Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2020 Psalm 66:12.

Psalm 66:12.    Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.
 
Wow mih bredrin! Another bright, warm and sunshiny day like yesterday seems to be in the offing, with somewhat of a coolish breeze! (smile) Yes, it’s days like those we desperately need to lift our spirits and help carry us through these unexpected and uncertain times of crisis. And here’s some more good news this Thursday morning, from a friend on the good news trail. 

‘Get ready to rise. When that storm is over, you’re not going to be defeated. You’re going to rise up, healthy, blessed, prosperous. You’re not going to look like what you’ve been through. Nobody is going to be able to tell that you went through a difficulty. What I LOVE about God is He doesn’t just bring you through the storm, He makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble.’ Mama Mia! What a mighty, magnificent, merciful and magnanimous God we serve! 

Oh friends, everyday we wake up and see another day, we ought to be ever so thankful and grateful, because it’s only through His wonderful mercies, new and heart-warming everyday, that that’s possible. We ought to rise up and sing, shout His praises, give Him much honour and glory, because He is indeed a great and generous and ever-LOVING God! Yes, without a doubt He is! 

And all His children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord! For He is indeed mighty in the heavens and on the earth! Forever merciful and generous to the undeserving children of men! Amen!’ 

And per the encouraging news above, it’s the gospel truth, because the Good Book says it. Hear the author of psalm 66 -re the Great Works of God. ‘O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life (among the living), and suffereth not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us: thou hast tried (refined) us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.’ (Ps. 66:8-12) 

Yes friends, though the Lord might allows us to be afflicted and tried and tested, His thinking is that it will always be for our betterment. And I don’t usually like some of these new fangled translations of the Bible, but in this instance I think the new translation of verse 12 above hit the nail on the head, does it real justice. It says: ‘You’ve allowed our enemies to prevail against us. We’ve passed through fire and flood, yet in the end you always bring us out better than we were before, saturated with your goodness. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.’ 

And believe me friends, there is no other God in the world who can and will do such a thing, because there is NO OTHER LIVING GOD in this whole wide world, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! All the other supposed gods are either man-made objects, or mere figments of man’s imagination. That’s why we need to stay close to Jehovah God, worship and praise and obey Him, because He holds the very breath of our lives in His mighty hand. Please remember and take sure hold of these promises through the Lord’s prophet Isaiah, as he talks about ‘The Lord, the ONLY Redeemer.’ 

‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee (in thy place). Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (honoured), and I have LOVED thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.’ (Is. 43:2-4) 

Oh my people, our God still finds us precious and still LOVES us, and He gave His only Son for us, so there’s no doubt that He fulfills ALL of His promises. It’s therefore necessary for us to read and study and meditate on His Word, so that we can know what’s in it and be able to use it for our earthly, everyday life, and also talk to Him on a regular basis, so that He can keep us strong and completely focused on Him. But enough sermonizing for today (smile), let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

All together in strong voice, believing: ‘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 I shouldn’t need to remind us, but I will, (smile) that those glorious blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! So let’s get to doing just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…walking with God…brings trials and testing…but in the end…abundance and everlasting life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2020 Proverbs 2:6.

Proverbs 2:6.    ​For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 
 
So here we go again…another Monday morning still held hostage by the pandemic! But at last there is some good news in my province of Ontario – there’s been some easing up in the lockdown situation, with some places being allowed to open…Whoopee! At least it’s a step in the right direction, although some of the businesses can only do curbside pick up. And most of the parks will also be reopened today. But that doesn’t remove the necessity for physical distancing since we still don’t have a proper handle on the virus, and no way of stopping it from spreading but by keeping a safe distance away from others. 

So a lot of us who were clamouring for the lockdown to be lifted, have now gotten a window of opportunity, let’s see what kind of responsibility we show moving forward. Too many of us still think the virus is a joke, or not as serious as made out, but if we don’t show serious social responsibility then we’ll just be hit by a second wave of the virus, which threatens to be worse than the first one. 

Friends, our leaders are trying to balance the price of staying home and saving lives physically, but possibly having the quality further deteriorate, and reopening the economy and running the risk of losing many more lives to a further spread of the virus. They don’t know the right answers, so they are trying to do what they think is best for us all in the long run. That’s means they are depending on us to help them, be responsible and don’t go overboard in our actions, but use wisdom and common sense, so that we can eventually defeat this Covid-19 virus that’s causing us so many problems. 

