Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 October 2022 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.         …the joy of the Lord is our strength.

One more time on the merry-go-round called the workweek my friends. Yes, I know, it can get somewhat tiresome doing the same thing week after week for thirty or forty years, then looking forward to a dreary retirement of doing absolutely nothing. (smile)  But unfortunately, that’s the way our world system is set up, and the sooner we stop allowing the same old, same old, bland way of life to get us down and depressed, the sooner we will be able to go about enjoying the abundant life Christ died for us to have. 

We can’t always have exciting new stuff to boost our spirits, because that’s just not the way life runs. And besides, in today’s world of numerous technological inventions, we have so many amenities, opportunities and toys to occupy our time, that we should never be bored. Sadly though, despite all those joys and toys, I don’t think there’s ever been a time before where boredom has afflicted so many people. The problem might just be we have too much stuff, too many opportunities and options at our fingertips, and we don’t have to work as hard as in earlier times to satisfy our selfish desires and pleasures. 

And the best way to get to that point where the worries, problems, boredom and misfortunes of the world aren’t stealing our hard-earned joy, is by having Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, Guide and Good Shepherd! That’s because, with Him as our foundation stone, the life we build will be as solid as a rock, and the world will not be able to touch our Christ-like spirits. 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that prove our point nuh. As per Jesus being our strong foundation, the Good Book tells us that Jesus Himself quoted these words of Psalm 118:22-23 to the chief priests and Pharisees when they dismissed Him as a son of the devil and not the Son of God. ‘Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (chief cornerstone): This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?’ (Matt. 21:42)  

Jesus was referring there to Himself, whom the Jewish leaders were rejecting as the Messiah, thinking that He wasn’t a good enough subject on which to build God’s kingdom, especially since He came preaching LOVE and peace rather than the war and hate they expected the Messiah to bring, so that they could get out from under the servile conditions of Roman rule. But little did they know that it would be the same rejected figure of Jesus, despised, brutally beaten and horribly abused who would indeed bring salvation and reconciliation to the world. 

And that all falls into sync with Jesus’ parable of the two foundations. He warns: ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was built upon a (the) rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 724-27) 

Oh my people, that just goes to show that if we build our lives on the strong rock that’s Jesus, if we hear His words and do them, then nothing in this world will be able to destroy us, for He is always there to help, to look after, to lead and guide us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. But if we don’t follow Him, then the world and all its evil doings and doers will simply tear us apart like rain washes away sand. And that’s why the Good Book also tells us that ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

So, if you don’t have the joy of Christ engulfing your weak and sinful spirit, then the enemy will be able to control you, causing you to do all sorts of things that are against God’s will. And that’s how you begin guarding against the boredom and sinful lusts of this evil world. Accepting Jesus Christ as the foundation stone of your life is the first move. Then you begin building upon that foundation by reading His Word and doing what it says. 

Now, it doesn’t all happen overnight, or is it easily done, but it’s a lifelong journey, fraught with problems, but also filled with learning, with meditating, with tests of our faith, but all of it faithfully promised to be eventually worked out for our good, to those who are called and who sincerely LOVE the Lord. (Rom. 8:28) 

Thus, living for Jesus is a lifestyle very different from that promoted by the enemy and the world. And one of the most important aspects of that lifestyle is prayer; sincere communication with our Lord and Saviour. It’s always our best first line of both offence and defense, where we go to our wonderful God for help in whatever situation we find ourselves, with whatever problem we have, be it big or small. So, since there’s no time like the present, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one strong and sincere voice. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please 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!’ 

Now, my fellow saints, let’s not forget that to get God’s blessings, we need to have right motives in our hearts and be good examples of godly living. Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient… 

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 July 2022 John 16:33b.

John 16:33b.      In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.

Good, ole reliable Tuesday is here friends! Yes, it takes away the memory of Monday, the first day of the work week, which is usually somewhat mysterious and unsettling, or even intimidating, because we’re never sure what it will bring after a weekend away from the halls of labour. (smile) But Tuesday is always placid and calm, letting us know that there’s nothing to fear; Monday is in the box, and all’s well with our world! 

And that’s exactly how our lives become when we accept Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour! There’s nothing to fear…and even if the world is actually falling apart around us, we’d still be able to say, ‘all is well with me. All is well with my soul!’ Why? Because Jesus has promised us peace, joy, LOVE and eternal life if we are wise and live under the shadow of His wings. Listen to some of His awesome promises nuh. 

While speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit, He told the disciples: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And later on, Jesus again encourages the disciples by telling them: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh my fellow believers, how encouraging and reassuring is that eh? Knowing that your Lord and Saviour has overcome the world, destroyed the enemy and has in His hands the keys to hell, death and the grave, it surely is a comfort to the most unbelieving and discouraged heart! And then Bruh Paul offers his two cents worth when he writes to the church at Philippi: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) 

What a legacy we have through Christ my people! We’ll receive the peace of God, that divine tranquility that transcends all human understanding, when through prayer and thanksgiving we take all our problems to Almighty God in Christ’s name! You could not do any better than that friends! That’s the ultimate in peace! 

And as per joy, the Good Book tells us that the ‘joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy always tries to steal our joy. He knows that if we lose it, we’ll be weak and easily defeated. However, it’s also important to note that joy doesn’t depend on our circumstances, it depends on our faith in God. Happiness is the fleeting emotion that’s ruled by our circumstances. 

And I like how this commentator on the biblestudytools.com website puts it. ‘Bible verses about joy can help Christians who may be going through a difficult season as a reminder of calm happiness through faith in God. Joy is rooted in who God is. It is not fleeting or based on circumstances. Worldly possessions, accomplishments, even the people in our lives, are blessings that make us happy and fuel joyfulness. However, the Bible teaches that the source of all joy is Jesus. God’s plan from the beginning, the Word made flesh to dwell among us is rock solid, allowing us to navigate difficult situations in the absence of happiness while sustaining our joy.’ 

Oh friends, what joy is found in Jesus! As Jesus told the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy shall be full.’ (John 15:11) And as Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome. ‘Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.’ (Rom. 15:13) 

Then Jesus, after telling the disciples about His return to heaven: ‘A little while, ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.’ (John 16:16) He saw their sorrowful look, indicating a lack of understanding, and reassured them. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.’ (John 16:20) 

Then He compared their situation to a pregnant woman afraid of the upcoming labour pains, but once it’s over, she no longer remembers the pain but is filled with joy that a child was born. ‘And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you…Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:22, 24) 

Oh what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have my brethren! He fills our lives with joy despite our circumstances, and we can ask the Father for anything in His name. Now that doesn’t mean we’ll always get what we ask for, especially if it is not in the Father’s will for our lives, or we’ll get it when we ask for it, but we are always assured of a hearing in heaven. That’s indeed a good beginning.

And when we start talking about LOVE and Jesus…well friends, there’s nothing greater, because they are one and the same! John says it plainly: ‘For God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:8) And if the Father is LOVE, then the Son must be LOVE too. And there are numerous passages of scripture extolling Christ’s LOVE, but I think this one from John’s gospel puts it all in proper perspective. 

‘As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue ye (abide) in my LOVE. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept the Father’s commandments , and abide in his LOVE… This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain… These things I command you, that ye LOVE one another.’ (John 15:9-10, 12-17) It couldn’t get any clearer than that my people. LOVE is the number ONE requirement amongst Christ’s followers. As John said: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 3:8) 

Now, as per eternal life, since time and space are running out on us, we can only get in these two verses on the subject. However, they are more than enough to prove the point. We all know this magnificent verse: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And then there’s this verse where John the Baptist testifies of Jesus. ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) That says it all friends: believe and you’ll see eternal life; do not believe, and you’ll perish under God’s wrath. 

Now for those of us who believe and are doing our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having made that declaration, (yesss!!!) it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…need a continual flow of LOVE, joy and peace that ends in eternal life …then Jesus is your answer…the ONLY answer… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 April 2022 Psalm 62:1.

Psalm 62:1.      Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

Come then friends, let’s celebrate this new day of life, the first Wednesday after Easter, as we ought to. Who knows, this might just be the last one, so let’s go out in a blaze of glory! And if by the Lord’s grace it isn’t, then we can keep on going on out every day in a blaze of joy, because every day is a day that God has made for us to enjoy, despite the problems and difficulties we might face. And as the Good Book so astutely reminds us: ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

So there we have it: joy and strength from our Lord God Jehovah! We can’t ask for much more than that. But it doesn’t come automatically, we have to do our part to receive and live it. And that’s where so many of us are falling down. We expect that joy to come automatically, so we just sit around and wait for it, instead of working to make it a reality. But not even the free gifts of salvation and God’s amazing LOVE come automatically, we have to step out in faith and receive them. 

Remember we’re in a partnership with God, and partnerships mean that each partner has a specific job to do. Well, the Lord’s done His, providing us with salvation and forgiveness of sins, but it’s then left for us to receive it. The Lord can’t receive it for us. And I believe this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin provides a good insight into how our souls and spirit ought to respond to God’s goodness. It’s simply titled ‘At Last.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘At last there is One With whom I am perfectly safe. One who knows thoroughly All the rubbled ruins of my heart. At last I see that all that is Riddled and distorted in me Can still find God-planned fulfillment. At last I need no longer explore The deep, dark forest of my thoughts For there is One who understands me Far better than I understand myself. 

