Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 
Yes, we’re somewhat tardy this morning, but through no fault of mine. Let me make that abundantly clear! (smile) I went to bed early…well yes and no…but I was up early, had to go and do some blood work though, that’s why we’re running a tad behind. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a prayer, one of my favourites, something I’ve shared before, doubt you’ll remember it though. (smile) But it’s one done by the Life-Study Fellowship Group in Noroton, Connecticut, some years back. It’s titled, ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the prayer has as it’s Bible promise: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.” (Ps.107:8) And do we ever need to do that my fellow believers in these sad and trying  times. So please pray with me. 

‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2020 I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, what a marvellous prayer! I think it covers all the bases: gratefulness for guidance and comfort in times of trouble; encouragement and support when necessary. As the old Bill Wither’s song says, ‘Lean on me when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on!’ Now that’s exactly what our God does! And we can surely do that with all confidence because He is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! And because of His LOVE…oh my people, my people, because of God’s unending, unconditional and unsurpassed LOVE, we find the strength to keep going even in the most difficult of times! Glory Hallelujah! 

As the Good Book says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Mamma Yo! With a God like that, who else do we need eh? Not a single soul! For our God is more than enough to meet our needs. Again, as He promised: ‘God will meet all of my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus!’ (Phil.4:19) Wow! But yuh know the best part of that prayer is the peaceful moments experienced when we’re all alone with our Maker in prayer. 

Oh friends, there’s something we experience when we’re communing with Almighty God, our heavenly Father, that cannot be truly defined or put into words. I guess the best we can do is call it peace, or the all encompassing Jewish word ‘Shalom!’ And when you’re talking to him, and know for a fact that He’s listening to you closely, and sincerely cares for you…why wouldn’t He eh, when He made you? A feeling of utmost quiet and stillness and calm, even when it’s rough, comes over you. 

Remember too, the Lord is also the Best Confidante we can ever have. He doesn’t tell our ‘secrats’ to anyone, and we can bring EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, be it big, small or intermediate! That’s the kind of caring and considerate God we serve and worship my people! I know some of us wrongly think that we can’t bother God with small, supposedly unimportant stuff, but He’s truly interested in it all! Just as we like our children to bring even their most personal problems to us, so does our heavenly Father want us to bring ALL our problems to Him. 

Remember, He’s not only our God, our Creator, our Judge and Saviour, but also our Father…and Friend, and He does desire to perform fatherly and friendly duties for and with us! Give Him much thanks and praise my breddren, for He so worthily deserves it! As the psalmist so rightly declares: (steups!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’  And do we ever need to thank the Lord for all the blessings He bestows on us, especially the most important one; our Lord and  Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Oh we can never give Him enough thanks and praise for that nuh, because there isn’t enough in all the world to ever make up for Jesus! Bless His holy name! That’s why I’m encouraging us to really get with the programme this year of 2020 my fellow believers, for it’s a watershed year, a year that will make or break us, a year that will set the tone for all the other ones to come! That’s why Christians have to seriously and truly come together in these perilous times, because everything depends on us; the fate of our children and our world rests solely in our hands; placed there by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ when He gave us the Great Commission: 

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And yuh see how kind and caring our Jesus is? Although He’s given us a big and important job to do, He’s also given us the tools to do it, through his Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and by whom He also keeps His promise to be always with us. 

So friends, on this first Tuesday of our new year, let’s sincerely declare (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, just who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts! ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ Now, as we’ve just promised, let’s go out and tell them about our Lord and Saviour, His undying LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the Lord…He satisfieth the longing soul…and filleth the hungry soul with goodness… (Ps.107:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2015 Hebrews 13:2

Hebrews 13:2.  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Oh Friends, it’s such a magnificent blessing to have the brilliant light of the Son always shining in our souls, because when you get up at eight o’clock in the morning, look outside and only see grey skies and dank weather in the offing, it does tend to lower one’s spirits, for the sun is a natural energizer. And when we don’t see it for a period of time, it can bring some depressing moments. 

But glory to God, we have the eternal, the everlasting LIGHT of Jesus to show us the way, both spiritually and emotionally! 

That’s why those people who don’t have Christ as their Lord and Saviour are often more depressed and miserable than those who look to Him for guidance and comfort! That’s why this quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster is so apropos for today. 

Listen to it, not only with your ears, but also with your heart and souls. ‘Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.’ 

Now my people, that is both truth and wisdom of enormous proportions! We never know what’s happening with others, and sometimes a kind smile might be just what they need to lift them up over the bar of their current circumstances. 

I’m sure many of us have felt the warmth and the li’l thrill that flashes through our souls when someone we don’t even know offers us a warm, kind smile, for no other purpose than to be friendly and sociable. 

And a warm, kind smile is certainly a necessity in the northern climes where in the autumn and winter months the weather is often grey and cloudy and lousy. So let’s use the light of Jesus and perk up today nuh my brethren and go out smiling like a Cheshire cat. (smile) 

It’s okay if they think we’re crazy, because the LOVE and LIGHT of Jesus is overflowing in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’  

Yes Friends, the Lord has a soft spot for strangers, as well as widows and orphans as we see all through scripture. Listen as Moses exhorts the Israelites on the subject. 

‘For the Lord your God is a God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty and terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward (the great God, mighty and awesome who shows no partiality, nor takes a bribe). 

He doth execute the judgement of the fatherless and widow, and LOVETH the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. LOVE ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.’ (Deut.10:17-19) 

Yes my fellow believers, just a little reminder that many of us were strangers at one time in the lands in which we now live, therefore we need to show some compassion and mercy on those who have come after us. 

But let’s go back to our Bit now and some important explanations on it from the scholars. ’13:2. One incentive the author uses to encourage LOVE and hospitality is that some have entertained angels unawares. For example, Abraham (Gen.18:1-3) and Lot (Gen.19:1-2) were unaware that their guests were angels at the time they received them. 

Care must be taken so as not to read too much into this statement. The verse says that “some have entertained” (aorist tense). The use of the present tense, meaning that some do entertain angels, would provide grounds for expecting this still to happen. But such is not the teaching. 

We should nonetheless show hospitality to the needy, for it will benefit us as well as them when it is done as to the Lord (cf. Matt.25:35-40).’ 

And here in living colour is that reference. Jesus had just finished teaching the parable of the ten talents, and begun talking about when He came back in His glory and splendour to rule the earth and separated the sheep from the goats. 

‘Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand (the sheep), Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered (hungry), and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:34-40) 

Oh my people, that’s how important it is to help the poor and needy in Christ’s teaching! And I can personally testify to the benefits of being taken in as a stranger, for in my second semester on the Mona campus of the University of the Wet Indies in Jamaica, a long time back, I was a stranger in a foreign land, with no friends or family around, and I fell on some hard times. 

But fortunately, the Lord God Almighty in all His LOVING-kindness, opened the hearts of Amy and Aubrey Brown to take me into their home and look after me until I was able to stand on my two feet again. The tears well up in my eyes now, as I remember that fitful time. 

The Lord bless and keep you all Aunt Ames and Uncle Aubrey as you sing with His angels up there in heaven, for I refuse to even think of what might have become of me, if you all had not taken in this stranger from Tobago when you did! I doubt I would be here writing this Bit today. 

So friends, I implore us, as we go about our business today, let’s not forget to smile and offer any kindness we can to someone in need, because they might not be angels, but they are certainly the BELOVED of Christ! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing that a smile and a little kindness can’t fix or alleviate… 

P.S. Ah friends, unfortunately late nights and early mornings don’t mix. (smile) Much LOVE!