Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2020 1 Samuel 16:7b.

1 Samuel 16:7b.     ​for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Monday, oh Monday…thou day of woe! Poor Monday, it’s been hated, resented and cursed down through the ages for something it has no control over; being the first day of our work week. But yuh know what, any other day, a day by any other name, which hailed the beginning of five days of back breaking labour (smile) would have been met with the same amount of disparagement and scorn that’s been heaped on Monday. Yeh friends, anything that disturbs our peaceful repose is disliked by our soft, lazy, think we’re entitled and inequitable society. 

No doubt many of us are glad that we don’t have to go to work in these dangerous and treacherous times, but then too, we won’t enjoy the fruits of our labour if we don’t labour. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of infinite wisdom: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion… this is the gift of God.’ (Eccl. 5:18; 19b) 

So to keep the motor of the 24-7 society continually running, as it needs must do in these modern times, somebody or bodies must go out and stoke it. We haven’t built a self-stoking engine yet. (smile) Even those fueled by batteries or electricity, have to be occasionally recharged. And sadly, a lot of us who are being hailed as front-line heroes, are not seeing comparative rewards in our paycheques, but instead are losing valuable family time, as well as on the job benefits. Some of our leaders are being two-faced. But what to do eh, it’s the nature of the political beast? 

I’ll tell you what we can do: we can pray for them; pray to our great and mighty God for them, as well as ourselves. It’s what the Lord is waiting for us to do, for He can’t answer our prayers if we don’t pray them. So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘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 hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

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. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, 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!’ 

Oh my people, if enough of us, that means plenty of us, sincerely pray along those lines, as well as repent of our evil ways and do better, our heavenly Father will indeed keep His promise. He did it several times for Israel, so why won’t He do it for us too eh? But remember, the Lord doesn’t only listen to what comes out of our mouths, for like the Pharisees and other leaders of Jesus’ day, what we speak, often doesn’t truly reflect what’s in our hearts. 

That’s why the Lord said to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel and the good-looking son Eliab stood before Him and Samuel figured he had to be the one. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected ) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Yes friends, until the Lord searches our hearts and sees true repentance and true willingness to change our evil ways, our societies will be forever troubled and in turmoil. Now the Lord saw our need and sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ to help us, that whomsoever believed in Him would have everlasting life. So He’s done His part. The ball is now in our court. We need to accept Christ and receive His peace, joy and LOVE, and show the world that HE IS THE ANSWER…THE ONLY ANSWER…  Much LOVE!

…if the created is wise…he will turn to the Creator for help…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2020 James 4:8a.

James 4:8a.    ​Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. 

Well it’s a wet, still and gloomy Wednesday morning… and it ought to be after the majestic thunderstorm we experienced around ten thirty last night. Yeh friends, all the heavy hitters were out: Thor had the heavens rumbling ominously with thunder, while the lightning flashes lit up the dark night sky like daylight, and the rain poured down in heavenly filled buckets! It was a wonderful spectacle, as it always is when the heavens put on a real show. It’s something that man is not even able to come close to approximating, much less beating. 

That just shows where the ultimate power lies – in heaven, not on earth. (smile) And that’s why it is ever so important to be in close contact with, have strong communication with the powers of heaven, like this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin advocates. And it is most appropriately titled ‘Intimate Closeness.’ Please pray with me: ‘You promise, dear God That when I draw close to You You will draw close to me. Lord, I give myself to You unreservedly. Teach me more and more Of intimate closeness And fill my heart with You alone. To walk arm-in-arm with You Down every winding path Seems to me The dearest of all delights.’ 

And so indeed it is my dear friends and saints in Christ! There’s no better companion in any walk or path of life than Almighty God Himself! For He is the First and Last; the Alpha and Omega, the Creator and Ruler of All that exists! So who better can we ever choose to walk with eh? That’s why James, when he talks about worldliness and pride, lambastes us thus: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is the enemy (makes himself an enemy) of God.’ (James 4:4) 

And the scholars explain that verse: ‘4:4. As Israel was a spiritual adulteress, unfaithful to God, so the church is a spiritual adulteress when she is the unfaithful bride of Christ (cf. Hos. 2:5, 19-20; Matt. 12:39). One cannot be both a LOVER of God and a LOVER of the world.’ That’s putting it very plainly my brethren, though some unwise or foolish ones of us try to live with one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom of Christ, but it’s a physical impossibility, we can’t straddle both places at once! Yes, some of us like to play both sides against the middle, and that might work in the world, but definitely not in Christ’s kingdom. 

