Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2016 Psalm 68:3

Psalm 68:3.   But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

Oh friends, the ole fella’s somewhat disappointed this morning. First in myself, for writing that yesterday was Thursday when it was only Wednesday. And second because none of my supposed faithful readers saw it fit to write me and point out the error. 

But all of that’s history now. It’s become a testimony; that one can get so caught up and excited in Jesus that you don’t even know the days of the week! (smile) 

So what shall we do today? I guess we’ll just preach yesterday’s sermon today, beginning by wailing our heads off. There’s nothing that says we must wail on a particular day. For that matter we can do anything on any given day. 

So let’s wail nuh. ‘Thursday, Thursday, Thursday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Thursday! Thursday, Thursday, Thursday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Thursday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes my brethren, the day’s not as important as what we declare in it! And I’m sure glad to be alive on this Wednesday or Thursday, (smile) although I’m a tad under the weather, with a touch of the flu. But it’s certainly great to be alive, and I’m trying my best to keep my hands on the plough and look straight ahead to that glorious future with Jesus! 

I sure hope that you all are feeling the same way too. If not, you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice, for Jesus is the ONLY answer to our problems! He ALONE can heal our hurts and pains, give us comfort in time of sorrow, feed us with manna from heaven, and bring us to salvation and eternal life! 

Give Him some thanks and praise for His wondrous deeds on our behalf nuh! And all God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for He is our Be All and End All; the First and the Last; King of Kings and Lord of Lords; Ruler of heaven and earth! There is NONE else like Him! NONE worthy to be exalted above Him! All glory and honour be to Him!’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s how important Jesus is to us. And we’ll continue with our Bit, the same one from yesterday: ‘But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.’ 

Ah friends, if we’re Jesus’ people, and we’re righteous – well as righteous as we can be – then we ought to be glad and rejoice in the presence of our great and wonderful God. 

As the psalmist so rightfully says: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) It would be good, very beneficial, if we can remind ourselves of that fact each and every day my people. 

Now let’s check out some more wonderful scripture passages that deal with praising Almighty God. Listen to the psalmist from Psalm 66 – The great works of God. 

‘Make a joyful noise (shout) unto God; all ye lands: sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Say unto God, How terrible (awesome) art thou in thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.   Selah.’ (Ps.66:1-4) 

Yeh friends, ponder that for a moment nuh! Now listen to Moses exhort the Israelites. ‘Thou shalt fear the Lord they God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave (hold fast), and swear by his name. 

He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible (awesome) things, which thine eyes have seen. Thy fathers went down into Egypt with three score and ten persons; and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.’ (Deut.10:20-22) 

Ah mih people, what mighty and awesome works the Lord our God did indeed do in the sight of those Israelites of old! Who else could part the Red Sea and allow them to walk across it on dry land eh, then swallow up the army of Pharaoh in a wall of water? 

Who else could have led them through the wilderness by a pillar of cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night, assuring them of His presence and safety from their enemies? And who else could have given them water from a rock, manna and meat more than sufficient for their needs in the wilderness eh? 

NONE but the mighty, ever-lasting and ever-living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! No wonder we praise and thank Him as much as we do! 

Now let’s end with this exhortation from Psalm 33 – Praise to the Lord for His creation. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for his praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 

Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:1-5) 

And indeed it is my fellow believers! So today, as we go about the Lord’s business, please let’s remember to be thankful and give Him praise for all that He’s done, is doing now and has promised to do in the future for us. 

Remember, He is our Creator, our bread and butter, our calm in the time of storm, and the merciful giver of salvation and eternal life! Much LOVE!

…Christians are the most blessed people in the world…therefore they should also be the most joyful… P.S. 

Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, you know the ole fella’s late night tendencies. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2015 Psalm 22:9 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 22:9.   But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.

Well Friends, it’s a wonderful Wednesday! We’re alive, the sun’s shining brightly, it’s fairly warm, God is still on His throne, and the universe is unfolding as it ought! Glory Hallelujah!

It also means that we’re now halfway through our work week, so please don’t give in or give up, don’t look back, just keep pressing patiently and excellently forward in Jesus’ name!

