Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

 HAPPY  ARMISTICE,  REMEMBRANCE,  VETERAN’S  DAY!

Yeh friends, it’s the 99th anniversary of the Great War; the First World War; the war that was supposed to end ALL WAR! Hn! But they didn’t count on the Second World War less than 30 years later. 

And I seriously doubt that war will ever disappear from man’s agenda until our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ returns in all His splendiferous glory and takes control, for mankind from his fall, has been an angry, war-like animal. Peace and LOVE are only overlays, cover ups for his naturally aggressive and warmongering nature. 

In the United Kingdom they call it Armistice Day, in Canada Remembrance Day and in the U. S of A, Veteran’s Day. And we honour our fallen dead by wearing poppies on our clothes during this sad time of remembrance and awful waste of human life. 

And all over the world, this most famous war memorial poem, In Flanders’ Fields, is read on this day. It was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in May 1915, on the battlefields of Belgium, after the death and burial of one of his friends, Alexis Helmer by a German shell. 

Please remember with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED: and now we lie In Flanders fields! 

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Ah mih people, sadly, there are even more quarrels and foes than when this poem was written. Man has not learned anything from the ravages of war. But we won’t linger on the topic of war, instead we’ll turn to a more uplifting subject, quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Here is the first one: ‘I Am Thankful For All Of Those Who Said, “No” To Me. It’s Because Of Them I’m Doing It Myself.’ And in some respects I can attest to that, because some of the things I am doing for myself now are because others didn’t want to do them for me. Refusal often leads to your getting up and doing stuff yourself. 

But in saying that, we have to realize that ‘Success Does Not Consist In Never Making Mistakes, But In Never Making The Same One A Second Time.’ We all make mistakes, but when we keep making the same one(s) over and over, then something’s definitely wrong with our modus operandi. 

That leads us to this next quote: ‘Your Life Only Gets Better When You Get Better.’ Truth in a nutshell people! Then there is this one: ‘Think Big And Don’t Listen To People Who Tell You It Can’t Be Done. Life’s Too Short To Think Small.’ 

Now there is much to be said for that, but to a certain extent we also have to recognize our limitations, although with our awesome and omnipotent God, anything at all is possible. Glory to God! 

And I like this last quote: ‘Trust is like an eraser, it gets smaller and smaller after every mistake.’ Now isn’t that the gospel truth! Every time we abuse the trust others have in us, the supply gets lower, until it just plain runs out, and they don’t trust us anymore, regardless of what we say or do. 

In fact, we’re lucky to get more than one chance at that state of trust. The only place where second, third, fourth and even fifth chances are possible without condemnation and disgrace is with the Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven, earth and all therein. 

As our Bit tells us: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

But even then, in general, He expects us to walk in His will, not in disobedience all of the time. But you do have chances to repent and confess and be forgiven. And though His trust in you won’t diminish, you will feel the consequences of disobedience, you will be chastened in some form and fashion. 

But He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you! You have His ever-faithful promise on that.  As Bruh David so rightly declares in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. 

‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:8-10) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler than that. So today, as we remember the fallen, and ponder the unfortunate ravages of war, let’s be wise nuh, try and walk uprightly, and reach out to our God with penitent and contrite hearts; seek Him in all honesty, so that He can bless and forgive and restore our fallen world. That is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…seek…knock…ask…and you will be answered…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

Well friends, Daylight Savings Time has ended. Steups! And it’s still a debatable question as to whom it helps, if anybody. However, the night shift will work an hour longer, and the day shift will get an hour more sleep…then a lot of people’s body clocks will be screwed up. 

Anyway, the good news is that it’s Sunday; the Lord’s Day, time for worship and gathering in fellowship, to hear His word, rejoice with each other and go home overjoyed and full of faith, strength and confidence to face whatever comes against us. Oh how special are our Sunday worship sessions! 

So let’s throw it into gear nuh, as we sing this awe inspiring hymn, ‘God is our refuge and our strength,’ which describes the omnipotence of our Maker and our God. With loud voice, in perfect harmony, sincerity and truth, let’s raise our sacrifice of praise to heaven and let our heavenly Father know how much we truly appreciate Him. 

