Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2021 James 1:8.

James 1:8.     A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Well friends, the holiday done now, is time to get back to work…yes, for those of us who have jobs. And just for your info, we didn’t see any of the rain promised by the weather forecasters, so it was a mostly bright and sunshiny long weekend. And although they removed some restrictions for the lockdown, like outside sports, we still had people protesting about the mask wearing and what have you. I think some of us just like to protest yes. We not happy unless we up in arms about something, whether it’s a worthy cause or not. 

But after wearing masks for over a year now, we should be comfortable with them and realize that they were the main prevention in our small arsenal of weapons against the virus. And the virus has not been licked as yet, so we still need to keep up our initial prevention mechanisms. Not to mention that there are also plenty powerful reactions and resentment against the vaccines that seem to hold our best hope of quieting the virus. 

I see stuff all the time ranting and raving against the vaccine and how it’s going to change our DNA, how it’s going to allow the world leaders to control us and have us doing all sorts of ungodly stuff. One rant recently even purported to have it turning us away from God and becoming pagans. So who knows what’s the answer eh?

Sensible followers of Jesus do. We know, without a doubt, that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the answer to all the problems of our confuffled and mislead world. But are we standing up strong and proclaiming His mighty and holy name? Are we being real salt of the earth and lights of the world as He so greatly desires us to be? Definitely not to the level we ought to! And how are we going to positively influence the world on Jesus’ behalf, if we don’t live the kind of life that will draw others to Him and thus glorify our heavenly Father eh? 

As true believers, especially in this time of pandemic, we doing too much compromising with the enemy, too much sitting on the fence, foolishly straddling it waiting to see if everything going to work their way out without any sacrifice from us. But friends, that’s a foolish and non-Christian option or notion. 

Remember what James, Christ’s brother says in his epistle. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

And that my friends is gospel truth! A wavering person is unreliable, and a wavering believer is even more so! And sadly, too many of us believers are currently sitting on the fence, wavering, waiting to see what will happen, instead of taking a firm stand in whatever we can and making good and positive things happen in Christ’s name! That’s our job as representatives of Christ here on earth! 

And before we go further, let me put forward this interesting explanation of verse 5, offered by the scholars. ‘1:5. This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of the believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’ 

Ah mih bredrin, with the number of trials and tribulations we currently going through, believers should be knocking down God’s door begging for wisdom, as to why we having so many problems, and the wisdom to endure them! Unfortunately though, too many of us are looking to the world and the rulers of the world for answers to our problems. But who and what yuh think got us in these problematic times in the first place eh? The bloody evil rulers of this world! 

It’s obvious that we have forgotten the very serious and wise warning of the psalmist: ‘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.’ (Ps. 118:8-9) And until we learn that crucial and most critical lesson, and act wisely upon it, we will always be plagued by the deceit and wrongdoing of mankind. 

That brings us to these sane and sober words of James, as he later on talks about the problems involved in worldliness and pride. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) And that’s basically what we need to do in these very sinful, evil, strife-filled and problematic times: come to God humbly, with sincere repentance and cleansing. 

Now here are some wise explanations from the scholars regarding those verses. ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 – (our lustful desires and pride). Resist the devil: do not submit to fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet. 5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps. 24:3-4).’ 

Oh my people, there’s not a whole lot more I can say, except to advise us to take a moment and read those scriptures. I just did, and they are wonderful, they opened up my understanding, and will do the same for you. Now let’s go home declaring (yessss!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 

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 the world. Amen!’  

So then, let’s go and do just that; share the amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Christ with all we meet! That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…if believers won’t sincerely trust God…then what’s the point in believing in Him eh…                                                   

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2020 Psalm 51:10.

Psalm 51:10.     Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. 

Winter, winter, winter! Yes, the snow, the ice and the cold, dreary days seem to be settling in for the long haul. But, as with ALL things in this world, we can handle the winter with kid’s gloves because of the presence of Christ Jesus in our lives! Wow! Jesus; the ONE and ONLY Superstar there is, who imbues His followers with divine strength to do ALL that they need to do in this mish-mash world! How wonderful He is when you come to really know Him my brethren!  

