Todays Scrip-Bit 13 November 2018 Psalm 145:1.

Psalm 145:1.   I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
 

Oh friends I don’t want to get you all into the bad habit of expecting the Bit this early every day, so please look on this as a simple aberration. (smile) But I have to go into the big city of Toronto for a couple of medical appointments this morning, which means I won’t be back till late this afternoon, and I don’t want it to be too late either. 

Not to worry though, for this morning we’ll be in full ‘Celebration’ mode with the poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So let’s get to it without any further talk nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘When I think of Your lavish goodness The longings You’ve satisfied The forgiveness You’ve granted The promises You’ve kept When I think of Your irresistible LOVE Your ceaseless care Your unfailing protection…

O Lord God I want to raise flags And fly banners And sound bugles I want to run with lighted torches And praise You From the mountaintop I want to write symphonies And shout for joy. I want to throw a festive party For ten thousand guests. I want to celebrate with streamers And bright lights And an elaborate banquet… Fine dear child. I’m ready.’ 

Oh friends, when you think of God’s great goodness and LOVING-kindness towards you, don’t you just want to jump for joy and shout it from the mountaintops? I surely hope so, else you would not be truly grateful for all the care, protection, forgiveness, protection, etc. etc. that our wonderful God has so undeservedly bestowed on us. 

And I just LOVE God’s answer to all our joyful celebrations: ‘Bring it on! I’m ready to celebrate!’ And don’t think that the Lord doesn’t like to party nuh, just think about all the celebrations that go on in heaven…especially when one lost sheep is found and/or saved. Brother! The whole of heaven erupts with joy and gladness! 

In all seriousness though my people, we ought to celebrate God’s inimitable, limitless, unparalleled goodness every day that we draw breath on this His marvellous creation called earth. Because without it, our lives would have been so much more miserable and worthless, and difficult and calamitous than they currently are. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; these marvellous words of praise from Bruh David: ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.’ Yes my fellow believers, that’s how we ought to conjure up thanks and praise for Almighty God! 

And hear how Bruh David continues nuh: ‘Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps.145:2-3)

And is it ever my brethren! Just like His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, so is His goodness and LOVING-kindness outside the realm of our puny and finite minds! That’s why we need to continually and continuously show our thanks and gratitude for His unlimited grace, mercy and forgiveness. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of (meditate on) the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.’ (Ps.145:4-5) Now that’s where this generation has not come up to scratch my fellow believers! 

We have certainly not praised God’s goodness and His mighty works to our children in the new generation as much as ought to have done! That’s why they are so lost and wandering all over the place, falling for any nonsense with which some false teacher or preacher fills their ears. Remember, if we don’t teach them right at home, somebody will be able to teach them wrong out in the great big, evil world in which we now dwell. 

Oh friends, unfortunately we’ve taken the wrong road and attitude to our children. I guess because we had it somewhat hard and the Good Book and church were sometimes driven into us, we subconsciously, or otherwise, rebelled against that method of raising children, and went to the other extreme, being overly soft, sparing the whip and spoiling the child, which is even worse. And now we lament the poor fruits that our insincere labour has borne. 

Remember, the human animal only appreciates stuff and grows in maturity when it experiences tough times. And I daresay that our children of this generation have not experienced enough tough and godly times, otherwise they would have been way more appreciative of the good life they’ve had. And we don’t have anyone but ourselves to blame. 

Yuh think I wanted to go to church every Sunday morning and Sunday School every Sunday afternoon? Certainly not! But I had to go. And it eventually stood me in good stead; if nothing else, I knew right from wrong, which a lot of our children don’t know.

Anyway my people, it’s not too late to try and instill some godly virtues in our children, for as they say, while there is life, there is hope. So let’s see what amends we can make in the time we have left nuh. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. And I have to laugh because there is some reason that I keep spelling ‘declaring’ wrong…Oh I spelled it right there. (smile)

Now in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose: ‘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 the world.  Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share that wonderful LOVE of Jesus with someone else nuh! Much LOVE!

…if the LOVE of Jesus truly dwells in is…then we’ll automatically want to share it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2018 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 1:7.    That the (genine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.
 

Ah friends, life can be so unfair at times eh! Chuh! For the past two weeks I was waking up to bright sunshine, blue skies, aquamarine surf rolling up on the shores, and tall coconut tress swaying gently in the cool North East Trade Winds, with refreshing island talk drifting up to my room. 

