Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2019 Joel 2:21.

Joel 2:21.   ​Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.
 

Here it is friends, Sunday, the first and best day of the week! Time to rest as well as time to fellowship with other believers in the house of our omnipotent God! Glory be my people! There’s no greater honour and privilege than giving God glory, praising Him and exalting His holy name with other believers! 

Some of us look upon it as work, as an unnecessary burden and a hindrance to our worldly way of life, but for your information my brethren that’s the main reason God created us in the first place; to worship Him, to pay Him obeisance in all that we do. So let’s cut out all the rigmarole nuh, and if we’re physically able, let’s get ourselves to church sometime today and praise and worship and adore and exalt our most wonderful God! 

Now let’s get the proceedings going with this wonderful song written by the English clergyman Phillip Doddridge in the latter half of the 18th century. It’s a song we all know and LOVE, especially this gospel arrangement by Edwin Hawkins, recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers back in the late 1960’s, eventually becoming an international hit and a gospel music standard. 

So friends, let’s lift our voices, our eyes and hands, our hearts and souls to heaven as we worship God with the rather appropriate words and sentiments of ‘Oh Happy Day!’ And don’t forget to make the call and response sweet, for though the words are meaningful they are mostly repetitive, and it’s that back and forth communication that truly livens up the song. 

So enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed  (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day). Oh, happy happy dayyyy…!” 

 Oh friends, oh friends, that was wonderful! All heaven was singing and dancing with us! It’s one of those songs that you can’t help feeling in your soul and responding favourably to it. And don’t think that the Father wasn’t swaying and singing too nuh, because there’s nothing He likes better than a good song of praise! Bless His holy name! 

And there’s no doubting that the day Jesus died on the cross was indeed a happy day for us, because as the song says, He washed all our sins away, paid our sin debt in full! Wow! And if that isn’t cause to be happy, I don’t know what is nuh! Yes my faithful brethren, forgiveness of sins is the greatest gift that we can ever receive! And Jesus in His amazing LOVE and selflessness provided it for us! 

Note He sacrificed His sinless life for us, bore our sins on the cross at Calvary so that we could have His righteousness and be reconciled to our heavenly father, from whom we were then estranged through the partition of sin. Therefore we ought to gratefully and gracefully accept His offer and continuously show our thanks by living sincerely for Him and His cause. How could we do otherwise eh, after all He’s done for us? 

He died for us, taught us how to watch and fight and pray and live rejoicing everyday…yes friends every day! Now isn’t all of that stuff to be joyful about? It surely is! And we’d certainly be foolish and unwise if we didn’t accept it as such and be joyful about it all! We have absolutely no reason to be unhappy and dissatisfied with the Lord, for He’s lived up to every promise He’s ever made. 

Look at what He promised the Israelites in our Bit through the prophet Joel after they had come back to Him in repentance. ‘Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.’ And He most certainly did! The greatest being the unconditional LOVE He bore us and expressing it through Jesus, which gave us the forgiveness of sins, and then salvation through His amazing grace! And I’ll say it again; NOTHING can be greater than that friends! 

Hear how Moses blessed the tribes of Israel before his death. ‘Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you): and thou shalt tread upon (tread down) their high places (places of pagan worship.’ (Deut.33:29) And that’s exactly what happened to Israel when they were obedient to the Lord. 

And we’ll end with Bruh David’s take on the subject from Psalm 144: ‘Happy is that people, that is in such a case (state): yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.’ (Ps.144:15) And if Bruh David was saying that long before Jesus came, can you imagine how much better it got when Jesus came? Oh friends, if I have to read and spell that for you, then you don’t really believe nuh! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Jesus…ought to be constantly rejoicing…and showing it too…simply because of the wonderful gifts He’s given us…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2018 Romans 5:9.

