Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2018 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.    He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Oh mih people, I know that this Monday morning as many of us are struggling to get up and go to work under difficult circumstances, we are also asking; ‘Wherefore art thou sweet Jesus?’ You can include me in that lot. (smile) That’s because we expect Jesus to solve our every problem without any suffering on our part, or at least a minor amount. 

But He never promised that there wouldn’t be rough times. In fact, He told us to expect them, even if it’s only because we believe in Him. What He did promise is that He would see us through the storms of life, hold our hands, and bring us out safely on the other side. 

So let’s not get all up in arms against our Lord and Saviour if we are experiencing trying times this morning. Instead let’s put all our confidence in Him, in His faithful promises. For if He gave up His sinless life for us, why wouldn’t He help us through our dark times eh? And to help boost our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with strong voice and nuff sincerity. 

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!’ 

Oh friends, it never ceases to amaze me how that prayer can cause the adrenaline to flow and our spirits to be lifted! So let’s be wise and ride it out nuh, do our thing for Jesus, whatever it may be, and stay strong under His protection and guidance, for He is the ONLY One who can truly protect us from the storms of life. 

Hear this telling and truthful scripture from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men – that includes our Bit. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet: so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Yuh see friends, the seafarers knew exactly what the psalmist was talking about, because they experienced it all the time. And I too can testify to that scripture, as I got caught out on the stormy Lake Ontario some years ago, and believe me, it was indeed a frightening scene. 

Out in the middle of the lake in a relatively small boat, surrounded by four scared, drunken men. Only the skipper and I were sober, as the boat dangled up and down between the great waves. But obviously the Lord calmed the stormy waves, and I am still here to tell the story. 

I thought I had seen bad storms on the ocean, but that one on Lake Ontario took the cake. As I’ve said before, I’d read about the shivering of timbers on a boat in a storm, but that fateful day I experienced it in living colour. And let me tell you, it wasn’t one I’d like to experience again. 

And the best way to end today’s Bit is with this actual story of Jesus as he crossed the Sea of Galilee in a boat with His disciples. On the way over a violent storm arose, but Jesus didn’t budge, he remained asleep. However, the disciples were scared out of their minds and ‘came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’ (Matthew 8:25-27) 

Oh my fellow believers, we shouldn’t have to ask that question because we ought to know whom Jesus is – The Son of Almighty God, who made the universe and all therein, therefore He has control over it all. Consequently, He can also quiet the storms in our lives, if we would just let Him. Much LOVE!

…let God be God…in your life…that’s the only wise way to live…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2018 Isaiah 25:4.

Isaiah 25:4.   For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 

Ah friends, we’re sailing on the good ship Sunday, towards the sanctuary of God, where we will fall on our knees and praise and worship Him, give Him innumerable thanks, exalt His holy name and glorify Him without ceasing! 

Wow! What a time we will have in the sanctuary as we fellowship with each other, encourage each other, hear God’s word and bury it deep in our hearts, and souls, and eventually leave the sanctuary fortified with His strength and confidence, able to withstand whatever comes against us. And please remember the immortal words of the psalmist; this is the day the Lord hath made, let us all rejoice and be glad in it! That’s both wisdom and common sense friends! 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with worship in sweet song. This morning we’ll sing a Christian Gospel tune titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ It was originally written by a pastor, songwriter called Lawrence Chewning. Apparently the year of 1992 became known as the year of sorrows for him and his family. 

One sorrow after another hit them and finally Lawrence, depressed and discouraged, was left burnt out, so he took a six month sabbatical from his pastoring duties and during that time began playing the piano more, in an attempt to get closer to God. In this sorrowful time he read stuff about the long dark night of the soul, when it seems you just can’t find God anywhere, and also experienced that emptiness for a while. 

Then, one day, in his many hours of playing the piano, he discovered that he was writing a song, a song that was coming from deep down in his soul. It was so touching that it provided him with therapeutic help in his depression and discouragement. But the song was some ten minutes long. However, a couple of years later, he offered the song to his friend, Christian singer songwriter, Ray Boltz, who edited and recorded it and made it a hit. 

Ah friends, ‘The Anchor Holds’ is one of my favourite Gospel songs because I can testify to the truth of those immortal words. And if you’re a true believer, so too can you. So let’s offer it up through the sacrifice of our lips now nuh, with appropriate reverence and heartfelt sincerity. In glorious harmony: ‘I have journeyed Through the long dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone Sight unknown And yet His eyes were watching me (Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn) 

I have fallen on my knees As I faced the raging seas The anchor holds In spite of the storm I’ve had visions I’ve had dreams I’ve even held them in my hand But I never knew They would slip right through Like they were only grains of sand (Chorus) I have been young But I am older now And there has been beauty these eyes have seen But it was in the night Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved His LOVE to me. 

(Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn. Ohhh yes, The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn).’ 

Ah mih people what words of truth and encouragement! And it’s only when we are going through a stormy period in life that we can write such heartfelt words. You’ll notice too, that it’s during the storm that God proves His wonderful and unconditional LOVE to us, more so than when the seas are calm and quiet. 

Because that’s when we need Him the most, when we discover that our efforts are too puny to withstand the storm that’s bruising and battering us. And only when we take refuge in His safe harbour, when we allow Him to anchor our hearts and souls in the sheltered bay that’s His awesome LOVE and grace that we truly find rest and rejuvenation for our troubled, storm-filled lives. 

Oh what a wonderful God is our God! No wonder in Isaiah’s song of praise by the redeemed the survivors of the Great Tribulation exalt the Lord, lift their voices in praise to God for His protection. ‘O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap (a ruin); of a defensed (fortified) city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built (rebuilt). 

Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:1-4) 

Yeh friends, our God runs things; He controls it all. So in your time of need, who are you going to call eh, who are you going to run to for refuge? Almighty God, if you are wise! As the old reggae song says, ‘You’ll run to the rock for rescue, but there will be no rock.’ But if you run to the Creator of the universe, you’ll find Him ready, willing and able to offer help. 

As Isaiah prophesies about Jerusalem’s glorious future. ‘And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow (shade) in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert (shelter) from the storm and from rain.’ (Is.4:6) 

Oh friends, there’s no better place to hunker down in stormy times than under the wings of our heavenly Father, just like chicks hide under the mother hen’s wings when it rains, for under there we are guaranteed safe passage through the storms of life. Much LOVE!

…through the heartache…through the storm…take my hand precious Lord…lead me on…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2017 Psalm 97:10.

Psalm 97:10.   Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

Oh mih people, it’s Wednesday! So jump and sing and shout! Shout praise and thanks to Almighty God for giving us one more blessed day on His great planet earth! Wow! We’re alive and kicking for another big day! Isn’t our God wonderful? He surely is! 

But don’t forget that we’ve been allowed to see today not only to enjoy it, but also to do whatever work or plan our heavenly Father has in mind for us, for there’s ALWAYS something our God wants to do through us. 

So let’s find out today’s task, then do it diligently, and also with excellence, because that’s the hallmark of a true follower of Christ; diligent excellence! (smile) 

Now here’s an interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, it’s titled ‘My Personal Rainbow.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, right now I struggle with clutching fear. Waves of agony pour over me As I face the darkest moments In my life’s history. But my conviction still stands firm: You are my God! 

And though I cannot predict my future Or even tomorrow I am sustained by the reminder That the longest storm the world has ever known… And the worst… Came to an end one clear-sky morning. It was true for Noah It will be true for me. Though as yet I see no deliverance I watch I wait I expect My personal rainbow.’ 

Yeh friends, each of us will have our own personal rainbow if we continue to have such strong and far-reaching faith! 

I know that many of us are going through some very stormy times right now, but the answer to it all is to just put those problems in God’s hands, allow Him to be your pilot through the storm, and you will be guaranteed a safe haven eventually. 

Now it won’t necessarily be easy, but with God as your pilot, NO ONE, or NOTHING can defeat you! We just have to stay in faith, standing strong and walking tall for Jesus! Remember all the other times that God has bailed us out of trouble and sincerely declare that if He could do it then, He can also do it now! 

And very appropriately, the Bible promise for that poem is one we know and dearly LOVE, Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Roman church: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are called according to his purpose. (Rom.8:28)  Glory to God! 

And if we believe that, then there should be no cause for worry. For concern, yes, but not worry, for everything is in the mighty hand of our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God! Glory Hallelujah! Give Him the praise and thanks that He so assuredly deserves my people! 

Now let’s turn to our wonderful Bit for the last time; a Bit that also lifts us up and warms the cockles of our hearts because of our God’s great promises contained therein. ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’ And that’s the immortal truth my brethren! 

And we’ll finish this series of messages with some corroborating scripture on the last part of our Bit: ‘he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’ Listen to Bruh David tell it like it is from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. 

