Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2021 Psalm 42:5b.

Psalm 42:5b.​       Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

Welcome to Easter Tuesday friends! And the in-crowd place to meet today is in the town of Buccoo, in sweet Tobago, where Goat Races are the featured event of the day…and has been for many, many years! It’s become so big, that they even built a stadium just to hold it! Awesome! But who knows if it’s going to be happening in this pandemic time, with the lockdown that’s currently in place? 

However, given the ingenuity of my people, I wouldn’t vote against it happening, though in some reduced form and fashion, especially since I understand that Tobago is now the new playground for Trinidad, as the citizens can’t go further afield. Yes people, when it comes to partying, you can’t beat a Trinbagonian to find unique ways and means to bring it to fruition! 

But what we all need, so much more than partying is to cultivate an intense longing for Almighty God, our Maker, Controller. Deliverer and Provider! That’s because He’s so awesome, so LOVING and compassionate, so protective of His people, hides us from the rain, heals us when we’re broken…! What else do I need to point out for us to understand that our God is great and greatly to be praised eh? And that the number one purpose for which we were created is to praise and worship Him, to have a most excellent communication between the Creator and the created! 

Wow! My God is awesome! He’s the giver of salvation, author and finisher of our faith, high priest of our church…and so many other wonderful things! And instead of partying in the evil sense of the word, we ought to be rejoicing in the righteous way that speaks of Jesus; of His most awesome deliverance of sinful man in this Easter Season! No one else could do the miraculous deeds that He’s done. So we ought to celebrate His mercy, holiness, His forgiveness, grace and wonderful, unconditional LOVE for us, instead of bowing to the evil fool Satan and desiring to enjoy the pleasures of sin, instead of the righteousness of God! 

So what we should be doing, as I said earlier on, is cultivating an intense longing for our awesome God! In these trying and troubled times of worldwide sickness and strife, only a return to God in true and sincere repentance can solve them! Yes my brethren, like the Sons of Korah sing in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – let’s do the same nuh, let’s celebrate and worship our graceful, merciful and awe-inspiring God. So let’s lift our hands, as we lift our voices in prayer. 

‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast).’ (Ps. 42:1-4) 

Yes friends, in earlier times we would go to the Lord’s sanctuary and praise His holy name in song and prayer. But then, as we became successful and prosperous, we began moving away from the very source of our success and prosperity. We forgot that it is the Lord who allows us to get wealth and prosperity, and instead began trying to turf Him out of our society. And now that immense strife and sickness have befallen us, we’re wondering what happened, how such a plague befell us? And the simple answer is that we turned away from God and began praising the devil instead. So now that we can’t find remedies for our awful predicament, we’re wondering what to do. 

But like the sons of Korah asked so long ago: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted with me?’ (Ps. 42:5a) Today friends, the correct answer to the problem is still: ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps. 42:5b) Yes my people, that’s the only sensible answer there is to our current troubles…hope in the God of our forefathers! 

Hear the sons of Korah continue with their praise nuh. ‘O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill (the mount of) Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts (waterfalls): all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 

Yet the Lord will command his LOVING-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones (the shattering of my bones), mine enemies reproach (revile) me; while they say daily (all day long) unto me, Where is thy God?’ (Ps. 42:6-10) 

And yes, my fellow believers, the heathen are at our throats every day with that question. And that then leads us to ask ourselves: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?’ And what’s our reply? ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my giver of salvation) and my God.’ (Ps. 42:11) Oh friends, let’s praise His holy name! Let’s look back over our lives and see where the Lord has brought us from, the mighty and magnificent things He’s done for us, and realize that He can, and will do the same things for us, once we are obedient to His word and will! 

And I like this explanation from the scholars about the overall effects of psalms 42 and 43, which in some Hebrew texts are joined together. ‘Using the refrain Hope thou in God as a marker, the poem yields three stanzas. First, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for God (42:1-5); second, his sad lament and dejection before God (42: 6-11); finally, his sure confidence in God (43:1-5). The three stanzas reveal the changing moods of the psalmist: from longing and regret to perplexity, then to trust and assurance. If only every downcast soul could end up in that third stanza!’ 

And there’s no real reason why all of us can’t find true trust and reassurance in our great and mighty God! We all know His amazing, omnipotent power, and have all experienced some good and awesome benefits while walking in strong tandem with him. So why shouldn’t He do it again, if we sincerely seek Him and His awesome will for our lives? No reason whatsoever! So, for those of us who sincerely believe and diligently try to live for God, let’s go home now declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are. 

Altogether now, 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!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out into the confused and godless world and gladly share Jesus’ awesome LOVE and friendship, so that we can overcome our ever so pressing problems! Much LOVE!

…our problems will diminish…in direct proportion…to our sincere longing for God…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2020 Psalm 119:89-90.

Psalm 119:89-90.     ​Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations: you established the earth, and it endures.
 

This Tuesday morning has opened somewhat dark and cloudy in my area, but the sun is valiantly trying to push through the dark, ominous looking clouds. How successful it will be though, is anyone’s guess. But I just want to remind us that despite the physical darkness or light of this world, we have a spiritual light that emanates from our magnificent Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ which NOTHING in this world can ever dim or darken! Wow! And all God’s children declared a loud, and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and honour be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!’ 

