Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2020 Isaiah 41:13.

Isaiah 41:13.     For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 
 

Aye mih people, the last couple of days been pretty rough on the ole fella. Yeh, the joint pains and them just been disgusting, and the pain pills and them not helping all that much either! And the sad part is that I don’t remember doing anything to exacerbate them to that extent. But on further ‘ponderation,’ I’m beginning to think that that’s the very reason for the preponderance of my recent pain: I haven’t done anything, meaning like exercise. 

It certainly seems like whether you do, or don’t do, the same painful effects follow. Our bodies are certainly wonderfully made yes! (smile) But enough of my complaining, I should realize by now that the process of aging includes the preponderance of pain! Wow! What a brilliant deduction! (smile) 

But here’s another brilliant deduction, this time from someone from whom we haven’t heard for a long time; one of the foundation stones of our Bit. We talking about Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) And from His Hour of Power Devotional he enlightens us on ‘God’s Peace.’ 

‘We take God’s promises in vain. No wonder our trembling world is so frightened!’ And isn’t that the living truth! That was written way back in at least 2004. Can you imagine what He would say if he was alive to see how frightened and panicked we are today over the pandemic and racial protests situations? 

But listen to how he continues: ‘Let’s have an honest understanding. God is not the inventor of fear. He is not responsible for our worry, fear, and anxiety. It’s our own fault. If we took God’s promises seriously, we would mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and never faint.’ (Is. 40:31) 

Now that lines up very nicely with Bruh Paul’s revelation to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) So what does that mean eh? Simple; when we feel fear, especially the kind that just seems to trap us in an immovable position, like a deer in the headlights, then that situation is not of God but of our enemy, the devil. 

And Gramps Schuller uses the example of a man who goes to bed fearing he won’t be able to fall asleep, and that will lead to lack of energy on his job, which will further lead to mind problems; he’ll crack up. And there goes his career! ‘So his imagination works overtime and before he knows it, he has fabricated a terrifying ghost that haunts his mind, and robs him of the joy of living!’ 

And don’t we do that sort of thing all the time my brethren? We certainly do! We imagine all sorts of problems that could crop up, but in reality will not, and then we give ourselves unnecessary headaches over them! And I like Gramps Schuller’s remedy for such situations. ‘What he needs is spiritual therapy!’ Mama Yo! Now isn’t that the gospel truth? It certainly is! 

‘Let him read some of God’s wonderful promises of peace and LOVE and power and in quietness of mind he will rest in a natural sleep.’ Yes friends, that is exactly what we all need in these difficult and uncertain times, when the twin aspects of fear and panic are constantly hovering over our society like a storm, even a death cloud. 

Gramps Schuller recommends this solution. ‘Quietly, gently, tenderly, let the promise of God fall softly and sweetly into your tense, tight mind.’ Then he quotes salient parts of these wonderful scriptures. I will give us the full scriptures though. ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Is. 26:3) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

The last quote of Gramps Schuller was simply “I am the Lord your God.’ However there are so many passages of scripture with those words attached to them, that I am not sure which one he meant; possibly all of them. (smile) I will quote this one though that seems appropriate to our current topics of fear and peace. 

Hear what our great and wonderful, merciful and gracious God says through the prophet Isaiah. ‘For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.’ (Is.41:13-14) 

Oh precious saints of Christ, what more must out God do to receive our sincere trust, faith and surrender eh? He’s given us so many wonderful promises in His holy Word, it’s now our duty to accept them and hold on to them and use them in a positive manner. But hear how Gramps Schuller ends this devotion nuh. ‘Reach for your Bible, friend, and underline the positive promises of God and trust them. Indescribable peace is bound to follow!’ 

And that I can personally testify to! So can many of you. But the problem persists: we don’t read our Bibles enough, and don’t hold on as securely to the promises found there as we ought to! We let the devil and the world infiltrate our thoughts with their fear and other nonsense too much, that’s why our minds are so uncertain and fearful when troubles come. 

And my people, right now troubles are coming a mile a minute, so we need that peace, steadfastness, and trust, so we can stand strong in the Lord! That means much more of reading and studying the Word, and accepting it and living it! That’s the only way we’ll ever find peace in these trying times. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere and fearless hearts: ‘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!’ 

So let’s go out and do just that nuh; be the salt of the earth, rise on wings like eagles, be the light of the world! Much LOVE!

…if perfect LOVE has no fear…and we have fear…that means we’re not LOVING perfectly… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2020 Psalm 119:89-90.