‘God is our refuge and our strength, a very present aid, and, therefore, though the earth be moved, we will not be afraid, though hills amid the seas be cast, though waters roaring make, and troubled be, yea though the hills by swelling seas do shake. A river’s there, whose streams make glad the city of our God, the holy place, where God Most High hath made a strong abode. 

For God our refuge dwelleth there; that city shall not move. God is its strength when morning dawns, and will its helper prove. The Lord of Hosts is on our side, our safety to maintain; the God of Jacob doth for us a refuge high remain.’ 

And is that last sentence ever so true my fellow believers! Almighty God is definitely on our side, looking after our safety and being a safe place of refuge for us in time of need. Glory Hallelujah! What more can we ask eh? Not a whole lot. And the song we just sang was based on Psalm 46 – God is our refuge and strength, from which our Bit is taken. 

The sons of Korah, who possibly wrote it and sang it back in olden times, were in absolutely no doubt as to where their help lay: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ And neither should we doubt my faithful brethren. We are the children of the Most High God to whom we can run for succour and reassurance at any time, day or night. 

No other faith has that privilege! Why? Because our God is the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD! All others, be they dead or alive, are mere idols, figments of their believers imaginations.  NONE of them can do what our God can, or has the awesome power that He has. End of story! 

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 62. ‘My soul wait (silently) thou only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

And who should know better than Bruh David eh, with the drama filled life he lived? Who, despite his iniquity was still considered a man after God’s own heart! And knowing that we won’t always walk perfectly in God’s will or be obedient to His dictates, Bruh David’s story should give us great assurance and encouragement my brethren. 

Consequently we should not be afraid to surrender our lives to God, to place our sincere trust in His mighty and capable hands, especially since He has also blessed us with His unconditional LOVE, by giving us His ONE Son, Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and His Holy Spirit as our Guide and Comforter.  

As the old people would say; ‘we living life in London!’ (smile) That simply means we’re living a good life. No doubt about it, precious people of Christ! Yes friends, when we’re living with and for Christ, our lives are so enriched and we’re so confident that we can adhere to the admonition from the author of Hebrews without too many problems. 

‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be ye content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall (can) do unto me.’ (Heb.13:5-6) 

Ah mih people, with such a powerful and dynamic God, who also faithfully keeps His promises, why should we be afraid of mankind eh? If we should be afraid of anybody, it’s God, who has the power to do whatever He wants with us. And we’ll end with this li’l power play that the Lord put down on Israel during one of their disobedient times, as related by the prophet Hosea. 

‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king (where is thy king): where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in my anger, and took him away in my wrath.’ (Hos.19:9-11) 

Yuh see who is the real power, friends? Almighty God! So let’s be wise this Sunday nuh…to whom is honour and glory due… and just praise and worship Him in all His glory; exalt His Holy Name, give Him His just desserts, and let Him be our help and refuge in these abnormal times of strife and evil. That’s wisdom at its highest level. Much LOVE!

…to whom is honour and glory due…fear and reverence…obedience and worship…Almighty God…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2017 2 Chronicles 2:5.

2 Chronicles 2:5.   And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.

Rise and shine, friends, rise and shine! Hear the trumpet’s call! Battle stations all! Our fearless Leader, Jesus Christ is already at the battlefront reconnoitering the situation, waiting for us to come forward, so He can lead us into battle. 

Please, no dilly-dallying this morning, there’s urgent work to be done. So let’s get a move on, let’s be up and about our Father’s business! And if you think you don’t have the wherewithal to do battle today, then join us, as we sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which gets our adrenaline flowing and kick starts our motors. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Awright mih breddren! That sounded good! Our choirmaster, Jesus was pleased. Now it’s time for us to get out there and join Jesus, our field General, on the front lines, for that’s where the battle is being fought. That brings us to our Bit: ‘And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.’ 

Ah mih people, what words of absolute truth from Cousin Sol as he set out to build the immaculate and magnificent House of God in the Golden Age of Israel! And this no idle boast, as you’ll realize when you hear the proud declaration of the psalmist from Psalm 96 – A call to praise God. ‘Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth (proclaim the good news of) his salvation from day to day. 

Declare his glory among the heathen (gentiles), his wonders among all 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.’ (Ps.96:2-6) 

Yeh friends, any other supposed deity beside Jehovah, is merely an idol. They are all dead objects, the work of man’s hands, or creatures of his finite imagination. That’s because the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Only True Living God that there is! And if you don’t believe the psalmist, then listen to Bruh Paul in his first missive to the Corinthians, as he talks about Christian freedom and brotherly obligations. 

