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 11 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher  (perfector ) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Arise my people and greet the bright and bountiful Sabbath Day, when the Lord rested, having created the universe and all therein in the six previous days! And He saw that it was all good! It’s a day of fellowship, of the gathering of Christ’s church in His sanctuary to praise and sing, give thanks and worship and exalt His Holy Name! 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God in the highest! Praise His Name on high! For He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Only He knows the true workings of the universe!’ Yes friends, He is the great I AM, the ONLY ONE who can heal your soul and take all your troubles away. 

That’s why, our song of praise and worship this morning is titled ‘The Heavenly Vision’ or ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus.’ So let’s do just that nuh, as we offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips. As one true body now: ‘O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! 

(Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; O’er us sin no more hath dominion— For more than conqu’rors we are! 

(Refrain) His Word shall not fail you—He promised; Believe Him, and all will be well: Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell! (Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.) 

Ah friends, such words of assurance and peace, exhortation and encouragement, penned by Helen H Lemmel (1863-1961). Her biography says that in 1918 she was given a tract by a visiting missionary. The leaflet was entitled “Focused,” and in it was this exhortation: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him [Christ]. Look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.” 

Mrs. Lemmel was riveted by those words. She says, “I stood still. And singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody.” The three stanzas of the song were added later the same week.’ My fellow believers, that’s just one of the mysterious ways in which our great and awesome God moves, His works to unfurl! 

And the scripture it seems to have been based on is our Bit for today. But first let’s look at the verse that precedes it, because that sets the context for our Bit. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Ah mih people, the author of Hebrews looks at our Christian life like a race; one that is indeed difficult to run, but acknowledges that we have faithful heroes that have gone before us (a cloud of witnesses), who have run it successfully, and so can we. How? 

By ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yeh friends, though there were others who successfully ran the race, and gave us worthy examples to emulate, Jesus is our best example, our bright and shining star! He set the tone for it all. 

The scholars tell us: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That means fellow believers we don’t have to blaze a new trail, just follow the one Jesus laid down, and that makes it easier for us. Imagine if we had to blaze a new trail for ourselves? We’d find it even more difficult than it is now, what with all the sin that’s lurking around the corner, just waiting to ensnare us, we need to have the utmost in patience and perseverance to last the distance and finally end up at the finish line in the welcoming and comforting arms of Jesus. Praise his Holy Name! 

And these two verses following our Bit, just bolster it. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (be discouraged) in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb.12:3-4) 

Oh friends, Jesus is the ‘supreme example of endurance.’ Just look at all the ‘sufferation’ He bore on our behalf nuh. We could not have had a finer example of perseverance and endurance. So let’s remember that, take courage from it, and steadfastly bear up under our own weight of sin in this earthly race of life. That’s the only way to do it as a true believer in Jesus. Much LOVE!

…for whatever befalls us…the ultimate answer is to turn to Jesus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2016 Psalm 119:57.

Psalm  119:57.    Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. 

And then it was rain, mixing up with the snow, and with the lower night time temps, more likely than not turning to ice. Yes friends, that’s what we’re looking forward to this Sunday before Christmas 2016; an icy world. 

But yuh know what? That’s not going to stop us from going to the Lord’s sanctuary and celebrating His Sabbath Day. We going to get there, even if we have to walk and/or crawl. (smile) 

And when we get there we’re going to have glorious fellowship, with plenty thanks and praise and worship and preaching of the Word, so that we can leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, strong and full of confidence to go out and live a good and true Christian life in the upcoming week. 

Now let’s begin the praise and worship with this beautiful hymn, ‘O Come All ye Faithful.’ Yes my brethren, please let our faithful voices raise our praise and glory to high heaven in perfect harmony!  

‘O Come All Ye Faithful Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels; O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 

O Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation, Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word. Give to our Father glory in the Highest; O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning, O Jesus! For evermore be Thy name adored. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

Ah mih people, this is the season of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s birth in the lowly stable in Bethlehem, and we ought to be celebrating it with lots of enthusiasm, passion and spiritual awareness. Remember, Christmas is the occasion that got the whole Christian thing; the ball of salvation, forgiveness of sins, reconciliation, justification and the promise of eternal life rolling. 

