Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2019 Psalm 95:2.

Psalm 95:2.    ​Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs).
 

Let me open this dry but windy Thursday morning with sincere Thanksgiving wishes for our Scrip-Bit friends and family in the U.S. of A! Yes, today is their Thanksgiving Holiday, one of their biggest and most celebrated days! And so it should be, for a land that the Lord has blessed so plentifully, although now He’s definitely withdrawing some of that blessing because of their abundant and willful sinfulness. But it’s never a bad idea to give thanks, even when we don’t have a lot to give thanks for. 

Unfortunately though, the weather is not cooperating with the idea of Thanksgiving, for much of the nation is under severe warnings of snow, ice and rain, and many flights have already been cancelled and roads made impassable. So please be careful all of you who have to travel any distance to celebrate the occasion. And for those of you who have already hunkered down, please remember Granny’s warning; ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And this is the ‘rightest’ time for that warning, because it’s the day all Americans celebrate, and there’s more eating and drinking and general partying than at any other holiday. 

So please don’t allow Beelzebub to get any deeper into your souls than he already is. If possible, use this occasion to try and flush him out. (smile) And what better time is there to get into some thanksgiving scripture than on the day of Thanksgiving eh? (smile) So let’s begin with these most appropriate words of Psalm 95, as the psalmist takes us through words of praise to our great God. ‘O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.’ (Ps. 95:1-3) 

And is that ever so true my people! Our God is the greatest of all supposed gods. In fact, He is the ONE and ONLY true God there is! And how do we know that? Listen to the psalmist again: ‘In his hand (his possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills (the heights) is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps. 95:4-5) Wow mih breddren! Our God must be the greatest if He did all of that! Consequently, it is only natural for us to do as the psalmist continues: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under his care).’ (Ps.95:6-7a) 

And right there we have our very reason for being, our reason for thanksgiving precious people of God! The One and Only true God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is our Maker and Caretaker, so for that very reason, it is of the utmost importance that we offer up praise and thanksgiving and glorify His holy name! And a further consequence of all that is as the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the revocation (rebellion), and as in the day of temptation (trial, testing) in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, and saw my work.’ (Ps. 95:7a-9) 

Yes friends, if the Lord should call to us today, please don’t harden our hearts and rebel like the Israelites did way back when, and thus experienced forty long years of ‘sufferation,’ of wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. Our God is indeed a most LOVING and compassionate Deity, but by the same token, He doesn’t take kindly to the rebellion of those whom He blesses abundantly. As a result of that foolish rebellion by the Israelites, only two people, Joshua and Caleb, of all who left bondage in Egypt, ever entered the Promised Land. Not even Moses laid foot thereon, but Lord was nice enough to show it to him from a hill on the other side. (smile) 

So this current widespread attitude we now have of trying to get rid of God from our society is pure and total foolishness…no stupidity! And here is the perfect scripture to address that stupidity, this thanksgiving day. Hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of God is. And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:17-21) 

Oh my people, there couldn’t be wiser advice for us this Thanksgiving Day of 2019! So let’s take it nuh, and recognize the will of God for our lives, go easy on the imbibing, and fill our souls and bodies with the Holy Spirit and not alcohol, simultaneously making melody in our hearts to the Father through Christ Jesus, as we follow the ‘royal law,’ LOVING our neighbours as ourselves.’ 

Mama Yo! Is there ever rejoicing in heaven when we give thanks! And no, I haven’t forgotten our Thursday Blessings, (smile) with which the Lord has so generously blessed us. So let’s declare them right now, in strong voice and sincere belief: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

However my people, please don’t forget those wonderful blessings were not giving for us to hoard, but to share just as generously with the unfortunate ones around us. Much LOVE!

…in everything…GIVE THANKS…for this is the will of God…in Christ Jesus…concerning you… (1 Thess. 5:18)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2019 Ephesians 5:19.

