Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith 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!’ 

And the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2019 Psalm 23:4.

Psalm 23:4.   Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art (always) with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 

Oh friends, it certainly warmed the cockles of my heart – and God’s too – when you all shared with me your sentiments, your heartfelt desires to go to the Lord’s sanctuary on this Sabbath day to worship and praise Him, receive His healing Word, glorify His holy name and rejoice in His LOVING-kindness! It just brought these immortal words of Bruh David rushing into my mind: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1)  

Oh, what very appropriate words for those very appropriate sentiments! Yes, there’s nothing else in this world like a joyful gathering of the saints in sincere fellowship! There’s nothing like when we sing and praise our Maker and offer up heartfelt thanks for His wonderful blessings and mercies. All heaven joins in with us and the Lord’s praises just overwhelm His universe. 

And that’s exactly what I want us to do today as we sing this gospel song written by Tracy Dart, titled ‘God of the Mountain!’ Many of you might not know it, but it’s a slow, soulful song, not a dirge (smile) and once you read the words, if you’re a true believer, the absolute truth contained in them will have your hearts and voices soaring to the sky with thanksgiving. So nuff talk; let’s sing our soulful anthem to the Most High God Jehovah. 

‘Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known But things change, when you’re down in the valley. Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night 

We talk of faith way up on the mountain But talk comes easy, when life’s at its best Now it’s down in the valleys, trials and temptations That’s where your faith is really put to the test For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley, When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night.’ 

Oh my people, truer words were never spoken! Life is certainly wonderful on the mountain top; everything moving nice and easy. But down in the valley, it’s a completely different story. But yuh` know what, the same God that’s next to you on the mountain top, is the same one that you have in the valley, and He’ll make things right for you down there too. 

It’s like Bruh David said in that awesome psalm, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art (always) with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ That sends the message loud and clear my believing brethren: Wherever you are, on the mountaintop or the shadowy and fearful valley, you are NEVER ALONE, so there’s no need to lose faith and trust in Almighty God. 

Remember He is the God of both the good and bad times, as well as the God of the day and night, in fact the very God of EVERYTHING! So whatever the circumstances, it’s the same magnanimous and ever-LOVING God we’ll always be dealing with! So that ought to set our hearts at peace. 

But the eternal problem is that when life is good, talk is cheap and easy, and we all talk a good talk in the good times. But when those rough times down in the valley hit us, and our talk is tested, we suddenly lose our gumption and whine and cry, become so discombobulated that we can’t walk the big talk we had on top of the mountain. 

Yes friends, we see that happening amongst Christ’s saints every day. When the struggles of life hit us we’re quick to fear and faint, when we should be standing oh so strong and courageous in faith! Remember the parable Jesus spoke to the crowd: ‘that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) ‘Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ 

But unfortunately that happens to too many of us. The easy, sedentary life we live today has robbed us of our belly and backbone. But please remember my brethren, that the Lord will not allow anything to come against any of His people and not give them the wherewithal to handle it! 

So please let’s stand valiant and strong in Jesus’ name nuh, whether we’re in the dark valley, or the bright mountain top, cause it will all be smooth sailing when we get to heaven! Much LOVE!

…heaven will more than make up…for all the sorrows and hardships on earth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 May 2018 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

‘Sleeping in, sleeping in, sleeping in late on a somewhat cloudy Saturday morning!’ Yeh friends, the ole fella slept in this morning. But what’s the point of being alive if you can’t participate once in a while in some naughty antics eh? (smile) It really wasn’t planned though. I just happened to get up around six, as hungry as ever, and came down and had something to eat. Obviously, after that I had to go back and lie down. And the rest is history. (smile) 

Oh friends, there is so much strife and confusion and bitterness and anger going on all over our world that I don’t know what to comment on. So I’ll just stay with the volcano in Hawaii. At least that’s not a man made disaster. But it does seem to be getting worse rather than better. So let’s keep on praying for them and helping as best we can nuh. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s take a look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who truly aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.’ 

And that’s quite true people. The Lord has prepared a plan for each of our lives, with the wherewithal to be successful at it. So there is something out there for each of us to successfully accomplish. But it means we have to seek God’s plan for our individual life and proceed to put it into operation. 