Psalm 119:89-90.     ​Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations: you established the earth, and it endures.
 

This Tuesday morning has opened somewhat dark and cloudy in my area, but the sun is valiantly trying to push through the dark, ominous looking clouds. How successful it will be though, is anyone’s guess. But I just want to remind us that despite the physical darkness or light of this world, we have a spiritual light that emanates from our magnificent Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ which NOTHING in this world can ever dim or darken! Wow! And all God’s children declared a loud, and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and honour be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!’ 

Yes friends, on those three omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present deities or God-heads, is where ALL of our praise, honour, thanks and glory ought to rest. And yuh won’t believe it nuh people, but I just went upstairs to reheat my caffeine, and lo and behold, was greeted by a brilliant burst of sunshine! The sun has actually won the battle! Just goes to show the awesome power of light over darkness! (smile) And what other encouraging words or news do we have to offer today? Well just this: ‘The Facts!’ 

Yeh bredrin, some awesome facts of life are what we’re talking about, as released in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So please pray with me: ‘Lord When I feel I can’t possibly make it When I feel deluged with problems When I feel helpless Against the strange twistings of life When I feel there is no way out The FACT is You have a plan You know what You’re about. The FACT is The greater the strategy of the Enemy The greater the assurance of victory. The FACT is The worst may seem to happen But the best is on the way. God, hold me to the facts.’ 

And it’s all so true my fellow saints in Christ! Whenever life seems to come against us, as the poem says so sweetly ‘the strange twistings of life,’ we need to remember that we have a heavenly Father who is the most powerful, most generous and most LOVING Being in this universe, who will not let anything evil overtake us! But the FACT is, that WE have to remember it and stand strong in His promise! And don’t worry, If we hold on to God, He will help us to hold on to the facts. The facts which are contained in these eternal words of truth, that are associated with today’s poem. 

Now I’m faced with a dilemma here: you all know I’m partial to my King James version of the Word, but the NIV, the New International Version used with the poem sounds good and somewhat more appropriate than the KJV. Steups! And I was just guided by the facts: share them both! Yeah! So here goes. The KJV says: ‘For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled (stands firm) in heaven. Thy faithful ness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth (stands, endures). (Ps. 119:89-90) Now hear the NIV: ‘Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations: you established the earth, and it endures.’ 

Yeh mih people, they say the same basic things but just in a slightly different fashion. And for today, I think I’ll use the NIV as our Bit. Now don’t get worried my purist friends, the KJV will always be our favourite, but sometimes we do need to use other resources. (smile) That brings us to this other powerful verse from Psalm 119. ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) And that’s exactly what the Word was given to us for; to lead and guide us on this strange, twisting journey that we call life on earth! 

But we have to read it, study it, and then keep it, do as it says. Otherwise it is of absolutely no use to us. And that’s why so many of us supposed believers are not living the full and abundant lives that Christ sacrificed his sinless life for us to have: we don’t read, study, or put the Word into action, like we ought to. 

Oh fellow saints in Christ, the Word of the Lord is our most important asset and guide for earthly living. But we have to use it. Hear how Jesus describes it nuh. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt.24:35) Now that’s as simple and straightforward as it can get! Everything else may, and eventually shall pass away, but the Word of the Lord will endure forever! 

So why do we doubt the Word of God eh, and not put it to proper use in our lives eh? Because we’re proud and foolish and believe that we no longer need God in our lives, we can do it all on our own. But if we look closely at the state of our world right now we’d see that we cannot make it on our own, the problems of life are too big for our finite, puny minds and oversized egos! 

But please listen as Peter uses the words of Isaiah 40:6-8 to address us. ‘For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:24-25) What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. But just remember that one day we’ll all have to stand and answer for our deeds here on earth, and as Sun Rise says, we can’t take the big house, the big car and the plenty money with us to the grave, we have to leave them all here for others to use and abuse. (smile) 

So let’s go home now declaring… (brother, can’t spell that word right for LOVE nor money!) So let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Tuesday Mantra telling the world who and whose we are, to whom we gloriously belong. All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 obvious corollary to all that is for us to now go out and share the wonderful LOVE, trust and friendship of Jesus that’s supposed to distinguish us from the rest of the world. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials),
 

‘Everything’s coming up roses…’ Well friends, it’s not really coming up nuh, it has already come up! We talking about the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and all that does and says for us poor sinners! Wow! And yes, we might be going through some rough and trying times now, but those are only here to test our faith, endurance and perseverance, because we already know the end of the story; Jesus has won the victory over the enemy! Glory be! 

