Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 December 2019 Psalm 14:1.

Psalm 14:1.    ​The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable iniquity (works): there is none that doeth good.
 

Oh my people, let me begin by apologizing for the lateness of the Bit. But I was really abed rather late this morning and thus my rising was also rather late. The devil got in my spirit! Chuh! I looked at the clock and thought I saw eight, but it was really nine. (smile) And to upset the apple cart even further, remember yesterday I spoke about missing seeing the snow on the housetops? Well who says there isn’t a dusting of snow on the housetops and the ground this Wednesday morning eh! 

As the ole people would warn, be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it, but then realize it’s not what you really wanted. And I guess that can be a warning for many of us this Christmas season, where we tend to desire so much stuff, half of which we don’t really need, but the season just seems to spawn our feelings of want and greed. Remember too, the old Jamaican saying: ‘wanty wanty nuh get it.’ (smile) I guess the ole fella is in an ole people frame of mind this morning. (smile) 

And keeping all that stuff in mind, the Lord has led me to this rather potent scripture for us to check out this morning; something dealing with the foolishness of men. Oh my people, has mankind ever gotten unbelievably foolish in these trying times! It seems like the more worldly knowledge he acquires, the more foolish he becomes. Listen to Bruh David’s opening statement in his contemplation on the subject. ‘The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable iniquity (works): there is none that doeth good.’ 

And if Bruh David thought that things were bad in his time, he should see them now. He would hold his head and bawl like crazy, such is the ungodliness and sinfulness of man. As I said earlier, it seems like the more prosperous and knowledgeable the Lord allows him to become, the more evil and ungodly he becomes. Yeah, because he thinks that all that increase is his doing. How foolish and short sighted can we be eh my people? How can we ever forget that it’s the Lord God Almighty who created us in the first place and now allows us the opportunity to get wealth and knowledge? 

As Bruh David continues: ‘The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God.’ (Ps.14:2) Oh friends, don’t you think the Lord is doing the same thing today? Most definitely! And what do you think He’s finding eh? The very same thing Bruh David found in his time; a whole set of ungodliness and unrighteousness, and in greater numbers too. ‘They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy (corrupt): there is none that doeth good, no not one.’ (Ps. 14:3) 

And you don’t have to be a seer, or overflowing with wisdom to know and see the indescribable level of corruption that’s present in our current world. And what makes it even worse, is the blatant, blase, don’t care, ‘unfearing’ way in which it’s been promoted and promulgated! The question God asked through Bruh David back then is also very apropos to our time. ‘Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.’ (Ps. 14:4) Oh my faithful brethren, I guess the answer to that is a loud ‘NO!’ 

Now check out this info from the scholars. ‘Psalm 14. This psalm could be dedicated to the atheist. With the denial of God’s existence comes the moral decay described in verses 1-6, and which was used by Paul to prove the universal depravity of the human race (Rom. 3:10-12). While the fool may deny that God is, the righteous finds in Him the object of hopeful prayer for deliverance (vs.7).’ And I had to chuckle when I read about the psalm being a possible dedication to the atheist. 

And yuh wouldn’t believe how bold face the atheist and them could be nuh? Recently I heard something about them fighting to be called a church! Steups! If you don’t believe in the existence of any god, how can you have a church eh? But it seems like what they really want is the ability to become a non-profit or charitable organization, so they can reap the tax and other monetary benefits. As usual; it’s all about the money! 

And I don’t know why, but the same psalm is also found in the Psalter as Psalm 53. According to the scholars, it’s been slightly revised. ‘Two major differences are apparent: this psalm (53) substitutes the generic word for God, Elohim, for the personal name of God used in Psalm 14, Yahweh. This was done evidently to give the psalm a wider appeal. Second, verse 5 has been rewritten and has become an encouraging affirmation of God’s protection.’ 

So let’s hear it nuh: ‘There they were in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.’ (Ps. 53:5) Oh my fellow believers, our great, powerful and ever-faithful God will do the same thing for us, because He still despises the workers of iniquity and has promised to eradicate them and send them into the realms of eternal darkness, just in His own time. So please hang in there and don’t give up! 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail letting the heathen, the atheist, the workers of iniquity know right well our strong and potent position in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And please be reassured that if we keep that up, we will be rewarded with a future so glorious that our puny, finite minds won’t be able to comprehend it. (smile) That’s how great and wonderful our God is! Much LOVE!

…foolishness is highly contagious…so please stay away from it…

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 9 December 2019 Psalm 136:1.

Psalm 136:1.    ​O Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.