One who stands with me In the thick of battle One who supports me On the slippery ice-created paths. At last I have entrusted myself To One who guarantees my wholeness Someone whose LOVE is immeasurable. In all the world He alone can LOVE me As I need to be LOVED. At last there is One – My Lord and My God!’ 

Oh my people, all of that is the God-awesome truth! But until we come to that reality, the reality of realizing and accepting that the Lord LOVES us so truly and powerfully, we won’t be able to give ourselves to Him, the way we should. Just imagine the powerful LOVE He must have borne us to send His Only Son to die on the cross of Calvary, so that our sins could be forgiven. I don’t think there could be any greater show of LOVE than that! Jesus said it to the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) 

And that’s the gospel truth! Laying down one’s life for another is the greatest outpouring of LOVE any being can show; be they human, animal, or God! And that’s exactly what Jesus did; lay down His life for us, on the strong recommendation of the Father. So how, in all wisdom, truth and gratitude, can we not turn to Christ and sincerely devote our lives to Him, who died to give us the greatest gifts of all, true salvation and life eternal? And the Bible Promise for today’s poem is also our Bit for today. Now, first I’ll share the NIV (New International Version) used in the Book of Bible Promises, then the real Mccoy (smile) the King James Version (KJV). 

Here’s what the NIV says: ‘My soul finds rest in God alone: my salvation come from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be alone.’ Chuh! It’s true and all that, but it sounds so listless and lifeless! Now compare it to the KJV. ‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense (strong tower); I shall not be greatly moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 62:1-2) 

Now that seems livelier, to evoke more confidence, more passion. How can you down grade the majestic words and sentiments of Bruh David eh? (smile) I find that some of these new versions water down the Word, make it too simplistic, while others with all their explanations make it more difficult to understand. In the end though, I guess the important thing is that we hear, understand and live the true word in whatever form it’s offered. That take us to these reassuring and reaffirming verses of Psalm 33 titled, ‘Praise to the Lord for his creation.’ 

The psalmist writes: ‘Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear (reverence) him, upon them that hope in his mercy, To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps. 33:18-22) 

Yes friends, our God, our Lord, Our Creator is right there always watching out for us…but we need to accept it and believe it, and then live accordingly. Nothing is going to fall in our laps. As Bruh Paul said to the Philippians, we need to ‘work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.’ (Phil. 2:12) That means, everything we need to become mature Christians has already been provided, we now need to do the work necessary to actually grow up and become Christ-like, because that is the ultimate purpose God has for all of us. 

And earlier on in that same letter Bruh Paul assured them of ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) So there we have it; the Lord has provided all we need to grow to maturity, and He will also keep on helping us to do so until Christ returns. But we need to wake up, get passionate and do our part, if we want to become even a li’l Christ-like! And for those of us who have made that decision, let’s go home now declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our blessed and wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one, loud, proud and grateful voice: ‘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!’ 

And as always, let’s remember, that if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. As Jesus said: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:13) Much LOVE!

perseverance…persistence…endurance…those are the keys to victorious living…to living for Christ… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 November 2021 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.      Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice.

I hear you friends! I hear you calling out ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and this miserable workweek soon done!’ And yes, the workweek might have been difficult and/or frustrating, but please look on the bright side nuh, you were one of the blessed ones, you at least had a job to go to. However, in these pandemic, riotous, disastrous and dangerous times, thousands of your brethren had none to go to, and would have grabbed yours without a backward glance. Many would have given their ‘eye-teeth,’ as the old people would say to have any li’l job at all, so they could make a few dollars to feed themselves and their families

. So please, let’s not belittle the work we do, even though it may not be as soul-satisfying as we desire. Times are exceedingly hard, and instead of complaining we ought to be thankful for what little we might have, because there are so many others around the world with so much less than us, who would be exceedingly glad and thankful to have the little we claim to have. 

That’s why this scripture writing of Bruh Paul to the Philippians is ever so important today. He writes: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ (Phil. 4:4) Yes friends, that’s the number one characteristic and attitude of believers in Christ Jesus; we are joyful in whatever situation we find ourselves. Remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Neh. 8:10) That’s why the enemy tries his best to steal our joy, because he knows that without that joy, which brings strength, we are totally at his evil mercy. 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (vs.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his pleas in verses 2 and 3, (to be of the same mind), is another reason to “rejoice.” 