James, the half-brother of Jesus puts it quite succinctly when he speaks of faith and humility. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials), Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall, (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.’ Then the scholars note, as per ‘1:4: The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

Yes friends, as a true believer in Christ, we WILL experience testing, and it is NEVER easy to accept trials and tribulations with joy, but if we hold on tightly to Jesus, be the branch that’s seamlessly welded to His vine, we can successfully withstand the rigours of those tests. And remember, He promises not to give us more than we can handle. 

Bruh Paul explains it thus: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) That doesn’t mean we will necessarily escape the temptation, but He will always assist us to land safely on the other side. So as the old people would say: ‘Yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide from temptation and testing!’ (smile) 

And Peter in his first letter to the scattered diaspora of early believers stated it more fully. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be relieved in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-6) 

Yes my people, it’s through God’s abundant mercy, whereby Christ was resurrected, and the faith in Him that we manifest that allows us to look forward to the wonderful indestructible inheritance at the time of ultimate salvation. And though life might be hard for a season, that inheritance down the road helps us to bear these tests. 

As Peter continues: ‘That the trial of your faith (the genuineness), being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 1:7-9) 

Yeh, I know it seems deep and heavy, but remember Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light. We not here for child’s play and constant good times, we here to do a job for Jesus which means we have to buckle down and be diligent about it, letting the eventual rewards keep us strong and faithful. Hear what the scholars offer. ‘1:6-9. The problem of salvation looks to the present. Earthly trials constitute a problem of our salvation, but they are only for a season, or temporary. Manifold temptations means diversified trials. True faith cannot be destroyed though God is in the process of refining faith through our trials.’ 

So what can we do? As always, the number one step is prayer. So let’s pray nuh, raise up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, in true and humble but confident faith. ‘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. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

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 these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

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

Now we sit and wait quietly for a while, for God’s wise direction, then we go out and obediently follow it. Much LOVE!

…to endure to the end…we need a combination of…hope, faith, belief and trust…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2020 Proverbs 2:6.

Proverbs 2:6.    ​For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 
 
So here we go again…another Monday morning still held hostage by the pandemic! But at last there is some good news in my province of Ontario – there’s been some easing up in the lockdown situation, with some places being allowed to open…Whoopee! At least it’s a step in the right direction, although some of the businesses can only do curbside pick up. And most of the parks will also be reopened today. But that doesn’t remove the necessity for physical distancing since we still don’t have a proper handle on the virus, and no way of stopping it from spreading but by keeping a safe distance away from others. 

So a lot of us who were clamouring for the lockdown to be lifted, have now gotten a window of opportunity, let’s see what kind of responsibility we show moving forward. Too many of us still think the virus is a joke, or not as serious as made out, but if we don’t show serious social responsibility then we’ll just be hit by a second wave of the virus, which threatens to be worse than the first one. 

Friends, our leaders are trying to balance the price of staying home and saving lives physically, but possibly having the quality further deteriorate, and reopening the economy and running the risk of losing many more lives to a further spread of the virus. They don’t know the right answers, so they are trying to do what they think is best for us all in the long run. That’s means they are depending on us to help them, be responsible and don’t go overboard in our actions, but use wisdom and common sense, so that we can eventually defeat this Covid-19 virus that’s causing us so many problems. 

And how do we find that controversial thing called wisdom? By diligently seeking it as silver and gold, and searching for it as for hidden treasure. (Prov. 2:4) And where do we seek it from? From the Lord God Jehovah! As the supposed wisest man who ever lived, Cousin Sol so wisely and plainly says: ‘For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth (stores) up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler (shield) to them that walk uprightly.’ (Prov. 2:6-7) 

And Cousin Sol personally proved that theory when, on ascending to Israel’s throne after Bruh David died, The Lord asked him in a vision what he desired? After claiming that he was a child (inexperienced) and did not know how to go out or come in, and the responsibility of governing so many people was tough, (1 Kin. 3:7-8) he finally said. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.’ (1 Kin. 3:9-10) 

Yuh see friends, God was thrilled that Cousin Sol didn’t ask for riches or honour or glory, but for understanding and knowledge and guidance to rule His people. Thus God said: ‘Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen (prolong) thy days.’ (1 Kin. 12-13) 

Oh my people, you see the magnanimity and the magnificence of our God! Cousin Sol asked for wisdom and guidance, but He also gave him honour and glory and riches and long life, if he walked in his father’s footsteps! That’s the way our Lord operates! He’s generous to a fault if we walk in tandem with Him and are obedient to His will. So having taken in all of that, let’s now go to God in humble but confident prayer that we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and ask for wisdom and guidance to handle the current storm that’s just blowing us away. 

