Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 May 2022 Ephesians 4:26-27.

Ephesians 4:26-27.      Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.

And then it was Thursday; bright, sunny and refreshing. But who knows if it’s going to remain like that all day though, because the weather has been so topsy turvy recently. Yes, would you believe that after all the rain yesterday morning, by afternoon it turned into a beautiful, warm, sunny day! And it’s certainly a good thing that we have Jesus and His Holy Spirit, who never change, to keep us smiling and level headed in the face of all the turbulence in our world and our weather! 

That’s why we can say: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) And isn’t that a marvellous situation to be in? It most certainly is! So please give our magnificent Lord and Saviour some thanks and praise for His steadfastness and awesome faithfulness despite our whining and complaining ways. (smile) And it’s sad to know that these days, in our Western world, we’ve become unholy complainers despite the numerous amenities that surround us. 

Regardless of how much we have, we never seem to be satisfied, but are always seeking more, and seeking it more quickly too. And we all know that those attitudes are not welcome in the kingdom of Christ, and most likely constitute sin on our part, especially if we are otherwise very blessed by the Lord. And that’s the work of the enemy, the ruler of this evil world. He stirs up our greed and avarice, knowing that if we don’t get what we want, we will become angry and lose our peace and joy and behave less like the Christians we claim to be. 

But there’s a sweet and simple scripture that helps us to forego that behaviour. It’s found in Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he wisely advises them, and consequently us too: ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph. 4:26-27) 

Oh my people, there’s so much wisdom in those few words. Let’s check it out nuh. In the first place getting angry is not a sin, it’s a normal human emotion, given to us by the Father to show our displeasure. The Lord gets angry too. And we definitely don’t want to experience it. (smile) The problem lies in what we do when we get angry. Many of us do wrong and foolish things when we lose our temper, and that’s when we give the devil an opportunity to get into our souls and downgrade our Christian walk. Please remember, that‘s all the enemy is about; lessening our witness for Christ. And if we don’t control our anger, we will fall right into his evil and ungodly trap. 

And then there’s the wisdom of not letting the sun go down on our anger. Why is that so important? Because when we go to sleep angry, that anger percolates in our soul and spirit all night, and instead of restoring our peace and LOVE in Christ Jesus, we wake up angry and give the devil even more opportunity to invade our lives on that new day.  And there are several other scriptures that warn us to forsake anger and the damning effects it has on our Christian walk. 

Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. He advises us to: ‘Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (for it only causes harm). For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps. 37:8-9) True words of wisdom my fellow believers. 

And that other great psalmist, Asaph, had this to say, from personal experience no less, about evil and fretting. In his famous Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness – he tells it thus: ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps. 73:1-3) Then he goes on to describe how the wicked seem to prosper in their wickedness. 

And we see the same thing too, and say like Asaph did: ‘Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper (are always at ease) in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain (kept my heart pure in vain), and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children (would have been untrue to thy word).When I thought to know this (understand it), it was too painful for me (troublesome in my eyes); Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end (the end of the wicked).’ (Ps. 73:12-17) 

Oh friends, too many of us find ourselves in Asaph’s situation, envying the prosperity of the wicked, and instead of turning to God for divine assistance, take up the ungodly activities of the evildoers so we too can acquire the world’s prosperity. And the scholars explain. ‘Psalm 73: This psalm is another dealing with the problem of the prosperity of the wicked . Unlike Psalm 37, however, it does not emphasize the brevity of that prosperity. The author observes that sometimes the bounty achieved by the wicked does in fact last throughout life ( v.4). He emphasizes every believer’s need to test his own personal relationship with God. That alone provides the ultimate satisfaction available to the believer who witnesses the affluence of the wicked.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s only through a strong relationship with Almighty God will we be able to see the wicked prosper, as they often do in this evil world, and not desire to be like them! We need to firmly believe the word of God that says the wicked will eventually be destroyed, or else we will head down that wide and destructive path that only leads to hell fire and damnation. And the enemy would like nothing better than that. But friends, please, please, let’s remember, like Jesus said in the parable of the sower, that we are in this most important category: ‘But other (seed) fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty; some thirtyfold.’ (Matt. 13:8) 

Glory be my fellow saints. Let’s rejoice that we are good ground and the word of God has taken full root in us and we’re bringing forth good fruit. And how do we do that? By using these Thursday Blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. So, let’s boldly declare them to activate them nuh. As one confident voice: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and use those blessings to bear good fruit in Jesus’ name, like He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…who hath ears to hear…let him hear… (Matt. 13:9)  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2019 Philippians 2:15.

