Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2019 Psalm 119:133.

Psalm 119:133.   ​Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.
 
Ah friends, can someone explain this contradiction for me please: Why do I go to bed feeling fairly agile and healthy, but wake up a few hours later feeling lousy; tired, aching, grouchy, miserable and pained in both body and soul eh? Isn’t rest and sleep supposed to renew and refresh you, make you feel better and not worse? Between both of us, I’m simply tired of it yes…and I might just give up sleep and rest completely! (smile) 

And I know that some of you, my readers, also have that age old and aging problem, and you’d like nothing better than for us to have a pity party this cloudy Wednesday morning…But sorry, it’s not going to happen! (smile) Instead we’re going to put our trust and faith in the Lord God Almighty, surrender our all to Him, like He wants us to, and joyfully and loudly and sincerely and without doubting, declare these two acclamations: 

‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (P.118:24) And, ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) Glory to our great God my brethren, for it is He who gives us breath and life and health and wealth…in fact He is the ONE who gives us EVERYTHING we have and/or need in this crazy, and rather evil world! So in times of stress and strain, He is the most logical ONE to take our cares and problems to! 

Now here is a good description of our relationship with our God, taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s aptly and simply titled ‘His Part – My Part.’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord You want me to trust You so totally That I am unmoved by any circumstance; Then work in me that steadfast trust. You want me to choose to do right; Then turn me from wanting any plan but Yours. You want me to revere and honour You; Then refresh and revive me. 

You want me to obey You uninterruptedly; Then make Your Word my guide. You want me to depend upon You increasingly; Then reassure me that Your promises are mine. You want Your will to be my will; Then help me to LOVE Your every wish. I expect Your help dear Lord For You’ve NEVER broken a single promise And You’re not going to start with me.’ 

 No friends, He’ll NOT start breaking promises with any of us! But please remember we also have a big part to play in this covenant, this partnership with the Lord God of Hosts. We just can’t sit on our fat fannies and expect Him to make everything good come to pass in our lives. We have to offer our trust, our faith and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then seek His Will from His Word and obediently follow it. 

The big difference between our Christian faith and others, is that our God knows we are not perfect, because He didn’t make us so, but He still LOVES us unconditionally and will help us whenever and wherever we come to Him for help, in whatever sad and sorry state we’re in! Praise His holy name, my people! But we need to make the first move! There must be some effort on our part, otherwise it will just be a one-sided relationship, and that’s definitely not what He wants with us. 

And don’t forget, ALL that He’s doing is for OUR BENEFIT, not for His. He doesn’t really need us, but we DESPERATELY NEED HIM! We often mistakenly believe that He needs us, or take Him for granted, or think we can do without Him. But friends, here’s a li’l secret, or as my young daughter would say when she was just learning to talk, a li’l ‘secrat’: NONE of those things are true! And if we keep living by them, we’ll just paint ourselves right out of His picture and all the wonderful things He has in store for each and every one of us. 

Now here’s our Bit for the day, the same scripture verse as the promise for the above poem. ‘Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.’ Yes my people, though we need to come close to God, and stay close to Him, it’s only with His help can we do that successfully. 

Thus the psalmist continues after our Bit: ‘Deliver (redeem) me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they (men) keep not thy law.’ (Ps.119:134-136) 

Ah mih breddren, what strong words of prayer! And do we sincerely mean them, if and when we pray them? And do we truly weep and moan when our fellow man breaks God’s laws? We ought to. But only God and each individual know for sure, as he checks the motives of our hearts and doesn’t simply rely on our outward behaviour. End of sermon! Hope it makes a good and fruitful impact! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the heathen and His leader, Satan, know our unassailable position in Christ. In unison and strong, sincere voice: ‘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 if you believe it, then you’ll know that that future will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…LOVING God…and LIVING for Him…oh…they’re such a beautiful way of life…that no words can truly express the joy they bring…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2018 Zechariah 4:6b.

