Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2017 Psalm 103:2.

Psalm 103:2.   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Well mih breddren, like we’ve successfully completed another week of work in this confused and way too evil and lustful world! 

And sadly, it leads too many of us to enjoy the lusts of the flesh too much in our short time off. We try to make up for what we think we’ve lost during the workweek. 

That’s why so many of us joyfully declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Oh boy, that means the weekend is here! Time for fun and games, partying and letting all our cares drift away to wherever they go! It’s all about a good time now! Oh thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

And as I keep saying, the sentiments are understandable, but the reality is not. We do have little free time during the workweek, much less that a generation ago, when times were not so hectic and busy. 

And that’s sort of strange, when all the improvements we’ve made, were supposedly to help us get more free time. How ironic eh, with plenty more amenities, we have even less free time now than then! 

But that doesn’t mean we have to overdo the lighter side of life either when we finally get some time off. If we are to keep our sanity and some sort of steadfastness, our lives must have some borders, some restraints that we will not loosen. And our Friday Chant gives us a good example of that. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, with as much enthusiasm as the misguided soul above declares his Friday mission. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

And all of that segues very nicely into our Bit:‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’  

And friends that’s exactly what we ought to do, every day, every waking moment of our lives! For remember, all the earth and its contents are His, and it’s only through His magnanimity and lavish generosity that we can enjoy even one iota of the things we enjoy! 

Now let’s look at a few of those things that Bruh David declares we ought to appreciate in this psalm titled – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:3-5) 

Ah mih people, if those are not things to be everlastingly grateful for, then I don’t know what is nuh! But yuh know what? Unfortunately, too many of us, simply don’t know, don’t pay attention to, or simply take those things for granted, and that includes Christians. 

But just think about it nuh friends, we have a God who forgives all our iniquities, all our sins, all our transgressions! Wow! That certainly is something to be thankful for! Listen to these scriptures nuh that uphold that contention. 

Isaiah declares: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us… And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven all their iniquity.’ (Is.33:22, 24). 

Now hear Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as he declares at John’s birth. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; 

As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.’ (Luke 1:68-75) 

And friends, we all know that promise was miraculously and marvelously fulfilled by the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! So why we don’t appreciate our wonderful God more than we do eh? I really can’t say nuh. But eventually, we’ll all have to answer that question to our Maker. 

Now let’s close with these moving words of Bruh Paul to Titus on the Christian life. ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age); 

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works.’ (Tit.2:11-14) 

Oh my faithful followers of Christ, there’s absolutely no doubt that we need to be much more diligent in doing Christ’s work, if we are to truly show our thankfulness for His saving grace and mercy! Much LOVE!

…there is no greater gift in this evil world…than the forgiveness of sins…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2016 Luke 1:76.

Luke 1:76.   And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. 

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Eve, the day before the big one – Christmas Day, when we joyfully celebrate the birth of our most wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God in the highest for selflessly blessing us with Jesus Christ! 

But yuh know what, is not everybody that celebrating this Christmas time nuh. I heard today that another of my U.W.I (University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica) classmates, Dwight Venner died yesterday. Ah Lord eh! He is at least the sixth one that I know about, who has died this year. Steups! 

And all of them were around my age yes. That certainly brings your own mortality to mind. But you can’t do anything about it nuh, just keep on doing what the Lord has called you to do and hope for the best. The only thing we’re really sure of in this life is that someday the Grim Reaper will come a calling and we’ll go whether we want to or not. 

So I’m asking us on this Christmas Eve day to pray for the Venner family in their time of grief. I believe he was from St. Lucia, and just ask the Lord to comfort them in their mourning when they should be celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s not easy to lose anybody at all, much less at a time like this. 

Let’s also remember to pray for Keith, our Scrip-Bit family member, who is slowly recovering from his stroke, and comfort him too while he mourns the loss of his departed brother. 

Remember, as James says: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’(James 5:16) Yeh friends, prayer is the greatest power we have down here on God’s great earth, so please let’s use it often and wisely nuh. 

Now I have so much scripture to share that I only have space for one of our friend Anselm’s quotes today. And I had a hard time choosing one, because they were all interesting, they all can inspire us for a better tomorrow.  And this is the one that finally won out: ‘Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren, all those qualities are very important parts and qualities of our Christian life! Now since John the Baptist was Christ’s cousin as well as His forerunner and harbinger, I thought this Christmas Eve would be a good time to check out John’s early story, as we will do tomorrow for Christ. 

This brings us to our Bit: ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.’ Those were the prophetic words of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, at his circumcision. Now our God is such a dramatist that sometimes I have to shake my head in wonder at His doings. 

Remember how he made Zechariah dumb because he didn’t believe that his barren wife Elisabeth would eventually bear him a child. (Luke 1:5-25) And also how He brought Mary and Elisabeth together and caused John to jump for joy in his mother’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice, and the three months the women spent bonding together. 

Let the Good Book tell us the story: ‘Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins (relatives) heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her, and they rejoiced with her. (Her barrenness was no longer a cause for reproach). 

And it came to pass, that on the eight day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zechariah, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. 

And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings (things) were noised abroad (discussed) throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all they that heard them laid (kept) them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.’ (Luke 1:57-66) 

Oh my people, there’s no better dramatist than our God! And to add to that drama, the scholars tell us: ‘1:65. Fear came: The working of God produced a unique sensation among a people where not even a prophet had spoken for centuries.’  

And after that, Zechariah just went mad prophesying, making up for all those months that he’d been dumb. Filled with the Holy Ghost, he prophetically declared. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (A Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all them that hate us;’ (Luke 1:68-71) 

I have to leave out four verses here because of lack of space. But then Zechariah continued with our Bit. ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us. 

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing (manifestation) unto Israel.’ (Luke 1:76-80) 

Ah friends, yuh see the amazing power and dramatic expertise of our wonderful God! And that was child’s play to how He brought Jesus on the scene. (smile) We’ll talk about that tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then, may he bless and keep us all safe and sound and cause us to enjoy the celebrations of the birth of His only Son, Jesus! Much LOVE!

…who is greater than our God eh…NOBODY…!