Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2018 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.    Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.

Well mih people, we might not have as nice a day as the last few, because they’ve called for showers, and we did have a small thunder squall earlier in the morning, but yuh know what? Right now, though it’s somewhat cloudy, the Sun is fighting valiantly to come out and shine, shine, shine! Yeh it does look hopeful out there. And yuh know the SON is always out there doing His thing! So no need to worry on that side of the ledger. (smile) 

Unfortunately however, those people in Hawaii are experiencing more volcanic activity, so let’s keep up our prayers for them, that the whole thing will soon settle down without further disruption and disaster. 

Now here is something from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. It gives us a very good insight into problems, and is appropriately titled: ‘Let Your Problem Lead You to God.’ 

Gramps Schuller writes: ‘No problem leaves you where it found you. Read this affirmation out loud: “I will be a different person when this problem is past. I will be a wiser, stronger, more patient person; or I will be sour, cynical, bitter, disillusioned, and angry. It all depends on what I do with this problem. 

Each problem can make me a better person or a worse person. It can bring me closer to God, or it can drive me away from God. It can build my faith or it can shatter my faith. It all depends on my attitude. I intend to be a better person when this problem leaves me than I was when it met me.” There are vast untapped resources of faith and talent that can only be discovered in adversity.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! It’s unfortunate, but the fact is that only through adversity can we build or discover true faith. And when adversity comes, the way we handle it will indeed make us a better or worse person. If we try to run away from it and hide, or adopt a completely negative attitude, then it will eat us up faster than the bat of an eyelash. 

But if we keep our peace and recognize that the problem is bigger than us and take it to God, then we’re already in the driver’s seat! Glory to God! Remember friends that you and God are a majority in EVERY situation, and with Him by your side, you can win every battle. 

If you are a wise believer, then taking your problems to God is a no-brainer, because that’s what He has asked us to do. He wants to be involved in EVERY situation in our lives, big, small or otherwise! And if we don’t involve Him in everything, He feels left out and pouts, just like we do, when we’re not invited in. (smile) 

Oh friends, we cannot pick and choose which situations in our life to allow God into, that’s why I’ve chosen this encouraging scripture from the prophet Zechariah, as he talks about Zion’s future king, to be our Bit today. ‘Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ 

Oh my people, what wonderful advice! And though it was given thousands of years ago, it’s still as pertinent today as it was back then. It only makes sense to turn to whatever is strong in our lives, not what is weak. And the strongest thing there is, is Almighty God, so why wouldn’t we turn to Him in all wisdom eh? 

But what I like most about that passage of scripture is the phrase, ‘prisoners of hope!’ Wow! It sounds like the perfect name for believers. Imprisoned by hope in Jesus Christ, we just keep trucking on in faith and never give up! I think it’s high time we emblazon that phrase on our mental billboards, and truly begin considering ourselves as prisoners of hope. We can never go wrong if we do. 

And yuh see what happens when we do behave as prisoners of hope? The Lord renders double unto us. He blesses us even more than He has already. So why not become a true prisoner of hope then eh my people? Wisdom and common sense demand it!  

And now, I just want to add a couple of obscure scriptures that most of us might not know, but which encourage us to turn to God. Listen to Hosea, as he talks about Ephraim’s sins being rebuked by God. ‘Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy (LOVING-kindness, faithfulness) and judgement (justice), and wait on thy God continually.’ (Hos.12:5-6) Now that’s a proven winner! 

And lastly, these most encouraging words from the vision of Daniel re the time of the end. ‘And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.’ (Dan. 12:3) 

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful promise! And since we consider these times, the end times, what better way to go than by being wise and shining brightly and turning others to Christ! Mama Mia! That verse surely excited me! (smile) 

Now, since we are wise, and are prisoners of hope, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, all that the Lord has given us for being so smart. Hn, hn! Altogether 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!’ 

What a wonderful God we serve and worship! But remember people, that’s not all for us, but also to share with the less fortunate. So let’s go and do that now nuh. Much LOVE!

