Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2020 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.     ​Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY CANADA! 

And do we ever have a lot to be thankful for in this blessed and bountiful land of Canada! Oh I know that some of you are complaining plenty about the problems we’re currently encountering on a rather large scale, and I admit they can be rather daunting, especially since we’ve never encountered anything like them before. But the truth of the matter is that even with those problems confusing and confuffling our lives, we’re still living much better in this country than most of the others around the world…and for that we should be everlastingly grateful! 

The abnormal situation we are undergoing right now is the norm for some countries. And as our Christian faith teaches us, once there is life, there is hope, and this too shall pass in God’s time. So we can’t give up, especially since giving up doesn’t exist in God’s vocabulary. Consequently, it’s time for us to have a new revelation; counting our blessings rather than our losses. And yuh know what? We’ll discover we have much more of the former than the latter, which ought to put us in a better and more thankful frame of mind. (smile) 

And to help us do that, let’s invoke a couple of Bruh Paul’s admonitions to the churches at Ephesus and Philippi re living in godly unity and thankfulness. To the Ephesians, he said: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:18-21) 

Yeh friends, as believers in Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s character and virtues, and thus control our thoughts, attitudes and actions. And we do that through encouraging and exhorting each other with psalms and hymns etc., as well as being joyful in our own hearts and giving thanks to God for everything that comes into our lives, since we know that it will eventually be used for our good by God. And last but not least, deferring to the wishes of others, if we know it’s God’s will. 

And to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul advised: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (His return is near, and He will judge us according to our treatment of others). Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my people, I know those things are hard to accomplish in this evil world, but who ever said that following Christ was easy eh? (smile) But it’s those things that promote unity and LOVE amongst believers, enriching our own lives, as well as showing the unbeliever what is possible if He accepts Christ as His Lord and Saviour. Yeh friends, we must ever be prayerful and thankful, regardless of our circumstances. So even if we’re going through some really rough times now, prayer and thanksgiving are essential if we want to find that peace of God which passes all understanding. 

So what better time to start than right now eh, on this Thanksgiving Day? And we’ll do it through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which I believe captures all our fears, doubts, needs and wants. So as one strong voice, in true penitence, let’s go to God in sincere prayer nuh. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

So let’s turn from our evil ways nuh people; it’s as simple as that, because it’s basically sin that’s muddying our waters. That reminds me of a quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on sin. He says: ‘Sin is like dirt in salt. It corrupts our lives, ruins the flavour of Christianity for all who know us, and makes us useless to God.’ More truthful words were never spoken my brethren! But it’s all up to us. If we want the Lord to heal us and our land, we need to turn from our evil ways. 

Oh, and let it not be said that I was amiss in my duty on this Thanksgiving Day, this day of celebration. (smile) Friends, I plead with us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business, else somebody else going to mind it for you.’ And that’s the gospel truth people, so please let’s be careful with food and drink, don’t overdo it, remember moderation in all things, and don’t get into no crowds, remember physical distancing and masks too. That’s the recipe for a successful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day! Much LOVE!

…for the joy of the Lord is our strength…don’t let the devil steal it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2019 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.    ​Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Rest my people, rest! It’s Saturday and after a hard week of work we need to rest before we begin anything else. But no doubt many of us will be already up and doing, busy with the Christmas shopping and decorating and planning and what have you! Bless all you fine souls! (smile) Thankfully the ole fella is into none of that. The duchess doesn’t need my help in doing her business. In fact, she considers me a hindrance in her path…and I’m quite happy with that, although some of the decorations she puts up around the house tend to be inconvenient in doing things like climbing the stairs. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s get positive on this dreary looking Saturday morning and check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I do hope that like the last two days, the afternoon will turn out to be bright and sunshiny. And here is the first quote: ‘Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.’ Now that first part is of the utmost importance, especially for believers! Sadly, in this current world the word commitment doesn’t exist. Very few of us are serious about doing what we say we will do. 

And it’s not only the worldly who don’t keep commitments, but lots of believers too. Just think what would happen to us if Jesus decided on some whim and fancy, that He simply could not be bothered any longer and was tired and fed up with us, and refused to keep His commitments eh? We would all send up a storm of outrage, of shock and disappointment! Well it’s the same thing that happens when we don’t keep our commitments; people bank on them and are disappointed when we renege on them, especially without any warning. Yeh, we do need to be somewhat flexible in our approach, but the decision to commit to something must first be made with serious consideration, not a wishy-washy attitude, thinking we can easily get out of them. 

