Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2020 Psalm 40:5.

Psalm 40:5.    ​Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up (recounted) in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
 
Well since the physical church is closed because of the Covid-19 scare, and we can’t gather together in physical worship, it looks like our li’l service here on the Bit has become even more important. (smile) But we can’t allow the Lord’s Day to pass without some form of praise and worship and hearing of His marvellous and life-giving Word. So let’s have church, and we’ll begin with a most appropriate song of praise in these tumultuous, disastrous, scary and panicky times. 

It’s an old favourite written by Johnson Oatman Jr. (1856-1922), a New Jersey born and bred, pastor/cum businessman. The story goes that ‘his father was an excellent singer, and it always delighted the son to sit by his side and hear him sings songs of the church.’ And no doubt that was a most important factor in the young Oatman eventually writing over three thousand hymns; ‘so that no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Wow! Over three thousand hymns! And I looked at a partial list and there are a few well known ones. And that’s just another example of how important it is to get the Lord and His Word into our children at an early age if we want them to grow right. And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ (smile) But enough suspense, the name of today’s praise song is ‘Count Your Blessings!’ And oh, if many more of us would just do that, our hope, our faith and our world would be so much less wishy-washy, evil and strife-filled! 

But let’s concentrate on the singing nuh. Therefore, as one strong, harmonious, soulful and sincere voice, let’s raise our sacrifice of praise to heaven, letting them know that we are indeed grateful for ALL our blessings, those we enjoy down here on earth, and those stored in heaven. ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. [Refrain] When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. [Refrain] So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. [Refrain] 2’ 

Oh my people, if we’d only stop a moment when times are rough, like they are now with the Corona virus, and count the many blessings with which we have been bestowed over the years of walking with Christ, as I said earlier, we won’t be as scared and panicked as we are. Yes, we will be concerned, but not thinking the worse! And I have some interesting words to share on the subject. First off, the basic meaning of Count Your Blessings. One dictionary puts it thus: ‘to be grateful for the good things in your life, often to stop yourself from becoming too unhappy about the bad things.’  

And is that ever so true; just like we ought to be doing right now so we can stop thinking about the bad things that are currently happening. Now hear this quote from the renowned African American Educator and Adviser, Author and Orator, Booker T Washington (1856-1915). ‘Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.’ And if you’re a true believer, then you know that’s gospel truth! Then there’s this from somebody, I’m not sure whom, (smile) but it certainly hits the nail on the head. ‘If you always find yourself numbering your troubles, you will never find time counting your blessings. There is no use becoming frustrated in your difficulties while you have all opportunities hiding in them for a turnover.’

 Oh friends, it’s time to stop counting our troubles and count our blessings instead, for within those same troubles are opportunities for us to overcome the troubles! And this last quote from the web site godtube. ‘God truly gives us so many blessings each and every single day. Some may even be so small that we might overlook them. The classic hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ truly reminds us to stop and give thanks for all God has done in our lives. This is definitely a pause we all need to take. Amen.’ I couldn’t have put it any better my faithful brethren. 

And we find Bruh David doing it way back when in Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer, as he sincerely declares: ‘Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up (recounted) in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.’ How true my fellow believers. But sadly, we pay more attention to the problems rather than the blessings, that’s why our souls are always in so much turmoil. 

And please remember Bruh Paul’s marvellous words to the Ephesians re Spiritual blessings in Christ. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, lots of spiritual blessings have been granted to us when we became believers, but are stored up in heaven and are ‘being progressively dispersed to us on earth in accord with our need and Christian growth.’ 

And we’ll end, most appropriately with these wonderful words of warning and encouragement from Bruh David from Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…’ (Ps.103:2) Then he goes on to list a whole lot of benefits we enjoy when we walk with Jehovah God through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Oh friends, hopefully, today we’ll take these words seriously and diligently ponder them as we take account of our lives. Much LOVE!

…wisdom wisely cries out…count your blessings…not your troubles…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2020 Revelation 21:6.

Revelation 21:6.    ​It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts) of the fountain of the water of life freely.
 
