Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​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.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples 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.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith 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 the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2019 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   ​Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
 

Well it’s the middle of the workweek and most of us are catching our second wind, but we have to be careful because we seem to be playing some sort of weather musical chairs. Remember just last week it was a winter storm, then rain and flood? Well this morning I came down and looked outside and it was white as snow! (smile) It didn’t seem like a whole lot, but if the place is covered all over, then there’s too much snow in my opinion…as though that counts. 

But then I heard some noise like stones hitting the window panes, only to discover freezing rain was also in action! And that’s possibly the worst combination you can have. So for all of you who have to go out today, please, please be careful because the snow is going to hide the ice and falling is definitely not recommended for this time of year. (smile) 

But what’s certainly recommended is walking closer with Jesus, walking in lockstep with Him! For as the Daily Bread Devotional quote so rightly tells us: ‘There is no need to fear where you are going, when Jesus is going with you!’ Oh Glory Be my people! And that’s the living truth! Once Jesus is alongside us there’s no cause to fear because He is the MAN! He is the ONE in total control of ALL that happens in heaven and down here on earth! 

So why should we fear if we have the Big Boss Man walking alongside us eh; securely holding our hands and whispering sweet encouragement? No reason whatsoever! So why are so many of us supposed Christians still so afraid of even our own shadows eh? We’re afraid to go out and confront the heathen, the devil, and whoever comes against us. We don’t want to make waves because somebody might complain, so we either stay quiet or compromise ourselves with some unworthy actions. 

Now just think of what would have happened to us, what our situation would currently be like if Jesus had been afraid to make waves and just compromised with the heathen? We’d all be still headed for Hades, for hell fire and damnation, instead of having heaven as a wonderful and viable option! So what we going to do today is just refresh our memories with some doh fear talk from the Good Book that we all know and LOVE to spout, but when push comes to shove, we fraid to put into action! 

And we going to start right at the beginning, where the Israelites on their way out of bondage in Egypt came upon the impassable Red Sea with Pharaoh and his Egyptian army hot on their heels. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And we all know what happened on that most momentous day; the Lord parted the Red Sea through Moses, and the people walked across on dry land, then He closed back up the Red Sea and drowned Pharaoh and his whole army. One would have thought that the Israelites would never have forgotten such a day. But unfortunately, as soon as they got over the other side and found a li’l rough going, they began to complain and carry on against Moses and God, and thus spent forty years wandering in the wilderness for their lack of belief and foolish complaining. 

But don’t laugh nuh friends, because we’re doing the same thing today; full well knowing the power of our God, but still being afraid of life! But moving on: Here’s another verse we all know and spout, but don’t truly action. This is from Bruh David’s famous psalm -the Lord is my shepherd.’ Remember these words: ‘Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Think on that friends…and at the same time on these other words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.27:1) Good question that my brethren! 

And the Lord told Isaiah when He promised that Israel would be restored to Zion: ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:4) And we all know that He did just that! 

And how many times did Jesus tell His disciples and those around Him to fear not eh? We’ll just mention this one when He was talking about man’s first priority should be seeking the kingdom of God. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  And if we don’t know that by now, then our Christian walk is really in jeopardy. 

Then Bruh Paul had these words for the church at Rome: ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Rom.8:14-15) So friends, if we are the children of God, then what do we have to fear eh? I’ll let you answer that. (smile) 

And we’ll close with this last and oh so popular verse; words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.’ (2 Tim.1:7-8) What more can I say eh friends? Bruh Paul said it all! 

But we can definitely go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail with sincere hearts and minds, letting the world know our position in Christ! In strong voice now: ‘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!’ 

And one of these days, when we’re all in heaven, I’ll remind us of how I kept saying that the future with Jesus would be even greater than we can ask or imagine, and you wouldn’t believe me! (smile) Much LOVE!

…doing anything right isn’t easy…but living for Jesus…oh my,my…it brings out of this world benefits…heavenly rewards…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2018 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

It’s time once again friends for our weekly rejuvenation; meaning it’s the Lord’s Day and we need to go to His sanctuary to get oiled and lubed, (smile) so we can handle the upcoming week’s affairs with strength, faith, hope and confidence. 

Oh by the way, for those of us who live in the Daylight Savings Time zones, please be reminded that the clocks went back one hour tonight, which means that church will held an hour earlier. So please don’t miss it by pleading ignorance of the time change. (smile) I won’t put it past many of you to do so. 

And as always, before we hear the Lord’s word, we offer up sacrifices of praise and worship, letting our heavenly Father know that we certainly do adore, glorify, exalt and LOVE Him. Today we’ll sing one of the most well-known and heartwarming passages in the Good Book – Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd. 

