Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2018 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.    ​I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

 

Oh mercy, mercy me! Another medical journey into that confused, misguided and badly governed city of Toronto! Hence the early publication of the Bit. But it’s all to my benefit, so cheers! Let’s have a shot of caffeine to celebrate the occasion. (smile) 

Oh, this great adventure in sickness is drawing to a close…at least I think so, so hopefully it won’t be much longer before I stop having all these medical appointments. At least they will be much fewer and further between. That’s my prophetic declaration! (smile) 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, that we all could use this fall morning. It’s titled ‘Fear Not.’ Please pray with me. ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear not.” Surely You would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would You command it so explicitly If You could not keep me from fearing. 

God, You have given me a Fear Not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You, You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my Father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’ 

And NO, God will NEVER turn away or be less kind to one of His very own children! That’s His ever-faithful promise! So we can be assured that whatever fear that’s troubling us, if we take it to God in prayer, we will receive relief and succour from it. 

But isn’t it somewhat troubling that despite all the assurances and commands of our heavenly Father, re not to fear, we’re still such a fearful people? ‘Fear not!’ was one of the most used phrases by Jesus in His earthly sojourn. And when He said, ‘O ye of little faith,’ meant that we were also fearful, because faith dispels fear. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; the immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 34: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ Yeh friends, simple, but ever so life changing words! And those from a great man of God! 

That means, although we should not be always afraid, when those times arise, we should NEVER be afraid to call on our helpful and ever-faithful God for help. Note, Bruh David said, he called out in desperation, and the Lord heard and helped him. And He WILL do the same for each and every one who calls out to Him in all sincerity and truth! 

And this is how Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:4-10) 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and ever grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for his everlasting goodness to the children of men!’ Yes friends, we know it’s the truth, even though we don’t always follow it! 

And that ‘fear’ we’re talking about is not ‘fear’ in the sense of being physically afraid of God, though we should have a touch of that because of the awesome things He can do, but it’s a sense of reverence, of acknowledgement of His strength and power and goodness and LOVE towards us. 

And the scholars offer this interesting comment on ‘Psalm 34. The historical background of this acrostic psalm (Hebrew poem of which the lines begin with the successive letters of the alphabet) is related in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. (Bruh David flees to Gath from Saul’s many attempts to kill him.) It bears all the marks of the testimony of one who narrowly escaped death, just as the passage in Samuel describes. As such, it contains the praise and testimony of the one who was redeemed  (vs.1-10) and the seasoned instruction that can stem from such deliverance (vs.11-22).’ 

Now let’s hear some of that seasoned instruction: ‘Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good: seek peace and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:11-14) 

That’s wise advice indeed from someone who experienced it! So let’s remember that today nuh, as we go home now declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 if we’re truly sincere, we’ll go out and share it all with others, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…between fear and faith…there’s Jesus…Glory be…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2018 Isaiah 1:18.

Isaiah 1:18.   Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Welcome, welcome, one and all to a brand new day in God’s great universe! And it’s not only a new day, but also one filled with new mercies and blessings from our heavenly Father, stuff he made specially for today. 

He threw out all the left overs from yesterday and began from scratch this morning, so those who LOVE Him and are called according to His purpose can bask in the sunshine of His everlasting goodness. 

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve and worship my brethren! But remember YOU have to communicate with HIM, to get those goodies!  He doesn’t just hand them out willy-nilly. (smile) 

And would you also believe that today is the 1st of February? Brother! We were just singing Auld Lang Syne a few days ago, welcoming the New Year, now we’re already hot into the bacchanalian bash called Carnival, with Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day falling the same time in two weeks. Is the year flying by or what? 

Let’s hope that we all are keeping our New Year’s resolution, that of walking ever closer with Christ this year, strong and in good order, because that’s the only way we will be successful in this crazy, troubled, war-like, evil world. 

And you know friends, the ‘One thing that turns the world from an ugly place to a beautiful place is LOVE. LOVE gives the world hope!’ And is that ever so true my people. Without LOVE permeating our hearts and souls, we simply have no hope, since hate is all about destroying, but LOVE is about building; building together in close harmony. 

But sadly, if we look around our world right now, there is very little, if any building, everywhere is simply destruction, both manmade and natural. How does that augur for the future of our planet eh? It’s not very encouraging. If we keep on destroying everything in our path, the future generations will be left with nothing. 

Is that what we want for our children, and our children’s children? Even the evildoers will answer no to that question, but none of us are doing anything substantial to stop if from coming to pass. That’s why we’re crying out now, in our Bit, like the prophet Isaiah did on the Lord’s behalf, many centuries ago to the Israelites. 

‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all about mankind sitting down and reasoning together if we want to see a better world. And the two verses after our Bit clearly spell out the consequences of not doing so. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured by the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:19-20) 

Oh my people, we don’t have to wait for the Lord to tell us that. It’s written ever so plainly in our behaviour, where there’s so much dissension and disunity, even amongst family, much less between countries. Consequently, strife is all-pervasive, and wars are a dime a dozen. It’s easier to pick out where there is no strife than where there is strife, because there are so much fewer of the former. That’s to tell you how bad it is. 

But turning back to our Bit. Let’s get some explanations from the scholars. ‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to all men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their blood guiltiness before God. 

The term ‘crimson’ also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.’ 

