Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2019 Revelation 3:20.

Revelation 3:20.   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.
 

Aye friends, greetings and salutations this wintry Tuesday morn from my house to yours! Hope all is well with you and yours, and as far as I know, it is well with mine. (smile) Yuh know they say no news is good news. Anyway, let’s begin with two powerful acclamations to set the tone for our day. And the first is the most powerful: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) Yes my brethren, that certainly accentuates and reminds us of the innate power that lies within us as believers in Jesus Christ! 

And the second is like unto the first (smile): ‘This is the day the Lord has made we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Mama Mia! What a way to begin our day! Acknowledging that Christ’s mighty power is working in us, and that our attitude will be one of joy and gladness ought to raise our level of faith and make the devil cringe and run away and hide from these awesome believers in the King of All Kings! 

And to go with all of that my people, here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that completes the stage setting for the day. It is titled: ‘Make Yourself at Home.’ Please pray with me: ‘With extreme joy, Lord I offer my heart as Your home. I have purposely left it unfurnished Without lavish décor: No plush carpeting No velvet drapes Not even an original oil Or an engraved silver service. Examine it first for cleanliness – Every room Every closet Then furnish it according to Your own magnificent taste. The door is wide open – Don’t even bother to ring the bell.’ 

Ah friends, if only each of our hearts was indeed open to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ like that eh! Our hearts would be so beautifully furnished in Christ’s inimitable (cannot be imitated) manner, with plush, expensive and adorable furniture like mercy, kindness, forgiveness, grace and above all unconditional LOVE! Wow! What beautiful Christians we’d be! The world would be shocked and in awe and run to embrace Him as we did! 

Steups! But unfortunately too many of us supposed believers keep God out of our living rooms, in secluded corners of our hearts and only trundle Him out on Sunday mornings when we go to church and behave ever so hypocritically. That’s why the heathen doesn’t take us seriously. We’re like Jesus called the Pharisees, ‘white washed tombs;’ clean and pretty outside, but filthy and evil inside. 

 That brings us to our Bit, which is also the Bible Promise for our poem. Hear these seminal, seed-bearing, immortal words of our Lord and Saviour to the church at Laodicea, re their lukewarm, not good enough behaviour. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ 

Oh friends, those words also pertain to us today in this evil and ungodly world in which we currently live! Jesus is knocking, like a door-to-door salesman, on every heart that’s available. But it’s just like in real life, where many of us don’t believe in, and don’t like to be bothered by itinerant salespeople at our doors, and don’t answer them, or are rude when you open and see who it is. 

I can tell you about that because in my early days in Canada I was a door-to-door salesman promoting encyclopedias – just for a few days though, couldn’t handle the cold and the rejection. (smile) And sometimes when the white homeowner opened the door and saw a black body there trying to sell them something, you could see the look of displeasure and disgust that quickly passed across their face before they say a cold and barely mannerly ‘not interested today.’ 

That’s how a lot of us are reacting to Jesus’ knock on the doors of our hearts my fellow believers. Please remember that we’re Jesus’ property, we’ve been bought and paid for with His holy, sinless blood. As Bruh Paul told the Ephesians elders: ‘Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (shepherd) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.’ (Acts 20:28) 

That means we are no longer our own, but Christ’s, and our hearts, minds, bodies and souls ought to be totally open to His knocking at any time, and be amenable to whatever furnishings He chooses to place therein! This brings to mind those endearing words of Cousin Sol in his Song: ‘I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of mybeloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my LOVE, my dove, my undefiled (perfect one): for my head is filled (covered) with dew, and my locks (hair) with the drops of the night.’ (Song 5:2) 

Yes friends, that’s our Lord and Saviour, our LOVE, who comes and knocks at the doors of our hearts. So please, when He knocks today – and He knocks EVERYDAY – don’t foolishly turn Him away, but gladly and joyfully open up your heart wide and let Him enter there in and sup with you. It will be the best and wisest thing you’ve ever done! 

And having said all of that, let’s go home now declaring (got it right!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting this ungodly and evil world know who and whose we truly are! In unison, loudly and unashamedly and with a strong sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

The next thing is for us to go out and sincerely share that extraordinary friendship and LOVE of Jesus with others who don’t know or truly appreciate Him. That’s our bounden duty as believers! Much LOVE!

