Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2021 Luke 18:42.

Luke 18:42.     ​And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

Morning mih bredrin – and afternoon to some of you! (smile) And I do hope that we’re all thankful for the grace and mercy of God to allow us to see another day, rough and tumble though it may be, and that we all gave Him thanks for so doing. And this life is certainly interesting yes! Have you ever noticed that whenever you’re late, behind schedule in something, that something else always crops up to further delay you? 

Well that happened to me this morning. I was up a tad late, had a couple things to do before I began writing, then when I finally got here, the ole computer, well it’s fairly new, decided that it had a whole lot of updates to do, then restart, before I could get to doing my business. Steups! 

And have you ever noticed too that the computer only breaks down when you truly need it? (smile) But I guess them’s the breaks. You have to pay the price for the convenience of now for now action! And why do we keep trusting these man-made machines eh? I guess it’s because we have faith in them. A lot of people trust their smartphones more than they trust Jesus! 

That’s foolish, but unfortunately it’s true. They would never leave their homes without that tiny piece of equipment, but how many thousands, millions, or even billions, leave home every day without Jesus eh? Who don’t even know Him, much less consider Him important in their lives? 

Ah mih friends, it’s so sad that we trust, have faith in a whole lot of man-made things, but don’t trust, or have any faith in the very ONE who made us, the universe, and all therein! And then you ask, why you should not trust man-made things you see, but a God whom you cannot see? Isn’t it logical to believe what you see, and not what you cannot see? 

I grant that position, but that’s in the man-made world, but in God’s divine economy, seeing is not believing, not seeing, but believing is the dominant force. As Jesus told His doubting disciple Thomas: ‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: but blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:29) That’s the whole crux of the matter my people; believing in Jesus through faith, yet never having seen Him in living colour! 

And some of you might ask, what’s this faith business eh? The Good Book tells us that ‘faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith is eagerly expecting something you haven’t seen, and waiting patiently for it. Just like we wait, ofttimes impatiently, but with lots of eagerness, to see what presents we have under the Christmas tree. (smile) 

We haven’t seen Jesus, but we know that He came to earth on a Christmas day long ago, grew up here on earth, died, was buried, rose again, then ascended into heaven, and will come back to earth again as He has faithfully promised! Now yes, that might be a stretch for many of us to believe, but if we start believing, Jesus will divinely show up in our lives and prove to us that He is indeed who He claims to be. 

And that’s where that thing called faith, comes in my brethren; you have to believe in Him, before you can see Him. And we have an excellent example of not seeing but believing in the story of the blind man, Bartimaeus who sat in the Jericho area begging, but when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he cried out to Him, saying, ‘Jesus thou son of David, have mercy on me.’ (Luke 18:38) 

And we wonder how a blind beggar could know about Jesus and His healing capabilities eh? Well the scholars tell us that most likely by that time Jesus’ ministry had spread far and wide across the country. And the blind man’s faith is even more pronounced when those around him tell him to shut up, to ‘hold his peace; but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.’ (Luke 18:39) Yeh friends, how did that blind man know of Jesus’ Messianic status eh, which is what ‘son of David’ indicates? Who knows? But know it He did. 

Oh precious people, this next act of Jesus is so wonderful, so heartwarming, so Christlike. The Good Book tells us: ‘And Jesus stood (still, stopped), and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord that I may receive my sight.And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people when they saw it, gave praise unto God.’ (Luke 18:40-43) 

And yuh better believe, those scripture verses highlight several interesting things. First it highlights the awesome faith of the blind man, which, according to Jesus, is what really caused him to see. And how many times during Jesus’ earthly ministry did He make mention of people’s faith enabling their healing or whatever they pleaded for eh? Numerous! And yet, we still refuse to rely on our faith in Jesus, but our sight in man-made things. 

Then, most importantly, did you notice how Jesus just stopped and attended to the blindman’s needs? Oh friends, that’s one characteristic of Christ that all of us need to adapt and adopt or whatever! Jesus was never too busy to stop and attend to some person’s needs, be they rich or poor. Not so we people pleasers and social climbers! We’re always in a hurry, going nowhere fast, except when someone who can do something for us, asks for our help. But that’s not Christian-like my friends. 

