Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 September 2022   Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.        This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the workweek, with many of us anxiously, hopefully looking forward to that last day tomorrow. But please remember Jesus’ wise advice: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34). 

Now that’s the overwhelming truth my people! We need to look after, to concentrate on today, which is all we have right now. Tomorrow will look after itself. We don’t know if we’ll even be around to see tomorrow, so why spend so much time concentrating on it eh? Instead, let’s do as the psalmist so wisely proclaimed: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) 

And that’s wisdom in spades. Today is what we have, so let’s enjoy it, otherwise we’re wasting God’s precious time and blessings, especially the new mercies and compassions that He’s prepared new for us this special day. Yes mih bredrin, every day we spend on this planet earth is a special day which the Lord made so that we can enjoy it and do His will. That’s why He blesses us anew every day. 

Jesus said it very clearly: ‘I am come that they (His flock, His followers) might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Now how can we enjoy a more abundant life if we’re always thinking of tomorrow and not focusing on today, as we ought to eh? That’s defeating Jesus’ very plan for our lives. And I like how James admonishes his readers, and consequently us on the subject of tomorrow. 

Describing unchristian conduct, he writes: ‘Go to now (come now), ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings (boast in your arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ ((James 4:13-17) 

Oh my people, James covers a whole lot in those few verses. So let’s see what the scholars have to say on them. Re 13-14: ‘This one is a fool, for he thinks he knows something that he doesn’t. He presumes he has the resources to control his destiny. (cf. Prov. 27:1; Luke 12:13-21).’ And those scriptures are excellent references of our unfortunate concentration on tomorrow. In the verse from Proverbs, Cousin Sol does declare very forcefully. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.’ (Prov. 27:1) 

Meanwhile the passage from Luke is where Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool, who had so much that he had no room to store it. So, in his wisdom, decides to tear down everything and build anew, that he might have space to store all his wealth, and then take things easy: ‘eat, drink and be merry.’  But in his frail and finite wisdom he missed one important thing, he did not factor in God’s will. 

Consequently, when God came along, He said to him. ‘Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:20-21) Yes friends, we are in a partnership with Almighty God and partners are supposed to talk with and cooperate with each other. That means we cannot make plans without including God. 

And going back to the verses from James, the scholars tell us in vs.15: Re ‘This or that. This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James only condemns elaborate planning that omits God. (cf. Prov. 16:9)’ Now, since I delight in spoon feeding us, (smile) here is that verse from Proverbs. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Yes my people, our God is indeed sovereign over our scheming and planning. So it’s His will that usually wins out. 

And moving back once more to James, we discover that in vs. 17: ‘To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ And that’s not rocket science, but simple common sense. If you know what is right to do, and don’t do it, then you’re wrong, and it can therefore be construed as sin. And Jesus, in His telling of the parable of the unfaithful servant, (Luke 12:41-48) says as much. 

‘And that servant, which knew his lord’s (master’s) will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.’ (Luke 12:47-48) 

Oh friends, right there, Jesus is indirectly talking about us. Servants bear a great responsibility to their masters, and if Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, we as His followers, or His servants, also bear a huge responsibility to Him and His will. We need to remember that at all times. Yes, life is good, is better with Jesus than with anybody else, but that good life doesn’t come gratis or free. There is indeed a price to pay, a responsibility to be shouldered, and if we don’t shoulder our responsibilities, then there are consequences to be suffered for our irresponsibility. 

But our God is so good that He doesn’t just send us out to do His bidding without the necessary tools to accomplish it. That’s why we’ve been endowed with what we call our Thursday Blessings, tools to perform His awesome will. So, let’s activate them right now by declaring (steups!!!) them nuh. 

Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

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

And having activated those marvellous blessings, let’s go out now and put them to use in Jesus’ name, as is our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…can you imagine the mountain of sins…we believers pile up each day…by knowing the good and right things to do…and not doing them… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 May 2022 Mark 5:36.

Mark 5:36.        Be not afraid, only believe.

And then it was lazing around Saturday… How nice it is to have one day in the week to just do as one pleases; to do nothing, or to do a lot, but it’s all up to you, with no boss constantly hanging around, watching to see how many breaks you take, or how much work you are actually doing. Now, sometimes, especially in our current society with little or no integrity or work ethic, it’s necessary for the boss to keep a close eye on us, but it’s still uncomfortable to have someone always watching your movements. That won’t happen today…unless it’s your spouse praying that you would get your lazy self, up off the couch and go do the household chores you’ve been putting off for so long. (smile) 

And our Saturday chore is to look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow, and see how they interact with our Christian walk. And the first one says: ‘You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.’ Now that’s gospel truth! Those two polar opposites together will never create something beautiful. It’s like God and Satan, sin and grace, or oil and water. They just don’t mix in a pleasurable way. And it’s obvious that a positive mindset, one that keeps God first place, that concentrates on building, is always better than the negative opposite, where Satan is simply intent on destroying anything that we build. 