‘The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 

He is ever merciful (merciful all the day), and lendedth: and his seed (descendants) are blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the Lord LOVETH judgement (justice), and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.’ (Ps.37:23-28) 

Ah friends, what powerful and faithful promises from our great God! And remember that Bruh David wasn’t talking from hearsay nuh, but from personal experience, which means that all he’s saying is also possible in our lives if we are obedient to God’s will. 

And to add more wood to the already blazing fire, (smile) hear how he ends the psalm. ‘But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps.37:38-40) 

Yes mih breddren, more words of indisputable, gospel and immortal truth! And if you believe it, then please declare with me our Wednesday Wail which celebrates it all. 

‘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!’ 

Now let’s keep our hands fixed on that plough, while looking straight ahead to that glorious future with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…faithfully LOVING and trusting God…should be as easy as pumpkin pie…given all His faithful promises…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2017 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.   He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

And then it was Monday; that dreaded day of the workingman! But as we keep saying friends, if you want to eat, then you have to work. And if you want to work without too many problems, then you have to live a decent lifestyle. 

You can’t expect to be carnal and licentious and lustful all weekend, then get up bright and early and perky on Monday morning and head out. But many of us still do it, somehow expecting to make the same mistake and see an improved result. Sorry friends, it just doesn’t happen that way. 

But we have some help for you; it’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It wakes you up, rejuvenates you, and gets you ready to hit the road, refreshed and energetic. So let’s sing it now nuh, with plenty enthusiasm and verve and chutzpah and all those other good things which enhance a song. 

In strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘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 was good friends; a li’l bit raucous and rough, but certainly not lacking in enthusiasm! And most importantly, it brought a chuckle to Jesus, our choirmaster’s spirit. He appreciated the energy we put into it. So now we’re ready to go out and do battle with the infidel in Jesus’ name, because it’s only in His name are we ever going to be victorious! 

And today my brethren, we have a very interesting, truthful and awesome Bit, but before we get to it, let’s hear it in context. It comes from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. 

The psalmist writes: They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in the great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired heaven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Oh friends, what an omnipotent but merciful and magnanimous God we serve and worship! He has power to cause storms both on the seas and also in our lives, but He also has the awesome power to still, to calm those same raging storms! 

The important thing to note is that when the storms rage around us, and we stagger and reel like drunks, we need to call out to Him for help and mercy. And you’ll notice that’s exactly what we’ve done in our opening this morning. 

We’re faced by a storm of not wanting to get up to go to work, but we know we have to, so we cried out to Him in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and He mercifully gave us the grace and strength to go out and do His will. How awesome is that eh my people? 

There’s NO OTHER GOD LIKE OURS! In fact our GOD, IS THE ONLY GOD THERE IS!  Matter fix! (smile) 

So please, let’s not allow the storms, the trials and tribulations of life to get us down, or rather keep us down, for we have the most powerful Being in the universe as our God to turn to, and He has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us, once we stay under the protection and safety of His mighty wings. 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to Ethan the Ezrahite, as he talks about God’s sure promises to David from Psalm 89. ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

Yes my brethren, the universe is the Lord’s and all therein! Let us never forget that and like true and wise believers, act accordingly during the storms of life that we all must face. Much LOVE!

…when storms rage…let Jesus take the helm…for He is the best sailor there is…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2016 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

Aye mih people, is Sunday, that special day of praise, worship and fellowship, where we raise our hearts and voices to high heaven and glorify our most wonderful God Jehovah! 

And we’re going to start out the right way, with some praise and worship. That’s to soften us up, reduce the fear, tension, anger, resentment, whatever is negative in our stone cold hearts, and thus make us more receptive and amenable to receiving the Word. Remember, hearing of the word is very important in our Christian faith. 

As Bruh Paul told the church at Rome. ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? …So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ (Rom.10:14, 17) 

Yes friends, the oral communication of the gospel of Christ is essential in a believer’s life, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than hearing the word preached. 

Anyway, enough talk, we suppose to be offering up sacrifices of thanks and praise with our mouths. So let’s do that nuh, because there’s nothing nicer than getting into some good praise and worship before you hear the word. 

So let’s raise up a storm in the Lord’s house, show Him that we are truly His beloved children, and we sincerely LOVE Him with all of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Please sing with me, this wonderful song of faith, ‘The anchor holds.’ 