And as James wisely continues: ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth (yearns jealously) to envy?’ (James 4:5) Oh yes it certainly does! Just look around at our envious, jealous and greedy world nuh! Then James abandons the negative aspect of his exhortation, gets positive, and tells us of God’s good work, quoting Cousin Sol’s words in Prov. 3:34. ‘But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ (James 4:6) 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends, for God despises the proud, since they tend to have no time for or need of Him. But the humble… He greets them with open arms and ever so generously pours out grace, His underserved and unmerited favour, in and on their lives. Wow! Then James gets to the meat of his subject and strongly and wisely advises us to: 

‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) 

Oh friends, if there’s one thing this generation needs more than anything else it’s humility! Our pride has reached such incendiary levels that it’s burning us up and we don’t even realize it. Our level of technology and evolution has made everybody a genius… Hn! We don’t need anybody else; me, myself and I, are the most popular pronouns today! No wonder there’s such little togetherness and so much division, even in Christ’s church. And the only way our world will heal, that includes the church, is by turning to God, not away from Him. Becoming humble in His sight, not trying to run Him out of town! 

Why? As the scholars explain. ‘But he giveth more grace is literally “greater grace” (Gr. meizona). God gives grace that is greater than the world attraction of verse 4 and the inner lust of verse 5 ( Rom. 5:20), and so can withstand both.’ Yes mih people, the only way to withstand the devil and his lustful and prideful temptations is by seeking the greater grace of God. 

Listen to how the scholars explain it nuh. ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: Do not submit to fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet. 5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam. 3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps. 24:3-4).’ 

So it must my brethren, especially in these dangerous and turbulent times. It will also be of great benefit to us to read those scriptures mentioned above. (smile) So, for those of us who are trying to keep humble and seek God’s grace, let’s go home now declaring (oh yes!) our Wednesday Wail, telling of our wonderful situation in Christ Jesus! In strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And we know that if we endure steadfastly to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…but where sin abounded…grace did much more abound… (Rom. 5:20b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2020 Psalm 100:1.

Psalm 100:1.    ​Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). 
 

Well it’s not as bright and sunshiny in my area as it’s been the last several days; it’s somewhat cloudy… And we could really use some rain, to cool down the heat and nourish the parched ground. But we’ll just have to wait and see what the Lord has in mind for our area. And on that computer problem I encountered halfway through writing the Bit yesterday morning, it’s been fixed. And I have to laugh because it was a simple problem; my keyboard needed batteries. Hn! 

And it was actually one of the first things I thought of when the problem occurred, but for some reason I never followed up on it, and even later in the night when my young D  and I were trying to brain storm the problem, that never occurred to either of us. It’s only when I contacted the support department which suggested it, that I remembered that possibility. And as soon as the new batteries were put in, the computer worked like a charm. 

Oh, the ways the enemy finds to get into our hearts, bodies and souls and disrupt our lives eh! But thankfully, he didn’t make me lose my joy, but nonetheless I fell behind in all the stuff I had planned to do yesterday. And I guess in his books that is still a win. (smile) But yuh know what? We are not going to let the ole geezer disturb our peace today, because we’re going to be talking about ‘Newborn Ecstasy!’ found in a poem in our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

So please pray with me: ‘O Lord, When I resolve to come to You Amid the chunks and cracks Of all my mundane days – When I resolve to listen Really listen to Your gentle voice Suddenly I know anew That you are life And life is joy! Like a singing brook Joy splashes over All the common “dailies” Until each empty space Of my hungry heart Is touched with newborn ecstasy.’ 

Oh friends, it is indeed when we walk sincerely with the Lord, are obedient to His will that we find true ecstasy! Yes, it’s not always easy walking the straight and narrow path, but you can bet your bottom dollar that as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘Your worst day with Jesus is better than your best day without Him!’ Glory be! And isn’t that the gospel truth! Oh brother, you all just went and got the ole fella excited and now he can’t control the excitement. (smile) So let’s continue being excited in the Lord nuh, for there’s nothing better than that! And we’ll show that excitement by reciting, singing or whatever way you choose, Psalm 100; a psalm of praise or thanksgiving. 

It’s also the Bible verse used for our poem above. So let’s go nuh: ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord, all ye lands (all the earth). Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves (his we are); we are his people, and the sheep of is pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100:1-5) 

Wow mih people! What encouraging words of indisputable truth! It’s only when we worship the mighty and merciful Lord God Jehovah, come before Him with praise and thanksgiving that our souls experience real joy, real ecstasy! That truly euphoric state cannot be experienced in any other way! So let’s try and open up our hearts and souls to Him today…and everyday nuh. When He comes knocking let’s allow strong and overwhelming faith to run to the doors of our hearts and joyfully greet Him! Then open our whole body and soul to Him, so that He can fill us with the peace, the joy, the LOVE and comfort that just naturally exudes from Him! That’s how we experience ecstasy of soul! 

