Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2020 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    ​I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
 

And yes, I know some of you are patting your chests, feeling self-satisfied and proud as a peacock, because you have now darkened the church doors on your usual two occasions for the year; at Easter and Christmas. And I still don’t understand why you go at all because twice a year is certainly insufficient if you consider yourself a true believer in Jesus Christ! Church ought not to be a sometime thing. The Lord planned it to be a regular occurrence, and if you think twice a year is sufficient, then you are totally fooling yourself and seriously suffering from the sin of pride, which the Lord abhors more than most others. 

Church was made for fellowship, so believers could gather together and enjoy each other’s company, encourage each other, sing and praise the Lord and hear His enlightened Word, thus refreshing and renewing our tired minds, bodies and spirits from a stressful week of work, so that we can begin the cycle all over again on Monday. Anyway, mine is not to judge, just to point out the inadequacies. (smile) So let’s get the show on the road with today’s song of praise. And since we’ve all resolved to have a closer walk with Jesus this new year of 2020, I figured the most appropriate song would be the old faithful: ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ 

But before we get into it, here is something from the website Hymnary.org, which gives us food for thought as we sing. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” … For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a, 10b ESV).’ 

So as we sing, as we raise our voices to high heaven in perfect harmony and true sincerity, let’s contemplate the sentiments we utter in that light nuh. All together now: ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] 

(And Anne Murray inserts this chorus here: ‘Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. There’s a race to be run, there’s a victory to be won, every hour, give me power to go through.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain] (Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. Take my hand Lord Jesus, take my hand. There’s a race to be run, there’s a victory to be won, every hour, give me power to go through.) Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be. Just a closer walk with thee, Dear Lord let be…let it be…’ 

Ah mih people, the only way to walk this earth successfully is to be continually in close proximity to Jesus; the One who bore all our sins on Calvary’s cross, then rose triumphantly from the dead and ascended into heaven where He sits at the Father’s right hand advocating on our behalf. Glory Hallelujah! And if you don’t believe me, then hear it from Jesus Himself: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

Now if that isn’t telling it in plain and straightforward language, I don’t know what is nuh! Yes friends, if we don’t stay tightly attached to Jesus then we’ll be lost like sheep without a shepherd, headed straight for naïve and innocent slaughter by falling for the enemy’s lies and deceit. That’s the gospel truth! Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can provide us with the strength and the wherewithal we need to make it through these dark, dismal and turbulent times! 

And Bruh Paul puts it thus to the Corinthians in the last chapter of his second letter, when he speaks of his coming to them and warns of prevalent sin in their church: ‘For though he (Jesus) was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (unless you don’t stand the test, are counterfeit Christians)?’ (2 Cor.13:4-5) 

Ah mih people, in this new year, these trying times of history, it’s ever so necessary for each and every one of us to examine ourselves and make sure we’re not fakes, counterfeit believers! If we’re true believers, then Christ ought to be in us. And if Christ is in us, then we have the awesome responsibility to act and behave in a manner that is worthy of Him. That means bearing the fruit of the Spirit: LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance (self-control). 

Today, let’s take a few moments and examine ourselves to see if we are bearers of such fruit nuh. And whether we are or not, let’s sincerely ask the Lord to help us bear such fruit so that we can exalt and glorify His most worthy name through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…not that we are sufficient of our selves…to think any thing as of ourselves…but our sufficiency…is of God… (2 Cor.3:5)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2019 Hebrews 4:12.

Hebrews 4:12.    For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (able to judge) of the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.
 
Ah mih people, just six more days to that magical, mysterious, miraculous day we call Christmas Day! Wow! Can you imagine the stir it made in ole Bethlehem that Christmas Eve night when the angels came a-singing and a glorifying and exalting our new born Saviour? Anyhow, today we’re not dealing with the birth of Christ so much as the source from which we get that news: ‘The BOOK OF ALL BOOKS!’ 

