Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 October 2022 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.       God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. 

It’s another beautiful, warm, sunshiny day in paradise friends! Please give thanks that we have been blessed to see it. For no matter how grave and unsurmountable our problems might seem, I’m sure we are all mighty glad that we woke up this morning to have another go at solving them. (smile) And please don’t forget that we follow the greatest problem solver ever, Jesus Christ, He who calms the stormy seas and quiets the howling winds. 

And believe me, if He can quiet the seas and the winds, then He can most certainly handle any of our mortal problems. But first we have to believe that He is able to do it, and then take those problems to Him, for He can’t solve what He doesn’t know we need solving. Oh, in His omniscience He certainly knows our problems, and might solve some of them of His own accord, but in general we need to take them to Him, not just wait on the off chance that He will do it on His own. 

And I guess that’s one of the problems many of us face in these trying times; for whatever reason, we don’t take our problems to Christ, or at best we only take them when we cannot solve them in our own strength. But that’s not wisdom my people. The first place we should take our troubles to is at the feet of Christ, not the last place, like so many of us unwisely do. 

Please remember these strong and encouraging words of the sons of Korah from Psalm 46. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46:1-3) 

Yes friends, our Creator and omnipotent God has all the parts to solve any problems in which we find ourselves immersed. Why not take them to Him eh? And His Word tells us so often, that that’s the very thing to do when troubles arise. So, let’s take a look at some of the many scriptures that encourage us thus nuh, hopefully then we’ll remember and go to God first, the next time we are tried and troubled. (smile) 

Now, these next verses, wise words of Cousin Sol, are ones we all know and claim to LOVE, but obviously don’t sufficiently put into action, otherwise our problems would not be as overwhelming as they are. He wisely advises us to: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

And if we truly believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then that is Scripture 101! It’s the very essence, the very purpose of believing. Yes, you ought to trust and surrender your life to the one you claim to believe in, otherwise believing is just a figment of your imagination. And sadly, it’s that way with many of us supposed believers, because we only talk a good talk, but don’t walk it, and continue to live our lives in our own strength…until the heifer dust hits the fan. Then we run crying to God to fix it, and expect Him to do it, and do it immediately too! 

Oh, what a bunch of sad, hypocritical ingrates we are my people! That’s why our lives and our world is so messed up. And why shouldn’t it be eh, when some of us are trying to push God out of His own creation, while some of us who claim to believe are not walking in true faith, not doing what true faith calls for, either sitting on the fence or happily fornicating with the enemy. What we unfortunately lack is unity, true unity, not just talk unity. And where there is no unity, there cannot be peace or prosperity, only confusion, strife, and all the negative problems those things bring. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul so painstakingly advised us in his letter to the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Yes my brethren, if we desire true peace in our souls, then we have to begin by taking EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to God in prayer! And it doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, significant or insignificant. Once it’s in our lives, then it’s also a concern of our God, for He is interested in EVERYTHING that goes on in our lives. 

Why do you think the Lord caused the prophet Isaiah to write to his people in the time of their trouble: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is. 41:10) And why do you think Peter wrote these wise words to the early believers? ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) 

Yes my people, our Creator, our God, our heavenly Father indeed cares for us, else why would He send his sinless Son, Christ Jesus to die on the cross of Calvary to save our sinful souls eh? But we must take what He says and what He expects of us seriously, meaning be obedient to His Word, to His dictates. It’s foolish to expect to be disobedient, yet blessed with divine attention. And when we talk about our God so intently caring for us, how can one get any more explicit and understanding than these comforting words of Jesus from His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) 

Oh my fellow saints, that says it all! Jesus is the answer to ALL of our problems, for EVERYTHING in our lives! And until we get that straight in our hearts and minds, and begin truly behaving in the appropriate manner, our trials and tribulations will continue to perplex and discombobulate us. Anyhow, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Jesus, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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!’ 

Now, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…true trust and surrender are not found in mere talk…but in sincere, heart-felt action… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ             

Advertisement

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 January 2022   1 John 5:5.

1 John 5:5.     Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.

So this is what they call a winter wonderland eh? The white snow spread all over, with ice in between, and try as you can, you cannot get away from either of them. (smile) But last weekend’s major snow storm, with high winds and a dash of rain, plus a tornado down in the U.S, really mash up North America. It showed our frailties and weaknesses, as well as our unpreparedness for the mighty onslaught of Mother Nature, whenever she desires to pay us a powerful visit. And when you add the negative effects the Covid-19 storm has already caused, you can’t help but wonder what’s next, and how much more we can stand? 

But you know what friends, we have an answer for that. We can withstand a whole lot more! How, you ask? Because we have Jesus, that’s how! For He ‘is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea.’ (Ps. 46:1-2) 

Yes my fellow believers, in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, through His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, we have the sure and safe rock of salvation to whom we can take all our troubles, and find a reassuring place of refuge under His mighty wings. We don’t need anything or anyone but our Jesus, both in the good and bad times! 

