Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2019 Proverbs 31:26.

Proverbs 31:26.    ​She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.

 

So we’ve finally come to Saturday! Wow! Can’t believe that a week’s already passed since I’ve been in J.A; a busy week to boot! But as they say, time waits on no one, especially in these fast and furious times, when life is often just a blur, unless you take the time to really step back and consider what’s happening in your own life. Well yesterday evening we had what they called the gala event…but it wasn’t a real gala as the word usually implies, I think tonight’s formal dinner might more suit that bill. 

But anyhow, at around seven thirty, about fifty something of us got together in the Mona Visitors Lodge, a nice venue on the campus for holding special occasions. After mixing and mingling for a while, we watched a video compilation of graduates, showing then and now pictures. That obviously brought forth hoots of laughter and comments as we saw the serious contrasts between the baby-faced students we were then, and the harder, older looks of the current times. Then there was a roll call of all those who had graduated in 1969, including the dear departed, and those who were at the function got up and acknowledged themselves. 

After that we went up to the back of the building to what they call the ruins; the ruins of some old stone building, never knew it was there, and had finger food and refreshing beverages, (smile) and mingled some more, all the while being feted by the beautiful strains of a steelband. I guess a lot of reminiscing, as well as catching up went on. But it was certainly good to see people you hadn’t seen for at least fifty years and talk about things that happened way back then and persons you wouldn’t see for even longer. All in all, it was an interesting evening, but today is the real party…Bring it on! 

And not forgetting that today is Saturday, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.’ Yeh friends, curiosity is an interesting thing and does lead to all kinds of further interesting stuff, so it is of some importance to ask questions, if you want to get answers, though they say that ‘curiosity killed the cat.’ (smile) Yes, we can’t belabour the questioning just for questioning sake! And furthermore, in this day and age, where deceit and fraudulence are rampant, it is of exceeding importance to ask questions if you don’t want to be taken advantage of. 

And this next quote says: ‘Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.’ There can be no doubt of the truth in that statement, for it’s only when we step out some from our comfort zone that we make what’s call progress. The problem however is how much deviation do we want, or how much is sufficient to not upturn the whole applecart? 

That means to have a fairly stable society, progress ought to be orderly and sort of linear, moving from one point to another in an orderly fashion, otherwise all hell can break loose. Look at what happens in revolutions, be they armed and physical, or like what’s happening right now in our communication and technological sectors. The supposed progress is happening so quickly and disorderly that it’s throwing everything out of sync, and there’s no real control taking place, it’s become more like a free for all. 

Then there’s this: ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’ Another truism, you might say! We can all find happiness in the most trying times if we turn on the real and true light…His name is Jesus Christ! John said that he was sent to bear witness of ‘the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ (John 1:8-9) So friends, with Jesus as the mainstay of our lives, happiness is indeed possibly in any kind of situation. Please never forget that! 

Now hear this: ‘Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.’ That makes me chuckle, for as far as I’m concerned our sense of morals should naturally make us do right. I guess it’s all in the interpretation, for when we talk about having morals we usually mean the good aspect, not the immoral part. So here it seems the whole morality landscape is being considered. But sadly morality seems to be a forgotten word today, just like God and godliness are being turfed out of our society. 

Anyway, this last quote should help to fix all of that. ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ And is that last part ever true my brethren. These are indeed some rough and difficult days and we can’t truly handle them without some kindness on the part of everybody. Unfortunately though, kindness seems to be a word that is fast disappearing from our society, as we just said, in the wake of our strenuous endeavours to push God and godliness out. But friends, the truth of the matter is that kindness is next to godliness.

Hear how Proverbs puts it, when talking about a virtuous woman. ‘She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.’ You can’t ever beat that my people…and it doesn’t apply to virtuous women alone, but to all God’s children! Yuh see how Ruth, born into idolatry, a Gentile, became a descendant of Jesus, Bruh David’s great grandmother, because of her steadfast support and kindness to her mother-in -law Naomi. Simply read all of Ruth. It’s a short book. (smile) 

And there’s no better passage of scripture to end today’s Bit than this one from Ephesians. Hear Bruh Paul: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:29-32) 

Ah mih people, what wonderful words for us believers to live by! Please, let’s do our sincere best to put them into action nuh, for they will indeed be healing balm to all our sorrows! Much LOVE!

…and to godliness…(add) brotherly kindness…and to brotherly kindness…LOVE… (1Pet.1:7)

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 15 July 2018 Psalm 62:1.

