Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2021 Matthew 14:31b.

Matthew 14:31b.     ​O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

And so we move on; another day older and closer to heaven! Can you imagine it friends? Some of us have lived so many days already that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. But be not afraid of what’s in your future, for our great and wonderful God has a distinct plan for every one of us, to be His disciple, His ambassador, agent, representative, call it what you like, and it does not end even when we take our last breath and go over the other side to His golden mansions for eternal rest. 

That’s because He expects the lives that we’ve lived down here, to speak to others, as a glowing example of faithfulness and LOVE, even after we have departed this earthly territory. That means what we do, how we behave, how we treat others, every day of our lives makes a difference. And that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us; that we make a positive difference in the land as we walk closely with Him. So the question now my friends is, are we making a positive difference on others, as we live this earthly life? 

Are we being good examples of the kind of life the Lord expects of His followers? I do hope that all of us can answer a resounding ‘Yes!’ to it, but I know that that’s certainly not the case, else our world would not be living the selfish, greedy, godless, dog eat dog kind of life we’re currently living. Oh my brethren, if we’re true to ourselves, we’ll all realize that we’re not living the best Christian life that we can, which means we have lots of room for improvement. 

And why aren’t we living the kind of Christian life we want to lead eh? I think if we look to Bruh Paul’s words and examples in Romans, when he talks about the struggles of two natures, we’ll get some insight into the problem. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (don’t understand): for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) And we all have that same struggle between our flesh and the spiritual lives we want to live. 

The scholars however, offer an excellent explanation of our problem, re verse 14. ‘The law is spiritual: The law has characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ And yes, as we said above, we all experience personal struggles with sin, but that is no reason, no excuse not to do better than we’re doing, especially if we’re at a fairly high state of spiritual maturity. 

And I think that’s one of the many problems in the church, in Christ’s body today: the mature believers are not leading exemplary lives, and also are not taking enough interest in the less mature believers. But that’s just what Jesus desires of us, as we said at the outset; a life that makes a positive difference and sets a good example to others. And no, He does not expect us to be perfect, because He did not make us perfect, but He does expect us to do our best. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘Look your best, do your best and be your best!’ And that’s all the Lord is asking of us. 

But too many of us are too immersed in the ways of the world, the fleshly, sinful carnal life. And how do we get out of that? Only one way friends; by keeping our eyes constantly fixed on Jesus. And we have a great example of that with this interaction between Jesus and Peter. It’s that time when Jesus fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves of bread and two fishes, and they took up twelve baskets of remnants afterwards. (Matt. 14:15-21) Then He sent the disciples away in a boat over the lake, the sea of Galilee, while He dismissed the crowd and went up into a mountain to pray. (Matt. 14:22-23a) 

Now the Good Book says: ‘And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship (with the disciples) was now in the midst (middle) of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (from 3-6 a.m.) Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit (a ghost); and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. 

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt. 14:23b-33). 

And right in that li’l passage of scripture friends, we have our basic problem. We talk plenty about Jesus being the Son of God, but when the time comes for us to truly embrace it, we fail miserably. Peter was bold enough to step out of the boat, but when the wind got really strong, he took His eyes off Jesus, and doubt crept into his mind and made him afraid. And that’s what happens to too many of us; when troubles come, we stop looking to Jesus, forget the powerful being that He is, and all His faithful promises, and in fear, fall back on our own strength, which will never be enough to get us through this life. 

So friends, if we want to make a positive difference with our lives, we have to steadfastly keep looking to Jesus; don’t be too afraid, or lose our faith, or forget His promises, when troubles come, as they always will. And what better scripture to close with than these assuring words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘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 for those of us in whom those words have taken solid root, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere 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 it’s also reassuring to know that if we endure to the end, the promised future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So let’s keep on keeping on in Christ nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…steadfastly looking to Jesus…is the ONLY way…to handle our doubts and fears… 

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Today​’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2019 Matthew 9:29.

Matthew 9:29.   ​According to your faith be it unto you. 
 
And so we come to Wednesday…the mid-week catch yuh breath, second wind day! Everybody feeling refreshed now, having gotten back into the work week routine, and looking forward with much expectancy to the big day of Friday, so they can do their own thing. 

