Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2015 Psalm 89:1‏‏‏

Psalm 89:1.  I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday, but it’s also the first day of spring. And lots of people, especially those in the northern climes are going to be shouting ‘TGIS! Thank God it’s spring at last!’ As well as ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’
 
After the exceedingly rough winter we’ve had, the words will come naturally: ‘Glory Hallelujah, spring at last, spring at last! Lord please don’t let winter return. Just let it keep getting warmer and greener.’
 
And although I wasn’t here for the real bad parts, I certainly can understand those sentiments, for what I experienced was bad enough to have me crying out for mercy. (smile)
 
Anyway Friends, let’s just hope and pray that the days do keep getting warmer, the trees start budding, and more birds join the early morning choir of joyful praise to their Creator, for that will mean that it’s truly spring.
 
But meanwhile, to try and alleviate all the confusion and anxiety over Friday and Spring, let’s chant out Friday Chant with plenty feeling. ‘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.’
 
Yes my people, let’s relax and turn to our wonderful and sovereign God to show us the way and give us the wherewithal to face whatever comes our way. So with all of that in mind, let’s move on to our Bit: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’
 
And my brethren, as true believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that is exactly what we are called upon to do! For we cannot appreciate the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness without expressing it in words, actions and songs, and more importantly, letting the young generation know about the wonderful God we serve and worship. That’s the only way that our faith will keep on being a treasured part of this earthly life.
 
Now yesterday we heard the first half of Bruh David’s psalm of thanksgiving when the Ark of the Covenant was brought up to Jerusalem. Today we’ll listen to the other half. ‘For all the gods of the people are idols (worthless things): but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
 
Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Fear (tremble) before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
 
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth.
 
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.16:26-35)
 
Ah Friends, what beautiful sentiments from Bruh David! Even nature, the inanimate objects, like the trees and fields are expected to sing praises unto God, so why wouldn’t we eh, His most marvellous creation?
 
Now here are some interesting explanations from the scholars. ’16:7. This psalm (with slight variations) is woven into several of the psalms in the Hebrew Psalter (cf. vv.8-22 with Ps.105:1; vv.23-33 with Ps.96; vv.34-36 with Ps.106:1, 47-48). It is learned here that those later liturgical adaptations originated with David. The psalm was especially suited for this auspicious occasion, (moving the ark to Jerusalem).
 
This particular psalm exhorts the people to praise Israel’s wonder-working God (vv.8-11), and encourages its hearers to remember God’s deeds (vv.12-14) and His unfailing covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (vv.15-22). David then directs all nations to join Israel in its praise of the holy God to whom all the universe is subservient (vv.23-33), and closes the song with a section of thanks, petition, and praise (vv.34-36).’
 
Oh Friends, likewise, in these exceedingly rough and trying times, we are also being exhorted to praise our wonder-working God, the same One that Israel worshipped!
 
And we are also being encouraged to remember God’s great deeds on our behalf, as well as His unfailing covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for that too, is all a part of our heritage and our promise!
 
If we don’t make those things our priority, then we’re being hypocritical, and failing in service and worship to the God we claim to treasure and appreciate so much.
 
Therefore my brethren, let’s try and sincerely make the Lord God THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY in all aspects of our lives nuh, by living a life that glorifies Him, which means singing His praises, and telling others of His marvellous works, for then an only then will we become true believers. That’s the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to sing the Lord’s praises….and to speak of His greatness…should be no-brainers to His true people…should come automatically to them…

 

 

 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.    Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

‘Morning Neighbuh, morning! May the great and wonderful God of our fathers be with you this new day, showering you with His ever-flowing mercy and abundant blessings, while keeping you and yours safe from harm.’
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, I guess I’ll never be a good weather forecaster, because I said that yesterday was going to be a rainy day Tuesday. Hn! But which rain fell eh? None! For by the time the sun rose the rain abated, and it turned out to be a hot, windy day Tuesday instead. I even had to turn on the A/C. Note, just to see if it was working after the long, harsh winter it endured. (smile)
 
What a life eh! A couple weeks ago we badly wanted heat, but now that we’re getting some of the natural stuff, we’re already crying out for cooler weather. Chuh! I guess though that that’s the nature of the human animal – when we have one thing we want something else, and vice versa.
 
But my people, I’m here to tell us that this earthly life is not a bed of roses… or rather, it is a bed of roses! That’s because one of the most beautiful of all God’s creation, the rose, grows at the end of a long, thorn riddled stalk, and to get to one, you have to carefully navigate the thorns on its stem.
 
Life is just like that my brethren. To get to the top of the ladder, or to the most beautiful parts of life, you have to carefully navigate through thorny paths, covered with brambles and all sorts of other obstruction. There is no clear, unobstructed path to our glorious destination of heaven and eternal life with Jesus Christ.
 
As our Bit tells it, in the immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy: ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
And that’s no lie Friends, for all sorts of obstacles and stumbling blocks will crop up in a believer’s life, and it’s only with God’s help are we able to successfully navigate them. And we’re going to end this series of messages with a couple of scriptures pertaining to both the first and last parts of our Bit.
 
As to the first part; ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith,’ let’s look at Acts 11, regarding the church in Antioch, where believers were first referred to as Christians.
 
After Stephen was stoned to death in Jerusalem, the disciples were scattered all over, teaching the gospel, but to Jews only. However, some of them, when they came to Antioch, began preaching the Lord Jesus also to the Gentiles.
 
The Good Book tells us: ‘And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings (news) of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
 
Who, when he came and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted (encouraged) them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto (continue with) the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.’ (Acts 11:21-24)
 
Yeh Friends, we all need help and encouragement to keep on keeping on in our walk of faith, because it is not an easy row to hoe. And that fact is borne out later on when Barnabas brings Bruh Paul back to Antioch, where envious Jews did not want the gospel taught to the Gentiles.
 
‘And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought (begged) that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism) followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.’ (Acts 13:42-42)
 
But the opposition never ceased. ‘And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against (opposed) those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
 
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed (grew) bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you (reject it), and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
 
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
 
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable (prominent) women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts (region). But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.’(Acts 13:44-52)
 
Glory be! Ah mih people, what a beautiful example of when opposition comes against us, that we nonetheless stand strong in preaching the Word, and we will be strengthened and filled with the joy of the Lord and His Holy Spirit! That’s because the Word contains power, the greatest power on earth!
 
But jealousy and envy can move us to do evil, if we’re not very careful. The Jews at first didn’t want to hear about Jesus, and then they didn’t want the Gentiles to hear about Him either, so they stirred up false info to the powers that be, and had them run Barnabas and Bruh Paul out of town.
 
And unfortunately many Christians are behaving the same way, though not through jealousy, but through apathy, fear and simply not caring enough to share the good news of the gospel with others. Remember though my people, that that’s our Great Commission; to spread the good news of Jesus all over the globe. (Matt.28:19-20)
 
But it wasn’t easy back in those first days, and it certainly isn’t easy either in these last days. But with perseverance, strong faith, trust and surrender to our helpful and ever-LOVING God, we CAN, and we WILL proselytize the ENTIRE WORLD, just as Jesus commanded.
 
Oh Friends, I got so caught up in the first part of our Bit, (smile) that I went on longer than I expected. So like we’ll just have to leave the other stuff till tomorrow, God in favour.
 
Till then, please stand strong in the faith, and fearlessly and unashamedly spread the good news of Jesus to all and sundry, because that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world…  (John 16:33)