…if you’ve got to be a prisoner…there’s none better…than being one of hope in Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2018 Proverbs 16:18.

Proverbs 16:18.    Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (stumbling).

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of the workweek, but yet another glorious day seems to be in the offing in my area! This spring weather is really outdoing itself yes! (smile) 

But unfortunately not all around is wine and roses and glorious weather, because the Hawaiian people are still being plagued by their convulsive volcano, and those things can be so temperamental that you never know what they’ll do or when. So please, let’s continue praying for them and helping however we can. 

And this morning I’m going to give us a few reminders about what is what in our faith. (smile) First off, please remember that ‘Faith gives us that inner joy of dreaming again.’ Yeh friends, it’s the presence of faith, catapulted by hope that enables us to dream. Without them dreaming wouldn’t happen. 

And remember too, that there’s ‘Serenity in the LOVE of God.’ In fact that’s the dwelling place of Serenity, so if you don’t have the LOVE of God within you, then you won’t be able to achieve Serenity. And lastly, this one is ever so important, remember that ‘Your ego is not your amigo.’ 

Definitely not mih breddren! Our ego more often than not lines up as our enemy, because it’s pride based and has us panting for the things of the flesh and behaving in a fleshly manner. So when it begins to cozy up to you, please check it very carefully before you accede to its desires. 

I guess that can only lead to a lesson on pride and egotistic stuff. (smile) Thus our Bit: ‘Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (stumbling).’ And we all know that to be gospel truth! 

Unnecessary pride and haughtiness and a rather bombastic ego never last long. How could they eh, when the Lord declares amongst the seven things He thoroughly dislikes is ‘a proud look (haughty eyes).’ (Prov.6:17a) 

And Cousin Sol continues later on in Proverbs: ‘The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (perverse) mouth, do I hate.’ (Prov.8:13) 

Meanwhile Isaiah declares in his condemnation of Ephraim: ‘Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim…The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden (trampled) under feet:’ (Is.28:1,3) Yeh friends, those that are full of pride shall eventually be brought low. That’s why Cousin Sol advises after our Bit: ‘Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil (plunder) with the proud.’ (Prov.16:19) 

And the big thing nowadays is to be in the upper echelon of society, to walk with the rich and famous. We boast about whom we know and associate with in the corridors of power. But friends, that show doesn’t get us any place really, for what happens when our supposed rich and famous associates are no longer rich and famous eh? 

And it something that happens everyday. Being rich and famous isn’t guaranteed for a lifetime, especially if you flaunt your worldly assets in people’s faces. You know the ones who put you up there will bring you down even faster than they put you up, and take even more joy in doing so. 

Remember the scripture we recently quoted from the prophet Obadiah re the destruction of Edom. ‘The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.’ (Obad.3-4) 

Yes my brethren, pride and power and pomp and glory and fame and riches do not make the man that God desires. I think John says it best in his first epistle. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (physical desires), and the lust of the eyes (personal desires), and the pride of life (self-interests), is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

That’s the word of the Lord my people. And if we believe that it’s true, then if we are wise, we will pay serious attention to it, and try to follow it as best we can. What more can I say eh? We all have to make these personal decisions for ourselves. 

Now let’s go home joyfully declaring our position with and in Jesus through our Wednesday Wail. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And for those of us who wisely plod on to the end, will that future ever be glorious! Much LOVE!

…if the Lord hates it…then it doesn’t make sense to have it…and He surely hates pride…

 

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

Obadiah 1:3.    The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

Ah friends, one more day in the land of the living! Hope today though will be better than yesterday. We won’t get into the ramifications, but yesterday was rough, to put it mildly. I guess the Lord figured I had come through the operation too smoothly, without any real pain or such, and He didn’t want me to get too full of myself, so He humbled me in a way that only He can do. (smile) 

And now that I’m completely humbled, it’s time to move on with getting better. And how do we do that? By upgrading our walk with God. And here are some tips from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) on how to do that. He strongly advises that we keep God at the centre of our universe, of our thinking: in everything we do, everything we say, everything we think, in our relationships, our finances, our plans, and EVERY area of life. 