Mama Mia! What a marvellous book is our Bible! And so it should be since it’s the Lord’s Word. No other tome has such drama, and in such abundance! The stuff written today pales in dramatic content, promises and story-telling. So let’s get to today’s poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I am overshadowed As I read Your living Word. What power, what pungency I find within its pages. It stirs me, burns within me It challenges me, invigorates me And often disturbs me. When I obey its commands The results are what You claim: Darkness becomes light Crooked places become straight The more I seek, the more I find. Within its pages, God I see beyond mere philosophy I see beyond a neat package of ethics. I crash head-on with a living Person The One who makes all things new. No other book can claim as much.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow believers! No other book is as powerful, mind-bending and moving as the Word of God! I like how the author of the poem talks about its power, its pungency! And ALL of us who have read it, have found it to be at times, burning like a fire within us, like it was with Jeremiah when he lamented against God. ‘Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak anymore in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (holding back), and I could not stay (endure it).’ (Jer. 20:9) 

Yeh friends, that’s just how the Lord’s Word acts on us, especially when we get discouraged. We don’t want to deal with it, but it’s so powerful that it forces us to do so! And which one of us hasn’t found the Word to be ofttimes challenging, invigorating, and downright disturbing eh? NONE! And it will ALWAYS be so, because that’s the purpose of the Word; to challenge, invigorate and disturb us to come to and stay obedient to the Lord! And the great thing is that when we obey the Word, we find the results are exactly what it claims; light overshadows darkness, joy comes in the morning, crooked places are made straight, and we do find more when we seek more. 

But unfortunately, and rather sadly, too many of us read the Word, know that it’s true, but still don’t follow it. Thus our lives are never as successful and prosperous as they can be. Please, please, I implore us to remember the momentous words the Lord spoke to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) 

Oh my people, my people, that is perhaps the most important, provocative, wise and revealing verse in all of the Good Book! It gives us the blueprint for successful and prosperous living in just a few words, and from the Lord Himself! What could be more enlightening eh? Absolutely NOTHING! But yet so many of us supposed believers refuse to take it seriously, or as seriously as we ought to. But friends and neighbours, please listen very closely to these words as found in the Good Book that rather frighteningly describe the true power of God’s Word.

‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (able to judge) of the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart. Neither is any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account to).’ (Heb. 4:12-13) Oh friends, please allow all of that to sink in deep into our souls nuh! The Lord’s Word is indeed living and sharp and very discerning, thus we have to pay serious attention to how we live it. 

Hear the scholars: ‘4:12-13. For the word of God: The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word is quick (living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive; it is powerful (active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even his thoughts and intents. Likewise, God’s eye sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuses or pretense.’ 

Bubba! If that doesn’t shake us up to the reality of God’s ever searching, discerning and plumbing of all our thoughts and intentions, I don’t know what will nuh. All I can say now is let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously granted us. In loud and sincere voice now, because they don’t come into play until we speak them out. 

‘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!’ 

And the thing to remember now is that those awesome blessings were granted to us so generously so that we can turn around and share them generously with others. So let’s do that nuh, especially at this Christmas season, the season of giving! Much LOVE!

…God’s Word…created the world…keeps it alive…and will in His time…destroy it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2019 Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14.    ​Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
 

Well hello there my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! Oh… you’re shining bright and beautiful like the morning sun outside my window! Now that’s the way our Lord and Saviour likes to see His people blooming and blossoming in this evil world! Yes, I know you’re thinking that B.S, does indeed baffle brains, but why couldn’t what I’ve just said all be true eh? That’s exactly how followers of Christ ought to be! And a lot of us are…just not enough! 

But we won’t belabour the point, I’ll just share this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, which shows exactly how believers are when Christ is in the house. And it’s titled, quite appropriately, ‘You Cannot Be Hid.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. When You are the Great First in a home There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is a commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own Word says it so vividly: “It was known that He was in the house.” 

