Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2021 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.     ​For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Snow, snow, go away, and come back some other day! (smile) That’s what we would all like this Sunday morning my brethren, but let’s be thankful for small mercies, namely that we don’t have to journey out in it to get to church to sing praises and worship our wonderful God. Yes, this virtual and technological worshipping is a pain in the neck, but it’s certainly better than no worship at all. 

So to show our thanks let’s begin by belting out this marvelous old hymn with lyrics by Isaac Watts (1674 – 1748) and the chorus by Ralph E. Hudson (1843-1901) Yes friends, we talking about ‘At the Cross.’ What a wonderful hymn, for it speaks to our most wonderful gift; SALVATION! Glory be! 

Let’s celebrate in song, our two blessed occasions nuh; when Christ was crucified for our sake and when we found Him and made Him our Lord and Saviour. Now, in an easy rocking tempo, with joy resounding from every note and word, let’s allow our sincere sacrifice of praise to be heard all over the world, and also in high heaven.

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For sinners such as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) 

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine— And bathed in its own blood— While the firm mark of wrath divine, His Soul in anguish stood. (Refrain) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! (Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. 

(Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give my self away ’Tis all that I can do. At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! Now I am happy all the day…happy all the day…happy all the day…’ 

Oh my people, if you’re not happy all the day, then you don’t truly believe! Why you ask? Simply becauseour salvation was certainly earned at the Cross, for as the Good Book says: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:23) And what’s the consequence of sin? The Good Book also spells it out quite clearly. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) 

And how is death changed into life? The Good Book also has the answer for that. ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without (the) shedding of blood (there) is no remission (forgiveness). (Heb. 9:22) That means friends, that all sinners were condemned to death from the very beginning of their lives because no animal or human blood was able to pay for us to have life anew. That could only be attained by the shedding of the blood of a sinless soul, and Jesus was the ONLY One around who could lay claim to that characteristic. 

So what did Almighty God in His divine wisdom and incalculable LOVE do? ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) Yes my people, God placed ALL of our sin on Jesus, so that He could pay the price for ALL sin for ALL time! Christ was guiltless and sinless, but the Father LOVED us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son for us. Oh my bredrin, which one of us would have given up our only son to be a sacrifice for a bunch of ingrates eh? None of us would have willingly done it, like the Father did! 

So we should just be thankful and jump for joy and just fall all over ourselves to do Jesus’ bidding! Can you imagine the ‘sufferation’ He underwent on our behalf; the flogging, the crown of thorns on his head, the nails in His hands and feet, the spear in His side, crucified naked, the mocking, the shame, the resentment and hate that was thrown His way…all on our behalf? As the hymn says about Jesus bruised and battered body ‘bathed in its own blood…His soul in anguish stood…for crimes that I had done…’ Steups! Then we get up and spout a whole lot of foolishness and don’t take the whole thing as seriously as we ought. 

And simple eyes-water is not good enough. Why? ‘But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe. Here, Lord, I give myself away ‘Tis all that I can do.’ Yes friends, we can never repay Jesus’ sacrifice, the best that we can do is surrender our lives to Him and worship Him as our Lord and Saviour, LOVE Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, being ever so thankful for His saving grace. And John puts it thus in his first epistle. ‘And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:2) 

That means Christ’s sacrificial death satisfied the Father’s requirement, the justice needed to pay for sin, now and for all time. What more can we ask eh? And some of us might be wondering why the Lord did all of that? Bruh Paul explained it to Timothy. ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’ (1 Tim. 2:4-6) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, Jesus’ sacrifice was proof that the Father wanted ALL to be converted. So he’s done His part, the rest is now up to us. Much LOVE!

…the foot of the cross…the best place to find Jesus…and lay your burdens down…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2020 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.     ​But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Here we go again friends, time to sing and praise our wonderful God in Sunday fellowship! There’s nothing better than that! Only problem is we still can’t gather all together in one place and do it. But that’s just a minor setback since those few of us who want to go to church now can, and the rest of us will just continue what we’ve been doing for the last five or six months, worshipping together virtually. How can they stop us when the Lord God is our mainstay eh? No way! 

But enough talk, let’s get to some praise and worship nuh. And today’s hymn is a very old but still popular one, titled ‘At the Cross.’ It was written by one of the great hymn writers, Isaac Watts (1674-1748), and some 100 years later the American choir leader Ralph E. Hudson (1843-1901) added the chorus and the inspiring tune that we now sing it to. According to one commentator, the chorus might have caused Watts hair to stand on end. (smile) And though not much seems to be known about the background story to this song, it does seem as though it inspired another great hymn writer, Fanny Crosby. 

