Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘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) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2018 Psalm 40:3.

Psalm 40:3.   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.

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s time once again for the weekly refuelling of our spirits at God’s fuelling station, His sanctuary! Praise the Lord! We all can use that refuelling as the world and the enemy have certainly put us through our paces this past week and thus our spirits are low on fuel. That’s why we are coming in droves to church; to hear His word, sing praises to His holy name, fellowship with each other, and consequently refill our spiritual tanks, so that we can face the world with confidence and courage this upcoming week. 

And as we’re wont to do, let’s open with a hymn of praise, an old favourite, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ It was written by one Johnson Oatman (1856-1922), born near Medford, New Jersey. And it’s said that he wrote over three thousand hymns, which means that ‘no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Glory be mih people! Three thousand hymns are a lot of hymns yes! Wonder where he found time to write them all, especially when he was apparently a local preacher, a businessman with his father and an Insurance Agent? The important thing though is that he penned this one that we know and LOVE so much. Let’s belt it our now with sacrificial praise from our lips, and while doing that, see how many blessings we can also count. (smile) 

As one harmonic choir now: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by. (Refrain) When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy] Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain) 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {* And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.)’

Oh faithful followers of Christ, if we truly sit down and count the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us because of Jesus, will we ever be surprised! Why? Because they are so plentiful. Some of them we don’t even notice, they’ve been around for so long, that we now take them for granted. But please remember that everything in this world belongs to God, and it’s only through His wonderful generosity, mercy and grace that we can enjoy the good things that we do enjoy. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘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.’ Yes friends, it is an appropriate scripture for this morning. Having counted our blessings and finding so many, it’s only natural that a new song of praise to our heavenly Father will rise up in our hearts and souls! 

And Bruh David follows up our Bit with this other momentous verse: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Ps.40:4) What an awesome statement of indisputable truth! That’s the best way to receive blessings from Almighty God, both down here on earth and put aside some in heaven for eternal life. 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph.1:3) Ah mih people, the Lord has blessings stored up for us in heaven, all done through the work of Christ. That’s why Bruh Paul also advised us: ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) 

And the scholars add this explanation. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, we know it’s not always easy to look up in the tough times and give thanks, but please remember what Jesus has done for us, and that it’s only through and because of him, the Father is showering so many wonderful blessings on us. And with His help, we can do ALL things. As Bruh Paul so succinctly put it: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

And we’ll close with these words from the sons of Korah in Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘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) That says it all friends! Much LOVE!

…he who has an ear…let him hear what the scripture says…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2018 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.

Ah friends, it’s one of those days when you start out behind the eight ball. I went to bed fairly early, but `woke up late with my back aching like crazy. I don’t understand it nuh. The body calls for rest, but when I rest the body for any decent length of time, I wake up with more aches and pains than I went to bed with. Chuh! It’s just not right! (smile) 

Then it looks like we’re going to have a bleak snowy day with temps in the minus something or other. Steups! And to make matters worse, I happened to glimpse the weather forecast for T&T and it was projected to be plus thirty. That’s where I ought to be! 

And I’m not worried, because I know that I’ll be there at some stage of the game, but right now, the Lord in His awesome wisdom has other plans for my life in the cold weather, so I’ll just have to grin and bear it, while keeping my eyes focused on the future promise. 

Enough of my bellyaching though, here are a couple of more important things for us to concentrate on. The first is a Daily Bread Thought for the day, which says: ‘Pray your way past the urge to do wrong.’ And the second comes from the great Christian writer, Oswald Chambers, who tells us that: ‘Prayer imparts the power to walk and not faint.’ 

Both those sayings are gospel truths my brethren and wisdom of enormous proportions. Why? Because prayer is the most powerful medium on God’s great earth! It’s the direct line of communication with the Creator of the universe! It couldn’t get any better than that. 

Our problem is that we either refuse to pray, are afraid to pray, or pray for the wrong things, and when we don’t get them, we get discouraged and curse God and give up on Him. But remember God never promised to answer every prayer right away. He answers them in His own time and if they fit the direction He wants us to go. 

Oh friends, prayer is possibly the most important aspect of a believer’s life. Because that’ how we communicate with Almighty God. Look at Jesus, who though He was God Himself, still chose to live His earthly life through strong and consistent communication with His heavenly Father. 

As the Good Book says in our Bit: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ He never made important decisions without consulting the Father. 

Apparently on that occasion He was considering whether to continue preaching the gospel as the focal point of His ministry, which wasn’t being received too well, or to focus on the miracles aspects, which the people were lapping up. But He never left the Father out of His deliberations. And most important He ALWAYS made time to do it. 