And all God’s people gave a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’

And I couldn’t resist sharing this poem from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, it seemed so appropriate. It’s titled, I TRUST YOU.’

And it says: ‘Lord, it was on an April morning So many years ago That You said to me so clearly “Trust Me and you won’t be disappointed.” Having heard You on that special morning I simple cannot “unhear” you now.

I can’t forget that morning Nor do I think You want me to. Because You live in an eternal Now Your words are just as relevant today As they were that long-ago morning. I trust You. You will not disappoint me!’

And that’s the God-awesome truth my people! Once we have paid attention to, accepted God’s call on our lives, He will NEVER, NEVER disappoint us! You can bet the bank on that!

Why? Because our God is omnipotent and ever-faithful, and as the Bible Promise used for that poem says: ‘Jesus Christ (is) the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.’ (Heb.13:8) More God-awesome truth Friends!

And that unchangeable position provides us with a strong, uncompromising sense of safety and security. So we’re not surprised or confounded when Bruh David solemnly declares in our Bit: ‘But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.’

Ah mih people, the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He breathed His wonderful breath of live into our little bodies. And that word ‘HOPE’ is such a marvellous and magnificent word that with our finite minds, we can never really begin to comprehend its awesome meaning. But I’ve tried to break it down to it’s elementary potential.

‘H’ stands for Humour. Humour dissipates tension, cools situations like nothing else. And laughter is the best free remedy and medicine in the world! ‘O’ stands for Opportunity. We need to be always on the lookout for opportunities to serve God, for they crop up when we least expect them to.

‘P’ stands for Patience and Perseverance. We need to bide our time quietly, but still keep keeping on with the perseverance Christ expects of us. And ‘E’ stands for Enthusiasm, Endurance, Encouragement, Exhortation and all the other good stuff that lifts our spirits!

And that’s my take on the word ‘HOPE.’ Hope it makes sense. (smile)

Now let’s look at some scriptures that deal with ‘HOPE’ in all its different circumstances. And we’re going to begin with a statement from Job, who after enduring the cruel remarks and judgements of his supposed friends, says of God: ‘He hath destroyed me (breaks me down) on every side, and I am gone: and mine HOPE hath he removed (uprooted) like a tree.’ (Job 19:10)

Oh Friends, it’s such a sad and desolate time when our HOPE dies! We need to avoid that happening like the plague. For if there’s no HOPE in our souls, then there’s no reason really for living. For as Cousin Sol so wisely tells us in Proverbs. ‘HOPE deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12)

What a powerful statement my people! And the scholars explain it thus: ‘13:12. HOPE deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’

What a powerful truth, for when we lose HOPE our lives just seem to fall apart. But when we recapture that strong emotion, oh mih breddren, our lives are just flooded with purpose and promise, and we move on from strength to strength in Jesus.

Now listen to the Sons of Korah on the subject from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘Why art thou cast down , O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? HOPE thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (help, salvation), and my God.’ (Ps.42:11)

Yes Friends, that is wisdom personified! Being merely frail and fickle humans, our HOPES and fears and dreams are always in a state of confusion, a state of turmoil, that’s why it’s ever so necessary and important to hold on to the HOPE we find in Almighty God.

As we saw yesterday, the Good Book tells that ‘HOPE is the anchor of our soul.’ (Heb.9:19) What a promise, what an anchor my brethren! We couldn’t want for a better anchor than that which is secured in heaven!

And we shall end with a most encouraging and appropriate verse on the subject from Psalm 31. Bruh David wisely advises us: ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that HOPE in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:24)

That my Friends is heavenly wisdom at its peak! So please let’s go out and put it into action in our lives today, so that we can be worthwhile ambassadors for Jesus. That’s all He really desires of us. Much LOVE!

…without HOPE…a man’s life is technically over…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2014 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. 

Oh Friends, that day that many of us have been dreading, and a few of us longing for, is finally here! Yes, it’s Monday! Give the Lord a shout of praise for that nuh!
 