Oh mih breddren, from way back then, our wonderful God was prepared to forgive sins to those who turned in repentance to Him, and today He is still in the forgiving business. All we have to do is turn to Him in true repentance. Are we willing to do that so our world and our children can enjoy a better standard of life in the future? 

I do hope so, because with all the amenities and advances in technology we now have, the most important aspect of our society, personal relations between humans is at a low ebb, and until we fix that, nothing else will make life any better. 

Now, for those of us who choose to LOVE the Lord and obey Him, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. In full voice and strong conviction: ‘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 go out and do our bounden duty; share those blessings with others, as Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…only by talking to each other…in good faith…will our world ever improve…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2016 1 Chronicles 16:34‏

1 Chronicles 16:34.   O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Ah mih breddren, the ole fella went out and party last evening… the first time in ages too. In fact, the first time since New Year’s Eve! Glory to God! But the ole fella must really be getting old if it takes three and half months between his partying. (smile) 

Oh it was nothing spectacular, just our church’s first International Dinner and Dance held in the church’s auditorium. And was it ever well attended, over a hundred beautiful souls. And talk about food; all kinds of food from all the many cultures of our rather diverse congregation. 

And would you believe that after everybody had their fill, with seconds and thirds, and people bought food to carry home, there were still loads of food left. And this was no catered affair, just members of our congregation cooking and donating food from their particular culture. 

And please note that the West Indian fare was first and foremost  – as usual. (smile) Ah can’t help it people, ah just biased towards mih West Indian victuals and way of life. And if is one thing, no two things the St. Francis congregation can do well, is eat and party, led by our inimitable Fr. Jeff. 

And the ole fella partied too, to the good music that the D.J. spun, with my natural enthusiasm obviously, but not with my leggo beast antics. It seems that those days are over, and now I have to be more circumspect about my physical activity. 

But look at that nuh; the ole fella can’t party as physically and energetically as he used to. I guess, as they say, after one time is two. Hn, hn! And by the grace of God, and some man-made medication, the knees are holding up well this morning. Praise be! 

Anyway friends, today is Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and that means we have to get ourselves to church and praise and worship and fellowship with our Christian brethren. I do hope that all of the partiers’ last night can get up and get to church this morning, and they are not suffering from the after effects of the night before. (smile) 

Or they don’t use that as an excuse, cause you ever notice how we Christian folks can find all sorts of reasons not to go to church, but none not to go out and indulge in the lustful lifestyle of the world. We just don’t seem to hold going to church as sacred and important as we ought to. 

Now enough of my two cents worth, let’s check out our Bit. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.’ 

Yes friends, that’s what we ought to be doing this Sunday in the Lord’s sanctuary; giving thanks for His everlasting goodness to us undeserving human beings. That reminds me of the words of the old Beres Hammond song ‘Giving Thanks.’ 

‘Morning sun rising behind me, Stars at night come out to remind me, To give thanks for all the things that I have. All is well, I’ve got my health and in such good shape, Pockets broken, I’ve got nothing, waiting for that break, 

So I’m giving thanks, for all I’ve got, I’m giving thanks, whether or not, I’m giving thanks for the life I’ve got, I’m giving thanks now, Yes I’m giving thanks for all I’ve got, I’m giving thanks, whether or not, I’m giving thanks for the life in me, I’m giving thanks…I’m giving thanks…’ 

Oh my people, if we’d only give a little more thanks to our wonderful God, our lives would be so much better! I guess we don’t realize that our blessings are proportional to the thanks that we give. Even if we don’t have anything, that’s material possessions, we still have life to be thankful for. 

And to remind us that a lot of other folks don’t have even life this morning, just read the obits. So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, let’s acknowledge the mercy and LOVING-kindness of our awesome Creator. That’s all He’s asking of us yes; to appreciate what He done, is doing, and has promised to do for us. 

And we’ll continue checking out instances of our Bit being used in the Good Book. Yesterday we saw it used when Bruh David brought up the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and when Cousin Sol finished building the Lord’s temple. Today let’s look at how it was also used when the Israelites returned from their captivity in Babylon and laid the foundation for the rebuilding of the Lord’s house. 

The book of Ezra describes it thus: ‘And they sang together by course (responsively) in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted for joy: so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.’ (Ezra 3:11-13) 

Ah friends, do we shout with such joy nowadays when we are doing the Lord’s work? I don’t think so. But you can see how happy the Israelites were that they were in the process of rebuilding God’s sanctuary. And we’ll close with an explanation from the scholars on that joyous time. 

‘3:12-13. It had been about 50 years since the first temple had been destroyed, and many of the older men (ancient men) who had seen the earlier building, wept now because of the sorrowful contrast in size and splendour. 

When the temple was completed later in 520 B.C; there were still some of these old men who wept again. Haggai 2:3 and Zechariah 4:10 relate Zechariah’s challenge to those who “despised the day of small things.” 

Oh friends, please, let’s not despise small things, because EVERYTHING, big or small has been made and provided by God. Consequently, it means that we are despising God, when we despise the things He’s made or allowed to be made. That’s certainly not wisdom! Much LOVE!

…Blessing…and glory…and wisdom…and thanksgiving…and honour…and power…and might…be unto our God…for ever and ever…Amen…  (Rev.7:12) 

P.S. Sorry friends, it could have been earlier, but I had to practice what I was preaching; I had to leave and go to church. And it’s a good thing too, because it’s in one of today’s readings that I heard the afterthought above. Please have a blessed day! Much LOVE!