Well it will be good to darken the church doors once again today, after a two week hiatus. Watching service on the tube is fine, but definitely not the same as actually being there in body and soul. The former lacks the personal touch where fellowship is concerned. And since I am an 18th century man, the technological aspect with television worship doesn’t thrill me as much as the personal interaction in a physical sanctuary. (smile) But be that as it may, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and we all ought to find our way to His sanctuary sometime today to personally interact with fellow believers to praise and sing and worship Him and receive the awesome power of His Word in return. 

What a moving time that can be in a believer’s life, bringing him ever closer in His relationship to His Lord and His God! So let’s begin the proceedings as usual with a song of praise and worship. And today’s sacrifice of praise is an old but highly favoured one by the master of hymn writers, Charles Wesley, titled ‘LOVE Divine All LOVES Excelling.’ We all know it so let’s get serious and soulful, and in strong, harmonious and melodious voice (smile) offer up our song of praise. 

‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling, joy of heav’n, to earth come down, fix in us Thy humble dwelling; all Thy faithful mercies crown. Jesus, Thou art all compassion; pure, unbounded LOVE Thou art; visit us with Thy salvation; enter ev’ry trembling heart. Breathe, O breathe Thy LOVING Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast! Let us all in Thee inherit; let us find the promised rest. Take away the LOVE of sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty. 

Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all Thy life receive; suddenly return and never, nevermore Thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, serve Thee as Thy hosts above, pray and praise Thee without ceasing, glory in Thy perfect LOVE. Finish then Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee. Changed from glory into glory, till in heav’n we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, LOVE, and praise.’ 

Oh friends, that was indeed a great rendition and heaven received it with great joy. Jesus, as always, blushes when we sing His praise, the Father smiles, and the Holy Spirit is the One working so astutely in us to get us singing with the right motives. And the song itself is like a compendium of Biblical quotes and attributes to our Three in One Godhead. Let’s see if we can pick out a few of each. It opens with Jesus being referred to as the ‘expression of divine LOVE.’ Then it talks about His compassion, His salvation, and the urgent need for His Second Coming so that our change to a new creation can be completed, and at last be sinless and finding the promised rest in Him. 

That possibly alludes to Jesus Great Invitation in Matt. 11:28. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ The new creation obviously refers to Bruh Paul’s words to the Corinthians. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) Yes friends, when we come to Christ we have to become new, changed, and give up some of the old things in our lives which don’t fit into Christ’s will. 

Then the Holy Spirit is cast as ‘the agent of sanctification,’ in the second verse. And the Father, the ‘source of life’ in the third verse. Meanwhile the casting of the crowns before God’s throne comes from Revelation 4:10-11 ‘The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns down before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created (for your will and pleasure they exist.’ And isn’t that the living truth! The Lord created the universe and all therein for His pleasure and purpose! 

So then we are gradually changed from glory to glory: ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) ‘The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord, just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant  the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

And then we come to Alpha and Omega. As Christ says to John in Revelation: ‘It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts) of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful (cowardly), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.’ (Rev. 21:6-8) 

And the scholars offer some interesting explanations. ‘21: 6-8) It is done: The eternal purpose of God to gather a holy, devoted people for Himself has now been accomplished. Alpha and Omega: (see 1:8; 22:13. Beginning: God is the origin and source of all things (cf. Is. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12). End: He is also the goal or aim of all things. (cf. Rom.10:4).The water of life represents eternal sustenance and provision (cf. 22:1; Ps. 36:9; Is. 55:1; Jer. 2:13; John 4:14), available freely  by faith (22:17). 

He that overcometh is the one who has genuine, saving, persevering faith (cf. 2:11; 3:5; 1 John 5:4-5). He will inherit all that belongs to him as a son of God (cf. John 1:12; Rom. 8:16-17; Gal. 3:29; 4:7). But sinners, who have shown their rebellion against God by their lifestyle of sin, have already been cast into the lake of fire (20:12; cf. 22:15). The second death is eternal death (cf. 20:14).’ 

