Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 June 2022   1 Corinthians 9:25a.

1 Corinthians 9:25a.      And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate in all things (has self-control). 

Once more Monday has rolled around friends, as it tends to do every seven days, (smile) but let’s hope that this one isn’t too rough because of the lingering effects of yesterday’s Father’s Day celebrations. I know that many of us used it as an excuse to over-indulge in food and drink and general merriment. And it’s not a crime to indulge, as Cousin Sol says in Ecclesiastes. ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (heritage).’ (Eccl. 5:18)  

Yes friends, eating and drinking and enjoying the fruit of our labour is a God-given heritage, the problem though is over-indulgence in those activities. What we need is moderation in those things that are righteous…not moderation in all things, as some people claim. I like how this commentator writing on the biblereasons.com website puts it: ‘Have you ever heard someone say moderation in all things? If you have, I want you to know it’s false. When talking about moderation we must also remember the word abstinence. There are some things you just can’t do.’ 

And that’s the living truth. You can’t do all the sinful things in moderation and think that’s right. And as the commentator continues: ‘You must have self-control with everything and the Holy Spirit, which lives in Christians will help you. Thank God that we have the ability to do things that some can’t, but be on guard when shopping, watching TV, surfing the internet, drinking caffeine etc. Don’t be obsessed with anything in your life, except for the Lord. Don’t put a stumbling block in front of other believers. Without moderation you can easily fall into sin. Be careful because Satan does all he can to try to tempt us. Do all things for the glory of God.’ 

Now we should indeed do all things for God’s glory, but to tell the truth, I don’t even think we should be obsessed with God, because the word has an inherent negative quality, one clouded with fear, like a phobia or a mania, and it continually intrudes on your thinking so that you can’t think on anything else clearly. But, if however, there is one thing or person we should be obsessed with, it is indeed our heavenly Father. (smile) 

Anyway, we ought to do as Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Philippi. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request 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) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, we Christians should be known for our moderation, that’s graciousness and reasonableness. And if we are at peace with our fellow believers and rejoice always, then we ought to be gracious and reasonable people. And furthermore, we’ll have the peace of God, a divine tranquility enveloping our lives, where fear and worry don’t intrude. Then Bruh Paul goes on to give the Philippians some practical applications to help them in achieving those outcomes. 

He says: ‘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. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phill.4:8-9) 

Now, we can’t say we don’t know what things to think on my people, (smile) especially if we truly desire the divine peace of God to be safeguarding our hearts and minds. And we can’t leave out these passages of scripture when talking about moderation, which includes a healthy dose of self-control. Bruh Paul writes thus in his first epistle to the church at Corinth. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain. 

And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for the prize) is temperate in all things (has self-control). Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (imperishable). I therefore so run, not as uncertainly: so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified)’ (1 Cor. 9:24-27) 

And that last verse there is ever so important for preachers and teachers; meaning that every day I have to consider what I do and say, lest after teaching others the word, I don’t have the self-discipline to run a strong race and fight a good fight, and get disqualified, herded with the goats and not the sheep. Now, having learned all of that, (smile) it’s time for us to put it into action. And the first line of action is always prayer. So, let’s go to the throne of grace in confident humility, and, with supplication and thanksgiving, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, lay our requests before the Lord. 

Altogether now: ‘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!’ 

And what do we do after making our requests known to God in prayer? We keep our promises and wait expectantly and eagerly in faith for Him to answer…in His own time! Much LOVE!

…heaven on earth is possible…if we will just use the tools God’s given us… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 April 2022 John 14:1.

John 14:1.        Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Only two more weeks to Easter friends! That most important and miraculous time in the Christian calendar, which reminds us of the real event two thousand years ago, when on Good Friday, Christ shed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary to atone for our sins, then three days later, on that first Easter Sunday, rose triumphantly from the grave to ensure our own rising from the grave after death! 

Now why would anyone choose not to treasure those two marvellous happenings deep in their hearts and souls, and consequently bow down and worship Jesus for His unfailing LOVE and faithfulness eh? It certainly boggles my imagination. But I guess many of us feel that since Christ did all of that, living for Him should be nice and easy, like a Sunday evening stroll in the park. But the reality is totally different from that because in the world we will have trials and tribulations whether we want them or not, like Jesus assured us in John 16:33. 

And also, when you live for Jesus, the enemy comes against you even more than normal, so you can never have a problem free life on this earth. However, as Jesus says in that same verse about tribulation, we should be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. And though being of good cheer despite our problems is possible with Christ’s help, it’s not always easy to do. 

