Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2020 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.     ​Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.
 

Well friends, it’s Wednesday the 8th of July already! I can’t believe how the days are flying by, although that’s how the summer usually passes, like in a blur of time, barely noticeable, then the cold winter season comes along and lasts for ages. But that’s life, and however it comes, we must learn to live with it, in fact conquer it! 

And with the power of Christ’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we can and do and will conquer everything that comes against us, for our heavenly Father has decreed that NO weapon formed against us will prosper, and that through Christ Jesus we can do whatever is necessary because He strengthens us! 

Wow! And all of God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory to the King of heaven and earth, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose name is higher than any other name, and to whom ALL heads will bow when He comes to reign in His holy kingdom!’ And if that sacrifice of praise doesn’t uplift us fellow saints in Christ, I don’t know what will nuh! (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s so good to be alive on another glorious summer day, that thanks is all that ought to flow out of our mouths. Yes, life is rough for many of us, but again, once we have life, then we can have hope that things will turn around, as they say: ‘better must come!’ And so it will, if we hold on tight to our faith and hope and surrender and trust in Christ Jesus! For He has promised to make our lives worthwhile, and He is indeed faithful to keep all His promises. 

And if there’s one thing the Bible is chocked full of is verses on hope. That’s why this morning I want to remind us of some of them, in particular this one that touches my heart ever so much. The words of the prophet Zechariah to his people Israel, and words that are ever so appropriate in our current time of pandemic and strife. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ And some of us ask, who or what is our stronghold, where can it be found, and why should we be prisoners of hope? 

Well my people, Bruh David answered those questions for us long ago. Listen to him. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold, fortress).’ (Ps. 18:1-2) 

Oh mih bredrin, is there a more comprehensive and powerful entity than that described by Bruh David? Certainly not! Just look at how many positives he’s laid at the Lord’s door nuh: his strength, his rock, his fortress, his deliverer, his buckler or shield, the horn of his salvation, his high tower! Mama Yo! How could there ever be another being with such power and strength and authority eh? NEVER! That’s why such awesome wisdom lies in putting our entire hope in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

As Bruh David continues: ‘I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:3) Glory be people! If we can’t call upon such an omnipotent Deity with perfect assurance, then whom else can we call on eh? That’s also why Bruh David could later on write: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

And I am proud to say the answer to those questions is definitely NOBODY! Yes friends, when we reverence the great God of Israel, put our sincere trust in him, we need not be afraid of anything or anyone. For as Bruh David proudly and most assuredly proclaims: ‘When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.’ ( Ps. 27:2-3) 

Oh my people, my people, in these troubling times that’s the kind of confidence and assurance we need to show in our God! And what I truly LOVE about Bruh David, is that all the endearing and confident words he speaks about his awesome God are not based on hearsay, but on his personal experience. And I’m sure that most of us have some, enough of that same kind of experience of Jehovah God’s everlasting faithfulness, which ought to enable us to completely surrender to Him and place our eternal trust in His mighty hands. 

Friends, Bruh David surely knew on which side his bread was buttered, and so too should we, if we’re wise and thinking straight, not ensnared by the lies, deceits, the evil and the plentiful poppycock that’s currently running through our society. But as the psalmist asserts: ‘Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps. 119:114-117) 

What more can I say eh friends… except to add these momentous words of Cousin Sol to our mix: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov. 13:12) Yes fellow saints, when we lose hope, we become sick, get depressed. But when our hope is realized… oh me oh my, we are refreshed, revitalized, renewed, and move on with a new vitality. And I know that these anxious times tend to dry up our hope, but please, please, let’s not allow that to happen nuh, let’s stay full of the hope that God has placed in our hearts, and remember that this too shall pass, it’s only a matter of time. 

And having said that, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. With sincere hearts and strong voices: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we don’t let our hope die, we WILL enjoy a glorious future with Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2020 Psalm 145:3.

Psalm 145:3.     ​Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).
 

Happy Canada Day my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Yes, today we’re celebrating the great day of 1 July 1867 when the separate colonies of Canada (Ontario, Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were brought into a Confederation within the British Empire known as the Dominion of Canada. And since then baby, have we ever been going strong! And I don’t care what anybody says, Canada is still the best big country in the world! And do I hear an Amen? 

For sure, as a loud and grateful shout of ‘Amen’ does emanate from God’s people! (smile) But please remember my people, the pandemic is still upon us, and though the lockdown has been eased a fair amount, we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet, so we still have to be very careful and protect ourselves and those around us. So please, no rash and foolish gatherings and celebrations today. 

And I know that some people are pleased as punch with a holiday in the middle of the week, while others are displeased, preferring to have their public holidays on the weekend, but let’s just be thankful that we do have an extra day off – with pay to boot– and less likelihood of catching the virus, as most of us spend a quiet day at home, doing some of what Bruh David so proudly declared in Psalm 145, his psalm of praise. 

‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps. 145:1-3) And is that last verse ever so true my people! Our God is the greatest! His people have been saying that from the beginning of time, and we, in our time, have also discovered that it’s the awesome truth! There’s none other like him! 

That’s why Bruh David continues: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly (eagerly) utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 145: 4-7) 

Oh my people are we following in Bruh David’s footsteps, praising our great God, telling of His glorious majesty, His marvellous works, His wonderful goodness to the children of men, and singing of His amazing righteousness? If we are not, then we are doing Him a great injustice! How can we not sing the praises of a God, who as Bruh David says: ‘The Lord is generous, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps. 145:8-9) 

Mama Yo! What a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve my brethren! He’s so wonderful that ‘All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.’ (Ps. 145:10-12) Yes friends, that’s our number one purpose here on this earth, to make known to all and sundry the great power and might, mercy and grace of our wonderful God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And if we’re not doing that in some form and fashion, we’re therefore not fulfilling our earthly purpose. And we can’t give the excuse that we don’t have the means to do so, because there’s never been a time in man’s history when the gospel of Christ can be more easily spread, for technology has given us numerous ways to do so. That means we must have a serious conversation with ourselves and see how we can improve, and with God’s help do so, because the good news of the gospel is desperately needed in these dangerous and uncertain times. 

And in these deadly days, we need to remember more than ever that ‘The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait (look expectantly) upon thee; and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.’ (Ps. 145: 14-16) That means friends that the Lord will look after us in these dreadful times, if we fix our minds and actions on Him. We will not suffer harm or lack any good and necessary thing! And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘ Praise the Lord! Praise his holy Name! Praise Him for His goodness to those who call upon Him!’ 

Thus we can say with the utmost certainty: ‘The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. The Lord is nigh (near) unto all them that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear (reverence) him: he will also hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145: 17-21) Wow mih bredrin! Is there any other supposed Deity like our great God? Absolutely not! There couldn’t be, because He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING GOD! 

And if you sincerely believe that, then let’s go home with our mouths singing His awesome praise through our Wednesday Wail. All together now in strong voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we are wise, we will keep looking steadfastly to that future and will also keep telling the rest of the world about it! Much LOVE!

…praise Him, praise him…Glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.     ​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.
 

Top O the morn my people! A cool and crazy wind is blowing through my area this morning, making it feel more spring-like than the summer time it’s supposed to be. But that’s the current reality of the weather in these dangerous and contrary times! More importantly though my friends, today I’ve been asked to inform us, to remind us of three of the most salient facts in this our earthly lives. 

And these cardinal truths are: ‘There is only ONE Power and ONE Presence here – God the Good Omnipotent! And the next essential truth decrees: ‘The Bible is God’s Word to us! Furthermore, it is still fresh, exciting and relevant. It has been thus down through all the ages and will continue to perform it’s God given function till the end of time. No ifs and buts about that! And if we read, study and meditate on it, we WILL find God’s wisdom on its pages. And the third maxim, or fundamental principle is this: ONE Truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man!’ 

Glory be mih bredrin! Now I don’t want to preach, (smile) but I’m sure that if we sincerely embraced those three truths our earthly lives would be oh so much better than they currently are. And I am willing to bet that a lot of our ‘sufferation’ stems directly from our lack of adherence to those three great, fundamental and foundational truths. 

And as I look at a page of that same Bible, God’s mighty Word to us, that’s open in front of me, my eyes confront this amazing and oh so true statement from the wisest man who ever lived; Cousin Sol. And it says: ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) Oh friends, never were truer words spoken! 

And just for argument sake, (smile) let’s consider who made Cousin Sol, not only the wisest but the richest man ever; the ONE and ONLY, TRUE, LIVING GOD of his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! What does that tell us eh? That the God we worship, the God who gave us the Bible, is indeed a powerful, magnanimous and magnificent Being! There is none other like Him in all the world, in all creation! And until we, finite fools that He created in His own image and gave breath and life to through the inbreathing of His Spirit, take those facts seriously and bow down and worship and obey Him the way He deserves, our lives will be filled with unnecessary pain and hardship. 

That’s not to say if we humble ourselves and live the way He desires, that there will be no pain and troubles, because in this world of evil and sin, those things come automatically, as Jesus said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And that, basically, is why it’s so sensible, so wise to sincerely believe in Jesus. Despite all the troubles and torment of this world, through Him we are able to stay peaceful and joyful and deal positively with whatever situations come against us. 

But because so many of us think that believing in Jesus will curtail our sinful behaviour and opportunities – and it will to a certain extent – we shy away from embracing Him as our Lord and Saviour. But friends, as, I believe it’s Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) I heard say: ‘The worst day with Jesus is better than the best one without Him!’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Supposedly good days without Jesus just don’t compare favourably with any kind of day in His fold. 

