Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 August 2022 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20. Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.

Oh friends, can you believe it’s already the second of August? August just began yesterday, and we’re already into the second day. (smile) But that’s what life is all about, moving forward, and as such we can only live one day at a time, so please let’s put some more energy into living each day as fully and as godly as possible nuh. It’s all for our benefit! 

That’s one of the reasons why Christ sacrificed His sinless and holy life on the cross, so that we could live an abundant life right down here on earth, and not wait until we get to heaven to enjoy His many blessings. And many of us don’t enjoy the good life because we believe that we were not meant to enjoy life on earth, but that’s oh so wrong. The kingdom of God begins right here on earth when we believe, surrender and put our sincere trust in Christ Jesus! 

Please, let’s put these significant and magnificent words of Jesus at the centre of our hearts, minds and souls this Tuesday morning nuh. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) Yes my faithful brethren, Jesus came that we might enjoy this earthly life, even though it may be difficult and unpredictable. 

Listen to these marvellous words of His nuh. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Wow mih people! What an awesome statement! And if you’re a sincere believer then you know His words are true and thus there is no need to live anxious and afraid, or not to enjoy the life He’s so graciously granted us down here on earth. 

Too many of us go about sad and despondent, without hope and faith, especially when tough times come against us. But friends, that’s the very purpose of hope and faith; to be able to handle those hard times successfully. That’s why we have such awesome promises like ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And then there’s this big and ever powerful promise that covers everything. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) What a magnificent promise and encouraging word! It gives us the faith and strength to believe that even if things don’t work out good for us every day, in the long run though, our great God will make it all come together for our benefit. 

But we have to believe, to truly believe and put all Jesus’ promises into action if we are to live the abundant life that He died for us to have. We just can’t be wishy washy Christians, going about like the world with no sense of purpose, but we must be sincere, diligent, purposeful, and always eagerly expecting good things to happen. Like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) says: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today. And something good is going to happen through me today!’ 

Yes, that’s what Christ died to give us, ‘an expected end, a future and a hope.’ But we have first have to take hold of it and then hold on to it tightly. It won’t just fall into our laps and stay there and automatically lift us up. No! We have to put forth the effort to enjoy the benefits. Remember, we are in partnership with God, meaning that both partners have a job to do to make the partnership successful. 

And the fact is that God has already done His part, giving us Jesus to ensure that salvation and good fellowship with Him is possible. Now it’s time for us to do our part and accept His awesome but also free gifts of grace, mercy, salvation and everlasting life in His magnificent presence! Nothing else in the whole wide world can be better than that! Nothing else even comes close my people! 

However, we are doing ourselves and Christ a big disservice when we don’t sincerely take up His promises and live the lives He desires us to live. In other words, we’re making His sacrifice of no real importance, insinuating that He wasted His precious time and life to come to earth to save us woeful sinners. And refusing the gifts that Jesus died for us to have is the biggest insult, the most woeful crime or sin we can ever commit, especially if we go around telling others that we are Christians, followers of Christ, and don’t truly live for Him. 

But that’s what many of us do, live a hypocritical life, and why Christianity isn’t taken as seriously as it ought to be. Remember friends, we are Christ’s ambassadors down here, and whatever we project will reflect on Him. And if we don’t project the right thing, salt and light, then no one will ever want to come Him, because they would have seen nothing in us that makes it worthwhile. 

And the last thing Jesus told us to do was to ‘go out and make disciples of all the nations of the world, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

Now my fellow saints in Christ, the question is, are we doing as Jesus asked, to the best of our ability? And if we’re truthful, we’ll all answer a resounding, ‘NO!’ Because we are not bearing enough good fruit. And what did Jesus say about bearing good fruit? ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:23) So please, let’s take some time today to ponder our fruit bearing situation nuh; see if we are bearing any fruit at all, and if so, is it good or bad. That’s our homework for today. (smile) 

Now, for those of us who are trying our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all the world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong, proud and sincere 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!’ 

It’s now our bounden duty to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…Christianity is like Jesus showed it…LOVE and compassion in action… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 July 2022 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.     … and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.