Oh Mama Mia people! That says it all so wonderfully! When Jesus is truly in the yard, it must show! If it doesn’t, then He’s not there! And this Christmas season when we celebrate Christ’s birth, let’s make sure that others can clearly see Him in our homes and lives nuh, because that’s the biggest advertising and selling point we could ever have: the light of Jesus shining in our lives. And Jesus Himself said it in the promise for our poem: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ 

Wow! What a gospel truth, from the very mouth of our Lord and Saviour! That means, as true believers our lives ought to be exemplary, not wishy-washy and full of compromises. Oh don’t worry, Jesus knows that we’re not perfect, and never will be, but what He desires is the sincere effort on our part. As He further enables and reassures us by these reassuring words. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) What more assurance can we ask for or need eh friends? 

Please let’s not be like the Pharisees disputing His authority because He witnessed to Himself. Who else could He witness to or by eh, when he was God, the Creator, the Highest of all beings? As the Lord said so emphatically in Isaiah concerning salvation. ‘Look (turn) unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue swear (take an oath). (Is. 45:22-23) Yes my fellow believers, the Lord could not be more emphatic than that re His sovereignty and overall position in the cosmos! 

So since we are His disciples, His ambassadors in this ungodly and wicked world, our lives ought also to be bright and shining like His was. For, as He continues in Matthew after our Bit: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:15) More gospel truth that friends! We don’t light lights then hide the light, so why are we trying to hide the light of Jesus that dwells in us and wants to be set free in the darkness of this world eh? 

No, we have to do like He says: ‘Let your light shine so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Now that’s our very raison d’etre, our very purpose for being alive my brethren; to glorify God! That’s why He created us; so that we could worship and glorify Him, praise His holy Name and live just for Him alone! 

But getting back to the heart of the matter, this Christmas season when we’re celebrating Christ’s birthday with lots of lights, please, please, let not the lights be only on the trees and ornaments and buildings, but even more importantly, sincerely shining from our hearts, radiating in our faces and blossoming forth in our LOVING actions! As I said earlier on, the sincere light that shines in our lives is the best testimony we can ever give for Christ! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings which our ever magnanimous God has showered down on us so we can do His work, be bright, shining lights in a dark world. Altogether in full voice: ‘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!’ 

And it pays to remember that those blessings are for us to generously share, like the Lord generously shared them with us, not to selfishly hoard for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…as lights for Christ…we can choose no better time to shine…and shine brightly too…than at Christmas…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2019 Psalm 37:31.

Psalm 37:31.    ​The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide (slip).
 

It’s a rainy Wednesday morning… And to make matters even worse, I just got up, and the first thing I heard was that my chariot needs a whole lot of maintenance work, which means a whole lot of money! Chuh! But I guess that’s to be expected since I’ve had the chariot for over a year now and haven’t spent any money on it. And as the repair man in the old Maytag ad would say: ‘Pay me now, or pay me later.’ Hn, hn! Guess I’m paying him later. So I’ll just have to grin and bear it. 

And let me apologize for not including our Tuesday Mantra in yesterday’s Bit. Don’t suppose many of you noticed that eh? (smile) I had it at the bottom of my rough copy, just forgot to include it in the finished product. Oh, let me go and get our Wednesday Wail, before I forget that too. (smile) Good! I have it now and made sure it’s not too far down the page, so I won’t forget to include it. Age certainly has a way of playing games with the mind yes! And having said all of that, what shall we talk about today? 

Well the Good Book opened today at Psalm 37, and as I perused it, I saw this interesting verse: ‘The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide (slip).’ Yes friends, if the God of Jacob is our God, then that’s gospel truth. For as Bruh David continues: ‘The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.’ (Ps. 37:32-33) We just have to believe that, live by faith and not by sight. 