And consequently, we are able to successfully navigate all the storms and fires and floods and evil circumstances that this devilish world desires to inundate us with. Yes friends, wisdom and common sense dictate that we hang with the Risen Christ if we want to have enjoyable and successful lives, both here on earth and in heaven above. Please remember…better yet, let’s write these memorable words of Christ indelibly in our hearts so that we won’t ever forget them. 

‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) Mamacita! Yuh hear that mih bredrin! Jesus spells it out loud and clear: without Him, we can do NOTHING! Please, let’s keep that first and foremost in our consciousness. 

And as Bruh Paul reminded the Corinthians: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) And yuh know friends, that’s our problem right there: we think too much of our blooming petty, greedy, power hungry but oh so frail and fragile, mortal selves. We believe we’re such hot shots with the li’l knowledge that we’ve acquired down through the ages, that we can now toss God, our Creator, our Deliverer and Provider aside. And very conveniently we seem to forget who made the heavens, the earth and all therein! Well let’s see us toss this coronavirus aside nuh! End of sermon! 

Now for the wise ones amongst us, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, that the Lord has so generously granted us to do his earthly work. All together, in strong, voice with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

So let’s go out now, while physically distancing, and share those blessings just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s His ardent desire! Much LOVE!

…until we come to Christ…there will ALWAYS be…a lonely and empty space in our souls… 

P.S. I hope you all enjoy reading this and get excited like I did while writing it. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2020 1 Samuel 30b.

1 Samuel 30b.    ​But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
 

Well friends, it looks like another glorious sunshiny, summer-like day in my neck of the woods! And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘It’s about time! Praise the Lord!’ Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better we can do than to praise and thank our mighty Creator for all that He’s done for us, is currently doing, and has promised to do in the future. That’s our basic downfall; lack of thanks and prayer and praise! But He doesn’t change; He’s still the long-suffering, LOVING, merciful and gracious God He always was, and always will be. 

We are the ones who change, not Him. So let’s see if we can’t do better in our appreciation of His glorious majesty and magnanimity and obedience to His will nuh, so that we can enjoy even more of His wonderful blessings. Yeh, right now we can certainly use some of His awesome blessings in our fight against the tiny virus that’s got us by our manly parts, (smile) that’s holding us hostage to its every demonic whim and fancy! Ah mih people, I’m glad to see that more and more people are turning to prayer in these troubled times. 

But are we serious, are we truly repentant, or is it just a lark, to see what happens, since we can’t find any real success in our own efforts? Just remember though, that the Lord doesn’t simply listen to the words we spout out of our mouths, no matter how godly and spiritual they sound, but He investigates our hearts to see if we have the right motives, and then considers how to answer our prayer. So if you’re not sincere, don’t pray it. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to our friend Anselm and see what quotes he sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And for the second week running, the quotes are negligible. Last week I got one, this week I’ve gotten two. And don’t ask me what’s wrong? It seems like he’s alive, so I don’t know if his fount of quotes has just dried up, (smile) though I doubt it. Anyway, let’s deal with what we have. And the first quote says: ‘Your limitation—it’s only your imagination.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! The limits of our imagination are the only limitation in our lives! Wherever our imagination takes us we can go…with the Lord’s help obviously! Just think about all the wonderful inventions that we’ve enjoyed down through the years; things like the printing press that made books, including the Bible, more easily available, the telephone, telegraph and radio, which made communication so much easier, and our social media and technological revolution right now, which brings almost instant communication. 

They are all products of someone’s imagination! They had the idea, then worked on it, despite many naysayers and discouragers. They might have failed often, but they never gave up, and kept refining their ideas until…Bingo! They worked. Walt Disney was ridiculed, Thomas Edison failed at his numerous inventions several times, but eventually succeeded. So did Henry Ford with his gasoline powered horseless carriage, that eventually became our modern-day motor car. So please my fellow believers, let’s not say we can’t do it, or it’s impossible. If the Lord puts it in our minds, then it’s certainly doable. And furthermore, let’s remember that with God, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! 

That brings us to our second quote, which nicely resonates with the first. It tells us: ‘Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.’ And to a certain extent that is quite true, but a lot of us are pushed by others, although in many of those cases it’s not in the direction we want to go. The long and short of the story though is that we need to have some basic push and determination for ourselves, especially if we have serious goals that we want to reach or there are wonderful desires that the Lord has placed in our hearts to accomplish for His name’s sake. 