Psalm 62:1.   Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

Well my Christian brethren, it is the Lord’s Day! That means at some time today we should be bound for church, to celebrate, give praise and thanks, rejoice, exalt and receive strength and confidence in fellowship with other believers! Wow! 

What an awesome life we believers in Christ have! Mama Mia! We should be the happiest, most joyful people on the planet, for no other body of people has the magnificent and magnanimous promises and awesome situations that we have. Give our wonderful God some praise and glory for all that He’s done, is doing, and will do on our behalf! 

And today, to open the proceedings, we’ll sing a hymn that shows just how powerful, compassionate and LOVING our great God is, that in spite of calamities and distress, we can still stand strong under His umbrella of faith and LOVE! The song is one we all know and LOVE and is titled, ‘It is Well with My Soul.’ 

The song was penned by one Horatio Spafford after some traumatic events in his life, with music composed by Phillip Bliss. ‘The first was the death of his son at the age of 2 and the Great Chicago fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). 

His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. 

While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. 

Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.’ 

Oh friends, it’s only with Christ in our hearts and our lives that we can suffer such disaster and still offer up emotions and words as these. So let’s open up our mouths and offer up sacrifices of praise as we soulfully sing these heart-stopping words. These are the original lyrics, some people leave out certain verses, but we won’t because they are too beautiful and poignant to leave out. 

So in full voice now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say (know) It is well, it is well, with my soul. (Refrain: It is well, (it is well), With my soul, (with my soul) It is well, it is well, with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

(Refrain…) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain…) For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain…) 

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. (Refrain…) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul (A song in the night, oh my soul!) (Refrain… repeat).’ 

Ah friends, do we have Christ as strongly in us as that poor man Spafford seemed to do? I certainly hope so, because that’s the only way we will ever overcome the calamities in our lives without completely falling apart. I guess Spafford must have had a strong belief and trust in God like Bruh David did when he wrote the opening words of Psalm 62, because that’s the only way he could have suffered such awful tragedy and claimed that it was well with his soul. 

‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense (strong tower); I will not be greatly moved (shaken) (Ps.62:1-2) 

Oh how I wish that more of us could claim such faith and trust in Almighty God when calamity comes against us. Oh, it’s not easy, but when you can do that, it means that your faith has reached a really mature state, and it’s something we should all aim for. And we’ll end with some more encouraging words from Bruh David. 

‘My soul, wait thou (wait silently) only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory, the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

Please my fellow believers, let’s take those words to heart this Sunday morning and put them into practice nuh, so that with God’s awesome help, we can withstand the tragedies that come against us. Much LOVE!

…in your patience…posses ye your souls… (Luke 21:10)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2018 Psalm 68:3.

Psalm 68:3.    But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. 

Welcome, welcome, one and all, to another brand new day on God’s great earth! Bless the Lord, praise His holy name! If you are reading this, then you can be assured that your name and/or picture has not shown up in today’s obits. (smile) 

That means that our heavenly Father has more work for each of us to do down here on earth. Our time for going to heaven just hasn’t arrived as yet. So whatever the Lord has planned for us today, please, let’s go out and do it with diligence and excellence nuh, because that’s the attitude our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ desires from His followers. Glory to God! 

Now here is a li’l African Proverb to tease our minds. It says: ‘If you want to go quickly – go alone. If you want to go far – go with friends.’ And it does sound logical, since by yourself you can just boogey along to wherever you want to go, with no hindrances. 

However, the distance you can travel, if you have others along to help and carry you when you get tired is greater than trying to do it alone. So let’s ponder that this morning nuh, and try to find the right blend of how quickly we want to go with how far we want to go. (smile) 

And while we are pondering that, let us also consider these wise and wonderful words of Bruh David from Psalm 68 – God has gone before his people – which includes our Bit. 

‘Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.’ 

Ah friends, wise words that strike right to the heart of the matter; God’s omnipotence! And if the wicked shall perish before His unrelenting power, then the righteous, His followers, should rejoice and be exceedingly glad, because they will enjoy all His benefits and blessings.

And that’s the state we Christians ought to be living in today and everyday; one of rejoicing in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. 

