Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2018 Isaiah 12:2.

Isaiah 12:2.   Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
 
Greetings and salutations my believing brethren from our great God Jehovah, our heavenly Father, Creator and Controller of this amazing universe and all therein! And He has one message for us this somewhat dark and gloomy Friday morning: ‘I have made you see the light of another day, because I have work on earth for you to do. So please do it with a good attitude. And if you follow my will, you will see the blessings that accrue to you and yours!’ 

What a message friends! We have two options; to either do God’s work with excellence and diligence, or to laze about in idle and destructive behaviour. In other words, what the Lord’s saying to us is ‘This is the day that I have made, please rejoice and be glad in it!’ And we’d be extremely foolish to do otherwise! 

But neither do we have to go to the extreme that the workingman does in his Friday song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It looks dark and miserable and dreary, like it going to snow. But snow can’t stop we from enjoying we time off on this weekend…especially with Christmas coming soon! Brother! Just imagine how the waters and the food going to flow nuh…all the pastelle and paymee…the sweetbread, the ham and the black cake…with sweet parang ringing out in the Christmas air…

Bubba! Yuh can’t beat a Trini Christmas at all nuh! And wherever we go, we carry it with we! Oh, and doh forget the Ponchacrema nuh. Like Kitchy use to sing in cold England: “Mama Yo…Drink a rum and a ponchacrema…drink a rum…it’s Christmas morning…drink a rum…” So this cold snowy weather not going to stop we from celebrating Trini style nuh. Not on yuh life brother! That’s why we does always say, ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, because that is we time! Glory be!’ 

But is true friends, yuh really can’t beat a West Indian style Christmas nuh…and Oh Lord, ah forget the sorrel and the ginger beer! How could I commit such a crime eh? (smile) That’s because it have so much things going on at Christmas time in the West Indies. 

And a word of enlightenment here: ‘Ponchacrema is really ‘punch de crème’. ‘A potent brew made at Christmas time, consisting of eggs, milk, rum or brandy, bitters and crushed ice swizzled vigorously.’ And ‘Kitchy’ is the late Lord Kitchener, real name Aldwin Roberts (1922-2000), the ‘Grand Master of Calypso.’ And that was one of his first big hits in the fifties when he lived in England. 

But another word of caution here; although the workingman’s heart is in his song, we believers are not advised to go so far out on the limb. Granted some of the best fruit might be out at the end of the limb, but out there is also the most dangerous place because the limb is thinnest there and the possibility of it breaking on us as we reach for that sweet, succulent fruit at the end is much greater than if we stay somewhere in the middle. 

All of that simply means that that kind of bacchanalian behaviour is an open invitation for the enemy to invade our souls and secure an impregnable foothold. And that’s something we don’t ever want to happen mih people! Therefore, our Friday Chant is somewhat more toned down than the workingman’s weekend song. Please chant it with me now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘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.’ 

Yes friends, it’s necessary that we have fun and relaxation too, but not the over the boundary kind, because our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ isn’t in favour of it and it spoils our witness for Him. And I’m chuckling here, because I got so caught up in the workingman’s song that I have no idea of what our Bit’s going to be. But soon come, going to check the Good Book. 

Back in less than a minute, per the Lord’s favour. Opened the Good Book right on it. (smile)  Give Him much thanks my brethren! Now hear this most appropriate scripture from the prophet Isaiah re thanksgiving for God’s mercies: ‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:2-6) 

 Oh my brethren that reflects the same things that the Israelites prayed under Moses when they crossed over the Red Sea. (Exodus 15) And they are all true! That means we too should be crying out the Lord’s praise and thanksgiving because we are enjoying His earthly blessings with the promise of salvation and eternal life in the near future. 

So why are we supposed believers so quiet and fearful in this evil world eh? It’s time for us to get up and get moving, let the world know what Jesus has done for ALL of us, and give them the chance to get to know Him too. That’s the job the Lord had for us at the beginning of today’s writing; spreading His Holy word and bringing people to His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so that they won’t suffer the torment of eternal separation from Jehovah God. 

So let’s get with it nuh my people. There’s not that much time left and there’s much work to do. As Jesus so rightly said so long ago, and it’s still so appropriate today: ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-39) Yeh friends, we need plenty of us to go out there and help the lost be saved and come home to Jesus. Much LOVE!

