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

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

So, finally it’s Saturday, and no more work for two, whole, big days! Glory be! But we can’t laze on the couch too much either because there’s housework to be done; stuff that we did not get done during the workweek. So, as they say, there’s just no rest for the wicked! But that’s okay, we can handle anything we have to with the amazing help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who enables us to do all things. And it’s that enablement I’m counting on right now, (smile) as I try to make some sense of the quotes we got this past week from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now, the first quote says; ‘To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.’ And we know that’s one of the tenets of our Christian faith: you have to believe or imagine it before you see it. That’s what the Good Book tells us in that famous verse on faith, in Hebrews. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes friends, faith has us waiting with eager expectations for stuff that we’ve imagined or prayed for. The only problem here is that it ought to be in God’s will, or His plan for our lives. And if it is, then we know we will receive it, in His timing, that’s why we can wait eagerly for it. 

The timing scene can ofttimes be a problem though, because waiting is not in our current playbook, we want everything now for now, and the Lord seems to wait until the very last moment. But He’s never late, although we might feel so. That’s the good things about it. That’s why we need to take these two verses from Psalm 27 to heart, where Bruh David adamantly declares: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:13-14) 

Oh my people, if we can plant those two verses in our hearts, then we have won most of the battle! Believe that God will be good to us down here on earth, since Christ said that He came so we could have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) And since you believe that, then you simply wait expectantly for the goodness of the Lord to show. It’s like when you’ve ordered something online that you greatly desire, and you know it’s going to come, but you’re just not sure when, but you still eagerly wait for it. The same way we must eagerly wait for God’s goodness, because it will come eventually. 

Wow! Like I got carried away there. But getting carried away with the Lord’s business is quite okay! (smile) That brings us to the next quote, which is almost the same as the first. ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’ Yes, we do need to follow our dreams as much as possible, that is if they coincide with God’s plan for us, for if they don’t our dreams will certainly get sidetracked. 

And I can give personal testimony to that since I never in my wildest dreams thought about writing scriptural stuff. Writing was one of my dreams yes, but not on the Lord’s Word. But He obviously had other ideas. So, here I am living my dream of writing, but not what I had intended to write, (smile) because it did not fall completely in line with God’s plans for my writing life. But nevertheless, I’m happy and contented, and still do some of the other writing on the side, so I can’t complain. 

And the next quote tells us: ‘A friend is one who overlooks your broken fence and admires the flowers in your garden.’ And is that ever the gospel truth! True friends are few and far between, and if you ever are blessed enough to get even one true one, then shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ and hold on to them for dear life! There are so many scriptures on the subject of real, good and true friends, that we need to consider some of them. And most of them obviously come from the wisest man ever, that’s Cousin Sol. 

Oh, before we go further, one other thing we need to admit and realize here that the flip side of most of these scriptures are also true; that is, we should not only be looking for a true friend, but also be working on being a true friend ourselves. Now listen to Cousin Sol from Proverbs. He writes: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov. 17:17) That means ‘a true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’ And hear this one: ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov. 18:24) 

Now what does that all mean? The scholars tell us: ‘18:24. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly may also be translated, “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better is it to have genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times (17:17).’ Truer words were never spoken. 

Then there’s this most timely warning: ‘Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways and get a snare to thy soul.’ (Prov. 22:24-25) Ah mih people, that simply means, ‘Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.’ And that’s the living truth, since the traits of those we associate with can easily be transferred to us. 

And this one proves what we just said. ‘He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.’ (Prov. 13:20) And the scholars explain that thus. ‘Wisdom as well as folly can be transferred by association.’ And if you haven’t found out that bit of wisdom already, please don’t try to prove it, unless it’s to walk with the wise. (smile) Oh friends, there’s good reason why Cousin Sol is described as the wisest man ever, although he didn’t live it out in his own life. But that’s the same with all of us; we give good advice but never take the same advice for ourselves. 

Now hear this magnificent word on friendship. ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov. 27:17) And the scholars explain. ‘27:17. As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal relationship.’ 

And listen to this last one from Cousin Sol, written as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow (companion): but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up.’ (Eccl. 4:9-10) More awesome truth friends! If you don’t have anyone beside you and you fall, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe. No wonder, the Lord, after He made Adam, said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him (a helper comparable to him).’ (Gen. 2:18) And that’s how Eve came about. 

But the greatest word ever on true friendship obviously comes from the greatest One who ever lived; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Hear him declare to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Then He called them friends, and laid down His life for them, for all of those who would believe in Him. That’s what true friendship is all about my fellow saints! 

And the last quote simply says: ‘Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.’ And we do that by befriending someone in some form or fashion, lifting them up, being a light in their darkness, the way the Lord put a rainbow in the sky to assure Noah that He would not destroy the world by water again, (Gen. 9:8-17) and the way Jesus died to bring light to our darkened souls. Much LOVE!

…friendship…God’s eternal design between man and man…and between man and God…                                                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2021 Colossians 3:2.

Colossians 3:2.     Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.