And I like this next quote: ‘Be so busy LOVING your life that you have no time for hate, regret or fear.’ Oh friends, what wonderful advice that is! When you consider and concentrate on the positive aspects of your life, there’s no room left for the negative ones to infiltrate and sour up your situation! Granted, life won’t be always rosy, but it’s up to you to bring a good attitude to it, because life itself is basically a negative force and a bully-boy to boot! So therefore this situation will present itself: ‘We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.’ 

Oh yes my people, we have an opportunity at the start of every year to begin a new chapter in our book of life with a new attitude toward the numerous opportunities that will come our way. But here’s a li’l ‘secrat’, as my young daughter used to say: The first words on that bright clean new page of opportunity ought to read: ‘LOVE Jesus more than ever this year!’ And why is that you ask? Because when we hobnob with Jesus, we get more and better opportunities! As simple as that! No rocket science education is needed to decipher that. So let’s promise ourselves that those words will open our new book and chapter for 2020 nuh, because 2020 will be the most important year ever, in many of our lives, and the life of this whole confused and turbulent world! 

And as always, we try to keep the best for last: ‘Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.’ Oh my people, those are indeed awesome and amazing words; words of gospel truth! There’s nothing that can transform our lives and attitudes like gratitude, like being thankful, like having a heart that’s bursting with thankfulness! Yes friends, when we’re truly thankful, our ordinary, mundane days become days of thanksgiving; we don’t dread them, or complain about their same old, same old nature. 

And on top of that whatever job(s) we need to do, they morph into things of joy, instead of routine or difficult tasks. And better still, simple, ordinary opportunities become blessings in our enlightened and thankful eyes! Oh mih people, there’s nothing like thanks and gratitude to help us endure the vicissitudes of life! No wonder the Good Book is chock full of scriptures on giving thanks and being grateful. Let’s look at a few as time and space permit. And  it’s ever important to notice that Jesus though he was God, ALWAYS gave thanks to the Father. 

 Note His words in Matthew 11: ‘At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.’ (Matt. 11:25) And please notice too that when He fed the five thousand, His first act was thanksgiving: ‘and looking up to heaven, he blessed and brake, and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.’ (Matt.14:19) And likewise, when Jesus fed the four thousand, His first act was to give thanks. ‘And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them…’ (Matt.15: 36) Even at the Last Supper, thanks was uppermost. ‘Jesus took bread and blessed it… And He took the cup, and gave thanks…’ (Matt. 26:26-27) 

Consequently Bruh Paul filled his writings with the giving of thanks. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 16:57) ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil. 4:6) 

And check out this last scripture when Bruh Paul was on his way to Rome to be tried and most likely killed. ‘And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as the Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns (Inns): whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.’ (Acts. 28:15) Yuh see friends, thanks and gratitude can even bring you courage in rough times. So let’s decide today to live the life of thanksgiving that as believers we’re required to live nuh. Our lives would be ever so much more abundant, prosperous and filled with joy! Much LOVE!

…a true believer’s life and heart…are clothed with thanks and thanksgiving…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2019 John 13:34-35.

John 13:34-35.    ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.
 

Oh friends, please forgive me for the lateness of the Bit, but the last two days have been pretty hectic, and I’m no longer a spring chicken…not yet old though. (smile) I’ve been trying to burn the candle at both ends, going to bed late, getting up early to write the Bit, then getting out and about for the whole day. Well it’s finally caught up to me. 

Thursday was a cricket match in the neighbouring city of Brampton, and then yesterday, Friday, was a funeral in the eastern city of Ajax, on the other side of Toronto. The turnout was so overwhelming that the big chapel was packed to overflowing and we had to sit in a holding area downstairs and watch the proceedings on close circuit t.v. 

The overlong glowing tributes of our friend made him sound like the perfect man. (smile) But I guess that’s how it is when we bid our friends a final adieu. We don’t recall their faults, just their strong points, like the Lord does in His wonderful forgiveness, casting away our wrongs as far as the east is from the west. 

After the hour and half ceremony we spent another hour in the cemetery, this time in the hot sun. Then we went south to another part of the city for the repast. That was a wonderful time, with good Jamaican fare; curry goat, rice and peas and jerk chicken. But the best part was the renewal of several friendships, with people whom we haven’t seen in ages. 