Zechariah 4:6b.   Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

‘Heat wave! It’s a heat wave! Yes a heat wave!’ Ah friends, the summer heat wave continues on this Tuesday morning after our hearty Canada Day celebrations, and the reality of work hits us once again. (smile) And I believe the searing heat might continue all week. As they say, be careful of what you wish for. We wished for summer weather, and we’re getting truly summer weather. 

That brings me to a poem I want to share from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s called ‘The Task’, and it resembles our reality so much that I just had to share it. Please read with me: ‘Lord, You give me a task So utterly impossible So totally beyond comprehension – The very thought of it Startles me. I want to run hide escape Anything, Lord. 

Then you electrify me You invade and permeate me You penetrate every fibre of me Until the task is accomplished By your own magnificent power. Then you praise the performance Your creativity achieved And you reward me beyond expectation – As though I had done it All by myself My Father.’ 

Oh precious people of God, isn’t that just how our wonderful heavenly Father behaves! He gives us something to do that seems impossible and we want to run and hide, escape somehow from doing it because it just boggles our imagination. But then, in His LOVING-kindness, our Father steps in and lends a hand, guides us, and sometimes does most of the hard work, until we accomplish the seemingly impossible task He assigned us. 

And then, wonder of wonders, He gives us much praise and glory and reward, as though we had done it all on our lonesome! Wow! How wonderful is He eh! 

Mankind always want to take the glory for what they do, but our heavenly Father shares it with us, so that we can be encouraged and grow in faith and LOVE, because in the natural, we can’t do very much on our own. That’s why He never gives us more than we can do, and when our tasks seem overwhelming, He steps in and helps us to accomplish them. Now that’s the kind of God I can LOVE and revere, and praise and give thanks to! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit for today, the awesome verse from the prophet Zechariah: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ 

Yes my faithful breddren, our omnipotent God from way back when, does most of His work quietly and efficiently through the third part of the Holy Trinity; the Holy Spirit that now indwells us. You won’t see a lot of huffing and puffing and exaggerated action, just a cool and powerful mystique as it were. That just shows the awesome power that resides in the Godhead that we serve and worship! And so it should be, otherwise there’s no reason to worship it. 

Now hear this scripture from Hosea that emphasizes God’s unreal power. Per the unfaithful people of Judah, He promised: ‘But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’ (Hos.1:7) 

Glory be mih people! The Lord doesn’t have to use man, nor animals, nor manmade implements to fight and win battles for us! He simply uses His Holy Spirit; what I term the Worker Bee of the Holy Trinity, because He does ALL the work that’s necessary in the Father’s domain. 

But unfortunately too many of us don’t pay sufficient attention to the Holy Spirit, even though He now dwells in us and is there to lead and guide us in righteousness. That’s why we so often go astray. The problem is that the Holy Spirit will not shout and bark at us, but will gently whisper to our spirit, letting us know what’s right from wrong. So if we don’t listen carefully, and don’t know the word, it’s easy to bypass the Spirit’s guiding. 

That’s why it’s so essential my brethren to know God’s word and to pay attention to what His Spirit is saying and doing within us, because that’s how He generally communicates with us. It’s all through the Holy Spirit friends! So to grow and mature in the faith, we need to be more circumspect in listening to and learning of and from the hard working Spirit of God that lives in us and is continually sharing the Father’s intentions with us. 

And it just doesn’t happen overnight, or by osmosis, (smile) but by diligent study and sincere determination. So true wisdom dictates that we start paying better and more serious attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing within us. End of sermon! 

Now for those of us who are serious about communicating with the Father through His Spirit, let’s go home today declaring our Tuesday Mantra, boldly and confidently proclaiming to the world who and whose we are. 

In one, strong and enthusiastic voice now: ‘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 as always, the corollary to that mantra is to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…the Spirit of God works within us…to show us the intentions of God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2018 Ezekiel 19:10.

Ezekiel 19:10.   Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood (bloodline), planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.

HAPPY  MOTHER’S  DAY!

