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…



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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2017 Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 4:4.   Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Aye mih people, I don’t know what has happened to the sun nuh, because we haven’t seen it in my area for about two weeks now. Today seems to be another wet, cloudy day. And even when the days weren’t wet, very few, they were still cloudy. 

But yuh know what? We’ve seen the SON every single day! Glory Hallelujah! 

Rain or shine He shows up right on time to help guide us through another blessed day that His heavenly Father has granted us on this bountiful, though somewhat strife-filled earth! And for that faithfulness we are eternally grateful! 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that seems rather appropriate ‘For This New Year.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘O Lord God You are able. Able to make me clean Without self-righteousness and sham. Able to make me real Without hypocrisy. You are able To give me wisdom In all my priorities My decisions, my goals. You are able to transform my fears Into vibrant faith And quiet trust. 

You are able To make this present year The most challenging The most productive Of all my life. So for this new year I covenant with You, dear God. Please work in me To the very depth of my being. Renovate me Transform me For You are able – miraculously able To make all things new.’ 

And that He certainly is my brethren! Our omnipotent God can make all and everything new through His miraculous powers! 

And in this new year of 2017, that’s already a month old, we all desperately need cleaning up and being revitalized. And that can only happen through the auspices, the grace and mercy and LOVE of the Most High God Jehovah! 

So let’s hope and pray that He does an awesome work of revitalization in us this year of 2017. And the promise of scripture for that poem is 2 Cor, 23:18. 

The New Living translation boils it down thus: ‘As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.’ 

I’m sorry though, that translation, in my opinion falls way short of the beauty and majesty of the King James Version. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ 

Now friends, that speaks to me much more than the first version. That’s what I don’t like about some of these new translations; they just lose the whole ‘wonderment ‘ of the old language, by making it so simplistic. But that’s just me. 

And the scholars tell us this about that verse. ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term ‘beholding’ can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. 

For Moses the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

Now I certainly like that: the longer we live, the more we become like Christ! Glory to God! 

And I do hope that we have enough space and time for our Bit, which is enhanced everyday by the promises of the Lord’s Word. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, a rejoicing church is what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ wants to see. That’s why He sacrificed His sinless life for us, and if we don’t show our sincere appreciation by being glad and joyful, then all He did was just a waste of time. 

Now let’s continue Bruh Paul’s speech to the Philippians, from where we left off yesterday. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. 

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil4:8-9). 

And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘4:8-9. Finally could be rendered “in this connection,” since verses 6-9 are related: verses 6 and 7 tell how to obtain God’s peace; verses 8 and 9 tell how to keep it. In order to keep God’s peace, the readers must occupy their minds with the right things (v.8) and busy themselves with the right activities (v.9).’ 

It couldn’t be put any simpler friends, though it’s not always easy to do in this negative, evil and selfish world. However with the untold blessings and promises and help available from our awesome God, we can do it. 

Now let’s begin doing it by declaring our Thursday Blessings with much verve, enthusiasm and belief. Remember a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

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

And having blessed ourselves, let’s go out now and bless the many others in this world of great ‘sufferation’ who desperately need it. Much LOVE!

…Christians must not withhold blessings…but be like Christ…be generous to all and sundry…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2016 Psalm 34:1

Psalm 34:1.    I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Aye mih breddren, loverly days are here again… as if they ever went anywhere eh. (smile) 

That’s because every day is a loverly day when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is in our life. Especially on a Sunday, when we get to fellowship together in great numbers, to praise and worship Him in sincerity and truth, to hear His word and be revitalized and reinvigorated in soul, body, mind and spirit, so we can face the new work week with great expectations, strengthened faith, and reassurance that we will be victorious walking with Him. 

And all God’s people loudly and proudly declared: ‘Blessed is the name of Jesus, who sacrificed His sinless life for us! Praise His holy name!’ 

Now let’s continue in praise mode by singing this beautiful hymn written in His honour by Fanny Crosby.  In one, strong and harmonious voice now: ‘Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth, His wonderful LOVE proclaim! Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory, strength and honor give to His holy name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children; in His arms He carries them all day long: 

{Refrain :} (Praise Him! praise Him! tell of His excellent greatness! Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!) 

Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins, He suffered and bled and died; He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows, LOVE unbounded, wonderful, deep, and strong: [Refrain] 

Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever; Crown Him! crown Him! prophet and priest and King! Christ is coming, over the world victorious, power and glory unto the Lord belong: 

[Refrain] Praise Him! praise Him! tell of His excellent greatness! Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!’ 

Yes friends, what a joyous hymn of praise to Christ Jesus! That ought to have lifted our spirits considerably and opened up our hearts, made us totally receptive to the reading of His word. But before we get into that, let me share something I heard on the radio yesterday. It was an old song by the Chi-lites titled ‘There will be no peace until God sits at the conference table.’ 

Oh precious people, I never knew the song in its heyday, but when I heard it yesterday I was consumed by both joy and sadness. Joy, because someone long ago realized the seriousness of the situation and turned it into a song. And sadness, because it is just the God awesome truth! 

We WILL NEVER have peace on this fallen earth until we bring Almighty God, our Creator and Provider back into the equation, for He is the ONLY ONE powerful enough to bring all the dissenting, strife-filled, greedy, selfish, foolish, war-mongering, power-hungry leaders and nations to a sensible and peaceful agreement! And until that time comes, there’ll be no peace…just constant war. 

Anyhow, enough of the negative vibes. It’s Sunday and we’re supposed to be praising and thanking and worshipping and glorifying our heavenly Father, so let’s get back to a more positive  and joyous state nuh. (smile) Let’s introduce our Bit; wise, powerful and faithful words of Bruh David. ‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.’ 

Oh friends, that’s wisdom to the nth power! For who else is there for us to look up to, to praise and worship eh? NOBODY but Jehovah God! 

And what we have to realize here is that Bruh David has just escaped death at the hands of his nemesis King Saul, and is running from Saul for his very life without food or weapons. He arrives at Nob, to the priest Ahimelech, who is suspicious of Bruh David’s sorry state and enquires of it. 

Bruh David spins him a nansi story about being on secret business for the king and didn’t have time to get bread nor weapons. Whether Ahimelech believed him, we’ll never know, but he’s obviously scared that Saul finds out about his liaison with Bruh David, and  finally gives him the showbread (hallowed bread) because that was all he had, as well as Goliath’s sword. 

I like Bruh David’s remark when Ahimelech told him that Goliath’s sword was in the temple. ‘And David said, There is none like that; give it me.’ (1 Sam.21:9) Yeh friends, that sword must have brought back long ago memories to Bruh David, as he took it and hightailed it away from the hounds of Saul, baying hungrily at his back. (smile) 

Ah mih people, Bruh David didn’t have an easy life, but he NEVER gave up on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because over the years, despite his trials and tribulations, the Lord had proven faithful to him. 

The scholars tell us thus about Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘Psalm 34. The historical background of this acrostic psalm is related in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. It bears all the marks of the testimony of one who narrowly escaped death, just as the passage in Samuel describes. As such, it contains the praise and testimony of the one who was redeemed (vv.1-10) and the seasoned instruction that can stem from such deliverance (vv.11-22).’ 

Yes my brethren, it was only because of the Lord’s faithfulness to him over the years that Bruh David could declare the words of our Bit, and the ones following. ‘My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:2-3) 

Oh friends, those are also my sentiments this Sunday morning. So please, magnify the Lord with me, and let’s exalt His holy and righteous name together, for that is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…despite the troubles that come with life…believers ought never to lose faith in Jehovah God…