‘As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and there is none other God but one.  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we (live) by him.’ (1 Cor. 8:4-6) 

Oh friends, how could there logically be more than ONE God eh? More than one god would never have made such a smooth running, self-sustaining, magnificent universe. It would have been total confusion all over! 

Now hear corroboration of that fact from way back when, from Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, when he brought Moses’ wife and children to meet him in the Israelite camp in the wilderness.  After Moses told him all that the Lord had done for the Israelites in bringing them out of Egypt, Jethro rejoiced. 

‘And Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt (behaved) proudly he was above them.’ (Ex.18:10-11) 

Yes friends, our God is above everybody and everything! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise, glorify and exalt His holy name throughout all the earth! Spread His word from one end of the world to the next, so that the heathen can have a chance to experience His never-ending, unconditional LOVE, His healing power and the good news of His salvation! 

That’s our Great Commission, so let’s get out there today and do it with diligence and excellence as He desires nuh. Much LOVE!

…the good news of Jesus…was meant to be spread far and wide…not selfishly hoarded…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2017 2 Chronicles 2:5.

2 Chronicles 2:5.   And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.

‘Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush…Here we go round the mulberry bush on a Sunday morning!’ Oh friends, I could not resist the temptation to begin today’s message with that bit of frivolity, once it came into my mind. 

The truth though is that we’re not going round any bush, but we’re on our way to the Lord’s sanctuary this Sunday morning to fellowship with each other, to give praise and thanks for our many blessings and mercies, to hear the Lord’s word and receive His strength and confidence to go out and face the enemy with courage in the upcoming week. 

Wow! What a majestic morning it’s shaping up to be! And yuh know what? Only the believers in Jesus Christ can attest to such a wonderful situation in their lives! That’s why I keep reminding us of the amazing and awesome God we serve! And that’s why I chose this most appropriate hymn, ‘How Great Thou Art’ to open our time of praise and worship.  It was written in the early 20th century by a Swedish writer, Carl Gustav Boberg and translated into English by missionary Stuart K Hine in mid-century.  

So let’s offer up with truthful lips and sincere hearts a genuine sacrifice of praise today, letting our heavenly Father know how much we LOVE and appreciate Him. In loud voice and beautiful harmony now: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)  

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. (Refrain) And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. (Refrain) 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)’ 

And isn’t that the God awesome truth my brethren! No wonder that hymn has been recognized by several polls over the years as the number one hymn in America. Our God is indeed the GREATEST! Please never forget that! And neither is it a new idea, because Cousin Sol stated it quite plainly many many moons ago in our Bit. ‘And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.’  

Yes friends, that was the unequivocal message he conveyed to Huram, king of Tyre, when asking him to sell him lumber and whatever else he needed to build the Lord’s temple. And I like the verse after our Bit. ‘But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?’ (2 Chr.2:6) 

Ah mih people, our God doesn’t really need a house to live in, because He is the Creator of the universe and all therein, and as Cousin Sol says, even the great heavens can’t contain Him. The houses we build for God are basically for us to get together to worship Him.  And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then listen to the psalmist from Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God. 

‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord:  let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (His possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills (the heights) is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.’ (Ps. 95:1-7)   

Oh friends, those are words of unalterable truth! The Lord God of Hosts is our God; consequently we need to pay Him homage, to exalt His glorious name to all the world. And that is exactly what we are trying to do today, on this His special day, with all the praise and thanksgiving, the honour and the glory, the sincere and heartfelt emotions of LOVE and immense gratitude we’re sending up to heaven on high, as we gather in His sanctuary. 

However friends, let’s be careful now, that our motives are right and our hearts are clean, because God can see right through us, and if we’re being hypocritical, then He’ll just ignore us, despite all our good sounding rhetoric. (smile) Much LOVE!

…the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…He is the One and Only True Living God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2017 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.   The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.

So people, Labour Day Monday is here at last, and there’ll be celebrations all over the world, ostensibly in honour of the ordinary working men who fought and died for the rights that we so blessedly enjoy today. The sad part is that lots of the young folks don’t know, were never taught about the arduous struggle their forefathers had to go through to bring us to where we currently are. 

