Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Come Sunday morning, me and my friends are heading for the Lord’s sanctuary, to celebrate His day, to give Him thanks and praise, to call to Him for help, and receive said help through the hearing of His Word, the supernatural moving of His Holy Spirit and encouragement from our fellow believers! That’s what me and my friends are going to do this Sunday morning – or evening – come hell or high water! 

Oh my people, a li’l cold or inclement weather shouldn’t stop us from getting out to the celebrations at some time of the day. Just think what our lives would be like if Jesus didn’t feel like coming to earth and going to the cross nuh? Remember the Father didn’t force Him, but He agreed to do it after He pointed out that Jesus was the only choice the bunch of sinful ingrates He created had of bypassing the consuming fires of hell. So having to make a bit of a sacrifice to go out one day a week and praise and give Him the glory He so assuredly deserves, should not be a big thing. 

Anyway, as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with some worship. And today’s hymn is an old one we all know and LOVE. It’s titled, ‘It is Well with my Soul.’ It highlights the incredible story of faith of one Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), who at the height of success and prosperity, like Job, suffered much tragedy. A prominent and prosperous Christian Chicago lawyer, he first suffered the loss of his son, then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed his real estate investments, then in 1873, he sent his wife and four daughters on a boat trip to Europe. 

However, a few days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said: ‘Saved alone…’ The boat had been shipwrecked and all four daughters lost. And ostensibly this oldie but goldie was created a short time later when Spafford on his way to meet his wife, was passing over the area where his daughters lost their lives. Now having heard that background, let’s open our hearts and voices to high heaven in a soulful and harmonious rendition of this testament to faith, and the resilience that can be found in Christ when it’s called for. 

As one now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’ 

Oh my people, what strong, incredible faith, what inordinate trust what herculean courage was called for to pen those awesome, but oh so true words! I doubt many believers (steups!) would have been able to do it, because not many of us have those magnanimous parts. Many of us would have been cursing God, even turned away from Him. But Mr. Spafford, in his tragic circumstance probably remembered Job’s story, possibly even read it, and like Job, concluded that ranting and raving against God would not help the situation. 

He obviously rejected Job’s wife’s advice in favour of Job’s wisdom: ‘Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall nor receive (accept) evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9-10) Friends, that’s one of the most interesting and enlightening conversations in the Good Book. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘2:9-10. Job’s wife suggested that Job do what Satan had predicted: curse God. After all she had been through, it was no wonder she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one by His active will and the other by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends (cf. Gen. 50:19-20; Bruh Joseph’s story). In all this did not Job sin is proof enough that Satan was wrong and was sorely defeated. Satan does not appear again in the book.’ 

And I guess Horatio Spafford also proved Satan wrong, because instead of cursing God, he wrote a touching testimonial to His awesome comfort and consolation in times of heartbreak and severe tragedy. And the only thing we can really do in those cases, unless we want to drive ourselves crazy, is hang on to this awesome scripture verse of hope: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ No other scripture can give us a supposedly comforting reason for why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. 

Friends, we just have to put our total trust in Almighty God and remember what He’s done for us in the past, and lean on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He knows the end from the beginning, so we just have to surrender our all to Him, regardless of the circumstances. That’s what true faith is all about! Much LOVE!

…ours is not to question…just to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 February 2020 John 15:13.

John 15:13.   ​Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
Sunday morning…time for church! Don’t let the inclement weather we have going in the G.T.A, or for that matter, good weather wherever you are, keep you away from darkening the doors of the Lord’s sanctuary this morning. (smile) Yes, good weather ofttimes can deceive us into not going to worship with our fellow believers, makes us feel we’d be better off doing something supposedly more enjoyable. 

But pray tell me people, what can be more enjoyable than meeting with a number of people who share our beliefs, who encourage us, then join with us to sing, praise, and dance before the Lord our God, to hear His magnificent and uplifting Word, and consequently leave His sanctuary refreshed, renewed, and full of the joy, peace and confidence that only He can give! Nothing friends…Nothing! So let’s get the show on the road nuh, beginning as usual with the singing and praising and dancing. 

And today’s song of praise is a fairly new Christian song that’s become quite popular over the years. It’s aptly titled: ‘In Christ Alone.’ The website Godtube tells us that the song was written in 2002, by Christian  songwriters Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. According to Townend “The song came about in an unusual way. Keith and I met in the autumn of 2000 at a worship event, and we resolved to try to work together on some songs. 

