Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2021 Psalm 42:5b.

Psalm 42:5b.​       Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

Welcome to Easter Tuesday friends! And the in-crowd place to meet today is in the town of Buccoo, in sweet Tobago, where Goat Races are the featured event of the day…and has been for many, many years! It’s become so big, that they even built a stadium just to hold it! Awesome! But who knows if it’s going to be happening in this pandemic time, with the lockdown that’s currently in place? 

However, given the ingenuity of my people, I wouldn’t vote against it happening, though in some reduced form and fashion, especially since I understand that Tobago is now the new playground for Trinidad, as the citizens can’t go further afield. Yes people, when it comes to partying, you can’t beat a Trinbagonian to find unique ways and means to bring it to fruition! 

But what we all need, so much more than partying is to cultivate an intense longing for Almighty God, our Maker, Controller. Deliverer and Provider! That’s because He’s so awesome, so LOVING and compassionate, so protective of His people, hides us from the rain, heals us when we’re broken…! What else do I need to point out for us to understand that our God is great and greatly to be praised eh? And that the number one purpose for which we were created is to praise and worship Him, to have a most excellent communication between the Creator and the created! 

Wow! My God is awesome! He’s the giver of salvation, author and finisher of our faith, high priest of our church…and so many other wonderful things! And instead of partying in the evil sense of the word, we ought to be rejoicing in the righteous way that speaks of Jesus; of His most awesome deliverance of sinful man in this Easter Season! No one else could do the miraculous deeds that He’s done. So we ought to celebrate His mercy, holiness, His forgiveness, grace and wonderful, unconditional LOVE for us, instead of bowing to the evil fool Satan and desiring to enjoy the pleasures of sin, instead of the righteousness of God! 

So what we should be doing, as I said earlier on, is cultivating an intense longing for our awesome God! In these trying and troubled times of worldwide sickness and strife, only a return to God in true and sincere repentance can solve them! Yes my brethren, like the Sons of Korah sing in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – let’s do the same nuh, let’s celebrate and worship our graceful, merciful and awe-inspiring God. So let’s lift our hands, as we lift our voices in prayer. 

‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast).’ (Ps. 42:1-4) 

Yes friends, in earlier times we would go to the Lord’s sanctuary and praise His holy name in song and prayer. But then, as we became successful and prosperous, we began moving away from the very source of our success and prosperity. We forgot that it is the Lord who allows us to get wealth and prosperity, and instead began trying to turf Him out of our society. And now that immense strife and sickness have befallen us, we’re wondering what happened, how such a plague befell us? And the simple answer is that we turned away from God and began praising the devil instead. So now that we can’t find remedies for our awful predicament, we’re wondering what to do. 

But like the sons of Korah asked so long ago: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted with me?’ (Ps. 42:5a) Today friends, the correct answer to the problem is still: ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps. 42:5b) Yes my people, that’s the only sensible answer there is to our current troubles…hope in the God of our forefathers! 

Hear the sons of Korah continue with their praise nuh. ‘O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill (the mount of) Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts (waterfalls): all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 

Yet the Lord will command his LOVING-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones (the shattering of my bones), mine enemies reproach (revile) me; while they say daily (all day long) unto me, Where is thy God?’ (Ps. 42:6-10) 

And yes, my fellow believers, the heathen are at our throats every day with that question. And that then leads us to ask ourselves: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?’ And what’s our reply? ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my giver of salvation) and my God.’ (Ps. 42:11) Oh friends, let’s praise His holy name! Let’s look back over our lives and see where the Lord has brought us from, the mighty and magnificent things He’s done for us, and realize that He can, and will do the same things for us, once we are obedient to His word and will! 

And I like this explanation from the scholars about the overall effects of psalms 42 and 43, which in some Hebrew texts are joined together. ‘Using the refrain Hope thou in God as a marker, the poem yields three stanzas. First, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for God (42:1-5); second, his sad lament and dejection before God (42: 6-11); finally, his sure confidence in God (43:1-5). The three stanzas reveal the changing moods of the psalmist: from longing and regret to perplexity, then to trust and assurance. If only every downcast soul could end up in that third stanza!’ 

And there’s no real reason why all of us can’t find true trust and reassurance in our great and mighty God! We all know His amazing, omnipotent power, and have all experienced some good and awesome benefits while walking in strong tandem with him. So why shouldn’t He do it again, if we sincerely seek Him and His awesome will for our lives? No reason whatsoever! So, for those of us who sincerely believe and diligently try to live for God, let’s go home now declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are. 

Altogether now, 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!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out into the confused and godless world and gladly share Jesus’ awesome LOVE and friendship, so that we can overcome our ever so pressing problems! Much LOVE!