All they know is that Labour Day is a time to party, and for many others, an occasion to make mas on the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. And I can’t complain too loudly because at one time I also made the Parkway my Labour Day Monday haunt. But like most of the other carnivals around the world, back then it was much more colourful and entertaining, with real mas costumes, not a bikini bra and bottom and a headdress of feathers. 

There would also be many big music bands, not mostly D.J’s. It was an opportunity to see people you hadn’t seen in donkey’s years, (smile) and reminisce about old times. But then everything began changing; the music and the costumes weren’t as nice, I could no longer handle the physical walking, and I hardly saw anybody I knew. So I eventually stopped going to the Big Apple for Labour Day, just like I stopped going to Caribana here in Toronto for the same reasons. 

Anyway, enough of my whatever you call it, it’s Monday and some people still have to get up and go out and labour to keep our 24/7 world humming along smoothly. So let’s help those unfortunate folks get going with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘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!’  

And as always, the voices of those who are not going to work are the loudest and hoarsest from too much partying already. (smile) Oh, and before I forget, let me include Granny’s warning here. I’ve been remiss in not mentioning it so far on such a big weekend. So here goes: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

And though it sounds ‘jokified’ friends, it’s a rather serious warning, because if we don’t pay attention to our activities and behaviour, the always lurking Lucifer will undoubtedly find an open spot to infiltrate our spiritual defenses. So please take it seriously. And that segues quite nicely into our Bit. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ 

Oh my brethren, what words of indisputable truth from the pen of Cousin Sol! And who should know better than him, since he was once the wealthiest and wisest man in the world, but then experienced foolishness and shame when he revoked the Lord God of his fathers for the many idols of his numerous pagan wives and concubines. But he wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last man to listen to a female and go astray….easy now ladies easy, it’s simply the truth. (smile) 

And Cousin Sol had plenty to say on wisdom. Let’s hear a couple his statements on the subject. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.’ (Prov.4:7-8) Absolute truth friends! 

And hear Cousin Sol once more. ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding: For the merchandise (gain) of it is better than the merchandise (profit) of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.’ (Prov.3:13-16)  

Ah mih people, yuh see the great benefits of pursuing wisdom! And you have to actively seek it, for it won’t just come to you naturally. So today, please let’s seriously start seeking wisdom nuh…that is God’s wisdom, not the world’s. Much LOVE!

…you can get everything…if you have wisdom…but everything won’t necessarily give you wisdom…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to you faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s  Tuesday. Were any of you lucky enough to see the mercurial eclipse yesterday? I wasn’t. But it seems like the most powerful man in the world thought he was powerful enough to view it without the special glasses recommended. (smile) 

But that’s what he’s all about ego and power. Enough of the tongue in cheek stuff though. Here is something to help us face the day successfully, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Now have we been guilty of that kind of thing? I’m sure all of us have at some time or another. And what’s the first right decision we’re always supposed to make? Turning to God with the problem! 

Yeh friends, whether the problem be big or small, hard or simple, the Lord God Almighty IS ALWAYS THE FIRST ONE we should talk to about it, for He is the Master Problem Solver. Have the faith to let Him direct our steps. 

And what did Jesus say unto the two blind men who wanted him to heal them. ‘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) 

Yes my brethren, our Bit says it all! Our power and blessedness will be defined by the maturity and strength of our faith, for Christianity is a faith-based organization. 

What does Hebrews say about the subject? ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

And there was nobody who had more faith, or gave us a better example of it, than Jesus, for though He was God in the flesh, He never took credit for anything, but always deferred to the Father. 

Even as a youth, when He strayed from His parents in Jerusalem, when they finally found Him debating with the elders in the temple, His words to them were: ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.’ (Luke 2:49-50) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’ 

Though He was somewhat rude to His earthly parents with that answer, Jesus clearly showed from early on that His heavenly Father’s business was NUMBER ONE! 

And when the Jews tried to tell Him He had a devil (demon spirit), He bluntly answered. ‘I have not a devil (demon spirit): but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.’ (John 8:49) 

And later on when they asked if he was greater than Abraham and the prophets, His answer was: ‘If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me…’ (John 8:54) Yuh see mih breddren, with Jesus, it was all about the Father. And so should it be with us. 