Saturday, oh blessed lazy Saturday! Are we ever so glad to see you on this Labour Day long weekend. Hope you don’t have too many serious plans for me; except those that include lazing around and frolicking. Yes, I do know that the Covid 19 virus and its dangerous family are still lurking somewhere in the weeds, just waiting to catch and kill gullible, unsuspecting, unprepared folks, but I pray I won’t be one of those, because of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ that’s leading and guiding me. 

And all God’s children gave a grateful shout of ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Yes, friends, there’s an awful lot we have to be thankful to Him for. However, He doesn’t just want word of mouth thanks, but a beautiful showing of it in our behaviour, in our everyday living, as we be the salt of the earth and the light of the world in His glorious name! 

So let’s try and concentrate on living the way He wants us to nuh. Let’s make it our top priority this Labour Day Saturday morning, even when we just lazing around or frolicking, because there is a time for each of those activities. As Cousin Sol so wisely says, as the Preacher. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ (Eccl. 3:1) 

And seeing that it’s Saturday, our purpose today is to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. (smile) Listen to this first one: ‘I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.’ And that’s true. We can go almost wherever we want to go, if we want it badly enough. But the problem here, is where do we want to go so badly that we will do anything to get there? 

The truth of the matter is that too many of us want things that don’t really do any good for us, like worldly pleasures and accoutrements, and we just die, ofttimes sell our souls to get them. And that’s not wise my brethren, for as Jesus says: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) And as Bruh Paul further reminds us: ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’ (Col. 3:1-2) 

In other words friends, we are not to focus on anything, be it good or bad, that will lead us away, and not towards our heavenly Father. And sometimes when we do go astray, this next quote can be helpful. ‘When people care for you and cry for you, they can straighten out your soul.’ Ah mih bredrin, that’s the beauty of having people in your life that care enough to cry and pray for you in those times when you seem to have lost your way. 

Oh, we don’t need a truckload of people praying and crying for us, just a serious and righteous few who will get through to God with their prayers, and to us with their tears! A praying and caring group of people around us is one of the most important assets we can ever have in this sinful and evil world. 

That leads us to these next two quotes which are basically the same. ‘Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.’ ‘That is the definition of faith – acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove.’ And indeed, so it is my fellow saints in Christ! As the Good Book tells us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Faith is having hope in our hearts, believing for things that we do not yet see in reality. And as the quote says above ‘the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.’ 

Wow! How wonderful is that eh? And that’s the way God’s economy works my people! You believe, then you see! Not like the world acclaims: that seeing is believing, and touching is the naked truth! And that’s the unwavering kind of faith we need to believe in Christ Jesus and all the many promises He’s made us. Listen to how God’s Word puts it nuh. ‘Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible).’ (Heb. 11:3) 

That’s the first basis, the very foundation of our faith friends; to believe that God spoke the world into existence, made something from nothing! And if you can’t believe that, then faith in Jehovah God is not possible. For His Word also tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ Yes, my faithful brethren, we do need to say, ‘So let it be!’ Why? Because that’s how it is, how God desires it, and we can’t change it. 

That brings us to this last quote, another interesting one. ‘I believe every one of us is born with a purpose. No matter who you are, what you do, or how far you think you have to go, you have been tapped by a force greater than yourself to step into your God-given calling.’ And if that isn’t the indisputable truth, I don’t know what is nuh! That’s because from the day God created man, He appointed him to a purpose. Adam and Eve were to look after the Garden of Eden, be fruitful and multiply, live in LOVE with each other and have a close relationship with God. 

And though they spoiled the good thing they had, God’s desires and purposes for His most wonderful creation did not change. Hear what He said through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) And God kept that promise in spades, gave us the option for a future and a hope, when He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die in our place, so that we could be reconciled to Him and have eternal life! 

How much more can He do eh? He’s also a God of justice, which means He has to fulfil the law, and the law said, the wages of sin is death, so He couldn’t just pardon us willy nilly, otherwise He wouldn’t be fulfilling His righteous purpose as a judge. If we were to be forgiven and live in everlasting righteousness with Him, some sinless somebody had to pay for all the sins in the world, and Jesus was the only sinless somebody available. That way God satisfied His promises to give us a future and a hope, and also satisfied His eminent position of a righteous judge; that is justice must not only be done, but also seem to be done. 

So, God has done everything He can to bring us back into sincere fellowship with Him, because that was one of His original purposes for creating us. The rest is now up to us; whether we receive Christ as Lord and Saviour, or follow the foolish ex-archangel Lucifer to the eternal damnation. The choice is yours my friends! But as for me and my house…we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:15) Much LOVE!

…oh faith…please help me to believe what I don’t see…                                                                                                    

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2021 2 Corinthians 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.       For we walk by faith and not by sight.

And another summer Sunday is upon us, my dear friends in Christ! And you know that calls for praise and worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider; the One who LOVES us unconditionally, LOVED us so much that He sent His Son to die on our behalf, that our sins could be forgiven and we could be adjudged righteous in His holy and glorious name. That’s why we praise and give Him thanks every Sunday. 

And today we’ll open with a very popular traditional gospel song titled ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee.’ The precise author of the song is unknown, but obviously there are various theories. One holds that it goes right back to the days of slavery, sung by slaves as they laboured in the fields of the plantations in the Southern States of the U.S. of A. 

