Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 January 2022 Isaiah 59:2.

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

And the days move along ever so quickly, just like they’ve been programmed to do by Almighty God, their awesome Creator. Yes, it’s already the fifth of the month, and we were just celebrating New Year’s Eve. And it’s already Wednesday, when we were just getting our heads around Monday and a new work week. But that’s the way the world works; it waits for no man, but for its creator. 

Like it did way back in Joshua’s time, in a battle between the Israelites and Amorites, when, to give His people time to overcome their enemy the Lord said ‘in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies… So the sun stood still in the midst of the heaven, and hasted not (did not hasten) to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened (heeded) unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.’ (Josh. 10:12-14) 

Now, there’s another of God’s many miraculous acts on Israel’s behalf and yet they continued to turn away from Him and worship idols and other false gods. That just boggles my imagination. All I can think of is that they were a rather selfish, stubborn and hardheaded people like we are, always asking the foolish question, like we do; ‘What have you done for me lately?’ All I’ve done before doesn’t seem to matter, just what I’ve done lately. 

That’s the mark of an ungrateful, selfish, egotistical and ungodly person and society. And, unfortunately, that question is currently prevalent throughout our now for now, want it immediately society. And it leads to all kinds of selfishness, deceit, fraud and corruption, as we try to keep up with the wanton greed and first-person singular society that we’ve become. 

No wonder, the prophet Isaiah warned Israel thus: ‘Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Oh my people, if we are honest with ourselves, we would all agree that that is an excellent description of our current society and world. And as the scholars’ remark: ‘Chapter 59 continues the judgements enumerated in chapter 58 regarding Israel’s hypocrisy. God’s hand is not yet beyond the reach of salvation. But their sins separated them from His presence, and they are described in detail throughout the chapter.’ 

Yes friends, if you read the agonizing truth of Israel’s blasphemy and idolatry you will find it remarkably resembles ours in almost every category. And if you don’t believe me, let’s listen to some more of Isaiah’s reproach. ‘Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgement (justice) in their goings (tracks, ways): they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. 

Therefore is judgement (justice) far from us, neither doth justice (righteousness) overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity (darkness); for brightness, but we walk in darkness (gloom, blackness). We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.’ (Is. 59:7-10) 

Ah mih bredrin, our world is in the same sad and sorry state that Israel was in back then. The big difference though is that we have the Messiah and all His teachings and a host of other opportunities that they didn’t have or know about, yet we still have gravitated down to their sinful and ungodly level. No, in fact we are worse than they ever were, because we have been placed on a higher level, gotten more from the Lord, thus more is expected of us. But in our foolish wisdom, we have chosen to imitate, to follow Satan instead of Jesus. 

How unwise that is! You just have to look at the strife-filled, distrustful, disunified state of our world to realize it. Unfortunately, though, not enough of us are doing that, thus we are not seeing that the only hope we have is turning back to Jehovah God, away from the anemic, wicked and deceitful fool called Satan. Who, as we all know, got kicked out of heaven from his cushy job as an archangel because he wanted to overthrow the One who created him. How foolish is that eh? And yet, today, we are basking in the unholy glow of that same unwise, impudent creation whose abode is the depths of Hades, filled with sin and hellfire! 

What’s wrong with us friends? Are we so shortsighted or so enamoured with the immediate pleasures of sin, that we can’t spare a moment to think of the harsh consequences that come from such behaviour? We all know that the wages of sin is death, that’s spiritual death, but somehow or other we either don’t truly believe it, or think that somehow or other we will be able to escape it. But that’s pure folly my people! 

The ONLY thing that will save us from spiritual death, from eternal separation from God, and eternal damnation with Satan is to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, and live the way He desires! But sometimes it seems like we’re flogging a dead horse when we teach these sentiments, because so many of us are just dying to get, living for the sinful pleasures of this sinful world! That’s enough preaching for today though! (smile) 

However, for those of us who are set on the right path, the narrow one that leads to Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ. And hopefully when the heathen hear it, they will adjust their thinking and reach out to Him for dear life, the life that never ends.  

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 believe me, if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! It will be mind blowing mih people! Much LOVE!

…the pleasures of sin are short lived…but the consequences can be eternal…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 October 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Come on down my fellow believers in Christ Jesus, it’s time to get together and worship on this the Lord’s Day! And today we have a wonderful song to open our praise and thanksgiving session. It’s an old favourite titled ‘CRYING IN THE CHAPEL.’ The story goes that Artie Glenn wrote the song in 1951 for his son Darrell but left it in a drawer for two years, until Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders. After some rejection, it finally became a local hit and was then picked up by other artists. 

There have been numerous versions over the years, but my favourite has always been Elvis Presley’s, that is until yesterday when I was listening to some other versions and came upon one by the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, simply known as Sissel. Her version blew me away with its simplicity and the uniqueness of her voice, as she is supposedly one of the world’s best sopranos. 

And it seems like I’m not the only person who’s been impressed by her version, for in the comments section of the video, Cliff Glenn, Artie Glenn’s oldest grandson writes: ‘Sissel.  I have never heard this beautiful lady sing Crying in the chapel till just now. Wow! my grandfather would have loved her version. My grandfather actually wrote this song in 1951, stuck it in a drawer for 2 years, until my dad, Darrell Glenn recorded it in 1953. I’ve heard an unbelievable amount of different versions in my life, including my own. but never one soooo beautiful, “sorry dad, and Elvis. is this lady single by any chance, lol!’ 

Unfortunately, she is not Cliff. (smile) And please don’t think that Sissel is a newcomer to music, although her version was recorded sometime in the 1990’s, since then she’s sold some 10 million albums of all kinds of music. And just one more accolade before we sing, this from another admirer. ‘Angelic. The sweet siren like sound I had only previously heard from Elvis’s back-up singer- Kathy Westmorland.’ (smile) 

So now that we know Sissel is easy on the eyes and can also sing, let’s do her version. Unlike Elvis’s soulful but dark version, hers is soulful but joy-filled and bright, like a sparkling spring morning, as opposed to a dark winter evening. Therefore, without further ado, let’s fill the fall morning air with sacrifices of praise to heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind 

Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way)…yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Yes friends, it’s short but sweet and soulful, touches you right down in the very depths of your being! And that’s because it’s oh so true. We can find peace, contentment and the lightening of our burdens in God’s house, in prayer, since that’s what He invites us to do. Please note Jesus’ Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh my people, it could not get any better than that…but it does! (smile) Listen to Jesus again, as He offers even more incentive to accept His way of life, when He proclaims: ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35) Yes, Jesus is the bread that gives life, spiritual and eternal life. You can’t get those from anywhere or anybody else, for He also lets us know with supreme confidence: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

So what is left that Jesus can’t give, or doesn’t provide eh? And what about peace and comfort and good cheer you ask? Oh, He has all of that covered too. Hear these marvellous words of encouragement. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And if you still desire more encouragement, then listen up as our Lord and Saviour gives it. ‘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) 

And indeed He has, by taking away the keys of hell from Satan, through His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Wow, mih bredrin! What more can you ask eh? Nothing! 

But our Saviour Jesus is ever so generous that He offers us even more than that, as He faithfully promised the disciples, and consequently us. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. The Spirit of truth… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16-18) And that promise was fulfilled on Pentecost Day when the Comforter, the Holy Ghost fell upon, baptized all the believers in the upper room, and thereafter indwells ALL believers. (Acts 2:2-4) 

So you can see Jesus has all the bases covered. He’s left nothing to chance. It’s just for us now to accept His Invitation to come to the Father through Him, to receive salvation and eternal life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity my people, so please, please, let’s not waste it nuh, for the only other option available is eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, and that’s the worst mistake we can ever make, for the wages of sin is death…eternal death! Much LOVE!

…and…lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt. 28:20) 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2021 Colossians 3:2.

Colossians 3:2.     Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.

Saturday, oh blessed lazy Saturday! Are we ever so glad to see you on this Labour Day long weekend. Hope you don’t have too many serious plans for me; except those that include lazing around and frolicking. Yes, I do know that the Covid 19 virus and its dangerous family are still lurking somewhere in the weeds, just waiting to catch and kill gullible, unsuspecting, unprepared folks, but I pray I won’t be one of those, because of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ that’s leading and guiding me. 

And all God’s children gave a grateful shout of ‘Thank You Jesus!’ Yes, friends, there’s an awful lot we have to be thankful to Him for. However, He doesn’t just want word of mouth thanks, but a beautiful showing of it in our behaviour, in our everyday living, as we be the salt of the earth and the light of the world in His glorious name! 

So let’s try and concentrate on living the way He wants us to nuh. Let’s make it our top priority this Labour Day Saturday morning, even when we just lazing around or frolicking, because there is a time for each of those activities. As Cousin Sol so wisely says, as the Preacher. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ (Eccl. 3:1) 

And seeing that it’s Saturday, our purpose today is to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. (smile) Listen to this first one: ‘I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.’ And that’s true. We can go almost wherever we want to go, if we want it badly enough. But the problem here, is where do we want to go so badly that we will do anything to get there? 

The truth of the matter is that too many of us want things that don’t really do any good for us, like worldly pleasures and accoutrements, and we just die, ofttimes sell our souls to get them. And that’s not wise my brethren, for as Jesus says: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) And as Bruh Paul further reminds us: ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’ (Col. 3:1-2) 

In other words friends, we are not to focus on anything, be it good or bad, that will lead us away, and not towards our heavenly Father. And sometimes when we do go astray, this next quote can be helpful. ‘When people care for you and cry for you, they can straighten out your soul.’ Ah mih bredrin, that’s the beauty of having people in your life that care enough to cry and pray for you in those times when you seem to have lost your way. 

Oh, we don’t need a truckload of people praying and crying for us, just a serious and righteous few who will get through to God with their prayers, and to us with their tears! A praying and caring group of people around us is one of the most important assets we can ever have in this sinful and evil world. 

That leads us to these next two quotes which are basically the same. ‘Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.’ ‘That is the definition of faith – acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove.’ And indeed, so it is my fellow saints in Christ! As the Good Book tells us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Faith is having hope in our hearts, believing for things that we do not yet see in reality. And as the quote says above ‘the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.’ 

Wow! How wonderful is that eh? And that’s the way God’s economy works my people! You believe, then you see! Not like the world acclaims: that seeing is believing, and touching is the naked truth! And that’s the unwavering kind of faith we need to believe in Christ Jesus and all the many promises He’s made us. Listen to how God’s Word puts it nuh. ‘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).’ (Heb. 11:3) 

That’s the first basis, the very foundation of our faith friends; to believe that God spoke the world into existence, made something from nothing! And if you can’t believe that, then faith in Jehovah God is not possible. For His Word also tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ Yes, my faithful brethren, we do need to say, ‘So let it be!’ Why? Because that’s how it is, how God desires it, and we can’t change it. 

That brings us to this last quote, another interesting one. ‘I believe every one of us is born with a purpose. No matter who you are, what you do, or how far you think you have to go, you have been tapped by a force greater than yourself to step into your God-given calling.’ And if that isn’t the indisputable truth, I don’t know what is nuh! That’s because from the day God created man, He appointed him to a purpose. Adam and Eve were to look after the Garden of Eden, be fruitful and multiply, live in LOVE with each other and have a close relationship with God. 

And though they spoiled the good thing they had, God’s desires and purposes for His most wonderful creation did not change. Hear what He said through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) And God kept that promise in spades, gave us the option for a future and a hope, when He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die in our place, so that we could be reconciled to Him and have eternal life! 

How much more can He do eh? He’s also a God of justice, which means He has to fulfil the law, and the law said, the wages of sin is death, so He couldn’t just pardon us willy nilly, otherwise He wouldn’t be fulfilling His righteous purpose as a judge. If we were to be forgiven and live in everlasting righteousness with Him, some sinless somebody had to pay for all the sins in the world, and Jesus was the only sinless somebody available. That way God satisfied His promises to give us a future and a hope, and also satisfied His eminent position of a righteous judge; that is justice must not only be done, but also seem to be done. 

So, God has done everything He can to bring us back into sincere fellowship with Him, because that was one of His original purposes for creating us. The rest is now up to us; whether we receive Christ as Lord and Saviour, or follow the foolish ex-archangel Lucifer to the eternal damnation. The choice is yours my friends! But as for me and my house…we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh. 24:15) Much LOVE!

…oh faith…please help me to believe what I don’t see…                                                                                                    

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2021 Isaiah 40:1.

Isaiah 40:1.     ​ Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 

Awright friends, a blessed morning to us all on this big day of Friday…or what used to be the big day of Friday, before the covid pandemic threw everything into a sustained state of disarray and confusion! But regardless of all that’s happening, my people, regardless of the unforeseen tragedies and the uncertainty that now surrounds our lives, it is still of the utmost importance that we enjoy our days and give thanks to the One who created us and still looks after us, having a most serious and unconditional LOVE for His sinful children. 

Please remember the golden words of the prophet Jeremiah: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) Yes friends, it’s because of the great compassion of God that we have not been already consigned to the fiery depths of Hades, for as the Good Book says, we have all sinned and come short of God’s glory, (Rom. 3:23) and the wages (penalty) for sin is death, (both physical and spiritual), but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) 

So it only makes sense, it’s true wisdom, to stay on God’s good side by revering Him and being obedient to His awesome Word, His amazing roadmap for earthly living! And it’s not like God hasn’t given us good and faithful promises all down through the ages if we keep Him first place in our lives. And I believe this promise made through Isaiah to the people of Israel long ago is rather appropriate for us right now. It’s called comfort through trust in the Lord. And so many of us know it, but still we refuse to put it into practice in our lives, refuse to follow the roadmap the Lord’s set out in His word. 

But hear the prophet Isaiah to his sinful and disobedient people nuh. ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.’ (Is. 40:1) Oh my faithful brethren, that’s exactly what the Lord is saying to us today, while we are immersed in the biggest controversy and most difficult time in our lives. And if He’s our Creator and Provider, why is that so difficult to accept eh? 

Listen as Isaiah continues. ‘Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished (ended), that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted (lifted up), and every mountain and hill be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain (smooth). And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Is. 40:2-5) 

Oh precious people, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! For though the inhabitants of Judah were facing imminent captivity in Babylon, the prophet Isaiah saw a time of salvation coming in their future. And the scholars teach us thus: ‘Comfort ye means both “repent” and “console,” and implies that true repentance must precede divine consolation .My people refers to the people of God who are in a covenant relationship with Him. The voice that crieth in the wilderness is that of John the Baptist. By this voice calling from the desert, the people of Judah are called to make the crooked…straight and the rough places plain in preparation for the coming of the Messiah.’ 

And furthermore, the prophet Isaiah also decreed on the Lord’s behalf: ‘Behold, the Lord God, will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them gently in his bosom, and shall lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:10:11) And as the Lord has always done, He kept that promise with the coming of His Son Jesus Christ years later, to provide salvation for all the world, not just the people of Israel. 

So why are we now refusing to accept the salvation He so sacrificially provided through the death of His Son on the cross of Calvary eh? Remember what the scholars told us above, that comfort implies both repentance and consolation. So to get consolation, it implies that we first need repentance and obedience to God’s word. And what I can’t understand is why we so stubbornly refuse to acknowledge His power and glory and bow to him, when all our own efforts to run our lives successfully, and to solve our numerous current problems, are meeting with zero success. 

As I understand it, if one thing doesn’t work, then you try another. And living for Beelzebub and his evil deeds is certainly not working for our world. So friends, don’t you think it’s time to try the only other option available to us, that of the Lord God Almighty? I certainly do! How much longer are we going to hold on to the empty, deceitful and lying promises of Satan eh? No longer my brethren! It’s time to turn sincerely to Christ. So, in sincere prayer, with humble and repentant hearts, let’s do that today nuh, right now, through our Friday Chant. 

As one strong voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that 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 sure and 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, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And the next move is now for us to display the characteristics that are found in trusting faith and faithful believers, if we want the Lord to answer our prayer in the affirmative .Much LOVE!

…it’s not wisdom…to follow the evil one who was demoted and destroyed…instead of the righteous One…who demoted and destroyed him… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 April 2021 Psalm 95:6.

Psalm 95:6.     ​O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Once more unto the breach dear friends; once more on to a brand new Monday morning, in this most recent and very controversial pandemic lockdown! It’s not surprising that there are so many varying opinions on the status of the lockdown. Some are for it the way it is, some want it even tighter, some want it loser, and some don’t want it at all. And I guess a lot of the opinions boil down to money, the economic factor. If you’re not working, or your business is closed, then you obviously want to get some livelihood going. 

Meanwhile, if you’re a medical proponent, you possible are more concerned with saving lives. It’s a fine balancing act, indeed a most difficult one, and whatever the governments do, many people will be displeased. And many governments are not doing such a great job, in fact some are making an utter mess of the situation. In a recent poll it was found that at the beginning of the pandemic, the citizens were very trusting of the governments to do a good job, but a year into it, they no longer trust the governments to handle it properly. 

And when governments lose the trust of their citizens, that almost always foretells trouble. And we’re indeed seeing a lot of chaos and confusion all over the world right now, due to the handling of the pandemic. So what shall we do to break the stranglehold that this Corona virus has on us eh? You all know my take on the situation; namely that sin and disobedience to God’s laws are too rampant in our world today. Evil is the number one force in the world, instead of LOVE! Selfishness abounds instead of togetherness. 

This means that Almighty God is no longer respected, valued and worshipped to the extent that He should be. We are more concerned with getting rid of Him from our society than placing Him on a pinnacle of glory. Look at the many sad tales of hunger, famine, economic devastation, strife and all the other negative situations in an overall wealthy and prosperous world. It should never be as bad as it currently is my people. The problem is that too few have too much and too many have too little, and until we straighten out that horrible inequity, our world will always be in a state of turmoil. 

But how do we do that, you ask? As far as I am concerned, the answer is very simple; return to sincerely worshipping and obeying the God of our forefathers; the One who created us and still LOVES us, but will not put up with our disobedience and abominable sinful behaviour forever. But we know that the evil one and his henchmen don’t want that, for it will mean losing their current control, and they will fight tooth and nail to retain it. But we Christians need to spring into battle right now, if we’re to make a difference before it’s too late. 

And how do we do that? We can begin by doing what the psalmist says in Psalm 96 – A call to praise God. ‘O Sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth (proclaim the good news of) his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen (gentiles), his wonders among all people.’ (Ps. 96:1-3) 

Now that’s the first move friends; spreading God’s word and His glory over the land. And if we want our efforts to succeed, we can’t be bashful, afraid, or ashamed of doing it, but be strong and stand up like faithful soldiers in Christ’s army, and fight the good fight, keep the faith, like Bruh Paul told Timothy. (2 Tim. 4:7) 

And the psalmist continues his plea for unity and sense of purpose. ‘For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. 

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him all the earth. Say among the heathen (gentiles) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps. 96: 4-10) 

Now that’s the kind of thing believers ought to be doing, not sitting on our fannies, afraid of the evil one, and enjoying the sinful pleasures of the world. We desperately need to do as Psalm 95 tells us. ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under his care). Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion), and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work.’ (Ps. 95:6-9) 

Friends, we are being just as stupid as the Israelites were back in the wilderness, trying and testing God with their rebellion and disobedience and surly complaining, forgetting what he had just done for them, bringing them out of four hundred years of bondage in Egypt. And they paid a hefty price for it; wandering aimlessly in the wilderness for forty years, until all the generation that had come out of Egypt were dead, except Joshua and Caleb. And we are running the same foolish, ungrateful joke right now my brethren by trying to move God out of our society. 

I can assure us though, that the consequences will not be pretty, for there are always harsh consequences to stubborn and willful disobedience and sin. So what better time, than this Easter Monday, a day after Christ’s Resurrection, for us to get smart, realize our serious failings and call out to our God, our Maker, for the divine help that only He can give. Therefore, in strong and confident, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in sincere prayer. 

‘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 many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

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!’ 

Now fellow believers, we have to go out and show that sincere repentance and obedience in all our dealings, so the Lord can positively answer our prayer. Much LOVE!

…the wages of sin is death…only in and with Jesus…can you avoid it… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2021 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.     ​For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Snow, snow, go away, and come back some other day! (smile) That’s what we would all like this Sunday morning my brethren, but let’s be thankful for small mercies, namely that we don’t have to journey out in it to get to church to sing praises and worship our wonderful God. Yes, this virtual and technological worshipping is a pain in the neck, but it’s certainly better than no worship at all. 

So to show our thanks let’s begin by belting out this marvelous old hymn with lyrics by Isaac Watts (1674 – 1748) and the chorus by Ralph E. Hudson (1843-1901) Yes friends, we talking about ‘At the Cross.’ What a wonderful hymn, for it speaks to our most wonderful gift; SALVATION! Glory be! 

Let’s celebrate in song, our two blessed occasions nuh; when Christ was crucified for our sake and when we found Him and made Him our Lord and Saviour. Now, in an easy rocking tempo, with joy resounding from every note and word, let’s allow our sincere sacrifice of praise to be heard all over the world, and also in high heaven.

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For sinners such as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) 

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine— And bathed in its own blood— While the firm mark of wrath divine, His Soul in anguish stood. (Refrain) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! (Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. 

(Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give my self away ’Tis all that I can do. At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! Now I am happy all the day…happy all the day…happy all the day…’ 

Oh my people, if you’re not happy all the day, then you don’t truly believe! Why you ask? Simply becauseour salvation was certainly earned at the Cross, for as the Good Book says: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:23) And what’s the consequence of sin? The Good Book also spells it out quite clearly. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) 

And how is death changed into life? The Good Book also has the answer for that. ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without (the) shedding of blood (there) is no remission (forgiveness). (Heb. 9:22) That means friends, that all sinners were condemned to death from the very beginning of their lives because no animal or human blood was able to pay for us to have life anew. That could only be attained by the shedding of the blood of a sinless soul, and Jesus was the ONLY One around who could lay claim to that characteristic. 

So what did Almighty God in His divine wisdom and incalculable LOVE do? ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) Yes my people, God placed ALL of our sin on Jesus, so that He could pay the price for ALL sin for ALL time! Christ was guiltless and sinless, but the Father LOVED us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son for us. Oh my bredrin, which one of us would have given up our only son to be a sacrifice for a bunch of ingrates eh? None of us would have willingly done it, like the Father did! 

So we should just be thankful and jump for joy and just fall all over ourselves to do Jesus’ bidding! Can you imagine the ‘sufferation’ He underwent on our behalf; the flogging, the crown of thorns on his head, the nails in His hands and feet, the spear in His side, crucified naked, the mocking, the shame, the resentment and hate that was thrown His way…all on our behalf? As the hymn says about Jesus bruised and battered body ‘bathed in its own blood…His soul in anguish stood…for crimes that I had done…’ Steups! Then we get up and spout a whole lot of foolishness and don’t take the whole thing as seriously as we ought. 

And simple eyes-water is not good enough. Why? ‘But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe. Here, Lord, I give myself away ‘Tis all that I can do.’ Yes friends, we can never repay Jesus’ sacrifice, the best that we can do is surrender our lives to Him and worship Him as our Lord and Saviour, LOVE Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, being ever so thankful for His saving grace. And John puts it thus in his first epistle. ‘And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:2) 

That means Christ’s sacrificial death satisfied the Father’s requirement, the justice needed to pay for sin, now and for all time. What more can we ask eh? And some of us might be wondering why the Lord did all of that? Bruh Paul explained it to Timothy. ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’ (1 Tim. 2:4-6) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, Jesus’ sacrifice was proof that the Father wanted ALL to be converted. So he’s done His part, the rest is now up to us. Much LOVE!

…the foot of the cross…the best place to find Jesus…and lay your burdens down…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2021 John 15:20a.

John 15:20a.     If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you:

And a good, lazy Saturday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, wherever you are in God’s great universe! Hope that you are having better weather than my snow-bound, bleak neighbourhood, but it’s all a part of life in this great country of Canada, so we’ll handle it with the aplomb of Jesus. (smile) 

Anyway, there’s some good news to share today; our friend Anselm has been resurrected. Yes, he’s risen from whatever ailed him, and he’s sent us a full slate of quotes this week. A couple of them though are so highly politicized that I have no answer for them, so I’ll just throw them out there and let you draw your own conclusions. And we’ll get those out of the way early. 

The first one says: ‘I LOVE Trinidad and Tobago more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.’ Yes, Anselm was born in T&T and apparently he still has a great affection for it, but what am I supposed to say about his claim that he has the right to criticize her in perpetuity eh? 

I don’t know if you LOVE a country a lot that it gives you the right to criticize it. What I do know though is that we need to be very careful in our criticism, especially in these times of much negative opinions and criticism on all sorts of fronts,  because most of us never know the full story behind whatever we are criticizing. 

So although our criticism might look good and sound true, ofttimes it’s not the whole truth or even much of the truth and consequently can lead a lot of people astray, just like what’s happening on social media today with all the lies, half-truths and disinformation being bandied about there. It’s so bad in the U.S, that it’s causing rebellious tendencies there. So please be very careful with your criticism. 

Then there’s this: ‘To announce that there must be no criticism of the Prime Minister, or that we are to stand by the Prime Minister, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the Trinidad and Tobago public.’ There we go again with the criticism regarding T&T. Brother Anselm must be in a real T&T frame of mind! (smile) 

And again, all I can say is that our criticism must be fair, honest and truthful, though standing by the leader of a country, even when they are wrong, is not doing the country any positive service, just making matters worse. That’s been recently proven right down in the U.S of A, with ex-President Donald Trump making so many incorrect, lying and prejudicial statements that it has caused a large division and much disunity in the country. 

Now listen to this one: ‘I do this real moron thing, and it’s called thinking. And apparently I’m not a very good Trinbagonian because I like to form my own opinions.’ My buddy Anselm seems intent on getting me into trouble with my fellow Trinbagonians. (smile) But thinking is a good thing, more of us should try it. (smile) 

However, it’s also possible to overthink a situation, which could lead to personal opinions that are not welcomed by others. And again, let me remind us that before we form opinions, or better yet mouth them, we must be in full possession of all the facts. Sadly though, especially in governmental circles, the real truth, the true facts, are very difficult for the ordinary citizen to gather. All we usually get is a lot of hearsay and the unsound opinions of others. 

Now don’t think that the other two quotes aren’t politically inclined nuh, but they can be handled biblically. And this is the first of the last two. ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.’ 

That last part is obvious; the oppressed are never impressed with neutrality. The first part is a tad trickier, although as a believer, once we see injustice our sense of justice should rise up and cause us to consider ways to right the obvious wrongs. How does the saying go? If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem. 

Likewise, if you see injustice been perpetrated and you say or do nothing, for whatever reason, it will certainly appear that you are on the side of the oppressor. But friends and followers of Jesus, we have been instructed by Jesus Himself to follow justice and to right wrongs wherever possible. 

As He said to the Pharisees. ‘But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over (neglect) judgement (justice) and the LOVE of God: These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone (without neglecting the others).’ (Luke 11:42) 

Yes friends, our God is a God of justice. Why do you think He sacrificed Jesus to pay for our sin debt eh? Because His just character would not allow sin to be forgiven without full payment, for the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), and without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins. (Heb. 9:22) 

And these two scriptures tell the story in spades. ‘Learn to do well (good); seek judgement (justice), relieve the oppressed (correct oppression), judge (bring justice to) the fatherless, plead for the widow.’ (Is. 1:17) And Micah, puts it very plainly. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but  to do justly (justice), and to LOVE mercy (kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic. 6:8) 

And that brings us to our last quote: ‘It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.’ And that’s oh so true! Jesus is also a very good example of that. He came to earth to bring justice and salvation, to heal the sick, care for the poor and release the captive slaves of darkness. All these things went against the very grain of the both the ruling Romans and their Jewish lackeys. 

So what happened? Jesus found Himself on the wrong side of the authorities because His philosophy did not match theirs. Consequently, although He had done no wrong, but simply because He was disturbing the rulers’ easy life, He was labelled a traitor, an insurrectionist and quickly removed from their sight by crucifixion. 

Please note too friends, that as believers in, and followers of Christ, we are often on the wrong side of the authorities, so we too can also expect persecution and problems just because of that. Jesus warned His disciples, and consequently us, of the world’s hatred. 

‘Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they kept my saying, they will keep yours too. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.’ (John 15:20-21) 

That brings it all to the forefront my brethren. Remember, we are supposed to be in the world, but not of the world, and that very fact alone will cause us problems. So be prepared, but also remember that Christ has already overcome the world, so please be of good cheer. Much LOVE!

…eventually…right is always stronger than might…so in wisdom…please look to Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2020 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.    ​ But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 
Oh friends, they might close down the physical buildings we call the church, but they can’t stop the real church; the people, the faithful followers of Christ Jesus! That’s why we continue having church by whatever means possible, for with Jesus as our Lord and Leader anything is possible. So on this the Lord’s Day, in the time of the Coronavirus, let’s get together and have church nuh; sing praises, pray, give thanks, listen to the Word and be energized and encouraged, as our motto for this rough season, Bruh Paul’s marvellous words to Timothy remind us: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (self-control, discipline).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Oh my people, now is the time that the church, those who truly believe in Jesus, has to stand up strong and LOVE and pray the world back to safety, bring it out of it’s current dark spell into the miraculous light of Jesus. So, as always, we’ll begin with song, giving praise and worship to the Most High God Jehovah with a beautiful hymn from way back when, one of the many composed by the great Irish hymn writer, Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895). It was possibly my most favourite Easter time hymn when I was growing up in Tobago, some sixty years ago. It’s titled ‘There is a Green Hill Far Away.’ 

They claim that Mrs. Alexander wrote the hymn when she was only 20 years old. That’s why it could be described as ‘a work of exquisite purity and tenderness of youth.’ And that’s possibly why it appealed to me at a tender age. (smile) The inspiration for the hymn is said to have been drawn from a couple of places. First from the Apostles Creed, especially the line: ‘Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.’ And secondly from ‘a large grass-covered mound outside of her home town of Londonderry which put her in mind of the hill in the Holy Land, beyond Jerusalem’s gates ‘where our dear Lord was crucified.’ Who knows which one is right, though both could be? 

But with all of that info, let’s get down to some sweet, soulful and sincere singing that will make Jesus blush. (smile) Let’s heap the praise on Him! ‘There is a green hill far away, outside a city wall, where our dear Lord was crucified who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us he hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good, that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood. There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin, he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in. O dearly, dearly has he LOVED! And we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do.’ 

Oh, was that ever harmonious and praise worthy! And did Jesus ever blush! But every word we sang was true! And I like what one web site said about the hymn. ‘The writer gives substance and answer to those who inquire why Jesus died. She talks about God’s forgiveness. She speaks of how man can reclaim his original close relationship with God and suggests the only possible response is the total giving of LOVING self. The event was for us.’ And was it ever for us friends! Jesus’ sacrificial death on that old rugged cross at Calvary was ALL about and ONLY for us! As the hymn so rightly says: ‘He died to save us all!’ 

There’s no doubt about why He underwent such horrific suffering…that we might be forgiven, to make us good, so that we could receive salvation and eventually go to heaven and enjoy eternal life with Him. That’s it in a nutshell my brethren! It so happens that He was the ONLY one who could pay the high price the Father needed to forgive our sins; an unblemished, sinless sacrifice. And yes it required blood, because sins can only be atoned for with the shedding of blood, since the wages of sin is non other than death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) And that’s exactly what Christ’s death on the cross accomplished. 

That brings us to this amazing scripture, Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Rome. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom. 5:19) Wow friends! When I think of all that Christ’s death and resurrection did, I’m totally amazed! It paid our sin death in full, for all time, giving us an option to obtain individual forgiveness, where before we were staring eternal damnation with Satan straight in the face. For as Hebrews says: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness). (Heb. 9:22) That states it loud and clear! 

It also reconciled us to the Father, with whom we were estranged from since Adam and Eve sinned. It justified us, making us righteous in God’s eyes. It sanctified us, causing us to be set apart for God’s good purpose and work. And the life blood that flowed from His bruised and beaten body cleanses us. Mama Mia! And He did all that simply because of His obedience to the Father, who LOVED us so much that He was willing to pay the high price He Himself set in His righteousness and justice! And there are no better words of scripture to end with this morning than these momentous words of Bruh Paul again to the church at Rome: 

‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being (having been) reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation).’ (Rom. 5:6-11) 

Ah mih people, Christ’s death was vicarious, meaning He died in our place, and His shed blood brought us salvation, but His resurrection, His life, sustains that salvation. And it all happened because of the Father’s great LOVE, and Christ’s exemplary obedience and selflessness. That’s why ‘we must LOVE him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do!’ Much LOVE!

…without Christ’s death and resurrection…there’d be no heaven…nothing but hell…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2020 Hebrews 9:22.

Hebrews 9:22.    ​And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).
 
Prologue: Yes, it’s long and late, but that’s nothing new. (smile) I thought though that a heads up was necessary, since today’s Bit is somewhat different to what we might all expect on a day like today. But that’s where I was lead. So I hope it does make sense and it resonates strongly and deeply with us all. (smile) Much LOVE!

And then it was Good Friday! But you ask what’s so good about it, when they tortured our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ so terribly, then nailed Him to a cross to suffer and die in the burning noonday sun? Well the simple answer is that we were, and still are, a bunch of disgusting, ungrateful sinners, and if we didn’t get some form of salvation, we’d all go to hell and be eternally separated from the Lord God Jehovah, our wonderful Creator. However, though the Lord is all powerful and can do anything, there is another side to His nature, one that’s just and righteous, and requires justice to be done. 

He couldn’t deny Himself, so though He LOVED us ever so much and wanted to save us from eternal death and damnation, it would not have been right to just forgive us without any payment for our sins. And the Good Book, His eternal Word, says: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) It also stipulates without any hesitation or distinction: ‘For the wages of sin is death;’ (Rom. 6:23a) The Good Book also says: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).’ 

And right there is the roadblock. Something or somebody had to die to pay for sin. Now earlier on in the Old Testament, the Lord allowed the Israelites to kill animals in temporary atonement for their sins. Moses wrote in Leviticus on the Lord’s behalf: ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.’ (Lev. 17:11) That’s why there was so much killing of animals and sacrificing and sprinkling of blood in the olden days; atonement called for blood. That’s also why the Israelites were not allowed to eat blood. (Lev. 17:10-12) 

But we also know that from the beginning, when Adam and Eve sinned, and the Lord threw them out of the Garden of Eden, though He placed a curse on them, He also promised that by Eve’s seed mankind would one day be eventually redeemed. (Gen. 3:14-24) In that bit of scripture (vs. 21) the Lord also made more durable clothing for Adam and Eve by clothing them with ‘coats of skins,’ as opposed to the fig leaves that they had originally used to hide their nakedness. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘This is how Yahweh provides clothing for Adam and Eve after their feeble attempt to cover their nakedness and shame. It is His way of demonstrating that He acknowledges their act of faith in verse 20. The word for “skins” presupposes the death of an animal and therefore the idea of blood sacrifice is clearly implied.’ 

And having said all of that, I guess I now have to quote verse 20 so you might get a better understanding of the topic. (smile) ‘And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; (life or living) because she was the mother of all living.’ The scholars say: ‘Eve comes from the verb ‘to live.’ Here is Adam’s act of faith, looking to the future with hope. This word sounds like the word used in this verse, living. Adam seems not only to believe that God spoke the truth, but also to have faith in the salvation God had promised in verses 15-16.’ Please read them for yourself. (smile) 

And life moved on through the flood and Noah, (Gen. 6-7) then the City and Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) and finally to Abraham, whom God promised to make a great nation of and from whose seed a Messiah, a Saviour would eventually come. (Gen. 12:1-3) And all through the ensuing years, in fact centuries, the Lord, through the prophets kept promising the Israelites, His Chosen People, Abraham’s main descendants the coming of a Messiah to save them from their sins. The only problem there was that Israel thought the Messiah would be a warrior king, coming to release them finally from all their days of slavery and impotence. 

That’s partially why when Jesus came, in the Lord’s much belated time, saying He was the Promised Messiah, but speaking peace and LOVE, so many doubted Him. That brings us finally to the real reason for Good Friday. I guess the Lord finally got tired of all the blood sacrifices and decided it was time to put on the grand show; so we have Jesus being born supposedly at Christmas time, growing up as the carpenter’s son, then ministering, doing miracles, healing and teaching and showing the people what their great God was like in person. As he said so often, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. 

But then His rhetoric and deeds were too revolutionary for the rulers of Rome and Israel, so they hatched a plot to get rid of Him. But little did they know that that was His express plan for coming to earth as a man; to die and be a once and for all blood sacrifice for man’s sins. That’s why He specifically said: ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life. That I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (John 10:17-18) 

Yes friends, Jesus death on the cross was the next step in God’s plan to provide a real and serious but fairly easy option for us to be reconciled to Him and be redeemed. Remember no real atonement was possible but though the shedding of blood, and it still isn’t, except that Christ with His sacrificial death on the cross paid for ALL our sins once and forever. The father placed them ALL on His shoulder that extremely rough but nonetheless blessed day. That’s why we can afford to call it Good Friday. 

And don’t think that it wasn’t rather rough on the Father to turn away from His wonderful One Son. It was pure hell for Him. And I guess especially so when Jesus cried out on the cross: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46). Yeh friends, that must surely have broken the Father’s heart, because it was the very first and only time that He and His precious Son had been on opposite sides. But He had to do it, if He wanted to save mankind from their deadly sins. 

His ultimate plan of atonement and forgiveness, because of His righteousness and justice, called for a sinless soul, and Jesus was the only other sinless soul in existence, that’s why He was forced to sacrifice Him. And strangely, whenever I think about the Father sacrificing Jesus for us, an old song always comes to mind. It was made famous by BL&D, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires back in the late sixties, ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart.’ I always picture small, but powerful Keith Lynn singing that soulful ballad and consider How Jesus’ death must have broken the Father’s heart. 

And the sad part is that His heart is still breaking because two thousand years later we’re still reluctant to accept His magnanimous offer of salvation and redemption and forgiveness and eternal life through the sacrificial death of His wonderful and selfless Son Jesus Christ on this Good Friday, and His glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday, a couple days hence. Please friends, let’s remember that without Good Friday, this rough and heart breaking day, there’d be no rejoicing and glorifying on Resurrection Day; Easter Sunday, and wisely make the most of the time we have left on this earth! Much LOVE!

…the wages of sin is death…but the gift of God…is eternal life…through Jesus Christ our Lord…  (Rom. 6:23)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2019 Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8.   And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Well it’s here right early again! And no, I’m not talking about Sunday, but Daylight Savings Time where we push our clocks ahead one hour and screw up everybody’s timetable. So at some time this morning it was two o’clock, then all of a sudden it became three o’clock! Wonder how many people remembered to do that before they went to bed and are going to get up late for church and work? 

Then somewhere down in November we revert to Standard Time, setting the clocks back an hour, and again screwing up everybody’s timetable! One minute it’s two o’clock, then the next it’s one o’clock! Steups! I’ve yet to see anyone who likes the inconvenience, but the powers that be say they think it helps, so we do it. 

We are one of a number of fewer and fewer areas who are doing it still. You then have to unnecessarily readjust to the time difference in different parts of the world. Even in Canada, not all the provinces do it. And they don’t suffer because of it! Chuh! 

But let’s not get too worked up about that this Sunday morning nuh, let’s go to the Lord’s house and fellowship; have a good time as we give Him praise and thanks, cleanse our souls, renew a right spirit within our hearts and say the Lord be praised! And as always, we begin our praise and worship with a heartfelt song. Today’s song is one we all know, titled ‘Because He Lives,’ written by the Christian writing tandem of Gloria and William Gaither. 

And since the lyrics are ever so true my fellow believers, let’s do them justice nuh, let’s allow our voices to ring out powerfully and in sweet sincerity as we joyfully declare (wrong again): ‘(Chorus: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives.) (Repeat) 

God sent His Son they called Him, Jesus He came to LOVE, heal and forgive He lived and died to buy my pardon An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. (Chorus) How sweet to hold a newborn baby And feel the pride and joy he gives But greater still that calm assurance This child can face uncertain days because He lives And then one day I’ll cross the river I’ll fight life’s final war with pain 

And then, as death gives way to vict’ry I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives Because He lives, I can face tomorrow Because He lives, all fear is gone Because I know He holds my future And life is worth the living Just because He lives And life is worth the living Just because He lives And life is worth the living Just because He lives.’ 

Ah mih people what truthful words of solace, joy and assurance! And it’s all possible just because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ lives! Glory Hallelujah! Just imagine that nuh; because He is alive and well we can face tomorrow without any fear, and knowing that He holds our future in His mighty hands, life is worth living again! 

Oh friends, give Him much thanks and praise nuh, because He didn’t have to do what He did for us, He could have even gone against the Father’s wishes. But no, as the Good Book says: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ 

Yes my people, Jesus selflessly sacrificed Himself for us on Calvary’s cross. Imagine that nuh: the Son of God becoming man and giving His life for a bunch of ungrateful sinners, all because His Father asked Him to. Yuh think those nails that pierced Jesus’ body didn’t pierce the Father’s heart too? And believe you me, every lash and awful pain He felt, the Father felt them too. But that was the ONLY way the Father could save us sinners and retain His righteousness and justice. 

The wages of sin is death, which means somebody, some sinless body had to pay to set us free, and Jesus was the only sinless soul besides the Father.  Sacrificing His only Son for us, just goes to show how much the Father LOVED us back then, and still LOVES us even now, even though we are such ingrates! 

Yes friends, it was all based on LOVE! Jesus came to LOVE, to heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon. And an empty grave is now there to prove that my Lord and Saviour Lives! Glory be my people! He won the victory over hell, death and the grave, and rose to everlasting life, so that those of us who believe in Him, will die, but also rise again and experience life eternal with Him! 

And for that unstinting, willingly given obedience, the Good Book tells us: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Mama Yo! Yes people, the Father honoured Jesus with the greatest honours at His disposal! The only thing He didn’t lavish on Him was His own throne! And the Father has promised to also lavish us with honours and rewards if we remain steadfastly obedient to His will. So there you have it, the choice is ours to be obedient or not. And you can’t say you didn’t know. (smile) Much LOVE!

…trust and obey…for there’s no better way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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