Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2018 1 Chronicles 16:8.

1 Chronicles 16:8.   Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
 
Well mih people, it’s the day that so many of us have waited for with baited breath; New Year’s Eve, or as we use to call it down south Old Year’s Day! But as they say, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and whether we refer to it as an intro to the New Year or as a goodbye to the Old Year, it’s till the same khaki pants! (smile) 

And I know that many of us are making excited preparations to ring out the old year and ring in the new one, getting out we fancy dan-dan to go out and party, and practicing puckering up we lips for that great midnight kiss, (smile) while making sumptuous plans and resolutions for the New Year. 

And believe me, I don’t want to burst yuh bubble nuh, but here’s a li’l secret; it all won’t make one iota of difference unless we change the way we think, and cleanse our hearts and spirits by getting closer to Jesus! Once the newness and its excitement wears off, we’ll, like the animals of comfort and complacency we are, simply return to our old ways of life. 

That’s why I keep saying the ONLY resolution we need to make is to sincerely promise ourselves to walk closer and more faithfully with Jesus this coming year of 2019! And friends, once we do that, everything else will fall into place; we’ll lose the necessary weight, drop the addictions, improve our financial picture, have a more caring and compassionate self and family, etc. etc. 

For remember, it’s the Lord who helps us to get wealth and all the other good things in life! Like Jesus said, seek first His kingdom and righteousness, then all that you need will be added unto you. And believe me friends, that’s not an empty promise. But you won’t experience it, until you try it! End of sermon! 

And since it’s Monday and many of us have to go to work and are in a crotchety mood, because work is interfering with our New Year’s Eve plans, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and declare our heartfelt plea, in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which has the awesome power to lift our spirits and faith in our awesome God. All together now, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

‘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!’ Yes friends, let’s do whatever we have to do, as though we doing it for Jesus and we’ll find it all goes down so much easier! 

That’s the secret of living this earthly life in good form and shape; truly believe we’re doing it for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, who LOVED us so much that He chose to selflessly sacrifice His sinless life, taking our sins on His burly shoulders, so that we could receive the free grace of salvation and eternal life! Wow! 

And the Good Book opened this morning at a most appropriate place; at Bruh David’s psalm of thanksgiving after he successfully brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem. And having praised the Lord, offered the necessary sacrifices, given everyone meat and wine, and appointed singers and musicians to fill the air with thankful words and music, the Good Book declares: 

‘Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.’ (1 Chr.16:7-15) 

Ah friends, on this last day of this rather disastrous and controversial year of 2018, I implore us to read those words prayerfully, and let’s action them in 2019 nuh, because it’s all for our benefit. And I’m sure none of us wants to go through another tough and trying year like 2018. However, we can only be assured of that if we sincerely and diligently seek the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob like we’ve never done before! Much LOVE!

…when sincere thanks and praise rise up to heaven…it’s doors open wide…and untold blessings pour down upon the earth…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 April 2018 Proverbs 1:20.

Proverbs 1:20.   Wisdom crieth without (calls aloud in the street); she uttereth (raises) her voice in the streets (plazas).

Greetings and salutations this glorious Thursday morning in the springtime of our lives my faithful brethren! (smile) Awright, so some of us might have already passed our best by date, but that doesn’t mean we have to be thrown away. In fact we are the kind of people the Lord finds much use for when the world is no longer interested in us. He uses the poor, the elderly, the broken hearted, the humble to do great things in His name. 

So though we are actually in the winter of our days, we ought not to give up hope and stop trying to do productive stuff. And saying that, here is some encouragement from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional as he talks about being in the valley of the shadow. 

He says: ‘Peace comes to the person who feels the presence of God…. Don’t trust the clouds – trust the sunshine. Don’t set your compass by the flash of lightning – set it by the stars. Trust the sun – don’t trust the shadow. Believe in your dreams – don’t believe in your despairing thoughts. Have faith in your faith – and doubt your doubts. Trust in your hopes – never trust in your hurts.’ Amen friends, Amen! 

And I believe that’s useful not only for the ole fogies, but also for the young uns. The sooner they learn that kind of stuff, the more productive and godly lives they will live. But ALL of us need to pay serious attention to that woman of all women; WISDOM, for without her we are completely lost. 

