Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 November 2022 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.        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.

It’s Thursday, the penultimate day of our work week, and possibly a harbinger of what our weekend will be like; snow filled! (smile) My computer tells me that snow is in the offing. And if that’s so, then the winter weather is here to stay, meaning we had better get used to it as soon as possible, for we might just be in for a long, cold season. 

But as the familiar saying goes, ‘Who cares eh?’ Not us believers in Christ Jesus, for once you have Jesus in your life, it will be clear sailing. (smile) Well that’s not totally true, the sailing will not always be clear, but Jesus will ALWAYS be there to guide and protect you and bring you out safely from any tough times. That’s His promise! 

Listen to Bruh Paul in his first missive to the church at Corinth. ‘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 with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) 

What a marvellous God we serve my people! He will allow temptations to come against us, to test our faith and our backbone, but He will always be there in the wings ready to help us if we falter, either finding a way for us to escape it, or by giving us His divine help to overcome it. 

But, as with everything else in the Lord’s kingdom, that requires, belief, faith, trust, surrender and good communication with our God. And also remember what the psalmist said in Psalm 91, subtitled ‘God is a refuge and fortress,’ long before the coming of Jesus. 

Read these words of glorious promise with me. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (cobra): the young lion and dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample under feet.’ (Ps. 91:9-13) 

And if you don’t believe the psalmist, then check out Jesus’ conversation with Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness. That’s the scripture he used to inveigle Jesus to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple. ‘And (Satan) saith unto him (Jesus), If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ (Matt. 4:6) 

Yes friends, Satan knows scripture, better than us to boot, for remember he was once the archangel Lucifer, and probably even had a hand in helping to write it. And that’s why He knows exactly where to strike to get us to do his evil bidding. But like Jesus we must refute his arguments with scriptural refutations. (smile) What was Jesus’ reply to Satan’s entreaty? ‘Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.’ (Matt. 4:7) 

Now Jesus refutation comes directly from Deuteronomy 6:16, where Moses lectured the Israelites on the sorrows of disobedience to God’s laws. And I like to add to it, ‘neither shall thou tempt (test) the children of God.’ (smile) Oh my people, living for Jesus in this evil, sin-filled world can be difficult, but if we hold strong to our faith, then He will enable us to come through with shining colours and eventually receive that crown of righteousness that Bruh Paul told Timothy awaits all those who endure to the end with Jesus. (2 Tim. 4:8) 

And the author of Hebrews tells us thus about faith. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) That simply means we hope for what we don’t see, but by faith, strong trust in God, believe that it will come to pass. And then the author of Hebrews goes on to tell us that it was by faith that the elders received a good report. (Heb. 11:2) 

Yes, saints of Christ, it was indeed by faith, strong trust in Jehovah God, that all the forefathers of our faith did what they did, and that set the stage for us. Consequently, the writer of Hebrews can further tell 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 that my fellow believers is our faith in a nutshell. We must believe that Jehovah God exists, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him and thus obey His laws. Matter fix! And it’s not rocket science, but simple common sense. Although common sense seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird in these current times. (smile) 

Now, here is the continuation of that promise from Psalm 91, which ought to lift up our faith even more this Thursday morning at the beginning of winter. ‘Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in time of trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps. 91:14-16) 

Wow mih bredrin! Yuh see what the Lord promises to do for those who believe that He exists and the rewards He will offer to those who faithfully serve and revere Him! And He’s doing it every day of our lives with the blessings, the mercies and the grace He bestows on us that we don’t deserve. And there’s this particular group of blessings that we call our Thursday Blessings, which we need to activate by declaring (awright!!!) them out loud. 

So let’s do that right now nuh. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

And having activated those blessings, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and use them for the betterment of our world and to bring others to Christ! Much LOVE!

…life is all about Almighty God…belief in…hope…faith…trust and total surrender to Him… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 October 2022 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.       God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. 