Philippians 2:15.    ​That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 

Summer days are here again…Glory Hallelujah! Yes my people, it surely seems as though the summer time is fully upon us now, what with all these beautiful days all in a row with warm temps and what not! (smile) And it’s a long weekend to boot; Canada Day weekend where we celebrate our Independence from our Colonial masters. 

Yes friends, we’re a hundred and fifty two years old now; young compared to many other nations, but we’re growing in strength, faith, godliness and LOVE daily! Give God the thanks my Canadian brethren! 

And before we go any further, let me remind us of those wise, immortal words of Granny that are so applicable to this weekend of mucho celebration. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober please mind yuh business!’ Please take serious note my people and be very careful this long weekend. And is the workingman ever bursting to sing his weekend song, so let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…and the weekend here at last! And was this ever a rough week because the slave master had plenty work to get out before the long weekend. And wow! Is Canada Day long weekend, which means party, party, party! And the weather supposed to be nice everlasting too, right up there in the high 20’s! Mama Yo! Are we ever going to mash up this weekend. 

Yuh can’t rightly celebrate Canada independence without a big bash! Lots ah eating and drinking, imbibing some good brew…and even some of the hard stuff too! I can imagine what cottage country going to look like this weekend. All the big shots and them going to be having a blast and the lakes and them going to be full ah boats riding up and down with parties galore on them. 

But is okay. I don’t jealous them their high life. I’m going to enjoy my low life right down here in the city. Me and my pardies, we going to have just as good a time…and possibly even better. So leh we just thank God for weekends and this wonderful country of Canada nuh!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see why Granny’s words are so important when coming to these big celebrations. In all the excitement and joy, we just liable to go overboard like the workingman’s planning to do. But as believers in Christ Jesus we can’t afford to go that far into the bacchanalian situation because the enemy will jump right into that opening and mess up our souls and spoil our witness for Christ. 

That’s why our Friday Chant is somewhat more reserved, thoughtful and even-tempered than the workingman’s weekend song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in loud voice, with a strong sense of purpose. ‘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 mih breddren, ours is a more sedate and responsible life. Now that doesn’t mean that we can’t party and have fun too, but we just have to be a li’l more careful when we let our hair down and don’t give the enemy a chance to invade our souls and cause us to do wrong, because that is his sole purpose in life…get a Christian to fall flat on his face, both literally and figuratively, then laugh in Jesus face and gleefully declare: 

‘Look, look at yuh boy down there in the gutter nuh…drunk like a skunk! And he is the one yuh was praising up so much, about how he so good and godly. But yuh see how he really soft. Can’t even stand li’l bit a temptation! Hn, Hn, Hn! And it have plenty more like him out there too yes. Going to show yuh them every time ah conquer them!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we definitely can’t have Satan taunting and laughing up in Jesus face like that nuh! That means we have to seriously mind our p’s and q’s, else we liable to fall in the gutter too. And the church, Jesus’ body, already has enough black eyes on it, it doesn’t need anymore. That’s why friends, this Canada Day weekend, we need to consider seriously these words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians. 

‘Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (grumbling) and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless (innocent), the sons (children) of God, without rebuke (fault), in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (generation), among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth (fast to) the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.’ (Phil.2:12-16) 

And all that basically means friends, is now that we’ve been saved by the free gift of grace from God, not by anything we did, we have to stay attached to Christ and work at keeping our lives going in a godly direction. Being godly and righteous doesn’t just happen automatically once we’re saved, we have to work at it, run our race like Bruh Paul did. 

And if we are sincere about running that godly race, then the Lord will help us do so through the leading, guiding and comforting of His Holy Spirit. But that means we can’t grumble and complain when things don’t go our way, neither can we live in anger and resentment with our fellow man. We need to be bright and shining lights for and of Jesus in this most perverse generation ever of mankind. 

Remember, God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and though He’ll gladly show us what it is, and help us accomplish it, He won’t do it all for us, we need to do our part of the covenant and put in some elbow grease too. So this Canada day weekend, let’s keep all of that in mind as we party hearty, and enjoy ourselves, for that is one of the reasons Christ died in our place; that we can rejoice and be happy in living and working for Him. Much LOVE!

…I am come…that they might have life…and have it more abundantly… (John 10:10b)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2019 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    ​Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
 

After the rain comes the sun, so since yesterday was another very ‘riney’ day, today ought to be blessed with loads of sunshine! And it does seem to have begun that way. But what’s with the rain this season eh? I think the Lord’s trying to tell us something. What? I really don’t know. Perhaps a warning of some sort. But obviously we’re not paying attention, so we keep having more rain than sunshine. 

