Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 December 2018 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.   And Mary, said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.
 
Ah mih people, a word of warning to the wise: if you’re walking with or working for Jesus, please be prepared for totally unexpected stressful and rather eventful situations to crop up at any time! (smile) Case in point: Yesterday afternoon I was here at home taking it nice and easy…no, that’s not completely true. In fact I was miserable and grumpy because the ole aches and pains were having a heyday in my ole body. 

Then around four o’clock I received this phone call from a lady in the MRI Department of St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto informing me of a scheduled appointment at two thirty this morning. I was quite surprised because both the hospital and the doctor who ordered the MRI had neglected to inform me of that appointment. 

As one would expect, I was definitely in no mood to go into the city at that ungodly hour of the morning for an aggravating and annoying test that I thought I had seen the last of. And if I had had the implant as scheduled last week that would have been oh so true, because once you have metal in your body you can’t do them since they interact badly with the magnets that govern the procedure. So I cancelled the appointment. 

But after thoughtful consideration with the duchess, I called and reinstated it, figuring that might have been why the Lord in His infinite wisdom had the surgery cancelled last week. So lo and behold, at two thirty this morning, there I am, I’m lying on a narrow plastic board, ensconced in a tomb-like plastic structure, with a machine making this infernal racket in my head. But I’m accustomed to it now. I just pray when I get in there to mitigate the claustrophobic effects, then I’m fine. I’ve even been known to doze off in there. (smile) 

The one eventful and unexpected reaction though, was the one I had to the radioactive dye that they injected in to my blood stream. I’ve had it before, and all I’ve gotten was a bad, metallic sort of taste in my mouth. But brother, this morning, soon after they injected the stuff and pushed be back inside the machine, I had a physical reaction that I can’t properly describe; like I was heaving, my stomach was pumping up and down, and I just kept swallowing feverishly. I almost pressed the emergency button in my hand. 

I don’t even know whether I cried out to God or not, I was so surprised at the reaction. But after a couple of minutes the awful sensation passed and I finished the test without any further problems. Believe me though, that’s the last time they’ll ever inject that stuff knowingly in my body! 

I had fully intended to write the Bit when I got home, but at minutes after four, I decided to rest instead, then had to force myself to get up to go to the eight thirty service, then decided to rest when I got back, because I wasn’t fired up enough to write the fiery Bit I had planned to write. 

But as always, man’s plans go awry in the Lord’s eyes, for I could not find a comfortable position in the bed, and my mind was just spinning around with the things I wanted to write. So after half an hour of unsuccessful rest, I just decided to get up and come and write the Bit, come what may. And as you can see, it’s definitely not fiery…not even close! But that’s where I’ve been led by the higher powers. (smile) 

And since we’re lacking time and space to provide that fiery Bit, (smile) as we continue Mary’s faithful and steadfast story, let’s simply do what she did so long ago; ‘proclaim the Lord’s greatness with characteristic humility and grace,’ by singing what’s become known as ‘The Magnificat.’ The name comes from the first line of the Latin text: (“Magnificat anima mea Dominum”) Please sing with me, in loud voice and with sincere hearts, these memorable words of Jesus’ mother as she expresses her joy: 

‘My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name; And His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him. 

He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.’ (Luke 1:46-55) 

Glory be mih people! What wonderful words and sentiments of praise and thanksgiving! Mary was an indeed an exemplary woman and believer for one of such tender age. But I guess when the Holy Spirit is moving in you, all things are possible regardless of age! 

Now here are a couple of interesting points from the Loyola Catholic web page. ‘After Mary gives her famous consent to becoming the Mother of God, — “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38) — she goes “with haste” (1:39) to help Elizabeth, who is delighted to see her. Clearly Mary, in hastening to help her cousin, is focused on service to others. In this way she glorifies the Lord in reflecting (and “magnifying”) His goodness and LOVE. And, of course by becoming the Mother of God she will help Him redeem us for our salvation in His Passion!… 

Speaking of magnifying, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once referred to our Blessed Mother as being like “a magnifying glass that intensifies our LOVE of her Son.” Note that Mary’s joyful claim that “all generations shall call me blessed” in no way takes away from her humility. If she seems to boast here, it is much as St. Paul does later on in scripture when he says “whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord” (2 Cor 10:17), that is to say, in God’s work being done through us.’ 