It’s like walking in the flesh, or carnality, and walking after the Holy Spirit, like Bruh Paul talks about in his letter to the Roman church. ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom. 8:5-8) 

Yes friends, it’s the same way with a positive and negative mindset, it’s either one or the other, for never the twain shall ever meet successfully. That segues very nicely into this next quote. ‘One small positive thought can change your whole day.’ More wonderful truth my people. That’s the power of positive thinking, as opposed to negative thinking. One good and positive thought early in the morning can brighten up our entire day. Likewise, one negative thought can ruin our whole day if we allow it to, it can steal our wonderful joy. 

And that’s exactly what the enemy tries to do when he comes storming into our minds with his negative, ungodly and sinful ideas. But we need to be like seed that’s sown on good and fertile soil and reject them as soon as possible. That’s why Peter sternly warns us to ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (being experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet. 5:8-9) 

Ah mih people, the vengeful enemy is all over, trying to bring down the people of faith with the same basic temptations, so nothing that we are going through is new, or unique to any of us. Remember, he has no real power over us, unless we give it to him. For he’s just a toothless lion with a big roar. But we cannot afford to give the enemy even one small toehold in our lives, otherwise he will turn it into a stronghold, and have us eating out of his hand in that matter. That brings us to this quote: ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ 

Now, I don’t know if simple belief will get you halfway to your destiny, (smile) but it will certainly give you the right beginning, the right start, because if you don’t believe you can complete or achieve whatever you have in mind, you most certainly won’t succeed. Belief is indeed the most important aspect of any project or programme. Like we said above, it’s the positive mindset that engenders faith and hope in whatever we desire to do. 

What did Jesus say to Jairus, one of the synagogue rulers, when they came and told him his daughter was dead? Just these simple words: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:36) And when Martha hesitated over rolling away the stone from the grave of her brother Lazarus, Jesus told her: ‘Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe , thou shouldest see the glory of God?’ (John 11:40) So friends, belief might not get us halfway to the end, but it will most definitely create the right and necessary attitude that will put us on the path to victory! 

Consequently, the following quote also becomes important in our faith walk. ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ Yes, it all has to do with positivity, hope, faith and belief in God Almighty! When we look forward to good things and tidings, with a strong faith, they tend to happen. That’s why the psalmist declared…ah Lord eh! Would you believe I spelled that wrong? I don’t know what it is with me and that word nuh, in all its forms too. I even refuse to try and write it again now. (smile) But like the psalmist said, and we should always say: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) 

Now that gives us a positive, faithful expectation that each day will be good! Oh, we do know that every day will not really be good, because that’s just the nature of life with its up and downs, but more often than not, when we expect it to be good, it will turn out that way. Like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today. And something good is going to happen through me today!’ There’s just something about faithful expectations that put us in a better frame of mind, even when the circumstances aren’t favourable. 

And the last quote says: ‘I will go anywhere as long as it’s forward.’ Now it’s very important to go forward and not backward in life. However, anywhere forward is not the best place, because that could also mean forward with the devil and his satanic cohorts. What we should be saying is that we would go anywhere forward with Jesus as our guide and leader! That’s because we need to end up like Bruh Paul said to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7) 

Yes, my fellow saints in Christ, the only true way forward is with our Lord and Saviour! Any other way leads only to destruction and damnation! Therefore, let’s spend some time on this lazy Saturday pondering the state of our race nuh. Are we fighting a good fight, running strongly in our race, keeping the faith like we ought to? Or do we need to pick it up some? I believe that we can ALL come up somewhat higher and better than we’re currently doing because the world desperately needs us right now. So please, let’s ask the Lord to help us do just that nuh. Once it’s for His glory, we know He’ll never refuse to help. Much LOVE!

…true belief in Christ…creates miraculous doings in our spirit… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 May 2022 Ephesians 4:26-27.

Ephesians 4:26-27.      Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

And then it was Thursday; bright, sunny and refreshing. But who knows if it’s going to remain like that all day though, because the weather has been so topsy turvy recently. Yes, would you believe that after all the rain yesterday morning, by afternoon it turned into a beautiful, warm, sunny day! And it’s certainly a good thing that we have Jesus and His Holy Spirit, who never change, to keep us smiling and level headed in the face of all the turbulence in our world and our weather! 