And the workingman is totally perplexed and annoyed at the situation. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The slave master drive we hard this week and ah real tired now. Just hoping for a nice warm sunshiny weekend, to just lay out on the deck in mih hammock, catch some rays, sip a few, and just relax. But it seems like it going to be a blooming rainy weekend! What it is with this rain thing this year eh? 

Brother! We having more rainy days than sunny ones, and the weather not even getting real warm yet, the middle of June and we still have heat coming on in the house because the children cold! Steups! I don’t know what it is nuh – if the Lord trying to tell we something. But since is the weekend, and the only time I have to do my own thing, I’m going to enjoy it as best as I can – eat, drink and be merry, even if I have to do it inside! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes…even when it cold and rainy!’  

Ah mih people, that’s the beauty of the workingman; he accepts his circumstances, even though he dislikes them, and works around them to keep himself contented. But we sophisticated Christians simply gripe and complain and thus don’t enjoy what the Lord’s granted us. Remember we’re supposed to be happy and contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. But we can’t do that unless and until we actually take the bull by the horns and become contented – with God’s help of course! 

And we’ll begin doing that by chanting our Friday Chant which is different to the workingman’s song because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ desires that we have some boundaries and borders to keep us safe from enemy attacks. So let’s chant it now, like we really mean it nuh. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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, we need to be a tad more careful about our doings, our goings and our comings, because we have a heavenly purpose to fulfill, and we can’t do that properly if we’re wishy-washy, and doh-care, else the enemy will just destroy us and our witness for Christ. And we definitely can’t allow that to happen, so let’s tighten up, and strengthen up our lives in appropriate fashion nuh. 

And one of the ways we all need to do that is by being contented with what we have at any particular time in life. Yes, I know that’s not always easy to do, especially when in our circumstances there is much less than the optimal amount of whatever we need. But the fact is that we need to cry out to and hold on to God for help to become like Bruh Paul said, in regards to the gift he received from the church at Philippi. 

‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Oh friends, is that ever something we believers need to learn and quickly too in this world that now lives by the motto of always wanting more and wanting it quicker than the last time. We’re definitely not a contented society in spite of the abundance we possess. But remember we’re supposed to be in the world, but not of it, so we’re not supposed to follow it’s selfish and greedy and discontented mores. 

And please note that contentment in whatever situation is a LEARNED behaviour. It doesn’t just come about like magic or a miracle; it’s something we have to earn and learn, not in a classroom, but by experiencing hard times as well as good times, by facing life like Portia. (smile) But unfortunately our current society is famous for wanting to be great without putting in the necessary effort that it takes to be great. 

Everybody nowadays is a superstar! That’s why our standards have fallen so low, and what used to be an ‘F’ is now a ‘C’, or even a ‘B’. But friends, please note that falling standards in a society only means one thing, that society is on its way down, and if its standards continue to fall, then it will soon become a lesser society, or even an extinct one. 

History bears out that contention. Just look at all the great societies we’ve had, how they prospered when their standards were high, they worked hard, made the necessary sacrifices to grow. But when they reached the top, they got fat and lazy and just wallowed in their prosperity until everything toppled down, and some other nation who was hungry and productive took over their crown. 

And sadly that is what seems to be happening in our current Western society; we’re on the way down because we’ve become fat and lazy and want everything now for now and for nothing, or next to nothing! But as believers my brethren, we are expected to always take the high road, have high standards within this world of low standards, and be contented with whatever we have, knowing that our great and generous, merciful and forgiving God is on our side and will not let us suffer more than we can bear. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could declare his ability to be contented in any situation. And he sums it up thus: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’  (Phil.4:13) Yes friends, we can only live contentedly if we are living for Christ, who is the enabler of the brethren. He is the one that gives us the wherewithal to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. Please, let us never forget that, provided we want to be successful and contented in this earthly life. Much LOVE!

…the joy of contentment…experiencing both good and bad times…with Christ always by our side…enabling us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Greetings and salutations my fellow brethren in Christ! Welcome to what looks like a somewhat cloudy and hopefully rainy Saturday morning in my neck of the woods. And do we ever need some decent rainfall. 

But the best part of the morning is knowing that regardless of what the weather is like, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is alive and well and that His brilliant light is shining in our hearts, minds, and souls for all to see. 