And how do we find that controversial thing called wisdom? By diligently seeking it as silver and gold, and searching for it as for hidden treasure. (Prov. 2:4) And where do we seek it from? From the Lord God Jehovah! As the supposed wisest man who ever lived, Cousin Sol so wisely and plainly says: ‘For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth (stores) up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler (shield) to them that walk uprightly.’ (Prov. 2:6-7) 

And Cousin Sol personally proved that theory when, on ascending to Israel’s throne after Bruh David died, The Lord asked him in a vision what he desired? After claiming that he was a child (inexperienced) and did not know how to go out or come in, and the responsibility of governing so many people was tough, (1 Kin. 3:7-8) he finally said. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.’ (1 Kin. 3:9-10) 

Yuh see friends, God was thrilled that Cousin Sol didn’t ask for riches or honour or glory, but for understanding and knowledge and guidance to rule His people. Thus God said: ‘Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen (prolong) thy days.’ (1 Kin. 12-13) 

Oh my people, you see the magnanimity and the magnificence of our God! Cousin Sol asked for wisdom and guidance, but He also gave him honour and glory and riches and long life, if he walked in his father’s footsteps! That’s the way our Lord operates! He’s generous to a fault if we walk in tandem with Him and are obedient to His will. So having taken in all of that, let’s now go to God in humble but confident prayer that we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and ask for wisdom and guidance to handle the current storm that’s just blowing us away. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And now, with the easing up of the lockdown, more people than those previously considered essential also have to go to work, and understandably, we’re all somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Oh precious people, our God is a faithful God, and if our hearts were sincere in that prayer, then you know He’ll answer it in the affirmative and give us wisdom and guidance and strength and courage to face the adversity we’re now experiencing. So let’s go about our business today nuh, the Lord’s business, carefully, but also with sure faith and strong trust in His faithfulness. That’s how we’ll conquer this Coronavirus! Much LOVE!

…wisdom in our hearts…brings discretion to preserve us…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 
Welcome friends, to Thursday April 30 in the year of our Lord 2020 – the year of the Coronavirus pandemic! Unfortunately, some three months in, the deadly virus is still causing havoc and confusion amongst us. Nothing much has changed. We still don’t know anything much about it, but everybody has their opinions. Hn! What a bam bam! Now the panic is increasingly becoming not only about contracting the virus, but more about work, money and food, as a serious shortage is beginning to show up in those vital areas. 

And believe me, I wouldn’t want to be a political leader in these times at all, because the virus has dropped them right between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the devil and the deep blue sea, for now the decision has to be made between the medical and economic fronts; either save people and keep social distancing going, or save the economy and open back up the business, which at this crucial time could lead to a worsening of the medical situation. You’re damned if you do either, because there are strong sentiments in the populace for both actions. So friends, let’s pray that our leaders get it right yes, else we’re in for a long, extremely difficult time. 

But here’s something I heard a preacher recently talk about, something called the Stockdale Paradox, coined by the author Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t.’ And does it ever  seem rather appropriate to our current situation. Apparently Admiral Stockdale, a Navy Pilot spent seven years as a Vietnam prisoner of war and surprisingly he witnessed that those prisoners who were optimists were dying before the pessimists, because after several disappointing episodes of predicting freedom, they lost their hope and gave up. The pessimists, already without hope just went about their business in pessimistic fashion and died off as expected. (smile) 

When asked how he managed to keep his sanity and faith, despite several severe bouts of torture, the Admiral replied: ‘I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.’ Imagine thinking and doing that in a prisoner of war camp nuh!  And he added: ‘You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.’ 

What words of awesome wisdom my people! Words that I believe will certainly help us in these scary and confusing times. Faith will allow us to believe that we will eventually prevail, but we must also be wise and disciplined enough to recognize and confront the hard and unrelenting facts of what we’re currently going through. I think we saw that principle magnificently epitomized in Jesus, especially during His torment in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. 