So, on this second Sunday before Easter, we are going to open our worship with a song that talks about the good and bad, the ups and downs of life, and how we can handle them in a Christ-like manner. The song was written By Tracy Dartt and made famous by American Gospel singer Lynda Randle. It’s titled ‘God on the Mountain’ Let’s sing a sweet, soulful, heartfelt version, that will remind us of the faith, trust and surrender we need to commit to our wonderful God. And I want to begin with the soul-searching chorus. (smile) 

So let’s raise those sacrifices of praise heavenward: ‘[Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night}Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known But when things change and you’re down in the valley Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone [Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night}

We talk of faith when we’re up on the mountain But talk comes so easy when life’s at its best But in the valley of trials and temptations That’s when faith is really put to the test [Chorus: And the God on the mountain is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night…Yes… the God of the good times is still God in the bad times The God of the day is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night…’ 

And is that ever so true friends; our God is the One and Only True Living God in Existence, and He rules the day and night, as well as the good and bad times. And please don’t ask me why some negative things happen, if God is so good and great, because I don’t know. Furthermore, I’ve stopped searching for answers because I’ve realized that God doesn’t tell us everything, and even if He did, we would possibly not understand it, since His thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. (Is. 55:8-9) 

I’ve decided to do as He asks; trust in Him and surrender my life to His omnipotent and compassionate will. And I’ve found that works quite well despite all the ups and downs and good and bad times that make up my life. It’s the only way to have peace on earth my brethren. Because as the song so truthfully points out, it’s easy to talk a big talk when you are on the mountaintop and things are going good. But yuh better believe that it’s a completely different story when you end up in the valley and life is just having a good ole time knocking you around. 

To overcome, faith and trust have to become paramount in our lives. And the first thing this entails is changing our thinking, transforming our minds, as Bruh Paul says in Rom. 12:2, for the mind is the battlefield on which all none physical battles are fought. So we have to stop thinking like the world does and start thinking like Christ says we ought to. And we can’t find a better scripture to light up our valley days than these awesome words of Bruh David from Psalm 23 – the Lord is my shepherd, when he confidently declares: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:4) 

Yes friends, only with that kind of confident faith will we ever survive the valley days, and hopefully make it back to the top of the mountain. And we all know that though Bruh David was Israel’s mightiest king, He suffered many ups and down, both through his mistakes and the normal problems that life bring, but he never stopped trusting in the God of his forefathers, and God rewarded him very highly for it. And here’s another verse from Bruh David we need to have stored up in our treasure chest of scriptures for those hard times. ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’ (Ps. 34:19) 

Now, if you can believe that, you’re on your way! And I just LOVE this scripture when the Lord made Joshua the leader of the Israelites after Moses death. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) Now that’s telling him! And that’s the fourth time the Lord told him as much in five consecutive verses (Josh. 1:6-9). And He’s saying the same thing to us in these trying times my people: have faith in me, trust in me, I LOVE you and will not let you down. If I sent my only Son Jesus to die for you, why wouldn’t I help you in other things? 

But we have to believe. Jesus was always telling people to believe. Like He said to the disciples: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ John (14:1) And you can look up the many times He said the same thing to others. It’s all a question of belief in Jesus Christ. the Son of God! 

And we’ll end with this practical quote from Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 4:6-7). Now, it could not be put any simpler or more practically than that my fellow saints.  It then behooves us to action those sentiments if we want to make it through both the mountain top and the valley of the shadow of death. Much LOVE!

…we already have all the tools for Christian living…we’re just not using them…     

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 March 2022 Isaiah 26:3.

Isaiah 26:3.     Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee, because he trusteth in thee. 

Now is it ever bright and sunshiny this Ash Wednesday morning! We could not ask for anything better…well, perhaps no snow on the banks, (smile) although we expect some warmer temps and rain in the next couple of days, which hopefully will melt and wash most of it away. Brother, I’ve never seen such a confused mixture of snow and rain in a winter season yet. But if that’s the way Mother Nature chooses to behave these days, then there’s nothing much we can do, except grin and bear it. 