And if we don’t fully appreciate it, we won’t be able to fully appreciate what it caused either. So please tone down the worldly activities, and instead raise the godly ones, for without Jesus there would be no Christmas, no gifts, no set of food, in fact no celebration at all at this time of year. 

And now that I’ve said my piece, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, a powerful acknowledgement of God’s place in the psalmist’s life. ‘Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words.’ Yeh friends, the Lord ought to be our portion, and we ought to faithfully keep His words if we claim to be believers in His Son Jesus Christ. 

Now today I want to look at some other scriptures that uphold, which corroborate the words of our Bit. Let’s begin with something from Numbers. ‘And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance (a possession), for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.’ (Num.18:20-21) 

So Aaron and his descendants, the priests, would own no land in Israel. The scholars explain it thus: ‘18:8-20. In recognition of their altar service, the priests were to receive parts of the sacrifices, firstfruits of the harvest, and firstborn animals (cf. Lev.6:14-7:36; 27:26-33). The priests’ families could also eat from these offerings as long as they were “clean.” Their inheritance would be God Himself, who provided for their needs through His people’s gifts. (v.20) 

‘18:21-24. Tithing was now provided for the tribe of Levi (Gen.14:20; 28:22: Lev.27:30-33). The tithe was a payment for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation (v.21; cf.31). It also compensated for their lack of an inheritance in land. Later they were given 48 villages which were scattered throughout the land (34:16-35:8).’  

That means those in charge of running the tabernacle, had no other duties but looking after God’s house, and the Lord provided food for them from the gifts of the people. Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 16, where he seeks preservation and blessing. 

‘The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest (upholds) my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places: yea, I have a goodly heritage (inheritance). I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel; my reins (heart) also instruct me in the night seasons.’ (Ps.16:5-7) 

Meanwhile, Jeremiah in his Lamentations boldly declares: ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Wonderful advice my fellow believers! 

And we’ll end with some more wonderful advice, this time from the psalmist Asaph, from Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness. ‘My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee (that are unfaithful). But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps.73:26-28)  

Oh friends, the Lord God Jehovah, Creator and Controller of the universe, ought to be a big part of our lives if we truly believe. Now let’s take some time today and consider how big a portion He is in our lives, and as always, ask Him to help us make it bigger. For that’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE! 

…the bigger the portion of God in us…the better…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 November 2016 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t another Sunday, another Sabbath Day! That means it’s also time for praise, worship, fellowship, thanksgiving, rejuvenation of spirit and encouragement in the Lord’s house! So without any preamble, let’s get into some worship, raising our voices and our hearts in sincere song to heaven with this 19th century hymn by Sarah F. Adams. 

‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.  (Refrain) Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! – Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain 2).’ 

What a song of hope and faith my brethren! Regardless of our circumstances, our most prominent thought is to draw close to our wonderful God. And that’s really wisdom of the highest order, for He is the ONLY One who can make everything right from every and anything wrong. 

Oh, and before I forget, let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s Bit. I gave the scripture passage for my favourite phrase, ‘prisoners of hope’ as Zechariah 12:2, when it should have been 9:12.  Don’t know where my mind was nuh. It must have been lost in the prison of hope. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit now, the same one as yesterday: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And we all know that there’s plenty truth in that statement, because all of us have experienced situations where our hope was non-existent, or at a pretty low level, and consequently, our emotional state became very negative. However, once our hope returned, our emotions became positive again. 

Now it’s time to get into some scriptures which show the importance of hope in our lives. But before we do that here is an interesting parochial, or patois quote on the subject from my Trini friend. 

Trini Quote Of De Day. ‘De longest rope have ah end.’ Generally said to someone who is going through rough times, letting them know that bad conditions must come to an end.’ 