Yes, as a human being, He was terrified of having to face the cross, so much so that three times He prayed ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.’ (Luke 22:42.) The Good Book further says: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) Yeh friends, Jesus certainly didn’t have it easy. 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations: ‘22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ 

But as the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus knew that was His major purpose for coming to earth was to be the sacrificial lamb for sin, and He really couldn’t escape it. He also knew though that He would win the battle eventually and be resurrected victoriously from the grave. So like Admiral Stockdale said, He didn’t lose faith, although things seemed rather dim, but also faced the reality of His crucifixion, knowing that He would win in the end. And that’s the exact kind of behaviour we believers need to exhibit in these trying times my brethren! 

We know that we will win in the end, Jesus has promised it: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ So we need now to hold on tightly to that promise, while wisely facing our current reality. Remember our motto for this Covid-19 season: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Let’s use them nuh. And in addition to those attributes, we also have our Thursday Blessings, such wonderful blessings that God has also given to us so we can perform His awesome work down here on planet earth. 

So let’s declare them now nuh, in strong voice, with truly sincere hearts: ‘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 generously share those blessings as the Lord greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…strong faith…with wisdom…and endurance…win the crown every time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2020 Psalm 127:1.

Psalm 127:1.    ​Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.
 
Well hello there you beautiful believers in Christ Jesus! It’s another beautiful sunshiny day in my neighbourhood, and I hope it’s like that in yours too. But the important thing is that we’re alive and kicking, our names have not been featured in today’s obituaries, so there are overwhelming reasons to be in a joyful mood and give sincere thanks for our amazing situation in Christ! So let’s do just that nuh, let’s offer up a li’l thanks and praise to our wonderful Father on high, using these words of Cousin Sol, taken from Psalm 72, one of the only two Psalms he apparently wrote. The other is Psalm 127. 

So please pray with me: ‘His (God’s) name  shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.’ (Ps. 72:17-19) And that’s exactly what our world needs right now my people; for the Lord’s name to fill it with sincere songs of praise and glory, because that is the ONLY thing that will get us through these disastrous times that we’re now facing. 

And as Cousin Sol said so definitively in his other psalm – The need for relying on God. ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! Unless the Lord God Jehovah occupies a prime spot in our lives and our society, our efforts to grow and improve will NEVER amount to what it could be under His guidance and tutelage! 

And that’s a major reason why our society and our world is in such a calamitous state; we have not considered the Lord in our doings, but instead have tried – in vain obviously – to remove Him and His Word from amongst us. But friends, we obviously have not learned from history, where it shows that EVERY nation that turned away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or tried to eradicate Him, suffered serious disaster and tribulation until they returned to His fold. The nation of Israel being the number one deviant. (smile) 

Oh my people, when will we wake up and see the light eh? When will we truly acknowledge in our hearts and souls that the Lord God of Israel is our Maker and Controller, and until we bow down to Him in sincere repentance and worship, our lives, and those of our children’s children won’t run smoothly. And it’s obvious too that we have not been paying serious attention to Cousin Sol’s words found in Proverbs. 

‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:5-10) 

Now that’s how a people, a society, a nation, a world ought to behave if it wants to succeed and prosper! But unfortunately, the majority of our people, societies, nations and world have not been following those wise words of advice. We haven’t trusted sincerely in the Lord, nor acknowledged Him, but instead have leaned heavily on our own understanding, unwisely removing His commandments from schools and public places, no wonder our paths have been rocky, and right now calamitous! 

We’ve foolishly chosen to be wise in our own eyes, and have not feared or reverenced the Lord, nor departed from evil. In fact, evil has blatantly increased, and is even being called good in these malicious and sinful times.  Neither have we honoured the Lord with our possessions and first fruits, no wonder our economies are suffering so much degradation. Oh friends, it’s not too late for us to turn this thing around, but we have to be sincere and work hard at it and truly believe in God’s sustaining power as the psalmist wrote about it. 

‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills (mountains), from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’ (Ps. 121:1-8) 

Yes people, that was true way back then, but it’s also true right now, for the Lord our God does not change! So if we want to experience His goodness and mercy, then we are the ones who have to change! Simple maths – like one and one equals two! So let’s wake up nuh people, the signs are all over the place; the Lord is tired with our sinful and evil ways. Yes, He is long-suffering, but that doesn’t mean He will tolerate our foolishness, our insolent rebellion forever! So let’s be wise and get it together nuh, realize where our bread is buttered, turn back to the Most High God, Creator and Controller of this magnificent universe! That’s the ultimate in wisdom. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings, which He’s so generously given us to work with on His behalf. Altogether now: ‘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 the next move is for us to generously put it all to work in His name. Much LOVE!

