Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2020 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.     ​Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.
 

Oh my people, it is our Lord’s earnest desire that we come together…right now, in His holy name! And it doesn’t matter that it’s a cloudy Wednesday morning friends, any time is a good time to get together in Jesus’ name! And the best way to do that is through prayer. And I want to share this interesting definition of prayer from an old Devotional. It says: ‘Prayer is a creative expression of my spiritual needs. It offers me a deep sense of personal satisfaction and continually reminds me of life’s forces.’ 

Now isn’t that an encouraging word for us to make prayer a major part of our lives, especially since it’s the major way in which we communicate with our Creator; our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God? It certainly ought to! And these further encouraging words, reputed to one Hartley Coolidge, tell us: ‘Be not afraid to pray, to pray is right. Pray, if thou canst with hope, but even pray.’ 

Yes mih bredrin! Prayer ought to be the basic foundation of our lives. That’s why Bruh Paul desired us to pray without ceasing and to pray any and everywhere. For Prayer has no boundaries in time nor place and it keeps us in constant communication with our heavenly Father, allowing wise guidance and direction to be channeled into our lives. Unfortunately though, prayer has not been a major part of our current secular society. We have forsaken God and all that He stands for. 

But these words of the prophet Jeremiah ought to be a wake-up call, for just like they were rather appropriate to the kingdom of Judah back in their ungodly and disobedient days, so they are appropriate to us in these ungodly and disobedient times. ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.’ 

Oh yes friends, our major problem in these times, or in the prosperous times of any nation, is the unfathomable pride that develops, which makes us feel that we no longer need the God of our forefathers, He’s become irrelevant because of all of our wonderful advances in knowledge and science. But pride is one of the things that our God despises most in His people, for it brings on the foolish idea that we no longer need Him, and His anger glows when we behave thus – like how we behaving now. 

Consequently, we should pay serious attention to the words of Jeremiah, as he continues his warning. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer. 13:16-17) 

Oh my people, Judah did not listen and they were carried away captive to Babylon for a 70 year exile. We won’t be carried anywhere, but we’re already living in the shadow of darkness! Just look at the choke hold, the death grip that the Covid-19 virus and the racial protests have us in nuh. 

And I believe we should pay serious attention to the scholars’ explanation. ‘13:15-17. A third illustration concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ Yes, Jeremiah had already warned his people through the lessons of the marred girdle and the filled bottles (Jer. 13:1-14) But they didn’t listen. 

And how do we say it in baseball; three strikes and you’re out? Well they struck out the third time! Shall we do the same? We’re cutting it pretty close. Simultaneous worldwide sickness and strife don’t happen very often, don’t even know if it’s ever happened like this before. And the sad part is that, in our own strength, we don’t seem to be making any real headway against them, but foolishly, we won’t even consider turning back to God for help. Although more people are praying these days than have done so in a long, long time. (smile) 

If there’s one thing that can be said about the Jewish people of olden times is that they knew where to run when times got hard. Just look at the number of times they turned away from God and worshipped idols, and the serious consequences they faced for their disobedience, but every time when they felt the hand of the Lord heavy upon them, they quickly repented and were taken back into His wonderful fold! Now tell me, why can’t we do the same thing eh? 

We don’t know if the Lord’s causing our calamity, but He certainly isn’t helping us to overcome it, He’s allowing us to undergo the darkness for some reason. And I firmly believe it’s because of our foolishly attempting to kick Him out of our lives and our society. But there’s only one way to find out if that’s true; by repenting and turning back to Him! And what do we have to lose eh? Nothing but some foolish pride… And there’s an awesome lot to be gained! So let’s wake up and get with the programme nuh. 

In the meantime, we can go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! As one strong and sincere 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 are assured of that glorious future if see it out to the end. Much LOVE!

…when nothing else works…turn to Jesus…He’s the only sure bet… 

P.S. Want to apologize for a typo yesterday, where I wrote Psalm 43 instead of 34. Won’t lay any blame though… (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2020 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.     Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. 
 

‘Turn, turn, turn!’ Oh friends, remember that popular sixties song written by Pete Seeger and made famous by the British band ‘The Byrds’? Oh, I forgot that some of you might be too young to remember! (smile) You can look it up on You Tube though. And yes, it was based on Cousin Sol’s marvellous and ever so true words from Ecclesiastes 5: ‘A time for Everything.’ Oh my people, those words are ever so important and appropriate for these troubled days. Hear them nuh, and please take them to heart. 

‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born (to bear), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 

A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (sew together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl. 5:1-8) 

Oh friends, oh friends, right now our world is so filled with turmoil, adversity, hate, war and tearing apart, of throwing stones, of weeping and mourning, that if we seriously hope to survive, we desperately need to turn it around and instead make it a time of LOVE, healing, sewing together, of peace, of gathering stones, of embracing, and building up, so that we can eventually laugh and dance together! As the song says, ‘What the world needs now, is LOVE, sweet LOVE!’ That’s the ONLY thing of which we have a real shortage! 

But then again, how can we ever find that abundance of true LOVE that we need to make our world livable and sustainable for our descendants eh? Only ONE Way, and from ONE Place! By turning back to Almighty God, the ONE and ONLY LIVING GOD! He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Because we’ve turned away from Jehovah God, our Creator and Provider, and become dependent on our own inferior and finite wisdom, our world has fallen apart! It’s obvious that we are not fit, either in mental or emotional acumen to successfully rule ourselves. 

When God gave us free will, He expected us to see that and remain under His august umbrella of safety, freedom, peace and LOVE! But when we got so big and bright and full of ourselves, we decided that we no longer needed Him. But my people, that’s the furthest thing from the truth! How can we not need the One who made us and keeps us alive and kicking through His breath of Life eh? But the long and short of the story is this my bredrin! 

As Jeremiah told his people of Israel when they were turning away from God and experiencing the same sort of calamity and disaster like we’re now doing: ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer. 13:15-16) 

Yes people, the Lord is giving us a serious warning and we need to heed it without delay, otherwise we might end up like Israel, who did not listen. ‘But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive. Say unto the king and to the queen (queen mother), Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down (your rule shall collapse), even the crown of your glory.’ (Jer. 13:17-18) 

And that is exactly what’s happening right now friends, the proud, evil rulers and leaders are beginning to lose their power and their glory under the simultaneous onslaught of pandemic sickness and worldwide unrest. These things have never happened together on such a worldwide scale before this, and any fool ought to see it as a serious warning of some kind. A warning that things are not right in our world and we need to change. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation of the scholars: ‘13:15-17. A third illustration concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ 

Ah friends, our warning above was Jeremiah’s third example of what would happen to Judah if they did not renounce their foolish pride and return to the God of their forefathers. And, unfortunately, the same thing is being said to us today: we are in danger of being swallowed up in the evil and frightful darkness of the enemy if we don’t swallow our pride and stop trying to turf God out of our society, His Creation! 

And if there’s one thing the Lord hates more than any other is the sin of pride, because it says, shouts out loud, that we don’t need Him! That’s a situation to which He has long ago made clear: ‘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) So for those of us who are currently bowing down to all sorts of ungodly images and idols, please let that be a serious and timely warning! 

And having said all of that, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) 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!’ 

So then, let it be, let us go out and do Jesus’ will and share His awesome LOVE and friendship with a dark and unfriendly world! Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Dr. Charles Stanley)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2017 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.   Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.

Add another one friends! Yes, add another blessed day to your earthy life. The Lord’s just overwhelming in His generosity towards us, for which we ought to be thankful. And it’s Friday too, thus the workingman is singing his song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday… And am I ever ready for the weekend! The waters (alcoholic beverages) going to flow like water…the food’s going to be so plentiful that it’ll just blow yuh mind… and the music loud and heavy, with the bass line just thumping through yuh heart… Bredder! It going to be a great weekend of simply partying….party, party, party! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I simply cannot handle that much partying…and I definitely don’t want that bass line thumping through my chest. I’ve felt it already, and it’s not a pleasant sensation. 

On the serious side though, all of that is just too much. Where is our Maker in all of it eh? Shouldn’t we find some time for Him in all the ‘kerfuffle’ of the weekend? Surely we should! 

What about resting and getting ourselves ready to go back out next week and fight the good fight eh? None of that is contained in the workingman’s song, but there certainly is need for it, if we are to live well-balanced, godly lives. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is a much better tribute to the weekend. So let’s sing it with much gusto now nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

That’s much more realistic and sensible and doesn’t go overboard in any one direction, but keeps us balanced in God’s sensibilities. And it brings us to our Bit for today: ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.’  

And yuh know what friends, until just now, I had no idea what the Bit would be. But as usual, I asked for guidance and then opened the Good Book… And lo and behold it opened unto the book of Jeremiah, and those were the first words that caught my eye. 