And to open today’s worship, with mostly electronic gatherings, because of the Covid restrictions,  we are going to raise our rooves, that’s figuratively now (smile) with an African American spiritual that goes by several names, including: “Down by the Riverside”, Ain’t Gonna Study War No More” and “Gonna lay down my burden.” For our purposes today though, we’ll call it ‘Gonna Lay Down my burdens.’  

The Wikipedia website tells us that ‘Its roots date back to before the American Civil War, though it was first published in 1918 in Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland, Chicago, by the Rodeheaver Company… The song was first recorded by the Fisk University Jubilee Quartet in 1920 (published by Columbia in 1922), and there are at least 14 black gospel recordings before World War II… Because of its pacifistic imagery, “Down by the Riverside” has also been used as an anti-war protest song, especially during the Vietnam War. It is also included in collections of socialist and labor songs.’ 

Wow! What an all-purpose song! And just like it has several different titles and versions, it also ‘has many lyrical variations, though usually, each stanza follows a standard form, with one sentence that differs from one stanza to the next.’ And for our purposes today (smile), here’s what we’re gonna sing, in an up-tempo, scintillating, modern contemporary style, with plenty music, dancing and joy, a la the Craig Adams version, as befits a soul that truly declares: 

‘I’m gonna lay down my burdens down by the riverside Down by the riverside down by the riverside Oh I’m gonna lay down my burdens down by the riverside Ain’t gonna study war no more Well I ain’t gonna study war no more ain’t gonna study war no more Ain’t gonna study war no more I ain’t gonna study war… I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside Down by the riverside down by the riverside I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside Ain’t gonna study war no more Well I ain’t gonna study war… I ain’t gonna study war…ain’t gonna study war no more. 

I’m gonna put on my long white robe, down by the riverside, gonna put on my long white robe down by the riverside Ain’t gonna study war no more Well I ain’t gonna study war no more ain’t gonna study war no more Ain’t gonna study war no more I ain’t gonna study war… I’m gonna try on my starry (golden) crown down by the riverside Down by the riverside down by the riverside I’m gonna try on my starry (golden) crown down by the riverside Ain’t gonna study war no more Well I ain’t gonna study war…I ain’t gonna study war…Ain’t going to study war no more.’ 

That was marvellous my people! And according to Wikipedia, ‘The song suggests baptism in water, using the metaphor of crossing the River Jordan to enter the Promised Land in the Old Testament. The refrain of “ain’t gonna study war no more” is a reference to a quotation found in the Book of Isaiah 2:4: “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”  

Now, if we could only truly lay down our burdens at the feet of Jesus, at the foot of His cross, where He pleads with us through His Great Invitation to ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden (burdened), and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

And that is indeed the greatest invitation ever meted out to mankind my brethren! But sadly, too many of us unwisely refuse to accept it, when it’s simple acceptance can radically change our entire lives… for the better that is! It’s all about joy and peace in Jesus despite the troubles of the world. Listen to how John puts it in his first gospel nuh. 

‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.’ (1 John 5:3-5) 

Oh my people, it could not be said any plainer or simpler. Only those who believe in Christ Jesus, who have a strong relationship with Him, and who obey His commandments can overcome the world, can truly lay down their burdens by the riverside! That’s the long and short of it all! 

So please, let’s take all that we’ve said to day and sincerely and seriously ponder it nuh, and make the necessary changes in our individual lives, so that we can truly become one of those saints of Christ, who truly accept His invitation, and gratefully lay down our burdens at His redeeming cross. That’s the wisest decision we can ever make in this life, and it will definitely go a long way in deciding where we spend the next one!  Much LOVE!

…only through Christ…can earthly burdens…be truly laid down… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2016 Psalm 46:1

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

One more day friends, just one more day, and then we’ll all have the short rest we so badly crave… 

But unbeknownst to me, the word had already been spread that it was Friday, and the joyful shouts all around the place were deafening. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes mih breddren! Hurrah for the weekend, when we do our own thing! No more massa and his slave labour to worry about for two, whole big days! Thank God for Fridays yes mih people!’ 

And so it went on. The working people were surely glad to have a couple days off from what has become pure drudgery in this supposed enlightened and advanced world. 

Just the commuting alone; twice a day, five days a week, in the ever-increasing traffic jams is enough to cause untold stress. It’s a wonder we don’t find more people just dead from heart attacks while sitting in the stifling and irritating traffic jams. 

Anyway my Christian friends, that’s where the patience and long-suffering of our Christian belief comes in. (smile) Now let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a fine perspective on how to spend our weekends. All together now: ‘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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the route we ought to follow if we expect to be bright and fresh and reinvigorated on Monday morning. 

Now here’s an interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is titled: ‘You Did All The Rest.’ 

And it says: ‘O Lord God! I did what You asked me to do: I just opened windows Wide… Wide… And You did all the rest! You poured into my heart A blessed, blissful contentment. You saturated my mind With gigantic thoughts of You. 

You struck an artesian well within me Until sheer joy sprang forth. You led me out of the valley of despair Into a succession of incredible happenings. Problems which seemed insurmountable Melted like wax before my eyes. Fears faded away like threatening clouds. 