And why is that you ask? It’s simple. As Bruh Paul explained to the church at Ephesus: ‘For he (He Himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation: ‘2:14-15. Who hath made both one: Jesus has formed the two antagonistic groups of Jew and Gentile into a single new party, the Christian Church. He did this by removing the middle wall of partition, that is the Mosaic Law. The law was meant to protect Jews from pagan corruptions, but by misconstruing the purpose of the law, the Jews felt superior to Gentiles, who were incensed at this arrogance. So Jesus abolished this enmity (hatred), caused by an abuse of the law, by making the law invalid for His church. Of twain one new man: As above, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles now compose this “one new man” or Christian church.’ 

Ah friends and fellow believers, we can never repay the debt, the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. And He doesn’t want or expect us to. He made the sacrifices so we can sincerely follow Him, if like so many of us claim, we want to live in peace and have eternal life. For He is our peace; NO ONE and NOTHING ELSE serves that wonderful purpose! Listen to him nuh, as He reassures us: ‘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) 

Oh friends, how can those sincere sentiments not grip your heart eh? His peace is not peace like the world offers, but an eternal, everlasting peace which the world doesn’t know, and will never know until and unless they accept Him as Lord and Saviour! That’s why He is called ‘THE PRINCE OF PEACE!’ And having established all those truths this morning, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

As one strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, in these turbulent and troubled times, we need more than ever to manifest, to show the world true Christian behaviour, because that’s the ONLY thing that will truly bring our world together! Much LOVE!

…right now… Christians need to stand up and be counted… be the true salt of the earth…and light of the world…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2020 1 Corinthians 13:13.

1 Corinthians 13:13.    ​And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).
 

Greetings and salutations on this beautiful Wednesday morning, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s a joy to come into your homes and visit with you for a few minutes every day! Thank you so much for graciously inviting and then warmly welcoming me. (smile) And the word for today is that monumental and magnanimous one, the chief attribute of our great God; LOVE! And what a magnificent word and attribute it is. But before we delve further into it, here’s something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that beautifully expresses one important aspect of LOVE! It’s titled ‘Remembrance.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord, somewhere I read That when two people LOVE deeply When they live together Sharing Caring Giving Forgiving Eventually they begin To resemble each other. Lord, how long will it be Before I look like YOU?’ Now that my people is indeed an awesome question! Why is that you ask? Because the Lord’s basic intention is to have all His children resemble Himself and His first born. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in the Bible Promise used for our poem above. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding (reflect) as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (His likeness) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term beholding can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ And remember He’ll keep doing that good work in us, right until Christ returns. (Phil. 1:6) So it’s not a vikey vie, or hit and miss thing. (smile) 

Now let’s delve a li’l further into that marvellous attribute called LOVE nuh. And the first thing we need to realize and tearfully acknowledge is this verse from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Now friends, we’ll never understand the true meaning and value of the word LOVE until we sincerely appreciate what our great God did for us, while we were separated from Him by what He most despises; sin! 

Yes, it must have taken a great attribute for Him to sacrifice His only Son for a bunch of ingrates. But He did it because of His unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us, His original creation! And Jesus stated it unequivocally: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Yes my people, it was all about LOVE! That’s why John could write so purposefully in his epistle: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) 

And some of you are still wondering what’s so great about this thing called LOVE – and it’s not the romantic aspect we talking about here, but the brotherly aspect. Well here are a few things that LOVE does within societies. Cousin Sol warns us: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth a multitude of sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) And that is the gospel truth, for if there was more LOVE and less hatred in our world, it would not be in the sad state it’s now in with strife and resentment fomenting from corner to corner. 

Cousin Sol also tells us this bitter truth. ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) And many of us have proven that for ourselves through disastrous and unhappy relationships. Now hear Bruh Paul again to the church at Rome: ‘LOVE worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom. 10:13) Glory be mih people! When we truly LOVE, we won’t, or can’t do wrong to anybody! 

And hear this wonderful power of LOVE from John nuh. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) Mamacita! What more can we ask or expect from LOVE eh? And remember that LOVE is not practiced by believers alone, for when Christ spoke about LOVING one’s enemies, He specifically stated: ‘For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do  not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so?’ (Matt. 5:46-47) 

So LOVE exists in all spheres of our societies, just not between enough of those spheres to make our world a worthwhile place. And we’ll end the LOVE story on this dramatic note, (smile) with these momentous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ Yes friends, the greatest attribute man can ever acquire and most importantly put to work is LOVE. And please note that LOVE means more than just talking, but more importantly implies, calls for action! LOVE means doing, helping, caring for, showing compassion, etc., etc. all action words! 

And having filled our souls and spirits with scriptures of LOVE, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our position in Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

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

…what the world needs now is…LOVE…sweet LOVE…not for some…but for everyone… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but yuh know how the ole fella stay (smile) and I think it’s great though. (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2020 Job 32:8.