But on a serious note, yuh know, this could be one of the roughest winters ever yes; what with the Covid-19 pandemic in full swing, and the flu season also upon us, then because of the cold dreary weather we also have our seasonal friend SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) dropping in for a friendly visit too. That’s the type of depression related to the change in seasons, mostly starting in the fall and running through the winter months, just sapping your energy and making you even less effective than normal.  

So instead of one kind of depression, that aligned with the virus, we now have two kinds to deal with in the upcoming months. Brother! And who says that 2020 was going to get easier eh? And the sad part is that with all the depression and mental health problems we currently have in our world, we’re still not taking them seriously enough and doing enough to correct them. If possible, the stigma, the fear, and negative emotions about mental problems and depression are becoming stronger.  

What a bam bam eh! We’ve supposedly come so far in our evolution, our enlightenment, but yet still we don’t pay serious attention to the things that really matter and can cause widespread problems in no time at all. It’s all about technology in this modern world, but we don’t notice that that same technology is causing most of our problems, especially the mental ones. Through our technology we’re spewing out reams of hatred, lies, resentment, body shaming, mental abuse and what have you!  

Unfortunately, instead of using the technology for good and useful purposes, it’s been used for way too many negative things. So what’s the answer eh? I really don’t know nuh, but an interesting passage of scripture in the Good Book just caught my eye. It’s the Lord talking through the prophet Ezekiel to His people Israel of new things in their future after all their idol worship and turning away from the Lord, the God of their forefathers.  

‘For I will take you from among the heathen (nations), and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.’ (Ezek. 36:24-26)  

Oh my people, do we ever need such cleansing very badly in these idolatrous and wicked times! Times when we have turned away from God in droves, even to the point of trying to drive Him completely out of our society. But we’re such a foolish people, with all of our supposed learning, we still don’t realize that God will not allow Himself to be driven from the universe and the people He created with such LOVE and wonder! He will allow us the free will to play around with idols and other supposed gods, but His glory, majesty and superiority, He will NEVER give up, no matter how hard we try.  

Why can’t we learn from the fall of Satan eh? The archangel Lucifer who was more powerful than any of us mortals tried to overthrow God, and where did that foolish pride and desire leave him eh? Unsavourily kicked out of heaven, to be forever seething in hell, suffering in the hot bowels of the earth! That’s what our tomfoolery will also get us my brethren!  

And I must be a real simpleton yes, for when I see the number of times Israel turned away from God, suffered for her disobedience, then ran back to Him, I can’t fathom why we won’t do the same thing. It’s obvious that our way isn’t working, and He’s promised to take us back anytime we repent and seek Him sincerely. So what’s the holdup eh, what’s stopping us from a revival in God’s goodness and grace eh? Foolish pride, I guess. And the desire to do it our way, even though it’s just drowning us in the mire of sin and evil.  

But friends, the whole thing is not rocket science nuh. And we have the perfect example of it in Bruh David finally coming to heel. Remember after his dalliance with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah, he thought he was on easy street, but a year or so later the prophet Nathan draped him up over his obnoxious and abominable iniquities? What did Bruh David do eh? Without hesitation, He admitted his sin, repented, and threw himself upon the mercy of God.  

Hear his plea: ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified (be found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest.’ (Ps. 51:1-4)  

Oh friends, it might not be easy, but it’s simple! We have all sinned and come very short of God’s glory, and we all know it full well, so where is the wisdom and the backbone it takes to come before a forgiving God and say I’m sorry eh? That’s why the Lord called Bruh David His friend and a man after His own heart! Bruh David never turned away from Him, even when the going got real rough, and was always quick to repent when his evil doings were found out.  

Now listen to his sincere plea, what he desired most of the Lord, as he says in the middle of Psalm 51. ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then I will teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ (Ps. 51:7-13)  

Oh yes, I know Bruh David was good with words, but even the most uneducated could ask God to wash him and cleanse him and forgive him. And friends, until we, in this current generation come to our senses and return to God, in the same droves in which we turned away from Him, our world will be forever awash in disaster, calamity, sin, evil, terrible inhumanity and ungodliness.  

So for the comparative few of us who know the truth, and it has set us free, let us now go home telling all and sundry of our wonderful positing in Christ Jesus, through our Wednesday Wail.  Altogether now: ‘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!’  