And you better believe that the shout was a mere whimper in comparison to the moans and groans and complaints. (smile) That means that many of us still did not prepare properly yesterday for today, consequently the whining is plentiful this Monday morning.
 
But my people we have no choice, if we want to eat and have a roof over our heads, then we must work. So let’s be up and at ‘em nuh. Let’s have the sense of purpose that Jesus had, and desires all His followers to also have, whereby we come up over our problems with His faithful help, rather than endlessly whine and complain.
 
And to assist us in doing that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much vim and vigour. Let’s kindle a fire, a burning desire in our souls to get out there and do His bidding. As one harmonious body now, let’s light up the universe with song:
 
‘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!’
 
Not bad at all Friends, not bad at all! Sufficient to ignite our spirits and cause the adrenalin to bubble up and flow like a lively stream just skipping along delightedly over its bed unconcerned, not worrying where it was going, or how and when it would get there, because it knew that it was in in good hands, the hands of its Creator. So too should we be my people.
 
And with that we’ll segue into our Bit. ‘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.’
 
Yes my brethren, confidence is a helluva thing, and it’s oh so important where we put it, and where we get it from! And the psalmist is definitely right when he declares that the Lord God Almighty, our Creator and Provider, is the most appropriate personage in whom to place our trust and confidence, rather than in mortal man, be they lowly or powerful.
 
And it’s a very logical conclusion since mortal man does not control the universe, has no effective control even over his own destiny. He’s here today and gone tomorrow, blown away in the wind and forgotten, like the dust from which he was formed. He has no control over the breath of life in his finite body, which was breathed into him by the infinite Jehovah God, His Maker.
 
So why should we put our confidence and trust in such a flimsy and unsure body eh?  Meanwhile, as the scriptures tell us, the Lord, our omnipotent God, endures from generation to generation. He was the FIRST, and He will be the LAST! No doubt about that my fellow believers!
 
Now let’s check out some scriptures that wisely advise us to put our trust and confidence in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And we’ll get the ball rolling with some wise words from Cousin Sol. ‘In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart (turn one away) from the snares of death.’ (Prov.14:26-27)
 
And in my humble existence Friends, I can find nothing to dispute the truth of those words.
 
Meanwhile, the sons of Korah staunchly declare in Psalm 84: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12)
 
Oh my brethren, in my three score and odd years, I’ve found no reason to doubt those words either.
 
Now listen to Bruh David expound on God’s goodness and power from Psalm 40 – praise for answered prayer. ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
 
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee (recounted): if I would declare them, they are more than can be numbered.’ (Ps.40:3-5)
 
Now Friends, if we have a powerful and trustworthy Deity like that looking after our affairs, then why should we trust relatively powerless and unwise mortal man eh? No reason whatsoever my people.
 
But unfortunately, a lot of us can’t believe what we don’t see and/or feel, and are also greatly influenced by the lustful appetites of the world. Therefore we still put our sincere trust and confidence in wicked mortal man, though we are disappointed by him most of the time.
 
Oh Friends, if we ever hope to turn this evil and ungodly world around, then we have to start making wise decisions. And the first and wisest of them all is to stop trusting in untrustworthy man and begin trusting in a faithful and LOVING God. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!
 
…to trust…to trust…and yet to trust in Almighty God…that is the duty of man…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2014 Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11.     He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Oh Friends, it’s Tuesday – tearful Tuesday! That’s because of the many tears we’ll shed this morning, having to get up and go out to work, tired, sleep deprived, moaning and groaning, after the long, loud, lusty and lustful Labour Day weekend. (smile)
 
Don’t worry my brethren, the ole fella’s in the same boat. I shed a few tears my self just now when I had to get up to write the Bit, after only about three hours of sleep. But having cried out for LOVE and mercy and grace, I’m facing up to my task, assured of heavenly blessing and guidance to complete it in a worthwhile manner.
 
And I just want to comment here, give a personal testimony, on some thing I heard my Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) say this weekend. He claims he wasn’t the least bit interested in being the pastor at Lakewood Church after his father went to be with the Lord some ten years ago.
 