Romans 5:9.    Much more then now being (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Welcome, welcome to the Lord’s Day my faithful breddren! And we all know what that means: an uplifting visit to the Lord’s house, to sing and praise and worship and fellowship, hear His Word and just have a good ole time renewing our spiritual lives! Wow! There’s nothing like the faithful together singing the praises of our great and wonderful God my people! 

If you saw Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday, you’d have seen how praise and worship can light up the spirits of a crowd of believers. So today, in anticipation of hearing God’s Word, let’s soften up our hearts and lighten up our spirits by singing praises to our God in this old and much LOVED hymn ‘Nothing but the Blood of Jesus,’ written by Robert Lowry and published way back in 1876. 

So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. All together now: ‘What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.) For my pardon, this I see, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; For my cleansing this my plea, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) 

Nothing can for sin atone, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Naught of good that I have done, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Now by this I’ll overcome; Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Now by this I’ll reach my home, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Glory! Glory! This I sing; Nothing but the blood of Jesus, All my praise for this I bring, Nothing but the blood of Jesus. (Refrain) Nothing but the Blood…Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih people, truer words were indeed never sung or spoken, for ALL that we are is based on the blood of Jesus shed at Calvary! Without that shed blood we’d still be mired in sin for now and all eternity. As the Good Book says: ‘For all have sinned and, come short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) 

In short friends, it means that ONLY the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross of Calvary can wash away my sins, cleanse my soul, allow the Father to pardon me. In Him ONLY, can I find peace and hope, righteousness, salvation and eternal life! Glory to God! 

Christ’s blood is the most powerful element that ever washed this earth! It atoned for our sins; justified us, sanctified us, reconciled us, made us righteous and gave us entrance to heaven’s throne room! Oh my, my! What other substance on earth can do, or could have done all of that eh? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE! Nothing but the blood of Jesus! 

In it there is power, forgiveness, LOVE, humility, healing, patience and perseverance, so much so that after two thousand years it is still as effective as ever. Wow! The blood of Jesus! We even plead the blood of Jesus in tough times, confidently calling out to the Father for mercy because of the shed blood of His Son! But enough of me spouting off, (smile) let us quote a few scriptures that show the importance of Christ’s blood in our lives. 

And the first one that comes to mind is one that we all know: ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) And that He did! Then Bruh Paul elucidates to the church at Rome: ‘But God commendeth his (demonstrates his own) LOVE towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then now being (having been) justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being (having been) reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation).’ (Rom.5:8-11)  

Ah friends, it seems quite complicated, but it’s really quite simple: God LOVED us so much that it broke His heart to see us headed to Hades with Lucifer, so He decided to do something about it. The only problem was that because of His holiness and justice, He couldn’t just pardon sin with a wave of His hand. Our sin had to be paid for, for want of a better term, in hard currency, (smile) and that currency under the Old Covenant was animal blood. 

As Hebrews reminds us that through Moses, the Lord commanded the Israelites to continually shed animal blood as short term atonement for their sins: ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.’ (Heb.9:22) So there had to be blood shed if the Lord wanted to reconcile us to Himself. And besides, the blood had to be sinless blood, and unfortunately His Son was the ONLY One who fit that bill. 

No doubt the Lord found Himself in a quandary, but He LOVED His greatest creation so much that He decided to break His own heart and offer up His one Son as the perennial sacrifice for our sins! Now if that isn’t LOVE, I don’t know what is. Hear how Peter puts it. ‘Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible (perishable) things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (aimless conduct) received by tradition from your fathers. 

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (revealed) in these last times for you. Who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.’ (1 Pet.1:18-21) 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the only wise place to place one’s faith and hope! Much LOVE!

…the shedding of Christ’s blood paid for our sins…and His resurrection pays for our eternal salvation…what a giant is our Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2018 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.   The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Ah mih people, 2018 has certainly come roaring in like a ravaging lion with a wicked winter storm mashing up the East coast of North America, after we’ve already been in a deep freeze for the past two weeks. 

Boston is apparently a mess from snow and flooding caused by surging sea tides. Places in Florida that have not seen snow in decades have certainly seen it now. All the snowbirds that left Canada to winter in Florida must be pretty annoyed. 