Altogether now: ‘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. And now, with the easing up of the lockdown, more people than those previously considered essential also have to go to work, and understandably, we’re all somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

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!’ 

Oh precious people, our God is a faithful God, and if our hearts were sincere in that prayer, then you know He’ll answer it in the affirmative and give us wisdom and guidance and strength and courage to face the adversity we’re now experiencing. So let’s go about our business today nuh, the Lord’s business, carefully, but also with sure faith and strong trust in His faithfulness. That’s how we’ll conquer this Coronavirus! Much LOVE!

…wisdom in our hearts…brings discretion to preserve us…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2020 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm 118:8-9.    ​It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
 
Prologue: Yeahhh! I got it right this time! Just want to apologize for the length and lateness of the Bit, though you all already know my penchant for late nights and many words. (smile) I want us though to take what’s written very seriously, because it could have a serious effect on the eventual status of our world. Much LOVE!

And the calamitous time continues; more contraction of the Covid-19 disease and more deaths. And it does seem that the situation will get worse before it gets better. But that’s normal in many cases of unexpected disaster. However, we will not dwell on the actions and results of the Coronavirus this morning, because talking about it too much only increases the fear, anxiety and panic associated with its disastrous run through the world. Today though we’re going to focus on more proactive stuff like courage and trust. 

And the first word comes obviously form the Good Book, Bruh Paul’s encouraging words to Timothy and also to us in these most trying times. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Right there friends is a most important bit of scripture for us to use in the fight against this dreaded and deadly virus that’s causing fear and alarm all over our world. Our first reaction must be to take courage; that’s if we believe that our great and wonderful God is still in control and will work everything out for our eventual good. 

It’s not possible to serve the Lord from a position of unmitigated fear! So let’s stand strong by putting all the courageous words and promises found on the subject in the Good Book in the forefront of our lives nuh. That’s the first requirement… And the second – it’s like the first (smile) Put out absolute trust in Almighty God, not in man nor machines. And there are so many scriptures that tell us to trust in God and not man that you could possibly spend a whole day just reading them. (smile) They are especially popular in the Psalms, like these verses from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Salvation. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’  

Now my people, that says it in black and white. And during this pandemic we’re seeing a lot of instances where we can’t put trust in normal man or even princely men, for all sorts of hypocrisy and lies and half-truths are flying around and people are not keeping their promises, especially in a time like this when trust is so necessary. And right now I’d like to share the Quote of the Week from a message that a friend sends me. And is it ever so apropos to our current situation. 

Please read with me. ‘God always requires total trust in Him alone for our victories in life. Throughout Scripture we are cautioned not to place our trust in the strength of horses, other men or our own abilities. In 1 Chronicles, David’s decision to take a census was a failure to keep his trust totally upon the Lord. David’s purpose in counting his population was to assess his military strength. David’s commander evidently recognized the grave error that his king was about to make. 

Joab was right — the census displeased the Lord. David was falling into the temptation of trusting in the size of his army rather than in the Lord. In consequence, God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men. How do you avoid placing your trust in God today? Do you trust your bank accounts, your skills and the security of your workplace? When you begin to place your faith in these things instead of in the Provider of these things you get into trouble with God. What a lesson this is for each of us. Today, let’s place our total trust in the Lord for all of our needs.’ 

I couldn’t have said it any plainer or better my fellow believers! Total trust in the Lord is the NUMBER ONE requirement in life, especially when we’re under heavy duress like now! And we can see how Bruh David seemed to get too big for his britches from the first verse of 1 Chronicles 21. ‘And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (moved) David to number (take a census of) Israel.’ 

And the scholars put forth a very interesting explanation from 2. Samuel 24:1, which also deals with the situation. ‘24:1. Taking a census was not the wrong thing to do per se. God Himself had previously ordered Moses to make two censuses (cf. Num. 1:2-3; 26:2). However, in this case Satan (cf. 1 Chr. 21:1) seized upon the growing pride of David’s heart (vs.2-3) to incite him into taking a census, so the king might have a ground of boasting (cf. Dan. 4:30 – Nebuchadnezzar’s boast). God, the controller of all things, allowed the deed to be done so as to bring David to a place of humility and reality (vs.10). God and Satan are often involved in the same event, but for different causes (cf. Job) – God, so that the believer might be instructed and grow, but Satan, to discredit the believer and therefore, God Himself.’ 

