Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 January 2023 Psalm 89:18.

Psalm 89:18.       For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

And the last few days have been perfect winter days in my neighbourhood; cold, but dry, with clean, snowless streets, with the residual snow now residing on the banks of the roads and the rooftops. and above all, bright, glorious sunshine! Glory be! Yes friends, the sun has indeed blessed us recently with its bright and encouraging presence. Wherever it had flown to in those earlier damp and cloudy days, it has certainly returned with a vengeance, shining bright and clear, all day! Now that state of affairs definitely pleased me, because in my opinion, it shouldn’t be cold and also bleak. (smile) 

And although there are warnings of upcoming precipitation from the weather forecasters, it’s evident and wonderful that that’s not going to happen today, because our heavenly Father has generously served up yet another blazing day of sunshine! Bless His Holy Name! Just wish though that I could say blazing hot day! But that’s okay. It’s winter, and I’ll take sunshine anytime over darkness. (smile) And let’s hope and pray that the forecasted precipitation holds off for at a least another couple of days, so that we can enjoy a li’l more of that welcome sunshine! 

But you know what friends, regardless of it being cold or hot, raining or snowing, as faithful children of God, we should all endeavour to do like Ethan the Ezrahite wrote in Psalm 89, subtitled – God’s sure promises to David. He declares: ‘I will sing of the mercies (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord for ever: with my mouth shall I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’ (Ps. 89:1) 

Now that’s something that should come naturally to all believers, especially those of us who have walked with the Lord for some time and doubtlessly have enjoyed much of His faithfulness and LOVING-kindness along the way. But unfortunately, it seems like a lot of us supposed believers are lacking in sincere gratitude and thankfulness these days. We don’t give our great and faithful God the thanks and praise He deserves, neither do we talk of His LOVE and faithfulness to others like we ought to. 

And whenever we do offer some acknowledgement of His goodness, oftentimes it’s through simplistic platitudes, or dull, meaningless statements that don’t come from the heart. That’s because we are focusing too much on the world and its ungodly ways and schemes, so we don’t have the time nor the inclination to truly thank Jehovah God for all that He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do. But please listen carefully to what the psalmist says later on. ‘And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’ (Ps. 89:5-6) 

And if we should all be asked those questions, we’d probably all answer ‘No One!’ So why then aren’t we doing as the psalmist says in the next verse? ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’ (Ps. 89:7) And please don’t try to tell me that we supposed believers are holding God in sincere reverence, because we are not. Otherwise, the church would not be in such bad shape; disunited, disjointed with lots of false teaching, too many false and evil leaders and Satan would not be ruling the roost in the world, as he now does. 

Oh my fellow believers, it’s time for us to stand up strong, faithful and true and take control of our world, unless we desire to see it destroyed by the prince of darkness and his evil cohorts. I don’t want to keep knocking our efforts, but the truth is that they have been so far futile and meaningless. We just aren’t being as courageous and faithful as we ought to be. And if we don’t do something serious and worthy now, in the long run we all will suffer for our fear, laziness or whatever it is that’s holding us back from doing the work we were created to do. Remember Jesus’ words of warning: ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matt. 11:15) 

Enough laying on of guilt though, (smile) let’s just read the scriptures and enjoy them. And continuing with Psalm 89, the palmist writes: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. Thou hast broken Rahab (Egypt) in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them. 

The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon (mountains) shall rejoice in thy name. Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thine hand, and high is thy right hand. 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. 89:8-18) 

Now my fellow saints, I do hope we enjoyed those scriptures that dealt with the strength and faithfulness of our God. For He is strong….and He is faithful. He is indeed our defense and our King too. Thus, He is the most appropriate One to go to for help in our evil, topsy-turvy and ungodly world. So, let’s do that right now through our Monday Morning battle Hymn. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now,  if we want to receive positive answers, then we need to do like we promised; pray, seek God’s face and turn from our evil ways. It’s as simple as that! Much LOVE!

…the faithfulness of God…ought to raise the faithfulness of His believers… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 May 2022 Psalm 89:15.

Psalm 89:15.      Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord in the light of thy countenance.

Awright it’s Monday…and many of us are deliriously happy because it’s a public holiday, Victoria Day, in honour of Queen Victoria who ruled the British Empire for almost 64 years from 1837 till her death in 1901. She was the longest reigning British monarch until the present one, Queen Elizabeth II, who is now coming up to her seventieth year on the throne. Victoria Day was once a holiday across the entire British Empire, but now I believe it’s still celebrated only in Canada…Way to go Canada! 