The scholars explain that verse thus:‘18:40. Stood,that is, He came to a halt. Jesus’ command also serves to rebuke those who lacked compassion for the beggar. In the midst of the attempt to hear Jesus, one must take care not to be insensitive to the plight ofothers.’Oh how much better our world would be, if the insensitivity that currently chokes it was released! 

Notice too, how Bartimaeus, after he was healed, followed Jesus and glorified God. How many of us have had divine intervention in our lives and yet have not made it our avowed purpose to follow theONEwho divinely intervened eh? Too many! That’s for sure! We either take it for granted, or just don’t care. But when troubles engulf us, we quick to call out, ‘Oh God, help me nuh!’ That recalls the ten lepers that Jesus healed, and only one returned to thank Him, a Samaritan to boot, the enemy of the Jews. (Luke 17:11-19) 

And lastly, I wonder how many of those who witnessed the divine miracle that day and simultaneously praised God, continued doing so afterwards eh? My guess is not a whole lot. But time and space have run out my brethren, so let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are; let them know to whom we proudly belong! 

Altogether now: ‘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!’ 

What we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and share the amazingLOVEand friendship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!Much LOVE!

…without faith in Christ…our lives are meaningless…without real purpose… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2020 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.    ​Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
 

And life goes on in this Covid-19 season. It has to…and it will…God willing of course! And despite all the bad news, as always, there’s a li’l light at the end of the tunnel, though somewhat far away. (smile) I’m talking about the start of human trials for a vaccine to stop the deadly disease that now holds our world in a tight stranglehold. Glory be! Apparently both in China and the U.S. approval has been given to begin clinical trials on human subjects, but who knows how and when that will prove successful. 

Oh yes, we will defeat the virus eventually, we have to believe that, otherwise all our other efforts will be in vain. The problem though is when will that happen, and how many lives would have been lost and irreparable damage done to our society and economy by then? Ah my fellow believers, this is the time for us to truly show up as salt and light to our unbelieving brethren. This is the time when we have to use our incredible faith to help the world get through this evil pandemic. 

It’s one of those times when the church has got to step forward and be amongst the leading lights, especially in terms of faith. This is a significant occasion for Christians to not only talk, but more importantly walk their talk of faith. Remember Jesus’ alluding at almost all of his healings and miracles to the faith of the receivers, and how He kept accusing those who should have known better: ‘O ye of little faith.’  It wasn’t only His powers that caused the miracles but also the participants faith. 

Remember too when He healed the two blind men. He first asked them: ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this (heal you)? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged (strictly warned) them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country (land).’ (Matt. 9:28-31) 

Oh precious people of God, there are so many lessons for us in that passage of scripture in these trying times. The first being that we have to truly believe without a shred of doubt, that Jesus is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do. That’s where our faith and trust and surrender comes in. Remember, it’s according to the amount of those things we have that our lives can move from good to bad and vice-versa. Remember too, the time Jesus was teaching the disciples about forgiveness, and it was such a hard lesson – just keep on forgiving? (Luke 17:1-4) 

What happened then eh? The Good Book tells us: ‘And the disciples said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-6) Wow! That’s the awesome power of true and strong faith. 

And the scholars add this interesting explanation. ‘17:5-6. The magnitude of the command in verse 4 leads to a plea for assistance. Faith, understood here not merely in a mental sense, but also in the sense of active “faithfulness,” is the key. One’s faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience.’ And I would go even further and say, that that’s the ONLY WAY our faith ever increases! We need to step out in obedience, with whatever faith we then have, and then see God work wonderfully in our lives. And every time we do that, our faith grows! 

Right now, in these trying times friends, we faithful believers need to activate our faithfulness in whatever manner we can to keep the hope of others alive. That’s our bounden duty! We were put here in this time to do that! And that is highlighted by Jesus’ words to Simon Peter when He foretold Peter’s betrayal. ‘And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (you have turned again), strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:31-32) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, but also his transformation back to his former strong faith. And then, he was to help others boost their faith. And I guess that’s what I am now trying to do; keep our faith alive and strong…and even growing too, for remember it’s in the hard and difficult times that our faith grows! 