And we’ll end with these soul-seeking words: ‘How about you? Does your soul magnify the Lord? We may never be able to approach Him from Mary’s level of sanctity as the Mother of God. Still, we are all called to be saints nonetheless. Your good example, like our Blessed Mother’s, can help others in their spiritual growth. Do people see Christ’s LOVE and goodness in you? Are you letting God work within you to accomplish His will? Let Mary help give you the graces you need to follow her Son and His Church in praying the Magnificat.’ 

Oh friends, I can’t say it any better than that nuh! Much LOVE!

…let Mary’s soul be in us… to glorify the Lord…let her spirit be in us…that we may rejoice in God our Saviour… (St. Ambrose)

P.S. Yeh, it’s long and late, but ti’s all for Christ…and ever so worthwhile! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2,    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.

 

Awright my faithful brethren, let’s walk one more time, one more time to the Lord’s sanctuary! It’s Sunday and our presence is required in the house of our great God, to worship and give Him awesome praise, exalt His holy name with other believers, hear His Word and receive His confidence and assurance that He will always be with us, never leave nor forsake us. 

No other Deity has ever made the promises our God has, because they’re not really interested in their followers, and in any case they don’t have the omnipotence to keep such promises. But our heavenly Father sincerely cares about and LOVES us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us. Glory to God! And all He expects from us in return is obeisance and obedience. 

And as always, to soften up our hard hearts, we’ll begin with a song of praise. Today’s song is one written by Don Moen, once the music director for the Hour of Power television ministry, but now retired. I believe the story behind this song is one late night in the mid 1980’s Don was awakened by the incessant ringing of the phone. On answering it, he was shocked to hear the news that His brother in-law and his sister had met in an accident with their four children, and one of the boys had died. 

In his grief and sorrow, Don cried out to God for help, and these are the words he found solace in, as he put them to music in the song, ‘God will make a way.’ So let’s raise our voices in all sincerity and truth, declaring the words of Don’s song with heartfelt thanks. 

In soulful unison now: (‘God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me. He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way.) (Repeat) 

By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me And rivers in the desert will I see Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will remain And He will do something new today. Oh, God will make a way where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my brethren as all of us sincere believers can testify, because at some stage in our walk with Almighty God, He has made a way for each of us, when there absolutely seemed to be no way! Praise his holy name my people! Give Him enormous thanks for being the wonderful Deity He is! 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to this mind boggling promise of our Bit nuh. ‘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.’ 

And there are instances where He kept all those promises: When the Israelites fled bondage in Egypt and came to the Red Sea, with Pharaoh and his army hot on their heels, it seemed like they were destined to either drown or be slaughtered by their enemy. But their omnipotent God made a way for them by simply parting the Red Sea and giving them dry land to cross over upon. And it was the mighty Egyptians who drowned that day. (Ex.14:21-31) 

Likewise, when they crossed the Jordan River to go into the Promised Land, the Lord parted the river for them to walk across on dry land once more. (Josh. 4) And if yuh think His talk about the fire scene was just idle talk, then read Daniel 3: 8-30, where the story of the three Hebrew young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is told. 

 They refused to bow to a golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and were thrown into a furnace of fire heated seven times hotter than normal. Hn! It consumed the men who threw them in, but those faithful young men came out without a scorch, not even smelling of smoke! 

Wow mih breddren! As I rave every day: what a wonderful and powerful God we serve and worship! Give Him the praise and thanks He so rightfully deserves nuh! And the hordes of foolish people, believing Lucifer’s lies that we ought to get rid of God from our society? Deh mad yes! We ought to be begging Him to come back, not go away! 

And if yuh think all of that was in the now irrelevant Old Testament, then listen to Bruh Paul writing to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Yes friends, even when the tempter comes with His best shot, our ever-faithful God will find a way for us to escape the temptation entirely, or walk through it with us, helping us to endure it. But He will NEVER allow us to handle more than we can bear! That’s His promise! 

And even more compelling are these words of assurance from Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘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.’ (Rom.8:28)

Oh my people, our wonderful God is working out ALL things for good, but we who LOVE Him appreciate that fact more than others because we LOVE Him no matter what! Like Shadrach and them told King Neb, we know the Lord can save us from the fire, but whether He chooses to save us or not, we not bowing to yuh foolish lifeless golden idol! And that is that! You could do whatever yuh want now! 