Another angle claims that Kenneth Morris an American composer, on a trip from Kansas City to Chicago, heard a porter singing the song at one of the train stops where he got off to get some fresh air. At that time, he did not pay much attention to it, but as he continued his trip the song just flooded his mind, and at the next stop, he got off the train and took another one back to the earlier station. He had the porter sing the song for him, and he wrote down the words and music. Then in 1940, after adding some of his own lyrics to add more breadth, he published the song. 

Now it does seem that Morris did arrange and publish the song for the first time, but another theory says that happened only after a group of musicians heard a live version in Kansas City and then brought it to Morris’ attention. The long and short of the story though is that it soon became a gospel standard, a Jazz standard and a part of American folk music. However, it is agreed that the first recording was done by the Selah Jubilee singers on October 8, 1941, in New York city. 

And now that we have some idea of its history, (smile) let’s sing an up-tempo version, a la Anne Murray, not like the traditional dirge renditions in new Orleans jazz funerals. In full, sweet, harmonious voice, with the appropriate background vocals, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. 

(Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain].’ 

That’s oh so refreshing my people! There’s nothing better in this life than a steady walk with Jesus. And that all started right at the very beginning when the Lord told the 99-year-old Abram: ‘I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless).’ (Gen. 17:1) One translation says: ‘Walk before the Lord in a way that is pleasing to Him.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! We ought to walk before our God and Creator and heavenly Father in a manner that pleases Him, not the lewd, lustful and ungodly way that so many of us walk nowadays. 

And the scholars tell us that the title of the song and the lyrics allude to these two verses of scripture. The first one is this popular verse: ‘For we walk by faith and not by sight.’ (2 Cor. 5:7) And that’s a foundational scripture friends, since in the Lord’s economy seeing is not believing, walking by faith and trust in His promises and power is what He expects of us. That’s the realization of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

And the second scripture verse is another popular one: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ (James 4:8a) And I want to add this other verse that seems ever so appropriate. ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ James 4:10) Yes friends, if we don’t humble ourselves before the Lord, He certainly won’t lift us up, neither down here on earth, nor to heaven. (smile) 

Now here is this interesting commentary from the website Hymnary.org. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace after he asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

And Paul’s response to that was brilliant: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10) 

Oh my people, regardless of how mature we are in Christ, it is impossible for us to walk righteously, properly, blamelessly or in a pleasing manner before the Lord without His anointing, His grace supporting us. Please, let’s always remember that. It’s His amazing grace that keeps us walking this earth, and without it, we are done like dinner! That means every day we must give God thanks and ask for His grace to do His will, to walk worthy of Him. Much LOVE!

…only as we walk in faith…will we be anointed with grace…                                                                                               

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2021 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.     ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

And then, one more time, it was Friday! Hn! And what does this new day hold for us eh? Only the Good Lord truly knows, but for those who sincerely believe in Him, we do expect good things, like new mercies and compassions, because that’s what He has promised. And remember that He who has promised is faithful, faithful to deliver on ALL of His promises. 

So the expectations of believers should be high for good things to happen in our lives. As the saying goes: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today, and something good is going to happen through me today. Glory be mih bredrin. And it all happens through that magnificent principle called faith; the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (convictions) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) 

Yes friends, when we believe in Almighty God, creator of the universe and all therein, we can expect good things to happen, and wait with patience and perseverance, that’s hope and faith, for them to happen, regardless of how long they make take to come to fruition! 

Wow! That means never giving up or turning against Christ and each other though the trials and tribulations of this evil world bombard us unmercifully it. For if God is for us, NOBODY, or NOTHING whatsoever, not even the powerful and fearful pandemic, can be successful against us! And with that certainty playing in our minds, (smile) let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. 

‘Oh brother! Thank God is Friday oui, and I’m another day closer to death, but also closer to work! When is work going to resume eh? When is this lockdown going to end eh, or even relaxed that a body can make a living to feed deh family and keep a roof over deh heads eh? I guess if you believe in God you have to keep living in hope…but let’s hope it’s not like the Jamaican saying, ‘Yuh live in Hope, but end up, die in Constant Spring!’ 

Yeh, hope springs eternal and all that, but with all the confusion that still going on with this pandemic business a lot of people losing hope – in the government, the medical people and God too. How sad the whole thing is, that this li’l virus can bring this great powerful world to its knees in no time at all and cause even more strife than was already present. Steups! I really don’t know what to say nuh, except that I can’t give up hope – ah have three young children to look after, so I just have to do whatever it takes to look after them as best I can, with God’s help.’ 

And yuh know friends, that’s all any of us can really do; our best, and pray, hope, believe that with God’s help it will turn out to be enough. Our world is really in topsy-turvy mode right now, with so much corruption, strife, tension, disagreements and what have you, that no one knows exactly how it will end or turn out, what the new normal will be. 

One thing is for sure, it won’t be like it was before. We will have to learn and deal with a whole lot of new stuff once this pandemic thing has settled down. And those who adapt to the new way of living the quickest, will probably have an edge over those who don’t adapt quickly. But it will be a whole new world, I don’t know if it will be brave though, (smile) but if we believers are in the forefront of it, it will be brave, because that’s all we know how to do,; be brave with Christ as our Lord and Saviour and Leader! 