…when there’s a knock on your door…open it with a bright, inviting smile…for it might just be Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2019 Psalm 119:133.

Psalm 119:133.   ​Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.
 
Ah friends, can someone explain this contradiction for me please: Why do I go to bed feeling fairly agile and healthy, but wake up a few hours later feeling lousy; tired, aching, grouchy, miserable and pained in both body and soul eh? Isn’t rest and sleep supposed to renew and refresh you, make you feel better and not worse? Between both of us, I’m simply tired of it yes…and I might just give up sleep and rest completely! (smile) 

And I know that some of you, my readers, also have that age old and aging problem, and you’d like nothing better than for us to have a pity party this cloudy Wednesday morning…But sorry, it’s not going to happen! (smile) Instead we’re going to put our trust and faith in the Lord God Almighty, surrender our all to Him, like He wants us to, and joyfully and loudly and sincerely and without doubting, declare these two acclamations: 

‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (P.118:24) And, ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) Glory to our great God my brethren, for it is He who gives us breath and life and health and wealth…in fact He is the ONE who gives us EVERYTHING we have and/or need in this crazy, and rather evil world! So in times of stress and strain, He is the most logical ONE to take our cares and problems to! 

Now here is a good description of our relationship with our God, taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s aptly and simply titled ‘His Part – My Part.’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord You want me to trust You so totally That I am unmoved by any circumstance; Then work in me that steadfast trust. You want me to choose to do right; Then turn me from wanting any plan but Yours. You want me to revere and honour You; Then refresh and revive me. 

You want me to obey You uninterruptedly; Then make Your Word my guide. You want me to depend upon You increasingly; Then reassure me that Your promises are mine. You want Your will to be my will; Then help me to LOVE Your every wish. I expect Your help dear Lord For You’ve NEVER broken a single promise And You’re not going to start with me.’ 

 No friends, He’ll NOT start breaking promises with any of us! But please remember we also have a big part to play in this covenant, this partnership with the Lord God of Hosts. We just can’t sit on our fat fannies and expect Him to make everything good come to pass in our lives. We have to offer our trust, our faith and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then seek His Will from His Word and obediently follow it. 

The big difference between our Christian faith and others, is that our God knows we are not perfect, because He didn’t make us so, but He still LOVES us unconditionally and will help us whenever and wherever we come to Him for help, in whatever sad and sorry state we’re in! Praise His holy name, my people! But we need to make the first move! There must be some effort on our part, otherwise it will just be a one-sided relationship, and that’s definitely not what He wants with us. 

And don’t forget, ALL that He’s doing is for OUR BENEFIT, not for His. He doesn’t really need us, but we DESPERATELY NEED HIM! We often mistakenly believe that He needs us, or take Him for granted, or think we can do without Him. But friends, here’s a li’l secret, or as my young daughter would say when she was just learning to talk, a li’l ‘secrat’: NONE of those things are true! And if we keep living by them, we’ll just paint ourselves right out of His picture and all the wonderful things He has in store for each and every one of us. 

Now here’s our Bit for the day, the same scripture verse as the promise for the above poem. ‘Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.’ Yes my people, though we need to come close to God, and stay close to Him, it’s only with His help can we do that successfully. 

Thus the psalmist continues after our Bit: ‘Deliver (redeem) me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they (men) keep not thy law.’ (Ps.119:134-136) 

Ah mih breddren, what strong words of prayer! And do we sincerely mean them, if and when we pray them? And do we truly weep and moan when our fellow man breaks God’s laws? We ought to. But only God and each individual know for sure, as he checks the motives of our hearts and doesn’t simply rely on our outward behaviour. End of sermon! Hope it makes a good and fruitful impact! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the heathen and His leader, Satan, know our unassailable position in Christ. In unison and strong, sincere voice: ‘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 you believe it, then you’ll know that that future will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…LOVING God…and LIVING for Him…oh…they’re such a beautiful way of life…that no words can truly express the joy they bring…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2018 Psalm 91:12.

Psalm 91:12.   They shall bear thee up (lift you up) in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone.
 