So, another week has rolled by, pretty quickly too, and once more we hear that raucous shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ We’re so thankful that it’s Friday, even though we might not have done a lick of work for the week. (smile) But that’s just how we are these days; ruled by entitlement, a lack of work ethic, lack of brotherly LOVE, but ever so filled with greed, selfishness, and ungodliness. 

For many of us, God doesn’t even exist…and even if He does, it’s like some ghost-like figure somewhere far, far out in the universe, and He doesn’t have any real connection to man. Now there’s nothing that’s further from the truth than that, for God is with man, dwelling within those who revere Him and desire Him in their lives. And why would He not want to have anything to do with us eh, when He purposely created us in His own image, to have beautiful communion and fellowship with Him? 

And when we’d fallen so badly into sin, God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on our behalf, to take all of those sins on His own conscience and pay our sin debt in full by shedding His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary, giving us His righteousness for our sinfulness, making us righteous, justified and reconciled with the Father. Now if God didn’t want a relationship with us, why do all those things eh? 

The truth of the matter is that we have forgotten God, tossed Him aside, gotten too big for our britches, foolishly believing that we no longer need Him since our society has evolved so much, become so enlightened, so modern and prosperous. To make matters even worse, the enemy has also goaded us into falsely believing that the improvements in our society happened through our own strength and not through God’s grace and mercy. 

That leads me to wonder why some of us with all our money, power and the great medicinal achievements of our current world, still fall sick and die of simple diseases? Why we even die at all? It means that we are not in full control of our lives. Never were, and never will be! That there is indeed a greater power than us, One we call God, who created us and still controls all our goings and comings, and who still desires a warm and friendly relationship with us, because He doesn’t even want to lose one of His most precious creations to the enemy. 

God is right there, just waiting for us to acknowledge Him and ask for His awesome help in ALL our doings. Why do you think the Lord made the promise as far back as the Israelites release from bondage in Egypt, to never leave nor forsake us. (Deut. 31:6, 8) Why did He tell Joshua in no uncertain terms when He made him the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses: ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’(Josh. 1:5) 

Jesus also promised the disciples and all those who followed and believed in Him: ‘… and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) The author of Hebrews also resurrects God’s old but not extinct promise of never leaving nor forsaking us. (Heb. 13:5) And if God wasn’t interested in us, why would he make this awesome statement though the prophet Jeremiah eh? ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you and expected end (a future and a hope.’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Now please tell me, if we were living in harmony with God and with each other do you think there would be as much calamity, disaster and evil doings as there currently is in our world? Surely not! But because we are out of sync, living in disharmony with God and our fellow man, our world is in a terrible mess. Just look around…every day there are more disasters, both natural and manmade;  fires, floods, famines, more evil dictators and power-hungry politicians, claiming to work for the people, but in truth only filling their own pockets while the people suffer. 

Why is there still so much poverty and sickness in a world that’s never been as prosperous and enlightened? Because too few have too much and too many have too little, and the few are too greedy, selfish and godless to share with the many. That’s it in a nutshell folks. There’s enough wealth and prosperity in our world for most of us to live comfortably, if that wealth and prosperity were shared just a tad more equitably. Sermon done! (smile) 

But please, let’s never forget that turning back to God is an option, in fact our best option, and in doing so, we will always have the power of prayer to call on Him for His divine help. And there’s no better time for that than right now. So, through our Friday Chant, let’s confidently, but humbly, approach the throne of grace. 

As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And now, if we desire a positive answer from heaven, it behooves us to keep those promises, turn our lives around and live like God desires. Much LOVE!

…mankind might be God’s greatest creation…but he’s still only a created being…with all the inadequacies that that state entails…let’s not forget it… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 April 2022 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.      To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

And on this last Monday of April 2022, the second one after Christ’s triumphant resurrection at Easter, although the sun is shining under a slight cloud cover, we are not in any doubt of our past, present or future. And why is that you ask? Well, obviously because we are alive and kicking through the awesome mercies and compassions of our great God, which are new every day! And all God’s children gave out a loud, proud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Praise His Holy Name!’ 