…for other foundation…can no man lay…than that is laid…which is Jesus Christ…  (1 Cor. 3:11)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2020 Matthew 26:28.

Matthew 26:28.     ​For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.
 
Ah Lord eh…it’s just one of those days! Yuh know when nothing seems to go right. Chuh! I got up late, what else is new eh? (smile) Then I began writing the Bit…but lo and behold the Roofers finally showed up to fix my roof, from which shingles had blown off during the strong winds in the past couple of weeks. So I dealt with them, then came back to the Bit, only to discover that I could not find all the information I needed to continue in that vein. Steups! And it was a very interesting vein. That meant I had to discard all that I’d previously written and start all over again. 

So obviously I’m not a happy camper, as I hear the roofers pounding on the roof, for a significant outlay of money, and I am having to reset my thoughts. But I’ll just have to grin and bear it, as I keep telling others when they go through some annoying times. (smile) And on this Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday in Holy Week, why should I expect to have no problems eh, when Jesus trials were just coming to a head? If we expect to rise with him, then we should also expect to suffer with Him. 

Anyway, on this Maundy Thursday, so called because of Jesus washing His disciples feet. He also instituted the ceremony of Communion or Holy Eucharist, during what we call the Last Supper that He held with His disciples at the beginning of the Passover Feast. It was a very moving supper. First off, as they sat eating, Jesus declared : ‘Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.’ (Matt. 26:21) What a bombshell to throw out to your followers on a supposed day of rejoicing!  

Obviously that stirred up things. ‘And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, (“that indicated the highly personal and intimate nature of the betrayal”) the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.’ (Matt. 26:23-24) Steups! Just had another interruption. The roofers were finished and I had to go and pay them. But we’ll get through it, with the Lord’s help…and it will be good! (smile) 

Now after that, there’s a verse that in my opinion is very significant, but you never hear anybody really talking about. ‘Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master (Rabbi), is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said (it)’ (Matt.26:25) In other words, Jesus told him, ‘yes.’ So how come more attention isn’t paid to that by any of the gospel writers eh? Matthew and John and Simon Peter were there. But as John writes, I guess Simon and he were too busy with their own li’l drama, with John, the disciple Jesus LOVED, (Hn!) leaning back on Jesus’ chest, and Simon motioning that he should ask who it was. 

And according to John, ‘Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop (a piece of bread) when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon (not Simon Peter). And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly…. He then having received the sop went immediately out, and it was night.’ (John 13:26-27, 30) 

Now according to John, nobody in the gathering knew why Jesus spoke thus to Judas, possibly thinking that because he held the communal money, he was to go out and buy things for the feast or give to the poor. (John 13:28-29) But the scholars seem to think that possibly only John heard the exchange between Jesus and Judas.

 ‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it (drink from it all of you – hence the communal cup); For this my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.’ (Matt. 26:26-28). Oh friends, what a monumental moment that was! 

Now let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘Jesus took bread: The head of the Jewish household was accustomed to doing this during the Passover Feast. Jesus gave a completely new significance to the action. This is my body: During the Passover feast the Jewish householder took bread in his hand  and said, “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt,” meaning of course, that the one represented the other. 

By His words the Lord changed the whole significance and emphasis of the feast from looking back to the typical redemption from Egypt to faith in the redemption from sin accomplished by His death. The bread and wine were only outward symbols of our Lord’s death. Nothing in the Gospels indicates that these were to be viewed as a means of grace, sacraments, or that they were physically necessary for one’s salvation.’ 

Yes friends, celebrating the Eucharist is important, but it’s only and outward sign of our inner acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Saviour. And we have one more set of explanations from the scholars. ‘The cup: Three cups were passed around by the Jewish householder during the Passover meal; the third, which is probably the one referred to here, being known as “the cup of blessing.” My blood of the new testament taken from the Greek Septuagint version of Exodus 24:8, (please read it) with allusions to Jeremiah 31:31 and Zechariah 9:11. 

The covenant in Exodus was sealed with blood. The word ‘testament’ (Gr. diatheke) can also mean “a covenant.” Shed for many for the remission of sins: Here is a clear statement that the death of Jesus was necessary to enable God to forgive sins. It, in fact, made it right or morally justifiable for Him to do so.’ 