We claim to be too busy to talk our Creator, which in reality friends is nonsense.  We find or make time to do every other worldly thing that seems important to us though. Whether we make time or not, just goes to show how important we consider communicating with the Father is to us. 

But friends, if we want to have good communication with God, we have to make time to talk to Him, regardless of what else is happening in our lives. Look at Jesus again. After He fed the five thousand with the five loaves and two fishes, (Matt.14:15-21), He sent the disciples away on a ship over the lake. 

‘And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart (by himself) to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.’ (Matt.14:23) Yuh see friends, Jesus MADE TIME to be with God. Look at this other example of Jesus’ full prayer life. This happened just before He chose the 12 disciples. 

‘And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles.’ (Luke 6:12-13) Another example of Jesus consulting His Father before making big decisions. 

But friends, the Lord doesn’t only want us to communicate with Him on big decisions, but on ALL decisions, be they big or small. That means He desires to be an integral part of our everyday lives. Whatever we’re doing, He wants to be involved in it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul in his writings talks about praying always, (Eph.6:18); praying without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17); and praying everywhere (1 Tim.2:8) The Lord wants to be in constant contact with us, and prayer is how He does it. So let’s be wise and MAKE TIME to communicate with Him nuh. It’s for our benefit, not His. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, a prayer that shows how connected we are with our God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In one strong and sincere voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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!’ 

And yuh know what friends, our puny minds can’t even begin to comprehend the future that really awaits us. We know it’s going to be glorious, but just how glorious, we have no true idea. But hang in there, and we’ll find out eventually. Much LOVE!

…eye hath not seen…nor ear heard…neither have entered into the heart of man…the things which God hath prepared…for them that LOVE him… (1 Cor.2:9)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2018 Isaiah 25:4.

Isaiah 25:4.   For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 

Ah friends, we’re sailing on the good ship Sunday, towards the sanctuary of God, where we will fall on our knees and praise and worship Him, give Him innumerable thanks, exalt His holy name and glorify Him without ceasing! 

Wow! What a time we will have in the sanctuary as we fellowship with each other, encourage each other, hear God’s word and bury it deep in our hearts, and souls, and eventually leave the sanctuary fortified with His strength and confidence, able to withstand whatever comes against us. And please remember the immortal words of the psalmist; this is the day the Lord hath made, let us all rejoice and be glad in it! That’s both wisdom and common sense friends! 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with worship in sweet song. This morning we’ll sing a Christian Gospel tune titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ It was originally written by a pastor, songwriter called Lawrence Chewning. Apparently the year of 1992 became known as the year of sorrows for him and his family. 

One sorrow after another hit them and finally Lawrence, depressed and discouraged, was left burnt out, so he took a six month sabbatical from his pastoring duties and during that time began playing the piano more, in an attempt to get closer to God. In this sorrowful time he read stuff about the long dark night of the soul, when it seems you just can’t find God anywhere, and also experienced that emptiness for a while. 

Then, one day, in his many hours of playing the piano, he discovered that he was writing a song, a song that was coming from deep down in his soul. It was so touching that it provided him with therapeutic help in his depression and discouragement. But the song was some ten minutes long. However, a couple of years later, he offered the song to his friend, Christian singer songwriter, Ray Boltz, who edited and recorded it and made it a hit. 

Ah friends, ‘The Anchor Holds’ is one of my favourite Gospel songs because I can testify to the truth of those immortal words. And if you’re a true believer, so too can you. So let’s offer it up through the sacrifice of our lips now nuh, with appropriate reverence and heartfelt sincerity. In glorious harmony: ‘I have journeyed Through the long dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone Sight unknown And yet His eyes were watching me (Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn) 

I have fallen on my knees As I faced the raging seas The anchor holds In spite of the storm I’ve had visions I’ve had dreams I’ve even held them in my hand But I never knew They would slip right through Like they were only grains of sand (Chorus) I have been young But I am older now And there has been beauty these eyes have seen But it was in the night Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved His LOVE to me. 

(Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn. Ohhh yes, The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn).’ 

Ah mih people what words of truth and encouragement! And it’s only when we are going through a stormy period in life that we can write such heartfelt words. You’ll notice too, that it’s during the storm that God proves His wonderful and unconditional LOVE to us, more so than when the seas are calm and quiet. 

Because that’s when we need Him the most, when we discover that our efforts are too puny to withstand the storm that’s bruising and battering us. And only when we take refuge in His safe harbour, when we allow Him to anchor our hearts and souls in the sheltered bay that’s His awesome LOVE and grace that we truly find rest and rejuvenation for our troubled, storm-filled lives. 

