Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2019 John 10:11.

John 10:11.    ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Please get with the programme friends! What programme you ask? How yuh mean what programme eh? It’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means church calls! Yes, we’re required to join with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and exalt our heavenly Father, encourage each other, hear His Holy Word and get confidence to go out and fight another week of victorious battles in His name! Yes friends, it’s the biggest day of the week! So let’s begin the celebrations in our usual manner nuh; in song, in praise and worship, telling our wonderful God how much we LOVE and admire and revere Him. 

And today’s song of praise is possibly the second most known and LOVED bit of scripture, after the ‘Our Father,’ or ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ And we talking about Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd! Yes mih people, Bruh David’s amazing and immortal words celebrating the care, compassion and LOVING-kindness of the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So in strong voice, with plenty soul and sincere emotion, truly believing those simple but awesomely descriptive words and sentiments, let’s sing!  

‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restore’th my soul And guides my path in righteousness For His name’s sake Surely goodness and mercy Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. 

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. Thou prepar’est a table Before me in the presence of my enemies Thou anoint’est my head with oil My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and LOVING-kindness Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. Amen!’ 

What a marvellous description of our Jehovah God! I don’t think it could be described any better, for we are indeed lost and dumb like sheep and we desperately need a good and kindly shepherd to lead and guide and take care of us. And there’s none who does it better than Yahweh; our Creator, Provider, Healer, Comforter, our Be All and End All! Yes indeed, our heavenly Father is all those things to us, and when you add His unconditional LOVE, grace, and forgiveness to the already long list of His wonderful attributes, you just have to jump and shout for joy and declare: ‘Oh what a good thing I’ve got!’ 

And yuh know what friends, Bruh David could only have written such touching and heartfelt words because He experienced first hand the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness in His blessed but oh so tumultuous and eventful life! And the imagery of God being our shepherd would have resonated quite well with the agrarian Israelites back then, because it was language they understood. 

And following that story line, the scholars make an interesting observation: ‘Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however; he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ Oh brother! What could be better than all that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

And Isaiah also writes of God looking after His people in the shepherd metaphor. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. 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.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

Oh my people, there’s something that just resonates of calm and comfort and compassion and caring when we talk about shepherding. And I guess because in our current society we are more into manufacturing and technology than farming, and actual sheep herding is not a big thing, we don’t understand all the nuances involved, and thus cannot really appreciate the great importance of a shepherd to a flock of sheep. But believe me, without a shepherd, a kind and caring one, a flock of sheep would not last very long in the great outdoors. Consequently, when Jesus came He continued the metaphor of the shepherd looking after his flock. Thus, He made this magnificent proclamation: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

Oh friends, mankind should be ever so ecstatic and joyful that Jesus made such a statement then went on to make it true, laying down His sinless life for our sinful ones, so that we could be reconciled with the Father, and have our sins forgiven and our souls washed white as snow! But I guess because we don’t fully understand the chemistry and sync between shepherd and sheep we’re lost and unaware of the deep relationship that exists between them. 

But Jesus reminds us of that important relationship. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:14) Yes precious people, the shepherd knows all his sheep, and the sheep know their shepherd as Jesus earlier stated. ‘But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:2-5) 

Now that’s what our Lord and Saviour is expecting of us friends; to know His voice and follow His call, not that of stranger’s, for they will just lead you astray. And to make the picture complete, listen to Bruh Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians when they sacrificed to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) That means when we remain in Jesus’ fold we will be well fed by the Father through Him. 

‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phil.4:20) Please have a blessed day my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…sheep without a shepherd…is like the blind leading the blind…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2019 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   ​God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

 

Allow Trouble to Lift You: ‘Truly we learn courage when we face danger; we learn patience when we endure suffering; we learn tenderness when we face pain; we learn to prize true friends when false ones forsake us; we treasure health when illness strikes and we learn to prize freedom when we are in danger of losing it! 

Without trouble we would be like plants that have sprouted, grown, and been nurtured in the overprotected shelter of a hothouse, too tender ever to live in the open.’ Oh what words of gospel truth those are! 

And furthermore: ‘We have matured as Christians when we learn that there is no progress without pain; there is no conversation without crises; there is no birth without painful travail; there is no salvation without agonizing repentance and no Easter without a Good Friday! There is no service without suffering…’ 

Yes friends, I couldn’t put it any better than that! Unfortunately those are not my words, but Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. And yes, until we supposed Christians realize that a Christian life is not a sweet and fairytale life devoid of pain and hardship, but one fraught with periods of suffering, just like Christ’s, we’ll never mature, never grow in Christ as we ought to. 