Ah mih fellow believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, another Monday has dawned on us and many of us are, or were not ready to handle it. But as our Lord and Saviour said so often to His disciples in His earthly sojourn, ‘Fear NOT!’ Yes, we need not fear because He has given us the two most powerful weapons on this earth, that of words and of prayer! 

Remember He spoke this great universe into existence, and since we’re made in His wonderful image, and have been granted total control of the entire universe, our words therefore contain great power. So let’s be wise and invoke some of them nuh, beginning with enabling declarations, powerful acclamations, encompassing His most faithful promises to us.

 So please declare with me: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) ‘God will supply ALL my needs through His riches in glory, through Christ our Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil.4:19) ‘If God be for us, who can be against us eh?’ (Rom.8:31) Not a single soul mih people! Not a single evil soul has power over us unless we allow them to! That alone should boost our spirits! 

And this last one that just confirms everything else: ‘And the God of all grace, who has called me to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Oh Glory to God my faithful brethren! The same omnipotent power that has allowed some ‘sufferation’ in our lives, is the same tower of grace, mercy and forgiveness who will eventually bring us out of it all and reward us with the glory of heaven, through His magnificent Son, Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of ALL things! Wowee, Wowee! (smile) 

Now let’s invoke that other eternal gift, the power of prayer, by declaring our Monday Morning Battle Hymn 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!’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, our wonderful God will NEVER turn down such a heartfelt prayer request! And we know that’s true because we can now feel the adrenaline flowing through our bodies, as His Holy Spirit works His healing and enabling power in us! Give God the praise! 

And friends, the most logical place to continue is with these enlightening and most encouraging words of the psalmist from Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and a fortress. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up (lift you up) in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone.’ (Ps.91:9-12) 

And if you think our Bit isn’t important, just check out Matthew 4:6. Those are the very words Satan used to Jesus when he tried tempting Him to throw Himself off the temple roof. And don’t think that the prince of darkness doesn’t know the Good Book nuh; he knows it better than any of us! He knows how, why and when it was written because he plays a very pivotal role in it. And that’s why he has all those li’l tricks up his sleeve, why he can use the Word so deceptively to lead us astray. 

So our best defense is to also know the word, so that when he comes to us with his lies, innuendoes and deceptions, we can wave him off like Jesus did, and contemptuously declare: ‘It is written, Man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that procedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt.4:4) And friends, that wasn’t an original Jesus saying nuh, it was based on Moses’ words to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3. 

And the other two times Jesus rebuked Satan, His words were also based on the Old Testament (Deut. 6:16 and Deut.6:13, 10:20, Josh.24:14). So please don’t think that Jesus just came spouting new stuff. Remember He was a devout Jew and His purpose for coming to earth was to fulfill the words of the prophets written in the Old Testament.  As He said, the Old Testament was written about Him, He saw Himself all over it. (smile) 

So friends, as we run our earthly race, let’s remember how Jesus ran His nuh, and strive to be like Him. It’s the only way that makes sense. He didn’t have it easy either, but He placed ALL His hope and faith in His heavenly Father. And if the Son of God could do that, we mere mortals, born of dust, would be foolish to do otherwise. Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2018 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   The thief cometh  not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 

Well it’s Saturday, that great sleep in day! And believe me, I tried to do so but I just couldn’t, got too many things to do today! Hn! How many I’ll do though is left to the Lord. I’ve got to go to an Ironman’s Breakfast at church for 9.30, which means I have to finish this before then. 

The Ironmen is a church group of manly men who get together every so often to do good deeds and feed our faces. The great thing about it is that I doubt anyone who comes regularly is under the age of sixty. Hn! Hn! And some are even over seventy! So I guess the ‘iron’ moniker is appropriate because of the length of time we’ve lived. (smile) 

Anyhow, we old Ironmen always have a good time whenever we get together. But since it’s Saturday, I guess we should look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here is the first one: ‘Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.’ 

Now that’s not totally true. You need to want to do it, but you can’t do it in your own strength, otherwise many of us would be living much better lives. That’s because only God, through His Son, our Lord and Saviour can really make any effective and long-lasting changes in our lives. Remember that! To change, we need to enlist God’s help!  