In other words, have hope, this too will pass, things will get better. And they say our old people weren’t wise… Chuh! Foolishness that! (smile)  

And my Trini friend concludes his message by saying: ‘Have a GREAT day, every DAY!!!! Watch your thoughts: They become words Watch your words: They become actions Watch your actions: They become habits Watch your habits: They become your character.’ 

Gospel truth my fellow believers! We need to watch those things very closely, beginning with our thoughts, for as a man thinks, so is he. 

And the first scripture we are going to check out on hope is Bruh Paul’s famous words to the church at Rome. At the end of his lecture on Life in the Spirit, he tells them: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Yeh friends, what’s the use in hoping for something we can see eh? Hope is only alive and involved when we can’t see what we want. And then, we ought to wait patiently and eagerly for it. 

Now listen to Peter in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet. 1:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. neophontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

And Jeremiah puts it beautifully in his Lamentations. ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Those are indeed words to live by my fellow believers! 

And the scholars say this about that verse. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have experienced great grief of soul (Hab.2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’  

Oh friends, there’s an interesting exercise for you all; checking out those scriptures!  It will only take a few minutes, and will be to your benefit. You’ll discover that some of them you already know. I checked them all, and they are indeed very valuable, a veritable treasure trove to a believer. 

Now let’s end with this simple but wonderful exhortation of Bruh Paul’s to the Romans, as he tells them about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Rejoicing in hope…’ (Rom.12:12a) Simple, but to the point precious people of God. So let’s go out today and see if we can’t put that into action nuh. Rejoicing in hope will surely boost and brighten our day. Much LOVE!

…it’s only hope… that allows us to contemplate a better day…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2016 Ecclesiastes 5:1.

Ecclesiastes 5:1   Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

Aye mih people, a blessed Sabbath Day to you and yours!  And we’ll begin as usual with some praise and worship to get us ready, to get our hearts softened up for the Word. So let’s belt out that wonderful hymn we all know and LOVE, ‘Amazing Grace’! Let’s raise our sacrifices of praise heavenward, like we truly mean it nuh. 

‘Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, Was blind, but now I see. ’twas Grace that taught, my heart to fear. And grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed. 

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. ’tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead us home. The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures. 

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun. We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now, I see.’ 

Yes friends, it’s all through God’s amazing grace that we can aspire to heavenly things and places! Without His saving grace, we would truly be lost like a thirsty man in an endless expanse of desert, only seeing mirages, or a rudderless ship adrift in the dark on a storm tossed sea.  Only through God’s grace can we find an oasis in the desert, or a clear path in the storm. 

That reminds me of the picture in one of my Bibles showing a ship caught in a storm with a young lad standing at the ship’s steering wheel that’s bigger than him, but comfortingly, behind the lad stands Jesus, with His left hand on the boy’s left shoulder and His right hand pointing the way through the storm.  

Ah friends, that’s how it is with all those who sincerely believe in Jesus and seek His saving grace; He takes us gently by the arm and guides us safely through the fearful storms of life. Now, given that generous life-line of grace, I don’t understand why anyone in their right mind wouldn’t have a great desire to associate with Jesus. But, I guess, if you don’t believe His Word, then you won’t see any reason for such an association. 

All I can say friends, is that I’m truly sorry for those who, for whatever reason, pass up the wonderful opportunity to walk closely with Jesus. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so let’s pray that they will come to their senses before their earthly lives are over, because then that glorious opportunity will cease to exist. 

Oh, before we get to our Bit, let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s message. Don’t know how many of you noticed it, but one heading had the 5th of November while the other had the 4th

Chuh! I didn’t notice it until after I sent out the Bit. Obviously it annoyed me, but it was too late do anything about it then. And it all stems from laziness yes, copying the heading rather than typing it all over again, then forgetting to change the date. Ah Lord eh! I guess that just shows that I’m human, and thus liable to make mistakes. (smile) 

Then this morning the clocks went back an hour, bringing an end to Daylight Saving Time. I don’t know why we continue the practice nuh, because it doesn’t seem to help anybody I know, and many other countries don’t use it and seem to get by very well. But them’s the breaks, we just have to grin and bear it, and once more figure out and remember the time difference in places we deal with. 