In adding and again I say, Rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

And yuh better believe my brethren that in these perilous times the command to rejoice is indeed a call to faith, since we do have a wise, sovereign and LOVING God who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to work out everything for our good eventually. Thus, the level of our joy rests on the level of our faith, on how much we believe what our Creator says. If our faith is strong, then our joy will be forthcoming, but if our faith is weak, then we will be filled with all kinds of doubts, fears and anxieties. 

That’s why Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:6) And the scholars tell us that ‘Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (vs.2) and who rejoices always (vs.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. 

The Lord is hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people, and will avenge any wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And we all know the command of verse 6. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil. 4:6) What a majestic and encouraging verse of scripture my people! We don’t need to be anxious for anything because we can take it all to God in sincere prayer and supplication, but with thanksgiving, letting Him know that we desperately need His help. That means thankfully laying our anxieties at His feet, assured that He can and will deal with them on our behalf. Thus, we are freed of the anxieties and worries, the doubts and frustrations of this evil and ungodly world. 

Wow! No wonder we are to rejoice and be thankful! And I would be amiss if I didn’t add some of the scholars’ explanation of that verse. They say, ‘Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (vs. 5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

So what’s the end result of all that eh? Bruh Paul states it thus: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Oh my people! ‘The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problems, and His ability to cope with and solve it.’ 

And that peace shall guard our hearts through our trust and belief in Christ Jesus! Glory be my fellow saints! What more can we ask eh? Nothing really, but we do need to take our current fears and anxieties to the Lord in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. So, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. As one voice: ‘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 remember that we need to keep our promises, if we expect the Lord to keep His. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my helper…I will not fear…                                                                                                        

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 October 2021 Ephesians 4:30.

Ephesians 4:30.      And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Oh Friday, are we ever glad to see you, because you are the harbinger of good news – the weekend! And this past week in my area has been so rainy, and if not rainy, then cloudy and grey, like the sun has lost its energy or will to shine. But it’s a good thing that we have the best light ever – Jesus – who shines His marvellous light on our souls, thus we can handle the lack of light on our bodies. So that even when our outsides are clothed in darkness, our insides are filled with joy, and gladness, the everlasting light of life that is Jesus! 

That’s why we shout: ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength!’ And no one can take that from us, though the enemy keeps on trying. Yes friends, once we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and effectively seals us as a child of God, a seal that no man can break. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest (down payment or deposit) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.’ (Eph. 1:13-14) And yes friends, that sounds like it’s very complicated, but it’s not. It simply means that we Gentiles who believed on Christ received the Holy Spirit when we believed, not afterwards. 

The scholars tell us: ‘The sealer is Jesus; the seal is the Holy Spirit. The sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantees the benefits of our salvation, as a person might seal an envelope to guarantee its enclosures. The Holy Spirit as the seal to the believer is also the earnest of our inheritance, that’s a down payment of Christ’s commitment to someday give the believer all other things God has promised. With that seal of the Holy Spirit, God therefore assures the Christian that the realization of the rest of his salvation is forthcoming.’ 

So, once we believe, there’s no need to worry about all the other promises of salvation, because we have the deposit, the down payment of salvation dwelling with us, within us, and by our side! Glory Hallelujah! Now why would I refuse to accept such a wonderful invitation to come into Christ’s marvellous body, His church eh? No reason whatsoever! 

And there are a couple of other verses that talk about the sealing of the Holy Spirit. Bruh Paul also mentions it in that beautiful fourth chapter of Ephesians where he discusses the new life in Christ that believers ought to adopt. Things like putting on the new man, being renewed in the spirit of our minds, not lying, not being angry, and not letting the sun go down upon our anger. Not using foul language, but words that are edifying to our listeners. Then He says: ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30). 

Yes mih bredrin, we do grieve the Holy Spirit when we abuse our fellow men with foul language. It’s like James said of the tongue: ‘Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude (likeness or image) of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter. Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.’ (James 3:9-12) 

Oh my people, that’s ever so true! We bless God and curse those made in His likeness with the same tongue. It ought not to be that way, because then we grieve the Holy Spirit. And the last scripture about sealed by the Holy Spirit, comes from the second epistle of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, where he reassures them of the promises of God and his confidence in them. ‘Now he which stablisheth (established) us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us is God. Who hath sealed us, and given the earnest (down payment) of the Spirit in our hearts.’ (2 Cor. 1:21-22) What reassurance for the believer! 