He was quiet happy being in the background looking after the television aspect of the ministry. However, deep down inside, he felt that it was his calling, his destiny, and once he accepted that unforeseen role, despite all the problems surrounding it, he experienced an inner peace within himself that he just could not understand.
 
But it was the Lord’s peace; that peace that surpasses all human understanding.
 
On hearing that, it just brought back to my memory the surprising and unexpected peace I also experienced when my mother Molly died three years ago.
 
I was in California at the time, on a short vacation, the first time I’d left the country in some four or five years, and was most surprised and disappointed when I got the news of her passing, without me even having a chance to say a formal goodbye, and she, just a couple days before telling me that she wasn’t yet ready to go home.
 
But soon thereafter, I unexpectedly found myself at a point of quiet peace with situation. The Lord put a couple of understandable though not necessarily wonderful reasons in my heart for His action.
 
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed, sad and cried and grieved and everything else. But deep down inside I didn’t have the turmoil that usually comes with those kinds of situations. I remember remarking to myself how calm and collected I was, despite all the sorrow and heartache surrounding me.
 
I now realize that that was indeed the peace of God which passes all human understanding, which allows us to have a calm interior, while the winds of the storm are wreaking havoc all around us on the outside.
 
And the moral of the story is that when the storm clouds of trouble and sorrow surround us, it is indeed possible to have internal peace, if we turn to our wonderful God and cast all our cares upon Him, as He so generously advises. ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’(1 Pet. 5:7)
 
He will certainly keep ALL of His promises; of never leaving nor forsaking us, of having good plans for our lives, plans of hope and a good future, to also bring us through the fire suitably changed but unscathed, working it all out for our good in His time and manner.
 
No wonder Isaiah likens Him to a shepherd in our Bit, for a true shepherd cares for and looks after his flock with total concentration. ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those with young.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, what a wonderful word portrait of our great Provider, Jehovah Raffa!
 
And there are lots of scriptures that describe Him as a shepherd because the old Jewish society was agrarian, and best-understood stuff couched in agricultural terminology.
 
Now let’s look at some of those scriptures that portray our omnipotent, LOVING, merciful, most caring and forgiving God as a shepherd. And the obvious scripture to begin with are the words of Jesus Himself, of whom Isaiah was prophesying, when he made the claims in our Bit.
 
Jesus unequivocally declares to His listeners: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
 
The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so knoweth I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
 
And other sheep I have (Gentiles), which are not of this fold (Jews): them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10: 11-16)
 
Oh Friends, how much more convincing and eloquent can Jesus be eh? Not much. He says it all right there.
 
Meanwhile Jeremiah in his prophecy declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (coastlands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.’ (Jer.31:10)
 
And Micah, in talking of the deliverers from Bethlehem, tells us: ‘And he shall stand and feed (shepherd his flock) in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.’ (Mic.5:4)
 
Then Peter declares it thus: ‘For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls.’ (1 Pet.2:25) There he is quoting Isaiah 53:5-6.
 
And we’ll close with the most famous scripture passage, re the analogy of God to a shepherd. Hear these beautiful, soul-searching, uplifting and inspiring words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside still waters (waters of rest).
 
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:1-4)
 
Oh my people, please take heart, for despite all the troubles that surround us, all the fires we must pass through, our wonderful heavenly Father, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our helper and comforter, are always around us, leading us to green pastures filled with restful, sweet tasting and rejuvenating water.
 
So today, please put all your trust and faith and hope in our Triune God, who watches over and protects us like a true shepherd does his sheep. Much LOVE!
 
…when the Good Shepherd, Jesus comes a calling…His sheep will recognize His voice…and heed His righteous and comforting call…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2014 Mark 5:36b

Mark 5:36b.        Be not afraid, only believe.
 

Well Friends, it’s Monday once again! Time to be up and at ‘em! Steups! I was up and at ‘em early enough, but just as I was almost finished, a power black out happened, and though I was saving the stuff, I still lost a fair amount of it.
 
And the sad and hurtful part is that I usually write a rough copy, but today I didn’t. Yuh see the method to my madness mih young daughter? She always laughs at me for doing a rough copy.
 
