Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 September 2021 Mark 11:22.

Mark 11:22.     Have faith in God.

Then it was Saturday…and life keeps moving on regardless! Yes friends, despite what we say, do or think, life is moving on, and it will move on, because that’s what it was programmed to do by its omnipotent Creator. And until He decides that it’s time to curtail life, there’s nothing the creation can do to thwart it. So, having made that indisputable fact clear, (smile) let’s go out then and enjoy life nuh, live life to the full, live it abundantly, as Christ Jesus died to have us do. For there’s no sense in trying to change or disrupt stuff over which we have no power. 

That means letting go of all our worries, anxieties and negative circumstances. We claim to have faith in the One and Only God Jehovah, and in His Son Jesus Christ, who can enable us to do anything, so please, let’s show more of that faith in our everyday lives nuh. Otherwise, we are making ourselves liars, for in these greatly troubled times, great faith in Almighty God is an absolute necessity. So, as life moves on, let’s move on too, and see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. Help me to wrap my head around them and make some sense of them. (smile) 

And the first one says: ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’ I guess that’s basically true. You can’t make progress unless you change up stuff in your life, and it sounds logical that if you can’t change your mind you will never change anything, since change begins and ends in the mind. It’s the control centre of our life. But friends, a serious word of caution here, do all the changing you want, but please don’t ever change your mind about believing in Christ Jesus! For without Him, we are nothing! 

And I guess our friend Anselm was on a faith kick this week, because all the other quotes deal with some aspect of faith. So hear this one: ‘Make a space in your life for the glorious things you deserve. Have faith.’ Now I don’t know how much we deserve, if anything, but the Good Lord does shower us with glorious stuff, and we do need faith to believe that He will continue doing so. Remember that several times Jesus chided those around Him for having little or no faith, and after cursing the fig tree that had leaves but no fruit, He told the disciples: ‘Have faith in God.’ (Mark 11:22) 

But what exactly is faith eh? I found this simple but interesting definition on the pushpay.com/blog website by commentator Allison Sakounthong. She says that ‘Put simply, faith is believing in God and trusting in His plan, even when you don’t understand it and can’t see it. As it applies to our life, however, faith is about more than just a feeling, it’s about living it. We live our faith through obedience to God and acts of service.’ And I think that’s as simple as you can put it. It’s all about believing in God and living for Him, with great expectations of good things in our future. 

That’s segues very nicely into this next quote. ‘Patience is not the ability to wait. Patience is to be calm no matter what happens, constantly take action to turn it to positive growth opportunities, and have faith to believe that it will all work out in the end while you are waiting.’ Now that’s all true, but again we have to transfer it to faith and belief in God, since there are a lot of things we cannot make happen on our own, but remember what Jesus said about the camel going through the eye of a needle, as opposed to a rich man entering the kingdom of God? ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

That’s what we need to believe, with absolutely no doubt whatsoever in our souls, and spirit! Otherwise we will always be lacking something, or even shortchanging ourselves, for it takes great faith to live sincerely for Jesus. Just check out the lives of the great saints before us, like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, and our three Bruhs, Joseph, David and Pablo. (smile) And I guess most of you didn’t know that Joseph was a Bruh eh, because I don’t talk about him much. But to be truthful, I believe he was an even bigger example of patience and perseverance than Job. Just look at all he went through as a teenager; from slavery, to prison, in complete innocence. 

But you’ll notice that he never whined or complained about his unfair treatment, and that wherever he was, be it in Potiphar’s house, or in prison, the Good Book tells us that ‘the Lord was with Joseph…’ (Gen. 39:2, 22) Yes my people, Bruh Joseph had a dream of great things from God, but the way it actually played out in his life seemed very contrary to the promise. But he never gave up, he stuck it out without complaints, possibly sensing deep down that there was a good and godly reason for all his unwarranted hardship. 

And that’s what faith in God means: to stand strong and steadfast in your belief, and keep being godly, although the reality of the situation doesn’t match up with your dream. For God doesn’t move us to high positions unless we go through the low ones faithfully. That brings us to this next quote. ‘Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we must trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.’ 

Ah mih people, that’s the contrariness of our great God! Sorry, ‘contrariness’ is not the best word nuh, but I just couldn’t think of it at the time of writing. (smile) I basically mean that sometimes God allows us to go through hardship without any explicit reason, but then He also blesses us with beautiful things, also without any explicit reason. But if we truly know who He is, and how He operates, then those unexpected storms or beautiful sunsets won’t bother us, we’ll take them in stride, knowing that He has a good reason and purpose behind all He does, and as He has faithfully promised, eventually He will work it all out for our good. 