And we know that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine!  Much LOVE! 

…only a real revival in godliness…can save our world… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2020 Mark 6:50b.

Mark 6:50b.    Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.
 
And the world keeps turning, like the Lord planned it to: it’s pages quietly and unconcernedly rolling along from one day to the next, regardless of what happens from one day to the next! (smile) And it’s finally rolled around to this Saturday in what’s supposed to be spring time, but we haven’t seen any rain in such a long time that the old adage ‘April showers bring May flowers’ is in danger of not being true this year of the Coronavirus. But what else is new eh? Cousin Sol said long ago that there’s nothing new under the sun. Yes: ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:9) 

And yuh know, if the wisest man ever said that, then it ought to be so. (smile) But it also shows up in our age old cliché that ‘History repeats itself.’ And that is oh so true. If we look back we can see every powerful society that ever walked the earth making the same mistake of getting too full of themselves, too big for their britches, replacing God with man made idols as they obtained some basic knowledge of life, and then getting fat and lazy off of their prosperity, which meant they stopped growing and began falling behind into eventual oblivion. 

And the same thing is happening in our current society, and our current worldwide trouble is simply a reflection of our stubbornness, hard heartedness and highly egotistical nature. It’s a wake up call from the Creator to the created, warning that we’re on the edge of a terrible precipice, and if we don’t heed the warning and repent and turn back to Him, a whole lot more damage will be done to our world. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! End of sermon! And friends I’m chuckling here, because I never came out to preach this morning, but that’s where I was led, so please take it easy on the ole fella nuh. 

But moving right along, since it’s Saturday, that lazy, late wake up day – most days are like that now though – let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow…and do we ever need one! And he seems to have been on progress kick this past week. Hear this first quote: ‘Delay is the enemy of progress.’ And so it is! Laziness and procrastination, and anything else that keeps us from doing what we have to do, is in fact delaying our progress. We can’t progress unless we get up off our fat fannies and do what we need to do! 

And the next quote also declares a great truth: ‘Comfort is the enemy of progress.’ Yes my people, as we said above, that’s why most societies eventually die. We start out by working hard and making progress, then when we reach a certain point of prosperity, we believe we can now rest on our laurels and enjoy what we have. But the sad fact of the matter is that continued prosperity depends on continued hard work, and resting comfortable on one’s laurels only eats away at said prosperity. 

It’s like your savings in the bank. The more you put in the more you will have, but when you stop putting in and only withdraw, then it will wither away li’l by li’l until it runs out. Well it’s the same way with progress and prosperity. Unless you keep building, working and saving, you will stop making progress and eventually fall. 

Now hear this one: ‘Some quit due to slow progress. Never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.’ That’s more gospel truth my brethren! Good progress is usually a creeping thing that includes some failure in between. We don’t just begin something today, if it’s a worthwhile project, put in a li’l elbow grease and declare victory or significant progress tomorrow. No friends, progress is a time consuming thing, and ofttimes needs a lot of blood, sweat and tears before it can be significantly achieved. 

And that’s a major problem for this generation. We the parents have not taught the children sufficiently about waiting and working and being satisfied or contented with a little, that’s why they’re all going crazy, feeling entitled to everything while not wanting to work for or make a sacrifice for anything! That thing called true progress is ever so slow my people that sometimes you can’t even see it, although you know you’re making it. So let’s not quit when it looks like positive things are not happening for us nuh. It just means that the Lord is working in the background, doing the hard and dirty work that’s necessary to move us forward. 

In light of all that, it is therefore necessary for us to quickly befriend this next quote and hold on to it tightly, as our very lives may depend on it. ‘Courage means to keep making forward progress while you still feel afraid.’ And isn’t that the living truth! All of us feel afraid at some time or other in our lives, so it’s not a matter of never being afraid, or never having fear, for fear is a natural aspect of human life. But the important thing there is like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: ‘doing it afraid.’ That’s what courage is really all about; doing what we need to despite the fear or anxiety we might feel. 

And the only thing that really conquers fear is faith! That’s why the most used command or warning in the Good Book is ‘Fear not! Do not be afraid!’ Moses said it thus to the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt and the massive Egyptian army was hot on their heels: ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex. 14:13) And that promise did come true in spades as the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea when the Lord closed it back up. 