Job 32:8.    ​But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration (breath) of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 
 

Well I’m like the weather this morning; some early rain with the sun pushing through some dark clouds that are still hanging around. Hn! I guess the truth is I don’t have any remarkable opening remarks to offer this morning. There are some things I would like to say, but prefer not to touch on because they will only provide negative vibes, and I really don’t want to sully my soul, or yours, with too much negative stuff since there’s enough circulating around the globe in what we call the news to dampen the spirit of the strongest personality in the universe.

 Instead, I’m going to throw out a few verses that I just noticed in the Good Book, verses that seem to have a particular reference to these troubling times. They come from the book of Job, when Elihu, the youngster in the group of Job’s friends finally got up to speak. Like a well-mannered young man, he had allowed his elders to speak first… something that’s no longer an accepted way of life in these modern days. Elihu had been afraid to voice his thoughts because of the age of his friends and his relative youth. 

‘I said, Days (age) should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration (breath) of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men (men of many years) are not always wise: neither do the aged (always) understand judgement.’ (Job 32:7-9) Ah friends, those words are even truer today than they were back in Elihu’s day. Technically speak, men of great years ought to be wise, but as we are seeing in these turbulent times that is certainly not the case. 

And even with the Holy Spirit now living in believers, and ought to give us understanding, for whatever reason, too many of us are not listening to the Lord’s Spirit and following its instructions. That’s why there is so much strife and dissension and struggle in our world. We’re not seeking wisdom and understanding like Cousin Sol did back when the Lord raised him up to the throne of his father, Bruh David. When the Lord asked him in a night vision what he wanted, he replied: ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people.’ (1 Kin. 3:9) 

And it pleased the Lord that Cousin Sol hadn’t asked for long life, riches, or the life of his enemies. Unfortunately though friends, those are the things that too many of us are asking for these days, instead of wisdom and understanding. And what did the Lord do? ‘Behold I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.’ (1 Kin. 3:12-14) 

Yuh see friends, that’s the magnanimity of our great and wonderful God showing out there. When we’re not preoccupied with the things of this world, then the Lord showers us with some of those very things. As Christ advised. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) My people, the Lord knows what we need to live this earthly life and if we keep Him first in our lives, we will be well looked after. That’s His faithful promise. 

And it’s a sad commentary on Cousin Sol, that when he got on in years he turned away from the Lord who had given him such wisdom and understanding and wealth. His many wives apparently led him to turn to their pagan gods. And no, I won’t say it. Don’t want to get into trouble with the wives. (smile) I guess what I’m trying to say is that our elders and leaders with age and experience behind them, ought to be doing a better job of leading the people than they’re doing. 

And whether it’s through their own greed, lust for power, the devil’s machinations, or simply failing brain functions, or a combination of them all, the world leaders are not leading properly, there’s no wisdom and understanding amongst them, and consequently the world’s going up in both real and psychological flames. You can’t remove the great stabilizing power of Jehovah God from society and expect it to run smoothly, for Beelzebub is the prince of chaos and destruction. And right now he is indeed ruling the roost. 

Friends, we need leaders and elders who are actively seeking wisdom and understanding to lead their people, rather than wealth and power and revenge and a heavy hand to keep them in subjugation. And as James says: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Oh my people, faith in Almighty God ought to be our driving force, else we’ll end up lost and drifting aimlessly in the wilderness like the Israelites. And above all, we must seek wisdom and understanding, so that we can appoint the proper people to lead and guide us, for remember the words of Cousin Sol: ‘Where there is no vision (revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov. 29:18) Our leaders need to have more godly counsel, and our morality must be based on God’s revealed will. 

Fellow believers, the long and short of the story is we the people must be actively involved in our government, not just leave it up to a bunch of greedy and evil politicians. We must elect godly people, and make sure they toe the line. Ensure that they remember, they are working for us, not we for them! Now let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, describing our wonderful situation in Jesus. 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it will be, if we endure to the end. Much LOVE!

…righteousness exalteth a nation…but sin is a reproach (shame, disgrace) to any people… (Prov. 14:34)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2020 James 4:8a.

James 4:8a.    ​Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. 

Well it’s a wet, still and gloomy Wednesday morning… and it ought to be after the majestic thunderstorm we experienced around ten thirty last night. Yeh friends, all the heavy hitters were out: Thor had the heavens rumbling ominously with thunder, while the lightning flashes lit up the dark night sky like daylight, and the rain poured down in heavenly filled buckets! It was a wonderful spectacle, as it always is when the heavens put on a real show. It’s something that man is not even able to come close to approximating, much less beating. 

That just shows where the ultimate power lies – in heaven, not on earth. (smile) And that’s why it is ever so important to be in close contact with, have strong communication with the powers of heaven, like this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin advocates. And it is most appropriately titled ‘Intimate Closeness.’ Please pray with me: ‘You promise, dear God That when I draw close to You You will draw close to me. Lord, I give myself to You unreservedly. Teach me more and more Of intimate closeness And fill my heart with You alone. To walk arm-in-arm with You Down every winding path Seems to me The dearest of all delights.’ 