That’s why we can say: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) And isn’t that a marvellous situation to be in? It most certainly is! So please give our magnificent Lord and Saviour some thanks and praise for His steadfastness and awesome faithfulness despite our whining and complaining ways. (smile) And it’s sad to know that these days, in our Western world, we’ve become unholy complainers despite the numerous amenities that surround us. 

Regardless of how much we have, we never seem to be satisfied, but are always seeking more, and seeking it more quickly too. And we all know that those attitudes are not welcome in the kingdom of Christ, and most likely constitute sin on our part, especially if we are otherwise very blessed by the Lord. And that’s the work of the enemy, the ruler of this evil world. He stirs up our greed and avarice, knowing that if we don’t get what we want, we will become angry and lose our peace and joy and behave less like the Christians we claim to be. 

But there’s a sweet and simple scripture that helps us to forego that behaviour. It’s found in Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he wisely advises them, and consequently us too: ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph. 4:26-27) 

Oh my people, there’s so much wisdom in those few words. Let’s check it out nuh. In the first place getting angry is not a sin, it’s a normal human emotion, given to us by the Father to show our displeasure. The Lord gets angry too. And we definitely don’t want to experience it. (smile) The problem lies in what we do when we get angry. Many of us do wrong and foolish things when we lose our temper, and that’s when we give the devil an opportunity to get into our souls and downgrade our Christian walk. Please remember, that‘s all the enemy is about; lessening our witness for Christ. And if we don’t control our anger, we will fall right into his evil and ungodly trap. 

And then there’s the wisdom of not letting the sun go down on our anger. Why is that so important? Because when we go to sleep angry, that anger percolates in our soul and spirit all night, and instead of restoring our peace and LOVE in Christ Jesus, we wake up angry and give the devil even more opportunity to invade our lives on that new day.  And there are several other scriptures that warn us to forsake anger and the damning effects it has on our Christian walk. 

Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. He advises us to: ‘Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:8-9) True words of wisdom my fellow believers. 

And that other great psalmist, Asaph, had this to say, from personal experience no less, about evil and fretting. In his famous Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness – he tells it thus: ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps. 73:1-3) Then he goes on to describe how the wicked seem to prosper in their wickedness. 

And we see the same thing too, and say like Asaph did: ‘Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper (are always at ease) in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain (kept my heart pure in vain), and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children (would have been untrue to thy word).When I thought to know this (understand it), it was too painful for me (troublesome in my eyes); Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end (the end of the wicked).’ (Ps. 73:12-17) 

Oh friends, too many of us find ourselves in Asaph’s situation, envying the prosperity of the wicked, and instead of turning to God for divine assistance, take up the ungodly activities of the evildoers so we too can acquire the world’s prosperity. And the scholars explain. ‘Psalm 73: This psalm is another dealing with the problem of the prosperity of the wicked . Unlike Psalm 37, however, it does not emphasize the brevity of that prosperity. The author observes that sometimes the bounty achieved by the wicked does in fact last throughout life ( v.4). He emphasizes every believer’s need to test his own personal relationship with God. That alone provides the ultimate satisfaction available to the believer who witnesses the affluence of the wicked.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s only through a strong relationship with Almighty God will we be able to see the wicked prosper, as they often do in this evil world, and not desire to be like them! We need to firmly believe the word of God that says the wicked will eventually be destroyed, or else we will head down that wide and destructive path that only leads to hell fire and damnation. And the enemy would like nothing better than that. But friends, please, please, let’s remember, like Jesus said in the parable of the sower, that we are in this most important category: ‘But other (seed) fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty; some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) 

Glory be my fellow saints. Let’s rejoice that we are good ground and the word of God has taken full root in us and we’re bringing forth good fruit. And how do we do that? By using these Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. So, let’s boldly declare them to activate them nuh. As one confident voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and use those blessings to bear good fruit in Jesus’ name, like He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…who hath ears to hear…let him hear… (Matt. 13:9)  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 April 2022 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.      It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

And so, Friday has opened bright and sunshiny, but somewhat chilly, not as warm as it ought to be at this time of spring. But that’s okay, we can handle anything that comes against us because of the Holy Spirit of Jesus that indwells us. It gives us the boldness, the confidence to declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ 

And since it’s a day He has made, we shall therefore rejoice and be glad in it! So, please give our great God some thanks and praise for His wonderful works to us undeserving children of men. Let’s gratefully remember, as Jeremiah said in his Lamentations: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) 

Oh my people, it is indeed because of the Lord’s compassion, His mercy and faithfulness that we are not totally destroyed. And He especially showed His great LOVE and compassion for us in this past Easter Season when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross so he could justly and righteously have reason to forgive our sins! No greater LOVE than that can ever be found! 