Ah friends, the same way Nebuchadnezzar ended up going crazy and living like a beast for seven years after boasting about His might and glory, same way Bruh David received chastening before the Lord. The Good Book says: ‘And David’s heart smote him (his conscience bothered him) after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ (2 Sam. 24:10) 

And that’s why Bruh David could be called a friend of God and a man after His own heart! He had a heart for God, and God knew that, but being a man, and thus by nature sinful, he obviously made mistakes. But once those mistakes were made known, he never hesitated to fall before the Lord in sincere prayer and repentance. That’s why the Lord, though he punished him for his mistakes, still never took away his special place from him. And I think we all should read what happened after Bruh David took the census. That’s found in 2 Samuel 24:10-25. Here’s a brief synopsis (smile). 

The Lord sent the prophet Gad to Bruh David…and wonder of wonders, He gave him the opportunity to decide his own punishment. Did He ever LOVE Bruh David! The choices were: seven years of famine, him fleeing for three months before his enemies, or three days pestilence in the land. ‘And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait (great distress): let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.’ (2 Sam 24:14)  So the Lord sent a plague into the land – just as He is doing to us right now, and some seventy thousand men died. And many have died, and many more will die, until we come to the Lord with sincere confession and repentance. 

Then, like the Lord did with Israel, He will stay His hand and the deaths will stop. (2 Sam. 24:16) Then David repented and made his peace with God. (2 Sam. 24:17-25) As the scholars say: ‘24:17. God’s chastening had achieved its desired effect. David recognizes that as the king of Israel his primary task was that of a shepherd with his sheep. He manfully and humbly repents of his sin and pleads for his beloved people. Despite his oft-besetting sins, David had a tender heart toward God and God’s people. Accordingly, David is commended as a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22).’ 

So friends, I do believe that the Lord will deal the same way with us, if we bow down and repent and turn back to Him, for there’s no denying that our world is so steeped in sin and wickedness that most of us don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on. And for those of us who recognize the seriousness of the situation and are tuned into the Saviour, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 next action is to truly communicate and share God’s LOVE and friendship with others, any way we can, in these really tough and trying times! Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord…and do good…regardless of the circumstances…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2020 Deuteronomy 30:19.

Deuteronomy 30:19.    I call heaven and earth to record this day (stand as witnesses) 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.
 
Oh friends, oh friends, before beginning to write the Bit this Thursday morning in these very concerned Covod-19 times, I needed a touch of divine inspiration and so I turned to some praise and worship, music that truly moves me, Psalm 34 sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. And as always, it certainly did the job! There’s something about that version of that song that just gets me going! Thus, I invite you now to bless the Lord with me! Let’s magnify His name together! Let’s  exalt it together! 

There’s no better form of praise than to glorify His most holy name for ever and ever! For He surrounds His saints with divine protection and no one who calls on Him in sincerity and truth will ever be ashamed. He will hear their pleas and protect them from their enemies! Wow! What other faith can say that about their God eh? NONE! That’s why it’s ever so important to stay true to the God of our forefathers if we want to be delivered from the enemy and receive redemption and forgiveness and eventual salvation. 

But I know that’s not easy to do, even in normal times, much less in these very trying and uncertain ones. And the only way to do it is by keeping hope and faith alive through prayer and meditation and strong action. That’s why today I was guided to share a couple of passages from the Hour Of Power Devotional with writings by our dear, departed Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). Long time we haven’t turned to him for some wise advice, (smile)  but he does give some that’s very pertinent to our faith in these Covid-19 times. 

So please read with me, this first devotional he so wisely titles ‘Choose Hope.’ ‘Yes, I believe God is still alive. He knows where I am and how I got here. He’s way ahead of me, manoeuvring in the silence and the shadows. He really cares. I trust Him. The alternative is an unthinkable, unacceptable mental attitude that’s certain to lead me down a path of hopeless despair. Yes I am addicted to hope. That’s my decision. My hopes may not be completely fulfilled, but at least they’re keeping me alive and alert and pragmatic. 

Hope promises to generate and sustain life (and then does). Despair promises to generate and deliver depression and death (and then does). I’d rather choose HOPE (an emotional reaction that promises life but can’t guarantee that all of its promises will be fulfilled) than choose despair (an emotional reaction that guarantees that its promises of failure and death will surely be kept).’ 