Anyway, my advice to you was to stop complaining and whining and get on with going to work in a fairly pleasant mood. But as the Lord would have it, I was tested before I even got done. Ah Lord eh! I’m laughing now, but believe me, I did moan and groan some back then.
 
However, as I keep telling us, I just have to suck it up, grin and bear it and start over. Hn! So without further ado, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty spunk and harmony, for I surely need something to boost my spirits. (smile) 
 
‘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 wonderful Friends! I was moved. Thanks. And I guess by now you’ve realized that I never finished all the scriptures that I wanted to yesterday, (smile) hence our Bit of Jesus’ few, simple, but powerful words again. ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’
 
And the first scripture I want to deal with comes from John 14, where Jesus is telling His disciples that He is the way, the ONLY WAY to the Father. The chapter opens thus: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ (John 14:1)
 
And the scholars say this about that verse. ’14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus just having told him of his imminent denial of His Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church.
 
His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’
 
But wouldn’t you know it, there is doubt and disbelief in the camp. Thomas questions Jesus about where He is going, and while trying to enlighten Thomas, about Him being the way the truth and the life, and if He had known Him he would also have known the Father, Philip says to Jesus: ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us.’ (John 14:8)
 
Poor Jesus, He must have been so disappointed with them, and goes on to lecture Philip. ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?
 
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself (my own authority): but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
 
Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:9-14)
 
And we’ll end with some important and interesting explanations on those verses from the scholars. ’14:9. Seen me…seen the Father: There are no attributes of deity that the Son does not possess. This statement is most powerful. Everything that is true of God the Father is also true of the Son. The doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament may be inscrutable (wholly mysterious), but it is also inescapable.
 
14:11. Works’ sake: Jesus reiterates what He had said to the Pharisees (10:38), but here His words fall on receptive ears. The works have evidential value to the unsaved (to convince of the truth), and the saved (to assure of the truth).
 
14:12. Greater works: Greater in quantity, certainly not quality. Christ’s ministry was primarily to Israel. His followers were going to reach the limits of the world.
 
14:13-14. In my name means “as my agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26) It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works.” The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’
 
Oh my people, I do hope that we received and digested all that info from the scholars, because all those promises still stand today for us! Wow! Unlimited resources to do God’s work. Whichever employer ever offers that eh? None!
 
So let’s get it together this Monday morning nuh, let’s be wise and accept all that Jesus offers, so that we can be a powerful force in His name, in this evil and ungodly world. For that my Friends is the epitome of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to believe or not to believe…some find it a difficult question…but the answer is simple and straightforward…BELIEVE…

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2014 Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, our God is a great and most wonderful Deity! Please give Him praise and thanks, oodles and oodles of it, for He is most deserving of our thanks and praise!

And I say that, because as I walk down memory lane today, I note where in the past two weeks He’s unexpectedly brought so many people from my past into my present orbit. Thank You Lord! And from the very depths of my soul, again I say, Thank You!
 
It has certainly been interesting and overwhelming to say the least, for like every day, someone else just unexpectedly comes out of the woodwork. And that shouldn’t be so surprising since our God majors in the unexpected.
 
And talking about the unexpected, yesterday afternoon while hanging out at the Duchess’ friend’s bar with my Uncle Foster, who had earlier come from Trinidad to visit me, my cell phone rang.
 
When I answered it, I discovered that it was another old friend from school days, who was also in town. He now resides in New York, and I had seen him at Caribana in Toronto a few years ago, so the time span between contact wasn’t as great as with so many others. 
 
But while talking to him, I learned that since I last saw him, he had gone through several surgeries for some internal problems. And that was after having been through many more  before that. It’s good to see that he has that fighting, never say die, never give up attitude.
 
And it’s also nice to know that he gives the Bit some credit for helping him make it through some of the rough times, both in the hospital and at home. He says it helps him keep his faith strong, and not give in to self-pity and the desire to give up this painful earthly life.
 
