Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2020 1 Peter 2:2.

1 Peter 2:2.    ​As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
 

Another Monday friends… Yes, one more in the long line of Mondays lined up for us to go through in our work experience! And hopefully some of us might eventually wise up and realize that it doesn’t make sense to go through the Monday morning blues every week, and thus find ways to minimize the weekly frustrations and consequently decrease our stress levels and add a modicum of happiness to our lives. (smile) That’s the basic hope of our Monday offering. 

But sadly, for whatever reason(s), not all of us will be able to do that, which means we will always have need for our Monday Morning Battle hymn to help us get our Monday fix of spiritual adrenaline from heaven on high, through the Holy Spirit. Now that’s not a bad thing, but with age and experience, we’re expected to achieve spiritual maturity, meaning our food types ought to improve too, move from soft, baby food, to adult stuff, like meat and spuds. (smile) 

But my people, what the Lord desires more than anything else is that we come to Him, in whatever state we’re in, humbly and sincerely when we need help, regardless of whether we’re still eating baby food when by age and Christian experience, we should be eating solid stuff. (smile) So let’s come before Him now nuh, humbly and sincerely crying out for help, but confidently expecting Him to help, because that’s His awesome promise, and He keeps His promises. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And our God is so wonderful, that the answer is on the way before we’ve even finished our supplication! Wow! Give Him some thanks and praise my fellow believers (steups!) for being such and awesome and compassionate Deity! Just look at how we’re all energized and smiling, how our attitudes have suddenly changed, and now we’re excited to go out and work for Jesus! That’s the power of the Holy Spirit friends doing the Father’s timely bidding! 

And today friends, we want to talk about spiritual immaturity, the fact that we ought to grow in our Christian faith and move on from Christianity 101 to higher grades and not have to keep repeating the elementary aspects of our faith. There are several scriptures in the Good Book that deal with the subject, a few of which we want to share, beginning with Peter’s admonishment: ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.’ (1 Pet. 2:1-2) 

Yuh see that friends, young Christians, like babies need milk to grow, they too need to learn the elementary aspects of God’s Word. But unfortunately, many of us don’t grow spiritually, we remain carnal, doing the things that Peter advises against. Thus Bruh Paul also had to admonish the Corinthians. 

‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food); for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions), are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?’ (1 Cor.3:1-4) 

Of course they are, since spiritually minded believers (steups!) don’t fight about who converted or baptized them, because it’s team work. As Bruh Paul says two verses later: ‘I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.’ (1 Cor. 3:6) Yeh friends, whatever work we do for God, in the long run, it’s He who causes our work to bear fruit. Let’s remember that and stop arguing amongst ourselves as to who’s doing better than the other, because that only causes strife and disunity and destroys our witness. 

Unfortunately, the continual warfare between the flesh and the spirit is a human trait that still exists, and is still causing disunity and division in Christ’s church today. As it was embarrassing to Bruh Paul with the Corinthians, so it is embarrassing today to see people who should know better, because of their long walk as Christians, still fighting and envying over petty stuff. And the scholars tell us that the flesh and spirit warfare was a big part of Bruh Paul’s writings, (cf.  Rom.7:14-8:13; Gal.5:17). Please check out those scriptures, for they are very important and enlightening. (smile) 

And the author of Hebrews didn’t pull any punches, but put it all in a direct manner. In his appeal to believe, he writes: ‘Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered (explained), seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time (by this time) ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles (sayings) of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat (solid food). 

For every one that useth (partakes of) milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat (solid food) belongeth to them that are of full age (mature), even those who by reason of use (practice) have their senses exercised  (trained) to discern both good and evil.’ (Heb. 5:11-14) 

Ah mih people, too many of us are still drinking milk when we should be eating solid food, and it’s only causing serious problems in our church and our world. Please, for Christ’s sake, and with the Lord’s help, let’s try and do better nuh. Much LOVE!

…there is too much warfare…between too many immature believers (yeah!)…in Christ’s church…  
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2020 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.    ​Being confident in this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.
 