And the next three quotes basically allude to the same thing; enjoyment of life. ‘Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.’ That’s a perfectly good exercise to perform friends. It helps you to start liking and LOVING yourself, because the second big commandment says: ‘LOVE your neighbour as yourself,’ and if you don’t like or LOVE yourself, then you’ll never do the same for your neighbour. 

Now please note this is not an exercise in narcissism; you don’t have to go overboard with it and get so swollen up with pride that you’re even worse than before, LOVING yourself too much! (smile) 

Then there’s this one: ‘Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.’ Gospel truth that my people! Laughter and an easygoing life are the best remedies for the stress and strain that’s so much a part of this too busy life. They say that laughter is the cheapest medicine you can buy, because it’s free. No lie! 

But to all of that I’d like to add, also peruse the word of God on a regular basis, and you won’t have to go to any shrink or mind doctor and pay a whole set of money for advice and medication that you can get for free in God’s free Health clinic! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness and mercy to the undeserving children of men!’ Yes friends, the Good Book, and Dr. Jesus are mostly what you need in this life to combat a lot of your illnesses. He might send you to the human doctor for the diagnosis and medication, but Dr. Jesus is where we should always begin. 

And this last quote tells us: ‘Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.’ 

Ah mih people, too many of us waste our short time here on earth waiting for stuff to happen before we can get happy and enjoy our lives. But that’s a fool’s wisdom! We have to stop allowing circumstances to make us happy. In fact just forget the word ‘happy’ and think more in terms of being joyful, which means that you’re peaceful and contented under whatever circumstances come against you. 

But then we need to have Jesus in our lives to do that. In particular we need to admit and take hold of this passage of scripture. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 

Oh friends what an important passage of scripture! Jesus came that we might have life; both physically and spiritually, and that we might enjoy them despite the negative tendencies of the enemy, and we need to embrace that with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls if we intend to live a victorious life down here on earth. 

He didn’t only die to pay for our sins, but also that we might enjoy our earthly life, begin enjoying some of the lesser pleasures down here, so that we can truly appreciate the great ones that await us in heaven! But friends, we have to walk and live with the Lord to enjoy that kind of comfort! 

Now here are a couple of scriptures that I think might help us in the matter of enjoying our everyday lives. First listen to Moses in Psalm 90: ‘For all our days are passed away in thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told (a sigh). The days of our years (lives) are threescore years and ten (70); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (their boast only) labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away… So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom). (Ps.90:9-10,12)

Yeh friends, our lives are very short when taken into the totality of time. That’s why we have to be wise and live it in a joyful manner. And finally this gem from Bruh Paul to the Philippians in appreciation for their gift: 

‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil.4:11-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we can attest to those things will be truly able to enjoy our earthly lives! Much LOVE!

…but godliness…with contentment…is great gain… (1 Tim.6:6)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2018 Psalm 145:3.

Psalm 145:3.   Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).

Sorry friends that the Bit’s this late, but the ole fella’s been shaking it rough. How so you ask?  Well to start off, It seems like I’ve regressed some with my healing progress, because my nostrils are all blocked up again and I’m back to breathing through my mouth. 

And believe me, that is not a very comfortable or inviting proposition, especially during the night when sleep is calling. That means I’m constantly up trying to unstick my dry and parched mouth so I can get some liquid in there to moisten it. Something preferably sweet, tasty and cold to cover up the chalky, Milk of Magnesia taste that currently envelops my mouth. Plain water moistens it, but it doesn’t mitigate the awful taste. Chuh blast! 

Well having gone through that most undesirable task last night, I had to get up early to go and get some blood tests done for a couple of doctors. And one test in particular specified around 8.am. Now the lab is about five minutes from me, but it’s always busy, and if you don’t get there early, you’re in for a long wait. 

And today was a good example of that. I got there at 7:10, and was already the thirteenth person waiting in line outside the building, which doesn’t open until 7.30. Now the lab opens at 7.45, so there was another set of waiting, or rather standing in line inside the building. And these days the ole fella doesn’t do standing very well, having already sat down on the curb while waiting outside. (smile)  

So see me there, leaning against the wall, taking an occasional sip from my bottle of water to moisten my mouth, moving from foot to foot, from one side of the aisle to the other, reciting affirmations, like ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – The Lord will not give me more than I can bear.’ And  faithfully, He did not. But I did not get out of there until ten to nine. 

