Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2020 Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:4.    ​And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
 

Thank you Queen Vic (Victoria) for this holiday Monday, although we can’t celebrate it as we usually do in outstanding form, (smile) mainly because of the lockdown, the physical distancing and severe cleansing measures made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic. But not to worry, we will get in some celebrations, just not as much as we usually do. We certainly won’t let your day go by without honouring your strength, positive attitude and good governance. That’s why they say B.S. baffles brains! (smile) 

Ah friends, in some of the old British Crown Colonies we’re celebrating a public holiday in remembrance of Queen Victoria (1817-1901). She ruled Great Britain from 1837 until her death in 1901. Her 63 years on the throne was the longest of any of her predecessors. And though a little more than five feet tall, she was reputed to be saucy and outspoken and not easily cowed, thus the prosperity of Great Britain during her reign. And who knows how she would have reacted to our current circumstances, but we know that our first reaction today ought to, and will be prayer, because it’s the most powerful too in our tool box. 

So without further ado, let’s get to our Monday Morning Battle Hymn nuh… And I can’t help but chuckle as I remember how we touted it as the antidote for all that ailed us. Now it’s still very useful, but this Covid-19 stuff has brought it up somewhat short. But nonetheless, the One to whom we pray is more powerful than whatever is in the world, and He can change everything by simply lifting a finger, so there’s no shame if our prayer takes a while to be answered. So altogether now, in confident humility, let’s call on our great God for grace and mercy in these disastrous times. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. Our anxieties have even deepened in the last few days because some restrictions have been lifted, and more of us have to go to work now. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Ah precious people of God, right now we’re in some treacherous times, times like we’ve never experienced before. Times of pain and sorrow, sickness and death are manhandling us, the Grim Reaper seems to be in every corner of the universe at the same time, with no sure end in sight, well man’s end. But I want to remind us of two things; the first being that while there is life, while God’s breath is flowing through our bodies, there’s always hope that things will get better, especially if we walk in sincere obedience to His will. So let’s not fret and fuss and fear too much. Let’s have faith in our God to answer our prayer for healing in His own time. He’s always been faithful, so why should He change now eh? 

And the second is for us to remember this magnificent promise, though it be for another time: ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ Oh my fellow saints in Christ, we are indeed shaking it rough today, and most likely will do so for the near future, but we have God’s faithful promise that one day, when the New Jerusalem comes down to earth, that all the sorrow and pain and death and crying will be no more! Now isn’t that something great to look forward to? It certainly is! 

Remember too that earth is not our real home, we’re only pilgrims down here, but heaven, or wherever Jesus is, that’s our real place of abode, where we’ll spend eternity with Him. Remember the basis of our faith and eternal life is Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As He said to Martha after Lazarus had died: ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (John 11:25-26) 

Now friends, that’s the trillion dollar question we all have to ask ourselves today? Do we truly believe in Christ’s resurrection, and that we will live triumphantly with Him in the glorious end? If so, then we cannot allow today’s problems to frighten us so much that we give up. Remember the words ‘give up,’ are not found in Jesus’ vocabulary, and consequently not in that of His followers either. 

So please, I implore us this Monday morning in the middle of May 2020, during this time of pandemic, let’s stand strong and steadfast for Christ nuh! He sacrificed His life for us, the least we can do is stand a li’l pressure and hardship for Him, especially when we know for a fact that He who is in us is greater than he that’s in the world, and that our great God will eventually work all our problems out for good, because we sincerely LOVE Him and are called to do His work! Much LOVE!

…when fear knocks at our hearts…send faith to answer it…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2016 Nehemiah 8:10c

Nehemiah 8:10c.  For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 Oh welcome my brethren to another interesting and satisfying day of life on God’s great planet Earth! 

And as we keep saying, there must be a reason for us to have awakened this morning. So, after giving God some thanks and praise for bringing us through the dark night of sin into the glorious sunshine of Jesus, let’s get with His plan for our lives right away nuh. 