Anyway, we’ve finally come to our Bit, a caution against hasty vows, which seems rather appropriate for this Sunday morning as we go to church. ‘Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.’ 

A very timely bit of advice indeed my brethren! And the Preacher continues: ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3) 

Yes friends, wisdom for the ages from Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher. And the scholars enlighten us thus. ‘5:1-7. The emphasis of the passage is on the folly of an empty religious profession before a sovereign God: God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth. God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows.’ 

Ah mih people, unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, a lot of us offer lengthy prayers and make rash, unwise promises to God, which we obviously can’t or don’t intend to keep. 

But listen to these awesome words of wisdom from the Preacher. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5) 

The truth of the matter though my fellow believers is that wisdom doesn’t only apply to our dealings with Almighty God, but should apply to our dealings with all humans! As sincere followers of Jesus, it is imperative that we keep our promises to all and sundry. He keeps all of His promises, and consequently expects us to do the same. 

Sadly though, our social media revolution has made this a time of many words – most of them foolish and unnecessary – and rash promises – many of which we have no intention of keeping, or simply can’t keep. That’s why we are cautioned to not promise, rather than to promise and not pay. Please let that be our motto from now on my people, it will keep us out of many troubles. Much LOVE!

…whatever happened to the old adage…promises were meant to be kept…not broken…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2015 Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10.     For we are his workmanship (creation) created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared)  that we should walk in them.

Greetings and salutations my people, in the glorious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on this blessed but damp and foggy Sunday morning! All power and glory be to the One who sacrificed His holy and sinless life for us disgusting sinners.
 
And to show our grateful appreciation of that wonderful token of LOVE, let’s gather together in His sanctuary on this Sabbath Day, as He desires, to praise and worship Him, give Him the thanks that He so rightfully deserves, and in return receive His grace, mercy and forgiveness, so that our spirits can be renewed, our faith strengthened, and our actions positive and LOVE-filled!

And all God’s people said a loud and sincere: ‘Yes, let us do that, for it is meet and right so to do! 

And now, from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin, here is ‘Something Beautiful!’  ‘Here I am dear God  Your Child  A member of Your Family  Asking You  To make something beautiful of my life. Yet, even as I ask I am convinced  That the one beautiful thing  About a child of God  Is You, Jesus Christ. So, dear Lord  As You saturate me with Yourself  My life will be beautiful.’

And isn’t that the living truth Friends! There’s nothing as beautiful as a human being saturated with Jesus Christ! That inner beauty and LOVE of a true child of God just shines through the darkness of this world, knives through it like a big, bright spotlight closely focused on a performer on a stage! Oh my brethren, there’s no better state for us to be in, than to be filled with the beauty and joy of Jesus Christ! For we become new creations, old, evil ways are forgotten, and we look to the future with hope and faith. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is our Bit today; fateful words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ Friends, that’s truth to the nth degree!

And here are some explanations from the scholars to enlighten us. ‘2:10. For verifies the assertion of man’s good works having no part in obtaining salvation. (vs.8-9) Workmanship refers not to our original or physical birth, but to our spiritual birth: what we are spiritually in the good sense is due to God, not ourselves.

Created in Christ Jesus unto good works means “having been (morally) re-created by Christ Jesus for good works,” that is, Jesus remade our spiritual lives so that we could then do good works. The apostle’s thinking is this; since the Christian has been given spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works, there could have been no good works by him prior to conversion that would merit salvation. Good works follow – do not precede – salvation.’

And I’ll be my usual nice self (smile) and quote the two verses we mentioned above, re good works having no part in salvation. ‘For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.28-9)

Yes Friends, part of the reason why salvation is not achieved by good works is so that men can’t boast about obtaining it on their own strength or merit. Remember, it is a free gift of God!

Now let’s look at a couple scriptures that reflect the theme of our Bit. Hear the palmist declare from Psalm 100 – A call to praise the Lord. ‘Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.’ (Ps.100:3-4)

Oh my people, if we’d only follow that wise advice of the psalmist, our lives and our world would be a much better place than it currently is!