According to her:”It was on November 2, 1850, that I was gloriously converted while the congregation sang the grand old consecration hymn of Isaac Watts. When they reached the 3rd line of the last verse: ‘Here, Lord, I give myself away,’ I surrendered myself to my Savior, and my soul was flooded with celestial light. I sprang to my feet shouting, ‘Hallelujah!’ I gave my heart to Him, and what a Joy I received!” – from the website hymnal-net. Just one more mysterious way in which our Lord moves in the lives of His people; inspiring Fanny Crosby with the words of Isaac Watts. 

So let’s sing it now in an easy rocking, soulful style, and let it inspire us to keep the joy of our Saviour in our hearts and lives. And to help us do that, we’ll begin with the chorus which rocks more than the verse. (smile) (Chorus: ‘At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For sinners such as I? 

(Chorus…) Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine – And bathed in its own blood – While the firm mark of wrath divine, His Soul in anguish stood. (Chorus…) Was it for sins that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! (Chorus…) Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut His glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker, died For man, His creature’s sin. 

(Chorus…) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears. Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt mine eyes to tears. (Chorus…) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do. At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! Now I’m happy all the day…happy all the day…happy all the day…’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that we are indeed happy after singing those wonderful lyrics of absolute truth! If you’re not, then you had better check your faith, because with all that Christ did for us, when He sacrificed Himself on that old wooden cross at Calvary, believers ought to be not merely happy but exceedingly ecstatic! Remember what the Good Book says? ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) 

Can you imagine that mih people, while we were the enemy of God, He sent His only Son to die in our place! That means we should be eternally grateful! And hear this nuh, while researching the song, I came upon the video of another song also titled ‘At the Cross,’ this one done by the Hillsong group, and brother if yuh see the bruised and battered state Jesus was in while dragging his cross up to Calvary, how he kept falling down under its weight and unwieldiness, then when they pounded the nails in his hands and lifted the cross up and dropped it in the hole…Steups! 

I couldn’t handle it nuh. I had to turn away. And no doubt by what we read in the Good Book, Jesus was in a real beat up state, all for our benefit. So if we can’t appreciate His supreme sacrifice on our part, then something really wrong with us yes. 

And Peter tells us in no uncertain terms, when he talks about the example of Christ’s suffering. ‘For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: 

Who when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: By whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 3:20-25) 

Yes mih people, if anybody should know about Christ is Peter, who walked with Him for three years on this earth and was an eye-witness to all he’s written. And if it doesn’t move you, or you just don’t believe, then there’s no more that I can say, because following Jesus is a personal decision. And I’m going to follow Him, to the best of my ability, hoping that the members of my household will do likewise. Much LOVE!

…Christians should be the happiest people on the planet…because heaven is eternal their home… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2018 Luke 2:7.

Luke 2:7.   ​And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
‘Drink ah rum and ah punchacrema, drink ah rum! It’s Christmas morning!’ Ah mih people, in my area it might be a tad early to drink a rum and a punchacrema, although some of you on the other side of the world most likely have tibbled some already. (smile) I have a brand new bottle of the rich, creamy stuff to check out later. A friend sends me one every year, that’s his Christmas present to me. 

However, let’s get to the important stuff: It’s Christmas morning! Glory be my friends and Scrip-Bit family! We’ve lived to see another one of these monumental days that ushered in the beginnings of our faith! That miraculous immaculate conception of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which ended up in His humble birth on this day some two thousand years ago in a lowly stable. 

 But that was just the planting of the seed, one of the four most important days in the annals of man, where God finally put His exemplary plan of salvation, free saving grace and eternal life for all and sundry into production, having promised it for numerous years before! Yes, it all began in a dirty animal stable with the birth of a baby boy called Jesus, our Emmanuel, our God with us! And there was such a racket around the fields of that little town of Bethlehem on this momentous night, that the world has never forgotten it. 

Now let’s remember it in praise and worshipful song as we sing the much adored song, ‘Joy to the world,’ written by that prolific writer Isaac Watts way back in the 18th century. Let’s raise the rafters with the joy that emanates from our hearts and souls this Christmas morning of 2018 as we joyously, joyfully, ‘joyeuxly’ (smile) declare: ‘Joy to the World; the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing. (Repeat line twice) 

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields & floods, rocks, hills & plains Repeat the sounding joy. (Repeat line twice) No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found. (Repeat line twice) He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love. (Repeat line twice) Joy to the World; the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing. (Repeat line twice).’ 