A few weeks later Keith sent some melody ideas, and the first one on the CD was a magnificent, haunting melody that I LOVED, and immediately started writing down some lyrical ideas on what I felt should be a timeless theme commensurate with the melody. So the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out, and when we got together later on to fine tune it, we felt we had encapsulated what we wanted to say.” 

And did they ever encapsulate a whole lot of stuff about Jesus! So let’s sing it now like we really mean it nuh, letting heaven know that we’re truly grateful for our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Let our voices convey the sacrificial praise our hearts feel, in sweet, soulful harmony. 

‘In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song; This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of LOVE, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My comforter, my all in all— Here in the LOVE of Christ I stand. In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, Fullness of God in helpless babe! This gift of LOVE and righteousness, Scorned by the ones He came to save. Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied; For ev’ry sin on Him was laid— 

Here in the death of Christ I live. There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; For I am His and He is mine— Bought with the precious blood of Christ. No guilt in life, no fear in death— This is the pow’r of Christ in me; From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand…Till He returns or calls me home— Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand… Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand….’ 

And that’s for certain sure friends! In the amazing and awesome power of Christ we must ALL stand, because there has never been, and will never be another as magnificent and magnanimous as Him! As I keep saying He is indeed our EVERYTHING! Our hope, our light, our strength, our song, the cornerstone on which our faith is built, the ONE  who walks beside and guides us through the worst times of drought and storm… 

And don’t talk about LOVE…His is the greatest. As He said so simply and sincerely: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’  (John 15:13-14) And then He went out and laid down His sinless life, sacrificed it ever so selflessly for us, with the expectancy and anticipation that we would be His friends and do what He commanded us. Yes my fellow believers (steups!), Jesus didn’t just talk the talk, He walked the walk…on our behalf. He died that we could be alive and be reconciled to the Father; took our sins and gave us His righteousness…and so much more. 

That’s why when Bruh Paul talks to us about the ways of the believer (steups!), we ought to listen and obey. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) That’s exactly what He did my people, and as followers of His, He expects us to be obedient to His commands, do our best to adopt His character traits, because you know the Father’s ultimate plan is to have us all become like His Only Son…well as close as our human flesh and nature will allow. (smile) 

And we don’t even have time and space to touch on all the topics the songwriters touch on in our song. So we’ll just look at these last two; peace and comfort. Oh my my, Jesus is the Master of Peace: the peace that passes all human understanding! Here Him to the disciples nuh: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

And Bruh Paul describes Him thus: ‘For he (himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us;’ (Eph.2:14) No doubt about that! He mashed up the old order and destroyed the enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made them to exist in One body, His church. 

And when yuh talking about comfort friends, there’s no better place to find it than in Jesus! Here these extraordinary words from His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28, 30) No one else can make that promise and keep it! That’s why I keep saying that Jesus is the ANSWER, for He has everything that you will ever need, both for this life and the hereafter! Please be wise and lean confidently, faithfully and reassuringly on Him! He won’t let you down! Much LOVE!

…The Prince of Peace…of Comfort…and of LOVE…Jesus Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 January 2020 Philippians 4:19.

Philippians 4:19.    ​But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.
 
And the snow did fall…in copious quantities too, but thankfully my information was wrong, we were only going to get 15 cm of snow, not the 50 I wrote about yesterday. However, the east coast province of Newfoundland and Labrador did receive a solid walloping over the weekend culminating in some 70 cm of the white stuff. Obviously everything was shut down under such a blanket of snow, with power outages and other necessities sadly lacking. 

Apparently even the snow trucks had to be taken off the road, since the blizzard was so bad that visibility was impossible. Friends, please, let’s pray for them and offer any other help that we can, because we never know when it will be our turn to be in such a despairing and disastrous situation. 

So closer to home now, the snow is finished falling but we had some freezing rain overnight and with the drop in temperature, it’s possibly slick and icy out there. So please be careful if you’re venturing out. And please don’t use the weather conditions as a convenient excuse not to go to church, (smile) although some of us will find it extremely difficult, even impossible to get out and about. 

And having said all of that, let’s turn to our multi-purpose in the Lord’s sanctuary today; to worship our great God, give Him much thanks and praise from sincere and overflowing hearts of gratitude, to enjoy sweet and encouraging fellowship with other believers, to hear the awesome Word of God which refreshes and renews us and gives us oodles of confidence and reassurance to face the fallen world in which we live! 

