Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2020 Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:4.    ​And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
 

Thank you Queen Vic (Victoria) for this holiday Monday, although we can’t celebrate it as we usually do in outstanding form, (smile) mainly because of the lockdown, the physical distancing and severe cleansing measures made necessary by the Coronavirus pandemic. But not to worry, we will get in some celebrations, just not as much as we usually do. We certainly won’t let your day go by without honouring your strength, positive attitude and good governance. That’s why they say B.S. baffles brains! (smile) 

Ah friends, in some of the old British Crown Colonies we’re celebrating a public holiday in remembrance of Queen Victoria (1817-1901). She ruled Great Britain from 1837 until her death in 1901. Her 63 years on the throne was the longest of any of her predecessors. And though a little more than five feet tall, she was reputed to be saucy and outspoken and not easily cowed, thus the prosperity of Great Britain during her reign. And who knows how she would have reacted to our current circumstances, but we know that our first reaction today ought to, and will be prayer, because it’s the most powerful too in our tool box. 

So without further ado, let’s get to our Monday Morning Battle Hymn nuh… And I can’t help but chuckle as I remember how we touted it as the antidote for all that ailed us. Now it’s still very useful, but this Covid-19 stuff has brought it up somewhat short. But nonetheless, the One to whom we pray is more powerful than whatever is in the world, and He can change everything by simply lifting a finger, so there’s no shame if our prayer takes a while to be answered. So altogether now, in confident humility, let’s call on our great God for grace and mercy in these disastrous times. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. Our anxieties have even deepened in the last few days because some restrictions have been lifted, and more of us have to go to work now. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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!’ 

Ah precious people of God, right now we’re in some treacherous times, times like we’ve never experienced before. Times of pain and sorrow, sickness and death are manhandling us, the Grim Reaper seems to be in every corner of the universe at the same time, with no sure end in sight, well man’s end. But I want to remind us of two things; the first being that while there is life, while God’s breath is flowing through our bodies, there’s always hope that things will get better, especially if we walk in sincere obedience to His will. So let’s not fret and fuss and fear too much. Let’s have faith in our God to answer our prayer for healing in His own time. He’s always been faithful, so why should He change now eh? 

And the second is for us to remember this magnificent promise, though it be for another time: ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ Oh my fellow saints in Christ, we are indeed shaking it rough today, and most likely will do so for the near future, but we have God’s faithful promise that one day, when the New Jerusalem comes down to earth, that all the sorrow and pain and death and crying will be no more! Now isn’t that something great to look forward to? It certainly is! 

Remember too that earth is not our real home, we’re only pilgrims down here, but heaven, or wherever Jesus is, that’s our real place of abode, where we’ll spend eternity with Him. Remember the basis of our faith and eternal life is Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As He said to Martha after Lazarus had died: ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (John 11:25-26) 

Now friends, that’s the trillion dollar question we all have to ask ourselves today? Do we truly believe in Christ’s resurrection, and that we will live triumphantly with Him in the glorious end? If so, then we cannot allow today’s problems to frighten us so much that we give up. Remember the words ‘give up,’ are not found in Jesus’ vocabulary, and consequently not in that of His followers either. 

So please, I implore us this Monday morning in the middle of May 2020, during this time of pandemic, let’s stand strong and steadfast for Christ nuh! He sacrificed His life for us, the least we can do is stand a li’l pressure and hardship for Him, especially when we know for a fact that He who is in us is greater than he that’s in the world, and that our great God will eventually work all our problems out for good, because we sincerely LOVE Him and are called to do His work! Much LOVE!

…when fear knocks at our hearts…send faith to answer it…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2015 2 Chronicles 7:14‏

2 Chronicles 7:14.   If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Aye Friends, please blame the lateness of this Tuesday morning Bit at the feet of Queen Victoria, as I was up till late last night, early this morning, celebrating her day. (smile) But not to worry, it was celebration of the good kind.
 
And then, before I went to bed, I obviously had to spend some time sitting out on my front porch enjoying the peace and quiet of the morning, communing with nature and my most wonderful God.
 
