Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2018 Isaiah 12:2.

Isaiah 12:2.   Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
 
Greetings and salutations my believing brethren from our great God Jehovah, our heavenly Father, Creator and Controller of this amazing universe and all therein! And He has one message for us this somewhat dark and gloomy Friday morning: ‘I have made you see the light of another day, because I have work on earth for you to do. So please do it with a good attitude. And if you follow my will, you will see the blessings that accrue to you and yours!’ 

What a message friends! We have two options; to either do God’s work with excellence and diligence, or to laze about in idle and destructive behaviour. In other words, what the Lord’s saying to us is ‘This is the day that I have made, please rejoice and be glad in it!’ And we’d be extremely foolish to do otherwise! 

But neither do we have to go to the extreme that the workingman does in his Friday song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It looks dark and miserable and dreary, like it going to snow. But snow can’t stop we from enjoying we time off on this weekend…especially with Christmas coming soon! Brother! Just imagine how the waters and the food going to flow nuh…all the pastelle and paymee…the sweetbread, the ham and the black cake…with sweet parang ringing out in the Christmas air…

Bubba! Yuh can’t beat a Trini Christmas at all nuh! And wherever we go, we carry it with we! Oh, and doh forget the Ponchacrema nuh. Like Kitchy use to sing in cold England: “Mama Yo…Drink a rum and a ponchacrema…drink a rum…it’s Christmas morning…drink a rum…” So this cold snowy weather not going to stop we from celebrating Trini style nuh. Not on yuh life brother! That’s why we does always say, ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, because that is we time! Glory be!’ 

But is true friends, yuh really can’t beat a West Indian style Christmas nuh…and Oh Lord, ah forget the sorrel and the ginger beer! How could I commit such a crime eh? (smile) That’s because it have so much things going on at Christmas time in the West Indies. 

And a word of enlightenment here: ‘Ponchacrema is really ‘punch de crème’. ‘A potent brew made at Christmas time, consisting of eggs, milk, rum or brandy, bitters and crushed ice swizzled vigorously.’ And ‘Kitchy’ is the late Lord Kitchener, real name Aldwin Roberts (1922-2000), the ‘Grand Master of Calypso.’ And that was one of his first big hits in the fifties when he lived in England. 

But another word of caution here; although the workingman’s heart is in his song, we believers are not advised to go so far out on the limb. Granted some of the best fruit might be out at the end of the limb, but out there is also the most dangerous place because the limb is thinnest there and the possibility of it breaking on us as we reach for that sweet, succulent fruit at the end is much greater than if we stay somewhere in the middle. 

All of that simply means that that kind of bacchanalian behaviour is an open invitation for the enemy to invade our souls and secure an impregnable foothold. And that’s something we don’t ever want to happen mih people! Therefore, our Friday Chant is somewhat more toned down than the workingman’s weekend song. Please chant it with me now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘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 friends, it’s necessary that we have fun and relaxation too, but not the over the boundary kind, because our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ isn’t in favour of it and it spoils our witness for Him. And I’m chuckling here, because I got so caught up in the workingman’s song that I have no idea of what our Bit’s going to be. But soon come, going to check the Good Book. 

Back in less than a minute, per the Lord’s favour. Opened the Good Book right on it. (smile)  Give Him much thanks my brethren! Now hear this most appropriate scripture from the prophet Isaiah re thanksgiving for God’s mercies: ‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:2-6) 

 Oh my brethren that reflects the same things that the Israelites prayed under Moses when they crossed over the Red Sea. (Exodus 15) And they are all true! That means we too should be crying out the Lord’s praise and thanksgiving because we are enjoying His earthly blessings with the promise of salvation and eternal life in the near future. 

So why are we supposed believers so quiet and fearful in this evil world eh? It’s time for us to get up and get moving, let the world know what Jesus has done for ALL of us, and give them the chance to get to know Him too. That’s the job the Lord had for us at the beginning of today’s writing; spreading His Holy word and bringing people to His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so that they won’t suffer the torment of eternal separation from Jehovah God. 

