Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 January 2023 Psalm 127:1a.

Psalm 127:1a.       Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:

And after a somewhat wet and slippery Monday, Tuesday has turned out be of a somewhat indeterminate character; a weak sunshine with cloud cover. My computer terms it haze. (smile) But however it finally turns out, it will be okay once we have Jesus first and foremost in our hearts, minds, souls and bodies. All praise and glory to our wonderful Redeemer! 

Hope we have all been in touch with Him already for the day, asking for His faithful help and guidance through the rough waters of our lives. Please remember my fellow believers that it’s essential, of the utmost importance to begin each and every day with a word of thanks, praise and gratitude to our most worthy Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, if we expect to receive His awesome help on our daily journey. The length of time we spend with Him is not as important as the fact that we do spend time with Him every morning we open our eyes to a new day. 

And as I was just skimming through the Good Library, I came upon this critical verse of scripture re labouring in vain, which I believe is ever so appropriate for these evil and ungodly times on the earth. We all know it, but don’t pay much, or sufficient attention to it. It comes from Psalm 127, A song of degrees for (of) Solomon. And it so rightly says: ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain). It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.’ (Ps. 127:1-2) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Unless we have God in our plans, they will not work the way we want them to. That’s further borne out by these apt words from Psalm 121: ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (to slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper (protector): the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thee from all evil: he shall preserve (keep) thy soul. The Lord shall preserve (keep safe) thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’ (Ps. 121: 1-8) 

Yes friends, that’s the kind of overall protection we get when we involve the Lord God Jehovah in our affairs! But turning back to Psalm 127, the psalmist continues to speak of our futility without God in our daily lives. He says: ‘Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.’ (Ps. 127:3) 

Oh, they certainly are! As Jacob said to his estranged brother Esau when they finally ended their estrangement. ‘And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And he (Esau) lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he (Jacob) said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.’ (Gen. 33: 4-5) 

Now, that’s how we ought to appreciate the children we are granted by God, because there are so many people, right now, and also down through the ages who desperately desired children but could not have any. However, we see how the Lord blessed barren women like, Sarah -Isaac’s mother in her old age (90), (Gen. 21) likewise Hannah – Samuel’s mother when she prayed fervently for a child, (1 Sam.1) and Elizabeth – the mother of John the Baptist, who had been barren for many years. (Luke 1:36) As Psalm 113 tells us: ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home), and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 113:9) 

Oh, isn’t our God wonderful! He certainly is! Then the psalmist goes on to explain God’s reward through children. ‘As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (a warrior); so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.’ (Ps. 127:4-5) Mama Mia! That’s the blessedness of having children my fellow believers! 

And I like how the scholars explain Psalm 127. They say: ‘The principle of this psalm is that all human efforts are in vain unless they have God’s blessing. This principle is applied to 4 areas: building a house (vs. 1a), guarding a city (vs. 1b), working long hours (vs. 2), and having children (vs 3-5). It is possible to accomplish all of these things without God’s blessing, but it is not possible to accomplish them purposefully and with eternal value without God’s blessing. The psalm includes, incidentally, two practical reasons for having children: they bring you joy, and they protect you (vs. 5).’ 

Ah friends, it’s so foolish to try and live this earthly, unknown, anything can happen at any time life without God’s grace and mercy surrounding us. That’s the wisdom of living life; doing it with God, and according to James that’s entirely possible: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.’ (James 1:5-6) 

Unfortunately though, in this ungodly society, many of us are seeking wisdom in the wrong places, and are also big doubters, jumping from one newfangled idea to another, like a bee flits from one flower to the other. There is absolutely no stability in our society right now, as everything seems to be in a state of flux, that’s constant change and drifting without real purpose. And the only antidote for that kind of life, the only stable foundation in this world is Jehovah God, through His Son Jesus Christ. 

Please let’s remember that my fellow saints, as we go about our daily lives, and please let’s make sure that we build those lives on the rock that’s Christ Jesus, so that we can have true stability regardless of what happens in our lives and the world. Now, for those of us trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

Altogether: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

That means we must now go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with those we meet, so that they can come to truly know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…in Christ…the solid rock we stand…all other ground…is simply sinking sand… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ  

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 January 2023   Psalm 127:1a.

