Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 October 2021 Philippians 4:6.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING CANADA!

Philippians 4:6.     Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. 

Oh friends, is it ever good to awaken to another day, another Monday, another Thanksgiving Monday! And all God’s people said: ‘Thanks be to God, who keeps the breath of life flowing through our earthly bodies!’ And why does He do that? Because He has a plan and a purpose for our lives, which includes enjoyment of the day. That’s why we say: ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) Yes, my brethren, that’s the only way to go! 

And on this Thanksgiving Day of 2021, where life is somewhat rough, and we can’t gather as carelessly as we’d like, we ought to be thankful that we can even gather at all. Remember last year Thanksgiving Day was a most dreary time. No set of food and family and good cheer, all because of the Pandemic situation. So, there’s oodles of thanks to be given for just being able to get together more than last year. But please, please be careful. This thing is not over yet – far from it – and we still need to take as many precautions as possible to minimize further problems. 

And to show our gratitude for that improvement, let’s intone the opening verses of Psalm 105, subtitled – God’s wondrous works in behalf of Israel. ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek ye the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.’ (Ps. 105:1-4) 

Now I am sure if we were doing that as much as we ought to, we would not be having half as many problems as we do! I am convinced that many of our problems stem from the fact that we don’t reverence and appreciate our Creator as we should. But this Thanksgiving time is the right occasion for us to turn back to Him, remembering all that He has done for us, and has promised to do. 

In the marvellous words of Bruh David: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) And are we ever so glad that this Thanksgiving we have sufficient food to eat. But having said that, let’s not forget there are many of our fellow brethren out there who don’t have enough, possible nothing at all to eat, and it’s our bounden duty to provide for them as best we can. 

That recalls the glorious day when many of the children of Israel heard the word of the Lord for the first time as it was read to them, by Ezra and his associates. Then Nehemiah, the Governor, said unto them: ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 1:8) 

And is it ever my fellow saints! That’s why the enemy does his best to steal our joy. He knows when he gets us sad and downcast, it’s much easier to have us do his evil bidding. But not today mih bredrin, for today is a day of exceeding joy, and a time to remember our biggest blessing, our greatest gift and benefit. Like Bruh David said: ‘who redeemeth thy life from destruction.’ And yes friends, God’s greatest gift, His biggest benefit is that of freedom from the bondage of sin, of salvation through His free gift of grace, earned through the finished work of Christ. 

As Jesus puts it: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Glory be my fellow believers! If we are not thankful for anything else, we should be exceedingly thankful for that, because it’s nothing that we earned, or could ever earn, but though God’s infinite grace and mercy, it was bestowed upon us. And all we have to do is to believe in His Son! But so many of us stubbornly refuse to do it because of foolish pride and belief in the world’s evil systems. But there will be consequences for that stubbornness. 

And let’s not think that just because we call today Thanksgiving Day, that this is the only day we should give thanks. Absolutely not! Bruh Paul reminds us of that in his epistle to the church at Philippi, when he says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my fellow believers, we wonder why we don’t have peace? Well, the answer is right there. We don’t take our requests to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. And there’s no better time than right now, for us to get wise and do just that. So, in sincere prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let’s make our requests known to Almighty God through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

As one now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

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

Now, let’s go and keep the promises we just made, if we want to see positive answers to our prayers and supplications with thanksgiving. Much LOVE!

..in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess. 5:17)                                                                                                         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2020 Luke 2:17.

Luke 2:17.     ​And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
MERRY CHRISTMAS !

It’s a cold, snowy Friday morning…but it’s Christmas Day, and wonder of wonders we do have a white Christmas, something we don’t see as often, in these days of climate change. Yesterday evening it was raining, but the snow fell during the night and made everything a beautiful virgin white, that is until mankind gets involved. (smile) 

So Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! Hope the Lord continues to be good to all of us in the new year. And why wouldn’t He be eh, if we continue to be obedient and reverent to him? No reason whatsoever! 

