Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 November 2020 Deuteronomy 30:19.

Deuteronomy 30:19.     ​I call heaven and earth to record this day (as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed shall live:

Ah friends, it’s a dark, cold, cloudy sombre morning; this Black Friday, the 13thday of November in the crazy, uncertain, unexpected, divisive, pandemic, election, eccentric year of 2020! Yeh, this year’s been all that, and its eccentricity and divisiveness are not over yet, not by a long shot. The confusion and legal battles over who won the U.S. Presidential election is still ongoing, getting more problematic by the minute, with the wannabe dictator refusing to concede that he lost. 

The Covid-19 pandemic is still raging, going through a second phase all over the world, and we still don’t know how to deal with it properly, and with people refusing to do the things we know would temper it some. And strife is still rampant all over our world. So what new can the forces of evil and darkness perpetrate this Friday the 13th eh? The only place we have left to go is over the cliff, or be brought back to our senses by the awesome word and hand of God! 

Right now those are our only two options friends! The time for pussyfooting is over. We can’t sit on the fence anymore. It’s time to make a final decision. And yuh know that making no decision is indeed making a decision. So please let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we’ll just let it all ride and it will eventually blow over, because this time it most certainly won’t! It’s time for mankind to put up or shut up! And that’s my spiel for today! (smile) 

But it’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say too nuh. And as always he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank God that the weekend is finally here and I could get to stay in mih yard with mih family and don’t have to venture out in this second wave of Covid-19 nuh! Brother! What it is so eh? How come Covid just turn back to bite we so hard again eh? Is it because people not doing what they supposed to be doing? Or we just can’t get a handle on the blooming virus? 

But is more lockdown again…Steups! What in hell and heaven name going on eh? Like the world just gone mad oui! Everywhere is a mess; if not with Covid, then with political and racial and religious strife… So what it going to take to bring us back to normal eh? Ah vaccine for Covid? Who knows, because plenty people already say they not taking no blooming vaccine. Or is it World War 3…? Because all the other foolish strife an’ them not letting up either. 

So what is to become of we world eh? What kinda world we children going to inherit eh? Chuh man! Ah have to shake mih head oui, because only the Lord knows yes…only the Lord knows! But right now ah very thankful for the weekend so I could stay home an consider it all, although I can’t do much about it.’ 

Ah mih people, those sentiments expressed by the ordinary workingman are being voiced all over our world! As I said before, this is the time for us to make some very wise and serious decisions because our problems are not going to go away because we wish them to. It’s going to take a lot of work between all of mankind to even halt them, much less turn them back. And the only power in this world great enough to change our circumstances is the hand of Almighty God! 

And I proffer these two verses of His word from the mouth of Jesus Christ, His only Son and the Saviour of this world, to strengthen my contention. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.’ (John 5:24-25) 

People, I give to you, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the ONLY hope for our salvation! Without Him in our lives, we’re all dead meat. It’s only a matter of time. But with Him, with His awesome Holy Spirit surging through our veins, our bodies, and souls, we are faithfully promised resurrection; life everlasting! There’s NO ONE else who can offer us that! So what’s it to be eh? 

And here’s the clincher; (smile) these words of Moses, on the Lord’s behalf, to the people of Israel many moons ago. ‘I call heaven and earth to record this day (as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed shall live:’ (Deut. 30:19) That’s it in a nutshell friends! Your choice! 

And for those of us who wisely choose life, let’s turn to our God and through our Friday Chant sincerely plead with Him for the healing of our land and our nations! Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Yes my precious and faithful saints of Christ, it now behooves us to go out and handle the situation properly; in Christ-like manner! Much LOVE!

…only the unwise…would choose death over life…especially the eternal kind… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2020 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.     ​…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well it’s a bright Saturday morning in my area, and there seems to be nothing new under the sun, (smile) as Cousin Sol said so long ago. (Eccl. 1:9). The vote counting and ridiculous claims and incitement to unruly behaviour is still happening down south in the U.S. What a ridiculous example is being set by a once proud and mighty nation eh! But I guess as the ole people would say, ‘after one time is two.’ 