Yes, faithful followers of God, the Almighty MUST be in the midst of our entire being. Nothing else is acceptable in His sight. We can’t pick and choose what areas we’ll allow Him into, as we are wont to do. He wants to be involved in EVERYTHING! Even the smallest and most inconspicuous decisions. 

So it’s time we stop trying to box Him out of certain areas and things of our lives, and just welcome Him wholeheartedly into every area. That’s the ONLY way we will ever get the full benefit of His magnanimity! 

That brings us to our Bit for today, a rather appropriate scripture from the prophet Obadiah, for these proud, egotistic, selfish and doh-care times. It was originally meant for the people of Edom (Esau) because of his actions against his brother Judah (Jacob). 

The theme of the prophecy is the doom of Edom, and consequently, our doom, if we keep going the way we currently are. ‘The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ 

Before we get into the Bit though, here is some background info to help us. ‘1 Edom refers to the territory settled by Esau’s descendants. It is a mountainous desert extending for about one hundred miles from the wadi Zered to the Gulf of Aqaba. The Edomites enjoyed the security of their mountain stronghold and the prosperity obtained by taxing caravans travelling through their territory.’ 

So now we know the setting for Obadiah’s statement. The Edomites figured they were safe and secure in their mountainous lairs, so their prosperity and pride turned them away from the God of their forefathers, just like those things are doing to us today. So many of us today are prideful and haughty and have no respect for man nor God, foolishly figuring that no one can bring us down from our proud perches. 

But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom. There is always some man or woman who can bring us down from our haughty heights. And if a fellow human being isn’t able to do it, then the Lord God Almighty, our Creator can, and will certainly do so, whenever He is ready. 

And as always, He clearly and plainly states His intentions, but like the fools we are, we never seem to take Him seriously. Hear the verse after our Bit. ‘Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.’ (Obad.1:4) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4. Though thou set thy nest among the stars: This figure of speech emphasizes the inaccessibility and natural security of their city. However their natural security is no match for God’s determination.’ And that is what we have to realize my people. Our puny efforts at security and safety are no match for our Creator’s ability. Yet we still try to foolishly disregard Him and His laws. 

Oh friends, oh friends, the only thing that makes any sense is to join with God, not turn or run away from Him, since He is both wiser and more powerful than any or all of us together. We keep forgetting that He created us, and still pulls our strings. In His hands we can be like puppets, if He so desires. 

So let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, in this most appropriate time for such activity, the renewal of nature, spring time. Let’s awaken from our winter slumber and call on the name of God in all wisdom and truth nuh, for that’s what our plagued world desperately needs.  

And yuh see friends, though we are so disobedient, our wonderful God still blesses us with abundant blessings as set out in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s shout them out: ‘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!’ 

And having all of that, let’s go out now and share it with the less fortunate nuh, for that is what Jesus desires of us, why He blessed us so abundantly in the first place. Much LOVE!

…the first rule of a blessing…is to share it…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2018 Psalm 1:1.

Psalm 1:1.    Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Awright mih people, one more time around the track, remember is a marathon we running here, and the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot…and the wise ones who depend on Almighty God! 

Yeh, I guess we all realize it’s Monday, and the work merry- go-round begins again. But wisdom dictates that we look at it this way; we at least get a two day break every five days, so there is something to look forward to in the short run, and eventually heaven and eternal life with Jesus in the long run. 

Mama Yo! Now just that promise alone, ought to keep us motoring along each day with no thoughts of worry or pressure or pain since we’re only focused on the bright lights of heaven. (smile) Well we all know it looks good on paper, but it’s not that easy to do in reality, that’s why we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to lively us up, so that we can go out to labour with a good attitude, the peace of Jesus in our souls and His joy in our hearts. 

