Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2020 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.     ​Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY CANADA! 

And do we ever have a lot to be thankful for in this blessed and bountiful land of Canada! Oh I know that some of you are complaining plenty about the problems we’re currently encountering on a rather large scale, and I admit they can be rather daunting, especially since we’ve never encountered anything like them before. But the truth of the matter is that even with those problems confusing and confuffling our lives, we’re still living much better in this country than most of the others around the world…and for that we should be everlastingly grateful! 

The abnormal situation we are undergoing right now is the norm for some countries. And as our Christian faith teaches us, once there is life, there is hope, and this too shall pass in God’s time. So we can’t give up, especially since giving up doesn’t exist in God’s vocabulary. Consequently, it’s time for us to have a new revelation; counting our blessings rather than our losses. And yuh know what? We’ll discover we have much more of the former than the latter, which ought to put us in a better and more thankful frame of mind. (smile) 

And to help us do that, let’s invoke a couple of Bruh Paul’s admonitions to the churches at Ephesus and Philippi re living in godly unity and thankfulness. To the Ephesians, he said: ‘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) 

Yeh friends, as believers in Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s character and virtues, and thus control our thoughts, attitudes and actions. And we do that through encouraging and exhorting each other with psalms and hymns etc., as well as being joyful in our own hearts and giving thanks to God for everything that comes into our lives, since we know that it will eventually be used for our good by God. And last but not least, deferring to the wishes of others, if we know it’s God’s will. 

And to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul advised: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (His return is near, and He will judge us according to our treatment of others). Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests 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, I know those things are hard to accomplish in this evil world, but who ever said that following Christ was easy eh? (smile) But it’s those things that promote unity and LOVE amongst believers, enriching our own lives, as well as showing the unbeliever what is possible if He accepts Christ as His Lord and Saviour. Yeh friends, we must ever be prayerful and thankful, regardless of our circumstances. So even if we’re going through some really rough times now, prayer and thanksgiving are essential if we want to find that peace of God which passes all understanding. 

So what better time to start than right now eh, on this Thanksgiving Day? And we’ll do it through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which I believe captures all our fears, doubts, needs and wants. So as one strong voice, in true penitence, let’s go to God in sincere prayer nuh. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

So let’s turn from our evil ways nuh people; it’s as simple as that, because it’s basically sin that’s muddying our waters. That reminds me of a quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on sin. He says: ‘Sin is like dirt in salt. It corrupts our lives, ruins the flavour of Christianity for all who know us, and makes us useless to God.’ More truthful words were never spoken my brethren! But it’s all up to us. If we want the Lord to heal us and our land, we need to turn from our evil ways. 

Oh, and let it not be said that I was amiss in my duty on this Thanksgiving Day, this day of celebration. (smile) Friends, I plead with us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business, else somebody else going to mind it for you.’ And that’s the gospel truth people, so please let’s be careful with food and drink, don’t overdo it, remember moderation in all things, and don’t get into no crowds, remember physical distancing and masks too. That’s the recipe for a successful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day! Much LOVE!

…for the joy of the Lord is our strength…don’t let the devil steal it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.     ​Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Oh friends there’s nothing better to awaken to than a clean earth that’s been well washed by divine showers of blessings during the night, and then opens as a bright and sunshiny day. Everything smells fresh and clean and there’s an added sparkle to the morning, as when silver is polished to a heightened state. (smile) Well that’s the kind of day with which we’ve been blessed in my area on this lazy, late summer Saturday. And since it’s Saturday, I guess I should turn my attention to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this first one is certainly interesting: ‘Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.’ Now that’s what you call gospel truth, because none of us ever knows if our next breath may be our last. The Grim reaper can come calling so suddenly, that we need to continually remember the vapour that life is. As James puts it: ‘Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.’ (James 4:14) And Job, when he remonstrates with God, solemnly declares (yeah!): ‘O remember that my life is wind…’ (Job 7:7) 

That just goes to show how frail and uncertain our lives can be. Consequently, this next quote can certainly help us in that regard. ‘If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.’ Ah mih people, those two words, ‘thank you,’ are possibly the best two we can ever say to God or man. Now I’m assuming that the author of that quote doesn’t mean the one single prayer you’ve ever said in your entire life, and that you’ve never said another, (smile) but that ‘thank you’ is the prayer you say continually, and nothing else. 

