Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.

And then it was Saturday…somewhat late in the day though, and many of you won’t notice, because like the ole fella you also slept in some. (smile) But what’s life eh, if once in a while you can’t sleep in and not be run ragged by the busyness of this insane world? The Lord’s LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness will still be there when we get up. 

Oh how wonderful is the God we serve and worship my brethren! He is always thinking about our welfare, so we need to be very thankful and grateful as we walk arm in arm with Him. And remember too, that NO ONE can separate us from Him, but us. And such a move on our part would be rather foolish. Nuff said. 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm has to say on this bleak and gloomy Saturday morning. First off, he tells us that ‘Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.’ 

I have serious doubts about that yes, because in this society there are oodles of people right now with lots of formal education, who can’t even get a job, much less earn a living. And if and when they do get one, the wage is definitely not in line with their standard of education. It’s surprising that in this supposed first-world economy, the number of university grads who are making minimum wage. 

And in my province of Ontario, at the beginning of the year, the government raised the minimum wage from eleven something to fourteen something, and as expected all the business people are up in arms, threatening all sorts of retribution. 

Some Tim Horton’s franchises have already cut back paid breaks, tips and stuff, taking away what little the employees already had, in their greedy desire to keep their profit margins high. So who knows, self-education might just be the answer. 

And I like this next quote. ‘If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.’ That’s oh so true my fellow believers. I’m sure most of us have had that experience at some time(s) in our lives. 

Times when we actually buckled down and did stuff we had to do, and was surprised at the quality and quantity of work we accomplished because we had set our minds to it. Many of us never reach our full capability, because we’re either not challenged to, or we just settle for average results. 

That leads us to this quote. ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’ And there’s much truth in that advice, especially in these modern times, where a lot of supposed successful people add li’l or no value to the society. Check out the celebrity culture that currently rules the world. 

How many of them add anything worthwhile to the society eh? Not many. That’s a big reason why the world is in such a mess. So friends, in our lives, please let’s concentrate on adding value to our lives and our society. Value usually means success in the real world, but not necessarily the other way around. 

And finally Anselm tells us that ‘Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.’ There is indeed substance to that remark, because the more we practice not being afraid, the more we will learn to conquer fear. 

But the basic foundation for conquering fear comes from our association with Jesus Christ. That’s who gives us the strength and wisdom to conquer fear. Oh friends, throughout the Good Book there are numerous warnings about fear. And one of the most powerful is that found in our Bit; Bruh Paul’s admonition to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Our wonderful God has not given us a fearful spirit, we allow the enemy to put fear into our hearts. And all I want to do today is highlight a few scriptures where God warned us not to be afraid. And one of my favourites is the one He commanded Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) Ah mih people, the Lord could not have been more explicit. 

Then in Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel, He warns His people the same way. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be thou not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

Now hear one of the first ‘fear not’ instructions; that from Moses when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And so said, so was it done. The Lord drowned the Egyptians in the closing of the Red sea. And we’ll end with these words of Jesus as He talked about care and anxiety and seeking God’s kingdom above all else. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And it is indeed the Lord’s desire to give us the kingdom, if we seek Him above all else. So friends, there is no need to fear man nor beast once we are walking hand in hand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please, let’s therefore rid ourselves of all the unwanted and unnecessary fear that is secreted in our hearts, by giving it to God. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be conquered by faith…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2017 Psalm 36:9.

Psalm 36:9.   For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

And then it was six… and counting! Yeh friends, six more days to the big one of Christmas! And I do hope that the celebrations are being ramped up, and all the preparations are falling nicely into place at your homes. 

It’s not looking too bad at my place. The outside lights are the best in the neighbourhood. (smile) So I’m somewhat biased, but they do look good. And I came home last night to find the Christmas tree being decorated. That looks good too…as always…! 

And brother, was I thrilled when I opened the door and was greeted, or rather assaulted, by a wonderful smell of baking Christmas cake in the air. And for a while the aroma just wafted through the house, adding to the air of Christmas cheer and peace and goodwill that existed. 