Ephesians 5:19.    ​Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
 

Well, well, well, if it isn’t that wonderful day called Sunday! The one where we ought to visit the Lord’s sanctuary to give Him thanks and praise and fellowship with other believers, hear His holy Word and receive strength to face another daunting week in this evil and ungodly world. Unfortunately though the ole fella is unable to do that since he’s way out in the wilds of northern South Africa, with no TV or internet. But the Lord knows his heart and will hear whatever prayers I send up to him this day. (smile) 

So, obviously without access to the net, I can’t get words for a song, therefore we’ll just have to sing our own individual songs. (smile) As Bruh Paul says: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.’  And as James declares: ‘Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? Let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) So since we’re all merry, let’s sing psalms nuh…and we don’t need any internet to do that. (smile) So let’s sing this rather appropriate psalm # 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony: ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (his mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (cornet): praise him with the psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah!)’ 

Yeh friends, anything, or anybody who draws breath in this crazy world ought to give the Lord God Almighty much thanks and praise just for that fact alone, because it is through His omnipotence and generosity that we are even able to draw breath, much less enjoy all the other benefits! Anyway, my Sunday began with a 5.a.m. wake-up call from our guide Fortune, so we could get to the Lodge for coffee and take off on the morning game drive by five thirty. 

Well there we were heading out in the dark at five thirty in the crisp morning air, hoping to see at least one of the big five we had not yet seen. And the big five are: elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and hippos. So far we’d seen the first two, but no trace of any of the other three. And believe me, driving out in that Land Cruiser in the darkness, especially as Fortune drives, is something else, because he slashes through and over the thickets with gay abandon. I learned early on, in my co-pilot seat, to keep my hands inside and move towards him when he began slashing through the brambles and numerous thorn trees. (smile) 

Unfortunately, we rode around the rough trails for a while without seeing anything besides some smaller animals, like guinea hens and impalas, or what they call McDonalds, because they have a big black, capital ‘M’ stenciled on their rear ends, that resembles the McDonald’s sign. (smile) What we did see however, was the spectacular rising of the early morning sun, coming up blood red above the eastern horizon, while the big, full moon still stood fairly high in the western sky! And as the Almighty God who made them so wisely planned it, the former eventually rose higher and commanded the day, while the latter decreased in stature and soon disappeared altogether. 

Sometime during that game drive though, the word came out that some lions had been seen, and we journeyed to the spot, joining two other groups of people. Now check out this scene. It’s my favourite of the whole trip. The male lion is lying quietly in the shade, barely discernible because his coat is so much like the brown, dry grass, while the female who seems to be in heat (it’s mating season) prances by him, goes off a li’l way, then lies down. Soon the king of beasts comes, mounts her from the rear, does his thing…and it’s all over in like five seconds. Then he casually strolls off and lies down below a shade tree, while the female moves off a short distance. 

It’s said that they have to copulate every twenty minutes, but I don’t think the lady waited that long, then she came back to the gentleman lying quietly below the tree, pranced around him, rubbed her rear end on him, and made all kinds of entreaties. But the ole boy was having none of it. He just lay their stoically, head held high in the air, till the lady got tired of not so subtlety making her intentions known and walked away to lie down on an incline where he could see her, and prostrate herself in all her glory. And I had to laugh, because a couple of minutes later, the ole boy just put down his head and apparently went to sleep, completely ignoring the lady. 

This just goes to prove the falsehood of the oh so prevalent and prevailing theory that a man never refuses a woman, that he will undoubtedly fall for all of her sensuous wiles and tricks! Let that be a lesson to you women! (smile) Man is not always as foolish and gullible as he seems! We left the scene shortly after the ole fellow put down his head, indicating that no further action was going to happen for a while, and eventually got back home around minutes to nine, had breakfast then went to sleep. We even told them not to prepare lunch because we were all so tired and filled with food. We’d come for high tea at four, before going out for another drive at four thirty. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much on that drive besides what we’d already seen. We went driving along the river, over and through the brambles and thickets, with Fortune’s dexterity, looking for hippos or leopards, but failed to see any. Then it was back to the lodge in time for supper. Oh, can you imagine I fell asleep on the way home driving through those rough roads with all the noise, with Fortune driving one handed while shining his spotlight from side to side with the other. I was surely surprised by that. Just goes to show how tired the ole fella was. Tomorrow’s another day though! Much LOVE!