Anyway, all the frolic, the carnival and bacchanal is done now, and it’s time to get serious about life and about Jesus. The Lenten Season is here, which means a time of praying, fasting, studying God’s word, being more generous and treating each other better! And I guess the Lord knew why He had me ask yesterday about the keeping of our New Year’s resolution, because all those things back there are an integral part of not only Lent, but also of getting closer, becoming involved in a deeper and more intimate relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And do we ever desperately need that in this ungodly, strife-filled, angry and greedy world! And I just saw a scripture that admirably describes our current plight. The prophet Isaiah said of his people Israel in his hymn of praise, a prophecy of the redemption song that will be sung in the Millennial Kingdom, when Christ finally comes to reign for a thousand years. ‘O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us, but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.’ (Is. 26:13) 

And is that ever the gospel truth my people! We have allowed the evil and wicked idols and images to capture our lives and turn us away from the One and Only True God Jehovah! That’s why our lives and our world is in such a terrible mess. But as Isaiah continues: ‘They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore thou hast visited (punished) and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.’ (Is. 26:14) 

Yes friends, the Lord is the process of destroying the false gods and evildoers. He began with the coming of Jesus, that first time two thousand years ago, where He was the first and only deity to die and rise from the grave, and live forever. And the Lord will continue that cleansing of evil from His world with the Second Coming of Christ. And though we might desire the evil and iniquity workers to be gone immediately, in God’s divine wisdom, He’s made it a long, drawn out process, and we can only do as He directs, and trust in His promises and faithfulness. 

And to encourage his people, as well as subsequent believers, Isaiah, in the early part of his hymn of praise, also made this promise on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.’ (Is. 26:3-4) 

Oh my fellow saints, the Lord God Jehovah is indeed our ‘Rock of Ages,’ upon whom we ought to place all our trust and faith, to whom we surrender ourselves completely, to live for His Son Jesus, so that we can be amongst those singing that redemption song in the Millennial Kingdom, helping to run it with Jesus. 

And the scholars offer some interesting explanations of those verses. They say that ‘the emphatic expression in the promise of perfect peace (shalom), indicates a peace that goes beyond human comprehension (cf. Phil. 4:7). To have one’s mind…stayed means to lean on God in total confidence and security. Trust is the ultimate expression of that confidence. Notice that the object of one’s faith is as important as the act of trust. Here the object of faith is the Lord Jehovah.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, it’s equally important not only that we trust, but also in whom we trust. And if we want to end up in the Millennial Kingdom and see that perfect peace, we need to trust in Jehovah God, and Him ONLY, because He is the ONLY ONE that can provide the shalom we all claim to seek. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul as he spoke to the church at Philippi. ‘Be careful 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. 4:6-7) 

That says it all friends! If we need that perfect peace, that shalom, then the only way to get it is to believe in, surrender to, live for, and trust in Christ Jesus! Otherwise we will always be filled with doubt, distrust and turmoil. And there’s absolutely no doubt that right now we desperately need the peace of Jesus, that passeth all understanding, since none of us can really understand the myriad of sad and unbelievable things that are currently happening in our world. Let me say it once more: It’s only through belief and trust in Christ Jesus that we will ever find some semblance of true peace in this evil world. 

And Jesus said it so clearly on two occasions during His earthly sojourn: The first one goes thus: ‘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) So you clearly see that the peace found in Jesus Christ is not anything like the peace supposedly found in the world. It’s a spiritual kind of peace that operates at a much higher level than that of the world. 

And in the second passage Jesus says: ‘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) Now it’s up to us to believe that God is real and that His promises are faithful! And for those of us who believe that God is real, because we can feel Him deep in our soul, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeah!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong 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 as always, we need to remember that if we endure to the end, that that future with Jesus will be even more glorious than we ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…shalom…shalom…the perfect peace…that’s only found in Jesus… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 January 2022   2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.      For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.

Oh friends, our God is so good and thoughtful that over the last few days He’s opened each day with bright sunshine to help those of us who might be feeling down because of the inclement weather or suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Praise His holy name! And thus, in conjunction with the light and life that Jesus brings, believers should have no problems adjusting to whatever comes against them in these turbulent times.

For just as the prophet Isaiah declared the Lord’s LOVE to the people of Israel, that same LOVE also applies to us right now. And Isaiah’s reassuring message was as follows: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17)

Now, add to that, Bruh Paul’s message to the church at Rome, where he declares: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) Brother! Does all of that ever provide an airtight cushion of LOVE to protect us from the enemy’s assaults. And all God’s children gave a grateful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the children of men!’