And Victoria Day usually heralds the opening of the summer season, meaning that cottage country will be awash with visitors from now to the end of summer. But please remember friends, that though the regulations on Covid have been relaxed, it’s still around, and still causing havoc, so we still need to be very careful with our comings and goings and how we interact with each other. And remember to go also easy on the fire water in all the gaiety, because tomorrow is work, and you cannot afford to be absent or hung over. End of sermon! (smile) 

But who’s listening eh, on this first long weekend of the summer, after being cooped up for so long on account of Covid and the dreary winter months? Let’s hope and pray that there will be no boating, vehicle or other serious accidents in all the craziness that will take place. That brings us to these interesting and important words of Ethan the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David – which talks about a universal problem amongst believers, who wrestle with the faithfulness of God to His promises. 

The psalmist solemnly asks: ‘For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who amongst the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? (Ps. 89:6) And the correct answer to that question is obviously ‘NO ONE!’  Consequently, Ethan continues. ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’ (Ps. 89:7) And that’s the living truth my brethren! Our God is great and ought to be held in high esteem and be considered faithful to His promises. 

Now, listen to how Ethan describes the Lord later on in the psalm. ‘Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. 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. 89:13-18) 

Yes friends, with a King, a God, a Creator like the Lord God of Hosts, how could He ever not be faithful to His promises eh?  He created the heavens, the earth and all therein, so He is omnipotent, has all power to do whatever He says. So why do we still doubt Him? Even when we have had personal experience with His faithfulness, whenever problems appear, the first thing that crops up in our hearts is fear, not faith. That’s understandable if the problem comes as a surprise, but it should not last any length of time. 

Remember Bruh Paul’s to Timothy. ‘For the Lord hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined mind).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Once we’ve taken the measure of the problem, our hearts should be flooded with faith, being fully aware and convinced of God’s promises to help us deal successfully with them. 

But as always, that level of faith can only come with plenty practice and experience. The more you see the Lord’s faithfulness, the easier it becomes, but until such time comes, you need to keep your heart saturated with His word, read and study the promises He made to the men of great faith like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David and see how He kept them when they were obedient to His will. 

Have no fear, we will all be tested, and many times too when we claim that Christ is our Lord and Saviour. And that’s when we must step out boldly and let our faith show. Remember, ‘faith’ like LOVE, is an action word, you have to show it, not merely talk it. And believe me, in these crazy and uncertain times, believers in Christ Jesus need to step up and show oodles of faith and LOVE, because our confused and strife-filled world is desperately calling for those two Christ-filled medications. 

And it all begins with prayer, with sincere communication between us and our Creator. So, let’s take the opportunity to do that right now nuh. Let’s go to Him through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn asking for His divine help with our earthly problems. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And since we are the ones needing help, not God, it only makes sense for us to keep our promises and turn from our evil, unfaithful, ungodly ways so that divine help will be forthcoming. Much LOVE!

…if one holds on to doubt and fear…then faith and LOVE…cannot enter there… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2017 Psalm 89:15.

Psalm 89:15.   Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

Ah mih people, the enemy is alive and well this Tuesday morning yes, and he’s in a foul mood too because of all the thanks and praise we offered up to our heavenly Father over this Thanksgiving weekend. 

Hear mih story: Some 45 minutes ago I came down to the kitchen to make a cup of java on my way down to write the Bit. Having made the coffee, I saw that there was some leftover food on the stove, so I decided to do a good deed and put it into the fridge. 

With that thought in mind, I opened the fridge and went to pick up a bottle of wine that was blocking some available space. Next thing yuh know, the wine flowing all over the duchess’ white tile floor with glass splinters near and far. Steups! 

I obviously wasn’t thrilled, and surprisingly no foul language emanated out of my mouth. I don’t know if that’s because my big daughter was in the kitchen with me. (smile) Anyway, I dutifully cleaned it up, breaking a sweat much earlier than I ever intended, and writing the Bit much later than planned. 

But it’s all good, the Lord is in His high heaven controlling things, and the enemy is still wearily traipsing to and fro across the land having little success in his evil endeavors. Glory to God! 

And since we’re running late, let’s go directly to our Bit. ‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.’  

Those my friends are ever-truthful words from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. This Maschil (contemplation) of Ethan the Ezrahite wrestles with God’s faithfulness to His promises, as Israel was going through some rough times. 

But we now know that our great God is ever-faithful and will NEVER renege on any of His promises. He won’t make the promise if He doesn’t intend to keep it. And the first section of the psalm, (vs.1-38) from which our Bit is taken, does indeed recount the goodness and mercy, strength and faithfulness of the Lord. 

