Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 June 2022 Psalm 92:1.

Psalm 92:1.       It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:

Well, it’s Tuesday now, and hopefully we’ve exorcised all the negative stuff from our Father’s Day celebrations and are now in full form to do Jesus’ work. (smile) That means we are simply filled with explosive scriptural acclamations, like: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Something good is going to happen to me today, and something good is also going to happen through me today! Wow! And how can it not be eh, when God is for us, which means that no one can be against us. Consequently, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! That’s for certain sure! 

Yeh friends, every morning we need to stir ourselves up with some positive acclamations that lift our spirits and reassure us of God’s LOVE and care, so that we can go out into the evil world with enthusiasm and confidence and do a marvellous job on Christ’s behalf, be a worthwhile ambassador, a flavourful pound of salt of the earth and bright light of the world like He desires His followers to be. Thus, it’s ever so refreshing to read the opening verses of Psalm 92, subtitled Praises for the Lord’s goodness. 

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

And isn’t that the gospel truth my faithful brethren? We will triumph when we are obedient to God’s word and works, while offering up sincere praises to Him both morning and evening! And it’s obvious that that’s where so many of us fall down; besides not being sufficiently obedient to His dictates, we don’t praise and glorify our great God enough. Remember what He said through the prophet Isaiah? ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise, to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) 

Oh my fellow saints, our God LOVES His praise and glory and can get rather petulant when we don’t give it to Him in sufficient quantity. (smile) I’m obviously being facetious when I say the Lord gets petulant, but He certainly isn’t pleased with the low level of praise that He currently receives from His wonderful creation, for whom He showed His great LOVE by sacrificing His only Son, Jesus Christ. 

Listen, as the writer of Psalm 147, also emphasizes the importance of praising God. He opens the psalm thus: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely (beautiful).’ (Ps. 147:1) And if that still doesn’t convince you of the wisdom of continually singing God’s praises, then hear this other psalmist, who unabashedly declares: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.’ (Ps. 33:1) 

And it certainly is necessary and beautiful for those who believe in the Lord God Jehovah to rejoice and sing His wonderful praises. ‘Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (a shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord… Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’ (Ps. 33:3-5, 12) 

And we all know Bruh Paul’s take on that situation. He simply says; ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say Rejoice.’ (Phil 4:4) So it’s obvious that praise and rejoicing should be a constant part of the true believer’s life. Now that doesn’t mean all we do is rejoice and give praise, the way many of us would like to believe, (smile) but we live productive lives for Jesus while giving thanks and praise wherever necessary or possible. Throughout our day, especially if we see the definite movement of His hand, we can always stop for a moment and say ‘Thank You Lord. We praise your Holy name.’ 

It’s stuff like that we are talking about. And that’s oh so easy to do when we keep the Lord first place in our minds and lives. But if He isn’t our Number One priority then we won’t be encouraged to continually say thanks and sing His praises. And this last psalm, Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord – certainly says it all on the topic of praise. 

So, let’s sing it together; ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him from 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) 

Yuh see there friends, even the tangible and intangible, breathless creations of God ought to thank Him and sing his awesome praise! So what do you think we, His most wonderful creation ought to do eh? Sing them too! In fact, as the last verse of the last Psalm, Psalm 150, wisely declares: ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah).’ (Ps. 150:6) And with all that talk about thanks and praise, I certainly hope that we’ve stirred up a hornet’s nest of thanks and praise in our souls this Tuesday morning, (smile) one that will continue unabated right through the day. 

But now it’s time to go home, declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one confident and sincere voice. ‘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!’ 

Now, it’s our bounden duty to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…if thanks is in our hearts…then praises should be heard from our mouths… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 December 2021 Psalm 150:6.

Psalm 150:6.      Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah.)

So, Christmas Day is over… but not the Christmas season. Celebrations over the birth of Christ deserve more than one day. Technically it should be three hundred and sixty-five and a quarter days each year, (smile) but in between there we also have His death and resurrection to celebrate. 

In other words, our lives should be just one big celebration of Christ’s coming to earth to bring salvation to those who sat in darkness, in bondage to sin. Yes, that would be the ultimate situation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep Christ uppermost in our lives, in our hearts, minds and souls, as we make our earthly pilgrimage. That’s what it takes to live the true Christian life, with Christ’s help of course. 

But enough talk, let’s sing a joyful song of praise in honour of Christ’s birthday, most appropriately titled, ‘Joy to the World’ a Christian ditty written by one of the great hymn writers of the 18th century, Isaac Watts 1674-1748. And please, let’s put some spunk in it nuh, make it a li’l bit up-tempo (smile) along with harmony and soul, because it is a song of heartfelt feeling and gratitude. So, let’s open our mouths loud and strong in sacrificial praise as we joyfully declare: 

(Chorus: Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; let ev’ry heart prepare him room and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.) Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains, repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy. (Chorus) 

No more let sins and sorrows grow nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found. (Chorus) He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his LOVE, and wonders of his LOVE, and wonders, wonders of his LOVE.’ 