And the scholars explain that ‘The sealing of the Holy Spirit has a threefold significance in the New Testament. (1) to indicate ownership; (2) to indicate genuineness; (3) to preserve and keep safe (cf. Eph. 4:40; 2 Tim. 2:19; Rev. 7:2-3) This last idea is amplified with the earnest of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself is the down payment or pledge, of redemption. The indwelling Spirit is the surety and the “security” of all that is to follow in the final salvation of the believer (cf. Rom. 8:9-11, 23; 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:14).’ 

Oh saints in Christ, what more or better assurance can we have, or do we need to put all our trust in Christ Jesus eh? None whatsoever! Christ not only died for us, He also pledged the Holy Spirit, the best deposit or down payment we can ever have as a promise of our salvation! 

Now being thus reassured of Christ’s promise, let’s do what we are advised to do nuh; go boldly to the throne of grace with our problems, to seek help in this time of great need. So as one strong, confident, but humble voice, let’s declare our Friday Chant. ‘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!’ 

And I should not have to remind us, but I will, (smile) that all of what we asked for, depends on our repentant behaviour and the true motives of our hearts. Much LOVE!

…the best guarantee ever…the Holy Spirit…on Christ’s promise of salvation…                                                                                                       

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2021 Psalm 119:34.

Psalm 119:34.      Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law, yea, I shall observe it with all my heart.

Well, it looks like a new day, Wednesday to be exact. So I guess that means we’re moving on, hopefully in a positive and godly manner, for those are the only ways we will ever be truly successful! And if we’re being godly, then we most certainly will give, or will have given thanks for the wonderful blessing of being able to see another glorious day on God’s great earth, only rivalled by the exotic pleasures of heaven. 

Ah mih people, if we’re down here now, we might as well enjoy it, since being miserable and unhappy won’t solve matters. And furthermore, if you’re a believer in Christ Jesus, then you have oodles of promises to help you feel better in the many storms of life and handle them in a positive manner, with your Lord and Saviour at the helm of your tossed and battered ship. Remember the joy of the Lord is our strength, and once we have Him bubbling up in us, we can handle anything that comes against us. 

And if we’re finding it difficult to handle our current circumstances then listen to these words of comfort from Psalm 119, the section titled – ‘Give me understanding.’ Please pray with me: ‘Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law, yea, I shall observe it with all my heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 

Incline my heart unto (cause me to long for) thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity (looking at worthless things); and quicken (revive) thou me in thy way. Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear (to fearing thee). Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgements are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken (revive) me in thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 119:33-40) 

Yes friends, therein lies a path of prayer to understanding. (smile) Now, here are some explanations from the scholars on the meaning of some of the terminology found in the psalm. ‘The multifaceted character of God’s Word is revealed by at least eight key synonyms for it in the psalm. (1) Law (torah) is the most frequent of the words. It comes from a verb meaning “to teach,” and thus came to be applied to a wide range of revelation, from an individual directive to the entire Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). It emphasizes that God has taught us in His Word what He requires of us. 

(2) Testimonies (‘edot) emphasizes the content of the Word as that which God has testified of Himself and His will. (3) Precepts (piquidim) refers to instructions from a superior regarding the duties of those under him, in this case, from God to man. (4) Statutes (huqim) is related to a verb meaning “to engrave” and thus implies permanent and unchangeable regulations. (5) Commandments (mitswot) is a word assuming the authority of the commander and the inherent necessity of obeying the content of the charge. 

(6) Judgements (mispatim) or ordinances refers to decisions God has made as a judge in order to make earthly behaviour conform to His heavenly standard. (7) Word (dabar) is an all-embracing term for God’s revelation in any form. (8) Word (imra) might also be translated “promise,” though the translation does not distinguish it from the preceding term to whose meaning it relates closely. It comes from the verb “to say” and assumes that the content of revelations is from the mouth of God. Other terms that seem to speak of God’s Word include ways (vs. 3, 37), name (vs. 55), and faithfulness (vs. 90). 

With these key words to express the substance of God’s revelation, the psalmist explores the entire gamut of human response to the Word of God: praise and thanksgiving for it, petitions that it may be kept, petitions that the psalmist may experience its comfort or conviction, confidence that its promises will be fulfilled, prayer for the ability to understand it, petitions that those who disregard it (the wicked) may be judged and so on. Because of this exaltation of the Word of God, this psalmist has sometimes been accused of worshiping the Word itself. However, his adoration of the Word always leads to its Author who inspired it. All believers should be accused of this kind of LOVE for the Bible.’ 

What a day that would be eh my people, when we are accused of such an uproarious LOVE for God’s word! Glory Hallelujah! But seriously though, that’s the direction in which our lives ought to be moving every day that we draw breath; a greater LOVE for God and His Word! That’s why we talk about moving up from glory to glory; everyday improving our understanding of the Word and becoming a li’l more like Jesus character wise. 

