Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Ah friends, one never knows what each passing moment of each day will bring nuh! Here I was planning to come down and write about the bright and stunning day that was happening in my neighbourhood and the upcoming long Labour Day weekend. But as it recently seems to be too often the case, I open my e-mail and find news of an obituary. Steups! 

Now this one isn’t for a personal friend of mine, but someone who played an important part in my life some fifty years ago…boy some of us are sure getting long in the tooth. (smile) The gentleman I’m talking about is H.E. Cedric Lanyon Harper, St. Kitts and Nevis High Commissioner to Jamaica (1930-2018). 

My association with him took place when he was the Warden of Irvine Hall, the Hall I was associated with on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He was a big man, both in girt and height, and good be gruff at times. His bristling moustache also lent an air of intimidation to his naturally serious demeanour. A lot of the students, including me, didn’t like him and his rules for the Hall. 

But you know what? When push came to shove, he turned out to be white knight in shining armour. Hn! I’m talking about when I could not pay my tuition fees in my last year, which meant I couldn’t take my final exam, he lent me the money from the Hall’s coffers. And for that I will be eternally grateful, so should you all be too, because then you might have never known me. (smile) 

Ah mih people, just another example to show that we should not judge the book by its cover. My condolences go out to all of Mr. Harper’s family and friends as they mourn his passing, but hopefully celebrate his apparently generous and giving life as a teacher and able representative for his country of St.Kitts and Nevis. 

But the workingman is not going to let us forget that it’s Friday, as he joyfully belts out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And a long weekend too – Labour Day! Mama Yo! All the people who labour and work hard will be celebrating the few benefits we have because of the brave resistance of so many who’ve gone before us. Yeh breddren, we have to stand up for we rights, slavery done long time ago, otherwise the greedy and hard hearted slave master going to push we right back into it. 

But he can’t stop we from celebrating how we want to on we time though. So on this last weekend of the summer, we going to throw the biggest party of the summer; nuff food and drink, music, marching and singing songs of freedom! Oh brother! What a party it going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, especially the long ones and them!’ 

Yeh friends, it is the last long weekend of summer, which means closing up the vacation cottage up north! Come next week it’s back to school and back to work for those who took vacation with their children. And as believers, we too will celebrate the Labour Day long weekend, just not as boisterously and lasciviously as the ordinary workingman. And our Friday Chant is also much more subdued and responsible than his song. 

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get enthusiastic about it, so let’s chant up a storm nuh! All together 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, when we work and live for Jesus, it just means that we’re a tad more responsible, more heavenly minded than earthly minded, but not so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. (smile) We have to be careful not to give the enemy any room to come into our lives and corrupt them. 

That means we always have to be on our p’s and q’s, constantly on the look out for his sly, deceitful and reasoned approaches, like the one he used on Eve in the Garden of Eden. That’s why Peter so forcefully reminds us in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! The ole crook Lucifer is always on the lookout for any toe or finger hold he can get in our lives. So continuing in the admonition of Peter: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh, I know some of us are going to say, knowing that others are also experiencing temptation doesn’t help me any. And that might be true. But hear this: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly what will happen. After a bit of sufferation, to prove and strengthen our faith, the Lord of all grace and mercy will bring us out strong and steadfast. You can bet on it. Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.’ (1 Pet.5:11) Much LOVE!

…trials and tribulation…they are simply God’s way…of testing and strengthening our faith…

 

 

 

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 27 February 2018 1 John 3:1a.

1 John 3:1a.   Behold, what manner of LOVE the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (children) of God.  

And then it was Tuesday…and the much appreciated spring break amidst the winter season continues seemingly unabated. Oh Glory to God! And on top of that, both the sun and the SON are shining forth brilliantly today. Mama Yo! What more can a mortal man ask for eh? Not much really. 

But yuh know what, in our undeserving, sinful nature, our wonderful God gives us even more. Read with me, as I share this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s simply titled ‘You LOVE Me!’ 

‘God When I am wretched and weak You LOVE me. When I am steady and strong You LOVE me. When I am very right Or terribly wrong You LOVE me. When I talk too much Or laugh too loud Or sob too long You LOVE me. When I am quiet and serene You LOVE me. 

