Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2019 Matthew 6:9.

Matthew 6:9.    ​After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 

‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly the invitation I’m offering us this Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day! Yes, it is good and right that we venture into His house on His day to acknowledge His sovereignty, holiness, grace, compassion and mercy towards us, miserable sinning saints that we are. In fellowship with other believers, we are expected to lift our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving and receive encouragement from listening to His holy Word. 

And since there is strength in numbers, it means when we gather together, we are a powerful group, able to move mountains with our faith, but we also spread the joy of the Lord amongst each other, encouraging each other as needed. So please don’t refuse this invitation today, because you never know what wondrous blessings or opportunities the Lord has in store for you in His sanctuary today. 

And even if there is nothing special, you leave there like a preening peacock, (smile) full of confidence and joy in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And believe me nothing is better than that in this cruel and oppressive world! Glory to the Most High God Jehovah! Ah mih people, like the ole fella getting excited…And why not eh, since Christ is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind. And if I have to tell you that, then something wrong with yuh faith yes! (smile)

Anyway, putting all of that aside, let’s begin the proceedings with praise and worship. And since we sang the second most popular Bible scripture last week; the Lord is My shepherd, I figured it’s only right to sing the most popular one today, The Lord’s Prayer. So let’s get to it nuh, in strong, sweet, sincere and solemn harmony, so that the Father has no choice but to look down on us with favour. 

‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, short but sweet! And we all know it as the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples. Luke describes the scene thus: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ (Luke 11:1) And the scholars offer this footnote: ‘11:1. Religious communities of the time customarily had their own distinctive prayers. Perhaps the disciples wanted theirs.’ 

And we know what Jesus told them: ‘After this manner pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ And He went on to tell them the awesome, far-reaching words that we just sang. It’s amazing how it seems to cover all that our earthly life calls for. But if it comes from Jesus, what else would we expect eh? 

Now the scholars offer some interesting explanations on the prayer, and I’m going to share them. Let’s hope we have enough space. (smile) ‘6:9. The beginning phrase, Our Father, is completely uncommon to the prayers of the Old Testament. The two major elements of the prayer are adoration and petition. Hallowed be thy name addresses the attention of the prayer toward God and reverence for His name and His person. Hallowed (Gr. hagiazo) means to be held in reverence and holy awe.’ 

‘6:10. The phrase Thy kingdom come refers to the eschatological (study of end times) nature of this prayer. Notice that the kingdom is to be prayed for, implying that it has not yet arrived. The kingdom represents the full and effective reign of God through the mediatorial office of the Messiah. The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

‘6:11. The section of petitions begins with the request to give us this day our daily bread. Bread (Gr. artos) may be applied to the provision of food in general. The term ‘daily’ (Gr. epiousios) denotes “indispensable.” The concept of daily provision of bread fits perfectly with the Old Testament example of the daily provision of manna to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness. (Ex.16:14-15).’ 

‘6:12. Forgive us our trespasses refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. The prayer closes with a doxology of praise (expression of praise to God): For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical (pattern for worship) ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11) Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’  

And so it does my fellow believers! I also hope that those explanations give you a better understanding of what our most beloved prayer is all about. I certainly learned a lot from them. And neither did it take up as much space as I expected. (smile) So let’s get ourselves to church sometime today nuh and enjoy fellowship with other believers in the holy presence of Almighty God! That’s my prayer and wish for all of us today! Much LOVE!

…in humble prayer…praise ought always…to come before petition…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2019 John 10:11.

John 10:11.    ​I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Please get with the programme friends! What programme you ask? How yuh mean what programme eh? It’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means church calls! Yes, we’re required to join with other believers in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and exalt our heavenly Father, encourage each other, hear His Holy Word and get confidence to go out and fight another week of victorious battles in His name! Yes friends, it’s the biggest day of the week! So let’s begin the celebrations in our usual manner nuh; in song, in praise and worship, telling our wonderful God how much we LOVE and admire and revere Him. 

And today’s song of praise is possibly the second most known and LOVED bit of scripture, after the ‘Our Father,’ or ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ And we talking about Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd! Yes mih people, Bruh David’s amazing and immortal words celebrating the care, compassion and LOVING-kindness of the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! So in strong voice, with plenty soul and sincere emotion, truly believing those simple but awesomely descriptive words and sentiments, let’s sing!  

‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want He makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters He restore’th my soul And guides my path in righteousness For His name’s sake Surely goodness and mercy Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. 