Now how can we get all of that if we don’t go to church eh, or have a gathering of two or three somewhere convenient? For Christ did say that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, that He would be right there in the midst of them. (Matt. 18:20) So if only a small gathering is possible, then so be it, but a big gathering would be nicer. (smile) And today’s opening song of worship is indeed very appropriate for these troubled and disastrous times. It’s aptly titled ‘Lord I Need You’ 

And do we ever need Him friends, so let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony as we call out to our Lord and Saviour for the help that only He can give. ‘(Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) Lord, I come, I confess Bowing here I find my rest Without You I fall apart You’re the One that guides my heart (Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) 

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more Where grace is found is where You are And where You are, Lord, I am free Holiness is Christ in me (Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) Teach my song to rise to You When temptation comes my way And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You Jesus, you’re my hope and stay. Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You. I need You every hour, Oh Lord how I need You…Oh how I need You. yes Lord, I need You, every hour of every day…That’s how much I need you.’  

Ah mih people, from all of that we should see how desperately we need Jesus Christ and all that He stands for. And what is a need you ask? Here’s something from a website that I forgot the name. But it says: ‘A need is something that is necessary for an organism to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants in that, in the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. In other words, a need is something required for a safe, stable and healthy life (e.g. food, water, shelter) while a want is a desire, wish or aspiration. 

When needs or wants are backed by purchasing power, they have the potential to become economic demands. Basic needs such as water, air, food and protection from environmental dangers are necessary for an organism to live. In addition to basic needs, humans also have needs of a social or societal nature such as the human need to socialize or belong to a family unit or group. Needs can be objective and physical, such as the need for food, or psychological and subjective, such as the need for self-esteem. Needs and wants are a matter of interest in, and form a common substrate for, the fields of philosophy, biology, psychology, social science, economics, marketing and politics.’ 

And yes we need all of those things, but even more importantly we need things like spiritual protection, the ability to confess our sins and know we’re forgiven, a place of rest to lay down our burdens, someone to guide us, to help us with righteousness, to provide grace and mercy, freedom from worry and anxiety, a strong tower to fall back on, not forgetting strength and faith to stand strong against temptation! Yes friends, we do need a lot, and Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can satisfy it ALL! He is indeed our ‘hope and stay!’ 

And there’s no better verse in the Good Book that guarantees our needs than Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians, after they sacrificed from their little to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.’ 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: 4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (v.18) that the Philippians made in meeting Paul’s needs, God will surely supply all their need. God will meet their need (1) according to his riches, that is in proportion to His unlimited resources: (2) in glory, that is, He will meet their need “gloriously” or “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’ 

Ah friends, once we have Jesus, we don’t need anything, or anybody else! Let’s remember that and put our whole faith and trust in Him nuh, because He will see us faithfully through this live unto the next one, and long thereafter. Much LOVE!…

so let us come boldly (confidently)…to the throne of grace…that we may obtain mercy…and find grace…to help…in time of need… (Hebs. 4:16)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 January 2020 Psalm 71:23.​

Psalm 71:23.    My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
 
And another Sunday has dawned; wet and icy and dark in the Greater Toronto Area! We did get that rain storm that was promised, and sincerely hope that it soon peters out to dry weather, because it has caused some damage in several areas. Unfortunately, I know that the inclement weather is going to be used as a convenient excuse not to attend the Lord’s sanctuary today and fellowship with other believers. 

But friends, we’re only doing ourselves a serious injustice when we stay away from church, unless it’s for a very good reason. That’s because we miss the camaraderie, the encouragement, the praise and thanksgiving, and the hearing of the Lord’s uplifting and guiding Word that such fellowship entails, and which allows us to leave the proceedings filled with trust and confidence in our omnipotent God! But to each his own. And as always, we’ll get the celebrations going with a song of praise. 

And today’s song is a wonderful one, officially titled ‘Hymn of Joy,’ but which most of us know as ‘Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,’ from its first line. Apparently it was a poem written by minister Henry van Dyke in 1907, inspired by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, with the intention of musically setting it to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s final symphony, Symphony No. 9. 

Van Dyke explained the hymn thus: ‘These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time—hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.’ And therefore rather appropriate for today’s gathering! So let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony to heaven, with joy, hope, trust and overwhelming sacrifices of praise in our mouths and our hearts. 

As one awesome choir now: ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in LOVE are Thine; Teach us how to LOVE each other, Lift us to the joy divine. Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life. You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy, We adore Thee, Lord of mercy and of grace…We adore thee…You bring us joy, joy, joy…’ 

And does our great and wonderful God ever bring us joy by the bucketful my faithful brethren! You also see the amazing sentiments we can glean from merely admiring God’s handwork in nature, making the hymn one of the most joyful in our English language hymnal! Oh, friends, our God is indeed exceptional; exuding trust, LOVE, hope and faithfulness in miraculous and enormous quantities! There is none other like Him in this universe precious people! 