But all of that though friends should be secondary to the overwhelming presence of the Spirit of Jesus in our homes. For He, His miraculous birth, is the entire reason for all this celebration! And we need to keep that uppermost in our minds. 

And talking about birth, today I want to share a passage from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘Nourishment from Above.’ And he says: ‘Wait on the Lord, and He will renew your strength! Prayer is the umbilical cord that allows you – with your embryonic ideas – to draw nourishment from a source that you, like an unborn infant, can neither see nor fully know or comprehend – God our heavenly Father! 

Prayer is the power that pulls everything together successfully. With this prayerful attitude tackle your problem today. Turn it over to God. Take out a sheet of paper. Pick up a pencil. And get ready for the ideas that he will drop into your mind.’ 

(And as you do that, you can pray something like this:) ‘Father, I have a strong sensation that you brought me to this moment of prayer because you have a plan to share with me insights to solve my problems. So I will go out and face the sunlight of a new day and a new week crammed with undiscovered possibilities. I am encouraged! I am enthused! I am more hopeful than I have been in a long time! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, do we Christians ever need to be more enthused, encouraged and hopeful than ever before because of the evil and ungodly world in which we’re living. And that uplifting will ONLY come when we establish a tight relationship, keep in constant communication with our heavenly Father through prayer, for He is indeed the source of all life and all good things. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ Oh my people, our God is indeed the fountain of life: it’s through Him that we were granted physical life, and it’s ONLY through Him is eternal spiritual life available! Jesus made this fact clear so often that I don’t see how we can ever forget or neglect it. 

Listen to Him talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well (fountain) of water springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) What an inspiring and encouraging scripture friends! 

Now hear Jesus after His listeners told Him about the Lord giving their forefathers bread (manna) from heaven in the wilderness. ‘Verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:32-35) 

Glory to God my brethren! For how can we ever beat that promise eh? Jesus IS the bread that gives life; all kinds, although there He is referring in particular to spiritual and eternal life. 

And if you still have doubts and misgivings about the true source of life, then listen to Jesus one more time. ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast (feast of tabernacles), Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

Oh precious people, Jesus is indeed the fountain of life, the bread of life, the giver of living water (the indwelling Holy Spirit), the giver of physical life, spiritual life, eternal life – whatever kind of good life you’re looking for, the source, the head spring, is to be found in Jesus! Please remember that and act accordingly. 

Now let’s go home declaring loudly and proudly to this evil and ungodly world, who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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 now, in this Christmas season, the time of Christ’s birth, let’s go out and truly share that wonderful LOVE of our awesome friend Jesus! It’s ever so appropriate. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will follow Jesus…the fountain of ALL life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Ah friends, can you believe that this early in the game, the weather forecasters are calling for that beautiful, innocent-looking but oh so dangerous thing called snow? Steups! 

Ah Lord eh! But that’s what you get for all the good weather we’ve enjoyed so far this late in the year. As Job, says, you can’t expect to always receive good and no bad. 

Can you imagine the mess the place will be in this evening, especially if it begins during the rush hour? And the sad part is that you not only have to look out for yourself, but even more for the many foolish drivers on the road! 

But yuh know what, I’ve promised myself that from hereon in, I’m not going out in no setta snow to go anywhere. If somebody wants to drive me, then I’ll consider it. But once I’ve got to drive myself, ‘NO WAY JOSE!’ 

I can handle the cold, but driving through the slush and sleet and snow and ice and otherwise… too much unnecessary pressure. I think I’ve had enough of that. I’ve come through the last forty something years of it fairly unscathed, no need to go and get my ole bod damaged at this stage of life. End of monologue! (smile) 

That’s why I’m going to do as Pastor Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power) says: ‘Do not be pushed by your problems, but be led by your dreams.’ Words of wisdom, even from one so young. 

For as Jesus rebuked the Israelite leaders when the children praised Him in the temple, using some of Bruh David’s words from Ps.8:2. ‘Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings (nursing infants) thou hast perfected praise?’ (Matt.21:16) Yeh friends, age doesn’t matter all that much if the Spirit of the Lord is upon you. 