Oh my fellow followers of Jesus, that is the kind of salt and belly and backbone that we need to have in these oh so evil and ungodly times!  For Jesus’ sake, let’s get our act together and be solid nuh. We way too wishy-washy and compromising with the world! Much LOVE!

…remember…we must be in the world…but showing Jesus’ glowing colours…not be of the world…in the dark and evil likeness of Beelzebub…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2015 1 Corinthians 3:11‏

1 Corinthians 3:11.   For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Oh Friends, our God is indeed a great and wonderful God! And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise! And this winter Monday morning I’m here to testify to that fact. Glory Hallelujah! I can say all of that now with a smile, but yesterday morning for some reason or another all my aches and pains decided to act up on me at once.

Ah Lord eh! I went to church and had trouble getting up and sitting down. I guess you could call it just one of those days when everything seems to be in a negative mode. I even took some extra medication, but all to no avail. Finally, in the afternoon, I lay on my bed and cried out to our heavenly Father.

And like the wonderful parent He is, He heard my cry and answered me. ‘What’s the matter my child?’ He asked with real concern.

‘I…I…don’t understand what this is all about,’ I stammered.

‘I know,’ He replied, ‘but you don’t have to understand everything that happens to you. You just need to trust me. Do you trust me?’

‘Yes,’I replied.

‘Remember I have a good plan for your life, and I’ve promised never to leave nor forsake you. I LOVE you so much that I even sent my dearly beloved Son Jesus to be a sacrifice, and atone for your sins, so that you can once again have true fellowship with me. So why would I do anything to harm you eh? And have I not protected and looked after you, even when you weren’t living obedient to my will?’

I could only nod in agreement.

‘So why would I stop looking after you now, when you are sincerely trying to be obedient to my will? Oh, I know that life can get rough, but a part of that is to remake you into the likeness of Jesus. And nobody ever had it as hard as Him. So please don’t worry, everything will turn out all right. I’ve promised that. Just keep moving forward, keep believing and trusting. I know what I’m doing. Just remember that I LOVE you no matter what, and I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’

All I could say was ‘Thank you Father. I’ll try my best.’

And then the miracle happened! No, my aches and pains didn’t disappear, but a feeling of peace, of well-being washed over me, because my perspective had changed. I stopped focusing on what was wrong with me, and began focusing on what was right with God.

Ah mih people, in so many cases that’s what we need to do, but instead we stop and wallow in our misfortunes, even though we can’t change them. But when we truly put our trust and faith in the Creator of the universe, then our misfortunes don’t seem so grave. Though nothing has really changed in the physical realm, improvement has taken place in the spiritual realm.

And that’s my testimony for today. I do hope that it has some impact on you, in the sense that whatever is wrong in your life, you will know that you can take it to the Father in prayer and receive His peace and comfort.

Now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get our motors up and running. With much verve and gusto 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!’

That was good Friends. Now let’s go out and put it all into action, for as out Bit truthfully and wisely tells us: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ There’s no doubting that truth my people! For from the beginning of the ages, Jesus was scheduled to be our redeemer and the rock upon which we would build our lives.

And after the Bit, Bruh Paul tells us how our building is going to work. ‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire: and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.

If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved: yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor.3:12-15)

Yes Friends, come the day of the judgement seat of Christ, our work on His behalf will be tested to see if it was worthwhile. If it stands up to the consuming fire of the test, as it will, if we build with incombustible stuff like, gold, silver and precious stones, then we’ll be rewarded. But if does not, as it most certainly won’t, if we build with materials like straw, wood and hay, then there’ll be no reward.

However, we shall not lose our salvation, though our work is burnt in the testing. As the scholars point out: ‘The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ; but on service to Christ.’

So therefore my fellow believers, when we go out today to work for Christ, let’s remember to put the emphasis on good building materials, materials that will stand the test of time and truly further God’s glorious kingdom. Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus…not only requires time and effort…but also good materials…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2013 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Oh mih people, the Bit will most likely be late today since I had a late night, and the body wasn’t too thrilled about getting up in the early hours of the morning. (smile) But all thanks to our great and wonderful God, we’re finally here and motoring on. Please give Him some thanks and praise for that.
 