Now I don’t want to make this as long as yesterday, (smile) so I’ll just remind us of that wonderful chapter 11 in Hebrews; aptly called the Heroes of Faith, that tells us about many great men and women of faith. They all had problems to surmount, but they all surmounted them by FAITH in the God their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I think it will be only fitting for ALL of us to read that awesome chapter as often as we need to keep our faith strong in this time of worldwide calamity. 

And please remember that FAITH is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith is all about the good things we’re hoping for, in the Lord’s Will, that we don’t see, but are eagerly expecting them and waiting for them with patience and perseverance. And our greatest hope right now…a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus. So let’s believe that we will eventually get one, and consequently, wait patiently, earnestly, eagerly and with perseverance for it. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, as we let this primarily unbelieving world know of our enviable position in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts and plenty, plenty faith: ‘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!’ 

Oh yes friends, if we fight the good fight and remain steadfast in our faith to the end, then that future will indeed be glorious; more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…faith can move mountains…as well as molehills…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2020 Hebrews 11:1.

Hebrews 11:1.    ​FAITH: the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.
 
Now it’s Tuesday, a wet, dark day in my area. Hn! What a sudden change from the nice sunny, bright and warmish weather of the weekend! And by the way, I do hope that most of us have gotten over whatever negative effect(s) the change back from Standard to Daylight Saving Time caused on the weekend. Steups! I still don’t understand or see the reason for these time changes nuh. And besides, almost all the population are against it, for it does cause sleep and other related problems. Furthermore, a whole lot of places have either cut it out, or are now making preparations to do so. However, in our Province of Ontario there doesn’t seem to be any serious move to get rid of it, although many people complain about it. 

Personally, I don’t know if it causes me any backlash nuh, because sleep and I don’t seem to be on the same wavelength anyway. (smile) A good example of that is last evening, after having an after dinner nap, I didn’t go back to bed until three something, but by four fifteen my eyes were wide open. I got up and went to the bathroom, then by six something my eyes were wide open again, and try as I wanted, I couldn’t get back to sleep again, partly due to the aches and pains and not being able to find a comfortable contortion for my ole bod.

 Hn! Yuh think it easy? Getting on in age brings a whole lotta problems we not prepared for. (smile) Granted, some of my problems might be attributable to my hating to take  the pain pills…Steups! I’m already taking so many blooming pills for my other problems! Don’t want to turn into a pill popper anymore than I already am. (smile) So I only take the pain stuff when things get real uncomfortable. But yuh know what? With the awesome help of our magnificent and magnanimous God, we can handle anything that comes against us, for as the Good Book faithfully proclaims: ‘We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13) 

And again: ‘Our God shall supply all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And if neither of those scriptures lifted your spirits, then try this one: ‘And Jesus, looking upon them saith, with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.’ (Mark 10:27) Yes my fellow believers, that is the gospel truth in capital spades! And if you don’t believe that, then you’re wasting your time calling yourself a true believer because you are sadly lacking in faith. 

And remember what the Good Book firmly stipulates: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He truly exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) Now that is what God is all about: ‘FAITH: the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ Yes my people, sincerely coming to God is all a matter of trust and surrender and large hope, that resounds as faith. You can’t see it, but you can surely feel it. 

And Bruh Paul puts it plainly and clearly to the church at Rome, when he wrote: ‘ For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom. 8:24-25) Ah friends, what magnificent and reassuring scriptures! That’s what our faith is built on; hope that leads to perseverance and eager expectancy! But we must first believe, before we see it. That’s how it operates in God’s economy. We don’t adhere to the seeing is believing motto that the world holds on to so tightly and foolishly. 