And the most important part of that sentence is the last part, ‘for all to see.’ That’s because Christ is shining His light not only in, but also through us. The light is for us to share with the rest of the world who don’t know Him and cause them to come to Him for His saving grace, without which they can’t find eternal life. 

And it’s especially in these difficult and trying times that the world needs believers to stand up and declare the gospel with great zest and passion, and live it in true Christian fashion. 

We must not be seen as wishy-washy, fence sitting hypocrites, else that would just invalidate our witness for Christ and make His organization, His church, more of a laughing stock than it already is. 

So friends, please, let’s promise ourselves this morning to be excellent ambassadors for Christ so that we can raise the level, the intensity of His LOVE Revolution, that’s the only hope for our misguided, evil and increasingly ungodly world. 

Wow! Where did all of that come from eh? When I sat down just now to write, that was nowhere in my imagination, but as always, I asked for guidance, and I guess that’s where I was guided. Ah mih people, you never know with our great God nuh! 

Now let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm who always aspires to inspire us. And I like this first one: ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth! For as Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) said in his song: ‘That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race. That until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizen ship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained… and everywhere will be war…ah say war…’ 

Yes friends, until equal rights and justice play a much larger role in our society, we will ALWAYS be engulfed in strife. And the second quote from Anselm tells us that, ‘The strongest people are not always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.’ 

That’s more indisputable truth my brethren! The strongest are the ones who fight the good fight of faith right down to the very end, despite all the trials and tribulations that come their way. And it all segues so smoothly into our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s all we dealing with this morning; being strong and of a good courage… Why, you ask? 

Because I believe now, more than ever, Christians need to stand up strong and steadfast and be courageous, stop being passive and allowing ourselves to be pushed around and aside by the evil world powers. 

Right now we’re definitely not doing justice to the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that’s supposed to lead and guide us along the straight and narrow path destined for us by our Creator. 

The anxious and fearful way in which so many of us behave, one would never believe that the Spirit of God resides within us. We have to stand up strong friends, much stronger than we’re currently doing. 

Poor Joshua was bombarded with that direction, both by Moses and the Lord. Listen up: ‘And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:7) 

The Good Book also tells us, per the Lord’s direction: ‘Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.’ (Deut.31:22-23) 

And the Lord when He commissions Joshua as Israel’s leader, after the death of Moses, He reiterates in our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage… Then in the next verse, He tells him once more; ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous…’ (Josh.1:7a) 

And if that wasn’t enough, two verses later, the Lord reminds him. ‘Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that same message also applies to each and every believer today! Yes my people, it is ever so important that we Christians stand up proud and strong in these trying times, because that’s the only way we’ll ever serve Christ properly, and make a sincere and substantial difference in our world, which we are called to do. Much LOVE!…

Christians ought to be the strongest and most courageous people on earth…because of the awesome and ever-faithful promises of Christ…and His Holy Spirit which dwells in them…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2015 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.

Greetings my Friends, in the holy name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made whole, be washed clean, cleansed from our abominable sins and be reconciled to our Creator, our Father in heaven! 
 
What a mouthful! (smile) But it’s all true. And from that selfless sacrifice came forth the best gifts ever bestowed on mankind; salvation and eternal life! Oh, glory be to the wonderful Deity that we serve and worship! 
 
That’s why on this Sunday morning in November, we ought to be filling the Lord’s sanctuaries to give Him thanks and praise for His continued LOVING-kindness to us undeserving sinners. All over the land, shouts of praise and glory and thanksgiving ought to be reaching up to high heaven in true reverence and honour to our majestic God! 
 
Yes my people, the gathering of believers in Jesus Christ is of the utmost importance, for that is one of the major ways in which we build and also express our faith; worshipping together, encouraging and edifying each other. As the church, the body of Christ, we are expected to be as one, to live in harmony and unity, with the gospel of Christ as our true foundation and guide. 
 
And just like if one part of our physical body malfunctions, it causes problems for the whole body, likewise, if one part of Christ’s church doesn’t live up to expectations, the entire body will malfunction; there will be disharmony, disunity, selfish pride and resentment, amongst other things, bringing dishonour to Christ.  
 
And that’s one thing we certainly don’t want to do! We are His ambassadors, that means we ought to be doing good things in His name, setting a good example, living true to His godly principles, not to negative or evil ones. Unfortunately, these days negative and evil principles are taking a stranglehold on our world. War, hate, anger and strife are paramount in today’s world, while peace, LOVE, justice and righteousness are running a poor second. 
 