Now whoever says that our God isn’t a good, great, faithful and rewarding God, tell them I say deh lie eh! Ah friends, I see God’s goodness everyday in little things, but sometimes in somewhat bigger ones, like something that happened to me yesterday morning. Yuh know the snowfall was a fairly big one, so after church I decided to go out and tackle my drive and the walkway. I turned on my car stereo, opened the trunk and was out there shovelling and dancing for about fifteen minutes, possibly done about one fifth of the two car drive, when all of a sudden, behind me, I heard: ‘Hi Randy! Let me do that nuh!’ 

It was my much younger neighbour and his son from the house opposite to mine, both with snow shovels in their hands. And they took over the job, wouldn’t let me do much, kept telling me to rest. But having some pride, I felt somewhat uncomfortable just watching them do everything, so while they were doing the driveway I did the front steps and the walkway leading up to them. That made me feel a li’l more useful. (smile) He didn’t even me allow me to pour the salt on it, but did that too. 

Obviously the job took much less time than if I had done it on my lonesome. Now was that merely a simple blessing from the Most High, or a pointed message letting me know that I wasn’t physically capable of doing it all on my lonesome? I’m taking it as both, (smile) because to tell the truth, I don’t even know if I could have done it all at once having seen how much was out there, especially with the duchess on my back, fearful that something tragic would happen, wanting me to leave it and come inside. (smile) 

And making the situation even more memorable, my neighbour promised to come over and help whenever I needed it!  So how can I not be grateful and thankful eh? And how can something like that not strengthen my faith and belief in Almighty God eh mih people? Only if I’m not a true believer! But I like to think I am, that’s why I want to encourage those of us who are shaking it rough this Monday morning to join us in that mysterious and miraculous act of communion that we call prayer, where we offer thanks to God for His many blessings as well as cry out to Him for help in times of need. 

So let’s confidently and humbly go to the throne of grace declaring (yeah!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, seeking heavenly succour. 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!’ 

And since our motives were right and our hearts sincere, we know the Lord heard our prayer. We also know that He answered it, judging by our suddenly enthused spirit and rearing to go attitude. (smile) So let’s do just that nuh; get out into the evil world and work the works of Christ, because we all have a job, a plan that He’s envisioned for us. 

And of this one thing we’re sure, that God won’t allow His plans for us to go astray, regardless of the circumstances, for as Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘Being confident in this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ Yes my brethren, we can be sure that whatever God begins in us, He will complete it! 

And the scholars explain: ‘1:6. Will perform it is said “will finish it.” Paul is convinced that the work of grace that God began in the Philippians at conversion will be divinely continued until the day of Jesus Christ. That is, the Lord will keep working in these believers until Jesus returns to earth, at which point He will finish His work, bringing it to completion. This speaks of the Christian’s eternal security. For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in the Philippians, and that purpose will neither be abandoned or unrealized.’ 

Neither will the saving work He began in us be ever abandoned or unrealized my people. That means we have real security in Jesus, and therefore, though we may sometimes falter, even fall, we can be assured that our wonderful Triune God will keep raising us back up if we don’t lose faith, never give up, but sincerely stick with the omnipotent Three In One Deity that created, and still rules the universe. That’s wisdom of infinite proportions friends, so let’s diligently seek it nuh! Much LOVE!

…God’s plans…ALWAYS come to fruition…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2020 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 
Now this weather scene is getting to be a bit much yes! Can you believe that after a wet, rainy and icy Sunday morning that by ten a.m. the sun had come out and it became clear and dry, though somewhat chilly, and stayed so for the remainder of the day? Wonder what kind of weather we will experience today eh? But I’m not bothering mihself over it nuh, because with it’s contrariness, if you take it on, it will just drive yuh crazy! You just have to be prepared for whatever comes and say, the Lord be praised! (smile) 