Those immortal words of Bruh David had to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. They are too meaningful and applicable to our earthly lives to have simply come from a man’s finite mind. But be that as it may, let’s raise our voices in sweet adoration and wonderful harmony, as we lift up those words to heaven, words written so long ago, but which still retain their awesome power even to this day. 

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, did you feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving in your individual soul and felt like He was present everywhere in the sanctuary, just enveloping us all with His amazing and unconditional LOVE?  I surely did! But what a mighty work of God that Psalm is! Almost every believer knows it, and/or has used it in some tough and unforgiving times.  

And the opening verse, our Bit: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,’ is so all encompassing and comforting that I don’t where or how to start describing it, so I’ll just share the scholar’s explanation. ‘Psalm 23. The psalm has been a favourite of God’s people through the ages with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to His sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6). The image of the Lord as shepherd is a frequent one in both the Old Testament (Is.40:11; Jer.31:10) and the New Testament (John10:11-16; Heb.13:20). 

Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep; however, he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). 

Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ 

Wow mih people! In what other faith can you have all of that goodness and LOVING-kindness eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Only if you are a believer in Jesus can you have a Deity, lead and guide you in safe paths, beside quiet waters, look after all your needs, down here on earth, then take you to dwell with Him eternally in heaven when your earthly sojourn is over. 

And please note my fellow believers, the life of eternity in heaven will even be better than that we experience on earth. So you can imagine how wonderful heaven must be! I doubt it, because our minds are too small to imagine it, but Jesus has promised it, and He does not renege on promises. 

Now here are a couple of those other verses above that quote God as a shepherd, starting with Isaiah. When he talks about finding comfort through trust in God ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:11) 

And here is the piece de resistance from Jesus Himself. ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:11, 14) 

And we’ll close with these most appropriate words from the author of Hebrews: ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you what which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Heb.13:20-21) 

And that’s my wish for all of us today, my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…oh how blessed we are to have a wonderful shepherd like Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack anything).

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa! Yeh friends, it was just one of those days, after running around in the hot sun yesterday afternoon, the old body just cried out for rest and simply refused to get up this morning before it felt sufficiently rested. (smile) 

And yesterday was probably the hottest day yet for this summer. Old July went out with a heat wave, and August seems to want to come in the same way, because it’s also supposed to be fairly hot today. 

And I have to go out and do some more stuff out there today too. But I have no doubt that with the Lord’s invaluable help, it will all turn out fine. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that ought to lift us all up this morning, give us comfort and assurance to face the day’s problems. It’s titled ‘The Promise.’ 

Let’s pray together: ‘O dear God, I continue to believe Your personal promise still stands Though every quivering question within Shouts that it will be broken. I am claiming Your help through the wilderness Despite every frightening shadow and vale. Often You do the most When you seem to do the least. 

Sometimes secretly Sometimes quietly Often slowly But always most certainly You are true to Your word. And so, my Lord Though I am weak, weary, and worn help me not to despair. You see me, You hear me. You know I am depending utterly Upon Your unblemished integrity Surely You will keep Your word.’ 

And that’s an indisputable fact my fellow believers in Christ! The Lord God Jehovah, creator of the universe and all therein WILL keep His Word for He is a Deity of the utmost integrity!  And that’s exactly why we can place our utmost trust in Him and feel safe and assured! Glory to God my brethren! 

Yeh friends, that’s the whole purpose of having a God; someone to look up to, especially in tough times, someone who CAN, and also WILL hear our cries for help and answer them in the affirmative. 

And the awesome, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONLY One of the many gods being worshipped today, who is actually capable of doing that! For He is the ONLY LIVING GOD! 

All others are merely dead and lifeless idols, creations of man’s mind, or the creation of the One and Only True God Jehovah. So how can you worship something that is dead, or was created by someone else and has absolutely no power to do anything under its own will or power eh? It just doesn’t make sense. Hope what I’m saying makes sense though? (smile) 

And the Bible Verse that substantiates that Promise is none other than one of our most famous Bible Verses; the true and wonderful words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack anything).’ 

What marvellous words of assurance eh mih people! No other faith can proclaim such a statement and have it be the truth…but we can! All power and glory to our great God! 

And Bruh David lays it out, all nice and simple and straightforward. ‘He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside the still waters (waters of rest): He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.’ (Ps.23:2-3)  

Oh my faithful brethren, doesn’t that just resonate powerfully and peacefully through your hearts, bodies and souls? It certainly does through mine, and has me longing for the green pastures and peaceful waters of sweet Tobago, which I haven’t experienced for almost two years. 

And can’t you just imagine Bruh David penning those heartwarming words as he sat below some shade tree, on a beautiful summer’s day, beside a quiet stream, watching his sheep graze on the lush and plentiful green grass around him? 

