Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 March 2022 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.     Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 

Then came Thursday, and we are all moving along steadfastly, knowing that there is only one day between us and the big day of Friday. And I have this interesting question to pose on that subject. Why do we handle life so much better when we have something to look forward to eh, something that pleases us, or will work on our behalf? We handle Thursday quite nicely, knowing that the next day is Friday, and our weekend pleasures will begin. 

But we don’t handle Sunday quite as nicely, definitely not looking forward to Monday, the start of our work week. We often seem to have a grim countenance on Sunday evenings as we prepare for Monday. That is when we do prepare for Monday before Monday morning, (smile) and then have to rush and panic and become frustrated before we enter the crazy milieu with other frantic people hurrying to work. 

Is it that expectations of leisure and pleasure boost our spirits so much that we conveniently disregard the difficulties of the moment? And if that’s so, then this next question automatically follows; why then aren’t we conveniently disregarding the problems of this world when we think of all the leisure and pleasure we will have in heaven with Jesus? 

Is it because heaven seems like a nebulous place a long way off, and neither do we expect to get there for a long long time? (smile) Or is it that we simply don’t have enough faith in Jesus and all His promises to rebuke the things and images of this evil world? But whatever the reason for our disregard of things heavenly, I want to remind us today that that’s not a very wise approach to life. 

Remember Christ said He died for us to have life, and to have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) Now that’s not only spiritual or eternal life after we die, but also a good and practical physical life, for heaven doesn’t begin when we die, but when we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour. So, if we don’t accept the many things He offers down here on earth, we are defeating the purpose of His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary. 

Yes friends, Christ’s death included much more than atonement for sins and a reserved place in heaven! It includes things like grace, mercy, and unconditional LOVE, through the awesome power and guidance of the Holy Spirit! In other words, help to navigate this cruel and wicked world with a modicum of peace, LOVE and joy that’s otherwise unattainable! Please remember His offers of peace and reassurance in John 14:27, and 16:33. And if we sincerely accept them, then we ought not be afraid or anxious, but joyful and of good cheer. 

And yes, it can be tough to do those things when the storms of life seem to be coming against us with full force, but Jesus calmed the physical storm on the Sea of Galilee by simply saying, ‘Peace, be still. ’ (Mark 4:39) So, if He can calm physical storms, there’s no reason whatsoever why He can’t calm the emotional and spiritual ones roiling in our souls. But we have to turn to Him seriously and sincerely, and have even a little faith, like that of a small mustard seed, as Jesus describes it: ‘Which, indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among the herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge (nest) in the branches thereof.’ (Matt. 13:32) 

Yes my faithful brethren, that’s how the kingdom of God grows in us – little by little. And unfortunately, that growth is controlled by the difficulties we face in this world, because it’s only through adversity that we can grow in faith. Each difficulty we conquer raises the level of our faith, and helps us to conquer the next one in an easier manner. The sad fact is that that as we grow in faith, so do the complexities of life grow in complexity. (smile) But that’s how we achieve great faith. 

And if you read Hebrews 11, that great chapter on the Heroes of Faith, you’ll see that all of them went through tough times before their faith grew strong and great. The important thing that they all did though from the beginning was trust in the Lord and acknowledge His faithfulness, even when it wasn’t yet manifested in their lives. Now that’s what God expects of His followers; a high level of trust in His faithfulness although we haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not easy, but that’s why we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us; to help us achieve that trust. 

And these magnificent and wise words penned by Cousin Sol in Proverbs, gives us the perfect formula for achieving it. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions) and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So that thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:5:10) 

Oh my people, if you must choose five verses from the scriptures that reflect the best and wisest way to live for and with God, those are them! You can never go wrong if you follow that wise advice of Cousin Sol. But that’s exactly where so many of us go wrong, we might know the advice, but we don’t take it as seriously as we ought, and thus end up with problems that could have been otherwise avoided. 

Anyway, the Lord in His awesome grace, has bestowed on us several tools to do His earthly work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. However, since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared out loud, let’s declare them right now nuh, so that they can take effect. Altogether now: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And as always, when God blesses us, He also expects us to use those blessings to bless others in His holy name. So, let’s go out and do that as generously as God did it with us nuh. Much LOVE!

