Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2021 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

Please note friends, that this is simply an aberration, not a regular occurrence. (smile) I’m talking about receiving the Bit so early on a Tuesday morning. But it has been forced upon me by an early morning appointment for some tests in the hospital, and with the bad weather out there and the confusion in the hospitals, I’m not sure when I’ll be back. 

And believe me, if it was in normal times when tests were fairly easy to come by, I would certainly have cancelled this one after the snowstorm passed by last night and dropped a few inches on us. But things have changed so much during these pandemic times that I am forced to brave the beautiful white, but oh so dangerous stuff this early morning. (smile) And since this Bit will be short and sweet, let’s get going with something Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) called ‘The Possibility Thinker’s Creed,’ a li’l encouragement for a cold and snowy Tuesday Morning. 

Please read with me. ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ Now that should liven us up this morning, and give us some strength and strong desire to keep keeping on and NEVER to give up, because Christians don’t do that sort of thing. Hn! And I do hope that I find a pass through the mountain of snow when I get out there, because I really don’t feel like climbing over it, tunnelling underneath or staying and turning it into a gold mine. (smile) 

Now here is something else I’d like to share, one of my favourite prayers. It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My HeartfeltThanks!’ It was prepared by the Life -Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut some years ago, and I’ve shared it already, but I think the time’s come to share it again. (smile) So please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And Ithank Yousincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! 

You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of YourLOVEfor me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! 

Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2021, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, as far as I am concerned you could not get a much better overall prayer than that! It certainly covers all bases. And it’s based on this wonderful scripture from Psalm 107.‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! If mankind was a li’l more thankful and praiseful and grateful to the Lord God Almighty, I’m sure we would not be in the terrible mess in which we’re now in! But we like to use our free will, be proud of our independence and do our own thing. Hn! Therefore, when we make the wrong decisions, we have to pay the price, But unfortunately, though we doLOVEto be proud and arrogant, we don’t have the concomitant parts to stand our bounce when we do wrong and the tough consequences come a calling. Only then do we know God and cry out to Him for help! 

And the psalmist thought that our Bit was so important that he included it three more times in the one psalm; verses 15, 21 and 31. Now here’s what he says after verse 15; ‘For he hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.’ (Ps. 107:16-17) And that’s no lie friends, as we and all our foolish and evil doings, can all attest to. 

And after verse 21, the psalmist declares (yes!) ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107. 22) Oh how much better off we’d be my people, if we did more joyful singing and thanksgiving than the inordinate amount of complaining we do. And after verse 31, the psalmist makes another profound statement. ‘Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps. 107:32) 

More sound and wise advice my brethren. Let’s try and take some it this Tuesday morning nuh. It would be oh such sweet balm to our tired and wounded souls. And now it’s time to go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the whole world who and whose we are. 

Altogether in strong, sincere voice now: ‘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!’  

So let’s mosey on and do just that nuh.Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us free will…so that we would use it wisely…not foolishly… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2021 Psalm 107:15.

Psalm 107:15.     Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Well it’s Friday, and life goes on in a somewhat bleak and challenging way. Nonetheless, there is the joy of the Lord in our souls and thanks and praise issuing from our hearts and mouths for God’s wonderful goodness to the children of men. 

Psalm 107 says it. ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) And there can be no denying of God’s Word. 

I also like how the psalmist describes the situation. ‘Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (prisoners);’ (Ps. 107:10) And it is fair to say that many of us today are sitting in darkness, prisoners of the world and all its evil spells; afraid of the corona virus and all that it’s doing to our godless society. 

But why is that eh? Hear the words of the psalmist. ‘Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (despised) the counsel of the Most High:’ (Ps. 107: 11) 

Oh my people, we cannot deny that charge of rebellion, since we have indeed despised God’s word, even to the point of desperately trying to kick Him out of our modern, technological society, because we think He’s old fashioned and obsolete! 

But we obviously have not learned from the history of mankind, where many other nations rebelled and tried to get rid of Jehovah God, with no success whatsoever, because the universe is His; He created it and still controls it, and will not let mere mortals, His creation, push Him around. 

Remember how Lucifer, the then archangel rebelled in heaven? And where is he now eh? Walking around the earth as the evil Satan. Kicked out unsolicitously from heaven for his foolish pride and insolence, wanting to overthrow his Maker. Israel is also a very good example of that rebellion. 