And yes, we ought to be everlastingly grateful that He’s not consumed us in our iniquity, but even more so that He gives us a brand new start every day! Wow! Yes mih bredrin, our great God doesn’t believe in stale, left over stuff, so He gives us a new burst of His spiritual energy every single day of our lives, just enough to get us successfully through that particular day. And some of us might be greedy and want more than a day’s worth, but He knows just how much is sufficient for us. 

Remember Jesus’ words in the prayer He taught the disciples? ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ Yes, all we need is one day of God’s provision at a time, like He did with the manna He gave to the Hebrews in the wilderness. If they picked up more than a day’s worth, it was spoiled by the next day. (Ex. 16) And we must learn to be satisfied with what God gives us every day, don’t try to go running ahead of Him, because then we only screw up all His well laid plans for us. And sadly, our impatience, and our ability to wait on God and His impeccable timing is exactly why so many of us are getting nowhere fast. 

One commentator puts it simply and succinctly: ‘For us, God’s timing often feels like a long, desperate delay. God’s perfect timing does two things: It grows our faith as we are forced to wait and trust in God and it makes certain that He, and He alone, gets the glory and praise for pulling us through.’ That’s gospel truth my people! And Bruh David said it in Psalm 31: “My times are in Your hands …” (Ps. 31:15) More gospel truth! 

And there are so many scriptures in the Good Book that teach us about waiting on God’s perfect timing. So, this Monday morning, let’s remind ourselves of a few of them nuh. It can’t possibly do us any harm, and it will certainly do us much good. (smile) And we begin with this marvellous and true statement from Cousin Sol writing as the preacher in Ecclesiastes, where He wisely declares: ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.’ (Eccl. 3:1) And that’s no lie, for God has planned His universe with perfect perfection (smile) and nothing happens outside of His plan. 

And we ought to remember that, for as Cousin Sol writes in Proverbs 16: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) And the Lord is indeed sovereign over man’s planning and scheming, as so many of us have found out to our detriment. 

But these marvellous words from the prophet Jeremiah on God’s behalf, ought to boost our faith and trust in God, although they don’t seem to do so, otherwise we wouldn’t be as impatient and disobedient as we are. ‘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) Now, if God gives such a great promise, why would He do anything contrary to it eh? No reason whatsoever! 

And if He does allow us to go through hardship it’s only to test our faith and to grow us. And for that, He’s given us this magnificent and everlasting promise. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So as children of God, we ought to know and believe that He will indeed work out everything for our good eventually and wait patiently for His awesome timing. But our current behaviour doesn’t reflect that promise enough. 

And these words of Peter remind us that our God works on an entirely different timeline than us. ‘But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet. 3:8) Now that should make us put on our thinking caps. (smile) And furthermore, as Peter continues: ‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ (2 Pet. 3:9) 

That explains why we’re not consumed but receive new mercies and compassions every day. If the Lord wasn’t long-suffering, that’s patient, we would have been destroyed long ago. So please let’s give much thanks that patience is one of His many virtues. And I think that these words from Jeremiah in his Lamentations is a wonderful scripture to close on. ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:24-26) 

Now friends, there’s absolutely no way we can doubt those scriptures because they are the indisputable truth of God’s word. So please, let’s get ourselves together nuh, for our sakes and those of our children, and begin truly believing in what we read and waiting patiently on God’s timing, because He always has what’s best for us. There’s absolutely no doubt about that! And in keeping with all that we’ve said today, let’s go to our wonderful God in prayer, right now nuh, letting Him know our wants and desires through our Monday Morning battle Hymn. 

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

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

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

Now it’s time to show our sincerity by living the way we promised…provided we want to receive a positive answer from God. Much LOVE!

…living this earthly life is very simple…simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to him… (Uncle Charles – Dr. Charles Stanley)                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 March 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.     ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’

There they go again, the powers that be, stealing an hour of my oh so valuable sleep time! I already don’t get enough, (smile) but they insist on speeding up the clock with this Daylight Savings Time business, which no one seems to want, and they can’t prove to whom it’s useful. On the other hand, it’s been proven that it destroys people’s sleeping patterns and the tenor of their lives in general. But unless, and until, a majority of the populace think it’s worthwhile to rise up in opposition, then we’ll continue with the nonsense back and forth every year. 

