Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2018 Psalm 148:5

Psalm 148:5.    Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded and they were created.

Seven days have passed friends, since we last visited the Lord’s sanctuary to refresh our souls and spirits. That means we are due for a refuelling today. 

So let’s all come together, gather in the Lord’s house and fellowship with enthusiasm, hope, faith, praise and worship, while He replenishes, with His word and spiritual touch, the faith we’ve used up this past week. That will enable us to go back out and work diligently and sincerely on His behalf, with a full tank of joy, LOVE, confidence, persistence and peace. 

And all of God’s children declared a loud and thankful: ‘Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And how right we are, to give God the glory for all the magnanimous and magnificent things He’s done for us. 

Now, as always, let’s begin our praise and worship with a favourite old hymn titled ‘All things bright and beautiful.’ It was written by Cecil F. Alexander around 1848. And does it ever celebrate the Lord and His creations in nature. So let’s belt it our now through lips lined with sacrificial praise and hearts filled with enormous LOVE and gratitude to our Maker. 

‘(Refrain: All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.) Each little flow’r that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. (Refrain) 

The purple-headed mountains, The river running by, The sunset and the morning That brightens up the sky.(Refrain) 

The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. (Refrain) The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, To gather every day.(Refrain) 

He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.’

Yeh friends, ALL the beauty we enjoy in nature was made by our heavenly Father, for our enjoyment. Unfortunately though, many of us, including Christians, don’t seem to appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature. 

What can be more beautiful than a golden sunset; a full moon in full glow while stars sprinkle the night sky, or birds singing sweet songs of thanks in the early morning hours as they rise and give praise to their creator. 

Chuh! But we, the most important of God’s creation find it difficult, or even impossible to thank Him for His fatherly goodness and the beauty He’s created to enliven our earthly lives. 

Now we’re going to spend the rest of this message giving Him some of the praise He so worthily deserves. And we’ll begin with Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord – from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps.148:1-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! The Lord commanded everything to be made that was made! Therefore everything that was made, especially man, ought to be constantly singing His praises and admiring His handiwork. And He even went a step further than just creating them: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall never pass.’ (Ps.148:6) Glory to God friends! 

Nothing God has made shall pass away unless He wills it. Therefore ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps (sea creatures): Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: 

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. 

He also exalteth the horn (strength) of his people, the praise of all of his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Oh my people, how awesome is our God eh! I can’t understand why we refuse to exalt and glorify Him the way we should. But this Sunday morning, as we gather to worship Him, let’s begin changing that nuh. Let’s raise up our voices and our hearts in gratitude and tenderness and LOVE and exaltation, so that He can know that we truly appreciate Him and bring a beautiful smile to His face and a glow of warmth to His heart! Much LOVE!

…by the word of the Lord…were the heavens made…and all the hosts of them…by the breath of his mouth… (Ps.33:6)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.    And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Awright friends and faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth! So let’s take advantage of it nuh, because we don’t know how many more we will be blessed with, if any, and let’s open today by declaring like the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

Wow! What a positive opening statement friends! That sets the tone for the rest of our day. We have the opportunity now to go out and enjoy God’s favour; His mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness as we work with diligence and excellence to do His awesome, holy will. 

Mama Mia! It couldn’t get any better than that in this sinful and wicked world nuh mih people! Living under Christ’s umbrella is the best antidote for all that ails the world and us. 

And I have a li’l something to share from C.S. Lewis that describes our Christian walk. He says: ‘To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! God has forgiven us so greatly that it’s only reasonable and to be expected that we forgive others. 

And you know what friends? That isn’t even an individual choice we have, because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader and heavenly King, Jesus Christ enshrined it as a decree in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, as our Bit declares: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

Now what does that mean? The scholar’s offer this explanation: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’  

A good thing too, else some of us would still be confessing. (smile) And why is forgiveness so important you wonder? Well Jesus explains a couple of verses later. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.12:14-15) 

It’s as simple as that my brethren! Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Don’t forgive, and you won’t be forgiven. As the old people would say, ‘tit for tat.’ And would you believe, that in spite of Christ’s serious warning, forgiveness is currently one of the world’s biggest problems? And not only on the small, individual scale, but also on the large national stage. 

What do you think is causing so many small wars and skirmishes to continue to flower and flourish all over the world eh? Memories of wars and other atrocities committed by long ago descendants. But the current ones have not forgotten or forgiven, so the anger, bitterness and hatred continue, unfortunately festering the souls of legions of people who had nothing to do with the initial atrocities. 

Just look at the distrust and angst between the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese that now plays out in international affairs because of the way the Japanese ravaged the Chinese and Koreans in the recent wars. It’s the same thing in the Middle East. Thousands of years have passed and old wounds are still festering. Look at Britain, with Wales, Scotland and Ireland; the same thing is happening. 

Old injuries and slights are still playing a vibrant part in today’s scenarios. And we won’t even talk about what’s happening with the individual members of our society. Forgiveness is anathema; repugnant and odious to so many of us, as we scurry through the rat race, the dog eat dog scene that’s today’s world. 

We’re only interested in our own aggrandizement, and anyone that gets in our way, too bad for them. We want to be forgiven, but we refuse to forgive. And if yuh think that forgiving is a one-time deal, you better had think again. For when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother ‘till seven times?’ Jesus replied: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

So friends, forgiveness is an ongoing action. It never stops. Once there has been an infraction, there needs to be forgiveness. And the sad part of the matter is that forgiveness isn’t so much for the other person, but for you the forgiver. It releases your spirit from anger and bitterness and all the other negative emotions that clutter up your soul when you refuse to forgive. 

Oftimes the person who you think has done you wrong, doesn’t even know it, or care, and goes on about their business regardless, while you hold all the unforgiveness in your heart. You are the one who’s suffering because you refuse to let go of the wrong. That’s not a very wise way to live my brethren. So please, let’s raise our level of forgiveness, and see how it raises the level of the remainder of our life nuh. 

Now let’s go home shouting out to the world, our position in Jesus Christ through our Wednesday Wail. Altogether 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 oh, how glorious indeed, will be that future with Jesus! I cant wait to experience it! Much LOVE!

…to forgive, forgive…and yet to forgive…that’s the message of Christ…and His cross…