Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2018 Zephaniah 2:3

Zephaniah 2:3.   Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgement (upheld his justice); seek righteousness, seek meekness (humility); it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.

And the revolving door revolves once more…and what does it open on …MONDAY! And the whole crowd goes wild, shouting: ‘Yay! It’s Monday once again! Time to go back out to work; to have a good time in this evil old world, witnessing for our Lord and Saviour, Leader and Field General, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to whom all knees must bow and all tongues confess that He is indeed Lord of all, to the glory of our heavenly Father! 

Wow mih breddren! What an opening on this chilly Monday morning in this Christmas season of 2018! (smile) And I know that’s not how it is with most of us, but that’s how it ought to be if we sincerely have Jesus in our lives and live those lives based on His wise advice. But since we are so imperfect, stubborn and ‘own way’ (smile) we will forever have problems getting ourselves together to go out and labour after having the short two days off on the weekend. 

However, we have the solution and answer to that problem; it’s a li’l thing called prayer, in particular, one called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! And believe me, it works wonders on mornings like these, lifting our spirits and helping us get ourselves together so that we can do our bounden duty, that which we spoke about in the opening passage. 

Brother! What a way the ole fella waxing philosophical this morning. (smile) But enough of that philosophical stuff yes, it not getting us anywhere nuh. Instead, let’s delve into the reality of the situation, the meat and potatoes section and declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with how much ever enthusiasm we can muster. 

Altogether 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!’ And again we say… ‘AMEN!’ Yeh friends, one more ‘So let it be,’ just for good measure. (smile)  

Oh, the power of prayer my people! It’s awesome! Yuh see how yuh demeanour just changed after sincerely invoking the name of Jesus, our heavenly Advocate, to the Father? A feeling of peace and contentment and joy just suddenly enveloped you as the Holy Spirit did its marvellous job on the advocacy of the Son, and the orders of the Father! 

And it all comes about through hope, through faith, and through belief in the One and Only True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as personified by His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ! And yuh know what friends? In these last days, these difficult, evil and troubling times, I believe we need to find that One True God and hold on to Him for dear life, because things are not getting better, but worse. 

And in a time like ours in Israel, the prophet Zephaniah had this dire warning for his deviant and defiant people, re the scope of divine justice. ‘Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgement (upheld his justice); seek righteousness, seek meekness (humility); it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.’ 

My people, those are words we should heed with as much alacrity as possible, because we know neither the day nor the hour when calamity shall befall us individually, as well as the overall world. And believe me,  it will because of the disgraceful, disgusting, ungodly manner in which we’re currently living. 

Yeh friends, the Lord is indeed long-suffering, but that doesn’t mean we can get away with wilful disobedience for ever. At some time His patience will run out, as it did on several occasions with Israel, and we will pay a hefty price, just like they did. 

The psalmist reminded Israel of the Lord’s good works on their behalf, and by extension on our behalf too. ‘Seek ye the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Remember the marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth. O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. He is the Lord our God: his judgements are in all the earth.’ (Ps.105:4-8) 

Yes my fellow believers, the Lord’s word and judgements are all over the earth, because the earth is His; He made it and still controls it, and nothing happens without His allowing it. So let’s wake up and smell the coffee nuh, be wise and write these words of Amos the prophet, spoken long ago on the Lord’s behalf, indelibly in our hearts, spirits and souls: ‘For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live.’ (Amos 5:4) Nuff said! A word to the wise is sufficient! Much LOVE!

…before anything else…seek ye first the kingdom of God…and His righteousness…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2018 1 Corinthians 9:24.

1 Corinthians 9:24.   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.

‘On your marks; get set; Go!’ Yeh friends the race of life continues in earnest this Monday morning after the brief respite of the weekend. As soon as the trumpet sounds, you have to be off and running, if you want to be successful in this race. It’s not a simple sprint, but a long distance venture. 

So though you can’t run it all in one spurt, there is still no time to waste, no time to make excuses and just plod along. If we are entered under Jesus’ flag, then we have to give it our very best; make hay while the sun shines. So let’s get a move on nuh. The enemy’s runners are already gathering steam, and we can’t afford to let them get too far ahead of us. 

And to help bolster our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty spunk and enthusiasm, knowing that it will raise our adrenaline levels and give us the jolt that so many of us desperately need. In unison 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!’ 

Ah mih breddren, what an exciter and encourager that prayer is! (smile) Now let’s hit the road, dressed in Jesus’ colours, heads held high, with a strong sense of purpose; that being winning the race of life in His name. Glory to God! 