And then it was Sunday once again, our favourite day for worship, but it’s also a special Sunday where we celebrate the Mother figures in our lives. Those feminine towers of awesome strength and assurance, the backbone of our society. And in my search, I discovered a real appropriate and praiseworthy hymn dedicated to them. It’s called ‘Honour Christian Mothers’ and is sung to the tune of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ 

So let’s open today’s proceedings paying sincere homage to the matriarchs in our midst nuh. In full voice let’s sing: ‘(Chorus) Honour Christian Mothers, instruments of God; Raising faithful families, worshipping the Lord.) Following His commandments, showing us the way: LOVE and faith and kindness; teaching us to pray. (Chorus) 

“Let it be,” say mothers, trusting to obey, Finding strength, grace for every day. Challenges surround us, but we will not fear. God’s LOVE will sustain us, help, our cross, to bear. (Chorus) God be with our mothers who have gone before, certain of His promise: life forevermore. In His many mansions, LOVE again we’ll share, He will take away all sorrow, wipe away each tear. (Chorus) 

Honour Christian Mothers – Heaven’s gift of LOVE. Join with them in service to the Lord above. Follow their example, let your lights so shine – All will see your goodness, praise the One Divine. (Chorus) Onward, still, ye mothers, tho’ the time will come; Sons will leave their parents, daughters leave their homes. We’ll remain united, Mother’s legacy; One in LOVE and faithfulness, One in charity. (Chorus).’ 

Oh friends, I could not find out the author of those lyrics, but they surely are a terrific tribute to the Mothers that raise and LOVE us! And if you’ll remember people, yesterday morning I got up and went downstairs early on to get something to eat. Well here is what the Lord caused me to write about Mother’s Day, before I came back up to bed. 

‘Wherefore, O wherefore art thou Mothers? Is it because of the original sin that you have been given the painful and difficult, but ever so necessary task of bearing children in thy womb, birthing them in travail, then raising them in deceitful and cantankerous families? 

Well, whatever the reason, I want to acknowledge that you have done a marvellous, a fantastic job down through the ages, and your God and mankind are very proud of you. Therefore, we wish you ALL Mothers, a very happy, blessed and prosperous Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day Mothers! 

And you know, as tears well up in my eyes, my one regret is that my mother, Molly, is not here so I can share those fateful words with her. Oh, like all of us, she had her faults, but nonetheless, she was a mother par excellence! 

Yeh Mols, although it’s been almost seven years now since you went to be with Lord, the ole fella misses you, and is crying, as he seems to do every Mother’s Day without you. That’s the one time the tears come without any reservation whatsoever. (smile) 

And I’m surely sorry if I didn’t treat or appreciate you as well as I should have. But I know in your sweet soul, you’ve already forgiven me for that. So rest in peace, please Mols sugar. And I do hope that you are cavorting in heaven with Jesus and the angels, as is your right as a believer.’ 

Oh friends, there will always be some resilient guilt in us, as to whether we treated our mothers as best we could. But please don’t let it cause us grief, because we’ve already been forgiven for it, since that’s what good mothers do. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood (bloodline), planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.’ 

And although that scripture was meant to pertain to Israel, there are so few real references to mothers, all of which I have already used. I wanted something new, and this fits the bill perfectly, for that is exactly how mothers are. They are like a fruitful vines planted by nourishing waters, just bearing good fruit regardless of the circumstances. They are like fountains of living waters, always bubbling forth with goodness and mercy. 

One psalmist put it this way: ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home) and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.113:9) Yeh my brethren, we should absolutely praise the Lord for mothers, since we’d be completely lost without them. 

And I’m chuckling here as I come to the end of this Mother’s Day message, because it’s something I also wrote yesterday, though not under my own steam. The Lord played one of His tricks on me. Yesterday morning after I went back up to bed, He got into my head with all sorts of stuff for this message, and finally I had to get up and write it down. 

And this is what I wrote. ‘Son’s honour your mothers because they, or rather you are a significant part of them, since they bore you for nine painful, uncomfortable months, and it’s to them that your navel string was attached. And most likely they’ve played a most significant role in your life. So it behooves you to adore and revere them. 

