Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 September 2018 James 5:16b.

James 5:16b.   The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.

Aye mih people, it looks like a glorious day is in the offing in my neighbourhood! Glory to God! But all of us are not that blessed, like the people of North Carolina who are expecting Florence, a category 4 hurricane to bombard them sometime soon. 

But all most of us can do is pray for them. So let’s do that nuh! Let’s plead with the Lord to lessen the power of the storm, lessen His wrath, and even turn it away from making landfall, because we definitely don’t need any more devastation than what we already have. 

What does the Good Book say? ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are (with a nature like ours), and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth fruit.’ (James 5:16 18) 

Yeh friends, that’s the power of prayer…unless the Lord is really tired and fed up with our sinful and ungodly shenanigans. Who knows? But as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Philippians: ‘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) 

Then to the Thessalonians he said: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That means prayer is ever so important my brethren! In fact it’s the most powerful tool we believers have in our arsenal. Yuh see, that even when you put on the armour of God, it’s not effective unless prayer accompanies it. (Eph.6:18) 

And we’re ever so blessed through Christ’s obedience to God’s will, that as joint heirs with Him, we can ‘come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) Oh what a wonderful blessing and privilege that is my fellow believers! 

But we need to be careful, for when the Good Book says boldly, it doesn’t mean brash, bold face and arrogant, but with confidence and a suitable amount of humility because we’re going before Almighty God, the Creator and Controller of the universe and we must know our place. (smile) 

I like how the scholars put it: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus) The throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

And do we ever need God’s grace and mercy in these sinful and ungodly times friends! So prayer should be uppermost in our lives, even more than usual. It’s the only way we have to communicate with our sovereign God. So please let’s get busy nuh! 

But along with the prayer must come some repentance and desire to stop being as sinful as we are and be obedient to God’s will. We obviously can’t be as obedient as Jesus was, because of our inherent sinful nature, but we all know that we can be better, even we believers can be much better. And if we are better and the world sees it, then the world will become better too. 

And that’s all we’re seeking my brethren; the betterment of the world, through our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus! That’s why He came to earth and sacrificed His sinless life, and asked those who believe in Him to help Him make the world a better place. We surely aren’t doing that by our less than true Christian behaviour, not walking out talk like we should, and making the world turn away from Jesus, even to the point of blaspheming Him. 

That’s not right my people! As His disciples and ambassadors we have a bounden duty to show the world, through our lives, the vast merits and benefits available in turning to Him for salvation, care, comfort and eternal life! 

Hn, hn, hn! Ah mih people, it’s one of those days when the Holy Spirit just let the ole fella loose to do his thing. So I hope it all makes sense. I guess what I’m trying to advocate is the great importance of and need for prayer in our daily lives, both as individuals and as the church, the body of Christ, especially in these sinful end times. 

Remember the last time the world got so sinful, in the days of Noah, that the Lord couldn’t take anymore and He destroyed it by flood? And yes, He promised Noah that ‘the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.’ (Gen.9:15b) But friends, the Lord never promised not to destroy the world again, just not by water. 

So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh; it’s percolating ever so strongly right below our very noses All is not right in our world, far from it, and we need to come to God in repentance without further ado, for who knows how much longer He will withhold His wrath on this evil world of ours? 

Now let’s go home now declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our position in Christ. 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!’ 

Oh friends, I implore us to think seriously on the matters we’ve spoken about and open up our hearts sincerely to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, for He is the ONLY answer to our many problems. Much LOVE!

…the future won’t be glorious for many of us…if we don’t repent and come to God …NOW…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2018 Matthew 7:13.

Matthew 7:13.   Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.

It’s beautiful, exquisite…exquisite and beautiful! Yes friends, that’s the quality of the morning in my area! The sun’s shining, everything seems peaceful and calm, no hint of anything negative whatsoever! And all I can say is ‘Thank You Lord for bringing me safely through the dark and demonic night, into the bright sunshine of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Thank You again Lord, for a good life!’ 

