Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2019 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.    ​Let us therefor come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

And all the early July Independence parties done now! Time to get back to some hard work that’s good for the spleen and the soul. (smile) As they say, a li’l hard work never kill anybody. And that’s the gospel truth! Just wish most of this current society would acknowledge that and put it into practice. Our world would be so much more productive and conducive to better and richer living in Jesus’ name. But as believers, we can only talk and lead by example. 

So having said that, let’s get up and get ourselves together this Monday morning nuh, and get out there and do our best for Jesus, because He is our Guiding Light! And because we’re only human, some of us will obviously not be up to scratch, possibly tired, depressed, troubled, or just blooming lazy! (smile) But whatever it is that ails us this morning, we have the right antidote for it; prayer, in the form of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s come humbly, but confidently to the throne of grace to ask for help in our time of need nuh.

As one strong voice: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Glory to God my people! Feel the Holy Spirit moving in our souls nuh, enlightening and encouraging and strengthening us as we asked! What would we do without prayer eh? Hn! We’d be lost like the Israelites were in the wilderness for forty long, dragged out and troublesome years. But our wise and great God instituted prayer as a means of communication between Him and us. A way that we can both praise, worship and exalt Him, as well as pour out the most personal and troubling details of our souls, hearts, bodies and minds, trusting Him to help us. 

And on top of all that, He has sincerely promised to answer our prayer if we live obedient to His will. Listen to His encouraging word. ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

Yeh friends, calling on the Living God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is of the utmost importance, if we want to enjoy a joyful and fruitful life down here on earth amongst all the natural troubles and tribulations that are so rampant in these trying times. And Jeremiah, in his Lamentations, said it this way: ‘The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. 

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) And if he could say that after suffering a whole lot of problems bringing the Lord’s Word to his people Israel, then there must be some truth to it. 

Meanwhile Bruh David said it thus in Psalm 31. ‘For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily (secretly) for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I have hated them that regard lying vanities (vain idols): but I trust in the Lord. 

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles); and hast not shut me up into the hand of (given me over to) the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room (wide space).’ (Ps.31:3-8) 

Oh friends, what better witness declaring (yeah!) God’s mercy and LOVING-kindness can we get than from those two men who suffered so much in doing the Lord’s bidding, yet still pledged their undying LOVE and devotion to Him? Job was another righteous man who suffered much unfair and unjustified tribulation, but he also unequivocally pledged his loyalty to the God of his forefathers when he made these bold statements: 

‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) Fighting words those, my brethren! But that’s what happens when we have supreme faith in our God despite our troubled circumstances here on earth. 

And we’ll end with these wonderful, inspiring and reassuring words of the author of Hebrews, re The sympathetic Christ. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (faith). For we have not a high priest  which cannot be touched (sympathetic) with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:14-5) 

Oh my people, Jesus knows all about temptation in this evil world, because He suffered it just like we are doing, but He was without sin. So He understands what we’re going through. That’s why the author ends this passage with these encouraging words. ‘Let us therefor come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ 

And that’s exactly what we did when we prayed our Monday Morning Battle Hymn…And yuh saw the positive results. So please, let’s just keep trusting and stay strong and steadfast in the Lord. It’s the best option available to us! Much LOVE!

…to pray…to pray…and yet to keep on praying…that’s the Christian way…

 

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Today​’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.   ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt 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.
 
Well it’s a big Saturday morning in the springtime, but it’s cold as ever, like a puppy dog’s nose, (smile) something like minus 5 or 6 in my area. And before we go on, let’s make one thing perfectly clear, the idea that because a date on the calendar says that the Spring Equinox has arrived, does not mean it suddenly gets warm! That is pure foolishness and fallacy yes! (smile) It’s still so and so cold – all like yesterday when the wind lent its support to the cold, though it was a bright and sunshiny day! 

And the wind itself played havoc with my area yesterday, from late afternoon into the middle of the night, just howling like crazy every few minutes, having stuff creaking and clanking and whatever, leaving homeowners hopeful that no part of their houses or property got damaged by it. But it seems to have settled down now, and no serious damage seems to have been done in my area. Thank God for small mercies yes! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I laughed when I first read this one: ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ I suppose that’s because we refer to opportunity as knocking on a door, and it only knocks once and that sort of thing. 