And talking about years, this old one of 2020 was indeed an unexpected, unique, provoking and very testing year. But glory to God, we all came through it safely. Let’s give the Lord some thanks and praise for that, because it’s only with His divine help that we made it through without any serious problems. 

Consequently, on this joyful Christmas morn, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born in that li’l town of Bethlehem, we can sit back, relax and contemplate what it all means to believers everywhere. Remember, JESUS is the ONE and ONLY reason for the season. The reason we can eat drink and be merry and call out greetings to each other. So please don’t let your day be consumed with just festive merriment, but do take a few moments to quietly ponder what it all meant back then, and what it still means today. 

In fact, let’s do that right now nuh. Let’s try and recreate the scene on that long ago, first Christmas Day. Remember, it was just a seemingly ordinary wintry evening, with the universe unfolding as it should. And let’s do it in song nuh, with this wonderful Annunciation of the heavenly birth. 

Please sing along with me: ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground, the angel of the Lord came down and glory shone around. “Fear not,” said he – for mighty dread had seized their troubled minds –“Glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and all mankind: “To you in David’s town this day is born of David’s line a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 

And this shall be the sign: “The heavenly babe you there shall find to human view displayed, all meanly wrapped in swathing bands and in a manger laid.” Thus spoke the seraph, and forthwith appeared a shining throng of angels praising God, who thus addressed their joyful song: “All glory be to God on high, and to the earth be peace; goodwill henceforth from highest heaven begin and never cease!” 

Oh friends what a wonderful heavenly declaration! But it had the poor shepherds terrible afraid. And it would have had us afraid too, if that heavenly throng just appeared from out of nowhere and made that most climatic statement. But please note to whom the Lord made the first declaration of Jesus’ birth; the lowly and humble shepherds out in the fields, not any great kings or powerful and important people. 

And yuh see where He caused Him to be born too, in a lowly stable. Imagine that nuh…the Son of God being born in a dirty stable and not a sumptuous palace. That’s because Jesus came to be a servant not a king by earth’s standards, to save the sick and suffering, the poor, lowly and downtrodden. 

And I like how the shepherds reacted. The Good Book tells us that after the angels had gone back to heaven, they said to each other; ‘Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’ (Luke 2:15) Yeh friends, yuh see, despite their fear, they decided to check out the good news. If it was important enough for angels to declare it, then it was important enough for them to go and check it out. They did it afraid. And that’s exactly how we ought to operate in these rough and trying times. 

Anyway, the Good Book continues: ‘And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger (feed trough).And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:16-20) 

Ah mih bredrin, do we ever need to spread the beautiful news of Christ’s gospel and praise and glorify our great and wonderful God this day for all that He’s done for us! He didn’t need to do anything for us, just let us go our merry way rejoicing into hell with the devil. But through His awesome, undying and unconditionalLOVEfor the ungrateful creatures He had spawned, He couldn’t in good conscience allow us to go down that road to eternal damnation without giving us an opportunity to redeem ourselves. 

So on that cold, starry, ordinary winter’s night, He put His amazing plan for salvation into motion. In that dirty, smelly stable, a baby boy was born into this evil world, and they would call His name Jesus; the Son, the Saviour, the Messiah, who would be the means of ultimate salvation for all and sundry. Bless our God’s holy name my brethren, for just that act alone ought to endear Him to us for ever and ever! Amen! 

Oh my people, I don’t know what else to say or do to get us to really and truly appreciate the greatness of our God and the overwhelming LOVE He bears for us nuh. So let us go home, and we going to forego our Friday Chant because I don’t think today the Lord wants to hear our whining and complaining about our problems, most of which we brought on ourselves through our obstinate disobedience. He needs some praise and worship for the great gift He’s bestowed on us this day, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

So let’s go home singing and praising instead nuh: Loud and strong and harmonious: ‘Hark! The herald angels sing” Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled” Joyful, all ye nations rise Join the triumph of the skies With angelic hosts proclaim: “Christ is born in Bethlehem” Hark! the herald angels sing: “Glory to the newborn King!” Christ by highest Heav’n adored Christ the everlasting Lord! Late in time behold Him come Offspring of a Virgin’s womb Veiled in flesh the Godhead see: Hail the incarnate Deity Pleased as man with man to dwell Jesus, our Emmanuel 

Hark! the herald angels sing: “Glory to the newborn King! Hail the Heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings Ris’n with healing in His wings Mild He lays His glory by Born that man no more may die Born to raise the sons of earth Born to give them second birth Hark! the herald angels sing: “Glory to the newborn King!” Hark! the herald angels sing: “Glory to the newborn King!” 