That means, we believers have to get out there, right in the middle of the fray and fight for Jesus and His kingdom. That’s why Bruh Paul told Timothy: ‘Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:1,3) And we need not be afraid of getting out there and mixing it up for Jesus: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound and disciplined mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

So we have all the tools to deal with whatever comes against us. So let’s get with it nuh, so that we will be able to say like Bruh Paul did at the end. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all those that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

And the best way to start that, as with ALL things, is by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving. So what we waiting for eh? Let’s come to God in prayer, though our Friday Chant. Altogether 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!’ 

Onward then Christian soldiers, faithful believers, let’s get out there and handle the situation so that Christ will be revered and venerated above all others and everything else! Much LOVE!

…we believers were made for this time…to show the confused, topsy-turvy world…that only Christ…can bring it peace and LOVE… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2021 Luke 18:42.

Luke 18:42.     ​And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

Morning mih bredrin – and afternoon to some of you! (smile) And I do hope that we’re all thankful for the grace and mercy of God to allow us to see another day, rough and tumble though it may be, and that we all gave Him thanks for so doing. And this life is certainly interesting yes! Have you ever noticed that whenever you’re late, behind schedule in something, that something else always crops up to further delay you? 

Well that happened to me this morning. I was up a tad late, had a couple things to do before I began writing, then when I finally got here, the ole computer, well it’s fairly new, decided that it had a whole lot of updates to do, then restart, before I could get to doing my business. Steups! 

And have you ever noticed too that the computer only breaks down when you truly need it? (smile) But I guess them’s the breaks. You have to pay the price for the convenience of now for now action! And why do we keep trusting these man-made machines eh? I guess it’s because we have faith in them. A lot of people trust their smartphones more than they trust Jesus! 

That’s foolish, but unfortunately it’s true. They would never leave their homes without that tiny piece of equipment, but how many thousands, millions, or even billions, leave home every day without Jesus eh? Who don’t even know Him, much less consider Him important in their lives? 

Ah mih friends, it’s so sad that we trust, have faith in a whole lot of man-made things, but don’t trust, or have any faith in the very ONE who made us, the universe, and all therein! And then you ask, why you should not trust man-made things you see, but a God whom you cannot see? Isn’t it logical to believe what you see, and not what you cannot see? 

I grant that position, but that’s in the man-made world, but in God’s divine economy, seeing is not believing, not seeing, but believing is the dominant force. As Jesus told His doubting disciple Thomas: ‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: but blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:29) That’s the whole crux of the matter my people; believing in Jesus through faith, yet never having seen Him in living colour! 

And some of you might ask, what’s this faith business eh? The Good Book tells us that ‘faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith is eagerly expecting something you haven’t seen, and waiting patiently for it. Just like we wait, ofttimes impatiently, but with lots of eagerness, to see what presents we have under the Christmas tree. (smile) 

We haven’t seen Jesus, but we know that He came to earth on a Christmas day long ago, grew up here on earth, died, was buried, rose again, then ascended into heaven, and will come back to earth again as He has faithfully promised! Now yes, that might be a stretch for many of us to believe, but if we start believing, Jesus will divinely show up in our lives and prove to us that He is indeed who He claims to be. 

And that’s where that thing called faith, comes in my brethren; you have to believe in Him, before you can see Him. And we have an excellent example of not seeing but believing in the story of the blind man, Bartimaeus who sat in the Jericho area begging, but when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he cried out to Him, saying, ‘Jesus thou son of David, have mercy on me.’ (Luke 18:38) 

And we wonder how a blind beggar could know about Jesus and His healing capabilities eh? Well the scholars tell us that most likely by that time Jesus’ ministry had spread far and wide across the country. And the blind man’s faith is even more pronounced when those around him tell him to shut up, to ‘hold his peace; but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.’ (Luke 18:39) Yeh friends, how did that blind man know of Jesus’ Messianic status eh, which is what ‘son of David’ indicates? Who knows? But know it He did. 

Oh precious people, this next act of Jesus is so wonderful, so heartwarming, so Christlike. The Good Book tells us: ‘And Jesus stood (still, stopped), and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord that I may receive my sight.And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people when they saw it, gave praise unto God.’ (Luke 18:40-43) 

And yuh better believe, those scripture verses highlight several interesting things. First it highlights the awesome faith of the blind man, which, according to Jesus, is what really caused him to see. And how many times during Jesus’ earthly ministry did He make mention of people’s faith enabling their healing or whatever they pleaded for eh? Numerous! And yet, we still refuse to rely on our faith in Jesus, but our sight in man-made things. 

Then, most importantly, did you notice how Jesus just stopped and attended to the blindman’s needs? Oh friends, that’s one characteristic of Christ that all of us need to adapt and adopt or whatever! Jesus was never too busy to stop and attend to some person’s needs, be they rich or poor. Not so we people pleasers and social climbers! We’re always in a hurry, going nowhere fast, except when someone who can do something for us, asks for our help. But that’s not Christian-like my friends. 

The scholars explain that verse thus:‘18:40. Stood,that is, He came to a halt. Jesus’ command also serves to rebuke those who lacked compassion for the beggar. In the midst of the attempt to hear Jesus, one must take care not to be insensitive to the plight ofothers.’Oh how much better our world would be, if the insensitivity that currently chokes it was released! 