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 July 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

Come on friends, it’s time to gather for another Sunday session of praise, worship and thanksgiving! Glory be! Sometimes I just can’t wait for Sunday to come around so we can get together to celebrate the Lord’s Day in high fashion, or low style, (smile) which ever one is more appropriate to our circumstances. 

Yes, there is just something unique and wonderful about a bunch of people from different creeds, cultures and races gathering in one place to enjoy fellowship with each other in the holy presence of our great God Jehovah. And while we give Him thanks and praise, He blesses us, gives us the strength and confidence to go out and face the world like what we truly are – children of God! 

Now, the song to open today’s proceedings is a fairly new one, written in 1970 by Ron Miller and first performed by Stevie Wonder. We’re talking about that soulful number, ‘Heaven Help Us All’, which was very appropriate back then and sadly, is still relevant to our times today. So, let’s get soulful and sincere as we offer up our sacrifices of praise in sweet harmony, in a mid-tempo version, a la Ray Charles and Gladys Knight. 

Singing: ‘Heaven help the boy who never had a home Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone And Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall Lord, won’t you help us all? Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl Heaven help us all. (Chorus: Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call) 

Oh, yeah Heaven help the boy who won’t reach twenty-one And Heaven help the man who gave that child a gun And Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall Lord, won’t you help us all? (Chorus: Heaven help us all…when we call) Gladys – monologue: “I want everybody within the sound of my voice this evening to fall down on their knees and say a prayer; asking for His guidance, His grace, His mercy. You might want to say: Lord, Lord, Lord, have mercy!” 

Now I lay me down before I go to sleep In a troubled world, I pray the Lord, the Lord to keep. Keep hatred from the mighty and the mighty from the small, Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call. We need You Jesus so won’t you hear us when we call. We can’t do without You, so please hear us when we call. Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all, Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call… Heaven help us all…’ 

And my faithful friends, do we ever need a lot of help from heaven in these very evil and calamitous times! Without help from heaven we certainly won’t make it through the dismal and disastrous days that our world is currently undergoing. What with the unprecedented amount of strife and warfare all over the globe, the immense poverty and starvation of billions of people, the poor economic outlook, made even worse by worldwide sickness and disease…

And that’s just some of the manmade stuff. When you add the natural disasters like serious drought and famine, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes that seem to be more prevalent than before, possibly because of climate change, it’s easy to see why we need heavenly help…and quickly too. 

However friends, I don’t believe we will get that heavenly help as quickly as we need it unless we quickly turn back to the God of our forefathers and give up the idols and foolishness that the world sees as valuable. Remember Jesus words, His memorable advice from the Sermon on the Mount? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

Yes my bredrin, the only way to get heaven’s help is by sincerely seeking God and His righteousness. We can’t go worshipping the things of the world and doing the ungodly things the world wants us to do, and expect godly help. But that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re only paying lip-service to God. It reminds me of what the Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah re Israel’s blindness. ‘Wherefore the Lord said, For as much as this people draw me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear (reverence) toward me is taught by the precept of men.’ (Is. 29:13) 

Ah mih people, it’s the same thing we’re doing now that Israel did back then; simply honouring God with our mouth and lips but not our hearts. And our reverence is being ‘taught by the precept of men,’ meaning, as the scholars tell us, it’s ‘merely an intellectual accommodation. For true worship must begin with a proper reverence for God and His Word.’ 

And if we don’t do that, if we don’t wake up to the realities of life asap…then crapaud smoke we pipe. The Lord’s not going to put up with our dalliance with the devil for ever. He might be long-suffering and all that, but at some stage He’s going to say enough is enough, like He did with Israel when they became unfaithful and with so many other proud and foolish nations, who in their prosperity, turned away from Him unwisely believing that their prosperity was their own doing. 

That’s totally wrong my people. It’s the Lord’s goodness and mercy that causes a nation to prosper. And the psalmist tells us in no uncertain terms. ‘Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; Except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.’ (Ps. 127:1) And I believe these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians when he talks about Jesus coming as a thief in the night might just be a good wake up call for us. 

Listen closely please. ‘But ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Thess. 5:4-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, if we are the children of light, then we must behave as such; wake up and seriously and sincerely hold on to the trappings of our faith, and do our best to encourage others to do the same. We already have all we need to do the job, and if heaven sees that we’re serious, heaven will certainly help us. But we need to take the first step to help ourselves. Much LOVE!