And we have that glorious scripture of Bruh David’s from Psalm 37 which categorically states: ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:4) Yes friends, when we go with God, He will indeed enable us to fulfill the dreams He’s put in our hearts. And I know that it’s not always easy to find that push, that determination in ourselves, that we all need, for the enemy is always fighting against us. And ofttimes those around us are not willing to push and encourage us either, in fact they might just want to do the opposite, discourage us and pull us down, disparaging our efforts in the difficult process of bringing our dreams to reality. 

But my people, even when we’re at the lowest point, the very ebb of our determination and the last dregs from our fountain of hope, let’s never forget that there’s always One person who’s always there to encourage us, especially if you’re doing His holy will; that’s the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and wonderful Provider! We never lack for encouragement when we turn to our great God! But that last push has to come from us; we need to turn to him, to sincerely seek Him. 

And the best example of that in the Good Book, I believe is when Bruh David’s men considered stoning him, after they came back from war and found their city of Ziklag burned to the ground by their enemies the Amalekites, and all their kinfolk and worldly possessions taken captive, including Bruh David’s two wives and his children. And everybody; all those brave and mighty men cried like babies. But then, something changed in Bruh David’s men. And the Good Book relates it thus: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and his daughters…’ (1 Sam. 30:6a) 

So what happened there eh? Why stone their leader eh? Didn’t Bruh David lose his sons and daughters too? Of course! But that’s just the blaming nature of mankind. We always need to find someone else to blame beside ourselves, where often the blame really lies. So imagine Bruh David’s situation now nuh: he’s lost his own family, and his men are threatening to stone him. So what does he do? With everybody against him, he does what we all need to do at times. The Good Book says: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Mama Yo mih bredrin! It doesn’t get any better than that! So please, today, if any of us are suffering the painful pangs of discouragement and lack of hope, let’s do the wise and sensible thing like Bruh David did nuh; let’s turn to our great God and encourage ourselves in Him, for in Him there is always hope and the prospect of peace and joy despite discouraging circumstances. Much LOVE!

…when despair and hopelessness threaten…turn to God…for He’ll surely keep His promise…to comfort and guide you in such times…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2020 Galatians 5:25.

Galatians 5:25.    ​If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 
 
Well at long last, some sustained heavenly blessings upon our neighbourhood earth! Yes friends, we’re finally getting some rain in my area, after I don’t know how long. And it’s still merely drizzles instead of strong downpours. But I guess the earth and the earth-workers are grateful for every last drop. Not like they could afford to be ungrateful and refuse it anyway. (smile) And this Friday morning indeed seems like it might just be different to many of those of the recent past. Why, you ask? Because some of the work restrictions have been lifted in our Province of Ontario, and some more places will be able to open come Monday. 

So let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say about it all nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui!’ And there seems to be some enthusiasm in his voice today. ‘Yes thank God that mih place of work opening back up on Monday, though still with some restrictions! Brother! Does it ever feel good to mih soul! Never thought I’d be happy to go to the slave master’s work nuh, but after being home for almost two months, I’d be glad to go out and do anything, just to get mihself active again! And ah know nobody happy like the slave master, because he LOVE the job more than anybody else, and making money is only a plus for him. 

And it won’t be hard for us to do things like physical distancing because we don’t work close together anyway, the machines and them more than a few feet apart. And we wear head and face protective gear anyway. But leh we hope that people take this thing seriously yes, and doh go and behave chupid like they were doing earlier on, because we not out of the woods yet nuh. In fact we’ll never be out of the woods until we at least have a vaccine that can actually stop this virus in its tracks. 

And I’m chuckling here because ah know the wife going to be happy to get me from constantly under her foot, although she not going to have anybody to help her with children, who still don’t have no school. And let’s hope that next week Friday, after a solid week of hard work, I’d still be able to say ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday with a smile oui!’ 

And yes, my fellow believers, it’s good news to a certain extent, although I don’t think the ordinary workingman realizes that Monday is a public holiday; Queen Victoria’s Day, so most likely, him and a lot of others won’t be going back to work until Tuesday. This weekend also usually marks the beginning of cottage country getaways, but it’s going to be different this year as people are advised not go up to their cottages, if at all possible, or just go with immediate family and stay right in their cottages, because we don’t want the country districts to be overflowing with visitors and thus increase the possibility of the virus spreading even further. 

