Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2018 Psalm 62:1.

Psalm 62:1.   Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

Well my Christian brethren, it is the Lord’s Day! That means at some time today we should be bound for church, to celebrate, give praise and thanks, rejoice, exalt and receive strength and confidence in fellowship with other believers! Wow! 

What an awesome life we believers in Christ have! Mama Mia! We should be the happiest, most joyful people on the planet, for no other body of people has the magnificent and magnanimous promises and awesome situations that we have. Give our wonderful God some praise and glory for all that He’s done, is doing, and will do on our behalf! 

And today, to open the proceedings, we’ll sing a hymn that shows just how powerful, compassionate and LOVING our great God is, that in spite of calamities and distress, we can still stand strong under His umbrella of faith and LOVE! The song is one we all know and LOVE and is titled, ‘It is Well with My Soul.’ 

The song was penned by one Horatio Spafford after some traumatic events in his life, with music composed by Phillip Bliss. ‘The first was the death of his son at the age of 2 and the Great Chicago fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). 

His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. 

While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. 

Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.’ 

Oh friends, it’s only with Christ in our hearts and our lives that we can suffer such disaster and still offer up emotions and words as these. So let’s open up our mouths and offer up sacrifices of praise as we soulfully sing these heart-stopping words. These are the original lyrics, some people leave out certain verses, but we won’t because they are too beautiful and poignant to leave out. 

So in full voice now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say (know) It is well, it is well, with my soul. (Refrain: It is well, (it is well), With my soul, (with my soul) It is well, it is well, with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

(Refrain…) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain…) For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain…) 

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. (Refrain…) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul (A song in the night, oh my soul!) (Refrain… repeat).’ 

Ah friends, do we have Christ as strongly in us as that poor man Spafford seemed to do? I certainly hope so, because that’s the only way we will ever overcome the calamities in our lives without completely falling apart. I guess Spafford must have had a strong belief and trust in God like Bruh David did when he wrote the opening words of Psalm 62, because that’s the only way he could have suffered such awful tragedy and claimed that it was well with his soul. 

‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense (strong tower); I will not be greatly moved (shaken) (Ps.62:1-2) 

Oh how I wish that more of us could claim such faith and trust in Almighty God when calamity comes against us. Oh, it’s not easy, but when you can do that, it means that your faith has reached a really mature state, and it’s something we should all aim for. And we’ll end with some more encouraging words from Bruh David. 

‘My soul, wait thou (wait silently) only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory, the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

Please my fellow believers, let’s take those words to heart this Sunday morning and put them into practice nuh, so that with God’s awesome help, we can withstand the tragedies that come against us. Much LOVE!

…in your patience…posses ye your souls… (Luke 21:10)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2018 Proverbs 22:6.

Proverbs 22:6.   Train up a child in the way he should go, and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Well friends, the sun’s not shining this morning, instead the rain is falling, and it looks like it’s going to be a wet, sombre day. But yuh know what? It’s still a glorious day, because the shining sun isn’t what really makes a day glorious. 

What makes a day truly glorious is the mere fact that we opened our eyes this morning and drew a breath of life, felt the Spirit of the Most High God Jehovah coursing through our bodies! That’s the ultimate expression of a glorious day! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and thankful: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name! Glorify and exalt Him to the highest!’ Yeh friends, that’s how we ought to react to seeing a brand new day, alive and kicking! 

And thankfully I’m feeling better than I did yesterday, though my old nemesis, stuffed up nostrils returned to haunt me last night and I had to breathe through my mouth again. Oh Lord eh! And what really annoyed me, is that when I got up, my nostrils began functioning decently again. 

Chuh! But that’s small potatoes compared to the worsening Hawaiian volcano situation and the ten students shot down in a school in Texas yesterday by a fellow schoolmate, using his father’s guns. When is that nonsense going to end eh? When are they going to put some proper checks and balances to try and stop it? 