But all of a sudden, I got up this morning and looking out my bedroom window, somewhat cloudy skies, multihued trees and a set of dead brown leaves on the cold looking grass shockingly greeted my sleepy eyes. It certainly brought my system to a standstill. (smile) 

But there was one redeeming feature; my neighbour has a tall tree in his backyard, don’t ask me what kind, and it is covered in golden yellow leaves from head to foot! It looks real beautiful, could be a wonderful poster tree for the colourful fall season. 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella is back home, dressed in his old red spring jacket, sitting in his old chair before his aged desktop, and writing much more comfortably than I did for the last two weeks on my laptop in J.A. But that vacation has been enshrined in the top ones that the duchess and I have taken. 

It definitely is not number one. That place of honour permanently resides in one we took some fifteen to twenty years ago, in the same Jamaica, but we stayed in a town house somewhere down in the Parish of Trelawney. And brother, the things we did; climbing Dunns River falls, rafting down the White River and numerous other tours. 

But I guess the highlight was boating up some river in the night with flambeaus, flaming torches all around, and drums beating in the distance, going to a night time barbecue somewhere along the river bank. Sorry, don’t ask me any more, because it seems I was totally wasted that night. (smile) The things we do when we are young eh! 

But in my maturity and brokenness, I was still able to do one amazing feat; walk up the winding, dangerous nature trail to the Blue Hole Waterfall, and then walk back down in my flip-flops. And I would indeed be foolish to take all the credit, or rather any of it, because it was the Lord who carried me back and forth on His strong, massive, magnificent shoulders. 

If I had known what it was like before attempting it, I doubt I would have done so. So please give the Lord all the glory, because in my weakness, His grace and strength were more than enough to see me through. Glory to the wonderful Deity we serve! 

And on that note of thanksgiving, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that certainly describes my life in the past couple of years. It’s titled ‘Don’t Stop Lord.’ Please pray with me. ‘Lord In asking You to make me whole I certainly didn’t know What I was in for. You have ransacked me Until I sometimes feel There is nothing left. But don’t stop Lord Please don’t stop! I’m trusting that the product Will be worth the process.’ 

Yes mih breddren, when I asked the Lord for healing, I surely didn’t know the paces He would put me through. And if I had known, I can’t say for sure that I would have asked for it. But since we’ve come so far, it’s too late to turn back now. And even if I don’t feel like crying out to Him to continue, the wise and sensible thing to do is let Him finish the renovations and refurbishment, because as Bruh Paul confidently told the Philippians: 

‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) Yes my brethren, once the Lord begins working in us, He never stops until the job is done, even if it takes till Jesus’ Second Coming. So please don’t ever give up on Him! 

And the Bible Promise for the poem above is also our Bit. ‘That the (genuine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.’ 

Oh friends, the Lord puts us through some tough trials to simply test our faith, to see how committed we truly are to Him. But He only does it for a ‘season,’ a short time. And if we stand strong and steadfast, He will bring us out of the testing fire, stronger, purer and more mature, like when gold and silver are burnished. 

As James says: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.’ (James 1:2-3) And patience, re perseverance, is something ALL believers need to acquire, and sadly, it cannot be acquired without going through tough times. 

So please friends, let’s all try and bear up under whatever adversity comes against us, knowing that our ever-faithful God will not give us more than we can handle, and in any case will help us through the fire and the flood. And it’s going home time, so let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In unison now: ‘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 the world.  Amen!’ 

And to be true to our word, let’s go out now and share the wonderful LOVE and compassion of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus is not easy…but praise the Lord…it is certainly very rewarding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2018 Matthew 5:13a & 14a.

Matthew 5:13a & 14a.     Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…
 
And Saturday has dawned somewhat cloudy, chilly and damp from early evening drizzle. And in Mother Nature’s eccentric way, a lot of the trees that only two days ago I said were surprisingly still green, are now almost all golden yellow. She’s delivered the final message; it’s time to buckle down for the cold winter months ahead. And we, people of God, should also be heeding Mother Nature’s missive, because I believe we’ll be in for some rather tough times in the near future. 

And talking about tough times, I was negligent in mentioning Hurricane Michael that devastated parts of Florida a couple days ago. It came up suddenly, did, it’s dirty work and was gone again. Please let’s pray for those unfortunate people, and do whatever else we can to help them. But that might just be the pattern of natural disasters, or really any kind of disaster that might soon befall us. 