Oh my people, so many other important things happened on Maundy Thursday that we don’t have space nor time to talk about them. Like Jesus foretelling Peter’s denial, then going to the Garden of Gethsemane and praying for guidance and strength, so impassioned that His sweat seemed like drops of blood, and finally being arrested through Judas’ recognizing kiss and a mock trial, where Peter betrayed Him. But you can read all of that for yourself in the gospels. I just hope that this Bit makes sense and gives us some new insight into the last supper and it’s meaning, since I had so many interruptions and changes of mind set. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, so generously granted to us to help us with our earthly work…spreading the gospel of Jesus. In strong voice, with sincere hearts – that’s the only way to do it (smile) –  ‘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 share those divine blessings as best and as generously we can with the tough constraints we’re currently under. Much LOVE!

…to be blessed is wonderful…but to share the blessing is heavenly…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2020 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm 118:8-9.    ​It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
 
Prologue: Yeahhh! I got it right this time! Just want to apologize for the length and lateness of the Bit, though you all already know my penchant for late nights and many words. (smile) I want us though to take what’s written very seriously, because it could have a serious effect on the eventual status of our world. Much LOVE!

And the calamitous time continues; more contraction of the Covid-19 disease and more deaths. And it does seem that the situation will get worse before it gets better. But that’s normal in many cases of unexpected disaster. However, we will not dwell on the actions and results of the Coronavirus this morning, because talking about it too much only increases the fear, anxiety and panic associated with its disastrous run through the world. Today though we’re going to focus on more proactive stuff like courage and trust. 

And the first word comes obviously form the Good Book, Bruh Paul’s encouraging words to Timothy and also to us in these most trying times. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Right there friends is a most important bit of scripture for us to use in the fight against this dreaded and deadly virus that’s causing fear and alarm all over our world. Our first reaction must be to take courage; that’s if we believe that our great and wonderful God is still in control and will work everything out for our eventual good. 

It’s not possible to serve the Lord from a position of unmitigated fear! So let’s stand strong by putting all the courageous words and promises found on the subject in the Good Book in the forefront of our lives nuh. That’s the first requirement… And the second – it’s like the first (smile) Put out absolute trust in Almighty God, not in man nor machines. And there are so many scriptures that tell us to trust in God and not man that you could possibly spend a whole day just reading them. (smile) They are especially popular in the Psalms, like these verses from Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Salvation. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’  

Now my people, that says it in black and white. And during this pandemic we’re seeing a lot of instances where we can’t put trust in normal man or even princely men, for all sorts of hypocrisy and lies and half-truths are flying around and people are not keeping their promises, especially in a time like this when trust is so necessary. And right now I’d like to share the Quote of the Week from a message that a friend sends me. And is it ever so apropos to our current situation. 

Please read with me. ‘God always requires total trust in Him alone for our victories in life. Throughout Scripture we are cautioned not to place our trust in the strength of horses, other men or our own abilities. In 1 Chronicles, David’s decision to take a census was a failure to keep his trust totally upon the Lord. David’s purpose in counting his population was to assess his military strength. David’s commander evidently recognized the grave error that his king was about to make. 

Joab was right — the census displeased the Lord. David was falling into the temptation of trusting in the size of his army rather than in the Lord. In consequence, God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men. How do you avoid placing your trust in God today? Do you trust your bank accounts, your skills and the security of your workplace? When you begin to place your faith in these things instead of in the Provider of these things you get into trouble with God. What a lesson this is for each of us. Today, let’s place our total trust in the Lord for all of our needs.’ 

I couldn’t have said it any plainer or better my fellow believers! Total trust in the Lord is the NUMBER ONE requirement in life, especially when we’re under heavy duress like now! And we can see how Bruh David seemed to get too big for his britches from the first verse of 1 Chronicles 21. ‘And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (moved) David to number (take a census of) Israel.’ 