Notice too, how Bartimaeus, after he was healed, followed Jesus and glorified God. How many of us have had divine intervention in our lives and yet have not made it our avowed purpose to follow theONEwho divinely intervened eh? Too many! That’s for sure! We either take it for granted, or just don’t care. But when troubles engulf us, we quick to call out, ‘Oh God, help me nuh!’ That recalls the ten lepers that Jesus healed, and only one returned to thank Him, a Samaritan to boot, the enemy of the Jews. (Luke 17:11-19) 

And lastly, I wonder how many of those who witnessed the divine miracle that day and simultaneously praised God, continued doing so afterwards eh? My guess is not a whole lot. But time and space have run out my brethren, so let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are; let them know to whom we proudly belong! 

Altogether 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!’ 

What we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and share the amazingLOVEand friendship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!Much LOVE!

…without faith in Christ…our lives are meaningless…without real purpose… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.     ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Okay, so the bubble hasn’t burst yet, there is no clear winner of the U.S. Presidential Election, but His Imperial Dictatorship in Waiting, has already declared it as being rigged and planning to fight it in the courts. I wonder if he will do that if he wins eh? However, knowing the eccentricities of His Dictatorship, anything is possible where he is concerned. (smile) 

Ah mih people, rougher days seem to be ahead. Can you imagine it eh, after all the fire ringed hoops we’ve been forced to jump through in the last six months, we might still have more serious ones to navigate? No, it’s not a pleasing thought, but please let’s not get any more worried and/or frustrated than we already are. Let’s remember that we are children of the Most High God Jehovah, living in a world that He created and still controls, and nothing happens without Him allowing it. No, He doesn’t always create or begin something, but unless it falls into line with His imperial and divine plan it does not last! 

Furthermore, He has faithfully promised to never leave nor forsake us, and that no weapon formed against us will ever prosper, not in this lifetime or the next. So if we sincerely believe that He is our rock and our fortress, our high tower and divine protector, then we should not be overly worried about what’s happening around us in these troubling times. Concerned, yes, but not worried, otherwise our faith is worthless. For, as the Good Book states: ‘Faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for. The evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) 

Yes my fellow saints, in God’s realm, we need to hope for and believe we have received things we haven’t yet seen! That’s the basic difference between the believer and the unbeliever; the former being able to wait expectantly and see through their eyes of faith, stuff that hasn’t happened as yet, once it’s in accord with God’s will. And in these troubled times, that is exactly where many of us are failing, are falling down. Our hope and faith levels are too low. But remember, it’s only in tough times that our faith and hope do grow. When life is good and easy, faith and hope merely exist in a kind of vacuum, waiting for the tough times to come along. 

And above all, the Lord wants us to grow in hope and faith, to become spiritually mature in the manner and character of His son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! That’s why, sometimes, in times like these, He tests our faith to see what we’re truly made of. He tests our mettle, to see if we can really walk the plenty talk we usually have in the good times. Our God desires to see if our salt is still full of flavour, and thus useful, and also if our lights can still burn bright and thus give light to the dark world that surrounds us. 

Oh fellow believers in Christ, our Lord is expecting us to stand strong in these crucial times. He’s expecting us to be examples of fortitude and perseverance, of help and encouragement to those who are shaking it rough. To be good ambassadors of his holy kingdom and take His word and His dedication to those around us. We can’t save or proselytize the whole world, but we can certainly be fully flavoured salt and bright lights to those in our neighbourhood. And I just came across and interesting scripture from Bruh Paul that I believe will be of much benefit to us this Wednesday morning. 

Hear him to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached spiritual maturity, fully knowing Christ): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Oh friends, that is the kind of attitude we need to adopt in these trying times. Let’s forget what has gone before, our successes and failures, and press on, move forward, towards the high calling that God has in mind for each of His children. Yes, He has a unique plan for each and every one of us, as Jeremiah says, a good plan, one to give us a hope and a future. And that high calling pertains to us knowing Christ better and better, and becoming more like Him in character and purpose as the Lord raises us from glory to glory! 

And here are some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘3:13. Those things which are behind refers both to his (Bruh Paul’s) religious credentials (vs.5-6), now counted as “loss” (vs.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (vs. 10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on his past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (vs. 10), and experiencing the resurrected life (vs. 11).’ 

Wow mih bredrin! Are those ever high and noble goals for us to live up to eh? But it’s what our heavenly Father desires of us, and simple fact is that we can’t approach Jesus’ stature if we just live the good life and don’t suffer some of His problems. (smile) 

And per our Bit, the scholars explain: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of vs.10-11 (i.e., knowing Christ). The prize is the personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, today, let’s reinvest in ourselves nuh; let’s set our objective, that goal to know Christ as best we can, so that we can win first prize; the satisfaction, the divine commendation and reward as we heed the divine call to salvation. That’s the true purpose of the believer! And for those of us who have already set those goals and objectives, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail nuh, letting all and sundry know our serious, sincere and joyful position in Christ Jesus! 