We were all a part of the young, well-educated West Indian Diaspora who migrated to Canada in the early seventies and changed the face of Toronto, adding vibrancy and colour, both literally and figuratively to a staid, old white town. (smile) People with whom we worked and partied in those long ago, cold, long winter days, but with whom we’d lost touch as the area expanded and we all became immersed in our building our new lives. That’s just the way it is with the big city. 

Unfortunately though, the duchess and I had to eat and run, because there were people back in our town waiting for us to come and pick them up to go to the Pan Competition in the heart of Toronto. So we left there around four, got on the toll road and hustled back home, changed, then hit the road again. Luckily though, for some unknown reason, on a Caribana Friday evening, the traffic into T.O. wasn’t bad, and we made it in time for the seven o’clock start of the pan event. 

That was good too, and better organized than in earlier years, though I don’t understand why they allowed some bands to play two songs and others only one. But the music was excellent. However, it finished around midnight and the duchess and my friends were tired, so we didn’t stick around to hear the results, which I’m sure, caused much dissent, as it usually does. 

But that’s the nature of pan competitions, everybody rooting for their own side, though knowing deep down that they weren’t good enough to win. The long and short of the story though, is that by the time I dropped everybody home, I didn’t get home till after one. And it was close to two before I finally went to bed. So it’s obvious I was late getting up. So that’s my story…and I’m sticking to it. (smile) 

Now let’s see if we can get in some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.’ That’s certainly interesting and true, because the day you were born and the day you died, don’t really matter. What matters most is what you did in the time period between those two days. And I guess a good example of that are the glowing tributes my friend Linton had at his last celebration yesterday. 

Now listen to this one: ‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ That should be a no- brainer my people, because it’s exactly what Jesus came to help us do; right wrongs, stamp out inequality and injustice, help the weak and fight the strong. So as a believer those things are expected of us. 

Then this quote speaks for itself: ‘When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.’ Ah mih people, I won’t call not giving thanks for all that we have, the good life we’re living, a fault nuh, but utter stupidity! You didn’t give yourself the ability to rise and see a new day, or the breath that’s still flowing through you. 

Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) And to the Thessalonians: ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) Yes friends, even though our circumstances may be difficult or unpleasant, it’s our bounden duty to give thanks at ALL times! 

And this last quote says it all: ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in LOVE.’ Oh mih people, LOVE is the transcendent power of the universe! John said it thus: ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we also ought to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:10-11)  

And Jesus not only gave us a living example of our quote, but also clearly made it known that He expects the same of His followers. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ 

Oh friends, it couldn’t get any clearer or plainer than that! And I’ll leave it there; just let those words speak to our hearts, and let the Holy Spirit convict us as it will, in regards to our LOVE Walk! That’s what it’s there for! Much LOVE!

…hatred stirreth up strifes…but LOVE covereth ALL sins… (Prov.10:12)

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2019 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.   ​   Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

And so we continue round the merry go round of our work life once again, as Monday has blazoned into our consciousness on this beautiful and sunny day in sweet Tobago! Glory to God! I’m truly sorry to hear that you all had snow in my area in the northern climes yesterday, but them’s the breaks, that’s what the northern climes are all about! (smile) 

Hope you didn’t have to trudge and drive through any snow to get to work this morning while I blessedly sit here writing on the porch, listening to the birds chirp their sweet songs of thanksgiving, admire the beautiful flora and listen to the sea lap gently and playfully on the rocky shore line. No, don’t be jealous! Let your Christian nature take hold and be glad for me, seeing that I have not enjoyed such blessings in a number of years! (smile) 

Oh don’t worry, I know it’s hard not to be envious when one of your associates is enjoying fair weather while you are experiencing the foul kind! But wherever we are in this fine universe of God’s, it’s Monday and we need to get out and labour to provide the necessities of life for our families and ourselves. And regardless of how hard we try, somehow we still always get fouled up by Monday’s. I guess it’s just the nature of the beast. 

But thankfully we have an antidote for all of our Monday morning ailments, called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it just chases away all those dark and cloudy Monday skies. So let’s raise our voices and declare it (chuh- wrong again!) in sincere faith, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

 But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Ah friends, what a quick and pleasant change sincere prayer can make in our sad and miserable spirits eh! It’s simply the awesome power of God! The amazing solution that He has developed to right our spirits; those who believe in Him and His Son Jesus Christ! For if you don’t believe in them, then NONE of what we’re talking about will work! 