So it’s only logical to assume that if opportunities aren’t making themselves available, then the problem might be that there is no door for them to knock on. In that case the sensible thing to do will be to build a door for them to knock on! (smile) 

And the next one says: ‘I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.’ Now that is the way we have to view our mistakes and supposed failures! We can’t ever give up, or stop trying, because in truth, failure is not failure until we stop trying, and that idea is found nowhere in Jesus’ philosophy. 

So if you’re a believer, you can’t ever give up or stop trying; you’ve got to keep moving ahead, learning more about Christ and becoming more like Him every day, moving from glory to glory. Praise His holy name! 

And this next quote segues nicely with the others: ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ Yeh friends, we can’t get anywhere until we begin going somewhere! Likewise, we can’t make any progress in our projects and/or ambitions until we begin doing stuff related to them. Everybody wants to write the great American Novel, but no one will ever do so, until and unless they begin writing it. As the Chinese Proverb so eloquently puts it: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ Matter fix! 

This upcoming quote is also quite relevant to our everyday lifestyle. It says: ‘To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time.’ So true my people, so true! We have a bad habit of saying, ‘if only so and so had happened,’ moaning about some past circumstance. But that only gets us in the negative stream of life. What we ought to be saying is ‘next time, I’ll do so and so.’ Try and keep it in the positive stream of the future. We’ll all be better for it. 

And the last quote declares (right ho): ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ Gospel truth that my brethren! It’s like the saying goes, give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But teach him how to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime! 

And I want to put that into perspective with the Lord’s Word: If I just tell you about it, most likely you’ll forget about it shortly thereafter. If I teach you about it, you’ll remember it for a longer period of time. However, if I involve you in the whole process, then you’ll probably learn more than in the two previous scenarios, because you are hands on in the situation, getting down and dirty with the subject matter. 

 Consequently friends, it is all well and good to go to church and hear sermons, but most of us, by the time we get in the parking lot have forgotten what the sermon was about, although we clapped and said numerous ‘Amen’s’ during it.’ And that’s no lie! (smile) Now, if we then go home and read up the scripture that the sermon was based on, we’ll have a better idea on what the pastor was talking about. 

But better still, if we sit down and begin to contemplate, meditate, think seriously on those scriptures, then eventually we will really know them. That’s the only way to truly learn the Word my brethren! We need to get totally involved in it, seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, asking Him to talk to our hearts about it, show us how it affects or can be successfully made a part of our lives. 

Please remember friends that scripture is a guideline for our lives, and until we make it such, it will be of no real use to us. Knowing it and not putting it to use is a complete waste of time. We’ll never get ahead until we begin living our earthly lives by the heavenly values found in the Lord’s Word!  

And I have to chuckle here friends, because I’ve been writing all of the above with no thought of what scripture we could use to tie it all together. Then I went looking for something in the Good Book, asking the Lord to show me an appropriate one. For a couple minutes nothing happened; my flipping through the word produced nothing useable…

Then Bingo! It suddenly happened. The light went on, and I knew the perfect scripture for out Bit today! Oh, how can I ever doubt the Lord’s faithfulness eh? He doesn’t always make it easy, but He ALWAYS comes through! And the scripture we’re talking about is when the Lord spoke to Joshua, making him the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt 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.’  

Ah mih people, it couldn’t get any plainer and more straightforward than that nuh! And here it’s the Lord Himself speaking to Joshua; straight from the horse’s mouth as it were, not secondhand info.

And if the Lord thought it important enough for Him to personally tell Joshua about the importance of keeping the Law, then it’s obviously important for us to follow the same path, for therein we too shall be prosperous and have good success. What more needs to be said eh…? Much LOVE!

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

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Well friends let me begin by apologizing for the fiasco that was yesterday’s Bit. I don’t know how and why it really happened but it did, and consequently, in the header, I made the mistake of quoting the Bit as being from Job 17 instead of Job 27. But I do know that you, my astute and well-versed readers would have known exactly where it came from. (smile)

Please excuse the ole fella for that. But I just hate to make mistakes when writing about the Lord’s word. Oh I know He’s forgiven me, so in your godliness, I hope you will too. (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he nobly aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one, which says: ‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.’ And that’s oh so true. 

