Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2021 Psalm 42:5b.

Psalm 42:5b.​       Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

Welcome to Easter Tuesday friends! And the in-crowd place to meet today is in the town of Buccoo, in sweet Tobago, where Goat Races are the featured event of the day…and has been for many, many years! It’s become so big, that they even built a stadium just to hold it! Awesome! But who knows if it’s going to be happening in this pandemic time, with the lockdown that’s currently in place? 

However, given the ingenuity of my people, I wouldn’t vote against it happening, though in some reduced form and fashion, especially since I understand that Tobago is now the new playground for Trinidad, as the citizens can’t go further afield. Yes people, when it comes to partying, you can’t beat a Trinbagonian to find unique ways and means to bring it to fruition! 

But what we all need, so much more than partying is to cultivate an intense longing for Almighty God, our Maker, Controller. Deliverer and Provider! That’s because He’s so awesome, so LOVING and compassionate, so protective of His people, hides us from the rain, heals us when we’re broken…! What else do I need to point out for us to understand that our God is great and greatly to be praised eh? And that the number one purpose for which we were created is to praise and worship Him, to have a most excellent communication between the Creator and the created! 

Wow! My God is awesome! He’s the giver of salvation, author and finisher of our faith, high priest of our church…and so many other wonderful things! And instead of partying in the evil sense of the word, we ought to be rejoicing in the righteous way that speaks of Jesus; of His most awesome deliverance of sinful man in this Easter Season! No one else could do the miraculous deeds that He’s done. So we ought to celebrate His mercy, holiness, His forgiveness, grace and wonderful, unconditional LOVE for us, instead of bowing to the evil fool Satan and desiring to enjoy the pleasures of sin, instead of the righteousness of God! 

So what we should be doing, as I said earlier on, is cultivating an intense longing for our awesome God! In these trying and troubled times of worldwide sickness and strife, only a return to God in true and sincere repentance can solve them! Yes my brethren, like the Sons of Korah sing in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – let’s do the same nuh, let’s celebrate and worship our graceful, merciful and awe-inspiring God. So let’s lift our hands, as we lift our voices in prayer. 

‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast).’ (Ps. 42:1-4) 

Yes friends, in earlier times we would go to the Lord’s sanctuary and praise His holy name in song and prayer. But then, as we became successful and prosperous, we began moving away from the very source of our success and prosperity. We forgot that it is the Lord who allows us to get wealth and prosperity, and instead began trying to turf Him out of our society. And now that immense strife and sickness have befallen us, we’re wondering what happened, how such a plague befell us? And the simple answer is that we turned away from God and began praising the devil instead. So now that we can’t find remedies for our awful predicament, we’re wondering what to do. 

But like the sons of Korah asked so long ago: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted with me?’ (Ps. 42:5a) Today friends, the correct answer to the problem is still: ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps. 42:5b) Yes my people, that’s the only sensible answer there is to our current troubles…hope in the God of our forefathers! 

Hear the sons of Korah continue with their praise nuh. ‘O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill (the mount of) Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts (waterfalls): all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 

Yet the Lord will command his LOVING-kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones (the shattering of my bones), mine enemies reproach (revile) me; while they say daily (all day long) unto me, Where is thy God?’ (Ps. 42:6-10) 

And yes, my fellow believers, the heathen are at our throats every day with that question. And that then leads us to ask ourselves: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?’ And what’s our reply? ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my giver of salvation) and my God.’ (Ps. 42:11) Oh friends, let’s praise His holy name! Let’s look back over our lives and see where the Lord has brought us from, the mighty and magnificent things He’s done for us, and realize that He can, and will do the same things for us, once we are obedient to His word and will! 

And I like this explanation from the scholars about the overall effects of psalms 42 and 43, which in some Hebrew texts are joined together. ‘Using the refrain Hope thou in God as a marker, the poem yields three stanzas. First, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for God (42:1-5); second, his sad lament and dejection before God (42: 6-11); finally, his sure confidence in God (43:1-5). The three stanzas reveal the changing moods of the psalmist: from longing and regret to perplexity, then to trust and assurance. If only every downcast soul could end up in that third stanza!’ 

