Today​’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2019 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.   ​   Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

And so we continue round the merry go round of our work life once again, as Monday has blazoned into our consciousness on this beautiful and sunny day in sweet Tobago! Glory to God! I’m truly sorry to hear that you all had snow in my area in the northern climes yesterday, but them’s the breaks, that’s what the northern climes are all about! (smile) 

Hope you didn’t have to trudge and drive through any snow to get to work this morning while I blessedly sit here writing on the porch, listening to the birds chirp their sweet songs of thanksgiving, admire the beautiful flora and listen to the sea lap gently and playfully on the rocky shore line. No, don’t be jealous! Let your Christian nature take hold and be glad for me, seeing that I have not enjoyed such blessings in a number of years! (smile) 

Oh don’t worry, I know it’s hard not to be envious when one of your associates is enjoying fair weather while you are experiencing the foul kind! But wherever we are in this fine universe of God’s, it’s Monday and we need to get out and labour to provide the necessities of life for our families and ourselves. And regardless of how hard we try, somehow we still always get fouled up by Monday’s. I guess it’s just the nature of the beast. 

But thankfully we have an antidote for all of our Monday morning ailments, called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it just chases away all those dark and cloudy Monday skies. So let’s raise our voices and declare it (chuh- wrong again!) in sincere faith, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

All together now: ‘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, what a quick and pleasant change sincere prayer can make in our sad and miserable spirits eh! It’s simply the awesome power of God! The amazing solution that He has developed to right our spirits; those who believe in Him and His Son Jesus Christ! For if you don’t believe in them, then NONE of what we’re talking about will work! 

As this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional so truly declares (right ho!) ‘Grateful praise satisfies us and pleases God!’ Yes my people, both parties are satisfied with words uttered in praise and thanksgiving; it corrects our spirits, and it pleases God, who made us most of all to be a source of vital communication, through praise and thanksgiving. 

No wonder Bruh Paul informed the Ephesian church thus: ‘Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ And there are no truer words than those to be found in our faith my people! And Bruh Paul said the same basic thing to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him. (Col.3:17) 

 And the scholars have this to say about that verse: ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs.16), but it is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ Yuh see that friends, thanks and praise and the Word of God are to be the mainstays in a believer’s life! 

You can’t be running around crazily with and longing for the things of the world, ignoring Almighty God, your Creator and Provider and expect to flourish, either in this life or the one to come! And you’ll notice too that even Jesus, the Son of God gave thanks. Check out when He fed the four thousand with seven loaves of bread and a few fishes: ‘And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.15:36) 

And He did the same thing when He fed the five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fishes. ‘Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.’ (Luke 9:16) Yes friends, Jesus knew where His bread was buttered; in heaven, at the Father’s throne, and the only reason He could do those miracles is because He looked to the Father and also gave thanks! 

And if Jesus needed to do that, then how much more we mere sinful mortals need to come to the throne of grace in humility and thanksgiving eh? Even when Jesus initiated the holy act of communion in His remembrance; ‘He took bread and blessed it…And He took the cup, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.26:26-27) 

Not much more to say friends, except to add Bruh Paul’s directive to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) Now as obedient children of God, let’s go out and do exactly that today nuh! Much LOVE!

…continue in prayer…and watch in the same…with thanksgiving…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2019 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11:   Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are (by your will they exist) and were created.
 

Sunday morning’s coming down friends…in fact, by the time you receive this missive, it will have already come down! (smile) But don’t worry, God’s great universe is unfolding as it should. But what else do we expect from the great architect and planner eh? Nothing less than things running the way He planned them. 

And so it is with us, His greatest creation: He planned us to worship and praise Him and pray to Him and receive answers to those prayers. He also stipulated that once a week we should lay down our labour and gather in His sanctuary to fellowship with other believers, and we have designated Sunday as our Sabbath, our day of rest and worship. 

So let me invite us to gather in the Lord’s house nuh. And let us be also glad, the way Bruh David was, when they invited him to go into the house of the Lord. (Ps.122:1) (smile) And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some praise and worship in glorious song! 

