Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2019 Joel 2:21.

Joel 2:21.   ​Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.
 

Here it is friends, Sunday, the first and best day of the week! Time to rest as well as time to fellowship with other believers in the house of our omnipotent God! Glory be my people! There’s no greater honour and privilege than giving God glory, praising Him and exalting His holy name with other believers! 

Some of us look upon it as work, as an unnecessary burden and a hindrance to our worldly way of life, but for your information my brethren that’s the main reason God created us in the first place; to worship Him, to pay Him obeisance in all that we do. So let’s cut out all the rigmarole nuh, and if we’re physically able, let’s get ourselves to church sometime today and praise and worship and adore and exalt our most wonderful God! 

Now let’s get the proceedings going with this wonderful song written by the English clergyman Phillip Doddridge in the latter half of the 18th century. It’s a song we all know and LOVE, especially this gospel arrangement by Edwin Hawkins, recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers back in the late 1960’s, eventually becoming an international hit and a gospel music standard. 

So friends, let’s lift our voices, our eyes and hands, our hearts and souls to heaven as we worship God with the rather appropriate words and sentiments of ‘Oh Happy Day!’ And don’t forget to make the call and response sweet, for though the words are meaningful they are mostly repetitive, and it’s that back and forth communication that truly livens up the song. 

So enough talk, let’s sing: ‘Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) (Repeat) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) When Jesus washed  (When Jesus washed) Oh, when He washed (When Jesus washed) When Jesus washed (When Jesus washed) He washed my sins away (Oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) He taught me how (He taught me how) To watch and fight and pray Watch and pray And live rejoicing every day (Good God) Every day 

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, it’s a happy day (Oh, happy day) Oh, Lord (Oh, happy day) Mmm, good God (Oh, happy day) Oh yeah (Oh, happy day) Mmm, oh (Oh, happy day). Oh, happy happy dayyyy…!” 

 Oh friends, oh friends, that was wonderful! All heaven was singing and dancing with us! It’s one of those songs that you can’t help feeling in your soul and responding favourably to it. And don’t think that the Father wasn’t swaying and singing too nuh, because there’s nothing He likes better than a good song of praise! Bless His holy name! 

And there’s no doubting that the day Jesus died on the cross was indeed a happy day for us, because as the song says, He washed all our sins away, paid our sin debt in full! Wow! And if that isn’t cause to be happy, I don’t know what is nuh! Yes my faithful brethren, forgiveness of sins is the greatest gift that we can ever receive! And Jesus in His amazing LOVE and selflessness provided it for us! 

Note He sacrificed His sinless life for us, bore our sins on the cross at Calvary so that we could have His righteousness and be reconciled to our heavenly father, from whom we were then estranged through the partition of sin. Therefore we ought to gratefully and gracefully accept His offer and continuously show our thanks by living sincerely for Him and His cause. How could we do otherwise eh, after all He’s done for us? 

He died for us, taught us how to watch and fight and pray and live rejoicing everyday…yes friends every day! Now isn’t all of that stuff to be joyful about? It surely is! And we’d certainly be foolish and unwise if we didn’t accept it as such and be joyful about it all! We have absolutely no reason to be unhappy and dissatisfied with the Lord, for He’s lived up to every promise He’s ever made. 

Look at what He promised the Israelites in our Bit through the prophet Joel after they had come back to Him in repentance. ‘Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.’ And He most certainly did! The greatest being the unconditional LOVE He bore us and expressing it through Jesus, which gave us the forgiveness of sins, and then salvation through His amazing grace! And I’ll say it again; NOTHING can be greater than that friends! 

Hear how Moses blessed the tribes of Israel before his death. ‘Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you): and thou shalt tread upon (tread down) their high places (places of pagan worship.’ (Deut.33:29) And that’s exactly what happened to Israel when they were obedient to the Lord. 

And we’ll end with Bruh David’s take on the subject from Psalm 144: ‘Happy is that people, that is in such a case (state): yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.’ (Ps.144:15) And if Bruh David was saying that long before Jesus came, can you imagine how much better it got when Jesus came? Oh friends, if I have to read and spell that for you, then you don’t really believe nuh! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Jesus…ought to be constantly rejoicing…and showing it too…simply because of the wonderful gifts He’s given us…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2018 1 Chronicles 29:13.

1 Chronicles 29:13.   ​Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
 

And so it’s Thursday…Already? Yeh! That’s what happens when you spend the first two days of the week traipsing into the big city for medical appointments; you lose track of both the days and the time and nothing productive gets done at home. Yesterday was a rest day…not a lazy day. (smile) So let’s hope some productive stuff can be accomplished today…and yuh better believe there is a lot to be accomplished! (smile) 

And to help us get on the productive side, here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘There Are No Words.’ Please pray with me: ‘How can I put into words, my Lord The flooding, transforming power That sweeps my life because of You? 