And the scholars put forth a very interesting explanation from 2. Samuel 24:1, which also deals with the situation. ‘24:1. Taking a census was not the wrong thing to do per se. God Himself had previously ordered Moses to make two censuses (cf. Num. 1:2-3; 26:2). However, in this case Satan (cf. 1 Chr. 21:1) seized upon the growing pride of David’s heart (vs.2-3) to incite him into taking a census, so the king might have a ground of boasting (cf. Dan. 4:30 – Nebuchadnezzar’s boast). God, the controller of all things, allowed the deed to be done so as to bring David to a place of humility and reality (vs.10). God and Satan are often involved in the same event, but for different causes (cf. Job) – God, so that the believer might be instructed and grow, but Satan, to discredit the believer and therefore, God Himself.’ 

Ah friends, the same way Nebuchadnezzar ended up going crazy and living like a beast for seven years after boasting about His might and glory, same way Bruh David received chastening before the Lord. The Good Book says: ‘And David’s heart smote him (his conscience bothered him) after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ (2 Sam. 24:10) 

And that’s why Bruh David could be called a friend of God and a man after His own heart! He had a heart for God, and God knew that, but being a man, and thus by nature sinful, he obviously made mistakes. But once those mistakes were made known, he never hesitated to fall before the Lord in sincere prayer and repentance. That’s why the Lord, though he punished him for his mistakes, still never took away his special place from him. And I think we all should read what happened after Bruh David took the census. That’s found in 2 Samuel 24:10-25. Here’s a brief synopsis (smile). 

The Lord sent the prophet Gad to Bruh David…and wonder of wonders, He gave him the opportunity to decide his own punishment. Did He ever LOVE Bruh David! The choices were: seven years of famine, him fleeing for three months before his enemies, or three days pestilence in the land. ‘And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait (great distress): let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.’ (2 Sam 24:14)  So the Lord sent a plague into the land – just as He is doing to us right now, and some seventy thousand men died. And many have died, and many more will die, until we come to the Lord with sincere confession and repentance. 

Then, like the Lord did with Israel, He will stay His hand and the deaths will stop. (2 Sam. 24:16) Then David repented and made his peace with God. (2 Sam. 24:17-25) As the scholars say: ‘24:17. God’s chastening had achieved its desired effect. David recognizes that as the king of Israel his primary task was that of a shepherd with his sheep. He manfully and humbly repents of his sin and pleads for his beloved people. Despite his oft-besetting sins, David had a tender heart toward God and God’s people. Accordingly, David is commended as a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22).’ 

So friends, I do believe that the Lord will deal the same way with us, if we bow down and repent and turn back to Him, for there’s no denying that our world is so steeped in sin and wickedness that most of us don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on. And for those of us who recognize the seriousness of the situation and are tuned into the Saviour, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the next action is to truly communicate and share God’s LOVE and friendship with others, any way we can, in these really tough and trying times! Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord…and do good…regardless of the circumstances…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2020 Psalm 18:32.

Psalm 18:32.    ​It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
 
Monday, oh Monday, how good you are to me! I truly do LOVE you! You cause me to get up early in the morning…while it’s still dark…and I haven’t had enough sleep…to fumble around and struggle to get dressed and go out in the freezing cold, to a freezing car, and then inch my way on a blocked up highway, full of sleepy-eyed and grouchy people just like me. 

And after it takes me an hour to make a normal fifteen minute drive, I get to the concrete jungle and search for another fifteen minutes to get a parking spot, that costs an arm and a leg, I finally get to my desk and plop myself down in the chair more tired than ever, but now expected to put in a full and productive 8 hour day, doing stuff that doesn’t turn my crank! And this is only the first of five consecutive days of this nonsense! (smile) 

Ah friends, we give Mondays such a bad rap eh, when the problem lies with us; we don’t prepare ourselves properly for what we know is going to happen on most Mondays of our working life! But it’s a long time human trait; cast the blame everywhere else than where it rightfully belongs, on us. Check out our forefathers, Adam and Eve after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent, and Adam blamed Eve. (Gen.3:12-13) 

So now that we’ve eased our conscience by blaming Monday for our woes, (smile) let’s get serious and go to the ONLY One who can really help us at this stage of the game nuh, our heavenly Father. And to make it easy, we’ve developed this ‘antidotal’ prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that automatically fills in all the blank spaces, but does not get us an answer unless we go about it the right way; that’s humbly, confidently and sincerely to the throne of grace. 