Ah mih people, I wish we could look forward with the same amount of expectancy to the things of Christ, to the things that concern our faith! Yuh remember how Jesus kept complaining about the faith of His people…’O ye of little faith!’ 

He said that several times. Even to His disciples who had been with Him for years and saw all the miracles He had done. When the storm arose on the Sea of Galilee and He was asleep in the back of the boat, they woke him up scared to death. Only to be rebuked after He calmed the storm, by His lashing words: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

And remember too what He said when He healed people. ‘Go, your faith has made thee whole!’ Even when He healed the Roman Centurion’s slave from afar, He commented: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’ (Matt.8:10) Yeh friends, in several circumstances Gentiles, or people of other nationalities showed more faith in Him than His Jewish people. But overall people were not being buoyed by their supposed faith. 

And I believe the same thing is also happening now. A lot of us talk a good talk about faith, but when it comes to putting that supposed faith into action we sadly fall down and start thrashing about and looking for other avenues instead of first turning to God and waiting on Him. But friends, it’s ALL about our faith, our sincere trust and reliance on the powers and mercy and grace of Jesus! 

Remember what He said to the two blind men who came to him to have their sight restored? ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt. 9: 28-30) 

And nothing has changed since then my people, for our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So why do we think that our faith won’t get us through these rough and difficult times like it did those people of old eh! We have numerous examples of how faith propelled people, armies and nations to victory. Just check out that great chapter of the Good Book, Hebrews 11, where it tells you of all kinds of people who lived and died by faith. 

Think about Abraham leaving his homeland at seventy five to journey into an unknown land just because God told Him to and promised Him great things. That could only come through faith. His wife Sarah also had a son in her old age when she lived up to the faith expected of her. Look at the stories of Isaac and Jacob, of Bruh Joseph and Moses, of Abel and Enoch, of Gideon and Samson, of Bruh David and Bruh Paul, and even of Jesus. 

It was faith by which all of them traversed this evil world. Though Jesus was God, He was also man in the flesh and He too had to have strong faith in His Father else He would not have been able to do all those amazing things He did! Yuh think He just suffered all the abuse and pain of the cross just so? No! The Father enabled Him to go through it all!

And God hasn’t stopped working in believers lives just because this is the 21st century and mankind is on top of His technological and greedy wealth seeking game! In fact we need faith even more now with all the distractions and lies and falsehood and wiles that are now coming against us. 

We need faith to help us discern the sense from the nonsense that is so prevalent in today’s evil and ungodly world. And faith isn’t something we can just pick up or set down anytime we want to! It’s a process, like sowing a seed and watching and waiting for it to grow. And the Lord has done many good things for many of us over our lifetimes, but yet when the rough times come, we forget about those fulfilled promises and cower and fear and doubt under the onslaught of the enemy’s false fire! 

But remember too friends, these precious and immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (1 Tim.1:7) 

And what is this thing called faith you all ask? The Good Book tells us that ‘Faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yeh friends, simply put faith is what we don’t see now, but which we hope for and believe that we will get later on. We never seen Jesus, but we believe in Him. We never seen God create the world or us, but we believe it. 

All of that is done through faith! For as Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ (2 Cor.5:7) That’s it plain and simple my brethren! In God’s economy and universe He expects us to believe His Word and the promises contained therein and walk expectantly and eagerly with faith, knowing that they will all come to pass in His time!

And if we can’t do that, if we need to see everything before we believe, like the world proposes, then our faith is small or even non-existent, and we won’t receive ALL the wonderful benefits we can from our wonderful God. Nuff said! 

So for those of us who say we believe and have faith, let’s go home now declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our enviable position in Christ. With much fervor and sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

Now don’t forget, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine…and it’s all based on our faith! Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please God… (Heb.11:6a)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2015 Hebrews 11:1‏

Hebrews 11:1.  Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. 

Free! Free at last! Yes Friends, the ole fella’s free at last from the bondage and tyranny of the medical and technological marvel of the mobile and portable intravenous drip! (smile) 

Oh it does serve a very useful purpose, but five days of having to do everything with it, whether asleep or awake, is a rather inconvenient and very taxing experience. 