How can I explain to anyone The soaring, surging peace That You alone can give? All the wonder-filled things in my life All the joyful, glorious things I owe to Your goodness, Your grace, Your LOVE. Nothing is ever the same since knowing You. And the longer I know You The deeper my LOVE!’ 

Oh my people, my people, what awesome words of truth are contained in that short poem! Every line is filled with gospel truth regarding our great God! Oh friends, once you get to know Him, NOTHING will ever be the same in your life! For when you begin to truly experience, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, and above all His unconditional LOVE…

Oh Mama Mia! The change in your life will be so awesome and so magnificent that you’ll be left wondering what kind of life you lived before, and why didn’t you get to know the Lord before this? But it just wasn’t the right time! Have no fear, when He’s ready for you, He brings you into His fold in ways you cannot imagine, until they happen. 

But please note one thing friends; our God might be magnanimous and magnificent, but He’s no push over! He might have a soft heart for His wayward, disobedient children, but don’t think you can take advantage of His goodness, because if you ever feel His wrath…Hn! It can be just as great as His goodness and mercy and LOVE! 

So please try your best not to get on His wrong side, although when you come to know and LOVE Him, that’s sort of difficult to do. Why? Because you’ll be overflowing with such LOVE and desire to be obedient to His will, that mistakes will more likely be of ignorance than of purposeful disrespect. 

And to celebrate all that we’ve said, I don’t think there’s a more appropriate passage in scripture to describe it than Bruh David’s words of prayer and thanksgiving, when he was raising funds to build the Lord’s temple. Please read and pray with me: ‘Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our Father, for ever and ever. 

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. 

But who am I, and what is thy people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners (temporary dwellers), as were all our fathers: our days on earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding (no hope for any).

O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee a house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.’ (1 Chr.29:10-16) 

What beautiful words of prayer and thanksgiving my brethren…and also of truth! Oh friends, until we recognize, and realize, and understand that everything we posses is God’s and comes from Him, we’ll never be able to truly appreciate all that we have, and give Him the kind of thanks and praise He deserves. 

That’s the basic difference between Bruh David’s time and ours. They seemed to know where there goodness came from, so they could afford to be generous toward the Lord. But in our time, generosity towards the Lord and His purpose…Hn! It’s like pulling teeth! Because we don’t truly recognize the source of all our goodness and grace and mercy. 

Anyway friends, let’s hope that all we’ve said and read today touches our hearts and souls and makes us more appreciative of what our heavenly Father does in our earthly lives when we truly come to know Him. So let’s go home now, shouting out loud and proud, the great blessings He’s showered down on us believers, as found in our Thursday Blessings. 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

Now, two things to remember; Blessings aren’t blessings until they are shared and declared over someone! So let’s go out and warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart by doing those two things nuh! Much LOVE!

…truly knowing our great God is so amazing…that sometimes…without sincere faith… it’s hard to believe…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2018 John 10:11.

John 10:11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
 

Ah friends, sorry for the Bit’s lateness, but I went to bed late, got up late, and had a few things to do before I began writing. But the good news is, here I am at last! Glory! Glory! (smile) 

 Oh isn’t it just great to be alive? To be able to laugh and sing, run and jump, (not me… just yet), and even cry once in a while? It surely is, especially when we are living with and working for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Oh praise His holy name my faithful brethren; exalt the name that’s above EVERY other name, to whom ALL knees MUST eventually bow! 

Yeh, that’s our Messiah, our Prince of Peace, our heavenly Advocate, Our Burden Bearer, Our Comforter, in fact our Be All and End All, our EVERYTHING! Wow! Are we ever so blessed to have a Leader of such awesome proportions! Let’s give Him the thanks and praise He deserves…and all day long at that! 

Yeh, the ole fella’s in a joyful, exclamatory mood this morning! And why not eh? I just got some most excellent news; news that my heart problems have improved…Glory to God! And I’m now medically fit to travel…Oh mih brethren, that’s the best news ever! 

It’s been almost three years that I’ve been parked up here without the ability to get on an iron bird. But yuh know what, as I keep saying our God is ever so faithful, because many a day I’ve lain in my bed and looked through my window at the iron birds coming and going to and from the nearby airport, wondering when I’d be able to get on one. 

And the Good Lord has always quieted my heart by promising that one day, in the not too distant future, He will lift the medical limitations and free me from this onerous bondage… And now He has done just as He has promised! Bless His holy name! So in light of that extraordinary faithfulness, why wouldn’t I just offer up my whole heart and soul, thanks and praise to Him eh? No reason whatsoever my people! 

But enough of my excitement…let’s get on with the Bit. It’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. And we do have a whole slew of then this week, all dealing with change. And we will begin with this one: ‘If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.’ 

