Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2019 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.    And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee; he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
 

And then it was Monday, the day so many of us despise because it rings the death knell for our short weekend time off, and thus we get up feeling weary and hard done by! But in truth, Monday ought to be our most energetic and agreeable day because we’ve just fellowshipped the day before with other believers and received encouragement from them, heard the Lord’s mighty confidence building word and should thus be at the height of our Christ induced powers, just chomping at the bit to go out and serve him with diligence and excellence. 

But instead we seem to be at our lowest on a Monday and that’s definitely not serving us well in Christ’s ministry. However, that just seems to be the nature of the beast, and we do have our antidote to combat and defeat whatever ails you on a Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we call on our omnipotent and magnanimous God for help to face the day. So please pray with us nuh, in strong voice and sincere hearts. 

‘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, I know you feel the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in you already! That’s just how quickly our wonderful Lord answers sincere prayers that meet His holy will! Now please get yourselves together and go out and give the devil a good run for his money. Meanwhile, I’m up here in the wilds of Northern South Africa, getting ready to go out on a short game drive at six a.m., because we’re leaving the lodge today. 

Unfortunately we didn’t see any of the big five we hadn’t already seen, namely hippos and leopards, but we saw some of the others, and I said a teary farewell to my favourites, the ant hills. (smile) They’re so big and numerous and come in many different shapes, but they all seem to have what looks like a conning tower. Anyway, we came back around seven thirty, had breakfast and left at nine as planned. But you wouldn’t believe it took us until ten thirty to get off the rough, unpaved roads. Brother, was that ever an unpleasant drive, although we saw a few animals along the way. 

Some five hours after leaving the Lodge we finally pulled in to Joburg, Oliver Tambo Airport for the duchess and I to catch a domestic two-hour flight to Cape Town on the Southern coast of the country. We didn’t get to our room in the hotel until nine p.m. by then we were so tired that all we had time to do was grab a bite in the dining room the head straight to bed. We had been on the road for some fifteen hours, and since we’re not spring chickens it obviously took a toll on us. (smile) 

But when you walk with the Lord, you learn not fear, for He is always with you and has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. Listen to Moses’ words to the Israelites as they went through the wilderness. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee; he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’

And the Lord had lived up to that promise from the time they came out of Egypt, as the Good Book says: ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light; to go by day and night.’ (Ex.13:21) Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people, but we don’t really appreciate Him and the things He does for us, as much as we should. 

Now hear Bruh David’s words to Cousin Sol, re building the temple. ‘And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee, he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.’ (1 Chr. 28:20) 

And I can testify to that too friends, as many of you can also do. So please let’s not give up on the Lord’s work nuh. We have His faithful promise that He’ll never leave not forsake us. And Bruh Paul added his two cents worth to all of that by letting us know we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, but you still have to be careful and don’t overdo it.  Much LOVE!

…with Christ in your life…fear not…and be not dismayed…mean exactly what they say…

P.S. And I just had a real life showing of God’s mysterious movements. I’m writing this Bit in the Paris Airport but the plugs here are different To North America, so I was writing it with what ever charge was left in my lap top. Now I saw that it was running low, but I figured I had enough time to get it done and send it out, especially with what I was writing, re the Lord will never leave thee nor forsake thee. I felt sure that He would give me the time to send it out. But lo and behold, just as I was going to send it out, the so and so computer died. 

Chuh! I queried the Lord how He could do me that after all those promises, but obviously I got no direct answer. Then I saw a brother sitting on the other row and I got the bright idea to ask him if he had a plug that would work here. And lo and behold he did have one. So I’m now able to charge my computer. And if you think that was my bright idea, think again. Yuh see mih people, our God does look after us when we trust and surrender our souls to Him, even better than we ask, because now I can do all sorts of stuff, and not just send out the Bit. Give Him much thanks and praise mih people!! Much LOVE!

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2019 Psalm 1:1.

Psalm 1:1.    ​Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
 

Here we go again friends and neighbours; it’s time to join the rat race we call work, labour, drudgery, or whatever negative connotation it brings to your mind. But yuh know what, if you truly value your job, even just for the money it provides, and you do it unto Jesus, and not unto man, as He so wisely suggests, you’ll have a much easier time getting up and facing the traffic jams, the hurry and scurrying hordes in the concrete jungles where you earn a living. 