Yea, Though I walk through the valley Of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, For Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepar’est a table Before me in the presence of my enemies Thou anoint’est my head with oil My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and LOVING-kindness Shall follow me all the days of my life And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever and ever and ever. Amen!’ 

What a marvellous description of our Jehovah God! I don’t think it could be described any better, for we are indeed lost and dumb like sheep and we desperately need a good and kindly shepherd to lead and guide and take care of us. And there’s none who does it better than Yahweh; our Creator, Provider, Healer, Comforter, our Be All and End All! Yes indeed, our heavenly Father is all those things to us, and when you add His unconditional LOVE, grace, and forgiveness to the already long list of His wonderful attributes, you just have to jump and shout for joy and declare: ‘Oh what a good thing I’ve got!’ 

And yuh know what friends, Bruh David could only have written such touching and heartfelt words because He experienced first hand the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness in His blessed but oh so tumultuous and eventful life! And the imagery of God being our shepherd would have resonated quite well with the agrarian Israelites back then, because it was language they understood. 

And following that story line, the scholars make an interesting observation: ‘Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however; he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ Oh brother! What could be better than all that eh? Absolutely NOTHING! 

And Isaiah also writes of God looking after His people in the shepherd metaphor. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

Oh my people, there’s something that just resonates of calm and comfort and compassion and caring when we talk about shepherding. And I guess because in our current society we are more into manufacturing and technology than farming, and actual sheep herding is not a big thing, we don’t understand all the nuances involved, and thus cannot really appreciate the great importance of a shepherd to a flock of sheep. But believe me, without a shepherd, a kind and caring one, a flock of sheep would not last very long in the great outdoors. Consequently, when Jesus came He continued the metaphor of the shepherd looking after his flock. Thus, He made this magnificent proclamation: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

Oh friends, mankind should be ever so ecstatic and joyful that Jesus made such a statement then went on to make it true, laying down His sinless life for our sinful ones, so that we could be reconciled with the Father, and have our sins forgiven and our souls washed white as snow! But I guess because we don’t fully understand the chemistry and sync between shepherd and sheep we’re lost and unaware of the deep relationship that exists between them. 

But Jesus reminds us of that important relationship. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:14) Yes precious people, the shepherd knows all his sheep, and the sheep know their shepherd as Jesus earlier stated. ‘But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:2-5) 

Now that’s what our Lord and Saviour is expecting of us friends; to know His voice and follow His call, not that of stranger’s, for they will just lead you astray. And to make the picture complete, listen to Bruh Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians when they sacrificed to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) That means when we remain in Jesus’ fold we will be well fed by the Father through Him. 

‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phil.4:20) Please have a blessed day my fellow saints in Christ! Much LOVE!

…sheep without a shepherd…is like the blind leading the blind…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2019 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9.    ​Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
 

And it looks like it’s going to rain today… Hn! The whole truth though is that it has already rained today, sometime in the early morning hours. And if we do get some rain today, we really can’t complain because we’ve gotten such beautiful warm weather for the last few days. 

And anyway, we’re down to the penultimate day of the workweek, and our souls are all bursting with the heavenly fire of Jesus as we mingle in the evil, ungodly world, His assured ambassadors, bringing peace, LOVE, joy and the good news of His wonderful gospel to all and sundry. That’s why we can all declare: ‘I am ONE with God’s perfect order, I am calm and poised, knowing that all is well with my life.’ 

And that’s only because ‘the Light of God surrounds me. The LOVE of God enfolds me. The Power of God protects me. And the Presence of God watches over me! That means All is Well!’ Glory be my precious people! That’s what happens to us when we become true disciples of Jesus! 

Though circumstances may not be the best, there is a radiant joy, an uplifting and encouraging attitude, a supreme peace, one which surpasses all of man’s understanding, alive in our souls and spirits placed there by our Leader, Lord and Saviour – Jesus Christ! 

Give Him some sincere thanks and praise ye saints of God, for all that He’s already done for us – sacrificing Himself on Calvary’s cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we’re made right with God the Father, plus making us entitled to salvation and eternal life. 

And let’s remember to also thank and praise Him for what He is doing right now – sitting at the Father’s right hand interceding on our behalf. Then there’s the Big One, what’s He’s promised to do in the future – come back for us and take us to dwell in the mansions of heaven with him and the other parts of the Holy Trinity…for ever and ever and ever…! 