And in explaining ‘faithfulness,’ the scholars tell us that: ‘The word root from which it comes stresses that real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and an attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God (c.f. 1 Sam. 26:23; Ps. 37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

Yes friends, just like God has been faithful throughout His long existence, so we His creation and joint-heirs with Christ need to be faithful in all walks of our lives. And I believe that shows up positively in Jeremiah’s life when he remembers how he was mistreated, locked up and derided for preaching God’s word, and though he tried to get rid of it, the fire of the word still burned in his belly. ‘And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me. This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.’ (Lam. 3:18-21) 

That’s when he talks about the Lord’s compassions and mercies that we’ve spoken of above. Yuh see, once you’ve been associated with our wonderful God, and seen His faithfulness, it’s difficult to lose faith in Him, even when you go through real tough times on His behalf. That hope He imbues within us just doesn’t die, because deep down, we know that He is Almighty God; omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, to whom all things are possible, the One who can bring us through any untoward situation if He so chooses. 

Sometimes though, unfortunately, He doesn’t choose to make us escape the difficulty, because He has some good reason for us experiencing it. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He will NEVER allow us to go through something alone; He is always beside us monitoring our progress through the particular situation and through life itself. 

That’s why the psalmist could also confidently declare in Psalm 130. ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:5-8) 

Wow! What hope, and trust in God the psalmist shows there! His soul is waiting more deeply for God, than those who are keeping watch for daybreak. And he says it twice, for us to know how deep His trust and faith are in the God of his forefathers! Now that’s the kind of faith that we modern day believers ought to be showing, especially in these contrary and oh so difficult times, which seem to mimic the beginning of the last days that Jesus spoke about. 

‘Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers (various) places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows (birth pangs)…And the gospel must first be published among all nations.’ (Mark. 13:5-8, 10) 

But Matthew is more explicit per that last verse. He recalls Jesus saying: ‘ And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ (Matt. 24:14) And we are indeed seeing the beginnings of those sorrows for all that Jesus spoke about is currently happening, with wars and rumours of wars, famines in a world with wonderful farming skills and technology, deception everlasting, pestilence, sickness and natural disasters like we’ve never seen before. 

And above all, with our wonderful technology the gospel has already been preached or proclaimed to most of the world, and it should not take very long to do as Jesus desires; proclaim it to ALL the world. But in the meantime, we the faithful, must remain faithful and true to His name, and do what He desires of us. And the first thing in our arsenal is always prayer, that awesome method of communication between us and our heavenly Father. So let’s go to Him in prayer right now nuh, through our Friday Chant, seeking His divine help in these rather difficult times. 

As one strong, but humble voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 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!’ 

Now that means cleaning up our act and having our hearts sincerely reflect what our mouths have just spoken. That is, if we want to receive a positive response from Almighty God! Much LOVE!

…commit thy way unto the Lord…trust also in him…and he shall bring it to pass… (Ps. 37:5) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 March 2022 John 8:12.

John 8:12.      I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Oh friends, it’s a bright sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! This Tuesday morning in early spring, there’s nary a dark cloud in the sky! It’s so bright that I had to put on my dark glasses as I went to put out the garbage just now, else it would have blinded me! (smile) And it doesn’t even feel as cold as it did yesterday afternoon when I went out to the mailbox! 

Wow! That gives us the reassurance to confidently acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! And don’t forget that something good is going to happen to us today, and something good is also going to happen through us today! That’s because we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us! And furthermore, our great and wonderful God will provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! That’s why it’s such a joy and a pleasure to live for Jesus. No one else provides the benefits and faithful promises that He does. That’s why He reassures in His word: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And don’t forget this other magnificent upliftment for our souls: ‘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 6:33) 

And that’s the gospel truth, because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has indeed overcome the world by dying and rising from the dead, thus defeating hell, death, Satan and the grave! Glory Hallelujah! What a wonderful warrior is our Jesus! That’s why one of His favourite terms and words of advice while here on earth was ‘Fear not!’ But we still fear, despite all His entreaties and reassurances. 

And truthfully, we can’t ever stop fear from coming upon or against us, but we can certainly stop it from consuming us. This morning though, I want to share a poem on that malicious word ‘fear’ that I found stuck up on the bedroom wall of my young daughter. There’s no title attached to it, so we’ll just call it ‘FEAR!’ I am sure that I’ve shared it before, but in these fearful and turbulent times, it’s certainly worth hearing again. 

So please read with me: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. 