And to further encourage us, Bruh Paul continues his message by saying: ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:38-39)

And that should come as no surprise to us my fellow believers since Bruh Paul also told the Ephesians: ‘And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) That means once we receive Christ as Saviour and His Spirit comes to dwell within us, then we are sealed as belonging to Him, and no one can break that seal.

So there is no real reason to fear anything that comes against us in this life. Yes, we must be careful and concerned, and some fear will always come upon us when life surprises us, but lasting fear should not ever be numbered amongst our many attributes. That brings us to this other most encouraging scripture, more words of Bruh Paul, this time to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7)

And that’s the gospel truth friends! Through Christ Jesus we have received all the tools we need to run this race of earthly glory in His mighty name! And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then hopefully, you will believe Jesus, when He says: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27)

But some of you remark, that’s all well and good for Him to say so, but how do we do that in real life? Well, I believe if you follow Bruh Paul’s recipe to the Philippians you can certainly accomplish it. Listen up as he details it. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (He is coming back soon and He is always spiritually near).

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) And there you have it my brethren; the way to find the peace of God in this unpeaceful world!

Now, that’s not always easy to do, especially with the evil and ungodly world doing their best to derail our good intentions. Meaning, it only comes through experience, in other words, through plenty practice and perseverance. (smile) But when we continually rejoice, are gracious, thankful and prayerful, with the wonderful fruit of the Spirit thriving in us and manifesting itself in our lives, then obtaining that peace of God should not be a problem.

And on top of all that, our God is so wonderful that He’s also bestowed numerous blessings on those who choose to sincerely follow His will and do His bidding. We call them our Thursday Blessings. And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been declared, let’s go home declaring (yeah!!!) them right now nuh, so that they can be put in place for godly use.

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!’ 

Now, it’s our duty to go out and share all those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! That’s His ardent desire! Much LOVE!

…fear and faith don’t mix…but only through Christ…can the latter prevail…

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   14 November 2021 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.      And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).

Well, well mih bredrin, can you believe it’s Sunday already? The last seven days have indeed passed quickly, but it’s all to the good, because we get another chance to gather on the Lord’s Day to praise, worship and give Him thanks, while He refreshes our souls and spirits, rebuilds our faith, and strengthens us to go back out and face the evil, ungodly world in the upcoming week. All praise and honour be to His holy name my people, for He richly deserves it! 

So let’s get the show on the road with our opening song, one most appropriately titled ‘God Answers Prayer,’ and sung by the Washington born young lady of Jamaican heritage, who originally went by the name of Lady Flame, but is now known as Da Flame. And as always, in scintillating, harmonious, heartfelt, soulful voice let’s raise our sacrificial praise to high heaven. 

‘Oh, If you’re ever feeling down and like you have nowhere to go. If you’re feeling like an outcast as your problems overflow, just remember there is someone, and all it takes is for you to know, is that God is the answer, and God answers prayer. (Chorus: He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. I get down on my knees, and I say Saviour help me please. Because one thing is for certain, is my God answers prayer) 

You may be broken and feel battered, but your strength will surely come, in the midst of all your heartache. Your battles are already won. Just remember in the hard times, don’t give up, don’t say you’re done, because God is the answer, and God answers prayer. (He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. I get down on my knees, and I say Saviour help me please. Because one thing is for certain, is my God answers prayer. 

Oh, He sees every weakness, every trial, every mountain and sea, and He sees every tear drop, and He wipes them for me. So let’s get down on our knees, and say, Saviour, help us please. Because one thing is for certain…our God answers prayer. Yes, let’s get down on our knees, and say, Saviour, help us please. Because one thing is for certain…our God answers prayer.’ And of that we are very sure my faithful brethren! Our great and good God answers prayer all the time, otherwise so many of us wouldn’t still be believers. 

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ Now, if we are wise, we will do exactly as the song says, take all our problems, needs and wants to God in prayer. Hopefully, He will answer most of those that fall within His will and plan for our lives, but we will never know until we try. And there are so many scriptures that extol the power of prayer that I don’t know which ones to choose. So, let’s turn to the Lord in prayer and ask Him which ones He favours today. (smile) 

And the first one He directed me came from His wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Good Book tells us: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) And that’s something Jesus did daily. Although He was the Son of God, He did not do anything without first consulting the Father. He still needed the Father’s help and guidance down here on earth. Jesus began His day with prayer. The scriptures record it thus. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

So let me ask us this nuh mih people, if the Son of God made prayer an important part of His life, who are we, a sinful creation to do otherwise eh? Nothing but a bunch of proud, arrogant and foolish men! Jesus Himself preached in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt. 7:7-8) 

And the scholars wisely inform us that ‘Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father – beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name.’ 