I went to visit him this morning after church, and he does look strong, but he has to go back to Trinidad for some tests and other medical procedures tomorrow. Let’s pray that the Lord will bless him and cause everything to go all right. His name is Anthony Massiah, so please remember him in your prayers.
 
And that was about all the out of the ordinary memories I made yesterday, because after dropping my Uncle Foster home, we just came home and relaxed, watched the Leafs beat Ottawa in a high-spirited ice-hockey game, then went to bed, got up this morning and went to church.
 
On the church matter though my fellow believers, I was greatly disappointed to see the small number of people in the congregation. If you were to put everybody together, it might have taken up possibly one quarter of the church.
 
Now that certainly doesn’t speak well of the church’s health. But I’m not privy to their problems, so I can’t offer any positive critique and /or advice. I just know that the three times I’ve been there recently, the crowds were noticeably smaller than the two occasions on my last trip to Tobago, some fifteen months ago.
 
Ah Friends and fellow believers, we need to pray for the state of Christ’s church all over the world, because in many cases, for one reason or another, the numbers are sadly dwindling, and we definitely can’t allow that negative trend to continue. Through heartfelt prayer and seriously addressing the problems causing this fall away, we need to actively participate in the renewal of Christ’s earthly body, for it’s a godly trust given to us, to strengthen and grow it.
 
Unfortunately though, for whatever reasons, we’re falling down on the job. And how can we allow that to happen after reading our Bit eh? ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’
 
Yesterday we saw how many things, faithful blessings and benefits, those few words of Bruh Paul contained. And continuing on, we note even more blessings and benefits.
 
‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in LOVE: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children (as sons) by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.’ (Eph.1:4-5)
 
Yes Friends, the Lord chose us to be His adopted children through Jesus, long before He even laid the foundations of the world! That means, even before time began He was totally interested in us, LOVING us, through His own will, not through anything we would or could do. He had set us apart, sanctified us, to be holy and blameless before Him, walking in LOVE.
 
Now here are a few interesting notes from the scholars. ‘1:4. The connecting thought linking verses 3 and 4 is this: Just as (According as) God has blessed believers with every spiritual blessing “in Christ” (v.3), so in like manner it was in (or by) him that he hath chosen us. God never intended to bless man apart from Christ. All God does for man, He does through His Son.’
 
And they continue: ‘1:4-5. The last two words of verse 4 (in LOVE) may well belong to verse 5; the link between verb forms in these two verses is expressed in this rendering: “He chose us…in that He LOVINGLY predestined us.” So the divine choice of verse 4 is further defined by the divine predestination of verse 5.
 
Predestinated means “marked out in advance,” “determined or appointed beforehand.” Prior to creation God appointed those who would believe unto (or, for) the adoption of children; that is, He appointed them to be His sons. This divine appointment was according to (because of) the good pleasure of his will; it was due not to anything good in ourselves, but due solely to His kindness. 
 
These verses stress the divine sovereignty in salvation. Verses 12 and 13, which mention our trust and belief in Christ, emphasize the human responsibility in the process.’ 
 
Yes my people, the Lord put a whole lot of thought and LOVE into His plan of creation, putting us believers first in it. We therefore owe Him a large debt of gratitude and thanks for all those wonderful benefits and blessings He’s currently showering down on us, and also has stored up in heavenly places, marked with our names.
 
So please, let’s endeavor to do a better job of living and working for Him than we’re presently doing nuh. Yuh know all He asks of us is just to try and follow in the footsteps of His Son, become more like our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. That’s not too much to ask, after all He’s done for us. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know, Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him… 
 
P.S. Oh Friends, the wife just called me outside on the balcony to see a beautiful rainbow, after a light shower of rain. Mama Mia! It seems like I only see rainbows in Tobago. (smile) The last one I saw was coming over in the plane from Trinidad on my last visit. I’ll take it as the harbinger of good tidings. Much LOVE!  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2013 Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22.    The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Oh Friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I’m tired of the snow and cold already! And that’s only the first big snowfall and cold spell of the year. I guess I’m tired mainly because I had to be out and about in it all.
 
