Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2020 Psalm 71:23.​

Psalm 71:23.    My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 
And another Sunday has dawned; wet and icy and dark in the Greater Toronto Area! We did get that rain storm that was promised, and sincerely hope that it soon peters out to dry weather, because it has caused some damage in several areas. Unfortunately, I know that the inclement weather is going to be used as a convenient excuse not to attend the Lord’s sanctuary today and fellowship with other believers. 

But friends, we’re only doing ourselves a serious injustice when we stay away from church, unless it’s for a very good reason. That’s because we miss the camaraderie, the encouragement, the praise and thanksgiving, and the hearing of the Lord’s uplifting and guiding Word that such fellowship entails, and which allows us to leave the proceedings filled with trust and confidence in our omnipotent God! But to each his own. And as always, we’ll get the celebrations going with a song of praise. 

And today’s song is a wonderful one, officially titled ‘Hymn of Joy,’ but which most of us know as ‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,’ from its first line. Apparently it was a poem written by minister Henry van Dyke in 1907, inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, with the intention of musically setting it to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphony, Symphony No. 9. 

Van Dyke explained the hymn thus: ‘These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ And therefore rather appropriate for today’s gathering! So let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony to heaven, with joy, hope, trust and overwhelming sacrifices of praise in our mouths and our hearts. 

As one awesome choir now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, Lift us to the joy divine. Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life. You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore Thee, Lord of mercy and of grace…We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy…’ 

And does our great and wonderful God ever bring us joy by the bucketful my faithful brethren! You also see the amazing sentiments we can glean from merely admiring God’s handwork in nature, making the hymn one of the most joyful in our English language hymnal! Oh, friends, our God is indeed exceptional; exuding trust, LOVE, hope and faithfulness in miraculous and enormous quantities! There is none other like Him in this universe precious people! 

That’s why the psalmist who penned Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – could confidently declare: ‘I will praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they (mine enemies) are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps. 71: 22-24) 

Yeh friends, the old man had seen enough of God’s goodness and mercy in his younger days that he had ho hesitation in placing his utmost trust in Him during the winter of his days! Can we say the same thing? I certainly hope so! And just to stir us up some more, (smile) listen to Bruh David as he offers thanksgiving for God’s mercy. 

‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 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.103:1-5) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler and more straightforward than that! God’s goodness to the children of men is so wonderful, and the truth is, we don’t deserve any of it. But that’s the kind of magnanimous God He is! So please, I implore us, today, let’s spend some time pondering on His individual goodness and mercy and grace and forgiveness etc. etc. to us nuh, so that our spirits will be refreshed and our trust renewed, and thus give us the courage and confidence to go out and work diligently and excellently for Christ in this upcoming week. Much LOVE!

…remembering God’s goodness in our lives…raises our trust and faith in Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2019 Psalm 103:2.

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

Happy Friday my people! Now let’s get right into the programme by declaring that it’s the day the Lord has made and we’re supremely glad that we’re alive to rejoice and give thanks for it! Let’s say with Bruh David: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.’ (Ps.103:1) 

Yeh friends, life might be a bit on the rough side sometimes, but I think that only a very few of us are ready and willing to give up this earthly life for the heavenly one that awaits. The basic reasoning being: Oh, we have eternity to enjoy heaven, but only a few short years to enjoy God’s great earth! (smile) And the ordinary workingman totally agrees, as he sings in his weekend song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The week wasn’t too bad, didn’t work too hard at the slave master’s job, but Friday is Friday! Yuh know what I mean? It heralds the weekend! And that’s definitely my time! My time to do as I please; sleep, eat, get wasted or black up, or whatever I choose to do! It’s the only time that somebody else doesn’t have a bit in mih mouth leading me round like a jack! That’s why I appreciate and enjoy the weekends so much. 

And I get time to spend with the family too. Not that I don’t get it during the week, but on the weekend it’s not broken up and fractionalized…Wow! What a way we using big words today sir! (smile) But family is very important. And though you can’t have a good family without a good job, sometimes the job does have to take second place. That’s why we say ‘Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

Oh friends, the ordinary workingman might not be overly godly, but he’s not foolish either. He has most of his priorities right. Let’s hope that we believers also have our priorities right… but are also righteous and godly! And we’ll see that by how sincere we are as we chant our Friday Chant. Remember the Lord looks at the motives of our hearts, not our outward actions. So altogether now, let’s chant: 

‘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!’ 