Ah mih people, plenty thanks are in order for just being able to see another glorious day on God’s great earth, although there is so much negative stuff going on in it. And that’s one thing the ordinary workingman knows, as he always prefaces his song with: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! One more weekend to enjoy! And we going to enjoy this one down at the Ex! Check out all the fun and games, the rides and the food… And yuh know there’s always some way out food down at the Ex, some strange combinations! Brother! As the old people would say, if they don’t kill you, they’ll certainly make you strong! But we’re up to it. For nothing ventured…nothing gained! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, when you hear that the Ex, the Canadian National Exhibition is on, you know that the end of summer is near and back to school is in the offing. But as big boys and girl in Jesus’ society, we can handle ANYTHING that the world has to offer. 

So this beautiful Friday morning let’s chant our Friday Chant, to show the world where we’re coming from. Let them know our’s is a fun life too, just not to the extremes of the workingman, and we’d probably see them down at the Ex too…just not me. (smile) 

So, chanting 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!’ 

Ah mih loverlies in Christ, it’s not always an easy row we hoe, we always have to be on the lookout for the enemy, but it’s always interesting and rewarding. And once we seek to stay on the tried and true narrow path, our God will ALWAYS be with us, holding our hands, leading the way to safety and security, comfort and care, salvation and an eternal home in heaven with Him. 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for His grace and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And yuh better believe we need to be very thankful and exceedingly grateful for God’s mercy and grace, otherwise we’d be on our sure way to spending time in Hades with the arch criminal Lucifer. And believe me, that’s not a nice place to go, even for a look-see! (smile) 

That’s why Jesus warned in our Bit: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.’ 

Ah friends, isn’t that that gospel truth? The way to Beelzebub’s den is wide and so easy to navigate that lots of people foolishly choose it. But as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘Because strait (so narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:14) 

Yes my brethren, unless you’re really looking for the way to life, it’s very difficult to find, and extremely narrow to pass through, if you do find it. But hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vs.13-14); two trees (vs.15-20); two professions (vs.21-23); and two foundations (vs.24-29). This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought. 

Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (John 6:44).’ 

And just in case you don’t know or refuse to look up those two verses quoted above, here they are. Two of Jesus’ greatest pronouncements: He said unto doubting Thomas when he asked how they could know the way? ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And earlier on when He told some unbelieving Jews, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven,’ (John 6:41), they began to murmur amongst themselves re His earthly parents and His comment. But Jesus solemnly informed them: ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6:44) 

Yeh friends, finding Jesus is difficult, nigh impossible, unless the Father tugs at our heartstrings and leads us in His direction. So those of us who have been led to Him and have found Him, let’s be everlastingly grateful for God’s mercy and go out and tell others about Him so that they too will be called to Him. Much LOVE!

…which path will you travel…the wide one…or the narrow one…wisdom dictates you follow the latter…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2018 Matthew 14:31a.

Matthew 14:31a.   O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Well mih people, our gracious and generous God has granted us dominion over another beautiful day on Planet Earth, so let’s show our wisdom and rejoice and be glad in it nuh! But please note we’re not expected to just sit on our already large fannies and do nothing but rejoice, but even more importantly to work diligently and excellently in furthering God’s glorious heavenly kingdom. 

And to enable us to do Jesus’ work, today we want to share lots of informational wisdom with you, beginning with this bon mot from George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950), the famous Irish playwright, critic, polemicist, and political activist. And George wisely declares: ‘Life is not a “brief candle.” It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.’ 

Glory be mih breddren! That’s exactly what our God expects of us. We ought to run our earthly race with plenty salt and bright light, so that others can vividly see it and hopefully touch their hearts. Then, when our race is run, we can turn it over to them like a relay runner turns over the baton, so that they can keep on running the glorious race that glorifies Jesus and brings the lost and unfortunate to Him for comfort and care. 