But here this, the weather people are forecasting above freezing temps and rain for later this week! That discrepancy and uncertainty is what drives people crazy and also gets them sick, because they don’t know how to properly prepare for the weather in these changing times.
 
However Friends, I also have the answer, the antidote for it all; prayer!
 
And like Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) describes it in his devotional for yesterday: ‘Prayer is the umbilical cord that allows you – with your embryonic ideas – to draw nourishment from a source that you, like an unborn infant, can neither see nor fully know or comprehend – God our heavenly Father! Prayer is the power that pulls everything together successfully.’
 
And that’s a novel but absolutely true way to put it my people! When I read it yesterday, I just knew that I had to share it with you. And would you believe that I’ve been reading that devotional for a number of years now, and that idea did not even sound familiar when I read it yesterday.
 
Ah Lord eh! Makes you wonder what I’m thinking about when I read them. (smile) I guess though, that I wasn’t mature enough in Christ for it to make a notable impression on me, before yesterday. But who knows, since our God moves in such mysterious and unfathomable ways with His higher thoughts and methods.
 
Anyway, the important thing is that I’ve finally recognized it, so let’s turn to our Bit. ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’
 
More undeniable truth my brethren! For when our God blesses us, we know that we are blessed, and He doesn’t include any sorrow in it. Now maybe the sorrow will come before, or even after the blessing, (smile) but the blessings are usually blessings alone.
 
And we’ll continue from where we left off yesterday, with Abraham’s servant being sent to his master’s home country, Mesopotamia, to find a wife for Isaac from his brethren. And Friends, it’s not by luck or chance, but rather by divine decree and guidance, that Abraham’s servant ended up in the city where Nahor, Abraham’s brother dwelt.
 
Neither was it luck or chance, but divine appointment, that caused Rebekah to come out and fulfill all the conditions that the servant had desired of the Lord in prayer.
 
Oh mih people, yuh see the wonderful and inescapable truth of what we’ve been saying above, about prayer being the lifeline, the umbilical cord to God! The servant prayed faithfully, setting some parameters, and asking the Lord to send someone favourable to fulfill them.
 
And I like how the Good Book says that before he was even finished making his requests known to God, that Rebekah showed up. (Gen.24:15a) Oh my brethren, we can’t ask for a better example than that of faithful and fulfilled prayer!
 
And if you read what transpired afterwards, as I asked you to do yesterday, (Gen.24:16-25), you’d have seen Rebekah offer the servant drink, as well as offer to quench his camels thirst. And when she’d fulfilled her pledge, he gave her an expensive gold nose ring, weighing half a shekel, approximately $960.00, since a shekel of gold is worth around $1920.00. To that he added 2 gold bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight. Do the math my people.
 
And after he enquired about her family, she then ran home and told her family about the strange happening that had befallen her. That brought her big brother Laban out to meet the servant. And to make a long story short, (smile) they invited him to lodge with them. He graciously accepted the offer, and after the camels were looked after, they set food before him, but he refused to eat before he divulged his purpose. (Gen.24:28-33)
 
‘And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses (donkeys).’ (Gen.24:34-35)
 
What I want us to note here my fellow believers, is the difference in blessings. In the first scenario, the Lord showed the servant favour by granting his prayerful request, while in the second, He gave Abraham material wealth.
 
So not because our Bit says that the blessings of our God make us rich, it doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth. The blessings of our great and wonderful God can come in all shapes, sizes and forms, whatever suits His purpose. His omnipotence and LOVING-kindness don’t limit Him to any one kind of blessing.
 
And that’s something all believers ought to fully understand. Not because we pray for material wealth or any other kind of blessing means that we’ll automatically receive it. We’ll be showered with whatever fits the needs of God’s plan for our lives.
 
And until we fully understand and appreciate that point, we’ll always feel disappointed and/or hard done by our God. But we need to remember that God’s not there to simply do our bidding, to serve our selfish and petty requests.
 
On the contrary, we are here to serve His desires; to LOVE Him, to LIVE out our Faith, and to SPREAD His Holy Word! At times though, we seem to forget that HE is the MASTER, and we are the SERVANTS, not vice versa! 
 