So as one humble, confident and sincere voice now, let’s lift up our petition to heaven: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And yes, that incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit is now moving in all of us who prayed that prayer sincerely and humbly! That’s how quickly our God can move when it’s necessary! He knows that we have to go out and do Jesus’ work at a certain time, with not much to spare, so right away He acts on our request, raising our spirits, strengthening our belly and backbone, thus giving us the courage and confidence we need to go out and fight a good fight in His Son’s name. 

No wonder Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies. ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried (proven): he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him. For who is God save (except) the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.’  (Ps.18:30-32) 

And that is the indisputable, gospel truth friends! Our God, the most potent Being in the universe, is the One who looks after all our needs on this troubled earth, just like Bruh Paul declared (yeah!) it to the Philippians. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

And when Bruh David wrote that psalm, his needs were mainly those of a warrior, thus he declared (steups!): ‘He maketh my feet like hinds’ (deer) feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken (a bow of bronze can be broken) by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of salvation: and thy right hand hath holden (held) me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.’ (Ps.18:33-35) 

Ah precious people of Christ, wherever we are, at whatever stage of life we’ve reached, the Lord God Almighty, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will supply whatever we need to be victorious! It’s imperative that we believe it and act like we believe it too, through the auspices of our wonderful faith! Otherwise our faith is useless. Remember faith involves believing for something like we’ve already seen it and received it, when, in reality it hasn’t yet happened, but we know for sure that through God’s largesse and faithfulness it will happen in His time! 

So this Monday morning, although things might be a tad on the rough side, let’s believe that the situation will change because our wonderful and ever-faithful God has promised that it will! He will work all things out for our good! (Rom.8:28) Now that should be more than enough to raise our desire to get out into our distressed world and do our best for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus can be difficult…but it’s ALWAYS rewarding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2020 John 14:6.

John 14:6.    ​I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 
And so today, Thursday is another day…one that we should be glad and rejoice in, because we did not see our names in the obits! (smile) Oh give glory to God because He chose us to handle His affairs down here on earth! That means we have the parts to do whatever He wants us to do, and He is proud and confident that we will do His holy will! Please note the amount of people He took away last night because they either couldn’t or wouldn’t do His will. 

Ah friends, we ought to consider it a joy and privilege to be alive, and everyday we open our eyes to another day, be it rain, snow, sleet or storm, our thanks and gratitude ought to rise to high heaven with heartfelt sincerity! Yeh, life can sometimes be rough and trouble-filled, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to leave it and go home. (smile) 

Neither is the Lord ready for us to come home because there is lot’s of work yet to be done down here on earth; the gospel has not yet reached ALL of mankind, and Christ’s church is not in the ascendancy over Satan’s infidels, which means the LOVE Revolution is not going as well as it ought to. So those are things we still need to work on because the Lord does not want to lose even ONE of His human creations to that lout Beelzebub! 

There you have it then; good reasons for us to be alive and bright and bubbly and eager to get on with Christ’s winning work of calling all; (whosoever will may come) to salvation and the exclusive and overwhelming ecstasy of eternal life in His holy presence! 

Wow! What a time that will be my friends; hanging out with Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit in heaven for eternity! Nothing could be more blissful than that! It’s certainly something most worthy to look forward to…in fact, there’s nothing better to look forward to! 

And my brethren, contrary to some opinions, the ONLY WAY to get to that Utopian place of eternal rest and peace and joy is through Jesus! He said it Himself, made it very clear when Thomas refused to believe until He saw the nail marks in His hands and side. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ 

Those are strong words my people, and it takes a lot of gumption to declare them, even if they are true. And if it’s one thing our Lord and Saviour had, and still has, is gumption! (smile) He has it in spades, because He knows the extent of his power! And we ought to know it too, because He bequeathed that awesome power to us through His Holy Spirit, so that we can use that same power to do His work down here on earth. 

But getting back to Jesus’ words, we believers ought to keep reminding ourselves of them, since it’s so easy to think otherwise and go astray, especially when there are a lot of false preachers and teachers recommending all sorts of other erroneous things and methods. 

John, in his epistle thought it important enough to write: ‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world.’ (1 John 4:1-3) 

Yes friends, there are numerous spirits and people out there in this big, evil world trying to tell us all sorts of nonsense, and we therefore need to be very careful who and what we listen to and read and test them by comparing them to God’s Word and the knowledge of His Holy Spirit. And I like John’s subsequent contention: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

And all God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout: ‘All praise and honour be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; the most powerful being in the universe!’ And isn’t that a warm, assuring and enduring fact! The most powerful Being in the universe dwells within each and every believer through the auspices of His Holy Spirit! 