It’s another beautiful, warm, sunshiny day in paradise friends! Please give thanks that we have been blessed to see it. For no matter how grave and unsurmountable our problems might seem, I’m sure we are all mighty glad that we woke up this morning to have another go at solving them. (smile) And please don’t forget that we follow the greatest problem solver ever, Jesus Christ, He who calms the stormy seas and quiets the howling winds. 

And believe me, if He can quiet the seas and the winds, then He can most certainly handle any of our mortal problems. But first we have to believe that He is able to do it, and then take those problems to Him, for He can’t solve what He doesn’t know we need solving. Oh, in His omniscience He certainly knows our problems, and might solve some of them of His own accord, but in general we need to take them to Him, not just wait on the off chance that He will do it on His own. 

And I guess that’s one of the problems many of us face in these trying times; for whatever reason, we don’t take our problems to Christ, or at best we only take them when we cannot solve them in our own strength. But that’s not wisdom my people. The first place we should take our troubles to is at the feet of Christ, not the last place, like so many of us unwisely do. 

Please remember these strong and encouraging words of the sons of Korah from Psalm 46. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46:1-3) 

Yes friends, our Creator and omnipotent God has all the parts to solve any problems in which we find ourselves immersed. Why not take them to Him eh? And His Word tells us so often, that that’s the very thing to do when troubles arise. So, let’s take a look at some of the many scriptures that encourage us thus nuh, hopefully then we’ll remember and go to God first, the next time we are tried and troubled. (smile) 

Now, these next verses, wise words of Cousin Sol, are ones we all know and claim to LOVE, but obviously don’t sufficiently put into action, otherwise our problems would not be as overwhelming as they are. He wisely advises us to: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

And if we truly believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then that is Scripture 101! It’s the very essence, the very purpose of believing. Yes, you ought to trust and surrender your life to the one you claim to believe in, otherwise believing is just a figment of your imagination. And sadly, it’s that way with many of us supposed believers, because we only talk a good talk, but don’t walk it, and continue to live our lives in our own strength…until the heifer dust hits the fan. Then we run crying to God to fix it, and expect Him to do it, and do it immediately too! 

Oh, what a bunch of sad, hypocritical ingrates we are my people! That’s why our lives and our world is so messed up. And why shouldn’t it be eh, when some of us are trying to push God out of His own creation, while some of us who claim to believe are not walking in true faith, not doing what true faith calls for, either sitting on the fence or happily fornicating with the enemy. What we unfortunately lack is unity, true unity, not just talk unity. And where there is no unity, there cannot be peace or prosperity, only confusion, strife, and all the negative problems those things bring. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul so painstakingly advised us in his letter to the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Yes my brethren, if we desire true peace in our souls, then we have to begin by taking EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to God in prayer! And it doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, significant or insignificant. Once it’s in our lives, then it’s also a concern of our God, for He is interested in EVERYTHING that goes on in our lives. 

Why do you think the Lord caused the prophet Isaiah to write to his people in the time of their trouble: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is. 41:10) And why do you think Peter wrote these wise words to the early believers? ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) 

Yes my people, our Creator, our God, our heavenly Father indeed cares for us, else why would He send his sinless Son, Christ Jesus to die on the cross of Calvary to save our sinful souls eh? But we must take what He says and what He expects of us seriously, meaning be obedient to His Word, to His dictates. It’s foolish to expect to be disobedient, yet blessed with divine attention. And when we talk about our God so intently caring for us, how can one get any more explicit and understanding than these comforting words of Jesus from His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) 

Oh my fellow saints, that says it all! Jesus is the answer to ALL of our problems, for EVERYTHING in our lives! And until we get that straight in our hearts and minds, and begin truly behaving in the appropriate manner, our trials and tribulations will continue to perplex and discombobulate us. Anyhow, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Jesus, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong 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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

Now, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…true trust and surrender are not found in mere talk…but in sincere, heart-felt action… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ             

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 October 2022 John 14:15.

John 14:15.         If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. 