And ah have to laugh yes. Yuh see how one li’l virus, that you can’t even see without a strong microscope, change up we whole way of life in just a few months. So let’s hope that Ontarians behave in a responsible manner this weekend and as more businesses begin to open next week, because the next wave of this thing will be even worse than the first. Now let’s do our part in the prayer department and chant our Friday Chant nuh. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And with this lifting of more restrictions by the government, we implore you to touch the hearts of all those who go out into the open spaces, and make them understand that we still need to behave responsibly and take serious precautions so we don’t have a further setback. And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And the major problem there is if we, Christ’s ambassadors on this earth, are truly doing things, behaving the way that will make the heathen want to come to Him. Yes friends are we walking in LOVE, with the fruit of the Spirit pouring out of us in all unity and worthiness? Are we living like Bruh Paul recommends? ‘I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness (gentleness), with long-suffering, forbearing (bearing with) one another in LOVE; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Eph. 4:1-3) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, is that how we’re living? Because if it isn’t, then we we’ll just push people further away from Christ rather than bring them to Him. And these words from Bruh Paul to the Galatians should remind us of our bounden duty. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (be conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal. 5:22-26) 

Yes friends, only if we truly live by the dictates of the Spirit will we produce righteous fruit that will encourage, and eventually convince the unbeliever that Christ has what he needs to make him whole, to give him a brand new life! So today, let’s examine our lives nuh, and then, with God’s help, make the necessary changes. Much LOVE!

…the righteous…walk not after the flesh…but after the Spirit…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2020 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.    ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Come Tuesday…I’m glad to be alive! Come Tuesday…my soul’s soaring to high heaven, because the Lord has kept His promise to get me through Monday all in one piece! Wow friends! I hope we’re all in the same boat…the one with Jesus being the guide, captain and pilot! For it’s only that boat, the one with that commander, that will get us safely through the storms of this earthly life to the other side, where there is no more pain and suffering, no darkness, just joy and everlasting peace in the light of Jesus! 

And in keeping with that theme of trust and surrender to Jesus, here is this simple but most appropriate prayer from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Heartstrings.’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord, with no sense of direction I’m forever losing my way. Please tie a string From Your heart to mine So that even in the darkness I’ll feel the tug of Your heart And find my way home.’ Oh my people, that’s so simple, but ever so touching in its directness and simplicity. 

What better way to stay attached to our Maker than with the awesome connection of a heart string. That way, we can never lose our focus, it will be ever stayed on Him, as it ought to. And that’s exactly what’s promised in Isaiah: comfort, through trust in the Lord. Listen to these most comforting words. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

How can you ever beat such a promise eh precious people of God? You simply can’t! And our Bit is the Bible Promise for our poem today; the awesome promise of Almighty God to feed and gently care for all those who wisely come to Him for help, who desire to be in His fold and allow Him to lead and guide them like a kind and caring shepherd does his sheep. And there are so many references to God being our shepherd in the Good Book that we can’t  cover them all, so we’ll just highlight a few; the first from the prophet Ezekiel. 

‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek. 34:22-24). What a mighty promise friends! And according to the scholars the reference to Bruh David there is in regards to his role during the Millennium reign of Christ. He will be appointed a shepherd of Christ’s flock. 

Now we’ll turn to the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, awesome words that we all claim to know, but as always, don’t fully put into practice, otherwise our lives wouldn’t be in such an ungodly mess. (smile) Hear the Master: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:10-11) And isn’t that exactly what He did on the cross at Calvary…give His sinless life so selflessly for us, the hoped-for sheep of His pasture? 

That’s the amazing positivity and optimism of Christ; that before He was even sure of a flock, He died to preserve them! Wow! No one else would ever dream of doing that…except our Saviour! And as He continues later on: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Oh friends, the other flock Jesus was referring to there was us, the non-Jews, the Gentiles, whom He greatly desired to also include in His one worldwide flock at a slightly later date, through Bruh Paul. So this morning, whatever the circumstances in which we find ourselves, let’s make sure that we know, and are hearing the voice of our Good Shepherd nuh, as He walks and talks and guides us safely and LOVINGLY through our day. 

As Bruh David so famously described it: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…’  (Ps. 23:1-4) Yes friends, those are gospel truths, if we believe in Jesus Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely belief, let’s go home now telling the world in no uncertain voice, who and whose we are as set out in our Tuesday Mantra. 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!’ 

So let’s go out now and do just that nuh; share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus with those unfortunate ones who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…and ye my flock…the flock of my pasture…are men…and I am your God…saith the Lord God…(Ezek. 34:31)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2020 John 15:13.

John 15:13.   ​Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
Sunday morning…time for church! Don’t let the inclement weather we have going in the G.T.A, or for that matter, good weather wherever you are, keep you away from darkening the doors of the Lord’s sanctuary this morning. (smile) Yes, good weather ofttimes can deceive us into not going to worship with our fellow believers, makes us feel we’d be better off doing something supposedly more enjoyable. 

But pray tell me people, what can be more enjoyable than meeting with a number of people who share our beliefs, who encourage us, then join with us to sing, praise, and dance before the Lord our God, to hear His magnificent and uplifting Word, and consequently leave His sanctuary refreshed, renewed, and full of the joy, peace and confidence that only He can give! Nothing friends…Nothing! So let’s get the show on the road nuh, beginning as usual with the singing and praising and dancing. 