I’m not so sure about that nuh, because the human animal is so eccentric and confusing, and dislikes change so much, that a lot of us will probably prefer to be irrelevant rather than to change. That leads us to this quote: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ 

Now that I definitely disagree with! In my many years and much trial and testing on God’s earth, I’ve usually found that the price of change is usually much higher than the price of standing stationary. In particular the effort that one has to put out to make whatever change is necessary. That’s why so many people just stay the same way in the same place. 

That’s why this next quote is the living truth! ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ Now that’s exactly why so many of us resist change, even change that’s obviously in our best interest! Change just doesn’t come easy. And this one mirrors the truth of the last. ‘The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.’ And so it has my brethren… though not always for the better! 

That brings us to the last quote: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ And isn’t that that the undeniable truth people? Unless our world changes, and drastically too, and also towards Jesus, until we stop trying to drive God out of our society and instead, embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, our world will just continue sinking inexorably, relentlessly into the muck and mire of Lucifer’s evil empire. 

And that is not what our Saviour came to earth and suffered so much for. That’s definitely not why He suffered such pain and humiliation and eventually gave up His sinless life on that wooden cross at Calvary. If He wanted us to become part and parcel of Lucifer’s evil empire, He would have just remained in His cozy corner in heaven enjoying all the exotic delights provided by His Father. But He sacrificially gave all of that up to come and save our sinful souls. 

Remember friends, Lucifer is the master of thievery, lies and deception, an evil genius in leading mankind astray. Just look at how he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s still doing it to us to this day. However Jesus declared, and proved it too: ‘The thief cometh not, but (except) for 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 there is absolutely no doubt that that’s what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary; give His sinless, holy life on behalf of our abominable sinful souls, so that the Father could justifiably forgive us and reconcile us to Himself. So why are we still foolishly running behind Lucifer and his evil, lustful, carnal, ungodly way of life eh? A way of life that will only lead to eternal separation from our heavenly Father; the worst fate that can ever befall a human soul! 

I don’t know the answer to that nuh friends, but I am surely trying my best to stay away from that end result…and I sincerely hope that you are trying to do the same, because that’s the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will definitely follow Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2018 Psalm 37:3.

Psalm 37:3.   Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).

Well friends, the ole fella’s been up and about early. I even went out to my favourite store, Walmart and bought a new lamp, an LED one to boot. It seems to be working fairly well so far. 

And everything outside surely looked and felt fresh and clean because we got some good rain yesterday evening, in fact a real torrential downpour, and later in the night it drizzled for quite some time. And after my after dinner nap, I just lay in bed enjoying the soothing sound of the rain and eventually fell asleep again. Hn! What a life! 

But it’s a new day, for which we’re thankful, and will behave in the appropriate manner. And since it’s also Saturday, we’ll look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Be gentle with yourself, you are doing the best you can.’ 

And most of us are doing our best, but unfortunately we’re not being gentle with ourselves. However, it’s something a lot of us need to learn how to do. We are kind and compassionate to others, but we beat up ourselves over the slightest mistake. 

That’s not right friends. Just like the Lord forgives us, and we forgive others, we also need to forgive our selves. We’re only imperfect human beings, and consequently will make mistakes even though we have the best intentions and interests at heart. So please, let’s stop beating up ourselves unnecessarily. 

And this next quote tells us that: ‘It might take a year, it might take a day, but what’s meant to be will always find its way.’ And I want to look at that in the context of the Christian life. The Lord has a plan for each and every person that He breathes life into. 

That means we all have a destiny and the only person who can stop you from reaching it is you. Once you are walking in God’s plan, your destiny will come true, but believe me, it will certainly take more than a day or a year. (smile) 

That leads us to this next quote:  ‘Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.’ And it ties in with the last one, where in the Christian context, we don’t believe in chance or coincidence. We believe that everything is worked out through the Master’s will. Therefore, if you’re walking in His will, then your life will change according to the definitive plan that He has for it. 

Now listen to this: ‘Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have an offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! But it just so happens that in this prosperous, permissive and greedy society, we’re never satisfied with what we have. We always want more, even when we don’t have the time to use or enjoy what we already have. 

And talking about troubles, most of the troubles we complain about are petty, immaterial things. Ninety percent of the world would be overjoyed to have our problems. That’s why we should be ever so thankful and joyful for the fairly trouble free lives we live. 

And the last quote declares: ‘You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.’ And if you’re a Christian, then that will always be the case, because our God doesn’t explain everything to us, but He does expect us to move forward, daily growing in faith, because of His Word and all His faithful promises contained therein. That’s the lot of the believer. 

Ah friends, it all depends on one word, ‘TRUST!’ Yeh, when we truly surrender our lives to God and put all our trust in Him, then we’re truly on our way. Listen to these words of Bruh David, a man who lived that trust throughout his life and was well rewarded by the Lord.‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness).’ 

