us to take it and make it better. That brings us to our last quote: ‘Sing like no one’s listening, LOVE like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.’ 

Oh friends, that’s the abundant life, and it’s just how God intended for us to live! But nowadays, in this fallen and sinful world we can only live it if we’ve received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and keep Him first and foremost in our hearts minds, bodies and souls! That’s the kind of life Jesus died for us to have. He said very clearly. ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) So, the long and short of the story friends, is that to do all those things our quotes tell us, we must be true and strong followers of Christ Jesus! Anything less than that will not cut it. End of story! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…that’s the ONLY way to go… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 August 2022   John 14:16.

John 14:16.      And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. 

Well, glory be, another new work week has begun friends! It’s a bright and beautiful Monday morning, filled with all kinds of promise, if we would only seriously engage God’s Word and put it into action with His omnipotent help. Wow! Nothing could be better than having the Creator of the universe and all therein on our side in ALL that we do! 

Remember, yesterday in our praise and worship session, we sang about surrendering our ALL to Him? Well now is the most appropriate time to do just that. Please let him have ALL of us, so that He can work miracles in our lives; enabling us to have the abundant life that He sacrificed His own life for us to have. 

And what does that entail, you ask? Well, merely giving us our daily bread, keeping us contented with our earthly possessions, while filling our souls with His LOVE, joy, peace, forgiveness and the promise of eternal life in heaven with Him at a future date. It’s also that we can encourage others to come to Him for salvation, by the way we live our lives. Now that’s not hard to handle eh? (smile) 

But unfortunately, it all doesn’t just fall in our laps like manna from heaven. No! We have to put some effort into making it happen, by first discovering God’s will for our individual lives, that’s asking Him about it, then going out into the evil and ungodly world and making it happen, with the help of His Holy Spirit that indwells us for just that purpose. 

And if you’re wondering about the Holy Spirit, then listen to these awesome words of Jesus to the disciples, and consequently to us too. ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) 

Yes, my fellow believers, Jesus made provision on His return to heaven for us to be looked after by the third body of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit! He calls it another Comforter, another like Himself. And the scholars offer this marvellous explanation re the Comforter. ‘The Greek word ‘parakletos’ literally means “one called alongside to help,” hence the idea of a comforter. The Holy Spirit is called ‘another comforter’ because this is also one of Christ’s titles (1 John 2:1, translated “advocate.”. 

Illustration: The Father is also known as the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). Though those in the early church often endured persecution, they found their comfort in the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31). Application: Today, Christians can find comfort in the Holy Spirit when trials come. (First Ref. John 7:37-39; Primary ref. John 14:16-18).’ What a powerful tool for all us followers of Christ. And by the way, our homework for today is to check out John 7:37-39, to see what else Jesus had to say about the Holy Spirit. (smile) 

And furthermore, the scholars also explain that ‘The ministry of the Holy Spirit, promised to believers of this age, is unique since it is given to all believers alike, and is permanent, that is, “takes up residence in them.” And we all know that the Holy Spirit first came to indwell believers on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus had ascended back to heaven. 

The Good Book describes the strange scene thus: ‘And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they (the believers) were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (in other languages) as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:2-4) 

Ah mih people, yuh see how our great God can move in miraculous and mysterious ways! Imagine the stir that must have made in Jerusalem that day nuh! And you can read all about it in the rest of Acts 2; with Peter’s great speech, the acts of the other believers, and the many who accepted Christ that day, ‘some three thousand.’  (smile) And since then, everyone who has claimed Christ as Lord and Saviour has had the Holy Spirit automatically indwell them, to lead and guide them on their wonderful, though sometimes difficult journey with Christ. 

But again, we need to stress that the believer has to engage the Holy Spirit, to ask for help, and listen carefully, because it does not always shout out to us, but more often responds in a still, small voice, and it will not try to force us to do anything. So, although it’s there, and will always try to point us in the right direction, our actions are still up to us, we still have complete free will. And with that free will, let’s turn to God in prayer, where our day should always begin. 

So, as one sincere but confident voice, let’s invoke our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘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!’ 

With that prayer, it now becomes necessary for us to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts so that the Lord can look positively on our situation. Much LOVE!