Consequently, we need to ‘Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.’ (Ps. 37:34) That’s the Lord’s faithful promise! Remember how Bruh David opened the psalm? ‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, 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).’ (Ps. 37:1-3) 

Now we’re supposed to already know all of that, but we need to be reminded of it every so often, so we can actually live by it. (smile) So let’s get back to our Bit. What is this law of God eh? Hear the scholars: ‘37:31. The law of God is the extension of God’s nature and expression of God’s will in His creation. God’s law is expressed in different forms, relating to different areas of His creation. 

The physical law of God includes the laws of nature which govern the continuous physical existence of this world (Gen. 8:22; Col.1:17). The moral law, also called “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25), governs the immaterial issues of life (2 Tim. 3:17). The social law of God affects interpersonal relationships and can be summarized by “the royal law” (James 2:8). The spiritual law deals with a man’s relationship with God. It is summarized in “the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38). 

Illustration: The purpose of the law is to reveal the sovereignty of God (Ex. 20:2), to place a restraint on the sinner (68:7-8), to show the greatness and reality of sin (Rom. 3:19-20), and to lead the sinner to Christ (Gal. 3:24). The purpose of the law did not change with the gospel. When the Judaizers in Galatia sought to teach their erroneous views of the law, they failed to realize that the law has never been able to save anyone. Application: As Christians, we should be concerned to live decently and orderly. (First. Ref. Gen.2:17; Primary Ref. Rom. 7:7-14; cf. Ex. 3:13.)’ 

Yes my people, the law of God is a valid instrument in our lives, teaching us how God desires us to live, but we need to remember that it cannot save us. Saving grace only comes from believing in Christ Jesus; acknowledging that His sacrificial death on the cross paid for our sins, and receiving Him into our hearts as our Lord and Saviour! 

And since we have a li’l time and space, I’ll spoon feed us with a few of those scriptures. (smile) Re the physical existence: ‘While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.’ (Ex. 8:22) ‘And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.’ (Col. 1:17) Christ holds together and preserves ALL the things He’s made in creation. 

Re the moral law: ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed (what he does).’ (James 1:25) The scholars tell us: ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law. (cf. Matt. 5:17-20; Rom. 10:4). It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom. 8:2-3; Gal. 5:1-8). And James also describes it as the royal law (James 2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal. 6:2).’ 

And what is the royal law? ‘If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.’ (James 2:8) And we all know the spiritual law is that we LOVE God first and foremost, with all our being! So let’s go home now, declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our position in Christ Jesus. 

All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And it will indeed be glorious, if we stand strong and steadfast! Much LOVE!

…if God created the universe and all therein…then it stands to reason…that He is the undisputed BOSS of it all…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2019 Psalm 55:22.

Psalm 55:22.    ​Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).
 

Come Sunday morning, we’re going to the house of the Lord, to have sweet fellowship with other believers. And there we will encourage each other, as we sing and dance and praise His holy name, while giving thanks for His faithful mercies and compassions that are new each and every day. And by the hearing of His life-giving Word, our minds will be renewed, our faith will grow stronger, and we shall be uplifted in soul, body and spirit! Glory be my people! There’s no one place beside the Lord’s sanctuary that we can go and leave so strong and refreshed. That’s because the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh. 8:10) And in His house, His joy resonates like nowhere else. (smile) 

And this morning, to get us going, we’re going to sing a rather poignant and soul-searching hymn written by John Willard Peterson (1921-2006). It’s titled ‘No One Understands Like Jesus.’ And if you’re a true believer, you know that’s the gospel truth! But before we get into the song, here is a li’l background on its composition. Apparently, in his early days of ministry, Mr. Peterson held a fairly high post  at a well-known gospel ministry. One day a supervisory position became available, and he was led to believe that it would be given to him. But as so often happens, someone from outside was eventually brought in to fill it. 

Obviously he was broken-hearted and struggled to keep a good attitude. To make matters even worse, he happened to spend an evening with that new man, and though he seemed to be a decent sort, for some reason that night he made some caustic, unfeeling remarks that obviously hurt Mr. Peterson. And as he sat at home, later that evening, contemplating all the recent hurting and negative experiences, a terrible feeling of being alone and forsaken overcame him. 