And although that situation is a veritable thorn in the side, the positive side of the ledger is more than overflowing. That’s right, we always make more of the fewer negatives in our lives than the many positives, but that just keeps us from truly enjoying the many gifts bestowed upon us by our heavenly Father. And today we are going to open with a song which encourages us to take the latter position, namely: ‘Count Your Blessings!’  

Yes, my fellow believers, we are going into God’s gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise this Lenten Sunday morning, singing this wonderful song written by American businessman, local preacher and prolific hymn writer, Johnson Oatman Jr. (1856-1922). The song so wisely teaches us to concentrate on our blessings rather than our sorrows. 

And I like how the website www.godtube puts it. ‘God truly gives us so many blessings each and every single day. Some may even be so small that we might overlook them. The classic hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ truly reminds us to stop and give thanks for all God has done in our lives. This is definitely a pause we all need to take. Amen.’ So friends, let’s take that pause right now nuh, let’s stop and give thanks for all we have as we sing ‘Count Your Blessings!’ in a wonderful, up-tempo version, letting all the true thankfulness shine forth from our hearts through the sacrifices of praise that emanate from our mouths. 

As one beautiful and thankful voice: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain] When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain] 

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. [Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.)’ 

Ah mih people, that is the wisest thing we can do in these days of much loss and plenty travail; remember and give thanks for what we have, and not be weighed down by the memory of the things we’ve lost. It’s the only way to live the abundant life that Jesus died for us to have. As one commentator so wisely says: ‘‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time to count your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all the opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’ 

That’s the gospel truth, for in our difficulties are hidden opportunities for us to improve ourselves and our lives, but we will never see or find them, if we only concentrate on the negative side of the problem. And the fault lies predominantly with us because we don’t take the promises found in God’s word seriously enough. The Good Books talks a whole lot about the blessings to be found in His kingdom. And if you don’t believe me, let’s check out a few. 

Listen to how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer. He confidently declares (yeahhh!!!): ‘Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us ward they cannot be reckoned up (recounted) in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.’ (Ps. 40:5) 

And we all know that Bruh David endured a lot of unfair trouble in his life, as well as the consequences of his own mistakes, but he still could declare (awright!!!) that his blessings and the good thoughts of his God towards him were more plentiful than the negative aspects. And I’m sure if we counted our blessings they would also add up to more than our disasters. 

As Bruh David plainly acknowledges again in that magnificent Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – where he recounts how God knows everything about us and the wonderful way in which we were made. In perfect praise and thanksgiving he declares (yess!!!): ‘How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps. 139:17-18)  

And let’s not forget this one from the prophet Jeremiah that we all know and preach, but don’t action enough, where he proclaims on the Lord’s behalf: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards 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) Now isn’t that a scripture to cling to? Of course it is! 

Meanwhile listen to what Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, our God is worthy of much thanks and praise because He has opened a blessings account for each of us in heaven, through the work of Christ, from which He disperses it to us here on earth as we need it. 

And we certainly can’t forget these marvellous words of Peter. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-4) Now can we ever forget the greatest gift and blessing ever, that of salvation through Christ Jesus! No way…not if we are wise! (smile) 

And we’ll close with these most conclusive verses from Bruh Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, where he advises and admonishes: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) Now that’s the epitome, the perfect example of the Christian life; rejoice, pray and give thanks! 

So, in these difficult, turbulent and uncertain times, let’s not forget that our great and wonderful God is still on the throne of heaven and in perfect control of His universe, and all we need to do is immerse ourselves in His word and all the promises found there, because He has NEVER reneged on one promise, and will NEVER do so! Much LOVE!

…remember the good things…forget the bad ones…like God has done… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   15 November 2021 Psalm 84:12.

Psalm 84:12.     O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Now, since each day unerringly follows the other, like the moon automatically follows the sun, today had to be Monday because yesterday was Sunday, when we gathered in worship and the Lord refreshed and strengthened us to begin the new workweek with a strong fighting spirit, seeking nothing but victory for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His righteous kingdom! 