They’re calling this extraordinary winter storm a ‘Bomb Cyclone!’ Why I don’t know, but it’s certainly living up to its name. Let’s hope that my li’l area doesn’t get any of it, because all we’ve been seeing and feeling recently is white and cold! Hn! 

But I must say that the ordinary workingman does have an extraordinary resilience to this type of weather, for it has not stopped him from boldly declaring his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend reach at last! So it cold and snowy, so what? Is winter in the north country, that’s what it’s all about! 

We not going to let a li’l bit of snow and cold stop our partying, stop us from enjoying we two days off from slave labour! Hell no! We going to go outside and play in the snow, then come inside and warm up with some hot toddies! (And his beady eyes twinkle at the thought) What a wonderful weekend it’s going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh! I daresay that not all of us are feeling that way. Definitely no playing in the snow…but the hot toddies…well…maybe… (smile) Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which runs somewhat contrary to the workingman’s song, because our emphasis is not on play and our carnal appetites. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Oh friends, it’s not that we Christians don’t or can’t have fun, but fun is not our goal; working and living for Jesus is. And though that includes having fun, it also means being more focused and cautious about overstepping certain boundaries that can get us in serious trouble. And some of that trouble can have serious lifetime consequences. So it’s not advisable for believers to just go overboard in their leisure time. 

Anyway, enough preaching; (smile) here is our Bit: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ And that’s the awesome truth my brethren, as Bruh David found out during his rough times. Who else are we going to turn to in our time of need and trouble eh? Obviously the One who made us and still cares for us! 

Bruh David said before our Bit: ‘Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.’ (Ps.28:6) And it only makes sense to turn to someone who hears your cry for help. And we’ve seen throughout the Good Book that it was to the God of his forefathers that Bruh David turned when the enemy came a calling. 

Hear him from Psalm 18 – A prayer for deliverance. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1:3) 

What powerful sentiments my people! But that’s because Bruh David didn’t only turn to God in times of need, he kept Him in his heart ALL the time! And that’s why the Lord saved him from his enemies. Oh friends, it’s the same thing the Lord desires of us; to be with Him all the time, not just when life gets rough to remember Him and cry out for help and expect it to come right away. 

Please note that Bruh David was not exempt from trials and tribulations, he had more than his fair share, but the Lord made sure that he came through them safely. Likewise friends, we will experience trouble and heartaches in our lives, but if like Bruh David, we stay anchored in the Word and faith of our great God, then He will also bring us through the fires of our lives unscathed. 

Remember how he brought out the three Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, without them even smelling of smoke. And more importantly, while they were in the furnace, king Nebuchadnezzar saw four people in there. Obviously the fourth was either the preincarnate Christ who often appeared in the Old Testament, or an angel of the Lord sent to protect them. (Daniel 3) 

So my faithful brethren, it only makes good sense, it’s eternal wisdom to place our trust in the One who created us and still cares for us. And there’s no better way to end today than with the ever-faithful promise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

‘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) Words to live by my people! Much LOVE!

…with the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in us…there’s  absolutely no need to be afraid…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2017 Isaiah 26:4.

Isaiah 26:4.    Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).

Ah friends, what can I say about Sunday that hasn’t been said already eh? The Lord’s Day, the best day of the week, a time of rest, a time for gathering in His sanctuary and praising Him and receiving His wonderful blessings and assurance in return, etc. etc! Yes my brethren, Sunday is a wonderful day in our faith calendar. If we don’t use it wisely, we tend to falter and flame out very early in the upcoming week. 

That’s why we need to gather and fellowship at least once a week, to renew our faith, bolster our enthusiasm and be replenished with the Holy Spirit of Christ, who leads and guides us, and enables us to do the will of God down here on Mother Earth.  So, as always, let’s open the day’s proceedings with this favourite old hymn of praise and refuge, ‘Rock of Ages,’ penned by Augustus M. Toplady, around 1776. 