And as it happens with men and nations, when we get too big for our britches, we generally end up falling to our knees in misery and discord. Anyway, we’re still waiting to see how the drama, that rodeo down there plays out. But however it does play out, one thing is for sure, the results and ongoing sentiments won’t be nice and sweet and friendly. (smile) 

Enough on that topic now. It’s Saturday, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We only got three quotes this week, so that should make my life easier. (smile) And he is still prefacing them with ‘Positive affirmation: you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are.’ So I won’t repeat it the preface, but please be careful to remember that we are only awesome in and with Jesus in our lives. (smile) 

And the first quote is ‘I don’t need someone else to feel happiness.’ And that’s oh so true. Too often though we depend on others to do or say things to make us happy. But please note that happiness is a feeling, a feeling which can be turned on and off at a whim, or change of circumstance. It’s a frail and fickle state or emotion, ofttimes with no suitable or strong foundation to keep it flowing. However, we are quite capable of raising that feeling of ebullience on our own. 

It’s become a habit though, to claim that so and so has made me unhappy, or happy. But the truth is that no one can really make us happy or unhappy but ourselves. We hold the key to either situation, by allowing others to influence us one way or another. Now joy is a different thing. That comes from a strong state of inward satisfaction, a solid foundation, which doesn’t change with every change of direction of the wind or life, and which even in tough situations, like we’re now facing, keeps us strong and steadfast. 

And it’s under those conditions that we can claim the next quote: ‘I’m calm, happy, and content. My imperfections make me unique.’ Now let’s deal with the last part of that quote first. Our imperfections don’t need to make us unique nuh, because our Creator has already done that. He made us in His own image, (Gen. 1:26) He blew His breath of life into our nostrils, (Gen. 2:7) That means each and every one of God’s creation is a unique being! There are no two people exactly alike. 

As Bruh David so famously said in Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ (Ps. 139:14) Yes my people, we are all magnificent and unique creatures, but unfortunately not enough of us can lay true claim to the first part of the quote, because too many of us are not calm, happy and contented. Yes, the current situation of a pandemic and all sorts of strife is stressful and can tend to erode our calm and contented situation. 

However, if one’s foundation is built on Jesus, then friends, you can withstand anything, any kind of stress or strain or evil circumstance that tries to steal your joy and calm and contentment! For Jesus is our rock, our solid foundation! As Nehemiah said way back when, ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

Mama Mia! What a marvellous acclamation and truthful proclamation eh! (smile) That’s why joy and happiness are different. For true joy comes from having Jesus in our hearts, but happiness is from man, that’s why it’s ephemeral; short-lived, flaky, vapour-like, with no solid foundation. And years later, Bruh Paul put it bluntly to the church at Corinth: ‘For no other foundation can no man lay than that that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.’ Yes my people, Jesus Christ is the ONE and ONLY true foundation of this world. He built it, and if and when necessary, He will destroy it. No man can do it unless He allows it. 

As the psalmist so avidly proclaimed long ago. ‘The stone which the builders refused (rejected) is become the headstone of the corner (chief headstone). This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.’ (Ps.118:22-23) Ah my fellow saints, Jesus came to earth to build His kingdom, but oh so many rejected and abused Him, and He even quoted that scripture in His relating of the parable of the wicked husbandmen. (Matt. 21:42) 

But thankfully, down through the ages, mankind has slowly woken up to the reality that Jesus is the only real Saviour available to ease hurts and pains and bring joy and gladness to the soul, and we have begun accepting Him as the foundation of our lives, though certainly not on a wide enough scale, so no wonder the minions of the evil one now have the world in grip, in a strangle hold, and causing endless strife and negative commotion. 

But my brethren, if Jesus is in our lives, then we will be okay, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and to work everything out for our good eventually. And He’s awesomely faithful in keeping His promises! So if things are rough right now and we are hurting and wounded and seeing no avenue for healing, don’t worry, come to Jesus, just as you are, and He will gladly accept and heal you. 