And can you also believe that we’re already into half of January? Time sure isn’t wasting time… like some of us! (smile) Wonder how many sure-fire resolutions have been broken already? No doubt many. But it’s Monday, and that tired, sickly, lazy and unenergized feeling is afflicting some of us, like it will always do, so let’s take our problems to the Lord in prayer as we ought to. Let’s humbly, but confidently declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and receive His awesome help to cure our ailments. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And as always, the positive heavenly reply is not long in coming. We soon feel our spirits lifting, our energy pumping up, and our desires for Jesus, His Word and His work burning like a righteous fire in our being! (smile) Like poor Jeremiah who was tired of declaring the Lord’s word because he was being mocked continually, and thus decided to give up speaking it. However he found that he could not. Why? ‘But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (of holding back) and I could not stay (endure it). (Jer. 20:9) 

Ah friends, many of us sometimes feel like Jeremiah; getting a lot of negative reactions when we try to speak God’s word, but we cannot give up, we have to endure, whatever it takes. It’s that spirit of NEVER GIVING UP, regardless of our circumstances, or who comes against us, that divides Christians from the rest of the human race. Once you become a believer in Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit fills you with His awesome strength and courage so that you can keep keeping on with Christ as your Guide and Leader. 

He didn’t have it easy on this earth, and neither will we. But as He faithfully promised: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ And He certainly has friends, by dying on the cross to save our sinful souls, and then coming to life once again, thus defeating, hell, death and the grave for all time! And we’ll just quote a few scriptures to highlight the truth of what Jesus said in our Bit. 

As pertaining to His peace, hear Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus regarding the unity of ALL believers. ‘For He (Christ himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances: for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

Yes precious people, Christ broke down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, namely the Mosaic Law which was made to protect the Jews from pagan influences, but which they improperly used to make themselves feel superior to the Gentiles. But Jesus got rid of all of that by making us, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles, One new man, a unified Church. 

And as per having tribulation in this evil world, hear Bruh Paul to Timothy, re the coming days of apostasy (backsliding). ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-13) And we certainly are seeing it all in these strife-filled end times. 

And per overcoming the world, listen to these encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37-39) 

So friends, we have it all in Jesus, God Himself, all that we need to successfully navigate this fallen and sinful world. So there is absolutely no need to worry when things seem rough. Just call on Him and He will faithfully see you through. Much LOVE!

…in times of trouble…Jesus is only a prayer away…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2019 Jonah 2:2.

Jonah 2:2.    And said, I cried by reason of  mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
 
Yes, I know it’s Monday, and as far as some of us are concerned the only thing good about it is that it’s the eve of Christmas Eve, meaning things might be slow at work, or we might just get off work early, or steal some time to go and finish shopping. (smile) But friends, however we frame it, it is still the first day of the work week and we still have to show up. So why don’t we just be sensible and do it with a good attitude eh? We’d all feel a whole lot better. 

But just in case you can’t bring yourself to that point on your own, for whatever reason, we do have an alternative option; that of crying out to our great and generous God for help. And believe me, it works! So why don’t we all, in strong and confident voices, but humble attitude, declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. ‘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 and honour and a privilege we’ve been granted to be able to come before the Most High God in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving!  And what I particularly like about that prayer is before we’re even finished praying it, we feel our spirits begin to lift as the Lord directs His Holy Spirit to start activating us. And if you think praying when you’re down in the dumps is a waste of time, then check out Jonah’s prayer when He disobeyed God and ran in the opposition direction to which he was sent. 

We all know the story of how the Lord appointed a big fish to swallow him… And who says our God doesn’t have a sense of humour eh? He could have simply saved him, but Jonah needed to be a taught a lesson in obedience, just like so many of us today my bredrin, because disobedience is rife in our world, even amongst supposed believers. And what a way to teach him a lesson; three days and nights in a fish’s belly. You certainly know the slime and entrails and all the other junky, distasteful stuff we see in a fish’s innards when we clean them out. So just imagine swirling around in that for three days and nights nuh. (smile) It would surely teach you a lesson in anything at all! 

And learn his lesson, Jonah did! The Good Book describes the situation thus: ‘Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly. And said, I cried by reason of  mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.’ (Jon. 1-2) Oh friends, of one thing we can be sure; whenever we cry out to the Lord in sincerity, He WILL hear and answer our cries! Not always the way we want, or when we want, but He will respond to our cry! You can bet your bottom dollar on that. 