…only through the help and strength of Jesus…can we successfully overcome life’s problems…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 January 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:16.

1 Thessalonians 5:16.     Rejoice evermore.

Ah my Scrip-Bit friends and family, this Friday morning has opened beautifully, like a true winter wonderland, with the sun shining so brightly that its reflection off the snow tends to blind you, if you look at it too closely! (smile) And the temperature is just right for such a day too, around minus 16 Celsius. No, I’m not crazy, a certain kind of day deserves a certain temperature. And then we have Jesus abounding in our souls, spirits and bodies, so what more can we ask eh? Nothing! 

So let’s say it like we mean it nuh: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Oh yes my people, every day is made for rejoicing, but some like this one, just takes your breath away, and you can’t do anything else but rejoice; rejoice and give thanks! And that just recalls these marvellous passages of scripture, featuring Bruh Paul’s immortal words to the Thessalonians, where he encourages them to: 

‘ Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance (every form) of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-24) 

Wow friends! That’s one of those bits of scripture, that sort of includes everything a believer needs to live a good Christian life! And the nice thing about it is that it’s simple and straightforward, as well as practical. So, I would suggest we use it as a guideline for our daily lives, where we rejoice that we are alive and have Jesus who reconciles us to God and offers us the most wonderful gift of salvation for simply believing in Him. 

And to help us with all our daily problems we just keep talking to God about everything, not necessarily continuously or audibly, but having an attitude of prayer throughout our day. And for all of that my fellow saints, giving thanks to our wonderful God in any and everything is paramount, because that’s what He expects of us. As the scholars explain: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance  (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Ah friends, that’s like how we say one hand washes the other; prayer helps us to stay thankful regardless of our circumstances! Then we come to a big one: ‘Quench not the Spirit.’ Now that is possibly the most important aspect of Christian living, for the Holy Spirit of God has been placed within us to lead and guide us in a godly life on this ungodly earth. And when you ‘Quench it,’ that means, ‘stifle’ or ‘suppress it’ then it cannot do the job it was sent to do. As the scholars tell us, we are hindered in rejoicing, in prayer, in giving thanks during adversity, and despising prophetic utterances inspired by the Spirit. 

It’s basically what Bruh Paul said to Ephesians: ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) And yuh know what friends, the more we suppress, stifle or repress the Holy Spirit of God in our lives, the less it is able to act on our behalf. It doesn’t sound as loud and clear as it once did, and we are basically left to paddle our own canoe, which certainly is not a wise action. 

Then we come to the next practical aspect of Christian living as prescribed by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.’ (vs. 21) That means be careful of what you believe, try and prove them before you believe them, and hang on to the good ones. It’s similar to what he said more explicitly to the Philippians. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil. 4:8) 

Yes, believers need to think or meditate on the right things, if we want to do the right things, which is ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil.’ (vs.22) And what does that mean? It’s like Bruh Paul explained in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (have regard for good things)… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21). 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my faithful brethren. And when we follow those basic rules, then our spirits, bodies and souls will be sanctified, set apart for our faithful God, and the surpassing peace He promised, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. And the peace of God is the supreme blessing on this riotous, ungodly, deceitful, evil and unfaithful world. When you have that nothing bothers you, and you can go about Christ’s will with diligence and excellence. 

But where I believe we’ve been most sadly lacking in our Christian journey is in the department of prayer. We haven’t been doing that prayer without ceasing thing. But it’s not too late to begin. So let’s do that right now nuh, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 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!’ 

Now, please let’s remember all the stuff we’ve talked about today, and do what it takes to be a true and faithful believer, if we want to see positive changes in our lives and in our world. Much LOVE!

…successfully living for Christ is not easy…but following the guidance of His Holy Spirit…enables us to live right… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2021 Psalm 16:8.

Psalm 16:8.     I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Summertime! Summertime! Summertime! I’ve got the summertime blues! Yes friends, all of us in the north country are just dying for the summertime to take strong effect, for it will at least get us of the house into our yards and patios and have fresh air circulating through our houses. Although, when the heat and humidity start hitting us, we going to complain: ‘Boy! It so hot eh! I wish I had air conditioning yes!’ (smile) But that’s just the nature of the beast, we LOVE to complain even when our basic needs are met and we living better than most of the world. 