But our God is so wonderful and unpredictable and great, as Bruh David declares so proudly and truthfully in our Bit: ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.’  And if you don’t believe Bruh David or me, when we say that, (smile)  here comes the best part of the story to prove it. 

As I came out of the building into the bright sunshine, who could I see standing at the side but Lucky – I’ve forgotten his right name – a strong, thirty something black man with mental problems who wanders around the neighbourhood. Whenever I see him, he usually asks for money, and I usually give him. 

I hadn’t seen him for some time and when I saw him this morning, my first thought was ‘On no!’ I was in no mood for one of Lucky’s hard luck stories. (smile) But as I said, our God is great and wonderfully unpredictable. So as I tottered through the parking lot to my car, Lucky came up and said ‘You look sick. You need prayer.’ 

And much to my surprise, right in the middle of the parking lot, he raised both arms and his face to heaven and the rising sun and prayed the Lord’s Prayer over me in his harsh cigarette and weed encrusted voice. Obviously I was speechless, and could only tell him thanks as we went our separate ways, me with a smile on my face and a renewed joy in my heart at our unpredictable God. And he didn’t ask me for any money. 

Oh! But the lab did ask for ninety dollars for one of the tests! Steups! After such an eventful period of time, I simply had to rest when I got home. And that’s why I’m here now finally writing at high noon. And though most of you who have to work are already at work, it’s never too late to prayer our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because it causes our minds to concentrate on God, and the adrenaline to flow whenever we pray it. 

So altogether now: ‘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 some of the loudest voices were those from the U.S. who are today celebrating Memorial Day, a public holiday, in honour of their veterans. Sadly though, in the South East they are bundling up to receive Alberto, the first tropical storm of the season, who is trundling along at a mere ten miles per hour less than hurricane force. Let’s hope that it doesn’t get worse and doesn’t do too much damage, as well as keep them in our prayers. 

Ah friends, as you can see from my experience, though our God might not change our circumstances or ease up our situations, He does provide sustenance in the storms of life, and productive, though sometimes very unpredictable ways to help us handle them. That’s why He is God! Never forget that! Much LOVE!

…and men shall speak of thy terrible (awesome) acts…and I will declare thy greatness… (Ps.145:6)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

And then it was Saturday, that long awaited day of sleeping in! ‘Yeah!’ come the joyful shouts. But others claim a big ‘Nay!’ Why?  Because they are the ones who have a lot of household chores and other stuff to do around the house that they don’t have time to do during the week. No couch surfing for them today. 

But that’s the way of life in our progressive and forward-looking society! (smile) If you want to live in what’s a supposedly first world society, then you just have to do those things that are required in it to prosper and be successful. Oh, I hope you realize that the ole fella is being a li’l sarcastic and facetious. (smile) 

Anyhow, it’s Saturday, so let’s look at some of the quotes our wonderful friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.’ 

Now that’s some thing we all strive for, but can’t always achieve, because in this fallen, mish-mash world, often are the times we have to do stuff that doesn’t make us happy. We hope that on average though, that we will have to do more happy stuff than unhappy ones. Although I recently heard that something like seventy percent of people don’t like or are unhappy in their jobs. Now that doesn’t seem to have much happiness potential. 

That brings us to the second quote: ‘The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.’ Likewise, it’s usually best to do what makes one happy, but we can’t always have it our way, sometimes it just has to be the highway. (smile)  

Then there is this: ‘Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.’ And generally speaking that’s no lie, for positive people just have this aura, like a ray of sunshine around them, that draws others to them, like bees to honey. 

However, it’s not always the good and positive kind who gather round, notice the amount of hangers ons around most celebrities today. That’s because some negative people will be smart enough to jump on the bandwagon of the positive, knowing that good things will eventually come from a positive source. Now it’s certainly better to be positive, but one has to be on the look out for the smart negative ones. 