Yes my people, we’re not as free and easy as the ordinary workingman. We have certain boundaries set by our Lord and Saviour and Leader, Jesus Christ. Boundaries that hopefully keep the enemy from infiltrating our righteous lives and causing us more problems than we already have. 

That’s why we can’t be as blasé and carefree as the unbeliever. But that doesn’t mean we can’t or should not enjoy life, because that’s exactly one of the reasons Jesus gave up His sinless life on the cross; that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) 

All praise and glory be unto our heavenly father for His great, unconventional, unconditional, indescribable and everlasting LOVE for us, His sinful and disobedient children! And that’s why this morning we will wisely and thankfully say like Bruh David did so long ago: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ 

Wow! Is that ever wisdom in spades my faithful, believing brethren! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to some of the reasons Bruh David gave for his proclamation of thanks and praise. ‘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: 2-5) 

Oh my people, if those aren’t things to greatly rejoice over and give much thanks and praise for to Almighty God, our Creator and heavenly Father, then I don’t know what is nuh! And that’s not all we need to thank and praise Him for nuh! Hear Bruh David as he continues his litany of God’s goodness. 

‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. 

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear (reverence) him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps.103:6-12) 

Oh friends, oh friends, if we’re not thankful for anything else, we should be everlastingly thankful and grateful that the Lord doesn’t deal with us as we deserve, otherwise we’d all be dust and ashes, sweltering in Hades with the evil one himself as our eternal companion! 

But thanks be to God that he casts away our sins, and gives us a chance to come to know and accept His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can receive forgiveness and salvation and dwell with Him in heaven, instead of that other disgusting option! (smile) Yeh friends, ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear (reverence) him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps.103:13-14)  

And so He should my brethren, because He is the one who created us from the dust of the earth, to which we all must return some day. So please ponder all that we’ve spoken about today and wisely turn to our Creator for whatever we need, because everything in His universe belongs to Him, and He is indeed the One who enables us to get health, wealth and good times! Much LOVE!

…eternal life is a must…but where we spend it…depends solely on us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 June 2019 Psalm 103:1.

Psalm 103:1.    ​Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
 

And another bright, sunshiny and beautiful morning has dawned! Glory to God! And when you add the promises and LOVING-kindness of Jesus to the mix, one is forced to assuredly proclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) As well as: ‘The Lord will supply ALL of my needs through his riches in glory, through Christ our Lord and Saviour.’ (Phil.4:19) 

And that will just strengthen our resolve to declare: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15)  And that can only mean that ‘If God be for us, who can be against us eh?’ (Rom.8:31) Not a single, solitary soul! So from all of that assurance and confidence in the name of Jesus Christ, I therefore expect something good to happen to me today, and that something good is also going to happen through me today! 

Oh friends, what a wonderful God we serve, I can’t help but exalt His holy name and sing His awesome praise for His everlasting mercy, grace and faithfulness to us undeserving children of men! And if we truly believe all of that, then we have to exalt the Lord like Bruh David did in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.’ 

Wow friends! We can’t go wrong if we follow Bruh David’s words, though not necessarily his actions, (smile) because he was a mortal man just like us and made mistakes. But his words and his reflection and dependence on the God of his forefathers were most excellent. 

Hear how he continues exalting the Lord in the psalm nuh. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 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.103:2-5) 

And please note there my brethren that Bruh David is not thanking God for fanciful, dreamy, ephemeral stuff, but solid, down to earth, day-to-day necessities for living. And He’s not talking from hearsay either, but from real and practical experience with God! Likewise, if we are in good relationship with our heavenly Father, we will also enjoy the fruit of his mercy and goodness! 

Consequently, we should also appreciate and give thanks for it all. But unfortunately, the word ‘thanks’ is fading fast from our vocabulary in this current world, just like the word ‘God.’ And even when we say thanks, it’s often not heartfelt, but a simple mouthing of a word, something that’s expected of us. 