Remember, we’re supposed to learn from History. But we obviously are not, for there are inevitable negative consequences when you despise God’s word and try to run Him out of town. The psalmist puts it thus: ‘Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.’ (Ps. 107:12) 

Yuh notice how we falling like flies these days, and we don’t seem to have any help? But that’s not quite true; there’s always help available, if we look in the right places. And the Israelites were famous for finding help when the consequences of their rebellion stung them to the core. 

Hear the psalmist again nuh. ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of the darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces.’ (Ps. 107:13-14) 

Oh my people, my people, the Lord God Jehovah is our obvious place of refuge, our sure solution in these times of abject darkness and sorrow and despair! It’s the only place where we can find succour and true refuge from all that afflicts our society. It doesn’t even require much wisdom, but mere common sense, since nothing else we’re trying is working. 

Just the process of elimination alone, should bring us back solemnly, respectfully and repentantly to Almighty God! No wonder the psalmist thought that this verse was so nice he had to include it twice: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps. 107:15) 

I don’t know why we’re not doing that on a much larger scale nuh friends, ‘For he (God) hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). (However) Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.’ (Ps. 107:17-18) 

That’s us, our current society the psalmist is talking about friends. When are we going to wake up and realize that Almighty God is our ONLY solution to EVERY problem we face eh? That’s why I admire the Israelites to a certain extent. Although they were foolish to turn away from God in prosperous moments, in the consequential tough times, they always remembered that it was with Him that their bread was truly buttered and turned back to Him. 

As the psalmist records: ‘Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.’ (Ps. 107: 19-20) 

Oh my brethren, the Lord did send His Word, Jesus Christ to heal us and save us from our self-destruction, but we’re not paying sufficient attention to Him, and that’s the major reason why we’re currently suffering our current ‘sufferation.’ 

Disobedience to God WILL ALWAYS bring negative consequences! That’s a given! But repentance and subsequent obedience is rewarded with God’s goodness to the children of men. So let’s be wise and turn to God for help nuh, through our Friday Chant. We have absolutely nothing to lose, and so very much to gain. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Now friends, if we’re truly sincere in that prayer, then we need to do as the psalmist advises: ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107:22) Much LOVE!

…the smart money…in whatever situation…is ALWAYS on God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     ​Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Come all ye saints of Christ, come from far and wide, let us gather in the virtual reality of His tabernacle so that we can praise and worship Him, on this His special day! And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord God Almighty for His goodness to the children of men! Bless His holy name!’ 

Yes friends, it’s the Lord’s Day again, and that calls for celebration and exaltation, while seeking wisdom, guidance and encouragement for the next seven days. We can’t meet in person, but they certainly can’t stop us from meeting by technological means. So let’s fire up those pieces of technological wonder, as well as our hearts, souls, bodies and minds and open the proceedings with a soulful piece of worship written by Fernando Ortega, titled ‘Give Me Jesus.’ But we’re going to do the live, soulful rendition by Danny Gokey. 

Ah mih people, this song has become one of my favourites since I first heard it last year. And yuh know, earlier this past week, when I began thinking about what we’d sing today, that just flashed into my mind, and obviously it was game over! (smile) So let’s get with it; let our sacrifice of praise rise to high heaven as the black youngster on the rich sounding piano leads us into soulful, scintillating song. And please don’t forget the sweet background vocals from the diversified choir. 

‘Ohhh ohhh, Give me Jesus… In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise In the morning, when I rise Give me Jesus. (Chorus: Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus.) When I am alone, Oh When I am alone, When I am alone, Give me Jesus. (Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. For He is all that I need. Just give me Jesus) When I come to die, Oh, When I come to die, When I come to die, Give me Jesus. 

(Ohhhh Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Oh it’s all I need, all I need is Jesus. So Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, You can have all this world, You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus. Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, He’s all I need. He’s all I need. 

Give me Jesus…in the morning when I rise…when I lay my head down… when I wake up, when I lay my head down, said I need him, said I need you… said I only want Jesus…when I wake up… Yeahh! Just give me Jesus. All I need is him. We worship you, we worship you, say we worship you Lord. You’re the answer to my prayers, you’re the calm in the storm, you’re my rest and my refuge…oh yeahhh…’ 

Yes mih bredrin, yes! Who says worship ain’t sweet and uplifting eh? Tell them they don’t know what they talking about, especially when yuh worshipping Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, the One who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary to pay for our abominable sins and thus established reconciliation with our heavenly Father, our Creator and Provider! Wow! Worship must be sweet when yuh worshipping the Light of the World; the Way the Truth and the Life! How could it not be eh, when Jesus is ALL anyone ever needs! 