And there’s no real reason why all of us can’t find true trust and reassurance in our great and mighty God! We all know His amazing, omnipotent power, and have all experienced some good and awesome benefits while walking in strong tandem with him. So why shouldn’t He do it again, if we sincerely seek Him and His awesome will for our lives? No reason whatsoever! So, for those of us who sincerely believe and diligently try to live for God, let’s go home now declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, proclaiming to the whole world, who and whose we are. 

Altogether now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out into the confused and godless world and gladly share Jesus’ awesome LOVE and friendship, so that we can overcome our ever so pressing problems! Much LOVE!

…our problems will diminish…in direct proportion…to our sincere longing for God…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 November 2019 Jeremiah 17:7.

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

Well the promised snow did not come during the early morning commute yesterday as promised, but by mid morning it was certainly flying, and continued to do so for most of the day. So yesterday afternoon’s commute was, and this morning’s will be indeed a horse of a different colour! (smile) But please be careful, the white stuff sure looks beautiful when lying quiet and undisturbed, but when tangled with, it’s just as dangerous and deceitful as the prince of darkness himself. Looks like we might even have had a record amount of snow for this time in November, and the month might even be colder and snowier than usual. 

Ah, but not to worry, for we have Jesus, and when we walk closely with Him, He makes everything right! And all His followers gave a loud, proud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless the name of the Lamb that was slain for us! Bless his holy name indeed!’ Oh friends, there never was, and never will be anybody like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And are we ever blessed to have Him as our guide and leader, especially in the evil and ungodly world in which we now live, where everybody wants to do their own thing, and right and wrong are whatever you figure them to be. 

That brings me to this sad, but ever so true commentary. It comes from a recent episode of the comic strip ‘Mutts,’ but is it ever so reminiscent of our current society. One of the characters, a cat, says to two dogs: “I’ve started and endangered list.” “What’s on it?” the dogs ask. The cat simply replies: “Empathy, compassion, kindness, sympathy, decency, sensitivity, integrity, altruism, affection, benevolence, heart, tenderness, LOVE, humanity, charity, grace, courtesy, tolerance, mercy, intelligence, leniency, understanding, common sense, goodwill, patience, wisdom…” 

Yes friends, you don’t have to be a believer, only a half-decent observer, to notice that all those good qualities above are being practiced less and less in this …I don’t know what to call it society! It’s the essence of everything that’s wrong with our current lifestyle! When those things are absent in any group of people, that group is certainly on the downswing towards chaos and anarchy! Why is that you ask? The answer is real simple: It’s those things that create a strong, well-functioning organization, a real and true society. 

The dictionary defines ‘society’ as ‘an organization of a civilized nation.’ And it’s impossible to be civilized without those positive and godly things playing a large part in any group that wants to succeed and grow. So what does that say about our society now eh, when all those things are fading away, and as the cat truthfully says, becoming endangered? Sadly, not a whole lot. But yuh know what? I just discovered that they’d left out one important factor from that endangered list…HOPE! ‘Glory be! And we all know friends that once there’s hope, there is indeed life! So if hope isn’t amongst the endangered habits, then there is still a chance for us to turn this thing around! 

And where does that wonderful thing called HOPE come from? From the Lord our God! Hear Jeremiah declare it: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ Wow! And in his Lamentations, he reiterates that sentiment, recalls the Lord’s goodness in his time of great sorrow and need: ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 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. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:21-26) 

Please notice my people, that it’s because of two things on the endangered list why we’re still around; the Lord’s compassion and mercy! That means we ought to show the same sentiments to our fellow humans. Now let’s look at some scriptures that encourage and fill us with hope in the Lord. Hear Bruh David from Psalm 31: ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:24) And the sons of Korah declare: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my salvation), and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

And we all know these awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom. 8:24-25) Yes friends, hope is not what we see, for if we see it, why do we hope for it? Hope is the essence of our very being, our spiritual connection with Almighty God! That’s why this verse from Zechariah, when he’s talking about Zion’s future king, is one of my favourites on hope. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’  (Zech. 9:12) 

Oh my people, the Lord God Almighty is indeed our stronghold, our rock, our fortress, and I’m pleading with us to be ‘prisoners of hope, because that’s our only positive solution to turning around our embattled and embittered society!  Now let’s go home showing that we’re true prisoners of hope, by declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’ Now let’s action those words nuh! Much LOVE!