And Jonah knew that secret, so although it looked like it was cleaners for him, he could still reason: ‘Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.’ (Jon.2:4) Yes faithful believers, there is lots of truth in the old adage; while there is life there is hope, especially with our God, He of many chances! And after Jonah described his perils in depths of the fish and the sea, (Jon. 2:5-6) he finally acknowledged: ‘When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came in (went up) unto thee, into thine holy temple.’ (Jon.2:7) 

Ah mih people, there’s no wiser action in this life, than to turn to the Lord in sincere prayer when you find yourself in trouble! And I like how Jonah ends his prayer. ‘They that observe lying vanities (worthless idols) forsake their own mercy (LOVING-kindness). But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.’ (Jon. 2:8-9) Words to live by my people! 

And the result of Jonah’s cry? The Good Book details it: ‘And the Lord (ever generous and merciful) spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon dry land.’ (Jon. 2:10) Yes siree! And yuh know what? Jonah did learn his lesson, because the next time the Lord told him to go and preach to Nineveh, he went without a word of protest. (smile) 

And we’ll close with these wise and warning words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Israel. ‘Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition (instruction), upon whom the end of the world (ages) are come.’ (1 Cor. 10:11) Yes friends, Jonah’s experience and all the other acts of disobedience have been written down in the Lord’s Word so that we can read them and learn from them, otherwise, we too will suffer the inherent consequences, which can ofttimes be terrible experiences. The Lord is indeed a Good God, but He doesn’t cotton much to disobedience. Please remember that. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2019 Psalm 119:116.

Psalm 119:116.   Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

 

And yes friends, we’ve been granted life and breath to see another day on God’s great earth! What a joy and a pleasure, that’s why we ought to give great thanks and enjoy it! And we’re doing just that today in Canada on our official Thanksgiving Day; giving lots of thanks for the numerous blessings we enjoy up there in that wonderful country and enjoying the fruits of our labour as the Lord would have us do. Sorry I’m not up there to share it with you my Canadian Scrip-Bit family, but I’m down in J.A. giving plenty thanks too, especially for the sunshine and warm weather, (smile) although some rain fell earlier this morning.

Oh, yes, today is also Monday, that means the start of a new work week for most people, except we Canadians, (smile) who mostly have the day off to give thanks and praise and celebrate. But just remember Granny’s warning: drunk or sober mind yuh business, and don’t give the devil an opportunity to get into yuh business, because yuh know how he destructive and deceitful, and just wants to muck up our lives and get us off the path of righteousness as set by Jesus.

Now I believe it’s just a holiday in Canada, which means lots of others still have to go to work, and many might just be jealous of us having the day off, so their spirits are low, (smile) but we’re here to assure them of our encouragement with that wonder-working prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which is designed to get us up and moving. So let’s declare it together now nuh, let’s call upon our mighty and magnanimous God for His awesome help, wonderful grace and mercy, which enable us to do His work.

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!’ 

Oh mih people, don’t you just LOVE how those sincere words of prayer automatically raises our spirits and strengthens our entrails, causing us to get the gumption to go out and do Jesus’ work! That’s the endearing work of the Holy Spirit that indwells us for that very purpose! Give our wonderful God some thanks for the way He looks after us, how He has provided for our every need! 

And that’s what some of us, the Graduating Class of 1969, have been doing for the last few days; giving thanks and praise, reminiscing, fellowshipping, partying, and making new memories to add to the old ones we made some fifty years ago on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, that august institution that spawned so many leaders in so many fields all around the world! 

