Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2018 Romans 10:15.

Romans 10:15.   And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat dark and dreary looking Holy Thursday morning, and I’m making my apologies right up front. (smile) I’m a tad tardy today because I went to bed somewhat later than normal last night, or rather this morning. 

But not to worry, everything’s in fine shape. The sun might not be shining but the SON definitely is, and no more brighter than on this penultimate day before we celebrate His selfless sacrifice on our behalf some two thousand years ago. 

Give Him plenty thanks and praise my fellow believers, for when I think about what He so stalwartly endured for us, it severely pains my heart, although I know that if He hadn’t done it, our lives would not be as wonderful as they are today. 

And this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional shows exactly what I’m talking about. ‘Because of Christ’s cross, we can become friends of God.’ Yeh friends, it’s as simple as that. If Christ had not gone to the cross, we would not be able to have the wonderful and awesome relationship we now have with Almighty God! 

Mama Mia! How blessed we are but don’t truly recognize or appreciate it! Too many of us just seem to take everything for granted, but that’s not how it ought to be. A serious and most expensive price was paid for our freedom from the bondages of sin, and now we are expected to be grateful and give back something in return. 

And we’re talking about things like belief in Jesus, trust, and surrender to His Holy will, living and working diligently for Him. And as another Daily Bread quote tells us: ‘There is no better news than the gospel – spread it.’ Yes my fellow believers, spreading the good news of Christ’s gospel is paramount in our living for and serving Him, because that’s how others will know and understand what He died for and come to also believe in Him. 

For as Bruh Paul so plainly wrote in his missive to the church at Rome: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Rom.10:13) But then he puts forth the dilemma inherent in accomplishing that task. ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ (Rom.10:14) 

Now those are all important questions re the furthering of the gospel: how can people believe and hear and thus call on God if no one tells them about Christ eh? That’s impossible. Thus the next verse in Bruh Paul’s message, which is our Bit for today. 

‘And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ And that’s the indisputable truth my friends and faithful believers! There’s nothing as beautiful in this whole wide world as the preaching of the good news of Christ’s gospel! Glory to God! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘10:14-15. In presenting the universal proclamation of the gospel, Paul presents the reasons why a universal proclamation is necessary: first, because the call must be preceded by faith; second, because faith must be preceded by hearing. 

This shows that knowledge is essential to belief. Faith must have a valid content; third, because hearing requires a preacher; fourth, because preaching requires being sent. The One who sends is God. Salvation is completely from God.’ 

And we all know that indelible truth my brethren! Without God and His great unconditional LOVE and concern for us, there’d be NO salvation whatsoever! 

Now here’s a li’l something for those of us who think that the Old Testament is passé, but that’s where Bruh Paul got the basis for his proclamation above. Listen to Isaiah as he reassures his people that the Lord will deliver Zion from captivity. 

‘How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good news of good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth!’ (Is.52:7) 

And several thousands of years later my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is still the absolute truth! Our God reigns supreme in the universe that He created! And He HAS brought salvation to us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! Oh what better news can there be eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Glory to God my brethren! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, that our wonderful God has so magnanimously showered down on us because we believe. With strong conviction now: ‘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 if we sincerely believe that, then let’s go out and share those awesome blessings with others as Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…believers lives and words…ought to be all about sharing the good news of Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2018 Matthew 10:33.

Matthew 10:33    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

And then it was the first of March… Can you believe it? January and February have passed us by like a whirlwind! It’s now an old year! (smile) Unfortunately though, not much has changed over the past two months, there is still an overwhelming amount of adversity, calamity and tragedy bombarding our world. 

Ungodliness is also taking a serious toll on our earthly fortunes, as lots of people, for whatever reason, unfortunately drift away from the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD. How sad that is friends, knowing that so many of our fellow man stand the very good likelihood of missing out on salvation and eternal life with Christ. And there’s nothing more important that that, in this entire world! 

But as individuals, and as Christ’s body, the church, we can only do so much. However, I do believe that we’re not doing as much as we can. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever proselytize EVERYBODY on the planet, because there are just some stubborn, foolish, adamant people who will just flatly refuse to ever believe in Jesus, but we can surely give it a greater effort than we’re currently doing. 

Too many of us are too lackadaisical about communicating the gospel to others, and some simply refuse to do it for fear of confrontation, rejection or shame. But please remember the momentous words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our Bit: ‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ Ah mih people, it couldn’t get any plainer than that nuh. 