You’ll notice how disasters of all kinds have happened all over the world this year with surprising regularity. I don’t want to read too much into it, but friends, if we are wise, we will at least suspect the hand of our omnipotent God somewhere about in them, sending us a warning, to repent from our sinful ways. 

I don’t know if the world has ever been this evil, adding to the fact that we’re trying so desperately to oust God from our society. Do you think He’ll just sit quietly by and let it happen? I doubt it. But that’s just a word of warning to the wise. 

And since today is Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And first up is this: ‘All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.’ I’m not so sure about that nuh. 

Yes, life is indeed experimental; you have to try stuff to see if it works for you. But I truly wonder if the more experiments we try, the merrier, or better off we are? I think at some stage, when we find our true calling, that the experimenting must either cease or slow down. 

Then there is this: ‘A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.’ Now that’s basically true, but some will need a definition of wasting time before they agree, since to them doing nothing, is not always a waste of time, sometimes it can be a means of refreshing and renewing oneself. But generally speaking, just letting time fly by, and it does fly by, without doing positive and productive stuff, even if it’s simply regenerating oneself, isn’t a wise way to use it. 

Now hear this quote: ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ That makes sense. We can’t afford to be moving too often from top to bottom, because that just saps the energy and spirit of our souls. We need to try and establish a nice balance between the good times and the rough times, plus don’t stay down too long, or fly too high before we develop wings. (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.’ 

Now that is gospel truth my brethren! We were not placed down here to merely survive, to go about like ‘poor me ones,’ but to be salt and light and magnificent examples to the unbeliever: in other words to be excellent ambassadors of Christ. As Jesus so adamantly stated in His famous Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth… Ye are the light of the world…’ 

Yes friends, that’s what Christ’s followers are expected to be; full of vim and vigour, showing their excellence in all matters, leading the parade in His name! Now are we leading the parade in Jesus’ name, my fellow believers? I don’t think so nuh, otherwise the evil-doers would not be having the upper hand in the world today, and we’d not be trying like hell to kick Christ out of our society. 

That just shows we’re not on top of things. We seem to be more like how Christ described flavourless salt: ‘but if the salt has lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men’ (Matt.5:13b) Likewise: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14b-15)  

Now if those two negative situations Jesus describes are true of us in these trying times, then it doesn’t speak well of us my believing brethren. And sadly, there is a whole lot of truth to it! Our efforts for Christ are simply not up to scratch; there are too many divisions, too much petty resentment and feuding between so-called believers, plus too much compromise with the heathen, and too much of just sitting on our laurels and figuring everything will just work itself out for good. 

No friends, winning souls for Christ, and the world for His LOVE Revolution WILL not happen without our saltiness and light blaring forth, dazzling the entire world! 

Now listen to Jesus final words on the 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) 

Yes friends, that’s how true believers ought to be behaving, so that God can be glorified! Remember that’s our chief mission here on earth! So let’s pull up our socks and go out and do better for Jesus nuh mih breddren! Don’t you feel bad that we’re letting the world blaspheme His holy name and kick Him around like a bloody football, after all He’s done for us? We ought to! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not flavouring the world with your saltiness…and dazzling them with your light…then you’re a poor ambassador for Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2018 Matthew 14:31a.

Matthew 14:31a.   O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Well mih people, our gracious and generous God has granted us dominion over another beautiful day on Planet Earth, so let’s show our wisdom and rejoice and be glad in it nuh! But please note we’re not expected to just sit on our already large fannies and do nothing but rejoice, but even more importantly to work diligently and excellently in furthering God’s glorious heavenly kingdom. 

And to enable us to do Jesus’ work, today we want to share lots of informational wisdom with you, beginning with this bon mot from George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950), the famous Irish playwright, critic, polemicist, and political activist. And George wisely declares: ‘Life is not a “brief candle.” It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.’ 

Glory be mih breddren! That’s exactly what our God expects of us. We ought to run our earthly race with plenty salt and bright light, so that others can vividly see it and hopefully touch their hearts. Then, when our race is run, we can turn it over to them like a relay runner turns over the baton, so that they can keep on running the glorious race that glorifies Jesus and brings the lost and unfortunate to Him for comfort and care. 