And so indeed it is my dear friends and saints in Christ! There’s no better companion in any walk or path of life than Almighty God Himself! For He is the First and Last; the Alpha and Omega, the Creator and Ruler of All that exists! So who better can we ever choose to walk with eh? That’s why James, when he talks about worldliness and pride, lambastes us thus: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself an enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

And the scholars explain that verse: ‘4:4. As Israel was a spiritual adulteress, unfaithful to God, so the church is a spiritual adulteress when she is the unfaithful bride of Christ (cf. Hos. 2:5, 19-20; Matt. 12:39). One cannot be both a LOVER of God and a LOVER of the world.’ That’s putting it very plainly my brethren, though some unwise or foolish ones of us try to live with one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom of Christ, but it’s a physical impossibility, we can’t straddle both places at once! Yes, some of us like to play both sides against the middle, and that might work in the world, but definitely not in Christ’s kingdom. 

And as James wisely continues: ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth (yearns jealously) to envy?’ (James 4:5) Oh yes it certainly does! Just look around at our envious, jealous and greedy world nuh! Then James abandons the negative aspect of his exhortation, gets positive, and tells us of God’s good work, quoting Cousin Sol’s words in Prov. 3:34. ‘But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ (James 4:6) 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends, for God despises the proud, since they tend to have no time for or need of Him. But the humble… He greets them with open arms and ever so generously pours out grace, His underserved and unmerited favour, in and on their lives. Wow! Then James gets to the meat of his subject and strongly and wisely advises us to: 

‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) 

Oh friends, if there’s one thing this generation needs more than anything else it’s humility! Our pride has reached such incendiary levels that it’s burning us up and we don’t even realize it. Our level of technology and evolution has made everybody a genius… Hn! We don’t need anybody else; me, myself and I, are the most popular pronouns today! No wonder there’s such little togetherness and so much division, even in Christ’s church. And the only way our world will heal, that includes the church, is by turning to God, not away from Him. Becoming humble in His sight, not trying to run Him out of town! 

Why? As the scholars explain. ‘But he giveth more grace is literally “greater grace” (Gr. meizona). God gives grace that is greater than the world attraction of verse 4 and the inner lust of verse 5 ( Rom. 5:20), and so can withstand both.’ Yes mih people, the only way to withstand the devil and his lustful and prideful temptations is by seeking the greater grace of God. 

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

So it must my brethren, especially in these dangerous and turbulent times. It will also be of great benefit to us to read those scriptures mentioned above. (smile) So, for those of us who are trying to keep humble and seek God’s grace, let’s go home now declaring (oh yes!) our Wednesday Wail, telling of our wonderful situation in Christ Jesus! In strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

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

…but where sin abounded…grace did much more abound… (Rom. 5:20b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2020 Deuteronomy 32:4.

Deuteronomy 32:4.    ​He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 

And so the confusion, the lies, disinformation, false news and whatever continues! I just saw a trailer video of a film supposedly released in 2003, 17 years ago, that talks about all the things that have happened and are happening today: the Coronavirus, lock down, quarantine, chloroquine, etc. etc. And rather astutely, the brown-skinned guy, dressed in a priest’s collar, does not say a word about it, except it was made in 2003 not today. He leaves you to draw your own conclusions. 

So what is one to make of that eh? Is it a man-made plan, an accident, or who knows what? And that is what’s driving the pandemonium in the pandemic – the absence of real truth, too much supposition and theories! But that shouldn’t surprise us when there are supposedly so many different kinds of truth around in these troubled times. I thought there was only one kind of truth; the truth, and there couldn’t be more than one kind, else one would be false, not the truth. If you follow my logic. (smile) 

As the old Oxford dictionary describes it: ‘Quality, state, of being true or accurate or honest or sincere or loyal or accurately shaped or adjusted… in accordance with fact or reality, not fake or erroneous.’ So, apparently, with all the varying info on the same subjects, one can theoretically have several different kinds of truth nowadays. But friends, I’m here to tell us that there is ONLY ONE PLACE one can find TRUTH; real and unvarnished TRUTH! That’s in the Good Book; the Lord’s Law, that was written ages ago and never changes. The Lord God of Israel is the embodiment of TRUTH! 

Moses said it in His song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children (they are not his children because of their blemish): they are a perverse and crooked generation.’ (Deut. 32:3-5) 

And believe me, with all the current havoc and confusion, it’s only in the God of Israel, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that real truth can now be found, through the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He said it as plain as day: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yes friends, no one comes to the Father, the One real, true and living God, but through the Son, Jesus Christ! 

And that’s where our truth begins! Anything else that doesn’t correlate with that is a lie! And it’s strange how down through the years many of the writers of the Bible spoke about truth, or even more about the lack of it. Cousin Sol in Proverbs advised us to: ‘Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.’ (Prov. 23:23) That’s how important those things are in our lives. We’ve got to get them and not lose them because they are the things that lead to a rich and fulfilling life. But our world, since way back when, has always seemed to resist truth. 