And we all know Bruh Paul’s famous statement to the Corinthians about running their race, which is a most appropriate Bit for today. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.’ Yeh friends, we have to run so that we can win, otherwise it doesn’t make any sense running. 

And the scholars offer this explanation of Bruh Paul’s remark. ‘9:24. Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all his readers. They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’ 

I would probably compare it more to the modern Olympic Games, since more people know about that than American football. Anyhow my fellow believers, it is of the utmost importance for each of us to run our earthly race to the best of our ability. The Lord has given each of us the talents He wants us to use in running this race, so let’s use them nuh; stop hiding our talents, our lights under a bushel, let the world see them as the Lord desires. 

Now here is another famous treatise on running our race, this time from the author of Hebrews. He eloquently and enthusiastically declares: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.” (Heb.12:1) 

And the great cloud of witnesses that he’s talking about, are the saints and martyrs noted in verse 11, who had run the race before us. People like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Abel, Enoch, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barack, Samson, Bruh David, etc. etc. So it’s not like we don’t have many earlier examples to follow. But in the process, we also have to remove any impediments that might be weighing us down, (physically or spiritually) and living by faith, so we can be lithe and light and move swiftly. 

But then he mentions the greatest example of them all: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’(Heb.12:2) 

Yeh mih people, there was none whatsoever like Jesus: He blazed the trail for us, perfected the course and won with significant achievement. He despised the shame and dishonour that was involved in sacrificing His life, to save us. That’s why the Lord exalted Him, to a name above every other name, and one to which all knees will eventually bow.  

And yuh know what friends, if we run this race with faith and perseverance, we too will be honoured significantly at the end. Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

And what a day that will be my people! So let’s keep running with faith and patience nuh, so that we can win our crowns when we see Jesus. It will all be worthwhile then. Much LOVE!  

…the race is not for the swift…but for the sure of foot….and the strong of heart…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2017 Psalm 92:1.

Psalm 92:1.    It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.  

Oh friends, this Sunday morning, the first after Resurrection Sunday, we’ll lead off with our Bit, because it comes from a song for the Sabbath Day, and is simply the most appropriate way to begin our fellowship. 

‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High. To show forth (declare) thy LOVING-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery (lute, or lyre); upon the harp with a solemn (harmonious or melodic) sound. For thou Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the work of thy hands.’ (Ps.92:1-4)  

And having said all that, now let’s give thanks and sing praises to our wonderful God whose care and compassion for us can NEVER be matched. So let’s allow sincere sacrifices of praise to emanate from our mouths as we sing this Charles Wesley favourite ‘Jesus LOVER of my Soul.’ 

In full voice now, in harmonious and melodic sound: ‘Jesus, LOVER of my soul,  let me to thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high; hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last!  Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. 

All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing. Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art; freely let me take of thee; spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.’ 

Oh my fellow believer, there’s no safer place of rest and refuge in this universe than in the bosom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He is the safest of safe havens, the best guide in stormy times and the most trustworthy of all Beings! Through Him ONLY is the free gift of grace with salvation and eternal life found! 

He is the only true conduit to our heavenly Father, as well as our Chief Intercessor in the court of heaven. What a mighty Being is our Jesus; King of Kings and Lord of Lords, whom the Father exalted for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf at Calvary, giving Him the name above all other names, and before whom all knees must bow and tongues declare that He is Lord of all, to the glory of God! Hallelujah my faithful brethren! 

No wonder the psalmists declare that our God is worthy of infinite praise and thanks. Listen to Psalm 147 – Great is our God and of great power. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely (beautiful)’ (Ps.147:1) And singing praises to out magnificent and magnanimous God is indeed pleasant and beautiful! Why? 

Hear the psalmists declare it. ‘The Lord doth build up Jerusalem; he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds (sorrows). He telleth (counts) the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (limitless). The Lord lifteth up the meek (humble): he casteth the wicked down to the ground. Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God.’ (Ps.147:2-7) 

And if our God is so great and wonderful and powerful and does all the things the psalmist says, then we should indeed sing His praises with much gratitude and plenty thanksgiving! 