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. NO! 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 there’s no need to remind us, but I will anyhow, (smile) that if we endure steadfastly to the end, that the future will be indeed more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…in these troubled times…let’s all be prisoners of hope nuh…so that our faith can grow…and be spread abroad to the glory of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2020 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.    ​Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
 

And life goes on in this Covid-19 season. It has to…and it will…God willing of course! And despite all the bad news, as always, there’s a li’l light at the end of the tunnel, though somewhat far away. (smile) I’m talking about the start of human trials for a vaccine to stop the deadly disease that now holds our world in a tight stranglehold. Glory be! Apparently both in China and the U.S. approval has been given to begin clinical trials on human subjects, but who knows how and when that will prove successful. 

Oh yes, we will defeat the virus eventually, we have to believe that, otherwise all our other efforts will be in vain. The problem though is when will that happen, and how many lives would have been lost and irreparable damage done to our society and economy by then? Ah my fellow believers, this is the time for us to truly show up as salt and light to our unbelieving brethren. This is the time when we have to use our incredible faith to help the world get through this evil pandemic. 

It’s one of those times when the church has got to step forward and be amongst the leading lights, especially in terms of faith. This is a significant occasion for Christians to not only talk, but more importantly walk their talk of faith. Remember Jesus’ alluding at almost all of his healings and miracles to the faith of the receivers, and how He kept accusing those who should have known better: ‘O ye of little faith.’  It wasn’t only His powers that caused the miracles but also the participants faith. 

Remember too when He healed the two blind men. He first asked them: ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this (heal you)? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged (strictly warned) them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country (land).’ (Matt. 9:28-31) 

Oh precious people of God, there are so many lessons for us in that passage of scripture in these trying times. The first being that we have to truly believe without a shred of doubt, that Jesus is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do. That’s where our faith and trust and surrender comes in. Remember, it’s according to the amount of those things we have that our lives can move from good to bad and vice-versa. Remember too, the time Jesus was teaching the disciples about forgiveness, and it was such a hard lesson – just keep on forgiving? (Luke 17:1-4) 

What happened then eh? The Good Book tells us: ‘And the disciples said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-6) Wow! That’s the awesome power of true and strong faith. 

And the scholars add this interesting explanation. ‘17:5-6. The magnitude of the command in verse 4 leads to a plea for assistance. Faith, understood here not merely in a mental sense, but also in the sense of active “faithfulness,” is the key. One’s faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience.’ And I would go even further and say, that that’s the ONLY WAY our faith ever increases! We need to step out in obedience, with whatever faith we then have, and then see God work wonderfully in our lives. And every time we do that, our faith grows! 

Right now, in these trying times friends, we faithful believers need to activate our faithfulness in whatever manner we can to keep the hope of others alive. That’s our bounden duty! We were put here in this time to do that! And that is highlighted by Jesus’ words to Simon Peter when He foretold Peter’s betrayal. ‘And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (you have turned again), strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:31-32) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, but also his transformation back to his former strong faith. And then, he was to help others boost their faith. And I guess that’s what I am now trying to do; keep our faith alive and strong…and even growing too, for remember it’s in the hard and difficult times that our faith grows! 

Now I don’t want to make this as long as yesterday, (smile) so I’ll just remind us of that wonderful chapter 11 in Hebrews; aptly called the Heroes of Faith, that tells us about many great men and women of faith. They all had problems to surmount, but they all surmounted them by FAITH in the God their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I think it will be only fitting for ALL of us to read that awesome chapter as often as we need to keep our faith strong in this time of worldwide calamity. 

And please remember that FAITH is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith is all about the good things we’re hoping for, in the Lord’s Will, that we don’t see, but are eagerly expecting them and waiting for them with patience and perseverance. And our greatest hope right now…a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus. So let’s believe that we will eventually get one, and consequently, wait patiently, earnestly, eagerly and with perseverance for it. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, as we let this primarily unbelieving world know of our enviable position in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts and plenty, plenty faith: ‘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 yes friends, if we fight the good fight and remain steadfast in our faith to the end, then that future will indeed be glorious; more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…faith can move mountains…as well as molehills…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2020 Hebrews 11:1.

Hebrews 11:1.    ​FAITH: the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.
 
Now it’s Tuesday, a wet, dark day in my area. Hn! What a sudden change from the nice sunny, bright and warmish weather of the weekend! And by the way, I do hope that most of us have gotten over whatever negative effect(s) the change back from Standard to Daylight Saving Time caused on the weekend. Steups! I still don’t understand or see the reason for these time changes nuh. And besides, almost all the population are against it, for it does cause sleep and other related problems. Furthermore, a whole lot of places have either cut it out, or are now making preparations to do so. However, in our Province of Ontario there doesn’t seem to be any serious move to get rid of it, although many people complain about it. 

Personally, I don’t know if it causes me any backlash nuh, because sleep and I don’t seem to be on the same wavelength anyway. (smile) A good example of that is last evening, after having an after dinner nap, I didn’t go back to bed until three something, but by four fifteen my eyes were wide open. I got up and went to the bathroom, then by six something my eyes were wide open again, and try as I wanted, I couldn’t get back to sleep again, partly due to the aches and pains and not being able to find a comfortable contortion for my ole bod.