So let’s sing up a storm this morning nuh. ‘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!’ 

Now hopefully that kicked in the adrenaline and we’re feeling the feeling; the feeling of Jesus working a substantial change in our attitude toward the work day. Remember, if we don’t work, we won’t get pay, and then we can’t maintain our families and ourselves in the standard to which we’ve become accustomed. 

That alone should strike a note of caution in our hearts, especially with decent jobs so hard to find nowadays, and the economy lurching unsteadily back and forth, like a drunken man. So although we may not like our jobs, we ought not to trivialize them, we have to take them seriously, because they are what cause us to survive in this dog eat dog world. 

And the best way to accomplish all that is by living the kind of life put forth in our Bit. ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.’ 

It’s obvious friends, that if we take the broad way to wherever we’re going, we’ll end up in destruction, because the broad way is the foolish way and only leads to negative circumstances.  So what’s the alternative, you ask? 

But that should also be obvious: living for Jesus, following the straight and narrow path, not usually the easiest way. This is how the psalmist describes it. ‘But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder, think on) day and night.’ (Ps.1:2) 

Now that isn’t always easy to do either, but if we are true and sincere believers, we will wisely go to the Lord for help. And He will help us, since He NEVER turns away anyone who comes with a sincere heart seeking His assistance. 

And the awesome result of pondering on God’s word and trying to live it, is this: ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:3) 

Yes friends, remember we serve the Creator of this universe, and He is not only omnipotent, but also magnanimous. Thus when we live for His glory our lives will become prosperous. And that’s not so much in terms of money alone, but also in family, friend and work relationships. 

Our lives will be basically stress and worry free, and though we will encounter problems, we’ll be able to handle them in an efficient manner, again with God’s ever-present attention and help. 

So what think you this Monday morning eh? Are we seriously going to live for Jesus; pondering His word and following His most excellent example? I do hope so, for all of our sakes, otherwise we will definitely pay a serious price for our disobedience. 

As the psalmist ends: ‘For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:6) And that’s the living truth my people! So please, let’s be wise, rather than foolish nuh, and follow God’s law. Much LOVE!

…enter not into the path of the wicked…and go not in the way of evil men… (Prov.4:14)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2018 Isaiah 30:18.

Isaiah 30:18.   And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.

Well friends, I slept in my own bed last night, and it wasn’t half bad! At least the ole back isn’t aching nearly as much as that unforgettable night I spent in the hospital, and it was much easier to get up from too. Glory to God! So this morning we’re back to the daily task and common grind and I just have to wait and see what the Lord has in mind now. 

Over the past year I’ve been trying my best to get some closure on my major illnesses, but all to no avail. And for a moment there, I thought the Lord had finally decided it was time to do what seemed necessary, but obviously I was wrong. 

And as He is so famous for doing, He even led me to this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin simply titled ‘I Will Wait.’ Yuh get the message? (smile) 

Please pray with me: ‘O Lord Today I must face it honestly with You By pursuing the persistent questions within me. God, is there any gain at all by my doubting? Do doubts make me stronger? Do they purify my heart? Fortify my will? Are my emotions firmly established by my doubts? Are my family and friends encouraged? 

On the other hand, God Even though I see no possible way out Of the catastrophe I now face Is there anything more pleasing to You Than my personal choice to trust You? I know it is true, Lord I must rely on Your promises in the end. Would You be glorified, dear God If I trusted You now at the early beginning? 

O God, forgive me For so limiting You. Surely you know exactly what you will do. You are God, so You will not alter Your Word. Your power is instantly operative In all the strange twisting of my life. You are God, so You are good. I will hope I will trust I will wait On the living God!’ 

Yeh mih people, that is a lesson we must all learn if we are to be faithful believers. And I’ve learned it a tad in a hard manner over the last couple days. What seems to be our truth, isn’t always God’s. And what seems to be our time, isn’t always His either. We just have to learn to wait expectantly and with a good attitude until He finally decides to allow whatever He thinks is necessary to happen. 

