Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2018 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter the kingdom of heaven.

One more day friends! Yes one more day; that’s what we’ve been given, and that’s why it’s called a present, a gift, as well as the present, because it’s all we have to work with.  

Yesterday has gone by for ever, and tomorrow has not come as yet, if it ever will.  Therefore, we need to do all that we can in this present day to exalt the ONE and ONLY, True, Living God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as best we can. 

And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord! Thank Him for all His goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men. Amen! 

And as the li’l thought from the Daily Bread Devotional tells us: ‘Jesus gave His ALL; He deserves our ALL.’ I couldn’t have put it any better my brethren. Jesus did not penny-pinch and play the scrooge when He sacrificed His sinless life for us. He gave it everything He had, put His whole heart and soul into what He was doing for us. 

Now, after He died for us, then rose from the grave, from the dead, so that we too can rise eventually, given us salvation, and is interceding for us at the Father’s right hand in heaven, while His Spirit lives in our souls, leading and guiding us in all truth, don’t you think the least we can do in return is to work tirelessly and faithfully to bring His wonderful church to fruition? 

Wow! What a mouthful my people! (smile) But it is the living truth. We’re definitely not doing as much as we ought to grow Jesus’ church. And WE ALL KNOW IT! We’re still letting the evil world and it’s evil associates control too much of our time and our actions. We talk a good talk, but don’t walk a good walk. 

That’s why the unbeliever looks at us askance, with a knowing smirk on their faces. They know that many of us are just a bunch of ole hypocrites, like the scribes and Pharisees of bygone days. That’s why Jesus declares so definitely in our Bit: ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter the kingdom of heaven.’ 

What a bam bam my people! Imagine that nuh; the most righteous, or supposedly righteous people of Jesus time could not get into heaven. And I know that we’ve used this scripture as our Bit fairly recently, but the Lord just put it on my heart to do it again today, possibly because He knows that we need the warning badly. So don’t get vex with the messenger. (smile) 

Now listen to the scholar’s explanation, once again. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. 

Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.

                 Law                                                                  Spirit

            No murder                                                          No anger

            No adultery                                                         No lust

            No divorce                                                          Commitment

            No oath-taking                                                 Speak the                                                                                                          truth

            No retaliation                                                   Forgiveness

            Hatred for your enemy                                  LOVE for                                                                                                        your enemy 

  (tradition allowed it)                                            (commanded)

And there you have it friends! As Christians we need to come up higher in the spiritual realm than in the law of the world, if we are to be sincere believers. And I’m pleading with us today to stop giving Christ a bad name with our hypocritical behaviour. If we can’t live up to what He expects of us, then let’s stop talking the high talk we talk, and walk whatever low walk we can. Let’s not talk more than we can do. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, blessings that the Lord has specially prepared for us who sincerely try to do His will. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh friends, doesn’t it make you feel bad when you enjoy all those heavenly blessings and don’t at least try to reciprocate as best we can? It ought to. Much LOVE!

…righteousness is simply…the LOVE of Jesus…in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2018 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

It’s time once again friends for our weekly rejuvenation; meaning it’s the Lord’s Day and we need to go to His sanctuary to get oiled and lubed, (smile) so we can handle the upcoming week’s affairs with strength, faith, hope and confidence. 

Oh by the way, for those of us who live in the Daylight Savings Time zones, please be reminded that the clocks went back one hour tonight, which means that church will held an hour earlier. So please don’t miss it by pleading ignorance of the time change. (smile) I won’t put it past many of you to do so. 

And as always, before we hear the Lord’s word, we offer up sacrifices of praise and worship, letting our heavenly Father know that we certainly do adore, glorify, exalt and LOVE Him. Today we’ll sing one of the most well-known and heartwarming passages in the Good Book – Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd. 

Those immortal words of Bruh David had to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. They are too meaningful and applicable to our earthly lives to have simply come from a man’s finite mind. But be that as it may, let’s raise our voices in sweet adoration and wonderful harmony, as we lift up those words to heaven, words written so long ago, but which still retain their awesome power even to this day. 

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, did you feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving in your individual soul and felt like He was present everywhere in the sanctuary, just enveloping us all with His amazing and unconditional LOVE?  I surely did! But what a mighty work of God that Psalm is! Almost every believer knows it, and/or has used it in some tough and unforgiving times.  