 Hn! Yuh think it easy? Getting on in age brings a whole lotta problems we not prepared for. (smile) Granted, some of my problems might be attributable to my hating to take  the pain pills…Steups! I’m already taking so many blooming pills for my other problems! Don’t want to turn into a pill popper anymore than I already am. (smile) So I only take the pain stuff when things get real uncomfortable. But yuh know what? With the awesome help of our magnificent and magnanimous God, we can handle anything that comes against us, for as the Good Book faithfully proclaims: ‘We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13) 

And again: ‘Our God shall supply all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And if neither of those scriptures lifted your spirits, then try this one: ‘And Jesus, looking upon them saith, with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.’ (Mark 10:27) Yes my fellow believers, that is the gospel truth in capital spades! And if you don’t believe that, then you’re wasting your time calling yourself a true believer because you are sadly lacking in faith. 

And remember what the Good Book firmly stipulates: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He truly exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) Now that is what God is all about: ‘FAITH: the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ Yes my people, sincerely coming to God is all a matter of trust and surrender and large hope, that resounds as faith. You can’t see it, but you can surely feel it. 

And Bruh Paul puts it plainly and clearly to the church at Rome, when he wrote: ‘ For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom. 8:24-25) Ah friends, what magnificent and reassuring scriptures! That’s what our faith is built on; hope that leads to perseverance and eager expectancy! But we must first believe, before we see it. That’s how it operates in God’s economy. We don’t adhere to the seeing is believing motto that the world holds on to so tightly and foolishly. 

And it’s not like we don’t have a whole host of examples of strong faith: The Good Book tells us about Noah, who was warned by God of the things to come, and having not seen any evidence of it, still believed, ‘moved with fear (reverence), prepared and ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.’ (Hebr.11:7) And yuh see what happened? Noah’s family was the only one saved when the Lord destroyed the sinful world by flood. 

Likewise Abraham, the father of our modern faith. The Lord called Him to leave his family when he was some seventy years old and go out to a land that he knew nothing about. But the Lord promised Him lots of good stuff and Abraham believed God, trusted Him impeccably, and went out, not knowing whither he went. And look at how the Lord prospered Abraham for his faith nuh. Look at Sarah his wife, who laughed when the Lord promised them a child from their own loins. Yes, it did take twenty five years, but it happened, and note when, when Abraham was a hundred and Sarah was ninety. 

Do you still think that ALL things are NOT possible with God? Look at Moses, look at Jacob, at Bruh Joseph – yes we do have a third Bruh, although we don’t talk about him as much as the other two, David and Paul. (smile) And that ofttimes hurts me, because his story is such a fascinating one, one of awesome faith and perseverance, where despite the wonderful dream promised him, time and time again, he is innocently thrown into serious adversity. But he always keeps his cool under pressure. And you’d note that wherever he went, he always found favour with his bosses, until the Lord was ready to lift him up to the second highest post in the then known world; second only to the great Pharaoh himself! 

No, it’s not easy having true faith, but as we said earlier on, through Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Father; our triune Godhead, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! But we do need to believe it first, and then live by it. And I’m chuckling here, because this wasn’t the sermon I intended to preach this morning…in fact I didn’t have any sermon in mind, (smile) but this is where I was led, and I do hope that it makes some impact on us all today, since our faith needs serious bolstering if we are to make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s camp. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) 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!’ 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful Lord and Saviour we serve! Let’s go out now and share that LOVE and friendship we have with Him, so that others can come to know Him too! Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope and LOVE…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2020 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.    ​Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.
 
Well here I am, on this first Thursday in the new year, anxiously asking the Lord what I should write about today. Hn! It certainly seems like the ole fella is lacking in mental …what’s the word…I think it’s acuity – mental sharpness, this cold but somewhat sunny winter’s morn. And I seem to remember the great philosopher Plato saying something like, remember the beginning is the most important part of the work. And the beginning certainly is important, that’s why I want to begin good today. (smile) 

But I don’t know if it’s the most important part, because with Jesus, it doesn’t matter so much where we begin, but more so where we end! And on His continuum, as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘I’m not where I want to be just yet, but thank God, I’m certainly not where I used to be’ ….or something to that effect. (smile) And is that ever good news my fellow believers! 

The fact that Jesus will take us however and wherever we are, at any particular moment in time, and make us into what He desires us to be, with the long term goal of being fashioned in His unbeatable and wonderful character, which ought to lend a spark of hope to all who hear His Word and believe His awesome promises! A Bruh Paulian sentence, if there ever was one! (smile) And believe me my brethren, that just sparked a thought, obviously a God-given one, re what I should write about today. 

Yuh see God’s awesome faithfulness! One of my favourite scriptures just jumped up and became number one for today. Hear this great promise from the Lord our God, through the mouth of the prophet Zechariah when talking about Zion’s future king; a prophecy that Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday uniquely fulfilled. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what a beautiful promise! But what I like most about that scripture is the descriptive term, ‘prisoners of hope.’ It just so aptly describes what followers of Jesus ought to be; people with unending hope because He is the ‘stronghold,’ the fortress, the high tower, the fountain, the eternal source from wherein hope is spread abroad. 