I believe I heard that there have been something like sixteen school shootings in the U.S. already this year, and we’re only halfway through May. Steups! But as the gun proponents keep saying, ‘Guns don’t kill people, it’s people who kill people.’ And we’ll leave it at that. Just offer up prayers and whatever other help you can give. 

Now, since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some quotes we got this week from our friend Anselm, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.’ 

And that’s the living truth. All the Lord our God expects from us is that we put sincere effort into all that we do. To use the talents that He equipped us with to the fullest. He knows that we’re not perfect, but he does expect us to come up as high as we can. 

And the second quote says: ‘Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself.’ Well generally speaking I agree with that, but there are times when we don’t have an opportunity to see for ourselves and the info we can gain from others is very reliable and informative. In the case of gossip though, I’d say, yes, see for yourself. (smile) 

Then there is this quote: ‘Let us sacrifice today so our children can have a better tomorrow.’ Now I have some serious reservations about that, because that is exactly what our generation did and yuh see how our children turned out? Not as good as we expected, because we gave them almost everything they wanted without any rules or boundaries or whatever. 

In fact we did them an injustice by sacrificing so much of ourselves so that they could have a better life than we had, but since they did not have to earn or work or sacrifice anything in return, they did not, and don’t appreciate our sacrifices and now believe that they are entitled to everything they want. 

Unfortunately we have raised a totally unappreciative generation. The old saying is still ever so true, that when you work and or sacrifice for something you appreciate it much more than if it just falls into your lap. 

And the last quote is: ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ Gospel truth friends! It brings to mind the popular saying about give me a fish and I’ll eat for a day, but teach me to fish and I’ll eat every day, or something like that. (smile) 

And I want to use that last quote as a reference to our Christian lives. We can tell others about Christ and all that He stands for, but oftimes it will just go in one ear and out the other. And then we can teach them about Christ and they will remember some. 

But the only way they will ever truly learn about Christ is when we get them personally involved, by doing stuff like reading the Bible and other religious texts on their own, praying, going to church, getting involved with church activities and fellow believers. That’s when they truly learn and experience the full expression that’s Christ! 

That’s why the Lord admonished the Israelites continually throughout the Bible to teach their children the word and get them involved in community activities, not only so they could pass it down through posterity, but so that they too could learn and enjoy and profit from the teachings.  

No wonder Cousin Sol declares in our Bit. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ That means to teach them from very young about Christ, lay a good foundation from very early on, so that they will always have it to help them in their daily lives. 

As Bruh Paul said to Timothy: ‘And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.’ (2 Tim.3:15) His mother Eunice and grandmother Lois taught him the word from a very young age. (1. Tim.1:5) 

Unfortunately though, that effective parental biblical training and discipline is something we, as parents, did not do sufficiently with this current generation, that’s why they either have no real knowledge of Christ, or desire to have none. That’s why so many of them are not only IN the world, but are also OF the world. 

However friends, it’s not too late, it’s never too late to try and make some amends, if not with this generation, then with the next. Let’s make sure that our grandchildren receive the message nuh. Much LOVE!

…personal involvement…is the key to successful learning…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2018 Ezekiel 11:19.

Ezekiel 11:19.    And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.

Wow friends, it’s Friday already! A week since I had the surgery, and hopefully I’m on my way to a full recovery. But it’s going to take time.  And isn’t it strange how time seems to go by quickly when you don’t want it to, and slowly when you want it to go by quickly. 

Hn! I guess you’d call that life. But anyway, there’s not much we can do about it, but hope that it comes up in our favour and we have the patience and perseverance to bear how ever long time takes. (smile) 

Anyway, sorry about that break, a friend came to visit and we had a nice long chat. Thanks for the visit Mabel. And regardless of what I might have to say, the workingman is still going to sing his song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Oh people, oh people, the weekend here! Is we time now. No more work…just party and enjoy we selves… and doh care who doh like it. Heh, heh, heh! Enjoy yourself…Enjoy yourself…it’s later than you think…and yuh better believe it! Time not waiting on you. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, as usual, the workingman does have some good points, but he just goes a tad too far out on the limb. We believers are not allowed, or rather supposed to go that far out. We have boundaries that serve to keep the enemy from getting even a toehold in our affairs. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. So with just as much, if not more enthusiasm, let’s chant it now nuh. 

