Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2019 Luke 24:49.

Luke 24:49.    And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
 
Well it’s Christmas Saturday…Thank the Lord! We down to four days now before the Big Day! And plenty people still shopping and baking and cooking and preparing the treats for the festivities, not the ole fella though. (smile) Yes, I’m just taking it easy, going along my normal slow, practical way. Oh I might lend a hand here or there, but the frustrations and busyness of the season won’t affect your humble servant. Thankfully, I’ve left all of that behind. What did Bruh Paul say about not looking back at the past, but looking forward to the future where we don’t have all the hustle and bustle! Yeh friends, that’s become my style now. I don’t get involved in all the confusion. I just relax and try to enjoy Christ in His season. (smile) 

But since it’s Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ And that’s oh so true friends! We don’t necessarily need to see the ending of a thing, just the beginning. And there’s the inherent physical problem that if you don’t start out, you will never get to the end. Like the Chinese Proverb says: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ 

Yeh. You do have to step out, hopefully in faith to make any journey, be it long or short. And if you’re a true and faithful believer, then you have the wonderful promise that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Phil. 4:13) Mama Yo! How can you ever beat being a true believer with promises such as those eh? That’s why Christians ought to be the happiest and most effective people in the universe! We don’t have to be afraid of the future, but can embrace it with joy, because of all that our Lord and Saviour Jesus has done for us, beginning with His awesome incarnate birth at this Christmas season! 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.’ And that should be the motto of ALL believers: be true to oneself and to one’s faith! We can certainly notice the ridicule and disdain that the world holds many of us believers in, simply because we believe and profess a lifestyle different to theirs. But if you truly believe, then you ought to stand up for your beliefs. But sadly too many of us supposed believers are scared and afraid to stand up to the world bullies for their faith in Jesus. 

That’s obviously not right my brethren, because all that does is tarnish Jesus’ name even more than it’s already tarnished. The world already considers Christians to be compromising and cowardly. It’s time we stand up strong for Jesus, and there’s no better time to do it than right now in this time of celebration, when His name is on the tongue of so many people, and they might be most receptive to Him. Remember friends, if you don’t stand strong for something, you can fall oh so easily for anything! 

Then there’s this: ‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’ Now I don’t agree with the semantics of that statement, because God has destined all of us to be some kind of body, but that’s not necessarily the person we become, since so many of us don’t follow God’s will. But generally speaking, we become the person we decide to become. And if it’s within God’s will, then so much the better. But if it is outside His will,  then your life won’t ever be right. 

And I can use my own life as a testimony. Now writing the Bit never appeared in even my wildest dreams. But obviously it featured in God’s. (smile) And if I had utterly refused to do His bidding and write it, then I’m sure my life would never have been as blessed as it is now. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on the dreams He’s placed in my heart. No, absolutely not! I still hold on to them and sincerely believe that He will bring them to pass…just in His own time and fashion. (smile) Otherwise, what’s the point in having dreams at all eh? 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘Some people have power but are powerless.’ And that is so true, especially of supposed believers in Jesus Christ! Friends, we have so much power through Christ that it’s astounding, to say the least. We can do so much because of our faith and trust in Him, but yet we remain powerless and allow the foolish Beelzebub to steal our power. Remember the quote we heard Jesus say yesterday? ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt. 28:18) Those were the words He spoke to the disciples just before He gave them the Great Commission to go out and proselytize the world, then He ascended back into heaven. 

And Mark wrote it down thus: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).’ (Mark 16:15-16) And I’ll pause here to interject the scholars’ note. ‘16:16. Only faith, not baptism, is essential for salvation, as the omission of baptism from the last clause above.’ And sadly, that is indeed a rather contentious point amongst believers today, and one that unfortunately keeps the church from truly being one body in Christ. Different denominations hold different views, and it seems that never the two shall meet. But that’s a discussion for another day, just thought I’d point it out. (smile) 

Mark continues: ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:17-18) Oh friends, we have so much power in us that we don’t use! Hear Jesus: ‘And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ 

And the scholars’ importantly note: ‘24:49. Here is the source of strength for effective evangelism. The promise of my Father stresses that the Spirit’s coming is not an afterthought, but an integral part of God’s eternal will. Endued conveys the picture of one being clothed with God’s enablement. Waiting is part of the necessary preparation for reception of God’s guidance and sanction.’ Yes my people, that’s all so true! And it all began when the Holy Ghost came at the time of Pentecost and filled all believers with the Spirit of Christ! (Acts 2) And that all leads to the facts that there is power in the Word of God, there is power in the name and blood of Christ! 