With sincere hearts and strong voices, let’s offer up sacrificial praise to our heavenly Father. ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labor of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, When my eyes shall close in death, When I rise to worlds unknown, And behold Thee on Thy throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.’ 

Oh friends, there’s nowhere safer in this universe than under the mighty wings of our omnipotent and wonderful God! And our Bit acknowledges it in spades: ‘Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ 

Those are words from the song of praise that will be sung when the redeemed enter the millennial kingdom. And the song continues to exalt the Lord’s strength: ‘For he bringeth down (low) them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread (trample) it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.’ (Is.26:5-6) 

What a mighty God we serve and worship my people! There’s NONE like Him! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Moses in his song of praise to the God of his forefathers. ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut.32:4) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘32:4-9. A faithful God and a faithless people are pictured (in those verses). The Rock: The word is placed first in the Hebrew for emphasis. It emphasizes the stability and permanence of the God of Israel. His unchanging nature is contrasted with the fickleness of the covenant people…’ 

When will we ever learn eh my brethren? The same thing is happening today; a minority of us are putting our trust and faith in Almighty God; the Creator and Controller of ALL THINGS!  That surely doesn’t make much sense, in no way is it wisdom in any form or fashion. Lucifer, whom most of us are bowing down to in these rough and disastrous end times, cannot offer us anything but hell fire and damnation. And if that is what you desire, then go right ahead and get it, but as for me and mine, we WILL follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Why? Just listen to Bruh David from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when the Lord delivered him from all his enemies, in particular Saul. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (fortress, stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 

What greater testimony to our Lord’s greatness and power can there be eh friends? And I like how all these men of great faith put their exaltation in song. Listen as we end with words from Asaph’s song, Psalm 83 – A prayer for the destruction of Israel’s enemies. ‘So persecute (pursue) them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and troubled (ashamed and dismayed) for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH (Lord), art the Most High over all the earth.’ (Ps.83:15-18) 

And friends, that is exactly what the Lord is doing all over the earth these days; letting us know that He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD, and if we don’t bow down and worship Him, we will eventually perish! It’s as simple as that! The Bible warns us of the penalty for sin and disobedience from Genesis right through to Revelation, so we can’t say we’re ignorant of the facts. Please, I implore us, let’s be wise and repent and get in the good graces of Almighty God nuh, before it’s too late! Now that is wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…remember that God doesn’t make idle promises…and He promised…that the wages of sin is death…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2017 Psalm 121:2.

Psalm 121:2.    My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

And then it was Saturday… and the rains have stopped…though for how long, no one knows. Yes friends Friday was a wonderful rainy day! (smile) I left home to go to my appointment in the city around eleven in the morning, but did not get back home until four thirty in the afternoon, and all throughout that time it rained steadily.

At one stage they were even talking about closing the main north south highway, Don Valley Parkway because it runs near to the Don River which overflows its banks and floods the highway when there is a lot of rain. And strangely enough there wasn’t as much traffic as I expected going into the city yesterday. It was harder traversing the downtown roads than the highway. I guess the rain kept a lot of people away. 

So Jesus and I just rode in companionable silence, looking out at the bleak and dreary landscape, listening to the variety of beautiful tunes emanating from the stereo system, smiling at each other when a particular tune that we liked blared forth. Oh my brethren, it’s such a pleasure riding with Jesus, I just wish more of us would consider it. You’d never go back to riding alone. 

Anyway it’s Saturday, which means we have to check out some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, whose avowed aspiration is to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Listen to this first one: ‘Plant your garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.’ Yeh, we ought to have a big hand in building our own lives, not merely waiting for others to boost us…with God in attendance though. 

And that leads to this: ‘Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.’ Oh so true my people! We should NEVER allow ourselves to be bullied period! And again, I would add, define yourself…but with God’s wise help. (smile) 

Now hear this last quote: ‘People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.’ 