Now that should give us overwhelming confidence in our trials and tribulations in this troubled world, especially when we add it to the Lord’s promise, that He will eventually work out everything for good to those who LOVE Him and are called to do His work. 

Mama Mia! What confidence the true believer ought to have with all those things in his favour! But sadly many of us don’t, because we either truly don’t believe, or we’re fearful and full of doubt. That’s why Jesus was so critical of us and so often complained: ‘O ye of little faith!’ 

And why is that eh? Possibly because we don’t read or hear the Word sufficiently, and we don’t commune with the Father sufficiently. Those are the building blocks, the foundation of our faith friends, and we definitely need very strong faith in this overwhelmingly evil world if we want to not only survive, but even more importantly wrest power from Satan and his evil cohorts! 

So let’s get on seriously with our faith building nuh, cause Jesus is depending on us; we are his ears, eyes, feet and hands down here, His ambassadors, so let’s show ourselves to be worthy of His confidence nuh! And what I dearly LOVE about our great God is that He always gives us the tools to do His work. And so He has with our Thursday Blessings. 

So let’s declare them loudly and proudly: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, what more do we need to do Jesus’ work eh? Nothing really! Just believe His Word and put our best foot forward…Oh, and don’t selfishly hoard those blessings, but share them generously with others, like He generously shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…the ONLY name that really matters…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2020 Psalm 71:23.​

Psalm 71:23.    My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 
And another Sunday has dawned; wet and icy and dark in the Greater Toronto Area! We did get that rain storm that was promised, and sincerely hope that it soon peters out to dry weather, because it has caused some damage in several areas. Unfortunately, I know that the inclement weather is going to be used as a convenient excuse not to attend the Lord’s sanctuary today and fellowship with other believers. 

But friends, we’re only doing ourselves a serious injustice when we stay away from church, unless it’s for a very good reason. That’s because we miss the camaraderie, the encouragement, the praise and thanksgiving, and the hearing of the Lord’s uplifting and guiding Word that such fellowship entails, and which allows us to leave the proceedings filled with trust and confidence in our omnipotent God! But to each his own. And as always, we’ll get the celebrations going with a song of praise. 

And today’s song is a wonderful one, officially titled ‘Hymn of Joy,’ but which most of us know as ‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,’ from its first line. Apparently it was a poem written by minister Henry van Dyke in 1907, inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, with the intention of musically setting it to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphony, Symphony No. 9. 

Van Dyke explained the hymn thus: ‘These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ And therefore rather appropriate for today’s gathering! So let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony to heaven, with joy, hope, trust and overwhelming sacrifices of praise in our mouths and our hearts. 

As one awesome choir now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, Lift us to the joy divine. Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life. You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore Thee, Lord of mercy and of grace…We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy…’ 

And does our great and wonderful God ever bring us joy by the bucketful my faithful brethren! You also see the amazing sentiments we can glean from merely admiring God’s handwork in nature, making the hymn one of the most joyful in our English language hymnal! Oh, friends, our God is indeed exceptional; exuding trust, LOVE, hope and faithfulness in miraculous and enormous quantities! There is none other like Him in this universe precious people! 

That’s why the psalmist who penned Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – could confidently declare: ‘I will praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they (mine enemies) are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps. 71: 22-24) 

Yeh friends, the old man had seen enough of God’s goodness and mercy in his younger days that he had ho hesitation in placing his utmost trust in Him during the winter of his days! Can we say the same thing? I certainly hope so! And just to stir us up some more, (smile) listen to Bruh David as he offers thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler and more straightforward than that! God’s goodness to the children of men is so wonderful, and the truth is, we don’t deserve any of it. But that’s the kind of magnanimous God He is! So please, I implore us, today, let’s spend some time pondering on His individual goodness and mercy and grace and forgiveness etc. etc. to us nuh, so that our spirits will be refreshed and our trust renewed, and thus give us the courage and confidence to go out and work diligently and excellently for Christ in this upcoming week. Much LOVE!

…remembering God’s goodness in our lives…raises our trust and faith in Him…

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