The song tells the gospel truth! In the morning when I rise, all I need to do is turn to Jesus, surrender my day to Him and He will lead and guide me in wisdom and truth. He is the answer to ALL our prayers, our calm in the storm, our refuge and strong tower. Then when I am alone, feeling lonely…oh mih people, NO ONE provides comfort like our Sacrificial Lamb, because He can empathize with our problems since He also experienced rejection, dejection, disappointment, ‘sufferation’ and all the negative things that this world throws at us. 

And there are no better, more comforting words in the Good Book than those of His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Now who in their right minds would ever want to turn down such an inviting and comforting invitation eh? A lot of people turn it down though. That means we have plenty people in our world who aren’t in their right minds. (smile) 

So while we’re here on earth, Jesus is ALL we need. And when we die, He’s still ALL we need because He’s our Saviour, who paid our sin debt in full, so that we can enter paradise with Him and enjoy eternal life. Brother! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity is our Jesus: LOVING, merciful, compassionate, graceful, forgiving, faithful…etc. etc.! 

So why would we need anyone else in this life, or the hereafter eh? When we wake up, when go to sleep, when we need comfort, when we need forgiving, mercy, grace, compassion, strength to face the day, He’s the ONLY One who can provide it all! That’s why we can refuse ALL that this world has to offer, once we have JESUS! Keep the wealth and the power, the social and celebrity status of this evil world. We’ll settle for JESUS! 

And besides, He’s promised that if we put His Father and Him first, seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness, all that we need will be given to us, because the Father knows what we need, and He won’t let us go lacking anything! (Matt. 6:33) No wonder Bruh David could proclaim, and so too can we: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) 

And even when it comes to earthly riches, who was the richest man ever eh? Solomon! The Lord made him that because he asked for wisdom and understanding to rule His people. So if the Lord thinks we need earthly wealth, He can also give us that, for He owns it ALL! So why bother with this wicked world and their worthless stuff eh? We can’t carry any of it with us. 

And anyway, where we saints are going we don’t need it, for heaven is richer and more priceless and beautiful than earth ever will be – mansions and streets paved with gold…and JESUS, our shining star! So let’s keep leaning on Him nuh, holding tightly to His hand, and when He comes knocking at the doors of our hearts, let’s open quickly and receive Him with a hearty ‘Welcome my Lord and Saviour! Welcome!’ Much LOVE!

…Jesus made us…saved us…and will look after us for ever…Glory be… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.     ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

One more time, one more time, let’s do it one more time fellow saints of Christ! I mean, let’s get together on the Lord’s Day, by whatever means possible, and worship and praise His Holy Name as He desires of us on at least one day of every week! Yes my people, that is one of the duties for which we were created, along with the awesome blessing of having a close and personal relationship with the wise and wonderful Deity who created us. Glory to His blessed name, for there is no other supposed god who desires such a relationship with their followers as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob desires with His. 

So let’s cut out the talk and get down to some serious worship nuh. (smile) And today’s song is one I sent to some of you by WhatsApp this week, titled ‘The Goodness of God’ sung by Jenn Johnson with the Bethel church. So some of you know it. (smile) And after listening to several versions of the song, all of them decent enough in their own right, I still had to come back to the Jenn Johnson version because it had a particular soulful and yet rocking sound that seemed rather appropriate for the song. 

So without further ado, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, offering up heartfelt and true emotion and sentiments to our majestic, magnanimous and magnificent God, Jehovah. In slow, soulful harmony to start, then breaking into a rocking, raunchy riddim at the chorus. ‘I love You Lord Oh Your mercy never fails me And all my days I’ve been held in Your hands From the moment that I wake up Until I lay my head down, Oh I will sing of the goodness of God (Chorus: All my life You have been faithful And All my life You have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able, Oh I will sing of the goodness of God.) 

I LOVE Your voice. You have led me through the fire. In my darkest night, You were close like no other. I’ve known You as a Father, I’ve known You as a friend, Oh I have lived, in the goodness of God. (Chorus: Yeahhh! And all my life You have been faithful…I will sing of the goodness of God) Yeah, yeah, it’s so good! Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me. With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything, cause Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Ohhh, cause Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me. 