Now I agree that we should not allow our circumstances to control us, but we must also be very careful in trying to manipulate circumstances to fit our agenda, for they can very often run contrary to God’s plans for us. So again I will have to add a caveat to the quote: do nothing without talking to God first. That’s wisdom 101 my faithful breddren! 

That brings us to our Bit, which espouses that very wisdom. ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.’ 

Yes friends, we saw that in yesterday’s reading of Psalm 121. And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then that should be the overriding factor in every one of your decisions. For if the Lord made the heaven and the earth, then whom else would you logically turn to for help eh? Obviously the great Creator!  God should always be our FIRST counsellor, not our LAST, as so many of us unfortunately tend to make Him. 

Now let’s check out some scripture that wisely advises us to keep God first place in our lives. Listen to Moses as he blesses the tribes of Israel before his death. ‘Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you); and thou shalt tread upon (down) their high places (places of pagan worship). (Deut.33:29) 

Ah friends, those same circumstances pertain to us today, provided we are obedient to God’s law. But since we are so blatantly flouting it, what else can we expect but negative consequences; calamity and disaster.  

And the psalmist puts it this way. ‘Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps.33:20-22) 

And you’ll notice I highlighted that last piece, because there is a rather important proviso contained therein; as we hope and believe in and obey the Lord, He will bless us proportionately. We will only reap what we sow. 

And we’ll end with these interesting verses from the prophet Hosea, as he foretold Israel’s destruction. ‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? And thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.’ (Hos.13:9-11) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, and His wrath is not something we really want to experience. But if we continue down our current road of disobedience, believe me, we will eventually feel it. So true wisdom dictates that we repent and return to the godly ways we once followed, if we want to enjoy the Lord’s grace and mercy. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2017 Psalm 103:2.

Psalm 103:2.   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Well mih breddren, like we’ve successfully completed another week of work in this confused and way too evil and lustful world! 

And sadly, it leads too many of us to enjoy the lusts of the flesh too much in our short time off. We try to make up for what we think we’ve lost during the workweek. 

That’s why so many of us joyfully declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Oh boy, that means the weekend is here! Time for fun and games, partying and letting all our cares drift away to wherever they go! It’s all about a good time now! Oh thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

And as I keep saying, the sentiments are understandable, but the reality is not. We do have little free time during the workweek, much less that a generation ago, when times were not so hectic and busy. 

And that’s sort of strange, when all the improvements we’ve made, were supposedly to help us get more free time. How ironic eh, with plenty more amenities, we have even less free time now than then! 

But that doesn’t mean we have to overdo the lighter side of life either when we finally get some time off. If we are to keep our sanity and some sort of steadfastness, our lives must have some borders, some restraints that we will not loosen. And our Friday Chant gives us a good example of that. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, with as much enthusiasm as the misguided soul above declares his Friday mission. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

And all of that segues very nicely into our Bit:‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’  

And friends that’s exactly what we ought to do, every day, every waking moment of our lives! For remember, all the earth and its contents are His, and it’s only through His magnanimity and lavish generosity that we can enjoy even one iota of the things we enjoy! 

Now let’s look at a few of those things that Bruh David declares we ought to appreciate in this psalm titled – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:3-5) 

Ah mih people, if those are not things to be everlastingly grateful for, then I don’t know what is nuh! But yuh know what? Unfortunately, too many of us, simply don’t know, don’t pay attention to, or simply take those things for granted, and that includes Christians. 

But just think about it nuh friends, we have a God who forgives all our iniquities, all our sins, all our transgressions! Wow! That certainly is something to be thankful for! Listen to these scriptures nuh that uphold that contention. 

Isaiah declares: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us… And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven all their iniquity.’ (Is.33:22, 24). 

Now hear Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as he declares at John’s birth. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; 

As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.’ (Luke 1:68-75) 

And friends, we all know that promise was miraculously and marvelously fulfilled by the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! So why we don’t appreciate our wonderful God more than we do eh? I really can’t say nuh. But eventually, we’ll all have to answer that question to our Maker. 