As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘Wisdom crieth without (calls aloud in the street); she uttereth (raises) her voice in the streets (plazas). She crieth in the chief place of concourse (concourses), in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple (naïve) ones, will ye LOVE naiveté? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?’ (Prov.1:20-22)  

Ah mih people, those words are ever so true in these tumultuous times, as real wisdom, that of God, is being trampled down by the falsehood that the world purveys as wisdom. And too many of us, Christians included, are foolishly following that supposed wisdom the world perpetrates. However we need to desperately understand that TRUE wisdom comes ONLY from God; from His word, His statues and His commandments. 

As Gramps Schuller says in the passage above: ‘have faith in your faith.’ Otherwise, what’s the purpose of having a faith, if you don’t have faith in it eh? None whatsoever! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:20-33. Wisdom is personified here as a prophetess calling in public places to everyone to come to her and learn. Three groups are especially singled out in the appeal: ‘the simple ones, or untaught; the scorners or scoffers; and the fools, or morally dull (v.22). The consequences of rejecting wisdom are immense (vs.26-28).’  

And sadly my brethren, in this supposedly wise society, there seems to be way more of those three groups who are not interested in true wisdom, than those of us who are. But true and godly wisdom keeps crying out: ‘Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.’ (Prov.1:23) 

Yes friends, the wisdom of God is crying out for us to turn back from our sinful, worldly ways and embrace His LOVING-kindness, for that’s the only wise and sensible option open to us. But we don’t seem to be paying any serious attention to His call. 

Thus wisdom continues: ‘Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought (disdained) all my counsel, and would (have) none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear (terror) cometh. 

When your fear (terror) cometh as desolation (a storm), and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early (diligently), but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord. 

They would (have) none of  my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away (waywardness) of the simple shall slay them, and prosperity (complacency) of fools shall destroy them.’ (Prov.1:24-32) 

Ah mih people, yuh see the serious consequences involved in rejecting the wisdom of God! And that’s exactly what’s happening in our society today; we are being slain by our waywardness and disobedience, and our complacency is destroying us. 

But it’s not too late to call out to wisdom friends. Please, let’s be wise and do so nuh, that our children and us can benefit from it. ‘But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (secure, or at ease) from fear of evil.’ (Prov.1:33) 

And accompanying that peace of mind will be numerous benefits, like those enshrined in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them out now, loud and proud, so that the unbelievers can see what to expect when they wholly embrace the wisdom and ways of Jesus. 

‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share some of those many blessings as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…blessings only come with obedience…which is a by-product of wisdom…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Eve of New Year’s Eve, and I guess everybody is getting their dan-dan (finery) ready to go out and tear the house down tomorrow night. (smile) Good for them yes, but the ole fella is going to stay right here in his yard and celebrate whatever celebrations he celebrates! 

The days for going out in the cold and then having to drive back home under the watchful eyes of Babylon are done. And this year I’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, and not in the hospital. Glory to God! 

But what a bam-bam eh! To end up in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. But I guess the Lord was trying to tell me something. Let’s hope I learned whatever it was. (smile) Enough about my woes though, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week. 

I only got three quotes, so I guess he must be a public servant, doesn’t work on holidays. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ And if we haven’t learned that lesson yet, then it’s high time we do. Other people should not control our happiness and sadness, but invariably many of us allow it to happen. Please stop it! 

And while you are at it, please remember to ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Remember what Jesus told us to do? LOVE our neighbours as ourselves, which means if we don’t LOVE ourselves in a healthy, non-narcissistic manner, then we can’t LOVE anybody else. 

And He also died that we could have an abundant life. So please don’t shortchange yourself of all the good things Jesus died so that we could have. Jesus was a calm, good-natured, generous, positively thinking fellow who enjoyed life, and so should we be also, if we claim to be His followers. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Ah friends, it is a proven fact of history, if you want to be great, you must be prepared to face sacrifices. No one has ever become great without sacrificing something to achieve that greatness. So if we desire to be great in 2018, then we’d better prepare ourselves from now to sacrifice something for that chance at greatness. 

And the best sacrifice one can ever make is sacrificing one’s own interest to follow Christ. As Jesus said to His disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.16:24-25) 

Yeh friends, following Christ is the best route we can take in this life, but it also means giving up, sacrificing our selfish desires, and bringing them into sync with those of Jesus. And on top of that He declares in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, only as we stay close to Christ can we bear good fruit. As the scholars explain: ‘15:1-9. Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

Yuh see mih people; it’s a family affair! It has to be, if it is going to work properly. That’s why Jesus refers to His followers as ONE BODY! Only when we all have the same interest at heart – that of Jesus – and are going in the same direction can we ever be successful. 