Under those circumstance I believe that God will be extremely pleased, because all He asks of us is to be thankful and grateful for the life and blessings He’s so generously bestowed on us, especially the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. And as Jesus says, we don’t need to prayer long prayers. ‘But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.’ (Matt. 6:7) Now that doesn’t mean that our every prayer should be only a few words, but generally speaking, babbling on like the heathen are accused of doing, doesn’t mean our prayers will be heard or answered any quicker. 

That leads to the following quote, which does a marvellous job of explaining how our lives ought to be ordered. Listen up carefully. ‘It is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.’ Oh friends, oh friends, what wonderful truth is contained in those words, and if we were to ever follow it, our lives would be different like night and day! 

And it’s so sad to realize that the habits of gratefulness and thankfulness are fading fast away from our greedy, selfish, godless and immoral society. For some of us, saying thank you, or showing gratefulness is like pulling teeth without the use of anesthetic! Being grateful for all that we have, or have done, which makes us who we are, has become anathema to our society, and has been replaced by the cult of entitlement. Yes, entitlement now rules the roost my brethren! We are now entitled to everything! 

But let’s remember the immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians nuh: ‘Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) That means, as the scholars explain: ‘5:17. A believer ought to remain in the attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’ ‘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.’ 

And to the Ephesians, re the ways of the believer, Bruh Paul said it thus: ‘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 (reverence) of God.’ (Eph. 5:20-21). Meanwhile to the Colossians, he said: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:17) How much more do we need to hear for it to sink in and take active root in our lives eh my people? 

And this last quote covers, or encapsulates all the others. ‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.’ And is that the living truth! My precious people of God, when we begin counting our blessings, instead of our adversity, then the whole mood, mode and tempo of our lives change for the better. Our vibes then become positive and not negative and we look forward to life each and every day, although we know that it won’t always run as smoothly as we desire. 

But that’s the Spirit of God then working in us to lighten and brighten our days. As the song ‘Count Your Blessings’ so wonderfully puts it: ‘Count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God hath done…’ Why don’t we try doing that today my fellow saints in Christ, rather than dwelling on the negatives in our lives eh? That’s wisdom to the nth degree. And we all know that wisdom is the principal thing. Much LOVE!

…nothing beats a grateful and thankful heart… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2016 Psalm 68:3‏

Psalm 68:3.    But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

Well mih people, I believe it’s what many consider the big day, Friday. But please don’t quote me on that, since I’m not so hot on what day it is. (smile) 

However, if you’re going along and you hear lots of people declaring ’TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and a wonderful weekend is on the horizon. We taking a break from the slave labour, and instead is lot’s of partying and summer fun! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Then you can really believe it’s Friday. (smile) So since I am hearing all the hullabaloo over Friday, then I guess it must be okay for us to chant our Friday Chant and get a better perspective on how to spend the weekend. 

So as one now, let’s chant: ‘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 friends, we need to have a balanced weekend or else we won’t be able to rise to the occasion when Monday comes along. Now here’s a li’l reminder from Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) re Mountain Moving Faith to help us stand steadfast and strong in Jesus’ name. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, when I face a mountain, do not let me quit! Give me the strength to keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, or tunnel underneath. And if my best efforts fail, give me the patience to stay and the perception to see the possibilities of turning my mountain into a gold mine with your help. Amen.’ 

Yes mih breddren, that’s what we believers need today in this age of rampant ungodliness and fleshly lusts; a real mountain moving kind of faith that will keep us strong in the Lord, keep us focused on His will, not ours or the world’s. 