Mama Yo! What wonderful ambassadors we can be for our Lord and Saviour, if we’d only put our all into it! That brings us to this plea to our heavenly Father taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘Immediately.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord I’m so tired of living In my little cramped vessel – So weary of dangling my feet in the water But never stepping out of the boat. I want to walk the waves with You Just as Peter did. True, he only took a few steps Before losing his courage But at least he was heading toward You. Lord, I’m coming, too! If I begin to falter or sink I trust You to catch me Just as You caught Peter. Remember, Lord? You caught him immediately.’ 

Oh friends, even when we try to be brave and courageous, deep down we still doubt the LOVE and caring and faithfulness of our heavenly Father. And He says, somewhat miffed: ‘Chuh! What kind of talk is that eh mih chile? Why do you even think that I will let you sink if you are coming to me?’ 

No my fellow believers, our wonderful God will NEVER let us sink into the morass or mire if we are sincerely seeking Him! Why would He ever do such an ungodly thing eh, when all He wants is to take us under His wing and guard us from the evil one? 

And the incident with Peter walking on water exemplifies what we’re talking about. He steps out of the boat boldly and confidently and is walking towards Jesus like a man on a mission. ‘But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.’ (Matt.14:30) 

Oh my people, so many of us are like that; we start out with courage and faith, but when the tough times come, we crumble and begin to sink back into the mire from which we’re trying to extricate ourselves. But have no fear, our Jesus is there, is ALWAYS there to rescue us from our failing faith. 

Listen as the story with Peter continues. ‘And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

Yeh friends, oftimes our faith fails us, but that is not a crime, or anything to be ashamed of. Jesus knows our frailty and our weaknesses, and He is just thrilled to know that we want to come to Him, and will help us to do just that, in spite of all our shortcomings. Glory Be mih people! How can we want a better Lord and Saviour and King than that eh? 

However friends, our earnest desire should be to let our faith fail us as little as possible, which means we have to concentrate on growing it, becoming mature in the things of God. And the only way to do that is by reading and studying and meditating on God’s Word, by having constant communication with Him through prayer, by fellowshipping with other believers and by sincerely trying to live the life He has prepared for each and every one of us. 

Only then can we avoid Jesus asking us why our faith is so small. (smile) But remember too that maturing in the faith is an ongoing process, it doesn’t happen overnight, but as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) says, ‘It doesn’t matter how far we’ve got to go, it’s how far we’ve come from.’ In other words it’s not where we were yesterday, but where we’ll be tomorrow. And if we do what’s required of us, then we’ll ALL be further along that continuum of faith… when tomorrow dawns. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts now: ‘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 that’s true, then let’s go out and share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus with the world, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…to truly show our LOVE for Jesus…we must generously and unselfishly share…ALL that He is…with others…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2018 Hebrews 13:1-2.

Hebrews 13:1-2.   Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Well mih breddren, it is one of those nice peaceful, quiet, rainy mornings, a Saturday to boot, in my neck of the woods. Oh what a joy it is to simply lie in one’s bed and listen to the mesmerizing riddim of the falling rain! It is possibly the best natural inducement to sleep that we have. And believe me, it had me so induced and mesmerized this morning that I had to force myself to get up and come down to write the Bit. (smile) 

And I hate to spoil the mood now with this bit of news from you know where, the U.S. Reuters reports thus: ‘Nev. He styles himself as America’s best-known pimp, a strip-club owner who runs multiple brothels and looks set to win a seat as a Republican in the Nevada legislature with the blessing of many conservative Christian voters.’ 

Ah Lord eh! What’s wrong with us eh friends? Have we lost our minds or something? It just doesn’t seem right or sensible. But who am I to say anything eh? He might just turn out to be a better legislator than the ridiculous crew now in place. 

But it’s Saturday and we need to turn to some interesting quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.’ 