Daughters, please endear yourselves to your mothers, because one day you might also be a mother. And since we reap what we sow, your child will probably treat you the way you treat your mother. 

And finally, let’s not only celebrate our Mothers on this one day of the year, but everyday of their earthly sojourn, for they have certainly put in their time and testimony to deserve it.’ Much LOVE!

…a Mother’s LOVE…is like the Lord’s…unconditional…always caring…and never ending…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2018 Ezekiel 11:19.

Ezekiel 11:19.    And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.

Wow friends, it’s Friday already! A week since I had the surgery, and hopefully I’m on my way to a full recovery. But it’s going to take time.  And isn’t it strange how time seems to go by quickly when you don’t want it to, and slowly when you want it to go by quickly. 

Hn! I guess you’d call that life. But anyway, there’s not much we can do about it, but hope that it comes up in our favour and we have the patience and perseverance to bear how ever long time takes. (smile) 

Anyway, sorry about that break, a friend came to visit and we had a nice long chat. Thanks for the visit Mabel. And regardless of what I might have to say, the workingman is still going to sing his song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Oh people, oh people, the weekend here! Is we time now. No more work…just party and enjoy we selves… and doh care who doh like it. Heh, heh, heh! Enjoy yourself…Enjoy yourself…it’s later than you think…and yuh better believe it! Time not waiting on you. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, as usual, the workingman does have some good points, but he just goes a tad too far out on the limb. We believers are not allowed, or rather supposed to go that far out. We have boundaries that serve to keep the enemy from getting even a toehold in our affairs. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. So with just as much, if not more enthusiasm, let’s chant it now nuh. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as faithful followers of Jesus, our lot is to stay within the boundaries that Jesus set. Enjoy ourselves, but don’t get too lustful and licentious. Don’t allow our flesh to control us, but rather let the Spirit of Jesus lead and guide our earthly journey. 

Oh my people, from way back when, the Lord promised that Holy Spirit. Listen to Him through Ezekiel from our Bit.‘And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you (them); and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.’ 

Why, you wonder? ‘That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances (judgements), and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.’ (Ezek.11:20) And as always friends, the Lord kept His promise on that first day of Pentecost. 

As the Good Book tells it: On that faithful day, the apostles were all sitting together, ‘And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:3-4) 

What a faithful and awesome God we serve people! One who keeps His promises though we may have to wait on His timing for them. Under the Mosaic covenant, the Holy Spirit would fall upon individual people at certain times, and act in an external manner, but after Jesus ascended back to heaven, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, then was sent to dwell in the hearts and souls of each and every believer. 

The Lord took away our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of soft, pliable and malleable flesh, hearts filled with His LOVE and compassion, rather than the enemy’s hate, anger and evil purposes. Glory to our great and wonderful God my brethren! Such an awesome and ever-LOVING Deity who while we were yet sinners, sacrificed His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our abominable sins, so that we could be made sons, heirs to His kingdom. 

Mama Mia! How could we not LOVE and revere, and adore and exalt Him eh? We’d have to be the most ungrateful and selfish of creatures. And unfortunately there are way too many of us like that. And I’m not going to get into all the works and actions of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we all know them, or should by now. 

I’m just going to end with two pieces of Old Testament scripture that are still very relevant to our modern day lives. The first is a warning from Cousin Sol: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’ (Prov.16:32) 

That means, controlling ourselves is of enormous importance, and although the Holy Spirit is there to lead and guide us, we still have to make the decision to listen to the Spirit’s guidance and accede to His wishes. And we’ll end with this beautiful bit of heart-felt scripture from Bruh David, after he acknowledges his sin with Bathsheba. 

‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) Yeh friends, our magnanimous God will NEVER turn down a sincere, heartfelt plea like that. So when we feel things aren’t right with us, don’t be afraid to call out to Him for help. He’s always available to help us. Much LOVE!