Ah friends, what awesome singing. Who ever heard us must know that we were sincere, because our voices just rang true… and why not since they were filled with joy at the birth of our Saviour! (smile) Yes mih people, the Lord has come to save us, no doubt about that…if we would only allow Him to do it. And I like how the songwriter added, ‘Let men their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains, repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.’  

That just recalls the last verse of the Psalms, Psalm 150:6, which so appropriately declares: ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah.)’ Now that’s sort of obvious, anything that has life ought to praise their Creator, giving Him awesome thanks for that life. But Psalm 148, goes one step further when it directs – All creation to praise the Lord. It says: “Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him all, all his angels: praise ye him all his hosts.’ (Ps. 148:1-2) 

And I guess that second verse there is reminiscent of how the angelic host came to earth on that first Christmas morning and sang: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:14) But then, the psalmist also instructed: ‘Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise ye 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. 148:3-6) 

Yes friends, even the inanimate objects in the heavens ought to praise Him because they too are wonderfully made by His skillful hands. Then the psalmist turned his attention to the things on earth. ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures) and all deeps; Fire, and hail; snow and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: 

Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted, worthy of praise); his glory is above the earth and the heaven. He also exalteth the horn (strength, dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah).’ (Ps. 148:7-14) 

Oh mih bredrin, the psalmist didn’t leave out anything from either earth or heaven! And consequently, as the scholars explain: ‘it may appropriately be designated as the psalm of universal praise.’ No doubt about that, for all that God made is wonderful and long lasting. Then we have the last part of the song where the author writes: ‘He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his LOVE, and wonders of his LOVE, and wonders, wonders of his LOVE.’ 

Now that recalls the words of John as he introduces Christ in his gospel. He says: ‘And the Word was made flesh (became flesh), and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:14) Wow mih people! What amazing attributes Jesus brought with Him! But grace and truth were not the only ones He brought, He also brought the most important one, that of LOVE! As the songwriter says, ‘the wonders of His LOVE!’ How beautiful is that eh? So beautiful that many of us can’t seem to understand or appreciate it. 

Anyway my fellow saints in Christ, I do hope we all had a good Christmas day, filled with fun and frolic, with friends and family, as much as the Covid virus and the new regulations would allow, (smile) and that during the day, we all took a few moments to ponder what Christ and this awesome day meant to us. For remember, this Christmas Season is all about Christ’s coming to earth to save us from the fires of hell, to give us the option of obtaining heaven through belief in His Holy Name. And we’ll be really foolish if we did not accept that amazing free gift of salvation. Much LOVE!

…grace, truth, LOVE, joy…without those attributes…believers cannot survive in this evil world… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.     ​In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Oh friends, it’s a glorious Monday morning; a new day of a new week, and we’re all alive and kicking, so please, in gratitude for such blessing, let’s do as the psalmist decreed so long ago nuh! ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 150:6) Yes my people, everything and everyone that draws the living breath of the Lord this morning ought to shout ‘Hallelujah! Praise the Lord for His goodness to His creations!’ For there’s none like Him, and will never be any other deity with His LOVE and compassion! That’s the indisputable truth! 

And on a lesser level now, you’ll be proud of the ole fella, for remember last Monday I promised to improve my game, to do more of the things I wanted to do? Well, I did! Still not as much as I would have ideally liked to do, because I was somewhat under the weather with allergies and a cough giving me a hard time. But I did do more than I’ve been doing in the last li’l while! Give the Lord some praise for that! (smile) 

Oh precious people, we can never go wrong by giving thanks to God. That’s one place where we are always on solid ground. As Bruh Paul said to the Colossians: ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:16-17) 

And here are some interesting explanations on those verses from the scholars. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing, forgiving (vs. 13), and LOVING (vs.14), toward one another, when peace reigns among God’s people (vs. 15), then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ Now is that the current state of our church, would we say it’s fertile soil? I would say, certainly not! And per ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs. 16), but is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ 

Yeh friends, in giving our ALL to Christ, we allow Him…or are supposed to allow Him to control all aspects of our lives. Unfortunately though, many of us don’t give up total control to Christ, but we still want and expect to get the total blessings that come with His control. We can’t live like that my brethren. All we are doing is shortchanging ourselves when we promise to give all, but then withhold some, for we’ll never get the full benefit of Christ’s goodness under those circumstances. 

And I’m chuckling here, because I had not intended to preach, (smile) but just to give us some good tidings re giving thanks. And I see no reason to not continue down that path. Our next section of thanks comes from Bruh Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians, where he sincerely admonishes them…and us, to ’Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) 

It could not get any plainer than that my fellow saints in Christ. God’s will is for us to rejoice and pray and give thanks through Christ! What an awesome privilege and benefit! And the scholars explain it thus: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Now that brings us back to the famous verse we all know: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God; to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So, if we are well looked after in every circumstance, on every front, by an omnipotent and generous God, how can we not be thankful and live the way He desires of us eh? But the truth is that we have been ungrateful and disobedient and consequently have gotten ourselves in serious trouble, and since He is the only One who can relieve our discomfort, we need to go back to Him with thanksgiving and prayer as Bruh Paul advised. 