I wouldn’t go that far to say that a disciplined mind ALWAYS leads to happiness, and vice versa, since there are some very disciplined people who are definitely not happy. But in most cases it should, since discipline is a by-product of happiness…or the other way around. (smile) 

And hear this next one: ‘Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.’ Ah friends is that ever so true! Remember that rule that was prodded into our heads as youths? Silence is golden! 

And it is often more powerful than words. It says so much more than even sincere words sometimes, because we sometimes just need an appreciative and comforting and quiet presence and not a sermon. I just wish that our current society could see it that way and cut out so much of the unnecessary and insincere talk that’s now so prevalent. But that’s where plenty hope and faith comes in. (smile) 

And then there is: ‘Give the ones you LOVE wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.’ Is that one ever so true my people! It’s not always wise to restrict the movement of those we LOVE for fear that they might go away and not come back, because that very behaviour can make our fear come true. However, if we have given them the proper grounding, that should not be a problem. 

None of us like to be too restricted in our movements, though sometimes we need to be. It’s like the old saying; if you LOVE something or someone, let it or them go. And if you’ve given them sufficient reason; LOVE, nurture, comfort, understanding, appreciation, respect, then they will keep on coming back, sometimes possibly more than you like. (smile) 

And this last quote ought to be a mantra that ALL we Christians live by. ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ Yes friends, remember that other old saying; kindness is next to godliness. And is that ever so true. How I wish that our world was just a li’l kinder…what a big difference it would make. 

I can also tell you that I wouldn’t even be around now except for the kindness of many others, complete strangers too. And our Bit says that in spades: ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ 

Ah friends, I don’t know if we still entertain angels like Abraham (Gen.18:1-3) and Lot (Gen.19:1-2) did way back in olden times, but it is necessary for us to be kind and generous to those in need, since it will be beneficial to both parties when done unto the Lord. 

And Jesus did preach on our need to be kind to each other, especially strangers. ‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and you gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’ (Matt,25:35-36)  

Then the righteous shall look puzzled and ask Jesus when they did all of that to Him? (Matt.25:37-39) ‘And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:40) 

Yes friends, however we treat others, in effect that’s how we’re treating Jesus. So please let that be an invaluable lesson to us nuh, because it will stand us in good stead come the day when Jesus separates the sheep from the goats. 

And we’ll close with these similar, and oh so familiar words from Bruh Paul from his missive to the church at Rome. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom.12:17-18, 21) 

No need to read and spell there for us my brethren, because that says it all in plain and simple language! Much LOVE!

…God shows us His LOVING-kindness…so that we can show ours to our fellow man…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2018 Psalm 18:2.

Psalm 18:2.   The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength; in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).

Ah mih people, it’s that day again, the Sabbath! That means it’s time for celebration as well as holiness. And we can begin by joyfully declaring, as the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

And while we do that, we can also be wending our way to the Lord’s house to fellowship with other believers, to offer up sincere prayers, worship and give thanks for all the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, as well as to hear His word and regenerate our confidence. Wow! What an awesome God we serve my brethren! 

And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song, to loosen up our stony hearts and make them more receptive to the Word. Today’s song is an old but wonderful hymn titled ‘My hope is built on nothing less,’ written by Edward Mote back in the 19th century. And on a point of interest, have you ever noticed that many of our beloved hymns were written way back when. 

Maybe it says something about the level and intensity of Christian praise and worship back then. Anyway, let’s sing, with raised voices and truthful hearts. ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. 

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in ev’ry high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the ‘whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. 

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my fellow believers! The only real safe and secure foundation on which to build is on Christ, our Rock and our Saviour. Anything else is merely sinking sand, and it’s only a matter of time before the whole edifice erected thereupon crumbles. 

That’s why Bruh David could stand up and declare our Bit with utmost confidence, and so too can we many thousands of years later. ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength; in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).’ 

