Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2018 Psalm 16:8.

Psalm 16:8.   I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

And another one bites the dust! Yeh people, another of my associates from university days in Mona, Jamaica, has apparently gone home to the Father. Dr. Emmanuel Griffith M.D. passed away yesterday in a nursing home in South Trinidad. He’s been sick, partially paralyzed for a number of years, initially felled by a stroke, and another stroke carried him home. 

One thing’s for sure; Emmanuel Griffith, better known as ‘Griff,’ a Trini South Boy, LOVED life. Tall, dark and full-bodied, with his thick black frame glasses, he was loud and talkative, but friendly, and was always ready for a party or a lime. He was good people. Once he became your friend, he’d do anything for you. Some of you who read the Bit knew Griff, possibly even participated in some of his hijinks, because he also liked his pranks. 

But that’s why it is important to make good memories in your young days. And Griff mih brother, we certainly made some good ones back in those youthful times. I can look back now and chuckle at the many nights you had me walking the dark, back roads of Kingston, after the busses had stopped running, trying to get back to the Mona campus, because I had naively allowed you to talk me into accompanying you to see a lady friend. 

But in hindsight now, it seems that even back then, the Lord’s hand was actively involved in my life, because it’s on one of those night excursions that I initially got involved with the lady who would eventually become my wife. Brother! I can’t believe I’m talking about 50 years, a half century ago. 

I know we lost touch once I left the Mona campus and returned to T&T, and by the time you came back to T&T, I had migrated to Canada. But over the years through a mutual friend, I’d occasionally hear revelations of your still crazy life. But who am I to judge you eh brother? I haven’t been the greatest either. 

And now your body will be returned to the dust from whence it came, free of all the pain and earthly sorrow, but thankfully your spirit will be free to roam the halls of heaven. I know that you will enjoy that! Happy roaming my friend! My condolences go out to your family and friends, left behind to mourn and celebrate your life. 

Yeh people, it’s a fact that as you get older you find your friends slowly dwindling. Over the last few years I can count at least six of my friends going home to be with the Lord. And just this past week an older friend and I were discussing the situation, because he had just come from the funeral of one of his already few friends. 

But that’s life! We’re only here for a short time, and hopefully we’ll all meet up again in the wild blue yonder when Jesus comes back for us. But until then, we just have to grin and bear what ever befalls us on this evil earth. 

And the wisest way to do that is by leaning on Jesus, as Bruh David says so eloquently in our Bit, while seeking preservation and blessing. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.’ And that my friends is not only the absolute truth, but also indisputable wisdom! Glory to God! 

Whenever we sincerely look to, partner with Almighty God, we place ourselves in the very best position to have an abundant and joyful life, despite the adversity and calamity that will inevitably crop up on occasion. Nobody faced more adversity than Bruh David, but when he placed his sincere trust in God, after our Bit, he was able to say with great conviction: 

‘Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer (allow) thine Holy One (Jesus Christ) to see corruption. 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.16:9-11) 

What absolute confidence and trust in Almighty God, Bruh David shows there my fellow believers! That’s the kind of trust and surrender and confidence each and every Christian ought to have. And I think I’ll just order the reading of Palm 16, as today’s homework, (smile) so you can understand the scholar’s explanations thereof. 

‘Psalm 16. The attitude of the righteous man is described in life (vs.1-8) and death (vs.9-11). In life, his attitude is one of trust (v.1), gratefulness for God’s goodness (v.2), delight in God’s people, (v.3), separation from idolatrous worship (v.4; cf. Ex.23:13; Deut. 12:3), satisfaction in God’s gracious provisions (vs.5-6), praise for the Lord’s counsel (v.7), and steadfastness in spiritual devotion (v.8). 

In facing death, the righteous man rejoices and is hopeful (v.9). He is confident that God will preserve him from the decay of death and that death will not result in his corruption (v.10). Rather, he will travel down the path of life, that is, the path leading to life, which will terminate in God’s joyful presence (v.11). David’s confidence in his ultimate destiny is valid for him (and for all believers) only because Christ has travelled down that path and paved the way for all who believe in him (Acts 2:25-28).’ 