Sadly, that good time is now over, it ended yesterday with a church service and a brunch in Mary Seacole Hall of Residence for some of us, but some of the medical fraternity continued it up in the hills above Kingston by one of their colleagues. The Saturday night events were good too. It reminded the Economic Students especially, of the wonderful days in the Students Union where the parties happened back then. And the old tunes brought back vivid memories of those fun-filled times. And I LOVED the D.J because whatever old tune you asked for, he just dialled it up, and the music never stopped…

Oh by the way, we had the famed Jamaican musician Boris Gardiner with us that evening, and he crooned a few of his old hits, which we also  danced to – especially the rent-a tile ones. (smile) And I’m reaping the consequences of so much partying because my ole hip is aching like crazy. (smile) But it was worth it! All in all it was a most entertaining and worthwhile time; the camaraderie and togetherness were exceptional…just hope we can do it another fifty years from now. (smile) 

That brings us to today’s scripture taken from the great Psalm 119. ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps.119:116-117) Ah friends, without the Lord’s mighty hands holding us up and looking after us, we’d be lost, adrift in this evil and ungodly world, merely playthings for the evil one! 

No wonder Bruh David, in Psalm 25, his prayer for guidance and protection, sincerely cried out: ‘O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies’ triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait (in faith) on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Ps.25:3-5) 

Oh people, with sincere words like those reaching up to heaven, yuh think the Lord would ever turn them down? NEVER! Because that’s how He wants us to be; ever trusting and faithful to Him and His Word! And furthermore, no one who believes in the Most High God shall be ashamed of or disappointed in that trust and belief and hope. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:5-6) Oh friends, what more can we ask or expect eh? Nothing really, because everything has already been provided for us by our wonderful heavenly Father! Give Him much thanks and praise for His grace and mercy to the ungrateful children of men! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing in this world…as satisfying…as gratifying…as giving thanks and praise to our Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2019 Psalm 145:18.

Psalm 145:18.    ​The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

 

Aw, come on nuh friends, no lagging and foot dragging this morning nuh! Is Monday, and we should be full of vim and vigour, eager to get out into the world and fight the Lord’s battles! What’s this yuh tired and not up top scratch nonsense eh? That means you didn’t go to church yesterday and worship and praise God with other believers, else you’d be up bright and early just dying to get out and fight for Jesus. 

But regardless of your situation, we’re not here to condemn you, but to help you. So please don’t feel too badly, just join us in sending up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we ask the Lord to strengthen and inspire us to go out and do His work. Altogether now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘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!’ 

And here’s what I like about that particular prayer…before you even finish saying it, you start feeling good; enthused, encouraged, confident and well able to go out and fight a good fight in Christ’s name! Glory be my people! So let’s go out now and do just that nuh. And as we do, let’s remember Bruh David’s fateful and famous words from Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious. ‘The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s why we can sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in humble sincerity and know that He will hear and also answer us! As Bruh David continues: ‘He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy.’ (Ps.145:19-20) 

Gospel truth that friends! And we know that Bruh David is talking from personal experience there, not merely hearsay. And many of us have also had the wonderful experience of experiencing God’s mercy and LOVING- kindness, so we too know first hand that those words are absolutely true! So there is no need to fret or worry about whatever comes against us. 

As the psalmist so rightly and wisely says in support of those words: ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:5) And that elicits a li’l smile and chuckle from me, as I was somewhat late in getting up and was worried that I wouldn’t finish the Bit in time for me to do some other things that need my attention this morning. 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! He never leaves us in the lurch, nor fails to reassure and encourage us! Wow! So how can we not LOVE Him with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds eh? We’d be real foolish not to! For listen to the psalmist again: ‘Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (innumerable, without count). The Lord lifteth up the meek (humble): he casteth the wicked down to the ground.’ (Ps.147:5-6) 

And please note people, it’s not the same psalmist who is saying all those wonderful things about our God, but different ones, so there must be some truth in their assertions. And if that’s so, then we ought to respond thus: ‘Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. 

He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy (LOVING-kindness). Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.’ (Ps.147:7-12) 

Yes my people, the Lord is indeed worthy to be praised! There’s absolutely no doubt about it! So on this chilly autumn morn, as we go out to do His bidding, let’s praise Him nuh! Let’s glorify Him, let’s extol His wonderful attributes and exalt His mighty name, for there’s nothing our God likes better than hearing His praises being sung! Much LOVE!