Brother was that ever hard to copy, but I did not want to deprive you of the references which can be an important part of understanding the scriptures. And now that we’ve all got it straight, it’s time to put it into serious operation, so that we’re not cast in the lake of fire to eternal death, obviously with the Lord’s help. Much LOVE!

…The Holy Trinity was there long before us…and will be there long after us…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2020 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    ​Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.
 
Well a fine Sunday morning to you my friends and neighbours! I do hope the Lord has blessed you mightily….and you better believe He has if you are reading this missive! (smile) He has indeed blessed us with the wonderful breath of life and clear eyesight to see the words I write. So for just that we ought to be eternally grateful. And if you add all the other blessings, then I don’t think we have the capacity for enough gratitude, (smile) but we’ll certainly try. 

And one of the ways we’ll do it is by gathering today, on His special day, in His holy sanctuary, or wherever we can, to praise and give thanks and hear His mighty Word. Oh my people, there’s nothing more moving and momentous that a group of believers fellowshipping with sincere praise and thanksgiving! 

So as always, let’s begin our proceedings with this old favourite by Isaac Watts, titled ‘At the Cross.’ And was that ever a turning point in the annals of man! So let’s convince heaven of our heartfelt thanks for Jesus’ death on the cross, and all that it accomplished in our sinful lives. 

As one, in strong, soulful and harmonious voice: ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! 

(Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do. 

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’

Oh my people, my people, the wonder of the cross…words cannot truly describe it. Because it was there that the whole world was turned upside down and a new era in mankind’s story began! The story of salvation, of reconciliation, of total forgiveness, of redemption, justification, sanctification…and all the other good things that flowed…and are still flowing from Jesus’ selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! 

And as the song so rightly says: ‘Drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe.’ And is that ever the gospel truth friends! No amount of tears, of heartfelt eyes water can ever repay the debt of LOVE that we owe our heavenly Father. I’m sure our puny and finite minds can’t even begin to understand the heartbreak He felt in having to crucify His one and only, so amazing Son, so that a bunch of stubborn, hard-hearted sinners could have the option to be set free. 

But such was His LOVE for us, that He took the one holy, just and righteous avenue open to Him. And it wasn’t by chance He did that either nuh, but by conscious design. Why yuh think? Listen to Bruh Paul in his first letter to Timothy, as he exhorts him to constant prayer. ‘For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have (desires) all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of truth.’ (1 Tim. 2:3-4) 

Yes friends, that has been the Lord’s desire ever since the day He kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden. He doesn’t want to lose even one single soul of His most precious creation to the evil fool Satan. That’s why He went to such awesome lengths to get us back into right standing with Him. And He’s been saying it all the time. 

Listen to Him speak through the prophet Ezekiel: ‘Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways, and live?… For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.’ (Ezek. 18:23; 32) 

Yes my breddren, our magnanimous and magnificent God doesn’t want even those who want eternal death to die! How much more does He have to so to convince us to change from our wicked ways and live eh? I really don’t know if there’s any more He can do, except strip us of our free will and make us come to Him automatically. But He’s not going to do that, because He promised us free will and He doesn’t renege on His promises. 

And yuh know the second part of our Bit which talks about coming to the knowledge of the truth? Well here is what the Lord said through Jeremiah on the subject. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercises LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice) and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24) 

For sure, my fellow believers, the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IS MAN’S GLORY! And until we know that, accept it, and live it we’ll keep on being lost! And it’s only fitting to close with the words of Jesus on the topic. He said this when He prayed for His own. ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.’ (John 17:3) 

Yeh friends, knowing the ONE true God, through His Son Jesus Christ, is the ONLY WAY to eternal life! So let’s get smart and get to know Him nuh, so that come the last day, we will not find ourselves on the outside looking in, for that’s the worst thing that can happen to a human soul. Much LOVE!

…to know God…is to know the glorious truth…and be set free… 

P.S. Didn’t do anything yesterday because of the stormy weather. They wouldn’t even allow to me get a dip in the salt since it was so rough. I did get a burger and some jerk pork over at the beach hut though, and washed it down with two nameless exotic pink cocktails. (smile) Today is sunny, so let’s see what the Lord will bring to pass in my life. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2020 Hebrews 4:15.