Because as Gramps Schuller so rightly points out, if our lives are just easy and smooth, we won’t be able to face the rough and tumble trials that are truly life in this evil and ungodly world! In good, smooth, comfortable times we don’t grow, we just float along without a care in the world. But when adversity hits, that’s when we separate the goats from the sheep, that’s when we see what we’re truly made of, how strong is our backbone and belly! 

And in so doing, if we have the necessary faith and courage to stand strong in Christ, that’s when we grow! As Gramps Schuller also says later on: ‘Your trouble may be your greatest opportunity!’ And that’s no lie, because then you have to stir yourself and get yourself moving to solve your problems, in tandem with Almighty God if you’re wise! 

Remember Jesus didn’t promise that His followers would have clear and uneventful sailing in this topsy-turvy world, but exactly the opposite: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that Jesus doesn’t lie. Neither does He make idle promises. So if He says that life will contain rough times, then it will, but on the other hand, if He promises His peace during those times, then that will also come to pass. 

And remember He’s already vanquished the devil in his own territory; hell, death and the grave, by rising triumphantly on Easter Sunday, so we should not be overwhelmed by all the nonsense the enemy tries to tell us, for the victory is already ours! Glory to God! 

So now, let’s check out some scriptures that can help us handle trouble when it comes against us. And if anybody knew trouble, though he was certainly blessed, it was Bruh David. But he stoically declares (steups, wrong again) ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:4-5) 

That means friends we just can’t run to God when times become rough, but must be in good communication with Him during the good times too. Now listen to the Sons of Korah: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, let’s take a moment and contemplate on that nuh! Is our faith that strong? It ought to be, if we are truly walking in righteous and godly paths. And listen to Bruh David once again: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps.138:7) 

Oh my people, that’s the kind of unwavering confidence we ought to have in our omnipotent God, for with Him ALL things are possible! And no treatise on trouble would be complete without these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed;’ (2 Cor.4:8-9) 

And why is that my faithful brethren? Because we’re ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:10) And now that we’ve conquered trouble, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) all the wonderful things contained in our Thursday Blessings. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

…if we are in Christ…and Christ is in us…then we can overcome ANYTHING that comes against us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: 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. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2018 Psalm 27:4.

Psalm 27:4.   One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

Ah mih people, a friend who reads the Bit told me yesterday that everyday I complain about the weather. Well, today, I’m just going to say that it’s sunny and cold. (smile) And oh… that it’s better in Tobago. It certainly is! 

Now let’s move on to something more worthwhile than the weather. It’s a poem titled ‘Beauty’ by Gramps Schuler (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His hour of Power Devotional. I’m sure I’ve shared it before, but as they say, when it’s nice you’ve got to share it at least thrice. (smile) 

Please pray with me. ‘Thank you, Father, for filling the world with beauty. I thank you for the beauty of life, the beauty of LOVE, the beauty of children, and the beauty of old people. I thank you for the beauty of Christ and for the beauty of any life where Christ is invited through the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Father, that you have made my life beautiful too. Amen.’ 

Isn’t that special friends? It surely is! And you young people will notice that there’s also beauty in old people. (smile) When we’re imbued with Christ and the Holy Spirit, we can see beauty in almost any and everything! That’s because Christ Himself is beautiful and He opens our eyes to the beauty of the things around us. 

If we don’t have Christ in us, then our eyes are clouded and nothing looks beautiful. And how does this all happen eh? The Daily Bread tells us that ‘The Holy Spirit transforms us through His LOVE and by His grace.’ What powerful tools my people; LOVE and grace, through which despicable sinners like you and me can be transformed into righteous believers, to be called the righteousness of Christ! 

And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Thank You heavenly Father for filling us with your grace and LOVE and bringing us into righteous fellowship with You, through Your Son Jesus Christ. We LOVE and adore You and will continue to do our best to live the way You want us to. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!’ 

That brings us to the heartfelt desire of Bruh David in our Bit. ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.’ 

Oh friends, when we take time to really know our God, we’ll find that He is truly delightful. But we can only discover that wonderful aspect of His character by taking time to spend with Him and getting to know Him intimately. Many of us claim we know God, but as soon as something negative happens and He doesn’t fix it immediately, we turn on Him. 