So let’s get with it nuh my people. There’s not that much time left and there’s much work to do. As Jesus so rightly said so long ago, and it’s still so appropriate today: ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-39) Yeh friends, we need plenty of us to go out there and help the lost be saved and come home to Jesus. Much LOVE!

…in a world of so many sinners…there are comparably…only a few saints to witness to them… 

P.S. Yeh friends, I know it’s sorta late and long, but it’s certainly interesting and enlightening! (smile)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2018 John 7:37-38

John 7:37-38.   In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.

‘Sunday morning coming down…’ And the Lord’s sanctuary is filled to overflowing! Bless His holy name! The faithful believers have come to renew their connection to Almighty God; to sing His praises and give Him thanks, hear His Word and receive His body and blood in the symbolic gesture of communion, thereby reawakening and reenergizing their listless and tired souls. 

Wow friends! What a blessing it is to have fellowship every Sunday with other believers under the remarkable auspices of our Creator! So as we do every Sunday, let’s begin the proceedings with some praise and worship to soften up our hearts and make them more receptive to the word. 

And today’s song of praise is that old but magical hymn, ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,’ taken from the 10th and last movement of the cantata ‘Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life,’ composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 18th century. This version we’re going to sing today, is apparently the most common English one, written by poet laureate Robert Bridges. 

So without further ado, let’s raise our heads, hearts, eyes and voices to high heaven in sweet, adorable and exalted praise, accompanied by the scintillating symphonic music of the master composer, as performed by the full orchestra. As one harmonious choir now: ‘Jesus, joy of man’s desiring, Holy wisdom, LOVE most bright; Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring Soar to uncreated light. 

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, soaring, dying round Thy throne. Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings; Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs. Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead Thine own In the LOVE of joys unknown.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ALWAYS leads us, His faithful people, with LOVE, to unknown, unbelievable gasps of joy! Praise His Holy Name! Oh friends, Jesus is indeed the joy of our desire!

And why not eh? He has Holy wisdom, the brightest LOVE that exists and shines in the universe, not to mention the everlasting hope of salvation and eternal life He’s provided for us through His ever-faithful promises and sacrificial actions of two thousand years ago. 

Now let’s hear his Word, which fashioned our flesh, then breathed the fire of impassioned life into it, as we strive to uncover unknown truths from it. And today’s scripture deals with ‘Drink of joy from deathless springs.’ Listen as our Lord and Saviour expounds on His abilities with thrilling confidence. 

‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

And can you imagine the confusion those statements caused amongst the mainly ignorant crowd. ‘But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.’ (John 7:39) 

Yes friends, Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit that was to come upon every believer after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension back to heaven. And if we’re truly spiritually thirsty, the best place to seek relief from that thirst is in Jesus.  He is the ONLY one who can quench, can satisfy, can satiate our thirsty souls! 

And in the end of the Good Book, He again declares unto John: ‘I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star’ (Rev.22:16)

And what does this revealing angel make known to John? ‘And the Spirit (Holy Spirit) and the bride (the church) say, Come (to Christ in faith for eternal life). And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst (thirsty) come. And whosoever will (desires), let him take the water of life freely.’ (Rev.22:17) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that offer! It’s the best offer going in this mish-mash world! And we’ll end with these beautiful words of scripture as prophesied by Isaiah about the Lord’s doings through Jesus.

‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:2-6) 

And our Lord and Saviour is indeed great in our midst my brethren! So let’s be wise and do like the prophet advised nuh; let’s call on His name, declare His deeds, exalt His holy name and above all, accept His free offer of grace, whereby we can receive salvation and eternal life! That is wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…in Jesus…we have EVERYTHING…we can ever need…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2016 Psalm 46:1

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble.

Well friends, it’s Saturday and I’m just biding my time to go up Calder Hall and get some of the revitalizing and refreshing and energizing soup of Brother Kirby. Oh mih people, I can see those three big iron (Dutch) pots sitting on the fire under the tent, just filled with delicious tasting soup. 

One containing pigeon peas, or as my Jamaican family calls it, gungo peas; then the other is bubbling with dasheen bush, and the last with a thick cow foot mixture, just guaranteed to set your palate right. Oh I know some of you will skin up your face at that last one, but truthfully, I believe that the cow foot is the most nourishing of the three kinds of soup. 