According to the Internet site ‘godtube,’ our song for today,’ To God be the Glory’ is a hymn with lyrics by Fanny Crosby and music by William Howard, possibly written around 1872, but first published in 1875. It soon became popular in Britain, but never had any success in the U.S until the 1950’s when it was added to the songbook of Billy Graham’s crusades. Now it’s one of our very popular hymns. 

And we can certainly understand why: Because it ‘celebrates the greatness of God and calls upon an appreciation for the wondrous things “He hath done.” It is a glorious hymn to be sung rejoicefully in the spirit of gratitude.’ And that’s no lie! So without further ado, let’s sing it nuh, in sweet, soaring harmony, rejoicefully, and most definitely in the spirit of gratitude! 

All together now: ‘To God be the glory, great things He hath done; So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, And opened the life gate that all may go in. (Refrain Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.) 

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives. (Refrain) Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done, And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son; But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see. 

(Refrain: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.) 

Oh friends, oh friends, that was beautiful! We sounded like the heavenly host that continually worships God. ‘The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are (by your will they exist) and were created.’ (Rev.4:10-11) 

O my fellow believers, is our great God ever worthy of tumultuous praise and worship, glory, power and honour! He certainly is! Just look at the marvellous things He’s done nuh! He LOVED us so much that He sacrificed His only Son, like a lamb on the cross at Calvary, so that His sinless blood could pay for the atonement of our sins! And with His resurrection, opened the gate of eternal life for anyone who believes on Him to enter into the halls of heaven! 

Wow! For that the Lord is certainly worthy of praise! And we ought also to rejoice over that perfect redemption performed by Jesus. And what a wonderful situation Jesus’ sacrifice caused, so much so that even the most disgusting offender is instantly pardoned once he sincerely believes! And in the doing of all those great things, our majestic God has also taught us great things! 

And if yuh think we rejoicing now through Jesus earthly work, just listen to Fanny’s words as she reflects those of the Good Book: ‘But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.’ Yeh mih breddren, the celebration now is incomparable to what it will be when we bounce up with Jesus face to face in the hallowed halls of heaven!  

Ah friends, that’s why Christians are supposed to be the happiest and most joyful people in the world! We have been accorded such wonderful privileges and blessings down here on earth, along with the faithful promise of more to come in the afterlife that our puny finite minds can’t even truly comprehend them! 

I guess that’s why so many of us drag ourselves around like we’re bearing the whole weight of the world on our shoulders. Sorry friends, Jesus has already assumed that position! You don’t have to go around feeling sad and sorrowful and beating up yourself any longer. Otherwise you’re just making a mockery of Jesus’ sacrifice. And I’m sure you don’t want to do that. 

So please, let’s lift our heads, hands and hearts to the sky and shout a loud, proud and grateful, ‘Thank You Lord! You are indeed worthy to be praised! We LOVE You and bless Your holy name! Amen! And again we say: ‘Amen!’ Now let’s go home rejoicing in the goodness and wonder of our great Triune God – the ONLY REAL and TRUE DEITY that exists! Much LOVE!

…the joy of the Lord…is the true believer’s strength…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2019 Psalm 23:4.

Psalm 23:4.   Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art (always) with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 

Oh friends, it certainly warmed the cockles of my heart – and God’s too – when you all shared with me your sentiments, your heartfelt desires to go to the Lord’s sanctuary on this Sabbath day to worship and praise Him, receive His healing Word, glorify His holy name and rejoice in His LOVING-kindness! It just brought these immortal words of Bruh David rushing into my mind: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1)  

Oh, what very appropriate words for those very appropriate sentiments! Yes, there’s nothing else in this world like a joyful gathering of the saints in sincere fellowship! There’s nothing like when we sing and praise our Maker and offer up heartfelt thanks for His wonderful blessings and mercies. All heaven joins in with us and the Lord’s praises just overwhelm His universe. 