And the opening verse, our Bit: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,’ is so all encompassing and comforting that I don’t where or how to start describing it, so I’ll just share the scholar’s explanation. ‘Psalm 23. The psalm has been a favourite of God’s people through the ages with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to His sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6). The image of the Lord as shepherd is a frequent one in both the Old Testament (Is.40:11; Jer.31:10) and the New Testament (John10:11-16; Heb.13:20). 

Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep; however, he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). 

Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ 

Wow mih people! In what other faith can you have all of that goodness and LOVING-kindness eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Only if you are a believer in Jesus can you have a Deity, lead and guide you in safe paths, beside quiet waters, look after all your needs, down here on earth, then take you to dwell with Him eternally in heaven when your earthly sojourn is over. 

And please note my fellow believers, the life of eternity in heaven will even be better than that we experience on earth. So you can imagine how wonderful heaven must be! I doubt it, because our minds are too small to imagine it, but Jesus has promised it, and He does not renege on promises. 

Now here are a couple of those other verses above that quote God as a shepherd, starting with Isaiah. When he talks about finding comfort through trust in God ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:11) 

And here is the piece de resistance from Jesus Himself. ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:11, 14) 

And we’ll close with these most appropriate words from the author of Hebrews: ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you what which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Heb.13:20-21) 

And that’s my wish for all of us today, my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…oh how blessed we are to have a wonderful shepherd like Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2018 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ah mih people, welcome to another day on God’s great earth! Oh, I know that we will be surrounded by numerous problems and everyday we hear of more and more foolish strife, war and heated words in our society, but that’s no reason not to give thanks to Almighty God for the good things He’s done, is doing, and will do in our individual lives. Yeh friends, telling God, ‘Thank You,’ is essential for our very survival. 

Now I’m going to share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional that I’m pretty sure I’ve never shared before. I don’t know why, if it was just too long and didn’t lend itself to useful paraphrasing, but to day I’m going to share the entire thing, because I believe it’s ever so important for believers in these violent and negative times to understand. 

So here goes. In the first place it is titled: ‘Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!’ So you know it’s all about thanking God. 

And Gramps Schuller says: ‘When you lose a LOVED one, there is a way to thank God. You can thank Him for the promise of eternal life. You can thank Him for the assurance that someday you will be reunited with the one you’ve lost. The worse the loss, the harder the fall, the deeper the pain – the more you need to say, “Thank You, Lord!”  

Thank You, Lord! is the force that draws back the curtains, letting tomorrow’s light pierce today’s darkness. Thank You, Lord! is the first slippery step back up from the ditch of depression. Thank You, Lord! is the seed of faith planted in the dry, cracked earth. When you least feel like doing it – say Thank You, Lord! 

You don’t say Thank You to God because you are crediting or blaming Him for your heartache. NO! Nothing could be further from the truth! God is good! He is the Father of LOVE and goodness! Most of the time we make our own heartache. Why then do we say Thank You, Lord, in the midst of the raging storm? 

We say Thank You, Lord, that you’re still there to help us! Thank You, Lord, that I’m not totally alone! Thank You, Lord for the help you will send me. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for tomorrows that are sure to come. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! It’s a vital element of positive prayer.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that Gramps Schuller’s words on the importance of saying ‘Thank You,’ to God, have resonated and reverberated in us, and will continue to do so, because if we want to have positive thoughts and actions, we first have to use positive words, in spite of our circumstances. And there are no simpler and yet more positive words than those two: ‘Thank You!’ 

In our crazy, confused and troubled world, when said to others, they can diffuse a tremulous situation; soften a hard heart, lend healing to a broken one, and bring a smile to a sour face. And when we sincerely say them to God, we just raise the level of our faith and maturity. 

Our relationship with our heavenly Father enters a deeper phase, because we are acknowledging His goodness and LOVE, His omnipotence and ability to control circumstances, both our own and the world’s. We are saying in effect, ‘heavenly Father we trust You, regardless of what’s happening in our lives and the world. We’re standing firm on Your promises, because we know that You are faithful and will keep EVERY promise that You’ve made.’  

Now here is our Bit, which declares the thing that we ought to be most grateful for and give the most thanks for: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we can never be too thankful or grateful for the victory over death, hell, the grave and any other negative things, that Jesus has given us through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension, through the never-ending grace of our heavenly Father. 

And Bruh Paul further sates in his second letter to the Corinthians: ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to (leads us in) triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour (aroma) of Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish.’ (2 cor.2:14-15) 

Oh friends, are we ever a sweet fragrance to God when we accept His Son Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and wisely accept His free offer of salvation and eternal life, and thus will not be relegated to the foolish group that will perish because of their non-acceptance of Christ. He doesn’t want anything more than that. So, with His awesome help, let’s do our best to bring others to that realization nuh. 