Hebrews 4:15.    ​For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.
 
Well it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day and the ole fella did not get to visit His sanctuary because there wasn’t one close by, but he did fellowship with other believers on the tube. Yes friends, however you do it, it is important on a Sunday to join with other Christians to hear the Lord’s Word and celebrate His sovereignty with songs of praise and sacrificial offerings of prayer. 

And as always, we begin our proceedings with praiseful worship. Today it’s an old Negro Spiritual from back in the days of slavery, titled ‘Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.’ And back then our forefathers had plenty trouble, just like we do today, but they did the wise thing, called out to the Lord in song. So let’s do the same nuh, sing this ole ditty made famous by people like Mahalia Jackson and Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong. 

Let’s raise it to heaven with soulful, heartfelt, harmonious emotion, so that the Lord can feel our supplication and have no other alternative but to help us. (smile) So altogether now: ‘Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen  Nobody knows my sorrow  Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Glory, Hallelujah!  Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen  Nobody knows but Jesus  Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Glory, Hallelujah!  

Sometimes I’m up Sometimes I’m down Oh, yes, Lord Sometimes I’m almost to the ground Oh, yes, Lord. Oh, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Nobody knows my sorrow  Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Glory, Hallelujah  Oh, every day to you I pray Oh, yes Lord For you to drive my sins away Oh, yes Lord. Oh, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Nobody knows but Jesus Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen (Glory) glory Hallelujah (hallelujah) (Lord)  

Although you see me going ‘long so Oh, yes, Lord I have my trials here below Oh, yes, Lord  If you get there before I do Oh, yes, Lord Tell all-a my friends I’m coming to Heaven! Oh, yes, Lord  Oh, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen Nobody knows but Jesus Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen (Glory) glory Hallelujah (hallelujah) (Lord).’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth friends? Nobody knows our troubles like Jesus does. He sees ALL and He hears ALL! And what’s even better is that He understands it ALL, because He himself faced the same sorrows and heartache, the same rejection, disappointment, betrayal, and in the end undeserved sacrificial death in our place! 

As the ole song says; ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ For without that selfless sacrifice of Jesus, we’d be all heading for Hades right now to keep company with the fallen angel Lucifer, in his reincarnation as the demon meister Satan. That certainly calls for another ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ my people.  

And this scripture from Hebrews says it all: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.’ 

Yes precious people of God, our High Priest, Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ was tempted just like we are, because He was human just like we are, and once you’re human you’re liable to temptation, but because of His godly nature, He did not sin. Now it’s necessary to make a distinction between temptation and sin. Not because you’re tempted means you’ve sinned. The sin only applies when you fall for the temptation and actually do it. 

And Isaiah describes Jesus’ suffering and temptation in more vivid detail. ‘He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men; a man of sorrows (pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem (reckon) him stricken, smitten of (struck down by) God, and afflicted. 

But he was wounded (pierced through) for our transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes (wounds) we are healed.’ (Is.53:3-5) 

Ah mih people, if that isn’t suffering I don’t know what is nuh. But the important thing is that through it all Jesus NEVER sinned! As Bruh Paul so truthfully informed the Corinthians: ‘For he (God the Father) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) 

Yes friends, Jesus took our sin and gave us His righteousness. What more can we ask for eh? And why aren’t we more grateful for that act eh? Because we’re too much into worldly things to appreciate it’s significance. But friends, the sooner we appreciate the great significance of Jesus’ work on the cross for us, the better off we’ll be. 

For when He returns, if your name’s not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then you’re in serious trouble, then crapaud surely going to smoke yuh pipe, as you’re left on the outside looking in, facing eternal separation from Almighty God. And as I keep reminding us, that is the WORST thing that can ever befall a human soul. 