Well, well, well! If we haven’t opened our eyes to another wonderful day on God’s great earth! That’s always the best gift of every day! (smile) And hopefully, we’ve all given our heavenly Father thanks for that magnificent opportunity He’s so unselfishly and lavishly bestowed on us. And yes, it’s a somewhat cloudy and definitely chilly Tuesday morning in my area, but the surrounding scenery is indeed beautiful. What with all the many varied colours of the leaves in this autumn season, you can’t beat it for artistic excellence. I believe God put His best artistic talents to work when He created autumn. (smile) 

And I’m sorry for those of you who live in a constantly tropical climate, because it’s a work of God you’ll unfortunately never see and thus won’t ever totally appreciate His amazing craftsmanship. Oh, I know you’ll claim that after the beautiful autumn season comes that awful time called winter, but then again, if you’ve never experienced winter, you’re also not going to have the full experience of God’s outstanding creativity, since a winter landscape is also incredibly beautiful. (smile) Now, you don’t have to like living in the four seasons as experienced in the northern climes, but as an aficionado of art and change, they can be truly eye-opening to God’s majestic and superb powers of creativity. 

Enough though on the artistry and beauty of the seasons, listen up to this amazing sight I witnessed last Sunday morning as I came out of church. As I was about to head over to the parking lot on the far side of the church where my car was parked, I found my way blocked by a long line of Canada geese stately stepping across the parking lot in front of me, actively blocking the path to my car. And for those of you who know Canada geese, they always take their own sweet time, except when they are running you down for some infringement they believe you’ve committed. 

But here was this long line, at least a dozen of them, slowly moving along before me, behind a leader who obviously knew where he or she was going and was not in any hurry to get there. It took a couple minutes for the main party to cross over to the bank of the parking lot and totter down the side onto the paved roadway at the bottom. But thankfully, as always, there was a party of five stragglers bringing up the rear of the line, so I finally slipped between them out to my car. They didn’t seem to care much as they went about picking and checking the area for any scraps of food available. 

Some of the others had also remained on the grassy bank seeking sustenance, but along the roadway, there was still the long line of geese dutifully following their leader, in all trust and faithfulness, physically acknowledging their trust and faith in his or her leadership. And it suddenly struck me that the whole scenario was a rather appropriate simile for our faith and trust in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Many of us acknowledge Him as our leader, and a fair amount of us follow His awesome lead, but just like with those Canada geese, some of us straggle and stray far behind, while others pick around at the edges. 

Now those two latter sets, remind me of the supposed believers, who are bent on seeking fulfillment in their own wisdom, despite the divine anointing of their leader, Christ Jesus. But please my fellow believers, let’s remember some of the comments our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, the Son of God made about not staying close to Him. And the most important is probably this first remark. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) Yes friends, we cannot truly belong to an organization unless we sincerely follow the rules and regulations as set out by the leadership. 

As John in his first epistle points out. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome)’ (1 John 5:3) And that’s the gospel truth, God’s commandments are not burdensome. They just feel so because we have free will and thus believe we should do what we want. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that my brethren. Here’s why not. 

After telling the disciples to keep His commandments, Jesus explicitly announces to them: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Oh my people, Jesus didn’t mince words there! He told it just like it is. Without Him, we are unable to live this earthly life successfully. And the sooner many of us believe that, the sooner many of us will be so much better off, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

But such is the ‘own-way’, hard-headed and stubborn nature of mankind, that we just like to do our own thing, even if it’s not getting us anywhere. Doing our own thing seems to build our ego, despite it keeping us on the bottom rungs of the ladder of life. And it’s a strange phenomenon of life, that you are not fit to lead, until you learn to follow. Exactly what Jesus did when He came to earth. The Good Book clearly tells us, that though He was God, He didn’t behave in an arrogant, snobbish manner, but became humble and obedient, even unto death on the cross. (Phil. 2:6-8) 

So, it makes sense that we are not fit to lead our own lives until we learn to follow the leadership of Jesus. (smile) And even then, on our own, we will still be always behind the eight ball, because we just were not made to be on our own. Our Creator, Jehovah God made us to live in fellowship, in sincere communion with Him. That means He did not give us the parts that are necessary for living a good and true life on our own. And you’ll notice that regardless of the wealth and power you accumulate in this earthly life, there will always be something missing in your soul and spirit, there will always be a li’l empty pocket, a li’l empty space in our souls that can only be satisfied when it’s filled with the LOVE, compassion and power of Christ Jesus. 