Now let’s go home declaring to the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. In full voice and heartfelt sincerity: ‘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 we are sincere, then let’s go out and share that amazing LOVE of Christ, as He so ardently desires. Much LOVE!

…LOVE unshared…is No LOVE at all…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2018 Hebrews 10:22.

Hebrews 10:22.   Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 

And the days of 2018 are passing by so quickly, with such topsy-turvy weather, we don’t know whether we are coming or going. We’ve already used up two weeks of the new year already, and gone from snow to rain and back again.  

But it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the best day of the week, which means a time for fellowship in the Lord’s sanctuary, or wherever two or three are gathered, to give Him praise and thanks, and receive His mercy, forgiveness, grace and confidence in return. In other words, boosting our faith to meet the upcoming week. 

And as always, we’ll begin the proceedings with song; one of Frances Crosby’s old, but ever beautiful hymns, ‘Blessed Assurance.’ So with hearts aglow and spirits sincere, let’s raise our voices in song, offering up the sacrifice of our lips in humility and truth. 

‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. (Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.’  Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels, descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of LOVE. 

(Refrain) Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE. (Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long).’ 

Oh friends, what great assurance there is in singing those beautiful words of that hymn! We really couldn’t ask for much more nuh. Just knowing that Jesus is ours, and we are His, makes this troublesome life all worthwhile. Glory to God! Just imagine nuh, which we’ve been purchased by God, through the sacrificial death of Christ! We’ve been washed in His blood and cleansed white as snow! Glory Hallelujah! 

And to add the icing on the cake, we’ve been made heirs of salvation with Christ! Wow mih people! It just couldn’t get any better than that. That’s why we’re so honoured and grateful to sing praises to His name, while we wait, eagerly, patiently and  faithfully for His return, ‘filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE.’  

Mama Mia! What a fantastic individual is our Jesus! The only problem though is that the whole world doesn’t think of Jesus in such glowing terms. Even some of His own supposed believers don’t think that highly of Him, that’s why the author of Hebrews issued the plea to the early believers to hold to the new faith, and I am reissuing it to us in these modern times. 

Listen to this heartfelt plea. ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness (confidence) to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised); (Heb.10:19-23) 

Yeh friends, by Jesus destroying the veil in the temple covering the Holy of Holies, with the sacrifice of His sinless life, where only the high priest could go at certain times of the year, we are now able to go to God personally with confidence that He will hear and answer us. That’s why we are encouraged to stand strong in the faith, be assured that all that Jesus said and did and promised are true. 

As believers we can’t afford to waiver back and forth. We must keep hope alive and flourishing, because our God has promised us good things like salvation and everlasting life, and He is ever-faithful to His word. That I can personally testify to, because I couldn’t write this Bit everyday now for some eleven years without His faithful help. He proposed the idea, and He NEVER gives us projects to do without giving us the wherewithal to do them. So any time He calls you, just jump to it, for though it might seem difficult, even impossible, God will always help you. 

And having stood strong in faith and confidence, the author of Hebrews continues. ‘And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:24-25) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important it is, especially as the Second Coming approaches, to fellowship, to gather, to assemble with each other so that we can stir up and encourage each other to spread LOVE and do good works. As the scholars say: ‘It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren. 

And the scholars further explain: ’10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition. The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16). It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food.’ 

So friends, that means we don’t just go to church at Easter and Christmas or once in a blue moon and believe we’ve done our duty. Our duty is to attend church regularly, so that we can encourage and strengthen each other. So let’s seriously consider our church attendance this year nuh mih breddren, and with God’s help try and do better. It will be a boon for all of us individually, and above all, Christ’s body, the church. Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t assemble… don’t fellowship…how can they share Christ eh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2018 Galatians 6:7.

Galatians 6:7.    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Okay friends, the consecutive long weekends are over now. You have to get back to working five day weeks, so let’s hope that you are well rested and churched, so that you have the wherewithal to make it through the whole week. Hope that you haven’t gotten so spoiled that you expect every week to be a short one. (smile) I know it’s very easy to get accustomed to that sort of easy living. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, and regardless of the circumstances or the weather, we have to get up and go to work. So let’s roll out of the warm bed and get the ball rolling by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that awesome song that revs our engines and activates our adrenaline. With some enthusiasm now:  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, yuh feel the good vibrations that immediately wash over us as we sincerely declare those words? Now let’s keep those good vibes going as we hit the road. Don’t allow the bumper to bumper traffic to get to us. Let’s try and be at peace in the storm, using the perfect sense of peace that Jesus instills in us all when we become believers. 