And the psalmist gives us this small but everlasting treasure: ‘The Lord is on my side, I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ (Ps.118:6) Yes friends, if the Lord is on our side, man cannot prevail over us. And Isaiah drives it home on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) And he did exactly that through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And when Jesus walked on water towards His disciples and they were afraid, His comforting words were simply: ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’  Yes my people, simple, but oh so reassuring words from our Master. That’s the beauty of His philosophy and words! 

And we’ll end with this most important warning from Bruh Paul to Timothy in his tough times, which we all ought to know by now, even if we didn’t know it before Covid-19. (smile) ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Now let’s go out and use those marvellous gifts in His work nuh! Much LOVE!

…fear and courage…two sides of the same coin…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2018 Proverbs 26:12.

Proverbs 26:12.    Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit (eyes)? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
 

Ah mih breddren, unfortunately at 8 o’clock on this Wednesday morning, the last day of October 2018, my neighbourhood is dark, dismal and cold…it’s also raining. To tell the truth, I don’t even remember what rain looks or feels like, for the past two weeks that I spent in Jamaica, I never experienced a drop of heavenly blessing. Yes, a few times the sky darkened, but nary a drop of water fell wherever I happened to be. Hn! 

But I’d better get accustomed to this new state of affairs…and quickly too, because that’s going to be the new norm now. Oh to be in Jamdown once again, experiencing sea, sand, surf and salt, with the occasional bit of rum! (smile) Yes friends, that’s what dream are made of! But here is a taste of reality from the Swedish U.N Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961). 

He piloted the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, when his plane, under mysterious circumstances, crashed in Africa, on his way to try and quell a dispute over there. These are some of the words he left us: ‘Maturity: among other things – not to hide one’s strength out of fear and consequently live below one’s best.’ Words of great wisdom my people! 

And as Christians we have to stop living in fear and proclaim our strengths, strengths which we all have. As they say: ‘healthy thinking requires us to develop and use our many strengths.’

That’s never been truer of Christ’s church than right now, because instead of exhibiting strength, too many of us are embracing weakness and compromising our Christian beliefs and situations. We can’t afford to hide our strengths my people, because that’s when we enjoy our best life. 

And to help us do that, here is a li’l prayer from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. Please pray with me: ‘Thank you, Lord, for bringing me to the place where LOVE can knock at the door of my heart. O Father, do not let me be afraid. I shall not resist your affectionate touch. Let me, O Lord, have the spirit of a little child and dare to respond and run with open arms to your call of LOVE. Amen.’  

Oh friends, it amazes me that we can even contemplate resisting the Lord’s affectionate touch, much less do it! We must be mad, crazy, or stupid… or all three! But unfortunately a lot of believers do it every day.

No wonder their lives are so confused, strife-filled and unfulfilling. This action reminds me of Cousin Sol’s words in our Bit: ‘Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit (eyes)? There is more hope of a fool than of him.’ 

Yes friends, when we are so conceited that we turn away from God’s affectionate touch, there is more hope for even a fool, than for us. And in chapter 29, Cousin Sol says the same thing though somewhat differently: ‘Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.’ (Prov.29:20) 

And he reiterates his point in Ecclesiastes as the Preacher: ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3) 

Oh friends, I doubt there have been ever been more fools than in this present age! Why? Simply because of the rampant technology that allows us to connect so easily to each other, which unfortunately we are using to talk a whole lot of nonsense, drivel and petty stuff, instead of real and serious matters. 

We’ve become a low standards, low level society in all aspects. That new, but oh so foolish phenomenon called ‘Selfies’ are driving us even further into narcissism and ungodliness, because we’re so focused on ourselves, not on God and others.

Everybody’s walking around with their smart phone – except me- thank the Lord –  (smile) paying more attention to it than what’s happening around them. Sometimes I just have to shake my head and steups at how technology has invaded and taken over our lives. 

But here is the ultimate word on our foolish and selfish, conceited behaviour. This from Jesus two thousand years ago, as he spoke to his disciples about the differences between the praying publican (sinner) and the supposedly devout Pharisee.

‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican (tax collector), standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon (beat) his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (Luke 18:11-14) 

Oh my people, in these end times there are too many of us like the Pharisee and not like the publican. Please, let’s try and turn it around nuh, for our sake, as well as our children’s.

Remember the Lord doesn’t need anything from us, but we need a whole lot from Him, and we’ll only get it by being obedient to His word. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our sincere and secure positions in Jesus. 

All together now…lets wail! ‘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!’ 

And will that future ever be more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…turning away from God…that’s the most foolish thing man can ever do…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2018 Psalm 4:7.

Psalm 4:7.   Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and wine increased.

It’s a beautiful though somewhat cool Thursday morning! Yeh, the vagaries of the weather are already showing up. And if the weather people are right, today won’t be anywhere as hot as the last two days. But as the man says: ‘That’s life!’ And so we have to live it as it comes. 

And yuh know what friends? When we live this life with God, ‘Beautiful Things Happen,’ as our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin tells us. 

Please pray with me. ‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet you day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed By changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. 

My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To Your whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Indisputable truth friends! All of it! Every last word! When we hang with the Lord daily, beautiful things do happen in our lives! Glory to God, my brethren! Oh, if only the majority of the world would hear that, believe it and do it eh! What a wonderful place our world would indeed be! 

And we would all be saying like Bruh David does in our Bit, taken from his evening prayer of trust in God, which is the Bible Promise associated with the ‘Beautiful Things Happen’ prayer. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and wine increased.’ 

Oh precious people of God, isn’t that saying something? It surely is, if we can have more joy in our souls than the people have at harvest time. For harvest time is indeed the most joyful time of the year in an agrarian society. That time when the whole populace exults over the bountiful blessings that the Lord has showered down on them. And if one can get happier than that that, then it is indeed a joyous time, and only possible through close association with our heavenly Father. 

And hear how Bruh David continues nuh. As a consequence of such gladness in God, he proudly proclaims: ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:8) 

Oh my people, my people, what assurance we can get when we sincerely befriend our great and LOVING and comforting God! He allows us to lie down and sleep in peace, no worries whatsoever! Now who in their right minds wouldn’t want to have that experience eh? Apparently a lot of people, because a lot of them are turning away from God. 

All I can say to that though friends, is that as for me and mine, we WILL follow the Lord! No ifs and buts about it! Who doesn’t want to follow Him and enjoy the joy and peace of mind it brings, that’s their problem. We can only tell them about it and try to show it in our conduct. They still have to make their own decisions. 

Listen to what another psalmist says on the subject. ‘For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (His holy name).’ (Ps.97:9-12) 

Oh ye current day saints of God, are you living such joyful lives; rejoicing and giving thanks? I certainly hope so. And if you aren’t, then it’s all your fault, for the Lord our God and faithful Provider has placed it all out there for us to enjoy. It’s now left to us to accept the gladness and mercy that He offers. Please be wise and reach out and accept it, for it doesn’t get any better than God’s goodness. 

Now for those of us who have wisely accepted God’s goodness and seen the prosperity in our lives, let’s go home declaring the myriad blessings that the Lord has showered down on us; so much so that our souls can hardly contain them. (smile) 

As one strong, enthusiastic and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, that shows God’s unsurpassable generosity! Now let’s go out and be just as generous nuh, for that’s why He showered us with so many blessings in the first place. Much LOVE!

…blessings are not truly blessings…until they are shared…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2017 Luke 14:27.

Luke 14:27.   And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

One more day, just one more day… Yeh friends, one more day to be alive in God’s great kingdom! It’s such a pleasure to be alive again! (smile) 

But have you noticed how those one more days quickly add up to many more years? One day you’re a young pup, a spring chicken, then one day you’re suddenly a senior, an old fowl! Hn, hn! But that’s the way of life. 

And let’s hope you are enjoying each of those days to the fullest, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour desires for us and why He sacrificed His life on that wooden cross at Calvary. So if we’re not celebrating that triumph, then we’re wasting His sacrifice. And what an awful thing that would be. 

But here are a couple of good questions for us. Where is our focus concentrated today eh? And what’s on our agenda? 