And the second one says: ‘The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.’ Another particle of truth friends! It’s just the way life works. When we celebrate life, life celebrates us back in return, by giving us more stuff to celebrate. It’s just the positive attitude versus the negative one. 

And I believe that not enough of us celebrate the things we do, especially the small ones, falsely thinking that only big, momentous happenings are worthy of being celebrated. But if that’s true, then we’ll very seldom celebrate, because most of us don’t have many big happenings in our lives. Amen! 

Then there is: ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ Yes my brethren, life is like a roller coaster ride; up one side, then down the other. But the trick to living it successfully is to stay as even as possible. 

And remember when we are basking on the mountaintop, not to get too full of ourselves, because at some point in the future we WILL be heading for the valley. And when we hit the valley, just remember Bruh David’s immortal words; ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s ever so important for us to remember and put into practice, because in the valleys we will experience some very rough times, and it’s only our strong faith and God’s faithful help that will bring us back up to the mountain top. 

And the last quote declares: ‘The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.’ 

Now I want to question that somewhat. Happiness does matter but is that the main reason for us being on earth. I doubt it. It’s true that Jesus said he came that we might have abundant life and enjoy it to the full. (John 10:10) But more importantly, He also said we shouldn’t be overly concerned with the needs of our lives, because we can’t serve two masters at once. (Matt.6:24-32) 

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

There you have it my fellow believers; our most important action on this fragile and confusing earth. Seeking and searching, and knocking and finding God’s kingdom here on earth is our first and major priority. And the beauty of it all, is when we do that sincerely, everything else will fall into place. That’s Jesus’ faithful promise! 

That’s why Jesus continues: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:33-34. This portion of the Sermon on the Mount is summarized by seek ye first the kingdom of God. The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and its righteousness. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. 

The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom, and then all these things (material thing) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. 

We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

Oh my people, I don’t know how it could be stated any simpler nuh. But regardless of how many times we hear it, too many of us still seek the things of the world before the things of God. Remember though friends, there is always a price to pay for disobedience, and sometimes it can be quite high. So to him who has an ear to hear, let him hear. Much LOVE!

…in the immortal words of Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley)…our wisest action is to…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Ah friends, though the disasters and their devastating effects continue to haunt us, we must ALWAYS remember to give thanks for what we still have, most importantly life, and not mourn too much over what we have lost. 

It’s not easy going forward after the calamitous results of hurricanes and earthquakes, I can testify to that personally after experiencing hurricane Flora in 1963 in Tobago. But we have to move forward; that’s the only way that’s open to us. 

And we can ONLY truly move forward my people by truly surrendering to Almighty God, our Creator and Controller, by putting our sincere faith and trust in Him, and being obedient to His word. Who knows if that is the message He’s trying to relay to us through all these disasters eh? 

The wise thing to do would be to repent and turn back to Him, since we have strayed away from His fold and embraced pagan gods and man-made idols. And remember, from the very beginning, He commanded us in no uncertain manner: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:3) 

So although there have been numerous arguments as to what the words ‘before me,’ actually mean, the long and short of the story is simply as the scholars put it: ‘Thus the first commandment teaches that no deity, real or imagined, is to rival the one true God, who is the only One who matters. It demands an exclusive covenant relationship with Yahweh (cf.Ps.81:9-10). 

And we all know that we have not kept that covenant relationship, and the Good Book further tells us that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ (Rom.6:23) So that means all kinds of consequences are possible, up to and including both physical and spiritual death, for our blatant disobedience and intense desire to remove Him from all aspects of our society. 

Now the good thing about being in true covenant with Almighty God is that in times of trouble and disaster we need not be afraid. Oh we must be concerned, but bone-chilling fear is not necessary since the Lord has made several faithful promises to believers, including that He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, tough times and calamity are to be expected, but with the word of Jesus securely planted in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, we can stand strong and overcome whatever comes against us. 

Listen to Jesus’ words in our Bit, as He talks to His audience about care and anxiety. He tells them to first seek God’s kingdom and not the things of the world, because when they do, God will give them all that they need. Then He reassures them: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Now would Jesus lie to us? Certainly not! But we have to first believe in Him, and obey His commandments, and that is exactly what we are not doing in this ungodly society. Fear is no part of the Christian’s armour or ammunition. Our weapon is FAITH! 