Yeh friends on this Christmas Day there should be such explosive joy in EVERY Christian heart that we should just want to burst with LOVE for Christ! For He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Light! The awesome means by which we are saved! For NO ONE comes to the Father BUT through Him! 

Now let’s take a look at some of the miraculous action that happened around Bethlehem on that most auspicious night. Now Joseph and the pregnant Mary had gone up to Bethlehem to be registered per Roman edict. And it so happens that while up there Mary’s time came upon her: ‘And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.’ 

Now one would think that the omnipotent Lord God Jehovah, His heavenly Father, could have made room for them at the inn, but He was out to prove a point by showing that humble and lowly beginnings don’t mean a thing! If His Son could be born in a loud, foul smelling barn of animals and do great things, so could any one else! 

Oh, listen to this explanation from the scholars: ‘2:7. Swaddling clothes were bandage-like strips of cloth wrapped around an infant to ensure that the limbs would grow straight. Not to swaddle a child would be a form of abuse (Ezek. 16:2-4). This wrapping would aid the shepherds in identifying Jesus.’ 

Now here’s the action! ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David (Bethlehem) a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:8-14) 

Wow friends! Can you imagine that quiet, silent night in the fields around Bethlehem, with shepherds sleepily guarding their animals, when an angel suddenly appears and tells them about the birth of this heavenly child, then a host of other angels arrive and begin singing, glorifying God, and exuding peace on earth and good will to all mankind! The shepherds were probably expecting another quiet, uneventful night, when to their amazement, it suddenly turned into a rather raucous affair of praise and thanksgiving and good news! 

Oh my people, those shepherds were so excited by the news that the Good Book says: ‘And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherd. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:16-20) 

Ah my people, as we celebrate this most auspicious occasion, please let’s remember why it all happened, for our benefit, and let’s do like those shepherds did so long ago, when they heard the good news, praise and glorify God for the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And let’s not forget to declare our Tuesday Mantra which says who and whose we are; Christ’s! So as always, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And today is definitely the day to share that awesome LOVE OF JESUS! Much LOVE!

…the first time He came humbly and without much fanfare…the next time though…the heavens will burst forth…and He’ll come as the royalty…the mighty King He truly is…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2018 Psalm 90:4.

Psalm 90:4.   For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (three hours).

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! The awesome day we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship, worship and give Him mucho thanks and praise. So all roads ought to be leading to the Lord’s house today, especially when we consider what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

Yeh friends, the Sabbath is a day to find rest in Jesus, and you can’t find it unless you go to Him sincerely seeking Him. He’s just waiting there with open arms for us to come to Him. So let’s not keep Him waiting nuh. And today, we’ll begin the proceedings with an old favourite from the pen of Isaac Watts, ‘O (Our) God, our help in ages past.’ 

So without further ado, let’s raise our hearts, heads and voices heavenward as we offer up praise, worship and thanksgiving to our amazing and ever-LOVING God!  ‘O (Our) God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. 

Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. O (Our) God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Oh my people, what we’ve just sung is oh so true; every word of it! And they say it was based on Psalm 90, the psalm of Moses, and that seems to be also true, as Moses declares with unerring truth: ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)

Mama Yo! What words of indisputable truth! Before God even formed the world He was God! And since He made Israel His people, they found refuge in Him, when they were wise! And who should know better than Moses eh, since he led God’s people out of bondage from Egypt to the Promised Land, and communicated God’s laws to them during that fateful trip through the wilderness. 

And as Moses continues: ‘Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night (three hours). Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up, in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.’ (Ps.90:3-6) 

Yeh friends, in terms of time, one day to us is like a thousand years to God, since time has no real reckoning with Him. And as Peter corroborates in his message on living in the hope of the Lord’s coming: ‘But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet.3:8) 

Then we come back to Moses, who declares: ‘The days of our years (lives) are threescore years and ten (seventy); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (boast only) labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’ (Ps.90:10)  

All of that just means friends that our lives are like vapour, we exist for moment in God’s eyes then we are gone, like the grass that grows in the morning and dies in the evening. And even if we live fourscore (80) years (29,200 days) that to God is like 29,200 years. Imagine that nuh; to us 80 years is a big deal, but to Almighty God, it’s a mere flash in the pan. (smile) 

The long and short of the story though friends, is that we are very finite, while God is infinite, plus He is our God and Creator and if we are smart we will hold on to His strong and mighty hand. And Moses was qualified to talk about death and all the other stuff since he saw a whole generation of Israelites perish in the wilderness for their disobedience. 