Hear Isaiah as he talks about national corruption and consequent suffering. ‘None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:4) Oh my people, my people, is it possible that Isaiah is alive and well today? One could be led to think so since all those things he talks of in olden Israel are also rampant today. Injustice, corruption, lies, evil doing, as well as empty words and promises describe our world to a T! 

But please remember what Isaiah was talking about; national corruption, and consequent suffering. And if you don’t think the consequential suffering has begun with this pandemic thing affecting the whole corrupt world, then good for you. And if you don’t believe Isaiah, then perchance you might belief Jeremiah, as he declares (yeahh!) that disobedience brings God’s judgement… 

Ah Lord eh friends! The computer might be a God-send, but it’s also a tool of the enemy. Some forty five minutes ago, I was going along quite well and was typing Jeremiah’s opening statement when something made me look up. And lo and behold I saw just four inverted commas on the page and nothing I had typed about Jeremiah. Then I couldn’t delete them or type anything else. I called my young daughter for help, but she couldn’t help me either. She suggested shutting it down, but that didn’t work. And when I shut it down a second time I could not even type in the password to get on. Steups! 

So finally, I had to come up and resort to my lonely and hardly used laptop, so I could continue. Satan truly knows how to get under one’s skin yes. But thankfully I didn’t lose my cool. Yes, I was annoyed, but with God’s help, kept my peace, cause the devil’s purpose was obviously to steal my joy since I was talking about so much truth. (smile) So let’s hear, finally, what Jeremiah has to say nuh: ‘Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour (friend), and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour (friend) will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.’ (Jer. 9:2-5) 

And it is indeed sad that all that stuff is still happening in our world. Consequently, we have to be ever so careful of whom we associate with, what we watch and listen to. It’s a full time job just to winnow the chaff from the grain nowadays. Instead friends, we must do like the psalmist did in Psalm 119, cry out to God for help. 

‘My soul melteth (weeps) for heaviness (grief): strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgements have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.’ (Ps. 119:28-32) And friends, if we’re sincere in all we say and do, then the Lord will help us, not put us to shame and enlarge our hearts! 

So let’s go home this Wednesday morning declaring (yeahh!) our Wednesday Wail nuh, letting all the doubters and unbelievers know of our safe, secure and truthful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong voice now; ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And we know with indisputable truth, that if we persist and endure to the end, those words will indeed come true! Much LOVE!

…it cannot be truth…if it doesn’t agree with the Good Book…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2020 John 6:39.

John 6:39.    ​And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 
 
Ah mih people, life really not fair nuh, and it is indeed a bully-boy. Just when you’re down, it chooses to put you even further down! Steups! Good example. A few minutes ago I came down with my coffee, already feeling lousy from lack of sleep, and telling the Lord that I needed His help ever so badly this morning because of my poor state. Next thing I know, I put down the coffee and spill it! Chuh man! That only made me more aggravated and later than I already was, because I had to spend some valuable time cleaning up the mess. 

And would you believe in all the years I’ve been doing this, I can’t remember ever spilling the coffee, even one time before now. But as they say, after one time is two. And I have to chuckle, because I didn’t have any opening remarks in mind, so the Lord gave me something to write about. Oh, how He does move in ever-faithful but ofttimes mysterious ways eh! (smile) How then can we not LOVE and adore Him eh? The One who LOVED us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us while we were yet sinners and had no positive relationship with Him? 

The One who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His miraculous and marvellous breath of life into our mortal souls eh! The One who makes a way, where there seems to be no way, and eventually works everything out for our good, despite the prevailing circumstances! And yuh know what friends, our great, merciful and miracle working God is the same one who will find a way for us to withstand the rigours and trepidation and calamity of this Coronavirus pandemic that has so many of us living in fear. As He says, this too will pass! 

But as Jesus told His disciples when they could not cure a young epileptic boy: ‘Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:21) Likewise, this pandemic will only pass through sincere prayer and repentance! Oh friends, I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong nuh, but I feel it deep down in my soul that this plague is a serious wake up call from our heavenly Father. Yes, He is long-suffering and merciful and all that, but there comes a time when even He must get tired of our disobedience and say enough is enough! 

And I believe this is what He’s saying right now. He’s tired and fed up with our efforts to throw Him out of our society and the awful sinful way in which we’re currently living. Remember, He’s a living God, with feelings and emotions just like us, and He’s promised that NO ONE will ever take away His glory: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) And right now in our sinful, idol worshipping society, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do; rob Him of His awesome might and power and honour and glory! 

So don’t be surprised that He might be fighting back. I can assure you, He’s not going to go down without a major fight. That again just goes to show how much He LOVES us, that He’s not willing to see us waste our lives and end up eternally separated from Him, dwelling with the fallen angel Lucifer in Hades, and being eventually destroyed in the lake of fire. Oh friends, Jesus came to earth to save us from sin, and as our Advocate in heaven right now He’s still fighting to save us and give us eternal life. 