 

Come now precious people of God, let us get ourselves together in fine style and fashion this Monday morning, and go out and do Jesus’ work with a good, upstanding attitude nuh! It’s the least we can do to show our gratitude for all that He’s done for us. And all God’s children said: ‘Praise the Lord!’ It’s amusing, but sad, that every Monday morning the enemy clogs up so many of our souls and spirits that we can’t function the way we ought to. It’s just something we have to keep fighting through though. 

And to help us do that, we have this awesome prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we take our troubles to the Lord, asking for His beneficence in this our time of need, reminding Him that it’s His Son’s work we’re seeking strength, courage and wisdom to do. So altogether now, let’s raise our hearts, souls and voices to high heaven: ‘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, heaven heard that sincere, heartfelt prayer and the Lord immediately directed the Holy Spirit to begin working in us, to start energizing us so that we can go out and successfully do Jesus’ work; LOVING people, helping them, and causing them to want to come to Him to lay down their heavy burdens and find rest for their weary souls. No wonder the psalmist could pay the ultimate tribute to our God by declaring (steups!) in the very first verse of his psalm: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’ What  gospel truth friends! 

And the psalmist felt so strongly about it that he continued: ‘O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of Lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.’ (Ps. 136:2-3) And yuh better believe that the other 23 verses of the psalm all end in “for his mercy endureth for ever.’ (smile) According to the scholars, ‘The psalm was no doubt sung antiphonally with the people responding with the refrain: “for his mercy endureth for ever.” The word mercy was important in the Psalter. It refers to God’s loyal LOVE for His people. He is in covenant with them, and He LOVES to be loyal to that covenant.’ 

And just to show how important mercy (LOVING-kindness) was to the psalmists, please check out Psalms 106 and 107, they both begin the same way. Jeremiah also declared it when he promised that Judah would be revived. ‘The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land (the captives to return), as at the first, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.33:11) 

And just to remind us, the Lord still delights in the sacrifice of praise. So if you’re in dire need of mercy, of LOVING-kindness, then that’s the way to go! (smile) Even Bruh David used it in his psalm of thanksgiving after he’d brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.16:34-36) 

Oh my fellow believers, we could not end this morning on a better note. So please, let’s cry out to our great God, He of our salvation, to help and save us, and offer up a sincere sacrifice of praise. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord!’ Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing that delights the Lord more…than hearing His awesome praises being declared…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2019 John 1:14.

John 1:14.    ​And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us. (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
 

And since there are only seven days in a week, it is expected that we’d come back to the first one, Sunday, in a mere seven days time. (smile) Yeh, I know it seems to come around too quickly for our liking, but that’s the way our wise and wonderful God made it, so we had better learn to accept it with a good attitude. I think that the Lord, since He created us, also knew that our batteries would only stay charged for that long, so we’d not be of much use to Him unless we were recharged every week. And that’s why He chose Sunday as a day of rest, for us to come and fellowship and worship, and praise and give thanks and be refreshed and recharged so that we can go out in the following week with restored confidence and enthusiasm. 

Anyway, enough palaver, (smile) let’s get the show on the road. And today we’re going to open with one of our favourite Christmas hymns: ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing,’ that rousing number from the pen of the master hymnist, Charles Wesley (1707-1788). So what we waiting for eh? Let’s belt it out nuh, with strong harmonious voices and sincere hearts, as we think on Jesus’ First Coming at Christmas time. 

‘Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King: peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic hosts proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” (Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King”) Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of the Virgin’s womb: veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the ‘incarnate Deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel. 

[Refrain] Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King” Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King” 

Ah friends, that was indeed a rousing rendition of that ageless ditty! Now I’m going to strive to show Wesley’s mastery of the scriptures by pointing out some of the timeless and important verses he used to cobble the whole thing together. We’ll take it stanza by stanza. In stanza one he relies on the words of Luke and 2 Corinthians. ‘And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. ‘ (Luke 2:13-14) 

‘And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit (that is), that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them (forgiving them): and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor.5:18-19)  And was that ever a wonderful day when Christ was born and the Lord removed all hostility caused by sin, between Himself and mankind and thus allowed a renewed and right relationship! 

And for the second stanza, he uses verses like this one: ‘Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under elements of the world (the rudimentary teachings of the law). But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.’ (Gal. 4:3-5) In God’s time, He sent His Son, born of a woman, under the law, to die for our sins. 

And the second verse also reflects this potent scripture in John. ‘And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us. (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:14) Yes Friends, through Christ’s incarnation (miracle birth), the world saw the Father in all His glory, through the Son, who was both human and God at the same time! 