Then there’s this last quote. ‘Believe in a LOVE that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this LOVE there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.’ Oh my fellow saints, we know about that LOVE! We’re talking there about the greatest LOVE EVER! That of our wonderful God for us: The Good Book tells it plainly: ‘But God commendeth (showed) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) 

Now how can ever be a LOVE greater than a Father sending a Son to die for ungrateful, disloyal and disobedient people eh? No way! And though that LOVE is visible right now in our earthly lives, it’s also stored up in heaven for us, as Peter tells us. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-5) 

Oh friends, there’s nothing else I can say nuh, except to rally us to the cross of Jesus, for that is where it all begins and ends! And if you don’t come to foot of that wooden cross at some stage of your earthly life, to lay your burdens down and receive Christ, as Lord and Saviour, then your life would have been a total waste! Much LOVE!

…if God could display so much LOVE…mankind ought to display much more faith…                                                                                                      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2016 Psalm 66:16.

Psalm 66:16.    Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and at last we received a decent shower of rain, which the dry and thirsty land lapped up like there was no tomorrow. And who knows if there will a tomorrow, the way the world is currently going? 

But one thing is sure and certain…or rather two things are certain; God is on His throne in heaven letting His awesome plan for the world play out until Jesus is ready to come back again. And return He will because He promised it! 

So with the Father running things, Jesus waiting in the wings to ride the clouds in heavenly splendour when the trump blows, and the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every believer, there’s nothing really for Christians to fear in these rather tempestuous times. So please, let us stand strong in our faith and do our duty as prescribed by Christ. 

In the meanwhile, listen to this quote from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us with his wise words. And it declares: ‘If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.’ 

More words of wisdom and truth friends; based on the psychological premise that generally speaking, you become whom or what you think about. That means our thoughts play an extremely important function in our lives; if we think negatively we’ll be overtaken by a lot of negative stuff. However, a positive, faith filled mind can work wonders in our everyday lives. 

And you couldn’t have a more positive thinker than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now please don’t confuse His words, His teachings, which are very positive, with His unfortunate, negative demise. He came to earth to be our holy, sinless sacrifice, so the negativity that He encountered was not a result of negative thinking, but of the Father’s awesome plan to redeem us from sin. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.’ And believe me friends, our wonderful God has done lots of things for our souls; some we appreciate, some we take for granted, but the Lord in His faithfulness is still doing stuff for us. 

And today we’ll look at the story, the testimony of how God took care of the soul of a man who truly reverenced Jehovah God. We’re talking about Bruh Joseph. We know how his father Jacob favoured him over his older brothers, gave him a coat of many colours, and how the brothers disliked him, especially after he told them his dream about them bowing down before him. (Gen.37.5-11) 

We also know how they hatched a plot of get rid of him, selling him into slavery, then telling their father Jacob that his favourite son had been killed by a wild animal. But little did they know the ultimate plan of God, how their deceit and lies would play a big part later on in their lives. Now when Bruh Joseph was brought to Egypt, he was sold to one Potiphar, an officer in Pharaoh’s guards. 

And the Good Book tells us: ‘And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous (successful) man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand (to be successful). And Joseph found grace (favour) in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand (care). 

And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand (care); and he knew not aught (anything) he had, save (except) the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person (handsome in form and appearance) and well-favoured’ (Gen.39:2-6) 

But sadly, that same handsomeness was his downfall. The master’s wife took a liking to Him, and when he refused her advances she cried rape. Poor Potiphar had no recourse but to throw him in prison. But there again ‘the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy (LOVING-kindness), and gave him and gave him favour (caused him to be viewed with favour) in the sight of the keeper of the prisoner.’ (Gen.39:21) 

Soon thereafter Bruh Joseph was running the prison and the prison keeper had no worries because the Lord caused everything that Bruh Joseph touched to prosper.  And in the Lord’s mysterious working, Pharaoh threw his baker and butler in to Bruh Joseph’s prison, and while there he interpreted dreams for them. The baker was beheaded and the butler returned to his former position. 