And earlier on He said to the disciples: ‘Fear them not therefore (persecutors): for there is nothing covered (veiled), that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what hear ye in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:26-28) 

Yes friends, there is no need to fear what man can do to us, because he can only kill the body, but we need to fear God, who can kill both body and soul. Thus, once we embark upon the pilgrim’s journey with Christ, we cannot afford to let fear of man put us off, but we have to keep on fighting the good fight to spread the gospel to ALL the world, because that’s our bounden duty. 

And as good soldiers in Christ’s army, we need to do our duty sincerely and proudly and with lots of courage. Please note what Jesus said right before our Bit. ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32) 

And the scholars enlighten us as to the meaning of our Bit and that verse. ‘10:32-37. Confess me means “Acknowledge that you belong to Me.” In reality, secret discipleship is a practical impossibility. Jesus constantly called for an open confession of Himself by His followers. That our confession is to be before men clearly indicates that a public confession of true Christian faith is a virtual necessity. 

The warning whosoever shall deny me is a comprehensive historical aorist tense, (hn!) referring not to one moment of denial (such as Peter’s), but to an entire lifelong resistance to Christ. Therefore, a single act of denial does not make one unworthy of being a disciple, but a refusal to confess Christ at all eliminates one from being a true follower of Jesus Christ.’ 

What more can I say eh mih breddren. The scholars hit the nail on the head. We either acknowledge Jesus in public, or we don’t. We can’t sit on the fence, scared and wishy-washy. That doesn’t work in Jesus’ organization. A lot of us want to reap the benefits of knowing Jesus but don’t want to put in the hard work those benefits require before they can become reality. 

Remember friends, in God’s economy, whatever you sow, that is what you’re going to reap. So don’t think you can deny Jesus and still get to heaven. As true believers in Jesus, we ought to proudly and courageously say and act like Bruh Paul: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentiles).’ (Rom.1:16) 

Yes my people, that’s how we ought to think of the gospel of Christ, because it is indeed powerful, remember, it’s like a two edged sword. That means we have to be very careful with it, not play around with it like some ordinary knife, else we’re liable to get cut very badly with it. (smile) So please, let’s sit and ponder today, how we are treating the gospel of Christ, and if we’re denying or confessing Him, because that’s the key to our eternal salvation. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings in strong voice and heartfelt sincerity. ‘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!’ 

Oh what a magnanimous God we serve my people! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with others, as He intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…you can’t sow rice and expect to reap peas…likewise…you can’t deny Christ…and expect Him to confess you before His Father…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2016 Isaiah 55:6

Isaiah 55:6.    Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.

Yo mih Scrip-Bit breddren! What’s up with us this glorious Wednesday morning on God’s great earth eh? I do hope that we are all excited about the day that’s going to be filled with an awesome downpour of heavenly blessings and mercies from our awesome God! 
 
Isn’t he something else my people? He surely is! Wonderful is His name! Providing such good stuff for us each and every day, walking with us along our way, leading and guiding us safely with comfort and undying LOVE, like the Good Shepherd that He is… 
 
Oh it just makes me want to cry out with joy, and shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ every time I think about His unfailing goodness and mercy towards me! And I know you all feel the same way too, otherwise you wouldn’t be the true and ardent followers of Jesus Christ that you are! 
 
Glory be, mih people! We have such a marvellous God, please, let’s do our very best to worship and honour Him with all our hearts, souls, mind and bodies nuh, for that is what He so rightly deserves. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with great gusto, enthusiasm and sincerity of heart. 
 
As one wailer 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!’ 
 
Oh friends, oh friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I for one am exceedingly glad to be alive and kicking today! I haven’t seen my name in the obits, so it just means that I’ve been granted another glorious opportunity to live and work for Christ! 
 
And I know you’ll agree that there’s nothing better than that in this earthly life my brethren! He’s been so good to us that the least we can do to show our sincere appreciation is to live our lives on His behalf, spread the good news of His gospel, His great LOVE and faithfulness to all and sundry, His heartfelt call to each and everyone to come to Him and receive salvation and eternal life! 
 
Oh what could be better than that eh folks? Nothing really! But just remember that living for Jesus is not an easy row to hoe; it’s fraught with disappointments and problems, but if we stick with Him, keep our hands steadfast on the plough, always looking forward, He WILL enable us to do what is necessary. 
 