And what does sincerely accepting Christ as our High Priest, Lord and Saviour enable us to do? In the words of the author of 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 my people, isn’t it wonderful to know that because of Christ’s selfless and sinless sacrifices we can come before Almighty God and ask for help with the utmost confidence! Wow! It surely is! So let’s smarten up and begin truly living for Jesus nuh so that we are assured of spending eternity with Him. That’s where the wise money is. (smile) Much LOVE!

..there are only two options in eternity…Hades with Satan…or Heaven with Jesus…it’s your choice… 

P.S. Yes, we’re really late but I just was not up to scratch after a busy day and late night yesterday at the wedding. And no, I did not imbibe too much (smile) hardly imbibed at all. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2019 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.    ​Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
 

Well another week has passed my people, and we’re right back at Sunday! Imagine that nuh! And we still alive and going strong, thanks to our wonderful God! And it means that one more time we have to gather in fellowship to give Him thanks and praise for His outstanding mercy and grace this past week, as well as for Him to strengthen our faith, renew our confidence and raise the levels of our joy, so we can do the important work of His salvation ministry in the upcoming week. And all of that is just to say, that today is Sunday, and we ought to find ourselves in church sometime today to celebrate the Lord’s Day with other believers. (smile) 

So without further ado, let’s get our proceedings underway nuh, as usual with a song of praise and worship, exalting the Lord in the highest, just like all the heavenly host constantly do. And today we’re going to sing a contemporary Christian tune by Mat Redman (Matthew James Redman (1974 -) an English Christian worship leader, singer-songwriter and author. And today’s song is his best-known composition, the two-time Grammy Award-winning single, “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”. It’s a wonderful song, with great lyrics and melody, so let’s raise our voices in prayerful, sincere song and let our great God know how much we LOVE and appreciate Him. In rich, sweet and perfect harmony now: 

‘(Chorus) Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul, Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name.) The sun comes up It’s a new day dawning It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass And whatever lies before me Let me be singing When the evening comes (Chorus) Bless the Lord oh my soul……I’ll worship your holy name) You’re rich in love And You’re slow to anger Your name is great And Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons For my heart to find. (Chorus: Bless the Lord oh my soul…I’ll worship your holy name) 

And on that day When my strength is failing The end draws near And my time has come Still my soul will sing your praise unending Ten thousand years and then forevermore… forevermore. (Chorus: Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul, Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name. Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul Worship His Holy name Sing like never before Oh my soul, Jesus, I’ll worship Your Holy name, worship your holy name…worship your holy name.’ 

Oh mih people, such sweet exaltation to Almighty God, that the four beasts that surround the heavenly throne joined us in worship, as well as the elders up there; they fell down before the Lord on His throne, cast their crowns before the throne and lustily sang along with us. (Rev.4:8-10) Wow! Who says that there isn’t spontaneous joy in heaven when the Lord is sincerely praised down here on earth eh? And yuh know the Lord just swallowed up all the praise, because there’s nothing He likes more than praise. And He very well deserves every bit of it too. 

And nobody knew that better than Bruh David and the other psalmists, that’s why they could write praiseful words like: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations…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.89:1,15-18) That’s Ethan the Ezrahite expounding there on God’s sure promises to Bruh David. 

Then you have Bruh David himself declaring, (steups!) in thanksgiving for God’s mercy: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

And if all that isn’t reason enough to thank the Lord and praise and exalt His glorious name, then I really don’t know what is nuh! That’s why we ought to keep doing what the writer of Psalm 33 so wisely advises: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.’ And is it ever my people! And that’s one of the reasons the Lord created us, to sing His praise and glory! 

As the psalmist continues: ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery(lute) and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.’ (Ps.33:2-4) Oh friends, what more can I say eh? Except to quote some more of Bruh David’s words for you. (smile) 

‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

And that’s exactly what we did this morning friends, magnified the Lord, exalted his name together…and there is joy in heaven…as well as down here on earth! Let’s keep that awesome joy going nuh people, as we continually praise and magnify God’s holy name. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…rejoice in the Lord always…and again I say…rejoice… (Phil.4:4)

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2019 John 15:5.