That’s why the psalmist who penned Psalm 71 – A prayer for help in old age – could confidently declare: ‘I will praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre), even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they (mine enemies) are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps. 71: 22-24) 

Yeh friends, the old man had seen enough of God’s goodness and mercy in his younger days that he had ho hesitation in placing his utmost trust in Him during the winter of his days! Can we say the same thing? I certainly hope so! And just to stir us up some more, (smile) listen to Bruh David as he offers 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) 

Oh friends, it couldn’t be put any simpler and more straightforward than that! God’s goodness to the children of men is so wonderful, and the truth is, we don’t deserve any of it. But that’s the kind of magnanimous God He is! So please, I implore us, today, let’s spend some time pondering on His individual goodness and mercy and grace and forgiveness etc. etc. to us nuh, so that our spirits will be refreshed and our trust renewed, and thus give us the courage and confidence to go out and work diligently and excellently for Christ in this upcoming week. Much LOVE!

…remembering God’s goodness in our lives…raises our trust and faith in Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2019 Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6.     ​For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
And yes, it’s Friday, the day we all been longing for, the one that heralds the end of the work week! And it’s also the Friday before Christmas! And that’s an even bigger Friday than usual, because we’re all wrapped up in the Christmas thing, where we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; eat, drink and give gifts to celebrate the occasion! But please, please, let’s not put the eating and drinking and gift giving first as we tend to so often do nuh! Let’s put the thought of Christ being born first and foremost, as it ought to be. Remember it’s the greatest gift this sinful and evil world has ever received. So let’s be adamant about putting Christ in His right and proper place in the season: FIRST! For HE is the reason for the season. 

Now let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say on this Friday before Christmas nuh. And he joyfully shouts: ‘Oh mama, mama, TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Christmas Friday to boot! And ah taking the whole of next week of! No work for another seven days; just eat and drink and party! Brother! And is the slave master ever so vex, because several people taking holidays this week, and he have to pay we for Christmas and Boxing Day as well, even though we not working. So yuh know he’s not a happy camper, because he don’t like to pay at the best of times, but it just kills him when he have to pay us for days we don’t actually work. 

But that’s the system Mr. slave master, and yuh got to live by it, like it or not. But enough about he oui! Is Christmas; Christmas time in the city! And all the lights bright and shiny on the Christmas tree inside and the leafless trees outside! The weather is not the greatest, snowy and dreary, but the children happy because they see gifts packing up under the tree, and I happy too because plenty drinks and food in the cold room downstairs, and plenty treats up here. So how can I not thank God for Fridays, the weekends and Christmas eh?’ 

And that’s ever so right my brethren! We’ve got to thank the Almighty for ALL that we have, especially His Son at Christmas time! And though the ordinary workingman does have some good points in his song, we, as believers have to be ever so careful that we don’t overdo the carnal side of the equation and allow the enemy to get inside our spirits and souls and cause confusion as he just likes to do. That’s why our Friday Chant, though enthusiastic, is not as ebullient as the workingman’s. (smile) We have to pay a li’l more attention to the evil around us. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, with sincere hearts and strong voices. ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, working for Jesus is wonderful, adventurous and exciting, but as they say, it’s never done. We always have to be on our p’s and q’s, even when, or especially when we’re enjoying ourselves. So I guess Granny’s warning is apropos right here and now: ‘Sonny boy, ah begging yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And that my people should be our motto for this Christmas season. We don’t need any more problems than we already have…

Oh, and by the way…let’s not forget church nuh! Ah notice nobody ain’t say nothing about church yet nuh! (smile) But it is imperative that we visit the Lord’s sanctuary over this Christmas season and give him much thanks and praise for sending His One and Only Son to earth at this time so that our salvation could be forthcoming. And there is no better scripture that proclaims this than the mighty and momentous words of Isaiah. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ 

Mama Mia! What a promise! And that’s not all: ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:7) And perform it He did, starting with the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus! We just waiting for His Second Coming now to continue the fulfillment of that prophecy! What a mighty and faithful God we serve my people! 

