Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2018 Psalm 95:1.

Psalm 95:1.   O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.

So it’s Tuesday friends! What’s new and exciting eh? And you grouchily mumble; ‘same old, same old.’ But that’s not really true, for we have a brand new day to live, courtesy of our magnificent and magnanimous God; a day filled with brand new mercies, grace, forgiveness and LOVE! 

So how can that be the same old, same old eh? Wake up mih breddren, let’s give the Lord God Almighty, our Creator, Controller and Provider some sincere thanks and praise for bringing us through another dark night into a sunny day, filled with the everlasting brilliance of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! 

And to help us do just that, here is a reminder from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, letting us know that no problem is permanent. He says: ‘Every mountain has a peak. Every valley has its low point. Life has its ups and downs, its peaks and its valleys. 

No one is up all the time, nor are they down all the time. Problems do end. They do go away. They are all resolved in time… Storms always give way to the sun. Winter always thaws into springtime. Your storm will pass. Your winter will thaw. Your problem will be resolved.’ And it’s all true my people! 

So with all that in mind, let’s pray with Gramps Schuller nuh. ‘Lord, when I face a mountain, do not let me quit! Give me the strength to keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, or tunnel underneath. And if my best efforts fail, give me the patience to stay and the perception to see the possibilities of turning my mountain into a gold mine with your help. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, this earthly life is not easy, but with God’s help we can have hope and faith and keep on keeping on, fighting the good fight of faith, turning our problems into gold mines. (smile) 

And as I opened the Good Book to find a suitable Bit for today, this is what jumped out at me: ‘O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (His possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps.95:1-5) 

Oh my faithful believing brethren, those are words of indisputable, inescapable truth! So why aren’t we giving our great God the enormous thanks and praise and reverence He so rightfully deserves eh? I guess we’ve either gotten too comfortable in receiving His LOVE, grace, mercy and forgiveness, that we now take it all for granted and don’t bother to give much thanks for them. Or on the other hand, we simply don’t believe. 

Ah friends, either path is fraught with danger. We give plenty thanks to our fellow men who give us worldly, destructible things, so why not to our Creator and Provider eh, who gives us worldly as well as spiritual things, and so much more than any man? 

Oh my breddren, it behooves us to show plenty gratitude to our wonderful God for undeserved blessings, or those blessings might just stop coming. And if we don’t believe, then we won’t get the blessings and suffer the pangs and numerous injustices of this evil and ungodly world all on our own. Now, even with God’s help, that’s not an easy thing to do, so can you imagine trying to fight this world all on your lonesome? I certainly can’t. 

So please, let’s be wise nuh, let’s get wisdom and understanding, the principal things we need as believers. And when we do that, then we’ll be able to truthfully and sincerely declare like the psalmist: ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under His care).’ (Ps.95:6-7a) 

Oh my people, my people, that is what we were made for: to have fellowship with our maker; to LOVE and cherish Him, like He does us. Therefore, as the psalmist encourages, ‘Today if you will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion at Meribah), and as in the day of temptation (trial or testing) in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work.’ (Ps.95:8-9) 

Oh friends, that was so foolish of our forefathers, for look at what happened as a consequence of that foolish act. ‘Forty years long was I grieved (I was 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.95:10-11) 

And so said, so done! Only TWO of the millions who left Egypt, Caleb and Joshua, entered the Promised Land because of their disobedience and refusal to take God seriously. They wandered aimlessly in the wilderness for forty years until they all died out. Even Moses, the great man of God, only saw it from afar. 

Oh friends, what wasted lives those were. Please, I implore us, please don’t let us become like those Israelites of old nuh, just wandering aimlessly in this world because of our disobedience or unbelief. Instead, let’s be praiseworthy and strong under the unconquerable banner of God! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the entire world, who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

The next move then is to go and share Christ’s LOVE, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…fools despise wisdom…but wise men praise God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2018 1 Peter 5:6-7.