Thus, when he beseeches God, we ought to listen, to pay serious attention. ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom)…. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.’ (Ps.90:12,14) 

And we’ll close with some immortal words of Cousin Sol. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she hall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.’ (Prov.4:7-9) 

Truer words were never spoken my brethren! So please, please, let’s seek wisdom and understanding through the Lord’s word, which leads to obedience, then we’ll be bestowed with the grace and glory we so greatly desire. Much LOVE!

…the only real wisdom that man needs…is to be obedient to his God and his Creator…everything else is foolishness…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2018 Psalm 48:14.

Psalm 48:14.   For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

And there was joy in the morning, because it was Sunday; the day most Christians choose to rest and to gather in fellowship to sing and praise their marvellous God. And believe me friends, there’s nothing better than worshipping Almighty God and singing His wonderful praises. Therefore, let’s begin the proceedings by voicing the beautiful and true words of the old, but dearly beloved Isaac Watts hymn, ‘O God our help in ages past,’ written a couple of centuries ago, but still going strong. 

In strong, harmonious voices now, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘O God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. O God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

What words of immortal truth my people! Our great God has indeed been our help in times past, and is also the One we place our future hope upon. He’s been our shelter from innumerable storms and He’s the One we will dwell with in eternity, after this earthly life is over. And to further expand His resume, He’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present! Hn! What a truly mighty God we serve! There is no other supposed deity who even comes close to Him, because He is the Only True and Living God! 

That’s why we can proclaim with strong conviction like the psalmists, the sons of Korah, do in this verse that’s our Bit.  ‘For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.’ 

There’s no more left to say my fellow believers, that says it all! Our God is so amazing, so awesome; that we have no doubts whatsoever about serving and worshipping until the end of time! No one can come between us and our God, because He is everything we need and want…and then some! 

Hear how Moses puts it in his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God’ (Ps.90:1-2) 

Wow! As the French would say, ‘Tres Magnifique!’ Yes that’s our God; magnificent in every way my people! No wonder the sons of Korah open Psalm 48 with this verse. ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.’ (Ps.48:1) 

And later on they declare: ‘We have thought of thy LOVING-kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgements.’ (Ps.48:9-11) Yeh friends, our God is also just and righteous! What more can we ask for eh? Nothing really, because He possesses all the elements and attributes that make up a true godly Being. 

Now listen to the sons of Korah from Psalm 47 – God is the King of all the earth. ‘Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen (gentiles): God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.’ (Ps.47:6-9) 

And so He should be my people! Our God deserves exaltation, reverence and glory to the fullest degree, not to mention obedience, obeisance and LOVE! Remember, ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) That’s another feather in His cap! (smile) ‘And God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) How can we not LOVE, honour and obey Him eh friends, He’s such a wonderful Deity! 

Unfortunately though, the sinful world we live in, and our own fallen nature cause many of us to shy away from God. But that’s not wise friends, for He is the only One who can save us from a life of disasters and eternal damnation, through His Son Jesus Christ. That’s why we need to get even closer to God, so that we are not on the outside looking in when the day of final judgement arrives. For it will indeed be a sad day when unbelievers are thrown into the lake of fire. 

Please ponder that fact and see if it’s to your liking. And if it isn’t, then you need Jesus. And remember in this year of 2018, we’ve resolved to have a closer walk with our Lord and Saviour. So let’s sincerely do that nuh, since it will be definitely to our benefit. Much LOVE!

…just a closer walk with thee…grant it Jesus…is my plea…daily walking close to thee…let it be…dear Lord…let it be…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Ah friends, it’s another glorious Sunday morning and we’re gathered in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship, glorify and exalt Him, as well as receive His awesome grace and mercy, strength and guidance for the new week that’s upcoming. 

And as always, let’s open with a song of wonderful praise; ‘When I survey the wondrous cross.’ This is one of my favourite hymns, and it brings back fond memories of a boy growing up in Tobago and St.Andrew’s church in Scarborough during the Easter season, packed to capacity on a Sunday morning, full of young people, all raising their voices in praise. 

So let’s raise our own voices in sacrificial praise now my people, let the heavens reverberate with the powerful and sincere sound of our voices, singing these inspirational words penned by Isaac Watts many moons ago, which Charles Wesley, another prominent hymn writer, reputedly said he would have given up all his songs, to be able to say he wrote this one. 