…giving thanks and praise…for simply drawing breath…should be a top priority…..

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2019 Colossians 3:16.

Colossians 3:16.    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.

 

Well a blessed Sunday to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, in whatever part of God’s great universe that you might currently be ensconced! (smile) Consequently, it being the Sabbath Day, the Day of the Lord, we are expected to join other believers at the Lord’s house to praise, give thanks, fellowship, hear His Word and receive His awesome strength and confidence to go forth into the new week, refreshed and renewed! 

 

Oh how wonderful that is my brethren! And what an amazing situation it also is when we lift our heads, hand, eyes and hearts to heaven in humble and sincere gratitude for all that our heavenly Father has done on our behalf. And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song! There’s nothing like song to convey true, heartfelt gratitude! 

 

And this morning we have a song that will do just that in spades mih people! It’s simply titled ‘THANK YOU!’ It’s another Bebe Winans tune from his ‘In Harm’s Way’ album. And this morning mih brethren we going funky; funky as funky can be; real up-tempo style! 

 

And I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that when we giving sincere thanks in song, it always seems to sound more authentic when it’s upbeat, than when it’s just slow and soulful!  And that’s what we going to do this morning in our time of worship!  Pure funk right through mih people! 

 

So let’s clap it in: One Clap, Two Claps, Three Claps, Four Claps! And vocals: ‘Yeh, yeh, yeh! Say it again, say – Thank You, Thank You! All I want to do is…Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Feel my emotions, You keep me going strong.

 

Source of my solution, When things are going wrong. When my life’s uncertain, There’s no place I’d rather be, Than standing here beside You. Your LOVE always comforts me! So – Thank You, Thank You! Thanks for being a friend! Thank You, Thank You! Over and over again. Thank You, Thank You!

 

I could never repay, The LOVE You sent in my way, my way. Thank You, Thank You! Something else I want to tell You. You’re my salvation…Oh yes You are! Don’t You know You’re everything? Set my feet a dancing, When I think of all You’ve done for me…Thank You, Thank You! Just for being a friend…Thank You, Thank You! Over and over again, Thank You, Thank You!

 

I could never repay, the LOVE You sent my way, my way. Here and now my heart’s confirmation…You are awesome and true! You’ve been better to me, than I’ve been to myself. I’ll always give thanks to You, to You, to You! I will, Oh yes I will! 

 

Heavenly Father…Right now…I want to Thank You for what You’ve done for me. Right now…I want to Thank You for taking good care of me. Right now…I want to Thank You for all that You mean to me. Right now, right now…I can’t live without Your LOVE! 

 

Thank You, Thank You! Right now…I don’t want to live without Your LOVE! No doubt about it! Thank You, Thank You! For all that You’ve been to me…Thank You, Thank You!

 

And all that You’ve done for me… I can’t live without Your LOVE…Can’t live without Your touch…No doubt about it! I just have to say…Thank You, Thank You! From the depths of my heart…Thank You, Thank You! Thank You, Thank You…!’ 

 

Oh friends, wasn’t that just wonderful! It surely was! I don’t know about you, but it surely set my feet a dancing, my soul a rocking, as I sang along, sang those oh so true words, and my fingers flew over the keyboard. (smile)

 

Obviously, in my excitement I made several mistakes, but that was okay, because the joy it brought my heart certainly overwhelmed the effort it took to correct a few mistakes. And don’t think it wasn’t funky in heaven too, because they like nothing better than a good funk tune, especially when it’s all about praise to our wonderful Triune God!

 

And yuh know what friends, we truly can’t ever thank or repay the Lord enough for all that He’s done for us nuh, especially for all the LOVE that He’s sent our way. How can we ever thank Him for Jesus eh? Or even the comfort and guidance of His Holy Spirit? What about salvation…peace…mercy…forgiveness…grace etc. etc.? 

 

But we not going to dwell on all of that this morning, because if you’re a true believer, you already know it. Instead, let’s get to the Word; God’s magnificent guide for kingdom living here on earth.  And in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians, let’s check out a li’l Christian virtue nuh. 