With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give You everything, cause Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Your goodness is running after, it keeps running after me. And All my life You have been faithful And All my life You have been so, so good With every breath that I am able, Oh I’m going to sing, Oh I’m going to sing of the goodness of God. For all my life You have been faithful, all my life You have been so good. 

Oh You lead me in glory…ever-faithful, You are my anchor in the wind and the waves… You are my provider…Oh yeah…and You lead me in glory by your spirit…You are my joy…my joy…every day…Oh shepherd of my soul…what a joy to know You…Oh, the joy of knowing You God…You’re everything to me…so wonderful…so wonderful in all your ways…in all your ways. That’s why I will always sing of Your goodness Lord…I will always sing of Your goodness Lord.’ 

Mama Mia! What a great paean (song of praise, worship, triumph, thanksgiving) to Almighty God, in which our voices were gloriously united! It couldn’t get any better than that my brethren, because the sentiments were all true! And today all we’re going to do is look at some scripture that gloriously display God’s wonderful works to the children of men! And that’s the superscript of Psalm 107, from which most, if not all of our scripture will come. Hear how the psalmist begins nuh: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.’ (Ps. 107:1-2) 

The psalmist there was talking about the nation of Israel whom the Lord took out of bondage from Egypt, and because of their disobedience, they wandered in the wilderness, lost and without a shepherd, hungry and thirsty and faint. (Ps. 107:3-4) But eventually they smartened up, and ‘Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps. 107:6-7) 

Yeh friends, that’s the difference between obedience to God and disobedience. If we want to be left alone, He will leave us alone to do our own thing, but when we decide to call on Him in true and sincere repentance, He comes running to our aid. As the psalmist further states: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps. 107:8) What a glorious observation! Why, you ask? Hear the psalmist’s answer. ‘For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:9) 

Ah mih bredrin, when we come to God in repentance and submission, He looks after us. But when we turn away from Him, rebel against Him, He allows the evil one to cause us to ‘sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (being prisoners);’ (Ps. 107:10) And when we wake up and cry out to Him again in times of trouble, He comes running and saves us out of our distresses. He brings us out of the darkness and the shadow of death, and breaks our bands in sunder (breaks our chains in pieces). And for that we should again praise Him for His goodness as our Bit says. (Ps. 107:11-16) 

Oh my people, we are so near and dear to the God of our forefathers that He can’t deny us when we turn to Him in true surrender. Look at what He did for the Israelites…and look at what He did for us by sending His Only Son Jesus to be sacrificed for our sins. That speaks of a golden heart of LOVE in the Being we call our God. And that’s why the psalmist’s cry makes undeniable sense: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107:21-22) 

And that’s what we’ve just done: declared His works with joyful singing! Glory be precious people! And we can go on through Psalm 107 and the rest of the Good Book and find innumerable reasons for praising God for His goodness. But time and space are against us. So let’s remember all those times that He’s bailed us out nuh, both individually and collectively, and stay under His protective umbrella, because that’s the ONLY safe place in this evil world! Much LOVE!

…the Lord is good…ALL THE TIME… because that’s His nature… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 
Yes, we’re somewhat tardy this morning, but through no fault of mine. Let me make that abundantly clear! (smile) I went to bed early…well yes and no…but I was up early, had to go and do some blood work though, that’s why we’re running a tad behind. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a prayer, one of my favourites, something I’ve shared before, doubt you’ll remember it though. (smile) But it’s one done by the Life-Study Fellowship Group in Noroton, Connecticut, some years back. It’s titled, ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the prayer has as it’s Bible promise: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.” (Ps.107:8) And do we ever need to do that my fellow believers in these sad and trying  times. So please pray with me. 

‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2020 I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, what a marvellous prayer! I think it covers all the bases: gratefulness for guidance and comfort in times of trouble; encouragement and support when necessary. As the old Bill Wither’s song says, ‘Lean on me when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on!’ Now that’s exactly what our God does! And we can surely do that with all confidence because He is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! And because of His LOVE…oh my people, my people, because of God’s unending, unconditional and unsurpassed LOVE, we find the strength to keep going even in the most difficult of times! Glory Hallelujah! 