And it’s well encapsulated in a quote from a Rasta breddren who taught me history in High School eons ago. As he thoughtfully scratched his scraggly beard, with his brogued feet up on the desk, he would ask: ‘What is History? And why do we learn History?’ And His answers were: ‘History is a record of the past, and we learn it so we can understand the present and predict the future.’ 

And especially if you are child of God, you need to be continually questioning and learning and growing in the faith; hopefully moving from glory to glory, becoming more Christ-like everyday! 

And the second quote is like unto the first: (smile) ‘Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay of.’ 

Yeah friends, there are no serious rewards without serious work. As the Good Book says, you reap what you sow. And that’s gospel truth. You can’t put in a little work, or only plant a small crop and expect to reap huge rewards and harvest.

And it doesn’t matter how long you have to work hard before you reap those rewards and harvests either, for as the Lord said to the people of Judah through the prophet Azariah, when they were going through tough times: ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:7) 

And if you don’t believe that, then listen to Bruh David from Psalm 31: ‘O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer.’ (Ps.31:23)

And if you still don’t believe that, (smile) then listen to Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn, and the labourer is worthy of his reward (wages).’ (1 Tim.5:17) So friends, whatever effort we put into our work, that is what we will gain from it. 

And all of that runs smoothly into our third and last quote: ‘The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.’ And wiser words were never spoken in that regard my people! 

Listen to this discourse of Jesus on the subject. ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:15-20) 

Yes my brethren, it’s ever so important how you live, not so much how long you live. And the longer you live, the more good fruit you are expected to bear in Jesus’ realm. And that good fruit must be exposed to the unbelievers so that they can see it and accept Christ themselves.

That’s why Christ also said that we are the salt and light of the earth, and we’re not supposed to hide our lights under a bushel, for what good is flavourless salt or a hidden light eh? None whatsoever! (Matt.5:13-15) 

And we’ll end with this oh so important admonishing of Jesus on that subject. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) Now that friends, is what all we supposed Christians, believers and whatever we call ourselves are supposed to be about. 

But I don’t think we’re doing such a good job; we’re not bearing as much good fruit as we should, or being as flavourful and bright shining to the heathen world! And that’s why Jesus’ LOVE Revolution is faltering; why more people are seemingly leaving it, than joining it. And we just can’t have that my people! 

So today, I implore us to take a good look at ourselves and truly ruminate on the role we are playing in Jesus’ body, where we are falling down, because all of us have faults and foibles, and sincerely make the effort to do better. Let’s take it to God in prayer and ask for His help, for with God’s help, we can all do better! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus means…being flavourful…a bright shining light…and producing good fruit…in this evil, corrupt world…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2018 Psalm 148:5

Psalm 148:5.    Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded and they were created.

Seven days have passed friends, since we last visited the Lord’s sanctuary to refresh our souls and spirits. That means we are due for a refuelling today. 

So let’s all come together, gather in the Lord’s house and fellowship with enthusiasm, hope, faith, praise and worship, while He replenishes, with His word and spiritual touch, the faith we’ve used up this past week. That will enable us to go back out and work diligently and sincerely on His behalf, with a full tank of joy, LOVE, confidence, persistence and peace. 

And all of God’s children declared a loud and thankful: ‘Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And how right we are, to give God the glory for all the magnanimous and magnificent things He’s done for us. 

Now, as always, let’s begin our praise and worship with a favourite old hymn titled ‘All things bright and beautiful.’ It was written by Cecil F. Alexander around 1848. And does it ever celebrate the Lord and His creations in nature. So let’s belt it our now through lips lined with sacrificial praise and hearts filled with enormous LOVE and gratitude to our Maker. 

‘(Refrain: All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.) Each little flow’r that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. (Refrain) 

The purple-headed mountains, The river running by, The sunset and the morning That brightens up the sky.(Refrain) 

The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. (Refrain) The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, To gather every day.(Refrain) 

He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.’

Yeh friends, ALL the beauty we enjoy in nature was made by our heavenly Father, for our enjoyment. Unfortunately though, many of us, including Christians, don’t seem to appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature. 