Wow! What’s there not to like about all that eh friends? Who else has even thought about doing anything like that for us lowly humans eh, much less actually doing it, like Jesus has done? Not a single supposed god! And that’s simply because there is ONLY ONE GOD; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Living Deity; the Triune combination of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Creators and Rulers of this awesome universe! 

That’s why nobody else can do what Jesus has done, is doing and has promised to do for us. And that’s why we need to glorify and exalt His Holy Name: that awesome name that’s set above every other for His selfless sacrificial work As Bruh Paul declared to the Philippians: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:’ (Phil.2:8-9) 

Mama Yo! Yuh see how the Father exalted Jesus mih people for obediently doing His bidding! It’s the same way He’ll exalt us if we humbly and obediently do His holy will. Obviously our names won’t be as exalted as Jesus’, but we will be recognized enough by the saints. (smile) 

And just think about the awesome recognition that Jesus’ exaltation wrought nuh: ‘That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:10-11) Yeh friends, that’s how important the Father made Jesus for His obedience and sacrifice! 

And Bruh Paul says it thus to the Ephesians in talking about his praying for them to acquire knowledge and understanding: ‘according to the working of his (God’s) mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set (seated) him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 

Far above all principality, and power and might, and dominion, (various classes of angelic beings), and every name that is named, not only in this world (age), but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.’  (Eph.1:19a-23) Wow mih breddren! Jesus couldn’t get any higher than that! 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars: ‘1:22. And gave him to be the head over all things to the church means God appointed Him head (ruler) over all things for the benefit of the church. Jesus is the divinely appointed ruler over the entire universe for the church’s benefit.’ 

‘1:23. Paraphrased, this verse reads, “For the church is His body. It is the fullness belonging to Him who fills the universe with all things.” That is, Jesus, who so wisely and skillfully fills the universe with all material elements necessary for its existence, also wisely and skillfully infuses His people (the church) with His own life and character.’ 

Yes friends, the church represents the body of Christ, and we are the church, not the buildings, which means that whatever is in Christ is also in us. Therefore we need to work together for His benefit, as one body though with different parts, because that’s the only way we will ever overcome the evil that’s currently ruling the world. And in His utmost wisdom and generosity, He has also given us wonderful blessings to use as tools in our earthly work. 

So let’s go home declaring (Steups! wrong again!) them out loud with real gusto and true sincerity. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now two last things to remember (smile); our words have awesome power, so when we speak them, we bring them to pass, and secondly, those blessings are not to be hoarded but to pass around generously as we do Christ’s work. Sermon done! Much LOVE!

…His servants shall see the Lamb’s face…and His name shall be written…on their foreheads… (Rev.22:3 & 4)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘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 mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 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. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

Todays Scrip-Bit 13 November 2018 Psalm 145:1.

Psalm 145:1.   I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
 

Oh friends I don’t want to get you all into the bad habit of expecting the Bit this early every day, so please look on this as a simple aberration. (smile) But I have to go into the big city of Toronto for a couple of medical appointments this morning, which means I won’t be back till late this afternoon, and I don’t want it to be too late either. 

Not to worry though, for this morning we’ll be in full ‘Celebration’ mode with the poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So let’s get to it without any further talk nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘When I think of Your lavish goodness The longings You’ve satisfied The forgiveness You’ve granted The promises You’ve kept When I think of Your irresistible LOVE Your ceaseless care Your unfailing protection…

O Lord God I want to raise flags And fly banners And sound bugles I want to run with lighted torches And praise You From the mountaintop I want to write symphonies And shout for joy. I want to throw a festive party For ten thousand guests. I want to celebrate with streamers And bright lights And an elaborate banquet… Fine dear child. I’m ready.’ 

Oh friends, when you think of God’s great goodness and LOVING-kindness towards you, don’t you just want to jump for joy and shout it from the mountaintops? I surely hope so, else you would not be truly grateful for all the care, protection, forgiveness, protection, etc. etc. that our wonderful God has so undeservedly bestowed on us. 

And I just LOVE God’s answer to all our joyful celebrations: ‘Bring it on! I’m ready to celebrate!’ And don’t think that the Lord doesn’t like to party nuh, just think about all the celebrations that go on in heaven…especially when one lost sheep is found and/or saved. Brother! The whole of heaven erupts with joy and gladness! 