We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Ah mih people, I couldn’t put it any better! And there’s a lot of truth in that poem, because many of us fear to open up ourselves not wanting to overshadow those around us. But that’s not supposed to be a problem, since when we shine our lights, we give others the encouragement to rise up and shine theirs too. Why do you think Jesus made such a fuss over us being shining lights in this evil world? Because it’s of the utmost importance. We cannot be afraid of this dark and evil world or what it threatens to do to us, because the light of Jesus is greater than any darkness that’s in the world. 

Remember John’s contention: ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (could not overcome it).’ (John 1:5) Yes friends light always opens up darkness, and the light of Jesus is the most powerful light in the world. Please remember the promise the Lord made through Isaiah, as he talks about the birth of the Prince of Peace. ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) 

That light was Jesus. And that prophecy was considered fulfilled, as it’s recorded in Matt. 4:15-16, when Jesus began His ministry in Capernaum, along the sea coast of the afflicted regions of the northern tribal areas of Israel, like Zebulun and Naphtali which suffered greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Remember too, the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah at his birth, when he got back his speech. ‘Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the day-spring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited (will visit) us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:78-79) 

And how can we ever forget Jesus’ great pronouncement to the Pharisees; and consequently to us, and to all the world: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) And let’s not forget what Jesus said to the people when they questioned His words on His resurrection and ascension. (John 12:30-34) ‘Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children (become sons) of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

Now that’s what we ought to become when we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour; the children, the sons of light, because Almighty God is the Father of light, and Jesus is His bright and shining star. But He can’t shine individually to everybody, that’s why He desires to use us, His supposed ambassadors, agents and followers. And that’s why He commanded us thus: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket) but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14-16) 

Jesus says it there loud and clear my people! If we are his followers, then our lights should be blazing forth to a dark and evil world, lighting it up like a Christmas tree! But unfortunately we are not doing that. Our lights are barely pouring forth, flickering like that which comes from a dying battery or a lamp low on oil, or a candle that’s at its end. And that is certainly not acceptable, not if we consider ourselves true believers in Christ Jesus! And sadly, we all know we can do better, but for whatever reason we refuse to make the effort it requires. 

Please friends, for a moment, let’s consider the ‘sufferation’ Jesus bore so that we could be set free and forgiven of our sins nuh, and in a moment of shame, let our resolve rise up to be better purveyors of His light in this dark world. That’s the only remedy that will suffice for our poor showing. Now, for those of us who are already trying to shine our light, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

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

…when our light shines forth…then peace, joy and LOVE…come to our world… 

P.S.  And yes, it’s long, but I think it’s very good; a good reawakening! (smile) Much LOVE! 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 March 2022   1 John 3:24a.

1 John 3:24a.     And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

Oh my my, another beautiful sunshiny day appears to be here! Thank the Lord! And though right now it’s a tad chilly, most likely it will warm up some later to spring-like temps, as it has done for the last two days. That’s why we can declare with gay abandon, those reassuring and encouraging words of the psalmist: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! ‘ (Ps. 118:24) Now let’s go out and action that statement, because it won’t happen unless we actively have a mindset of rejoicing and gladness. 

Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. We must turn the wheels of action before anything we say can happen. That’s why there are so many miserable and unhappy Christians in the world, we talk plenty, but don’t take the necessary action. With the amazing benefits and blessings we have through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour we ought to be the happiest group of people in the universe, but in actual fact, we are amongst the most unhappy, simply because we don’t truly believe the promises of God and follow His guidelines. 

Now why wouldn’t you be happy with the promises of salvation, of reconciliation to Almighty God, of forgiveness of sins, of going to heaven and living with the Holy Trinity, our Godhead, for ever and ever? And those are only a few of the benefits we obtain when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But it all rests on belief, on faith, and putting those things to good use in our lives. Now, here is this li’l poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writing by Ruth Harms Calkin, that strikes right at the heart of the matter. It’s aptly titled ‘Deduction.’ 

Please read with me. ‘Lord, when You say The same thing to me so often I surely must need it And You surely must mean it! Help me to take You seriously. May I remember that the one settled proof That I have taken you seriously Will always be – OBEDIENCE!’ Ah friends, that’s the eternal truth of living for Jesus: OBEDIENCE! It’s like the three ‘L’s in owning a good piece of property: Location, Location, Location! The same can be said for living for Jesus: the most important things is Obedience, Obedience, Obedience! 