‘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.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as faithful followers of Jesus, our lot is to stay within the boundaries that Jesus set. Enjoy ourselves, but don’t get too lustful and licentious. Don’t allow our flesh to control us, but rather let the Spirit of Jesus lead and guide our earthly journey. 

Oh my people, from way back when, the Lord promised that Holy Spirit. Listen to Him through Ezekiel from our Bit.‘And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.’ 

Why, you wonder? ‘That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances (judgements), and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’ (Ezek.11:20) And as always friends, the Lord kept His promise on that first day of Pentecost. 

As the Good Book tells it: On that faithful day, the apostles were all sitting together, ‘And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) 

What a faithful and awesome God we serve people! One who keeps His promises though we may have to wait on His timing for them. Under the Mosaic covenant, the Holy Spirit would fall upon individual people at certain times, and act in an external manner, but after Jesus ascended back to heaven, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, then was sent to dwell in the hearts and souls of each and every believer. 

The Lord took away our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of soft, pliable and malleable flesh, hearts filled with His LOVE and compassion, rather than the enemy’s hate, anger and evil purposes. Glory to our great and wonderful God my brethren! Such an awesome and ever-LOVING Deity who while we were yet sinners, sacrificed His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our abominable sins, so that we could be made sons, heirs to His kingdom. 

Mama Mia! How could we not LOVE and revere, and adore and exalt Him eh? We’d have to be the most ungrateful and selfish of creatures. And unfortunately there are way too many of us like that. And I’m not going to get into all the works and actions of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we all know them, or should by now. 

I’m just going to end with two pieces of Old Testament scripture that are still very relevant to our modern day lives. The first is a warning from Cousin Sol: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov.16:32) 

That means, controlling ourselves is of enormous importance, and although the Holy Spirit is there to lead and guide us, we still have to make the decision to listen to the Spirit’s guidance and accede to His wishes. And we’ll end with this beautiful bit of heart-felt scripture from Bruh David, after he acknowledges his sin with Bathsheba. 

‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) Yeh friends, our magnanimous God will NEVER turn down a sincere, heartfelt plea like that. So when we feel things aren’t right with us, don’t be afraid to call out to Him for help. He’s always available to help us. Much LOVE!

…the worker bee of the Holy Trinity…Holy Spirit…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2018 Joshua 1:9.

Joshua 1:9.    Have not I commanded thee? be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 

Well a good morning to you my friends and Scrip-Bit family! Today is the Big Day! Yes, today the ole fella is going down to St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, at long last, to have the tumour growing on his Pituitary Gland removed. Glory Be! And that’s why the Bit is so early. 

The tumour’s been hanging around for so long now that I’ve become accustomed to it, and after it’s removed, I’ll have to adjust to a new normal. But I can handle that. (smile) So all I’m asking is for you faithful fellow believers to bombard heaven with prayers for the success of the operation. (smile) Ask the Lord to guide the hands and hearts and heads of the medical team to do their best work, and to keep me strong and faithful. 

Now today is also Friday, so we have to consider the workingman’s song of freedom from unfair labour. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Our best friend, the weekend is here again! Time to let our hair down again and enjoy ourselves as much as we can, with whatever the crazy world has to offer; say, sex, drugs and rock and roll! Whatever is out there is ours for the taking. And yuh better believe we going to take it in these two short days off. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’  

Ah mih people, the workingman surely goes out on a limb, but we believers in Jesus Christ can’t afford to do the same. We’re not allowed to be that lustful and licentious because our Lord and Saviour has set up boundaries of proper standards for us to adhere to. That’s why our Friday Chant is so much different from the ordinary workingman’s song. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm as the workingman sang his song nuh. As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, our song is much more reserved, excluding the extremes that the workingman seems to favour. And as we come to our Bit, I have to chuckle because I came down here just now wondering what I was going to write about, but the Lord beat me to it. I usually put some bookmarks in my Bible between the pages of scripture I’m interested in using that day. 