Now that’s a space God left for Himself in our souls, and only when we fill it with Jesus, will our souls ever enjoy true peace and happiness. My friends, please, let’s remember that we are not our own, never were and never will be. We were first made by God for Himself, and then when we sinned and fell out of His good graces, He later purchased us back with the sinless blood of His Son, shed on Calvary’s Hill. As the Good Book says in no uncertain terms. ‘For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ (1 Cor. 6:20) 

And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one 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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

And now my faithful brethren, let’s go out and put all those words into action nuh, by sharing the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…some of us like to play the game follow the leader…but following Jesus is no game…it’s for real…and the stakes are high…hellfire and damnation…or eternal life… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ        

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2021 Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20.     Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

And then, rather quickly, it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the work week, and our lives are still somewhat confused by the pandemic and racial unrest. However, despite how things may appear, regardless of all the worries and pain, if you believe that your life is in Almighty God’s hands, then those problems will become very surmountable! Yes friends, once you are in God’s hands, problems never seem as worrisome and problematic! 

Oh, you will still have them, because that’s just a part of life on this planet, but once you’re walking with Him, once you are a follower of His wonderful Son, our Sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ, He’s always there to help and comfort you through His Holy Spirit that indwells all His followers! 

Wow! What awesome comfort and assurance! No other Deity can provide such emotional relief and trust, because no other Deity is alive and well and powerful like the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But the important thing is that we have to embrace all the promises and benefits that the Lord has provided. They don’t come to us automatically. We have to make the decision to come to Christ and accept that He is Lord and Saviour. 

And today, what we’re going to look at is the first act in that action. (smile) It’s called prayer, or talking to God in reverential awe; humbly, but with confidence, as Hebrews tells us: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) 

Now, prayer is not only asking God for stuff we want, or think we need, it goes much deeper than that. It is in essence a communing of our spirit with that of the Father, who originally breathed His Spirit in us to give us life. And when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us to lead and guide us and to help us commune with the Almighty. Part of the Holy Spirit’s job is also to help us in prayer. 

Bruh Paul puts it like this to the church at Rome. ‘Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities (weaknesses): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts (God) knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.’ (Rom. 8:26-27) 

Yes precious people, the Holy Spirit interprets our innermost feelings that we cannot put into words and aligns them with God’s will. For remember, before the Lord grants our requests, He looks at the motives of our hearts, to see if they’re selfish, greedy and outside of His will. 

But getting back to actual prayer. Let’s look at how Bruh Paul prayed for others. It’s strange, but he didn’t usually pray for people’s troubles to go away and that sort of thing, he mostly prayed that they would have inner growth, and thus be able to handle the problems from a point of greater maturity. Here’s how he prayed for the Ephesians, the church at Ephesus. 

‘For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (derived). That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:14-19) 

Oh, I know that it seems like a long and complicated prayer, but in essence it’s fairly simple. Here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:16-19. In these verses Paul makes three prayer requests for the addressees: (1) That they would be strengthened with might by his spirit (vs.16), that is, they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ , that is, to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them. And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God, that is, that the life, character, and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Oh my people, doesn’t that sound like a complete prayer? It surely does! When we are strengthened by the Spirit, then we can understand Christ’s LOVE, then live the way He desires us to live, through strong and mature faith, ‘rooted and grounded in LOVE.’ And there’s no other way to live the Christian life my friends. 