And the scripture used for that poem is one that comes from the first epistle of John, one that we all ought to know. It says quite clearly: ‘And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ (1 John 3:24) Now if that sounds a tad difficult for us to understand, then here is the NLT or New Life Translation. And that says: ‘Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ Now you can’t say that is also too difficult to understand. (smile) 

Ah mih people, living for Christ is all about Obedience in Action! We can’t just talk the talk, but more importantly, we have to walk that talk! Listen to how Jesus said it to the disciples nuh, when He spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him and will manifest (show) myself to him…If a man LOVE me, he will keep my words: and my Father will LOVE him, and we will come unto him and make our abode (home) with him. He that LOVETH me not keepeth not my sayings (words): and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.’ (John 14:21,23-24) 

Now that should be easy to understand… (smile) Yes friends, Jesus is simply trying to drive home the point that you can’t be a true believer unless you do what He tells you. And that pertains to the following of any leader or organization; you can’t be a true follower unless you obey their rules and regulations. Let’s also remember these telling and true words of Jesus about abiding in Him. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Now that’s putting it as plainly and clearly as it can get! (smile) 

And as per the second part of the scripture verse used for our poem; ‘And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ Or ‘And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.’ I think we should also point out some important and interesting scriptures re the Holy Spirit of Christ that comes to indwell believers. 

In making the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, Jesus told them: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:15-18) Oh Mama, Mama! What a beautiful promise, which we know was kept on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the believers who were gathered together. ( Acts. 2:1-4) 

And we’ll finish with just a few important words from Bruh Paul about the Holy Spirit. To the church at Rome, he writes: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom. 8:1, 5-6) 

Now friends, for those of us who have decided to live as best as we can after the Spirit, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel! As one strong, confident and purposeful 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 now my fellow saints, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…if we are true believers…then LOVE for Christ ought to be just bubbling up in us…and plain for all to see… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 February 2022 Joshua 24:15d.

Joshua 24:15d.     As for me and my house, we WILL serve (follow) the Lord; that’s for sure!

Oh sleep, thou sweet elixir! How much do I LOVE thee eh? Let me count the ways! ( smile) Ah friends, last night the ole fella got his first all-night rest in a long while! I stayed in bed all night long from about eleven-thirty p.m. until seven a.m. Wow! That’s a record! I did awaken a couple of times and got up once to go the bathroom, but did not engage in any of my usual night owl activities. And the body does feel somewhat rejuvenated, but my ole aching back is paying for that long, unaccustomed sojourn in bed. (smile) But as they say, you never get something for nothing! 

And on this damp, cloudy Tuesday morning  in early February of this crazy and troubled year of 2022, I believe we should turn to, pay some much needed attention to what we call acclamations; Bible verses and other li’l sayings that we can use to refresh and renew our spirits when the enemy tries to beat us down, as he so dearly likes to do. So, let’s begin with this one that we all know and hopefully repeat every day. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) 

And what about this one that so gratefully releases our faith? ‘God will supply ALL of my needs through His riches in glory through Christ our Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil. 4:19) Mama oh Mama! What a powerful scripture that is my people! It enables us to go about our Christ-centred business, each and every day, without worrying about how, why, where and when our personal needs will be met. Please give our great God some thanks and praise for that most awesome and faithful promise! 

Then there’s this most amazing and edifying scripture: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Yes, friends, there’s nothing we can’t do through Christ who is our awesome strength! He created the universe and all therein, and still controls it from His heavenly throne. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present; meaning He is all-powerful, sees and knows all, and His almighty presence is all over the globe at the same time. And He LOVES us unconditionally, showing that majestic LOVE by sending His Only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross of Calvary to atone for our abominable sins…and that while we were yet sinners. (Rom. 5:8) 

Imagine that nuh mih people, before we ever thought about God, He thought the most wonderful things about us; reconciling us to Himself, justifying us through the blood of Jesus, sanctifying us, setting us apart for His own…etc. etc. just giving us every chance possible to come back to Him, to have our sins paid for and thrown away as far as the east is from the west, our souls washed white as snow, and thus able to spend eternity in His LOVING fold! What an awesome God we serve my faithful brethren! 

Now here is an acclamation I don’t think you’ll find written as such in scripture, but it is certainly alluded to all the time. It says: ‘I will not tolerate strife in my life!’ And that’s certainly something we should always be aware of, because strife can crop up at anytime and anywhere and it’s oh so detrimental to our health, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Bruh Paul had this to say about strife. ‘For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men (living according to man and not God)?’ (1 Cor. 3:3) 

Meanwhile, Jesus’ brother, James, puts it thus: ‘For where envying and strife is (where self-serving exists), there is confusion and every evil work.’ (James 3:16) Yes my people, wherever and whenever jealousy, selfish ambition, foolish pride and those negative things exist, strife and confusion will be there with them. And that does nothing but distract from and cut down on our Christian witness. 