What can be more beautiful than a golden sunset; a full moon in full glow while stars sprinkle the night sky, or birds singing sweet songs of thanks in the early morning hours as they rise and give praise to their creator. 

Chuh! But we, the most important of God’s creation find it difficult, or even impossible to thank Him for His fatherly goodness and the beauty He’s created to enliven our earthly lives. 

Now we’re going to spend the rest of this message giving Him some of the praise He so worthily deserves. And we’ll begin with Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord – from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps.148:1-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! The Lord commanded everything to be made that was made! Therefore everything that was made, especially man, ought to be constantly singing His praises and admiring His handiwork. And He even went a step further than just creating them: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall never pass.’ (Ps.148:6) Glory to God friends! 

Nothing God has made shall pass away unless He wills it. Therefore ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps (sea creatures): Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: 

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. 

He also exalteth the horn (strength) of his people, the praise of all of his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Oh my people, how awesome is our God eh! I can’t understand why we refuse to exalt and glorify Him the way we should. But this Sunday morning, as we gather to worship Him, let’s begin changing that nuh. Let’s raise up our voices and our hearts in gratitude and tenderness and LOVE and exaltation, so that He can know that we truly appreciate Him and bring a beautiful smile to His face and a glow of warmth to His heart! Much LOVE!

…by the word of the Lord…were the heavens made…and all the hosts of them…by the breath of his mouth… (Ps.33:6)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2017 2 Chronicles 2:5.

2 Chronicles 2:5.   And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.

‘Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush…Here we go round the mulberry bush on a Sunday morning!’ Oh friends, I could not resist the temptation to begin today’s message with that bit of frivolity, once it came into my mind. 

The truth though is that we’re not going round any bush, but we’re on our way to the Lord’s sanctuary this Sunday morning to fellowship with each other, to give praise and thanks for our many blessings and mercies, to hear the Lord’s word and receive His strength and confidence to go out and face the enemy with courage in the upcoming week. 

Wow! What a majestic morning it’s shaping up to be! And yuh know what? Only the believers in Jesus Christ can attest to such a wonderful situation in their lives! That’s why I keep reminding us of the amazing and awesome God we serve! And that’s why I chose this most appropriate hymn, ‘How Great Thou Art’ to open our time of praise and worship.  It was written in the early 20th century by a Swedish writer, Carl Gustav Boberg and translated into English by missionary Stuart K Hine in mid-century.  

So let’s offer up with truthful lips and sincere hearts a genuine sacrifice of praise today, letting our heavenly Father know how much we LOVE and appreciate Him. In loud voice and beautiful harmony now: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)  

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. (Refrain) And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. (Refrain) 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art! Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)’ 

And isn’t that the God awesome truth my brethren! No wonder that hymn has been recognized by several polls over the years as the number one hymn in America. Our God is indeed the GREATEST! Please never forget that! And neither is it a new idea, because Cousin Sol stated it quite plainly many many moons ago in our Bit. ‘And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.’  

Yes friends, that was the unequivocal message he conveyed to Huram, king of Tyre, when asking him to sell him lumber and whatever else he needed to build the Lord’s temple. And I like the verse after our Bit. ‘But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?’ (2 Chr.2:6) 

Ah mih people, our God doesn’t really need a house to live in, because He is the Creator of the universe and all therein, and as Cousin Sol says, even the great heavens can’t contain Him. The houses we build for God are basically for us to get together to worship Him.  And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then listen to the psalmist from Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God. 

‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord:  let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (His possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills (the heights) is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.’ (Ps. 95:1-7)   

Oh friends, those are words of unalterable truth! The Lord God of Hosts is our God; consequently we need to pay Him homage, to exalt His glorious name to all the world. And that is exactly what we are trying to do today, on this His special day, with all the praise and thanksgiving, the honour and the glory, the sincere and heartfelt emotions of LOVE and immense gratitude we’re sending up to heaven on high, as we gather in His sanctuary. 

However friends, let’s be careful now, that our motives are right and our hearts are clean, because God can see right through us, and if we’re being hypocritical, then He’ll just ignore us, despite all our good sounding rhetoric. (smile) Much LOVE!

…the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…He is the One and Only True Living God…

 

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