Oh my people, all of that is oh so true and wise! Hope might not be able to guarantee everything it says, but at least it gives you a fighting chance. Despair and hopelessness on the other hand, does guarantee and provide death and failure. So as the Good Book says, ‘I call heaven and earth to record this day (stand as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may life.’  

Precious people of God, that’s wisdom from heaven itself, straight from the mouth of our great God and Creator! And He offers that wise advice because He knows what’s best for us. So please, I implore us to take that divine advice and choose life and not death in these scary times; a life that is only provided through hope, faith, trust and true surrender to Almighty God! And to help us do that, here’s the second passage from Gramps Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional: ‘A Prayer for Hope.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘I have a strong, serene feeling that God is planning something good for me today. I cannot explain it, but I have a deep feeling that wonderful things are in store for me. I am expecting God to surprise me with His tender mercy. He will turn my hurts into halos. He is guiding my life in such a way that whatever happens to me will prove to be a beautiful blessing. Thank You Lord. Amen!’  

And I do hope that as we prayed that prayer a new and higher layer and level of hope, faith and trust rose up in us. Yes friends, we do need abundant and divine hope in these rough times. And the only way to get it is to believe that God is truly for us and will do all that He’s promised, and will work everything out for our good eventually. 

That’s why Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today. And something good is going to happen through me today!’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Remember, there is awesome power in the Word of God my people, for with it He created the world and all therein. So let’s use it to our advantage nuh. That’s why He gave it to us…to use – day and night! 

And who says good things aren’t happening to us today, right now eh? Lots of wonderful things are happening; we’re being showered with our Thursday Blessings! So let’s declare (yeahh!) them in strong voice and sincere hearts nuh, as we lift up our great and wonderful God, who’s provided us with such awesome blessings. 

‘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!’ 

Wowee, Wowee! How can we not LOVE and worship and reverence such an amazing and faithful God eh! But one word of reminder; those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but to be generously shared with the less fortunate, just as the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…addiction to HOPE…is what we need right now…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.
 
Well top o’ the morn to all you wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! And I mean that in a general sense because it’s already a tad late, due to my early morning bed time and consequently late rising. (smile) But all that’s a part of life, and we just have to take it and accept it with God’s good grace. Hn, hn, hn! It sounds like I’m making an excuse for something eh? Who knows? But the long and short of it is that in my area of the world it’s a wet and windy Friday morning. The rain has currently stopped, but the wind is certainly picking up, and according to the weather people, we’re going to have thunderstorms and all other kinds of inclement weather this exciting day in God’s great universe! 

Yeh, as Job says, you can’t expect to get good stuff all the time and never experience some negative affairs. But the good thing about it all is that we have Jesus running our show, and He’s a Leader extraordinaire, so we don’t need to be worried about whatever happens if we’re walking under His awesome command. That’s why this Coronavirus, or whatever it’s called, that’s running rings around our world doesn’t trouble Christ’s believers as much as those who don’t believe! 

We know that it’s dangerous, and we’re to take good and safe precautions, but we also know that our great God has faithfully promised to work everything out for our eventual good, so we don’t panic and get all wired and wound up, but show the world the true faith of Christ’s believers. And the ordinary workingman is pushing me aside so that he can have his say. (smile) 

And as usual, he enthusiastically declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But this is a different kind of Friday – I haven’t worked since Tuesday, because the government said the slave master should shut down the slave shop just in case we spread the virus further. And we going to get pay too… Hn! The government must be helping the slave master pay we for not working because He wouldn’t do that on his own. And as I sit here by mih window looking out on the grey and wet morning, glad that ah not in the slave master shop breaking mih back with work, I have to shake mih head and sadly chuckle. 

Well, well, well! Look what we great world come to eh! Hn! Ah li’l stupid looking virus finally bring we to we knees! Who’d ever have thunked it eh? Brother! The whole world just shut down just so! I wouldn’t believe such a thing could happen if I didn’t see it with mih own two eyes. Leh we just hope that all this social distancing and washing hands and staying home together brings families back together instead of driving them further apart yes, because the family situation was really getting bad there before all this happen. 

Ah Lord eh! What we going to do eh? Just hope that they find a cure soon and too many people doh die from it first, and the economy doh get so bad that it take a long long time to recover! And we keep on thanking God for Fridays and weekends, even though some of us not working and not getting pay!’ 