But as often happens the butler forgot the promise he made to Bruh Joseph to help get him out of jail, until two years later when Pharaoh dreamed a dream that none of his magicians could decipher. Then the butler remembered Bruh Joseph and Pharaoh sent for him. And the rest is history. He interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was made Prime Minister of the country, second in power only to Pharaoh himself. 

And the purpose of all Bruh Joseph’s troubles? To strengthen him and prepare him for that role, and to place him in a position to help the same family of brothers who had sold him into slavery, in a time of terrible famine. Please note friends, that all during Bruh Joseph’s trials and tribulations he never behaved disreputably and stayed totally in faith. 

Obviously it would not have been easy for a teenager in a foreign land as a slave, but because of his faithfulness the Lord caused others to show him favour. It took him something like thirteen years to reach the pinnacle that Lord had made for him. 

And I want to end with these immortal words he spoke when he finally accosted his family. ‘But as for you, ye thought (intended) evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people.’ (Gen.50:20) 

Yes my people, many times we find ourselves in undeserved situations and can’t figure out why. But the secret to success in those situations is to simply stay in faith, for we know not what the Lord’s plans are. It might not be easy to do so, but it would surely be the wisest course of action. Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…faith must be strengthened to overcome them…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2016 Deuteronomy 28:3‏

Deuteronomy 28:3.   Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

Oh friends, it seems like it’s going to be a wet day in my neck of the woods. At least that’s how it’s begun. We had a wicked thunderstorm this morning around one o’clock. Brother! The thunder and lightning and the lashing rain were certainly out for a good run. (smile) 

I was sitting down in the family room watching the tube at the time and all I could see were the bright flashes of lightning behind the blinds, as the thunder rolled and the rain beat down. 

But it’s a good thing that we Christians are associated with the ONE who has control of the weather, Almighty God. He blesses us, so we don’t have to worry about it affecting us, unless we unwisely do something to cause a negative circumstance. 

Oh, and by the way, did we count our many blessings as we awoke this morning, to remind us of what blessed lives we live? I certainly hope so, because that lifts our spirits, encourages us to stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to the Father by way of Jesus! 

Anyway, here is a poem from our One Day Book of Bible verses with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Rivers and Rivers.’ 

And it says: ‘O my Father My heart longs for you! Fill me to capacity with your spirit…No, Father, I’m sorry – That’s not sufficient. Fill me to overflowing with your Spirit And then increase my capacity That there might still be more overflow. 

Out of my life May there flow rivers And rivers Of Living Water Bringing relief, release And exhilarating refreshment To a bruised and broken world Where thirst can never be quenched Apart from you.’  

What a noble prayer my people! Do we ever pray along those lines, asking to be vessels of Living Water to a broken world? It would definitely be a nice gesture. 

And the scripture passage on which that poem is based is Christ’s clarion call: ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

And that’s where we’re supposed to be at my brethren; the stage of belief where rivers of the living water is jut pouring out of us on to the broken and needy around us. So let’s ponder some on that today nuh, see how we’re doing along those lines and with God’s help try and improve it. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s do something else that ought also to raise our spirits and encourage us to keep on keeping on with Christ. Today’s Thursday – as least I believe so – (smile) that means we need to declare our Thursday Blessing over our lives. 

So with expectant belief and hungry hope let’s declare them in strong voice. ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, please remember that a blessing is not a blessing until it has been vocalized over someone, and we must also bless our friends and families and those around us, so that their spirits can be lifted and encouraged. 

And our rather appropriate Bit just strengthens our argument. ‘Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.’ 

Yes friends, if we are obedient to God’s Word, then the blessings of obedience will flow down on us, run us down and overtake us! Glory to God! But we have to first get the ball rolling for that to happen. 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures that enhance our position. And the first one deals with Bruh Joseph when he was sold into slavery and bought by the Egyptian army officer Potiphar. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous (successful) man: and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace (favour) in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put in his hand. 

And it came to pass from the time that he made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.’ (Gen.39:2-5) 

Yes my fellow believers, the Lord blessed Joseph wherever he went, into what ever negative situation he found himself, because he never complained, just tried his best to be obedient to God’s word. Now can that be said of us? It would certainly help us all. 

And we’ll conclude with these words from Psalm 128 – The rewards of faithfulness. ‘Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands (fruit of thy labour): happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. 

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of (in the heart of) thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.’ (Ps.128:1-4) 

Friends, I can’t say it any better than that. I can only encourage us to do as it says, if we want to be blessed. Much LOVE!

…obedience brings blessings…it’s as simple as that…