Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 November 2021 John 10:11.

John 10:11.     I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

It’s that time again my brethren, Sunday morning, where we gather to worship our wonderful God, to sing His praises, hear His refreshing and enlightening Word, and give Him much thanks for His awesome LOVE and compassion towards us, His most undeserving children. But that’s the kind of God we serve and worship. And today’s opening song is a not so old hymn, (smile) as compared to some others we sing, written by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006), in the early years of his ministry, and aptly titled ‘No One understands like Jesus.’ 

And believe me friends, that’s the indisputable truth! And why shouldn’t it be true eh, since He is God whose thoughts and understanding are incomparable, and when you add the fact that Jesus Himself underwent all the stuff that we go through down here on earth, it certainly adds up to a wealth of understanding. That’s why Hebrews can tell us: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (who cannot sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:15-16) 

Anyway, enough talk, time to do some singing. And in our usual harmonious and soulful manner let’s offer up our sacrifices of praise to heaven and our marvellous Godhead. ‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail; You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail! (Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way; Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him! Cast your every care on Him, Cause no one understands like Jesus.’ 

You can say that again my people: ‘No one understands like Jesus!’ (smile) And there seems to be an interesting and heart-felt story behind the writing of this song, as there usually are behind many of our favourite tunes. Mr. Peterson appears to have been quite involved in Christian music and tells the story thus: ‘”At one time I had a responsible position with a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position opened up in my department. I was led to believe that I was to be promoted to this position. I was thrilled and challenged by the prospect of a new joy. But I was by-passed, and a man from the outside was brought in to fill the position.  

There followed days of agonizing heart searching. It was all I could do to keep from becoming bitter. One night I had occasion to spend an evening with the man who was brought in for “my” position. For some reason or other, though otherwise a very pleasant fellow, that night he became quite caustic in some of his remarks to me; and I was deeply hurt. Later that evening, after returning home, I was sitting in our living room thinking about the events of the past days and about the bitter experiences of that evening. I began to feel very alone and forsaken. 

Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation–in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). 

And Peter, who witnessed the perfidy of Judas, echoed his words: “Casting all your care [anxiety] upon Him, for He cares [is deeply concerned] for you” (I Pet. 5:7). Discouragement gripped him. He felt alone and forsaken, and was tempted to become bitter, until he began thinking about the great compassion of the Lord. Who cares? He does!’ 

Yes friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does care deeply about us, else why would He leave the joys and comforts of heaven and come to earth in human flesh to suffer the humiliation and abuse He did eh? These awesome words of His speak plainly of caring. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (Jon 3:16) There was no reason for the Father to do that, except that His LOVE and compassion for us was so great, He couldn’t just allow us to lose our souls and end up in Hades with Beelzebub. 

So Jesus’ coming to earth was all about caring. And the Good Book tells us in so many instances of God’s care and concern for us. Let’s check out a few nuh. Mr. Peterson mentioned a couple. The first one being the words of Bruh David from Psalm 55 – A cry against deceitful friends – where he declares in no uncertain manner: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit, allow) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:22) and if you are a believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then it’s imperative that you believe those words! 

Then there was Peter, who experienced Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, as well as his own, when he thrice denied knowing Christ, having been forewarned by Christ that he would do it. And when the cock crowed and Jesus looked around at Peter, he must have wished the earth could open up and swallow him, the shame he felt. (Luke 22:55-62) But the Lord not only forgave Peter, but also encouraged him, ‘Feed my sheep.’  (John 21:15-19) And Peter rose to be one of the leaders of the church. 

All of that caring and compassion of Jesus, must have compelled him to write: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And that’s the gospel truth friends! Peter experienced it, so he could testify to it. Likewise, many of us have also experienced the Lord’s care and compassion in our normal everyday lives, but you know what, in these turbulent and dangerous times we need to seek His care and compassion even more than usual, since the world is in such turmoil. 

And Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked – has a couple of interesting verses that we should all take hold of. ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.’ (Ps. 37:5, 23-24) 

Oh my fellow believers there’s no doubt whatsoever that Jesus cares for us. How else can you interpret these words of His: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) My fellow saints, please ponder those words today, and see if they don’t add up to a tender and heartfelt caring on the part of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…no one understands…or cares…like Jesus… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2021 2 Timothy 1:12b.

2 Timothy 1:12b.     ​ for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

And it seems that the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden went off smoothly yesterday, with none of the expected fireworks. Thank God for that! We didn’t need anything else to further complicate the situation. 

And yes, there were a lot of nice words spoken about unity and getting along together, but let’s see how that works out in real life nuh, when the newness of it all settles down, and the hard slog of everyday politics begins. 

Thankfully too, that all three branches of the government are under the control of the Democratic Party, so there won’t be occasion for the acrimonious contention that existed recently with one party controlling two branches and the other one. 

