Today​’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2019 2 Timothy 4:8.

2 Timothy 4:8.   ​Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.
 
And then it was Saturday, and the sun seems to be fighting a losing battle against the dark clouds in my neighbourhood. But thankfully, the souls of believers in Jesus Christ never have to go through that dilemma because the bright light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ALWAYS shining brightly in our souls! 

And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name! Give Him unending thanks for sending Jesus to save and rescue us!’ 

Yeh friends, what a blessed day that was when Jesus came to earth to save the lost and free those caught up in the bondage of sin! That’s why I can’t understand why so many of us still reject Him. But to each his own, we’ll have to bear the consequences of whatever decision we make, whether it’s the wise one to accept Jesus, or the foolish one to reject Him! 

But since it’s Saturday and we have several quotes from our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow, let’s check them out nuh. And the first one says: ‘A year from now you will wish you had started today.’ And that’s certainly true! 

Any project you keep putting off, will come back to haunt you. You’ll find that time has gotten away from you and nothing’s been done on the project. It’s like the Chinese Proverb says: ‘The longest journey always begins with the first step.’ So it’s advisable to take that first step as soon as possible and don’t keep putting it off. 

And the second quote advises: ‘Lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at you.’ That certainly has some wisdom in it. Not all our critics or naysayers are wrong yuh know. Sometimes they do have valid points of criticism, and the wise person listens to those criticisms, evaluates them, and then uses whatever is pertinent to their particular situation. 

Granted, a lot of us just criticize for the sake of criticizing, and there’s no real value to what we say, but in many instances, there are some gems of wisdom which we can use as strong building blocks. So never just write off criticism as useless. 

 Now hear this next quote: ‘I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.’ Words of wisdom friends! We’re not superhuman, only human, and thus are subject to frailties and weaknesses, which mean we will occasionally fail at stuff we do. 

However, failure is not really failure until we stop trying! That’s the difference between success and failure; the act of not giving up! Look at our oh so technological society, how do you think we got to where we are? It’s because many inventors and investors did not give up when they originally failed. They tried and tried again until they succeeded! 

And that’s exactly what Jesus desires and expects of his followers: NO GIVING UP! Those words are not in His vocabulary at all, and should not be in ours either! So please, let’s keep on keeping on nuh, because we have ALLthe parts to do so. Jesus gave them to us when He died on the cross at Calvary to save our sinful souls and then sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us for all time! Wow! What an awesome Lord and Saviour we have! 

And in this last quote we’re called on to prove the greatness of Jesus in our lives. It says: ‘If you run, you stand a chance of losing, but if you don’t run, you’ve already lost.’ More truth from our friend Anselm! It’s like they say: ‘If you don’t have a ticket, you don’t stand a chance of winning!’ 

So if you want to win at anything, you’ve got to get into the race and run it. You might lose, but if you’re not in it, you certainly won’t win. Non-runners can’t win a race in which they don’t run. It’s as simple as that! (smile) And my fellow believers, the most important race we’ll ever have to run is the race of life that’s set before each and everyone of us, in bright and glowing colour, Technicolor, if you will (smile) because we are followers of Jesus! 

Yes my fellow believers, there’s a light that shines so brilliantly in our lives that at times it tends to blind us, especially when we escape from any dark times in which we find ourselves. It’s like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but in our case it’s a true and sure light, that of heaven with Jesus at the end of our earthly lives…and not just for a short time, but for all eternity! And that means forever…and ever…and ever…until forever…whenever that might be! (smile) 

But seriously though friends, listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul, his last testament to Timothy and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

That’s the light at the end of the tunnel friends: a crown of righteousness from our heavenly Father, when we run our earthly race with steadfast faith and trust, and finish it with a fighting spirit, no matter how tired, bedraggled and abused our physical bodies might be! 

Ah friends, let me end by reminding us that the race of life is the greatest and most important race we’ll ever run, and the only way to win it is by running it with Jesus as your ever-present partner! That’s it in a nutshell! So please, let’s make the necessary arrangements to run our race of life with Jesus as our partner…RIGHT NOW! 