…the worker bee of the Holy Trinity…Holy Spirit…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2016 Luke 8:50

Luke 8:50.    But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

‘Oh Lord we give you praise and thanks, honour and glory, because through your LOVE, your grace and mercy, you sacrificed your only begotten Son, so that we worthless sinners could be saved, every single one. Thank you Lord for your forgiveness.  

From the very bottom of our hearts, we sincerely thank you for Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, and we bless and revere your holy name. We promise to be always faithful and obedient to your word, so that one day we can dwell securely and joyfully with you in heaven. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!’ 

Oh friends that’s just a li’l ditty I concocted on the spur of the moment to begin our daily meditations. It’s not spectacular, but it does contain all the important and relevant elements of our faith and hopefully it will bring our focus to rest on Almighty God, our Creator and Provider as we try to build our faith, encourage each other and further the good news, the wonderful gospel of Christ.  

And to help us do that, check out these two quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. And the first quote provocatively proclaims: ‘DON’T stop believing…  Every day we get up, we will have something to deal with. But we must not let these things stop us from believing in God, ourselves and others. Our belief (or faith) in good is the fuel that will keep us going. In spite of the daily challenges, there is still so much good to believe in, to experience and to tell.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my people? It certainly is! A couple things we believers cannot stop doing is believing in good, in God, and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for if we do, we’ll be completely lost and most likely captured by the evil enemy Lucifer and end up in Hades with him. And believe me, that won’t be a very pleasant situation. 

And the second quote says: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’ Those are more words of truth my brethren! 

Now technically speaking we all can’t lead, since leading inherently supposes followers, but all Christians ought to have some leadership tendencies in them. As Anselm says, we ought to have actions that inspire others to dream, to learn, to stand strong and faithful, to rise up to the level God has planned for them. That’s what our faith is all about! 

And to back up our contentions, let’s turn to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’ 

That’s what Jesus said to Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue, whose daughter He was on the way to heal, but then Jairus’ servants brought news of her death and the father slumped in grief. Yes friends, two simple but powerful and overwhelming statements: ‘be not afraid, only believe.’ That’s how Mark records it. (Mark 6:36)  

And they are not very easy to do when negative circumstances come against us, like in Jairus’ position, but we need to just keep on believing my people, for its ‘a mark of our Christian maturity when we can do it successfully. Remember the words ‘give up,’ do not exist in our vocabulary. 

And note too, that while Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house, a woman with an issue of blood for twelve years, made her way through the enormous crowd believing that if she could just touch His garments she would be healed. And she was too. So much so that Jesus looked around and declared: ‘Who touched me?’ 

The disciples were amazed that within the throng of people Jesus would ask such a question. ‘And Jesus said, somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue (power) is gone out of me.’ (Luke 8:46) 

Finally the woman came to Jesus and acknowledged that she was the one who had purposely touched Him and was immediately healed. ‘And he said unto her, Daughter be of good comfort (cheer): thy faith hath made the whole (well) go in peace.’ (Luke 8:48) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘8:48. The woman likely had superstitious notions about how she had been healed, but Jesus clarifies what took place.’ It was all because of her strong belief, her unshakeable faith! So friends, a lot of what happens to us also depends on our faith and the strength of our belief in Jesus Christ.  

Now let’s look at another scenario where Jesus again invokes the power of belief. This time a father brought his epileptic son to the disciples, but they were unable to heal him. 

‘Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless (unbelieving) and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer (bear with) you? bring him hither. And Jesus rebuked the devil (demon); and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart (privately), and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt:17:17-21) 

So friends, although Jesus rebuked His disciples for their lack of belief, of not strong enough faith, He eventually acknowledges that prayer and fasting are important elements in faith works. 

And we’ll end with a quick explanation from the scholars. ‘17:15-23. As a grain of mustard seed: This seemingly impossible obstacle or difficulty stands in the way. Since Christ alone is the glorified Saviour, the disciples’ ability to work depends totally upon His empowerment.’  

That means we also need His empowerment my believing brethren; the only difference is that we now have His Holy Spirit dwelling with us and back then they had Jesus in person. Ah mih people, yuh see the power that is possible when we believe. We shouldn’t have to be told to believe, but some of us still need it. So please believe! (smile) Much LOVE!