And today’s song of praise is a fairly new Christian song that’s become quite popular over the years. It’s aptly titled: ‘In Christ Alone.’ The website Godtube tells us that the song was written in 2002, by Christian  songwriters Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. According to Townend “The song came about in an unusual way. Keith and I met in the autumn of 2000 at a worship event, and we resolved to try to work together on some songs. 

A few weeks later Keith sent some melody ideas, and the first one on the CD was a magnificent, haunting melody that I LOVED, and immediately started writing down some lyrical ideas on what I felt should be a timeless theme commensurate with the melody. So the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out, and when we got together later on to fine tune it, we felt we had encapsulated what we wanted to say.” 

And did they ever encapsulate a whole lot of stuff about Jesus! So let’s sing it now like we really mean it nuh, letting heaven know that we’re truly grateful for our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let our voices convey the sacrificial praise our hearts feel, in sweet, soulful harmony. 

‘In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song; This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of LOVE, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My comforter, my all in all— Here in the LOVE of Christ I stand. In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, Fullness of God in helpless babe! This gift of LOVE and righteousness, Scorned by the ones He came to save. Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied; For ev’ry sin on Him was laid— 

Here in the death of Christ I live. There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; For I am His and He is mine— Bought with the precious blood of Christ. No guilt in life, no fear in death— This is the pow’r of Christ in me; From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand…Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand… Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand….’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends! In the amazing and awesome power of Christ we must ALL stand, because there has never been, and will never be another as magnificent and magnanimous as Him! As I keep saying He is indeed our EVERYTHING! Our hope, our light, our strength, our song, the cornerstone on which our faith is built, the ONE  who walks beside and guides us through the worst times of drought and storm… 

And don’t talk about LOVE…His is the greatest. As He said so simply and sincerely: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’  (John 15:13-14) And then He went out and laid down His sinless life, sacrificed it ever so selflessly for us, with the expectancy and anticipation that we would be His friends and do what He commanded us. Yes my fellow believers (steups!), Jesus didn’t just talk the talk, He walked the walk…on our behalf. He died that we could be alive and be reconciled to the Father; took our sins and gave us His righteousness…and so much more. 

That’s why when Bruh Paul talks to us about the ways of the believer (steups!), we ought to listen and obey. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) That’s exactly what He did my people, and as followers of His, He expects us to be obedient to His commands, do our best to adopt His character traits, because you know the Father’s ultimate plan is to have us all become like His Only Son…well as close as our human flesh and nature will allow. (smile) 

And we don’t even have time and space to touch on all the topics the songwriters touch on in our song. So we’ll just look at these last two; peace and comfort. Oh my my, Jesus is the Master of Peace: the peace that passes all human understanding! Here Him to the disciples nuh: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

And Bruh Paul describes Him thus: ‘For he (himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us;’ (Eph.2:14) No doubt about that! He mashed up the old order and destroyed the enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made them to exist in One body, His church. 

And when yuh talking about comfort friends, there’s no better place to find it than in Jesus! Here these extraordinary words from His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28, 30) No one else can make that promise and keep it! That’s why I keep saying that Jesus is the ANSWER, for He has everything that you will ever need, both for this life and the hereafter! Please be wise and lean confidently, faithfully and reassuringly on Him! He won’t let you down! Much LOVE!

…The Prince of Peace…of Comfort…and of LOVE…Jesus Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2020 John 8:12.

John 9:12.    ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
 
Well it’s begun as a somewhat grey and unappealing Thursday morning, but let’s hope that it will eventually turn into a bright sunshiny day like yesterday, although it was a tad on the chilly side. Yes friends, there’s something to be said for sunshine, even when it’s freezing cold! (smile) It just lifts the spirits…don’t know if it’s because of the light and our spirits were made to enjoy light, not darkness, but it certainly does help to see a nice, bright day filled with sunshine, especially when things are not going too well. 