And I believe that if we follow the wonderful advice of our Bit, we will stay close to and strong in the Father. ‘But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.’ 

Ah friends, rejoicing and being glad in our God is one of the many great benefits we enjoy as Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ! We’d be very foolish not to avail ourselves of such an uplifting and encouraging situation. 

Now let’s check out some more of those scriptures that exhort us to be joyful and thankful in the service of our great and wonderful God. And we’ll begin with these inspiring words of Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. 

‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

Oh mih people, mih people, that couldn’t be said any better! Magnifying and glorifying and exalting God’s name is our bounden duty down here on earth! 

So much so that Bruh Paul exhorted 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) 

What a powerful and moving bit of scripture my brethren! 

Now here is some 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; and (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.’ 

Yes friends, it’s our duty and also a great enabler for us to be singing and giving thanks and praises to our God, to be exhorting each other and putting each other’s wishes before ours, for that’s the way of Jesus! 

Now hear some more words of Bruh David on the subject, first 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) 

And then from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness: ‘Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about (surround him). Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:10-11) 

What wonderful advice precious people! 

And we’ll close this set of messages with these enlightening words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:15-18) 

No better words than those to live by my people! So let’s get with the programme nuh and start living a more joyful life, for that’s wisdom at its highest! Much LOVE!

…oh, what joy and peace comes from being a follower of Jesus Christ…

 

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)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 November 2015 Psalm 95:1‏

Psalm 95:1.   O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.

Ah Friends, these late nights and early mornings going to be the death of the ole fella yes! But I’m just naturally a night owl! (smile) I awoke earlier on, looked at the clock and decided it was time to get up, but then thought I’d just roll over and soak for a while. 

Hn! But it seems that I fell asleep again, and it was almost an hour later that I finally finished soaking. Hn, hn! What a life eh! 

Then I discovered that today, Thursday, was another British type weather day; constant drizzle. Yesterday afternoon turned out beautifully though, with bright sunshine. Let’s hope that today will do the same. 

But regardless of how the day turns out, it is still the day that our great and wonderful God has made, filled with plenty new blessings and mercies, so let us rejoice and be glad in it, as we were meant to do. 

Now here is something I’ve been trying to share for about three days now, but was thwarted by the Holy Spirit every time. I guess I wasn’t meant to share it until today. So here it is, something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘LEARN TO KNOW GOD.’  

That’s something we all need to do my people! So please pray with me. ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to know you better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy old door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. 

I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You, Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen.’ 

Yes Friends, our God is definitely good, no doubt about it! So hopefully, if we prayed that prayer sincerely, at whatever level of maturity in Christ that we are currently at, we will soon hear new doors opening and feel Jesus beginning to move at a higher level in our lives. 

For remember, it’s all a lifetime process, and we never finish learning and maturing until we take our final earthly breath. And to help us do that, in terms of the praise and thanksgiving aspect, we’ll continue our series of messages along those lines. 

And our Bit once again wisely invites us: ‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.’ 

Oh Friends, there’s nothing better in this life than giving thanks and praise to our most wonderful and ever-LOVING God! Why? Because that’s one of the main things we were created for! 

But unfortunately we have relegated it to the back parts of our Christian walk. You don’t hear believers singing as often and as joyfully as we once did, because we have been caught up in, entangled by the tentacles of the evil world and all its false and deceptive deeds and teachings. 

But today my brethren, we’re going to attempt to correct that with some joyful scripture. Here is Bruh Paul’s prescription to 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 my people, we should always be in thanksgiving and praising mode, regardless of our circumstances. Remember how Bruh Paul and Silas reacted during their imprisonment in Philippi? The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard.’ (Acts 16:25) 

Yes Friends, even in one the darkest hours of their lives, they were praying and singing hymns, giving glory to God. And you know what happened; an earthquake came and broke down the prison gates, but none of the prisoners fled, which all led to the saving of the jailer and his family, and no doubt some of the other prisoners also. (Acts 16:26-34) 

So you see my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, there is no telling what our God will do when we praise and glorify Him, even in our saddest times. James says it quite right. ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) 

And Asaph, in Psalm 50 – God is the judge – tells us what our God desires of us. ‘Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps.50:14-15) 

Yes Friends, whenever we sincerely and faithfully call upon our God, we give Him a chance to deliver us, and thus glorify His Holy Name. And we’ll end with these beautiful and most assuring words from Psalm 92 – Praises for the Lord’s goodness. 

‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: To show forth (declare) thy LOVING-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery (lute or lyre); upon the harp with a solemn (harmonious or melodic) sound. For thou Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.’ (Ps.92:1-4) 

Oh my people, my people, please, I’m imploring us to ramp up our acts of praise and thanksgiving to our God and Creator, regardless of our circumstances. 

Why? Because when we come to Him in praise and thanksgiving, it gives Him an opportunity to work miracles in our lives and thus raise the level of our faith and trust. It’s wisdom at its best! Much LOVE!

…O sing unto the Lord a new song…sing unto the Lord…all the earth… sing unto the Lord…bless his name…show forth (proclaim the good news of) his salvation…from day to day… (Ps.96:1-2)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 November 2015 1 John 4:18

1 John 4:18.   There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE!

Well my brethren, our little summer fling is over! Chuh! And I was just beginning to enjoy it; going out the street in shirtsleeves, sitting out on my porch in the early morning hours, quietly communing with my heavenly Father and releasing all the day’s anxieties and stress. 

Yes, Friends, this past week where we experienced temps in the mid to high teens all week was certainly a wonderful blessing. Glory to God! But it’s all over now, we’re reverting back to normal temps like ten and lower. Anyway, as long as that cold, white stuff is not flying around, I am happy.

 Once it starts making a mess on the roads, then I get miserable. I don’t even mind if it’s packed up on the banks and shoulders of the road, but not on the road itself which makes driving even more treacherous than it already is, with so many cars and bad drivers out there nowadays. Sometimes it can be really fearful to drive on the dry roads, much less the snow filled ones. 

However, since you all are such wonderful patrons, and I’m in such a generous frame of mind, (smile) I will offer two of our Friend Anselm’s quotes from this past week, which speak rather appropriately to our topic. 

The first one says: ‘If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.’ And that’s very true. The only way to conquer fear is to rise up over it; to do the thing(s) of which you are afraid, with God’s faith and trust in your heart, standing on His promise that He won’t let us go through more than we can handle. 

And the second quote declares that ‘Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.’ And that’s no lie either my people! I am sure all of us have come upon situations at some stage of our lives where we thought we did not have the wherewithal to handle them, but once we decided to step out in faith, we realized that we actually had the parts to deal with the situations. 

Sometimes we need God to pour down some extra courage on us, but at other times we discover that what we already have is quite sufficient. And once we consider the assuring words Bruh Paul spoke to young Timothy, our fears should subside. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.7) 

So technically speaking, we’re not suppose be afraid of anything. But we all know that is easier said than done. And I like how Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: just do it afraid. (smile) But she does have a point, we can’t allow fear to ruin our lives. And the only way to conquer fear is rearing up over it with faith! 

And our Bit today hits the nail right on the head of the subject. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE!’ What a powerful verse of scripture my fellow believers! 

Now here is how the scholars explain that verse. ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. Fear is still part of the Christian walk-in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us (see Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17) 

Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement. (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be flippant and casual.’ 

Of course not! Our attitude towards our heavenly Father should be one of reverence, respect, awe and joy that we have such a wonderful God! 

Now, since I know that very few of us will bother to check the scriptures noted in the scholars explanations, I will quote a few of them for our benefit. Aren’t I nice? (smile) We will begin with Acts 13:26, where Paul and Barnabas are talking to the people of Antioch. 