And since today is Wednesday, it means declaring our Wednesday Wail with much vim and vigour. (smile) As one wailer now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes friends, life is all about looking forward to a glorious future with Jesus! As they say; our best days are still ahead. And I do believe that. And how can we not be ever-thankful for the beautiful breath of God’s Spirit that’s flowing through us to give us what we call life eh! 

Now today I want to share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. Don’t know if I’ve shared it before, but if I have, it’s certainly worthy of another go round in this dark and dismal world. 

He asks the question ‘Are You Happy?’ But I want to change it to ‘Are you Joyful?’ because happiness conveys a sense of now for now pleasure that soon fades, pleasure as the world sees it, not the long lasting joy that comes from a true relationship with Jesus. So in this passage, wherever we see ‘Happiness,’ let’s read it as ‘Joyfulness.’ 

So here goes: ‘Happiness – that deep inner strength that is made up of courage, faith, hope, and peace. Mix them together and you have happiness! Happiness – the courage to hang on in the face of severe adversity! Happiness – the faith that God will have the last word, and it will be good! Happiness – the hope that, even though you can only see the shadow, someday the clouds will clear away and the sun will shine again! 

Happiness – the quiet sense of self-esteem that comes when you know you have done your best. Happiness – the assurance that you have been merciful and kind to enemy and friend alike. Happiness – the quiet assurance that God will be merciful and kind to you, too. Happiness – the beautiful belief that this life, no matter how difficult it may be, is not your final destination.’ 

Oh what beautiful, words, thoughts and emotions my people! Especially knowing that our final destination is heaven, to live with Jesus forever! ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:4) 

And all God’s people loudly and proudly declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Thank the Lord for the promise of heaven!’ 

And that’s all fine and dandy my friends, but the truth, the reality is that we can’t have all those things, all that happiness, all that joyfulness here on earth, unless we are walking faithfully and steadfastly with Almighty God! 

And you ask why? Simply because, as our Bit says: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

And that my people is an indisputable fact! We cannot be truly happy or joyful for any length of time, unless the Lord’s joy is running through us. The Lord’s joy comes from a sense of inner peace, of expectations edged with faith in God’s promises, and the practical LOVE He showed to us by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for the atonement of our sins! 

No other faith can boast of those things! That’s why Jesus is the Truth, the Life, the Way and the Light that lights up this world of darkness! 

Now some of us might not know where our Bit comes from, or how it is tied in to the scriptures, so let’s go back in time. The Israelites had recently returned from exile in Babylon, and having settled themselves in their homeland again, in the seventh month they came together to celebrate and thank the Lord. 

‘And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street (plaza) that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the scribe brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding upon the first day of the seventh month.’ (Neh.8:1-2) 

Now friends, I think it’s very important that we listen to the scholars’ explanation here. ‘8:2. The time was the Feast of Trumpets (Lev.23:24) and was about September 27, 444 B.C. This was the most sacred of the new moons, and commenced the final month of the religious festivals (Lev.23:23-25; Num.29:1-6). The concept of understanding was important as Proverbs 1:2 indicates (cf. Ex.12:26-27; Deut.4:6; 6:6-9; 31:12-13). 

Mindless superstition was the mark of paganism (“They have not known nor understood.” Is.44:18-20), and had been the downfall of apostate Israel (Hos.4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”). Notice the stress on understanding in verses 2-3, 7-8,13.’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly what’s happening to our world today! We are suffering from a lack of knowledge and understanding of God, just like Israel was back then. Paganism is rearing its ugly head more and more, no wonder our world is going to hell in a hand-basket like happened to the apostate Israel! 

What do you think happens when a society, a nation, a world turns away from Almighty God eh? Obvious calamity! 

Oh my people, look at the number of places, cities and societies cited in the Bible who were destroyed because they had turned from worshipping and serving the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, including His chosen Israel several times. 

What makes us thing that our turning away from Him now will end any differently eh? And I’ll leave us to ponder that question today. Much LOVE!

…apart from Almighty God…mankind is doomed to destruction…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2014 Ecclesiastes 3:4

Ecclesiastes 3:4.      A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already the first of June? Wow! Half the year has already gone by, and it seems like it was just yesterday we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s, and it’s almost time to celebrate them again. Hn, Hn, Hn!