But yuh know what? We believers don’t really need to depend so much on the physical sunlight because we have the one who made that sunlight, who is also that sunlight, dwelling deep down inside of us! And consequently, when the physical sunlight is not apparent, we can faithfully call on the spiritual light of Jesus to brighten up our days…and also our nights! Wow! That’s why He could make this awesome, but oh so true statement: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ 

Ah friends, what a blessing it is to have the Light of the world in our lives; dwelling securely and faithfully in the souls and spirits of each believer! (chuh!) Give Him much thanks and praise for He is certainly deserving of them! Now hear how John characterizes Him nuh: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ (John 1:1-4) 

Yes my people, Jesus was there from the very beginning: He was the Word; the awesome Word that God spoke to create the universe! ‘Let there be light…and there was light.’ (Gen. 1:3) He was also ‘the life’, which was the light of men, meaning when we have Jesus, we have both life and light! Glory be! And as the scholars explain: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

That’s why it’s so sad and unfortunate when John continues: ‘And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:5) Yes, Jesus came to shine light into a darkened world, but the world did not cotton to His light. Why, you wonder? Because as Jesus said in His famous discourse to Nicodemus: ‘And this is the condemnation of the world, that light (the light) is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) 

No wonder we refused the life and light that was, is, and will always be Jesus! It’s hard for evil man to give up his evil deeds because it’s just an inherent part of his nature. But friends, that evil nature will not get us anywhere except hellfire and damnation, eternal separation from Almighty God, which is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul and spirit! That’s why the Father sent Jesus to earth to redeem us and to reconcile us to Him, otherwise come the big judgement day, we’d be left on the outside looking in. And believe me friends, whatever that might entail in reality, it certainly will not be a good thing! 

Now listen to Jesus again on the subject of ‘the light of the world,’ when He was about to heal a man born blind and the disciples asked Him who had sinned that he was born blind? ‘Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (be revealed) in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the  light of the world.’ 

Yes precious people of God, certain things are made to happen in this evil word so that our God can cause them to be rectified and thus glorify His most blessed and holy name! But the most important part of those statements is the fact that while Jesus was in the world, He was indeed the light of the world, but once He left the world, the duty of being light to a darkened world fell on us, His believers. Like He said back on the Sermon on the Mount after the Beatitudes: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. …Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Ah my fellow believers (yeah!), we are now the reflection of Jesus’ shining light to this evil world, so let’s go out and shine nuh… Oh and don’t forget we’re also the salt of the earth, so we have to be tasty too, otherwise we’ll just be cast out and ground underfoot. (smile)  And the great thing about Jesus is that He never gives us a task to perform unless He gives us the wherewithal, the tools to perform it. And He’s certainly given us the tools to be the salt and light of the earth in our Thursday Blessings, so let’s declare (yeah!) them now nuh, so we can invoke them in our daily routine. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we truly believe and are truly sincere, then we’ll go out now and generously share those blessings with others as Jesus desires of us, and don’t selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…oh…what a joy and pleasure it is…to be the salt and light of this evil world…in Jesus’ name…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    ​Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Well it’s Wednesday; the middle of the work week, the hump day, where we feel like we’ve finally gotten hold of, gotten over that invisible hump, where work takes up most of our time. But work certainly takes up most of our time in this life yes! Most of us work five days a week for an average of forty years, then we retire, thankful that there’s no work on the horizon, the early mornings and late nights are finally done! 

But yuh know what? After doing something for forty years it’s hard to get accustomed to not doing anything, to not have to get up and go to work every day, although we complained most days about having to get up and go to work! Hn! And if we just loll about in retirement and don’t keep busy, then our bodies give up and we head back to the dust from which we’ve come, sooner than expected. We’re creatures of habit. That’s the contrariness of the human animal! (smile) 

And I finally finished watching the second half of the movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it is indeed an epic story. But if the truth be told, nothing has really changed in our world since then nuh; that civil  war didn’t solve a whole lot, possibly besides the end of slavery, because there have been several bigger and more brutal wars since then, there’s still too much racism, overt and covert, still too much avarice and greed and jealously and strife, too much poverty and sickness and advantage, too much injustice and discrimination, be it by race, colour, class or creed, despite all the supposed advances we’ve made! 

Yes friends, our world is still a hotbed of dissension and disagreement! And yuh know what? It’s getting worse! Just look around at all the discontent between friends and families, between neighbours and nations…we’ve come closer together in terms of distance and communication, but we’ve gotten further apart in terms of true fellowship. There are more lonely people around now even with the advent of cell phones and social media, because that communication is basically impersonal; half the time you don’t even know who you’re really dealing with. 

Oh my people, the ONLY true solution to what ails our world is JESUS! He is the ONLY ONE who can truly bring us all together and give us the peace, LOVE and joy that we all seem to clamour for, but are far from experiencing! But strangely enough, Jesus is also one of the biggest factors of contention in our world; you either LOVE Him or hate Him with a passion! 

But let me ask you a few questions? Who is the ONLY ONE that came down from heaven, was made man, made in our image and lived amongst us like us eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died on a cross to take away our sins, to give us another option besides hellfire and damnation with Satan eh? JESUS CHRIST! Who is the ONLY ONE who died and rose from the grave and ascended back into heaven with the promise to come back for us when we have made disciples of all the nations so that nobody will be lost to Beelzebub eh? JESUS CHRIST! 