As the Good Book says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Mamma Yo! With a God like that, who else do we need eh? Not a single soul! For our God is more than enough to meet our needs. Again, as He promised: ‘God will meet all of my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus!’ (Phil.4:19) Wow! But yuh know the best part of that prayer is the peaceful moments experienced when we’re all alone with our Maker in prayer. 

Oh friends, there’s something we experience when we’re communing with Almighty God, our heavenly Father, that cannot be truly defined or put into words. I guess the best we can do is call it peace, or the all encompassing Jewish word ‘Shalom!’ And when you’re talking to him, and know for a fact that He’s listening to you closely, and sincerely cares for you…why wouldn’t He eh, when He made you? A feeling of utmost quiet and stillness and calm, even when it’s rough, comes over you. 

Remember too, the Lord is also the Best Confidante we can ever have. He doesn’t tell our ‘secrats’ to anyone, and we can bring EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, be it big, small or intermediate! That’s the kind of caring and considerate God we serve and worship my people! I know some of us wrongly think that we can’t bother God with small, supposedly unimportant stuff, but He’s truly interested in it all! Just as we like our children to bring even their most personal problems to us, so does our heavenly Father want us to bring ALL our problems to Him. 

Remember, He’s not only our God, our Creator, our Judge and Saviour, but also our Father…and Friend, and He does desire to perform fatherly and friendly duties for and with us! Give Him much thanks and praise my breddren, for He so worthily deserves it! As the psalmist so rightly declares: (steups!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’  And do we ever need to thank the Lord for all the blessings He bestows on us, especially the most important one; our Lord and  Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Oh we can never give Him enough thanks and praise for that nuh, because there isn’t enough in all the world to ever make up for Jesus! Bless His holy name! That’s why I’m encouraging us to really get with the programme this year of 2020 my fellow believers, for it’s a watershed year, a year that will make or break us, a year that will set the tone for all the other ones to come! That’s why Christians have to seriously and truly come together in these perilous times, because everything depends on us; the fate of our children and our world rests solely in our hands; placed there by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ when He gave us the Great Commission: 

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And yuh see how kind and caring our Jesus is? Although He’s given us a big and important job to do, He’s also given us the tools to do it, through his Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and by whom He also keeps His promise to be always with us. 

So friends, on this first Tuesday of our new year, let’s sincerely declare (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, just who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts! ‘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, as we’ve just promised, let’s go out and tell them about our Lord and Saviour, His undying LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the Lord…He satisfieth the longing soul…and filleth the hungry soul with goodness… (Ps.107:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2019 Isaiah 55:1.

Isaiah 55:1.    ​Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
 

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be one of those days; all the joints are aching and the ole fella’s dragging like an old man! Chuh! I hate when that happens, especially when I’m on a nice, fairly long, pain free run…well not completely pain free, because it’s never that nowadays. (smile) 

Yuh know what I mean though; not having to take no setta pain pills and moving along smooth and easy, the way the duchess likes to see her husband move. (smile) But as you also know, prayer is the panacea, the cure-all for ALL the ills of the soul, so let’s get into a nice li’l uplifting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional nuh. It’s simply titled: ‘Fill Me!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain springs; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and your truth. Thank you Lord! Amen.’  

Yes my people, if we were sincere and humble in that prayer, but also confident that God would grant our desire, then right now we’re being filled with the LOVE and truth of our heavenly father by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Glory be, precious saints of Christ! What a great and wonderful God we serve my faithful brethren! 

A God who desires us to come to Him whenever we’re tired and thirsty, famished and broken down for rest, comfort and succour. That’s why the prophet Isaiah wisely advised his people, the Israelites, to ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.’ (Is.55:6) 

Yes friends, that’s simply common sense imbued with heavenly wisdom! (smile) He’s our Creator and Provider, so who else we going to call on eh? Surely not Ghostbusters, nor the evil one! And in keeping with the thirsty theme, I just want to look at some of the scriptures that powerfully illustrate our message, beginning with this wonderful, unimaginable invitation from God Himself, through Isaiah, to His people Israel, and consequently to us. 

‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ Wow! What an invitation mih breddren! Nobody else can ever match that! Buying spiritual milk and water and food for free! Only in the realm of our magnificent and magnanimous God is that possible! 

