Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

And the world continues to unfurl as it should; that’s according to Almighty God’s universal plan! Oh, for sure we don’t understand it; why all the strife, anger, hatred, poverty, sickness and economic deprivation eh? 

But we need to understand that God’s mind and ways are so much higher, bigger and greater than ours, so that if He even explained it to us, we would not be able to understand it with our comparatively puny and finite minds. And all we really need to be concerned about is simply doing whatever He asks us to do, both as individuals and as the body of Christ, His Holy Church. Amen! 

That’s why the workingman doesn’t pay too much attention to the strife-filled world we currently live in, even on Friday the 13. (smile) Hear him sing his weekend song. “TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And I don’t care whether it’s Friday the 13th, or whatever other day they have with a set of poppycock notions about evil befalling you if you do some foolishness like walking under a ladder, or a black cat crossing your path! That’s pure nonsense! 

But let them believe whatever they want yes! That’s their business! All I know is that we going to be eating and drinking and having a good time once it’s a Friday and the weekend and we have some time off from the massa slave-work. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Yes friends, it’s indeed Friday the 13th, and a lot of superstition is going to be running rampant today. It’s a good thing, that like the ordinary workingman, we are not troubled by such stuff. We too are going to celebrate the weekend, but not just to the outrageous limits that he does. So let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, which tells exactly how we will spend our weekend. 

In unison 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!’ 

Yes my brethren, ours is a much more relaxed and responsible kind of weekend, preparing ourselves to go back out and do Jesus’ work the next week. If we overdo the weekend, then we’ll be of no use whatsoever to ourselves or to Him. And you must have noticed that we’re still on the compassion Bit. (smile) 

Well that’s because there are so many scriptures on compassion and it’s oh so important in our Christian faith and we are definitely not as good at it as we ought to be. Just look at our topsy-turvy world nuh! Don’t you think that if we had just a bit more compassion circulating in it that it would be a much more wonderful place to live? It surely would be! 

Here’s what Jesus wants, what He came to earth and practiced and died for; so that we could have compassion on each other, forgive others the way that God forgives us. And remember His words: ‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:15) That puts it so plain and straightforward; if you don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven. And showing compassion is just one part of the plan. 

Listen to how Jeremiah puts it. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that seeing that scripture every day for the last few days has caused our compassion meter to rise up some, else these messages would be all for nought. But let’s get to the compassion scriptures before time and space run out on us. Listen to the Good Book, re our Lord and Saviour, the Master of compassion. 

‘And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt (are willing), thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.’ (Mark 1:40-42) Glory be mih breddren! How wonderful is our Saviour eh? Most wonderful! 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:40. The leper assumes a respectful, if plaintive, posture. His beseeching is not based on Jesus’ ability but on His willingness.’ Yuh see friends, even the leper knew and recognized Jesus as the Great Healer. He didn’t doubt that He could heal, just whether He was willing to. 

Unfortunately though, many of us believers today don’t have the kind of faith that leper had, and are not completely convinced that Jesus could heal us even in these times of calamity and untold frustration. How sad! 

‘1:41. Jesus is moved with compassion to help. Mark’s picture of Jesus is not of an unmoved problem-solver sweeping serenely and unemotionally from incident to incident. See Hebrews 4:15.’ 

No friends, our Jesus was, and is as emotional as one can get! And we’ll end today with that most appropriate scripture the scholars just quoted, because I know most of us won’t look it up, and it’s very important to our understanding of Jesus and our faith. 

‘Seeing then that we have a high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:14-16) 

Oh mih people, there’s no better remedy for our problems than taking them to Jesus in prayer, because He experienced temptation and frustration just like we do, but in His status as God too, He did not sin. That’s why He could pay for our sins and now sits as an intercessor for us at the right hand of God, being able to empathize with our earthly problems. Won’t you come to Him today, and experience His compassion. It’s the antidote for all that ails you. Much LOVE!

…in earthly or heavenly form…Jesus just exudes compassion…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2017 Luke 2:19.

