Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2020 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 
Yes, we’re somewhat tardy this morning, but through no fault of mine. Let me make that abundantly clear! (smile) I went to bed early…well yes and no…but I was up early, had to go and do some blood work though, that’s why we’re running a tad behind. (smile) 

And we’re going to begin today with a prayer, one of my favourites, something I’ve shared before, doubt you’ll remember it though. (smile) But it’s one done by the Life-Study Fellowship Group in Noroton, Connecticut, some years back. It’s titled, ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the prayer has as it’s Bible promise: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.” (Ps.107:8) And do we ever need to do that my fellow believers in these sad and trying  times. So please pray with me. 

‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2020 I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, what a marvellous prayer! I think it covers all the bases: gratefulness for guidance and comfort in times of trouble; encouragement and support when necessary. As the old Bill Wither’s song says, ‘Lean on me when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on!’ Now that’s exactly what our God does! And we can surely do that with all confidence because He is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! And because of His LOVE…oh my people, my people, because of God’s unending, unconditional and unsurpassed LOVE, we find the strength to keep going even in the most difficult of times! Glory Hallelujah! 

As the Good Book says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Mamma Yo! With a God like that, who else do we need eh? Not a single soul! For our God is more than enough to meet our needs. Again, as He promised: ‘God will meet all of my needs according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus!’ (Phil.4:19) Wow! But yuh know the best part of that prayer is the peaceful moments experienced when we’re all alone with our Maker in prayer. 

Oh friends, there’s something we experience when we’re communing with Almighty God, our heavenly Father, that cannot be truly defined or put into words. I guess the best we can do is call it peace, or the all encompassing Jewish word ‘Shalom!’ And when you’re talking to him, and know for a fact that He’s listening to you closely, and sincerely cares for you…why wouldn’t He eh, when He made you? A feeling of utmost quiet and stillness and calm, even when it’s rough, comes over you. 

Remember too, the Lord is also the Best Confidante we can ever have. He doesn’t tell our ‘secrats’ to anyone, and we can bring EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, be it big, small or intermediate! That’s the kind of caring and considerate God we serve and worship my people! I know some of us wrongly think that we can’t bother God with small, supposedly unimportant stuff, but He’s truly interested in it all! Just as we like our children to bring even their most personal problems to us, so does our heavenly Father want us to bring ALL our problems to Him. 

Remember, He’s not only our God, our Creator, our Judge and Saviour, but also our Father…and Friend, and He does desire to perform fatherly and friendly duties for and with us! Give Him much thanks and praise my breddren, for He so worthily deserves it! As the psalmist so rightly declares: (steups!) ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’  And do we ever need to thank the Lord for all the blessings He bestows on us, especially the most important one; our Lord and  Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Oh we can never give Him enough thanks and praise for that nuh, because there isn’t enough in all the world to ever make up for Jesus! Bless His holy name! That’s why I’m encouraging us to really get with the programme this year of 2020 my fellow believers, for it’s a watershed year, a year that will make or break us, a year that will set the tone for all the other ones to come! That’s why Christians have to seriously and truly come together in these perilous times, because everything depends on us; the fate of our children and our world rests solely in our hands; placed there by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ when He gave us the Great Commission: 

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the very end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And yuh see how kind and caring our Jesus is? Although He’s given us a big and important job to do, He’s also given us the tools to do it, through his Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and by whom He also keeps His promise to be always with us. 

So friends, on this first Tuesday of our new year, let’s sincerely declare (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, just who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts! ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ Now, as we’ve just promised, let’s go out and tell them about our Lord and Saviour, His undying LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the Lord…He satisfieth the longing soul…and filleth the hungry soul with goodness… (Ps.107:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 February 2012 Psalm 66:18‏