‘When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! 

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and LOVE flow mingled down! Did e’er such LOVE and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? 

His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads o’er His body on the tree; Then I am dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me. Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; LOVE so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. 

[Added by the compilers of Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern] To Christ, who won for sinners grace By bitter grief and anguish sore, Be praise from all the ransomed race. Forever and forevermore.’ 

Oh my fellow believers what a magnificent pouring out of praise in words that just touch the heart and truthfully reflect the awesome and sacrificial deed that Jesus so selflessly suffered on our behalf! 

Without His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary, we’d all still be worthless sinners pegged for hell with the evil one Lucifer. But through Jesus’ superhuman efforts we now are bound for glory instead through salvation and eternal life! Oh Glory be my brethren! 

Ah friends, as Christians we should be happy like pigs in mud! (smile) And when we check out our Bit, those immortal words of Jesus in His blueprint for prayer, we should get even more joyful – if that’s possible (smile), because it assures us that we have a heavenly Father who is constantly watching over and guiding us, to whom we can turn to for comfort and succour in ALL situations! 

Wow! How could we not LOVE Jesus eh, after all He’s done for us? And if you don’t believe me, then please listen to how Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father on our behalf before He underwent His own tough times. 

‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world; and I come to thee Holy Father, keep them through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (destruction); (Judas), that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart for your purposes) through thy truth: thy word is truth. And as thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. 

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast LOVED them, as thou hast LOVED me. 

Father, I will (desire) that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou LOVEDST me before the foundation of the world. 

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the LOVE wherewith thou hast LOVED me may be in them, and I in them.’ 

Wow mih breddren, what an awesome prayer! I never intended to print it all, but once I got started I just could not stop. I doubt that anyone else has ever prayed so sincerely and fervently for any of us. Jesus even prayed for those that would come after Him, meaning the Gentiles, people like us. 

And I have to confess, that though I’ve read those words before, they’ve never meant so much, or made such a difference before. I truly appreciate them now, and so I hope do you my fellow believers. It just goes to show the truth in the saying, the more we read the Word, the more our eyes are opened. Much LOVE!

…Jesus didn’t only die for us…He also prayed for us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2016 Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6.   For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

A  MERRY  CHRISTMAS TO  ONE  AND  ALL!

Ah friends, at last it’s the big one – Christmas Day – when our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory to God for that act of LOVING-kindness! 

Now it’s also Sunday, and we are in God’s spectacular sanctuary, or below a coconut tree, (smile) come to praise and worship Him, so let’s open with an appropriate song for the joyous occasion nuh, the old Christmas Carol, ‘Joy to the World,’ written by Isaac Watts a couple centuries ago. Let’s raise the roof of our sanctuary and that of heaven with a most passionate and heartfelt rendition, truly believing what we sing. 

In unison now: ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy. 

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders, of His love’ 

Ah mih people, that was beautiful – as it should be! There could be no doubt in the Lord’s mind now that we truly appreciate and are very grateful for the birth of His Son Jesus. And all around the world the same sentiments are being sent up, or have already been sent up to heaven! 

Wow! This is one of the Red Letter days of our earthly sojourn – the start of the greatest movement that ever hit the planet – Jesus’ LOVE Revolution!  

Now it’s scripture time, beginning with our Bit, God’s wonderful promise many centuries before to send us a Son, a redeemer. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ 

And our great God, also being ever-faithful, fulfilled this awesome promise some two thousand years ago. Praise His Holy Name my people! And listen to the rest of the promise: ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:7) 

Oh my fellow believers what a magnificent Being, our Immanuel was promised to be! And was… and still is… and always will be! Now let’s turn to the actual birth of our Divine, Gift-child. We know that Joseph, Mary’s husband was of the lineage of Bruh David, so when the first emperor, Caesar Augustus declared that all his subjects were to be registered in their original birth places, Joseph and Mary had to journey to Bethlehem to do so, because that was his city. 

Now while they were there, Mary’s time drew nigh: ‘And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes (strips of cloth), and laid him in a manger (feed trough); because there was no room for them in the inn.’ (Luke 2:7) What a shame to think that this great king was born in a smelly, noisy animal barn eh, and slept in a feed trough! But the Lord, as always, had His reasons. His Son was to be born lowly, for the lowly ones were whom He was coming to save. 