Yes mih breddren, hope is the believer’s greatest treasure, since it’s the forerunner of faith. You can’t have faith without first having hope. Because as the Good Book says: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things HOPED for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) So you see faith is indeed based on hope. And  as Bruh Paul reasons in Romans: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Now that’s what separates the goats from the sheep, what shows up the true prisoners of hope! If we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said, done and promised, then with strong hope and faith, meaning endurance and perseverance, we will eagerly await His coming and the fulfillment of His awesome promises! But friends, it’s all got to begin with belief and hope that lead to an indestructible faith! No wonder we have the clichéd but oh so true statement, that while there is life, there is hope! 

Indeed there is, especially in Christ Jesus, who never turns away anybody, even when they are down to their last and dying breath! Wow! So how can we not have strong faith and indescribable hope if we claim to be true believers eh? O mih people, this new year of 2020 is calling us to be awesome prisoners of hope and faith because our world is in a very disastrous place, right on the edge of the precipice of imploding into war, darkness and hellfire! More than ever, we believers need to be the sensational salt and light of this misdirected world as Jesus declared of and still desires of us. 

The fate of our world, and thus our children’s and children’s children lives depend on our faith and hope and desire to try and set things right! There’s no denying that so far our generation hasn’t done a great job, we’ve allowed our world to keep falling to hell, like you know what in a handbasket. But as we said earlier on, while there is life there is always hope. So this morning I’m imploring, begging, bullying; yes whatever it takes, for us to get on our horses and ride; ride for Jesus sake, also for our descendants sake, for if we don’t do something in the near future, we won’t like to see what our world will come to. 

And I guess that’s the highly inflammable, important, and urgent word the Lord wanted me to pass on this morning! (smile) Let’s get serious friends, and realize the sense of immediacy, of urgency in His message, and thus get totally and seriously involved. And we can’t say that we don’t have the wherewithal to do the job, because the Lord has already given us all the tools we need, so artfully contained in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s declare them out loud now nuh, so that they can be put into force. 

In strong voice and sincere purpose: ‘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!’ 

In closing, I must remind us that those tools are to be generously shared, not hoarded for our selfish benefit, especially in this new year, which will be such a pivotal one in the annals of mankind! Much LOVE!

…to hope…or not to hope…that is the question for believers today…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 August 2017 Proverbs 9:10.

Proverbs 9:10.   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.

Yeh friends, it’s that time again, Monday morning! Time to roll out of that warm, comfortable bed and get a move on! Time to go out and make a million bucks! And please stop the whining, for it’s rough on everybody. Nobody in their right mind wants to get up and go out and face the evil, daunting world that lurks out there, but if we want to eat and pay the mortgage, we don’t have a choice. 

And we Christians are better off than the rest of the world because we have a God and Saviour who will move heaven and earth to help us if we walk obediently in His will. So what’s all the fuss about eh? (smile)  

Now I know it’s not always easy to get going on a Monday morning, that’s why we have our picker-upper; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s get with the programme and belt it out as lustily as we can. And I know the Canadian voices will be the loudest and the hoarsest because we don’t work on this Civic Holiday Monday, the last day of the Caribana long weekend. 

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!’ 

And the Canadians were the most enthusiastic – a no work day does lift one’s spirit – but their voices were also the most gravelly, after all the shouting and partying over the weekend. But for you unfortunate ones, who have to get out into the world and labour today, please keep that adrenaline flowing so you can do a good job for Jesus amongst the enemy. 

And for you Canadians, who still have today to party, please take it easy because you will have to go to work tomorrow  and will be of no use to yourself or anyone else if you don’t heed Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And that my friends, is exceeding wisdom, anytime and anywhere! 

And you truculently ask – What is wisdom eh? Well here is how the reputed wisest man in the world explained it. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.’ So if Cousin Sol explains it thus, who am I to say him nay eh? 

That means friends, until we have a proper reverence and awe as pertains to Almighty God, we cannot obtain true wisdom. Of course we can obtain what the world terms wisdom, but that is not true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from and through God. 

James tells it like this: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James  1:5-8) 

Yes my brethren, wisdom comes from the Lord, but you must first revere Him, hold Him in proper esteem, and then you must ask for wisdom with faith, not doubting. And what is faith? The author of Hebrews describes it thus: ‘Now faith is the substance (the realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1)  

In other words you have to believe it before you see it or receive it. That’s how it operates in God’s economy. The world says ‘seeing is believing,’ but God says when you believe, then you’ll see it. 

And why should you desire wisdom? Cousin Sol provides the answer. ‘For by me (wisdom) thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased (years of life will be added to you).’ (Prov.9:11) 

Now that sounds like a pretty good reason to me. Hope it does to you too. But just in case that explanation didn’t satisfy you, (smile) then listen to this earlier one, again from Cousin Sol. 

‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace, a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4: 7-9) 

I don’t know about all yuh nuh friends, but I taking Cousin Sol advice yes; I seeking wisdom, so I could embrace her and get the ornament of grace, the crown of glory and long life. Yuh see what the Lord gave Cousin Sol when he asked for wisdom and understanding and good judgement to rule Israel? All of that plus wealth and honour. (1 Chr.1:8-12) So he who has ears to hear, let him hear. Much LOVE!

…it all begins with reverence…then comes faith…then comes wisdom…

 

 

 

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