Now apparently when I used something from the first chapter of Joshua recently, I left a bookmark there, so the Bible naturally opened there this morning, and the first words to greet my eyes were those of our Bit. ‘Have not I commanded thee? be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ 

Obviously the Lord was telling me that was my duty for today; to stand up strong and courageous, don’t be afraid of what I was about to go through. In other words reassuring me of His continual presence and His LOVING-kindness, and His promise to bring me through all adversity in better shape than before. 

Glory to our great and wonderful God my brethren! How can I not trust and be faithful to Him under those conditions eh? And in all my messages, that’s all I’m trying to get through to us: if you trust the Lord He will be faithful to you. As Bruh David so stoutly and proudly declares in the opening verse of Psalm 27: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.37:1) 

Ah my people, when you have the Lord as your ally, you need to fear no one or nothing at all, for He is always with you, wherever you go, looking out for you in all situations. And this is most appropriately set out in Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and fortress. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (cobra); the young lion and the dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample under feet’ (Ps.91:9-13) 

Oh friends, what glorious promises! And that’s not all. Hear the Lord’s declaration: ‘Because he has set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps.91:14-16) 

Wow people, wow! I don’t remember if I featured this scripture in my recent messages on the promises of God, but if I didn’t, it certainly deserved to be amongst them. And if I did, we can certainly be reminded of it, so that we can stay faithful and courageous in the strength and joy of our God. 

Now I don’t know what shape I will be in tomorrow, so I can’t say exactly when the Bit will come out, but the Lord willing, it WILL come out at some time. So please remember me in your prayers, and talk to you some time tomorrow, the Lord in favour. 

And I don’t see why the Lord won’t be in favour, since I haven’t really accomplished the desires He’s put in my heart to exalt and glorify Him. So if He took me home now, then He’d be wasting all those desires. And if there’s one thing I know, our God is wise, He doesn’t waste his desires. (smile) Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord with all your heart…and lean not unto thine own understanding…  (Prov.3:5)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2018 Psalm 68:3.

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

Welcome, welcome, one and all, to another brand new day on God’s great earth! Bless the Lord, praise His holy name! If you are reading this, then you can be assured that your name and/or picture has not shown up in today’s obits. (smile) 

That means that our heavenly Father has more work for each of us to do down here on earth. Our time for going to heaven just hasn’t arrived as yet. So whatever the Lord has planned for us today, please, let’s go out and do it with diligence and excellence nuh, because that’s the attitude our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ desires from His followers. Glory to God! 

Now here is a li’l African Proverb to tease our minds. It says: ‘If you want to go quickly – go alone. If you want to go far – go with friends.’ And it does sound logical, since by yourself you can just boogey along to wherever you want to go, with no hindrances. 

However, the distance you can travel, if you have others along to help and carry you when you get tired is greater than trying to do it alone. So let’s ponder that this morning nuh, and try to find the right blend of how quickly we want to go with how far we want to go. (smile) 

And while we are pondering that, let us also consider these wise and wonderful words of Bruh David from Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people – which includes our Bit. 

‘Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.’ 

Ah friends, wise words that strike right to the heart of the matter; God’s omnipotence! And if the wicked shall perish before His unrelenting power, then the righteous, His followers, should rejoice and be exceedingly glad, because they will enjoy all His benefits and blessings.

And that’s the state we Christians ought to be living in today and everyday; one of rejoicing in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. 