…in a world of so many sinners…there are comparably…only a few saints to witness to them… 

P.S. Yeh friends, I know it’s sorta late and long, but it’s certainly interesting and enlightening! (smile)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 August 2018 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.   Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

Ah friends, some more gentle soothing rain fell in my area this morning. Praise the Lord! And this time it was no big shower, but just a light, continuous drizzle. I was already up, but it’s soothing properties drove me back to bed, I just could not resist its siren call. (smile) That’s why the Bit might be a bit late. 

And we are going to begin with some inspirational and wise words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, where he talks about ‘Undetected Possibilities.’ 

And he reminds us that ‘To Jesus every problem was a possibility in disguise. Sickness was an opportunity for healing. Sin was an opportunity for forgiveness. Sorrow was an opportunity for compassion. Personal abuse was an opportunity to leave a good impression and show the world how Possibility Thinkers react. To Jesus every person was a gold mine of undiscovered, hidden possibilities…! 

To Jesus the important fact about you and me is not that we are sinners, but that we can be saints. So Jesus proclaimed the greatest possibility: the immeasurable mercy of God.’ 

Yes my people, in most negative occurrences or circumstances there is a seed of positive undertaking, if we will only look for it, and not concentrate solely, or so much on the negative aspect of the problem. 

And there is no better example than the one quoted above, where Jesus didn’t concentrate on the fact that we were sinners, for if He had done so, if He had thought that we couldn’t change, wasn’t worth saving, He might never have sacrificed His sinless life for us. 

But thank the Lord He saw possibilities in us! And likewise, He is calling on us to see the enormous possibilities in others and ourselves. As they say, God doesn’t make inferior stuff, so whatever He has made has positive potential. 

And Gramps Schuller continues: ‘To Jesus the whole world was jammed, pregnant, loaded, bulging with untapped, undiscovered, undetected possibilities! Jesus really believed in the supreme spiritual possibilities! Man can be born again! Character can be changed! You can become a new person! Life can be beautiful! There is a solution to every problem! There is a light behind every shadow!’ 

And so should we as His followers. ‘Yes! Jesus had an unshakable faith in these ultimate spiritual possibilities: God exists! Life goes on beyond death! Heaven is for real! Jesus was prepared to prove it. By dying – and rising again! Jesus was impressed by what the world could become – never depressed by what the world does.’ 

And friends, if we as Jesus’ followers adopt His positive attitude, we will be able to change the world, just like He did! Glory be my people! Jesus was the greatest Possibility thinker ever! And a good thing too, else we’d be Hades bound with nary a hope of redemption. 

But for that to happen Jesus had to proclaim, like Gramps Schuller says above: ‘the immeasurable mercy of God.’ Yeh friends, it’s only through God’s mercy, not giving us what we deserve, His divine favour, His wonderful compassion, that drove Him to send Jesus to our rescue, so we can now stand up proud and strong. 

As Bruh Paul puts it so appropriately in our Bit: ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ What an awesome God we serve and worship my people! 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God (e.g. Eph.1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise. The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps. 86:5: Dan. 9:9; Mic.7:18).’ 

And are we ever grateful for that merciful character of our wonderful God! Now let me spoon feed you with those scriptures mentioned above. (smile) Bruh David proclaims in Psalm 86: ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps.86:5) What truth! 

Meanwhile, in Daniel’s prayer for his people, he solemnly declares: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ (Dan.9:9) How magnanimous is the God we serve, not giving us our just deserts! 

And Micah says with strong authority and experience, as he talks about God’s concern for His people. ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by (over) the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy (LOVING-kindness). 

He will turn again, he will have compassion on us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their (our) sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform (give) the truth to Jacob, and the mercy (LOVING-kindness) to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.’ (Mic.7:18-20) 

Oh friends, our God isn’t only merciful, but faithful to His promise! Praise His Holy Name! And because of all that, we the faithful believers in His Son Jesus Christ, can boldly declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows our position in the ongoing universal catharsis. (smile) 

Altogether now: ‘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 we’re wise, we’ll continue on that path of eternal wisdom. Much LOVE!

…to live for Jesus…is the only thing worth living for…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2018 Psalm 148:5

Psalm 148:5.    Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded and they were created.