1 Peter 5:6-7.   Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care (anxiety) upon him; for he careth for you.

Another day of adventurous sailing friends on the ever-eventful seas of Life, with the Pilot of All Pilots, Jesus Christ at the helm! Mama Mia! That means there is no need to fear or worry, for Jesus is simply the BEST of the BEST! 

Yes my people, He will never let anything untoward happen to us while He is guiding our ship, be it amongst storms and rocky coasts, or calm seas, with beautiful sandy beaches in the offing. So give Him some thanks and praise for His concern and faithfulness towards us nuh. 

And the first thing Jesus wants us to consider as we set sail this morning is, ‘Dare to believe!’ Yes my brethren, He is daring us to believe in Him and His awesome powers and everlasting LOVE! And from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, comes this most appropriate prayer. ‘I Dare to Believe!’ 

So let’s make our declaration: “Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord.” On this day of remorse and turmoil The Psalmist’s cry is my cry. Trembling, crumbling, out of the depths I cry. And yet, in the throes of my anguish, O God I dare to believe. You see my groping and grasping. You hear my sighs and sobs. I dare to believe. 

You can break through the emotional blockades You can rebuild my broken dreams. Though my words seem drenched with presumption To those who march with illusive courage I dare to believe. Your LOVE is unquenchable Your faithfulness is inexhaustible. I dare to believe. 

You delight to draw me to Yourself You long to silence my desperate cry. I dare to believe. I will yet hear Your gentle words “I am your Father. Come home.”  Weeping child It is true That I am your Father. Now dare to believe You are home.’  

Oh friends, do we have the parts, the hope, the faith, the wherewithal to dare to believe, that the Lord God is our Father and we are at home with him, in His awesome presence and His undying LOVE? For all of our sakes, I sincerely hope so, else we’re certainly in bad shape. 

And isn’t it strange that the most important thing that Jesus asks of us – to simply BELIEVE – is the thing we find the hardest to do. I guess that’s because believing entails trusting things and people you don’t know or can’t see. But that’s the whole beauty of walking with Jesus; you don’t need to see it to believe it, for He is our EVERYTHING! We live in Him and through Him and for Him. What can be better than that eh? Nothing really! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem above is also our Bit for today. ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care (anxiety) upon him; for he careth for you.’ 

Oh my people, please believe – there we have that word ‘believe’ again – that despite all our disobedience and sinfulness and trying to root Him out of our lives and our societies, that Almighty God who created us, still LOVES us like the first day He made us! His LOVE is unconditional and undying…but you have to BELIEVE… 

Ah friends, but once we believe, then we need to be humble, to come humbly and with reverence before our heavenly Father, for though He is our Father, He is also our God and deserves obeisance on that front. And as Micah tells us: ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic.6:9)  

Yes friends, we need to remember that the Lord is the potter, the Creator, and we are the clay, the ones whom He formed, and is constantly reforming in the image of Christ, so we need to have and show some appreciation of His awesome might and power…if we are wise. 

And Isaiah declares of the Lord: ‘For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ (Is.57:15) And Cousin Sol adds: ‘By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.’ (Prov.22:4) 

You simply can’t go wrong my brethren by believing, being humble and reverent towards the Lord God Jehovah, our Maker and Controller. It’s indeed wisdom of the highest order! Now for those of us who truly believe and are sincerely trying to put it into practice, let’s go home declaring our position in the Lord, through our Wednesday Wail. 

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 if we keep on keeping on and believing, the future will indeed be glorious…more glorious than we can ever imagine. Much LOVE!

…believe…only believe…it is the first…and also…the mightiest and most important step…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2018 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.   There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.

And then it was Monday; Monday of a long weekend in the British Commonwealth of nations celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday! And to tell you how far I am out of the loop, I did not even realize that this was a long weekend until yesterday. Hn! Life surely passes you by when you’re having fun! (smile) 

That means a lot of people around the world aren’t working today, but are at home or wherever celebrating, which means we also have to invoke Granny’s warning for all believers. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. And don’t give the devil any chance at all to get into your life!’ 

