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 11 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Arise friends, arise and greet this brand new day, filled with both mercy and work. The Lord is granting us new mercy so that we can be strong and courageous and go out and diligently do His work this Monday morning. So let’s rise and shine and greet the day with joy in our hearts and the LOVE of God in our souls! 

Remember it’s the Christmas season, one of the most important times of the year, when we celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That alone should be enough to drive our engine this morning. But just in case it isn’t we have our favourite stand by, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which fires us up, even when we are at the ebb of our spirits. So without further ado, let’s sing it out with some enthusiasm and sincerity. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yuh see friends, when we put some zest in it, it just raises our spirits, gets our adrenaline flowing and make us just want to get out there and work our fannies off for Jesus. (smile) So having said all of that, let’s get a move on nuh, for as our Bit so rightly says: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ 

And just for this moment we’re going to take our Bit at face value; the night is almost done and day is dawning, so we desperately need to get up and make preparations for going to work, and getting there on time too, for punctuality is one of the strong points of the followers of Jesus. 

Turning now to the philosophical side of our Bit, let’s see if we can get some more serious insight into what Bruh Paul is talking about. Now yesterday we saw it basically meant to give up the sinful ways in which we knowingly are involved; ways that don’t suit a follower of Christ. For as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) 

Yes my people, when we become people of Christ, we are to shuck the old sinful habits we had, and pick up the new ones which reflect the nature of Christ. But a lot of us are still doing the old stuff and it’s giving both Christ and us a bad name. The unbelievers keep shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ And more often than not they are right. 

As Bruh Paul puts it later on to the Corinthians: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness (in common) with unrighteousness (lawlessness)? and what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness? And what concord (accord) hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever). And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (2 Cor.6:14-16) 

Yes friends, individually and collectively we are the temple of God, the church of Christ, and as such we need to live a life that reflects the nature of Christ, and obviously the unbeliever’s life doesn’t reflect that, so we shouldn’t be too chummy chummy with them and pick up their bad habits. 

Now that doesn’t mean we can’t associate or work with them, because how else would we show and teach them about Jesus eh?  However we have to make sure that their unbelief doesn’t contaminate us, and that our belief is the more powerful nature of the relationship so that we can eventually draw them to Christ. 

But seriously though my believing brethren, in these troubled and evil times, we desperately need to come up higher. There is way too much strife and evil happening in our world, not enough LOVE, joy peace and goodwill, and if it continues in the current vein, it will only lead to a massive explosion, which I’m sure none of us want. So please, please, in Jesus’ name, I implore us, let’s do better nuh, for all of us have room for improvement.  If not for our sakes, then for our children’s. Much LOVE!

…the light of Jesus’ followers…ought ALWAYS to overpower…the darkness of the unbelievers…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2015 Psalm 145:1.

Psalm 145:1.   I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

Greetings my Friends, in the holy name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made whole, be washed clean, cleansed from our abominable sins and be reconciled to our Creator, our Father in heaven! 
 
What a mouthful! (smile) But it’s all true. And from that selfless sacrifice came forth the best gifts ever bestowed on mankind; salvation and eternal life! Oh, glory be to the wonderful Deity that we serve and worship! 
 
That’s why on this Sunday morning in November, we ought to be filling the Lord’s sanctuaries to give Him thanks and praise for His continued LOVING-kindness to us undeserving sinners. All over the land, shouts of praise and glory and thanksgiving ought to be reaching up to high heaven in true reverence and honour to our majestic God! 
 
Yes my people, the gathering of believers in Jesus Christ is of the utmost importance, for that is one of the major ways in which we build and also express our faith; worshipping together, encouraging and edifying each other. As the church, the body of Christ, we are expected to be as one, to live in harmony and unity, with the gospel of Christ as our true foundation and guide. 
 
And just like if one part of our physical body malfunctions, it causes problems for the whole body, likewise, if one part of Christ’s church doesn’t live up to expectations, the entire body will malfunction; there will be disharmony, disunity, selfish pride and resentment, amongst other things, bringing dishonour to Christ.  
 
And that’s one thing we certainly don’t want to do! We are His ambassadors, that means we ought to be doing good things in His name, setting a good example, living true to His godly principles, not to negative or evil ones. Unfortunately, these days negative and evil principles are taking a stranglehold on our world. War, hate, anger and strife are paramount in today’s world, while peace, LOVE, justice and righteousness are running a poor second. 
 
That’s not right Friends, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. The good ought to be overpowering the bad by a sizeable majority, not the other way around.  That is why in these difficult and dangerous end times we believers have to seriously increase our witness for Jesus if we want to save our world. 
 
We can’t afford to do like Jesus said of the people back in His time, re John the Baptist. “He was a burning and a shining light (lamp): and ye were willing for a season (time) to rejoice in his light.’ (John 5:35) 
 
Oh my brethren, we cannot rejoice just for a season in Christ! We have to be doing it continuously, until whenever He returns to claim His throne.  But sadly, that is one of the downfalls of believers; we’re not consistent in our walk with Jesus, most of the time we’re just lukewarm, no real pep in our witness. How then can we encourage others to come to Jesus eh? 
 
Unless we’re enthusiastic and sincere about walking with and working for Jesus, we’re doing His cause more harm than good, not being very worthwhile ambassadors. That is why the Psalms are full of encouragement to praise and worship God.  Let’s hear some of those scriptures so that our spirits can be boosted this Sunday morning. 
 
We’ll begin with our Bit from Psalm 145 – The Lord is Gracious- Bruh David’s psalm of praise.  He boldly proclaims: ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.’ Yes my brethren, that’s the kind of stuff we have to envision then put it into action. 
 
As Bruh David continues: ‘Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding). One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness.’ (Ps.145:2-6)  
 
Oh my fellow believers are we praising God’s name as conscientiously and enthusiastically as we should? Are we passing on His greatness to the next generation? Are we continually speaking of His splendour and majesty, of His awesome works? Hn! I don’t think so really – at least not as much as we should, otherwise our world would not be in such an evil mess. 
 
Now listen to Psalm 146 – the blessedness of trusting God: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise thee Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being… Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:1-2, 5) 
 
Then Psalm 147 – Great is our God and of great power- begins: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely… Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God.’ (Ps.147:1, 7) 
 
Meanwhile Psalm 149 – The Lord taketh pleasure in his people –boldly declares: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of the saints…Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek (humble) with salvation.’ (Ps.149:1,3-4). 
 
And we’ll end appropriately with Psalm 150 –Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in the firmament of his power (mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him according to his excellent greatness… Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 150:1-2, 6) 
 
Oh my people, my people, I do hope that we’ve gained some measure of insight into the need for praising and glorifying our great God on a continual basis. So today, please let’s hear His praise in the congregation of His saints and in His sanctuary as we gather to worship and give thanks for His undeserved mercy, LOVE, grace, compassion forgiveness and LOVING-kindness, for that’s wisdom at its wisest! Much LOVE!
 
…when we sing the praises of God…our hope, faith, belief and trust are increased…