When I willingly obey You LOVE me. When I insist on my own way You LOVE me. When I fail to put you first You LOVE me. When I come running back to You You LOVE me. I need not beg You to LOVE me For You who are LOVE Cannot exist without LOVING. 

And yet this very day, dear God I have no real assurance Of Your LOVE at all. I wonder why?  (And the Lord answered)  BELOVED child The fact remains I LOVE you.’ 

Isn’t that something now mih people! Regardless of who we are, or how we behave, our amazing God LOVES US! Even when we don’t feel His LOVE, the indisputable truth still stands; He LOVES us! He just cannot help LOVING, because He is LOVE personified! 

And He caused me to share this particular poem today because He wants to remind us of that fact. He apparently sees that we don’t appreciate the true nature of His LOVE enough, that’s why we are so unsure and uncertain of ourselves in this crazy, troubled society. 

Please accept this reminder my fellow believers, and let it penetrate our hearts and minds right to the very core, so that we’ll never be in doubt, in any situation whatsoever, of our great God’s true and unconditional LOVE for us. It’s one of the elementary tenets of our faith, and if we can’t accept it without reservation, then our faith will be lacking, and won’t be able to grow and mature, as it ought to. 

That’s why John, in his first epistle thought it so necessary to remind us of God’s great LOVE for us, as stated in our Bit. ‘Behold, what manner of LOVE the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (children) of God.’  

Ah mih breddren how can we not appreciate such an awesome bestowal eh? God didn’t have to, but He wanted to. Why? Because we are His; created by His hand, in His image, and we breathe His breath of life. And even though we have become sinful and disobedient, the facts of the matter cannot be changed. 

Now listen to the scholars on our Bit. ‘3:1. Bestowed is in the perfect tense, suggesting the enduring effect of the LOVE God has given. Believers are children of God by virtue of being born of Him (2:29). Jesus stressed a connection between how the world related to God and how it would in turn relate to Christ’s true followers (John 15:18). After ‘sons of God’ the phrase “And we are” should be added, according to many ancient manuscripts.’ 

Yeh friends, for some reason or the other that definitive statement got left out of our version of the Good Book, but there is no doubt that we are indeed children of God, once we are born again and believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I think though that a part of the problem is that our minds are so small and finite, that we cannot truly grasp the concept of a mighty and holy God LOVING us, despite our sinful and blasphemous nature. But don’t we still LOVE our children though they are disobedient and go astray? So why should it be any different with God eh? Children are children, and fathers are fathers in whatever situation you place them. 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures that corroborate our Bit. John says in his gospel: ‘He (the true Light) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 

But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ (John 1:10-13) 

We couldn’t get more authority than that to become children of God. Now hear this most momentous and eye opening scripture, re the LOVE of God from John’s first epistle. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. BELOVED, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

That’s our Christian faith in a nutshell right there my brethren. Please let’s practice it in all sincerity and truth nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are in strong voice. 

‘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 since we’ve declared it, let’s go out now and action it nuh! Much LOVE!

…regardless of what we have…if we don’t have LOVE…we are nothing…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2018 Psalm 8:1.

Psalm 8:1.   O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Top o’ the morn my fellow believers! It’s that wonderful day, Sunday, which means the gathering of Christians all over the world in the Lord’s sanctuary. And that can be any of the following; a magnificent cathedral, a small church, a house, a hovel, a palace, or under a coconut tree, wherever we can gather, to worship and give immeasurable thanks to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

Yes friends, wherever God’s people are gathered that’s His sanctuary, for He is there in full regal presence. As Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there I am in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless His holy name, for He is a great God, and indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

And in keeping with that truthful sentiment, let’s open today’s celebrations with this most appropriate hymn ‘How great thou art.’  It’s a hymn apparently based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg, pastor, poet and politician (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. 

After a brief thunderstorm, it’s reputed that he opened his window and saw a rainbow gilding the sky and all of God’s nature creations shining bright and fresh having been cleansed by the rain. Supposedly modelled after Psalm 8; Bruh David’s words exalting God’s glory and man’s honour, it was first translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. Later on, it was further translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine. 