Yes friends, that’s how we ought to pray. And the model prayer referred to above is obviously what we now call the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ found in Matt. 6:9-15) And the part about ending in Jesus’ name comes from John 14:13-14, where He told the disciples: ‘And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ That means acting as Jesus’ agent or ambassador, doing stuff to uplift His name and church, not merely for our selfish worldly desires. 

And by the way, here’s that verse from Samuel which the scholars claim that not praying is sin. In asking Israel to serve God, Samuel said to them: ‘Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.’ (1 Sam. 12:23) And the scholars explain: ‘12:23. Despite Israel’s sin, Samuel LOVED Israel and Saul and pledged his continued help, especially in praying for them and teaching them the Lord’s standards.’ So friends, you see that not praying is not a good thing. (smile) 

Now let’s wrap up with a couple of popular scriptures on prayer that we all know but don’t practice enough. Jeremiah said on the Lord’s behalf: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer. 29:12-13) Now that’s a very important condition of prayer friends, seeking the Lord with all our heart, sincerely calling upon Him. For remember He checks our hearts before He makes any response to see if our motives are right. 

And we’ll end with this popular and all-inclusive scripture from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the church at Philippi. ‘Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) And that’s my prayer for all of this Sunday morning my faithful brethren. Much LOVE!

…pray…without ceasing… (1 Thess. 5:17)                                                                                                                         

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 October 2021 Proverbs 3:1-2.

Proverbs 3:1-2.     My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee.

Oh friends, today doesn’t seem like it’s going to be as bright and sun shiny as the last two.  Wednesday has opened somewhat dark and cloudy, but let’s hope that’s just the opening salvo of the battle and the sun will win out in the end, as light always does against darkness. (smile) The temps will be up in the low twenties again though. 

I guess we are experiencing what’s known as ‘Indian Summer,’ a warmer than normal period which can crop up during the fall season. However, I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to use that name, since everybody is up in arms about using Indian names. 

But that’s a conversation for another day. Right now we’re concerned about these marvellous words of advice from Cousin Sol as he exhorts us to obedience. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) 

Yes my people, Cousin Sol says a lot in those few words. Keeping the Lord’s commandments is key to several important things in our lives; length of days, long life and peace. Now all of us crave those things, but we can only come by them when we honour the Lord with obedience to His commandments. 

And you ask what’s the difference between ‘length of days and long life?” One commentator puts it thus: “Length of days” puts more emphasis on how long someone lives, not just breathing, but in a productive fashion. Each day is put to full use and their number will be many, for God keeps a man busy.’ 

And it’s the same thing Moses said to the Israelites so long ago: ‘All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do (be careful to observe), that ye may live, and multiply (increase in number), and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto (promised) your fathers.’ (Deut. 8:1) 

Yuh see friends, Israel’s conquering of the Promised Land depended on their keeping of the Lord’s commandments which they didn’t do, and thus wandered forty long and difficult years in the wilderness for that disobedience. Likewise, our disobedience, lack of keeping God’s commands today is causing us oodles of hardship and worry, because without Him in a most privileged position in our lives, we can’t find peace in times of trouble like we’re currently experiencing. 

But let’s leave length of days and long life alone for the moment and concentrate on peace, which so many of us are dying to have. Let’s look at some scriptures that trumpet the getting and having of peace through obedience to the Lord’s commands. This first once comes from Psalm 119, and it says: ‘Great peace have they which LOVE thy law; and nothing shall offend them (make them to stumble).’ (Ps. 119:165) That’s as plain and simple as it can get my brethren. 

And if that doesn’t touch the cockles of your heart, then listen to this scripture from Isaiah’s hymn of praise, where he confidently declares: ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on (sustained by) thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Is. 26:3) 

Now, if you think because those verses come from the Old Testament they are no longer viable, then hear these from Bruh Paul in the New Testament. ‘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.’ (Phill. 4:6-7) 

So you see, if you want the peace of God, you have to stay in the good graces of God, through prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, which simply means obeying His commandments as best you can. God’s peace will not be bestowed on us unless we sincerely honour Him in our walk of life. 