Remember that this too shall pass, because we need to be bright and bubbly when we do get to work, so we can do good things on Jesus’ behalf. We can’t afford to be sour and miserable and let the enemy steal our joy, thereby making us incapable of sowing and bearing good fruit for Christ.  Thus the important warning from Bruh Paul in our Bit. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ 

Oh my people, let’s not ever fool ourselves into thinking we can deceive or outwit God.  That’s impossible since He sees all and knows all. This means if we sow bad seeds then we will reap bad fruits. And we can only sow good seeds and therefore reap good fruits only if we are operating from a good spiritual place, a place with Jesus first and foremost in our hearts. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit: ‘For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal.6:8) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:8. For expands the principle of verse 7 to wider application. Soweth to his flesh means to conduct oneself by the evil dictates and desires of the sinful nature, thus practicing the deeds of the flesh (5:19-21). Such a person shall…reap corruption, that is, be requited with eternal destruction. Soweth to the Spirit means to live by His enabling help in accord with the Spirit’s prompting and leading, thus cultivating the fruit of 5:22-23. Such a person shall…reap life everlasting, that is, be rewarded with eternal life.’ 

And I know it sounds simple, but it’s not so easy in reality, because our natural sinful nature, in conjunction with the evil lures of the world, constantly exert great pressure on us to be carnal minded. But Bruh Paul admonishes us further:  ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart).’ (Gal.6:9) That means we have to keep on keeping on friends, don’t give up, regardless of how difficult times might be, because we will be well rewarded if we finish our race and stay strong in Christ. 

‘As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9) So my faithful brethren, since we are to be divinely rewarded, it is essential that we seize every opportunity to do good, especially to our Christian brethren. And we’ll close with a gentle reminder of the fruit of the Spirit. (smile) ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23)  

Yes my people, let’s go out and practice that kind of stuff today nuh, because it is of Jesus, because it will help to build His LOVE Revolution, as well as bring divine rewards. Much LOVE!

…to bear good fruit…one must be a branch of Christ’s vine…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2017 Luke 2:11.

Luke 2:11.   For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

                   MERRY  CHRISTMAS  EVERYBODY!

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Day! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to you and yours! And I do hope you all have a joyous day, a day filled with celebrations and lifting up the LOVING-kindness of God, through His Son Jesus Christ, who was born on this day some years ago. (smile) 

And to lead off the celebrations, let’s give voice to one of our favourite Christmas Carols, ‘Joy to the world,’ written by Isaac Watts, in the early 18th century, and which so appropriately describes the beautiful uproarious sensations that should be felt all over the world, at the miraculous birth of Christ. 

So with grateful and joyous hearts, let’s sing: ‘Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King  Let every heart prepare Him room  And Heaven and nature sing  And Heaven and nature sing  And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing. Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains  Repeat the sounding joy Repeat the sounding joy Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy 

No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found Far as the curse is found Far as, far as, the curse is found  He rules the world with truth and grace And makes the nations prove  The glories of His righteousness And wonders of His LOVE And wonders of His LOVE And wonders, wonders, of His LOVE.’ 

Ah friends, this glorious day is and was indeed all about the wonders of Almighty God’s amazing LOVE toward us.  How does the Good Book put it? ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) I don’t think we can ever really comprehend the depth of God’s LOVE for us nuh mih breddren. The magnanimity of God offering His Son as a living sacrifice for us, is just too much for our frail and feeble minds to understand. But that’s another thing; the Lord doesn’t need us to understand, just to accept His goodness and mercy and believe on His Son Jesus.  

And so, as we eat and drink and enjoy goodwill and cheer with our friends and families, let us not forget the reason for all this celebration and enjoyment; the birth of Jesus Christ on a cold winter’s night long, long ago. Consequently, we need to keep Him uppermost in our hearts and minds today, giving Him much praise and thanks for ALL that He’s done for us from the day of His birth to the current time, and ALL that He’s promised to do in the future.  

Unfortunately though, not everyone is able to stay at home and celebrate today, what with our 24/7 society, some of us have to get up and go to work on this cold Christmas Day morn. And though we feel sorry for them, we glad that it’s them and not us. (smile) Anyway, let’s send them off with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, to get their adrenaline flowing and their motors running smoothly in spite of their unfortunate situation.  