And that’s exactly what I want us to do today as we sing this gospel song written by Tracy Dart, titled ‘God of the Mountain!’ Many of you might not know it, but it’s a slow, soulful song, not a dirge (smile) and once you read the words, if you’re a true believer, the absolute truth contained in them will have your hearts and voices soaring to the sky with thanksgiving. So nuff talk; let’s sing our soulful anthem to the Most High God Jehovah. 

‘Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known But things change, when you’re down in the valley. Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night 

We talk of faith way up on the mountain But talk comes easy, when life’s at its best Now it’s down in the valleys, trials and temptations That’s where your faith is really put to the test For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley, When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night.’ 

Oh my people, truer words were never spoken! Life is certainly wonderful on the mountain top; everything moving nice and easy. But down in the valley, it’s a completely different story. But yuh` know what, the same God that’s next to you on the mountain top, is the same one that you have in the valley, and He’ll make things right for you down there too. 

It’s like Bruh David said in that awesome psalm, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art (always) with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ That sends the message loud and clear my believing brethren: Wherever you are, on the mountaintop or the shadowy and fearful valley, you are NEVER ALONE, so there’s no need to lose faith and trust in Almighty God. 

Remember He is the God of both the good and bad times, as well as the God of the day and night, in fact the very God of EVERYTHING! So whatever the circumstances, it’s the same magnanimous and ever-LOVING God we’ll always be dealing with! So that ought to set our hearts at peace. 

But the eternal problem is that when life is good, talk is cheap and easy, and we all talk a good talk in the good times. But when those rough times down in the valley hit us, and our talk is tested, we suddenly lose our gumption and whine and cry, become so discombobulated that we can’t walk the big talk we had on top of the mountain. 

Yes friends, we see that happening amongst Christ’s saints every day. When the struggles of life hit us we’re quick to fear and faint, when we should be standing oh so strong and courageous in faith! Remember the parable Jesus spoke to the crowd: ‘that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) ‘Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ 

But unfortunately that happens to too many of us. The easy, sedentary life we live today has robbed us of our belly and backbone. But please remember my brethren, that the Lord will not allow anything to come against any of His people and not give them the wherewithal to handle it! 

So please let’s stand valiant and strong in Jesus’ name nuh, whether we’re in the dark valley, or the bright mountain top, cause it will all be smooth sailing when we get to heaven! Much LOVE!

…heaven will more than make up…for all the sorrows and hardships on earth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 4 December 2018 Psalm 5:11.

Psalm 5:11.   But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest (protecteth, covereth) them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee.
 

Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more…! Yes mih people, we going to attack the supposedly impregnable ramparts of that concrete jungle called Toronto, one more time this Tuesday morning in early December! That’s why we here so early. (smile) But on a serious note though, I recently read that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find living space down there that has sunlight splashed over and around it. 

Chuh! That’s because of all the tall buildings that have gone up, and are still going up, which block out the sunlight from the lower ones. And I’ve noticed it over the summer. You can walk down one of those canyons, they are no longer streets, and the only light is what comes from directly above you, because of all the tall buildings on both sides. 

 But that’s what we call progress nuh; the more concrete we pour, the more we feel we’re progressing. Like the Joni Mitchell song, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ so appropriately declares: ‘You tear down a paradise to put up a parking lot.’  But yuh know what friends? We believers don’t need to worry our pretty li’l heads (smile) over that situation too much, because our great God is still on the throne, still controlling the universe He created. 

And here is what Bruh David, God’s friend and man after His own heart said many moons ago: ‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest (protecteth, covereth) them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee.’ Yes my fellow believers, it couldn’t get any clearer than that! If you trust in the Lord God Jehovah, then you ought to rejoice and be glad every day you awake and see the light. 

As believers in Christ we ought to shout for joy, because the Lord defends, protects us each and every day of our earthly lives! How many of us are doing that eh friends? Certainly not enough! There are too many supposed Christians walking around like ‘poor me ones’ believing that to be a believer means you must walk around like yuh suffering. 