So I’m dreaming, so big deal! That’s why the Lord gave us imaginations, and through the eyes of faith I’m seeing myself slurping back some of that nourishing and tasty Tobago soup, not too far in the distant future. Mama Yo! Tobago soup!

Yeh friends, the ole fella misses Tobago; the sunshine, the saltwater, the friends, the family, early morning devotions on the patio as the sun rises and the birds chorus their songs of LOVE, the church going and Bible Study, watching the ferries go back and forth from Scarborough to Port of Spain, not to mention the peaceful calm of the sea just breaking over the reef and washing up on to the rocky shore.  

And I miss it even more, when up here, they are calling for rain and snow today and tomorrow. But what to do eh? Not much but grin and bear it, because this is where the Lord has me currently planted and that means He has work for me to do here. But one day, one day, provided the Lord is in favour, I know it will surely happen.  

Now here is an interesting quote from our friend Anselm, as always inspiring us to aspire to a better tomorrow. This quote says: ‘Somebody came into my office crying. I said, “Look, don’t cry to give up! Cry to keep going!!” Don’t cry to quit! You already in pain, You already hurt! Get a reward from it!’ 

And you know that does make a whole lot of sense my brethren. As Christians we keep talking about the Lord testing us, teaching us useful lessons, putting us on His potter’s wheel and reshaping us, then putting us in the kiln to bake for a while to toughen us up.  

Now that is all painful, but you know what? We need to always learn from our pain. And coincidentally, it’s just in the last few days I heard two preachers say the same thing. We must not waste our pain. What’s the point of bearing the pain if we don’t learn something from it, or as Anselm says: ‘Get a reward from it.’ 

Yes friends, a lot of us are hurting in some form and fashion, and none of us like to be hurting, but it’s an essential part of human life, especially the Christian faith, where we grow stronger and more Christ-like through painful situations. So since we cannot get around the hurt and pain of this mortal life, we might as well embrace it and use it for some useful purpose. 

Just don’t ask me what and how? (smile) I have some here that I don’t understand the whys nor the wherefores, but when I figure it, out I’ll let you know. 

Ah mih people, life just happens to us all, and we can only benefit by using it in a positive manner, and laughing some at our problems, otherwise we’ll go crazy in no time at all. And as Christians we have it better than anybody else, because as our Bit so truthfully and powerfully declares: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble.’ 

And that is the gospel, the indisputable and irrevocable truth my brethren! Our God is our hiding place and our tower of power! 

Consequently, the sons of Korah continue the psalm thus: ‘Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3)  

Yes my fellow believers, that’s how strong we ought to be, even with earthquakes and tidal waves surrounding us. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible or practical, but it is the pinnacle for which we ought to aim, since the Creator and Controller of the world is our heavenly Father, our refuge and our strength in time of trouble, and furthermore has promised never to leave or forsake us. What better place to put our trust and faith eh? 

Now listen to Bruh David say it in his own inimitable style. ‘My soul, (silently) wait thou only upon God: for expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.  Selah.’ (Ps.62: 5-8)  

Ah friends, there’s not much more that I can add to that. And we all know the painful but faithful life Bruh David lived. Some of his problems were of his own making, but others, like Saul hunting him down like a wild animal, was God’s way of testing him. It took him something like twenty years after he was anointed, to actually become king. 

Likewise, some of our troubles are self inflicted, while others come to try our mettle of faith. And hopefully, like Bruh David, we will have the wherewithal to stand up strong and pass most of the tests, as the Lord desires of us. 

Now let’s close with these awe inspiring words of Moses, as he exhorts the Israelites to obedience. ‘For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh (a God so near) unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?’ (Deut.4:7) 

And the truthful answer to that my brethren is a resounding ‘NO OTHER!’ 

So with all of that godly encouragement and inspiration, please let’s go out today, and every day henceforth, to LOVE and serve our Lord, and do His will with humble pleasure, as Jesus did in His earthly sojourn. It won’t be easy, but with God’s always available help, it’s doable. Much LOVE!