But enough of all of that yes. Let’s pray that situation improves so that the whole world can concentrate on other important stuff, for though the American power is in decline, unfortunately what happens there, still affects most of us. 

And there’s plenty stuff that we don’t and never will know, but here are some things that ALL of Christ’s followers and believers ought to know. It comes from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, and it’s appropriately titled ‘I Do Know.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘There is much I cannot fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. 

I know that I, a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. I know that my life has purpose and dignity. I know that God has chosen me as the object of His lavish LOVE; that His thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that He has inscribed me in the palms of His hands. 

I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know!’ 

Oh my people, can we really proclaim that with the ultimate certainty it deserves? I don’t think so nuh, because too many of us are still too fearful of the world and what it brings, and too in LOVE with the things it offers! And moreover, if we were that certain about the things of God, our lives would not be in the state of utter dismay, division and decline that they are currently in. 

The world is still holding too much sway in the lives of believers, and until we let most of it go, we will keep on being miserable and not able to truly appreciate our wonderful God and all the things and plans and good purposes He has for our lives. 

Let’s remember that the world is not the only entity that offers wealth and power and status, our great God offers them too, but under a different set up, and you don’t have to strive, kill yourself to achieve them, if He desires you to have them. 

And just like we have to bow to the world to get them, so do we have to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and they will be added unto us. The difference here is that God’s treasures are not fleeting and easily lost, but are lasting and immortal. 

And the Bible Promise for our reading, as well as our Bit, explain why we can have that immovable and unbreakable trust in the Lord God Almighty. Bruh Paul is writing to Timothy in his second epistle, exhorting him to endurance, something we badly need to also have in these oh so trying and tiring times. 

‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ (2 Tim. 1:11-12) 

Oh friends and fellow believers, can we make those statements with heartfelt certainty? I hope so, because to reach spiritual maturity those are things, characteristics that must show out in our everyday lives. 

Others must see that we’re not ashamed of Christ, not afraid of the world, but live for Him, because we have committed ALL we have and are to Him, and believe that He will do whatever He says, for His promises are always faithful and true. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:12. Persuaded (Gr. peitho). The perfect tense indicates that “I was persuaded in the past and remain so now.” That he is able to keep refers to the assurance of salvation which is committed…against that day, when we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ.’ 

Meanwhile, Peter, in his talk of believers being good stewards of God’s grace puts it thus. ‘Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful creator.’ (1 Pet. 4:19) 

And Bruh David puts it as only he could: ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass…. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. 

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only cause harm). For the evil doers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:5,7-9) 

Truer words were never spoken my brethren! So let’s do our best to live by them nuh, so that our lives can truly reflect the LOVE and compassion of God. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us so we can help others. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

And now, as good ambassadors of Christ, let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, as they were shared with us. Much LOVE!

…oh…the wonders of our great God…how magnificent and magnanimous He is… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2019 Proverbs 3:31-32.

Proverbs 3:31-32.    ​Envy not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the forward (perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (secret council) is with the righteous.
 

Well hello there all you partygoers, it’s the big Caribana weekend in T.O.! Yeh it’s the long Civic (local) weekend holiday at the beginning of August that just gets the city moving and a grooving for many people…but not for me. I’ve got to say that Caribana no longer interests me. And if I do anything at all, is just to check out the Pan Competition on a Friday night. 

I think it’s just lost the real West Indian vibe and flavour and it’s no longer a participatory festival but has become a watching show. Plus there’s been so much wrangling and confusion and resentment and legal proceedings over the last few years as to who owns the name and who’s going to run it, etc. etc. that it has soured me on the whole thing. Most important of all though, I can’t handle the long bouts of walking any longer! (smile) 

But people still enjoy it and think it’s a blast. So far be it from me to take a way from their joy. And the ordinary workingman is one of those particularly enthused as he joyfully declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday oui! And it’s Caribana weekend too! Yeahhhh! Another long summer weekend! We going to party and celebrate and have a good time! Celebrate the goodness of summer, cause it’s been a decent one so far. 

Wow! The town going to be a mess this weekend with visitors from all over the world, and partying everlasting. I don’t have much need for the big crowds and them, so most likely I won’t go to the parade, unless the children badly want to. But I’m certainly going to participate in the many other sideshows, because this is my town’s biggest weekend of the year! We going to show them how to really party in a big town! Thank God for the long weekends in the summer yes, and particularly this Caribana weekend!’ 

Ah mih friends, I’m sure most of us will agree with those sentiments. It has indeed been a decent summer, and we are very thankful for it, but just remember to be careful in all your celebrations, have an eye out for the tempter, walk with a modicum of circumspection and remember Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I don’t care if yuh tired hearing me say it, you could set up yuh mouth and steups as much as yuh want, because it’s my bounden duty to remind you of it, so you don’t get into too much trouble when the deceitful enemy comes a calling with all his nice enticements and entrapments. (smile) 

And believe me he does step up his game in these times of celebration, where we are most liable to let down our hair and get lazy and complacent. So please be on yuh p’s and q’s this weekend. Now all of the above has just been my rambling, it’s time to see what word the Lord has for us today. Soon come! 