And yes, I know that’s a long, convoluted sentence, but sometimes those sentences are good, because they get us to stop and think about what they really mean, especially in this age of the short attention span, where we don’t have to use our brains to figure out anything, since it’s laid out right on a silver platter, short and sweet for us. But please remember that old saying, ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people. If we don’t use our God-given gifts, they will atrophy and eventually become useless. 

And sadly, that’s where our world is headed right now, what with things like robots, artificial intelligence and self-driven vehicles becoming more a part of our everyday life. Soon we won’t have to do anything for ourselves and consequently we’ll lose the use of most of our faculties. In fact, a lot of us have already begun losing the use of many of our faculties with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic where we were isolated for a long period of time. That only lead to a higher than normal amount of fear, anxiety, depression, mental illness and domestic abuse. 

But since the pandemic doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon, we desperately need to have a strategy in place to help us cope with all the negative stuff that’s currently circulating in our world. Now my brethren, the only avenue I see open and able to deal with our situation is living for Jesus! That’s the long and short of the story! Jesus is the ONLY One who can help us to successfully handle all the negativity that’s coming against us at this present time. 

And what grounds do I have for saying so. Listen to these encouraging and uplifting words of the psalmist. He positively proclaims: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps. 84:11-12) 

Wow friends! What a marvellous declaration! That’s why we believe, or rather we know that those who worship the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be able to withstand anything that comes against them. The Lord God Himself has promised it. As Jeremiah declared: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity) to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) And we all know that Jehovah God keeps ALL of His promises! He’s not reneged on a single one down through the ages. 

However, to command His marvellous benefits, we need to walk uprightly and obediently before Him. And with the free will He’s given us, it’s our choice, our decision to make. Please note though, these most important words of Moses to the Israelites. ‘I call heaven and earth to record (witness) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut. 30:19) And that charge still stands today my people! 

We still have the free will, the opportunity to choose life or death, blessing or cursing. Unfortunately though, many of us seem to be choosing death and cursing over life and blessing by refusing to follow the Lord, to walk uprightly and obediently before Him. That’s a totally unwise decision friends, one that we will pay for in the long run when we are eternally separated from God, and cast into the lake of fire with Satan, the prince of darkness and disobedience. 

Remember, what Bruh Paul said about disobedience: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is sternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) And just like the Lord keeps the good promises, He also keeps the tough ones. So, there will be no getting away in the end if you don’t walk uprightly and follow His Son Jesus. 

And that’s the very reason He sent Jesus to die on the cross. Hear Jesus tell it nuh. ‘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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) And that’s it in a nutshell. If you don’t believe in Christ, you will perish, as simple as that. 

And friends, from personal experience, I can tell you that though living for Jesus might seem difficult in this evil and ungodly world, the reality is that He gives you the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against you. He won’t always make life easy, but He will enable you to handle life. No other supposed deity can sincerely and successfully promise that. So I plead with you, please rethink your options, and if you haven’t already chosen Jesus, please do so asap, in fact right now, because tomorrow, or even later, could be too late. 

So, let’s go to the Lord in prayer, through what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and sincerely open up our hearts and souls to Him, pleading for His help. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

Now, if we want the Lord to keep His promises, it behooves us to keep ours. Much LOVE!

…free will is good…but only if used wisely…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 October 2021   2 Corinthians 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.     For we walk by faith, not by sight:

Chuh! Another cloudy, damp day! Why can’t the sun shine better than it’s been doing recently eh? And one know-it-all shouts out: ‘Because that’s the way the Lord designed it brother!’ Awright, awright, I know that. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it. And the brother went on to explain. ‘Remember, you can’t appreciate the sunshine without the rain; you can’t appreciate good without bad; you can’t appreciate Jesus without Satan. 

The Lord sent the light of Jesus to douse the darkness of Satan, so that we could have perpetual spiritual light, despite the outward physical lack of sunshine. And in fact, the light of Jesus permeates ALL darkness, so even when it’s dark outside, you still see light, Jesus’ light, shining through everything around you. Glory be my brother! Give thanks for the Light of Jesus!’ 