Bruh Paul says to them: ‘Men and brethren, children (sons) of the stock (family) of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.’ (Acts 13:26) 

And in 2 Corinthians, Bruh Paul opens Chapter 7 thus: ‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ (2 Cor.7:1) 

And to the Ephesians, Bruh Paul writes: ‘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.5:20-21) 

Oh Friends, you see it’s all about the reverential awe of God, about putting Him first in our lives, not being afraid to talk to Him. We have that right to confidently approach Him on the basis of Jesus’ work at the cross. That work reconciled us to Him, and we are once more His beloved children. So there is absolutely nothing to fear if we are children of the Most High God! 

As John states after our Bit: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1John 4:19-21) 

There we have it Friends; a sermon… sorry, (smile) a teaching on fear, LOVE and reverence. Please, let’s carve it into the depths of our souls, so that we can always have it for our timely reference. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…the only antidote for fear…is faith…backed by the unconditional LOVE of Almighty God…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2014 Ephesians 5:21

Ephesians 5:21.    Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
 
And then it was Thursday – the day before Friday – the day before the weekend. Wow Friends, the weekend’s almost here! Give thanks and praise! (smile) Yes my people, we ought to always give thanks and praise, not only for stuff like the weekend, but for ALL things, be they good or bad!
 
As Bruh Paul so wisely advised the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20) Yes mih breddren, thanks and praise are always in our best interest, no matter the situation!
 
And the word for today from my almanac (smile) is ‘REFLECT.’ The quote comes from Peter Drucker (1909-2005) He was the Austrian–born, American writer, professor and management consultant who set the management world afire in my days. He’s often referred to as ‘the Father of modern management.’ In my time, you couldn’t study management without reading Drucker. I must still have a book or two by him somewhere here on my shelf.
 
Anyway, the quote is: ‘From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.’
 
And that’s indisputable truth my brethren! For when we first sit and reflect on what’s happening in our lives and around us, instead of just jumping in willy-nilly to some situation, we do produce much more effective actions.
 
And today, I want us to consider our Bit in the spirit of reflection. ‘Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’
 
Yes my people, let’s ponder its meaning, then consider our individual efforts in doing what it advocates. Are we truly submitting ourselves to each other in reverence to God?
 
Or as the scholars describe it: ‘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.’
 
Oh Friends, as true Christians, that’s how we ought to be living our lives. But unfortunately I don’t think we are doing that to any great extent. Instead we are allowing the dictates, emotions, ungodly actions and motives of the world to permeate our relationships. That’s why there is so much animosity, resentment, and all the other negative things to be found today in the body of Christ; His supposedly august church.
 
And that unity of effort is one thing Bruh Paul harps on, knowing its great importance. To the Philippians, he writes: ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy),
 
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Phil.1:1-4)
 
Yes that’s a mouthful, but here are some explanations from the scholars: ‘2:2-4. Fulfill ye my joy (or, “Make my joy complete”). Paul rejoiced over the Philippians (1:3), but his happiness was incomplete, owing to some disunity and lack of total harmony among them.
 
The Greek equates what, to Paul, constitutes “complete joy” with the readers being like-minded. This means “living in harmony” with one another. That is, the Philippians can “fulfill” the writer’s “joy” by living in harmony among themselves. But what does such harmonious living entail?
 
Beginning in verse 2 and continuing through verse 4, six participles spell out and clearly define what it means to “live in harmony”: (1) having the same LOVE toward one believer as shown toward another, without partiality; (2) being of one accord; that is, they are to be united in spirit; (3) of one mind; that is, the whole church is to have the same values and goals;
 
(4) let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; for selfish ambitions or conceit; (5) let each esteem other better than themselves; that is, each is to regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself; and (6) look…every man also on the things of others; that is, each is to be just as concerned for the needs and problems of his brother as he is for his own affairs.’
 
Yes my brethren, though Bruh Paul was generally happy with the Philippians, there was some disunity among them that displeased him. I hate to think what he would feel about the church today, for there is so much disunity and dissension, that it’s feeding on itself and every day creating more of the same.
 