But we have to remember that God is the potter and we are the clay, and we have to abide by His decisions, be they convenient and/or comfortable for us. And when we abide by His decisions, without a whole lot of complaining, however they may affect us, that’s when we come into true intimacy with Him and He shows us His true delightful self by blessing us with His LOVE and mercy. 

It’s just like being with our earthly fathers. Unless we spend sufficient time with them, (pay attention children) we won’t know their true ways. But when we do, and learn their likes and dislikes, and generally stay on their good side, we see the delightfulness of our fathers and are usually showered with LOVE and blessings. Our God is no different; He wants our constant attention and expects us to do His will. 

What did Bruh David say in our Bit? ‘…that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…’ Oh my brethren, do we feel that way; like we want to dwell with the Lord for our entire lives? If we’ve truly surrendered our lives to Him, then we ought to. 

And if we haven’t surrendered our lives to Him, then we ought to right now, today, because time is of the essence; Jesus is coming back soon, and once He returns there will be no more chance for surrender. 

And we all know that although Bruh David wasn’t perfect, made mistakes for which he paid dearly, he faithfully trusted the Lord in all aspects of his life, and was quick to ask for forgiveness, thus the Lord’s LOVING-kindness towards him. We can have the same kind of life friends, if we do our best to walk in step with God. 

Hear how Bruh David ends Psalm 27. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people! Words that we ought to follow in our own lives, if we sincerely want to experience the goodness of God. Nuff said! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful relationship with the Lord. In all sincerity and truth 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 we all know that it will be indeed a glorious future, so let’s do our best to encourage others to join us in looking forward to it nuh. Much LOVE!

…the more time we spend with God…the more intimate we’ll get with Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack anything).

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa! Yeh friends, it was just one of those days, after running around in the hot sun yesterday afternoon, the old body just cried out for rest and simply refused to get up this morning before it felt sufficiently rested. (smile) 

And yesterday was probably the hottest day yet for this summer. Old July went out with a heat wave, and August seems to want to come in the same way, because it’s also supposed to be fairly hot today. 

And I have to go out and do some more stuff out there today too. But I have no doubt that with the Lord’s invaluable help, it will all turn out fine. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that ought to lift us all up this morning, give us comfort and assurance to face the day’s problems. It’s titled ‘The Promise.’ 

Let’s pray together: ‘O dear God, I continue to believe Your personal promise still stands Though every quivering question within Shouts that it will be broken. I am claiming Your help through the wilderness Despite every frightening shadow and vale. Often You do the most When you seem to do the least. 

Sometimes secretly Sometimes quietly Often slowly But always most certainly You are true to Your word. And so, my Lord Though I am weak, weary, and worn help me not to despair. You see me, You hear me. You know I am depending utterly Upon Your unblemished integrity Surely You will keep Your word.’ 

And that’s an indisputable fact my fellow believers in Christ! The Lord God Jehovah, creator of the universe and all therein WILL keep His Word for He is a Deity of the utmost integrity!  And that’s exactly why we can place our utmost trust in Him and feel safe and assured! Glory to God my brethren! 

Yeh friends, that’s the whole purpose of having a God; someone to look up to, especially in tough times, someone who CAN, and also WILL hear our cries for help and answer them in the affirmative. 

And the awesome, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONLY One of the many gods being worshipped today, who is actually capable of doing that! For He is the ONLY LIVING GOD! 

All others are merely dead and lifeless idols, creations of man’s mind, or the creation of the One and Only True God Jehovah. So how can you worship something that is dead, or was created by someone else and has absolutely no power to do anything under its own will or power eh? It just doesn’t make sense. Hope what I’m saying makes sense though? (smile) 

And the Bible Verse that substantiates that Promise is none other than one of our most famous Bible Verses; the true and wonderful words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack anything).’ 

What marvellous words of assurance eh mih people! No other faith can proclaim such a statement and have it be the truth…but we can! All power and glory to our great God! 

And Bruh David lays it out, all nice and simple and straightforward. ‘He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside the still waters (waters of rest): He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.’ (Ps.23:2-3)  

Oh my faithful brethren, doesn’t that just resonate powerfully and peacefully through your hearts, bodies and souls? It certainly does through mine, and has me longing for the green pastures and peaceful waters of sweet Tobago, which I haven’t experienced for almost two years. 

And can’t you just imagine Bruh David penning those heartwarming words as he sat below some shade tree, on a beautiful summer’s day, beside a quiet stream, watching his sheep graze on the lush and plentiful green grass around him? 