…heaven won’t help us…until we start helping ourselves…that’s for sure…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 November 2021 Psalm 50:14.

Psalm 50:14.     Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High:

Well hello there my beautiful Scrip-Bit Family! The grace, peace and LOVE of our great God be upon us this new and exciting day! And it is exciting simply because we are alive and kicking! Could you imagine what we’d be saying if we hadn’t woken up this morning… (smile) I don’t know. But I do know that many of us would not have been happy. Yes, it is good to go to heaven and meet our Saviour, but many of us are just not ready yet, and obviously the Lord isn’t ready for us either, otherwise He would have taken us home. That means He still has important work down here on earth for us to do. 

Therefore, let us declare as the psalmist so appropriately and joyfully did a long time ago…shout it out loud: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) And that should be our motto for each and every day that we draw breath on God’s great and wonderful, though evil and ungodly earth! Yes, friends, with Jesus leading our lives, we ought to be in a joyful mood for most of the day, despite our earthly problems, since He is the Giver and Comforter of our lives. 

And I like how Asaph the psalmist puts it on God’s behalf in Psalm 50 – titled God is the judge. He writes: ‘Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps. 50:14-15) Oh my people those are two of the basic foundational rules of our faith: Praise God and ask Him for help. One leads to the other. We can’t ask for help unless we give Him thanks and praise, adoration and reverence, acknowledging that He’s the Mightiest of the Mighty! 

Now, it won’t do any harm to look at a few scriptures that uphold that contention, would it? (smile) The prophet Hosea said it thus to his people Israel. ‘O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.’ (Hos. 14:2) 

And what does all of that mean. Listen to the scholars. ‘14:1-3. Calves of our lips: The word ‘calves’ (Heb. par, “a young bull or produce”) is best understood metaphorically, referring to the words that lips produce – in this context praise to the Lord. The nation had used its lips to praise the idolatrous calves; now it will use its lips in praise to the Lord God.’ 

But yuh know what? Sadly, that exact same iniquity can be placed at our feet. In the last thirty or so years we have indeed turned from the God of our fathers to idolatrous worship. Nowadays we worship everything from money to men, and yet we expect our society to flourish and prosper. We obviously have forgotten these most important words of Moses to the Israelites. ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut. 8:18) 

And since the Lord our God does not change, it means that that condition still applies to all societies. Yes, societies can seem to get wealthy and opulent, but they never last, because the Good Book tells us in Psalm 127:1. ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh (stays awake) but in vain.’ 

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that. Unless a society stands sincerely and securely on the Word of God, whatever it builds doesn’t last. And we are currently experiencing that awesome truth my brethren. Our society is crumbling fast, and the only thing that can stop it from going to hell in a handbasket is our turning back to the Lord our God. Or, as the author of Hebrews so wisely puts it: ‘By him (Jesus) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.’ (Heb. 13:15) 

Oh my people, that’s the wisest move we can make in these deeply troubled and sorrowful times. And it doesn’t take a lot of wisdom to realize it either, for we have tried everything else and nothing’s working for us, the strife, hatred, anger, sickness and misery are becoming worse every day. The only thing we haven’t yet tried is a return to our roots, to the God we used to reverence, adore and worship not so long ago. And these words of Eliphaz, Job’s supposed friend, when he mistakenly implored Job to repent do serve as a wonderful reminder to us today of what’s to be gained in serving the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Eliphaz said: ‘Acquaint now thyself with him (God), and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles (tents, homes). Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. 

Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defense (gold), and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.’ (Job 22:21-28) 

Oh friends, it’s same basic advice that the Lord gave Joshua and every other prophet to speak unto the people: Honour me and I will make thy way safe and prosperous. But instead, we have chosen to dishonour God, even going so far as to try to get rid of Him from our society. But that‘s only a fool’s pipe dream! The Creator of the universe will never allow His foolish, prideful and arrogant creation to kick Him out of what He created, just like He did not allow that other fool, Lucifer, now known as Satan, the evil one, to kick Him out of heaven. 