That’s not right Friends, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. The good ought to be overpowering the bad by a sizeable majority, not the other way around.  That is why in these difficult and dangerous end times we believers have to seriously increase our witness for Jesus if we want to save our world. 
 
We can’t afford to do like Jesus said of the people back in His time, re John the Baptist. “He was a burning and a shining light (lamp): and ye were willing for a season (time) to rejoice in his light.’ (John 5:35) 
 
Oh my brethren, we cannot rejoice just for a season in Christ! We have to be doing it continuously, until whenever He returns to claim His throne.  But sadly, that is one of the downfalls of believers; we’re not consistent in our walk with Jesus, most of the time we’re just lukewarm, no real pep in our witness. How then can we encourage others to come to Jesus eh? 
 
Unless we’re enthusiastic and sincere about walking with and working for Jesus, we’re doing His cause more harm than good, not being very worthwhile ambassadors. That is why the Psalms are full of encouragement to praise and worship God.  Let’s hear some of those scriptures so that our spirits can be boosted this Sunday morning. 
 
We’ll begin with our Bit from Psalm 145 – The Lord is Gracious- Bruh David’s psalm of praise.  He boldly proclaims: ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.’ Yes my brethren, that’s the kind of stuff we have to envision then put it into action. 
 
As Bruh David continues: ‘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). One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness.’ (Ps.145:2-6)  
 
Oh my fellow believers are we praising God’s name as conscientiously and enthusiastically as we should? Are we passing on His greatness to the next generation? Are we continually speaking of His splendour and majesty, of His awesome works? Hn! I don’t think so really – at least not as much as we should, otherwise our world would not be in such an evil mess. 
 
Now listen to Psalm 146 – the blessedness of trusting God: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise thee Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being… Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:1-2, 5) 
 
Then Psalm 147 – Great is our God and of great power- begins: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely… Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God.’ (Ps.147:1, 7) 
 
Meanwhile Psalm 149 – The Lord taketh pleasure in his people –boldly declares: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of the saints…Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek (humble) with salvation.’ (Ps.149:1,3-4). 
 
And we’ll end appropriately with Psalm 150 –Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in the firmament of his power (mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him according to his excellent greatness… Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 150:1-2, 6) 
 
Oh my people, my people, I do hope that we’ve gained some measure of insight into the need for praising and glorifying our great God on a continual basis. So today, please let’s hear His praise in the congregation of His saints and in His sanctuary as we gather to worship and give thanks for His undeserved mercy, LOVE, grace, compassion forgiveness and LOVING-kindness, for that’s wisdom at its wisest! Much LOVE!
 
…when we sing the praises of God…our hope, faith, belief and trust are increased…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2014 1 John 4:4

1 John 4:4.   Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday… a rather rambunctious one too, because the Carnival celebrations in T&T are heating up, slowly coming to a boil! Yeh, the two big days of Carnival, March 3-4, are only a month away. So you can imagine how the populace is joyously shouting: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Work soon done, and the partying start! Oh thank God is Friday!’

Yes mih people, the pre-carnival season is gradually rising to a fever pitch. The steelbands are rigorously and vigorously practicing for the Steelband Panorama Competitions, while the mas camps are just a beehive of activity with costume making and all the other things that go into bringing out a mas band.
 
The calypso tents are alive and hopping with calypso, and the soca music is blasting out from the radio stations. So even if you are a novice, a neophyte at the situation, you’d certainly feel the excitement, the joyous vibe in the air.
 
However Friends, as Jeeves, the butler, would no doubt say, we need to harness that energy, that excitement, and restrain it some, with ‘a modicum of circumspection.’ We can’t just let it run rampant without strong reins to guide and direct it, otherwise that evil scoundrel, Lucifer, is certain to get a foothold in it and try to derail the whole thing, or use it for his own evil purposes.
 
And we’re going to bring the right perspective to the situation by chanting our Friday Chant. ‘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.’
 
Yeh mih breddren, we do need some set and serious boundaries in our Christian lives, boundaries that we try our very best to adhere to, so that we don’t destroy our witness for Christ.
 
Oh, by the way, I made a couple of excellent memories yesterday. In the early afternoon hours, the Duchess and I explored the sea-coast side of the property. And I was certainly amazed to see how large it was, with several beautiful bungalows overlooking the always somewhat angry and aggressive tide of the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Hn, hn! A little dark coloured bird just plopped down on the balcony here next to me, and is walking around looking for food, totally unconcerned about my presence. When he/she couldn’t find any crumbs to nibble on, he/she stood at the edge of the balcony for a few seconds, then flew away in a flutter of wings. It’s amazing how the birds around here don’t seem to have much fear of humans – once you don’t get too close that is.
 