Now let’s close with these moving words of Bruh Paul to Titus on the Christian life. ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age); 

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works.’ (Tit.2:11-14) 

Oh my faithful followers of Christ, there’s absolutely no doubt that we need to be much more diligent in doing Christ’s work, if we are to truly show our thankfulness for His saving grace and mercy! Much LOVE!

…there is no greater gift in this evil world…than the forgiveness of sins…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2017 Psalm 138:7.

Psalm 138:7.   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.

And then it was Thursday; a beautiful sunny spring day, with temps rising up to the high teens! Yes friends, spring has indeed finally sprung, the birds they are a singing, the trees are budding their new leaves and the grass is getting thick and a rich green. Wow! 

In fact everything is coming up green; new life is sprouting up on the earth just like our Lord and Saviour rose from the dead, alive and kicking on Easter Sunday some two thousand years ago. 

Yes my people, it’s spring, what we call the annual rebirth of life in the northern climes, where birds and animals migrate back to the lush green areas of land that had for some months been more like frozen tundra. 

Even we humans get a new lease on life, our spirits soar, no more thick, heavy clothing with gloves and scarves and hats. It’s like an annual cleansing, which leads to the term spring cleaning, where we go through all our plentiful stuff and discard what is not necessary. 

Likewise friends, I believe that we should take this time to also go through our spiritual selves, see what’s there and then clean our the old and unnecessary, making space for new stuff that will help us mature in our faith walk with Jesus. 

And there is no better time to do this than in the Easter Season, that’s so reminiscent of a new birth, of rejuvenation, of a new beginning! 

So in the next little while, I’d suggest that we all take some time and seriously ponder our spiritual lives, and then ask the Father to help us jettison what’s not necessary, so we can make space for the wonderful new things He has in store for us. 

Let’s be wise and go to Jesus with our heavy burdens, as He commands us to, so that He can joyfully lighten our loads and put us back on the right track, the straight and narrow one. 

And all of that brings us to our Bit, a profound declaration of faith from Bruh David. ‘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.’ 

Oh my fellow followers of Christ, can we make such a declaration? We ought to be able to. Those of us who have followed Christ for some time now ought to be strong and mature enough to make such a definitive statement regarding our faith. 

The Lord ought to have worked in our lives by now that we have no doubts whatsoever about His everlasting faithfulness. And as I reminded us yesterday, Bruh David didn’t make all his many declarations of faith through hearsay, but through very personal experiences. 

Now many of us might not go through the intense or serious experiences that He went through, but we’ll all go through stuff that will bring us to our knees, which only a strong and undeniable faith in Jesus Christ will help us to bear without falling apart. 

The sad part of the story is that we don’t like adversity, but adversity is what makes us strong. It’s in times of adversity that our faith springs up and keeps us afloat, keeps a smile on our faces and a strong step in our walk. 

That’s because we know unequivocally that our Lord God is working behind the scenes on our behalf, and the rough times will not last. 

Now here is an interesting exercise for all of us to do. Let’s look back through our lives at all the adversity we’ve faced, and after each strenuous time, let’s consider the growth of our faith. 

Let’s see if the next level of adversity was easier to bear than the one before. That will show if we are truly growing and maturing in our faith, for with each rough time, we should be stronger and more faithful than the last. 

Yeh friends, our eventual destination should be when we can declare the immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 23 without any signs of doubt or fear. 

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 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. 

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 (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Ah mih breddren, I think we’ve reached a pinnacle of faith when, in times of adversity, we can say those words and truly mean them. Now let’s faithfully and sincerely declare our Thursday Blessings, blessings that our great God has so liberally and generously showered down on us. 

‘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 please remember that they are not blessings until they have been spoken over someone or something. Now let’s go out and do exactly that nuh, as Jesus requires of us. Much LOVE!

…faith is a relative of hope…and one can’t have hope…unless one is alive…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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