It was just the perfect metaphor to describe his God; the eternal and merciful One who found healthy forage for his sheep and protected him from the wild animals and natural disasters that constantly came against them. 

That’s why they have become such a standard, such foundational truth in our faith! The only prayer possibly known better than that is the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ or ‘Our Father.’ 

And Bruh David didn’t stop there, he went on to elaborate even further on the rich and blessed assurances of his awesome God. ‘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 staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:4-6) 

And all God’s people shouted ‘Amen and Amen!’ Yeh friends, it couldn’t get any better than that! 

As the scholars explain: ‘Psalm 23: The psalm has been a favourite of God’s people through the ages and with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to his sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6).’  

So my people, with all of that bubbling and reverberating in our hearts, spirits and souls, let’s go home now sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

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

Now, the next move is for us to put it all into action! Much LOVE!

…with God as our shepherd comes…’an honoured position…abundant provision…vindication before one’s enemies…eternal celebration of God’s goodness…’  

P.S. Yes, I know it’s long and late, but it’s still beautiful, even if I say so myself. (smile)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2017 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Well friends, that joy-filled day called Sunday has rolled around again! And with it, we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship, joyfully sing and praise His holy name. There’s nothing that can compare to a gathering of fellow believers singing and praising Almighty God! That’s because it’s the essence of who we are, why we were so gloriously made. 

So let’s not make me a liar (smile), let’s send up to heaven wonderful words of praise and glory, joy and thanksgiving as we sing the beautiful and grateful words of the hymn; ‘New every morning is the LOVE!’ Yes my fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with heartfelt song,. As an earthly choir, sounding like heavenly angels, let’s sing!

‘New every morning is the LOVE Our wakening and uprising prove; Through sleep and darkness safely brought, Restored to life and power and thought. New mercies, each returning day, Hover around us while we pray; New perils past, new sins forgiven, New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven. If, on our daily course, our mind Be set to hallow all we find, New treasures still, of countless price, God will provide for sacrifice. 

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be, As more of heaven in each we see; Some softening gleam of LOVE and prayer Shall dawn on every cross and care. We need not bid, for cloistered cell, Our neighbor and our words farewell, Nor strive to find ourselves too high For sinful man beneath  the sky.

The trivial round, the common task, Will furnish all we ought to ask; Room to deny ourselves, a road To bring us daily nearer God. Seek we no more; content with these, Let present rapture, comfort, ease As heaven shall bid them, come and go: The secret this of rest below. Only, O Lord, in Thy dear LOVE, Fit us for perfect rest above, And help us, this and every day, To live more nearly as we pray.’ 

Yes friends, each and every day the Lord showers down new mercies, blessings, grace, forgiveness, strength…you name it…He provides it free of charge. What an awesome God we serve and worship my brethren! I wonder if we truly realize that eh? No other faith on this earth can truthfully declare the things that we declare. 

Neither is any other faith as joyful, sorry, should be joyful as we Christians. And I corrected myself there because too many of us supposed believers walk around sad and lethargic, bowed and bending, as though we are carrying the whole weight of the world on our shoulders. But precious saints of God, two thousand years ago our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary and took all our burdens, all our sins, all our transgressions on His strong and comely shoulders! 

Why?  So that we would not have to be sad and miserable and burdened any more, but be filled with His wonderful peace, abundant joy and glorious unconditional LOVE! So why, as a group, are we so unhappy eh? Or rather why don’t we show the true external realities that our internal blessings ought to engender? Because we’re ashamed, afraid, lackadaisical, don’t truly believe…  

Who knows eh? But the long and short of the story friends, is as Jeremiah says in his Lamentations, which includes our Bit. Poor Jerry had been battered and beaten and locked up by his fellow countrymen when he preached repentance to them. But when he had time to reflect on it all, this is what he said. 

‘Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness), My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:20-23) 

Oh friends, what a marvellous testimony, based on gospel truth! And think about it nuh, Jerry didn’t have Jesus in the manner that we now have Him, and all the wonderful stuff that He bequeathed us. But yet still he (Jerry) knew on which side his bread was buttered, and despite his calamities, gave God the thanks and the praise He so rightfully deserved. 

Listen as he continues. ‘The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Words of indisputable truth my brethren! 

And the scholars tell us that ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have experienced great grief of soul.’ And they reference people like, Habakkuk, Job, Bruh David, Isaiah and Bruh Paul. So friends, serving God is wise, wonderful and right, but not always easy. But we have to remember too that the Lord will never give us a task to accomplish without giving us the wherewithal to accomplish it. 