As this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional so truly declares (right ho!) ‘Grateful praise satisfies us and pleases God!’ Yes my people, both parties are satisfied with words uttered in praise and thanksgiving; it corrects our spirits, and it pleases God, who made us most of all to be a source of vital communication, through praise and thanksgiving. 

No wonder Bruh Paul informed the Ephesian church thus: ‘Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ And there are no truer words than those to be found in our faith my people! And Bruh Paul said the same basic thing to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him. (Col.3:17) 

 And the scholars have this to say about that verse: ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs.16), but it is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ Yuh see that friends, thanks and praise and the Word of God are to be the mainstays in a believer’s life! 

You can’t be running around crazily with and longing for the things of the world, ignoring Almighty God, your Creator and Provider and expect to flourish, either in this life or the one to come! And you’ll notice too that even Jesus, the Son of God gave thanks. Check out when He fed the four thousand with seven loaves of bread and a few fishes: ‘And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.15:36) 

And He did the same thing when He fed the five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fishes. ‘Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.’ (Luke 9:16) Yes friends, Jesus knew where His bread was buttered; in heaven, at the Father’s throne, and the only reason He could do those miracles is because He looked to the Father and also gave thanks! 

And if Jesus needed to do that, then how much more we mere sinful mortals need to come to the throne of grace in humility and thanksgiving eh? Even when Jesus initiated the holy act of communion in His remembrance; ‘He took bread and blessed it…And He took the cup, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.26:26-27) 

Not much more to say friends, except to add Bruh Paul’s directive to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) Now as obedient children of God, let’s go out and do exactly that today nuh! Much LOVE!

…continue in prayer…and watch in the same…with thanksgiving…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2018 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.    Giving thanks always for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my Irish friends and family! Please don’t get too immersed in the green stuff, especially the many different libations of the day. (smile) 

Yeh, St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is the time the Irish celebrate their culture and religion, the legend being that the missionary St. Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland somewhere around the fourth century, and eventually drove out all the snakes from Ireland. 

Whatever the truth be though, the 17th of March has become a traditional festival of Irish culture all over the world, especially the imbibing part, with all things green being highlighted. 

What I remember most about St. Patrick’s Day is that as a young boy growing up in T&T, that was the only day you heard a Calypso on the radio, or you could have a party during the season of Lent. Now that state of affairs might have been somewhat stringent, but what happens now is downright ridiculous, with no serious or sincere observance of the Lenten season. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to the quotes we got from our friend Anselm this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. And our friend certainly had some interesting quotes this week, conveniently all tied up together. (smile) 

Listen to this first one: ‘Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.’ Now that’s wisdom of untold proportions! As Christians, we’re instructed to count our blessings, and concentrate on them, for they will always add up to more than our misfortunes and keep us happy and contented in the Lord. 

And the second quote declares: ‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.’ Oh glory to God my people! That is the gospel truth! Whenever we concentrate on our blessings rather than our misfortunes, our lives suddenly turn around in such dramatic fashion! I don’t understand why more of us aren’t counting the blessings and forgetting the misfortunes. 

And then there’s this invaluable quote: ‘Cultivate the habit of being grateful.’  What wise and wonderful advice my faithful followers of Christ! Everyday we preach that! There’s nothing that affects our lives as being grateful for all that we have, and which has been sent to us from our magnanimous God. 

But then I like this associate quote: ‘Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.’ Yeh, what is the point of being grateful if you don’t show it eh? Then no one knows that you’re grateful. It’s like saying you LOVE someone, but not showing them that LOVE. It’s simply wasted. All talk and no play. Gratitude is one of those words that can only be appreciated through our actions. 

And as always, I’ve left the best for last. ‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. ‘Thank you’ expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding.’ Oh my people, if only we’d say more ‘thank you’s’ to each other, and to our awesome God, what a wonderful world this would be! 

You know, being grateful, counting our blessings and saying ‘thank you’ are the basic foundation stones of our Christian faith, because they all display LOVE in action! And that’s what Jesus’ people are all about: LOVE in action! 

