Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2018 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11.    Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist).
 
 

Well it’s Tuesday mih breddren, and the Thanksgiving celebrations are over for another year… No, let me take that back: the large, overt celebrations are over for another year, because thanksgiving is something that should never cease in a believer’s life. Yuh notice how even in heaven the beasts and the elders fall down on their knees and worship and give thanks to God. 

Hear this moving scripture. ‘And the four beasts (living creatures) had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not (cease) day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist).’ (Rev.4:8-11) 

Yes friends, giving thanks and honour and glory to Almighty God is something that should never end! Even when we get to heaven we’ll do it, because our heavenly Father is indeed worthy of such exaltation. And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘4:6-8. The four beasts or living creatures (lit. “living ones”) are probably angels (cf. Ezek.10:15-22) who guard the throne of God. 

The eyes symbolize wisdom, and the wings depict movement. They worship God as did the seraphim in Isaiah’s vision (cf. Is.6:1-3). The lion represents strength (cf. Ps.103:20), the calf service (cf. Heb.1:14), the face of a man intelligence (cf. Luke 2:52) and the eagle swiftness (cf. Dan 9:21). The angelic vision has a strong allusion to Ezekiel 1:4-14.’ 

You have a lot of scripture to check out there friends. (smile) I just checked them out and they are indeed very interesting and make sense as the scholars explain. And per our Bit and the two verses before, the scholars tell us: ‘4:9-11. All of heaven worship the Father. The angels extol His character, and the elders (church) extol His creative powers. God has the right to rule and the sovereign authority to judge the earth, because He is both holy and the Creator of all.’ 

That last sentence should speak very powerfully to us my brethren, making us realize just how indebted and dependent we are on our heavenly Father; the Creator and Controller of the universe! We exist at His behest and pleasure, and He can shut us down with a mere thought. 

Thankfully though, He is not a God of mere whims and fancies, but a strong and solid Deity who LOVES us to the death, although we don’t deserve it. All that we are and desire to be, depends solely on Him. That’s why I can’t understand why it’s so difficult for so many of us to truly serve and worship and give thanks to Him. 

Why do you think Bruh Paul wrote these three verses to the Thessalonians eh? ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16:18) Because that’s exactly what the Lord desires of every believer in His Son Jesus Christ; praying, rejoicing and the giving of thanks! 

Now hear John the Revelator again as he talks about the Lion and the Lamb: ‘And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders:  and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts (living creatures) said, amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.’ (Rev.5:11-14) 

Ah friends, what more can I say eh? If we truly believe in Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit as our Triune Deity, then it behooves us to serve and worship and give them thanks, now and forever! And we’ll go home declaring (spelled it right) our Tuesday Mantra, which tells the world who and whose we are. 

But I’ll like to add a li’l something at the beginning because many of us, though we mouth it every week, still believe that we’re what we do and what we have. I recently heard Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power) from whom I originally got the Mantra, make that point. And he believes we should preface it with ‘In God’s eyes:’ just to be precise. 

So here we go, in loud voice and 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!’ 

Yes my brethren, forget how the world thinks about or judges you, the only important opinion is that of Almighty God, and He LOVES us just as we are. So let’s go out and share that LOVE now, as He so greatly desires of us nuh. Much LOVE!

…for true believers…godly thanks and praise…exaltation, honour and glory…should constantly be in our hearts…and our tongues…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2018 Psalm 4:7.

Psalm 4:7.   Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and wine increased.

It’s a beautiful though somewhat cool Thursday morning! Yeh, the vagaries of the weather are already showing up. And if the weather people are right, today won’t be anywhere as hot as the last two days. But as the man says: ‘That’s life!’ And so we have to live it as it comes. 

And yuh know what friends? When we live this life with God, ‘Beautiful Things Happen,’ as our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin tells us. 

Please pray with me. ‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet you day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed By changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. 

My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To Your whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Indisputable truth friends! All of it! Every last word! When we hang with the Lord daily, beautiful things do happen in our lives! Glory to God, my brethren! Oh, if only the majority of the world would hear that, believe it and do it eh! What a wonderful place our world would indeed be! 

And we would all be saying like Bruh David does in our Bit, taken from his evening prayer of trust in God, which is the Bible Promise associated with the ‘Beautiful Things Happen’ prayer. ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and wine increased.’ 

Oh precious people of God, isn’t that saying something? It surely is, if we can have more joy in our souls than the people have at harvest time. For harvest time is indeed the most joyful time of the year in an agrarian society. That time when the whole populace exults over the bountiful blessings that the Lord has showered down on them. And if one can get happier than that that, then it is indeed a joyous time, and only possible through close association with our heavenly Father. 

And hear how Bruh David continues nuh. As a consequence of such gladness in God, he proudly proclaims: ‘I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ (Ps.4:8) 

Oh my people, my people, what assurance we can get when we sincerely befriend our great and LOVING and comforting God! He allows us to lie down and sleep in peace, no worries whatsoever! Now who in their right minds wouldn’t want to have that experience eh? Apparently a lot of people, because a lot of them are turning away from God. 