Hear what the scholars say about that nuh. ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to ALL who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to ALL men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

And here now are a few scriptures where men hungry and thirsty for God did just that, beginning with this favourite from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after (longs for) the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:1-2) 

Oh my people, are we that hungry and thirsty for our great God? I would certainly like to think so, but unfortunately the reality of our actions in these evil times doesn’t show it. It’s more like we’ve forgotten that God exists, and more like we’re trying to get rid of Him from our broken down and evil society. 

But just a word of caution; that’s impossible to do. He might allow us to carry on with our nonsense for a time, but in the end, He will have the last word and the last laugh. So please let’s wake up and realize that our world is on the brink of destruction and only real and strong faith in Christ Jesus can ever help us to fix it. Enough preaching though. (smile) 

Hear Bruh David now from Psalm 63 – God satisfies the thirsting soul. ‘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.’ (Ps.63:1) 

And in Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men, the psalmist declares thus: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness (LOVING-kindness).’ (Ps.107:8-9) Oh that men nowadays would really take those words of wisdom to heart and action them! Our world would be a much better place! 

And one more time from Bruh David from Psalm 143 – Teach me to do thy will. ‘ I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse (ponder) on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.   Selah.’ (Ps.143:5-6) Ah mih people, again we see Bruh David in anguish of spirit and soul, possibly beset by enemies thirstily crying out for God to fill him with grace and mercy and LOVING-kindness! So who are we not to do the same eh? 

Anyway, here is the definitive word on a spiritually hungry and thirsty soul…from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) And isn’t that the gospel truth! Those of us who are poor and hungry in spirit and realize the depth of our need and faithfully seek God, will indeed be filled with the Lord’s grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness! 

And having imbued our soul and spirit with those uplifting, assuring and comforting words, let’s go home now declaring (yes!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the world who and whose we are! In strong voice, as one: ‘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!’ 

Oh glory be mih people! What joy it brings to the soul when we are beloved of Jesus and can sincerely count Him as our friend! So please let’s go out and share that good news now nuh! It’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…oh, words cannot describe…how wonderful it feels…to have Jesus…living right here within me…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2019 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.   Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 

Monday, O Monday! We LOVE you dearly, but please go away and come again some other day nuh! Now that would indeed be nice, but it’s just a tad impractical, for whatever you call the first day of the work week, we will have problems with it. It’s just the nature of the beast. I’m talking about us, not the day. (smile) 

But thankfully, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have something that can cure whatever first day of the working week blues we have. It’s called prayer, the most powerful force on God’s great earth! Through prayer, we communicate with our Maker and Provider and He satisfies our needs. And today’s prayer is most appropriately titled, our ‘Monday Morning Battle Hymn!’ So let’s get to it without any further dilly dallying nuh. 

All together now in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, I can feel the Holy Spirit of God moving in me now, raising the level of my enthusiasm and conviction…and I’m sure you can feel it too! That’s the omnipotence, the amazing power of our awesome God to transcend reality, and have His Spirit move in our lives. And with that increase in power, and faith, we can now go out and transcend the world by doing wonderful stuff in Jesus’ name! 

Oh glory to our great God my brethren! Give him much thanks and praise for His amazing goodness, grace and mercy to the undeserving children of rebellious and disobedient man! That’s why the psalmist so adamantly proclaimed: Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 

For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (prisoners); Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (despised) the counsel of the Most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. 

Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces). Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:8-15) 

Yes friends, we can’t ask for a more wonderful Deity than the One we already have! Which other supposed god gives us second, third, fourth…and such numerous chances to change our rebellious nature and thus come out of the bondage of sin that that rebellion imparts on us eh? None other than the One True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

He’s so wonderful, that regardless of how long we’ve been in rebellion towards His holy counsel, when we do call on Him with sincere hearts, even in our darkest times, times when we’re under the shadow of death, He responds with LOVING-kindness? And furthermore, even though we rebel against Him, He’s faithfully promised: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

What more can we ask for eh friends? Not much, for that’s the ultimate in promises! And we know that if nothing else, our God is faithful to keep His promises, for they are not given idly, like the promises of men! And the psalmist felt our Bit so keenly that he introduces it four times in the psalm. (vs.8,15, 21, 31). 

Now hear how Bruh David adds his two cents worth to the equation nuh, (smile) from Psalm 108 – Israel looks to God for help. ‘O God, my heart is fixed (steadfast); I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp: I myself will awake early (awaken the dawn). I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 

For thy mercy (LOVING-kindness) is great above the heavens (skies): and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.’ (Ps.108:1-5) 

And that’s exactly how our great God should be praised and exalted my fellow believers! Unfortunately though, in these very evil and ungodly times we’re not even coming close to the standard of praise and exaltation truly needed.