And that’s exactly why today’s church is not as successful as it ought to be; too many divisions, petty squabbles, selfishness, power struggles, strife, and all the other negative stuff that’s disrupting the world. Those things should not be as rampant as they are in Christ’s church. 

It’s obvious then, that as a body, we are not abiding in Christ, nor is He in us sufficiently, else the body would not be as maimed and sick as it is. We all talk a good talk, but only a small proportion of us actually walk that talk. So please, if we consider ourselves followers, disciples of Jesus, let’s plan to put on a better show this upcoming year nuh. Let’s make Him proud of us nuh. 

So when the Father complains about our complacency, compromise and lack of progress in becoming truly Christ-like, Jesus can excitedly and truthfully say: ‘Look Father! They are improving, they are getting better! There’s less compromise and complacency, and they are indeed walking their talk more than last year! Bless their souls!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the good news we want to be giving Jesus this upcoming year of 2018. He deserves it. Much LOVE!

…as His church…we’ve let Jesus down enough…it’s time to give Him something He can be proud of…sincerely walking our talk…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2016 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.    …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Okay friends, it’s Monday, the last day of October 2016, time to get a move on, time to rock and roll! (smile) The battle has already been joined and we need to be there to help our fellow soldiers in the army of Christ. The army of the evil one is already fighting tooth and nail, and without our help our brothers and sisters already on the front line will suffer innumerable loss. 

And as always, we have the antidote for our lethargy and complacency, our lack of energy and enthusiasm, our complaining and self-pity; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s belt it out so that we can be uplifted and enthused to get out and do Christ’s work nuh. 

All together 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!’ 

Good show mih breddren, good show! Our choirmaster, Jesus, was quite pleased with that rendition. The harmony and full voices were all that He expected. He was beaming from ear to ear. And you know there’s nothing more rewarding than putting a smile on Jesus’ face! 

So with our human motors now running smoothly on the fuel of adrenaline, let’s pick up the pace and enthusiastically get into the fray of this new workweek without further ado.  

That brings us to our Bit. ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Oh friends, you won’t know how that small bit of scripture touches and buoys my heart.  I can just see Bruh David sitting alone and forlorn at the entrance to the burnt out city of Ziklag, while his men mutter and complain around him, seriously talking about stoning him. He’s probably sadly shaking his head and thinking: ‘Why Lord, why eh?’ 

But then he remembers all the other misfortunes the Lord has successfully brought him through, the many victories the Lord had caused him to have, and his spirit lifts with the strong faith that he’s cultivated in the God of his forefathers over the years. And his next move is obviously to seek God’s advice. 

The problem here though my people, is that Bruh David had to raise that faith on his own, by himself, because there was no sympathetic human being to turn to. Likewise, there will be times when we find ourselves in the same situation; alone, with others crying out for our head, like they did for Jesus’. 

Friends, at those times, we have to dig deep down inside of us and dredge up the necessary faith that will lead us to Almighty God for help and guidance. For He is the ONLY One who can help us under those trying circumstances. 

That reminds me of another instance in Bruh David’s life, where he was encouraged in God, but this time by his covenant brother Jonathan, Saul’s son and heir to the throne. At that time Bruh David was on the run from Saul. 

The Good Book tells us. ‘And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood. And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God (encouraged him).

And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.’ (1 Sam.23:15-18) 

Oh my brethren, how blessed we are when we have even one friend to offer us that sort of encouragement! Job was another man of faith who had to encourage himself in God when God allowed Satan to cause him untold calamity. His wife told him to ‘curse God, and die,’ (Job 2:9b) 

That was exactly what Satan desired. But Job was not ready to give up all hope, and he reasoned that both good and evil came from God, so one had to learn to accept them both. (Job 2:10) 

But better yet, when his supposed friends were tongue lashing him, Job stalwartly proclaimed: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain (defend) mine own ways before him.’ (Job 13:15) 

That’s what we call unquenchable faith my fellow believers! Do we have that kind of faith? We should, but the problem is that kind of faith can only be acquired by undergoing true calamity. 