That’s just pure common sense mih breddren! If you’re walking hand in hand with the faithful Creator and Controller of the universe, your life must be on the up side! Look at all Bruh David went through before he became king, but in those trying times he kept on trusting the God of his fathers to look after him…and He did! So much so that Bruh David became Israel’s greatest king and ruler. 

And the Lord will certainly do the same with us friends, if we entrust our very souls to Him. Life will not always be a bowl of cherries, but we will come out of the trying times stronger, more mature, more Christ-like, and filled with more faith. That’s just the way it works in the Lord’s economy. 

And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol, whom the Lord made the wisest and richest man in the world because he asked not for riches and long life but for wisdom to rule God’s people. 

‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov.3:5-8) 

Oh friends, there we have the recipe for success from two of the most successful men that ever passed through this world, and the foundation is exactly the same: sincere TRUST in Almighty God! Now why would we not use the same foolproof recipe eh? Could it be because we’re just stubborn and prideful and feel we know best…? Much LOVE!

…if you don’t trust your Leader…why are you in His organization…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2017 Jeremiah 31:3.

Jeremiah 31:3.    The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE: therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.

And the pendulum of time swings – back and forth – every minute of every hour, of every day, month and year. But who knows when that pendulum of time will stop swinging eh?  Only Jehovah God, who created it, in the first place. It is not for man to know the plans God has for His universe, but to just accept them with humility and gratitude, while praising and worshipping the One who breathed the exotic breath of His eternal life into our frail, mortal bodies.  

Now, as another Sunday rolls around, we gather once more in joyful fellowship in God’s sanctuary to praise and worship, exalt and glorify His Holy Name, as he desires of us. And, as always, we’ll begin the worship by offering up the sacrifice of praise in song. Today’s opening hymn is an old one, ‘Jesus LOVER of my Soul,’ written by Charles Wesley way back in the 18th century. It’s one we all know and cherish, so let’s belt it out with great joy and enthusiasm. 

‘Jesus, LOVER of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high; hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past; safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last! Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing. 

Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. Thou of life the fountain art; freely let me take of thee; spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus had to LOVE our sinful souls, else why did He sacrifice His righteous life, taking our sin unto His shoulders, while giving us His righteousness? True LOVE could be the only answer. Jesus said it to His disciples. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Then He went out and laid down His life for us all. 

But it all began with the Father, as Jeremiah reports in our Bit, when the Lord promised the restoration of Israel. ‘The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have LOVED thee with an everlasting LOVE: therefore with LOVING-kindness have I drawn thee.’ 

Yuh see how often He allowed Israel to be torn apart, then He LOVINGLY built them back up again. And it’s not only LOVE that God has for His human creation, but also infinite patience! Oh my people, what great and undying concern the Lord has for us! It’s almost impossible to understand the length and breadth and height and depth of it. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time), Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

As the scholars explain: ‘5:8. Christ died for us: His death was vicarious. That is, He did not die merely for our benefit, but in our place. His was a substitutionary sacrifice.’ Oh my people, how touching and heartwarming that is eh! Knowing that Christ died instead of me, so that I didn’t have to die an awful, sinful death… How much more should that make me LOVE Him and place my undying trust in all that He stands for! 

Oh my fellow believers, as we truly study it, the portrait of LOVE coming out of heaven, just keeps on getting bigger and deeper. How so, you ask?  Because Jesus didn’t have to die for us, but because He was sinless, He was the ONLY One who could atone for our sins, pay the sacrificial debt needed to wash and cleanse us and prevent us from being thrown into everlasting darkness. And being the wonderful and obedient Son that He was, He accepted the Father’s assignment without hesitation, and like a lamb, without a bleat, eventually went to the His awful death for our sakes. 

And now, ingrates that we are, we’re boldfaced enough to make nasty jokes about Him, mock Him, put Him down, offer blatant derision and blaspheme His holy name! But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom, for time is truly longer than twine, and in God’s good time, He will send Jesus back into this horrible world to clean it up, and all those naysayers and unbelievers, and workers of iniquity will not be laughing then, because Jesus will be sitting on the throne of His father David in Jerusalem running things. Glory to God! 

So let the fools have their way now my brethren, we will have the last laugh when Jesus comes back in all His shining glory and mercurial splendor. Then ALL knees WILL bow before Him, and ALL voices WILL declare that He is Lord of all, to the everlasting glory of God the Father! 

Yes friends, that’s how it is going to be whenever the Lord decides it’s time to clean up this awful mess of His world that we have created. So please hang in there, stay focused on Jesus and in serious and sincere LOVE with Him, so that when He returns, we will be numbered amongst His entourage. Much LOVE!

…oh when the saints…go marching in…I want to be amongst that glorious number…oh when the saints…go marching in…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…  

 

 

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