And that brings us to the last quote: ‘I’m allowed to take the time to heal.’ Oh hurting ones, fear not, Jesus is the original Healer, and He will take His take His time with ALL those who come to Him for succour in sincerity and truth! Hear His Great Invitation nuh: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

And that’s the gospel truth people! Only in Jesus can a body find true joy and rest and healing and salvation! So please accept him today nuh. He’s knocking at the door to the hearts of ALL men. For your benefit, open up your heart and let Him in nuh. It will be the wisest decision you’ve ever made! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the only place for ONE STOP shopping…He satisfies ALL your needs and wants…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.     ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Okay, so the bubble hasn’t burst yet, there is no clear winner of the U.S. Presidential Election, but His Imperial Dictatorship in Waiting, has already declared it as being rigged and planning to fight it in the courts. I wonder if he will do that if he wins eh? However, knowing the eccentricities of His Dictatorship, anything is possible where he is concerned. (smile) 

Ah mih people, rougher days seem to be ahead. Can you imagine it eh, after all the fire ringed hoops we’ve been forced to jump through in the last six months, we might still have more serious ones to navigate? No, it’s not a pleasing thought, but please let’s not get any more worried and/or frustrated than we already are. Let’s remember that we are children of the Most High God Jehovah, living in a world that He created and still controls, and nothing happens without Him allowing it. No, He doesn’t always create or begin something, but unless it falls into line with His imperial and divine plan it does not last! 

Furthermore, He has faithfully promised to never leave nor forsake us, and that no weapon formed against us will ever prosper, not in this lifetime or the next. So if we sincerely believe that He is our rock and our fortress, our high tower and divine protector, then we should not be overly worried about what’s happening around us in these troubling times. Concerned, yes, but not worried, otherwise our faith is worthless. For, as the Good Book states: ‘Faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for. The evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) 

Yes my fellow saints, in God’s realm, we need to hope for and believe we have received things we haven’t yet seen! That’s the basic difference between the believer and the unbeliever; the former being able to wait expectantly and see through their eyes of faith, stuff that hasn’t happened as yet, once it’s in accord with God’s will. And in these troubled times, that is exactly where many of us are failing, are falling down. Our hope and faith levels are too low. But remember, it’s only in tough times that our faith and hope do grow. When life is good and easy, faith and hope merely exist in a kind of vacuum, waiting for the tough times to come along. 

And above all, the Lord wants us to grow in hope and faith, to become spiritually mature in the manner and character of His son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! That’s why, sometimes, in times like these, He tests our faith to see what we’re truly made of. He tests our mettle, to see if we can really walk the plenty talk we usually have in the good times. Our God desires to see if our salt is still full of flavour, and thus useful, and also if our lights can still burn bright and thus give light to the dark world that surrounds us. 

Oh fellow believers in Christ, our Lord is expecting us to stand strong in these crucial times. He’s expecting us to be examples of fortitude and perseverance, of help and encouragement to those who are shaking it rough. To be good ambassadors of his holy kingdom and take His word and His dedication to those around us. We can’t save or proselytize the whole world, but we can certainly be fully flavoured salt and bright lights to those in our neighbourhood. And I just came across and interesting scripture from Bruh Paul that I believe will be of much benefit to us this Wednesday morning. 

Hear him to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached spiritual maturity, fully knowing Christ): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Oh friends, that is the kind of attitude we need to adopt in these trying times. Let’s forget what has gone before, our successes and failures, and press on, move forward, towards the high calling that God has in mind for each of His children. Yes, He has a unique plan for each and every one of us, as Jeremiah says, a good plan, one to give us a hope and a future. And that high calling pertains to us knowing Christ better and better, and becoming more like Him in character and purpose as the Lord raises us from glory to glory! 

And here are some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘3:13. Those things which are behind refers both to his (Bruh Paul’s) religious credentials (vs.5-6), now counted as “loss” (vs.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (vs. 10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on his past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (vs. 10), and experiencing the resurrected life (vs. 11).’ 