Seven days have passed friends, since we last visited the Lord’s sanctuary to refresh our souls and spirits. That means we are due for a refuelling today. 

So let’s all come together, gather in the Lord’s house and fellowship with enthusiasm, hope, faith, praise and worship, while He replenishes, with His word and spiritual touch, the faith we’ve used up this past week. That will enable us to go back out and work diligently and sincerely on His behalf, with a full tank of joy, LOVE, confidence, persistence and peace. 

And all of God’s children declared a loud and thankful: ‘Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And how right we are, to give God the glory for all the magnanimous and magnificent things He’s done for us. 

Now, as always, let’s begin our praise and worship with a favourite old hymn titled ‘All things bright and beautiful.’ It was written by Cecil F. Alexander around 1848. And does it ever celebrate the Lord and His creations in nature. So let’s belt it our now through lips lined with sacrificial praise and hearts filled with enormous LOVE and gratitude to our Maker. 

‘(Refrain: All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.) Each little flow’r that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. (Refrain) 

The purple-headed mountains, The river running by, The sunset and the morning That brightens up the sky.(Refrain) 

The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. (Refrain) The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, To gather every day.(Refrain) 

He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.’

Yeh friends, ALL the beauty we enjoy in nature was made by our heavenly Father, for our enjoyment. Unfortunately though, many of us, including Christians, don’t seem to appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature. 

What can be more beautiful than a golden sunset; a full moon in full glow while stars sprinkle the night sky, or birds singing sweet songs of thanks in the early morning hours as they rise and give praise to their creator. 

Chuh! But we, the most important of God’s creation find it difficult, or even impossible to thank Him for His fatherly goodness and the beauty He’s created to enliven our earthly lives. 

Now we’re going to spend the rest of this message giving Him some of the praise He so worthily deserves. And we’ll begin with Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord – from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps.148:1-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! The Lord commanded everything to be made that was made! Therefore everything that was made, especially man, ought to be constantly singing His praises and admiring His handiwork. And He even went a step further than just creating them: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall never pass.’ (Ps.148:6) Glory to God friends! 

Nothing God has made shall pass away unless He wills it. Therefore ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps (sea creatures): Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: 

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. 

He also exalteth the horn (strength) of his people, the praise of all of his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Oh my people, how awesome is our God eh! I can’t understand why we refuse to exalt and glorify Him the way we should. But this Sunday morning, as we gather to worship Him, let’s begin changing that nuh. Let’s raise up our voices and our hearts in gratitude and tenderness and LOVE and exaltation, so that He can know that we truly appreciate Him and bring a beautiful smile to His face and a glow of warmth to His heart! Much LOVE!

…by the word of the Lord…were the heavens made…and all the hosts of them…by the breath of his mouth… (Ps.33:6)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2018 Jeremiah 17:7.

Jeremiah 17:7.   Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Monday, Monday…what a beautiful day! (smile) Yeh friends, some of you think I’m joking, or simply gone mad to consider Monday a wonderful day. But why can’t it be a wonderful day eh? We’re alive and kicking…possibly not as strong as we should, because we have abused the weekend, and just being alive ought to be enough to consider it a marvellous day. 

The problem is not with Monday nuh, but with us. We refuse to conform to the norm of the society. So let’s begin this work week on a positive note and joyfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ And even if you don’t feel it yet, just keep thinking positively and the belief will eventually become the truth, the reality. In the meanwhile, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help raise up our spiritual quotient. 

In strong voice and true sincerity: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, that prayer gets our adrenaline flowing, boosting our spirits and our faith so that we’re now ready to go out and courageously and confidently do battle in Jesus name, against the evil enemy. And today friends, we’ll continue talking about that ever so important, urgent and necessary act of trusting in the Lord, if we want to be successful Christians. Our Bit spells it out in bold, colourful words: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ 

What words of wisdom and gospel truth my brethren! We’ll never grow and become successful, mature Christians until and unless we surrender our will to that of God, whose ways and thoughts are ever so much higher than ours. As we declared in our Battle Hymn above, He is the Creator of the universe and all therein. That means His will rules. If we refuse to follow it, then we’ll be left by the wayside thumbing a ride to Hades from the evil Lucifer. 