And it’s not like we don’t have a whole host of examples of strong faith: The Good Book tells us about Noah, who was warned by God of the things to come, and having not seen any evidence of it, still believed, ‘moved with fear (reverence), prepared and ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.’ (Hebr.11:7) And yuh see what happened? Noah’s family was the only one saved when the Lord destroyed the sinful world by flood. 

Likewise Abraham, the father of our modern faith. The Lord called Him to leave his family when he was some seventy years old and go out to a land that he knew nothing about. But the Lord promised Him lots of good stuff and Abraham believed God, trusted Him impeccably, and went out, not knowing whither he went. And look at how the Lord prospered Abraham for his faith nuh. Look at Sarah his wife, who laughed when the Lord promised them a child from their own loins. Yes, it did take twenty five years, but it happened, and note when, when Abraham was a hundred and Sarah was ninety. 

Do you still think that ALL things are NOT possible with God? Look at Moses, look at Jacob, at Bruh Joseph – yes we do have a third Bruh, although we don’t talk about him as much as the other two, David and Paul. (smile) And that ofttimes hurts me, because his story is such a fascinating one, one of awesome faith and perseverance, where despite the wonderful dream promised him, time and time again, he is innocently thrown into serious adversity. But he always keeps his cool under pressure. And you’d note that wherever he went, he always found favour with his bosses, until the Lord was ready to lift him up to the second highest post in the then known world; second only to the great Pharaoh himself! 

No, it’s not easy having true faith, but as we said earlier on, through Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Father; our triune Godhead, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! But we do need to believe it first, and then live by it. And I’m chuckling here, because this wasn’t the sermon I intended to preach this morning…in fact I didn’t have any sermon in mind, (smile) but this is where I was led, and I do hope that it makes some impact on us all today, since our faith needs serious bolstering if we are to make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s camp. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful Lord and Saviour we serve! Let’s go out now and share that LOVE and friendship we have with Him, so that others can come to know Him too! Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith, hope and LOVE…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2020 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.    ​Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.
 
Well here I am, on this first Thursday in the new year, anxiously asking the Lord what I should write about today. Hn! It certainly seems like the ole fella is lacking in mental …what’s the word…I think it’s acuity – mental sharpness, this cold but somewhat sunny winter’s morn. And I seem to remember the great philosopher Plato saying something like, remember the beginning is the most important part of the work. And the beginning certainly is important, that’s why I want to begin good today. (smile) 

But I don’t know if it’s the most important part, because with Jesus, it doesn’t matter so much where we begin, but more so where we end! And on His continuum, as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘I’m not where I want to be just yet, but thank God, I’m certainly not where I used to be’ ….or something to that effect. (smile) And is that ever good news my fellow believers! 

The fact that Jesus will take us however and wherever we are, at any particular moment in time, and make us into what He desires us to be, with the long term goal of being fashioned in His unbeatable and wonderful character, which ought to lend a spark of hope to all who hear His Word and believe His awesome promises! A Bruh Paulian sentence, if there ever was one! (smile) And believe me my brethren, that just sparked a thought, obviously a God-given one, re what I should write about today. 

Yuh see God’s awesome faithfulness! One of my favourite scriptures just jumped up and became number one for today. Hear this great promise from the Lord our God, through the mouth of the prophet Zechariah when talking about Zion’s future king; a prophecy that Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday uniquely fulfilled. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what a beautiful promise! But what I like most about that scripture is the descriptive term, ‘prisoners of hope.’ It just so aptly describes what followers of Jesus ought to be; people with unending hope because He is the ‘stronghold,’ the fortress, the high tower, the fountain, the eternal source from wherein hope is spread abroad. 

Yes mih breddren, hope is the believer’s greatest treasure, since it’s the forerunner of faith. You can’t have faith without first having hope. Because as the Good Book says: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things HOPED for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) So you see faith is indeed based on hope. And  as Bruh Paul reasons in Romans: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Now that’s what separates the goats from the sheep, what shows up the true prisoners of hope! If we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said, done and promised, then with strong hope and faith, meaning endurance and perseverance, we will eagerly await His coming and the fulfillment of His awesome promises! But friends, it’s all got to begin with belief and hope that lead to an indestructible faith! No wonder we have the clichéd but oh so true statement, that while there is life, there is hope! 

