Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘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) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Ah friends, it ‘s another Monday morning; another damp and cloudy day, and the worst part of it is that I have to face the Monday morning traffic and go into the big city for some blood work at a special hospital – and it includes fasting too! Chuh! 

It couldn’t be done at any other time of the day? No! It must be done by 8 a.m, and that’s why the Bit is so short and so early. Well there’s not much I can do about the situation, if I want to get the help the blood work will offer. 

So unlike most Mondays, today I will definitely need the enthusiasm and strength to face the road, provided by our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s belt it out loud and proud nuh.

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

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

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible  aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, I’m sure you heard my voice loud and clear this morning as we delivered a fine rendition! Jesus heard it too and He was proud of us, and promised that all will be well on this first day of the new workweek. 

And I believe Him, so I’m not worried about getting out there at this early hour, it’s just that it’s rather inconvenient… And who likes inconvenience in this modern day society eh? (smile) 

But on the other hand, rather conveniently, our Bit today is also a major encourager. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ 

Ah mih people, we all know that is easier said than done, but as faithful believers we have been given the wherewithal to be joyful under all and any circumstances. We have been granted salvation through the free and undeserving grace of Almighty God! 

Our sins have been forgiven, our names have been written in the Book of Life, the Holy Spirit of Jesus dwells in us to lead and guide us, and Jesus will be coming back sometime soon in awesome power to take us to dwell with him forever in the ultimate beauty that’s heaven! 

So like the beautiful verse from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – we can also declare. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) 

Yes friends, that’s a wonderful verse of scripture we should all keep in the back of our minds, ever ready to encourage us, when our souls are feeling low down. 

And as we said yesterday, rejoicing always is not necessarily jumping up and down all the time, but it’s an aspect of our strong faith that give us the assurance that our lives are in the hands of the omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present Creator of the universe, who is working out all things for our good. 

Under those circumstances, we can therefore relax and rejoice always. And with those words of wisdom, (smile) I’ll leave us and go and get myself ready to do like Jack – hit the road! Much LOVE!

…when believers are in a constant mode of rejoicing…then the world truly sees Jesus in them…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2015 Psalm 3:8

Psalm 3:8.     Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.   Selah.

Aye mih people, is Thursday morning, another chilly one, and the ole fella fighting this cold tooth and nail! (smile) We going down to the wire with it, we not giving up! It’s a fight to the death!

 
Oh I know that it has to run its course, but while it’s doing its thing, I’m also doing my own, trying not to let it make me feel too terrible, because you know that nothing in this world makes you feel as miserable as a simple fresh cold.
 
Ah Lord eh! We can put man on the moon and voyage out to Venus and Mars, but we can’t cure a simple cold! Steups! But I guess them’s the breaks! And believe me, it was difficult to get up this morning, although I wasn’t sleeping. But a certain malaise in my spirit just said lie down and rest. (smile)
 
And I did for a short while. But knowing that the Bit had to go out, I eventually forced myself out of the bed. And I believe I have the right medication for whatever is ailing us this morning, in the words of The One Year Book of Promises, with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin.
 
This passage is titled ‘God’s Promises,’ and it says: ‘With increasing joy I am discovering that God’s promises do not suddenly disappear when our courage fails and our fears become overwhelming. Feeling or no feeling, when God gives a promise that speaks directly to our need, it stands firm regardless of negative circumstances.
 
There may be times of questioning, and we may not understand God’s timing, but His promise remains certain during our deepest trial. If we consistently rely on His immutable Word, we can disregard the darkness.
 
Oswald Chambers says, “Are you in the dark right now regarding your circumstances? Then listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you are in the light.” God waits for us to trust Him when trusting seems the most difficult thing to do.’
 
Ah Friends, the cruel, evil and ungodly world that we’re currently living in, is certainly making it hard for us to trust God and rely on His promises. But if we want to succeed, we have to truly stand in faith on His word, even though we may seem completely surrounded by darkness.
 
And as the Bible promise for that passage so truthfully declares: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance, perseverance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
Yes mih breddren, the one thing we CAN’T DO, is GIVE UP! And it’s when life seems the darkest that we need to hold on to God’s promises the strongest. For as the saying goes; the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn. And that’s no lie! We experience the roughest times just before we experience our breakthrough.
 
So please, let’s hang in there with Jehovah God, for He knows what He’s doing. His thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours that we don’t, and can’t always understand what He’s about. In His omnipotence He created us, and still controls the universe, and sincerely promised that all His plans for us were all for good, for peace, with hope for a bright future. (Jer.29:11)
 
And as our Bit so wisely and rightly declares: ‘Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.   Selah.’ And of that my people, there is absolutely no doubt! That’s why so many people of great faith in the Bible declared it.
 
Now let’s look at a few more of those scripture passages that declare salvation comes from God, as we’ve been doing for the last few days. And we’ll begin with words of Bruh David, who called out to God so often and so seriously in his writings. Listen to how he begins Psalm 35 – A prayer for rescue from enemies.
 
‘Plead my cause (contend for me), O Lord, with them that strive (contend) with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler (a small shield), and stand up for mine help.
 
Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me (stop those who pursue me): say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.’ (Ps.35:1-3)
 
And we all know the turbulent and tumultuous life that Bruh David lived, but he never forgot or gave up on the God of his fathers, who faithfully saved him from his enemies whenever he cried out for help.
 
Now hear the author of Hebrews, whom I can’t help but think is Bruh Paul, with all the similarities of speech and mannerisms.
 
‘Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb.5:8-10)
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends! Jesus died, rose from the grave and ascended into heaven so that we could have eternal salvation! Without those wonderful, selfless acts of His, there would be no general salvation. Many of us would stay lost and unsaved.
 
So let’s give Him a big shout of praise and thanks for saving our sinful souls from eternal separation from Almighty God, the worst fate that can befall a human being.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and heartfelt: ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You ever so much for sacrificing Your holy, sinless life on the cross, so that Your shed blood, precious as it was, could pay for, atone for our abominable sins. We praise You, bless and glorify Your holy name! Amen.’
 
And now Friends, we’ll end with this well known verse from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God – a contemplation from the sons of Korah.
 
And it simply says: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5)
 
Yes my people, I implore us to keep hoping in God, though our souls might not feel like doing it, for regardless of what anyone else says, only from Him is true salvation and eternal life possible. Much LOVE!
 
…to EVERY problem in our lives…Jesus IS the answer…

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2014 Psalm 22:11

Psalm 22:11.  Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

Well Friends, since it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in good ole Canada, it’s only mete and right that we give some thanks at the beginning of the proceedings, this chilly Saturday autumn morn.

Please pray with me: ‘Dear Father in heaven, we’ve set aside this weekend to celebrate your generous Deity; to give you much deserved praise and thanks for all the LOVING-kindness, grace, mercy and prosperity you’ve bestowed on us this past year. In reality Father, one weekend is nowhere near enough to satisfy your goodness. We need to do it each and every day…and even then it still won’t be sufficient.
 
But Father, that’s the beauty and wonder of your unconditional LOVE! Even though our efforts are insufficient, you still LOVE us with a burning passion, because we are your greatest creation. Today, we praise you, we bless your Holy Name and give you our heartfelt thanks, humbly asking that you continue to bless and LOVE us, even though we are unworthy.
 
Please lead and guide us, so that we can do your work down here on earth, all to your honour and glory. We pray this in the blessed name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, by whose stripes we are healed, and by whose blood we’ve been set free from the bondage of sin.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’  
 
Yes Friends, thanks and praise are supposed to be an integral part of every believer’s life! Unfortunately though, we get so caught up in the busyness of life, that we forget it’s our duty.  But the good thing about our wonderful God is that he doesn’t need a whole lot of bowing and scraping to satisfy His desire for praise and thanks.
 
In fact that outward show doesn’t move Him at all! What He requires is a simple, genuine thank you from our hearts. And that we can do at any time, several times throughout the day. Remember, He judges us by the motives that govern our hearts, not by our outward actions, which can be very hypocritical, totally different from our inner desires.
 
So this coming year, let’s try and be a little more thankful during each and every day nuh. Every time something good happens, let’s give our God some genuine thanks! And even when bad stuff happens, let’s still give Him thanks, because we know that eventually He is going to work out all the bad stuff for our good, for our improvement, and promotion. (Acts 8:28)
 
And above all Friends, let’s remember the words of our Bit: ‘Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.’
 
And that is ever so true my brethren! There is none to truly help us but our omnipotent and ever-faithful God! For man’s help is unreliable and often deceitful too.
 
Now let’s continue looking at some scriptures that impart that message, starting with some wise words from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down, depressed) O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5)
 
Now that my people is undeniable truth! It brings to mind what we just said above; that even in in rough times we must constantly hope in and praise our merciful God. And we have an excellent example of that in Jonah’s trials; when he disobeyed God’s direction to go to the wicked city of Nineveh and warn them of God’s forthcoming wrath if they did not repent.
 
He foolishly went in the opposite direction and ended up in the belly of a great fish, which the Lord had prepared to teach him a lesson. He spent three days and nights in the belly of that giant fish before he came to his senses.
 
‘Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard (answered) me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice… Then said I, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple…
 
When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in (went up) unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities (worthless idols) forsake their own mercy (LOVING-kindness). But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited Jonah upon the dry land.’ (Jon2:1-2, 4, 7-10)
 
Yes my fellow believers, our God is so wonderful, it’s truly unbelievable! (smile) That’s why He is called the God of second chances! Who else would have made a way out for Jonah after such serious rebellion eh, and given him another chance to do His bidding? None but Jehovah God!
 
Now listen to Bruh Paul as he testifies to King Agrippa, re his conversion and the Lord’s helping hand. ‘For these causes the Jews caught (seized) me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and to great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
 
That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show (proclaim) light unto the people, and unto the Gentiles.’ (Acts 26:21-23)
 
Oh my people, our God is ALWAYS there for us in times of trouble! Please believe and remember that!
 
And we’ll close with these most encouraging words from Hebrews. ‘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.4:16).
 
Oh Friends, please, I implore us to write that indelibly in our hearts, so that we can always remember and act on it, for it is wisdom of the highest order! Now let’s go out and have a blessed day, trusting in, and working on behalf of Jehovah God! Much LOVE!
 
…in all thy ways acknowledge him…and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths…  (Prov.3:6)