Oh my fellow believers, Christians were meant to live in harmony, with Jesus Christ as our sounding board, as our most worthy example! Yuh see how the early Christians lived after the Holy Spirit was endowed on all believers! That’s how we ought to live!
 
Oh I know that we are only human and that the society is bigger and somewhat different, but even so, with the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, we ought, and can definitely come up much higher than we’re currently doing.

Remember Jesus’ motto is ‘Excellence in all things!’ And we’re definitely not being excellent in church unity and harmony.
 
So today my people, I’m pleading with us to try and do better, to come up higher, not only for our sakes and for those of our children, but more so for Jesus, since we are His representatives, His ambassadors here on earth, and we’re not doing such a great job in His name. Let’s sincerely seek to improve nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…oh…if there was even a tad more unity in Christ’s church…His LOVE Revolution would be much further along to completion…

 

 
 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2014 Ephesians 5:15-16

Ephesians 5:15-16.   See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Well hello there you beautiful people, all made in the remarkable image of our wonderful God! Top o’ the morning to you all! We are a tad late, but as always, better late than never. (smile)

And may our God of comfort, healing, provision, strength and security, bless and keep us all safely under the umbrella of His unconditional and everlasting LOVE!

Wow mih people! The ole fella’s certainly on a roll this summer-like Tuesday morning. But that’s how we ought to think as true believers in Christ, and as I mistakenly said yesterday, ‘flowers of Jesus’ instead of followers.

But after reviewing the situation, I concluded that ‘flowers’ was and even better description, because it implies that we are blooming, growing, maturing, looking beautiful in the sight of the unbelievers and the heathen. All praise and glory to our omnipotent, all-wise, all-seeing and ever-present God!

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Amen! So let it be!’

And today I want to share a quote attributed to Lord Chesterfield – Phillip Stanhope (1694-1773). In this, one of his many quotes, he wisely advises: ‘Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’ 

Words of awesome wisdom and truth my brethren! Words that we should all heed and attempt to live by, because time is one of the most valuable things we have, and unfortunately it is also one of the things that never comes back. We can never retrieve whatever time we’ve wasted or loss, not even one second of it. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever!

So today, please let us look closely at the use we make of our time, and try to improve it, use it to the best of our ability. And the great thing about using time wisely is that it enhances our lives immeasurably.

And all of that measures up and segues nicely into our Bit: ‘
See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’

Oh Friends, what undeniable truth and godly wisdom! We do have to walk carefully and use our time profitably in these evil times. Please note that the evildoers are not procrastinating, but using their time wisely to do all the evil they desire. So too should we believers, provided we truly desire to knock their evil blocks off.

Now here is some info from the scholars’ re our Bit: ‘5:15. See then that ye walk circumspectly means “therefore watch carefully how you live.”

5:16. Redeeming the time (or, “making the most of every opportunity”): Contextually, the specific opportunity in view is that of exposing the sins of the lost and being a witness to them. Because the days are evil assigns a reason to seize each opportunity. It is because the sins being committed during these days are so evil.’

And we don’t have to wonder about that last sentence Friends, since we see it happening daily, for the sins and evil of this world are ever increasing!

Bruh Paul could never have imagined the sorry depths that mankind would reach two thousand years after he wrote these wise words to the Ephesians. Words that still very much pertain to our current situation.

Listen up closely friends. ‘Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (scholars – since the current age is so perilous morally, Christians must clearly understand what the will of the Lord is). 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.5:17-21)

Oh my people, as true believers, that’s how we ought to live!

So today, please, let’s ponder all those things we’ve spoken of and try to successfully integrate them into our lives, or simply improve on each aspect, so that our lives will truly reflect the LOVE of God, and thus glorify Him, and further His righteous kingdom, as is expected of us. That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…to every thing there is a season…and a time to every purpose under the heaven… (Eccl.3:1)…now is a time for repentance and return to godly living…