Indeed there is, especially in Christ Jesus, who never turns away anybody, even when they are down to their last and dying breath! Wow! So how can we not have strong faith and indescribable hope if we claim to be true believers eh? O mih people, this new year of 2020 is calling us to be awesome prisoners of hope and faith because our world is in a very disastrous place, right on the edge of the precipice of imploding into war, darkness and hellfire! More than ever, we believers need to be the sensational salt and light of this misdirected world as Jesus declared of and still desires of us. 

The fate of our world, and thus our children’s and children’s children lives depend on our faith and hope and desire to try and set things right! There’s no denying that so far our generation hasn’t done a great job, we’ve allowed our world to keep falling to hell, like you know what in a handbasket. But as we said earlier on, while there is life there is always hope. So this morning I’m imploring, begging, bullying; yes whatever it takes, for us to get on our horses and ride; ride for Jesus sake, also for our descendants sake, for if we don’t do something in the near future, we won’t like to see what our world will come to. 

And I guess that’s the highly inflammable, important, and urgent word the Lord wanted me to pass on this morning! (smile) Let’s get serious friends, and realize the sense of immediacy, of urgency in His message, and thus get totally and seriously involved. And we can’t say that we don’t have the wherewithal to do the job, because the Lord has already given us all the tools we need, so artfully contained in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s declare them out loud now nuh, so that they can be put into force. 

In strong voice and sincere purpose: ‘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!’ 

In closing, I must remind us that those tools are to be generously shared, not hoarded for our selfish benefit, especially in this new year, which will be such a pivotal one in the annals of mankind! Much LOVE!

…to hope…or not to hope…that is the question for believers today…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 August 2017 Proverbs 9:10.

Proverbs 9:10.   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.

Yeh friends, it’s that time again, Monday morning! Time to roll out of that warm, comfortable bed and get a move on! Time to go out and make a million bucks! And please stop the whining, for it’s rough on everybody. Nobody in their right mind wants to get up and go out and face the evil, daunting world that lurks out there, but if we want to eat and pay the mortgage, we don’t have a choice. 

And we Christians are better off than the rest of the world because we have a God and Saviour who will move heaven and earth to help us if we walk obediently in His will. So what’s all the fuss about eh? (smile)  

Now I know it’s not always easy to get going on a Monday morning, that’s why we have our picker-upper; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s get with the programme and belt it out as lustily as we can. And I know the Canadian voices will be the loudest and the hoarsest because we don’t work on this Civic Holiday Monday, the last day of the Caribana long weekend. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And the Canadians were the most enthusiastic – a no work day does lift one’s spirit – but their voices were also the most gravelly, after all the shouting and partying over the weekend. But for you unfortunate ones, who have to get out into the world and labour today, please keep that adrenaline flowing so you can do a good job for Jesus amongst the enemy. 

And for you Canadians, who still have today to party, please take it easy because you will have to go to work tomorrow  and will be of no use to yourself or anyone else if you don’t heed Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And that my friends, is exceeding wisdom, anytime and anywhere! 

And you truculently ask – What is wisdom eh? Well here is how the reputed wisest man in the world explained it. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.’ So if Cousin Sol explains it thus, who am I to say him nay eh? 

That means friends, until we have a proper reverence and awe as pertains to Almighty God, we cannot obtain true wisdom. Of course we can obtain what the world terms wisdom, but that is not true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from and through God. 

James tells it like this: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James  1:5-8) 

Yes my brethren, wisdom comes from the Lord, but you must first revere Him, hold Him in proper esteem, and then you must ask for wisdom with faith, not doubting. And what is faith? The author of Hebrews describes it thus: ‘Now faith is the substance (the realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1)  

In other words you have to believe it before you see it or receive it. That’s how it operates in God’s economy. The world says ‘seeing is believing,’ but God says when you believe, then you’ll see it. 