Now listen to how it continues after our Bit. ‘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 (Our shield belongs to the Lord); and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:16-18) 

And that my brethren was true back then for all those who believed, and still is true today for all who believe! Yeh friends, that’s why there was such joyful sounds and celebration over the past Thanksgiving weekend; because as believers, we’re walking in the light of God’s awesome presence. 

His light is shining all around us, and as we obey His commands, He allows us to become prosperous and exalted amongst the nations of the world. And as the psalmist proclaims earlier on: ‘For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’ (Ps.89:6) 

And the obvious answer to those two questions is simply NO ONE! How could there be eh, when it is the Lord God Almighty who made the universe and all therein? How could the made be greater than the Maker? Impossible! 

That’s why the psalmist continues his proclamation: ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’(Ps.89:7)  And that’s exactly how it ought to be! 

But strangely enough, many of us fear man, the made, but don’t fear God, the Maker of man. We have it the wrong way friends. And Cousin Sol puts it directly to us in Ecclesiastes. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words, there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ (Eccl.5:7) 

And if you want it plainer than that, then listen to Jesus as He instructs His disciples. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) 

Oh my people, mankind can only kill our physical bodies but not our spiritual beings, so there is no reason to be deathly afraid of him. However, the Lord God Jehovah who made us, can kill both body and spirit and have us cast into Hades with Beelzebub. So in light of that, tell me now, of whom then shall we be afraid eh? 

That’s a question we all have to answer individually friends. But as for me, I am definitely going to fear the Lord, both in reverence, reverential awe, and in His potential power to cast me to spiritual death in Hades. Let’s hope we all make that wise decision. 

And in closing, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting all the world know, who and whose we are. With true sincerity and strength of purpose: ‘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 go out and do as we vowed, joyfully share that LOVE with all we meet. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE God…and to fear Him…are essential elements of a believer’s life…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

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

And another one bites the dust…well possibly two! Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have recently felt the wicked lash of hurricane Maria, and who knows where it’s going to land next. Meanwhile, they are still trying to come to terms with the earthquake in Mexico City… 

Ah mih people, these are certainly rough and tough, but also interesting times in the annals of mankind. How will we end up, what will our society look like after the devastation eh? 

Will it be more of the same evil, godlessness, or will a wiser, repentant and godlier society rise from the ashes of our calamity? Only God knows. And only time will tell. For all our sakes though, let’s hope our future is based sincerely on the latter option. 

But with all that misfortune going on, it still doesn’t stop the workingman from declaring his Friday anthem: ’TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is finally here! Regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the world, we going to party hearty…eat, drink and be merry! 

For who knows, tomorrow, or even today we shall die! So bring on the good times, especially in this extra summer weather we getting here! Let the waters flow…the food pile up…and the music blast out! Thank God is Friday and we done work for another week!’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly the kind of attitude we’re trying to counteract. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the workweek, but the limits to which we go is another story. The workingman’s definitely goes overboard. A more sober and constructive one would be like our Friday Chant. 

So let’s chant it with nuff enthusiasm nuh! ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, to many of the young folks that might sound too retro for them, but it’s the kind of thing that the Lord desires; we enjoy His blessings, but keep our feet on an even keel so the enemy doesn’t get any leeway into our lives. 

And quite rightly, though we are all concerned about what’s happening worldwide, and also close to home, if we are living with and for Jesus then we should not be disturbed or blatantly afraid. 

For as He said, if we seek God’s kingdom as our priority, the Lord will satisfy all our needs. And as a lagniappe, or extra encouragement, Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  

And if Jesus says it’s so, then it’s obviously so, for He has no reason whatsoever to lie or lead us astray. However, our natural sinful nature encourages fear much more than faith, so today we’re just going to concentrate on a few passages from God’s word on the subjects of fear and faith, beginning with this famous verse from Deuteronomy. 

‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) Oh my faithful followers of Jesus, our God can’t say it in any plainer language than that. 

But in Isaiah, He unfailingly repeats the promise, the invitation to partner with Him. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

And friends, if we truly believe the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Creator and controller of the universe, then we should not have any problems believing His word. But my favourite verses on fear and faith come from God’s command to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:8-9) 

And if that doesn’t grab you right in your heart my people, then I don’t know what will. But we’ll end with these uplifting words from Ethan, the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. 

‘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.89:15-18) 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers in Christ. Now let’s stand strong as soldiers of Christ, and fight the good fight of faith, as He desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…one can only stand strong…if one is bolstered by faith…and not debilitated by fear…