Our faith though, our desire to do His will must be real strong in order to overcome the lies and deceit the enemy will throw at us every living day. And that can only happen when we consistently read his Word, communicate with Him through prayer and be obedient to His will. That’s what strengthens our faith and trust. 
 
And for those of us who are struggling with our faith, possibly filled with some doubt and anxiety, here’s some interesting advice from our friend Anselm, who is always aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And Anselm tells us that ‘ Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.’ 
 
And that’s gospel truth friends! We can never move forward unless we let go of something behind us, of whatever is holding us back. Remember Jesus and all the prophets kept reminding us not to fear, for we are in the BEST of hands. 
 
And though we all know that that is easier said than done, it is possible if we confidently call on our great God for His awesome, never denied help. That’s why our Bit so wisely advises us to: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.’ And that is such an awesome piece of wisdom my people! 
 
Now listen to how Isaiah begins that chapter of a free offer of mercy to all. ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 
 
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness (abundance). Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.’ (Is.55:1-3) 
 
Oh friends, where can we ever get a better offer than that eh? NOWHERE! 
 
And we’ll end with this explanation from the scholars. ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 
 
Oh my people, my people, the Lord kept His promise and established a covenant wit us Gentiles through His wonderful Son Jesus Christ! Now it’s our turn to do our part in keeping that covenant. 
Please, let’s allow wisdom to abound in our souls nuh, whereby we diligently and sincerely seek our wonderful God and call upon Him in confidence and trust, for that’s what He desires of us. Much LOVE!
 
…in all circumstances…whom shall we call first…Almighty God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2016 Judges 5:3

Judges 5:3.   Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

One more day in the life friends, one more day in the life! And what a blessed day it always is when you are being led by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, as we Christians are supposed to be! 

Our Divine Creator and Provider always has His eyes on us; on each and every one of those who sincerely worship and revere Him. Not one single hair from our head falls out without His knowledge. That’s how closely He monitors our well-being. 

And the joyful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who sincerely cares for us and faithfully fills all of our needs!’ echoes across the land from the mouths of God’s people. 

Oh friends, how wonderful that sentiment would be if it came from the mouths of many of the current unbelievers. And that’s our job; to show the unbeliever how wonderful it is to work and live for Jesus; not only by our words, but even more importantly by our actions. Remember actions speak louder than words. 

Unfortunately though, the actions of too many supposed Christians don’t jive with their words, or the lifestyle espoused by Jesus in His earthly sojourn, and expected of His disciples down through the ages. 

Where is the unconditional LOVE, the compassion, the caring for those less fortunate, for the homeless and hungry, the widows and orphans, the strangers, the downtrodden, the sick and suffering, the lost that Jesus came to save. As He said: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) 

So my people, why are so many of our brothers and sisters suffering such want and deprivation when there is such abundance eh? It obviously means that we, first as individual believers, and the church, as the earthly body or organization of Christ are not fulfilling our Christian mandate. That doesn’t speak very highly of us my fellow believers. 

Oh my brethren, it’s in these times of full-scale greed, selfishness, corruption, ungodliness, widespread poverty and suffering that Christ’s church and the people involved need to stand up and be counted. Jesus is depending on us to successfully carry out His LOVE Revolution, and we obviously can’t do that from the comfort and ease of our living rooms. 

Friends, we need to get up and get going; place Jesus sincerely in the depths of our hearts and souls, so that we go can out and proselytize, evangelize, and do whatever it takes to bring Christ to those who don’t know Him. 

Remember His last instructions to the disciples. ‘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 alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Friends, those disciples did their thing and brought a whole lot of believers to Jesus. It’s now our turn, but we’re not doing so well because we’re afraid of what the world will say, and also too taken up with the things of the world. Remember friends, following Jesus is not all wine and roses, in fact it entails plenty hard work and a fair amount of suffering, but it is all worth it in the end. 

As Bruh Paul says: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to His purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) Yes my people, there’s nothing to fear, the Lord will work everything out for our good eventually. And remember too that Jesus said He would always be with us, right to the very end, so we’ll never be alone. Jesus will always be alongside us. 