Yeh mih people, it’s all about attitude. The attitude we bring to our circumstances will invariably help or hinder our faith walk. The circumstances most likely won’t change, but we will, and those circumstances will no longer affect us as negatively as they did earlier. And yes, I know all of that is much easier said than done, but if you’re a true and serious believer, then you will be able to do it, with the outstanding help of our Helper, the Holy Spirit of course! 

And yes, it does not happen overnight, so until you make that great change, then you are most welcome to join us every Monday morning as we petition the Lord for help to handle whatever ails us. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! And we like to think of it as the antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday Morning. (smile) So please join with us as we reach out to heaven for succour, for mercy and strength, for grace to do the right thing. 

As one strong voice now: ‘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!’ 

How can the Lord refuse that poignant plea of His children eh? He just can’t! That’s why we call it our antidote. And I’m sure we’re all feeling better already; the adrenaline’s flowing, our eyes are wide awake and we’re just brimming with energy, stepping high and just dying to get into the battle trenches and fight the good fight for Jesus! That’s the supernatural power of our God working through the Holy Spirit! 

And that brings us to our Bit for today; a wonderful promise of our great and wonderful God. Here’s how the psalmist put it many generations ago: ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.’ (Ps.1:1-2) How cool and appropriate that the Psalms should open with such a powerful and positive scripture! 

Yes my people, as true believers in Christ, we ought not to be hobnobbing with the wicked and sinful hordes of this world. Now we have to have some communication with them if we ever hope to bring them to Christ, but our first commitment is to God; to study and ponder and meditate on His Word, His guidebook for earthly living, so that we can learn about Him; how He acts, and how He wants us to act in His service. And when we learn His Word, and also practice it, here’s what happens to us. 

The psalmist says: ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:3) Now isn’t that a most wonderful promise? Indeed it is! But there are conditions attached: we cannot be involved in evil doings and we need to study and know God’s law and His purpose for our lives. Then and only then will we prosper! 

However: ‘The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:4-6) There are only two ways to go in God’s world my friends: God’s way, or the highway to hell! 

As the scholars explain: ‘Psalm 1. The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man. The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (vs.1); he delights in God’s Word (vs.2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (vs.3) On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (vs.4), and his destiny is judgement (vs.5). 

Finally the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (vs.6). There is an ellipsis (words left out, but understood by the context) which is understood with both clauses in verse 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous (and it will be blessed), but (he also knows) the way of the ungodly (and it) shall perish. The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God,’ 

And there you have it friends, the basics of Christianity 101! (smile) Adhere to it, or pay the consequences. Your choice! Much LOVE!

…best motto for living…obey God…leave all the consequences to Him… (Charles Stanley)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2019 Obadiah 1:4.

Obadiah 1:4.    Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, then will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.
 