And then we have this quote: ‘What consumes your mind controls your life.’ Another fact of life friends. Yes, the battle all takes place in our minds, and thus the things we constantly think about are what control us. So if we want to be positive, then we need to think about positive things, and if we want to be happy, then we have to think happy thoughts. 

That brings us to our last quote: ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ And that’s gospel truth! We can’t depend on others or things to make us happy, because it’s an internal feeling, controlled by us. So regardless of the circumstances, if we want to be happy, we can make ourselves so. 

Notice how a lot of people have all the toys, wealth and excellent circumstances that the world has to offer, but they are still not happy. Meanwhile, many other folks have next to nothing but they are satisfied within themselves. That’s the secret of being happy friends; being satisfied, being comfortable with yourself in any circumstance. 

Hence the words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians in our Bit: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Wow! What a statement! The exact opposite of what the world teaches. 

Ah mih people, if we could only learn that principle and apply it to our lives…oh how much better our lives would be. We wouldn’t always be happy, but we’d be contented, satisfied, not whining and complaining about petty things like so many of us, Christians included, do nowadays. 

Listen to Bruh Paul as he explains. ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And how has he come by that remarkable ability? Because, as he proudly declares in the next verse: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that verse and spout it often, but it obviously does not ring true in our hearts, otherwise we would not be still tripping all over ourselves to get hold of the world’s wealth and other insignificant things it has to offer. 

If we truly follow Christ, who has promised to meet all our needs, we won’t be so consumed with the things of the world. And an important part of all that, is like the scholars say: ‘The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Yeh friends, contentment will not come overnight, but like life, it’s a process we have to go through, but if we sincerely stick with Jesus, He will eventually show us the way. Remember, He IS the WAY! Much LOVE!

…to be contented in this evil, greedy world…one must know Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2018 Psalm 40:3.

Psalm 40:3.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s time once again for the weekly refuelling of our spirits at God’s fuelling station, His sanctuary! Praise the Lord! We all can use that refuelling as the world and the enemy have certainly put us through our paces this past week and thus our spirits are low on fuel. That’s why we are coming in droves to church; to hear His word, sing praises to His holy name, fellowship with each other, and consequently refill our spiritual tanks, so that we can face the world with confidence and courage this upcoming week. 

And as we’re wont to do, let’s open with a hymn of praise, an old favourite, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ It was written by one Johnson Oatman (1856-1922), born near Medford, New Jersey. And it’s said that he wrote over three thousand hymns, which means that ‘no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Glory be mih people! Three thousand hymns are a lot of hymns yes! Wonder where he found time to write them all, especially when he was apparently a local preacher, a businessman with his father and an Insurance Agent? The important thing though is that he penned this one that we know and LOVE so much. Let’s belt it our now with sacrificial praise from our lips, and while doing that, see how many blessings we can also count. (smile) 

As one harmonic choir now: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by. (Refrain) When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy] Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain) 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {* And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.)’

Oh faithful followers of Christ, if we truly sit down and count the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us because of Jesus, will we ever be surprised! Why? Because they are so plentiful. Some of them we don’t even notice, they’ve been around for so long, that we now take them for granted. But please remember that everything in this world belongs to God, and it’s only through His wonderful generosity, mercy and grace that we can enjoy the good things that we do enjoy. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.’ Yes friends, it is an appropriate scripture for this morning. Having counted our blessings and finding so many, it’s only natural that a new song of praise to our heavenly Father will rise up in our hearts and souls! 

And Bruh David follows up our Bit with this other momentous verse: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Ps.40:4) What an awesome statement of indisputable truth! That’s the best way to receive blessings from Almighty God, both down here on earth and put aside some in heaven for eternal life. 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph.1:3) Ah mih people, the Lord has blessings stored up for us in heaven, all done through the work of Christ. That’s why Bruh Paul also advised us: ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) 

And the scholars add this explanation. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, we know it’s not always easy to look up in the tough times and give thanks, but please remember what Jesus has done for us, and that it’s only through and because of him, the Father is showering so many wonderful blessings on us. And with His help, we can do ALL things. As Bruh Paul so succinctly put it: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

And we’ll close with these words from the sons of Korah in Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12) That says it all friends! Much LOVE!

…he who has an ear…let him hear what the scripture says…

 

 

 

 

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