…only believe…only believe…all things are possible…if you’ll only believe…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2016 Luke 9:23‏‏

Luke 9:23.   And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s Thursday, another bright and sunshiny day in my neck of the woods! And on top of that, it’s also supposed to be warmer than yesterday. 

Oh, all praise and glory be to our amazing God, who bestows, who showers us with new and wonderful mercies, blessings and LOVING-kindness each and every day! 

Wow! How could I not LOVE, worship, praise, revere and glorify such a magnanimous Deity eh! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud, ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

Yes my people, we do deserve to praise our heavenly Father for His unselfish care and compassion for us. Just wish that we could show Him and each other the same kind of care and concern. Anyway, since it’s Thursday, it’s time for us to confidently declare our Thursday Blessing… 

And with a thoughtful frown, the congregation asks: ‘What yuh talking about eh? Didn’t know we had a Thursday Blessing.’ 

Well the truth is my precious people, I didn’t know that either until a couple nights ago when I got this zeppo. (smile) 

And the story goes like this. As part of my devotions, I read an old devotional written by Bubba (Joel Osteen) in his early days of ministry. It had to be, because it’s old and beat up now, with some of the pages falling apart, and it was already old when I discovered it at my mothers place some years ago and we began reading it everyday, even when we couldn’t remember Bubba’s name. (smile) 

It’s called ’30 Thoughts for Victorious Living.’ I don’t know if Bubba even remembers that he wrote something like that, the amount of stuff he’s written over the last few years. But I like it; it serves my purposes, and I will continue to use it as long as I can. 

On a point of interest, most of my devotionals are old, but I prefer them to some of the new-fangled stuff that’s out there now. 

Anyway a couple days ago I was reading the devotions for the 11th of the month, which says ‘Declare Blessing’, and the prevailing scripture for that is the blessing instituted by our God long time ago for the Israelites. ‘Say to them, may the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favour and give you His peace.’ (Num.6:24) 

And the opening lines of the devotion are: ‘A blessing is not a blessing until it is declared! So today declare a blessing over yourself and others. Speak that blessing in the name of Jesus!’ And then he goes on to declare some blessings. 

Now the other day when I finished reading it, it suddenly occurred to me that it would make a good prayer for Thursdays. I thought about a couple of names, like ‘Thursday’s Temptation,’ or ‘Thursday’s Tantrum’ (smile) but eventually ended up with ‘Thursday’s Blessing’ as being more appropriate. 

And what I’ve done is basically taken Bubba’s general blessings and individualized them. So please declare with me now my brethren our Thursday Blessing, in a loud, proud, sincere and confident manner. 

‘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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s our Thursday Blessing. I like it, and I do hope you like it too. It’s basically a rework of the Lord’s blessings promised to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, some very important words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, re the terms of our discipleship. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Yes my brethren, the number one rule in following Jesus is to deny ourselves, become selfless instead of selfish, as our world is today. That doesn’t mean we don’t look after ourselves as best we can and do stuff for ourselves, but that we are not the be all and end all of our earthly lives. 

Just as Jesus came to serve and save, we too must concentrate on serving and saving, and on a daily basis too, which isn’t always easy. But as I keep saying, with God’s help, EVERYTHING is doable! 

And we’ll end with Jesus’ words after our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:24-27) 

And there we have it friends, the self-explanatory, immortal words of Jesus on how we must approach our discipleship. Please, let’s take some time today to ponder our individual relationship with Jesus, re those terms of discipleship. And as always, with God’s help, try to improve them, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…successfully walking with Jesus…takes lots of time…lots of selflessness…lots of care and consideration for others…  

P.S. I know it’s long and late, but please be aware that the hockey playoffs have begun, which means that there’s lots of hockey every night, and thus there will be many late nights and consequently late mornings. (smile) Just bear with the ole fella nuh. He’s got to have a life too yuh know. And once he’s alive and kicking, the Bit will get there…eventually. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2016 Judges 5:3

Judges 5:3.   Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

One more day in the life friends, one more day in the life! And what a blessed day it always is when you are being led by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, as we Christians are supposed to be! 