Now listen to Isaiah, as he talks about the redemption of Israel. ‘But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify (hallow) my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.’ (Is.29:23)

Without a doubt Friends, we are God’s handiwork, His greatest creation! Glory Hallelujah!

Another psalmist joyfully proclaims: ‘Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.’ (Ps.119:73) Words of awesome truth my brethren! And we’ll end with Bruh David’s version from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well.’

My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as not there was none of them.’ (Ps.139:13-16)

Yes Friends, Jehovah God was the planner, designer, architect and builder of every human being that was ever made. Therefore He knows all about us. We are definitely His, for He is our Creator, our Provider and our God. Without Him, we would not exist. Please, let’s remember that and give Him the appropriate level of praise, worship and thanks He deserves. That’s the duty of a sincere child of God. Much LOVE!

…without the Most High God Jehovah…nothing that was made…would be made…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2014 Matthew 12:8

Matthew 12:8.   For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

And the snow fell…which left a blanket of white over everything…Then the rains came… that caused a slushy mess…Then it got colder…and all the slushy mess froze up.

Hn! It’s a good thing that today is Sunday yes and there won’t be a whole lot of traffic on the roads. Let’s hope that by Monday morning the situation will have positively resolved itself and the roads won’t be that treacherous.  But that’s the price we pay for living in the northern climes.
 
Anyway my brethren, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s day, that means it is time to get out and fill the Lord’s sanctuaries, to fellowship with other believers, to praise, worship and give thanks to our wonderful God for His unfailing kindness, His tender mercies and His undying LOVE!
 
Oh Friends, going to church is a very important element, an integral part of our Christian faith! However, unfortunately too many so-called believers place it at the bottom of their priority list, thinking that because they pray and read their Bibles at home, there’s no need to go to church too. But my people, that’s a serious fallacy, in fact a fool’s wisdom.
 
Remember Jesus talks about the church being ONE body, and how can we be ONE if we don’t get together as a rule, rather than as the exception; if we don’t congregate on a regular basis to hear the Word, to be encouraged, exhorted and shepherded in the right direction eh? That’s why I’m encouraging us all, right at the start of this new year of 2015, to make going to church a regular occurrence, a top priority in our lives, in addition to praying and reading our Bibles on a daily basis.  
 
Please put aside all the negative ideas, such as there are too many hypocrites in the church. Now that may be true to a certain extent, but why don’t you just come out anyway and make it one more hypocrite eh (smile) because we are all hypocrites, the only difference being the matter of degree.
 
And on that note, we will turn to our Bit, where Jesus summarily informs the hypocrite Pharisees: ‘For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.’
 
Yes Friends, Jesus is the Lord of any and every thing! Please remember that. Now Jesus made that proclamation after an incident with the Pharisees. The Good Book reports it thus: `At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn (grain fields); and his disciples were an hungered (hungry), and began to pluck the ears of corn (heads of grain), and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.
 
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered (hungry), and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath (treat it as common), and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
 
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have (desire) mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.’ (Matt.12:1-7)  Then He ended with our Bit.
 
Oh my brethren, isn’t it wonderful how Jesus used to put the hypocrite Pharisees in their place!
 
And the scholars have this explanation for those verses. ’12:1-9. The Pharisees had burdened the Sabbath with a multitude of detailed observances that were not laid down in the Mosaic Law. In responding to their legalistic traditions, Jesus always referred to the Scripture. Have ye not read? The passage referred to is 1 Samuel 21:1-6. The Lord makes the point that in the case of necessity the ceremonial law might be overruled.
 
He uses the illustration of David eating the showbread. These loaves were placed on the table in the holy place of the tabernacle each Sabbath. They were to be eaten only by the priest and his family (cf. Lev.24:5-9; Num.28:9) The priests prepared the sacrifices on the Sabbath in spite of the general prohibition of work. If the necessities of the temple worship permitted the priests to profane the sabbath, there was all the more reason why the service of Christ would allow a similar liberty.’
 