Yes friends, on those three omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present deities or God-heads, is where ALL of our praise, honour, thanks and glory ought to rest. And yuh won’t believe it nuh people, but I just went upstairs to reheat my caffeine, and lo and behold, was greeted by a brilliant burst of sunshine! The sun has actually won the battle! Just goes to show the awesome power of light over darkness! (smile) And what other encouraging words or news do we have to offer today? Well just this: ‘The Facts!’ 

Yeh bredrin, some awesome facts of life are what we’re talking about, as released in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So please pray with me: ‘Lord When I feel I can’t possibly make it When I feel deluged with problems When I feel helpless Against the strange twistings of life When I feel there is no way out The FACT is You have a plan You know what You’re about. The FACT is The greater the strategy of the Enemy The greater the assurance of victory. The FACT is The worst may seem to happen But the best is on the way. God, hold me to the facts.’ 

And it’s all so true my fellow saints in Christ! Whenever life seems to come against us, as the poem says so sweetly ‘the strange twistings of life,’ we need to remember that we have a heavenly Father who is the most powerful, most generous and most LOVING Being in this universe, who will not let anything evil overtake us! But the FACT is, that WE have to remember it and stand strong in His promise! And don’t worry, If we hold on to God, He will help us to hold on to the facts. The facts which are contained in these eternal words of truth, that are associated with today’s poem. 

Now I’m faced with a dilemma here: you all know I’m partial to my King James version of the Word, but the NIV, the New International Version used with the poem sounds good and somewhat more appropriate than the KJV. Steups! And I was just guided by the facts: share them both! Yeah! So here goes. The KJV says: ‘For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled (stands firm) in heaven. Thy faithful ness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth (stands, endures). (Ps. 119:89-90) Now hear the NIV: ‘Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations: you established the earth, and it endures.’ 

Yeh mih people, they say the same basic things but just in a slightly different fashion. And for today, I think I’ll use the NIV as our Bit. Now don’t get worried my purist friends, the KJV will always be our favourite, but sometimes we do need to use other resources. (smile) That brings us to this other powerful verse from Psalm 119. ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) And that’s exactly what the Word was given to us for; to lead and guide us on this strange, twisting journey that we call life on earth! 

But we have to read it, study it, and then keep it, do as it says. Otherwise it is of absolutely no use to us. And that’s why so many of us supposed believers are not living the full and abundant lives that Christ sacrificed his sinless life for us to have: we don’t read, study, or put the Word into action, like we ought to. 

Oh fellow saints in Christ, the Word of the Lord is our most important asset and guide for earthly living. But we have to use it. Hear how Jesus describes it nuh. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt.24:35) Now that’s as simple and straightforward as it can get! Everything else may, and eventually shall pass away, but the Word of the Lord will endure forever! 

So why do we doubt the Word of God eh, and not put it to proper use in our lives eh? Because we’re proud and foolish and believe that we no longer need God in our lives, we can do it all on our own. But if we look closely at the state of our world right now we’d see that we cannot make it on our own, the problems of life are too big for our finite, puny minds and oversized egos! 

But please listen as Peter uses the words of Isaiah 40:6-8 to address us. ‘For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ (1 Pet.1:24-25) What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. But just remember that one day we’ll all have to stand and answer for our deeds here on earth, and as Sun Rise says, we can’t take the big house, the big car and the plenty money with us to the grave, we have to leave them all here for others to use and abuse. (smile) 

So let’s go home now declaring… (brother, can’t spell that word right for LOVE nor money!) So let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Tuesday Mantra telling the world who and whose we are, to whom we gloriously belong. All together now, 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!’ 

And the obvious corollary to all that is for us to now go out and share the wonderful LOVE, trust and friendship of Jesus that’s supposed to distinguish us from the rest of the world. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
 

Well just imagine that nuh; no goat races this Easter Tuesday in Buccoo in sweet Tobago! It almost amounts to sacrilege! (smile) I don’t think that those races have been cancelled more than a handful of times ever since I was growing up there in Tobago. But today, the stadium – the only one in the world I believe that was built specifically for goat races will be empty, and no setta parties with loud music and plenty dancing will grace the beautiful seaside village of Buccoo, on this the most important day of their year. 

But what to do eh? Coronavirus has spoken: ‘thou shalt be locked down, if thou wantest to prevent my worldwide spread and ghastly destruction!’ And so, what worldwide war has not been able to do; a tiny, but rather deadly and virulent virus has succeeded in doing; shutting down the world! But friends, let us never forget that the Creator and Controller of this wonderful universe is still sitting on His heavenly throne running things, and thus this virus business will end eventually, but in His time, because He has a purpose for allowing it. 