Why? Because we know not when our race will end; it could be shortly, or a long time from now, but wisdom dictates that we do it as soon as possibly, preferably RIGHT NOW, to avoid any unforeseen mishaps! Much LOVE!

…no Jesus in your race of life…means no winner’s crown of righteousness…at the end of your race…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2018 Psalm 69:30.

Psalm 69:30.   ​I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
 
And then there was snow…not a terrible amount, but enough to call it a snowy day! (smile) So it looks like the purists, though they didn’t get the white Christmas they longed for, might get a white New Year’s Eve. And now another Sunday has come around, the last one of this rather controversial year of 2018, which just means that we have to keep on keeping on, hoping, trusting and having faith in the ever-faithful promises of our ever-faithful God! 

Consequently, it behooves us to make our way today to His sanctuary to worship, praise, celebrate, fellowship, exalt His holy name and hear His reassuring word! And today we going to praise and worship with an old soca song, but one that is full of praise and exaltation for our great God. And I have a small axe to grind, to stir up a hornet’s nest, on the matter of local music being used in our local churches. Now where does it say that only the old European dirges should be used in our local praise and worship eh? 

It’s time we get rid of that colonial mindset. Nothing’s wrong with many of them, but likewise nothing is wrong with playing locally based music in our churches. God LOVES all kinds of music! In fact to make life real, wherever the gospel is preached, local music, music of the local culture should be inculcated into our praise and worship. And I know some of you die-hards won’t agree, because you’ve been brainwashed by the old ways. 

But just think about it for a moment nuh, why are we seeing so few young people in the traditional churches, where we just sing the traditional hymns eh, but so many go to the more contemporary ones, where they sing what is nowadays called Contemporary Music? Now this is the song I wanted to feature last week, but wasn’t able to. It’s a West Indian take on Mary’s Magnificat, by the Calypsonian Penguin, from way back in his 1985 ‘The King Moves’ album. 

Now I featured it one Sunday at Easter time this year, but it’s worth featuring again for this Christmas season. The words are true to the Good Book, and the music is scintillating and most excellent, sure to be LOVED by those hearing it in heaven. And there’s no reason why it can’t be played in our local churches. If you don’t believe me, then Google it and see for yourself. 

And this is what I wrote back then at Easter: ‘So without further ado let’s burst into praiseful song with the ‘Magnificat’, in an easy rocking, up-tempo Soca melody. Listen to the intro of bells, organ and crackling guitar…then shout out: ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah, (horns sing) Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ Now sing it again: ‘Hallelujah, (horns sing) Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!’ 

Now let’s extol the praises of our God: ‘With joyous voices, (horns sing) my spirit rejoices. (horns sing) And my soul has soared, to magnify my Lord. (horns sing) For He took me so humble, And He made me His vessel. Oh yes, He chose me from all the rest. Nations from east and west will know I have been truly blessed.’ (Chorus: For He that is mighty has done great things, I can claim, Oh yes, He is risen, mighty, glory is His name. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah! – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah!  

From generation, (horns sing) unto generation, (horns sing) He has been the same, to all who hear His name. Never vengeful nor angry, He keeps showing His mercy, a mercy that comes from up above, filled with His precious LOVE. It’s a mercy I can tell you of. (horns sing) (Chorus: For He that is mighty…) And pride and conceit, (horns sing) from right in their front seat, (horns sing) with His arm so strong, the Master pull them down. (horns sing) Those who rich and have plenty, He send them away empty. But from the poor He don’t turn His face, Fills them with LOVING grace, And raise the humble to high place. (horns sing)  

(Chorus: For He that is mighty…) He has received well, (horns sing) His good servant Israel. (horns sing) If you serve Him true, He will receive you too. Just like he spoke to Jonah, Abraham and Elijah, He still talks to us everyday, In His own special way, Listen and you’ll hear what He says. (Chorus: For that he is mighty…. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah…!’  