Ah mih people, yuh see how the supposed authorities can turn the laws and rules to their advantage! It was okay for the priests to make the bread on the Sabbath, but some hungry men couldn’t pluck a few grains of wheat or corn, or whatever to fill their empty stomachs.
 
And sadly, that hasn’t changed to this day. In fact, I believe it’s worse, for the authorities now do their evil and wrong deeds more blatantly than ever. They consider themselves so powerful and above reproach that they no longer seem to care who knows that they are doing wrong. They even try to justify their wrongdoing. Just look at all the fraud and embezzlement that’s being perpetrated by the elite class with no sense of shame or remorse nowadays nuh!
 
Ah fellow believers in Jesus, the only hope for our lost and fast fading world is us. Jesus gave us the job to proselytize the entire world, (Matt.28:19-20) please let’s get off our fat fannies and do it nuh. Let’s throw away the fear, anxiety or whatever it is that’s holding us back and get on with job of bringing the unbelievers to Jesus. That is our most important job here on earth right now.
 
And we can start doing all of that by going to church today and getting renewed, refreshed and revitalized in the wonderful Spirit of Jesus! That is wisdom at its very best. Much LOVE!
 
…to do Jesus’ work…you must be filled with His Spirit…and the encouragement and enlightenment received through regular fellowship…

 

 


 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2014 Matthew 7:6

Matthew 7:6.  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend (tear) you.

 Glory Hallelujah! It is Monday once again! A glorious day with innumerable possibilities! And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’ (smile)

Oh Friends, I wish it was that easy or simple for most of us. But the truth is that we still find Mondays somewhat stifling and hard to come up over. But it’s something we desperately need to do, if we’re going to enjoy life the way that God intends us to.
 
As the poem from my birthday card that we talked about yesterday told us, each day is a gift from God, and we have to embrace them with gratitude and joy, not resentment and grumbling.
 
Look here, we know that we have to get up and go to work every Monday morning, so why is it continually so hard for us to do? Because we abuse the two days off over the weekend and don’t prepare properly for Monday.
 
Why aren’t any of the other working days as difficult to get up for eh? I guess it’s because we don’t have enough free time between them, so we can’t get involved in any unnecessary activities.
 
So until we make preparing for Monday a special activity on Sunday, we’ll be forever at the mercy of the enemy, grumbling and complaining come Monday morning. Anyway, enough of my speechifying, (smile) let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to give us the kick start that most of us seem to need.
 
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!’
 
Now that wasn’t too bad Friends, but not as good as it could or should be, heaven didn’t rejoice with us. However, our motors are now purring smoothly, so we can get on with our daily business. In this case, turning to our Bit.
 
‘Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend (tear) you.’
 
Remember yesterday, we saw in the scholars’ explanation that dogs and swine referred to people who deliberately reject the message of truth, and were so termed because those two classes of animals were very repulsive to the Jews.
 
Listen to how Cousin Sol put’s it in Proverbs 9 – Wisdom’s Invitation. ‘He that reproveth a scorner (scoffer) getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot (only harms himself). Reprove not a scorner (scoffer), lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will LOVE thee.’ (Prov.9:7-8)
 
Yes Friends, those are the responses to wisdom’s invitation by the scoffer, the mocker and the wise man. Hopefully the people we rebuke today will all be wise men and women. (smile)
 
And here’s a living example of what we’re talking about. Back in the days of the early church, while Bruh Paul was on his missionary journeys, he and Barnabas rolled into the city of Antioch and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, where Bruh Paul preached a magnificent sermon and several people believed. (Acts 13:14-43)
 
Obviously that brought opposition from some of the Jewish residents of the city. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against (opposed) those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
 
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed (grew) bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should have first been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you (reject it), and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.’ (Acts 13:44-46)
 
Ah mih people, how foolish can we get sometimes eh? The Jewish response was definitely that of the scoffer and mocker, not the wise man.
 
Now hear the scholars’ explanation. ’13:46. Paul’s missionary principle was always to go to his own people, the Jews, first (Rom.1:16), but he always went to the Gentiles too, and indeed was known as the Apostle to the Gentiles (Gal.2:7-8; Eph.3:6-8).’
 