And a lot of stuff is going to be happening in the North Country today, especially with the glorious sunshine out there. Let’s hope the Spirit of the SON keeps us on a tight rein. (smile) 

But since in many parts of the universe life and work go on as normal this Monday morning, we need to encourage those who have to labour while we play. So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help them gather themselves together. 

In strong voice 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 usual on a day like today, many of the voices that were the strongest were also harsh and out of sorts from the exuberance of the holiday weekend. (smile) But that’s just life; we’re always more enthusiastic when we don’t have to get involved in an unwanted task. 

And today we want to look at an important verse of scripture from John’s first epistle: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ 

Oh friends, those two words, ‘fear’ and ‘LOVE’ rule most of our lives. Earlier on John declares: ‘And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:16) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as  a characteristic of God, and therefore  as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ That means if true LOVE isn’t one of our dominant characteristics, then we’re not truly into God, and vice versa. 

And John continues: ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect (LOVE is made perfect among us), that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ (1 John 4:17) 

Now hear the scholars. ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16. By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, if we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Yes my people, we need God’s LOVE dwelling in us, if we are to walk this earth reassured and without fear of the days to come. And why is that? Because as our Bit says: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear.’ So if you have LOVE, you won’t fear, and if you have fear, you can’t have LOVE. As simple as that! 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. Fear is still part of the Christian walk in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us (see Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil,2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ 

Ah mih people, I think we should all take a few minutes and look at those scriptures, I just did, as they all drive home the point that though we should not fear God in the sense of having personal courage to come to Him with confidence, we definitely need to show Him deserved reverence, honour and admiration. 

And as the definition of reverence declares: a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe and veneration. Yeh friends, that’s how our God must be to us. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2018 1 Timothy 2:4.

1 Timothy 2:4.    Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

One more day, you beautiful people of Jehovah God! Yes, we’ve been blessed with another day on God’s great earth, to enjoy His awesome LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness! How can you beat that eh? You just can’t! So let’s begin by giving the Most High some praise and thanks for all that He’s done, doing, and will do for us, even though we don’t deserve it. 

Please pray with me: ‘Oh heavenly Father, thank You for this day and all the amazing promises You’ve made! We know that You are faithful to keep them, therefore we surrender our hearts, souls and bodies to Your everlasting mercy and grace. 

Please lead and guide us to do Your will, like Jesus did. Then receive us in glory, like You did with Him. We pray this in the holy name of Jesus, the name that’s above every other name, because of His selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary for us. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we can never give God enough thanks and praise for all that He’s done on our behalf. So please let’s not think more highly of ourselves than we should. It’s ONLY through His LOVING-kindness that we still exist. 

Now here is a li’l something from Uncle John (John Hagee) to titivate our minds. (smile) ‘Nothing has meaning until we live it. Meaning: it’s not what you know, it’s how you apply what you know.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! 

All the knowledge in the world won’t help you until you put it into action. So all those people who just keep on going to school for going to school sake, and not doing anything useful with the knowledge they acquire, are simply wasting their time and their lives. I know that they say knowledge is power, but only if you use the knowledge. 

And today we’ll contemplate what is the most important bit of knowledge a man can have, as we look at Bruh Paul’s exhortation to Timothy regarding prayer. 

He opens the chapter thus: ‘I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority (a prominent place); that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (reverence). For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.’ (1 Tim.2:1-3). 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘2:1. First of all (or, “most important of all”): Prayer is to hold the preeminent place in church meetings. Four different types of prayer are mentioned here: (1) supplications are precise requests for specific needs; (2) prayers is a general word embracing various kinds of prayer – confession, adoration, and so on; (3) intercessions denote prayer to God on behalf of others; (4) giving of thanks refers to prayers of praise.’ 

And per verses 2-3, the scholars say: ‘There are three reasons why the prayers of verse 1 are to be offered “for all men”: (1) that Christians may enjoy a tranquil life (v.2); (2) such praying is good and acceptable to God (v.3); (3) such prayers help bring about the salvation of men (v.4).’ 