Oh friends, what beautiful music and words of exaltation to our wonderful God. I know heaven was dancing and singing along with us. And I was listening to the song and rocking along while I was typing it. (smile)’ I was indeed listening and rocking along while following it and adding horns sing! So tell me what’s wrong with singing that song in church nuh? Not a so and so thing? But if it was written in European style music, it would be quite all right! Ah Lord eh!  

Now that brings us to our Bit; exciting words from Bruh David: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.’  I think it is still a rather appropriate Bit for that song. That’s because God desires, and LOVES nothing more than to hear our praises and thanksgiving rising up before Him in song! 

Remember that’s one of the reasons He created us in the first place. But unfortunately I believe we’re not coming up to scratch with our praise and worship these days, simply taking His blessings and LOVING-kindness for granted. But that’s not how it ought to be my people. 

Hear Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 28- A Prayer for God’s help: ‘Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with my song will I praise him.’ (Ps.28:7) 

Oh my people, if God is such a prominent part of our lives, and has done so much for us, then it follows logically that we ought to sing and rejoice and give Him grateful praise and thanks, for NO ONE else is going to be so wonderful to us! But time and space are running out on us, so let’s have one more scripture for good measure nuh. (smile) 

More Bruh David – what else eh: ‘But I have trusted in thy mercy (LOVING-kindness); my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’ (Ps.13:5-6) Yeh friends, if the Lord has dealt bountifully with us, then let’s sing and praise His holy name as though there were no tomorrow nuh! And who knows if there will be a tomorrow? Much LOVE!

…God’s heart overwhelmingly bursts with pride and joy…when sincere praise and thanksgiving…rises up to heaven from His people on earth…

…God’s

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2018 Psalm 95:1.

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

So it’s Tuesday friends! What’s new and exciting eh? And you grouchily mumble; ‘same old, same old.’ But that’s not really true, for we have a brand new day to live, courtesy of our magnificent and magnanimous God; a day filled with brand new mercies, grace, forgiveness and LOVE! 

So how can that be the same old, same old eh? Wake up mih breddren, let’s give the Lord God Almighty, our Creator, Controller and Provider some sincere thanks and praise for bringing us through another dark night into a sunny day, filled with the everlasting brilliance of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! 

And to help us do just that, here is a reminder from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, letting us know that no problem is permanent. He says: ‘Every mountain has a peak. Every valley has its low point. Life has its ups and downs, its peaks and its valleys. 

No one is up all the time, nor are they down all the time. Problems do end. They do go away. They are all resolved in time… Storms always give way to the sun. Winter always thaws into springtime. Your storm will pass. Your winter will thaw. Your problem will be resolved.’ And it’s all true my people! 

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

Ah friends, this earthly life is not easy, but with God’s help we can have hope and faith and keep on keeping on, fighting the good fight of faith, turning our problems into gold mines. (smile) 

And as I opened the Good Book to find a suitable Bit for today, this is what jumped out at me: ‘O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (His possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps.95:1-5) 

Oh my faithful believing brethren, those are words of indisputable, inescapable truth! So why aren’t we giving our great God the enormous thanks and praise and reverence He so rightfully deserves eh? I guess we’ve either gotten too comfortable in receiving His LOVE, grace, mercy and forgiveness, that we now take it all for granted and don’t bother to give much thanks for them. Or on the other hand, we simply don’t believe. 

Ah friends, either path is fraught with danger. We give plenty thanks to our fellow men who give us worldly, destructible things, so why not to our Creator and Provider eh, who gives us worldly as well as spiritual things, and so much more than any man? 

Oh my breddren, it behooves us to show plenty gratitude to our wonderful God for undeserved blessings, or those blessings might just stop coming. And if we don’t believe, then we won’t get the blessings and suffer the pangs and numerous injustices of this evil and ungodly world all on our own. Now, even with God’s help, that’s not an easy thing to do, so can you imagine trying to fight this world all on your lonesome? I certainly can’t. 