And then we have this wonderful scripture: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken, befallen) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that yea are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

So my people, we have all the tools and the protection to go out and do the work that Jesus has called us to do. Let’s develop some belly and backbone and go and do it nuh; stop being fearful, stop making excuses and stop allowing the lusts of the flesh to hold us back from performing our bounden duty; the Great Commission. And that’s my spiel for the day. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to our Bit about giving our great God the praise and glory He so rightfully deserves. ‘Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.’ Yes my people, that is what we were created to do! 

But sadly in this modern age and supposedly progressive times, we have forgotten about God and are foolishly putting our trust in man and the destructible things of the world. And we’ll continue looking at some scriptures of praise, hoping they will make a serious impact on us. 

Let’s begin with the confession of the priests and Levites after Ezra read the law to the Israelites and they repented and fasted. ‘Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.’ (Neh.9:5b) That’s the awesome truth friends! Now listen to Bruh David from Psalm 9 –Praise for God’s justice. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (tell of) all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.9:1-2) 

Yes my brethren, that how we’re supposed to operate as true believers. And even when times are rough, we can say: ‘Why art thou cast 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 of my countenance (my salvation) and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

And we’ll close with these well-known verses from Hebrews. ‘By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate (share) forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ (Heb.13:15-16) 

Ah friends, I can only encourage us to do better and pray that the Holy Spirit will work in all our hearts, minds, souls and bodies to the bettering of Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Much LOVE!

…when thanks and praise flow from our hearts…God opens the windows of heaven and pours down His wonderful blessings on us…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2016 Judges 5:3‏‏‏

Judges 5:3.   Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

Aye mih people, how it going this cloudy Friday morning eh? 

The somewhat snotty reply was: ‘But what yuh expect eh brother? Is Friday. That means it going beautifully! Yuh don’t hear everybody joyfully declaring, ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ 

The weekend is upon us, and everybody’s just holding their breath, can’t wait for evening to come, so that they could party, celebrate another week of slave work over, with only a mere pittance for pay, under the greedy slave master and them. 

The only difference now is that they don’t have no whips nor dogs to keep you in line, now is economic slavery. That is why everybody so happy when Friday come, and joyfully shouting ‘Thank You Lord for Friday!’ 

Now who am I to dispute those allegations eh? I’m certainly not going to jump up and say ‘I the alligator sir!’ as a politician in Tobago was reputed to have said in the House of Assembly many moons back. (smile) 

I can only say that spending too much time partying and wasting away the supposed pittance you’re paid on wine, women and song is not a very wise move. We’d all be better off with a balanced weekend as our Friday Chant advises. So let’s chant it up with plenty enthusiasm and thankfulness nuh. 

As one 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.’ 

Now that line of thinking provides a much better perspective on the matter my people. And before I forget, let me make some apologies. In yesterday’s Bit I talked about growing up in T&T celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, but apparently I was wrong. A friend wrote and told me that instead we celebrated St. Joseph’s Day on March 19. 

To tell the truth, I really don’t remember what day we celebrated back then. I only remember that we’d be anxiously waiting for that one day in the middle of Lent when you could drink and party and hear calypsos on the radio with a free conscience. (smile) 

And on the other hand, I’ve been celebrating St. Paddy’s Day up here for the last forty something years, so the memory of down south in that respect is somewhat dim. (smile) 

Now yuh see friends, that is the kind of feedback I require, that I need. Please, when I make mistakes, as I’m won’t to do every so often, being an ageing human, let me know nuh. I very much dislike putting stuff in the Bit that isn’t true. Anyway, thanks for that Miss T. (smile) 

Now here’s our Bit. ‘Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel. 

And yes, our Bit is the same one as the last couple days, because thanks and praise are such integral aspects of a Christian’s life, and I don’t believe that we’re doing it as well as we ought to. Our hearts don’t really seem to be in that space where we’re happy to seek God; to sing and praise Him for His LOVING-kindness and His most merciful outlook upon us. 

Oh my fellow believers, that is just such a sorrowful statement on our part. And I do believe it’s true. Just look around us and you’ll see the way we Christians behave, almost as badly as the heathen, as the unbelievers; greedy, resentful, lusting for power and the material things of the world.  

Now that has got to change, if we ever hope to make any significant change(s) in our crazy, discombobulated world. I know several people who refuse to go to church because of the unchristian way those already in the church behave. But I keep telling them to go and add one more hypocrite to the bunch already there. 