And thankfully, the Lord was right on cue…(smile) Isn’t He a wonderful God? He most certainly is! And His word for us today comes from Cousin Sol’s wisdom: ‘Envy not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the forward (perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (secret council) is with the righteous.’ 

Oh, what marvellous words of wisdom and truth my fellow believers! And very appropriate for these evil and ungodly times! The Lord placed it in Cousin Sol’s mind to write it, so it must be true. And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then try Bruh David’s immortal words nuh. (smile) 

‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (thou shall feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (as it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:1-9) 

Oh my people, I hadn’t intended to write all of that nuh, but when I read it, I realized that all of it had to be said, because that’s the entire Word of the Lord in short form. It tells us exactly what and whatnot to do: trust, delight, fret not, cease, commit, wait, rest in…! If we only followed that wonderful advice, we’d be such wonderful Christians! (smile) So shall we listen attentively to Bruh David and follow his wonderful, God inspired directions? Of course, as true believers, WE WILL! (smile) 

Now let’s go home chanting our Friday Chant that’s not as outgoing and rambunctious as the workingman’s song, but it meets our needs in Christ beautifully. All together 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 friends, living and working for Jesus is such a wonderful life! Let’s gladly share His story with others as we enjoy this weekend nuh. Much LOVE!

…if yuh not in LOVE with Jesus…then yuh don’t know nothing about LOVE at all…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2015 2 Timothy 1:12

2 Timothy 1:12.   For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

Well Friends, it’s a crazy Thursday morning in my neck of the woods. Yesterday we had the tail ends of the rain from Hurricane Patricia, and we might still get some more later, but right now we’re getting some of the tail end winds. 

The wind’s a howling out there! I opened my front door just now to pick up the newspaper and the wind fought me to close it back. (smile) I surely am sorry for those who experienced Patricia’s wrath a few days ago. Please, let’s keep them in our prayers. 

On a point of interest, my ole right knee is still acting up. Steups! I really don’t understand it nuh. They don’t usually ache for so long. I’ve taken painkillers, rubbed it with stuff, talked with the Lord about it, but still no relief. I guess I just have to grin and bear it and limp along, knowing that God’s grace is indeed sufficient for me to do whatever He desires. 

And though I might not like it, I am comfortable with it, especially when added to these facts from the following excerpt from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is titled ‘I Do Know.’ 

Listen up my people: ‘There is much I cannot begin to fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, (I was doing that the other night, (smile), so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. 

But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. I know that I, a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. I know that my life has purpose and dignity. 

I know that God has chosen me as the object of his lavish LOVE; that his thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that he has inscribed me in the palms of his hands. I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know! 

Wow mih breddren! Do we know all of that? I surely hope so, for if we are truly children of the Most High God, it is imperative that we know those things! 

How can we not know that we are linked to a divine destiny; that our lives have purpose and dignity; that Almighty God has chosen us to lavish His unconditional and everlasting LOVE on us; and all His thoughts towards us are of LOVING-kindness, forgiveness and mercy; and most surely we must know that He has inscribed us in the nail scarred palms of His wonderful Son, Jesus; and all that they have, the power, the life and the glory are ours from now until forever? 

All of that is the very essence of our beings as Christians! Oh what a mighty, generous and wonderful Deity we worship my people! Give Him some well-deserved thanks and praise! 

And the promise of scripture to which that message is attached is also our Bit for today. ‘For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ Those are the words of Bruh Paul to Timothy, as he exhorts the young pastor to endurance. 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:12. Persuaded (Gr. peitho): The perfect tense indicates that “I was persuaded in the past and remain so now.” That he is able to keep refers to the assurance of salvation which is committed…against that day, when we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ.’ 

Oh Friends, do we know whom we have believed? And is it the gracious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? And if we do, I hope we are not ashamed of Him, and are willing to testify loudly on His grace and mercy from the rooftops of every building. 

And not only that, but also we are persuaded, confident, assured that He can do what He says; that is grant salvation and eternal life! To be true Christians we need to believe all these things and have them written indelibly in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. 

And Peter admonishes, as well as encourages us thus: ‘Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.’ (1 Pet.4:19) 

And believe me Friends, if there is nothing else I can vouch for, I can vouch for the faithfulness of our creator, because I have experienced it throughout my life! Oh Glory to Him! 

And we’ll end with these well-known, superb words of advice and confidence from Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. 

‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. 

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:5-9) 

Oh my fellow believers, as a Christian, that is the best advice you can ever get! So please, today, let’s take it all to heart and run with it nuh, putting it all into action in our lives, so that we can truthfully testify to God’s greatness and glorify Him in all that we do. For that is our bounden duty and the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…this is my story…this is my song…praising my saviour…all the day long…