And why should you desire wisdom? Cousin Sol provides the answer. ‘For by me (wisdom) thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased (years of life will be added to you).’ (Prov.9:11) 

Now that sounds like a pretty good reason to me. Hope it does to you too. But just in case that explanation didn’t satisfy you, (smile) then listen to this earlier one, again from Cousin Sol. 

‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace, a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4: 7-9) 

I don’t know about all yuh nuh friends, but I taking Cousin Sol advice yes; I seeking wisdom, so I could embrace her and get the ornament of grace, the crown of glory and long life. Yuh see what the Lord gave Cousin Sol when he asked for wisdom and understanding and good judgement to rule Israel? All of that plus wealth and honour. (1 Chr.1:8-12) So he who has ears to hear, let him hear. Much LOVE!

…it all begins with reverence…then comes faith…then comes wisdom…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2016 Hebrews 11:1.

Hebrews 11:1.   Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.

So once again it’s Friday mih people and crazily swirling through the atmosphere are joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here at last… and the next two days belong to me and only me! And I’ll do exactly what I want with them! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

And we do have to thank our heavenly Father for Fridays and the weekends, but we can’t behave like leggo beasts when they roll around. We need to have some accountability, some sensible plan for our two days off; one filled with moderation and circumspection so that we don’t fall prey to the ever-lurking enemy. 

And our Friday Chant gives us some idea of how to use the weekend wisely. So let’s chant it nuh, chant it with sincerity and enthusiasm. As one now: ‘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 friends, that’s the general idea. Our weekend activities must allow us to come back out bright and beautiful on Monday morning. If they don’t, then we’ve not done it right. 

Now here is an interesting Trini quote from my Trini friend. ‘Wen last yuh went tuh ah funeral an de job was present eh???’ That’s generally said to someone who over works, constantly bringing work at home etc. thereby neglecting their home, family and health.’ 

So all you A type personalities beware, you don’t see work at funerals, meaning you need to slow down and smell the roses some. And our Trini friend also wishes us to ‘Have a great day, and…Watch your thoughts: They become words Watch your words: They become actions Watch your actions: They become habits Watch your habits: They become your character.’ 

All very true my brethren, so let’s be very careful about what we think, talk and do please, for in the long run, it will all affect our destiny. That brings us to our Bit, a very interesting and important passage of scripture. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ 

Yes mih people, faith, buoyed by hope is what keeps us keeping on in this cruel and evil world. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to withstand the trials and tribulations that beset us, that have us going like a roller coaster, round and round without any stopping. Only faith in Almighty God allows us to stand strong when the tempter comes calling. 

Listen to these verses after our Bit. ‘For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible). 

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.’ (Heb.11:2-4) 

Yuh see friends, it’s through faith that the elders, leaders of the church were considered of good repute. And it’s only through faith we can understand how our awesome God made the world by speaking it into existence from nothing. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon (was hovering over) the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.’ (Gen.1:1-3) 

Now only through faith can we believe all of that, as well as the whole story of Jesus. And here is some interesting info from the scholars on the earlier passage about Abel. 

’11:4. Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain: In what way was his sacrifice better? Was it because his was animal and Cain’s vegetable? Or his a firstling and Cain’s not the firstfruit? Or his with blood and Cain’s without? Both Hebrews and Genesis (4:1-15) demonstrate that it was not the offering that made one acceptable and the other unacceptable. 

God accepts both grain and animal offerings according to their purposes. The character of the worshipper made one offering acceptable and the other not. Abel offered his by faith; Cain obviously did not. Genesis records that even before the rejection of Cain’s offering his heart was not right with God. (Gen.4:7).’ 

So faithful followers of Jesus, it all comes right back down to the state of our hearts, because that’s where God looks to discern our righteousness. 

And we’ll end this message on faith with the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Yes friends, it all begins with hope. And hope is only relevant when it comes to something that we can’t see or don’t have; then through faith, we persevere and wait expectantly for it to come to pass. 

Now let’s raise up our hope and faith so that we can go out into the ungodly world that surrounds us, strong, assured, and with conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour over all, and through the leading and guidance of His Holy Spirit we will prevail against the enemy. Much LOVE!