Oh friends, it could not be said any better. So if we’re wise, we’ll try and live that lifestyle, as it’s the optimum one available here on earth. And by the way, Acts 2:25-28 is only Peter’s paraphrasing of vs.9-11 in his big sermon on Pentecost day. Now let’s go home declaring our stellar position with Christ Jesus. 

In all sincerity and truth 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 if we truly believe, then we know that there is indeed a glorious future ahead with Jesus Christ for all those who believe in and obey Him! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…  

P.S. Yeh, it’s long and late, but nonetheless very worthwhile! (smile) 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2016 Psalm 42:5b

Psalm 42:5b.       HOPE THOU IN GOD!

 HAPPY  NEW  YEAR!

Oh mih precious people, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, it’s New Year’s Day 2016! Glory Hallelujah! 

It means that through the blessed kindness and mercies of our great God, we are now one year older, wiser and closer to Him in the physical sense. (smile) Let’s hope that we are also closer to Him in the spiritual sense. 

The year 2015 is now dead and gone. Good riddance! And we have a brand new year to look forward to, where we can do all that we didn’t do last year and correct all our mistakes too. Oh glory to a most wonderful God who gives us multiple chances at correcting our mistakes. 

And would you believe that for the first time in several years the ole fella went out New Year’s Eve and party, out in the east end of Scarberia (Scarborough)? I didn’t drive, so I was happy to go. 

And was the party ever good mih breddren! Mama Yo! The food was good, the company and party spirit most excellent, and the D.J. of ‘Enforcas’ fame was smart enough to play music targeted to our generation. 

And did we ever party down the place! You should have seen the ole fella stepping; stepping like he hasn’t done in many a year, but still with a modicum of circumspection, remembering Granny’s dictum; ‘Sonny Boy, please remember, that drunk or sober, to mind yuh business.’ 

And I did mind my business, and the knees, except for the occasional pain held up remarkably well. They even feel fine this morning…Glory to God! 

But it’s Friday friends, so let’s not forget our Friday Chant, which I believe we particularly need to act as an anchor for our souls in this party season. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh people, we need to remember moderation in all that we do this long New Year’s weekend, plus Granny’s advice above, if we don’t want the ole crook Beelzebub to seep and/or creep into our souls and gain an undesirable foothold. It’s definitely too early in the year for that. 

And believe me friends, we really need to clean up our act in our world this year, otherwise I’m not sure if we’ll be around to see 2017. All the unnecessary strife and wars and resentment, the hate and anger, the greed and selfishness, the economic downturn, the poverty and homelessness that are currently permeating our world are NO GOOD! 

The really sad and worrisome part is that we are creating new arenas of strife everyday, but without ending any of the already ongoing ones. And we haven’t even considered the many unusual natural disasters that are occurring regularly. Put all that negativity together, and there is only one way for that to play out my people – disastrously! 

That’s why I’m calling 2016, the YEAR OF HOPE, for without it, our world will just continue its downward spiral until it simply implodes. And we definitely don’t want that. That’s why I also chose the one sentence of Psalm 42:5 as our Bit: ‘HOPE THOU IN GOD!’ 

Ah my fellow believers in Christ, that’s the ONLY place we can find true HOPE, and the ONLY person who can help us turn things around! And remember too, that we Christians are the ONLY ones on planet earth who truly desire to live in peace, LOVE and unity, so it’s all in our hands. As we go, so will the world. 

We need to stand up strong and steadfast and fight the negativity that’s strangling our world. We need to uplift, to motivate, to encourage others to join the one movement that can save us; the LOVE Revolution of Jesus Christ! It’s now or never my brethren! 

So, having said all of that, I just want to fill our minds today with scriptures of HOPE. And there’s no better place to begin than with God’s faithful promise from Jeremiah that we all know, but our actions say we don’t truly feel in our hearts and souls. 

‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a HOPE.’ (Jer.29:11) Well let’s truly feel it this year nuh friends. 