And when yuh talking about scripture verses on peace, here is the quintessential one, the one that trumps them all, straight from the mouth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In His promise to send the Holy Spirit to comfort the disciples, He tells them: ‘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) 

Now that says it all my fellow saints! The peace that Jesus gives us is nothing like what the world gives. The peace from Jesus quiets our hearts, stills our fears and anxieties even in the midst of the biggest storm, storms like what we are now going through. 

So, if you can’t find any peace in your spirit right now, I would take a look at your relationship to Jesus; see how close you are to Him, if you are studying His word, if you are keeping His commandments and what are you doing to further His kingdom. I can guarantee that if you have a close enough relationship with Him, or at least are sincerely trying, He will provide peace of mind. 

But again, as Isaiah says trust is an essential factor. If you don’t trust God to keep His promises and live your life as though you truly do, then whatever else you do is a complete waste of time. And I do hope that today’s message raises up our desire for peace so badly, that we sincerely turn to Jesus to seek it. 

Now for those of us who are already out there seeking it, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as always, let us remember that if we endure until the end, that the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine. So please hang in there my brethren! Much LOVE!

…if you’re seeking peace…then wisdom dictates…you seek it from…The Prince of Peace…Jesus Christ… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 October 2021 Philippians 4:6.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING CANADA!

Philippians 4:6.     Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. 

Oh friends, is it ever good to awaken to another day, another Monday, another Thanksgiving Monday! And all God’s people said: ‘Thanks be to God, who keeps the breath of life flowing through our earthly bodies!’ And why does He do that? Because He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, which includes enjoyment of the day. That’s why we say: ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Yes, my brethren, that’s the only way to go! 

And on this Thanksgiving Day of 2021, where life is somewhat rough, and we can’t gather as carelessly as we’d like, we ought to be thankful that we can even gather at all. Remember last year Thanksgiving Day was a most dreary time. No set of food and family and good cheer, all because of the Pandemic situation. So, there’s oodles of thanks to be given for just being able to get together more than last year. But please, please be careful. This thing is not over yet – far from it – and we still need to take as many precautions as possible to minimize further problems. 

And to show our gratitude for that improvement, let’s intone the opening verses of Psalm 105, subtitled – God’s wondrous works in behalf of Israel. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek ye the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.’ (Ps. 105:1-4) 

Now I am sure if we were doing that as much as we ought to, we would not be having half as many problems as we do! I am convinced that many of our problems stem from the fact that we don’t reverence and appreciate our Creator as we should. But this Thanksgiving time is the right occasion for us to turn back to Him, remembering all that He has done for us, and has promised to do. 

In the marvellous words of Bruh David: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) And are we ever so glad that this Thanksgiving we have sufficient food to eat. But having said that, let’s not forget there are many of our fellow brethren out there who don’t have enough, possible nothing at all to eat, and it’s our bounden duty to provide for them as best we can. 

That recalls the glorious day when many of the children of Israel heard the word of the Lord for the first time as it was read to them, by Ezra and his associates. Then Nehemiah, the Governor, said unto them: ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 1:8) 

And is it ever my fellow saints! That’s why the enemy does his best to steal our joy. He knows when he gets us sad and downcast, it’s much easier to have us do his evil bidding. But not today mih bredrin, for today is a day of exceeding joy, and a time to remember our biggest blessing, our greatest gift and benefit. Like Bruh David said: ‘who redeemeth thy life from destruction.’ And yes friends, God’s greatest gift, His biggest benefit is that of freedom from the bondage of sin, of salvation through His free gift of grace, earned through the finished work of Christ. 

As Jesus puts it: ‘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) Glory be my fellow believers! If we are not thankful for anything else, we should be exceedingly thankful for that, because it’s nothing that we earned, or could ever earn, but though God’s infinite grace and mercy, it was bestowed upon us. And all we have to do is to believe in His Son! But so many of us stubbornly refuse to do it because of foolish pride and belief in the world’s evil systems. But there will be consequences for that stubbornness. 

And let’s not think that just because we call today Thanksgiving Day, that this is the only day we should give thanks. Absolutely not! Bruh Paul reminds us of that in his epistle to the church at Philippi, when he says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request 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 fellow believers, we wonder why we don’t have peace? Well, the answer is right there. We don’t take our requests to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. And there’s no better time than right now, for us to get wise and do just that. So, in sincere prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let’s make our requests known to Almighty God through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one now: ‘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, let’s go and keep the promises we just made, if we want to see positive answers to our prayers and supplications with thanksgiving. Much LOVE!

