Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘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) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison now: ‘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 if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2018 John 7:37-38

John 7:37-38.   In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.

‘Sunday morning coming down…’ And the Lord’s sanctuary is filled to overflowing! Bless His holy name! The faithful believers have come to renew their connection to Almighty God; to sing His praises and give Him thanks, hear His Word and receive His body and blood in the symbolic gesture of communion, thereby reawakening and reenergizing their listless and tired souls. 

Wow friends! What a blessing it is to have fellowship every Sunday with other believers under the remarkable auspices of our Creator! So as we do every Sunday, let’s begin the proceedings with some praise and worship to soften up our hearts and make them more receptive to the word. 

And today’s song of praise is that old but magical hymn, ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,’ taken from the 10th and last movement of the cantata ‘Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life,’ composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 18th century. This version we’re going to sing today, is apparently the most common English one, written by poet laureate Robert Bridges. 

So without further ado, let’s raise our heads, hearts, eyes and voices to high heaven in sweet, adorable and exalted praise, accompanied by the scintillating symphonic music of the master composer, as performed by the full orchestra. As one harmonious choir now: ‘Jesus, joy of man’s desiring, Holy wisdom, LOVE most bright; Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring Soar to uncreated light. 

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, soaring, dying round Thy throne. Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings; Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs. Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead Thine own In the LOVE of joys unknown.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my brethren! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ALWAYS leads us, His faithful people, with LOVE, to unknown, unbelievable gasps of joy! Praise His Holy Name! Oh friends, Jesus is indeed the joy of our desire!

And why not eh? He has Holy wisdom, the brightest LOVE that exists and shines in the universe, not to mention the everlasting hope of salvation and eternal life He’s provided for us through His ever-faithful promises and sacrificial actions of two thousand years ago. 

Now let’s hear his Word, which fashioned our flesh, then breathed the fire of impassioned life into it, as we strive to uncover unknown truths from it. And today’s scripture deals with ‘Drink of joy from deathless springs.’ Listen as our Lord and Saviour expounds on His abilities with thrilling confidence. 

‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

And can you imagine the confusion those statements caused amongst the mainly ignorant crowd. ‘But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.’ (John 7:39) 

Yes friends, Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit that was to come upon every believer after His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension back to heaven. And if we’re truly spiritually thirsty, the best place to seek relief from that thirst is in Jesus.  He is the ONLY one who can quench, can satisfy, can satiate our thirsty souls! 

And in the end of the Good Book, He again declares unto John: ‘I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star’ (Rev.22:16)

And what does this revealing angel make known to John? ‘And the Spirit (Holy Spirit) and the bride (the church) say, Come (to Christ in faith for eternal life). And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst (thirsty) come. And whosoever will (desires), let him take the water of life freely.’ (Rev.22:17) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that offer! It’s the best offer going in this mish-mash world! And we’ll end with these beautiful words of scripture as prophesied by Isaiah about the Lord’s doings through Jesus.

‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:2-6) 

And our Lord and Saviour is indeed great in our midst my brethren! So let’s be wise and do like the prophet advised nuh; let’s call on His name, declare His deeds, exalt His holy name and above all, accept His free offer of grace, whereby we can receive salvation and eternal life! That is wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…in Jesus…we have EVERYTHING…we can ever need…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 November 2017 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.   For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith, the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).

Ah friends, the days are rolling by quickly and who knows how much time we have left to successfully perform any tasks, or bring to fruition whatever plans God has in store for us. That means we’ve got to get with the program right away; no excuses, laziness or procrastination, but be a diligent, hard worker and fruitful vine bearer for Christ. So that at the end of our days, He’ll greet us with that wonderful, big smile, a tantalizing bear hug, and the overwhelming invitation: ‘Welcome! Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Wow mih breddren, there can’t be any better welcoming words than those anywhere in the universe! But for our lives to play out that way, means we have to begin by being fired up this Monday morning; no whining and complaining; just seriously, sincerely and conscientiously going about the Lord’s business. Oh, I know some Monday mornings it’s difficult to roll out of the warm and comfortable bed to face our cruel and evil world, especially as the chills of winter descend upon us, in the northern climes.  

But that’s why we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn; to boost our spirits, reverse all the negative effects of an undisciplined weekend (smile) and get us ready to face whatever comes against us with the energy, assurance, joy and peace that come from being a believer in, and a follower of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. So let’s blast it out as passionately as we can 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!’ 

Awright mih people, yuh see how our Battle Hymn changes our entire perspective, how our passion rises as we trill it to the high heavens? So let’s keep that adrenaline flowing nuh, as we get out onto the highways and byways and make our way to the concrete jungles and hunker down to labour for another day. But all the while keeping the unbreakable promise of our Bit solidly grounded in our hearts, bodies, minds and souls. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith, the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ 

Yeh friends, even when God punished the Israelites by having Babylon take them captive, He promised to bring them back to Jerusalem after seventy years. Hopefully, they would have learned their lesson by then. And it’s the same way my faithful brethren that the Lord has good plans for us, plans to give us hope, joy and peace. Why would He create us in His own image, give us His breath of life and then, when we screw up, send His Son Jesus to die for us, if He didn’t have good and worthwhile intentions towards us eh? 

Listen to Jesus tell it like it is: ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6:37-40) 

Oh my people, does that sound like a God who has bad intentions towards us? Certainly not! He wants only the best for us, that’s why He sent Jesus to die for our abominable sins; to give us a hope and a future; otherwise it would have been curtains for us, certain calamity through eternal separation from Him. And believe me, eternal separation from Almighty God is the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human being! 

So friends, please let’s take this earthly life seriously, let’s take Jesus seriously, because if we don’t, we’ll end up paying an enormous price for the dubious privilege of being foolish.  We don’t have to be miserable and joyless, because Jesus came to give us joy, but we do have to be sensible, thoughtful and wise if we want to be welcomed in heaven. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will certainly feel…