…the Holy Spirit is called to lead…and the believer to follow…  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​    

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2020 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.     ​If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
 

Aye mih people, can you believe we almost at the end of July already? Not really nuh, because my mind is saying we just celebrated Canada Day and the 4th of July so how can it be the 21st already eh? But that incredible thing we call time doesn’t seem to be waiting on me at all. The duchess tired telling me that, but I can’t seem to understand it. (smile) Anyway, it’s Tuesday, and another wonderful summer’s day in my neighbourhood, so I’ll just get out there and enjoy it, with all the new mercies and compassions and manna and whatever else that’s been showered down for our enjoyment today! 

And here’s a super thought for today…don’t remember where I got it from: ‘A little faith can bring your soul to heaven. Great faith will bring heaven to your soul.’ Now isn’t that an awesome truth! All it takes is a li’l faith to get to heaven, but when your faith is strong, heaven will come to you! Wow! Now that’s something to work towards my people! 

And yuh see why I don’t like social media… One of my sisters bothering me here, but still want me to write a good Bit. (smile) She doesn’t realize that I’m only black and beautiful, not superman! And also from the ole school – no good at multitasking. But yuh know what – I’ll just ignore her until I’m done! But she won’t take my ignoring… 

But what’s the purpose of life if you can’t have a li’l fun with your friends and family every so often eh, especially in these highly explosive times, with all the physical distancing and lack of our normal social interaction? None whatsoever! That’s all a part of the abundant life that Christ came to earth and died that we could have. (John 10:10) And yes, we must take life seriously, but sometimes we take it too seriously, while at other times we don’t take it seriously enough! 

Life is a complicated balancing act which we can only successfully balance with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us for that very purpose! That’s why these words of Bruh David from Psalm 34 are ever so important in our LOVE walk. ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.’ (Ps. 34:3-6) 

Oh friends, what magnificent and encouraging words! Who else can do all of that for us eh? NOBODY! None but the great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s why we need to turn to Him in these trying and troubled times, why prayer and repentance should be our number one priorities, because He is the ONLY ONE who can help us solve the very vexing problems that are currently consuming us and driving so many of us crazy! And as I keep saying, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that some of the negative stuff we’re now experiencing is directly related to the lack of God and godliness in our society! 

You can’t denigrate and try to kick out your Creator from amongst you and still be successful. As Moses asked the people of Israel: ‘Do ye thus requite (repay) the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?’ (Deut. 32:6) Yeh friends, foolishly, like the Israelites, we’re repaying our great God with corruption, lies, deception, and all the other works of the evil one! So what can we expect eh? 

Like Israel, every time they turned away from the God of their fathers, they experienced calamity and untold disaster. So why should we be any different eh, when it’s the very same God that we’re supposed to be worshipping? Some people seem to think we’re different, but I think that’s a fool’s wisdom. So why don’t we take another page from the Israelites book eh? When they disobeyed God and found themselves between a rock and a hard place, they were wise enough to repent and run back to Him. So why can’t we do the same thing now too? I’m sure that’s all He’s asking. 

And I want to point out some scripture here that ought to drive home the point to us. ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other Gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.’ (Deut. 8:18-20) 

Now isn’t that exactly what we have been doing in our society? And we like to say that the Lord and His Word never change, they are the same today and forever. That means the negative consequences of disobedience won’t change either. That sounds like good logic to me. (smile) But He’s such a wonderful God and Father that He’s made provision for us to turn again to Him, whenever we’re ready. Hear what He told Cousin Sol at the dedication of the first temple. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr. 7:14) 

Back then, they had to go to the temple to sacrifice and pray, but we’ve had Jesus sacrificed for us once and for all time, and His Spirit now dwells within us, so we don’t need to go to the temple, we can come boldly to the throne of grace, and pray anywhere, without ceasing. That’s the most significant change in that area. So please fellow saints, fellow Christians, called by Christ’s name, let’s wise up and repent and pray and seek His face nuh, so that He can hear us and heal our land…in Jesus name. 

Now it’s finally time to go home, declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to go out – with care – or stay at home, and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE and beautiful friendship! Much LOVE!

…prayer…the tool that moves heaven on earth…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2019 John 10:10b.