And we all know where the beginning of verse three hails from; the mighty prophecy of Isaiah: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’ (Is. 9:6) And Malachi is also in there: ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).’ (Mal. 4:2) 

Then these words from Philippians also play a part in Wesley’s thinking. ‘Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:6-8) And this verse from 1 Peter also seems to have some bearing on the last stanza. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet. 1:3) 

So my Christian brethren, you see that a good knowledge of God’s word is an invaluable tool in our lives! If Wesley didn’t know the Good Book as well as he did, he’d never be able to write such a marvellous and all-embracing hymn. That’s why we have to strive diligently to learn the Word, for only when it’s safely ensconced in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, are we able to work wonders on God’s behalf. Much LOVE!

…Christmas is only the beginning…of our heavenly journey…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2019 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.    ​Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Rest my people, rest! It’s Saturday and after a hard week of work we need to rest before we begin anything else. But no doubt many of us will be already up and doing, busy with the Christmas shopping and decorating and planning and what have you! Bless all you fine souls! (smile) Thankfully the ole fella is into none of that. The duchess doesn’t need my help in doing her business. In fact, she considers me a hindrance in her path…and I’m quite happy with that, although some of the decorations she puts up around the house tend to be inconvenient in doing things like climbing the stairs. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s get positive on this dreary looking Saturday morning and check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I do hope that like the last two days, the afternoon will turn out to be bright and sunshiny. And here is the first quote: ‘Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.’ Now that first part is of the utmost importance, especially for believers! Sadly, in this current world the word commitment doesn’t exist. Very few of us are serious about doing what we say we will do. 

And it’s not only the worldly who don’t keep commitments, but lots of believers too. Just think what would happen to us if Jesus decided on some whim and fancy, that He simply could not be bothered any longer and was tired and fed up with us, and refused to keep His commitments eh? We would all send up a storm of outrage, of shock and disappointment! Well it’s the same thing that happens when we don’t keep our commitments; people bank on them and are disappointed when we renege on them, especially without any warning. Yeh, we do need to be somewhat flexible in our approach, but the decision to commit to something must first be made with serious consideration, not a wishy-washy attitude, thinking we can easily get out of them. 

And I like this next quote: ‘Be so busy LOVING your life that you have no time for hate, regret or fear.’ Oh friends, what wonderful advice that is! When you consider and concentrate on the positive aspects of your life, there’s no room left for the negative ones to infiltrate and sour up your situation! Granted, life won’t be always rosy, but it’s up to you to bring a good attitude to it, because life itself is basically a negative force and a bully-boy to boot! So therefore this situation will present itself: ‘We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.’ 

Oh yes my people, we have an opportunity at the start of every year to begin a new chapter in our book of life with a new attitude toward the numerous opportunities that will come our way. But here’s a li’l ‘secrat’, as my young daughter used to say: The first words on that bright clean new page of opportunity ought to read: ‘LOVE Jesus more than ever this year!’ And why is that you ask? Because when we hobnob with Jesus, we get more and better opportunities! As simple as that! No rocket science education is needed to decipher that. So let’s promise ourselves that those words will open our new book and chapter for 2020 nuh, because 2020 will be the most important year ever, in many of our lives, and the life of this whole confused and turbulent world! 

And as always, we try to keep the best for last: ‘Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.’ Oh my people, those are indeed awesome and amazing words; words of gospel truth! There’s nothing that can transform our lives and attitudes like gratitude, like being thankful, like having a heart that’s bursting with thankfulness! Yes friends, when we’re truly thankful, our ordinary, mundane days become days of thanksgiving; we don’t dread them, or complain about their same old, same old nature. 

And on top of that whatever job(s) we need to do, they morph into things of joy, instead of routine or difficult tasks. And better still, simple, ordinary opportunities become blessings in our enlightened and thankful eyes! Oh mih people, there’s nothing like thanks and gratitude to help us endure the vicissitudes of life! No wonder the Good Book is chock full of scriptures on giving thanks and being grateful. Let’s look at a few as time and space permit. And  it’s ever important to notice that Jesus though he was God, ALWAYS gave thanks to the Father. 