So there we have it friends, prayer helps us live quiet, untroubled peaceful lives and helps with our salvation.  But all of it is a waste of time unless we truly understand the root purpose for it all, that’s found in our Bit: ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ 

Yes my people, that is our God’s greatest wish; that we all be saved and come to know the truth, which is: ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (Jesus’ sacrifice is proof of God’s will for all to be converted). Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity (truth).’ (1 Tim. 2:5-7) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:5-7. These verses provide a threefold evidence confirming the assertion in v.4 that God “will have all men to be saved”: (1) There being but one God implies that He must have the same desire toward all people, which is, namely their salvation. 

One mediator suggests His having made the same provision for all people, namely redemption. (2) Jesusgave himself a ransom for all (v6). (3) Paul’s being divinely ordained…a teacher of the Gentiles (v.7) shows that if sinful pagans are instructed in faith and verity (truth), then surely God does indeed want all to be saved.’ 

And that’s the indisputable truth my brethren, otherwise He wouldn’t have made all the provision He’s made, especially through Christ’s sacrifice. So please, let’s keep that first place in our minds, and wisely try to live the kind of life it suggests; a godly, prayerful and righteous one. Now let’s end with our Wednesday Wail, where we tell the world about our wonderful journey with Jesus. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, everytime I consider that glorious future laid up for us, I just LOVE Jesus more! Much LOVE!

…salvation for all…God’s number ONE desire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2018 Romans 5:19.

Romans 5:19.   For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Monday, Monday! What a beautiful sounding name for a beautiful day! And I know that some of you think I’m being facetious and flippant, or I’m just crazy, or even both, because I’m calling Monday a beautiful day, when hordes of you despise the very name Monday and what it entails. 

But friends, regardless of how much we might dislike Mondays and what it means, or stands for, we can’t get away from it. So why keep on trying to fight it eh? Why not just make peace with it, knowing that every week it’s going to come around and we will be miserable, because we’re tired and don’t want to get up to go to work. 

So let’s just try and go with the flow nuh. (smile) Monday rolls around, you simply say to yourself, if I don’t work, then I won’t eat, and let words to that effect propel you out of the warm, cozy bed. Although, if we’d use the weekend as sensibly as we should, we’d never have the Monday morning problem. But that’s another sermon for another day. 

Right now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to give us our wake up call, so that we can get ourselves together and get back in the rat-race we call society and fight tooth and nail on behalf of Jesus. All together 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, how wonderful that prayer is at causing the adrenaline to speedily course through our bodies! Let’s not waste it nuh, but use it to improve our momentum and all around good vibes, as we begin this new work week, working steadfastly with and for Jesus. And believe people, there’s no better person in the entire world to work with or for than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! And if you have to ask why, then you’re not a believer. But I’ll tell you anyway: because of all the wondrous things He’s done for poor, lost and despicable sinners like you and me. 

Listen as Bruh Paul explains Jesus’ major accomplishment to the Roman church in our Bit. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, just like the whole world was plunged into sin and darkness by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, likewise the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ enables all who sincerely desire to be reconciled with God, to bask in the brilliant light of Jesus, be considered righteous in God’s holy eyes. 

That’s because Jesus took upon Himself ALL our sins, the Lord burdened Him with them on the cross at Calvary, and instead, like the true Saviour He is, He gave us His righteousness. Wow! What a Champion is our Jesus! There is NO ONE like Him in the universe: not even close! 

Hear how Bruh Paul describes him to the Philippians nuh. ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:6-8) 

Yeh friends, Jesus was God incarnate, man in human form, but didn’t make a big fuss over it. Instead He chose to be a servant, to be obedient to His heavenly Father’s will. Even though it was a catastrophic situation, He withstood the shame and the ‘sufferation’ and sacrificed His sinless and holy life on the cross for us, so that the Father could forgive and wash away our horrible sins!  