Unfortunately though, there are too many supposed Christians who are not living that kind of life. Too many of us are living this ‘poor-me-one,’ ‘woe is me’ lifestyle, unwisely believing that ‘sufferation’ is our earthly lot. But my people that’s the furthest thing from the truth, since Jesus died that we may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) 

Now that doesn’t mean we won’t have problems and go through adversity, but suffering is not to be our main lot! If it were so, then Jesus would have died in vain, because we were already suffering and looking forward to a disastrous life in Hades before He came. 

And since Jesus came to give us another and much better option for our lives, then we ought to be extremely glad and rejoice for salvation and the promise of eternal life in heaven with Him at some stage of the game.

So please, let’s get rid of this ‘sufferation’ complex so many of us have and just be glad in the Lord nuh my brethren. It’s why Jesus came and sacrificed His life for us. 

Instead, as Bruh David continues, we ought to: ‘Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol (exalt, praise) him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH (Lord), and rejoice before him.’ (Ps.68:4) 

Mama Mia! What wonderful advice! Now if only believers could cotton to that and do it eh! What a wonderful world this would be! 

Oh fellow believers in Christ, I’m imploring us today to stop living the negatively based lives that so many of us are wrongly living. Let’s get rid of all the disunity and negative stuff that’s spoiling our lives and our church community and instead live the way Jesus died for us to live; positively and joyfully, in unity with each other. 

As Bruh David says in Psalm 64 – Plot and punishment: ‘And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.’ (Ps.64:9-10) 

Remember friends, we are supposed to be righteous and upright in heart! That means we ought to glory in our great and wonderful God, not simply plod along like suffering pilgrims! 

Now listen to these two verses from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness – as Bruh David reiterates his wise advice. ‘Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about (surround him).

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:10 –11) And if Bruh David said it should be so, then let’s make it so nuh! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting all the world know of our wonderful connection to, and with Jesus Christ. All together 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 I can’t help remarking that spending eternity with Jesus will indeed be glorious, mind-blowing and breathtaking! Much LOVE!

…for all the good and wonderful things that Jesus stands for…Christians ought to be much more appreciative and joyful…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2018 Psalm 148:5

Psalm 148:5.    Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded and they were created.

Seven days have passed friends, since we last visited the Lord’s sanctuary to refresh our souls and spirits. That means we are due for a refuelling today. 

So let’s all come together, gather in the Lord’s house and fellowship with enthusiasm, hope, faith, praise and worship, while He replenishes, with His word and spiritual touch, the faith we’ve used up this past week. That will enable us to go back out and work diligently and sincerely on His behalf, with a full tank of joy, LOVE, confidence, persistence and peace. 

And all of God’s children declared a loud and thankful: ‘Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And how right we are, to give God the glory for all the magnanimous and magnificent things He’s done for us. 

Now, as always, let’s begin our praise and worship with a favourite old hymn titled ‘All things bright and beautiful.’ It was written by Cecil F. Alexander around 1848. And does it ever celebrate the Lord and His creations in nature. So let’s belt it our now through lips lined with sacrificial praise and hearts filled with enormous LOVE and gratitude to our Maker. 

‘(Refrain: All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.) Each little flow’r that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. (Refrain) 

The purple-headed mountains, The river running by, The sunset and the morning That brightens up the sky.(Refrain) 

The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. (Refrain) The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, To gather every day.(Refrain) 

He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.’

Yeh friends, ALL the beauty we enjoy in nature was made by our heavenly Father, for our enjoyment. Unfortunately though, many of us, including Christians, don’t seem to appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature. 

What can be more beautiful than a golden sunset; a full moon in full glow while stars sprinkle the night sky, or birds singing sweet songs of thanks in the early morning hours as they rise and give praise to their creator. 

Chuh! But we, the most important of God’s creation find it difficult, or even impossible to thank Him for His fatherly goodness and the beauty He’s created to enliven our earthly lives. 