Oh what a wonderful God is our God! No wonder in Isaiah’s song of praise by the redeemed the survivors of the Great Tribulation exalt the Lord, lift their voices in praise to God for His protection. ‘O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap (a ruin); of a defensed (fortified) city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built (rebuilt). 

Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:1-4) 

Yeh friends, our God runs things; He controls it all. So in your time of need, who are you going to call eh, who are you going to run to for refuge? Almighty God, if you are wise! As the old reggae song says, ‘You’ll run to the rock for rescue, but there will be no rock.’ But if you run to the Creator of the universe, you’ll find Him ready, willing and able to offer help. 

As Isaiah prophesies about Jerusalem’s glorious future. ‘And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow (shade) in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert (shelter) from the storm and from rain.’ (Is.4:6) 

Oh friends, there’s no better place to hunker down in stormy times than under the wings of our heavenly Father, just like chicks hide under the mother hen’s wings when it rains, for under there we are guaranteed safe passage through the storms of life. Much LOVE!

…through the heartache…through the storm…take my hand precious Lord…lead me on…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes on) Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well friends, as they say, all good things must end! And it looks like this delightful, unexpected party of summer weather is over as of today! Chuh! But we’ve certainly enjoyed it while it lasted. 

As of tomorrow, we’re supposed to go to highs of around 19 Celsius, which is more like the normal temp for this time of year. So enjoy today’s twenty something high, cause it’s the last time we’ll see it for a long, long while. (smile)  

And today, I have an interesting excerpt to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared it before, but it certainly applies to a lot of us believers. It’s simply titled ‘Excuses.’ 

Please read with me. ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That you can see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreachable goals. I need your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what you know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Ah mih people, I’m sure all of us, at some time or other have made various excuses to God why we didn’t or couldn’t do something He desired of us, but deep down we knew that those excuses were pretty flimsy and couldn’t hold up to the Lord’s scrutiny. 

I don’t know why we insist on doing that foolishness nuh, when we very well know that the Lord can see right into our heart and detect the truth, including our nefarious motives. We all know that being a pilgrim here on earth is not easy, but we do have the wherewithal to handle whatever comes against us. 

And if we truly feel unable or afraid to do something, it’s better to go to God with the truth, than with a flimsy, selfish excuse. Remember, we can’t ever run, nor hide from God! But some of us still insist on trying. (smile) 

And the Bible verse for that poem, as well as today’s Bit, is one we all know. ‘Looking unto to (let us fix our eyes) on Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, in rough and uncertain times we need to keep our gaze fixed completely on Jesus, seeing how He handled His hard times and trying to do likewise. Our Bit talks about the joy that was set before Jesus. Yuh think His physical ‘sufferation’ and unholy crucifixion were joyful? 

Surely not! But the joy was the knowledge that His sacrificial death would set us free, pay our sin debt in full, and then elevate Him to the right hand of the Father, where He could still advocate on our behalf. That was the joy which Jesus beheld friends! 

And the scholars tell us: ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus has already done it all, we don’t need to carve out a new trail, just follow the one He has blazed. 

And I like the two verses after our Bit. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

For sure friends, the majority of us have not, and will never come up against anything close to what Jesus endured on our behalf. So just remember when things get rough and tough, that Jesus is the supreme example of endurance, both physical and spiritual, andHe is the One we must always look to, as a mighty example, and for help in our own endurance. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, which shows that we are truly on the right path, the straight and narrow one. In strong voice, with true sincerity: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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!’ 

How could it be anything other than that eh mih breddren? Much LOVE!

…what a glorious example we have in Jesus…in how to live a pilgrim’s life…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Ah friends, though the disasters and their devastating effects continue to haunt us, we must ALWAYS remember to give thanks for what we still have, most importantly life, and not mourn too much over what we have lost. 

It’s not easy going forward after the calamitous results of hurricanes and earthquakes, I can testify to that personally after experiencing hurricane Flora in 1963 in Tobago. But we have to move forward; that’s the only way that’s open to us. 

And we can ONLY truly move forward my people by truly surrendering to Almighty God, our Creator and Controller, by putting our sincere faith and trust in Him, and being obedient to His word. Who knows if that is the message He’s trying to relay to us through all these disasters eh? 

The wise thing to do would be to repent and turn back to Him, since we have strayed away from His fold and embraced pagan gods and man-made idols. And remember, from the very beginning, He commanded us in no uncertain manner: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:3) 

So although there have been numerous arguments as to what the words ‘before me,’ actually mean, the long and short of the story is simply as the scholars put it: ‘Thus the first commandment teaches that no deity, real or imagined, is to rival the one true God, who is the only One who matters. It demands an exclusive covenant relationship with Yahweh (cf.Ps.81:9-10). 