Not at all my people! If you LOVE the Lord, you’re supposed to walk around with your head held high, a li’l swagger in your step, more confidence than arrogance, because you know where your bread is buttered! As Bruh David continues in the psalm: ‘For thou Lord wilt bless the righteous: with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ (Ps.5:12) 

As true and mature Christians, we ought to have those words written indelibly in our hearts, so we can go around and proclaim them in our everyday lives. And I guess what the Lord LOVED about Bruh David, is that despite his human failings, he never gave up on Him, was always calling out to Him, acknowledging Him as Lord and Protector. 

Hear this passage from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for Deliverance. Bruh David solemnly opens it by proclaiming: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-2) 

Oh mih people, if we’re true believers, then we ought to be saying all those things too, because the Lord God is in fact all those things to a true believer! But please notice that word ‘believer,’ remember it implies belief. And that’s what is wrong with too many of us supposed believers; we might believe in our heads, but not truly in our hearts. 

But that’s where the belief is really supposed to be my brethren, so that it can take effect in our lives. Remember what Jesus said, it’s from the heart that we live, either good or bad things come out of it, but the heart is the driver of our lives. (Matt.15:17-20) 

And Bruh David solidifies his argument later on in Psalm 18, when he declares: ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried (proven): he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him. For who is God save (except) the Lord (Yahweh)? Or who is a rock save our God?’ (Ps.18:30-31) Those are certainly excellent questions my friends! 

And Bruh David answers them thus: ‘It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds feet (the feet of the deer – nimble and strong), and setteth me upon my high places.’ (Ps.18:32-33) And that He most definitely does my faithful brethren! And that brings us full circle: if you LOVE the Lord and trust in Him, then you ought to be joyful and proactive, not sad and miserable and reactive. End of story! 

Now for those of us who truly LOVE the Lord and put our utmost faith and trust in Him, let’s go home telling the world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are, by declaring our Tuesday Mantra in strong voice with sincere hearts! 

Altogether now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we truly believe that, then let’s go out and sincerely share the LOVE of our wonderful friend Jesus with the oh so needy world nuh! Much LOVE!

…the three watchwords for Christians…belief…belief…belief…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2018 Matthew 10:29.

Matthew 10:29.    Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father.  

 

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh what a wonderful idea that is this Sunday morning my brethren, the first day of autumn in the abnormal year of 2018! Bruh David was ever so glad for that invitation to go to the Lord’s sanctuary because he knew the amazing benefits it produced. 

And going to God’s house still produces wonderful benefits to this day my people! Where else can you get the peace and joy, confidence and reassurance that come from a session of praise and thanksgiving, and hearing the Lord’s word being read and feeling it seeping into the deepest recesses of your hurting heart? Nowhere else friends, but in a place where the Lord reigns supreme! 
And today we’re going to open with a Gospel Hymn written in 1905 by Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. ‘It is most associated with actress singer Ethel Waters who used the title for her autobiography. Mahalia Jackson’s recording of the song was honoured with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2010.’ Most of us though, might be more familiar with the Kirk Franklin version of a few years ago. And the name of that revered and moving song is ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow.’ 

So without further ado, let’s reach deep down into our souls and produce a real soulful version that will bring tears to the eyes of heaven. As one now: ‘Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me 

(Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.) “Let not your heart be troubled,”  His tender word I hear, and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing…) 

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw closer to Him, from care he sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ (Repeat). 

What a marvellous song my fellow believers! And it’s also filled with God-awesome truth! Everything it says is true! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is constantly looking out for us, just like He’s doing for the sparrows of this world. And when life gets rough and tough we can simply go to Him and ask for comfort and reassurance…and we’ll get it. Glory to God! 

 

The song was obviously inspired by words from the scriptures. Hear these reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit: ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:29-31) That’s the gospel truth friends! 

We are indeed more important than the birds of the air, as Jesus says earlier on: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt.6:26) Ah mih people, we are indeed higher up the totem pole that the birds and other animals, which the Lord looks after so faithfully, so why won’t He look after us in the same, or even better manner eh? No reason whatsoever! We just have to have faith, trust in and surrender our lives to Him. 

 

Now listen to this testimony and let it uplift our lives, because only a few of us can, or will ever personally know this level of suffering. Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics, claimed this story as her inspiration. ‘Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle – true saints of God. 

Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for night twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittle’s, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. 

 

Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ Yes friends, that is indeed what you call boundless faith! Not too many of us would go through such difficulties today with such aplomb, even though we now have many more amenities to alleviate that kind of suffering.  

 

And Bruh David adds his two cents worth (smile) Of the Lord he says: ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide the with mine eye… Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:8, 11)Yes friends, we couldn’t get any better advice on this the Lord’s Day, so let’s be wise and take it nuh. Much LOVE!

…man is God’s greatest creation…and He certainly treats us like such…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2018 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

And then it was Wednesday; the mid-point of the workweek, and a lot of people exhale a grateful sigh that the week’s nearly over. Now yesterday was a rainy day in my area, and I slept a lot of it away, (smile) but I can’t afford to do that today, because I have things to go out the street and do, so I hope the sun that’s valiantly trying to push its way through some swirling dark clouds out there is successful. 

And later in the evening, I also want to go down to the C.N.E, the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, to our annual country fair and see international Reggae Artist Freddie McGregor and our local boy Jay Douglas at the Band Shell. It’s a long walk from the train station to the Band Shell and it’s also an open-air venue, so the rain definitely will not be welcomed. 

But then I just thought, who controls the rain eh? The Lord God Almighty! And if He wants to send it pouring down, who is to say Him nay eh? Nobody! Let’s just hope and pray He doesn’t make that unfortunate decision today eh. (smile) And even if He does, we just have to live with it. 

That makes this quote of the famous American essayist, lecturer and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) come in very handy. ‘Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.’ Yes friends, that’s ever so true, because if you don’t accept peace, even that of Jesus, you won’t ever have it. One must make a conscious decision to accept peace, to live in peace and fervently pursue peace. 

As our One More Day Devotional – Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness tells us: ‘True peace comes from the harmony we feel within ourselves. We don’t go out and get peace of mind; it’s the result of what we do. Harmony is being at ease with ourselves, our surroundings, and with our lives. This is no easy task, as we must come to grips with the issues that cause us concern. 

This doesn’t mean that all our problems must be solved before we can have inner peace, for life will be much like a mountain road, with twists and turns and many unexpected bumps. Peace is a reality for those who accept what cannot be changed and take up the challenges that can and must be dealt with. Peace is easier to attain when we cherish the gifts of the present moment.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my brethren! When we appreciate what we have, and are not complaining or loudly clamouring for what we don’t have, it’s much easier for our souls to find peace. And the thought for that day’s devotional declares: ‘In my life, peace begins with me. I will remember that peace is a prize of the spirit and is available to everyone.’ 

Now that’s basically true, but in this current world, peace is not a valued commodity. Things like strife and anger and war and resentment seem to be more prized. So if you’re trying to find peace in worldly terms, you have an almost impossible task to fulfill. But friends, if you really want peace, the ultimate peace, then you have to look to Jesus for it. 

Listen to what He told His disciples as He warned them of His impending return to heaven. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ 

Wow mih people! What mighty words from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Only He could have made such a pronouncement to the disciples in their time of fear. That’s because He knew the power of the Holy Spirit that was to come upon them after He left. 

And it’s that same Holy Spirit that comforts us in our dark and desperate times. But as with everything else, we have to accept it, and work with it. It just doesn’t happen on its own or overnight. We have to actively go after it. As Bruh David says in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous: ‘Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:14) Yeh friends, peace in our lives, all depends on us actively seeking it. 

And here is Bruh Paul’s sage advice on finding it. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7) 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s such wise and wonderful advice! Please, let’s promise ourselves today to take it to heart and put it into action nuh! For that’s the only way we will achieve the wonderful peace of God that passes all human understanding. 

And for those of us who have already made that wise and momentous decision, we can now go home in peace, safety and comfort, declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our sure position in Christ Jesus. So with a strong sense of purpose and loud voice, let’s wail nuh: ‘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 I can’t help but say it, because it’s oh so true: That future with Christ will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…there’s no other way to gain true peace…than through Jesus…the Prince of Peace…

 

 

 

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