And our Bit explains why: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

Ah precious people of God, what indisputable words of reassurance from our great God! He has not only set the sun in its physical place, but He also wants to be our spiritual SUN; the bright light that glows in the darkness of our troubled souls. 

Hear how Isaiah puts it when he talks about the future glory of Zion. ‘The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.’ (Is.60:9) 

Just imagine it nuh friends, at some stage of life, we won’t need the sun nor that moon to provide light for us, because we’ll be dwelling in the holy presence of our awesome God, who Himself will be our light, provide all the light we need. 

‘And all God’s people declared a mighty shout: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill to men!’ Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what a glorious day that will be, when we reside in the halls of heaven in the presence of our heavenly Father, who will be just exuding godly light!  

Listen to how John describes it in his Revelations. ‘And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten (illuminate) it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.’ (Rev. 21:22-23) 

Wow! I can’t get my head around not needing a sun or moon to see around me. But the Lord has promised it, therefore it will be so. 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ’21:22-23. There is no temple in the city, since both the Father and the Son will be present in their fullest manifestations. Its light will be provided by the Shekinah glory of God and of Christ (cf. Ex.3:3-4; 24:15-17; 33:14-16; Luke 2:9; 9:29; Heb.1:3).’ 

The Shekinah glory of God is basically where He reveals the full majesty of His light and power. Like when He went before the Israelites in the wilderness in a cloud and a pillar of fire, when He passed before Moses, but only allowed him to see His backside, otherwise Moses would have been annihilated, even the radiant look on Moses face when He came down from the Mount after receiving the Ten Commandments and had to veil his face. 

So just imagine the treat we’re in for my fellow believers, when we see God face to face, shining in all His might and glory! Now we haven’t come to that point as yet, but in the meanwhile our most magnanimous God has given us enough blessings here on earth to make our mark in His name. So let’s declare them nuh, since the power of our God lies in His spoken word. 

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!’ 

And having declared that with sincerity of heart and strength of purpose, let’s now go out and share those blessings with others, as Jesus requires of us. Much LOVE!

…a blessing isn’t really a true blessing…until it’s been shared…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2017 Isaiah 26:4.

Isaiah 26:4.    Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).

Ah friends, what can I say about Sunday that hasn’t been said already eh? The Lord’s Day, the best day of the week, a time of rest, a time for gathering in His sanctuary and praising Him and receiving His wonderful blessings and assurance in return, etc. etc! Yes my brethren, Sunday is a wonderful day in our faith calendar. If we don’t use it wisely, we tend to falter and flame out very early in the upcoming week. 

That’s why we need to gather and fellowship at least once a week, to renew our faith, bolster our enthusiasm and be replenished with the Holy Spirit of Christ, who leads and guides us, and enables us to do the will of God down here on Mother Earth.  So, as always, let’s open the day’s proceedings with this favourite old hymn of praise and refuge, ‘Rock of Ages,’ penned by Augustus M. Toplady, around 1776. 

With sincere hearts and strong voices, let’s offer up sacrificial praise to our heavenly Father. ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labor of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, When my eyes shall close in death, When I rise to worlds unknown, And behold Thee on Thy throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.’ 

Oh friends, there’s nowhere safer in this universe than under the mighty wings of our omnipotent and wonderful God! And our Bit acknowledges it in spades: ‘Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah (Yahweh) is everlasting strength (the Rock of Ages).’ 

Those are words from the song of praise that will be sung when the redeemed enter the millennial kingdom. And the song continues to exalt the Lord’s strength: ‘For he bringeth down (low) them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread (trample) it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.’ (Is.26:5-6) 

What a mighty God we serve and worship my people! There’s NONE like Him! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Moses in his song of praise to the God of his forefathers. ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.’ (Deut.32:4) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘32:4-9. A faithful God and a faithless people are pictured (in those verses). The Rock: The word is placed first in the Hebrew for emphasis. It emphasizes the stability and permanence of the God of Israel. His unchanging nature is contrasted with the fickleness of the covenant people…’ 