Ah friends, the standards of our world have fallen so low and keep falling lower everyday, that I can’t comprehend what they will be like fifty years from now. Just look at what they were fifty years ago, and what they are now nuh. As different as day from night. And certainly not better…at least in my humble opinion. But enough of me, (smile) let’s continue singing God’s praises. 

Hear how the psalmist exalts the Lord in Psalm 104 – God’s preservation of nature. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty: Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: 

Who layeth the beams of his (upper) chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers (servants) a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.’ (Ps.104:1-5) 

Yes my fellow saints of God, that’s how the old timers reverenced their God! Do we even come close to that sort of thing in this supposedly enlightened age? Of course not! We’re too busy to take the time to get down and dirty with our wonderful God, and too often just pay Him a quick ‘thank you’ in passing, or mouth a ‘how great is our God,’ without the necessary heartfelt sentiment. 

But please remember and note Bruh David’s words my people: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ (Ps.103:2) Yes friends, WE are the ones who benefit when we remember and pay attention to and praise and live obediently to the will of God! We not doing God anything, except break His heart, when we refuse to honour and obey Him. 

He might be unhappy with our choice of the devil over Him, but in the long run, He’s not going to suffer damnation and hell fire. It’s us, mere foolish and prideful, obstinate and arrogant mortals who will be thrown into the lake of fire with the oh so foolish Lucifer, who had it all going for him, like we do, but instead chose to try and overthrow God. What a fool! 

Anyway, now that we know better, (smile) let’s go home this beautiful Wednesday morning, bursting with joy and thanksgiving in the Lord, as we truthfully declare our position in Him, through our Wednesday Wail. What a mouthful! (smile) All together 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!’ 

And believe me friends, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! So please hang tough in Christ! It will be well worth it! Much LOVE!

…if you believe God created all there is…then you ought to give Him plenty thanks…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2017 Psalm 103:2.

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

Ah mih people, once again it’s labouring time, so let’s be up an’ at ‘em nuh! Let’s get the ole adrenaline flowing as we feel rested and renewed after a revitalizing weekend of fellowship and relaxation! 

But the negative responses I get from that remark obviously belie some of its truth. (smile) Nonetheless, whether we are well rested or not, we need to get up and get a move on, if we expect to keep the roof over our head and put bread on the table. So let’s raise our voices to heaven with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the antidote for anything that’s preventing us from getting a good start on this first day of the week. 

And taking our cue from Jesus, our choirmaster, we sincerely declare: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Now that rendition wasn’t the greatest my brethren, but our choirmaster understands our innate human frailties and thus doesn’t judge us harshly. But now He expects us to put on that spiritual armour and get out there and fight the enemy mano a mano, as one unified force! That’s the only way we’ll ever defeat the wicked of this world! 

Anyhow, having gotten all of that out of the way, let’s turn to our Bit… ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s the same one from the last few days. Why? Because it contains so much important  material that we are not paying attention to in this current evil and misguided world; namely the numerous benefits of our great and gracious God. 

Yesterday, we began looking at some scriptures that assert the truth of the second half of verse 3: ‘who healeth all thy diseases.’ Today, we’ll continue with that exercise, beginning with some words from Psalm 147 – Great is our God and of great power. ‘The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds (sorrows.) (Ps.147:1-2)  

Now listen to Jeremiah. ‘O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.’ (Jer. 17:13-14) 

Yes friends, if those godly men could cry out to God for healing and expect it to happen, why can’t we do the same eh? It’s all a matter of belief and faith. Now hear the crowning glory of healing scripture, it comes from Isaiah, as he talks about ‘Good tidings of salvation to Zion.’ 

‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (poor): he hath sent me to bind up (to heal) the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. To proclaim the acceptable day of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.’ (Is.61:1-2) 

And you know what my people? Those were the very same words our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ read from the Good Book in the synagogue, when He went home to Nazareth; telling His townsfolk that He was the fulfillment of that prophecy. (Luke 4:18-21) 

But what happened? They didn’t believe Him, and tried to run Him out of town, cast Him off a cliff. (Luke 4:28-30) But Jesus being Jesus, slipped through the crowd and went on to Capernaum where He did many miracles, having done nary a one in His hometown of Nazareth. Imagine that nuh, your own townsfolk trying to kill you because you tell them you’re somewhat more than they think. 