Now hear this marvellous acclamation that I make sure and say every day, because it’s possibly the most important. In the profound words of Joshua: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL serve (follow) the Lord; that’s for sure!’ (Josh. 24:15) Yeh friends, every day I ask the Lord to make that a fact, make it come true, because I can only do so much to bring it to pass, but He has the power to lead my family along the right path, the straight and narrow one. So that sort of encompasses everything. 

And here’s this last acclamation for today: ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh? (Rom. 8:31) And the immediate and confident answer is NOBODY! Ah friends, if the Creator and Controller of the universe is on your side, who the dickens can be against you eh? Not a single soul! For the One who looks out for you is the mightiest of the mighty, and can turn any situation into a good one, as He’s so faithfully promised to do in this magnificent and overwhelming scripture: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) 

Glory be! What a wonderful affirmation the believer in Christ Jesus has for his eventual future! And yes, I know I said that the acclamation before that one would be the last, but you have to go with where the Holy Spirit leads you. (smile) And it has finally led me to this one, to be the last. And though again, you can’t find it romanticized in the scriptures, it is embedded very deeply therein. And it declares: ‘I WILL live a balanced life, and I WILL get sufficient rest each and every day!’ 

Now, that’s what I am attempting to do, because I can see and feel how not living a balanced life and not getting sufficient rest is taking a negative toll on me, in all aspects of my life. And here is the truly last acclamation (smile), it’s called our Tuesday Mantra. So, let’s declare it in full 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!’ 

Now, with all that ‘acclamating’ (smile) let’s hope that we have a wonderful day, as we go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and serve Him as faithfully as we do. Much LOVE!

…it’s no sacrifice to live for Jesus…not after all the selfless sacrifices He made for us…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 January 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:16.

1 Thessalonians 5:16.     Rejoice evermore.

Ah my Scrip-Bit friends and family, this Friday morning has opened beautifully, like a true winter wonderland, with the sun shining so brightly that its reflection off the snow tends to blind you, if you look at it too closely! (smile) And the temperature is just right for such a day too, around minus 16 Celsius. No, I’m not crazy, a certain kind of day deserves a certain temperature. And then we have Jesus abounding in our souls, spirits and bodies, so what more can we ask eh? Nothing! 

So let’s say it like we mean it nuh: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Oh yes my people, every day is made for rejoicing, but some like this one, just takes your breath away, and you can’t do anything else but rejoice; rejoice and give thanks! And that just recalls these marvellous passages of scripture, featuring Bruh Paul’s immortal words to the Thessalonians, where he encourages them to: 

‘ Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance (every form) of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-24) 

Wow friends! That’s one of those bits of scripture, that sort of includes everything a believer needs to live a good Christian life! And the nice thing about it is that it’s simple and straightforward, as well as practical. So, I would suggest we use it as a guideline for our daily lives, where we rejoice that we are alive and have Jesus who reconciles us to God and offers us the most wonderful gift of salvation for simply believing in Him. 

And to help us with all our daily problems we just keep talking to God about everything, not necessarily continuously or audibly, but having an attitude of prayer throughout our day. And for all of that my fellow saints, giving thanks to our wonderful God in any and everything is paramount, because that’s what He expects of us. As the scholars explain: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance  (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Ah friends, that’s like how we say one hand washes the other; prayer helps us to stay thankful regardless of our circumstances! Then we come to a big one: ‘Quench not the Spirit.’ Now that is possibly the most important aspect of Christian living, for the Holy Spirit of God has been placed within us to lead and guide us in a godly life on this ungodly earth. And when you ‘Quench it,’ that means, ‘stifle’ or ‘suppress it’ then it cannot do the job it was sent to do. As the scholars tell us, we are hindered in rejoicing, in prayer, in giving thanks during adversity, and despising prophetic utterances inspired by the Spirit. 

It’s basically what Bruh Paul said to Ephesians: ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) And yuh know what friends, the more we suppress, stifle or repress the Holy Spirit of God in our lives, the less it is able to act on our behalf. It doesn’t sound as loud and clear as it once did, and we are basically left to paddle our own canoe, which certainly is not a wise action. 

Then we come to the next practical aspect of Christian living as prescribed by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.’ (vs. 21) That means be careful of what you believe, try and prove them before you believe them, and hang on to the good ones. It’s similar to what he said more explicitly to the Philippians. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil. 4:8) 

Yes, believers need to think or meditate on the right things, if we want to do the right things, which is ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil.’ (vs.22) And what does that mean? It’s like Bruh Paul explained in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (have regard for good things)… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21). 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my faithful brethren. And when we follow those basic rules, then our spirits, bodies and souls will be sanctified, set apart for our faithful God, and the surpassing peace He promised, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. And the peace of God is the supreme blessing on this riotous, ungodly, deceitful, evil and unfaithful world. When you have that nothing bothers you, and you can go about Christ’s will with diligence and excellence. 