In all seriousness though my people, we ought to celebrate God’s inimitable, limitless, unparalleled goodness every day that we draw breath on this His marvellous creation called earth. Because without it, our lives would have been so much more miserable and worthless, and difficult and calamitous than they currently are. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; these marvellous words of praise from Bruh David: ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.’ Yes my fellow believers, that’s how we ought to conjure up thanks and praise for Almighty God! 

And hear how Bruh David continues nuh: ‘Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps.145:2-3)

And is it ever my brethren! Just like His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, so is His goodness and LOVING-kindness outside the realm of our puny and finite minds! That’s why we need to continually and continuously show our thanks and gratitude for His unlimited grace, mercy and forgiveness. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of (meditate on) the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.’ (Ps.145:4-5) Now that’s where this generation has not come up to scratch my fellow believers! 

We have certainly not praised God’s goodness and His mighty works to our children in the new generation as much as ought to have done! That’s why they are so lost and wandering all over the place, falling for any nonsense with which some false teacher or preacher fills their ears. Remember, if we don’t teach them right at home, somebody will be able to teach them wrong out in the great big, evil world in which we now dwell. 

Oh friends, unfortunately we’ve taken the wrong road and attitude to our children. I guess because we had it somewhat hard and the Good Book and church were sometimes driven into us, we subconsciously, or otherwise, rebelled against that method of raising children, and went to the other extreme, being overly soft, sparing the whip and spoiling the child, which is even worse. And now we lament the poor fruits that our insincere labour has borne. 

Remember, the human animal only appreciates stuff and grows in maturity when it experiences tough times. And I daresay that our children of this generation have not experienced enough tough and godly times, otherwise they would have been way more appreciative of the good life they’ve had. And we don’t have anyone but ourselves to blame. 

Yuh think I wanted to go to church every Sunday morning and Sunday School every Sunday afternoon? Certainly not! But I had to go. And it eventually stood me in good stead; if nothing else, I knew right from wrong, which a lot of our children don’t know.

Anyway my people, it’s not too late to try and instill some godly virtues in our children, for as they say, while there is life, there is hope. So let’s see what amends we can make in the time we have left nuh. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. And I have to laugh because there is some reason that I keep spelling ‘declaring’ wrong…Oh I spelled it right there. (smile)

Now in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share that wonderful LOVE of Jesus with someone else nuh! Much LOVE!

…if the LOVE of Jesus truly dwells in is…then we’ll automatically want to share it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2018 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16.    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Ah mih people, this Sunday morning we can go to the Lord’s sanctuary without any fear of slipping and sliding or getting in an accident because of the dreadful weather! Glory be! The ice is slowly disappearing as the weather gets a little warmer. But last week it was something else. And that ice-storm was not half as bad as one a few years ago. They are worse than just the ordinary snow storms. 

Anyway, that’s in the past now, let’s look to the glorious spring weather that’s ahead of us and go to fellowship with other faithful believers, to sing and praise and make merry to Almighty God, and receive His resurgent confidence and enthusiasm in our tired and empty souls. Some of us might need two weeks resurging, since we didn’t get any last week. (smile) 

But whatever, or how much ever we need, we know we will get it in the Lord’s house, so let’s open as always with some praise and worship,  with this foundational hymn ‘Standing on the Promises of God’ written by Russel Kelso Carter, a professor in the Pennsylvania Military College of Chester.

 His bio reads thus: ‘While there he was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church. He became very active in leading camp meetings and revivals. After failing health forced him to abandon this work, he studied and became a medical doctor as well as a writer. He wrote novels as well as hymns.

Yeh friends, it’s obvious he knew what he was talking about when he wrote the hymn. So let’s declare it now nuh, with joyful voices and sincere hearts, because those are such wonderful promises we have to stand on, that mere words alone couldn’t do them justice. 

As one glorious choir now: ‘Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God. (Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.) 

Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by LOVE’S strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God. 

[Refrain] Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain].’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, doesn’t that just elevate your soul and spirit to new heights of rapture? (smile) It ought to since we have such golden promises made to us by a most faithful Deity. And today friends, we are going to check out some of those awesome promises found in God’s word. 

And we’ll begin with one that lays the foundation for them all, the words of Bruh Paul to Timothy re the truth of scripture, as stated in our Bit. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’ 

That is the first step my brethren; to acknowledge that the word of God is true, and though written by mortal men, was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, under God’s authority and guidance, and it is indeed a guide book for earthly living in righteousness. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim.3:17) There we have it friends, guidance and regulations to lead a godly life. 