When will we ever learn eh my brethren? The same thing is happening today; a minority of us are putting our trust and faith in Almighty God; the Creator and Controller of ALL THINGS!  That surely doesn’t make much sense, in no way is it wisdom in any form or fashion. Lucifer, whom most of us are bowing down to in these rough and disastrous end times, cannot offer us anything but hell fire and damnation. And if that is what you desire, then go right ahead and get it, but as for me and mine, we WILL follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Why? Just listen to Bruh David from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when the Lord delivered him from all his enemies, in particular Saul. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (fortress, stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 

What greater testimony to our Lord’s greatness and power can there be eh friends? And I like how all these men of great faith put their exaltation in song. Listen as we end with words from Asaph’s song, Psalm 83 – A prayer for the destruction of Israel’s enemies. ‘So persecute (pursue) them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and troubled (ashamed and dismayed) for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH (Lord), art the Most High over all the earth.’ (Ps.83:15-18) 

And friends, that is exactly what the Lord is doing all over the earth these days; letting us know that He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD, and if we don’t bow down and worship Him, we will eventually perish! It’s as simple as that! The Bible warns us of the penalty for sin and disobedience from Genesis right through to Revelation, so we can’t say we’re ignorant of the facts. Please, I implore us, let’s be wise and repent and get in the good graces of Almighty God nuh, before it’s too late! Now that is wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…remember that God doesn’t make idle promises…and He promised…that the wages of sin is death…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Well my people, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day! But today is a special Sunday; it’s Thanksgiving Sunday in our wonderful country of Canada! Yes friends, this our Thanksgiving weekend, so we will be even more joyful and grateful in the Lord’s house today, as we give Him all the praise and glory and thankfulness that our hearts can produce for the awesome blessings He has bestowed on us over the past year. 

Oh, we’ve had our problems like everybody else, but I’m pretty sure that the blessings have outweighed the calamity. That’s why we have chosen to open with this old hymn of praise and thanks, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ written by Bishop Thomas Ken in 1674, with the additional chorus and words for verses 2 and 3 added by Michael Schroeder some years ago. 

So with joyful hearts and thankful spirits, let’s raise our voices to heaven offering sacrifices of praise in thrilling song. Sing it my people! ‘Praise, God from whom all blessings flow, (James 1:17) Praise Him all creatures here below; (Psalm 145:21) Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; (Rev 5:11-14) Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19) Praise to the Father praise to the Son Praise to the Spirit Three in One. (Matt 28:19, Deut 6:4) Praise to the most high God we sing. (Psalm 136:2) Praise to our Savior, Lord and King. (2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 74:12) 

{Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, (Psalm 96:2) Praise our God, for our God saves. (Psalm 68:20)} Let every mouth the Lord proclaim. (Psalm 145:21) Let earth and heaven sing His praise. (Psalm 96:11) Let every knee before Him bow, (Romans 14: 11) Great is our God, the Lord of all. (Acts 10:36) {Chorus: Praise Our God, praise His Name, Praise our God, for our God saves.} Praise, God from whom all blessings flow Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’ 

Oh friends that was wonderful! You could see the tears welling up in the Father’s eyes, so touched was He by our thankfulness. And you’ll notice that in this version they gave us the scripture verses from whence the words came, and I chose to leave them in the first time around, for those of us might want to check them out. 

And we all know that in times of indecision, so often our first choice is our best. And so it was with our Bit. It was my first choice… and then I had doubts, so I checked out several other scriptures. But the Holy Spirit brought me right back to this one, as being the best choice for today. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

These were the words of Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem, after they had finished repairing the walls and houses and Ezra the scribe had read from the Book of the Law written by Moses for the people in the public square. That generation of Israelites had never heard the Word before. And when they were done, ‘Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.’ (Neh.8:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we ought to have on hearing the wonderful Word of our magnanimous and magnificent God read out loud, especially on a special day like today. Can you imagine how those people felt on hearing the Word for the first time? Hn! The elders had to tell them: ‘This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.’(Neh.8:9b)  

I just wish that many more of us could be so moved when we heard the Word, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, without much emotion. That leads me to a New Testament scripture, where Bruh Paul, is writing to the Corinthians, about Death being swallowed up in victory. Then a couple verses later he makes this awesome statement of truth. ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.15:57).  