And the best example of encouraging one’s self in God is obviously our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Just look at how Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him thrice and all His other followers deserted Him when His time came. How do you think He stood up under the total desertion and the enormous physical and emotional punishment that followed eh?  

By encouraging Himself in His heavenly Father! Otherwise He would not have been able to bear the intense pain and terrible ‘sufferation’ without complaining. 

So friends, I just hope that we can appreciate the importance of strong faith in our Christian walk, and that it can only be built on the foundation of trials and tribulations. Much LOVE!

…when life seems oh so futile…Christians turn  their eyes, hearts and voices heavenward…where they find succour to salve their wounds…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2012 Psalm 119:148

Psalm 119:148.     Mine eyes prevent (are awake through) the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

Oh Friends, it’s a new day, and sadly I have to find a new Bit to write on! It seems strange though, since I haven’t had to look for one for at least a week now. But as they say, all things must end, and I guess that will help to reduce any complacency that’s recently sneaked into my spirit by having it so easy. Anyway, let’s begin the day with an interesting prayer from Dr. Robert H Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional. It’s titled, ‘I Will Move…’ and boldly declares, with heartfelt desire: ‘Lord, I want your heart to be in my heart. For in you I come alive, moving ahead from boring death to exciting life! In your promises, I will move from discouragement to hope. In your pardon, I will move from shame to glory. In your power, I will move from weakness to strength. In your providence, I will move from failure to success! Thank you Lord. Amen.’ Yes Friends, that’s the kind of prayer we need to send up to heaven, and I sure hope it spurs us on this morning to walk in the redeeming light of Christ. Now let’s turn to our Bit, which wasn’t so difficult to find, for I used the old adage, when in doubt, turn to the Psalms, (smile) and the Lord looked down on me with favour and guided me to these most appropriate words for these troubled times we live in. ‘Mine eyes prevent (are awake through) the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.’ Oh my people, if ever there was a time for us to fervently watch and pray, it’s definitely NOW! That’s because our world is steadily falling apart, being convulsed with negative tensions like anger, hate, strife, bitterness and resentment. Beelzebub has the upper hand right now, but to what purpose, for our world is reeling from man made economic distress. Thousands are losing jobs every day, while the homeless are also becoming more plentiful, and real poverty is spreading its ugly face all over the globe, when there is more than enough to go around. Hn! What a sad state of affairs eh! And we can thank our greedy group of elite people for these anomalies! I guess they’ll answer that charge by saying they’re only fulfilling their destiny, re the rich will get richer, while the poor will get poorer. Hogwash! Oh Friends, each human being is a creation of Almighty God, LOVINGLY made in His image, therefore, if we knock or belittle any of them, we’re doing the same to our God. That’s obviously not right, nor to anyone’s benefit. But we can only do what we can, and hope and pray that others will do the same, all in Jesus’ Name. Anyway, let’s look at a few scriptures that uphold the claims of our Bit; that agree we ought to be reading, meditating, hungering and thirsting for the Word and the Ways of our great and wonderful God. Hear these glorious words from Psalm 42, An intense longing for God: ‘As the hart panteth after (deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) Then later on, the psalmist confidently declares: ‘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.’ (Ps.42:8) Ah mih breddren, if there’s no longing in our souls, no hunger and thirst for God in them, then things are truly bad with us, and will continue to be bad until we become desperate and seek Him. Listen to Bruh David as he so eloquently talks of God satisfying the hungry and thirsting soul: ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps.63:1) And what’s so good and interesting about hungering and thirsting for God is that it leads to this awesome state of satisfaction in learning His ways and obeying His Will. ‘My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.’ (Ps.63:5-7) Yes people, those are the wonderful things that happen to us when we concentrate on the eternal things of God and not on the temporary, temporal things of man! Our lives are substantially enriched, and not necessarily with money or earthly possessions, but with the more important intangibles like peace, LOVE, joy, wisdom, understanding, mercy and forgiveness; the wonderful attributes of our Holy God and Saviour Jesus Christ! And as we like to do whenever possible, let’s close with the definitive words on the subject from the world’s greatest teacher, Jesus: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) And that’s no lie Friends! So please, let’s up the ante on our hunger and thirst for Christ nuh, because that’s the only avenue which will both keep us faithful and steadfast here on earth, but also ensure our eternal destiny! Much LOVE!…when we yearn for and seek Jesus…our souls are mightily strengthened…and all fear is successfully negated…