Oh precious people of Christ, we have so much inherent power, that we ought to be walking and talking and believing powerhouses! And it all stems from Jesus! And the Good Book is filled with scriptures about power and healing and all the other stuff we’ve been granted in Jesus’ name. However, we don’t have time or space to get into them. But please, let’s spend sometime this Christmas season checking them out for ourselves nuh, so that we can use that abundant God-given power to do God’s will powerfully and abundantly in the coming year. That’s our homework for this week! (smile) Much LOVE!

…sing it out…oh there is power in the blood…power in the word…power in the name of Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2019 Daniel 6:16b.

Daniel 6:16b.    Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
 

Ah friends, the weather nowadays can be so finicky and capricious, just like… hold that thought mih brother, because in these days of female empowerment, the fairer sex is liable to get all over yuh case. (smile) But seriously though, just two days ago there was snow all over the rooftops and ground, but now there’s little trace of it, because the temperature went up to almost double digits yesterday, thus it ended up being a rainy day, and all the snow was washed away. 

And I must say that I now miss seeing the snow covered rooves of the houses when I look out my window. Imagine that nuh! But that’s the kind of guy the ole fella is; if it’s pleasing to the eye, then say so, although the presence of said thing might be inconvenient and dangerous. (smile) 

And I just want to point out to us today, how unconventional our great God can be. Remember when Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because he refused to fall in line with King Darius’ decree ‘that every man who shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?’ (Dan. 6:12) Now we all know that was simply a set up to get Daniel thrown into the lion’s den since they knew he would not bow down to any other God save that of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

And when the king realized that he’d been played by his senior bureaucrats, he was heartbroken, ‘sore displeased  with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (greatly strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.’(Dan.6:14) That shows how important and close Daniel was to the king. But unfortunately he couldn’t do anything about it because no decree or statute of the Medes and Persians could be changed once the king established it. So with a sad heart he watched as Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. 

But here’s what I want us to pay particular attention to; the kings last words to Daniel before he was thrown in. ‘Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.’  Wow! What words of faith and encouragement the Lord placed in the pagan king’s mouth! The king knew of Daniel’s faithfulness to his God, and obviously had heard and seen some of the miracles He wrought in and through Daniel, so his supposedly last words to Daniel were not as far-fetched as they might at first seem. 

Oh my people, how many of us can truthfully say that we serve our great and wonderful God with zeal such as Daniel eh? Not very many; certainly not enough, especially in this current mish-mash world of ours! But NOW friends, NOW is the time when our zeal for the Lord ought to be the highest it’s ever been, because the enemy is getting more powerful every day, and we simply cannot allow that to happen! We simply cannot allow the fear of the world to stop us from fighting tooth and nail for Jesus’ eternal cause. We desperately need to stand on the words of king Darius: that the God whom we serve continually will deliver us in any and every situation! 

It’s all about belief and faith friends! And those two things will bring trust and surrender and courage and confidence! It’s already all inside of us, we now have to water those seeds with faith and let them grow strong and true! If we’re to be victorious in Jesus’ cause, then we have to hunker down NOW, just like the enemy is doing, and fight, fight the good fight in our Lord and Saviour’s name! Nothing less will do! Now it’s not going to be easy, since life’s never easy, but with Almighty God in our hearts and souls remember that everything is possible; we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! 

This is the time when we need the powerful and reassuring Word of God to reassure us. But it can’t do that unless we seriously and continually read, study and write it indelibly in our hearts. Please remember the immortal words of the Lord to Joshua when He appointed him leader of Israel after Moses died. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Oh my faithful brethren, that is the most defining verse in the entire Word of God! Study it, and live it, then you will have good success! It’s clear as day! Please note the importance of the word ‘good’ there, for you can have success by following the enemy, but that’s bad success, a success that never lasts or get’s one into eternal life with God. And that’s simply why so many of us are not leading lives as prosperous as we can; we don’t spend enough serious and sincere time in the Word, and thus we can’t live it as we ought. 

Oh my people, I do hope that my words, or rather the words put into my heart and fingers by the Holy Spirit will be of great encouragement to us today, because we do need to increase our faithfulness and trust, so that we can fight the good fight that’s called for in these most trying and turbulent times! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now that should lead us to put on our battle armour and excitedly go out and share Christ’s LOVE and friendship! Much LOVE!

..the time is NOW…the time is NOW…NOW is the time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2019 Isaiah 1:3.

Isaiah 1:3.    ​The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.