 Note His words in Matthew 11: ‘At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.’ (Matt. 11:25) And please notice too that when He fed the five thousand, His first act was thanksgiving: ‘and looking up to heaven, he blessed and brake, and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.’ (Matt.14:19) And likewise, when Jesus fed the four thousand, His first act was to give thanks. ‘And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them…’ (Matt.15: 36) Even at the Last Supper, thanks was uppermost. ‘Jesus took bread and blessed it… And He took the cup, and gave thanks…’ (Matt. 26:26-27) 

Consequently Bruh Paul filled his writings with the giving of thanks. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 16:57) ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil. 4:6) 

And check out this last scripture when Bruh Paul was on his way to Rome to be tried and most likely killed. ‘And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as the Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns (Inns): whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.’ (Acts. 28:15) Yuh see friends, thanks and gratitude can even bring you courage in rough times. So let’s decide today to live the life of thanksgiving that as believers we’re required to live nuh. Our lives would be ever so much more abundant, prosperous and filled with joy! Much LOVE!

…a true believer’s life and heart…are clothed with thanks and thanksgiving…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2019 Luke 1:45.

Luke 1:45.    ​And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 

‘Snow, snow, snow… Canadian snow!’ Yeah friends, yesterday it was just a mere veneer, (smile) and the day turned into a rather nice one. Today though it’s a full blown coat – white everywhere! (smile) And I guess it must have blindsided many commuters when they hit the road this morning, because I went to bed around 3, and there was none of that fresh stuff on the ground then. So please be very careful if you have to go out today. I know I’m not going anywhere! (smile) But since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Yes, Friday has shown up at long last! It’s been a roughish week; what with the children harassing me to get into the Cyber Monday nonsense, some bad weather and the boss in a sour mood…even more sour and snarly than usual, and for some reason I can’t sleep properly when the night come, so all day ah more tired than anything else. Steups! Don’t even have no enthusiasm for Christmas when I am usually a Christmas man, it’s my favourite season of the year. And then the wife been nagging me to put up lights and Christmas tree and what not. 

Chuh! Usually, she don’t have to badger or bully me to do that. But this year ah just not in the mood for all the Christmas stuff. Don’t know if I’m just getting old and tired, or I need a long vacation in a hot climate, with sea, salt, sand and rum! Now there’s an interesting idea! It’s really sparked my interest. How wonderful it would be to get away from this cold, snowy weather for a while eh! But right now that’s just a pipe dream because I can’t afford to take the whole family away, and I can’t just go by mihself. So I’ll just have to come back down to earth and say, Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui, hoping that I can get some proper sleep during the weekend, and that my normal enthusiasm for Christmas will return after that!’ 

Ah friends, the vagaries of life and the weather eh! We never know when whatever will hit us and just change our mood and attitude, but once we hold on tightly to Jesus, no mater what we go through, we know we will come out of it okay; no burning in the fire, or drowning in the flood. None of us are immune from such situations, but we at least have a more positive song to sing come the weekend, what we call our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it now nuh with sincere thanks and strong sense of purpose. 

As one voice: ‘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!’ At least when we’re down in the dumps, we have a great God, Helper and Comforter to cry out to. 

And I think it’s necessary for us to continue with Mary’s story to see just how the Lord administers His faithfulness to those who faithfully do His work. Remember yesterday we saw where Mary accepted the Lord’s will without a hassle. But then the Good Book tells us: ‘And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted (greeted) Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation (greeting) of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation (greeting) sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.’ (Luke 1:39-44) 

Oh friends, what a great dramatist is our God! Knowing that Mary would need human help and confidence and support in the unenviable task He had given her, He sent her to her cousin Elisabeth, who, in her own lesser way, was tasked with God’s holy will. For, hitherto barren, she was then carrying John the Baptist, the forerunner of Mary’s child, Jesus. And the Master Dramatist set it up so skillfully through the Holy Ghost, that when Mary greeted Elisabeth, her eyes were opened to God’s proposed doing, and the unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in her womb, cause he also felt the godly connection. 

And who says our wonderful God doesn’t move in strange, mysterious and awesome ways eh! But they always have a useful purpose. Now hear these interesting words that God also put into Elisabeth’s mouth for Mary’s encouragement. ‘And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is our God eh! From Mary’s acceptance of her task, He began encouraging her and building her faith even more. Thus after hearing Elisabeth’s prophecy, she was able to declare the awesome words of faith we know as ‘The Magnificat!’ 