John 10:10b.    I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 
And so we come to Saturday; the first one after Christmas Day! The Christmas season is waning, slowly morphing into the New Year season, where gifts and giving and Christ will soon be turned into thoughts of parties and resolutions and all things New Year! Ah Lord eh! The fickle nature of man! We give Christ just a few days in the forefront of our minds, then it’s right back to bacchanalia for the new year! (smile) And there’s nothing wrong with partying, Jesus partied in His day, but we just have to be careful how we party, not to let our hair down too much and thus allow the always lurking enemy a chance to obtain a toehold in our lives. 

Remember, he doesn’t need a big opening to sinfully infiltrate our godly souls. That’s why it’s good to hear Granny’s warning over and over again, in the midst of this party season. (smile) ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And I don’t care if you get tired of hearing it, it is my job to keep reminding you to keep your wits about you, even when you party and want to let go with gay abandon. (smile) But we said it was Saturday, that means we need to take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. 

And the first one tells us: ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’ And that’s basically true my people. If we don’t have some difficulty in whatever we do or aspire to achieve, we won’t ever grow into it, because it’s only in times of struggle do we ever grow and mature. And that holds true for whatever situation in which we find ourselves. And that’s why the Lord sometimes test us with difficulties, to prove our faith, and to grow it. That leads us to this next quote that’s similar and just as true. ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ 

And for all you power seekers, you better believe that yes, because power is a very demanding master! Just look at all the politicians and leaders around the world; some of them might truly want to be decent and upstanding citizens, (smile) but the power structure in which they are caught up might demand a different set of actions. Not all of them want to be corrupt and disgusting, all the time, but ofttimes they find themselves in situations that are very ticklish, to say the least. (smile) 

For example when the big donor to your campaign begins to call in his marks for illegal and corrupt stuff, what do you do? In the back of your mind is the thought of the next election, and if you don’t do what they desire, you won’t get the same support next time. So you sell your soul to the devil for a li’l bit of power and prestige. But is it really worth it friends? I don’t think so. But unfortunately a whole lot of us do, that’s why there’s so much corruption and illegal actions in the halls of power and government these days, and there are not enough people with enough parts available to try and change it. 

Oh, there will always be corruption in man’s affairs, but it doesn’t have to be so blatant and overwhelming as it is currently. And so we come to this gem of a quote. ‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ Oh friends, if we don’t know where we’ve come from, we wont’ be able to chart a good voyage to where we’re going. If we don’t know our groundings, we’re just like chaff in the wind; blowing hither, thither and yon, wherever the wind might lead. 

And we see that sadly being proven in the lives of today’s generation. They have very little idea of their history, since they haven’t been taught it, or had it made a veritable presence in their lives, thus they are wandering aimlessly in the desert of life like the Israelites did back in the day. As the Rasta breddren who taught me History back in High School ofttimes declared: Chuh man! What is it with me and this word declared and it’s variations eh? Would you believe I spelled it wrong there too? Steups! 

Anyway, with his feet covered with big brogues up on the table, he’d lean back in the chair, stroke his scraggly beard, and haughtily ask: ‘What is History?’ Then He’d answer: ‘History is a record of the past.’ ‘And why do we learn History?’ would be the next question. ‘So we can understand the present.’ There you have it friends, if you don’t know your history you can’t understand what happened back then and thus won’t be able to understand what’s happening in the present and why. Neither will you be able to fashion a proper future for the generations to come. 

And the last quote, though very endearing, also comes with a price; we have to work at it. ‘Love yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Yes my people, that situation doesn’t just happen, we have to put some elbow grease into it. Remember Jesus said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ But the abundant life doesn’t just fall in our laps, we have to do our part to get it. 

First we have to LOVE God, ourselves and our neighbours, as Jesus pointed out in the two Great Commandments. (Matt.22:37-40) Then we have to stay happy, or even better yet, joyful. And how do we do that? Just like 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.’ 

Mama Mia! That says it all friends! This world is full of trials and tribulations, but when we have Jesus truly living in our hearts, we can focus on His sincere promises of a good life down here on earth and one in heaven later on. Remember, that’s what He came to give us: LIFE! Life Eternal! To save us from our sins and eternal death or separation from Almighty God. 

He’s already done His part; we now have to do ours if we want that abundant life. And how do we get it, by totally embracing Him and getting Him involved in ALL aspects of our lives! It’s not always easy to do, but with His ever-available help, we can all successfully do it. So let’s get to it right now nuh. Much LOVE!

…what does Jesus have to offer…peace, LOVE, joy…and eternal VICTORY…Glory Be…!