Now we’re going to spend the rest of this message giving Him some of the praise He so worthily deserves. And we’ll begin with Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord – from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps.148:1-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! The Lord commanded everything to be made that was made! Therefore everything that was made, especially man, ought to be constantly singing His praises and admiring His handiwork. And He even went a step further than just creating them: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall never pass.’ (Ps.148:6) Glory to God friends! 

Nothing God has made shall pass away unless He wills it. Therefore ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps (sea creatures): Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: 

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. 

He also exalteth the horn (strength) of his people, the praise of all of his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Oh my people, how awesome is our God eh! I can’t understand why we refuse to exalt and glorify Him the way we should. But this Sunday morning, as we gather to worship Him, let’s begin changing that nuh. Let’s raise up our voices and our hearts in gratitude and tenderness and LOVE and exaltation, so that He can know that we truly appreciate Him and bring a beautiful smile to His face and a glow of warmth to His heart! Much LOVE!

…by the word of the Lord…were the heavens made…and all the hosts of them…by the breath of his mouth… (Ps.33:6)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2018 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter the kingdom of heaven.

One more day friends! Yes one more day; that’s what we’ve been given, and that’s why it’s called a present, a gift, as well as the present, because it’s all we have to work with.  

Yesterday has gone by for ever, and tomorrow has not come as yet, if it ever will.  Therefore, we need to do all that we can in this present day to exalt the ONE and ONLY, True, Living God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as best we can. 

And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord! Thank Him for all His goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men. Amen! 

And as the li’l thought from the Daily Bread Devotional tells us: ‘Jesus gave His ALL; He deserves our ALL.’ I couldn’t have put it any better my brethren. Jesus did not penny-pinch and play the scrooge when He sacrificed His sinless life for us. He gave it everything He had, put His whole heart and soul into what He was doing for us. 

Now, after He died for us, then rose from the grave, from the dead, so that we too can rise eventually, given us salvation, and is interceding for us at the Father’s right hand in heaven, while His Spirit lives in our souls, leading and guiding us in all truth, don’t you think the least we can do in return is to work tirelessly and faithfully to bring His wonderful church to fruition? 

Wow! What a mouthful my people! (smile) But it is the living truth. We’re definitely not doing as much as we ought to grow Jesus’ church. And WE ALL KNOW IT! We’re still letting the evil world and it’s evil associates control too much of our time and our actions. We talk a good talk, but don’t walk a good walk. 

That’s why the unbeliever looks at us askance, with a knowing smirk on their faces. They know that many of us are just a bunch of ole hypocrites, like the scribes and Pharisees of bygone days. That’s why Jesus declares so definitely in our Bit: ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter the kingdom of heaven.’ 

What a bam bam my people! Imagine that nuh; the most righteous, or supposedly righteous people of Jesus time could not get into heaven. And I know that we’ve used this scripture as our Bit fairly recently, but the Lord just put it on my heart to do it again today, possibly because He knows that we need the warning badly. So don’t get vex with the messenger. (smile) 

Now listen to the scholar’s explanation, once again. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. 

Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.

                 Law                                                                  Spirit

            No murder                                                          No anger

            No adultery                                                         No lust

            No divorce                                                          Commitment

            No oath-taking                                                 Speak the                                                                                                          truth

            No retaliation                                                   Forgiveness

            Hatred for your enemy                                  LOVE for                                                                                                        your enemy 

  (tradition allowed it)                                            (commanded)

And there you have it friends! As Christians we need to come up higher in the spiritual realm than in the law of the world, if we are to be sincere believers. And I’m pleading with us today to stop giving Christ a bad name with our hypocritical behaviour. If we can’t live up to what He expects of us, then let’s stop talking the high talk we talk, and walk whatever low walk we can. Let’s not talk more than we can do. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, blessings that the Lord has specially prepared for us who sincerely try to do His will. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, doesn’t it make you feel bad when you enjoy all those heavenly blessings and don’t at least try to reciprocate as best we can? It ought to. Much LOVE!

…righteousness is simply…the LOVE of Jesus…in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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