So in strong voice and total harmony, let’s offer up this favourite hymn to our heavenly father, through the sacrificial praise of our lips.  ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 

(Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. (Refrain) And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. (Refrain) 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)’ (repeat). 

Ah mih people, what wonderful and truthful words of praise, worship and adoration to our mighty God. That makes the opening words of Bruh David’s psalm a perfect Bit for today. ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.’ 

And there can be no doubt whatsoever about the veracity of those adoring words! For He is the ONLY truly omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Being in this whole universe. He created it, it belongs entirely to Him, and He controls it as He sees fit. Glory to God! 

And Bruh David continues to prove his contention. ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings (infants) hast thou ordained (established) strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still (silence) the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, and the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (pay attention, or care for) him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.’ (Ps. 8:2-5) 

Ah friends, it ought to be obvious why God cares for us. In the first place He created us in His image and gave us His breath of life, so that we could worship Him and have a positive and productive relationship with Him.

From the day He created our forefathers, Adam and Eve, He’s LOVED us with His whole heart, and though He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, when they disobeyed His command, He never stopped LOVING His human creation nuh, we stopped LOVING Him. 

So it’s not rocket science why He did as Bruh David further describes. ‘Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ (Ps.8:6-8) 

And why not eh? We are His most precious creation, the only earthly being He created that has the ability to communicate with Him. Just like we LOVE our disobedient and trying children, our Creator LOVES us the same way – and even more.

So let’s remember to continually thank and praise Him for all the good things He’s done for us down through the ages, is currently doing, and has faithfully promised to do in the future. And we’ll end like Bruh David did, with a shout of heartfelt praise: ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.’ (Ps.8:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools and mad men…refuse to praise and worship their Creator…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

And this God-given Sunday might just be another rainy day in my area, like the past two days were. However friends, that should not stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship in joyful abandon, while His indispensable and indisputable Word strengthens our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, for that’s what the Lord desires of us. 

And just tonight I read this interesting quote in an article titled ‘Fun Challenged’ in the September Edition of the In Touch Magazine that immortalizes what I’m talking about. The quote is attributed to the theologian Simon Chan, who says: “Christians who do not play together do not worship well together either, since worship is a ‘religious form of play.’ Both at play and at worship the Christian community enjoys its Sabbath rest.” 

Now isn’t that the God-awesome truth friends? Christians should be the happiest and most joyful people on the planet because of what our great God and our wonderful Saviour have done for us! And I believe, both as Christians and as secular people, we have forgotten how to have fun, to laugh and be merry and carefree, which are all healthy aspects of a well-lived life. We’re taking our messed up, strife-filled world too seriously. 

Remember Jesus has already been victorious over hell, death and the grave and we have every reason to rejoice. So, on this the Lord’s Day, let’s lighten up and sing this wonderful old hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ with lyrics by Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) and music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876). Let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise and sweet harmony, so that there can be absolutely no doubt of our sincere and everlasting allegiance to Jesus. 

‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation By water and the Word: From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy Bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died. Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. 

’Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace for evermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, Like them, the meek and lowly, In love may dwell with Thee.’ 

Ah mih people, what a joy it is to sing praises to our High Priest and heavenly Advocate Jesus Christ, for He has been so wonderful to us, when He did not have to! Now let’s hear some choice tidbits from His Word based on our Bit: ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ Yes my fellow believers, those are absolute words of wisdom! And all the great men and women of faith practiced it and some even wrote about it. 

Listen first to Jesus when He described the signs of the end times to His disciples. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19) As followers of Christ we just have to be trusting and patient and persevering, because that’s what His discipleship calls for. 

Now hear Bruh Paul in his treatise to the Romans, concerning ‘Life in the Spirit.’ ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for (it)? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Yeh friends, true faith in Jesus is all about hoping, waiting and persevering to the very end! 