 Psalm 66:18.   If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
 
Oh Friends, this leap year seems to be just leaping along on us. Imagine it’s already the leap day of February, when we just finished singing Auld Lang Syne! (smile) But seriously though, 2012 is really moving along at a fast clip. That means there’s no time for us to waste in being about our heavenly Father’s business. And here are five ways to stay securely and sincerely connected to Him. They are the Life Study Fellowship’s Five Golden Rules To Live By. I recently discovered them on a card in one of my mother’s devotionals, and though dated 1989, they are still excellent rules by which to pattern our lives. 1. Be Thankful Always! 2. Be Giving Always! 3. Be Forgiving Always! 4. Be Self-Helpful Always! 5. Be Faith-full Always! Oh my people, those are very simple, yet very powerful rules, and if each human being would only live by them, what a wonderful world this will be! Okay, so I’m dreaming some when I consider it possible for humans to live in Peace and LOVE, but that’s what dream are made of and for; to attain things which in the natural seem out of our reach, but are certainly doable with God’s help. And remember too, that it’s always better to dream big, rather than small, to give God a chance to show His real power and glory. Oh my brethren in Christ, I implore each of us now to dream this big dream; that our world will soon be stabilized, with the bitter strife and confusion gone, so that both our children and ourselves can live out our days in Peace and LOVE, for that’s the way the Lord desires it! Consequently, to achieve this humongous goal, we have to work diligently and wisely, successfully combining those five golden rules above into our everyday lives, cause as our Bit so rightly says: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ Yes Friends, those are words of absolute wisdom and truth. It’s highly illogical for a Holy and Righteous God to answer the prayer of a terribly unholy and unrighteous person. The two just don’t go together. How can the Lord genuinely answer us when He sees the iniquity and serious wrongdoing we have hidden in our hearts eh?  And remember He sees it, because it’s our hearts and not our outward actions that He monitors for right motive and sincerity before answering our prayers. So no wonder some of our prayers don’t get answered, since many a time we come to Him in prayer with evil purposes and intentions lurking in the depths of our souls. My Friends, we do need to seriously clean up our act, for our faith walk will not move ahead unless we approach the throne of grace with a right heart and clean spirit. Obviously the Lord doesn’t expect us to be perfect, since we’re imperfect beings, but He does expect us to be much better than our current state. Now let’s listen to some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. And we’ll begin with Job talking about the hypocrite’s hopelessness. And we all behave hypocritically at some time or other, so don’t get self-righteous and think that it doesn’t apply to us. (smile) ‘For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?’ (Job 27:8-10) The answer to all those questions is a definite NO! Now hear Cousin Sol’s take on the subject: ‘The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.’ (Prov.15:29) And also: ‘He that turneth away his ear from the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.’ (Prov.28:9) Certainly no mincing of words there my people! Meanwhile John says it thus: ‘Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.’ (John 9:31) Note the important proviso there Friends; not only do we have to worship God, but we also need to do His will. And James wisely declares: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.’ (James 4:3) Now why would the Lord grant us stuff when our intentions are to use it in evil, fleshly pleasures eh? And Isaiah will take us home with words from his call for repentance in Israel: ‘And when ye spread forth your hands (pray), I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgement (justice), relieve the oppressed (reprove the oppressor), judge (vindicate, defend) the fatherless, plead for the widow.’ (Is.1:15-17) Oh my people, those standards are just as important today as they were back in Isaiah’s day. And it’s full time that we rise up and meet them instead of holding on to Lucifer’s evil, lowly ones. It’s high time we meet the Lord’s call for cleansing, for without it, all our prayers are exercises in futility. So today let’s sit and sincerely search our hearts, minds and souls for any sinister and evil doings that lurk therein, and then sincerely ask the Lord to cleanse us of them. It’s the only wise approach for us to take in these troubled times. Much LOVE!…until we reach out in sincere repentance…the evil that taints us…will keep us from God…and God from us…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2011 Psalm 14:1‏

Psalm 14:1.    The fool hath said in his heart; There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
 
Ah Friends, we finally got a little white powder, enough that we can call it snow. Hn, hn! Sorry for those who hoped for a white Christmas but were disappointed. Now we’re looking forward to the New Year, and as we’ve been wondering recently whether things will improve, I heard a very disturbing piece of news today, namely that Iran is threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway in the East, where about 40 percent of the world’s oil passes through. Hopefully that’s only a rattling of sabres, because if it ever happens, you can be assured that serious warfare will ensue, since oil is the defining factor in our society these days, and without it, we’ll be facing even more hardship than normal. So let’s pray that the world leaders don’t do any foolishness and further upset the already very fragile applecart of world peace. Now to try and counteract all the folly of both our leaders and ourselves, here’s a prayer prepared by the Life Study Fellowship of Noroton, Connecticut, apparently for the 2005 New year. I found it on a pamphlet in my mother’s Bible, and it seems very appropriate for 2012. Actually, it’s a continuation of one I shared with you earlier on, but kept this part for just before the New Year. It says: ‘Dear Lord, how grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For you truly care about me! As I look to 2012, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen.’ Yes Friends, we all need that kind of encouragement and comfort for the coming year. This past one was pretty scary, so let’s hope the next one isn’t as bad, although the writing on the wall doesn’t look too encouraging. As believers though we need to remember that our God, the Lord Jehovah, created the universe and all therein, and still controls everything that goes on within it. We might not always understand His reasoning, but since we know that His mental capacity is much greater than ours, we trust and have faith in His awesome promise to work out all things for good to those who LOVE Him and are called to do His bidding. That means we cannot follow the foolishness of men and do as our Bit indicates: ‘The fool hath said in his heart; There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.’ Ah mih people, you’d better believe there are many – too many – fools in this world, doing evil, abominable works instead of encouraging and uplifting ones. That’s why our world is in such a sad state, filled with all kinds of wickedness, violence and ungodliness. Too many people are saying that there is no God, therefore they see fit to behave sinful and ungodly. But listen to how Bruh David continues the psalm: ‘The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy (corrupt): there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord. There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.’ (Ps.14:2-5) Yes my brethren, the wicked are very prominent throughout all the earth, but that last verse is oh so important, because they will end up in fear, but please take heart, be encouraged by the very last line: ‘for God is in the generation of the righteous.’ That’s us Friends! And all God’s people vociferously sang: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Our God is indeed a great God!’ So please remember Friends, that Almighty God, Creator and Ruler of the Universe, is indeed with us, the righteous of the earth, therefore there is no need to fear, once we stay safely ensconced under the protective canopy of His mighty wings. Let’s write that indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls and look forward in faith to blessed times ahead. That’s why Jesus sacrificed His holy, innocent life for us. Much LOVE!…the fool says there is no God…but the righteous and wise…know differently…