Hear Him once more: ‘For I have not spoken of myself (my own authority), but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore; even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.’ (John 12:49-50) 

And whom did Jesus turn to in His time of greatest sorrow? The Father! That memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He fell on His face and prayed: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Even in His most fervent prayer, Jesus still acknowledged that His journey would be led by the Father’s will, not His. 

And finally, here is this episode from Mark which really shows Jesus’ strong, steady and faithful connection to His heavenly Father. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

The scholars then tell us: 1:35. Mark emphasizes that it was a great while before day. Showing that Jesus began each day of His earthly ministry with prayer is only the secondary intention of this verse. The primary aim is to show how Jesus made important decisions: by earnest, persistent prayer. 

Here Jesus stands at the crossroads of decision: His first year of public preaching (vs. 9-20) has borne little visible fruit. But His miracles of healing are drawing huge crowds (vs.31-32) and bringing Him recognition (v.28). 

So the question is whether He should continue to put the stress of His ministry on the preaching of the gospel for the healing of man’s diseased soul, or place the stress of His work on the more popular performing of miracles for the healing of man’s body. To make the proper choice, He seeks by prayer the Father’s wisdom.’  

And He certainly received the right answer: place the stress on healing our sinful souls! All praise and thanks to God for filling Him with that heavenly wisdom! Otherwise our bodies would have been healed, but our souls would still have been bound for Hades. 

Now let’s go home, safe and secure in the knowledge of our Tuesday Mantra, as we declare it loudly, proudly and sincerely. ‘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 if you truly believe it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus made it a point to first talk to the Father…then why shouldn’t we lesser mortals do the same eh…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well my people, we did not get the rain that we were expecting in my area yesterday, it just remained drab and cloudy, showing promise, but nothing else. However, shortly after midnight, heavenly showers came pelting down in a big way and finally the thirsty ground was watered and refreshed. Praise to God! 

Right now it’s still damp and cloudy outside, and who knows what will happen later on. But nonetheless it’s Friday, and the weekend looms large and the ordinary workingman can’t help but shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! It seems like the weekend would never come! And massa work so blooming hard…and the pay so li’l bit! 

But for the next couple days we don’t have to worry about massa and he work at all, at all nuh. It’s we time to do what we want… where and with whom. And believe me, come rain or shine, we going to party hearty for the next couple days! Oh Thank God for Fridays and the weekends! Party people, let the party begin!’ 

And who doesn’t like a party eh, especially after a hard week of work? But the boundaries, friends, the boundaries must be tighter than those the ordinary workingman seem to be proposing, else we’re liable to fall into too many evil, ungodly and carnal acts of the flesh, which won’t sit right with our supposed Christian character. 

Our Friday Chant contains a much better intent, so let’s declare it now in all sincerity and truth. ‘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!’ 

Oh people, I know that it seems to take all the fun out of living, out of the carnal aspect of life yes, but it reinforces our Christian values, which we need to keep firm and steadfast so that we don’t fall to the endless temptation that the evil enemy constantly throws at us. 

That brings us to our Bit, immortal words of Jesus, a part of what He gave us as a blueprint for prayer. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ 

Yes, precious followers of Christ, we indeed need to seek the power of God to help us resist the entreaties of the evil one, who constantly comes bearing worldly, carnal, sinful gifts to entice us into foregoing our righteousness. 

We can’t do it on our own, for our sinful and lustful flesh naturally leans towards the ungodly things of the world. And it’s only through the amazing power of God, His Holy Spirit working in us, that we can resist the fleshly pleasures and beautiful looking things of the world that are constantly held up to us for participation and acceptance. 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that verse. ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. 

The prayer closes with a doxology of praise: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11. Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s faith and hope; hungry hope and expectant faith that carries us through the dark times, as well as the good times. Let’s not forget our awesome God when things are going well with us, as we are so tempted to do. Remembering all the good things He has done for us in the past helps to strengthen our faith. 

Now let’s end with the magnificent prayer of Bruh David to which the scholars alluded, after he encouraged his people to give generously to the building of the Lord’s sanctuary. 

‘Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. 

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.’ (1 Chr.29:11-13) 

What beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving friends! Please, let’s allow them to seep into our hearts and souls today, and gently simmer there as we go about doing the work of Jesus. That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…God does not tempt…He combats temptation…

 

 

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