 

Oh yeah, the sun finally won the battle of the weather titans yesterday! It came out shining brightly in the afternoon, but without any real strength, so there was a resultant chill in the air. And some premonition tells me that this is the time for the big chill to finally begin! (smile) 

There will now be very few warmish days, as autumn gets into full swing. The leaves on the trees are already losing their green colour and turning a rustic brown, yellow and gold. Despite the cold winter months it heralds, autumn is still the most beautiful of all the seasons, colourful like a Carnival Tuesday in T&T! Remember, God invented colour! (smile) 

And the last time I looked, the sun was valiantly trying to peek out of the large cloud cover that hid it from sight. But regardless of what happens, today, or any other day, the Good Book assures us that we can do anything and everything through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who strengthens us. (Phil, 4:13) 

And that’s gospel truth my Christian brethren! Through the LOVE and grace and mercy of Christ, NOTHING is impossible to us, we can handle any situation or circumstance that comes against us with true assurance and courage…if we believe! Now let’s turn to our Saturday programme, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I had a good chuckle at this first one: ‘It’s better to sit in a bar and think about God, than to sit in a church thinking about beer.’ Now that might sound like blasphemy or some such thing, but it’s really the truth! Wherever you are, it’s always better to think about God, than what your situation might naturally induce you to think about, simply because when we think about God, we’re led to do godly things, even in a house of sin. (smile) 

Listen to this next one: ‘Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.’ Yes that’s what we all need to do. God promises us the best, but in this evil world, the worst is also possible, that means we have to be prepared for anything that comes against us. And we’ve already said that we can handle it with Christ’s help, so there’s no need to worry there, especially since we also are assured that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Is.54:17) Glory to God my faithful brethren!  

That brings us to this similar quote: ‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.’ Ah mih people, in this evil and ungodly world we’re sure of one thing, obstacles! Whatever we do, especially if it’s for God, the enemy will always try to put obstacles and impediments in our way, so that we don’t reach our goals. But then we don’t need to give up or change our goals, but merely change the direction in which we originally planned to meet them. And does it ever feel good when we thwart the enemy, with God’s help of course! 

And the necessary ingredients for doing that are found in this next quote. ‘You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.’ Yes friends, if we try to do anything in this world, some failure is inevitable. As the saying goes, you can’t succeed until you fail. 

But please remember too that failure is not permanent, unless you allow it to be. Most of the successful people in this world have failed on numerous occasions, but they got back up, hopefully with God’s help, and kept pressing on until they were successful. And we all have to do the same thing; don’t let one or two, or even three failures cause us to give up on our godly dreams, but learn from each failure, for each one has lessons to teach us, then get up and keep on fighting the good fight. That’s the only way to really succeed. 

And this last quote is really interesting, something that most of us never really consider. ‘A person can LOVE you and still cheat, just like we LOVE God and still sin.’ Think on that for a moment nuh! So many of us claim to LOVE God, but yet we engage in a lot of sin and think nothing much of it. But let someone who claims to LOVE us go astray, or step out of line slightly, yuh see the big noise we make, the way we carry on as though the world is falling down on us! 

But have we ever considered how God feels when we betray Him? We obviously don’t class our sinful behaviour towards God in the same light as someone’s wrong toward us. We behave as though the latter is ever so important, while we sort of overlook the former, saying or thinking that God will forgive us. But what about us forgiving those who do us wrong eh? That brings us to an interesting and oh so appropriate scripture from Isaiah, where the Lord complains. 

‘Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ And as it was true of God’s chosen people, Israel, way back then, so is it also true of us in these sinful and ungodly times; we have rebelled against Him after enjoying His goodness and grace and mercy, becoming proud and arrogant, behaving as if we gave ourselves all the good things we have. 

And as the Lord continues: ‘Ah sinful nation, a people laden (weighed down) with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone (turned) away backward.’ (Is. 1:4) And if we are truthful, we will admit that our society, like that of ancient Israel, has become oh so evil and turned away from God so much, even trying to force Him out, that He must be seething with anger. 

And don’t tell me that God doesn’t get angry; it says so throughout the Good Book. He’s just long-suffering; holds in His anger for a long time, but when it finally erupts, as it has done, and will again some day if we keep on the way we’re going; it’s deadly! The scholars explain it thus: ‘1:2-4. Children…rebelled: Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents. These verses serve as a “great arraignment” of the chosen people who have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet calls them back to obedience to God.’ 

Likewise friends, the Lord is calling us back to obedience, to repentance and the godliness our society once knew. And if we don’t obey, but continue down the ungodly path we’re now treading, then someday, sooner or later, He’s going to lose His patience with us, and we’ll end up like the Israelites did, when they did not heed His warnings; devastated, hounded by calamity! Now that’s not a very good legacy to bequeath to our descendants, so please let’s seriously try and change it now nuh! That’s about all I can say. Much LOVE!

…continued rebellion against God…will always bring disastrous consequences…

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

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

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

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

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. 

It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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