…with the Creator as our refuge and strength…Christians don’t need any other protectors or protection…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 June 2015 Nehemiah 8:10b

Nehemiah 8:10b.    …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Oh Friends, I’ve got such a joy deep down in my soul this Thursday morning in June that I just can’t contain it! Wow! That joy just makes me feel like shouting out to the world what God has done for me! And I surely hope that you’re feeling the same way too, for that’s the beauty and benefit of being a true believer!

Oh my people, I’m talking about His unconditional LOVE, His constantly available grace and never-ending mercy, then the beautiful essence of forgiveness… and don’t even talk about salvation and eternal life! Oh my my! And what shall we say to the biggest blessing of all eh; His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, our Leader, Lord and Saviour!

Mama Mia! What an awesome Deity we serve and worship my brethren! So how can we ever doubt or believe that the great God who created us, doesn’t LOVE and care for us eh? Steups!

What more has He got to do my brethren before we can comfortably and assuredly put our entire trust in him, to completely surrender our souls, minds and bodies to His superior guidance through the work and presence of His Holy Spirit?

I really don’t know what it will realistically take for the numerous unbelievers and backsliders to truly understand what this life is all about nuh, one controlled by the mighty but magnanimous hand of Almighty God.

Ah Friends, we’re such small-minded doubters and disbelievers that it isn’t funny. So much so that even if God did miracles in our lives every day, we’d still have doubts and refuse to believe. But here’s the good news Friends, we, a relatively small band of true believers are here to change the world, we’re going to make a radical difference.

And the best way to do that is by living lives honouring God, giving Him all the glory. And don’t think that we can’t do it because we’re too few, for if we listen to this quote by Margaret Mead (1901-1978) the famous American cultural anthropologist, we’ll see that it’s very possible.

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’

Gospel truth that, my people! Whatever serious changes that’s ever been wrought in our world have always been by a relatively small group of its population, and with the awesome power of Jesus riding shotgun with us… Oh my Friends, all and everything is possible!

And believe you me, that’s exactly what Jesus is calling us to do; to bring some radical changes to this wicked and godless world by spreading the good news of His gospel that’s overflowing with the most important elements of PEACE and LOVE, FORGIVENESS, MERCY, GRACE, SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE!

And all God’s people joyfully shouted out: ‘All praise, honour and glory be to the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of heaven and earth, Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein!’

Now Friends, joy is something that’s always supposed to be in the spirit of the believer. As such, we therefore need to continually remember the words of our Bit: …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’

Yes my people, without God’s joy coursing through our spirits, we are weaklings. That’s why Lucifer is always trying to steal our joy, because then he knows he can get his evil claws into us without too much effort.  

And if you listen to Jesus when He was talking to the disciples about the vine and the branches, you’d hear Him say to them. ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:11) It’s obvious my people that we do need the joy found in Jesus to be able to live this earthly life fully and to be obedient to His will.

Then later on He said to the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) Yes my brethren, the joy of God is ever so important in a believer’s life. Without it, we’re powerless to resist the wiles of the enemy.

All through the Bible there are passages which proclaim the importance of godly joy in our lives. Let’s check out a couple of them. Listen to Elihu as he reasons with Job, re God’s calling on men to repent.

‘He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him (delight in him): and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto (restore to) man his righteousness.’ (Job 33:26) Joy in the Lord is ever so important my brethren.

Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 16, where he’s seeking preservation and blessing. He ends it thus: ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:11) And isn’t that absolute truth? It surely is! For once the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us, there will be joy in our souls.

Meanwhile, Isaiah, in his thanksgiving for God’s mercies, puts it this way. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout (with joy), thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6)

Yes Friends, that’s how a nation, a people behaves when the joy of the Lord is amongst them. And we’ll end with a few words from John, from his first epistle. ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’ (1 John 1:4)

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:4. The major purpose of 1 John is stated in 5:13 (please look it up), but another purpose is stated here: for the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.’

Oh my fellow believers, that is indeed the gospel truth! And we’ll leave us this morning to each ponder our walk with Jesus, to see exactly how it is proceeding, and to strengthen it when and where necessary, with God’s help. Much LOVE!

…one can never fully appreciate the joy of walking with Jesus…until one really and truly walks with Jesus…