And today, since the Lord has seen fit to gift us with another day of life on His great earth, I am going to keep my promise of a few days ago and return to Psalm 16, finish talking about that most excellent Michtam or Contemplation of Bruh David, as he seeks preservation and blessing. Earlier on we dealt with ‘the attitude of the righteous man in life, which was to be one of trust (vs. 1), gratefulness for God’s goodness (vs. 2), delight in God’s people (vs. 3), separation from idolatrous worship (vs. 4), satisfaction in God’s gracious provisions (vs. 5-6), praise for the Lord’s counsel (vs. 7), and steadfastness in spiritual devotion (vs. 8).’ 

Oh my people, those are just a few of the things we need to concentrate on as we live this earthly life for Christ! Yeh, I know they seem plentiful and difficult, but in actual reality they are neither, because once you seriously and sincerely decide to live for Christ, He gives you all that you need to do it successfully, through the awesome guidance of His Holy Spirit and His amazing word filled with numerous promises. And if we stay steadfast, He will too. So the life situation is all taken care of there. 

Today though, we’ll take a gander at what our attitude ought to be towards death. But first let’s hear some of those marvellous words of Bruh David as he broaches the subject. Now, having set his mind on spiritual steadfastness to God in his living days, he is able to proclaim. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.’ (Ps. 16:8) Yes my fellow saints, if we want to be able to handle death properly, that is the first thing we need to acknowledge, overwhelming trust and spiritual devotion to Almighty God. 

And why is that? Because, as Bruh David continues: ‘Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps. 16:9) Mama, O Mama! Isn’t that a wonderful position to be in precious people; possession of a glad heart with awesome rejoicing and secure hope in Christ? It most certainly is! And then Bruh David lays it right on the line: ‘For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (the abode of the dead); neither wilt thou suffer (allow) thine Holy One to see corruption.’ (Ps. 16:10) 

Yes mih bredrin, when our hearts and souls are right with God, He will not allow our spirits to dwell in the place of death; but instead, they will be made full of life and dwell with Him in heaven eternally. And that’s why we should not be afraid of death if we are sincerely in tune with our Creator, for though our mortal bodies will return to the dust from whence they came, our spirits won’t ever see death. That’s because after we have taken our last breath here on earth, our spirit will take its next in heaven with Christ. That’s the promise to the faithful Christian! 

And being persuaded and assured of all those things, Bruh David could therefore declare with a proud and certain heart. ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps. 16:11) Now that’s good reason to shout for joy my people! When we walk sincerely with our heavenly Father, He guides and directs us down the path of life that leads directly to Him. And along the way, He also gives us His joy – for remember the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10). 

You also know that there’s no other Being as generous as Him, so in His presence, we will be rewarded most generously for our steadfastness and endurance. Therefore, I don’t know why so many of us refuse to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour nuh, because the only other option available, that of being with Satan in the fires of hell, facing eternal damnation, holds no fascination whatsoever! 

Now here’s what the scholars say our attitude to death ought to resemble. ‘In facing death, the righteous man rejoices and is hopeful (vs. 9). He is confident that God will preserve him from the decay of death, and that death will not result in his corruption (vs. 10). Rather, he will travel down the path of life, that is the path leading to life, which will terminate in God’s joyful presence (vs. 11). David’s confidence in his ultimate destiny is valid for him (and for ALL believers) only because Christ has travelled down that path and paved the way for all who believe in Him (Acts 2:25-28).’ That’s where Peter includes Bruh David’s words in his powerful Pentecost Sermon. 

Oh, how wonderful is all that eh friends! Very much so! That’s why it boggles my imagination when so many people, so stubbornly refuse to come to Jesus and accept His light yoke and awesome salvation, that leads to eternal life with Him in heaven! For as I said earlier, the only other option available, being with Satan in hell, is downright unacceptable. 

So, now that we know how to face life and death, let’s go out and face it mano-a-mano, like Jesus did nuh. And, as Christ always does, He gave us some awesome tools with which to do His wonderful work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. Now, as one, in strong voice, let’s positively declare them nuh. 

‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And what are we supposed to do with all them amazing blessings eh mih people? Go out and share them just as generously with others as Christ shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…there is no need to fear either life or death…when walking sincerely with Christ…                                            

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’  

Now let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one…