Luke 2:19.    But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Well a Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there! And this comes to you, regardless of whether you are a good, bad or indifferent mother. Just the fact that you went through all the rigors of motherhood; the nine months of bearing another child of the Creator’s in your womb and then suffering the excruciating pain, and pangs of birth, we celebrate you this fateful day. 

Motherhood is possibly the highest calling in God’s great earth, for you are following in God’s awesome footsteps; giving birth to a new creation, and then in most cases following that up with care and nurture for the rest of your life. 

And even if you didn’t personally go through the bodily discomfort of motherhood and felt those pains of giving birth, but you nourished and cared for one of God’s little ones, you are still considered a Mother! And as they say, once a mother, always a mother! There’s no getting away from it. 

And on this Mother’s Day Sunday, I went searching for an appropriate hymn to open our praise and worship session, and this one, ‘Where can I turn for Peace?’ seems to be a fan favourite. Apparently it was written by Emma Lou Thayne (1924-1973), a Mormon Poet and English teacher at the University of Utah, as she watched her daughter go through the agonizing throes of anorexia. 

Just like a mother eh! So let’s sincerely offer up these words of heartache, of solace and praise through sacrificial lips as we gather in holy fellowship this fateful Sunday morning. 

In full voice now: ‘Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace When other sources cease to make me whole? When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice, I draw myself apart, Searching my soul? Where, when my aching grows, Where, when I languish, Where, in my need to know, where can I run? 

Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish? Who, who can understand? He, only One. He answers privately, Reaches my reaching In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend. Gentle the peace He finds for my beseeching. Constant He is and kind, LOVE without end.’ 

Oh friends, what a touching cry of anguish and grief, but one which ends as it should; with the faithful LOVE of Jesus producing solace and comfort in our time of need. As the song so rightfully says, He is the ONLY ONE; the ONLY ONE who hears our piercing cries and answers them, in private to boot! 

No doubt our terrible anguish of soul reminds Him of His own anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He beseeched the Father for mercy, so He can sympathize, and also empathize with our pain. 

Oh my brethren, do we realize that Jesus is like a mother to us? He cares for, cleanses, heals, nurtures, comforts, befriends, and saves us; all the things our earthly mothers do. So in other words, a godly mother is a true reflection of Jesus! 

That reminds me of my biological mother, Molly, and also my five adopted mothers, yes friends, I had six mothers, Glory to God! Unfortunately all of them have gone to be with the Lord now, but their memories will forever be a part of me, because their LOVING-kindness, in my times of need, made me the man I am today. 

The Lord worked His wonders through those strong, beautiful women to bring me to where I needed to be. And believe me, none of them took any nonsense from me; they told me what I needed to hear or do, regardless of what I thought, and Molls, bless her soul, did put the strap to me when she thought it necessary. 

So I wasn’t spoiled or mollycoddled because it was all TOUGH LOVE! Oh how I wish there was more tough LOVE in our world today! We wouldn’t have so many wayward and ungodly children. But I guess we’re just reaping what we’ve sown in the last generation. 

That finally brings us to our Bit: ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’  It tells us about the foremost mother of our world, Mary, the Mother of Jesus. 

Can we ever imagine the life she experienced? I don’t think so. Her first child being miraculously conceived, being the Son of God, with so many people saying so many extraordinary things about Him. First of all, the angels telling the shepherds about His birth, His Messianic destiny, and they checking out the story and finding Him in the manger, then going and spread the news. Leaving poor Mary, possibly still a teenager, to sit and ponder all that was happening. 

Then shortly thereafter, when they took Jesus to the synagogue to be presented, and heard the praises and marvellous things said about Him by Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38) Can you imagine how speechless and bewildered Mary must have been?  