Mama Yo! What wonderful ambassadors we can be for our Lord and Saviour, if we’d only put our all into it! That brings us to this plea to our heavenly Father taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘Immediately.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord I’m so tired of living In my little cramped vessel – So weary of dangling my feet in the water But never stepping out of the boat. I want to walk the waves with You Just as Peter did. True, he only took a few steps Before losing his courage But at least he was heading toward You. Lord, I’m coming, too! If I begin to falter or sink I trust You to catch me Just as You caught Peter. Remember, Lord? You caught him immediately.’ 

Oh friends, even when we try to be brave and courageous, deep down we still doubt the LOVE and caring and faithfulness of our heavenly Father. And He says, somewhat miffed: ‘Chuh! What kind of talk is that eh mih chile? Why do you even think that I will let you sink if you are coming to me?’ 

No my fellow believers, our wonderful God will NEVER let us sink into the morass or mire if we are sincerely seeking Him! Why would He ever do such an ungodly thing eh, when all He wants is to take us under His wing and guard us from the evil one? 

And the incident with Peter walking on water exemplifies what we’re talking about. He steps out of the boat boldly and confidently and is walking towards Jesus like a man on a mission. ‘But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.’ (Matt.14:30) 

Oh my people, so many of us are like that; we start out with courage and faith, but when the tough times come, we crumble and begin to sink back into the mire from which we’re trying to extricate ourselves. But have no fear, our Jesus is there, is ALWAYS there to rescue us from our failing faith. 

Listen as the story with Peter continues. ‘And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

Yeh friends, oftimes our faith fails us, but that is not a crime, or anything to be ashamed of. Jesus knows our frailty and our weaknesses, and He is just thrilled to know that we want to come to Him, and will help us to do just that, in spite of all our shortcomings. Glory Be mih people! How can we want a better Lord and Saviour and King than that eh? 

However friends, our earnest desire should be to let our faith fail us as little as possible, which means we have to concentrate on growing it, becoming mature in the things of God. And the only way to do that is by reading and studying and meditating on God’s Word, by having constant communication with Him through prayer, by fellowshipping with other believers and by sincerely trying to live the life He has prepared for each and every one of us. 

Only then can we avoid Jesus asking us why our faith is so small. (smile) But remember too that maturing in the faith is an ongoing process, it doesn’t happen overnight, but as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) says, ‘It doesn’t matter how far we’ve got to go, it’s how far we’ve come from.’ In other words it’s not where we were yesterday, but where we’ll be tomorrow. And if we do what’s required of us, then we’ll ALL be further along that continuum of faith… when tomorrow dawns. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts now: ‘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 the world.  Amen!’ 

And if that’s true, then let’s go out and share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus with the world, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…to truly show our LOVE for Jesus…we must generously and unselfishly share…ALL that He is…with others…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well friends, it’s somewhat cloudy outside on this Saturday morning, but that’s no reason to think we won’t eventually have another glorious day. Technically it’s spring, but does it ever feel like summer. Last night I had to get up and change my T. shirt because I woke up with it soaking wet, even though my bedroom window was wide open. Please note, I’m not complaining, just making a point (smile). I will take that situation over the winter cold any day. 

Unfortunately though, the Big Island of Hawaii is experiencing more heat than an ordinary summer because the volcano just keeps bubbling and releasing lava down its slopes. Houses have now been swallowed up by the molten rock and people are being evacuated, as it doesn’t seem to be easing up. 

I guess the good thing is that it hasn’t erupted with full force spewing its molten guts all over the place. At least this way there is time to evacuate residents who are in immediate danger. Let’s keep on praying for them. 

And today being Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes that we received from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is certainly amusing. ‘If you think Education is expensive, try ignorance.’ But nonetheless it’s true! At least with education you have some idea what it’s all about, but with ignorance, you’re completely lost. 

Now here is an important one. ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ And is that ever true friends! Inferiority is something we allow or bring on ourselves. No matter how much someone else may think they are better than us, because of their wealth, power, or social position, it only holds true if we believe it too. 

So please stop thinking you’re inferior to ANYONE! NO child of God is inferior to any other! We were all made the same way and for the same purpose by Almighty God and He LOVES us all unconditionally, regardless of our circumstances or behaviour! 

And the next quote wisely advises: ‘Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.’ Ah mih people, the first sentence is paramount: ‘Never give up.’ As followers of Jesus we are not supposed to do that because giving up does not exist in His vocabulary. 

He sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be saved, our sins forgiven, and that we’d be imbued through the work of His Holy Spirit with whatever we need to face the rigours of this world. 

And Jesus didn’t mince words, He told us that we’d face persecution and tough times simply because we believed in Him, but that He had already overcome the world, so we had no need to fear or worry, just keep on keeping on in His name! That means to keep on hoping, which makes our last quote invaluable: 

‘Hope is the most exciting thing there is in life!’ Glory to God my people, that is gospel truth! Without hope we have nothing to look forward to. But with hope, we have everything to look forward to and dream about! With hope in our hearts, ANYTHING is possible, especially if we are believers in Jesus, the ONE who can do ANYTHING! 

And there are a couple of expressions about hope that I just LOVE: ‘the first talks about ‘hungry hope, and the second, about ‘prisoners of hope.’ Mama Mia! And as true followers of Jesus we need to possess the first and be one of the latter, if we want to lead a successful earthly life working for Jesus. And the thing about hope friends is its power to bring expectancy, joyful expectancy to our lives. 

And there are so many passages of scripture that deal with hope that we only have time and space for a few. First, check out our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s the greatest hope we can ever have; to spend eternity with Christ, because He rose from the dead, we too shall rise to life eternal! 

And then there is this famous passage from Bruh Paul to the Roman church, which we all know. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) That’s the power of hope friends, believing without seeing, then keeping on in eager expectation of its eventual arrival. 

And we’ll close with these encouraging words of Bruh David from Psalm 16. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my faithful brethren, this Saturday morning, I implore us, if the Lord is at our right hand, then let’s be filled with hungry hope and be strong prisoners of hope nuh! And consequently, let our hearts be glad and rejoice in the glory of our great God, and rest, dwell securely in His hope. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…the world says…seeing is believing…but God says…hoping and believing is true seeing…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2018 Psalm 40:3.

Psalm 40:3.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s time once again for the weekly refuelling of our spirits at God’s fuelling station, His sanctuary! Praise the Lord! We all can use that refuelling as the world and the enemy have certainly put us through our paces this past week and thus our spirits are low on fuel. That’s why we are coming in droves to church; to hear His word, sing praises to His holy name, fellowship with each other, and consequently refill our spiritual tanks, so that we can face the world with confidence and courage this upcoming week. 

And as we’re wont to do, let’s open with a hymn of praise, an old favourite, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ It was written by one Johnson Oatman (1856-1922), born near Medford, New Jersey. And it’s said that he wrote over three thousand hymns, which means that ‘no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Glory be mih people! Three thousand hymns are a lot of hymns yes! Wonder where he found time to write them all, especially when he was apparently a local preacher, a businessman with his father and an Insurance Agent? The important thing though is that he penned this one that we know and LOVE so much. Let’s belt it our now with sacrificial praise from our lips, and while doing that, see how many blessings we can also count. (smile) 

As one harmonic choir now: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by. (Refrain) When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy] Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain) 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {* And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.)’

Oh faithful followers of Christ, if we truly sit down and count the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us because of Jesus, will we ever be surprised! Why? Because they are so plentiful. Some of them we don’t even notice, they’ve been around for so long, that we now take them for granted. But please remember that everything in this world belongs to God, and it’s only through His wonderful generosity, mercy and grace that we can enjoy the good things that we do enjoy. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.’ Yes friends, it is an appropriate scripture for this morning. Having counted our blessings and finding so many, it’s only natural that a new song of praise to our heavenly Father will rise up in our hearts and souls! 

And Bruh David follows up our Bit with this other momentous verse: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Ps.40:4) What an awesome statement of indisputable truth! That’s the best way to receive blessings from Almighty God, both down here on earth and put aside some in heaven for eternal life. 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph.1:3) Ah mih people, the Lord has blessings stored up for us in heaven, all done through the work of Christ. That’s why Bruh Paul also advised us: ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) 

And the scholars add this explanation. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, we know it’s not always easy to look up in the tough times and give thanks, but please remember what Jesus has done for us, and that it’s only through and because of him, the Father is showering so many wonderful blessings on us. And with His help, we can do ALL things. As Bruh Paul so succinctly put it: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

And we’ll close with these words from the sons of Korah in Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12) That says it all friends! Much LOVE!

…he who has an ear…let him hear what the scripture says…

 

 

 

 

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