But then suddenly, in his own words: “I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation – in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as He did. Before long, the idea for the song came and I began to write.” 

Only with Jesus, yes friends, only with Jesus, can that kind of experience be experienced! Now let’s sing what he wrote, in a sincere, soulful and heartfelt manner. Altogether now, let’s raise our earthly voices to heaven and acknowledge Jesus’ Kingship and Lordship over the earth and all therein! 

‘No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare; Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him!) No one understands like Jesus; Ev’ry woe He sees and feels; Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. (Chorus) 

No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail; You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail! (Chorus) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way; Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon you today. (Chorus: No one understands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim; No one is so near, so dear as Jesus– Cast your ev’ry care on Him! Cast your every care on Him, Cause no one understands like Jesus.’ 

Oh my people, what words of indisputable truth! No one cares like Jesus! When the hard, dark times come, as they do for all of us, the best source of comfort, care and healing is certainly the arms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For He is the Great Healer, the Great Comforter, the Great Carer…in fact He is the Great I AM, the Great EVERYTHING! Glory to God! Just like the Lord’s sanctuary is a one stop-shop, likewise Jesus is a one stop healing and caring and comforting station. In your deepest sorrow, He is the best one to run to, for He will NEVER turn you away, but will instead welcome you with wide opened arms. 

And there are no better words to describe His compassion and care than His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Ah people, if you don’t take advantage of that glorious invitation, then, as the old people would say, yuh not righted, yuh mental! Yeh! Is only crazy people who wouldn’t accept such a wonderful, life-giving, life-saving invitation! 

And yuh know what, long before Jesus ever came to earth, Bruh David’s been saying the same thing. Listen to him in Psalm 55; his plaintive cry against deceitful friends. ‘The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken). But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody (bloodthirsty) and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.’ (Ps. 55:21-23) And friends, we all know how Bruh David overcame his many enemies through that sincere trust in Almighty God. 

And after Jesus, Peter, with his own problems of denying Jesus, received healing, comfort and forgiveness, thus he could later on declare: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) And if you can’t believe the words of Bruh David, Peter and Jesus, then all that’s left for me to say is… Much LOVE!

…like mothers care greatly for their children…so does our heavenly Father care greatly for His children…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2019 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 the called to his purpose.
 

All I can say this cold, wet and dark October morn is ‘Thank the Lord!’ The Canadian people have not completely fallen for the vague, insincere rhetoric of the Conservative Party in yesterday’s election. Yes, they did give the returning Liberal Party a minority government, but I sincerely believe, better the devil you know than the one you don’t, especially with the dictatorial, slash and burn Conservative government we already have here in the Province of Ontario! 

Can you imagine the bosom buddies Scheer and Ford in power at the same time? The Lord forbid! Anyhow, let’s be thankful for small mercies! And we’ll leave the political question right there, because I know there will be many varying opinions. I just wanted to give my two cents worth. (smile) 

Let’s turn instead to a much more important matter; God’s timing… And yes, it did play a part in the election because He still controls all that happens in His universe, but right now we’re talking about His timing in our personal lives. So we’ll begin with a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. 

He wisely advises: ‘Don’t try to rush God. Mountains don’t move overnight. Give God time to work His miracles. I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new LOVE, and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on the sand scratched by children’s sticks. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my believing brethren! I can attest to it from personal experience…no, personal experiences! (smile) Ah friends, so often I’ve tried to make things happen in my own strength and failed, then just leave them up to God and see them come through miraculously. So I’ve finally come to accept the fact that if it’s not happening when and how I want it to happen, to just leave it alone and let God do what he does best…run His business! 