But where I believe we’ve been most sadly lacking in our Christian journey is in the department of prayer. We haven’t been doing that prayer without ceasing thing. But it’s not too late to begin. So let’s do that right now nuh, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 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!’ 

Now, please let’s remember all the stuff we’ve talked about today, and do what it takes to be a true and faithful believer, if we want to see positive changes in our lives and in our world. Much LOVE!

…successfully living for Christ is not easy…but following the guidance of His Holy Spirit…enables us to live right… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 December 2021 John 14:18.

John 14:18.     I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.

And it’s another one of those SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) inducing days, with a ballooning Omicron virus adding the finishing touches, as if we need any more problems in this already problem filled world! That’s why we need Jesus so badly in these turbulent times! Yes friends, the Only Begotten Son is the ONLY One who can promise us sustenance and succour in these ungodly times, and faithfully keep that promise. 

And we need to use His Word, His promises to boost our self-confidence and help us retain our sanity. Words like: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! My God will supply all of my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus! If God be for us who can be against us eh? NOBODY! Yes mih bredrin, if the One and Only True Living God is for us, not a single soul can be against us! Consequently, we can then declare: ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!’ 

But we need to believe it all, to feel it in every fibre of our being! Especially this all-encompassing verse: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Oh, it does sound like a tough verse to believe, but it’s the basis of everything in our faith, knowing that despite the trials and tribulation we will endure in this evil world, that eventually the Lord will work it all out for our good! 

Wow! What other deity can make that faithful promise eh? NONE! None whatsoever! Only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! I know that some of us unwittingly come to Christianity as an easy go, as a Sunday evening walk in the park, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth my people. Did Jesus have an easy walk in the park when He came to earth to save us from our sins and reconcile us to the Father? 

Absolutely not! They gave Him a terrible time, ranging from disbelief, to slander, to physical punishment, and finally crucifixion, and anyone, who decides to take up their cross and follow Him will inevitably find struggles and possibly persecution, just like He did. Please remember these fateful words of Jesus, for they are the foundational authority to discipleship. 

‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 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? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt. 16:24-27) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s what we have to look forward to if we sincerely follow Jesus. And it’s a promise that seems will be soon fulfilled the way our world is showing many of the signs Jesus gave for His second coming. But soon with us and soon with God, are too entirely different things. Peter tells us that ‘one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet. 3:8) Now the early church thought that Jesus would soon return, but in our view, two thousand years have passed and He’s still not come back. However, that could simply be because to the Lord that’s only two days. (smile) 

But please don’t be fooled, Christ’s return could happen at any time, that’s why He warned: ‘But of that day an hour knoweth  no man, no not the angels of heaven, But my Father only… Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:36, 42, 44) 

Oh my brethren, regardless of what signs we see or think we see, only the Father knows when the Son is going to return, that means we must be prepared, be ready for His Second Coming at any moment. That’s what those verses above are saying: ‘Be prepared!’ Are we prepared? Now that’s the big question. How many of us have set our house in order and are ready for if Jesus comes back today? 

Remember they also say He can come as a thief in the night, (1 Thess. 5:2) that’s unexpectedly, at any time, day or night, today tomorrow or even another two thousand years from now. But the important thing is for believers to be in a constant state of readiness for whenever that marvellous occasion happens, because we know, are very sure, that it will happen eventually, just not exactly when. 

And the wonderful thing about Jesus is that just like He promised before He went back to heaven, He has faithfully done: ‘And I shall pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16,18) And at that first Pentecost after His ascension, (Acts 2:1-4) He did indeed send the Holy Ghost to indwell all believers, to keep us safe, to lead and guide us in the direction He desires, that is, provided we are willing to listen and abide by the guiding of the Holy Spirit. 

Thus my fellow saints, the ball is now in our court! And our Jesus is ever so wonderful that He’s bestowed all kinds of blessing on those who believe that they can do His earthly work. And what a potent and plentiful set of blessings they are! We call them our Thursday Blessings, and since a blessing is not a blessing until it is declared out loud, let’s declare them right now nuh. 

Altogether, in strong and sincere voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

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

MamaYo! What a magnificent set of blessings my faithful brethren! It now behooves us to put them to work in our lives and share them with others just as generously as Jesus shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…and, lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt. 28:20b) 

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