And that’s not always easy, especially when it’s to do with sickness. But from my experiences in this past year, I can definitely say that God is good! I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but there was always some mitigating factor to ease the downs. He never just left me alone to go through my problems by myself. I could always see His hand working in the background, possibly not as much or how I would have liked, but I could always sense His presence. 

And even when He was not alleviating my sickness, I could still feel His hand of LOVE moving as He gave me some of my heart’s desires. They certainly made up for some of the disappointment with the illness. That’s why today, I can testify that we serve such a wonderful God! He doesn’t always do what we want or when we want it, but He ALWAYS comes through in the end! 

And though I’ve had this setback with the heart problem, I know that eventually, when He is good and ready, He will make all things right. Give Him thanks and praise, my people, exalt His holy name for He is certainly good to us, sinful and undeserving children of men! 

And I have to chuckle here, because I never really intended to testify, but the Lord seems to have drawn it out of me unconsciously. And not only that, but the Lord has just shown me our doubting Thomas’ way, because from the very beginning I’ve been praying for a miracle, where I’d have to go through no invasive surgery, but now that it might have happened, I can’t truly believe or accept it. 

And that’s how we are friends; we pray for big things but when they do happen, we find it difficult to accept them. But just remember that our God is a Big God and He can do ANYTHING. So if we pray big prayers, let’s not be surprised when they happen. 

And the scripture promise for our poem today is also our Bit; wise and wonderful words of the prophet Isaiah as he appeals to his people to turn to the Lord for help. ‘And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ 

Yes friends, if God can wait for us, so can we wait for Him. And remember it’s all for our benefit, not for His. The scholars offer this wise explanation. ’30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God.’ And so it is my brethren. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose, letting the world know that we are truly and seriously involved with our God and Friend, Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And it will indeed be a glorious future, more mind boggling than we can ever think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…Wait (in faith)…on the Lord…and he shall strengthen thine heart…wait (in faith)…I say…on the Lord. (Ps.27:14)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2018 Psalm 148:5

Psalm 148:5.    Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded and they were created.

Seven days have passed friends, since we last visited the Lord’s sanctuary to refresh our souls and spirits. That means we are due for a refuelling today. 

So let’s all come together, gather in the Lord’s house and fellowship with enthusiasm, hope, faith, praise and worship, while He replenishes, with His word and spiritual touch, the faith we’ve used up this past week. That will enable us to go back out and work diligently and sincerely on His behalf, with a full tank of joy, LOVE, confidence, persistence and peace. 

And all of God’s children declared a loud and thankful: ‘Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And how right we are, to give God the glory for all the magnanimous and magnificent things He’s done for us. 

Now, as always, let’s begin our praise and worship with a favourite old hymn titled ‘All things bright and beautiful.’ It was written by Cecil F. Alexander around 1848. And does it ever celebrate the Lord and His creations in nature. So let’s belt it our now through lips lined with sacrificial praise and hearts filled with enormous LOVE and gratitude to our Maker. 

‘(Refrain: All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.) Each little flow’r that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. (Refrain) 

The purple-headed mountains, The river running by, The sunset and the morning That brightens up the sky.(Refrain) 

The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. (Refrain) The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, To gather every day.(Refrain) 

He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.’

Yeh friends, ALL the beauty we enjoy in nature was made by our heavenly Father, for our enjoyment. Unfortunately though, many of us, including Christians, don’t seem to appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature. 

What can be more beautiful than a golden sunset; a full moon in full glow while stars sprinkle the night sky, or birds singing sweet songs of thanks in the early morning hours as they rise and give praise to their creator. 

Chuh! But we, the most important of God’s creation find it difficult, or even impossible to thank Him for His fatherly goodness and the beauty He’s created to enliven our earthly lives. 