Unfortunately though, there are too many supposed Christians who are not living that kind of life. Too many of us are living this ‘poor-me-one,’ ‘woe is me’ lifestyle, unwisely believing that ‘sufferation’ is our earthly lot. But my people that’s the furthest thing from the truth, since Jesus died that we may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) 

Now that doesn’t mean we won’t have problems and go through adversity, but suffering is not to be our main lot! If it were so, then Jesus would have died in vain, because we were already suffering and looking forward to a disastrous life in Hades before He came. 

And since Jesus came to give us another and much better option for our lives, then we ought to be extremely glad and rejoice for salvation and the promise of eternal life in heaven with Him at some stage of the game.

So please, let’s get rid of this ‘sufferation’ complex so many of us have and just be glad in the Lord nuh my brethren. It’s why Jesus came and sacrificed His life for us. 

Instead, as Bruh David continues, we ought to: ‘Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol (exalt, praise) him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH (Lord), and rejoice before him.’ (Ps.68:4) 

Mama Mia! What wonderful advice! Now if only believers could cotton to that and do it eh! What a wonderful world this would be! 

Oh fellow believers in Christ, I’m imploring us today to stop living the negatively based lives that so many of us are wrongly living. Let’s get rid of all the disunity and negative stuff that’s spoiling our lives and our church community and instead live the way Jesus died for us to live; positively and joyfully, in unity with each other. 

As Bruh David says in Psalm 64 – Plot and punishment: ‘And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.’ (Ps.64:9-10) 

Remember friends, we are supposed to be righteous and upright in heart! That means we ought to glory in our great and wonderful God, not simply plod along like suffering pilgrims! 

Now listen to these two verses from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness – as Bruh David reiterates his wise advice. ‘Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about (surround him).

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:10 –11) And if Bruh David said it should be so, then let’s make it so nuh! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting all the world know of our wonderful connection to, and with Jesus Christ. All together 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 I can’t help remarking that spending eternity with Jesus will indeed be glorious, mind-blowing and breathtaking! Much LOVE!

…for all the good and wonderful things that Jesus stands for…Christians ought to be much more appreciative and joyful…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2017 Luke 2:11.

Luke 2:11.   For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

                   MERRY  CHRISTMAS  EVERYBODY!

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Day! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to you and yours! And I do hope you all have a joyous day, a day filled with celebrations and lifting up the LOVING-kindness of God, through His Son Jesus Christ, who was born on this day some years ago. (smile) 

And to lead off the celebrations, let’s give voice to one of our favourite Christmas Carols, ‘Joy to the world,’ written by Isaac Watts, in the early 18th century, and which so appropriately describes the beautiful uproarious sensations that should be felt all over the world, at the miraculous birth of Christ. 

So with grateful and joyous hearts, let’s sing: ‘Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King  Let every heart prepare Him room  And Heaven and nature sing  And Heaven and nature sing  And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains  Repeat the sounding joy Repeat the sounding joy Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy 

No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found Far as the curse is found Far as, far as, the curse is found  He rules the world with truth and grace And makes the nations prove  The glories of His righteousness And wonders of His LOVE And wonders of His LOVE And wonders, wonders, of His LOVE.’ 

Ah friends, this glorious day is and was indeed all about the wonders of Almighty God’s amazing LOVE toward us.  How does the Good Book put it? ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) I don’t think we can ever really comprehend the depth of God’s LOVE for us nuh mih breddren. The magnanimity of God offering His Son as a living sacrifice for us, is just too much for our frail and feeble minds to understand. But that’s another thing; the Lord doesn’t need us to understand, just to accept His goodness and mercy and believe on His Son Jesus.  

And so, as we eat and drink and enjoy goodwill and cheer with our friends and families, let us not forget the reason for all this celebration and enjoyment; the birth of Jesus Christ on a cold winter’s night long, long ago. Consequently, we need to keep Him uppermost in our hearts and minds today, giving Him much praise and thanks for ALL that He’s done for us from the day of His birth to the current time, and ALL that He’s promised to do in the future.  

Unfortunately though, not everyone is able to stay at home and celebrate today, what with our 24/7 society, some of us have to get up and go to work on this cold Christmas Day morn. And though we feel sorry for them, we glad that it’s them and not us. (smile) Anyway, let’s send them off with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, to get their adrenaline flowing and their motors running smoothly in spite of their unfortunate situation.  