Oh my people, you wouldn’t understand how peaceful and quiet it is in my neck of the woods at that time! I sit out there and just let the gentle breezes blow over me, as they rustle the leaves of the trees, and the night insects sing their songs of praise to their Creator, with the sounds of the highway acting as background noise in the distance.
 
Such a feeling of peace washes over me, that this morning I had to force myself to get up and go to bed, the atmosphere was so amenable to sitting out there for much longer. (smile)
 
Ah Friends, what’s the point of God giving us these natural amenities for rejuvenating our spirits, if we don’t make use of them eh? None whatsoever!
 
Anyway, here’s an interesting piece of advice from my Friend Anselm, as he attempts to inspire us for a better tomorrow. He says: ‘Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.’
 
What a wonderful bit of advice that is my brethren! It brings to mind the saying that ‘silence is golden.’ And it surely is, especially when what we’re planning to say is just going to provoke strife and negativity.
 
Oh, the many negative actions we can avoid if we’ll only think before we talk! But that seems to be one of our big downfalls, especially in this age of quick communication and social media.
 
Instead of cutting back on our talking, we seem to be talking even more than usual, and consequently talking more nonsense than usual too. The amount of confusion this social media is causing it’s not funny, yet we still insist on using it irresponsibly.
 
Ah mih people, until we put the words of our Bit into serious action, we’ll never become a responsible society. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ 
 
As we said yesterday, there are four areas we need to deal with if we are called by God’s name, and we are, as Christians. The first is to humble ourselves before Almighty God, then pray to Him, sincerely seeking His face, while turning away from our evil ways.
 
Oh Friends, it’s right there in black and white! And it’s not rocket science either. But the evil is so ingrained in our nature, and the lust of the flesh and our LOVE for the things of the world are so great that we don’t seem to want to turn back to God, or we find it difficult to do so.
 
But Friends, please be assured of one thing; if we truly want to seek God, we’ll find Him, because the Lord will certainly enable us to do it. The problem is that when He scans our hearts, He discovers that our motives and desires are wrong, they do not mesh with His will and desire, so He ignores our insincere pleas.
 
Now I had planned to share some scriptures that deal with the four areas in which we need to come up higher, so that God can hear us and heal our individual hurts, as well as our ungodly society. But before we can do that, we need to refresh our memories that we are indeed God’s people, called by His name.
 
Yesterday we saw one example of that through Moses laying out the blessings of obedience to the Israelites. Now listen to Isaiah’s declaration to the children of Israel, as he details to them the gospel truth that God is the only redeemer of mankind.
 
‘But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel. Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
 
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.
 
For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Sheba for thee (in thy place). Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (honoured), and I have LOVED thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.’ (Is.43:1-4)
 
Yes my brethren, the bunch of modern day people called Christians, belong to the Lord! We are called by His name, He has saved and redeemed us through the sacrificing of His Son Jesus Christ!
 
That means we have a responsibility, a serious duty to behave and act according to His desires and commands. But obviously we’re not doing that on a wide or strong enough scale, which results in our even more sinful nature and the disastrous state of our world.
 
Ah Friends, we are God’s chosen people, let’s behave like it nuh, and not like Lucifer’s evil cohorts. Our bounden duty is to behave godly, and spread Christ’s gospel, so that the heathen, the unbeliever, will have a chance to turn to God, to accept His free gift of grace that leads to salvation and eternal life.
 
Now, if we, God’s people, called by His name, don’t do it, then please tell me who will eh?
 
And we’ll end with that trillion dollar question. Friends, please, let’s seriously and sincerely ponder it today nuh, and with God’s help, come to the right conclusion. Much LOVE!
 
…Christians are meant to be Christ-like…the salt of the earth…and the light of the world…a beacon to guide others to a wonderful relationship with Christ…
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 June 2014 Acts 4:19

Acts 4:19.      But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

And then it was Friday…Friday the 13th to boot!

‘So what,’ shouted the people? ‘Who believes in those old-wives tales any way? We’ll still sing TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And thank God the weekend is finally here! No evil forces can stop that. For it’s the Lord’s will and desire! So shout it out loud and proud: TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend’s here!’