Yeh mih breddren, the days are quickly flying by, and thus we have no time to lose in getting our affairs with Jesus fixed right, since He can return at any time, and if we’re found wanting, then crapaud smoke we pipe. And we obviously don’t want that to happen, so please let’s get smart and get right with Him nuh mih people.

On a point of interest, not because I haven’t been on our case to see if and how we are adhering to our New Year’s resolution to follow Christ more completely, means that you shouldn’t review it yourself on a periodical basis. One of the functions of a believer is to police him or herself without outside pressure. Anyway, I’m going to take it for granted that we are indeed improving our faith walk. I refuse to believe that we could be backsliding! (smile)

And in light of all that, here’s a rather appropriate and interesting quote from Arnold Glasow (1905-1998), an American author and humorist. Arnold says that: ‘Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.’ And that’s quite true – except for the stitches in your side and the tears you shed when you laugh too much.

And to back up Arnold’s theory, here are some thoughts from my One More Day Daily Devotional for People with Chronic Illness. ‘Unlike medicine, laughter costs us nothing, and can be partaken of as often as we see fit… A good, hearty laugh is therapy for our minds and bodies. Mirthful laughter can cause a remarkable feeling of well-being and joy. Laughter loosens all the cares and woes of the day and makes them somehow easier to bear.’

And all of that Friends in indisputable truth! But unfortunately laughter has become less prevalent in our current society, than it was just a few years ago. Today we’re all so busy, concerned and anxious about our lives and livelihood, especially with the depressing economic times, that we find it difficult to laugh much and make laughter a treasured part of our lives.

But Friends, as the Preacher tells us in our Bit, there is ‘A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.’

However, it seems like we’re doing way too much weeping and mourning, when we should be instead laughing and dancing. Oh Friends, weeping and mourning very seldom help the situation. They don’t ease our troubles and woes. But laughter and dancing do. They might not solve our problems, but they surely do make us feel better, bring a more positive attitude to our perception, which in turn helps us to better solve those same problems.

And Jesus did tell us in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.’ (Luke 6:21b)

Likewise, Isaiah, in talking about Israel’s eventual return to Zion declared: ‘And the ransomed of the Lord shall return to Zion with songs and everlasting joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.’ (Is.35:10) Now Isaiah felt that verse so keenly that he reiterated it in chapter 51:11, when he talks about the faithful are called to courage.

And that’s another bit of gospel truth there Friends. To be truly faithful to serving and worshipping Jesus, we need to be very courageous, for walking with Him causes all sorts of stuff to come out of the woodwork at us.

But the psalmist greatly reassures us by steadfastly proclaiming: ‘They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth (to and fro) and weepeth, bearing precious seed (a bag of seed for sowing), shall doubtless come again with rejoicing (shouts of joy), bringing his sheaves with him.’ (Ps.126:5-6)

Oh my fellow believers, that brings to mind the joyful hymn that says: ‘Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves. We shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves!’

It’s obvious my people that Jesus wants us to have a good, pleasant and happy life overall. That’s why He came and died for us.’I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) And having abundant life certainly doesn’t mean more weeping and mourning and sorrow and tears, than dancing and laughing and joy.

And we’ll end with two very important scripture passages that uphold that theory. This deals with the numberless multitude when Jesus ascends His throne. ‘They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on (strike) them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed (shepherd) them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears (every tear) from their eyes.’ (Rev.7:16-17)

And if you didn’t believe those verses, (smile) then try these: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ (Rev.21:3-5)

Oh my people, my people, yuh see what a wonderful future we have to look forward to! So please, let’s stop with all the sorrow and mourning nuh, and get some more joy and laughter into us, for that’s why Jesus came to earth and sacrificed His sinless life: so that we could enjoy a rebirth, a reconciliation with the Father. Hn! And if that isn’t great cause for joy and laughter and celebration, then I don’t know what is! Much LOVE!

…laughing openly and spontaneously…will always make me feel better… (From One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness).