Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 May 2022 Luke 10:42.

Luke 10:42.      But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her

. Well friends, the rainy Monday of yesterday is gone, it has moved into the history books, and Tuesday has opened bright and sunshiny in my area, though a tad cool. But we’ll take the sunshine anytime over a dark and dreary looking day. For sure! The important thing right now is that the days are getting longer and warmer, and after a long, cold, confusing winter, we just can’t wait for those hot, hazy days of summer! 

And I’m sure that with the climate change situation we’re going to have some real hot ones that will drive us crazy. But them’s the breaks. Those are simply the negative consequences of our actions, of abusing Mother Earth. Now she’s just giving us back what we deserve. And that’s so unlike the great God Jehovah that we serve. He doesn’t give us our just desserts, but blessings that we don’t deserve. As Bruh David so wisely says in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy: 

‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103: 8-14) 

Oh friends, that says it all! Our God knows that we are only figures of dust, because that’s what He made us from, and thus doesn’t bring all of His power or anger to bear on us when we commit our iniquities, since it would just swallow us up completely. Instead, He uses LOVE, grace and compassion to relieve our iniquities, removes them ‘as far as the east is from the west,’ and pities us like a doting Father, because He knows our inferior substance. What a gracious and merciful God we serve my brethren! And yet, for all the grace and mercy, we still refuse to obey and live according to His Word. 

But here’s this interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that ought to wake us up to reality. It’s aptly titled: ‘Beautiful Belonging.’ So please read with me: ‘Before I knew You, Lord It was terribly important To flaunt my culinary art With a moist and tender roast. Now that I’m Yours It is far more important To serve Your gentleness To our guests. 

Before I knew You It was terribly important To snatch every weed From our meticulous yard. Now that I’m Yours It is far more important To express neighbourly concern Over the back fence. Before I knew You It was terribly important To check the television schedule from night to night. Now that I am Yours It is far more important To check Your plan From day to day. What an incredible change…This Beautiful belonging!’ 

And yes, it surely is beautiful belonging to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! For, belonging to Him gives us a whole new, different and better perspective on this earthly life. The things of the world that we once thought were so important, now seem immaterial when compared to a life lived for Jesus. We now believe that mercy and kindness and LOVE are more important than the pretentious and pretensive doings of the world. And Jesus made that very clear when He admonished Martha, Lazarus’ sister, when she complained about her sister Mary not helping her in the kitchen but was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him teach. 

And it’s also the Bible verses associated with today’s poem. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (worried) and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’ (Luke 10:41-42) 

Oh my people, the same thing can be said about many of us. But let’s listen to some explanations from the scholars on those verses. Re 10:41: ‘The repetition of her name denotes a gentle and sympathetic reply. Careful (see 1 Cor. 7:32-35) often indicates a this-worldly unbelieving attitude that hinders proper attention to the things of God; that is to be unduly concerned about secondary matters.’ And all of us are guilty of that at some time or other in our lives. 

And per 10:42: One thing: This can be explained in two ways here. Jesus may be saying that only one simple dish is required for a meal; Martha can handle the preparations without Mary’s help. In this case Martha is being primarily rebuked. Or Jesus may by ‘one thing’ refer to the spiritual nourishment craved by Mary. In this case Jesus is implying that Martha, too, should leave her housework for a time and concentrate on a more urgent matter.’ 

The same thing applies to us even more today with the burgeoning amount of earthly stuff out there to notice, and our natural reluctance to the importance of the things of God. But Jesus warned several times about paying undue attention to the things of this world, like this occasion when teaching in Capernaum and he claimed the crowds followed Him not because they saw His miracles, but because they ate of the food He provided and was filled. Then He warned. ‘Labour not for the meat (food) which perisheth, but for that meat (food) which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.’ (John 6:27) 

That’s spiritual food friends, like the water that satisfies, things that last forever, that’s what we need to be urgently and sincerely seeking, instead of the things of this world that all perish eventually. And Bruh David said it so well in Psalm 27 – the Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.’ (Ps. 27:4) 

Yes my fellow saints, when we can sincerely claim such a desire, truly have a desire to know and live according to the Lord’s Word, then we are getting the right idea, maturing in Christ, growing from glory to glory. And now, for those of us who are trying to live right, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. 

In strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out there and keep that promise, by sharing the amazing and awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and worship him like we do. Much LOVE!

…lasting spiritual insight into the ways of Christ…is much more important than the perishable secular knowledge of the world…                                                                                                                               

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 November 2021 Isaiah 45:5a.

Isaiah 45:5a.     I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:

Ah friends, it’s a pleasure to be with you all this bright and shiny but chilly Tuesday morning. Sorry that I’m only now getting to you, although I’ve been up for over an hour, but I had household chores to do that required doing asap. That’s putting out the garbage, the easy part, but before that picking up the humongous pile of leaves sitting in the driveway outside my side door and bagging them, for at least the third time this week, so that the garbage truck could take it away later on. 

It’s a thorn in my side (smile) that the Lord’s given me for the last thirty odd years that I’ve lived here. Unfortunately, for me, the way the houses are built, it creates a whirlwind in my driveway, right outside my side door, so every fall the leaves blow from all over and congregate in my driveway, and so does the snow. You look outside, and all the neighbours’ driveways are spotless, but mine is either filled with leaves or snow. 

In my more youthful years, it wasn’t a major problem, but now with the onset of age and all its aches and pains, it’s become a pain in the butt and back, both literally and figuratively. (smile) But I guess them’s the breaks. You win some, you lose some, and you just have to grin and bear it. So now that’ I’ve emptied my spleen, (smile) let’s see what the Lord wants us to talk about today. 

And it seems that it’s a very timely reminder, as the Good Book just opened on this most important scripture, where the Lord is giving a charge to the Persian king Cyrus. And yes, He often used the heathen or pagan kings for His purposes. This is a portion of what He said to Cyrus, through the prophet Isaiah. 

‘For Jacob, my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting in the west), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:4-7) 

Yes friends, the Lord was going to use Cyrus to liberate His people Israel from exile in Babylon, and that message through Isaiah was a means of reassuring them that their God, He of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was still on the throne and still had their best interest at heart. And that’s the same message He’s sending to us today my faithful brethren: Our God is still on the throne, still controlling things, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand advocating on our behalf! 

And since He doesn’t change, it means, He still has our best interest at heart, He still has plans to give us a future and a hope, but we need to come to Him and make things right. The sinfulness, the depravity, the ungodliness, the move to drive him out of our society is not sitting right with Him. And how can we expect anything else eh, when we defame, blaspheme and turn away from a most holy, righteous and just God? 

How do you think He feels when we refuse to acknowledge His Son as the Saviour of the world, as the King of kings, the Lord of Lords and the Prince of Peace, amongst His many other titles? He must feel UNLOVED, hard done by, not wanted or needed, like all of us would feel, and do feel, when we are rejected by our fellow human beings. 

But please remember this most salient fact; there is no God beside Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, or whatever you choose to call Him. And remember too His words to Cyrus: ‘I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ That means He has control over everything and every situation in our frail and finite lives, because He is our Creator and Controller. 

Oh yes, he’s given us free will, but that’s only to a certain extent. In the long run, He’s still the BOSS, and can do exactly as He pleases without any input from us. And until we understand that, we will always live fearful and anxious, with a shadow of calamity hanging over our heads. 

But let’s clear up one situation here. The scholars explain that ‘The phrase I…create evil. (in verse 7 above) refers to physical evil or calamity, rather than moral evil. God is in no way pictured in Scripture as the author of sin.’ So, let’s get that straight once and for all: God doesn’t deal in sin, but He does cause calamity to overtake us because of or sin! 

And yuh know what friends, all I’m trying to point out here is the power and sovereignty of Almighty God. If he is Creator and controller of ALL things, then why are we so foolishly trying to fight Him, to have our own way, when we can’t even handle our everyday lives properly. That’s why Moses in his psalm prayed to the Lord. ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps. 90:12) 

And do we ever need hearts of majestic and godly wisdom in these turbulent and oh so dangerous times my people! It’s the lack of wisdom that’s catapulted us into the terrible times we are now experiencing. But friends, we know that once there’s life, there’s hope. And you ask, what’s hope, or what does it have to do with anything? Well hope is believing that good things are possible, then sincerely working towards those good things. 

And I just LOVE how Joshua Ryan Butler described hope in an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope.’ He writes: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything!’ 

That’s the gospel truth my fellow saints. Jesus’ arrival marked the beginning of hope, the beginning of life in this world marked by death. And that’s what we ALL need to work towards – the choosing of life over death. Thus crushing the enemy, who desires a world continually marked by death. So though our world is in tumult, please, please, let’s not give up hope. Remember Jesus is still with us in ALL we do, and He will help us overcome each and every situation we face. So, we need to keep on fighting the good fight in His name, more than ever right now! 

And for those of us who are sincerely doing that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are, to whom we gladly and joyfully belong. As one strong and grateful voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to trust and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…God is calling out to us through our calamities…but unfortunately…we are not listening to Him…and until we do… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 August 2021 Numbers 23:19a.

Numbers 23:19a.     God is not man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: 

These weeks passing too quickly for me yes friends! We are already into the middle of August, and we just finish celebrating the 1st of August long holiday weekend. (smile) That means fall, or autumn is just around the corner. But them’s the breaks, time waits on no one, and we must therefore conclude that this Monday in the middle of August is another excellent opportunity for us to take the bull by the horns, grab the baton and run with it, put into motion, the amazing plan that our wonderful God has designed for us from time everlasting! 

And yes, we have used a lot of clichés back there, but yuh know what, things become clichés because they are either the truth, or help us to understand the truth better. And the greatest truth in this universe is the Word of God found in His holy book, the Bible, our blueprint, our guide, our map for earthly living! So when we read in it, things like: ‘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) 

We know, we are totally assured that we are hearing the honest to goodness truth., because it comes from the Word of our God. Our Creator has good plans for each one of us, plans He created us to fulfill. And you are even further empowered to believe His Word, when it says: ‘God is not man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?’ (Num. 23:19) 

What a confidence builder that verse is my brethren! Our God has no need to lie, because He is omnipotent, possesses the power and the ability to do whatever He says He is going to do! As Jesus said to His disciples, talking about a camel passing through the eye of a needle: ‘With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) And we need to remember that most salient fact my people. Nothing is too big or too small for our God to do! He can do anything and everything! Therefore, there’s no situation He cannot put us into or take us out of. 

But I want to go back to that verse from Numbers about God not lying, because the scholars offer an interesting explanation of it. ‘23:19. The immutability (unchangeability) of God is stated. The word repent is parallel to lie and is coloured in tone by this very association. Here His repenting is related to falsehood. The concept of the truth of Yahweh is related to immutability (His unchanging nature). Since God is truth, He does not lie; in fact, He cannot lie: He is unchanging. God is utterly different from man. Something that comes far too easily for many men is impossible for Almighty God. He cannot lie (cf. Is. 31:2; 51:6,8; Jer. 4:28; Mal. 3:6).’ 

Oh friends, those are some good verses for you to look up, I just did, and they are all interesting, revolving around the Lord’s unchanging nature and the keeping of His word. But I will only spoon feed us the last one from Malachi, (smile) which we all ought to know anyway. ‘For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’ (Mal. 3:6) And we better had be thankful for that yes my people, because just like the Lord’s mercy and LOVE are overwhelming, so is His wrath, and you definitely don’t want to feel it. 

And His wrath is not just vengeful anger, but as Romans 2:5-6 says: ‘But after thy hardness (stubborn) and impenitent (unrepentant) heart treasurest up (stores up) unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God (when His righteous judgement will be revealed); Who will render to every man according to his deeds.’ (Rom. 2:5-6) 

So wrath is basically God’s justice for disobedience and thus rounds out His basic attributes of Mercy, LOVE and Justice, or as one commentator asserts: ‘A God who didn’t have wrath towards sin would not be a God of LOVE, because how could a God of LOVE allow sin to go unpunished?’ Good question that my people. And believe me, it will not! However, our ever-LOVING God, has also ‘provided a way of redemption; faith in the atoning blood of his Son.’

Anyway, it’s the start of our work week and many of us have fears, anxieties and concerns, re the state of our lives and our world, weighing heavily on our souls and spirits, so let’s take this opportunity to carry them to the throne of grace in prayer nuh. As one strong, confident but humble voice, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

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

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And as always, the answer to our prayers depends on keeping our promises and the right motives of our hearts. Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…  (Dr. Charles Stanley)                                                                                                                       

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2021 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.     ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

Well friends, it’s Friday, the day that used to be the harbinger of the weekend with parties and social gatherings galore, but is now just another day to stay cooped up at home and away from others, except your household members. Not only that, but if you do venture outside, you now need to wear a mask and keep a safe physical distance away from others. It’s still incomprehensible to see how life has drastically changed worldwide with the appearance of one li’l virus. (smile) 

But them’s the breaks! It’s the only way to keep the virus at bay until everybody has been vaccinated…at least we hope so, for we still don’t know a lot about the Corona virus and its several variants. And I really don’t know how else to encourage us but to remind us that as believers in Christ Jesus, we need to stay in close touch with Him and live the way He desires, especially in these times of many adversarial storms. 

You know sometimes storms come from behind you and drive you along quicker to your destination, meanwhile, others, like the ones we’re currently facing hit you directly in the face and try to destroy you. But with Jesus as your storm pilot, we are promised that they won’t ever destroy us. Yes, they might cause us some real difficult times, but they’ll never completely put us under. However, in the meantime, there are also some things we need to do to stay afloat, like these exhortations to obedience from Cousin Sol found in Proverbs. 

Listen to these words of awesome truth, wisdom and encouragement. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart (mind): So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:1-4) 

Oh my fellow believers, how true and wise are those words eh! And even more truthful, is the fact that too many of us supposed believers have not sincerely adhered to the Lord’s commandments for a rather long time, that’s why our lives are so topsy-turvy and confused right now. Unfortunately, we have allowed the immoral dictates of the world to infiltrate our thinking and way of life, and thus have fallen from favour with both God and man. 

It’s no secret that the world has no room for God and is doing its best to get rid of Him completely. But that will NEVER happen, because the Lord won’t allow it, neither will we, His staunch and faithful believers allow such an abomination to come to pass. But even in these tremulous and uncertain times, the enemy is still trying to evict God from His sovereign status in His universe, and sadly, we Christians are assisting them by being fearful, lazy, wishy-washy, sitting on the fence and not being strong and bold enough to face them mano-a mano and let them know the real truth of the situation; that Jesus is Lord, and despite their best endeavours, always will be thus! 

And there are so many scripture verses that tell us we should not be afraid of man. Jesus puts it best though with this warning from Luke’s gospel. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be ye not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) Yes friends, the death of the body is not the end of our lives, we still have our spirit man to account for, and the One who decides where we will rest for eternity is Jehovah God Himself. Man won’t determine that. 

And I like how Fritz Chery opens his article on the Bible Verses about the fear of man, that can be found on the biblereasons.com website. He says: ‘There is only one person that a Christian should fear and that is God. When you are fearful of man that will lead to a fear of evangelizing to others, of doing God’s will, trusting God less, rebellion, being ashamed, compromising, and being a friend of the world. Fear the one that created man, the one who can throw you into Hell for eternity. Too many preachers today fear man so they preach messages that will tickle people’s ears. Scripture makes it clear that cowards will not enter into Heaven.’  

What awesome words of truth my brethren! And unfortunately, these days, we supposed believers are so cowardly and fearful, we’ve become more afraid of man than God. So what kind of life do we expect to have under those circumstances eh? Nothing but a confused, troubled and calamitous existence, like the one we’re currently experiencing. 

And Cousin Sol offers us a few more pearls of wisdom as he continues: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or smooth) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength, refreshment) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thy increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:5-10) 

Oh mih bredrin, nothing has changed nuh since Cousin Sol gave us those guidelines long ago. The Lord our God is still the same yesterday, today and forever, and neither has His word or ordinances changed. So what has changed eh? We have. And if we don’t change back to what He desires, then crapaud smoke we pipe! As simple as that. 

Now, for those of us who sincerely want to get back into the good graces of our most wonderful God, this is the best time to start. Therefore, let’s go to Him in sincere prayer nuh, what we call our Friday Chant, and lay bare our hearts to Him in sincere repentance, asking for His awesome forgiveness and mercy. 

As one voice now: ‘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 as always my people, God’s response will depend on our subsequent behaviour and the motives of our hearts, which He will check out, before answering our prayer. Much LOVE!

fear not man…but fear Almighty God…who can destroy…both body and soul…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2021 John 3:16.

John 3:16.     ​For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

So friends, we have at last come to that sorrowful day of mourning in the lives of Christ’s followers! A day that we contrarily call Good Friday. But the truth is, that day, two thousand years ago, was one in which a most horrific crime was committed, the inhumane abuse and eventual crucifixion of Jesus Christ on an old, rugged cross on the hill of Calvary on the outskirts of Jerusalem. And the unbelievable thing is that this took place, less than a week after they had welcomed Him in such a wonderful manner on Palm Sunday, hailing Him as their Saviour, their Immanuel, with Hosannas to the Son of David! 

And it’s not so much the crucifixion itself that was most hurtful, but the shameful manner in which the dastardly act was perpetrated. As the song, ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ puts it, that Cross was and still is ‘the emblem of suffering and shame.’ But the most important point of that day is the purpose behind Christ’s crucifixion, why He allowed Himself to be so abused and demeaned. Hear His fateful words on the subject as He talks about there being one fold and one shepherd in His kingdom. 

‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it up again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down 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, as Jesus said, they didn’t take His life from Him, He gave it to them, willingly, so that a world of lost sinners could be saved, so that our horrible sins could be forgiven by a just and righteous God the Father, otherwise we would be heading directly to eternal damnation! 

But Christ’s sacrifice on that old, rugged cross gave us another option, a most wonderful one, that of reconciliation with our Creator! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘All praise to Jesus and His atoning death on our behalf!’ And what’s so great about Jesus’ sacrifice, is that the Father didn’t force Him to do it, but He did it willingly, because of His LOVE for the Father, and knowing the Father’s great LOVE for us! And that’s why we call it Good Friday, because the good of salvation, of atonement, of sin debt relief in full was embedded in, and born of that fateful act! 

Oh, glory be mih people! What a mighty and unselfish act! And that’s why we cherish that old, rugged cross, though it’s the ‘emblem of suffering and shame,’ the manifestation of an act that could only be described as ‘sufferation!’ And yuh know what friends? We ‘LOVE that old cross with the dearest and best, for a world of lost sinners were saved.’ And we’ll keep cherishing that old, rugged cross ‘till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old, rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.’ 

Oh my fellow saints, what a wonderful Saviour Christ is! Who else would have spilled His divine blood on a rugged, man-made cross for a bunch of ungrateful sinners eh? NOBODY! In fact, nobody else possessed the ability to pay for the sins of a lost and fallen world, just the sinless Son of God. And God LOVED us so much, despite the bunch of disobedient ingrates we had become, that He broke His own heart and sent His Son to earth to sacrifice His life on our behalf, so that we could have an opportunity to be reconciled to Him. Now if that isn’t real, true LOVE,I don’t what is nuh. 

As Jesus so graciously puts it. ‘For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Yes precious people, all we need to do is believe in Christ, and we become saved, sanctified, justified, forgiven, indwelt by His Holy Spirit, with our name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that means eternal life with Christ! Now what could ever be better than that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

So those of us who simply refuse to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour are just fooling ourselves, laying down a most unwelcome path to eternal damnation with that ole fool Satan, when we could have a most excellent journey through eternity with Christ. But as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. And that’s the same way with us hard-headed, stubborn sinners, who believe in the now pleasures of sin, and don’t think of the serious then consequences of our ungodly behaviour. 

Oh yes, there are always consequences to sin, because our righteous and just God can’t stand sin, can’t stand disobedience, and the pleasures of sin only last for a fleeting moment, while the consequences can last a lifetime, even an eternity. So my people, there’s no better day to embrace Christ and all that He stands for, than on this Good Friday, when He selflessly gave His life, His all for us, so that we could be filled with new and eternal life. 

And do we ever need His saving grace in this time of pandemic and strife that’s engulfing our entire world. So please, let’s go to Him in prayer nuh, the medium that He’s set out to communicate with us. So as one strong, sincere, but humble voice, let’s offer up our Friday Chant. ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and show the Lord that we are indeed faithful believers nuh, by handling the situation in a godly manner! Much LOVE!

…weeping may endure for a night…but joy comes in the morning…Easter Sunday soon come…

P.S. I didn’t forget the ordinary workingman’s spiel, but he was so angry today because the province wide lockdown that starts tomorrow, has cancelled his long awaited return to work, and he bluntly refused to talk to us. Them’s the breaks! (smile) Much LOVE!

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

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 14 November 2020 Deuteronomy 8:18.

Deuteronomy 8:18.     ​Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he who giveth thee the power to get wealth…

Oh, it’s a lazy, hazy Saturday morning… and I’m late and hazy and lazy too! (smile) Did some other things before coming down to write the Bit, and now I’m a li’l miffed at myself for not getting started earlier. But them’s the breaks. Get over it self! (smile) 

And what’s the news this morning eh? Nothing has changed! The world is still in a volatile, unholy, strife-filled mess. And if you like the status quo, then I suppose that’s good news for you. If you don’t… well what can I say eh? Nothing but keep praying, repenting, getting back to God…and tell everyone you know, shout it from the rooftops that that’s the ONLY way our world will ever recover some semblance of normalcy! Nothing much is going to improve until there’s a big God-centred Revival in our world; a LOVE Revolution! Now that’s my stand…and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

So, since it’s Saturday, let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And again, I only got three quotes instead of the usual five. And no, I’m not complaining – no way – because now I only have to wrap my head around three and not five quotes. Glory be! 

And he’s also continuing this new style of prefacing each one with this proviso: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But please remember we are only awesome and truly happy, calm and content in Christ Jesus; when He’s in us and we are in Him! Much LOVE and thanks to our wonderful Lord and Saviour! And also as usual, we’ll leave out the proviso from here on in. But please remember it in the context of Jesus. 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I choose not to criticize myself or others around me.’ Now that’s such a wonderful attitude! And besides our world is filled with too much criticism these turbulent days, unsupported criticism at that too. It’s one of our favourite games in this time of social media and rampant technology. And it’s one of those games where we like to give, but can’t take. We all LOVE to criticize, but we can’t accept it, even when it’s useful and true. 

Let’s stop for a moment and remember these awesome words of our Leader, Jesus Christ nuh. ‘Judge not (condemn not, criticize not), that ye be not judged (condemned, criticized). For with what judgement (condemnation, criticism) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) 

In other words friends, do unto others as you would like them to do unto you, because whatever you do, in whatever measure, it will eventually boomerang right back to you, and most likely you will be appalled at it. (smile) As the ole people would say: ‘Do so ent like so!’ And that’s the gospel truth, for we don’t like getting back the negative stuff we throw in other’s faces. 

But listen to this explanation from the scholars on the subject. ‘7:1-4. Judge not refers to an unfavourable and condemnatory judgement. This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgement of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudiced information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgement for with what…ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgement of God rather than our own judgement.’ 

Hope that clarifies the subject and means that our criticism level will drop by at least three quarters, because a lot of the time we criticize, it’s not even that we have prejudiced info, but NO info at all. That’s how bad criticism is in these troubled and uncertain times! 

And the second quote proclaims: ‘My potential to succeed is limitless.’ Now that is certainly true…but again under the right situation and circumstances. One must first be filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus and being obedient and obeisant to Him, so that we can be calm, happy and contented. But here’s the kicker in these words of Moses to the Israelites: ‘Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he who giveth thee the power to get wealth…’ (Deut. 8:18) Yes friends, unless we are living under God’s protective and powerful umbrella, our lives won’t be as thrilling, adventurous and successful. 

Remember His words to Joshua on remembering and meditating on His word and doing all contained therein? Why? ‘…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) It couldn’t be any plainer than that my people. And the thing we don’t understand about being successful in God’s mercies, is that with Him, success is lasting, not the uncertain, fleeting kind that comes when we try to accomplish it in our own strength following the ways of the world. 

So here’s the last quote…and it’s a dandy! (smile) ‘Difficult times are part of my journey and allow me to appreciate the good.’ And is that the indisputable truth! Thus the sayings like: ‘you can’t appreciate the sun until you experience the rain,’ ‘you can’t appreciate joy until you have experienced sorrow.’ It’s only when we experience the bad that we can truly appreciate the good. And nowhere is that clearer than in Jesus’ economy, for ofttimes He allows us to go through rough times to test our mettle, to mature us in His style. For we all know that we only truly grow in difficult times, not much in good ones. 

Now in this evil and sinful world difficulties do abound. And Jesus didn’t hesitate to remind us of that when He said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And He certainly overcame, hell, death and the grave. So he knows what He’s talking about. 

And His brother James puts it thus: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) Yes friends, we need to look at our trials from God’s viewpoint; that they are maturing us and making us more like Jesus in character which is God’s eventual plan for ALL of his children.

 And yes, most of us try to find a way to escape from the trials and temptations, but it’s necessary that we go through them if we want to mature and grow in our Christian faith. And remember too that the Lord has promised to always be with us, helping us all the way. Now that belief is what our faith is built on, and with it we can successfully navigate any problems we encounter in this world! So let’s stand strong and steadfast, surrounded by all of God’s faithful promises! Much LOVE!

…when trials and tribulation come…God’s saints successfully rise up over them…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.     Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
 

Friday, Friday Friday! Welcome! We welcome you Friday with open arms and thankful hearts, as you are the harbinger of the end of the work week! Only wish we would greet Monday so enthusiastically, instead of the constant dislike and resentment we display for it. But them’s the breaks, and however we make up our bed, that’s how we have to lie down on it. (smile) That’s just pure ole time wisdom, which, like our great God, never changes. 

So what’s new today eh? Nothing really. Our world is still in a crazy uproar with sickness and racial protests, and the sickness lockdown is being increasingly opened, and people are not being responsible enough, so we should possibly expect another rise in the Covid-19 situation. Ah Lord eh… Mankind is really something else yes! The only creation of God, that has no innate respect for itself, and kills itself willy-nilly, ofttimes just for the fun of it. But enough of my philosophizing, the workingman’s opinion will be much more interesting than that. (smile) 

And as always, he opens with the declaration: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Mama Yo! The weekend is upon we! No more slave labour for two whole, big days! Glory be! But unfortunately we have to mellow down that enthusiasm because of all the crazy stuff that’s currently happening in our world. The pandemic sickness and the pandemic unrest is just too much to bear for this long oui, and if something good, something positive don’t happen soon, the whole thing just going to blow up in we face yes! The whole thing is just so confusing…and yuh can’t find no truth, or what seems like truth anyway, no consistency in either situation. 

Steups! Everybody spouting some different story which only leading to more panic and dissatisfaction! The leaders and them either not telling we the truth about either situation, or just spinning it for their advantage. But I guess that’s what leaders do to protect their turf. This is one time though, I think that if leaders doh come out with a unified message, plenty ah dem soon won’t have no turf to protect. But what I know eh – a poor, lowly, workingman, still slaving for a living, still trying to make two ends meet in his middle age eh? All I can say is thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, when I can rest mih spirit and mih soul!’ 

Oh friends, the ordinary workingman might not be the brightest bulb in the room, but he certainly does have common sense, something that’s seems to be exceedingly rare these days, if not totally extinct! But these monumental and awesome and truthful words of Cousin Sol, found in the Good Book are right now staring me in the face. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’ (Prov. 4:7) 

Now why should we do that eh? Cousin Sol gives us these reasons. ‘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. 7:8-9) Oh friends, who doesn’t want promotion and honour and grace and a crown of glory eh? All of us do! But the only way to get them and have them last is by seeking and finding wisdom! 

And furthermore, Cousin Sol tells us: ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding: for the merchandise (gain) of it is better than the merchandise (profit) of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her (holds her fast).’ (Prov. 3:13-8) 

And now, blessedly, many of us are dying to find wisdom because of all the good things it brings, and are clamouring about where to find it? (smile) Don’t worry friends, listen to James, Jesus’ brother. ‘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.’ (James 1:5) Yes friends true wisdom comes from Almighty God and nowhere else! But as James also says, we must ask in faith, not wavering, not doubtful and wishy-washy, for God doesn’t give it to that kind of people. ‘For a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8) 

And just to show how important wisdom and understanding are, let us go back to Cousin Sol, as he declares (steups!) this awesome truth: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) So you see friends that wisdom and understanding are ever so important that God Himself used them to create the world, and still uses them to keep it together! 

That brings us to our Friday Chant, our prayer for mercy and grace, wisdom and understanding.  As one loud and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, 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!’ 

Yes friends, we now need to show that we are indeed true believers! That’s the long and short of the story! Much LOVE!

…sincerely seek God…and you’ll find…wisdom and understanding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2020 Matthew 22:36

Matthew 22:36.    ​Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?
 
‘May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, May Day, Brad May wins it in overtime….!’ That was the memorable call of announcer Rick Jeanneret on April 24 1993 when tough guy Brad May scored the overtime winner in the hockey playoff game between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. But ‘Mayday’ is also an internationally recognized radio word to signal distress. May 1, is also celebrated as May Day, a rite of spring with flowers, maypole dances and other gaiety. 