It was just the perfect metaphor to describe his God; the eternal and merciful One who found healthy forage for his sheep and protected him from the wild animals and natural disasters that constantly came against them. 

That’s why they have become such a standard, such foundational truth in our faith! The only prayer possibly known better than that is the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ or ‘Our Father.’ 

And Bruh David didn’t stop there, he went on to elaborate even further on the rich and blessed assurances of his awesome God. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:4-6) 

And all God’s people shouted ‘Amen and Amen!’ Yeh friends, it couldn’t get any better than that! 

As the scholars explain: ‘Psalm 23: The psalm has been a favourite of God’s people through the ages and with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to his sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6).’  

So my people, with all of that bubbling and reverberating in our hearts, spirits and souls, let’s go home now sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

‘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, the next move is for us to put it all into action! Much LOVE!

…with God as our shepherd comes…’an honoured position…abundant provision…vindication before one’s enemies…eternal celebration of God’s goodness…’  

P.S. Yes, I know it’s long and late, but it’s still beautiful, even if I say so myself. (smile)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2017 Psalm 121:2.

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

And then it was Saturday… and the rains have stopped…though for how long, no one knows. Yes friends Friday was a wonderful rainy day! (smile) I left home to go to my appointment in the city around eleven in the morning, but did not get back home until four thirty in the afternoon, and all throughout that time it rained steadily.

At one stage they were even talking about closing the main north south highway, Don Valley Parkway because it runs near to the Don River which overflows its banks and floods the highway when there is a lot of rain. And strangely enough there wasn’t as much traffic as I expected going into the city yesterday. It was harder traversing the downtown roads than the highway. I guess the rain kept a lot of people away. 

So Jesus and I just rode in companionable silence, looking out at the bleak and dreary landscape, listening to the variety of beautiful tunes emanating from the stereo system, smiling at each other when a particular tune that we liked blared forth. Oh my brethren, it’s such a pleasure riding with Jesus, I just wish more of us would consider it. You’d never go back to riding alone. 

Anyway it’s Saturday, which means we have to check out some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, whose avowed aspiration is to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Listen to this first one: ‘Plant your garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.’ Yeh, we ought to have a big hand in building our own lives, not merely waiting for others to boost us…with God in attendance though. 

And that leads to this: ‘Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.’ Oh so true my people! We should NEVER allow ourselves to be bullied period! And again, I would add, define yourself…but with God’s wise help. (smile) 

Now hear this last quote: ‘People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.’ 

Now I agree that we should not allow our circumstances to control us, but we must also be very careful in trying to manipulate circumstances to fit our agenda, for they can very often run contrary to God’s plans for us. So again I will have to add a caveat to the quote: do nothing without talking to God first. That’s wisdom 101 my faithful breddren! 

That brings us to our Bit, which espouses that very wisdom. ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.’ 

Yes friends, we saw that in yesterday’s reading of Psalm 121. And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then that should be the overriding factor in every one of your decisions. For if the Lord made the heaven and the earth, then whom else would you logically turn to for help eh? Obviously the great Creator!  God should always be our FIRST counsellor, not our LAST, as so many of us unfortunately tend to make Him. 

Now let’s check out some scripture that wisely advises us to keep God first place in our lives. Listen to Moses as he blesses the tribes of Israel before his death. ‘Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you); and thou shalt tread upon (down) their high places (places of pagan worship). (Deut.33:29) 

Ah friends, those same circumstances pertain to us today, provided we are obedient to God’s law. But since we are so blatantly flouting it, what else can we expect but negative consequences; calamity and disaster.  

And the psalmist puts it this way. ‘Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps.33:20-22) 

And you’ll notice I highlighted that last piece, because there is a rather important proviso contained therein; as we hope and believe in and obey the Lord, He will bless us proportionately. We will only reap what we sow. 

And we’ll end with these interesting verses from the prophet Hosea, as he foretold Israel’s destruction. ‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? And thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.’ (Hos.13:9-11) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh, and His wrath is not something we really want to experience. But if we continue down our current road of disobedience, believe me, we will eventually feel it. So true wisdom dictates that we repent and return to the godly ways we once followed, if we want to enjoy the Lord’s grace and mercy. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

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

Welcome friends to another marvelous day in God’s extensive repertoire of marvelous days! (smile) 

As always, He was up bright and early to blend all the necessary ingredients, like grace, mercy, compassion, LOVE, forgiveness and understanding so that He could offer us just the kind of day He had earmarked for this Wednesday January 25th 2017. 

Wow! What a wonderful Deity we serve and worship my people! As we keep saying, there’s none other like Him! How could there be eh? No two beings could possess all those awesome attributes in such amazing quantities! 

And in consideration of all that, let’s pray this wonderful prayer written in 1968 by Annie A Zeidman, co-founder of the Scott Mission in Toronto, a Christian non-denominational charity for the homeless. 