Now let’s look at some New Testament scriptures that attest to the fulfillment of our Bit, starting with ‘For unto us a child is born.’ Hear the angels talk to the shepherds on Christmas night. ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11) And per ‘unto us a son is given.’ Listen to Jesus Himself: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

Then, per ‘the government shall be upon his shoulder,’ listen to Jesus again, this time as He sends the disciples out into the world to proselytize it: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt. 28:18) We’ll leave out ‘his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,’ because it’s found in the Old Testament (Judges 13;18) (smile) And by the way, in Hebrew that’s one word, talking about ‘miraculous counsel given by this God-like King.’ 

And as per ‘the mighty God, The everlasting Father,’ hear Bruh Paul from Titus, as he talks about the Christian life. ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (Titus 2:13) ‘The everlasting Father, literally means Father of Eternity. He alone is the source of eternal life.’ And finally, per, ‘The Prince of Peace,’ hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For he (himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us.’ (Eph. 2:!4) 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONE, the One of Peace who broke down the enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made us ONE in the Christian Church, His Church. So please, let’s ponder all of that this upcoming week as we celebrate Christ’s birth nuh, and keep Him first place in our hearts, souls and minds. Much LOVE!

…without Christ’s birth…there’d be no Christmas… never forget that…

P.S. Yeh, I know it’s long and late, but it’s ever so good! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2019 Romans 8:35.

Romans 8:35.    ​Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

It’s that day friends, Sunday, when all roads lead to the Lord’s sanctuary, to praise, give thanks and glorify His holy name, with a humble attitude and penitent heart! Yes, it’s time to refuel our hearts, souls, bodies and minds with His word and the encouragement and confidence that the faithful fellowship of like believers brings. And as always, we begin our worship with a song of praise.

Today’s praise offering is simply titled ‘The Promise,’ a wonderful song of contemporary Christian music, as sung by the Martins, that popular Christian Family Trio out of the Southern U.S. So let’s get soulful and sincere as we raise our voices to heaven, letting our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ know how much we LOVE and adore Him, and how grateful we are for all that He’s done for us through His sacrifice on the cross, but also faithfully keeping the promises He made while down here on earth. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony, let’s sing: ‘I never said that I would give you silver or gold, Or that you will never feel the fire or shiver in the cold. But I did say you’d never, walk through this world alone… Hnnnn! And I did say, don’t make this world your home. I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night, Or that loneliness was something, you’d never have to fight. But I did say, I’d be right there by your side… Thank You sweet Jesus! And I did say, I’d always help you fight. ‘Cause you know I made a promise, that I intend to keep…My grace will be sufficient in every time of need…My LOVE will be the anchor, that you can hold on to. This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. 

I never said that friends will never turn their backs on you, Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool. But I did say, like me, you’ll surely be despised. And I did say, my ways confound the wise. I didn’t say you’d never taste the bitter kiss of death, Or have to walk through chilly Jordan to enter into rest, But I did say, I’d be waiting, right on the other side… (yeah, yeah…He is waiting!) And I did say, I’ll dry every tear you cry. ‘Cause you know I made a promise that I’ve prepared a place, and someday, sooner than you think, you’ll see me face to face… And you’ll sing with the angels and the countless multitude. This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. 

(Talk – I don’t know where you’ve been walking, but I know in life’s devastation, He will pursue you forever. You’ve picked the One who will never let you go! He’s able to do above and beyond anything we can ever ask or think. Hallelujah!) So just keep on walking, don’t turn to the left or right, And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light, That hell can’t separate us, and you’re gonna make it thru… This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. ooooooh, this is the promise, I’ve made to you…this is the promise, I’ve made to you…’ 

Ah mih people, where to begin eh? I really don’t know. Originally I’d thought of finding a scripture for every promise, but when I came to do it, I realized that it would be a humongous task, taking up much more space and time than I have. Anyway, I’ve found a passage of scripture, one that we know really well, that somewhat encompasses all our hopes, dreams, faith and assurance in Christ. Listen to Bruh Paul as he expatiates to the church at Rome. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39) 

Yeh friends, if we truly believe and trust and surrender our lives to Christ, NOTHING can, or will ever separate us from His eternal and unconditional LOVE! Now check out this explanation from the scholars: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is his purpose (cf. v.28).’ Who can thwart the well laid plans of the Creator eh? Nobody! 

And I’ll spoon feed us, though we know v.28 better than most other verses. (smile) ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called (the elect, the saints) according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Oh faithful saints, as the scholars say, God is working out all things for good, but we who LOVE Him can appreciate it best, because we LOVE Him come what may. Whatever happens doesn’t change our LOVE for Him one iota! And that’s certainly how it ought to be! So let’s go out and show that to a disbelieving  the world nuh! Much LOVE!