All I can say to that though friends, is that as for me and mine, we WILL follow the Lord! No ifs and buts about it! Who doesn’t want to follow Him and enjoy the joy and peace of mind it brings, that’s their problem. We can only tell them about it and try to show it in our conduct. They still have to make their own decisions. 

Listen to what another psalmist says on the subject. ‘For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (His holy name).’ (Ps.97:9-12) 

Oh ye current day saints of God, are you living such joyful lives; rejoicing and giving thanks? I certainly hope so. And if you aren’t, then it’s all your fault, for the Lord our God and faithful Provider has placed it all out there for us to enjoy. It’s now left to us to accept the gladness and mercy that He offers. Please be wise and reach out and accept it, for it doesn’t get any better than God’s goodness. 

Now for those of us who have wisely accepted God’s goodness and seen the prosperity in our lives, let’s go home declaring the myriad blessings that the Lord has showered down on us; so much so that our souls can hardly contain them. (smile) 

As one strong, enthusiastic and sincere voice 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!’ 

Ah mih people, that shows God’s unsurpassable generosity! Now let’s go out and be just as generous nuh, for that’s why He showered us with so many blessings in the first place. Much LOVE!

…blessings are not truly blessings…until they are shared…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Ah friends, it’s a sad day when bodily aches and pains contrive and conspire to drive you out of your bed! But that’s what came against me this morning. I got up around 5.30 to go to the bathroom and found I could barely walk the few feet to it. And that’s after going to bed around two thirty in fairly good shape. Every joint was crying out in resistance. Then when I went back to bed I couldn’t find a comfortable position to get back to sleep. 

But with the Lord’s help I weathered it and did get some more spasmodic rest. However, the aches and pains in my back, both knees, both hips and both shoulders refused to go quietly into the sunrise, (smile) and I eventually got up somewhat earlier than I had planned. 

But brother, what an ordeal! And I’ve been taking the pain pills fairly regularly. So why this painful episode now eh? Steups! But yuh know what? The aches and pains won’t keep the ole fella down for long. He’ll rally and fight back. And with the Lord’s help we’ll win, because the Lord has promised that nothing that comes against us will conquer us. Glory be! 

And it’s Friday, Caribana Friday to boot, Toronto’s big day in the worldwide spotlight, so you know the workingman will be out and about blaring his song to all and sundry! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Caribana Friday! A long weekend…and official time to play true leggo beast! 

Yuh going to see we out on the boulevard tomorrow in we pretty costume…with the music blasting…and we doing we thing, getting down and wining, showing off we bumbulum and having a rollicking good time! Oh people, oh people, is Caribana weekend, the summer soon done, time to get out and have some fun, and thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends, especially the long ones!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, we must give thanks for our days off from labour, but we don’t need to go that far out on the limb like the workingman, where the evil one can easily get a foothold in our affairs. But like Jeeves says, a modicum of circumspection is necessary. 

And it’s strange how life changes as one gets older. At one time Caribana was a big deal for me. Now I don’t even remember that it exists. That’s because I can’t handle all the walking and jammings again, as well as it has lost its flavour. It’s not as nice and authentic as it was before. 

I’m not even enthusiastic this year to go to the Steelband Competition, the only aspect I support these days. I haven’t even heard from my buddy Bas, who usually goes with me. But who knows what will happen. It’s still early times. And don’t tell me that I’m getting old and cold, because I’m not. (smile) 

Anyway, in response to the workingman’s song, let’s chant our more sedate and less frivolous Friday Chant. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yes my people, in Jesus organization, we don’t behave like the world, that’s ruled by the prince of darkness behaves. As Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘I have manifested (revealed) thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them (to) me; and they have kept thy word… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine…

And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot); that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:6, 9, 11-17) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important Jesus thought we were? He spent the whole of chapter 17, 26 verses praying for us. Even for the believers who’d come down through the ages (vs.20). He asked the Father not to take us out of the world, but to keep us filled with His joy and to set us apart from the world, so we don’t get too contaminated by it. 

Now we do have to be in the world, otherwise how would we bring the lost and suffering to Him eh? But we don’t have to be a part of the world, meaning doing the things the world does, or living the way it does. We’re special friends. And we need to know it and behave accordingly! 

As we said yesterday, we’re ambassadors of Christ, therefore we have to behave in a special way, a way that glorifies and exalts His Holy Name. And we definitely can’t do that by behaving the way the world behaves. So let’s up the ante nuh, let’s raise our level of excellence in doing Jesus’ work, otherwise we won’t be His fruitful and efficient ambassadors, like we’re supposed to be. Much LOVE!

…serving Jesus in this evil world… is not easy…but it sure is worthwhile…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2018 Psalm 90:4.

Psalm 90:4.   For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (three hours).