That’s why Jesus told them: ‘Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.’ (Luke 4:24) And that’s ever so true! For how many people have left their hometowns and gone abroad and found fame and fortune, then came back home and were considered the same old Joe Blows they were before eh? Quite a few! 

Anyway friends, let’s not be like the people of Nazareth nuh; let’s remember that our Jesus is the Great Healer, the Great Physician…by His stripes we are healed…by His blood shed on the cross our sins have been atoned for! And there’s nothing more important than that! Much LOVE!

…ALL that’s in this world…BELONGS to God…let’s not forget it…

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 23 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Ah friends, it ‘s another Monday morning; another damp and cloudy day, and the worst part of it is that I have to face the Monday morning traffic and go into the big city for some blood work at a special hospital – and it includes fasting too! Chuh! 

It couldn’t be done at any other time of the day? No! It must be done by 8 a.m, and that’s why the Bit is so short and so early. Well there’s not much I can do about the situation, if I want to get the help the blood work will offer. 

So unlike most Mondays, today I will definitely need the enthusiasm and strength to face the road, provided by our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s belt it out loud and proud nuh.

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible  aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, I’m sure you heard my voice loud and clear this morning as we delivered a fine rendition! Jesus heard it too and He was proud of us, and promised that all will be well on this first day of the new workweek. 

And I believe Him, so I’m not worried about getting out there at this early hour, it’s just that it’s rather inconvenient… And who likes inconvenience in this modern day society eh? (smile) 

But on the other hand, rather conveniently, our Bit today is also a major encourager. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ 

Ah mih people, we all know that is easier said than done, but as faithful believers we have been given the wherewithal to be joyful under all and any circumstances. We have been granted salvation through the free and undeserving grace of Almighty God! 

Our sins have been forgiven, our names have been written in the Book of Life, the Holy Spirit of Jesus dwells in us to lead and guide us, and Jesus will be coming back sometime soon in awesome power to take us to dwell with him forever in the ultimate beauty that’s heaven! 

So like the beautiful verse from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – we can also declare. ‘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, that’s a wonderful verse of scripture we should all keep in the back of our minds, ever ready to encourage us, when our souls are feeling low down. 

And as we said yesterday, rejoicing always is not necessarily jumping up and down all the time, but it’s an aspect of our strong faith that give us the assurance that our lives are in the hands of the omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present Creator of the universe, who is working out all things for our good. 

Under those circumstances, we can therefore relax and rejoice always. And with those words of wisdom, (smile) I’ll leave us and go and get myself ready to do like Jack – hit the road! Much LOVE!

…when believers are in a constant mode of rejoicing…then the world truly sees Jesus in them…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Ah friends, it’s just been one of those days. I got up early, but could not decide whether to write the Bit or go to the early morning church service. Hn! Consequently I did neither. 

Then I hem and hawed about whether to write the Bit or go to the later church service. I finally went to the ten o’clock service and did not get back home till after twelve, so that’s why I’m only now writing the Bit. 

Steups! What a good day for indecisiveness and laziness! Let’s be thankful that that doesn’t happen every day. 

And the church service was refreshing. Everybody was glad to see me back out, though they didn’t notice that at one stage during the pre communion prayers, I had to sit down because a bout of tiredness suddenly hit me. That’s because I purposely sat at the very back of the church. All in all though, it was a good time, and I hope it just gets better every week. 

Now let’s get in some praise and worship with this old hymn which accurately describes my situation right now. My physical state might not be the greatest, but certainly, ‘It is well with my soul.’ 

‘When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. (Refrain) It is well with my soul, It is well, it is well with my soul. 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain) 

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! — My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain) 

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Refrain) 

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul…’ 

Yeh my people, I do hope it is well with all of our souls, for that’s where it really counts. That brings us to our Bit, a serious clarion call from Bruh Paul. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ 

Oh fellow believers, that might sound somewhat difficult to do, what with all the difficulties we have in our current lives. But as a believer, it is essential for us to have continual joy, a steady spate of rejoicing, otherwise we won’t be able to handle our individual circumstances. 