Yes friends, today is a day for much praise and thanks and generosity. Let’s remember Nehemiah’s awesome words to the children of Israel and action them as best we can: ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

That says it all my faithful friends in Christ! Much LOVE!

…Christmas…it’s just the beginning of the Christian’s joyful life… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

So friends, it’s Monday…But the good news is that both in Canada and the U.S it’s a public holiday. In the U.S it’s Columbus Day, celebrating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in the 1490’s. Meanwhile, in Canada, we’re celebrating our Thanksgiving Day with feasting and festivity, and hopefully thanks and praise to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s recently showered down on our land.  

Let’s also be thankful that hurricane Nate did not do much damage to the part of Louisiana that it passed over yesterday. Ah Lord eh! Hopefully this will be the last storm for this year, for the area could not handle much more disaster. Don’t forget to include in our prayers those who have recently suffered serious setbacks and that they are on their way to recovery and rebuilding their lives. Remember too the ones who are still undergoing trials and tribulations.  

And let’s hope that all this unexpected calamity serves as a wake-up call for us to repent, to forsake our evil ways and get back into the good graces of Almighty God, for it’s difficult not to consider the unparalleled circumstances that have recently afflicted us as a warning from Him. So let’s pray that we will take the warning to heart and wisely make amends for our sinful ways, and once again make Him the undisputed God of our society. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, which means that in our 24/7 society, some people must go to work, regardless of the public holiday, and there’s no time harder to get up and go out to labour than on days like these, when the majority of people are off. So let’s send them out on a high note with a wonderful rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

In strong voice now, with lots of enthusiasm: ‘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!’ 

And as always, the voices of those not going out to work are the loudest and most raucous since many of us have already been celebrating for the past couple days. (smile) And whether you like it or not, I have to remind us of Granny’s warning; that drunk or sober we need to mind our business very closely, as too much celebrating can make us cross over the Christian boundary line without even noticing it, thus giving the enemy a gleeful chance to invade our space, something we want to avoid at all costs.  

That brings us to our Bit, the words of Nehemiah to the people of Israel after they had rebuilt Jerusalem and had heard for the first time God’s Word read from His Holy Book by the scribe Ezra. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

It was indeed a day of rejoicing for those Israelites, many of whom had recently returned from captivity in Babylon and were enjoying freedom for the first time in many a day, if not the first time in their lives. We should also be in rejoicing and sharing mode, but more importantly, making sure that we give God His rightful deserts of thanks and praise for bringing us to this high standard of living, for it’s only through His generosity and magnanimity that it’s possible.  

Remember what we sang yesterday? ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow…’ And that’s the truth in spades! For as the Good Book tells us: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut.8:18)  

Yeh friends, the Lord brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt and kept them in the wilderness for forty years, then enabled them to go into the Promised Land and take it over. Without His help, none of that would have been possible. Likewise without God’s help, our current prosperity would not have ever been realized. 

So I’m imploring us, that as we gather today, with friends, families and neighbours, let’s spend some time remembering and talking about the goodness of God towards us, and giving Him appropriate thanks and praise, glorifying and exalting His precious name, for each and every one of us has so many things to be thankful to God for in this our earthly journey. We didn’t reach this stage of evolution through our own efforts, but through God’s blessings. Consequently we ought to show the necessary gratitude. Much LOVE!

…it’s not about eating and drinking…but giving thanks…to be able to eat and drink…there is a big difference…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…