And on that oh so important remembrance, we’ll close for today. I don’t want to give us too much to ponder on, (smile) just enough to keep us focused in the right direction – on Jesus Christ, our ever-LOVING Lord and Saviour. Much much LOVE my fellow believers!
 
…this Christmas season…let’s show the world what true LOVE is all about nuh…by keeping Jesus first and foremost…in our hearts, minds, souls and actions…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2013 Psalm 19:14

Psalm 19:14.     Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock) and my redeemer.

And the crowd sang lustily: ‘Monday, oh Monday; just can’t wait for you to come…!’
 
Now, for the good news Friends; Monday is here! Glory Hallelujah! Nothing like the bearer of good tidings eh! And please don’t shoot or curse the messenger, or whine and complain about being tired and otherwise, for that’s not the proper response for followers of Jesus. Simply get up and gratefully say: ‘Thank You Lord for allowing me to see another beautiful day on your beautiful planet Earth.’ Then get yourself together to go out and labour.
 
And as always, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn is here to get our sluggish engines started, get the adrenalin flowing so that we can go out and represent Jesus in the best manner possible. Now let’s raise the roof of heaven this Monday morning, with a most excellent vocalization. (smile)
 
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!’
 
Yes mih people, that was indeed most excellent!
 
Meanwhile, up in heaven, the Father cannot contain Himself, and high-fives Jesus, saying: ‘Yes mih boy! Your people are certainly in good voice this morning. But let’s see how they’ll do when it comes time to join the battle with that deceitful fool Lucifer.’
 
Without missing a beat, a smiling and confident Jesus just raises His right hand in a clenched fist salute and replies: ‘Don’t worry Father, they’ll do just fine! I have the utmost faith in them.’
 
The Father LOVINGLY pats Him on the back and says: ‘I’m glad to hear that Son. Wouldn’t want You to be disappointed in the people You’ve chosen.’ 
 
But Jesus calmly rejoins: ‘Don’t concern Yourself Father. I’ve personally vetted every one of them, and they ALL have what it takes to be true, loyal and faithful followers.’
 
The Father then embraces Jesus in a tight and warm bear hug, and says: ‘Thank You Son. I know the feeling, for I also had the utmost faith in You when I sent You down there to redeem them from their abominable sins.’  
 
Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, all yuh hear that conversation that just went on up there in heaven! Jesus put His actual life on the line once for us already, now He’s putting His credibility before the Father, His ability to pick good followers, guaranteeing our faithfulness! That means that come hell or high water, (smile) we just cannot let Him down, we can’t afford to disappoint Him, especially after all He’s innocently suffered on our behalf.
 
And after the Father done boast about Him and place Him on that high pedestal, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that HE’S THE GREATEST, the ONLY real SUPERSTAR! 
 
No sir! We definitely can’t let Jesus down. So please, today, RIGHT NOW, let’s get truly serious about being His followers nuh, and get ourselves out into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, requesting His help, like Bruh David did in the memorable words of our Bit: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (rock) and my redeemer.’ 
 
Yes Friends, all of us know those words, but too many of us just mouth them as simple platitudes, without taking them seriously. Today though, I want ALL of us to begin paying very close attention to them because they are of the utmost importance in our life of faith. Our hearts and minds control our thoughts, emotions and beliefs, and thus greatly influence the paths we choose, while our words declare what’s in our hearts and minds.
 
Remember too that words contain unimaginable power. So much so, that God used them to create the universe and all therein, as described in Genesis chapters 1 and 2.
 
And don’t forget either these wise and truthful words of Jesus: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11)  Therefore let’s pay close attention to our words, for they can either make or break us.
 
More on this Bit tomorrow, God willing. Till then, may the Lord bless and keep us safely ensconced under the LOVING protection of His mighty wings, give us His wonderful peace and fill our hearts with His unconditional, eternal LOVE!  Much much LOVE to all you, my fellow believers in Christ!
 
…oh what joy and gratitude enriches our souls…when Jesus is the Master of our lives…