As one heavenly choir now: ‘I have journeyed through the long dark night, Out on the open sea, by faith alone, Sight unknown; and yet his eyes were watching me. The anchor holds, Though the ship’s been battered. The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. The anchor holds in spite of the storm. 

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams; I’ve even held them in my hand. But I never knew they would slip right through, Like they were only grains of sand. The anchor holds, Though the ship’s been battered. The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. 

I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. The anchor holds in spite of the storm. I have been young but I’m older now. And there has been beauty these eyes have seen. But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved His LOVE for me. 

The anchor holds, Though the ship’s been battered.  The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. The anchor holds in spite of the storm. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. The anchor holds in spite of the storm.’ 

Oh my people, my people, truer words have never been spoken! Our omnipotent God, our great anchor, holds us together and keeps us from floundering, from being thrown on the rocky shores, even in the most catastrophic of life’s storms! 

And I like the line where the songwriter declares that it was in the night of the storms of life when God proved His LOVE for Him. And isn’t that the indisputable truth friends? It’s usually in our nights of misery, of fear, of loneliness and of despair, that our wonderful God shows how much He truly LOVES and cares for us, by standing faithful and strong alongside us and bringing us safely through! 

Oh glory to God my people! And why wouldn’t He eh, after sending His beloved Son, Jesus Christ to die for us, suffering such agony, shame and rejection, but forever standing strong in His God-given task as expressed in our Bit. ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ 

What stoicism and strength of purpose my faithful brethren! Now let’s hear the word that precedes our Bit, from Isaiah’s great prophecy, re the suffering servant, Jesus Christ. Hope our hearts are soft enough to joyfully receive it. 

‘Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm (power) of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no (stately) form nor comeliness (splendour); and when we shall see him, there is no beauty (elegance) that we should desire him. 

He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men; a man of sorrows (great pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness, injuries): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs (sickness), and carried our sorrows (pains): 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 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;53:1-6) 

Yes friends, that’s the scripture lesson for this Sunday morning, and I do hope that it struck a tender and most grateful note in our hearts, as we heard the of the ‘sufferation’ that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ went through for us, so that we could be reconciled to Almighty God and don’t end up in dreaded Hades forevermore with the evil one, Lucifer. 

Please, let’s ponder the goodness of our magnificent and magnanimous God today, so that we can find the strength and wherewithal to handle the storms of life that we all experience, for that is the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…without the anchor that’s God in our lives…we will certainly be dashed to pieces… on the dreadful and unforgiving rocks of sin…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2016 Psalm 107:29

Psalm 107:29.    He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

So how goes it this beautiful morning eh, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ? I do hope that it is going well, but as usual, if it isn’t, then let me remind us that there’s no need to fear or be worried. 

We just have to take it all to Jesus, lay it at the foot of the cross, and He will take our burdens and instead offer us His comfort and His wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Remember His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle and humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Yes friends, there’s no better invitation than that in the entire world! And if we’re wise, we’ll gladly take it whenever times become overwhelming. 

And if you’re in a full-blown storm this morning, then here is some more good advice from Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) from our Hour of Power Devotional, to help you weather it. It’s titled ‘When I Face a Storm.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, but when it’s good, it’s always best to wheel and come again. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘You never promised, Lord, that I would be forever sheltered from stormy times in my life. You have promised that the sun will outlast the storms. You issue the grand command from outer space and the renegade storm clouds break up, scatter, and flee like hoodlums furtively racing from the streets, back to their hidden lairs in some forbidding alley. 

The bright stars come out to laugh again, like little children returning once more to safe streets for happy play. The sky clears. A huge, yellow moon sails once more calm and serene through the silent skies. 

Even as you restore peace after the storm, so will you bestow a renewed calm to my troubled mind through your peace-instilling presence that is surrounding me now. Your quiet and calming spirit is flowing within me now. My fear is gone! Thank you, Lord! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that whatever fear we were holding is now gone and the calm and peace of Jesus is now controlling our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, like He promised. 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s further bolster our faith by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of hope, vision and sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen’ 

Yes friends, that’s such an important declaration and distinction, one we need to carry with us at all times. For we are indeed God’s children, and no one can take that away from us. 

But on the other hand, we also have a responsibility to behave like children of God, so that the world can see what He’s like, through the living examples of our lives. We need to have the fruit of God’s Spirit showing brightly through our godly behaviour. 

And just in case we’ve forgotten what’s the fruit of the Spirit, let’s refresh our minds. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness). Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Oh my brethren, those are the things the heathen ought to see in our lives! That’s the only way we can ever make a good and fruitful impact on them. All our words are meaningless unless and until we back them up with true action! 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. But first let’s set the scene. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30). 