So please, let’s be wise nuh, let’s get wisdom and understanding, the principal things we need as believers. And when we do that, then we’ll be able to truthfully and sincerely declare like the psalmist: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under His care).’ (Ps.95:6-7a) 

Oh my people, my people, that is what we were made for: to have fellowship with our maker; to LOVE and cherish Him, like He does us. Therefore, as the psalmist encourages, ‘Today if you will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion at Meribah), and as in the day of temptation (trial or testing) in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work.’ (Ps.95:8-9) 

Oh friends, that was so foolish of our forefathers, for look at what happened as a consequence of that foolish act. ‘Forty years long was I grieved (I was disgusted) with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart (go astray), and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.’ (Ps.95:10-11) 

And so said, so done! Only TWO of the millions who left Egypt, Caleb and Joshua, entered the Promised Land because of their disobedience and refusal to take God seriously. They wandered aimlessly in the wilderness for forty years until they all died out. Even Moses, the great man of God, only saw it from afar. 

Oh friends, what wasted lives those were. Please, I implore us, please don’t let us become like those Israelites of old nuh, just wandering aimlessly in this world because of our disobedience or unbelief. Instead, let’s be praiseworthy and strong under the unconquerable banner of God! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the entire world, who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

The next move then is to go and share Christ’s LOVE, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…fools despise wisdom…but wise men praise God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well friends, it’s somewhat cloudy outside on this Saturday morning, but that’s no reason to think we won’t eventually have another glorious day. Technically it’s spring, but does it ever feel like summer. Last night I had to get up and change my T. shirt because I woke up with it soaking wet, even though my bedroom window was wide open. Please note, I’m not complaining, just making a point (smile). I will take that situation over the winter cold any day. 

Unfortunately though, the Big Island of Hawaii is experiencing more heat than an ordinary summer because the volcano just keeps bubbling and releasing lava down its slopes. Houses have now been swallowed up by the molten rock and people are being evacuated, as it doesn’t seem to be easing up. 

I guess the good thing is that it hasn’t erupted with full force spewing its molten guts all over the place. At least this way there is time to evacuate residents who are in immediate danger. Let’s keep on praying for them. 

And today being Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes that we received from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is certainly amusing. ‘If you think Education is expensive, try ignorance.’ But nonetheless it’s true! At least with education you have some idea what it’s all about, but with ignorance, you’re completely lost. 

Now here is an important one. ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ And is that ever true friends! Inferiority is something we allow or bring on ourselves. No matter how much someone else may think they are better than us, because of their wealth, power, or social position, it only holds true if we believe it too. 

So please stop thinking you’re inferior to ANYONE! NO child of God is inferior to any other! We were all made the same way and for the same purpose by Almighty God and He LOVES us all unconditionally, regardless of our circumstances or behaviour! 

And the next quote wisely advises: ‘Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.’ Ah mih people, the first sentence is paramount: ‘Never give up.’ As followers of Jesus we are not supposed to do that because giving up does not exist in His vocabulary. 

He sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be saved, our sins forgiven, and that we’d be imbued through the work of His Holy Spirit with whatever we need to face the rigours of this world. 

And Jesus didn’t mince words, He told us that we’d face persecution and tough times simply because we believed in Him, but that He had already overcome the world, so we had no need to fear or worry, just keep on keeping on in His name! That means to keep on hoping, which makes our last quote invaluable: 

‘Hope is the most exciting thing there is in life!’ Glory to God my people, that is gospel truth! Without hope we have nothing to look forward to. But with hope, we have everything to look forward to and dream about! With hope in our hearts, ANYTHING is possible, especially if we are believers in Jesus, the ONE who can do ANYTHING! 

And there are a couple of expressions about hope that I just LOVE: ‘the first talks about ‘hungry hope, and the second, about ‘prisoners of hope.’ Mama Mia! And as true followers of Jesus we need to possess the first and be one of the latter, if we want to lead a successful earthly life working for Jesus. And the thing about hope friends is its power to bring expectancy, joyful expectancy to our lives. 

And there are so many passages of scripture that deal with hope that we only have time and space for a few. First, check out our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s the greatest hope we can ever have; to spend eternity with Christ, because He rose from the dead, we too shall rise to life eternal! 