Hear these wonderful, reassuring words He spoke down here on earth nuh. ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35). Yeh mih people, Jesus is the One through whom eternal life is found! Glory be! And remember what He told the Samaritan woman at the well? ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water (fountain) springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) 

And how can we consider ourselves wise and not want that eternal life eh? But here’s the crux of the matter. Jesus said: ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up the last day.’ (John 6:37-40) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what wonderful and encouraging sentiments! And if that doesn’t touch you, then listen to these further words of Jesus to the doubting Jews: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) 

And the scholars say of those verses: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Mama Yo! That’s the best news I’ve heard for the day mih bredrin! No one can take us away from Christ or destroy us if we walk sincerely with Him! So why wouldn’t I want to walk in company with him eh? Ah friends, to me it’s cut and dried that the best way to live this life is by following Christ. 

But we each have to make our own decision on that matter, that’s why the Father gave us free will. But please remember that whatever decision we make, once we depart this earthly life, or Jesus comes again, we cannot change our minds then, and we’ll have to bear whatever consequences those decisions bring, come eternity. Matter fix! 

Now for those of us who choose to follow Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful and secure position in Christ. All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we endure until the end, then it will be even better than we can ask or imagine! Much  LOVE

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…else he’ll certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2020 Ephesians 6:18.

Ephesians 6:18.    ​Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 
Morning friends and family, the ole fella starting out a tad late because he got up late, although I went to bed early, (smile) and then I had a couple of problems to attend to before I could get to the Bit. But as the ole people say, better late than never! So what we going to talk about today eh? I’m not sure, but there’s this piece of paper in front of me with some jottings, so let’s see what it says nuh. Oh friends, it’s ever so good! It’s talking about our most important tool and weapon; PRAYER! God Almighty! There’s nothing better that we can ever talk about than prayer, especially in these pandemic times. 

So what does my jotting say about prayer? According to Pastor Corville Peters: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance (to help us), but it is laying hold of God’s willingness to act on and in our behalf!’ Wow! Isn’t that wonderful of Him? It surely is! Yeh friends, we don’t have to try and force God to help us through prayer, because that’s His avowed intention! He created prayer as a method of communication between Him and us so that we’d have a direct line to Him, one that’s never busy or malfunctioning. 

And as the jottings on my piece of paper further say: ‘Prayer is the best way to confront your problems.’ And that’s the gospel truth my bredrin! The first place we ought to turn in times of trouble or anxiety or uncertainty should always be to the throne of God, through His direct line of prayer. Remember this is His universe, we are His creation and He’s still in control of both! So it only makes sense to go to Him when we have problems we can’t fix or are uncertain as to what direction to take. 

And my jottings continue: ‘God, the big problem solver, answers prayer!’ Mama Mia! That’s for sure! Otherwise why would He tell us to come to Him through prayer when we have problems and fears and anxieties eh? So we can deduce at least one thing from all of that; that there’s awesome power in prayer, since it allows God to move on our behalf! As we said earlier on, it is our most important tool and weapon! God pointedly designed it as such. That’s  why throughout the Lord’s Word, the Bible, there are so many references to prayer. 

Prayer is supposed to be the backbone of a believer’s life. Yes friends, prayer is our lifeline to our heavenly Father! And if that lifeline is cut, broken or neglected, then we’re lost and alone in this big, crazy, dangerous universe without the help of the Most High God. And that’s certainly not in our best interest. And praying is so important precious people of God that Bruh Paul made these statements regarding prayer. To the Ephesians, re putting on the armour of God and standing strong: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ 

And the scholars append these most important explanations to that verse: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine help is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, yuh see how important prayer is in our lives, that even when we have on God’s protective armour, we still need to pray to achieve victory. Then to the Thessalonians, Bruh Paul said it ever so simply: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (2 Thess. 5:17) That means our minds should always be filled with thoughts of God, of reaching out to Him for direction and guidance in all we do and say. Then to Timothy, Bruh Paul says: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim. 2:8) 

So friends, yuh see how we always should be in pray mode, and praying any and everywhere? Prayer is the great equalizer, whether yuh rich poor, Jew, Gentile, or even an idolater, because you still have to make obeisance to your idol. And possibly the best example we have of prayer is that of Jesus. Although He was God, but being the Son of Man here on earth, come to fulfill the Father’s purpose, prayer was a constant part of His everyday life. As a human being, He needed God’s direction and strength to endure His earthly problems. 

And Mark illumines this by telling us: ‘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.’ (Mark 1:35) Yes friends, Jesus had a persistent prayer life, talking to His Father pretty early in the mornings before He began His days. Now if Jesus, though being God, could submit Himself to prayer, why can’t we mere mortals, creations of dust do the same eh? Unfortunately, we’ve gotten too big for our britches, thinking that we don’t need God anymore, He’s nothing more than an outdated dinosaur now, only good for casting aside and trampling underfoot like unflavoured salt. 