John 15:5.    ​I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
 

It’s Happy Day! Yes friends, it’s the happiest day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day when He rested after creating His universe and all therein. When He looked at it, He smiled contentedly, like a workman knowing that he’s done a good job and said: ‘It is good!’ The Lord also wants us to rest on this day, or at least one day of the week, to renew our strength and energy, because He did not make us to be machines, constantly working. 

And the best way to regroup for next week is by joining fellow believers in worship and praise at the Lord’s sanctuary, His house of prayer, where we can commune together as one body, Christ’s church, His vehicle for saving the world. So let’s all do our very best to get to the Lord’s house some time today nuh, so that we can sing and praise and worship and exalt His name and find succour and confidence and grace and mercy and forgiveness and LOVE for our weary and burdened souls! 

Now let’s commence our proceedings with the usual, a song of praise and thanksgiving. And today it’s something from the Gaither Homecoming Festival of some time back, sung by my latest favourite gospel singer, Jessy Dixon. The song’s aptly titled, ‘I can’t even walk without you holding my hand.’ Yes friends we talking about Jesus here, so let’s get soulful and sincere as we declare these awesome words of truth in sweet harmony nuh. 

All together now: ‘I thought, that number one, would surely be me. I thought I could be, what I wanted to be. I thought I, could build on life’s sinking sand. But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I thought that I, could do a lot on my own, I thought, I could make it, all alone. I thought, thought of myself as a mighty big man, But I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. 

Ohh my Jesus, I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand, For the mountain, is too high, and the valley, is too wide, Down on my knees, I learned how to stand, Because I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. I can’t even walk, without you holding my hand. Yes my Saviour, I can’t walk, without you holding my hand. Thank You, for teaching me that valuable lesson, through your Word!’ 

Ah mih people, that was wonderfully soulful! (smile) And Jesus gratefully acknowledged our praise with a nod of His head and a shy smile, because He still doesn’t consider Himself number One! That’s the Father’s position, and He’s not foolish like Lucifer and try to overthrow Him. Anyway, those words are gospel truth, because without Jesus, we’re nothing and can do nothing, as He so plainly tells us in John’s gospel, re the vine and the branches. 

‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit.’ (John 15:1-2) Now that’s a tough row to how because if you don’t bear fruit, you’re taken away, and if you do bear fruit, you’re still pruned, so you can bear even more and better fruit. As I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) say the other day: ‘You’re pruned if you, and pruned if you don’t.’ But that’s the Father’s way, and also the general way of husbandmen in the physical world. 

And Jesus continues: ‘Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:3-5) Don’t you like how Jesus doesn’t mince words, just puts it plainly and clearly? ‘I am the vine and you are the branches…without me you can do nothing!’ 

And that’s the living truth friends. Remember in our song today, everything was about I thought I could do this, and I thought I could do that, but then we had a surprising and sudden awakening; only when we got on our knees were we able to stand, and even then we couldn’t walk without holding Jesus’ hand. And that’s how it is if we want to be a fruitful part of His LOVE Revolution! And it’s interesting how Jesus used the grape vine as a powerful example, but in the agricultural society that was Israel back then, everybody would certainly understand what He meant. 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘15:5. The uniqueness of the Christian experience results from the union of Christ and the believer. This is expressed in the scripture as Christ being in the believer and the believer in Christ. Ten times Paul uses the Greek preposition ‘sun’ (together) to describe this relationship. Believers were crucified (Gal.2:20), dead (Col.2:20) buried (Rom.6:4), quickened or made alive (Eph.2:1-5; Col.2:13), raised (Col.3:1; Eph.2:6), seated (Eph.2:6), and glorified (Rom.8:17) together with Christ. 

Illustration: Jesus used the image of the vine and its branches to describe His union with the believer. Application: On the basis of this union, the apostle Paul showed how the successful Christian life can be opened with four key words in Romans 6: ‘know’ (vs.6), ‘reckon’ (vs.11), ‘yield’ (vs.13), and ‘obey’ (vs.17). The Christian can conquer sin because Christ lives in him (Gal.2:20). First Ref. John 7:37-38; Primary Ref. John 15:1-5; cf. 1 John 5:13).’