Wow mih bredrin! Are those ever high and noble goals for us to live up to eh? But it’s what our heavenly Father desires of us, and simple fact is that we can’t approach Jesus’ stature if we just live the good life and don’t suffer some of His problems. (smile) 

And per our Bit, the scholars explain: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of vs.10-11 (i.e., knowing Christ). The prize is the personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, today, let’s reinvest in ourselves nuh; let’s set our objective, that goal to know Christ as best we can, so that we can win first prize; the satisfaction, the divine commendation and reward as we heed the divine call to salvation. That’s the true purpose of the believer! And for those of us who have already set those goals and objectives, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail nuh, letting all and sundry know our serious, sincere and joyful position in Christ Jesus! 

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. NO! 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 there’s no need to remind us, but I will anyhow, (smile) that if we endure steadfastly to the end, that the future will be indeed more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…in these troubled times…let’s all be prisoners of hope nuh…so that our faith can grow…and be spread abroad to the glory of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2020 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.     LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. 
 

And the glorious summer days of 2020 keep rolling along like the tumbling tumbleweed! We could certainly use a li’l rain though to cool the parched ground… and even more, some respite from the ever-present pandemic and the strife and protests that are stirring up our world into a maelstrom of bitterness, hate, resentment and violence. Ah Lord eh people, when the history of this summer – well not only of the summer, but the entire year of 2020 is written, it will consist of nothing but disturbing events – and we still have the important U.S. presidential election to come later this year. 

Bubba! Can you imagine how that will resonate around the world, regardless of how it ends up! Ah Lord eh…! Will mankind ever learn? Or do we have to wait until Jesus comes back? It certainly seems like the last proposition is the correct one! (smile) And that brings us to this most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. 

I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner But neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seed?” 

And yuh know what my friends, we all do just that! We want to sit on the fence and do a li’l to please God and a li’l to please ourselves. But the problem with that situation is that God doesn’t want our leftovers, or what we so generously choose to give Him. He wants ALL of us or NOTHING at all! Remember Jesus’ words as part of our discipleship: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt. 16:26) Those are very good questions that we should all consider my people! 

And Remember Jesus’ earlier advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we seek God and His righteousness first, He will give us all the worldly things we need to make it comfortably in this world. Believe me, there are quite a lot of well off, even filthy rich Christians in this world, so it’s not like God isn’t generous when we try our best to walk the straight and narrow path and not sit churlishly on the fence. 

And remember also when Jesus prayed for the disciples… ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them… They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17: 9-10; 16-17) Yes friends, Jesus was very plain and straightforward about it. He knew we had to live in the world to do His will, but He did not want us to be a part of it. Instead, He desired of the Father that we be set apart for godly purposes! 

But because of our naturally sinful nature, we are so enamoured of the world and all its sinful things, so easily fooled by their pretty but false, empty and deceitful facades. Oh, I know it’s not easy to bypass all those outwardly beautiful things that the world favours, but as true followers of Jesus we must do our best to stay on the straight and narrow road. That’s why John in his first epistle seriously warns us. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2: 15-17) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be put any clearer than that nuh! The world and all its supposedly beautiful things are run by the enemy and he wants nothing better than to get us saints of Christ, so bemused and in LOVE with his stuff that we forsake the things of God and thus besmirch or tarnish our godly reputation and testimony. But my people we need to be strong and ignore all the empty and false advances of the enemy. 

And to help us, hear this explanation of the scholars re Temptation. ‘2:16. Though all people are tempted differently according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires); (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interests). 

Illustration: when Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen. 3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt. 4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures. Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom. 5:12.)’ 

And we all have been thus tempted, and it’s not always easy to refute or refuse them, but let’s hear our Lord and Saviour one more time. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What assurance my brethren! That means we can go home today in such good spirits declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra. 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!’ 

So what we waiting for eh? Let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…for where your treasure is…there will be your heart also… (Matt. 6:21) 

P.S. Don’t pay attention to the lateness, just check out the great substance! (smile) Much LOVE!