Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith now: ‘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 corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2019 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   ​And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
 

Ah mih people, the sun is shining brightly outside, the gloominess has been lifted, but please be careful because the weather isn’t completely done with its frustrating shenanigans! (smile) 

Yeh, yuh still hearing about the likelihood of getting all the different kinds of winter weather over the weekend, and the place is still white with ice and snow, and the wind is still blowing strong, but we not going to let it bother us. Like the workingman says in his song, we going to do our thing, regardless of what kind of weather shows up! Amen! 

And since it’s Saturday, and we have good reasons to sleep in, (smile) let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first quote is interesting: ‘I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.’ 

Now I don’t know if that is completely true nuh, because oftimes our decisions are made because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So though the decisions may seal the deal, they can always be leveraged by the circumstances. 

And the next one says: ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.’ And believe me, a lot of people will try to stop you, possibly more than will allow you to do what you want to do, especially in these turbulent times of technological advances and the rise of social media, where every fool and his brother can introduce their two cents worth without revealing their identities. 

But friends, all that foolishness should not stop us in stepping up to the plate and valiantly and powerfully doing what Jesus requires of us. Remember, He had plenty opposition too, but that never stopped Him from doing the Father’s business, and neither should we let whatever opposition comes against us stop us from doing His work. 

Then there’s: ‘Education costs money. But then so does ignorance.’ Gospel truth that! (smile) But somehow or the other, I believe that in this day and age education is costing a whole lot more than ignorance. 

You really don’t have to do much of anything to obtain ignorance nuh, just let the world go by without paying much attention to it, and you will end up ignorant, like so many of us unfortunately are today. We not even paying attention to the good free stuff like Jesus and His LOVE Revolution, so how can we be anything else but ignorant eh? 

And then this last quote says: ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ I don’t know if you’ll be quite halfway there, but your strong belief in whatever you’re doing is certainly going to get you over the top. It’s like the Chinese Proverb advocates: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ 

And most definitely, the first crucial step in any undertaking is to believe that you can do it, otherwise your odds of success will be greatly lowered. That’s just the way the Lord set up His universe. That’s why Jesus castigated the disciples with these words, when they queried why they could not heal a mentally ill young boy. 

‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt.17:20-21)  

Yeh friends, we do indeed need even a small grain of belief before we can do anything successfully. Jesus even talked earlier about the parable of the mustard seed: ‘Which indeed is the least of (smallest of) all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among the herbs (greater than the other herbs), and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge (rest, sleep) in the branches thereof.’ (Matt.13:32) 

So friends, you see that all things start with small beginnings, and that also applies to our faith, our belief in Christ Jesus; we start with a small grain of faith or belief, then as time goes on and we water and feed it with the right nutrients- i.e. the Word of God, prayer and fellowship- our faith will grow stronger and stronger, and just like the mustard tree, we will be able to help others come to Jesus and grow strong in faith too. Glory Hallelujah! 

And likewise, when Jesus put a curse on the bare fig tree, and the disciples marvelled at how quickly it withered away: ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:21-22) 

Yes my people, belief and believing are the corner stones to doing anything successfully in this world…and even more so in Jesus’ realm. So let’s wake up and smell the coffee nuh (smile) and start truly believing, because without true belief, we will never see Jesus! Much LOVE!

…the world says…seeing is believing…but Jesus says…believe it…then you will see it…

P.S. It nice and short and sweet today. (smile) Praise the Lord! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2017 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 for ever.

Arise my brethren, it is the Lord’s Day, and we must be trekking to His sanctuary to engage in blissful fellowship with other believers. What a time it will be, with joyful songs of praise and worship, the reading of God’s word, which enlivens our spirit, and words of encouragement and prayer for and with each other. 

But notwithstanding all of that, these are indeed disastrous times in our world, and we need extra comfort from our faith, thus we’ll open this morning with the old hymn ‘Precious Lord, take my hand’ that fits the bill. The song was written in 1932 by Thomas A Dorsey, a black man from Chicago after his wife Nettie died while giving birth to a child (who also died shortly thereafter). Dorsey sang the song for his friend, Gospel singer Theodore Frye, and Frye’s choir sang it the next Sunday at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church. 

So please friends, and fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise from our lips, as we seek comfort from our comforting God. In rich and soulful harmony now, as we feel it down in our very beings. ‘Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near, When my life is almost gone, Hear my cry, hear my call, Hold my hand lest I fall: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) When the darkness appears And the night draws near, And the day is past and gone, At the river I stand, Guide my feet, hold my hand: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand, I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m alone; Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home (lead me home)’ 

Oh my brethren, there is NONE other than Almighty God who can satisfy that need for reassurance and comfort in our hurting souls! That’s why we need to call out to Him first when terrible times overcome us, for He is our indispensable Healer and Comforter. Listen as Jesus offers assurance to His disciples in our Bit. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ 

Oh friends, what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have! He knew that He had to go away and that the disciples would be left in the lurch without Him around.  So He made arrangements with the Father to send them another Comforter, like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, that would dwell within them forever. And he continues: ‘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.’ (John 14:17) 

And the scholars tell us: ’14:17. The Spirit…shall be in you: 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 (dwelleth, that is “takes up residence”). See verse 23.’  

And we all know that the Holy Spirit made that magnificent appearance to all believers on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had told them to stay in Jerusalem until the new Comforter came, because they would not have had the parts to go out and do what He required of them. The Good Book describes that momentous event thus: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (one purpose, mind) in one place. 

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they 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, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Ah mih friends, our God doesn’t too things in half measures! When He decides to put on a show, He puts on a big one, with all the bells and whistles, not a little Mickey-Mouse event! (smile) But Jesus’ most touching words to me, were the ones He spoke after promising to send the Holy Spirit. ‘I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:18) 

What care and compassion Jesus shows for those distraught men who had given up everything they had to follow Him, thinking that He would be setting up a new kingdom at that time, only to later learn that He would be killed and then He would go away and leave them…but not alone. That’s not Jesus’ style friends. Once you come to Him, He will ALWAYS be with you: ‘for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb:13:5) 

Oh my people, in ending, all I can says is that the best place to find comfort and compassion in times of sorrow, is in the ever-open and ever-LOVING arms of Jesus. He has already offered the great invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt.11:28-30)  

Friends, it doesn’t get any better than that. But please remember, YOU have to make a serious decision to go to Him to find succour. It won’t just fall in your lap. Much LOVE!

…on a comfort scale of 1-10…Jesus is 11 plus…