And we all know that we have not kept that covenant relationship, and the Good Book further tells us that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ (Rom.6:23) So that means all kinds of consequences are possible, up to and including both physical and spiritual death, for our blatant disobedience and intense desire to remove Him from all aspects of our society. 

Now the good thing about being in true covenant with Almighty God is that in times of trouble and disaster we need not be afraid. Oh we must be concerned, but bone-chilling fear is not necessary since the Lord has made several faithful promises to believers, including that He will eventually work everything out for our good. 

So, tough times and calamity are to be expected, but with the word of Jesus securely planted in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, we can stand strong and overcome whatever comes against us. 

Listen to Jesus’ words in our Bit, as He talks to His audience about care and anxiety. He tells them to first seek God’s kingdom and not the things of the world, because when they do, God will give them all that they need. Then He reassures them: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ 

Now would Jesus lie to us? Certainly not! But we have to first believe in Him, and obey His commandments, and that is exactly what we are not doing in this ungodly society. Fear is no part of the Christian’s armour or ammunition. Our weapon is FAITH! 

Listen to Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) So once Jesus lives in us, we should not be overwhelmed by fear. 

And all of us know and often claim this famous verse of Bruh David’s words from Psalm 23: ‘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.23:4) 

So why are we so quick to whimper and complain and fall apart when troubles befall us eh? Is it that we don’t truly believe? Who knows? 

But here are a few more comforting words, this time from Cousin Sol. ‘Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation of (trouble from) the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught).’ (Prov.3:25-26) 

The problem is friends, that we have to learn to deal with disappointments without being discouraged, without thinking we’re failures, but to have faith and hope and get up and start all over again. 

And why shouldn’t we be able to do that when our magnanimous God has been so beneficent towards us in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them now, so that our spirits can be uplifted and we can magnify and glorify our great and wonderful God. 

As one 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!’ 

Now let’s continue by generously sharing these blessings with others, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…oh…how blessed are believers in Christ…especially when they generously share their blessings…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher  (perfector ) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Arise my people and greet the bright and bountiful Sabbath Day, when the Lord rested, having created the universe and all therein in the six previous days! And He saw that it was all good! It’s a day of fellowship, of the gathering of Christ’s church in His sanctuary to praise and sing, give thanks and worship and exalt His Holy Name! 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest! Praise His Name on high! For He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Only He knows the true workings of the universe!’ Yes friends, He is the great I AM, the ONLY ONE who can heal your soul and take all your troubles away. 

That’s why, our song of praise and worship this morning is titled ‘The Heavenly Vision’ or ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’ So let’s do just that nuh, as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips. As one true body now: ‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! 

(Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion— For more than conqu’rors we are! 

(Refrain) His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Ah friends, such words of assurance and peace, exhortation and encouragement, penned by Helen H Lemmel (1863-1961). Her biography says that in 1918 she was given a tract by a visiting missionary. The leaflet was entitled “Focused,” and in it was this exhortation: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him [Christ]. Look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.” 

Mrs. Lemmel was riveted by those words. She says, “I stood still. And singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody.” The three stanzas of the song were added later the same week.’ My fellow believers, that’s just one of the mysterious ways in which our great and awesome God moves, His works to unfurl! 

And the scripture it seems to have been based on is our Bit for today. But first let’s look at the verse that precedes it, because that sets the context for our Bit. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Ah mih people, the author of Hebrews looks at our Christian life like a race; one that is indeed difficult to run, but acknowledges that we have faithful heroes that have gone before us (a cloud of witnesses), who have run it successfully, and so can we. How? 

By ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, though there were others who successfully ran the race, and gave us worthy examples to emulate, Jesus is our best example, our bright and shining star! He set the tone for it all. 

The scholars tell us: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That means fellow believers we don’t have to blaze a new trail, just follow the one Jesus laid down, and that makes it easier for us. Imagine if we had to blaze a new trail for ourselves? We’d find it even more difficult than it is now, what with all the sin that’s lurking around the corner, just waiting to ensnare us, we need to have the utmost in patience and perseverance to last the distance and finally end up at the finish line in the welcoming and comforting arms of Jesus. Praise his Holy Name! 

And these two verses following our Bit, just bolster it. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (be discouraged) in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

Oh friends, Jesus is the ‘supreme example of endurance.’ Just look at all the ‘sufferation’ He bore on our behalf nuh. We could not have had a finer example of perseverance and endurance. So let’s remember that, take courage from it, and steadfastly bear up under our own weight of sin in this earthly race of life. That’s the only way to do it as a true believer in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…for whatever befalls us…the ultimate answer is to turn to Jesus…

 

 

 

 

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