Oh Friends, let’s thank God that the wonderful news of Jesus’ gospel has been sown in our Gentile hearts, and that we neither scoff nor mock at it, but like the wise people that we are, we hold it dearly, treating it with much reverence, adoration and LOVE, for that is the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!
 
…if you don’t respect and revere God’s Word…then you can’t respect and revere Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2014 Psalm 22:11

Psalm 22:11.     Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
 

Well hello there Friends and Neighbours, another Sunday has rolled around! As the song says: ‘We’re right back where we started from;’ Sunday, the first day of the week.
 
And that means fellowship, worship, a gathering of faithful believers to give thanks and praise and receive blessings, encouragement, friendship, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and all the wonderful things our great God so generously bestows on us, His marvellous children! (smile)  
 
And all God’s children declared a loud and ecstatic’ Praise the Lord for His goodness to us, undeserving though we may be!’
 
Yes Friends, our great God is indeed worthy of much praise, especially on this weekend when we choose to celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving here in Canada. That means all the sanctuaries should be filled to overflowing with believers, whether there are thousands in a big, new, pretty building, or a handful under a mango or apple tree. (smile)
 
Remember what Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) So the surroundings aren’t all that important, just the people and what’s in their hearts – the LOVE of Jesus! Consequently, ALL believers ought to find some means of joining with others to celebrate the Sabbath Day in the Lord’s Name!
 
And remember too Friends, that when we treat the Sabbath Day, the first day of the week, as it ought to be treated; with worship, praise and togetherness, then the rest of the week will unfurl so much better than if we are wanton and worldly. It’s always better to come up over a situation or a problem, than to have the situation or problem come up over you.
 
And the only way we can do that on a fairly consistent basis is by turning to the Lord God Jehovah for help at ALL TIMES!  Why? Because as our Bit so wisely and truthfully declares: ‘Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.’ And truer words were never spoken my brethren!
 
So let’s continue with some scripture passages that prove our point and bolster our faith in Almighty God. And we’ll begin with these poignant words from Psalm 46 – God is our refuge and strength, from the sons of Korah. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble.
 
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3)
 
Yeh Friends, take a moment to ponder those statements nuh! What words of wisdom, truth, courage, strength and faithfulness!
 
Now listen to Bruh David from Psalm 124 – Praise for deliverance from enemies. ‘Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of a snare of the fowlers (bird trappers): the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’ (Ps.124:6-8)
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth my people? It certainly is!
 
But just in case you don’t believe the psalmists, then hear the words of God Himself, as spoken through the prophet Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10)  
 
Oh my fellow believers, what could be more uplifting and encouraging than that eh? Nothing! When our powerful and faithful God promises something, we know for a fact that it will come to pass, for He cannot lie, and thus ALWAYS does as He says!  Glory Hallelujah!
 
That’s why I can’t understand how, in this modern day and age, when everything is going haywire and things are topsy-turvy, we are turning away from God in anger and faithlessness, rather than running full speed into His ever-LOVING arms for protection, strength, LOVE, succour and guidance.
 
And just to prove that our wonderful God is not a wishy-washy, unfaithful Deity, who just talks for talk sake, listen to the prophet Hosea, as he declares the Lord’s words, when foretelling the destruction of Israel.
 
‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? And thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.’ (Hos.13:9-11)
 
Yes Friends, through the source of His mighty power, the Lord gives…and He also takes! Which man or other supposed deity can say Him nay eh? NONE WHATSOEVER!
 
So my people, on this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, let’s all make it a time of joy nuh, of giving serious and sincere thanks, of being faithful, of getting together in worship, and above all, remembering that Jehovah God is the source from which all blessings, help, prosperity and all good things flow. Do have a happy Thanksgiving weekend. Much LOVE!
 