You startled me You amazed me With the glory of Your revelation. It is true Gloriously true – I have literally walked and breathed with God. I just opened windows Wide… Wide… God, You did all the rest!’ 

Oh my fellow believers isn’t that truly beautiful? It surely is! And the awesome thing about it is that it’s also gospel truth! For that’s how we feel when we sincerely look to and patiently wait on Jesus. 

In His time He opens doors and provides opportunities and gives us our heart’s desires and just fills our souls with His joy and peace, like we never thought possible. 

And the Bible Promise for that writing is our Bit. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.’ 

And if that is true, then this corollary from the sons of Korah, the psalmists, obviously applies: ‘Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3) 

Yes friends, let’s just sit and ponder that for a moment nuh. If our God is all that we claim Him to be, then we shouldn’t be afraid of anything that happens in our world. Unfortunately though, it’s not the way it happens in real life. Too many Christians live afraid and anxious lives, despite the assurance of God. 

What does that say about us eh? That although we talk the good talk, deep down we’re still not as strong and faithful as we ought to be. That we have not truly or fully surrendered our hearts, minds, bodies and souls to our Creator, and we don’t trust and obey Him like we ought to. 

But yuh know what friends, our wonderful God knows our weaknesses and our frailties because He made us, and despite it all, He still LOVES us with that unimaginable, unconditional, never-ending LOVE of His. 

And all God’s people shouted a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory to God! Praise His Holy Name! May He reign for ever and ever!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, once we’re doing our sincere best to follow and be obedient to Almighty God, there’s no need to worry. He will undoubtedly stand beside us and help us along our pilgrim’s way. 

Now let’s end with some of Bruh David’s thoughts on the subject from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation. ‘My soul, (silently) wait thou only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). 

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

Oh my brethren, that says it all! It’s up to us now to put all of that into action, if we desire to see better days both down here on earth and in heaven. Much LOVE!

…if the omnipotent God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our God…then there’s absolutely no need for believers to be afraid…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2015 Psalm 46:1

 Psalm 46:1.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in time of trouble.

Well Friends, Monday morning is here, time to get up and get rolling! Let’s hope that yesterday’s celebration of Mother’s Day wasn’t too incapacitating, and consequently you’re shaking it somewhat rough this morning. (smile)

I sincerely hope that Mothers all around the world were suitably revered and appreciated, but please, please, let’s keep up that adoration, respect and affection all the year round nuh. It doesn’t have to be with physical gifts, but simply spending more time than usual with them, more phone calls or visits and nicer words when they tell us something we don’t like.

Most mothers don’t want anything from their children but simple appreciation, in whatever form they can manifest it. So let’s try and do that nuh, for then we’ll be keeping one of God’s major commandments and also buoying the spirits of our mothers throughout the year, rather than one day in the month of May. We would all be much happier too, for the LOVE of Christ would then be truly spread abroad.

However, it’s now time to face the outside world once again, so let’s get the show on the road by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and gusto as we can manage.

Altogether now: ‘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!’

Ah Friends, that rendition wasn’t so hot this morning nuh. You could hear the crustiness and hoarseness in the voices as a result of too much partying yesterday. (smile) But we won’t let that stop us from going out and facing the music, the ungodly clamour of the unruly heathen, for Jesus is our most able Field General and goes before us.  

And furthermore, in the encouraging and uplifting words of our Bit, the Sons of Korah truthfully proclaim: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in time of trouble.’

Oh my people, my people, those awesome words of wisdom and absolute truth ought to just lift our spirits and have us walking around like Superman; being able to do every and anything in the strength, power and majesty of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! (smile)

And somebody says, ‘Hold down brother, hold down. Don’t get carried away now.’ But Friends, that’s not getting carried away, but simply acknowledging the facts of this life. We can indeed do any and everything though Christ Jesus who strengthens us. The Good Book says that, (Phl.4:13) and the Good Book doesn’t lie.

So please let’s get excited and stirred up by the Holy Spirit which indwells us, as we go out there to face the traffic jams, the bad weather, the rude and ungodly co-workers, or whatever comes against us today! That’s the ardent desire of our Leader, Jesus Christ.

And since God is our refuge and strength, then like the Sons of Korah continue: ‘Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3)

Oh my brethren, those positive words just raise the level of faith and belief in my soul, and I hope they do in yours too. For you know our major problem in this life is the thing we call fear; technically speaking, the opposite of faith. But as Bruh Paul so wisely and truthfully told Timothy; ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7)  

Oh what inspirational words of gospel truth!  And shouldn’t that just have us fighting fit and ready to have a go at the enemy, anytime? It surely should my brethren. With the omnipotent Creator of the universe on our side, we shouldn’t be afraid of anything or anybody! 

And we’ll end with this uplifting warning from Jesus. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28)

And my people, the good news is that only Almighty God, our heavenly Father has the power to kill our souls and send us to Hades. So if we obey Him, we won’t have to be worried about that. Now let’s go out there and do brave battle for and with Jesus, because that’s what He expects of His loyal followers. Much LOVE!

…there’s no need to fear anything at all…because you and all-powerful God are a majority…