That’s His outstanding modus operandi, as you can see from the records of all the great men of faith we just mentioned. They all  had it tough, but they all accomplished their given tasks with flying colours. God never forsook them, even when they were out of step with His plan for their lives, but was instead merciful and compassionate because He knew their human frailties would sometimes lead them astray. 

My precious people of God, it’s the same way He behaves with us. But we have to stand strong during our adversities and trials, otherwise we’ll forsake the good things He has in store for us. Hear Asaph tell us about the Israelites plight from Psalm 78 – A reminder of God’s goodness to Israel. 

‘For their heart was not right (steadfast) with him, neither were they steadfast (faithful) in their covenant. But he being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time he turned his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passeth away; and cometh not again.’ (Ps.78:37-39)  So friends, the Lord knows our capabilities, since He created us, and will not leave us high and dry because we make mistakes. 

Bruh David says it best in the closing verse of Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd. ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:6) And if we refuse to believe that, then it’s to our great detriment my brethren. Much LOVE!

…only the Lord’s mercies…through Christ’s shed blood at Calvary…keeps us from being annihilated for our abominable transgressions…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Well friends, all the hoopla is now over; Donald Trump is now the President of the U.S.A! 

Thankfully he wasn’t his usual rude and obnoxious self, but his bombast was still front and centre, and when he declared that America would come first, it touched off protests all around the world. 

The divisiveness was very apparent in America too, although there didn’t seem to be as many rival clashes of protesters and supporters as expected. However, the Women’s March on Washington today, could tell a very different story. 

And the irony of it all is that while the March is happening, Trump will be at the National Cathedral, a few miles down the road, at “a service of prayer and reflection.” 

Let’s hope he prays fervently and sincerely and reflects wisely, because he has so many bridges to rebuild with people he has needlessly turned into enemies, that it won’t be easy for him to make a positive difference. 

However, we still need to pray for him and the U.S, so that the world will not descend further into an arena of strife and terror. Remember too, that our mighty God is still in control, and that His will will prevail.  

Now on a lighter note, here are some quotes from our friend Anselm, this past week. You know he aspires to inspire us to greater heights. The first one says: ‘True joy comes from doing what we’re suppose to be doing, and knowing that the reward will come in its own time.’ There’s no disputing that my people. 

Then he tells us to ‘Surround yourself with people who illuminate your path.’ And that is the gospel truth! You need people around you who are godly and wise, and can help you walk the straight and narrow path. 

Now hear this bit of immediate practical wisdom. ‘Today, I will not allow myself to stress over things I cannot control. I declare, “I will remain calm.” And is that ever important in this stress filled world. 

And finally: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’ Yes my people, in Jesus’ vocabulary, and therefore ours, there’s no giving up! We just have to keep on trying, regardless of how many times we seem to fail. 

And we can do that only because of our Bit: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).’ Yes friends, only because of the Lord’s goodness and mercy can we keep getting up when we fall down. And smile nuh mih people, today is the last day for this Bit…at least I think so. (smile) 

So let’s get right to the second to last verse of our wonderful and encouraging Psalm 23. ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Ps.23:5) 

What a show of power filled with beautiful promises! Only our Lord God Jehovah can do that sort of thing! Now here these words from the psalmist from Psalm 104 – re God’s preservation of nature. 

‘He watereth the hills from his (upper) chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb (vegetation) for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth. 

And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.’ (Ps.104.13-15) 

And if that doesn’t touch your heart, then listen to these words from Psalm 92 – Praises for the Lord’s goodness. ‘But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore. For, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn (strength) shalt thou exalt like the horn of a unicorn (wild ox): 

I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.’ (Ps.92:8-12) 

Oh the wonderful promises of our great God! If we’d only take them seriously, our lives would be so much better. And more words from the Psalms, this time Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David: a contemplation of Ethan the Ezrahite. 

‘Justice and judgement (righteousness and justice) are the habitation (foundation) of thy throne: mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth shall go before thy face. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. 

In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense: and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:14-18) 

Ah my fellow believers, after hearing all of those wonderful promises, there is only one way we can end. And that’s with the last verse of Psalm 23, which encompasses it all. 

‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’ (Ps.23:6) 

And all of God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! For He is indeed worthy to be magnified and exalted! Bless His Holy Name! For there is none other like Him!’ Much LOVE my brethren!

…godly wisdom dictates…that man should rejoice and be glad in the Lord God Jehovah…his Creator and Provider…

 

 

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