‘And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maidservant): for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed…’ (Luke 1:46-48) Unfortunately friends, we don’t have space or time to record all of Mary’s words on that most auspicious occasion, but you can read them in Luke 1:46-55. Then the Good Book adds this important info: ‘And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.’ (Luke 1:56) 

So the Lord allowed Mary to spend a good while with Elisabeth so that she could be further encouraged. And He does that with all who work sincerely for Him my brethren. I can tell you that from personal experience. Without His awesome help and encouragement I could not write this Bit everyday. So whatever God has given you to do, please don’t despair, call out to Him for help, if needs be, and He will faithfully offer it. You can better your bottom dollar on it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…working for the Lord…might be hard…but it’s certainly adventurous and awe-inspiring…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2019 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.    ​Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 

Oh friends, there’s nothing more annoying, frustrating and depressing than waking up excitedly to greet the new day only to find a fresh coat of snow on the ground! Chuh! And it only gets more annoying, frustrating and depressing when you look out and see the small, weightless, white flakes still falling effortlessly to God’s great earth! I’m chuckling here, but you know that once the white stuff flies, lives will undoubtedly become more serious and dangerous, because it looks good when it just covers the land, but it can certainly be the devil’s associate when you have to venture out in it. 

It’s a good thing we have Jesus yes, that awesome shepherd, who leads and guides His flock with masterful precision…! Give Him some thanks and praise people, for He’s certainly deserving of it! And isn’t it strange, but certainly wonderful, how in the northern climes when the snow flies, that’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus? Glory be mih brethren! The ole fella’s getting excited…so yuh better hold me back! I need to do like Jeeves says, have a modicum of circumspection… 

Nah, I don’t think so. When you’re excited about Jesus, you just have to let it flow! (smile) So we going to do just that by continuing where we left off yesterday, talking about Jesus’ miraculous virgin birth, His supernatural conception in His mother Mary’s womb, the wonderful incarnation where He, Jesus, God, became flesh (incarnate) to come and dwell amongst sinful man, to personally experience our hardships and then gloriously deliver us from them through His sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross, His triumphant resurrection on that wonderful Easter morn, and then His ascension back to heaven to be our friend and advocate at the Father’s right hand! 

How could it get any better than that eh mih people? No way Jose! We now have another, newer and much better option than his satanic majesty. That’s why it’s so mind-boggling when people refuse to believe in Jesus, and even go so far as to blaspheme His holy name and try to kick Him out of our society! Steups! What stupidity! Anyway, they will get their comeuppance in due time, because as the ole people say; time longer than twine, and when the good Lord ready, in His time, He will make all wrong things right. 

Now yuh see, all yuh get me so excited that I’ve gotten away from what we suppose to be talking about! (smile) And that’s the momentous occasion when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her about her favoured condition with God and the virgin birth she would have. And having listened to Gabriel’s spiel with, no doubt, bated breath, Mary finally found her voice. ‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’ Oh what a most plausible question, back in those times that is. Today we do that all the time through artificial insemination.  

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35-36) And so it should be, because the sperm that inseminated Mary was of God the Father, and we characterize children by their fathers, so it’s a no brainer that Jesus should be considered the Son of God. (smile) 

As the scholars explain: ‘1:35. By a process we cannot explain, Mary will find herself with child through no human agency. Conceived by God, Jesus would be of sinless nature, though no less human due to that fact.’ Wow! Both God and man at the same time! How marvellous! That means He could appreciate our trials and tribulations because He also suffered them, though He did not sin! Isn’t our God wonderful and ever so imaginative and far sighted? That’s why his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. 

And to prove my point, listen to this bit of news that Gabriel shared with Mary to boost her spirit. ‘And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) Yuh see how our great God moves in mysterious ways? Elisabeth had been barren for all of her life, but like Sara and Hannah, in her old age she was blessed with one of God’s special people, John the Baptist; Christ’s forerunner; the one lighting His way, crying out from the wilderness: ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ (Matt. 3:2) 

Yeh friends, our God doesn’t leave anything to chance. He knew that when Mary heard of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, her spirit would be boosted. And in my humble opinion, there’s no more touching, heartfelt and faith-showing scripture than Mary’s answer to the mind-blowing info she’d just received. ‘And Mary said, behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Mama Mia! What faith and trust and surrender in such a young woman! Even today we’d have serious problems with such a situation. But can you imagine the negative connotations that held for her in a small Jewish town; betrothed, but unmarried and with child, and supposedly not her betrothed’s child either? But she didn’t whinge and whine; just said, so be it. I do hope that Mary’s story will speak to us today and raise our level of faith, because it’s such a faith inducing epic. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us who live and breathe to do His holy Will. As one, in strong voice, believing as we speak: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now don’t forget, we’re not to hoard those God-given blessings, but to share them generously with others! Much LOVE!

…what a wonderful world this would be…if our faith was as big as Mary’s…

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