As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, those who are not going to work are the loudest and hoarsest. (smile) But let’s reminisce a li’l, go back to that faithful night, or early morning two thousand years ago. Let’s check out the scene. Shepherds were watching their flocks in the cold weather, when suddenly an angel appeared , ‘and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (bandage-like cloths), lying in a manger (feed trough). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying , Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:9-14) 

What an amazing time that must have been eh friends! Angels glorifying God, as they deliver the good news of Christ’s birth and His divine purpose to bring peace and good will to all the people on earth. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been accomplished just yet, but we’re working on it, and today ought to be a reminder of Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth, and subsequently ours, as His faithful believers and followers. 

So let’s celebrate today and get reinvigorated with Christ’s Spirit nuh, so that we can go out tomorrow and ramp up our efforts to bring that peace and good will to Mother Earth. It’s certainly a worthwhile cause. Much LOVE!

…what better way to celebrate Christ’s birth…than by spreading…peace…LOVE…and good will…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2017 Psalm 89:15.

Psalm 89:15.   Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

Ah mih people, the enemy is alive and well this Tuesday morning yes, and he’s in a foul mood too because of all the thanks and praise we offered up to our heavenly Father over this Thanksgiving weekend. 

Hear mih story: Some 45 minutes ago I came down to the kitchen to make a cup of java on my way down to write the Bit. Having made the coffee, I saw that there was some leftover food on the stove, so I decided to do a good deed and put it into the fridge. 

With that thought in mind, I opened the fridge and went to pick up a bottle of wine that was blocking some available space. Next thing yuh know, the wine flowing all over the duchess’ white tile floor with glass splinters near and far. Steups! 

I obviously wasn’t thrilled, and surprisingly no foul language emanated out of my mouth. I don’t know if that’s because my big daughter was in the kitchen with me. (smile) Anyway, I dutifully cleaned it up, breaking a sweat much earlier than I ever intended, and writing the Bit much later than planned. 

But it’s all good, the Lord is in His high heaven controlling things, and the enemy is still wearily traipsing to and fro across the land having little success in his evil endeavors. Glory to God! 

And since we’re running late, let’s go directly to our Bit. ‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.’  

Those my friends are ever-truthful words from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. This Maschil (contemplation) of Ethan the Ezrahite wrestles with God’s faithfulness to His promises, as Israel was going through some rough times. 

But we now know that our great God is ever-faithful and will NEVER renege on any of His promises. He won’t make the promise if He doesn’t intend to keep it. And the first section of the psalm, (vs.1-38) from which our Bit is taken, does indeed recount the goodness and mercy, strength and faithfulness of the Lord. 

Now listen to how it continues after our Bit. ‘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 (Our shield belongs to the Lord); and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:16-18) 

And that my brethren was true back then for all those who believed, and still is true today for all who believe! Yeh friends, that’s why there was such joyful sounds and celebration over the past Thanksgiving weekend; because as believers, we’re walking in the light of God’s awesome presence. 

His light is shining all around us, and as we obey His commands, He allows us to become prosperous and exalted amongst the nations of the world. And as the psalmist proclaims earlier on: ‘For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’ (Ps.89:6) 

And the obvious answer to those two questions is simply NO ONE! How could there be eh, when it is the Lord God Almighty who made the universe and all therein? How could the made be greater than the Maker? Impossible! 

That’s why the psalmist continues his proclamation: ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’(Ps.89:7)  And that’s exactly how it ought to be! 

But strangely enough, many of us fear man, the made, but don’t fear God, the Maker of man. We have it the wrong way friends. And Cousin Sol puts it directly to us in Ecclesiastes. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words, there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ (Eccl.5:7) 

And if you want it plainer than that, then listen to Jesus as He instructs His disciples. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) 

Oh my people, mankind can only kill our physical bodies but not our spiritual beings, so there is no reason to be deathly afraid of him. However, the Lord God Jehovah who made us, can kill both body and spirit and have us cast into Hades with Beelzebub. So in light of that, tell me now, of whom then shall we be afraid eh? 

That’s a question we all have to answer individually friends. But as for me, I am definitely going to fear the Lord, both in reverence, reverential awe, and in His potential power to cast me to spiritual death in Hades. Let’s hope we all make that wise decision. 

And in closing, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting all the world know, who and whose we are. With true sincerity and strength of purpose: ‘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 do as we vowed, joyfully share that LOVE with all we meet. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE God…and to fear Him…are essential elements of a believer’s life…

 

 

 

 

 

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