Oh friends, if we’re not growing, becoming more mature in our faith, then we are not fulfilling the Lord’s desire for our lives. Remember Bruh Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving to the church at Philippi, where he declares: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath began a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil 1:6) 

Yes my faithful brethren, our God will not stop working His goodness in us until His Son returns. That means we also have a responsibility to learn what He desires of us and behave the way He has set out in His Word. We have no excuses whatsoever, for He has laid out exactly what He desires in His Law. His testimonies are sure and true. In His superior position, He has made clear His precepts, the duties He expects us to perform and live up to. 

And because His Word is so important to our earthly lives, He expects His statutes, steadfast and unchangeable as they are, to be engraved in and on our hearts, so that we can dutifully obey His commandments as our Guide and Leader. And if we don’t conform to His heavenly standard here on earth, then we will be subjected to His divine judgement, which can be pretty tough at times. 

So friends, the long and short of the story is that we are God’s creation, and He desires us to be obedient to Him and His dictates, otherwise there will be a price to pay. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘The best way to live is to obey God, and leave all the consequences up to Him.’ And that’s wisdom in spades friends. If we obey God to the best of our ability, we will reap a bushel of blessings. 

And now, since it’s Wednesday, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus! As one strong, sincere and confident voice: ‘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!’ 

And we all know that if we faithfully endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious that we can ask or even imagine. Much LOVE!

…the Word of God…our guide, our road map to earthly living…our entrance exams for heaven…                                                                                        

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 14 January 2021 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.     The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.

Let’s get with it nuh friends, for we are now one day older and thus one day closer to death, when we can’t make any changes in our eternal destination! 

Yes, death is staring each of us in the face every single moment of every day, and since we know not when our time will be up, doesn’t it make a whole lotta sense to ensure that our eternal destination will be heaven with Christ and not hell and damnation with Satan! It certainly does! 

But oh, I forgot that we have free choice and can do whatever we wish, when we want to…but not this immortal and most important decision. That has to be made while we’re still alive and kicking! 

Remember the supposedly wise man in Jesus’ parable of the rich fool? He had plenty, and thought he was going to live for a long time, so he planned to build bigger and better, saying: ‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ (Luke 12:19) 

Oh my people, a lot of us are behaving like that rich fool, acquiring earthly treasure and storing it up so we can eventually lead the easy life, but what about our treasure in heaven where so many of us hope to spend eternity eh? Just like we put away money in the bank for a rainy day, likewise we need to put up treasure in heaven for that bright and sunny day when we get there. 

And we all know what happened to that rich fool: ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ (Luke 12:20) Now that’s a very good question, one we should all ask ourselves. 

Yeh friends, the Grim Reaper came calling for him that same night. Now what would happen if the Lord came calling for us sometime today eh, would we be prepared, or would we be caught napping like that rich fool? Would God make this statement towards us as He did towards that rich fool? ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) 

Friends, are we rich towards God? Are we storing up treasure in heaven, and not only concerned with what’s happening here on earth? I certainly hope not! For Cousin Sol tells us this:‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’(Prov. 3:35) 

Oh precious people, I know none of us want to leave a legacy of being foolish, so let’s be wise and take time, RIGHT NOW,to make sure our eternal destination is heaven and not hell nuh! 

That means ensuring we have Christ in us, and that we are in Him, we have accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour, and thus are obedient to His way of living, that we are children of God, joint heirs with Christ, have been redeemed, justified, sanctified, reconciled and sealed by the Holy Spirit as God’s own for ever and ever! 

Oh what a wonderful and joyful situation to be in my faithful brethren! And that’s what happens when we invite Jesus into our hearts, our lives and allow Him to take control of our eternal destination. We’re flooded with a joy inconceivable to the unbeliever, for the joy of the Lord is our strength. That’s why the enemy works so hard to keep us miserable and unhappy. He knows that’s where our strength lies. 

And oh, I forgot, there’s one more constraint on our eternal preparations; the Second Coming of Christ! Yes friends, if Christ comes back before the Grim Reaper comes a calling, then all bets are also off the table. The thing about Jesus’ Second Coming is that we don’t know when that will be either. 

As He himself said: ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’ (Matt. 24:36-37) Yes mih bredrin, we’ll be eating and drinking and carrying on like they were in Noah’s time, unconcerned about sin and God, when like the flood suddenly came, Jesus will come back, like a thief in the night, unexpectedly. 