Yes my precious people, the same way the seafarers cry out to God in times of storms on the sea, the same way we ought to cry out to our heavenly Father when the vicissitudes of life, our ever-changing circumstances, overwhelm us. And as promised, He will calm the storms and bring us safely to the haven of His LOVE.  

Oh friends, there’s none other like our great God! That’s why the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

There’s nothing more I can say friends, except to implore us to do as the psalmist and Jesus wisely advise: before anything or anyone else, turn to your omnipotent and merciful God in times of trouble. Much LOVE!

…why turn to impotent man in times of trouble…when we have an omnipotent God to turn to…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2015 Proverbs 24:1

Proverbs 24:1. Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

Ah Friends, once again the ever-turning wheel of life has turned, and it’s fallen on that beloved day we call Friday!

And the working people rose up with a great shout of joy. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and our woes of labour will soon be over for a couple of days! Thank God for Fridays yes!’

Yes my brethren, we have to thank our wonderful God for ALL things, both good and bad! As Job so wisely reminded his wife in the time of his tribulations. ‘What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)?’ (Job 2:10)

Oh Friends, whatever happens to us, happens with God’s full knowledge. He might not send a particular storm our way, but He allows it to test our mettle, our faith and trust in Him. And life becomes much easier when we acknowledge that everything comes through Him.

That way, if something untoward happens, then we can see it as a kind of test, which He is allowing, but at the same time will help us through it. That’s the wonder of our eternal God! He gives and he takes away, but He never causes harm. But nonetheless, as Cousin Sol reminds us in Proverbs: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10)

Yes my people, adversity is the true test of our endurance, and our reaction to it shows the strength or weakness of our faith. Note that though Job was obviously upset in his time of adversity, he didn’t curse God and die, as his wife suggested. (Job 2:9) Instead, he stood strong during his time of trial, even to the point of declaring: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him…’ (Job 13:15)

That, my Friends, is the kind of unquenchable faith those of us who live by faith and not by sight, need to handle the trials of our earthly journey. And to help us in that respect, let’s chant our Friday Chant with the enthusiasm it deserves, knowing that the weekend is nigh, and we’ll have a short break from our labour.

As one harmonious voice now: ‘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.’

Hopefully Friends, those words will resonate in our spirits this weekend, and cause us to use that free time wisely. (smile) And today we have a rather appropriate Bit for these extremely wicked and ungodly times. It comes from the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’

And that my people is gospel truth! But for those of you who wonder why cousin Sol made that statement, he answers it in the next verse. ‘For their heart studieth destruction (devises violence), and their lips talk of mischief (trouble).’ (Prov.24:2)

Ah mih breddren, wickedness, evil, ungodliness and all sorts of negativity are currently running rampant through our world, but as followers of Jesus we need to disassociate ourselves from it as much as possible, otherwise we’ll become evil and ungodly too.

Now it’s really impossible to completely disassociate ourselves from everyone and everything that’s evil and ungodly since its tentacles are spread far and wide, high and low. However, when we do need to come into contact with that kind, we must ensure that it’s our godly and wholesome influence that’s ruling the day, not their ungodly and evil traits. We should always attempt to influence the evildoers, rather than let them influence us.

And there are indeed a whole lot of scriptures that advise us against hanging out with evildoers. Let’s look at a couple of them. And the first one comes rather appropriately from the first Psalm in the Psalter.

‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:1-6)

Oh my people, it’s laid out plain as day, there for us. We have no excuses now for being ungodly and evil.

Now the scholars have some explanations that we should hear. ‘Psalm 1.  The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence, the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man.

The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (v.1); he delights in God’s Word (v.2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (v.3). On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (v.4), and his destiny is judgement (v.5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord himself is described (v.6).

There is an ellipsis (omission from sentence of words needed to complete construction or sense) which is understood with both clauses in verse 6: For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous (and it will be blessed), but (He also knows) the way of the ungodly (and it) shall perish.

The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God.’

That says it all Friends! And since we certainly have plenty food for thought, let’s end here, then go and ponder it all. Let’s write the important things in our hearts, minds and souls, then put them into practice, into action in our lives, so that we’ll become stronger in faith and understanding. That’s heavenly wisdom, my people! Much LOVE!

…to not succumb to evil…we have to build our faith in God…to grow in righteousness…

 

 

 

 

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