And thankfully the wound on my leg that caused its use, seems to be healing, though rather slowly. But right now I’m thankful for any kind of improvement at all. 

I’m now on oral antibiotics. I think I can handle that. (smile) And this is the best, the most rested I’ve felt in a little while. I suppose that’s because I had a decent night’s rest, with no tubes and bags to worry about, which meant I got up pretty late too. 

So I do want to apologize for the lateness of the Bit, but I definitely needed the rest, as yesterday was a rather hectic and busy day. First I went to the funeral of a young lady, a former parishioner, who suddenly passed away at the tender age of thirty-eight. 

Ah Lord eh! We never know when or how our number will play nuh! That’s why it’s in our best interest to be always ready. 

After the funeral I went to my doctor to check on my situation. Then I got lucky, or rather the Lord opened an opportunity for me to go and get a test for any blood clots in my system. So I ran to the Vascular Lab to get that done. The tests turned out to be negative! Thank the Lord!

Then I ran home, had something to eat. The nurse came and discharged me from the home care programme, then I went to see a movie with my young daughter and her boyfriend. 

But my people, it was all worth it. I don’t go to many movies, but this one came highly recommended by one of my many surrogate daughters, and it was excellent. It’s called ‘War Room.’ And believe it or not, it’s a Christian movie. And the war and the room are not about physical war but about spiritual battles; the kind that we all experience at some time in our lives. 

Generally speaking it’s about a black married couple going through problems based on their busy careers and fighting to keep up with the Jones’ and Smiths, and the way the Lord oftimes sends someone into our lives to help bring us back to Him. I think ALL believers should go and see it. Please support this type of movie, as you don’t find too many of them being shown in the big movie chains. 

So it was a busy day, but it ended with grace and mercy and wisdom. Glory to God! 

And now it’s time to welcome our wonderful Bit: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ 

And it surely is, my people! For as Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s not only gospel truth my brethren, but also simple logic! If we can see something, why would we yet hope for it eh? 

And that brings me to a song I heard last night by a Christian group called Canton Junction, featured on Uncle John’s  (John Hagee) t.v. Programme. It’s called ‘Faith was made for moments like these.’ And I’ll only share a part of the second verse and the chorus, because I just got tired of pausing and writing and pausing and writing. (smile) But that’s enough to show the relevance of the song. 

Here goes: ‘What happens if heaven is silent, and the silence seems to whisper, just keep hoping…oh hoping…What if it’s a sorrow… Sorrow brings a healing to the broken… to the broken… What if….Faith was made for moments like these. When God knows, what you can’t see. And you don’t understand what you choose to believe. Faith was made…for moments like these…’ 

Indisputable truth, my brethren! Faith was indeed made for the rough, unseeing, and not understanding times in our lives. If we could see and understand all our circumstances, then why would we need faith eh? No reason whatsoever! 

But since we can’t see nor understand the majority of things we face in this earthly life, we definitely need something concrete, confident and sure to hold on to. And the only thing that does that in this evil and ungodly world is the ever-faithful and safely guiding Word of Jehovah God, and the promises found therein. 

Oh glory to our most wonderful, amazing, gracious, LOVING, forgiving and merciful God! 

Now I wish someone could explain to me why I shouldn’t surrender my all, my entire being to such a marvellous Deity? Oh Friends, there’s no good reason why we should not! Surrendering to Jesus Christ and obeying His dictates is indeed the wisdom of heaven and of earth throughout all the ages! 

And we’ll end with some of Jesus’ thoughts on faith, how important He deemed it to be. Firstly in the Sermon on the Mount, He castigates His listeners for their lack of faith in God’s provision for them, if He had provided so wonderfully for the things of nature ‘O ye of little faith? (Matt.6:30) 

Then He tells Peter, after he’s walked on the water for a few seconds, then becomes fearful, starts to sink and cries out for help. ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

And finally, hear this conversation between Jesus and two blind men who desired Him to heal them, and cried out saying: ‘Thou son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? 

They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then he touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt.9:27-30) 

Yes Friends, likewise, according to our faith, it will be done unto us! Much LOVE!

…fight the good fight of faith…and stand steadfast in it…