Okay, okay! I’ve been told! (smile) So let me get on with my Saturday job; that of putting the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week into some form of biblical thinking. And I do need the light of Jesus, to clearly see what I am doing, (smile) and His awesome help to guide my thinking. 

And the first quote advises: ‘Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.’ Now that’s very true. The first step is always the most important one! Even if you see the whole staircase, you can never make it to the top until you take that first step. And in living for Jesus that first step is ever so important, because it means surrendering your life, your will, your desires to an unknown entity. 

Giving up control of anything is difficult, especially if you don’t know, or can’t foresee what lies ahead. That’s why it’s often so hard for some people to come to Jesus, because He expects you to show some faith from the very beginning. And what is faith you ask? Simply put “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.” (Heb 11:1) ‘With faith, you don’t have to see something to know it’s real.’ It all calls for belief and trust. As the Good Book expounds: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight:’ (2 Cor. 5:7) 

That means: ‘We must believe in the things we do not see. This is the test of true faith, and we will be rewarded in heaven.’ And the opening portion of an article on the subject on the womansday.com website wraps up that quote very nicely. ‘Faith is defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something, and when it comes to religion, faith is one of the cornerstones of your personal relationship with your spirituality.’ 

That segues right into the next quote: ‘Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.’ There again, it all revolves around faith, trust and surrender. As Jesus said: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt. 21:22) So, you must believe! And you can only believe, if you have faith! ‘God will grant you what you ask for in prayer. Once you will believe, he will.’ 

And Jesus was even more explicit when He told the disciples: ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ (John 15:7) That means we need to keep Jesus’ words in our hearts and live them out in our lives if we expect to see His goodness, expect Him to answer our prayers. And please note that He wasn’t talking about any foolish or self-serving prayers there, but prayers that meet the requirements of His awesome word. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘You manifest what you believe, not what you want.’ Now that’s somewhat confusing, because I think it’s possible to manifest what you believe as well as what you want. Generally speaking, what we believe will show out of us, but then it is also possible to hide our real beliefs and show what we want to show. And I think that Jesus’ words, re the Pharisees dispute over the disciples eating with unwashed hands, highlights that dilemma. The Pharisees pretended to believe one thing, but their outward actions usually showed something different. 

That’s why Jesus told the disciples: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt. 15:11) And later on, when they didn’t seem to understand His words, He explained. ‘Do ye not yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders and adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt. 15:17-20) 

Yes friends, ordinarily, we like to think that people manifest what they believe, like Christianity for instance. But then again, too many supposed Christians don’t manifest, or show their Christian beliefs in their outward actions, otherwise our world would not be in such an evil and ungodly state. 

And the last quote declares: ‘Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.’ Yes and no! The Lord has a plan for every life He creates. As He says through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) That means God has a destiny mapped out for all of us, but we can either seek His will, find out what’s His personal plan and execute it, or we can turn aside and do our own thing. 

The fact is, sometimes He will allow us to go our own way, but at other times He won’t. I am a perfect example of that. I never intended to be writing about biblical stuff, and when the Lord broached the idea, I laughed and said I didn’t know enough about the Bible to do it. But He kept on pursuing me until I agreed. And look at all the people who, when He calls, give up good worldly living to do His bidding, which often entails a drop in their societal position. That’s their destiny calling! And they have no choice but to follow it. 

And yes, we have free choice, but only to a certain extent. The Lord allows some of us to do certain things, and we think we are in control, making our own choices, but friends, He is always in the background maneuvering our destiny. And He often allows us to make bad choices so that we can realize we are not in total control. Hopefully, that will cause us to come running back to Him, for He desires all of His creation to remain in His fold. He doesn’t want to lose even a single one. Please, let’s remember that and live our lives accordingly. Much LOVE!

…faith in God doesn’t come overnight…it grows with each passing day…                                                                                                                

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wow! How wonderful is that eh? And that’s the way God’s economy works my people! You believe, then you see! Not like the world acclaims: that seeing is believing, and touching is the naked truth! And that’s the unwavering kind of faith we need to believe in Christ Jesus and all the many promises He’s made us. Listen to how God’s Word puts it nuh. ‘Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible).’ (Heb. 11:3) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 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                   

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