Now it’s not an easy attitude to come by, but it surely is a smart one. And furthermore, what I always had problems with was God’s actual timing of His appearance; it was more last minute than first. But truthfully, so far I’ve NEVER seen Him arrive late! Glory to God! And I guess that is simply another method to test our faith and trust in Him. 

So if right now you’re in the heat of a situation that is driving you crazy, please do as Gramps Schuller says: ‘Be patient; God is working everything out. At the right time and in the right way everything will evolve beautifully.’ Yes sir, it will! As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.’  

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘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 the 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.” 

And I’ll spoon-feed us (smile) with the reference to Job. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ Job 13:15) Now that is a scripture verse that we all know and claim, but the problem is can we live up to that standard of unquenchable faith when the chips are down? When it seems like God has turned against us, can we still trust Him like Job did? 

Oh, I know it’s not easy when your world seems to be falling down all around you, to actually rest and wait in and on God. But with His help it is possible my people. And that’s when our faith is really tested and we see how strong it really is. Now here is some excellent advice from Isaiah, it’s something we also know, but have a hard time putting into action. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-30) 

Oh my people, what greater promise can we ask eh? But we also have a part to play in its coming true – be patient, wait on the Lord and His timing. That’s eternal wisdom! Now let’s go home declaring (yeah) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong, sincere voice:  ‘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 natural consequence is for us to now go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s timing is perfect…to those who wait patiently…in faith…and expectantly on it…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2019 Psalm 145:18.

Psalm 145:18.    ​The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

 

Aw, come on nuh friends, no lagging and foot dragging this morning nuh! Is Monday, and we should be full of vim and vigour, eager to get out into the world and fight the Lord’s battles! What’s this yuh tired and not up top scratch nonsense eh? That means you didn’t go to church yesterday and worship and praise God with other believers, else you’d be up bright and early just dying to get out and fight for Jesus. 

But regardless of your situation, we’re not here to condemn you, but to help you. So please don’t feel too badly, just join us in sending up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we ask the Lord to strengthen and inspire us to go out and do His work. Altogether now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. 

It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And here’s what I like about that particular prayer…before you even finish saying it, you start feeling good; enthused, encouraged, confident and well able to go out and fight a good fight in Christ’s name! Glory be my people! So let’s go out now and do just that nuh. And as we do, let’s remember Bruh David’s fateful and famous words from Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious. ‘The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s why we can sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in humble sincerity and know that He will hear and also answer us! As Bruh David continues: ‘He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy.’ (Ps.145:19-20) 

Gospel truth that friends! And we know that Bruh David is talking from personal experience there, not merely hearsay. And many of us have also had the wonderful experience of experiencing God’s mercy and LOVING- kindness, so we too know first hand that those words are absolutely true! So there is no need to fret or worry about whatever comes against us. 

As the psalmist so rightly and wisely says in support of those words: ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:5) And that elicits a li’l smile and chuckle from me, as I was somewhat late in getting up and was worried that I wouldn’t finish the Bit in time for me to do some other things that need my attention this morning. 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! He never leaves us in the lurch, nor fails to reassure and encourage us! Wow! So how can we not LOVE Him with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds eh? We’d be real foolish not to! For listen to the psalmist again: ‘Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (innumerable, without count). The Lord lifteth up the meek (humble): he casteth the wicked down to the ground.’ (Ps.147:5-6) 

And please note people, it’s not the same psalmist who is saying all those wonderful things about our God, but different ones, so there must be some truth in their assertions. And if that’s so, then we ought to respond thus: ‘Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. 

He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy (LOVING-kindness). Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.’ (Ps.147:7-12) 

Yes my people, the Lord is indeed worthy to be praised! There’s absolutely no doubt about it! So on this chilly autumn morn, as we go out to do His bidding, let’s praise Him nuh! Let’s glorify Him, let’s extol His wonderful attributes and exalt His mighty name, for there’s nothing our God likes better than hearing His praises being sung! Much LOVE!

…praise Him…praise Him…all you His saints in glory…praise Him with loud voice…

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