So we just have to believe and have faith and carry on as necessary until then, for this too shall pass, as so many other disasters have, it’s just a matter of time. And to help us do that, here is an encouraging poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘My Personal Rainbow!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, right now I struggle with clutching fear. Waves of agony pour over me as I face the darkest moments In my life’s history. But my conviction still stands firm: You are my God!’ (Glory Hallelujah my people!) ‘And though I cannot predict my future Or even tomorrow I am sustained by the reminder That the longest storm The world has ever known… And the worst… Came to an end one clear-sky morning. It was true for Noah It will be true for me. Though as yet I see no deliverance I watch I wait I expect My personal rainbow!’ 

Mama oh Mama! And do we ever believe and expect to see that beautiful rainbow with it’s wonderful pot of gold at its end! Why, you ask? The answer’s simple: because the Lord God Almighty promised it, and He does not renege on His promises. They have ALL been faithfully executed since the beginning of time and will continue to be faithfully executed… until the end of time! And there’s no doubt about that because He has said so unequivocally in His Word. ‘And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’ 

And if you don’t believe that, then you don’t LOVE God, and you’re not called according to His purpose! Simple as that! And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working ALL things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate that fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15). To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect.” 

That’s why, as true believers, in these most trying and fearful times, we are not afraid. Yes, we are concerned, and we do pay strict attention to the rules, but fear does not take us over and make us like jelly – flapping and flubbing around uselessly. And that’s also because our great ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE (His most significant attribute), and of a sound mind (discipline and self-control).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

And with all of that solidly planted and growing in us friends, we need not be afraid of what will and can happen to us, but are able to take it all in stride as we lean and depend on the Lord, our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God to defend and protect us as He’s faithfully promised to do. Consequently, as Bruh Paul continued to Timothy: ‘Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou (a) partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (before time).’ (2 Tim. 1:8-9) 

Yes friends, God has called and saved us with a salvation through Christ that we definitely did not deserve, but did it for His own purpose; basically, His endearing, unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us! So if we truly believe, then we need to take up our cross and follow Christ, unashamedly, through all the afflictions of this life, knowing the wonderful reward of eternal life that awaits us. And if all of that doesn’t move you, or reduce your fears and anxiety, (smile) then listen to these other most reassuring verses from Psalm 37; Bruh David’s declaration on The true state of the wicked. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass… 

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:1-5; 7-9) 

Brother! What wonderful advice! And the good thing about it all, is that Bruh David is not speaking from hearsay, but from personal experience! So for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

All together now, 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!’ 

The natural next step is now for us to go out and do just that – share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…man was made by God…to LOVE…and be LOVED…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 November 2018 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.   ​Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 
Awright mih friends and Scrip-Bit family, it’s a brand new day in the life, so please give the Lord some thanks for allowing us to open our eyes to it and enabling us to do His work down here on earth! 

And some of you must be wondering how come the Bit’s so early? Well it’s a simple answer. I went to bed early last night, slept through most of the night, then my back wouldn’t allow me to lie down any longer. It’s not that I was so enthused, that I just had to get up and write the Bit. (smile) 

Anyway, here’s a poem I recently saw hanging on the wall of my young daughter’s room. I don’t know it’s author or true title, but I’ll call it ‘Our Deepest Fear,’ and it’s ever so relevant to us in these trying times. 

Please read with me: ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. 

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Mama Mia! What words of truth and wisdom my believing brethren! Too many of us shy away from being all that we really are for fear of making others feel less than their true selves. But the truth is, we have to shine so that others can see it’s okay to shine too. If all of us hold back our lights, hide them under a bushel, then the great light of Jesus that’s hidden within all of us won’t be fully exposed to this heathen and evil world. 

And that’s not what Jesus wants. That’s why He so forcefully declared in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14-15) 

Oh friends, that’s what Jesus is expecting of us; being cities set on hills and shining our bright lights forth into all the world! Why do you think He made us all brilliant and fabulous, and gorgeous and all those other wonderful things eh? It’s not for us to cover them up, but to share it with the world, and by so doing, raise up the world to His excellent standards. 

And thus He continues with this admonishment of our Bit: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ Matter fix, my people! Our job down here on earth is to shine and be salty and everything else that will glorify our wonderful Father in heaven! Glory to God! 

Just like Jesus came to earth and glorified Him, we are to do likewise. But we can’t do that if we’re cowering in fear, or insecure, or any other negative disposition. That’s what the enemy wants us to do, but please remember these most potent verses from Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. 

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God. Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (time) began.’ (2 Tim.1:7-9) 

Yes my fellow believers, we are not to be ashamed of Christ’s gospel, like so many of us are, but to take up our holy calling and spread it in whatever way the Lord proscribed for us, manfully bearing whatever afflictions might ensue from our actions. Remember, the Lord doesn’t ask us to do what we can’t do, and then He always assists us in doing it. 

And please note what Jesus said to the disciples later on. ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue (abide) ye in my LOVE.’ (John 15:7-9) 

Ah friends, it all boils down to one word, LOVE: LOVE the Father, LOVE Jesus, and LOVE each other! And if we do those simple things, all will be well with our world and us. Now it’s time to go home declaring – (Chuh! Spelled it wrong again!) – our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In loud and proud 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!’ 

And the corollary, as always, is to now go out and share that LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others! Much LOVE!

…as followers of Jesus…it’s our bounden duty…to show our light and power…to a dark and dismal world…