Hopefully, as true believers, our focus is directly on Almighty God, and the priority on our agenda is doing the work of Jesus; spreading His awesome gospel of undying LOVE, redemption, salvation and eternal life. 

And that doesn’t always mean talking, but more so in the example of life that we live. Our lives should realistically reflect the good news of Jesus. And if they aren’t reflecting it, then we’re not doing a good job for our wonderful Leader and Saviour, we’re not being good disciples, good ambassadors for His kingdom. 

Consequently, we’re not the true Christians we ought to be. And that’s the major reason why more people are turning away from God today, than turning to Him. 

My friends, we are falling down in our Christian witness when we talk one thing, then people see us living contrary to our talk. We’re obviously not walking our talk. And it’s time to do better, if we truly want Christ’s LOVE Revolution to be successful. 

And please remember that actions speak much louder than words. So what we do, will usually have a greater impact on others than what we say. Thus the hypocrisy, the compromise and contrariness in our faith walk is souring people on the Christian lifestyle, and consequently on Christ. 

And a quote from my ‘I LOVE YOU’ Poster reminds us that ‘Dreams come true for those who work while they dream.’ The present day Christian problem seems to be that too many of us are dreaming without working, that’s why we’re not accomplishing as much as we ought to. 

Obviously we’re not complying with the words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ 

Yes friends, we each have a cross to bear in our kingdom work; a task we have to perform. Now it doesn’t mean that task is necessarily onerous or body-breaking like Jesus’ cross was, but it always entails some sacrifice. 

Earlier on in Luke Jesus outlined the terms of discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will come after me (desires to follow me), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. 

For whosoever will (desires to) save his life, shall lose it; but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (is lost)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:23-26) 

There you have it my fellow believers, the terms of discipleships as detailed by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now are we living up to those terms? Most of us aren’t. Too many of us have settled for the soft, easy comfortable life our society affords. 

And surprisingly, too many of us are ashamed of Jesus! We’re afraid to talk about Him to others. We listen to others put Him down and don’t utter a word in rebuke or support, because we don’t want them to know that we are Christians and think badly of us. 

Steups! Ah friends, if we can’t support Jesus in public, that means we hold the opinions of man more important than that of God. And that definitely does not lead to true discipleship, but rather tarnishes the image of our Saviour and His movement. 

So today is as good as any to sit down and consider the saying ‘know thyself.’ Let’s sit down and seriously inspect our own lives and see if we’re being true disciples of Jesus. Then ask the Lord to help us in our shortcomings. He won’t ever turn down our sincere pleas for help. 

Now let’s go home loudly and proudly declaring our Thursday Blessings. In unison: ‘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!’ 

And since blessings are meant to be shared, let’s go out and bless others now my fellow believers in Christ! Much LOVE!

…just like Jesus had His cross to bear…all Christians have their crosses too …Christianity is a cross bearing affair…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 August 2017 Proverbs 9:10.

Proverbs 9:10.   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.

Another glorious day is in the offing friends! And to make matters even better, our names or pictures have not shown up in the obits today! Glory to God! 

So let’s be thankful and enjoy the day, proudly declaring, as the psalmist did: ‘This is the day which the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

For sure, because we would be foolish to do otherwise since Jesus sacrificed His sinless life so that we could live an abundant one. 

Now here is a li’l something to remind us that though life is good, it’s not always wine and roses. (smile) I don’t remember where I got it from, but recently I found it amongst some papers on my desk. 

I believe I shared it sometime back, but like so many of these things, they never get stale and are always good for retelling. And I seem to have given it the title of ‘The Promises and Non-Promises of God.’ 

Please read with me. ‘God hath not promised skies ever blue, flower-strewn pathways all our lives through; God hath not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. 

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide, swift, easy travel, needing no guide; God hath not promised we shall not bear many a burden, many a care. 

But God hath promised strength for the day, rest amid labour, light for the way; grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying LOVE.’ 

And that’s more than enough for us friends! Our generous and gracious God gives us enough to live each day walking in His will! That’s all we need since we can only live one day at a time. 

That’s why His mercies are new every morning. Every day He gives us a fresh start. So please let’s be wise, grab on to it and run our race with patience, perseverance and understanding, for that’s the only way we’ll ever make it successfully to the finish line. 