And if all of that did not move you, then hear these immortal words from Psalm 135 – The greatness of the Lord and the vanity (futility) of idols. ‘Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord. Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise ye the Lord, for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant (it is indeed). For the Lord has chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar (special) treasure. For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.’ (Ps.135:1-5) 

And if you believe all of that friends, then you ought to be singing much praise and thanks to your heavenly Father! And we’ll close with these momentous words from Psalm 33 – Praise to the Lord for his creation. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:1-5)  

And that’s today’s message my people. Please take it to heart in all wisdom and sincerity, for it is the gospel truth! Much LOVE!

…thou art good…and doest good…teach me thy statutes… (Ps.119:68)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2014 Matthew 21:9b

Matthew 21:9b.    Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

The trumpet sounds: Spah na na na na na! The gates open – and the triumphal entry begins: in rides our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ on a magnificent charger, just a prancing and dancing down the paved streets of gold, lined with palms and cedars of Lebanon!
 
Our conquering hero is dressed in splendid robes befitting His exalted position. A crown of gold and precious jewels sits perfectly on his head, while the scabbard containing His mighty sword dangles from His waist. It’s a picture of pure magnificence, of pure kingship!
 
A radiant smile spreads across His handsome face as the highly exuberant crowds cry out: ‘All hail the King of Glory! Jesus Christ, the Son of God; before whom all knees must bow and all tongues confess that He is Lord indeed!’
 
And at that unforgettable greeting, our glorious Redeemer raises His right hand and waves it in a beatific greeting.
 
The angels have a hard time keeping the crowds at bay, while Jesus and His legions march down the main street of Jerusalem, victorious over the foolish and fallen ingrate Lucifer – forever! 
 
Oh forgive me Friends, in my overwhelming exuberance, I jumped ahead to the Second Coming of our Saviour, arrayed in full splendour and glory as the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I’m so excited, looking forward to that day so much, that I let my emotions run away on me. (smile) But it sure is a marvellous picture though my brethren, and one we can definitely look forward to sometime in the not too distant future.
 
Today though, we’re celebrating His first triumphal entrance into Jerusalem some two thousand years ago, not yet as a conquering hero, but as a lowly and humble preacher on the verge of miraculous doings, to fulfill that ‘which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek (lowly), and sitting upon an ass (donkey), and a colt, the foal of an ass.
 
And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them. And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed (spread) them in the way (road).
 
And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.’ (Matt. 21:4-11)
 
Yes my brethren, that is how it was on Jesus’ first heralded entrance to Jerusalem, a rather low key affair in comparison to what His Second entrance will be. But it served its purpose, spread His name around some more, got people talking, wondering, filling them with expectant faith and hungry hope, just the way we are today; eagerly looking forward to the next time.
 
That’s because the next time there will be no reversal of fortunes, there will be no fickle and fearful people to change their minds about Jesus and sit idly by or enjoy His demeaning treatment and eventual crucifixion at the hands of the cruel Roman soldiers, so assiduously engineered by the greedy and politically corrupt Jewish elite. But that first Palm Sunday though was Jesus’ day, when the people really seemed to rally around Him.
 
However, listen to a couple of interesting points raised by the scholars. ’21:1-9. This event is traditionally known as the triumphal entry, when Jesus officially offers Himself to the nation of Israel as her long-awaited Messiah. However, in many ways it was far from a triumph, for the day ended in Jesus’ public prediction of His rejection by His own people. (See Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-39; John 12:12-15).
 
Bethpage was a village near Bethany, about a mile east of Jerusalem and apparently hidden from it by the summit of the Mount of Olives, which was the hill on the east of Jerusalem. The quotation in verse 5 is a combination of Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9, taken substantially from the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament.
 
Hosanna is the transliteration of a Hebrew term meaning “please save,” and occurs in 2 Samuel 14:4 and Psalm 118:25. From the following verse of this psalm the acclamation Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord is taken, Riding on the colt of an ass marked the official entry of Israel’s kings. Thus Jesus arrives in full declaration of His kingship.’
 
And all God’s people gave a rousing and joyful shout of ‘Praise the Lord, our King cometh!’
 
Yes my fellow believers, today is one of the many red letter days in the celebration of our great faith, so please let’s give it the true attention it deserves, by going to the Lord’s House and celebrating it with others of the same ilk. 
 
And we’ll end with an interesting word from Jesus as He denounces the hypocrite scribes and Pharisees. ‘For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ (Matt.23:39)
 
Yes Friends, we can all look forward with great pleasure to that awesome day! Meanwhile, enjoy today’s blessings with plenty praise and thanksgiving! Much LOVE!
 
…oh to be wrapped up in the warm and LOVING arms of Jesus…nothing to it compares…