Oh precious people, who said these momentous words with this awesome promise? ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Oh friends, Jesus had no cause to lie. They saw Him do numerous miracles. They saw Him crucified on the cross at Calvary, then rise up again. Yuh think if the early believers didn’t see Christ after He rose from the dead, they would have believed him and done what He asked and waited for Him? No way Jose! 

Hear the scholars: ‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’ And a great shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’ echoes far and wide across the land in anticipation of that most wonderful promise! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who desires to build a group of people, His church, on the basis of LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control). And if you didn’t recognize them, they are the fruit of the Spirit, seeds of which are planted in our own spirit when we do the wise thing and receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It’s then left up to us to water and nurture them and let them grow in and through us, by reading His Word and sincerely living it. 

That’s why Jesus said: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them,’ speaking of false prophets and evil deceivers. (Matt.7:20) A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. And we need to also remember these famous words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:13). 

Yes brothers and sisters, LOVE is indeed the greatest, because God is LOVE, and LOVE does no harm, but covers a multitude of sins, neither is there any fear in LOVE! And if  God first LOVED us, then we should also LOVE Him, and LOVE one another too: those are His two greatest desires! And now that all of that is indelibly written in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, let’s go home celebrating our position in Christ by declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail. 

Altogether now, in strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And in light of all Jesus has promised, friends, it will certainly be a glorious future indeed! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the answer to EVERYTHING…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2020 John 3:16.

John 3:16.    ​For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
 
And Sunday, the great day of wonderful fellowship has arrived! Not that fellowship can’t happen at other times, but Sunday has been set aside by the Lord as the day He wants as many believers as possible to gather together in His sanctuary to sing and praise and exalt His holy name, to hear His amazing Word, then leave there with batteries thoroughly recharged, filled with LOVE, joy, grace, peace, mercy, spiritual strength and confidence to face the evil world in which we dwell! 

So let’s make a special effort to gather in the Lord’s house today nuh my people, so that we can have joyful communion with our great God and with fellow believers! Steups! Like I can’t spell believers either! Ah Lord eh! And in a most appropriate manner, let’s open the proceedings with a favourite song of praise that tells of the true greatness of our magnificent God, one aptly titled ‘How Great Thou Art!’ Oh, some people leave out the second verse, but I think that’s wrong, because like the first it describes God’s great work in nature. So we won’t leave out anything that glorifies our God! (smile) 

In full voice, like one harmonious whole, let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise, sincerely believing the words we sing: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder Consider all The works Thy Hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy pow’r throughout The universe displayed, (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods And forest glades I wander I hear the birds Sing sweetly in the trees, When I look down From lofty mountain grandeur And hear the brook And feel the gentle breeze, (Chorus:) And when I think, that God His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in. That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing He bled and died, to take away my sin. (Chorus: ) 

When Christ shall come, With shouts of acclamation, And take me home, What joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow In humble adoration And there proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!” (Chorus: Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!’ 

Oh friends what a joyful and grateful song! The Lord was most pleased with our praise. How could He not eh, when the words were oh so true and the sentiments sincere? For throughout the scriptures there are acknowledgments of all that we have sung above. And it’s said nowhere better than in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. 

Please declare with me: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah) from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.’ Ps. 148:1-6) 

Yes friends, it’s all been the Lord’s doing! As another psalmist gave voice: ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: he layeth up the depth (deep) in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.’ (Ps.33. 6-9) What an omnipotent God we serve and worship my people! 

But yuh know what, the second half of our song is even greater than the first half, because it shows God’s true greatness through His mercy, grace, compassion and LOVE for us sinful children of men. Only a truly great, and in total control Deity could have espoused a scheme so magnanimous as sending His only Son to pay for our sins as a sacrificial lamb on the cross of Calvary. The old song says that ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart,’ but our God was no fool nuh when He broke His own to save us from eternal separation from Him. That just showed the immense LOVE He had for His creation, though that creation had turned against Him. 

Here these poignant words of Bruh Paul nuh: ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 8) And Jesus Himself made it very clear with these awesome words: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ It couldn’t get any better than that nuh friends! The Creator giving up His Son, His sinless wonderful Son to save a bunch of reprobates like us…

Chuh! I don’t see how we could not sincerely LOVE, worship, reverence, exalt and be obedient to Him nuh, after all that He’s done and has faithfully promised to do for us. But since we have free will, freedom to choose whom or what we serve, we getting stubborn and rebellious. Remember though friends, our God might be a compassionate Deity, but He’s also a God of justice and righteousness, and one day we all will have to answer to him for our earthly behaviour. Hebrews warns us quite clearly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb.9:27) Please put that in yuh pipe and smoke it. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…

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