…our problems will diminish…in direct proportion…to our sincere longing for God…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2014 Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13.      I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
 
Aloha Friends and neighbours! It is Friday…

 
And all the people just began dancing a li’l jig and chanting: ‘Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday! The stupid work soon finish, then the fun shall begin! Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday!’
 
And then they danced off into the sunset, just chanting the chorus: ‘Friday, oh Friday! Thank God it is Friday! Friday oh Friday…’
 
Ah mih people, what a hold Fridays and the weekends have on us eh! Some of us just live for that time. Monday to Thursday isn’t important, simply doesn’t exist for some people. They put on their blinders on Monday morning then drift through the week, only taking them off on Friday.
 
But my Friends, that’s not the right way to live. We need to have some balance in our lives, not necessarily esteeming some days more important than the others, for good things as well as bad things can happen on any day whatsoever.
 
And remember too that during the work week we’re supposed to be out in the world living our lives for Christ, setting a good example, letting people see in us the wonderful benefits that can be derived from a walk of faith with Him.
 
We shouldn’t be just drifting through it, as though we don’t have a care in the world. It’s a serious time my brethren; a time to be about Christ’s business, winning souls for Him.
 
And so, to try and curb that negative attitude, (smile) let’s chant our real Friday Chant nuh. As one now: ‘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.’
 
Now doesn’t that sound a little more positive and balanced, as it should be? It surely does!
 
And don’t tell me you can’t adopt that more rational and balanced attitude, because then you’ll be negating the very power of our Bit; the affirmation of the awesome power, the omnipotence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!’
 
That’s a blanket power and authority in Jesus my people! And if you don’t practice it, your faith is worthless!
 
Remember, as the scholars told us yesterday, it is God who ordered Bruh Paul’s various situations and gave him the strength to be satisfied and contented in all of them, regardless of how trying and perplexing they were. And our wonderful, omnipotent and magnanimous God also does the same for each and every believer today.
 
It is through Him that we get the power to do most things here on earth. So if you don’t believe and practice that tenet, then you’re missing out on a whole lot of God’s goodness. What a shame Friends!
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. In 1Corinthians where Bruh Paul is talking to them about the resurrection of Christ, he declares to them: ‘For I am the least of the apostles, that I am not meet (worthy) to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
 
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’ (1 Cor.15:9-10)
 
So you see my brethren, although Bruh Paul wasn’t what mankind would consider worthy of being an apostle, because of his earlier brutality towards the church, God in His awesome wisdom, transformed him and used him to do His work.
 
And Bruh Paul also in his wisdom recognized that although he worked harder than the other apostles, it wasn’t his doing really, but the grace, the power, the enabling of Christ that gave him the necessary skills, patience, perseverance, backbone and belly to perform the daunting tasks he performed.
 
Oh Friends, I can’t help but say it: What a most awe inspiring and magnificent God we serve and worship!
 
Now hear Bruh Paul again, this time in his second missive to the Corinthians. Here he’s talking about ministers in the New Testament. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
 
Who also made us able (sufficient as) ministers of the new testament (covenant); not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.’ (2 Cor.3:4-6)
 
And the scholars explain that last verse: ‘3:6. The new testament (lit. “New Covenant”) is both new in time (not being inaugurated until Christ – Matt.26:28; Luke 22:7-23: 1 Cor.11:25; Heb.8:8) and new in quality (providing better spiritual blessings than did the old Mosaic covenant).
 
Letter, but of the spirit: This expression corresponds to the thought of verse 3 contrasting “ink” with the “Spirit.” The contrast is between the externalism inherent in the Old Covenant and the internalism inherent in the New Covenant.
 
The letter killeth: Since certain Jews in the assembly at Corinth were concerned with Paul’s defection from Moses’ law, Paul here explains his position. The best the law could do was to condemn the sinner. It is not here implied that the law of Moses was evil. On the contrary, it is holy, just, and good (Rom.7:12). This can be asserted because it brought men to the end of themselves, to Christ (Gal.3:24).’
 
Oh Friends, I hope that helps you to understand what Bruh Paul is talking about, and please check out those scripture references, for they will definitely give you greater insight into the subject. I know that many of us dislike, or rather are too lazy to check out the references, (smile) but believe me, they do help, and I try to check them before I write them down.
 
Anyway, I guess that’s enough for today. Don’t want to encroach too much on your weekend thoughts and plans. (smile) But please do ponder the stuff we’ve spoken about, and as much as possible, obviously with the Lord’s help, do get a grip on the aspects on which you are not up to scratch, for that is indeed the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!
 
…our godly knowledge and wisdom will not improve…until we spend more serious time in God’s Word…then put it into practice in our everyday lives…