So please friends, I’m imploring us to truly sit up and take notice of how good God treats us, especially with the free gift of salvation and eternal life through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! Let’s be truly thankful nuh, because we have so much to be thankful for! Much LOVE!

…you can’t just talk thanks…like LOVE…you’ve got to show it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2017 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.     He maketh the storm to calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Well friends, it’s Saturday and there’s work to be done around the house, errands to run and shut in people to visit. Wow! For some of us it doesn’t seem like a day off at all, and we’re tempted to go to our place of employment, where we don’t work half as hard. (smile) 

But for some blessed individuals, it’s a much easier go; just sleeping in late, snoozing on the couch, idly flipping the channels on the remote,  watching golf and baseball, hockey and basketball, while sipping something cold and frothy and drowsily but sincerely saying, ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes mih people, some do have it easier than others. But since it’s Saturday, we also have to check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week. And he does have some excellent ones this week. 

Listen to this first one. ‘Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Problems are in fact opportunities for us to grow. Note that it’s only when we face adversity that we mature, especially in our Christian walk. 

And this next quote follows on naturally. ‘We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.’ There again friends, we can’t escape pain or problems, but we can choose how to handle them; either by cringing and complaining, or by standing strong and using the adversity to our benefit. 

And this one also segues nicely to the one before. ‘You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.’ It’s all about attitudes my people; our attitudes to our problems can either make or break us. And this last quote just wraps it up nicely. ‘Being miserable is a habit; being happy is a habit; and the choice is yours.’

Oh is that ever so true my fellow believers! The choice is all ours. That means if we want to have a fairly happy and peaceful life we must choose attitudes that relate to happiness and peace. Remember with Jesus as our captain, we can remain calm in any storm. 

Now listen to the psalmist as he tells his story. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships; that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm to calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Ah friends that reminds me of a personal testimony to that situation. One day, some thirty something years ago, I ended up on a boat with some friends and coworkers who were headed for Rochester on the American side of Lake Ontario. To cut a long story short, going across the day was sunny and beautiful and we finally got to the American side, but up to now we haven’t reached Rochester. (smile) 

Through the obvious presence of the brown girl in the bottle and several strong imbibers, arguments broke out about continuing down the American coast to Rochester or returning to Toronto. The captain and owner of the boat eventually decided to come back to Toronto. This was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 

But lo and behold, on our way back a serious storm rose up against us and we could barely make any headway against it. And yuh better believe that prayer, for the first time in many a day, was forthcoming from several of the inebriated imbibers. It’s a good thing I wasn’t into the sauce that day, so I was able to help the skipper, while the others were rolling around, hanging on, giving drunken orders and praying. 

Now that day I learned a couple of lessons. The first one is that Lake Ontario can be very dangerous. I would be passing along the shore and see it kicking up and steups at it, saying it was nothing like the ocean I was accustomed to, and wondering how big ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald could sink and get lost in it.

But friends, that night I learned otherwise. For when the boat, I guess it was around fifteen feet long, mounted up the massive waves, I saw the good Lord in his heaven. (smile) And when it hit back down to the depths, between those waves, I felt the shivering of timbers! And that was the second lesson I learned; the actual feeling of shivering timbers. Before that night I had only read it from books. 

And believe me there was even mutiny amongst the group. For when we finally reached land on the Ontario side, somewhere around Cobourg, still many miles from our starting point, we had to stop for gas. At that point, some of the more inebriated ones wanted to use their money to take a taxi home, instead of chip in for the gas. 

But eventually cooler heads prevailed and we all came back together, arriving at our starting point around three o’clock in the morning, having left their around ten a.m. the previous day. And believe me, that was only a synopsis of the whole story. Like my family didn’t know where I was, hadn’t seen or heard from me for at least 20 hours, and the captain’s wife had the coast guard out looking for us. 

Can’t say I haven’t led an adventurous life – but with the grace of God always surrounding me! That’s why I can totally agree with the psalmist when he declares: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:31) Much LOVE my brethren!

…without God…where would men be eh…so let’s give Him lots of thanks and praise nuh…and faithfully adhere to His law…