Lots of interesting scriptures there for us to check our friends. (smile) But if you really want to make a difference on Jesus’ vine you will have to know His Word, especially as it pertains to you being in Him and He being in you, for remember you can’t do anything without Him. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians that also highlight that very salient fact. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God;’ (2. Cor.3:5) Wise words to live and die by my precious saints of God! Much LOVE!

…only as Christ lives and moves in us…and we live and move in Him…can we do great things for the kingdom…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 August 2019 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11.    ​Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.
 

Oh my fellow believers, I bring you warm and plentiful greetings of peace and LOVE this Sunday morning from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Remember it’s the Lord’s Day; the day He rested after creating our universe, and He expects us to get in some rest today too, but also to join together with other believers in sincere fellowship in His sanctuary. And believe me, He doesn’t care whether our meeting place is a splendiferous cathedral, or merely a poor, broken down hovel. 

Remember what Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) Yes friends, our great and merciful God simply wants us to gather together to worship and praise Him and hear His Word so that we can be encouraged, our faith strengthened to go out and face the enemy with zest and confidence during this upcoming week. So today, please let’s make it a point to gather with believers of like faith and raise our hearts and voices to heaven in praise and exaltation.

And as always, we begin our proceedings with song, today’s being one supposedly chosen in a poll by the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada, as being the greatest Christian hymn ever. We call it’ Holy, Holy, Holy.’ Some might not call it the greatest, but it surely is amongst the greatest! It was written by the Anglican pastor Reginald Heber (1783-1826), apparently for use on Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost, a feast day in honour of the Holy Trinity. 

As you can see it speaks specifically of the Holy Trinity with several references to passages of scripture in the Good Book. The claim has also been made that John Bacchus Dykes composed a tune for this hymn in 1861 and titled it ‘Nicaea’ as a tribute to the First Council of Nicaea, which formalized the doctrine of the Trinity in 325. 

And now that we have all that knowledge of the tune’s origins, let’s sing it in loud, harmonious voice nuh, making heaven sit up and take notice. All together now: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty! God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore Thee, Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy. sea; Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be. 

Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee, Though the eye of sinful man, Thy glory may not see: Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee, Perfect in power in LOVE, and purity. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise Thy name in earth, and sky, and sea; Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and mighty, God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and mighty, God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!’ 

Oh my people, I’m sure that all three personages of our Trinity were touched by that soulful and harmonious rendition! You know our God likes His praise. (smile) As the sons of Korah sang: ‘Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.’  (Ps.47:6-7) 

But the words themselves are ever so relevant to the believer’s life.  Just listen to these sentiments nuh. ‘Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.’ And so should it my faithful brethren. Bruh David enshrined it in Psalm 5 when he declared: ‘My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.’ (Ps.5:3) And our God sure is ’Merciful and Mighty! No doubt about that whatsoever. 

As Isiah said when the Lord commissioned him, and he saw the wonder of the Lord on His throne with the seraphim all around Him. ‘And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.’ (Is.6:3) And so it is indeed my people! 

Then in the second verse of the hymn, we have the vision of John per the activities in heaven: ‘And round about the throne were four and twenty seats (thrones): and upon the seats (thrones) I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment (robes), and they had on their heads crowns of gold…. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts (living creatures) full of eyes (symbolizing wisdom) before and behind. 

And the first beast was like a lion (representing strength), and the second beast like a calf (representing service), and the third beast had a face as a man (representing intelligence), and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle (representing swiftness). And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him (depicting movement); and they were full of eyes within: and they rest (cease) not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 

And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.’ (Rev.4:4, 6-11)) 

And that says it all friends! The scholars though expand on it some: ‘4:9-11. All of heaven worship the Father. The angels extol His character, and the elders (church) extol His creative powers. God has the right to rule and the sovereign authority to judge the earth, because He is both holy and the Creator of all.’ Please let’s remember that and live accordingly my fellow believers in Christ, for it will stand us in good stead down the road. Much LOVE!

…our Godhead…perfect in power…in LOVE…and in purity…

 

Previous Older Entries