So please, let’s wake up, be the wise creation that the Lord boasts of, and realize that our ONLY HOPE is God Almighty. And He is still so good to us, despite our terrible iniquity, because He so dearly LOVES us, that He showers those of us who want to work for Him with magnificent blessings to do that work. But since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s spoken out loud, let’s declare what we call our Thursday Blessings in loud voice to put them into effect. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And the corollary to that, is we now must go out and share all those blessings as generously with others as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord…is the beginning of knowledge…but fools despise wisdom and instruction… (Prov. 1:7) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2021 Psalm 127:1a.

Psalm 127:1a.      Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: 

And then it was a rainy Thursday morning. But oh, does it ever have the earth looking nice and clean! Our great God certainly provided everything for His universe when He created it. In this case, rain to wash it when it gets too mucky and yucky under the unfaithful, uncaring hands of its human occupants. And in like manner, He washes away our sins, though not with water but with the much more potent cleanser; the blood of the holy Lamb, His Son Jesus Christ! 

And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of: ‘Thank You Lord! Thank You for Jesus, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary so that You could wash away our sins with His cleansing blood, forgive us and bring us back into right standing with You!’ 

What an awesome truth that is my brethren! Our souls are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb! Just imagine the magnitude of such an amazing plan nuh…and one that worked…and still works! Only Almighty God could have devised such an out of sight plan, and make it work too. That’s why we praise, worship and LOVE Him with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds! He is indeed worthy of such honour and glory! And it’s also why those words combine to produce the first and greatest commandment of our faith! 

No wonder Cousin Sol could write such splendid words and accolades in Psalm 72: ‘Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever and ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.’ (Ps. 72:18-19) What marvellous and true sentiments in honour of our great God! Only Cousin Sol could pen such glowing statements to the God of his forefathers, especially considering how much He had blessed him. 

And just for interest’s sake, the scholars tell us that Cousin Sol only wrote two psalms, 72 and 127. So let’s turn to the latter nuh, which is superscripted ‘The need of relying on God.’ And it sounds just like the other writings of Cousin Sol; very deliberate and to the point. He opens it thus: ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain). It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.’ (Ps. 127:1-2) 

You could easily think you are reading Proverbs or Ecclesiastes. (smile) But as always, his words contain much truth. And then Cousin Sol turns to the matter of children: ‘Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (a warrior); so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.’ (Ps. 127:3-5) 

Mama Mia! No wonder Cousin Sol was considered the wisest man in the world! He had a wealth of wisdom and knowledge because that’s what he asked the Lord for when he ascended to the throne of his father Bruh David. The Good Book tells us ‘In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God… Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?’ (2 Chr.1:7,9) 

And it pleased the Lord so much that he hadn’t asked for wealth, long life and victory over his enemies, but wisdom and understanding, that He gave him all of it: wisdom, understanding, wealth, long life and victory over his enemies! Wow! That’s how magnanimous our God can be when our words and actions please Him! But getting back to Psalm 127. It is a serious and wise psalm because it highlights the necessity for relying on God for all of our needs. 

The scholars explain it thus: ‘Psalm 127: The principle of this psalm is that all human efforts are in vain unless they have God’s blessing. This principle is applied to four areas: building a house (vs. 1a), guarding a city (vs. 1b), working long hours (vs. 2), and having children (vs. 3-5). It is possible to accomplish all of these things without God’s blessing, but it is not possible to accomplish them purposefully and with eternal value without God’s blessing. The psalm includes, incidentally, two practical reasons for having children: they bring you joy and they protect you (vs. 5).’ 

Now you can’t argue with any of that, although in this evil and godless era there are many children who don’t bring joy to their parents or protect them. But hopefully those are the exception rather than the rule. Ah friends, we are living in very difficult and troubled times, and I feel sorry for those who don’t count Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour because too many are missing out on so much. No peace and joy in their hearts, no hope and promise of salvation and eternal life. 

But all we can do is talk to them about Him, if they allow us, and even more importantly live a life that’s true to His name and ideals. That means we have a lot of important work to do, in probably a very short time. So let’s get right to it nuh. Let’s stop making all kinds of excuses for our laziness and lethargy and pick up the baton of Jesus and run energetically and wisely with it. And to help us do that, He’s granted us so many tools, that we want for nothing to do His earthly work. 

That means it’s time for us to declare our Thursday Blessings. As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

It now becomes our bounden duty to go out and share those awesome blessings, just as generously with others, as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…you can accomplish plenty without God’s blessings…but it won’t last…                                                                                                      

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8