…and, lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt.28:20b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2019 Ephesians 5:19.

Ephesians 5:19.    ​Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
 

Well, well, well, if it isn’t that wonderful day called Sunday! The one where we ought to visit the Lord’s sanctuary to give Him thanks and praise and fellowship with other believers, hear His holy Word and receive strength to face another daunting week in this evil and ungodly world. Unfortunately though the ole fella is unable to do that since he’s way out in the wilds of northern South Africa, with no TV or internet. But the Lord knows his heart and will hear whatever prayers I send up to him this day. (smile) 

So, obviously without access to the net, I can’t get words for a song, therefore we’ll just have to sing our own individual songs. (smile) As Bruh Paul says: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.’  And as James declares: ‘Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? Let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) So since we’re all merry, let’s sing psalms nuh…and we don’t need any internet to do that. (smile) So let’s sing this rather appropriate psalm # 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony: ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (his mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (cornet): praise him with the psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah!)’ 

Yeh friends, anything, or anybody who draws breath in this crazy world ought to give the Lord God Almighty much thanks and praise just for that fact alone, because it is through His omnipotence and generosity that we are even able to draw breath, much less enjoy all the other benefits! Anyway, my Sunday began with a 5.a.m. wake-up call from our guide Fortune, so we could get to the Lodge for coffee and take off on the morning game drive by five thirty. 

Well there we were heading out in the dark at five thirty in the crisp morning air, hoping to see at least one of the big five we had not yet seen. And the big five are: elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and hippos. So far we’d seen the first two, but no trace of any of the other three. And believe me, driving out in that Land Cruiser in the darkness, especially as Fortune drives, is something else, because he slashes through and over the thickets with gay abandon. I learned early on, in my co-pilot seat, to keep my hands inside and move towards him when he began slashing through the brambles and numerous thorn trees. (smile) 

Unfortunately, we rode around the rough trails for a while without seeing anything besides some smaller animals, like guinea hens and impalas, or what they call McDonalds, because they have a big black, capital ‘M’ stenciled on their rear ends, that resembles the McDonald’s sign. (smile) What we did see however, was the spectacular rising of the early morning sun, coming up blood red above the eastern horizon, while the big, full moon still stood fairly high in the western sky! And as the Almighty God who made them so wisely planned it, the former eventually rose higher and commanded the day, while the latter decreased in stature and soon disappeared altogether. 

Sometime during that game drive though, the word came out that some lions had been seen, and we journeyed to the spot, joining two other groups of people. Now check out this scene. It’s my favourite of the whole trip. The male lion is lying quietly in the shade, barely discernible because his coat is so much like the brown, dry grass, while the female who seems to be in heat (it’s mating season) prances by him, goes off a li’l way, then lies down. Soon the king of beasts comes, mounts her from the rear, does his thing…and it’s all over in like five seconds. Then he casually strolls off and lies down below a shade tree, while the female moves off a short distance. 

It’s said that they have to copulate every twenty minutes, but I don’t think the lady waited that long, then she came back to the gentleman lying quietly below the tree, pranced around him, rubbed her rear end on him, and made all kinds of entreaties. But the ole boy was having none of it. He just lay their stoically, head held high in the air, till the lady got tired of not so subtlety making her intentions known and walked away to lie down on an incline where he could see her, and prostrate herself in all her glory. And I had to laugh, because a couple of minutes later, the ole boy just put down his head and apparently went to sleep, completely ignoring the lady. 

This just goes to prove the falsehood of the oh so prevalent and prevailing theory that a man never refuses a woman, that he will undoubtedly fall for all of her sensuous wiles and tricks! Let that be a lesson to you women! (smile) Man is not always as foolish and gullible as he seems! We left the scene shortly after the ole fellow put down his head, indicating that no further action was going to happen for a while, and eventually got back home around minutes to nine, had breakfast then went to sleep. We even told them not to prepare lunch because we were all so tired and filled with food. We’d come for high tea at four, before going out for another drive at four thirty. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much on that drive besides what we’d already seen. We went driving along the river, over and through the brambles and thickets, with Fortune’s dexterity, looking for hippos or leopards, but failed to see any. Then it was back to the lodge in time for supper. Oh, can you imagine I fell asleep on the way home driving through those rough roads with all the noise, with Fortune driving one handed while shining his spotlight from side to side with the other. I was surely surprised by that. Just goes to show how tired the ole fella was. Tomorrow’s another day though! Much LOVE!

…giving thanks and praise…for simply drawing breath…should be a top priority…..

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