Yuh see how our God is faithful! And today He didn’t even have me searching for long. (smile) Some days He does though. So, as I keep saying, He won’t ask you to do something without giving you the wherewithal to do it. 

And in this particular case, though Jeremiah was having problems communicating with his people Israel, the Lord was still putting immortal words in his mouth. This section deals with Israel being like a drunken sailor come ashore; like the workingman above, with sin and virulent vice and ungodliness rampant in the nation. 

Therefore Jeremiah is crying out to his people, the warning words of their God. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer.13:16) 

Oh my people, I believe the Lord is giving us the same warning today, because there’s no doubt that our world is as sinful, ungodly and licentious as that of Israel back then. I’ll even wager that we are worse than them. And if the Bible is our Guide Book for earthly living, then we ought to pay careful attention to such words of warning anytime our world parallels those gone before. 

And moreover, I believe that all the natural and man-made disasters that have been recently befalling our world are also warning signs from God. We can sit down and debate and contemplate all we want, but the truth of the matter is that Almighty God exists, and He does not cotton to sin in any society in His universe. 

And eventually, there comes a time, after giving that society time to repent and move away from their sinfulness, that He unleashes His awesome wrath on selfsame society, and either brings them to heel, or wipes them out completely. 

We just have to go back through history to see the many societies which became powerful and sinful, and not worshipping Holy God, that eventually became extinct. Some of them were so violently and rapidly wiped off the map, that we have very little information or artifacts from their ascendancy here on earth. 

Oh my people, all I’m saying is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Let’s take in front before in front takes us nuh. Let’s take God’s warnings seriously and change our sinful ways, before He obliterates us in His anger. 

As the psalmist recommends in Psalm 96 – A call to praise God: Let’s ‘Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. 

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen (gentiles) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps.96.7-10) 

All I can say friends, is that for our own sakes, we had better take that wise advice, otherwise…crapaud will eventually smoke we pipe! Much LOVE!

…a word of warning to the wise…is sufficient…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2017 Jeremiah 13:16.

Jeremiah 13:16.   Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Aye friends, top o’ the morn! Now yesterday’s cloudy beginning turned into a beautiful sunny spring day, let’s hope that today’s cloudy start will also turn into a majestic ending. 

But yuh know I’m beginning to dread opening my e-mail on a morning, because I’m been bombarded with too much unfortunate news. 

Yesterday I opened it and heard about my friend Jackie’s death. Today I open the e-mail and find out that she’s to be buried tomorrow at 11 a.m. exactly when I have an appointment with my heart doctor. Chuh! 

And this is not just an ordinary, routine appointment, but one to do some technical stuff to see if my heart has improved over the last few months. So you can imagine the quandary that I’m in; I don’t want to miss Jackie’s funeral, but I do want to know what’s happening with my ole ticker. 

Anyway, I’ll just leave it all in the Lord’s hands and see how He works it out. But this morning we’re going to pray a prayer that I discovered on one of my office walls last night while looking for something else. 

And I have to laugh at the Lord’s mysterious workings, because this is a prayer that I ought to see every time I enter the office and go to sit behind the desk. But I obviously don’t. 

Ah Lord eh! I believe I’ve shared it with you a long time ago, but is it ever so appropriate for these trying times in which we’re currently living! 

So please pray with me: ‘Dear God: I want to thank you for what you have already done. I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards; I am thanking You right now! I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better; I am thanking You right now! 

I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me; I am thanking You right now! I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears; I am thanking You right now! 

I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves; I am going to thank You right now! I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet; I am going to thank You right now! 

I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job; I am going to thank You right now! I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief; I am going to thank You right now! 

I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking You right now! I am thanking You because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I am thanking You because Father, You haven’t given up on me! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, what a beautiful prayer! Our God is just so good! And the important and amazing thing is that He’s so good, ALL THE TIME! Oh Praise His Holy Name my people! 

And if we’d give our wonderful God thanks and praise more often than we do, our lives would be so much better, but we’re just stubborn and hardheaded, and just seem to make our lives harder than necessary. 

And I like how this prayer just fits nicely with our Bit. ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ 

Now our God doesn’t want to cause darkness in our lives, but if we’re continually disobedient, we leave Him no choice. It’s just like us with our children; we don’t like to punish them, but constant disobedience does call for some harsh consequences. 