‘Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman (master) of the house had known in what watch (hour) the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered (allowed) his house to be broken up (into). Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:40.44) 

Those weren’t my words friends, they were Jesus’. So if He took the time to warn us, don’t you think it will be wise for us to heed it? I certainly do. And just in case you don’t understand the seriousness of that situation, listen to this explanation from the scholars. 

‘24:39-42.The observation that the people of Noah’s day knew not the severity and suddenness of the coming destruction indicates that the last generation will be totally unprepared for the coming of the Son of man, the return of Christ to judge the world. (See 2 Thess. 1:7-8) The reference to two being in the field or at work at the time of Christ’s return implies the suddenness of His coming to separate the lost and the saved.’ 

What else can I say eh friends, it’s all there in black and white! All I know that if either the Grim Reaper or Christ comes and we’re not ready, there’ll be much weeping and gnashing of teeth. So let’s get it together right now nuh, and avoid that sad and undesirable scenario. And for those of us who are seriously working on it, let’s go home now declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings, generously bestowed on us to do Christ’s earthly work. 

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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And the desired consequence of all that, is we go out and share those blessings just as generously with others in need.Much LOVE!

…be wise…be prepared…   

Epilogue! And you all wonder why I dislike computers and this technological society that is strangling us. Well over an hour ago, I was almost finished writing the Bit when the one-year-old computer broke down on me in the middle of writing. Steups! Try as I could, I was unable to get it to work. So here I am on my trusty laptop, so much older than that new-fangled machine and still going strong! 

And it’s a good thing that I had signed back into OneDrive, only a couple of days ago, else I would have to write over the Bit from start, and would be tearing my hair out and using even more expletive deletes than I am now. (smile) But the Good Lord does move in mysterious ways – give Him all the praise – and we finally finish. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2020 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.     ​Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY CANADA! 

And do we ever have a lot to be thankful for in this blessed and bountiful land of Canada! Oh I know that some of you are complaining plenty about the problems we’re currently encountering on a rather large scale, and I admit they can be rather daunting, especially since we’ve never encountered anything like them before. But the truth of the matter is that even with those problems confusing and confuffling our lives, we’re still living much better in this country than most of the others around the world…and for that we should be everlastingly grateful! 

The abnormal situation we are undergoing right now is the norm for some countries. And as our Christian faith teaches us, once there is life, there is hope, and this too shall pass in God’s time. So we can’t give up, especially since giving up doesn’t exist in God’s vocabulary. Consequently, it’s time for us to have a new revelation; counting our blessings rather than our losses. And yuh know what? We’ll discover we have much more of the former than the latter, which ought to put us in a better and more thankful frame of mind. (smile) 

And to help us do that, let’s invoke a couple of Bruh Paul’s admonitions to the churches at Ephesus and Philippi re living in godly unity and thankfulness. To the Ephesians, he said: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:18-21) 

Yeh friends, as believers in Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s character and virtues, and thus control our thoughts, attitudes and actions. And we do that through encouraging and exhorting each other with psalms and hymns etc., as well as being joyful in our own hearts and giving thanks to God for everything that comes into our lives, since we know that it will eventually be used for our good by God. And last but not least, deferring to the wishes of others, if we know it’s God’s will. 

And to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul advised: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (His return is near, and He will judge us according to our treatment of others). Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my people, I know those things are hard to accomplish in this evil world, but who ever said that following Christ was easy eh? (smile) But it’s those things that promote unity and LOVE amongst believers, enriching our own lives, as well as showing the unbeliever what is possible if He accepts Christ as His Lord and Saviour. Yeh friends, we must ever be prayerful and thankful, regardless of our circumstances. So even if we’re going through some really rough times now, prayer and thanksgiving are essential if we want to find that peace of God which passes all understanding. 

So what better time to start than right now eh, on this Thanksgiving Day? And we’ll do it through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which I believe captures all our fears, doubts, needs and wants. So as one strong voice, in true penitence, let’s go to God in sincere prayer nuh. 

‘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 standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

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 to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please 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!’ 

So let’s turn from our evil ways nuh people; it’s as simple as that, because it’s basically sin that’s muddying our waters. That reminds me of a quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on sin. He says: ‘Sin is like dirt in salt. It corrupts our lives, ruins the flavour of Christianity for all who know us, and makes us useless to God.’ More truthful words were never spoken my brethren! But it’s all up to us. If we want the Lord to heal us and our land, we need to turn from our evil ways. 

Oh, and let it not be said that I was amiss in my duty on this Thanksgiving Day, this day of celebration. (smile) Friends, I plead with us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business, else somebody else going to mind it for you.’ And that’s the gospel truth people, so please let’s be careful with food and drink, don’t overdo it, remember moderation in all things, and don’t get into no crowds, remember physical distancing and masks too. That’s the recipe for a successful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day! Much LOVE!