Now we don’t necessarily mean constant jumping and shouting, but more a quiet thankfulness that makes the heart and soul feel satisfied, regardless of the situation. 

Listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. 

Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.” In adding and again I say, Rejoice, it is though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” 

This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

And Romans 8:28, tells us just that: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them that who are called according to his purpose.’ 

So there is good reason to rejoice always. Why do you think I’m keeping my peace and hanging in there despite my numerous ailments? Because I’m believing on God’s promises to make everything right in His own time. 

Friends, that’s the only way to find some peace in this crazy, strife filled world, especially in the uncertain and apparently divisive era of Donald Trump’s presidency. 

Let’s pray that he will soon wake up and smell the roses and not simply make matters worse than they already are. Remember, as the U.S. goes, most of the world goes, thus we are also praying for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…if heaven is your future home…then there’s no need to be sad on earth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 August 2016 Psalm 42:2.

Psalm 42:2.     My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

And as they swing their feet over the bed unto the floor, in the early morning hours, a majority of believers gladly declare: ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday! I’m alive and kicking; kicking strong too! And I’m going to work! I’m going to work with joy and peace in my heart because Jesus is filling my soul with His LOVE and I just can’t wait to share it with others in this increasingly godless world! Oh thank God it’s Monday and the Holy Spirit is working its magic in me!’ 

Oh friends, as our Saviour expects of us, I’m dreaming large! What’s the point in dreaming if your dreams are small and easily accomplished eh? None at all! Our dreams must be big enough that we need to enlist the help of God to make them come true. And yuh better believe I do need God’s omnipotent help to make that one above there come true! 

Hn! Believers waking up on a Monday Morning excited and enthusiastic to go to work! That will be the day! But I’m not giving up, because the Lord says we must be persistent and not give up. So technically speaking I’m just being obedient to God’s will. (smile) But fear not, we have a backup plan in place until we meet that plateau of Christian maturity; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s sing it loud and proud nuh, in rich harmony and vocal excellence, so that our choirmaster Jesus will be proud of us. 

As one earthly choir now, let’s sound heavenly: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh that was a beautiful rendition my people! You could see Jesus’ eyes light up, and He couldn’t help looking at the Father dancing in the aisles of the throne room, and proudly mouthing: ‘That’s my people!’ 

Yeh friends, now that we’re up and our motors are running smoothly, let’s go out and keep that joy running in heaven with our earthly actions nuh. It will please our Lord and Saviour no end, and also make others want to come to Him, seeking salvation and eternal life. 

Now here’s our Bit. But let’s begin with the immortal words of the first verse. ‘As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ 

Ah friends, do we have that intense longing for God? I surely hope so, because if we don’t, life will never go as straight and smoothly as it ought to. We were made to have that intense longing my brethren. The Lord made us for His glorification, not for our own sinful and lustful purposes. However, we’ve allowed the world to take away that longing for our Creator and replace it with not only a longing, but more like an addiction for the worthless things of the world. 

That’s not very wise my people. And the sad part is that many of us, even in the rough times refuse to cry out to Almighty God for help because of our proud and haughty souls. The writer of the psalm though had a very different strategy. Listen to him after our Bit. 

‘My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude. I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast). Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:3-5) 

Ah precious people of God, you’ll notice that though the psalmist was shaking it pretty rough, he never gave up on the God of his fathers. He still encouraged himself to hope in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to yet praise Him for the help of His presence. Oh friends, are we thus inclined in our sorrowful times to keep on praising our Creator? 

It only makes sense my brethren, seeing that in the big picture, He is the provider of all that we have. As we said in in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, He is the Creator of the universe and all therein, so who else is more qualified for us to turn to in our sorrows and problems eh?  NOBODY! 

And we’ll end with these words of encouragement and trust from Psalm 84. ‘How amiable are thy tabernacles (lovely are thy dwellings), O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.’ (Ps:84:1-2) 

Yes my fellow believers, let us never be afraid or too proud to cry out to Almighty God in times of need, for it is the only reaction that makes sense. Much LOVE!

…one truth from the Bible…is worth more than all the wisdom of man…