But Bruh Paul wasn’t done with his prayer. He continues: ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) And the scholars tell us: ‘3:20. In making the three above petitions (vs. 16-19) Paul has not asked for too much. For he prays unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that he can ask or think.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Our God is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, that means He can do all things, knows all things and is everywhere at the same time! And that’s why He is GOD! So let’s try to adopt some of those prayer principles that Bruh Paul established nuh. Let’s not just pray for troubles to be over, or success to be gained, but for us to receive what we need to grow and mature in the faith, have our inner man strengthened. We will all end up better off and living a more complete Christian life. 

And now, since it’s Thursday, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has magnanimously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, it’s time for us to now share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…Christ came as a servant…and He expects the same of His followers… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 January 2021 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.     ​Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Well Saturday has finally come around. That’s good news for some of us, but not for others. However, I am bringing good and wonderful news to ALL of us this sunny, but cold Saturday morning! Wow! 

Hear these words from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi: ‘Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.’ (Phil. 1:2-5) 

Oh my people, do we joyfully pray for each other as we remember our fellow saints? I do hope so, because it’s one of our bounden duties in Christ. Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians, and to us, when he spoke about putting on the armour of God? 

‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery (hidden truth) of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds (chains): that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.’ (Eph. 6:18-20) 

Yes my brethren, we’re to always pray for our fellow saints in Christ, because spiritual combat is not only an individual matter, but also a corporate matter. And furthermore, as we are also ambassadors of Christ in this age, we also need the courage, perspicacity and discernment to boldly speak the truth of Christ’s gospel! 

So we do need to pray for each other, remember prayer is our greatest tool in God’s economy! And some of you might be wondering how come there are no quotes from our friend Anselm this Saturday morning? Well the simple answer is that I did not receive any from him all week. So I have nothing like that to offer. (smile) 

Don’t know what happened, maybe he’s on vacation, hiatus or something, even possibly sick, so let’s pray for him, that whatever’s become of him, he may be safe and comforted in God’s arms. And that’s exactly what today’s Bit is all about; keeping each other in our prayers. 

But I do have wonderful truths from Christ’s gospel. Overwhelming truths like this one. More Bruh Paul words to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) 

Oh mih people, what a wonderful promise, what amazing assurance! Yes siree, just like Bruh Paul promised that the Lord would complete the work of salvation He had begun in the Philippians, likewise He will continue and complete the work done in each of us, right until the very day that Christ comes back! Glory be! 

Yes friends, we don’t need to worry about God giving up on us. According to the scholars: ‘This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned or unrealized.’ 

Wow! What amazing security for all the saints of Christ! Our God never abandons us, or what He begins in us! Once we’re sealed by the Holy Ghost it’s all systems forward! Now if we would only realize and accept that as gospel truth, then our lives would not be as confused and miserable. 

And yuh know friends, it’s all quite simple. Living for Christ might be difficult, but the philosophy is oh so simple. Hear what Jesus said to a crowd while teaching in Capernaum. ‘Then said they (the crowd) unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.’ (John 6:28-29) 

That’s very simple friends, the work of God is merely to believe on Christ and everything else will fall into place. But the foolish people listening to Him then wanted a sign, which He refused to give them. The same goes for us today, we want to see signs and wonders but it’s really all about faith, faith in Almighty God and consequently His wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

As the author of Hebrews so plainly 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) 

That’s all it’s about friends; faith, belief, and consequently trust. Just like we trust the big banks enough to put our life’s savings in them for safekeeping, just so we need to trust Christ to save us and bring us to eternal glory. 

And just like we use to spout, we’re in the best hands with All State, even more, we should be faithfully shouting: ‘We’re in good, no better, no the BEST hands with Christ Jesus!’ 

There are no bigger, safer, or more secure hands than those of the Deity that created the world and all therein, including us, and still controls it! And until we believe that sincerely in our very being and live accordingly, our lives will continue to be miserable and confused! Much LOVE!

…the amazing simplicity of Christ…ohhh…it’s just too much for the human brain to wrap around…

P.S. Short and sweet eh! So I like it! (smile) Much LOVE!

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…

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