But as I was saying, before the bird so rudely interrupted, (smile) the duchess and I walked along the back side of the property admiring the wonderful view and the beautiful flora that surrounds the area; coconut and almond trees, as well as other colourful tropical plants, whose names I don’t know. But believe me, the sight does warm the cockles of one’s heart, and invites one to wonder about God’s great creation of nature.
 
Now hear this. At one of the short coconut trees, I looked up and saw what seemed to be a young nut growing within another one. Only in Tobago, you say. Chuh! I forgot to have the Duchess take a picture of it.
 
But Friends, the highlight of the day was an evangelical service at the Canaan, Bon Accord Methodist Church, which an old friend invited me to. Thanks ever so much Finbar! I only hope I do it justice with this short description.
 
It was certainly a marathon session, starting at 6.30 and running straight through till 9.30. And at the end, the singing and dancing were remarkable, nobody seemed to want to go home. It truly showed a great joy amongst the participants, and a feeling of great LOVE for the Lord God Jehovah!
 
The service included a process of praying for forgiveness for ourselves, as well as forgiving others; releasing the hate, bitterness, anger and resentment stored up in our souls for oh too long. Then there was anointing and laying on of hands. Obviously a few people felt the power of the Holy Spirit and had to be lowered to the floor for their safety. That was then followed by a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
 
All in all, it just seemed to be a more interesting way to worship than the staid, dark, formal tones that most of the older churches depend on. And that’s partly why they are losing parishioners. The old folks don’t want the more open celebratory approach, while the young ones don’t relish the old, staid droning on stuff.
 
That means Friends, we need to find a happy balance, or else the old churches are liable to die out. This is what happened at this particular Methodist church. It was created specially to have that kind of worship every so often.
 
On a point of interest, after the first fifteen minutes of praise and worship, I had to go out and get a drink of water, because my throat was parched and dry from so much constant singing. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 
I even believe it eased up some of the headache problems I’ve been recently having, by renewing the peace and joy in my spirit. Give God the glory my people! It truly was a wonderful memory to add to my collection on this most excellent vacation!
 
Now let’s see if we have time and space for out Bit. (smile) And even if we don’t, it really doesn’t matter because we’ve been talking about the affairs of God anyhow. ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’
 
And that’s gospel, gospel truth, my brethren, absolutely no doubt about it! 
 
Now yesterday we saw where John was telling us about the many spirits that are around, and how to differentiate God’s Spirit, from those of the unholy antichrist. Basically, if the Spirit confesses that Christ has come in the flesh, then it is of God. But be aware of and stay away from any that doesn’t confess Christ was truly made man, because it is of the antichrist, come to fool, lie and deceive.
 
And we can do that because as our Bit so rightly and wisely informs us, we are God’s children, and His Spirit that indwells is way, way stronger than that of Beelzebub, whose spirit controls the evil, lustful world. Remember when Christ died and rose again, He conquered death and all that the world had to offer. (Rev.1:18)
 
Now John tells us about those spirits of the antichrist. ‘They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.’ (1 John 4:5)
 
And as the scholars’ note: ‘4:5. They refers to all who are ruled by the spirit of antichrist. The world finds their teaching more appealing than the truth of God.’
 
How sad and unfortunate my fellow believers. However, as John continues: ‘We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.’ (1 John 4:6)
 
And the scholars’ say of the verse. ‘4:6. Those who acknowledge the truth of the apostolic (New Testament) witness to Christ, will recognize and conform to the teaching John is presenting.
 
Those who do not are animated by a common and unifying spirit of error. John warns his readers against this spirit by contrasting their false views of Christ with the views that he, a personal follower and witness of Christ, proclaims.’
 
Ah Friends, the Bit is plenty long today, but what’s a little more time to spend reading about the goodness and faithfulness of our great God eh? It’s all for our benefit and His glory.
 
So, as usual, let’s seriously ponder on all we’ve read and heard today, search our hearts, mind and souls to see what in particular applies to us, then ask the Father to help us improve those aspects of our life. That is indeed wisdom from above, since it will please the Father a whole lot! Much LOVE!
 
…to those in whom the Holy Spirit of Christ truly dwells…will always come sure guidance and safety from above…Jesus promised it…and we know that He faithfully keeps…ALL His promises…