Oh friends, we’re all hypocrites to some degree, because we all do things we’re not suppose to, then chastise others for doing the same stuff. So what does that make us eh? Definitely not a true Christian! And besides, it’s more difficult trying to change things from the outside. You stand a much better chance if you’re on the inside too. 

Anyway, that’s just my take on the situation. Let’s get to some appropriate scripture. And there’s none more suitable then this admonishment of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand, 

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7) 

Oh my people, what true and wise and wonderful advice! Actually, it should be a no-brainer for even the elementary Christian because from day one we’re advised to sing and praise and give thanks to God in ALL circumstances, and bring EVERY problem to Him in prayer, be they large or small. 

For whatever reason though, we just are not doing those things sufficiently, that’s why our individual lives and the lives of our churches are not as joyful and Christ-like as they should be. 

So let me plead with us this morning to get back to the basics of our faith. Remember, it’s all about our relationship with Almighty God; seeking Him, praising and glorifying Him. That’s the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…man was made in the spiritual image of God…so that his spirit would be closely attuned to God….

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2016 Judges 5:3‏

Judges 5:3.   Hear,  O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

Oh my people, another beautiful day has dawned on God’s great earth, and along with it our responsibility to walk like the children of God that we are! Glory Hallelujah! 

And our God is so great that He gives us all the tools we need to do His work. Glory to God! 

So let’s not bicker and complain this glorious Wednesday morn. Instead, let’s raise our voices and wail our Wednesday Wail with joyful enthusiasm and grateful appreciation. 

As one 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!’ 

Yes precious people, that’s what we ought to be doing and feeling; be grateful that we’re still alive, for a lot of others names are in the obits today, but not ours. For that we ought to be rather thankful. 

Then we have to be serious about doing God’s work; being diligent and steadfast about it, while believing and looking forward to a wonderful future with Jesus, both down here on earth, and then in heaven for all eternity. 

And all Jesus’ followers declared loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God! Thank You Lord for giving us Jesus as our Messiah, Advocate, Saviour, Brother and Friend! We faithfully promise to do His work, serve, worship and LOVE Him for evermore! Amen.’ 

Now please remember what Cousin Sol says about promises in Ecclesiastes. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better it is that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5) 

Yes friends, that puts us on the spot, for we have just promised to serve and worship Jesus Christ for ever. So please, let’s not break that vow, let’s keep paying it each and every day, so that we don’t end up as fools in God’s sight. 

And today I want to share a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, simply titled ‘It’s Good.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘God, it’s good to be LOVED by You! The breathtaking knowledge Of Your life-giving LOVE Rings chimes in my tremulous heart. It fashions eternal declarations Out of unsettled questions. It creates a majestic life symphony from a solitary note. God, it’s good to be LOVED by You!’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! It’s so wonderful to be LOVED by a God as powerful and merciful and forgiving and understanding as ours! Give Him the thanks and praise He rightfully deserves my people! 

And the biblical promise for that prayer comes from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. Ethan the Ezrahite opens it thus: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’ (Ps.89:1) 

And does that ever fit right in with our Bit, our continuing desire to sing praises to our great God. ‘Hear,  O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, I don’t think that we do that as much as we should. We don’t seem to have time, or make time to do as Bruh Paul directed the Ephesians. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; 

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yes friends, that’s how we ought to conduct our lives as true believing Christians! Unfortunately though, not enough of us are doing it to the extent that we should, and that’s why we are not making as powerful a difference in this evil world as we should. 

And we’ll close today with some valuable info from the scholars on those verses. ‘5:19-21. There are four results of being Spirit filled (v.18): (1) believers speak to one another with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs; that is, they exhort and instruct each other; 

(2) there is singing and the making of melody, of individual song and praise for the Lord; (3) there is giving thanks always – the Spirit enables the Christian to be grateful for all things divinely allowed to enter his life since they will be used for good;  

(4) there is mutual submission, that is, showing deference to the wishes of one another, as long as that to which the believer submits is in the fear of God, which is to say, in accord with what pleases Him.’ 

And there we have it my brethren; the way we ought to conduct ourselves as true believers in Christ. I therefore implore us, starting today, right now, to get on track and give thanks and sing praises to our wonderful God, the way we ought to, for that is indeed wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…I will praise the name of God with a song…and will magnify him with thanksgiving… (Ps.69:30)

 

 

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