Hear how the psalmist puts in Psalm 96 – A call to praise God. ‘Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth his salvation (proclaim the good news of his salvation) from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen (nations), his wonders among all the people. 

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due his name: bring an offering and come into his courts. 

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him all the earth. Say among the heathen (nations) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously.’ (Ps.96:2-10) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the majesty and magnificence, the power and glory of our great God! Please, let’s give him the reverence and honour that are His rightful due nuh. It’s only common sense and wisdom to do so. 

Now let’s go home with our hearts filled with joy and reverence, praise and thanksgiving, as we declare our Wednesday Wail in unison and a strong 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!’ 

Oh friends, let’s keep looking forward to that glorious future with Jesus nuh, for He is indeed the TRUTH, the LIGHT and the WAY! Much LOVE!

…in the LIGHT of Jesus…true believers overcome darkness…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2017 Jeremiah 13:16.

Jeremiah 13:16.   Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Oh friends, welcome to a cloudy spring day in my neck of the woods. I was planning to rev us up with all sorts of good things, like it’s not the physical aspect of the day that really counts, but what we do with the day in Jesus’ name. And to invoke that well-known verse of Psalm 118 – ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

However, when I opened my e-mail I was greeted by some sad and bad, but also in a sense good and comforting news. My priest, Father Jeff, had written to inform me that one of my friends and fellow parishioners, Jacqueline Kitson had passed away this morning. 

And she fell victim to none other than our current scourge, the death-maker called cancer. What hurts some is that she was hospitalized a few days ago and I had promised to go and see her, but everyday I was either too busy, or not feeling up to scratch myself. But I spoke to her on the phone yesterday and promised faithfully to come today. 

Ah Lord eh! The good news scenario though is that she is now home with her heavenly Father and not suffering the pain and inconvenience that she’s been enduring over the past couple of years. She might have been small in stature, but had a big and strong heart, fighting the dreaded scourge every inch of the way. 

I remember the Sunday mornings during this last winter when I would pick her up and take her to church, she was always bright and positive in spite of her illness, bravely enduring the long trips to Toronto for the chemo and other treatments. 

And for a while there during the latter part of the year she seemed to have been in a stage of remission; eating fairly well, putting on some weight and looking better than she’d done for a few months. She even got out to the church’s annual dinner and dance last fall and partied up a storm. Everybody was glad to see her dancing and enjoying herself. 

But the cancer reared its ugly head again a couple of months ago and this time she was not able to fight it off. Rest in peace Jackie my friend. You are gone but not forgotten. You will always remain in our hearts and thoughts until we meet again in the Great Beyond! 

That’s why my brethren it’s ever so important to heed the admonition of our Bit: ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ 

Yes friends, we need to pay serious attention to God’s word at all times, for we know not when our number will be called up yonder. And it would be very unfortunate and damaging to our eternal situation if the grim reaper were to appear before we’re quite ready. 

We need to be always in a state of preparedness my people, looking continually to the light that’s Jesus, and giving our magnificent and magnanimous God all the glory and honour, the praise and thanksgiving that He so rightfully deserves. 

Walking in continual darkness does not become a child of God, for children of God have seen the light and gloriously acknowledge it! 

And we have a good example of God’s judgement when the men of Ai defeated the forces of Israel, and Joshua bewailed the Lord for the defeat.  (Josh.7:1-9) 

‘And the Lord said unto Joshua, get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing (things devoted to the Lord), and have also stolen, and dissembled (deceived) also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 

Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed (devoted to destruction): neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.’ (Josh.7:10-12) 

Yeh friends, contrary to popular opinion, our God is not a joking God, as Israel found out when they disobeyed His commands. So the long and short of the story is that Joshua searched all the people, until he came to one man named Achan. 

‘And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 

When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonian garment, and two hundred shekels of silver; and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted (desired) them, and took them; and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.’ (Josh.7:19-21) 

Yuh see friends, all of Israel suffered because of one man’s greed and covetousness. And what became of Achan and his family? ‘And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.’ (Josh.7:25b) 

It’s not easy my friends, but it’s very worthwhile to remember that disobedience to God’s commands always have consequences, very serious ones too. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, with much enthusiasm, faithfully believing what we say. 

‘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!’ 

And now it’s time to go out and put it all into action my brethren! Much LOVE!

…only the light of Jesus…can prevent us from stumbling in the darkness of this world…