And last but not least, May Day, May 1 is also a day to celebrate workers rights, ‘commemorating the many historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement,’ and it’s a holiday in many of the approximately 66 countries in which it’s celebrated. Although, according to one web site, the recognition of the Labour Movement is not celebrated on that day in the country where it all began, the U.S. In both the U.S and Canada Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. 

So May Day is really many things in our modern society. And I guess May 1 2020 will also go down in history as the May Day that the Coronavirus pandemic kept us all indoors, with no real celebrations of spring, or labour rights, or anything really! (smile) But them’s the breaks mih people, we just got to grin and bear them! And I wonder how the ordinary workingman is taking it all eh? 

Here’s how: ‘Chuh! Ah tired saying TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui, because it don’t really have no more real significance. Every day is just like the one that went before, and the next one that coming. Nothing different to look forward to. Hn! Never thought I’d ever miss going to work nuh! But such is life. Ah guess when yuh accustomed doing something for so long, to just drop it without no warning for so long does bring some yearning for it. The slave master must be livid too since his business shut down completely and he not making any money. 

But I know he home resting comfortably, not having any real wants, because he personally could afford the shut down, is the people who working for him that can’t afford it. And sometimes now, when I see the protests about going back to work it gets me angry, and I want to join in. But the sensible part in me warns me that we need to take things easy and sensible, because if we open back up too soon, this virus chupidness could just resurrect its deadly head again! Steups! So who really have the answers eh? Hope they find a way to stop it soon yes, else we might just have riots in the street, with so much people not having much money or food to eat! Ah Lord, what’s next eh?’ 

And did our ordinary workingman hit the nail right on the head there mih bredrin! Things are indeed getting somewhat tense this last meeting. But as I said yesterday, our leaders are damned if they do, or damned if they don’t! Because there are so many people calling for either the lockdown, or reopen action, they really find themselves in a rather tough situation. It’s certainly a tough time to be a leader, and history will merely judge them by the eventual results, without any consideration to the many unknown variables that were then playing out. 

But my fellow saints in Christ, we have one solid answer, or starting point for it all; that most satisfying form of communication between ourselves and the impregnable fortress we call God; we talking about prayer! So let’s get to talking to Him nuh, through our rejigged Friday Chant for this Covid-19 season. All together now, as one strong voice, with sincere and pleading hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 

But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 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 use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also 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 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!’ 

Ah friends, we just have to keep on praying and hoping and eagerly and expectantly waiting in strong faith for God to move, while doing whatever little we can do to help the situation, be it stay at home and observe social distancing, or be out there on the front lines standing strong and steadfast, if you’re an essential worker! There’s only one thing we can be sure of; this too will pass, as so many other tragedies have. We just have to wait for God’s time. 

And the Good Book opened this morning to this most appropriate scripture, the words of the Lord our God through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen (prophets) over you, saying, hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.’ (Jer. 6:16-17) 

Oh my people that accounts for a lot of our problems right there! Our stubborn disobedience and hard-heartedness has made our lives unnecessarily difficult. And when you factor in our sinful, foolish and impossible effort to remove God completely from our society, it just makes our situation even worse. And God said it quite plainly through Jeremiah. ‘Hear, O earth: behold I will bring evil (calamity) upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.’ (Jer. 6:19) 

And the Lord did indeed punish Israel for not obeying Him. So why yuh think He won’t do the same to our ever so sinful and disobedient society eh? And please don’t tell me any foolishness about that was the Old Testament! For neither do God’s laws nor His nature change! The only thing that has really changed from the Old to the New Testament is Jesus coming and allowing us to be saved and our sins atoned for by grace and His precious blood, rather than animal blood sacrifices. The Ten Commandments are still the Ten Commandments, regardless of whether we faithfully teach them or display them publicly. 

And likewise, the answer to the sarcastic, pompous and tempting question: ‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law?’ Per Jesus, it’s still the same as it always was and ever shall be: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22: 37-40) 

Precious people, until this world starts acknowledging that Almighty God is its Creator, Provider and Controller and that we need to admire, reverence and exalt His Holy Name, while walking in sincere LOVE for each other, our world will never know real or true peace and contentment! Much LOVE!

where there is no vision (divine revelation)…the people perish… (Prov. 29:14a)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

So altogether 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 as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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