And today we’ll continue with Bruh David’s story, how his life changed for the worse because of that lustful desire he couldn’t control; sleeping with Bathsheba, and the sordid manner and great lengths he went to, to have her for his own.
 
However Friends, one of the most important things to notice in that story is that when confronted by his sin, Bruh David admitted it. ‘And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.’ (2 Sam.12:13)
 
Yuh see God’s reaction to Bruh David’s admission; life… not death, as he deserved. But he wasn’t going to get away easily. For Nathan continued: ‘Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’ (2 Sam.12:14)
 
So mih breddren, though Bruh David was allowed to live and continue to reign as king, he didn’t get away scot free from punishment for his ungodly behaviour. In fact he ended up paying a tremendous price. Now here are the scholars’ take on those verses.
 
’12:13. David genuinely grieved and repented (cf. Ps.32:5; 51:3-14) However, the seed of sin was immediately to bear bitter fruit, for the child born of the adultery became grievously ill and died (vv.15-18).
 
12:14. David’s sin had brought the name of God into disrepute. Such knowledge ought to serve as a deterrent to willful sin on the part of believers (cf. 1 Tim.5:14; 6:1).’
 
Please read those references Friends, for they are quite informative. And we all know how Bruh David fasted and prayed and cast himself upon the earth during the child’s sickness, and refused to be comforted. His people were even afraid to tell him when the child died, figuring that he would become even more depressed and distraught.
 
But Bruh David sees them whispering and figures out that the child has died, and when they confirm it: ‘Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required (requested), they set bread before him, and he did eat.’ (2 Sam.12:20)
 
Ah Friends, in all of that sorrow, Bruh David still remembered His God, and the first thing he did after cleaning up himself was to go to His house and worship Him. In our times of sorrow we ought also to remember our God.
 
And please note too his logic when asked by his staff about his strange behaviour; sort of mourning when the child was alive and coming out of mourning when he died.
 
‘And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God, will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’ (2 Sam.12:22-23)
 
The long and short of the story though my people, is that SIN DOES NOT PAY!
 
And though we will always receive forgiveness for our repentance, the Lord will usually require, or requite some punishment for our transgressions. And usually the sooner we own up to the wrongdoing, the better. The worse thing we can ever do is deny our transgressions.
 
That’s the beauty of Bruh David’s walk with God; though he sinned abominably, he came clean when confronted with it, and the Lord was merciful and magnanimous enough to not take away everything from him. In fact He even gave him another child from Bathsheba, Cousin Sol (Solomon), the richest and wisest king ever to sit on Israel’s throne, and in the end Bruh David was a kinsman, forefather of God’s only Son, Jesus.
 
And we’ll end with some passages from one of Bruh David’s greatest psalms, Psalm 51; A prayer for cleansing, something he wrote after His tragic liaison with Bathsheba.
 
‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
 
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified (be found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest…. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. 
 
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps.51:1-4, 15-17)
 
Oh Friends, that’s possibly another reason why the Lord LOVED Bruh David so much and kept blessing him. He never shied away or tried to hide his hurt, his pain, his sin and whatever emotions he was feeling at a particular time. He always cried out to the God of his fathers whether in a good or bad situation with thanks and pleas for help.
 
And that’s how the Lord wants it with us too, my people. We need to cry out to Him with praise, thanks and pleas for help under any and all circumstances, good, bad and/or indifferent, for the Lord wants to play an integral part in all aspects of our lives.
 
So let’s remember that, and don’t try to hide or run from Him, but come to Him with confidence with whatever is troubling us, for He has promised to cleanse and forgive us once we confess our wrongdoing. And He is ever-faithful to keep His promises.
 
But please remember too that there’s usually a price to pay for wrongdoing, for though our God is a great, merciful and forgiving Deity, He is also a God of truth and justice, and disobedience must be paid for if He is to retain His righteousness, as Bruh David notes in the psalm above, (vs.4).
 
That brings us to the end of this promise Friends. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

Let’s hope we learned from it, especially from the practical application of it in Bruh David’s life, and will make the necessary adjustments to our own lives, so that we don’t fall into the same sinful traps and snares of Beelzebub.
 
For that will only further complicate our lives, bring God’s Word into disrepute and cause Him to admonish us. And if there’s one thing we can certainly do without is His admonishment. Much LOVE!
 
…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken (listen)…than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)