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! The awesome day we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship, worship and give Him mucho thanks and praise. So all roads ought to be leading to the Lord’s house today, especially when we consider what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

Yeh friends, the Sabbath is a day to find rest in Jesus, and you can’t find it unless you go to Him sincerely seeking Him. He’s just waiting there with open arms for us to come to Him. So let’s not keep Him waiting nuh. And today, we’ll begin the proceedings with an old favourite from the pen of Isaac Watts, ‘O (Our) God, our help in ages past.’ 

So without further ado, let’s raise our hearts, heads and voices heavenward as we offer up praise, worship and thanksgiving to our amazing and ever-LOVING God!  ‘O (Our) 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 (Our) God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Oh my people, what we’ve just sung is oh so true; every word of it! And they say it was based on Psalm 90, the psalm of Moses, and that seems to be also true, as Moses declares with unerring truth: ‘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)

Mama Yo! What words of indisputable truth! Before God even formed the world He was God! And since He made Israel His people, they found refuge in Him, when they were wise! And who should know better than Moses eh, since he led God’s people out of bondage from Egypt to the Promised Land, and communicated God’s laws to them during that fateful trip through the wilderness. 

And as Moses continues: ‘Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (three hours). Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up, in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.’ (Ps.90:3-6) 

Yeh friends, in terms of time, one day to us is like a thousand years to God, since time has no real reckoning with Him. And as Peter corroborates in his message on living in the hope of the Lord’s coming: ‘But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet.3:8) 

Then we come back to Moses, who declares: ‘The days of our years (lives) are threescore years and ten (seventy); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (boast only) labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’ (Ps.90:10)  

All of that just means friends that our lives are like vapour, we exist for moment in God’s eyes then we are gone, like the grass that grows in the morning and dies in the evening. And even if we live fourscore (80) years (29,200 days) that to God is like 29,200 years. Imagine that nuh; to us 80 years is a big deal, but to Almighty God, it’s a mere flash in the pan. (smile) 

The long and short of the story though friends, is that we are very finite, while God is infinite, plus He is our God and Creator and if we are smart we will hold on to His strong and mighty hand. And Moses was qualified to talk about death and all the other stuff since he saw a whole generation of Israelites perish in the wilderness for their disobedience. 

Thus, when he beseeches God, we ought to listen, to pay serious attention. ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom)…. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.’ (Ps.90:12,14) 

And we’ll close with some immortal words of Cousin Sol. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she hall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4:7-9) 

Truer words were never spoken my brethren! So please, please, let’s seek wisdom and understanding through the Lord’s word, which leads to obedience, then we’ll be bestowed with the grace and glory we so greatly desire. Much LOVE!

…the only real wisdom that man needs…is to be obedient to his God and his Creator…everything else is foolishness…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2018 Psalm 40:3.

Psalm 40:3.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s time once again for the weekly refuelling of our spirits at God’s fuelling station, His sanctuary! Praise the Lord! We all can use that refuelling as the world and the enemy have certainly put us through our paces this past week and thus our spirits are low on fuel. That’s why we are coming in droves to church; to hear His word, sing praises to His holy name, fellowship with each other, and consequently refill our spiritual tanks, so that we can face the world with confidence and courage this upcoming week. 

And as we’re wont to do, let’s open with a hymn of praise, an old favourite, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ It was written by one Johnson Oatman (1856-1922), born near Medford, New Jersey. And it’s said that he wrote over three thousand hymns, which means that ‘no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Glory be mih people! Three thousand hymns are a lot of hymns yes! Wonder where he found time to write them all, especially when he was apparently a local preacher, a businessman with his father and an Insurance Agent? The important thing though is that he penned this one that we know and LOVE so much. Let’s belt it our now with sacrificial praise from our lips, and while doing that, see how many blessings we can also count. (smile) 

As one harmonic choir now: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by. (Refrain) When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy] Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain) 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {* And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.)’

Oh faithful followers of Christ, if we truly sit down and count the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us because of Jesus, will we ever be surprised! Why? Because they are so plentiful. Some of them we don’t even notice, they’ve been around for so long, that we now take them for granted. But please remember that everything in this world belongs to God, and it’s only through His wonderful generosity, mercy and grace that we can enjoy the good things that we do enjoy. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.’ Yes friends, it is an appropriate scripture for this morning. Having counted our blessings and finding so many, it’s only natural that a new song of praise to our heavenly Father will rise up in our hearts and souls! 

And Bruh David follows up our Bit with this other momentous verse: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Ps.40:4) What an awesome statement of indisputable truth! That’s the best way to receive blessings from Almighty God, both down here on earth and put aside some in heaven for eternal life. 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph.1:3) Ah mih people, the Lord has blessings stored up for us in heaven, all done through the work of Christ. That’s why Bruh Paul also advised us: ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) 

And the scholars add this explanation. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, we know it’s not always easy to look up in the tough times and give thanks, but please remember what Jesus has done for us, and that it’s only through and because of him, the Father is showering so many wonderful blessings on us. And with His help, we can do ALL things. As Bruh Paul so succinctly put it: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

And we’ll close with these words from the sons of Korah in Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12) That says it all friends! Much LOVE!

…he who has an ear…let him hear what the scripture says…

 

 

 

 

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