Unfortunately friends, it’s once again time to begin a new week of work! And we all jump up in shock, crying out in frustration and disbelief: ‘What! Yuh mean to say is Monday already? But it was just Saturday…and I haven’t done a blooming thing around the house all weekend because I was so bloody tired from working two days overtime last week! Steups! This working for a living going to be the death of me yes! Anyway, since I’m up already, I might as well get up and get moving oui.’ 
Yeh, it’s amusing, but also saddening re what goes on in bedrooms all around the world on a Monday morning. But as we keep reminding you, we have the marvellous antidote for whatever ails you on a Monday morning; simple, sincere prayer, that we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So please join us as we go to the throne room of our heavenly Father, with humility, but strong faith and belief, asking for His help to overcome whatever is ailing us this morning and preventing us from getting ourselves together to go out and do His work. 
As one humble but confident voice now: ‘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!’ 
And you know it works every time my people! We soon feel the peace of God coming into our souls, and a supernatural energy just rises up from nowhere, and the light in our eyes is a joy to behold, as we begin to move with a sense of purpose; that of getting ourselves together to go out and fight whatever battle comes our way in our current ungodly and evil world, obviously with the help of our shotgun rider, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Yes friends, you just can’t beat that Jesus Christ connection and godly communication! It’s the best connection in this whole wide world! And I can attest to that through personal experience. 
But this Monday morning I have some telling news for you; if you’re a believer it’s good news, but if you’re one of Satan’s host, then it’s dreadful news. And believe me friends, there’s nothing fake about this news, (smile) because it comes straight from the horse’s mouth, the Lord God Almighty, Creator and Controller of the universe.
He said it long ago to the Edomites, descendants of Esau, who lived in a mountainous, desert part of the land. And according to the scholars, “enjoyed the security of their mountain stronghold and the prosperity obtained by taxing caravans travelling through their territory.” 
But that same prosperity got them in trouble with the Lord, just like it’s getting us in trouble with Him today. Thus He said to them through the prophet Obadiah: ‘Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen (nations): thou art greatly despised. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ (Oba. 1:2-3)
You know it’s the very same thoughts that are going through the minds and hearts of the wealthy, wicked and ungodly and prideful folks in our current world. And, unfortunately, the same words the Lord used to the Edomites are the same ones He’s saying to those who are following the wide and divergent path to destruction. ‘Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, then will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.’ 
Powerful words indeed friends, but from a divine Being who has the power to do it. And He has done it many times down through the ages with recalcitrant nations and people. But possibly the most notable time was when His Archangel Lucifer tried to overthrow Him. 
Hear how Isaiah puts it nuh: ‘How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer (Day Star), son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the (farthest) sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell (Sheol) to the sides (lowest depths) of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon (gaze at) thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house (would not release) his prisoners?’ (Is.14:12-17) 
So friends, if the Lord could kick out His most powerful creation, or helper from heaven, why do you think He’ll have any trouble keeping His promise to us, mere mortals eh? Please friends, the only sensible alternative is for us to be wise and accept the Lord’s warning, for you know that one of the things He thoroughly despises is pride or haughtiness in mankind, which intimates that we don’t need Him. And there’s a great lot of that taking place currently in our strife-filled society and He’s not about to let anyone or anything steal His glory. Please remember that, and let Satan’s downfall be a lesson to us. Much LOVE!
…he who doesn’t hear…he will surely feel…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2019 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.    ​If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
 

And the alarm goes off…and suddenly you are catapulted out of a sweet dream…and you steups and get up grumpily mouthing: ‘Chuh Blast! And just as the so and so dream was starting to rock yes! This blooming alarm and work nonsense going to be the death of me yes!’ Ah friends, in how many darkened bedrooms are those kinds of scenes playing out right now eh? Too many! 

Welcome to the real world my people! It’s Monday morning and work is a calling. That place where you earn your daily bread; where you make the dough to keep a roof over your head and food on your table and clothes on your back…oh and the place that enables you to send your children to that expensive and elite private school. Yes, that place is crying out for you to get up and get in your new, expensive chariot and hit the traffic jam, so you can get downtown to the concrete jungle jaded and tired, to begin a new week of the never-ending rat race we so glamourously call work! (smile) 

And so many of us are tired of it, would rather retire to the peaceful and quiet countryside. But that’s somewhat like a pipe dream if we want to keep on enjoying our current lifestyle. And the pressure has become so much that we can no longer handle it all in our own strength. Yes friends we need help, supernatural help!  That’s why we have this antidote for whatever ails you on any workday morning, but particularly on a Monday, which is usually the hardest day of the week to get up. We simply call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we cry out to out wonderful God for grace and mercy to get out there and fight in His holy name. 

So all together now, let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence and sincerely pray: ‘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!’ 

Yes mih people, how can our compassionate and considerate God ever turn down such a sincere prayer request eh, especially if it’s prayed in His Son’s name? He just can’t! That’s why you’re now feeling the rush of adrenaline and the belated enthusiasm to go to work! The Lord has ordered our guide and helper, His Holy Spirit, which dwells within each believer, to activate the necessary controls to make us bright eyed and bushy tailed, so we can go out into the evil world full of spunk, full of…whatever and vinegar (smile) and fight victorious battles on Jesus’ behalf. 