And we have this other faithful promise from Zechariah. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of HOPE: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech.9:12) 

Yes my precious people, I want us ALL to become prisoners of HOPE in this year of 2016 and wisely turn to the stronghold that’s the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Now hear these encouraging words of Bruh David from Psalm 16. ’I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in HOPE.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Now here is another famous scripture that we all know, this time from the pen of our zealous brother, Bruh Paul, as he talks about life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by HOPE: but HOPE that is seen is not HOPE: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet HOPE for? But if we HOPE for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Meanwhile, in his call to Christian dedication, Peter tells us. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and HOPE to the end for grace (rest your HOPE fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet.1:13) 

And I think the scholars’ explanation here will be very useful. ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s HOPE involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober  (Gr. nephontes): be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Yes friends, we desperately need to get that resolve, discipline and stick-to-itiveness if we are going to raise the level of the LOVE Revolution! 

Now here is something from Jeremiah’s Lamentations. ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I HOPE in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both HOPE and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) 

And we’ll end with these most encouraging words from Bruh David from Psalm 31- In thee O Lord, do I put my trust. ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that HOPE in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:24) Gospel truth that my people! 

So let’s go out this New Year’s Day, and forever more, HOPING in our great God, for that is wisdom at its very zenith. Much LOVE!

…remember…you can’t have faith without HOPE…and while there is life…there is ALWAYS HOPE in Almighty God….  

P.S. It’s obvious the ole fella went to bed late, so the Bit is somewhat tardy. (smile) HOPE you enjoy it, as much as I enjoyed writing it. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2015 Psalm 42:5

Psalm 42:5.  Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

And then it was Sunday… the day Christians pray for, so that they can gather in the Lord’s sanctuary and praise and worship Him in all sincerity and truth. Yes Friends, it’s time to get ourselves hither to church. 

The Lord’s waiting for His children to come together to give Him thanks and praise, hear His Word and rejuvenate their spirits, so that they can have the wherewithal to continue walking in His Son’s name on this disgusting and wicked earth.  

So please don’t make any feeble excuses. And if you’re genuinely not able to go, then turn on your television or radio so that you can at least hear the Word. 

What did Bruh Paul write to the church at Rome? ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ (Rom.10:17)  Yes my people, faith comes by hearing the word of God; its oral communication. When we hear God’s Word then our faith is raised up, it is strengthened. And we all need to raise our faith this Sunday morning, that’s a fact! 

And we’ll get right into our Bit, because we have a lot of scriptures to share today. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, I know some of you are tired of the same Bit for the last few days, you want to hear something new every day. (smile) But that HOPE it talks about is such an important part of our walk with Jesus that we need to have it written indelibly in our souls, so that we can call upon it at a moment’s notice. 

It needs to come as a natural reaction, not something we have to stop and think about. And the only way that can happen is by constant repetition. So please bear with me, for it’s all for our own good. 

And the first bit of scripture comes from Psalm 16, where Bruh David is seeking preservation and blessing. With his usual self-effacing but confident style, he declares: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9)  

Oh what encouraging words of scripture my brethren! When we put our trust in God, we feel safe and strong, and our hearts become glad, which leads us to have oodles of hope, which eventually turns into strong faith! 

And all of God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!’ 

Now listen to these verses from Psalm 119, from the section SAMECH – I hate vain thoughts. ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (will observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps.119:116-117) 

More of the same sentiments Friends! When we put out hope and trust in God, He upholds us. And yuh better believe one thing our God will not do is let us be ashamed of our hope in Him. Definitely not! He takes too much pride in His faithfulness to allow that to happen. 

Meanwhile Peter tells us in his call to Christian dedication: ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet.1:13) 

And the scholars offer these explanations of that verse. ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Ah Friends, we all need hope, all the time! And I had this passage from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to share from yesterday, never did though. I guess it was meant for today. (smile) And our God works in such mysterious ways that on the days that I chose to focus on hope, so did Gramps Schuller. 

The day’s devotion was titled You Need Hope. And it ended thus: ‘You need hope…when you’re dying. And you need hope in all your living. There will be no LOVE without it. Hope is what will keep your faith alive. That’s why hope is in the middle of the holy trinity of emotions, “Faith, Hope and LOVE.’  

Now that’s indisputable truth my people! We need hope from birth until death! 

And we’ll close the same way the psalmist closed Psalm 42, from which our Bit is taken. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health (help, lit. salvation) of my countenance, and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

Yes Friends, he words it a little differently, but it still means the same thing; in Almighty God is our hope and our help; now and forever! Please never forget that. Much LOVE!

…now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for…the evidence (conviction) of things not seen…  (Heb.11:1)