And nobody says this better than the author of Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)  And there’s no better example of waiting on God than the patriarch Abraham. After the Lord promised to bless and multiply him, he waited for 25 years for Isaac, the promise to show up. The author of Hebrews tells us: ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb.6:15) 

And we’ll close with these words of Bruh Paul as he talks to the church at Rome about ‘Unity in Christ.’ ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom.15:4-6) 

Oh friends, that is exactly my prayer for us today; that we come together in fellowship and worship, and enthusiastically and sincerely glorify and exalt our heavenly Father, for He richly deserves our reverence and exaltation! Much LOVE!

…waiting patiently…and eagerly on God…is wisdom of…and for the ages…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

It was a rainy day…a chilly one too…and mostly cloudy… Looks like today will be more of the same. Ah mih people, our weather is becoming so unpredictable that who knows what’s happening? 

Meanwhile, with rain pouring down on this side of the continent, out on the West Coast, in California, another raging bush fire has claimed numerous lives and engulfed thousands of homes! Steups! So where is the rain that they need eh? 

Sometimes, when we see all these natural disasters happening, it gets real hard to trust and believe and wait on our great and good God. 

Oh, deep down, we know that He is in control and that all things will eventually work themselves out for good, but nonetheless we don’t want to see our fellow believers suffering such unbelievable tragedy. It hurts us to the very core of our beings, especially when we project ourselves in their positions. 

And the number of folks who have lost their lives, homes and livelihoods in the last few months, to fires on the west coast of Canada and the U.S, and to hurricanes in the Caribbean and Southern U.S and to earthquakes in Mexico, is simply staggering. 

I don’t know if so much natural carnage has ever occurred in such a short space of time in so many places before. But friends, all we can truly do is take better care of our planet and place our total faith and trust in the One who created us and the entire universe; Almighty God! 

And as I keep reminding us, all of these natural disasters might just be a wake up call from God to cut out our intolerable evil ways and return to following Him in true repentance and obedience. 

The Israelites suffered severe punishment whenever they drifted away from the God of their fathers, so why can’t it happen to us too, since we have also put God on the back burner of our lives, with every intention to totally extinguish His presence and place in our society. 

Obviously that’s a very foolish thing to do, but nevertheless, many of us have done it, or are in the process of doing so. The way of the world; it’s glitzy and glamourous things and wealth and moral ineptitude have bedazzled us into thinking that God is a waste of time. 

But my fellow believers that’s the furthest thing from the truth! Our God is alive and well, keeping a very watchful eye on everything, allowing mankind to play their foolish games of power mongering and rebellion. 

He knows the beginning from the end and has all His plans laid out and will eventually bring them all to fruition…in His own good time! Now that last phrase is the all-important one… in God’s own time. 

Remember God is a sovereign Being, full of might and power, whose thoughts and ways are much higher than ours. So in our finite and puny imaginations we can never truly understand His infinite movements and the time line for them. 

Thus, regardless of how religious and holy and righteous we are, true wisdom can only be shown when we adhere to the immortal words of our Bit, which flowed from the pen of Bruh David as he wrestled with the same feelings and constraints that we are currently wrestling with. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ 

Oh friends, we’ll never find out how true those words are until we put them into action! Our God has made numerous promises, and He will keep them ALL, but in His own time and His own way! Until we learn to recognize and accept that, we’ll remain continuously behind the eighth ball. 

Now listen to how Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. 

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only cause harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:7b-9) 

Oh mih breddren, we all know how true those words are, so why aren’t we practicing them eh? Because we have been overwhelmed by the world’s impatience and desire for everything as soon as possible. Now-for-now living characterizes our society. We need to have everything immediately! That’s the unfortunate result of our technological and communication revolution. 

Now hear this scripture that truly tells it like it is. Jeremiah, in his lamentations, tearfully but truthfully declares: ‘The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:25-26) How much clearer can it get eh my people? 

But before we go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, there is one proviso to it all; waiting on the Lord doesn’t mean sitting on our fannies and doing nothing. It means still doing what is necessary, working, persevering in God’s will. For that’s when the Lord showers down these heavenly blessings on us. 

So let’s shout them to the world, so that others can see the goodness of God and thus wisely desire to embrace Him too. ‘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!’ 

The next step is to now go out and bless others, because blessings are meant to be shared. Much LOVE!

…only as believers show patience and perseverance…will they be truly blessed…

 

 

 

 

 

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