Now we’re going to spend the rest of this message giving Him some of the praise He so worthily deserves. And we’ll begin with Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord – from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.’ (Ps.148:1-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! The Lord commanded everything to be made that was made! Therefore everything that was made, especially man, ought to be constantly singing His praises and admiring His handiwork. And He even went a step further than just creating them: ‘He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall never pass.’ (Ps.148:6) Glory to God friends! 

Nothing God has made shall pass away unless He wills it. Therefore ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps (sea creatures): Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: 

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. 

He also exalteth the horn (strength) of his people, the praise of all of his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Oh my people, how awesome is our God eh! I can’t understand why we refuse to exalt and glorify Him the way we should. But this Sunday morning, as we gather to worship Him, let’s begin changing that nuh. Let’s raise up our voices and our hearts in gratitude and tenderness and LOVE and exaltation, so that He can know that we truly appreciate Him and bring a beautiful smile to His face and a glow of warmth to His heart! Much LOVE!

…by the word of the Lord…were the heavens made…and all the hosts of them…by the breath of his mouth… (Ps.33:6)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2018 Romans 13:12

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Well here we are once more at Monday’s door, my fellow believers in Christ. And we all know what that means; to labour, to labour, and yet to labour! Yes as the Good Book says, if we want to eat and have a roof over our heads, then we must work. (smile) 

So let’s get ourselves together to go out and do just that nuh…and with a good attitude too, no griping and complaining. Did you hear Jesus griping and complaining when they were beating and ridiculing Him, or when He was carrying His cross to Calvary, or when He hung there for six hours until He gave up the Ghost? 

No way Jose! He endured the serious pain and shame and terrible ‘sufferation’ without a complaining word, all for our sakes. And now, in the midst of prosperity and easy living, we find it hard to get up and do a li’l work so we can eat and glorify His holy name. Chuh mih people! We should be ashamed of ourselves! 

And now that we’ve been properly chastened and chastised, (smile) let’s raise our voices, our hearts and spirits in a moving and uplifting rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! 

We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

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

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Beautiful mih people, beautiful! I could feel our spirits rising as we got into the meat of the song. Now let’s keep that adrenaline flowing as we head out to fight the good fight of faith in another week of work, under Christ’s everlasting and victorious banner.  

That brings us to our Bit: wise words of warning from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’  

And friends, this morning I want us to take that statement both literally and figuratively. Literally, in the sense that the night is over and daylight has come, that means no more sleeping and hiding out from whatever we have to do, no more laziness and procrastination, but actually getting out into the daylight and being about Jesus’ business.  

And we do that by walking in the real light, doing what is right, and letting others experience the true aura of Jesus’ LOVE flowing from us. That’s basically the physical aspect of the situation. 

And Bruh Paul spelled out how we ought to walk in the night. ‘Let us walk honestly (properly), as in the day; not in rioting (revelry) and drunkenness, not in chambering (licentiousness) and wantonness (lewdness), not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.’ (Rom.13:13-14)  

Yeh mih people, we have to be very careful of all we do in these last days and not give the enemy any leeway into our lives. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ’13:11-12. Sleep means insensitivity to the demands of Christ on the Christian’s life. Now is our salvation nearer: The coming of Christ to deliver us from this sinful world grows nearer every day. 

The night is the time while Christ is out of the world, and the world has been delivered into the control of the prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2). The day is the reference to the time when Christ will return and establish His reign of righteousness.’ 

13:14. Make not provision for the flesh. One should not seek opportunities to satisfy the deep-seated desires of the sin nature, but should seek occasion to manifest works that are consistent with the new life in Christ.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, it is not an easy task we’re called to accomplish, but we CAN DO IT, with the Lord’s help, as Bruh Paul explains: ‘Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil…

Wherefore take unto you, (take up, put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-11,13)

Yeh friends, it’s the only way to come up above the enemy and be victorious. So let’s put our all into it nuh…for Jesus’ sake. Much LOVE!

…victory only comes…through diligence and excellence…

 

 

 

 

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