…praise Him…praise Him…all you His saints in glory…praise Him with loud voice…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2019 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.    ​But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Aloha people! It’s Monday, that means it’s time to rise and shine and join the battle lines where Jesus awaits us! Like any good Field General, He’s the first one at the front surveying and reconnoitering the situation, so He can draw up good battle plans to ensure our victory. Remember, without good, solid, wise plans victory is never possible. 

Consequently, we His soldiers also ought to have good, wise battle plans for our day. And the first one is to arise with enthusiasm, to greet the new day full of vim and vinegar, giving our Lord thanks and praise for allowing us to see another day! Oh, I know that’s not possible for all of us, but don’t worry, we have the secret ingredient to help us get up to par. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, a simple but most productive prayer, suitable for any ailment you have on a Monday morning. 

So let’s join together in saying it nuh, because we all need prayer regardless of how strong and faithful we are. As one 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!’ 

Yuh feel it friends? Yuh feel the power of the Holy Spirit just working its way through your soul and spirit? I know you do, because I feel it too! It never ceases to amaze me that whenever we pray that prayer, how my enthusiasm level just rises another notch, even when it’s already high! That’s the giddy answer (smile) of our great God to our genuine and sincere prayer. And believe me, I needed a boost this morning, because it seems I caught some bug on the plane. 

When you’re packed like sardines with so many people hacking and sneezing, with one lady right next to me, it’s not unusual to catch something. Brother! After church yesterday, where I was feeling lousy, with my throat aching, I came home, had breakfast and went straight to bed. Remember I don’t have my I-pad, so I couldn’t play any games first. (smile) And I spent the whole day there, just getting up for supper in the afternoon and going straight back. 

I also spent most of the night there, waking and sleeping, listening to the strong wind that kept blowing all day through the trees. Sometimes it sounded like rain, but when I opened my eyes and looked, it was still just the wind. Sometime in the early morning hours I did get up and say some prayers, not fully conscious though, but I know our wonderful God understood, because my heart was in the right place. 

Oh friends, I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful God we serve and worship because He doesn’t look at our outward actions but at the motives of our hearts, and if they are true and sincere, He does accept our faults and frailties. In any case, He already knows them better than us. And we see this plainly in the words of the Lord to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel. Samuel looked at Eliab, big and strong and handsome and thought ‘This must be the one‘ 

‘But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’  But that doesn’t mean that the Lord doesn’t like good-looking people, for it was said of Bruh David: ‘he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look at.’ (1 Kin.16:12) Meaning he had bright eyes and was also good-looking, and he must have been strong too from all those hours out in the wild. (smile) 

Oh my people, unfortunately we can only look on the outward actions of our fellow man, so we can’t tell what is truly in their hearts, but the Lord can. And we see the good motives and intentions of our hearts played out quite plainly in Bruh David. Although he made many mistakes, and the Lord did punish him for them, He never left him, because Bruh David never left Him either. He always stuck to the God of His Fathers. 

Note too, the prayer of Cousin Sol, when the Lord asked him what he wanted. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people. And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon has asked this thing.’ (1 Kin.3:9-10) ‘And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore.’ (1 Kin.4:29) 

Yes friends, most of what we ask for, if it falls within the Father’s will and our hearts are true, we will get them. But note when Cousin Sol got old and turned to the gods of his many wives, how the Lord blanked him. ‘And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel which had appeared unto him twice. And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded.’ (1 Kin.11:9-10) 

Therefore the Lord told Cousin Sol he would take away the kingdom from him, but not in his days, but in his son’s. And why was the Lord so generous? ‘For David thy father’s sake…for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.’ (1 Kin.11:12b,13c) Yuh see mih people, though Bruh David did a whole lot of wrong, his heart never strayed from his God, and that eventually made him a measuring stick for faithfulness in the Old Testament. 

Are we faithful, can the Lord use us as a measuring stick for others today? Possibly not, but if we keep striving to be faithful and keep doing our best, one day the Lord might even deign to consider us His friend and a man after His own heart, like He said of Bruh David. I can think of no higher accolade that our great God can pay us. Much LOVE!

…the motives of our heart…must be right…when we come to the Lord in prayer…

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