Oh friends, without the great and unconditional LOVE of God towards us, shown by the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for our sakes, we’d have very little, if anything to be thankful for today. So having had the Word of the Lord read to us, and the joy of His Spirit flowing through us, let’s go home and do as the Israelites did on that faithful and fateful day. ‘And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth (rejoicing), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.’ (Neh. 8:12) 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s eat and drink and be merry this Thanksgiving weekend because it is our just due from all our labour. But let’s remember two important things. First off, let’s not get too carried away in our celebrations, remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business.’ We don’t want to give the enemy any chance to invade our spirits.

And the next thing is to remember all those who are not as fortunate as we are, and like the Israelites did, send portions to those whom you can send to, for whatever the Lord has given us was meant to be shared. And for those far away, the many suffering from all the recent natural disasters, donate whatever you can to help, and also remember them in your prayers, for you never know when you might end up in their situation and need the help of others. Much LOVE!

…Thanksgiving…a special time to give thanks…and show thankful LOVE…  

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2017 Matthew 24:35.

Matthew 24:35.   Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Ah friends, as the man says, ‘It’s just one of those days!’ (smile) The ole fella pulled a late one this morning. Hockey season has started, meaning more of those are likely now. So though we might be late, like the post, we’ll always be there! 

And if you think that because summer was over, the hurricane season was also over, then think again. Apparently a tropical storm named Nate is fomenting in the Caribbean and Central America area and can possible become a hurricane in the next few days afflicting someplace that needs no more affliction. 

Oh my brethren, how much affliction do we need before we can see the light eh? Before we realize that turning back to Jehovah God is the only wise and sensible alternative we have in light of all the disasters, evil, corruption and ungodliness in our world? 

But mankind has always been a stubborn and hardhearted people. And we have the best example of that in the Jews whom the Lord brought out of Israel through miraculous means, who nonetheless rebelled against Him on several occasions. Hear what the psalmist says about it in Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God. 

‘Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion), and as in the day of temptation (trial, testing) in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted  (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work. 

Forty years long was I grieved (disgusted) with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart (go astray), and they have not known my ways. Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.’ (Ps.95:7-11) 

Yeh friends, the Lord is possibly saying the same thing about us. And it’s about forty years now since we seriously began our downward journey to Hades. 

We had such a good thing going when He was our Leader, but we’ve gotten so big for our britches, so full of our ourselves now, that we have no more time or use for Him and are blatantly trying to oust Him from our lives. 

But please note those stubborn and hardhearted Israelites, who wandered round in the wilderness for forty years, whining and complaining. None of those who came out of Egypt, besides Joshua and Caleb, ever made it into the Promised Land, not even the great Moses. 

And they were even too foolish to realize that in the wilderness they had food and water, plus their clothing and footwear never wore our. How did they think those things happened eh? Only through the mighty hand of the God of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Oh my people, please let’s not be stubborn, blind, foolish and hardhearted like those Israelites. In the time of calamity, there is ONLY ONE place for us to turn; to the God who created us and the universe in which we dwell. 

Please remember His awesome promise that’s conveyed in our Bit. ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus is the WORD, the world was begotten through words, which means that the Word of the Lord has awesome power. How then can we escape it eh? Hear what the prophet Isaiah said about it, a long, long time ago, as he prophesied about the coming of John the Baptist. 

‘And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry (cry out). And he said, what shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness (loveliness) thereof is as a flower of the field: 

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit (breath) of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.’ (Is.40:5-8) 

Oh friends, we certainly can’t dispute that we are like the grass and flower that fades and dies with only a short period of blooming. And just look at how long the Word of God has been around; through thousands of generations of mankind. So how can we doubt the Word eh? Not if we’re wise. 

Anyway, I’ll leave that for us to ponder today, now let’s go home declaring the wonderful blessings that our magnanimous and magnificent God has so generously bestowed on us this day. 

In loud voice and sincerity of heart: ‘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 since blessings are meant to be shared, let’s go out and share them with all we meet nuh, as Jesus so desperately desires of us. Much LOVE!

…words were meant to be spoken…and there’s none as powerful as the Lord’s…so be wise…and speak them…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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