And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! They are indeed the best guardians a human being can ever have!’ And all His saints shouted a glorious ‘Amen!’ So be it!’ But friends, please realize that truly and sincerely serving Jesus is not all wine, song and roses. The test of true discipleship is indeed rough, as Jesus said to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ 

Tough words those my brethren, but that’s the reality of the situation. If we really want to follow Jesus, we’ve got to sacrifice our wishes and dreams and take up our cross and follow Him. And the scholars have an interesting explanation on ‘Take up: The meaning is “lift up.” It is a stronger word than that used in 10:38 – “And he that taketh not his cross…’ – and implies a lifting of the cross on high, so that all may see it. This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple’s need to crucify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ’s lordship over him.’ 

Yes fellow saints, we can’t serve Jesus only in private and expect to get any citations. Remember He said whoever is ashamed of Him and denies Him in public, He will do the same to them before the Father. (Matt.10:33) And sadly, a lot of supposed Christians try to hide their faith through fear of the consequences, but as Jesus also said to one fellow who wanted to follow Him, but desired to go home first and bid his family farewell. ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:62) 

Ah mih people, that refers to the way to plough a perfect furrow (row). Once you’ve begun to plough it, you can’t look back or it will not end up in a straight line. As the scholars say: ‘One who makes life’s lesser matters of greater priority than God’s work is of little use to Him.’ Similarly, you’re not ‘suitable’ or ‘usable’ in God’s service if you keep looking back instead of forward. 

And it’s something we say every week in our Wednesday Wail: ‘We’re not looking back, our hands are securely on the plough. We’re looking forward to a glorious future with Christ.’ Now let’s go out and prove that this Monday morning nuh my fellow believers! Let’s show them that we are fit for service to Christ, as we lift our crosses high and honour Him! Much LOVE!

…the true disciple… doesn’t mind sacrificing his desires…for those of Christ…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2019 Isaiah 41:6.

Isaiah 41:6.    ​They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong).
 

It done, it done! Yes friends and family, the radiation business finally done! Thank the Lord! I went back yesterday for the final zap and it went off as smooth as oil, none of the problems of last Friday! Let’s just hope that it accomplished what it was meant to accomplish, because I really don’t want to go back through the inconvenience and side effects again. 

So all I can say is, ‘Thank You yes Lord! Thank You for bringing me through it safely, and I’m leaving everything in your hands. But please give me a break from all the medical issues nuh. I know you are trying to lengthen my life, but by the same token, it does get a bit tiresome and discouraging. Anyway Lord, my life is in your hands, please do as you will with it. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, yuh think it easy? No, it not easy nuh! And remember that Jesus didn’t have it easy either, and He said that we’d face trials and tribulations in this evil and ungodly world, but we were to have peace and be of good cheer, because He had overcome the world. (John 16:33) 

And we all know that that is much easier said than done, especially with all the distractions and enemy attacks that we are currently facing in this degenerate world. But if we are serious and truly turn to Almighty God for help, we WILL be able to handle the world like Jesus recommended. So let’s look at some encouraging stuff nuh. 

And first off is this footnote from a Daily Bread Devotional. It tells us that ‘Encouragement is water to the soul!’ And is it ever my people! For just like our physical bodies need water to survive, so does our souls need encouragement to stay hopeful and alive! Without positive encouragement, we all will sink to undesirable depths of hopelessness, something that Jesus doesn’t want us to ever do. That’s why we need to get together and encourage each other. 

But in these days of lightning quick communication, we can also encourage each other from afar. The important thing is to keep in contact with people of the faith. Now here is this prayer of encouragement, enshrined in plastic, (smile) that I found on my desk from the Anglican Church, Diocese of Toronto. Please pray with me: ‘Sustain us, O Lord, with Your Holy Spirit. Give us an enquiring mind and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to LOVE You, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, a simple but ever so far-reaching prayer! And it asks for exactly the things we need to get us successfully through this trouble-filled world. And I do hope that it encouraged us, that it strengthened our backbone and belly some, (smile) caused us to stand up a li’l stronger and straighter, and to keep the faith in, and of Jesus, burning like a holy fire in our souls, bodies, hearts and minds! 

