Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2019 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.    ​Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
 

Well another week has passed my people, and we’re right back at Sunday! Imagine that nuh! And we still alive and going strong, thanks to our wonderful God! And it means that one more time we have to gather in fellowship to give Him thanks and praise for His outstanding mercy and grace this past week, as well as for Him to strengthen our faith, renew our confidence and raise the levels of our joy, so we can do the important work of His salvation ministry in the upcoming week. And all of that is just to say, that today is Sunday, and we ought to find ourselves in church sometime today to celebrate the Lord’s Day with other believers. (smile) 

So without further ado, let’s get our proceedings underway nuh, as usual with a song of praise and worship, exalting the Lord in the highest, just like all the heavenly host constantly do. And today we’re going to sing a contemporary Christian tune by Mat Redman (Matthew James Redman (1974 -) an English Christian worship leader, singer-songwriter and author. And today’s song is his best-known composition, the two-time Grammy Award-winning single, “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”. It’s a wonderful song, with great lyrics and melody, so let’s raise our voices in prayerful, sincere song and let our great God know how much we LOVE and appreciate Him. In rich, sweet and perfect harmony now: 

‘(Chorus) Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul, Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name.) The sun comes up It’s a new day dawning It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass And whatever lies before me Let me be singing When the evening comes (Chorus) Bless the Lord oh my soul……I’ll worship your holy name) You’re rich in love And You’re slow to anger Your name is great And Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons For my heart to find. (Chorus: Bless the Lord oh my soul…I’ll worship your holy name) 

And on that day When my strength is failing The end draws near And my time has come Still my soul will sing your praise unending Ten thousand years and then forevermore… forevermore. (Chorus: Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul, Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name. Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul Worship His Holy name Sing like never before Oh my soul, Jesus, I’ll worship Your Holy name, worship your holy name…worship your holy name.’ 

Oh mih people, such sweet exaltation to Almighty God, that the four beasts that surround the heavenly throne joined us in worship, as well as the elders up there; they fell down before the Lord on His throne, cast their crowns before the throne and lustily sang along with us. (Rev.4:8-10) Wow! Who says that there isn’t spontaneous joy in heaven when the Lord is sincerely praised down here on earth eh? And yuh know the Lord just swallowed up all the praise, because there’s nothing He likes more than praise. And He very well deserves every bit of it too. 

And nobody knew that better than Bruh David and the other psalmists, that’s why they could write praiseful words like: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations…Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted.  For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:1,15-18) That’s Ethan the Ezrahite expounding there on God’s sure promises to Bruh David. 

Then you have Bruh David himself declaring, (steups!) in thanksgiving for God’s mercy: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:1-5) 

And if all that isn’t reason enough to thank the Lord and praise and exalt His glorious name, then I really don’t know what is nuh! That’s why we ought to keep doing what the writer of Psalm 33 so wisely advises: ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.’ And is it ever my people! And that’s one of the reasons the Lord created us, to sing His praise and glory! 

As the psalmist continues: ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery(lute) and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.’ (Ps.33:2-4) Oh friends, what more can I say eh? Except to quote some more of Bruh David’s words for you. (smile) 

‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:1-3) 

And that’s exactly what we did this morning friends, magnified the Lord, exalted his name together…and there is joy in heaven…as well as down here on earth! Let’s keep that awesome joy going nuh people, as we continually praise and magnify God’s holy name. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…rejoice in the Lord always…and again I say…rejoice… (Phil.4:4)

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2018 Matthew 10:29.

Matthew 10:29.    Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father.  

 

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh what a wonderful idea that is this Sunday morning my brethren, the first day of autumn in the abnormal year of 2018! Bruh David was ever so glad for that invitation to go to the Lord’s sanctuary because he knew the amazing benefits it produced. 

And going to God’s house still produces wonderful benefits to this day my people! Where else can you get the peace and joy, confidence and reassurance that come from a session of praise and thanksgiving, and hearing the Lord’s word being read and feeling it seeping into the deepest recesses of your hurting heart? Nowhere else friends, but in a place where the Lord reigns supreme! 
And today we’re going to open with a Gospel Hymn written in 1905 by Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. ‘It is most associated with actress singer Ethel Waters who used the title for her autobiography. Mahalia Jackson’s recording of the song was honoured with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2010.’ Most of us though, might be more familiar with the Kirk Franklin version of a few years ago. And the name of that revered and moving song is ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow.’ 

So without further ado, let’s reach deep down into our souls and produce a real soulful version that will bring tears to the eyes of heaven. As one now: ‘Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me 

(Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.) “Let not your heart be troubled,”  His tender word I hear, and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing…) 

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw closer to Him, from care he sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ (Repeat). 

What a marvellous song my fellow believers! And it’s also filled with God-awesome truth! Everything it says is true! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is constantly looking out for us, just like He’s doing for the sparrows of this world. And when life gets rough and tough we can simply go to Him and ask for comfort and reassurance…and we’ll get it. Glory to God! 

 

The song was obviously inspired by words from the scriptures. Hear these reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit: ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:29-31) That’s the gospel truth friends! 

We are indeed more important than the birds of the air, as Jesus says earlier on: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt.6:26) Ah mih people, we are indeed higher up the totem pole that the birds and other animals, which the Lord looks after so faithfully, so why won’t He look after us in the same, or even better manner eh? No reason whatsoever! We just have to have faith, trust in and surrender our lives to Him. 

 

Now listen to this testimony and let it uplift our lives, because only a few of us can, or will ever personally know this level of suffering. Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics, claimed this story as her inspiration. ‘Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle – true saints of God. 

Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for night twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittle’s, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. 

 

Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ Yes friends, that is indeed what you call boundless faith! Not too many of us would go through such difficulties today with such aplomb, even though we now have many more amenities to alleviate that kind of suffering.  

 

And Bruh David adds his two cents worth (smile) Of the Lord he says: ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide the with mine eye… Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:8, 11)Yes friends, we couldn’t get any better advice on this the Lord’s Day, so let’s be wise and take it nuh. Much LOVE!

…man is God’s greatest creation…and He certainly treats us like such…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…