Here are some useful explanations from the scholars. ‘3:14-17. Inspiration of God (lit. “God-breathed.”) describes the unique character of scripture. It is not only written by men, but authored by God. For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. 

For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (Gr. artios, “proficient, capable”) is having everything needed to do what God wants.Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired Word, properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’  

Mama Yo mih breddren! Where can you find another all-encompassing tome like that eh? Nowhere else in the world but in the Christian faith! Glory to our great God, who in His endless wisdom gave us ALL that we needed to live the kind of life He desires of us. And so having acknowledged that the word of God is true, let’s look at a couple of promises that are contained therein. 

The first one is a scripture that we all know and quote, but how many of us truly believe it eh? It’s from the prophet Jeremiah and says: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end.’ (Jer.29:11) 

But that doesn’t come just so friends. We have to pray, call upon God, seek Him with all our hearts, live the kind of life He expects of us, then we’ll see His mercy and favour and the plan He has designed for each one of His people. Now I think we only have space for one more promise; that from Bruh Paul to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.4:19) 

Yeh friends, because of the Philippians sacrifice on behalf of Bruh Paul, God will meet their need in a glorious manner through Jesus Christ. The same applies to us today my fellow believers – live the way God desires, and you’ll want for nothing. And we’ll end with these most appropriate words of Bruh Paul. ‘Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Phill.4:20) 

More on the promises of God tomorrow friends, God willing. Till then, please walk safely with Him. Much LOVE!

…some promises have conditions…others don’t…but they are ALL readily available…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2018 Psalm 48:14.

Psalm 48:14.   For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

And there was joy in the morning, because it was Sunday; the day most Christians choose to rest and to gather in fellowship to sing and praise their marvellous God. And believe me friends, there’s nothing better than worshipping Almighty God and singing His wonderful praises. Therefore, let’s begin the proceedings by voicing the beautiful and true words of the old, but dearly beloved Isaac Watts hymn, ‘O God our help in ages past,’ written a couple of centuries ago, but still going strong. 

In strong, harmonious voices now, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘O God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. O God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

What words of immortal truth my people! Our great God has indeed been our help in times past, and is also the One we place our future hope upon. He’s been our shelter from innumerable storms and He’s the One we will dwell with in eternity, after this earthly life is over. And to further expand His resume, He’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present! Hn! What a truly mighty God we serve! There is no other supposed deity who even comes close to Him, because He is the Only True and Living God! 

That’s why we can proclaim with strong conviction like the psalmists, the sons of Korah, do in this verse that’s our Bit.  ‘For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.’ 

There’s no more left to say my fellow believers, that says it all! Our God is so amazing, so awesome; that we have no doubts whatsoever about serving and worshipping until the end of time! No one can come between us and our God, because He is everything we need and want…and then some! 

Hear how Moses puts it in his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God’ (Ps.90:1-2) 

Wow! As the French would say, ‘Tres Magnifique!’ Yes that’s our God; magnificent in every way my people! No wonder the sons of Korah open Psalm 48 with this verse. ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.’ (Ps.48:1) 

And later on they declare: ‘We have thought of thy LOVING-kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgements.’ (Ps.48:9-11) Yeh friends, our God is also just and righteous! What more can we ask for eh? Nothing really, because He possesses all the elements and attributes that make up a true godly Being. 

Now listen to the sons of Korah from Psalm 47 – God is the King of all the earth. ‘Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen (gentiles): God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.’ (Ps.47:6-9) 

And so He should be my people! Our God deserves exaltation, reverence and glory to the fullest degree, not to mention obedience, obeisance and LOVE! Remember, ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) That’s another feather in His cap! (smile) ‘And God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) How can we not LOVE, honour and obey Him eh friends, He’s such a wonderful Deity! 

Unfortunately though, the sinful world we live in, and our own fallen nature cause many of us to shy away from God. But that’s not wise friends, for He is the only One who can save us from a life of disasters and eternal damnation, through His Son Jesus Christ. That’s why we need to get even closer to God, so that we are not on the outside looking in when the day of final judgement arrives. For it will indeed be a sad day when unbelievers are thrown into the lake of fire. 

Please ponder that fact and see if it’s to your liking. And if it isn’t, then you need Jesus. And remember in this year of 2018, we’ve resolved to have a closer walk with our Lord and Saviour. So let’s sincerely do that nuh, since it will be definitely to our benefit. Much LOVE!

…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…

 

 

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