And then there is this famous passage from Bruh Paul to the Roman church, which we all know. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) That’s the power of hope friends, believing without seeing, then keeping on in eager expectation of its eventual arrival. 

And we’ll close with these encouraging words of Bruh David from Psalm 16. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my faithful brethren, this Saturday morning, I implore us, if the Lord is at our right hand, then let’s be filled with hungry hope and be strong prisoners of hope nuh! And consequently, let our hearts be glad and rejoice in the glory of our great God, and rest, dwell securely in His hope. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…the world says…seeing is believing…but God says…hoping and believing is true seeing…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2017 Psalm 4:7- 8.

Psalm 4:7-8.   Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

Oh mih breddren, it’s Wednesday! Yay! I got it right! After last week’s mess up, I have to check each day before I write. (smile) And yuh know what people, it’s not only Wednesday, but it also looks like it’s going to be a magnificent Wednesday! 

Why, you ask? Well check this out nuh: We are alive and kicking, and both the sun and the Son are shining as brilliantly as ever, and brand new blessings, things like mercies and grace are flowing like crazy down the pipeline from heaven for all those who choose to seek the Lord and His overwhelming LOVING-kindness! 

Wow! Now if that doesn’t portend a magnificent day, then I don’t know what does. But friends, with all of that goodness flooding some of our lives, let’s remember others in prayer, who are suffering, fighting for their very lives as Hurricane Harvey passed through Texas and is now heading for Louisiana, though on a lesser scale. 

Let’s also remember those people out in British Columbia and those in California who are fighting deadly wildfires, some of them for a couple of months now. Not all of us have it fairly easy, and the least we can do is offer up sincere prayers for their safety. 

Now here is another wonderful something else. (smile) It’s an uplifting and reassuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings By Ruth Harms Calkin. I just could not pass up sharing it. It’s titled ‘Beautiful Things Happen.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘O God Such beautiful things happen When I meet You day by day In quietness and confidence. There is a deep inner wholeness And the assurance of Your guidance. I am not so easily disturbed By changing circumstances. I am less dependent on others And more dependent on You. 

My eyes may be full of tears But my heart is full of joy. In discovering Your hidden treasures I learn how deeply I am treasured by You. When day by day I am responsive To your Whispered secrets You do more for me in one day Than I could do for myself in a lifetime.’ 

Glory Hallelujah mih people! That’s the life of a true practicing and mature Christian right there! That’s how our days usually unfold when we lay it all out before the Lord in the early morning hours. 

There is untold joy in living for the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob even though our individual circumstances might be somewhat rough at any particular time! 

But nonetheless as the Promise for that Poem, which is our Bit, declares: ‘Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn (grain) and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.’ 

Yeh friends, words of indisputable truth from Bruh David! That is the kind of trust and assurance we have in Almighty God, when we sincerely surrender our lives to Him. And why shouldn’t we eh, when He is the Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein? That’s only the height of wisdom and common sense! 

As I keep saying, Bruh David knew on which side his bread was buttered, that’s why he kept the God of his forefathers at the very front of his life, and if we are wise, we would also do the same thing. 

And the author of Psalm 97 – The Lord is far above all gods – echoes the same sentiments. ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil; he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. 

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance (for the memory) of his holiness (his holy name.)’ (Ps.97:10-12)  Truer words were never spoken my fellow believers! 

And yuh know what, one of our current problems is that though we say we believe in God, we don’t truly rejoice and be glad in Him like we ought to. 

There’s always some kind of reservation, some holding back of something, we don’t give our all, possibly afraid or in some doubt that such an abundance of awesome joy and LOVE and graciousness could really be true. 

But it truly is friends, and until we truly surrender our all and truly receive all that the Lord has to offer, we will never really be satisfied and fulfilled. 

Now listen to this scripture from Bruh Paul to the people of Lystra, after he had healed a crippled man, and the people mistook him for a god and wanted to offer him sacrifices. In telling them about the One and Only True God, he ended thus: ‘Who in times past (past generations) suffered (allowed) all nations to walk in their own ways. 

Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ (Acts 14:16-17) No lie that friends! 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘14:17. Even though all men have not received the special revelation of God’s written word, all have received God’s general revelation which is witnessed through the creation and man’s own nature, making man without excuse if he rejects this (Rom.1:18-20: 2:14-15) Romans 1 states that the context of general revelation is that God is holy and all- powerful. Acts 14:17 further states that God is good.’ 

And that we cannot deny my believing brethren! So having all this joy, assurance and gladness in our hearts, let’s go home boldly and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

As one voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. 

I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Keep on keeping on my people! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing better…wiser…more joyful…or more fulfilling…than trusting in Jesus Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2016 Proverbs 13:12.

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

Ah friends, after much unseasonable temperatures and many bright, sun shiny days, we might finally be getting our first taste of Mother Winter this weekend. The temperature is supposed to dip to just above zero on Sunday, and possibly provide flurries on that day and Monday. I sure am not looking forward to it. Wish I could be in sweet Tobago, going up Calder Hall to get some of Brother Kirby’s fine tasting and nutritious soup this Saturday morning. (smile) 

But you know the human animal is a strange being; we know that the winter weather will soon be here, and we’re supposed to be preparing for it, but when it does come, it seems to take us by surprise and throw us off guard, especially after such beautiful fall weather. Anyway there’s not much we can do, but just grin and bear it as best we can. 

But with that in mind let’s turn to our friend Anselm’s quotes, aimed at inspiring us for a better tomorrow. And today we have three, because they are all short. The first says: ‘A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.’ And that’s glorious advice!  

It reminds us of a quote from Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the U.S, which declares: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 

Yes friends, persistence is the number one attribute that will help us when all else fails. Then Anselm tells us: ‘Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.’ More wonderful advice! Because we need to be active, to hold something dear and have something to look forward to that will make it all worthwhile. Those are the things that make us come alive and cause us to keep on keeping on. 

My favourite quote today though, is this last one: ‘Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! For with hope one can imagine anything and do anything. With it, we can be giants in a fallen world, but without it, we become wimps and wallow in self-pity. 

Consequently, our Bit for today deals with hope; Cousin Sol’s wise words on the subject. ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ 

Ah mih people, hope is the emotion that galvanizes us into action! All the other emotions are wonderful, but if they are not accompanied by hope, then they will most likely not be acted upon. For without hope, we become listless and without a sense of purpose, just sort of drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweed, wherever the wind might blow it. 

However my brethren, it’s also very important where and in what direction we focus our hope. And we have a good example of what Cousin Sol is talking about in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. The sons of Korah write: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) 

Yes friends, when there is no hope in our souls, our fire goes out, and the best place to channel our hope is in Almighty God! There is no doubt about that! 

Listen to Jeremiah. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8) 

Aye mih breddren, yuh see what happens when we channel our hope in the Lord God Jehovah? No fear, no anxiety, just prosperity regardless of the circumstances! Now why would I want to place my hope in anything or anyone else eh? No way, Jose! 

And I just LOVE this verse of scripture from Zechariah. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech.9:12) That phrase ‘prisoners of hope,’ just raises my spiritual temperature! (smile) Oh friends, how I wish that we could all be ‘prisoners of hope,’ so that we could be more active and successful in Christ’s work. 

This verse from Psalm 119 is also a moving scripture. The psalmist petitions the Lord: ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.’ (Ps.119:116) Oh precious people, our wonderful God will NEVER let us be ashamed of the hope we place in Him! Please, let’s write that indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls. 

And we’ll end with these brave and wise words of Bruh David from Psalm 31 – In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust.  He solemnly and confidently declares: ‘O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:23-24) 

So my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, I implore us to take that wonderful advice of Bruh David to heart today and put it into immediate action, so that our faith in the Lord God Jehovah will flourish and blossom like the bees make honey with the flowers. (smile) 

And let’s remember to keep our friend Scotty in our prayers, be prisoners of hope, that the Lord will restore him to full health, that he can continue doing good work in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…hope is the catalyst that drives all other emotions…

 

 

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