Now listen to why Jeremiah can make such a bold declaration. ‘For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from bearing fruit.’ (Jer.17:8) 

Oh friends, you know how it is when trees don’t get enough water and nourishment, which happens in time of famine, they wither and die, or simply don’t bear fruit? Well Jerry is saying that even when the times get rough, the true and faithful believer will prosper just like in the good times. Wow! What a promise! And we’ll be foolish not accept it. 

Remember again, Almighty God is the Creator of the universe and everything in it, so His power is unlimited; He can do whatever He wants to whomsoever He wants. And why would you not want to hook up with the most LOVING and most powerful Being in the universe eh? I certainly don’t know. I just know that as for me and mine, we WILL certainly make the Lord our Guide, Leader and King. It’s just simple common sense. 

Now let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. Listen first to Cousin Sol: ‘He that handleth a matter wisely (wisely heeds the word) shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.’ (Prov.16:20) It couldn’t be put any simpler and clearer than that my people! 

Meanwhile, the psalmist tells us: ‘Blessed is every one that feareth (reverences) the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thy hands (enjoy the fruit of thy labour): happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides (in the heart) of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth (reverences) the Lord.’ (Ps.128:1-4) How can it get any better than that eh mih breddren? No way! 

And we’ll close with these wise words from Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:8-10) 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. I’ve given you the facts, now it’s your decision as to what you do with them. Much LOVE!

…trusting in the Lord is not rocket science…but simple common sense…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2018 1 Corinthians 9:24.

1 Corinthians 9:24.   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.

‘On your marks; get set; Go!’ Yeh friends the race of life continues in earnest this Monday morning after the brief respite of the weekend. As soon as the trumpet sounds, you have to be off and running, if you want to be successful in this race. It’s not a simple sprint, but a long distance venture. 

So though you can’t run it all in one spurt, there is still no time to waste, no time to make excuses and just plod along. If we are entered under Jesus’ flag, then we have to give it our very best; make hay while the sun shines. So let’s get a move on nuh. The enemy’s runners are already gathering steam, and we can’t afford to let them get too far ahead of us. 

And to help bolster our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty spunk and enthusiasm, knowing that it will raise our adrenaline levels and give us the jolt that so many of us desperately need. In unison now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah mih breddren, what an exciter and encourager that prayer is! (smile) Now let’s hit the road, dressed in Jesus’ colours, heads held high, with a strong sense of purpose; that being winning the race of life in His name. Glory to God! 

And we all know Bruh Paul’s famous statement to the Corinthians about running their race, which is a most appropriate Bit for today. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.’ Yeh friends, we have to run so that we can win, otherwise it doesn’t make any sense running. 

And the scholars offer this explanation of Bruh Paul’s remark. ‘9:24. Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all his readers. They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’ 

I would probably compare it more to the modern Olympic Games, since more people know about that than American football. Anyhow my fellow believers, it is of the utmost importance for each of us to run our earthly race to the best of our ability. The Lord has given each of us the talents He wants us to use in running this race, so let’s use them nuh; stop hiding our talents, our lights under a bushel, let the world see them as the Lord desires. 

Now here is another famous treatise on running our race, this time from the author of Hebrews. He eloquently and enthusiastically declares: ‘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) 

And the great cloud of witnesses that he’s talking about, are the saints and martyrs noted in verse 11, who had run the race before us. People like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Abel, Enoch, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barack, Samson, Bruh David, etc. etc. So it’s not like we don’t have many earlier examples to follow. But in the process, we also have to remove any impediments that might be weighing us down, (physically or spiritually) and living by faith, so we can be lithe and light and move swiftly. 

But then he mentions the greatest example of them all: ‘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.’(Heb.12:2) 

Yeh mih people, there was none whatsoever like Jesus: He blazed the trail for us, perfected the course and won with significant achievement. He despised the shame and dishonour that was involved in sacrificing His life, to save us. That’s why the Lord exalted Him, to a name above every other name, and one to which all knees will eventually bow.  

And yuh know what friends, if we run this race with faith and perseverance, we too will be honoured significantly at the end. Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

And what a day that will be my people! So let’s keep running with faith and patience nuh, so that we can win our crowns when we see Jesus. It will all be worthwhile then. Much LOVE!  

…the race is not for the swift…but for the sure of foot….and the strong of heart…

 

 

 

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