…without a right heart…without faith…we cannot please God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2013 Hebrews 11:1

Hebrews 11:1:    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
 
Oh Friends, another day is in the offing! I know that many of them seem mundane, same old, same old, but that’s just another one of Lucifer’s lies, to make us lose our joy in Jesus by seeing a brand new day.
 
So don’t listen to his lies, for every day is brand, spanking new, with different stuff involved, and as we all know, each is chocked full with mercies and blessings, manna for God’s people. So how can it not be fresh and exciting eh?
 
Therefore my brethren, let’s all rejoice and be glad in it, keep our spirits up, because our wonderful God has lots of new stuff planned for us today! Rely on, rest assured in His promises that He will never leave nor forsake you; that whatever He brings you to, He will bring you through, and that He will work out all things for your good eventually.
 
Wow! What a plethora of promises! And all God’s people shouted a loud, appreciative, heartfelt, ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’
 
And I want to tease and test us here with a quote from one of my old devotionals, attributed to Bertolt Brecht, (1898-1956) the famous German poet and playwright, which says: ‘Never believe in faith, see for yourself! What you yourself don’t learn, you don’t know.’
 
Now at first reading that seems totally at odds with our Christian belief, which places great emphasis on faith. But when you look at it from another perspective, the learning aspect makes sense, because the quote isn’t panning faith, but instead extolling learning.
 
And the fact is, that our faith can only grow, if and when we learn about Christ and His requirements. No wonder we mature more perfectly in Christ when we learn the lessons of life for ourselves. People can tell us useful and important stuff, as well as we can learn from their examples, but the greatest learning tool, the greatest teacher was, is, and always will be personal experience!
 
And why is that eh? Simply because we oftimes don’t believe until we see, feel and/or experience stuff personally. That’s just the nature of the human animal. 
 
And as a quote at the end of the devotional so wisely declares: ‘Learning strengthens my faith – in my Higher Power, in others, and in myself. I can use that greater faith to enhance and strengthen the quality of my life.’ 
 
And that’s gospel Friends! In this life we should never stop learning, for the more we learn, the more adept and mature we become as regards life. That is what keeps us healthy, wealthy and wise! (smile) 
 
Now that brings us to our Bit; one of the famous and well known verses in the Good Book. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’
 
Ah mih people, what a perfect play on words! But before we get into what they actually mean, let’s note that the major words in there are ‘hoped for.’ So faith is first of all based on hope. If we don’t have hope, we cannot have faith.
 
Now let’s see what Bruh Paul says about hope in his letter to the church at Rome. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then we do with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25)
 
Yes Friends, that tells us that faith is definitely based on, and involves things that we cannot see, because if we can see them, why hope for them eh? But we can also note that once we have faith or trust in something or someone, and are hoping for stuff based on that faith or trust, once that hope comes to pass, then our faith is built, raised to another level, and it gets a little stronger with the positive realization of each expectation of hope.
 
By the same token, if we don’t see the realizations of our hope, if they turn out negatively, then our faith dies a little each time. So the long and short of the story is that if we don’t have faith, then we can’t look forward to anything with eager patience.
 
But Glory Hallelujah, when we do have faith, when we acquire it, for it must be acquired, then we become more assured, more confident, absolutely believing that having faith was the right thing to do!
 
Now to pull all of this together, let’s hear some comments from the scholars’. ‘Verse 1 (our Bit), is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does (cf. 11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here.
 
First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usage, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament (cf. 3:14; 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17)  and this seems to be the best sense here.
 
Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in convictions. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen.
 
The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’
 
Ah mih people, I do hope (smile) that it’s not all too confusing, and that you glean some useful understanding about faith and hope, how they interact and all that they stand for, because it’s very important to our Christian beliefs.
 
But as we said at the beginning, we need to keep learning, for that’s the only way we’ll mature. So please keep on reading the Good Book, keep on learning, keep on hoping and having faith in Jesus Christ, for all your realizations will turn out positively. Much LOVE!
 
…the good things about faith and hope are…they apply both to the present and the future…as well as tangible and intangible stuff…