Our Divine Creator and Provider always has His eyes on us; on each and every one of those who sincerely worship and revere Him. Not one single hair from our head falls out without His knowledge. That’s how closely He monitors our well-being. 

And the joyful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who sincerely cares for us and faithfully fills all of our needs!’ echoes across the land from the mouths of God’s people. 

Oh friends, how wonderful that sentiment would be if it came from the mouths of many of the current unbelievers. And that’s our job; to show the unbeliever how wonderful it is to work and live for Jesus; not only by our words, but even more importantly by our actions. Remember actions speak louder than words. 

Unfortunately though, the actions of too many supposed Christians don’t jive with their words, or the lifestyle espoused by Jesus in His earthly sojourn, and expected of His disciples down through the ages. 

Where is the unconditional LOVE, the compassion, the caring for those less fortunate, for the homeless and hungry, the widows and orphans, the strangers, the downtrodden, the sick and suffering, the lost that Jesus came to save. As He said: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) 

So my people, why are so many of our brothers and sisters suffering such want and deprivation when there is such abundance eh? It obviously means that we, first as individual believers, and the church, as the earthly body or organization of Christ are not fulfilling our Christian mandate. That doesn’t speak very highly of us my fellow believers. 

Oh my brethren, it’s in these times of full-scale greed, selfishness, corruption, ungodliness, widespread poverty and suffering that Christ’s church and the people involved need to stand up and be counted. Jesus is depending on us to successfully carry out His LOVE Revolution, and we obviously can’t do that from the comfort and ease of our living rooms. 

Friends, we need to get up and get going; place Jesus sincerely in the depths of our hearts and souls, so that we go can out and proselytize, evangelize, and do whatever it takes to bring Christ to those who don’t know Him. 

Remember His last instructions to the disciples. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Friends, those disciples did their thing and brought a whole lot of believers to Jesus. It’s now our turn, but we’re not doing so well because we’re afraid of what the world will say, and also too taken up with the things of the world. Remember friends, following Jesus is not all wine and roses, in fact it entails plenty hard work and a fair amount of suffering, but it is all worth it in the end. 

As Bruh Paul says: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to His purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) Yes my people, there’s nothing to fear, the Lord will work everything out for our good eventually. And remember too that Jesus said He would always be with us, right to the very end, so we’ll never be alone. Jesus will always be alongside us. 

And then we have this wonderful scripture: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken, befallen) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that yea are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

So my people, we have all the tools and the protection to go out and do the work that Jesus has called us to do. Let’s develop some belly and backbone and go and do it nuh; stop being fearful, stop making excuses and stop allowing the lusts of the flesh to hold us back from performing our bounden duty; the Great Commission. And that’s my spiel for the day. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to our Bit about giving our great God the praise and glory He so rightfully deserves. ‘Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.’ Yes my people, that is what we were created to do! 

But sadly in this modern age and supposedly progressive times, we have forgotten about God and are foolishly putting our trust in man and the destructible things of the world. And we’ll continue looking at some scriptures of praise, hoping they will make a serious impact on us. 

Let’s begin with the confession of the priests and Levites after Ezra read the law to the Israelites and they repented and fasted. ‘Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.’ (Neh.9:5b) That’s the awesome truth friends! Now listen to Bruh David from Psalm 9 –Praise for God’s justice. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (tell of) all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.9:1-2) 

Yes my brethren, that how we’re supposed to operate as true believers. And even when times are rough, we can say: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my salvation) and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

And we’ll close with these well-known verses from Hebrews. ‘By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate (share) forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ (Heb.13:15-16) 

Ah friends, I can only encourage us to do better and pray that the Holy Spirit will work in all our hearts, minds, souls and bodies to the bettering of Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Much LOVE!

…when thanks and praise flow from our hearts…God opens the windows of heaven and pours down His wonderful blessings on us…

 

 

 

 

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