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

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

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

And as always, those who are not going to work are the loudest and hoarsest. (smile) But let’s reminisce a li’l, go back to that faithful night, or early morning two thousand years ago. Let’s check out the scene. Shepherds were watching their flocks in the cold weather, when suddenly an angel appeared , ‘and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (bandage-like cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying , Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:9-14) 

What an amazing time that must have been eh friends! Angels glorifying God, as they deliver the good news of Christ’s birth and His divine purpose to bring peace and good will to all the people on earth. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been accomplished just yet, but we’re working on it, and today ought to be a reminder of Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth, and subsequently ours, as His faithful believers and followers. 

So let’s celebrate today and get reinvigorated with Christ’s Spirit nuh, so that we can go out tomorrow and ramp up our efforts to bring that peace and good will to Mother Earth. It’s certainly a worthwhile cause. Much LOVE!

…what better way to celebrate Christ’s birth…than by spreading…peace…LOVE…and good will…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Aye mih breddren, Saturday has rolled around once again! What are your plans eh? I know I’m not planning to do much of anything productive. It will be mostly a day of rest and relaxation, especially if it’s another nice one like the last few. And it’s supposed to go up to around thirty degrees Celsius. 

Mama yo! Many will now complain that it’s too hot, and the a/c will be blasting cold air. But many others will also break out the sunscreen lotion and work on their tans. It’s a good thing that my tan is natural yes, I don’t have to work at it. (smile) Thank You Lord! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm offered this week nuh, in his marvelous effort to inspire us to aspire to a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Without action you aren’t going anywhere. An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.’ 

And is that ever so true and rather appropriate to our Christian faith my brethren, because we’re certainly doing more talking, more preaching, rather than putting the preaching into action, as is most necessary in this lost and evil world. 

Then he tells us: ‘Forgive and let it go. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.’ I guess you have to be strong to be able to forgive and let go of hurts inflicted by others. And the eye for an eye thing will certainly make the world blind. 

What did Jesus have to say about the blind leading the blind? ‘And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt.15:14) Gospel truth that! For Jesus doesn’t lie. 

This next quote is a bit touchy. ‘You are in control. Nobody can hurt you without your permission.’ Technically speaking it’s true, we allow others to hurt us. But when someone does dreadful things to us, it’s not that easy to say ‘I won’t let them hurt me,’ and just turn off the hurt. 

The penultimate quote advises: ‘You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.’ The only problem there is that our current ocean of humanity has much much more than just a few dirty drops in it. 

And I’ve left the best for last. ‘A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.’ More gospel truth friends! And there’s no better example of that than our own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at all He did for us nuh, all the ‘sufferation’ He endured on our behalf, and from then to now, He’s never gotten the plaudits He so rightfully deserves. But he didn’t do what he did for praise and glory, but for LOVE! Can you imagine it? Hn! Most of our leaders today are simply out for their own glorification. 

However our Bit declares of Jesus: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

The Father really put Him between a rock and a hard place, but He did what He had to do without a lot of complaining. No, it wasn’t easy, even for Him as the Son of God, but it’s what the Father desired, and He wanted to please the Father. Oh, how I wish that more of us supposed Christians could feel the same way; simply desirous of pleasing the Father and doing what He asks of us without a lot of hemming and hawing. That would be the day! 

Ah friends, it’s not easy living a true Christian life, but when we put our minds to it, with the help of God, it is certainly exciting and adventurous. And I’m not talking from hearsay there, but from personal experience. 

And all I want to do today is highlight a couple of scripture verses that enhance our Bit, from the magnificent prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 53, re the Suffering servant. ‘He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men: a man of sorrows (pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

Surely he hath borne our griefs (pains), and carried our sorrows (sicknesses): yet we did esteem (reckon) him stricken, smitten of (struck down by) God, and afflicted. But he was wounded (pierced through) for our transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement (discipline, self-control) of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is.53:3-6) 

Yes friends, our leader showed us the way, by walking His talk with strength of purpose. He bore our sinful burdens selflessly and gave us His peace and righteousness. Now why can’t we just live up to the little He asks of us eh…to LOVE the Father, LOVE ourselves, not in a narcissist manner, and to LOVE our neighbours as ourselves? 

Is that so hard to do my Christian brethren? What a wonderful world we’d truly have! And there would be supreme joy both in heaven and on earth! Let’s try and make that a reality nuh my people. With God’s help it’s possible. But we have to sincerely want to do it and then put out the great effort necessary. Much LOVE!

…that tremendous gift of atonement…paid for with Jesus’ blood…should have us chomping at the bit…to do God’s bidding…

 

 

 

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