…be not wise in thine own eyes…fear the Lord…and depart from evil…it shall be health to thy navel (body)…and marrow (strength) to thy bones… (Prov.3:7-8)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2014 Luke 4:16

Luke  4:16.     And he came to Nazareth. Where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

And then it was Sunday – the first day of the week! Yes Friends, the day that we believers use to get up close, comfortable and personal with our omnipotent, but ever so magnanimous and generous God, by extending much praise and worship to His divine majesty!

Wow! What an awesome privilege! But please note that I said the first day of the WEEK, not the work-week, for they are two different things.

Sunday is the day we prepare ourselves with joyful worship to start a new week on the right foot, in a relaxed atmosphere with other believers, so that when the alarm goes off on Monday morning, the first day of the WORK-WEEK, we’re not tired, miserable and disjointed. We rise with a preparedness, with a high energetic level, which sets the standard for the rest of that day, and also for the rest of the week.

Oh my people, to be ready for whatever Monday brings, we have to start preparing from Sunday. And the best place to begin that preparation is in God’s house, listening to His Word, and bringing down, or rather raising the roof with songs of praise, thanksgiving and worship!

In other words, the best way to greet Monday, is by going to church on Sunday! (smile)  And this behaviour of going to God’s house on the Sabbath day is best exemplified by none other than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Listen up as our Bit informs us. ‘And he came to Nazareth. Where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.’

Now the overriding words in that sentence my brethren, are, ‘and, as his custom was.’ That tells us that wherever Jesus found Himself on the Sabbath day, He made sure and attended the synagogue to praise and worship with others of His faith.

And remember what the scholars told us recently: ’12:3-4. Though chapter 11 (of Hebrews) provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance (and all else) is Jesus Himself.’

Consequently, using that undeniable logic, (smile) if Jesus could make sure that He was in His Father’s house on the Sabbath day, then why should we, His ardent and true followers be any different eh mih bredden, when He is our guide and esteemed leader? No reason at all my people!

Our God did not establish His house, His sanctuary, for no good reason. There’s always a legitimate purpose and reason behind anything our heavenly father does. And His house was established as a meeting place for His followers, so that they could glorify Him as one big family.

And as Jesus so rightly declared when He threw out the moneychangers and other business people from the temple: ‘It is written, My house shall be called the House of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.’ (Matt.21:13)

Mark also tells us about Jesus’ habitual presence in the synagogue on the Sabbath. ‘And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.’ (Mark 1:21)

But Friends, Jesus wasn’t the only man of faith to make it a regular habit to visit God’s house on the Sabbath. Listen as Acts describes Bruh Paul and Barnabas’ actions at Antioch. ‘But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down.’ (Acts 13:14)

Now hear of Bruh Paul in Thessalonica: ‘Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner (custom) was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.’ (Acts 17:1-2)

Note Friends, the Good Book specifies, ‘as his manner (custom) was.’ And he spent three Sabbaths there reasoning with them on the scriptures.

And though we’ve been talking about the House of God for worship and prayer, a building or a tent, or some physical structure isn’t necessary for prayer and worship, the true criteria is basically wherever God’s people choose to congregate. As Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20)

And a good example of that is also found in Acts, where Bruh Paul is in Philippi. ‘And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was won’t to be (customarily) made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither (met there).’ (Acts 16:13)

And the scholars offer this info: ’16:13. Jews often gathered by a riverside on the Sabbath when their community lacked enough Jewish males to establish a synagogue. Since the institution of the synagogue is usually dated with the Exile (as in Ezek.11:16), this practice may also have arisen from Ezekiel (1:1; 3:15).’

So Friends, it’s obvious that gathering to celebrate and worship our God is essential for our wellbeing on at least one day in seven. Now that isn’t too much to ask, is it? If God could rest from His labour of creation on one day to admire His handiwork, then so can we rest on one day to give Him praise and thanks.

So the obvious inference from all of that my people, is that we should get up and go to church today, and if possible, every Sabbath day. For in that rests heavenly wisdom. It’s so good for both the body and the soul! Much LOVE!

…one day…only one day the Lord asks for…to rest and pay special attention to Him…and only Him…therefore…remember the Sabbath day…to keep it holy… (Ex.20:8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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