Wow! What a way the ole fella waxing philosophical and encouraging this Tuesday morning in the wonderful summer of 2019! (smile) But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the whole purpose of the Bit; to keep us strong and encouraged in the faith! So if I’m not encouraging you, then I’m not doing what the Lord requires of me…And no way, do I want Him to ask me, come the judgement day, why I didn’t do what He asked. So let’s keep up with the encouragement nuh. (smile) 

Brother! Is it ever a smiley kind of day! But that’s how it ought to be anyway. (smile) And it’s no mistake that within a couple of chapters of the Good Book that the Lord commanded Moses to encourage Joshua. ‘But Joshua, the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go thither (into the promised land): encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.’ (Deut.1:38) 

And the Lord commanded Moses again when He took him up the mountain to see the Promised Land from afar. ‘But charge (command) Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.’ (Deut.3:28) That shows how big our God is on encouragement, and so should we be too. 

Now hear this wonderful and encouraging scripture from Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel. ‘They helped everyone his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage (Be strong). So the carpenter (craftsman) encouraged the goldsmith (refiner), and he that smootheth with the hammer, him that smote (struck) the anvil, saying, It is ready for sodering  (of the soldering, it is good): and he fastened it with the nails (pegs), that it should not be moved (totter).’ (Is.41:6-7) 

Ah mih people, if only the saints of Jesus would be as encouraging to each other eh! What a wonderful world this would be! But too often, those who should encourage us, discourage us instead, and then we need to take matters into our own hands, like Bruh David did when his men wanted to stone him, after the Amalekites burned down their city of Ziklag and took all their women and children captive. The Good Book tells us: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ (1 Sam.30:6b) 

Yes precious people of God, we can’t always depend on others to encourage us, but when the heifer dust hits the fan (smile) we need to also be able to encourage ourselves in Jehovah God. That’s when the true strength and maturity of our faith really shows out. So please be encouraged today…and everyday, for we serve an encouraging and faithful God! 

Now let’s show that faith by declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and 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!’ 

Wonderful friends, wonderful! Now let’s go out and fulfill that promise by encouraging others, through sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the less fortunate. That’s His ultimate desire! Much LOVE!

…encouragement…one of the believer’s most important tools…in his or her ministry…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2019 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   ​And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.

Summer time, summer time, summer time! It’s a good time…but it’s moving oh so quickly! Can you believe that we just finished celebrating Canada Day at the beginning of July and it’s already the middle of July? Where are the days flying by to eh? And next thing yuh know is September and the summer done and yuh haven’t had a good chance to really enjoy it, because it seems so short. Meanwhile, winter just seems to prolong and prolong…like forever. 

I guess that’s because good and pleasant things don’t last as long as we’d like, while the unpleasant ones last much longer than we want. And I guess the same goes for weekends, which morph into Mondays much too quickly. But that’s life friends. We can’t change it, so we just have to make the best of it. And if you happen to be suffering from the Monday Blues, then you’ve come to the right place, because we have the antidote for just such ailments, in the form of sincere prayer, namely, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s put our hearts and souls into it nuh, as we confidently, but humbly approach the throne of grace, imploring our heavenly Father for His help. 

As one strong voice: ‘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!’ 

Mama Mia! Our wonderful God will never refuse such sincere requests, especially since all we’re asking for is His strength, confidence, leading and guidance to go out and do His will! No wonder you suddenly feel a renewed strength, with a bouncy spring in your step and an overwhelming desire to get out there and engage the enemy in fierce warfare! That’s the Father’s answer to our prayer, through His Holy Spirit. 

Ah mih people, prayer is such a wonderful thing! And why shouldn’t it be eh, since it was devised by the One true and living God, for direct communication between Him and His people; that’s us, believers in His Son Jesus Christ! And there are so many nuances to prayer that we can never cover them all here in the Bit. But let it be known that prayer is, and will always be the best form of therapy, for each and every need, in this evil plagued and ungodly world! 

Yes friends, whatever the problem is, prayer should ALWAYS be our first resort…not our last one! Oh, and don’t forget to give thanks through prayer, when things are going right too eh. Prayer is not just for problems, but also for thanksgiving. And believe you me, our heavenly Father gets annoyed and disappointed when we don’t come to Him first with our problems, because He sees Himself as our great problem solver. And the one thing that all men of great faith had in common was prayer; they offered up prayer for any and everything. So why should we be any different in these troubled times eh? 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh Paul. He said that we should be ‘Praying ALWAYS, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’  (Eph.6:18) And don’t forget to ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thess.5:17) But also ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. ’ (1 Tim.2:8) So you see that prayer is an indispensable, continuous, any and everywhere aspect of a believer’s life. And Jesus said it best: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ (Luke 18:1) 

How can you refute Jesus’ command if you are a sincere believer then eh? You can’t. But unfortunately a lot of us still try to do it. Maybe that’s because we’re not sincere. Who knows? But one thing about our Saviour, unlike so many of us, He always walked His talk. And there are so many instances in the Good Book which showed Jesus just leaving the crowds, even the disciples, and going off by Himself somewhere quiet to pray. And I just LOVE this particular scripture, our Bit for today: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place and there prayed.’ 