 

‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies, heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; Forbearing  (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 

 

And above all these things put on charity (LOVE) which is the bond of perfectness (the crowning grace). And let the peace of God rule in your hearts. To the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 

 

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 whatever 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.3:12-17) 

 

That says it all my people. And the scholars offer this explanation of our Bit. ‘3:16. When believers are forbearing, forgiving (v.13), and LOVING (v.14) toward one another , when peace reigns among God’s people (v.15) then the church is fertile soil for the blessings produced by the word of Christ.’ 

 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that right now that the church is not fertile soil for Christ’s Word because there is too much disunity and dissension amongst its members, not enough compassion, LOVE or forgiveness. And I’m sure this breaks Jesus heart every time He thinks about the ‘sufferation’ He went through to bring us the Father’s good news of salvation and eternal life. 

 

Please, let’s not let Him down nuh. Let’s make the effort to pull things together for His sake, in His precious name. That’s wisdom of the highest calling! Much LOVE!

 

…if Christ’s people can’t live in LOVE…then who else can eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2019 Matthew 10:16.

Matthew 10:16.   ​Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.
 

Moving on…Moving on…! Yes friends, we’re moving on… onwards and upwards! As believers in Jesus Christ we’re supposed to be always moving onwards and upwards in our faith and Christ-likeness – even till the day our earthly breath expires, or Jesus comes back, whichever one happens first. But unfortunately too many of us believers tend to stop learning, stop moving up, stop growing when we most need to – that’s everyday! (smile) 

We can’t enjoy the abundant life Christ died for us to have and be cheerful because He’s overcome the world, unless we’re filled with His Word and His Spirit. The great spiritual writer C.S. Lewis puts it this way: ‘God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it’s not there!’ Yes my brethren, it’s only in God that we can find true peace and happiness, because that’s the only place it really exists! 

And the more peace and happiness we want, the deeper and higher we’ve got to get involved in God-like matters! Rejoice and exult in His goodness and mercy! Hear, read and study His Word, then entrench it deeply in our hearts, so that when the evil tempter comes a calling we can brush him aside with powerful words and actions from the Good Book! 

It’s all a part of growing up as Christians my people! Of becoming strong, steadfast and true! And that’s the ONLY way we can ever carry out Jesus’ directive: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’ 

Ah mih people, working for Jesus is not easy, but He does give us all the tools we need to do the job! What a directive eh! Like dumb, innocent sheep in a pack of hungry, angry wolves, but wise like the serpent and yet harmless like a dove! That’s certainly a hard row to hoe with all the contrariness and contrasts it entails. But as I said before, as true believers, we have everything we need to do it! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus further: After warning that we’d be unfairly persecuted, He calmly and sincerely directs us: ‘But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what (do not worry about what) ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in the same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ (Matt.10:19-20) 

Mamma Mia! What reassurance my brethren! Yuh see, our Lord and Saviour doesn’t leave anything to chance. He has a provision for each and every situation that we might find ourselves in. The Holy Spirit that dwells in us will prompt us what to say and do in every situation that we face! Glory to God! Give Him thanks and praise for being so attentive to the needs of us undeserving children! 

But here is the really rough part: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) Now therein lies the heart of the story. Just for being believers in Christ, we’ll be persecuted. But those who endure; stand, strong, steadfast and true throughout the severe persecution WILL be saved! 

That’s Jesus’ faithful promise my fellow believers! And we all know that He doesn’t make idle promises. If He says it WILL be so, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it WILL be so! (smile) But we have to endure, and we can only do that by being shrouded in His Word and Will.

 Now hear these words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains to them the way of the believer. ‘But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light (all sins are exposed by light). Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ (Eph.5:13-14) Yes my brethren, all we that are less than right with Christ need to turn from our sin and accept the promise of spiritual enlightenment that Christ offers! 

And furthermore: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise (watch carefully how you live), Redeeming the time (making the most of every opportunity), because the days are evil (and are they ever). Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of Lord is.’ (Eph.5: 15-17) And the only way we can understand the Lord’s will is by having constant and excellent communication with Him and His Word! 

‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be (continually) filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

There you have it friends, Christianity 101: be filled with the Holy Spirit and not wine, which leads to moral intemperance. Learn God’s will, give continual thanks and praise in everything, and defer to others if it is in God’s will. End of sermon! (smile) And when we try to live like that, then our blessings will fall down like rain, as outlined in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them (spelled it right!) in loud voice with sincere hearts. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! AMEN!’ 

And that needs to be a big ‘AMEN’ my people because of the staggering proportions of blessings we undeservedly enjoy, and remember, are also called to share with the less fortunate.  Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus is not easy…but brother…are the rewards ever excellent…and certainly worth it all…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2018 Psalm 144:9.

Psalm 144:9.   I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery (harp) and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

To go or not to go? That is the question: whether, on this summer Sunday morning, I should stay in my warm, comfortable bed, roll over and go back to sleep, or make a determined effort to roll out, get dressed and go to the Lord’s sanctuary, to praise and worship, give thanks and fellowship with other faithful believers? 

Hn! Oh friends, I daresay that many of us are facing that question, or have already faced it. Let’s hope that your reaction was, or will be the wise one; getting up and going to church. And while there you sincerely open your heart and soul to your heavenly Father, and you also take in all that He has to offer, so you can leave there stronger, more faithful and full of confidence. 

And today friends, in our li’l get together, we’re going to open the proceedings the way we always do, by softening up our hearts in song, making them more receptive to God’s word, by first giving Him thanks and praise. And we’re going to do exactly what our Bit tells us to do: ‘I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery (harp) and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.’ 

Oh what a joy it is to sing unto the Lord my brethren, especially a new song, one that He hasn’t heard us sing before, because then He is eagerly looking forward to the praise we have to offer. Yuh know that’s one of the reasons He created us; to praise Him? So let’s not keep Him waiting any longer nuh, let’s belt out this new song with strong voices and sincere hearts. 

As one soulful choir now: ‘(Chorus: Sing a new song unto the Lord, Let your song be sung from mountains high. Sing a new song unto the Lord, Singing Alleluia! Alleluia!) The Lord’s people dance for joy. O come before the Lord And play for Him on glad tambourines and let your trumpets sound. (Chorus) 

Rise, O children from your sleep your Saviour now has come. He has turned your sorrow to joy, and filled your soul with song. (Chorus: Sing a new song unto the Lord, Let your song be sung from mountains high. Sing a new song unto the Lord, Singing Alleluia! Alleluia!) 

Yes my people, that’s the way it ought to be! The Lord is good and merciful and LOVING, so His people should show their appreciation and gratefulness by dancing before Him with joy! That reminds me of when Bruh David danced before the Lord with all his might when they brought up the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Sam.6:14) 

And the Lord just LOVES His music, so it’s a no-brainer that we should play happily and sweetly on our musical instruments and thus bring Him pleasure. So let those tambourines jangle, the harps sing and the trumpets sound out! An’ yuh see, even the song says we must rise up from our sleep, because our Saviour, Jesus has come! Glory be! 

And what’s even better, is that He has turned our sorrow to joy, and filled our souls with song! Mama Mia! How can we beat that eh friends? No way! And as I keep saying, with a Saviour like Jesus, and all that He’s done for us, we Christians should be the happiest people in the world! Joy should be our watchword; ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength,’ (Neh.8:10) And since we know that salvation has been granted and eternal life is waiting in heaven, our earthly life should be just one big sing along! (smile)  

Like the Good Book says: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp; sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 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 (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:1-5) And there is no disputing any of that my people! 

And now hear Bruh David in Psalm 40 nuh –Praise for answered prayer. ‘I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (my steps). And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ (Ps.40:1-4) 

Ah friends, that’s the power of trusting in the Lord: you cry out to Him in patient and sincere trust, and He raises you up, and puts a new song in your soul, so you can praise Him even more! Glory to our heavenly Father! 

And we’ll end with this wonderful advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

We couldn’t get any better advice than that nuh friends, so let’s take it to heart and put it into action today nuh! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing our God LOVES more…than us giving Him sincere thanks and praise…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…fools despise wisdom…but wise men praise God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). 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 (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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