And to show our new wisdom and understanding, let’s go to Him right now with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, sincerely laying all our fears and problems at His feet. As one strong voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. 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!’ 

Now, unless the Lord sees sincere repentance in our future behaviour, He will not answer our request positively. So it’s obvious that we need to do much better that we’re currently doing. Much LOVE!

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…                                                                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2015 Psalm 145:1.

Psalm 145:1.   I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

Greetings my Friends, in the holy name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made whole, be washed clean, cleansed from our abominable sins and be reconciled to our Creator, our Father in heaven! 
 
What a mouthful! (smile) But it’s all true. And from that selfless sacrifice came forth the best gifts ever bestowed on mankind; salvation and eternal life! Oh, glory be to the wonderful Deity that we serve and worship! 
 
That’s why on this Sunday morning in November, we ought to be filling the Lord’s sanctuaries to give Him thanks and praise for His continued LOVING-kindness to us undeserving sinners. All over the land, shouts of praise and glory and thanksgiving ought to be reaching up to high heaven in true reverence and honour to our majestic God! 
 
Yes my people, the gathering of believers in Jesus Christ is of the utmost importance, for that is one of the major ways in which we build and also express our faith; worshipping together, encouraging and edifying each other. As the church, the body of Christ, we are expected to be as one, to live in harmony and unity, with the gospel of Christ as our true foundation and guide. 
 
And just like if one part of our physical body malfunctions, it causes problems for the whole body, likewise, if one part of Christ’s church doesn’t live up to expectations, the entire body will malfunction; there will be disharmony, disunity, selfish pride and resentment, amongst other things, bringing dishonour to Christ.  
 
And that’s one thing we certainly don’t want to do! We are His ambassadors, that means we ought to be doing good things in His name, setting a good example, living true to His godly principles, not to negative or evil ones. Unfortunately, these days negative and evil principles are taking a stranglehold on our world. War, hate, anger and strife are paramount in today’s world, while peace, LOVE, justice and righteousness are running a poor second. 
 
That’s not right Friends, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. The good ought to be overpowering the bad by a sizeable majority, not the other way around.  That is why in these difficult and dangerous end times we believers have to seriously increase our witness for Jesus if we want to save our world. 
 
We can’t afford to do like Jesus said of the people back in His time, re John the Baptist. “He was a burning and a shining light (lamp): and ye were willing for a season (time) to rejoice in his light.’ (John 5:35) 
 
Oh my brethren, we cannot rejoice just for a season in Christ! We have to be doing it continuously, until whenever He returns to claim His throne.  But sadly, that is one of the downfalls of believers; we’re not consistent in our walk with Jesus, most of the time we’re just lukewarm, no real pep in our witness. How then can we encourage others to come to Jesus eh? 
 
Unless we’re enthusiastic and sincere about walking with and working for Jesus, we’re doing His cause more harm than good, not being very worthwhile ambassadors. That is why the Psalms are full of encouragement to praise and worship God.  Let’s hear some of those scriptures so that our spirits can be boosted this Sunday morning. 
 
We’ll begin with our Bit from Psalm 145 – The Lord is Gracious- Bruh David’s psalm of praise.  He boldly proclaims: ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.’ Yes my brethren, that’s the kind of stuff we have to envision then put it into action. 
 
As Bruh David continues: ‘Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding). One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness.’ (Ps.145:2-6)  
 
Oh my fellow believers are we praising God’s name as conscientiously and enthusiastically as we should? Are we passing on His greatness to the next generation? Are we continually speaking of His splendour and majesty, of His awesome works? Hn! I don’t think so really – at least not as much as we should, otherwise our world would not be in such an evil mess. 
 
Now listen to Psalm 146 – the blessedness of trusting God: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise thee Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being… Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:1-2, 5) 
 
Then Psalm 147 – Great is our God and of great power- begins: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely… Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God.’ (Ps.147:1, 7) 
 
Meanwhile Psalm 149 – The Lord taketh pleasure in his people –boldly declares: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of the saints…Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek (humble) with salvation.’ (Ps.149:1,3-4). 
 
And we’ll end appropriately with Psalm 150 –Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in the firmament of his power (mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him according to his excellent greatness… Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 150:1-2, 6) 
 
Oh my people, my people, I do hope that we’ve gained some measure of insight into the need for praising and glorifying our great God on a continual basis. So today, please let’s hear His praise in the congregation of His saints and in His sanctuary as we gather to worship and give thanks for His undeserved mercy, LOVE, grace, compassion forgiveness and LOVING-kindness, for that’s wisdom at its wisest! Much LOVE!
 
…when we sing the praises of God…our hope, faith, belief and trust are increased…