And then that time when Jesus was about twelve and they took Him to Jerusalem and lost Him on the journey back home to Nazareth, then three days later they found Him in serious conversation with the learned men in the temple. But when they questioned Him as to why He had abandoned them, ‘And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not (don’t you know) that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49) 

Hn! Yuh think I could have told my mother and father that around twelve years of age? Absolutely not! Most of us would have been checking our teeth to see if they were still all there. (smile) 

‘And they understood not the saying which he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.’ (Luke 2:50-51) 

Ah friends, Mary’s motherhood wasn’t easy, but she stood up strong under it, knowing that the God who had chosen her to be the mother of His Son, was ever-faithful and would not fail her. 

Likewise, all you mothers out there today, who might be finding motherhood somewhat difficult, please allow Mary to be you example, and believe too, that the Lord who had entrusted your children to you, will not leave you in the lurch, because His faithfulness is exemplary. Much LOVE!

…a mother’s work is never done…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 May 2017 Psalm 121:2.

Psalm 121:2.    My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Well friends, it’s Sunday, the day we gather to fellowship, praise and worship our wonderful God! Now the rains of the last two days have cast a dreary spell over our area, and they are still falling intermittently and sporadically, but that is no excuse for us not to attend church today. (smile) 

Oh, I know the words, ‘it’s raining, so I can’t go to church this morning,’ are right on the tips of our tongues waiting to fall out. But let’s leave them there nuh, and go to church if we are otherwise able. I can guarantee that the blessings, comfort, courage and assurance you will get from fellowshipping in the Lord’s sanctuary will greatly outweigh the few negative aspects a li’l rain might cause. (smile) 

So let’s open this morning’s praise and worship with this old but majestic hymn written by St. Francis of Assisi, who just happens to be the patron saint of my church. (smile) Let’s raise our voices to high heaven in a beautiful sacrifice of praise, as we sing: ‘All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing: alleluia, alleluia! O burning sun with golden beam, and shining moon with silver gleam, O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

O rushing wind so wild and strong, white clouds that sail in heaven along, alleluia, alleluia! New rising dawn in praise rejoice; you lights of evening find a voice: O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Cool flowing water, pure and clear, make music for your Lord to hear: alleluia, alleluia! Fierce fire, so masterful and bright, providing us with warmth and light. O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

Earth ever fertile, day by day bring forth your blessings on our way; alleluia, alleluia! All flowers and fruits that you grow, let there his glory also show; O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! All you who are of tender heart, forgiving others, take your part; alleluia, alleluia! All you who pain and sorrow bear, praise God and on him cast your care; O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! 

Let all things their Creator bless, and worship him in humbleness, alleluia, alleluia! Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One: O praise him, O praise him, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!’ 

Ah mih people, our great God is certainly deserving of all the praise and alleluias that that hymn declares! And I know that delicious sacrifice of praise just put you in the mood to listen now to God’s encouraging and reassuring words found in the Good Book. (smile) So let’s get on with our Bit. ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.’ 

Wow friends! What a bold but totally true declaration! If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, then that’s where ALL your help will come from! Some of it may be siphoned through other people, places and things, but the source, the fountainhead, WILL ALWAYS be God Almighty, the Creator and Controller of both heaven and earth! 

And why is that you ask? Because ALL things, both in heaven and on earth belong to Him, and NOTHING happens in either place without His allowing it. Now let’s hear some words of scripture that corroborate our contention. Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 124 – Praise for deliverance from enemies – as he eschews God’s goodness and greatness. 

‘If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick (alive), when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had (would have) overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over (swept over) our soul. 

Then the proud waters had gone over (would have swept over) our soul. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers (bird trappers): the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’ (Ps.124:1-8) 

Oh friends, please let’s always remember that nuh; our help is in God! Now let’s close with these memorable words of assurance and comfort from the author of Hebrews. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). 

For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:14-16) 

What powerful words of comfort and confidence my people! And the scholars tell us: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest. The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

What more can I say to encourage us to embrace Jesus eh my brethren? It’s all up to you now. So please use wisdom and common sense to make the proper decision. Much LOVE!

…the wisdom of Christianity speaks for itself…since no other faith can offer what it does…