…when you’re a true believer…hope springs eternal…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2016 Judges 5:3

Judges 5:3.   Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

One more day in the life friends, one more day in the life! And what a blessed day it always is when you are being led by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, as we Christians are supposed to be! 

Our Divine Creator and Provider always has His eyes on us; on each and every one of those who sincerely worship and revere Him. Not one single hair from our head falls out without His knowledge. That’s how closely He monitors our well-being. 

And the joyful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who sincerely cares for us and faithfully fills all of our needs!’ echoes across the land from the mouths of God’s people. 

Oh friends, how wonderful that sentiment would be if it came from the mouths of many of the current unbelievers. And that’s our job; to show the unbeliever how wonderful it is to work and live for Jesus; not only by our words, but even more importantly by our actions. Remember actions speak louder than words. 

Unfortunately though, the actions of too many supposed Christians don’t jive with their words, or the lifestyle espoused by Jesus in His earthly sojourn, and expected of His disciples down through the ages. 

Where is the unconditional LOVE, the compassion, the caring for those less fortunate, for the homeless and hungry, the widows and orphans, the strangers, the downtrodden, the sick and suffering, the lost that Jesus came to save. As He said: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) 

So my people, why are so many of our brothers and sisters suffering such want and deprivation when there is such abundance eh? It obviously means that we, first as individual believers, and the church, as the earthly body or organization of Christ are not fulfilling our Christian mandate. That doesn’t speak very highly of us my fellow believers. 

Oh my brethren, it’s in these times of full-scale greed, selfishness, corruption, ungodliness, widespread poverty and suffering that Christ’s church and the people involved need to stand up and be counted. Jesus is depending on us to successfully carry out His LOVE Revolution, and we obviously can’t do that from the comfort and ease of our living rooms. 

Friends, we need to get up and get going; place Jesus sincerely in the depths of our hearts and souls, so that we go can out and proselytize, evangelize, and do whatever it takes to bring Christ to those who don’t know Him. 

Remember His last instructions to the disciples. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Friends, those disciples did their thing and brought a whole lot of believers to Jesus. It’s now our turn, but we’re not doing so well because we’re afraid of what the world will say, and also too taken up with the things of the world. Remember friends, following Jesus is not all wine and roses, in fact it entails plenty hard work and a fair amount of suffering, but it is all worth it in the end. 

As Bruh Paul says: ‘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) Yes my people, there’s nothing to fear, the Lord will work everything out for our good eventually. And remember too that Jesus said He would always be with us, right to the very end, so we’ll never be alone. Jesus will always be alongside us. 

And then we have this wonderful scripture: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken, befallen) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that yea are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

So my people, we have all the tools and the protection to go out and do the work that Jesus has called us to do. Let’s develop some belly and backbone and go and do it nuh; stop being fearful, stop making excuses and stop allowing the lusts of the flesh to hold us back from performing our bounden duty; the Great Commission. And that’s my spiel for the day. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to our Bit about giving our great God the praise and glory He so rightfully deserves. ‘Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes: I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.’ Yes my people, that is what we were created to do! 

But sadly in this modern age and supposedly progressive times, we have forgotten about God and are foolishly putting our trust in man and the destructible things of the world. And we’ll continue looking at some scriptures of praise, hoping they will make a serious impact on us. 

Let’s begin with the confession of the priests and Levites after Ezra read the law to the Israelites and they repented and fasted. ‘Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.’ (Neh.9:5b) That’s the awesome truth friends! Now listen to Bruh David from Psalm 9 –Praise for God’s justice. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (tell of) all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.9:1-2) 

Yes my brethren, that how we’re supposed to operate as true believers. And even when times are rough, we can say: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my salvation) and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

And we’ll close with these well-known verses from Hebrews. ‘By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate (share) forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ (Heb.13:15-16) 

Ah friends, I can only encourage us to do better and pray that the Holy Spirit will work in all our hearts, minds, souls and bodies to the bettering of Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Much LOVE!

…when thanks and praise flow from our hearts…God opens the windows of heaven and pours down His wonderful blessings on us…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2015 Psalm 22:9 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 22:9.   But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.