Listen to Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) So once Jesus lives in us, we should not be overwhelmed by fear. 

And all of us know and often claim this famous verse of Bruh David’s words from Psalm 23: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

So why are we so quick to whimper and complain and fall apart when troubles befall us eh? Is it that we don’t truly believe? Who knows? 

But here are a few more comforting words, this time from Cousin Sol. ‘Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation of (trouble from) the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught).’ (Prov.3:25-26) 

The problem is friends, that we have to learn to deal with disappointments without being discouraged, without thinking we’re failures, but to have faith and hope and get up and start all over again. 

And why shouldn’t we be able to do that when our magnanimous God has been so beneficent towards us in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them now, so that our spirits can be uplifted and we can magnify and glorify our great and wonderful God. 

As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now let’s continue by generously sharing these blessings with others, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh…how blessed are believers in Christ…especially when they generously share their blessings…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2016 Isaiah 41:10.

 Isaiah 41:10.    Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Well top o’ the morn to you my Scrip-Bit family! Hope this missive finds you alive and kicking on this lazy, hazy Saturday. (smile) Life is short so we might as well enjoy it. We know not when our time will be up, so here is the first of two quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us to greater heights. 

And first off he tells us: ‘Make each day count. We don’t have all the time in the world. So focus on today and do the things you really want to do.’ That’s exactly what I was saying above. It is imperative that we make hay while the sun shines! 

And the second quote is also inspiring. ‘Reprogram your information intake. Program out negative and cynical thoughts from the media and society. Reduce your information intake. Then program in positive news and entertainment, more of your own thoughts and useful information such as personal growth tapes and books. Be selective and keep it positive.’ 

Ah friends, a lot of us certainly need to do that in this age of so much information and misinformation! Our world is going crazy with the wealth of information that’s now available. The problem though is that too much of it is negative and we can’t easily tell what is truth from prevarication to out and out lies. Therefore our minds are filled with lots of unnecessary and unproductive stuff, that’s why Anselm’s advice is so worthwhile. 

We desperately need to clean up our minds; purge what’s not useful and negative, and then replace it with only useful, positive, godly stuff. Give the television and social media a break; spend more time with God, your family and yourself.  That way we won’t be bombarded with all the nonsense that’s out there, seeking to invade our minds and spirits. 

And last but not least, seek to raise our faith and trust in the God of our fathers. Believe what our Bit says: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ 

Oh my people, why are so many of us supposed Christians still walking in deep fear of the world around us, when we have such awesome promises from our awesome God eh? We know He’s faithful to keep those promises and that He will work out everything for our good in the end, so why are we still so fickle and feckless? 

As Job says, we have to learn to take the good with the bad. (Job 2:10) We can’t be fearful of every little hiccup in our lives. And this morning I want to bombard us with some ‘Fear nots’ in the hope that it will encourage us to stand steadfast and strong in the power of God’s Word.  

Listen to Moses on the occasion of the biggest miracle of the time, when the departing Israelites were caught between the army of Pharaoh and the deep Red Sea.  ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex.14:13) 

And as promised, Moses stretched out his hand over the Red Sea which parted and allowed the Israelites to cross over on dry land, but when the Egyptians followed, the two halves came together again and drowned Pharaoh’s army. Now one would think that after such a mighty miracle, the Israelites would have been trusting and steadfast forever. Hn! But in the wilderness, three days later, at the bitter waters of Marah they were complaining, wanting to return to Egypt. 

Now hear Isaiah, as he talks about Israel being restored to Zion. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:4) 

And now, listen to these words of Bruh David that we all know and claim to LOVE and believe. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the day so my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23) 

Yeh mih people, if we believe all that Bruh David says there, then we should not be afraid of the vicissitudes of life. Then there’s Jesus to his disciples: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul….Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:28,31)  

Yes friends, ONLY the Lord can destroy body and soul, and we are much too valuable in His sight, for Him to destroy us, that’s why He sent Jesus to save us. 

And we’ll close with a simple, but powerful statement of Jesus. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32)  

How much more do we need eh my brethren, before we can truly stand strong and steadfast on the solid foundation of God’s eternal LOVE and ever-faithful promises eh? Steups! God alone knows yes! Much LOVE!

…it’s high time for those of us who call ourselves Christians… to FEARLESSLY stand up and be counted….