‘May the Lord grant you Special grace to LOVE Him, special strength to serve Him, special peace in Him to rest, special faith to know Him best. May no war alarm you, may no evil harm you. May your sheltered dwelling stand, roofed with joy, beneath His hand.’ 

Oh friends, isn’t that just beautiful! And we just prayed it for each other. Glory to God! 

And all of that just enhances our ability to do what Bruh Paul calls for in our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’  

Oh what a joyful and positive bunch of people we Christians are eh! (smile) And so we should be, because we have the Lord God Jehovah, Creator and Controller of this great universe providing all our wants and needs for us! 

As Bruh David confidentially proclaims in Psalm 23: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (lack).’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Now here comes the proviso after our Bit, from Bruh Paul. We must rejoice, however: ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.’ (Phil.4:5) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. 

The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. 

Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And verse 6 says: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) 

And this is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. 

The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

Now when we do all of that, what happens eh? ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Wow mih brethren! What an awesome promise if we follow the Lord’s word! 

Now hear the scholars. ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it. 

Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And so it should still be greatly appreciated by us today my fellow believers, for the Lord, or His Word, NEVER changes! And do we ever need release from fear and anxiety in this crazy, strife-filled world of today. 

However, since we are true believers and don’t fear, then we can thankfully go home now faithfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together now: ‘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 put all those statements in to true action nuh, because that’s the only way others will recognize us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to serve humbly…is to be like Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Well friends, all the hoopla is now over; Donald Trump is now the President of the U.S.A! 

Thankfully he wasn’t his usual rude and obnoxious self, but his bombast was still front and centre, and when he declared that America would come first, it touched off protests all around the world. 

The divisiveness was very apparent in America too, although there didn’t seem to be as many rival clashes of protesters and supporters as expected. However, the Women’s March on Washington today, could tell a very different story. 

And the irony of it all is that while the March is happening, Trump will be at the National Cathedral, a few miles down the road, at “a service of prayer and reflection.” 

Let’s hope he prays fervently and sincerely and reflects wisely, because he has so many bridges to rebuild with people he has needlessly turned into enemies, that it won’t be easy for him to make a positive difference. 

However, we still need to pray for him and the U.S, so that the world will not descend further into an arena of strife and terror. Remember too, that our mighty God is still in control, and that His will will prevail.  

Now on a lighter note, here are some quotes from our friend Anselm, this past week. You know he aspires to inspire us to greater heights. The first one says: ‘True joy comes from doing what we’re suppose to be doing, and knowing that the reward will come in its own time.’ There’s no disputing that my people. 

Then he tells us to ‘Surround yourself with people who illuminate your path.’ And that is the gospel truth! You need people around you who are godly and wise, and can help you walk the straight and narrow path. 

Now hear this bit of immediate practical wisdom. ‘Today, I will not allow myself to stress over things I cannot control. I declare, “I will remain calm.” And is that ever important in this stress filled world. 

And finally: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’ Yes my people, in Jesus’ vocabulary, and therefore ours, there’s no giving up! We just have to keep on trying, regardless of how many times we seem to fail. 

And we can do that only because of our Bit: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).’ Yes friends, only because of the Lord’s goodness and mercy can we keep getting up when we fall down. And smile nuh mih people, today is the last day for this Bit…at least I think so. (smile) 

So let’s get right to the second to last verse of our wonderful and encouraging Psalm 23. ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Ps.23:5) 

What a show of power filled with beautiful promises! Only our Lord God Jehovah can do that sort of thing! Now here these words from the psalmist from Psalm 104 – re God’s preservation of nature. 

‘He watereth the hills from his (upper) chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb (vegetation) for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth. 

And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.’ (Ps.104.13-15) 

And if that doesn’t touch your heart, then listen to these words from Psalm 92 – Praises for the Lord’s goodness. ‘But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore. For, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn (strength) shalt thou exalt like the horn of a unicorn (wild ox): 

I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.’ (Ps.92:8-12) 

Oh the wonderful promises of our great God! If we’d only take them seriously, our lives would be so much better. And more words from the Psalms, this time Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David: a contemplation of Ethan the Ezrahite. 

‘Justice and judgement (righteousness and justice) are the habitation (foundation) of thy throne: mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth shall go before thy face. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. 

In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense: and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:14-18) 

Ah my fellow believers, after hearing all of those wonderful promises, there is only one way we can end. And that’s with the last verse of Psalm 23, which encompasses it all. 

‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’ (Ps.23:6) 

And all of God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! For He is indeed worthy to be magnified and exalted! Bless His Holy Name! For there is none other like Him!’ Much LOVE my brethren!

…godly wisdom dictates…that man should rejoice and be glad in the Lord God Jehovah…his Creator and Provider…

 

 

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