Well Friends, it’s a wonderful Wednesday! We’re alive, the sun’s shining brightly, it’s fairly warm, God is still on His throne, and the universe is unfolding as it ought! Glory Hallelujah!

It also means that we’re now halfway through our work week, so please don’t give in or give up, don’t look back, just keep pressing patiently and excellently forward in Jesus’ name!

And all God’s people gave a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’

And I couldn’t resist sharing this poem from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, it seemed so appropriate. It’s titled, I TRUST YOU.’

And it says: ‘Lord, it was on an April morning So many years ago That You said to me so clearly “Trust Me and you won’t be disappointed.” Having heard You on that special morning I simple cannot “unhear” you now.

I can’t forget that morning Nor do I think You want me to. Because You live in an eternal Now Your words are just as relevant today As they were that long-ago morning. I trust You. You will not disappoint me!’

And that’s the God-awesome truth my people! Once we have paid attention to, accepted God’s call on our lives, He will NEVER, NEVER disappoint us! You can bet the bank on that!

Why? Because our God is omnipotent and ever-faithful, and as the Bible Promise used for that poem says: ‘Jesus Christ (is) the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.’ (Heb.13:8) More God-awesome truth Friends!

And that unchangeable position provides us with a strong, uncompromising sense of safety and security. So we’re not surprised or confounded when Bruh David solemnly declares in our Bit: ‘But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.’

Ah mih people, the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He breathed His wonderful breath of live into our little bodies. And that word ‘HOPE’ is such a marvellous and magnificent word that with our finite minds, we can never really begin to comprehend its awesome meaning. But I’ve tried to break it down to it’s elementary potential.

‘H’ stands for Humour. Humour dissipates tension, cools situations like nothing else. And laughter is the best free remedy and medicine in the world! ‘O’ stands for Opportunity. We need to be always on the lookout for opportunities to serve God, for they crop up when we least expect them to.

‘P’ stands for Patience and Perseverance. We need to bide our time quietly, but still keep keeping on with the perseverance Christ expects of us. And ‘E’ stands for Enthusiasm, Endurance, Encouragement, Exhortation and all the other good stuff that lifts our spirits!

And that’s my take on the word ‘HOPE.’ Hope it makes sense. (smile)

Now let’s look at some scriptures that deal with ‘HOPE’ in all its different circumstances. And we’re going to begin with a statement from Job, who after enduring the cruel remarks and judgements of his supposed friends, says of God: ‘He hath destroyed me (breaks me down) on every side, and I am gone: and mine HOPE hath he removed (uprooted) like a tree.’ (Job 19:10)

Oh Friends, it’s such a sad and desolate time when our HOPE dies! We need to avoid that happening like the plague. For if there’s no HOPE in our souls, then there’s no reason really for living. For as Cousin Sol so wisely tells us in Proverbs. ‘HOPE deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12)

What a powerful statement my people! And the scholars explain it thus: ‘13:12. HOPE deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’

What a powerful truth, for when we lose HOPE our lives just seem to fall apart. But when we recapture that strong emotion, oh mih breddren, our lives are just flooded with purpose and promise, and we move on from strength to strength in Jesus.

Now listen to the Sons of Korah on the subject from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘Why art thou cast down , O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? HOPE thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (help, salvation), and my God.’ (Ps.42:11)

Yes Friends, that is wisdom personified! Being merely frail and fickle humans, our HOPES and fears and dreams are always in a state of confusion, a state of turmoil, that’s why it’s ever so necessary and important to hold on to the HOPE we find in Almighty God.

As we saw yesterday, the Good Book tells that ‘HOPE is the anchor of our soul.’ (Heb.9:19) What a promise, what an anchor my brethren! We couldn’t want for a better anchor than that which is secured in heaven!

And we shall end with a most encouraging and appropriate verse on the subject from Psalm 31. Bruh David wisely advises us: ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that HOPE in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:24)

That my Friends is heavenly wisdom at its peak! So please let’s go out and put it into action in our lives today, so that we can be worthwhile ambassadors for Jesus. That’s all He really desires of us. Much LOVE!

…without HOPE…a man’s life is technically over…