Ah mih breddren, mih breddren what immortal words of comfort and assurance! And if we have Jesus as our guiding light, then we too ought to be able to declare them with audacity and boldness, for Jesus is indeed all those things to those who sincerely and truly believe in Him. 

And if Jesus is so mighty then, Bruh David is indeed right to declare after our Bit. ‘I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:3) And he did call upon the Lord, and the Lord saved him. (Ps.18:.4-16) Friends, yuh see how much time and trouble our Lord took to save Bruh David from his enemies? It’s the same way that He will save us if we call on Him with right hearts and sincere spirits. 

Hear Bruh David again: ‘He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented (confronted) me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay (support). 

He brought me forth also into a large (broad) place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.’ (Ps.18:16:21) 

Oh my people, none of us have as many enemies or problems as Bruh David had back in his day, and if the Lord saved him out of them all, why would He refuse to do the same for us if we bow down and faithfully worship Him and keep His will eh? No reason whatsoever! 

That means it’s all up to us. If we want to see the goodness of God, then we have to do the things that will produce it. We can’t just sit back and expect it to fall in our laps. So let’s get serious and do our part of the partnership nuh, if we want so see fruitful results. 

Remember, we only reap what we sow. And if we don’t sow righteousness and LOVE, we won’t receive the Lord’s blessings. Much LOVE!

…For who is God…save (except) the Lord…or who is a rock…save (except) our God… (Ps.18:31)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2018 Psalm 40:3.

Psalm 40:3.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s time once again for the weekly refuelling of our spirits at God’s fuelling station, His sanctuary! Praise the Lord! We all can use that refuelling as the world and the enemy have certainly put us through our paces this past week and thus our spirits are low on fuel. That’s why we are coming in droves to church; to hear His word, sing praises to His holy name, fellowship with each other, and consequently refill our spiritual tanks, so that we can face the world with confidence and courage this upcoming week. 

And as we’re wont to do, let’s open with a hymn of praise, an old favourite, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ It was written by one Johnson Oatman (1856-1922), born near Medford, New Jersey. And it’s said that he wrote over three thousand hymns, which means that ‘no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Glory be mih people! Three thousand hymns are a lot of hymns yes! Wonder where he found time to write them all, especially when he was apparently a local preacher, a businessman with his father and an Insurance Agent? The important thing though is that he penned this one that we know and LOVE so much. Let’s belt it our now with sacrificial praise from our lips, and while doing that, see how many blessings we can also count. (smile) 

As one harmonic choir now: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by. (Refrain) When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy] Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain) 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {* And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.)’

Oh faithful followers of Christ, if we truly sit down and count the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us because of Jesus, will we ever be surprised! Why? Because they are so plentiful. Some of them we don’t even notice, they’ve been around for so long, that we now take them for granted. But please remember that everything in this world belongs to God, and it’s only through His wonderful generosity, mercy and grace that we can enjoy the good things that we do enjoy. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.’ Yes friends, it is an appropriate scripture for this morning. Having counted our blessings and finding so many, it’s only natural that a new song of praise to our heavenly Father will rise up in our hearts and souls! 

And Bruh David follows up our Bit with this other momentous verse: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Ps.40:4) What an awesome statement of indisputable truth! That’s the best way to receive blessings from Almighty God, both down here on earth and put aside some in heaven for eternal life. 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph.1:3) Ah mih people, the Lord has blessings stored up for us in heaven, all done through the work of Christ. That’s why Bruh Paul also advised us: ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) 

And the scholars add this explanation. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, we know it’s not always easy to look up in the tough times and give thanks, but please remember what Jesus has done for us, and that it’s only through and because of him, the Father is showering so many wonderful blessings on us. And with His help, we can do ALL things. As Bruh Paul so succinctly put it: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

And we’ll close with these words from the sons of Korah in Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘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. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12) That says it all friends! Much LOVE!

…he who has an ear…let him hear what the scripture says…

 

 

 

 

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