Yeh friends, even the ordinary workingman has realized the seriousness of our predicament and the urgency for prayer! So what shall we believers do eh? First off, we shall chant our Friday Chant…and I’ve rejigged it somewhat to serve this unusual situation. So let’s chant up a serious and sincere storm nuh, for the safety and survival of our world depends on it. All together in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible, but even more importantly, bringing a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also a whole new flock who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that when the Lord hears our prayer and looks at our hearts to see our motivation, that He will see sincerity written all over them, and thus will unleash His awesome LOVE, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, to help us resolve this situation in the best way possible, that will bring glory and honour and exaltation to his name. Oh friends, I can’t stress enough the importance of prayer and our salt and light leadership of faith in this panic stricken situation. 

We, the believers in Christ are the ones now required to stand strong and show the unbelievers why we have such faith and trust in our Lord and Saviour. We can’t afford to be weak, wishy-washy and insincere in this abnormal time, for this is the time we were born for; the time to show the world the true and powerful attributes of our faith. And this puts me in mind of Bruh Paul’s second letter to Timothy, when the problems in the church at Ephesus were discouraging him. 

‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.’ (2 Tim.1:6-9) 

Yes friends, our God has not given us the spirit of fear, but that of power; the Holy Ghost power; His awesome power of LOVE, and of a sound and disciplined mind. Let us not be therefore weak and ashamed of His gospel, but this is the time to stir up our passion, rise up from our discouragement and do God’s work! We all know what we ought to do, so with God’s help, let’s rise up and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…in tough times like these… it’s the tough faithful who lead the way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2020 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.    ​Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
 

And life goes on in this Covid-19 season. It has to…and it will…God willing of course! And despite all the bad news, as always, there’s a li’l light at the end of the tunnel, though somewhat far away. (smile) I’m talking about the start of human trials for a vaccine to stop the deadly disease that now holds our world in a tight stranglehold. Glory be! Apparently both in China and the U.S. approval has been given to begin clinical trials on human subjects, but who knows how and when that will prove successful. 

Oh yes, we will defeat the virus eventually, we have to believe that, otherwise all our other efforts will be in vain. The problem though is when will that happen, and how many lives would have been lost and irreparable damage done to our society and economy by then? Ah my fellow believers, this is the time for us to truly show up as salt and light to our unbelieving brethren. This is the time when we have to use our incredible faith to help the world get through this evil pandemic. 

It’s one of those times when the church has got to step forward and be amongst the leading lights, especially in terms of faith. This is a significant occasion for Christians to not only talk, but more importantly walk their talk of faith. Remember Jesus’ alluding at almost all of his healings and miracles to the faith of the receivers, and how He kept accusing those who should have known better: ‘O ye of little faith.’  It wasn’t only His powers that caused the miracles but also the participants faith. 

Remember too when He healed the two blind men. He first asked them: ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this (heal you)? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged (strictly warned) them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country (land).’ (Matt. 9:28-31) 

Oh precious people of God, there are so many lessons for us in that passage of scripture in these trying times. The first being that we have to truly believe without a shred of doubt, that Jesus is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do. That’s where our faith and trust and surrender comes in. Remember, it’s according to the amount of those things we have that our lives can move from good to bad and vice-versa. Remember too, the time Jesus was teaching the disciples about forgiveness, and it was such a hard lesson – just keep on forgiving? (Luke 17:1-4) 

What happened then eh? The Good Book tells us: ‘And the disciples said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-6) Wow! That’s the awesome power of true and strong faith. 

And the scholars add this interesting explanation. ‘17:5-6. The magnitude of the command in verse 4 leads to a plea for assistance. Faith, understood here not merely in a mental sense, but also in the sense of active “faithfulness,” is the key. One’s faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience.’ And I would go even further and say, that that’s the ONLY WAY our faith ever increases! We need to step out in obedience, with whatever faith we then have, and then see God work wonderfully in our lives. And every time we do that, our faith grows! 

Right now, in these trying times friends, we faithful believers need to activate our faithfulness in whatever manner we can to keep the hope of others alive. That’s our bounden duty! We were put here in this time to do that! And that is highlighted by Jesus’ words to Simon Peter when He foretold Peter’s betrayal. ‘And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (you have turned again), strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:31-32) 

Yuh see friends, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, but also his transformation back to his former strong faith. And then, he was to help others boost their faith. And I guess that’s what I am now trying to do; keep our faith alive and strong…and even growing too, for remember it’s in the hard and difficult times that our faith grows! 