But mih people, have you seen what’s happening in this coronavirus pandemic time? People are turning to God in droves, coming to Him like crazy in prayer. Hn! And the longer the pandemic lasts, with no vaccine available, the more people are going to turn to prayer, because there are no more man-made solutions. And as always, we’ll only turn to our great God, our merciful and forgiving, healing and ever-LOVING Creator as a last minute substitute, instead of the first person we turn to. But that’s why He gave us free will, so we could do as we please. But remember, there are always consequences to our every action. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now for those of us who know and try to do better, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail letting the unbeliever know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. In strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And I like to remind us that if we stand steadfast and strong to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we could ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet to pray…that’s salve for the soul…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
So it’s a fine looking Wednesday…what are we up to today eh friends and fellow saints in Christ? I do hope we said something sensible and worthwhile to the Almighty when we arose this morning, so we could set a good tone for our day and get His perspective on it all. And sadly this morning, I must admit that I find myself in the writer’s worst position; having a lot to say, but yet having nothing worthwhile saying. (smile) But then, as I was just sifting the numerous pieces of paper on my desk with oodles of things to say, I came across this saying attributed to John Maxwell, the famous American author, speaker and pastor. 

He reputedly said that ‘The way you deal with the worst determines whether you get the best.’ Now that might sound a bit confusing and sort of backwards, but when you look at it carefully, it does make some sense. All it’s really saying is the way we deal with the worst things in our lives, the adversity and trials and tribulations through which we all will and must go through, will basically determine the outcome. And that’s quite true; the way we handle our failures and disappointments, the rough times, like now in this current pandemic. 

There’s a mighty difference in results between bowing down and giving up, or learning from our problems and coming back strong through our faith and the faithful promises of our great God. It’s all about our attitude towards our problems my people. And when we have this marvellous promise and guidance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we ought not to give up, but have our backbones and bellies strengthened and ready for another run at life. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful scripture of encouragement. Yes, I know it’s easier said than done, but the good things about those encouraging scriptures is that the more often we practice them and put them into action, the easier the next difficulty becomes. It’s like they say; practice makes perfect! And I think we have a perfect example of this in the life of Bruh Paul. He was amongst the best educated and wealthy and powerful young men in Israel, with an astonishing zeal to persecute Christians. 

But after his life-changing encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, (Acts 9) he became rather obedient to Christ, counting all those other worldly supposedly important things ‘dung, that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:8) And in the verse before that He states: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7) So you see in one of Bruh Paul’s worst times in his early days, being knocked off his horse or mule or donkey, (smile) made blind and simply told by Jesus, to go to Damascus and he’d be told what to do, (Acts 9:6) he could have kicked up a fuss, and not obeyed, and his life would never have amounted to what it finally amounted to. 

Remember, this was the man who instigated and encouraged a lot of Christian persecution and abuse, including the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:54-60), and furthermore, he was on his way to Damascus to persecute believers, when the Lord accosted him, who then became the great apostle spreading the gospel of Christ to us, the Gentile world. And look at all the ‘suffereration’ and persecution he went through on Christ’s behalf, to preach the gospel. He did not let them bother him, but rather took them in stride, being assured that the Lord would look after him. 

From one who had not faith at all, to one who had probably more faith than most, is certainly a mighty leap, but it did not come easy, and it was only made possible by the tough times he went through, and how he handled them. His stated goal was : “That I may know him (Christ), and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comfortable unto his death.’ (Phil. 3:10) And he sincerely pursued that goal all his apostolic life. And I think that all believers should set before them, these words written to the church at Philippi, as our basic goal. 

‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: (knowing Christ and His resurrection): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) Yes friends, as believers we are all need to move forward in the faith, and we cannot allow the baggage of the past to keep us back. We all have a high calling in Christ, and need to keep pressing forward towards our mark. 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e., knowing Christ). The prize is the personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ Ah mih people, a lot of what happens to us in this life is determined by how we respond to life. And as true believers, we’re required to respond to it with a faithful and positive attitude. 

Just look at all the tough times people like Bruh Joseph, Bruh David, Moses, Job and Abraham went through, a lot of it unfair and unjust, but they all stood strong in the Lord and kept a good attitude, knowing that the Lord would eventually see them through. That’s the strong faith and trust in Almighty God that we need to show in these tremulous end times if we want to be real ambassadors for Christ! Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our sincere faith and trust in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

As one strong voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And will it ever be glorious when the Lord welcomes us home with these marvellous words; ‘Welcome home thou good and faithful servant!’ Much LOVE!

…receiving heaven’s crown of righteousness…should be the believer’s earthly goal…

P.S. It’s a good thing I kept a good attitude when I didn’t know what to write. (smile) Much LOVE!

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