..in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess. 5:17)                                                                                                         

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2020 Matthew 5:48.

Matthew 5:48.     ​Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

So it’s Saturday; that lazy, slouchy day again! And do I ever want to laze and slouch about… But it’s just not possible right now, cause I have the Lord’s work to do, and we can’t afford to laze and slouch when God’s work needs to be done! Amen! The problem though is that we talk a good talk about doing God’s work, but half the time that’s all we do; talk! If there was more truly Christian action from supposed believers, our world would certainly not be in the mess that it’s currently in. 

So why don’t we stop talking and start doing eh? As James says, ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:22) Yes friends, only by showing our faith through our works will our world get out of the turbulence and calamity in which it’s now engulfed. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now it’s time to check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And yes, the preface is still there: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content,’ but that’s the only time we will write it. And please remember that you can ONLY do those things contained therein if Jesus Christ is truly your Lord and Saviour! 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I’m worthy of respect and acceptance.’ And that’s the God awesome truth my brethren! All God’s children, all His creation is worthy of acceptance and respect, for we are made in His image, with the breath of His life flowing through us and His Holy Spirit indwelling us! So how can we not be worthy of respect and acceptance eh? 

So please, let’s put all the tomfoolery about race, religion, power, wealth and all the other negative stuff we use to disrespect and refuse acceptance to each other aside so that our world could be a better place nuh. I don’t know how we can ever think that our world will be a better place with all that nonsense so prevalent and destructive in it. 

The next quote tells us: ‘I can absolutely do anything I put my mind to.’ Now that’s definitely not true, for as a mere mortal, who perishes like the grass in the noon day sun, you cannot do anything you set your mind to because of your own strength. However, if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you can do anything, through Christ who strengthens you.’ (Phil. 4:13) Glory be! Can you move a mountain in your own strength? Certainly not! But with Christ in your corner, you can, because as the Creator and Controller of this universe, ALL things are possible through Him! Wow! 

And don’t forget too, this special statement Christ made the last time He visited us in human form: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now that’s certainly telling it like it is! And having said that, this next quote should follow on from it: ‘My life becomes richer as I get older.’ 

Yes friends, as we get older and deeper in Jesus, our lives ought to get richer, not necessarily in money and earthly wealth, but in bearing good fruit for Christ, for as he says above, if we consistently hang out with Him, we will bear much good fruit. And He has no cause to lie about that. So yes, as we increase in age, with Christ in our lives, we get wiser and more peaceful and relaxed, less anxious and all those good things. The cares of the world don’t trouble us as much, for we have reached a stage where we can accept Christ’s truth in a practical manner in our lives. 

‘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) Now how can we have good cheer when our world is falling apart? Again because of these awesome words of Jesus: ‘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 14:33) And you’re wondering how you can ever do that with the wicked storms that are continuously howling around you? 

Simple. Because you have the peace of God working in and through you. ‘The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Yes, the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard us. Oh, how wonderful it is to experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand! But that only comes with age and maturity in the faith. Now, when we can accept all of that without necessarily understanding it all, then the last two quotes become even more important. ‘I make a significant difference to the lives of people around me,’ and ‘My contributions to the world are valuable.’ 

Ah mih bredrin…how I wish that I could truthfully say that we are all making significant differences, or rather positive significant differences to the lives of the people around us, because too many of us, including believers are making no difference, or instead negative differences that are causing more harm than is necessary. Yes, many of us are doing much worthwhile work, making plenty positive significant differences, but the truth of the matter is that it’s just not enough! Way too many of our fellow men are suffering either because of our many evil, inhumane thoughts and actions, or because of not enough compassionate and merciful ones. 

Precious people, there is only ONE way for us to climb out of the disgusting and life destroying mire in which we’re now engulfed, and that’s through LOVE! It’s the only way! We must learn to LOVE even our enemies. Let’s listen as our Lord and Saviour puts it in its proper perspective nuh. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. 

That ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:43-48) 

And that’s it in a nutshell! (smile) Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible with Christ helping us. And as the scholars explain, ‘perfect here doesn’t mean sinless perfection, but “complete,” that is possessing a complete LOVE that, like God’s (vs. 45), embraces those who LOVE you as well as those who do not.’ I guess the best all-round definition and/or summation would be Jesus’ words which we characterize as the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…’ (Matt. 7:12a) Much LOVE!

…LOVE in action is tough…but when times get tough…the tough (Christians) get going… 

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… 

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