And to ensure us of doing just that, we need the immortal words of our Bit written indelibly in our hearts, minds, souls and bodies. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy (Holy One) is understanding.’ 

Yeh friends, until we learn to acknowledge and rightly esteem the Lord God Jehovah our lives will not run smoothly. That’s because we won’t understand what life is all about. And as we said yesterday, wisdom is basically about living successful lives. 

So it follows that if you don’t have wisdom, you can’t live successfully. But then, true wisdom comes only from appreciating, revering, and sincerely worshipping God. Which in turn means that we have to come to God in sincere faith before we can get that wisdom to live a successful life. Hope it makes sense. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to a couple of scriptures which highlight the importance of that somewhat ephemeral but oh so necessary accoutrement, wisdom. Listen to that great man of God, Job, as he expounds on wisdom being the Gift of God. 

‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof (the value); neither is it found in the land of the living.’ (Job 28:12-13) 

Then he goes on to say that it cannot be found in the sea, nor can it be purchased for gold or other precious jewels. (vs.14-27) So where and how can wisdom be had then? 

‘And unto man he (God) said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) What more can we say eh friends? If God says that’s how it is, then that’s exactly how it is! 

Now hear Cousin Sol with another tot of wise warning. ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov.1:7) 

And is that ever so true. So many of us are foolishly turning away from God in these evil times, so how shall we ever have widespread wisdom eh? 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. 

It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’  

And so my fellow brethren in Christ, now that we’ve beefed up our understanding of true wisdom, let’s go home showing that we are indeed on the right track nuh by loudly, sincerely and truthfully declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, isn’t it just wonderful living with, for and through Jesus! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus…shows that one has acquired true wisdom…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2017 Psalm 93:1.

Psalm 93:1.    The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved (shaken).

And it was a rainy Sunday… Yes friends, the rain spoiled the outside celebrations yesterday for our Victoria Day long weekend. Chuh! But we Canadians are a hardy and inventive breed; no wonder our party season is in the winter and vacation time is the summer. And despite the rain, I’m sure that the celebrations, which had to be moved inside, were just as rocking and rollicking as if they had been outside. (smile) 

And we still have one day to go, which should be sunny, so please, please, listen to Granny, and drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Don’t give Lucifer even a small chance to become involved in it, because like wood ants, once he gets in, you won’t notice or see him, until the whole house is falling down around your head. (smile) 

And fortunately for us in this great country called Canada, most of us don’t have to go out and labour today…Thank you Queen Vic! But others around the world do, so let’s sing along with them, give them some moral support, as they face the rough Monday morning going. As one big harmonious choir now, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, with plenty energy and hungry hope. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, it had plenty energy, but it certainly wasn’t harmonious; more hoarse and croaky than anything. And as always, the loudest and croakiest voices belonged to those who did not have to go to work today. That’s just the nature of the beast. And our choirmaster, Jesus, just smiled like an indulgent father, appreciating our energetic though totally off-key output. 

And that brings us to our Bit. ‘The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved (shaken).’ 

Glorious words of truth my people! As we said at the beginning of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, He is ‘the Creator of the universe and all therein!’ Therefore we ought to pay Him great homage, exalt His holy name throughout all the universe, as Jesus instructed His disciples: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20)  

And that’s the Great Commission that has been handed down to us my brethren! But I don’t think we’re doing such a great job of it nuh. Let’s see, are we doing what the psalmist advocates?

‘Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth (proclaim the good news of) his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen (gentiles), his wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him all the earth. Say among the heathen (gentiles) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps.96:2-10) 

Oh my people are we doing those things in these end times? Obviously not to the best of our ability, otherwise so many people would not be turning away from God and gladly embracing the wicked and evil ways of the world. 

Ah friends, it’s up to us to teach our children about the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so that His mighty wonders and LOVING-kindness can be passed down from generation to generation. Please, let’s not be guilty of impeding God’s work, of not passing on the vital formation that we’ve been commissioned to do, because we’ll have to answer for it one day. Much LOVE!

…if we sincerely believe that God is alive and great…then it’s our bounden duty to shout it to high heaven…

 

 

 

 

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