Now hear the most wonderful part of the night of Christ’s birth. ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in their field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid. And the angel said unto them; Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:8-11) 

Can you imagine the topsy-turvy emotions the angel’s appearance and words must have caused the poor shepherds? Then the angel continued: ‘And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:12-14) 

Ah mih people, the sudden appearance of the heavenly host singing and praising God, laid even more drama on the shepherds. But shepherds are a hardy stock and the Good Book tells us: ‘And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered (marvelled) at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Not the first or the last time). And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.’ (Luke 2:15-20) 

Ah friends, can you imagine the magical mystery, the glorious effervescence in the air around lowly Bethlehem that momentous and most memorable night that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born?  

Well we should be experiencing the same sort of overwhelming emotions today, as we celebrate Christ’s birth, for His selfless LOVE and sacrifice is the only thing that keeps, or is keeping us from the ravages of hell and Lucifer. So let’s give much thanks and praise today nuh my believing brethren, because He did it all for us. Much LOVE!

…births are joyful occasions…but none’s been as joyful as the night Christ was born…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2013 Philippians 2:8.

Philippians 2:8.      And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, recently the bruised, battered and broken image of Jesus being led like an innocent lamb to the slaughter, has been appearing rather frequently on my mental screen. I don’t know why, but guess that I’m finally coming to a somewhat fuller realization of the awesome price He paid to save my sinful soul from eternal death and damnation.
 
And everyday I have to chuckle at the mysterious, innovative, unique and eccentric ways that God operates in my life. This last image appearance happened about four days ago, as I was sitting on the deck at the back of my house around twilight, sipping some caffeine, just enjoying the cooler evening weather, for the day had turned out beautifully, hot and sunny, at definite odds to the earlier forecast of rain.
 
Anyway, as I sat there listening to some birds chirp their evening praise, the words of one of my old favourite hymns suddenly drifted in to my mind. I’m talking about:  ‘When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory Died.’
 
Unfortunately I didn’t remember all the words, so I had to look them up, and then was guided to share them here with you. It was written by Isaac Watts in 1707, and is based on Gal.6:14.
 
‘When I survey the wondrous cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God!
 
All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and LOVE flow mingled down!
 
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; LOVE so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, what powerful, soul-searching words!
 
And then the true picture came into focus. You know when we see pictures of Jesus hanging on the cross, it’s always a frontal view – and that’s really a blessing in disguise, for can you imagine what a bloody mess His back must have been, from all the flogging etc. Many of us would most likely faint at the gruesome sight.
 
All of that just led me to think what a bunch of super ingrates we are. We talk a whole lot about Jesus, talk up a storm, but when the time comes for us to brave that storm, to walk through it, hn… we shudder with a sad mixture of fear and shame and step back into a harbour of safe shelter.
 
Oh my brethren, the returns we’re paying Jesus on His selfless sacrifice are woefully inadequate. Granted, we can never repay Him in full, but what we’re currently paying, through the less than stellar lives we’re living, is totally insufficient.
 
In terms of interest rates, since we can’t ever pay the principal, we’re paying even less than what the crooked, criminal banks are paying, and they have now been at their lowest point for quite some time.
 
Come on my people, We can surely raise our interest rates, do a better job of living for Jesus, of LOVING Him, of LIVING our Faith in true Christian fashion, not as hypocritically as we’re currently doing, and SPREADING His Word with much more confidence and passion and much less fear and shame.
 
Please note the sad but stoic tenor of our Bit: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’
 
Ah mih people, after all that Jesus suffered on our behalf, we can most assuredly up the ante, little by little, until we come to a decent rate. Now that’s my admonition for today! And I pray that we’ll all take it seriously and try our best to improve our standing with Jesus.
 
And if we’re truthful with ourselves, we’ll all admit that we can do a better job of living for Him. For remember my brethren, that He is the ONLY ONE who can truly help us in this mish-mash life, in these rough, hard, scary and troubled times.
 
Man can’t help us, seeing that he can’t even help himself. As the psalmist so wisely advises us: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.’ (Ps.118:8) 
 
So Friends, I’m imploring us to not forget that Jesus died to help us, to bring us out of bondage to sin, that’s the ONLY reason He sacrificed His sinless life!
 
Therefore, with songs of praise and joyful countenances, let’s board the train that leads to wherever He is! Let’s get passionate about our faith, knowing that at some stage of the game, we’ll go home to be with Him forever!
 
But until then, let’s do our best to honour and glorify Him down here on earth, for He is truly worthy of much honour and glory! Much LOVE!
 
…Jesus, Jesus…oh how I LOVE that name…Jesus, Jesus…I’ll shout it out loud…without any shame…