…for the joy of the Lord is our strength…don’t let the devil steal it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2020 Psalm 57:7.

Psalm 57:7.    ‘My heart is fixed (steadfast), O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
 
Welcome to a wild and windy Friday 13th in my neighbourhood. At least it’s stopped raining now, but the wind is still kicking up an almighty fuss, been doing it since last night, for what reason he alone knows. And yes, it is Friday the 13th, that means all sorts of foolish superstitions are being trotted out today; like don’t walk under a ladder, or let a black cat cross your path, or break a mirror. Hn, Hn! It’s a wonder how supposedly sensible people still have and believe in all kinds of superstitious stuff. 

This Friday the 13th nonsense is even attributed to the fact that Jesus on Maundy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper, had 13 people at the table, and one was the traitor Judas and He was crucified on the Friday. So thus the number 13 and Friday have become forever intertwined with bad luck. But today though a lot of people are glad it’s Friday, be it the 13th or not, because Friday heralds the start of their time off from work, and most don’t care about the date, like the ordinary workingman who utters this spiel. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Just the thought of the weekend, and no slave labour to attend, lifts my soul and spirit to great heights. I don’t care what anybody else says, but the weekend is always the best time for me, because I can do whatever I want to do and nobody can say me nay! And please doh tell me nothing about this Friday the 13th superstitious nonsense nuh. Steups! What a shame that big, sensible people still hold all these superstitions eh, when time and time again they’ve proven to be merely fairy tales. 

But the evil people amongst us just like to have these evil things around so that they can hold some stupid people in grip. But yuh know what? Today, or any Friday 13th, I’m not going to purposely walk under a ladder, or cross paths with a black cat, or break a mirror just to prove it’s all nonsense. I’m way way smarter than that! I’m just going to keep thanking God for Fridays and weekends and let the chips fall where they may!’ 

Hn! I don’t think that any of us are going to go out of our way to try and prove those superstitions wrong either. (smile) I guess though, that it takes all kinds of things to make up a world like ours, including evil superstitions. But since we have the One and Only, the REAL McCOY: Jesus, as our Lord and Saviour, that kind of stuff doesn’t bother us at all eh… and I hear some low murmurs, as though that isn’t completely true. (smile) Anyway, we won’t go there this morning, let’s just chant our Friday Chant and show the world how we’re purposely different on the weekends. 

As one, strong, sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh mih people, we can’t bother with all the world’s foolishness, because we have a serious job to do; to keep Jesus’ name front and centre amongst the heathen and unbelieving world. But we must rest and have entertainment, though we can’t afford to let it all hang out, cause that’s when the enemy creeps into our souls and spirits and causes us to be less than who we truly are, or who we want to be. And we do want to be good examples – salt and light, good ambassadors for our Leader. 

And I just discovered some very useful and uplifting scripture to help us do that; these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 57, on one of the many occasions he hid in a cave from Saul and his other enemies. He declares: ‘Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, in the midst whereof they are fallen themselves.   Selah.’ (Ps. 57:5-6) 

Yeh friends, the enemy is laying all kinds of snares and pits for us to fall into, so that we can cause disrespect to the name of our Lord and Saviour. But if we’re strong and steadfast, stay solidly under His umbrella, the enemy themselves will be caught in their own traps. Now listen to Bruh David as he shows us how to neutralize the attacks of the enemy. 

‘My heart is fixed (steadfast), O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake psaltery (lute) and harp: I myself will awake early (awaken the dawn). I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations (gentiles). For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.’ (Ps. 57:7-11) 

Yes my fellow believers, praising our magnificent and magnanimous God is the best way to diffuse the enemy’s power in our lives. He can’t intrude when we are praying and praising! And you’ll notice that Bruh David, though he was fleeing for his life, after lamenting his situation to God in the first part of the psalm, turned to prayer and worship to lift his spirits and keep him strong. That’s how we ought also to operate. 

There’s nothing wrong with telling God our fears and problems, in fact he desires us to come to Him with them, but then we can’t stay in the doldrums forever, we have to use His Word and His awesome promises, and remember the things that He has already done for us to raise our spirits, so that the enemy won’t be able to keep us down, because he knows that the joy of our Lord is our strength. (Neh. 8:10) 

Once we aren’t joyful, he can easily have his way with us. So today my brethren, let’s start praising and glorifying and exalting our great God nuh, despite the many tough situations we face, because that’s the only way we will ever come out of them successfully and do Jesus’ work with diligence and excellence! Much LOVE!

…our problems can be surmounted…by sincerely praising God…

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