And our Bit is one of the most encompassing scriptures in the Good Book, on the three topics we’ve covered today. It’s Bruh Paul’s direction to the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, it’s something we continually hear, and know deep down in our hearts that we should do, but yet we don’t do it half as much as we should. We ought to be thanking our magnificent and magnanimous God, almost every minute of everyday for all that He’s done for us, especially when we don’t deserve ANY of it! 

Just the mere fact that His wonderful and amazing breath of life is currently coursing through our mortal bodies of dust and clay is sufficient reason to be everlastingly grateful and shout out a whole load of thanks to Him! But what to do eh? Mankind, being the only thinking creation, has always been the most ungrateful creation of the Lord. (smile) 

However, let’s see if we can change that some nuh, by going home declaring these wonderful words of Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘I will bless the Lord at ALL times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

Ah friends, there’s nothing better that we can do than magnify and exalt our great God! So let’s get ourselves together and begin doing it much more nuh. It’s basic common sense and wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing that lifts our spirits…and warms the cockles of God’s heart…like His people showing gratitude…and giving sincere thanks…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2014 Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42:1.   As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.

Well a good Wednesday morning to all you wonderful Friends and neighbours in the ever growing Scrip-Bit family! Blessings and mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness from our heavenly Father to all those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ and walk obedient to His commands.
 
And all God’s people said: ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
Yes Friends, much praise is due to our most wonderful God, who daily meets all our needs on this troubled earth. We can NEVER thank Him enough for what He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do for us in the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t shower or heap as much praise and thanks on Him as we can.
 
Unfortunately though, too many of us supposed believers don’t seem to have that serious attitude of offering thanks. Or as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20)
 
We seem to think that thanks is only due when we receive something, and something good at that. And even then, some of us offer it grudgingly, more as a responsibility to be carried out, than a true feeling of gratitude from the heart. And that is oh so wrong, my brethren. But I figure that that attitude derives, comes from a less than stellar longing for God.
 
How many of us, as we should in these evil and troubled times, truly have an intense longing for God as our Bit so famously states? ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.’  
 
Now a lot of us will say we do, but it’s definitely not evident in our words or actions. To too many of us my brethren, God is some ephemeral Being somewhere outside of our everyday existence, like far away in heaven. Our lives don’t give the impression of the Holy Spirit living in us, of Jesus being constantly involved in even our simplest decisions.
 
And therefore, as we were recently saying, our souls and our lives lack passion, lack enthusiasm for Jesus and the things of God, while the unimportant things of the world stoke our fires and hold our attention. But how can we be enthusiastic about a Spirit Being that we consider outside of our normal everyday lives eh, while we constantly encounter the physical things of the world that turn us on?
 
However Friends, when we’re really and truly into God, when He’s a real presence in our everyday lives, then we become passionate and enthusiastic about serving Him, and the tenor of our days take on a whole different meaning and feeling. And we can say like the psalmist: ‘My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:2)
 
And when times are tough, and our enemies seem to be gaining the upper hand, then we can continue to pray and reminisce: ‘My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
 
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast). Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:3-5)
 
Yes Friends, even in our lowest moments, it is essential to still have hope in Almighty God and praise Him for His continual presence with us. Remember He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb.13:5) And Psalm 42, a contemplation for the sons of Korah, is not the only psalm that highlights that intense longing, that driving thirst for God.
 
Listen to what Bruh David wrote in Psalm 63, when he was in the wilderness of Judah running from his enemies. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary (so I have looked for thee).
 
Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:’ (Ps.63:1-5)
 
Oh my brethren, our great and faithful God does satisfy the soul that thirsts for Him! And when we feel that satisfaction… oh, it just drives us to praise Him, regardless of the physical circumstances!
 
And our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said it best in His famous Sermon on the Mount through the Beatitude: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) It couldn’t get any simpler or more straightforward than that my fellow believers.
 
So today I want us to ponder, seriously consider the state of our souls, whether we’re truly longing for Jesus, or simply going through the motions. Sadly, the latter option is being embraced by too many of us. That’s one of the reasons why Jesus’ LOVE Revolution is not much further along; for a revolution, whatever kind it might be, cannot succeed without enthusiastic, energetic, passionate followers intensely longing for change.
 
Please Friends, if we truly believe in Jesus, let’s try and adopt, embrace and live out that revolutionary attitude nuh. It’s the ONLY WAY we’ll ever proselytize the world! Much LOVE!
 
…a life lived without passion…especially if one claims to believe in Jesus…is essentially a wasted life…please, let’s not waste ours…