Wow friends! That just talks to my soul and spirit! I guess that’s why I like to sit on my front porch in the early hours of the morning; it’s so conducive for communing with the Father. The only difference is that I don’t like to get up early, I prefer to go to bed late. (smile) Just goes to show that Jesus began each day with prayer, and if the Son of God needed to hear from His heavenly Father before going out into the world, then who are we to be any different eh? 

So my fellow saints in Christ, I implore us, from this day forth, to make prayer a big, constant and anywhere thing in our lives. Remember, it’s all for our benefit…not God’s. So let’s show some serious wisdom and reverence nuh, it will pay off in the end. Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the lifeblood of the Christian believer…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2019 1 John 1:4.

1 John 1:4.    And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!
 
And was it ever a beautiful day yesterday…a perfect representation of what a typical summer day should be – bright, warm sun, blue skies, birds singing merrily, and a cool breeze to keep it all refreshing! And this Canada Day Monday is supposed to be an exact replica of yesterday. So there should be nothing like rain to rain on our parade, (smile) and celebrations all over this beautiful country should go off without a hitch, this one hundred and fifty second year of our blessed existence! 

 

But let’s remember right off the bat to heed Granny’s wise warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, for heaven’s sake, please mind yuh business!’ And yes, I know yuh tired hearing it, but is only for your good, because when we celebrating too heartily, we tend to lose our sense of balance, both literally and figuratively, (smile) and morality, as well as right and wrong just go flying through the window, and in comes the enemy to make us do stuff we’ll seriously regret when we regain our balance. 

So do celebrate, but as Jeeves would say, with a modicum of circumspection, please keep one eye open all the time! And I feel for those of you who have to go out and labour this loverly Monday morn, but them’s just the breaks, you need to put food on the table. Doh worry, your day will come, and then you can laugh and croak hoarsely as we declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to boost our spirits, chase away the evil one and lighten our load.  

So altogether now: ‘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!’ 

And as always, those who don’t have to go to work today, and most likely have been partying all weekend were the loudest and most raucous. But it did lift our spirits and get us enthused enough to go out and do Jesus’ work with a healthy and wholesome attitude! 

And to boost us even more, listen, as I do like John in his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ Oh mih breddren, how wonderful is that eh? The ole fella writing you so that you could be full of joy! (smile) 

And the scholars explain our Bit thus: ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13, but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’ 

Yes friends, knowing Christ, and walking with Him does bring a great sense of satisfaction and purpose! And who would know that better than John eh, as he walked personally with Jesus here on earth, and reminds us that his is an eyewitness account, (vs.1-3)  not hearsay like so many others. Anyway, here is John’s secondary purpose in writing his first epistle. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not do (practice) the truth; But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

And all Christ’s followers cried out with a loud voice: ‘Praise His Holy Name! For He is indeed worthy of praise!’ And without a doubt our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is indeed worthy of our praise my people! Now let’s see what the scholars have to say about all of that nuh. 

‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus: John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good: there is thus no or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’ 

‘1:6.Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’ And unfortunately, we do have too many of those hanging out in the church these days. But we just have to leave them to God…and their consciences, if they have any left. 

‘1:7. “God is light” (vs.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (cf.Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth, for it is by the shedding of Jesus’ blood that we were set free from sin! His sacrificial blood paid the overwhelming price, the gargantuan debt for our sin. And that’s why it’s ever so important for His followers to recognize the exceeding great value of blood in our freedom and thus work sincerely and diligently to make it worth Jesus’ while by living good with each other and spreading the good news of His gospel! Much LOVE!

…if blood doesn’t flow…sin can’t be forgiven…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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