Now I don’t want to make this as long as yesterday, (smile) so I’ll just remind us of that wonderful chapter 11 in Hebrews; aptly called the Heroes of Faith, that tells us about many great men and women of faith. They all had problems to surmount, but they all surmounted them by FAITH in the God their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I think it will be only fitting for ALL of us to read that awesome chapter as often as we need to keep our faith strong in this time of worldwide calamity. 

And please remember that FAITH is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith is all about the good things we’re hoping for, in the Lord’s Will, that we don’t see, but are eagerly expecting them and waiting for them with patience and perseverance. And our greatest hope right now…a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus. So let’s believe that we will eventually get one, and consequently, wait patiently, earnestly, eagerly and with perseverance for it. 

Now let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, as we let this primarily unbelieving world know of our enviable position in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts and plenty, plenty faith: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh yes friends, if we fight the good fight and remain steadfast in our faith to the end, then that future will indeed be glorious; more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…faith can move mountains…as well as molehills…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2020 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.    ​There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.
 

Well a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve now reached the middle of the Lenten Season. But unfortunately there’ll be no public celebrations in green this year as the lockdown of the world continues… with the panic moving right along with it! Ah Lord eh! Canada has now barred certain people from certain places from entering the country. You’ll have to check out the Canadian Government Website to find out exactly who or whom are no longer welcome.  And sadly, every day, it seems to be getting worse; more people contracting the virus, more people dying, more empty shelves in the groceries and supermarkets, more places closing, but absolutely no word of how and when this pandemic will end, and certainly no reassuring news of some antidote been found to contradict the virus. 

But friends, when the Lord made man, He instilled one truly admirable quality in him; that of hope which leads to faith; of being able to fight through extremely tough situations with His awesome help. And in these turbulent and tremulous times, with no positive end in sight and no medical solution on the near horizon, it’s our faith and trust and surrender to Almighty God that is going to get us through. And to bolster our faith and courage and lessen our fear, here’s ‘A Great Message for the moment.’ A beautifully written piece by one Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM. I received it from a friend yesterday, and thought I just had to share it because it was so true and beautiful and uplifting. Please read carefully, inwardly digest and take the necessary outward actions. It’s titled “Lockdown!” 

‘Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is buying panic. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. 

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today, a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary. All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting. All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way. 

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To LOVE. So we pray and remember that, Yes, there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes, there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is buying panic. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes, there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul. Yes, there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of LOVE. 

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe, listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again. The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by LOVE. Open the windows of your soul. And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, SING!’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that touching! I certainly hope that it resounds powerfully within each and everyone of us. And if you will, please share it, because it’s the first positive reaction I’ve seen throughout these crazy and panic-filled times. And strangely enough, earlier on this morning, when I got up and went to the bathroom, I heard birds singing outside for the first time this year, and smiled to myself, thinking, spring is near! Glory be! (smile) 

And the psalmist said it in spades, so long ago: ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord, he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps.100:1-5) 

Precious people, just in those five verses the psalmist has spelled it all out for us; the Lord God is good and mighty, and we need to bow before Him with singing and praise and thanksgiving! And singing has always been a way to ease the pressures of life. As another psalmist says: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.’ (Ps.104:33-34) And as Bruh Paul told the Ephesians on how to be Spirit-filled: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) 

Ah my people, that is the first move we ought to make in this crisis; seek God! And I do hope that we see His hand at work in this fear-filled time, because it is present. It’s His way of reining us in, of bringing us back to our senses, and as the author says above, of showing us how small we really are and how little control we do have over our lives and situations. It’s His way of bringing us back to him, killing our false and foolish pride, of showing that the most important thing is not worldly wealth and power, but His righteousness. That’s why His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said so emphatically during His earthly sojourn: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

But no, we in our false pride and bravado, with the li’l intelligence we’ve gleaned over the years, have now gotten so big for our britches, that we now desire to, and foolishly believe we can remove our Creator from our society. Hn! What a nonsensical desire and belief! And I have to sadly chuckle when I think about the small virus that the Lord has used to bring us to our knees. Think about it nuh people. Some small, simple, unknown infection is driving the mighty mankind crazy! Can you believe it? 

But yet in all the confusion, many of us are finding, new hope, stronger faith, trust and LOVE! And why is that? Because as John says: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ And having said all of that, my faithful followers of Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! 

In strong voice with sincere hearts in these trying times, let’s be strong in our Triune Godhead. ‘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 in our current situation, we do need to share the warm, reassuring LOVE of Christ and His amazing friendship with each other more than ever. Much LOVE!

…when you’re sad…sing songs of praise…and you’ll reclaim your joy…

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