Yeh Friends, sure believers in Jesus don’t worry about the evil forces who are supposed to be in the ascendance on a Friday the 13th. Simply because none of those evil forces can stop God’s time. Jesus has already defeated them all, so they are only ‘flimming and flamming’ now, without any real power at all, just working on our natural fears and anxieties.

So let’s chant our Friday Chant with much energy and enthusiasm, that some will rub off on all of those who hear us. As one harmonious voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Good chanting Friends, good chanting! Now let’s go and put it into practice. (smile)

And we’ll continue studying the stuff that the mighty moving of the Holy Spirit wrought at that memorable Pentecost, some two thousand years ago.

Yesterday we saw the apostles, Peter and John, stand up strong and brave to the Jewish leaders, with Peter boldly declaring that the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ was the source of their power. And that Jesus was the only one by whom salvation could be obtained.

Now the Jewish leaders were obviously unhappy with the situation, but what could they do? They had a group of uneducated, lower class men speaking bravely and powerfully to them, and a lame man who had been healed through their instigation, in the sight of countless people.

Those were facts they could not deny. But how were they to handle the delicate situation, without losing face and power; that was their quandary.

So they put Peter and John outside and ‘conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle (a remarkable sign) had been done by them is manifest (known) to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly (severely) threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.’ (Acts 4:16-17)

Oh Friends, how the forces of evil are troubled and affrighted by the name of Jesus! So much so, that they try and stop us from speaking His Holy Name. Hn! But they do try in vain!

As the scholars so wisely and rightly declare: ‘4:12. The name of Jesus Christ is the centre of contention (v. 7, 10, 12) and ever will be. Salvation for Jew and Gentile alike is exclusively through the name of Jesus Christ (cf. John 14:6).’ 

Oh yes my fellow believers, you can bring up any other name in the world, in any kind of company, and none will cause as much contention as Jesus’!

Why my people? Because of the inherent power vested in that most remarkable name! It just touches a hidden nerve in our beings; a chord programmed thus by our Creator, at our creation. Else why would a single name cause so much contention, consternation and dissension eh?

Anyway, having made their decision, the Jewish leaders called the apostles back into the room. ‘And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’ (Acts 4:18-20)

Oh mih breddren, what a way Peter has developed into this brave and courageous believer! So that he can now look the Jewish elders in the eye and tell them to get lost. Oh the power of Christ’s Holy Spirit! For it was simply Holy Ghost power that Peter was operating on.

‘So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how (for which) they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed (had been performed).’ (Acts 4:21-22)

Oh Friends, I just LOVE it! I just LOVE the way our wonderful God moves in His most mysterious ways, His works to perform! The problem though is whether we are allowing His Holy Spirit to put such courage and confidence in our everyday lives? That is the trillion dollar question my people!

And it’s obvious that as a church, as a body of worshippers in the name of Jesus Christ, we are falling far short of expectations, otherwise our world would not be in such an awful mess, lacking LOVE and kindness, but full of hate and resentment. 

Oh my brethren, it’s time for us to conquer our fears, anxieties, or whatever is keeping us from doing a good job in Jesus’ name. It’s full time we allow His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in all truth and righteousness, so that we can joyfully and fearlessly proclaim His name to all the world, as He desires.

We’ve seen how the Holy Spirit moved in the early believers, and it’s still working the same way today. It’s just that we aren’t making the most of it, although we have more information, freedom and opportunity to do so.

Ah Friends, let’s wake up and smell the sweet perfume of those lovely roses nuh. Let’s see the evil and hateful world for exactly what it is – a stinking cesspool – and come to the great realization that without our best efforts, our world will only become more evil and hateful.

Is that the legacy we want to bequeath to our descendants? I greatly doubt it. So let’s hitch up our breeches, pull up our socks and allow the Spirit of Jesus to work in us as it should nuh… for our children’s sake. That’s wisdom to the nth power! Much LOVE!

…a believer who doesn’t embrace the leading and guiding power of Christ’s Spirit…is no true believer at all…