Now that makes Him an awesome giant in my eyes. And yuh know what, the Father felt the same way: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Mama Mia! I can’t find words to express my feelings! Jesus is just too great for words! And as we go up against the enemy today my faithful brethren, let’s remember that nuh; meaning the enemy can’t do us any real harm unless we allow him to do so. He is a defeated foe, crushed to smithereens by our Jesus and he is just trying to hold on through lies and other deceptive means. Please don’t fall prey to him today. Much LOVE!

…bend your knee…and speak His name with reverence…for Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of ALL…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2018 Isaiah 25:4.

Isaiah 25:4.   For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 

Ah friends, we’re sailing on the good ship Sunday, towards the sanctuary of God, where we will fall on our knees and praise and worship Him, give Him innumerable thanks, exalt His holy name and glorify Him without ceasing! 

Wow! What a time we will have in the sanctuary as we fellowship with each other, encourage each other, hear God’s word and bury it deep in our hearts, and souls, and eventually leave the sanctuary fortified with His strength and confidence, able to withstand whatever comes against us. And please remember the immortal words of the psalmist; this is the day the Lord hath made, let us all rejoice and be glad in it! That’s both wisdom and common sense friends! 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with worship in sweet song. This morning we’ll sing a Christian Gospel tune titled ‘The Anchor Holds.’ It was originally written by a pastor, songwriter called Lawrence Chewning. Apparently the year of 1992 became known as the year of sorrows for him and his family. 

One sorrow after another hit them and finally Lawrence, depressed and discouraged, was left burnt out, so he took a six month sabbatical from his pastoring duties and during that time began playing the piano more, in an attempt to get closer to God. In this sorrowful time he read stuff about the long dark night of the soul, when it seems you just can’t find God anywhere, and also experienced that emptiness for a while. 

Then, one day, in his many hours of playing the piano, he discovered that he was writing a song, a song that was coming from deep down in his soul. It was so touching that it provided him with therapeutic help in his depression and discouragement. But the song was some ten minutes long. However, a couple of years later, he offered the song to his friend, Christian singer songwriter, Ray Boltz, who edited and recorded it and made it a hit. 

Ah friends, ‘The Anchor Holds’ is one of my favourite Gospel songs because I can testify to the truth of those immortal words. And if you’re a true believer, so too can you. So let’s offer it up through the sacrifice of our lips now nuh, with appropriate reverence and heartfelt sincerity. In glorious harmony: ‘I have journeyed Through the long dark night Out on the open sea By faith alone Sight unknown And yet His eyes were watching me (Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn) 

I have fallen on my knees As I faced the raging seas The anchor holds In spite of the storm I’ve had visions I’ve had dreams I’ve even held them in my hand But I never knew They would slip right through Like they were only grains of sand (Chorus) I have been young But I am older now And there has been beauty these eyes have seen But it was in the night Through the storms of my life Oh that’s where God proved His LOVE to me. 

(Chorus: The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn. Ohhh yes, The anchor holds Though the ship is battered The anchor holds Though the sails are torn).’ 

Ah mih people what words of truth and encouragement! And it’s only when we are going through a stormy period in life that we can write such heartfelt words. You’ll notice too, that it’s during the storm that God proves His wonderful and unconditional LOVE to us, more so than when the seas are calm and quiet. 

Because that’s when we need Him the most, when we discover that our efforts are too puny to withstand the storm that’s bruising and battering us. And only when we take refuge in His safe harbour, when we allow Him to anchor our hearts and souls in the sheltered bay that’s His awesome LOVE and grace that we truly find rest and rejuvenation for our troubled, storm-filled lives. 

Oh what a wonderful God is our God! No wonder in Isaiah’s song of praise by the redeemed the survivors of the Great Tribulation exalt the Lord, lift their voices in praise to God for His protection. ‘O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For thou hast made of a city an heap (a ruin); of a defensed (fortified) city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built (rebuilt). 

Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:1-4) 

Yeh friends, our God runs things; He controls it all. So in your time of need, who are you going to call eh, who are you going to run to for refuge? Almighty God, if you are wise! As the old reggae song says, ‘You’ll run to the rock for rescue, but there will be no rock.’ But if you run to the Creator of the universe, you’ll find Him ready, willing and able to offer help. 

As Isaiah prophesies about Jerusalem’s glorious future. ‘And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow (shade) in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert (shelter) from the storm and from rain.’ (Is.4:6) 

Oh friends, there’s no better place to hunker down in stormy times than under the wings of our heavenly Father, just like chicks hide under the mother hen’s wings when it rains, for under there we are guaranteed safe passage through the storms of life. Much LOVE!

…through the heartache…through the storm…take my hand precious Lord…lead me on…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 January 2018 Titus 2:11.

Titus 2:11.    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.

Sunday, oh Sunday! It’s Sunday my brethren! That means all roads lead to the Lord‘s sanctuary for some special time of prayer and praise, worship and fellowship! What a glorious morning it will be as we gather to give thanks and get strength and mercy in return! The Lord will be just bubbling over with joy this morning as we come to exalt His holy name, show humility and reverence to His majestic Being and renew our faithfulness by believing His promises. 

And there is no more appropriate hymn to open our worship session than the old faithful, ‘Standing on the Promises of God.’ It’s a wonder how these old hymns just seem to last forever, but that’s because they are based on the infallible truth of God’s word. So without further ado, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips, strong lungs and sincere hearts. 

All together now: ‘Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God. (Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.)  Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] 

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by LOVE’S strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.]’ 

And isn’t that the best place to stand my fellow believers? Yes sir, right there on the faithful and everlasting promises of God, for there is none as faithful as Him! He never makes promises unless He intends to keep them. So any promise you see written in His word, will most definitely be kept. Yuh see how He promised to send the Jewish people a Messiah, a Saviour, and He did! 

They just misunderstood the circumstances. They were looking for a warrior king, to lift the heavy burden of servitude from their shoulders under harsh Roman rule. However, the Lord had a peaceful, LOVE touting rabbi in mind; one to save their sinful souls from eternal damnation. 

And today we’re going to listen to Bruh Paul’s words to his protégé Titus on the subject of Christian living, how we can prevent the loss of our souls  to Lucifer, through accepting the faithful promise of Christ. It starts out with our Bit: ‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.’ 

Yes friends, God LOVED His human creation so much that He could not exclude any from His plan for salvation. And Bruh Paul continues: ‘Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (age). Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself, a peculiar (his own special) people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.’ (Titus 2:12-15) 

Absolutely nothing has changed down through the ages friends. It is still the way we ought to live if we consider ourselves believers in, and followers of Christ. Hear the scholars’ explanations on that passage. ‘2:11-15. The salvation that appeared to all men is based on God’s grace that has provided salvation universally for all mankind through the unlimited atonement of Christ. 

That blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ refers to His second coming. The use of the definite article “the” with the first noun “God” and the connecting “and” indicates that the first and second “Saviour” (nouns) are one and the same person. Our “great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” is thus one and the same person, clearly proving the deity of Christ.’ 

Ah mih people, I guess the scholars’ are referring to the Greek text in that last sentence. But we don’t need any evidence or reassurance that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was deity. It’s evident from all that He did while He was here on earth. Only someone with divine power could have done His miracles, and endured the ‘sufferation’ He did on our behalf without going out of His mind. 

But all of that aside, let’s listen to Jesus’ promise to come back for us. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

So my friends, if we sang about standing on the promises of God earlier on, and then declared that Christ was deity, then simple logic would conclude that we should believe and stand on the promises Christ made in those verses. (smile) So let’s stand strong on them nuh, for He is coming back again, sometime soon, this time in all His glory and splendour, the warrior King that the Israelites first dreamed of. 

And He is going to take us home to heaven to dwell there with Him until eternity, if we believe in Him, obey His words and live the lifestyle He desires. So what’s it to be eh friends? Let’s hope we all vote for Jesus, for that’s wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing as beautiful…as living for Jesus…

 

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