Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2018 1 Chronicles 28:9a,b.

1 Chronicles 28:9a,b.   And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind…

                                      HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!

Aye mih people, the ole fella is way behind the eight ball this beautiful Father’s Day Sunday morning! Hn, hn! Although I went to bed very early, by my standards (smile) I found it very difficult to get up this morning. Don’t know why. But I managed to crawl out of bed and make it to the early church service as usual, and now am back, and don’t know what to write. 

But the Lord is faithful, and I know that He will show me what to write. However, in the Good Book, there are only a few references to Fathers the way I want them, and I’ve used them all up already. I want something new and fresh. But yuh know what? The Lord is the Boss, and it’s His will that’s going to eventually prevail. 

So if He says write the same old thing again, probably because we didn’t get it the first few times, (smile) then that’s what I’m going to write. I have enough disobedience on my record already. Now let’s turn to some praise and worship, some singing, to loosen up our hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. 

And today we’re going to belt out an ole favorite written by Maltbie Babcock, (1858-1901) a Syracuse born Presbyterian Minister, and it’s titled ‘This is my Father’s world.’ So let’s raise our voices to heaven, loud and sincere, in sacrificial praise my people. 

‘This is my Father’s world, And to my listening ears All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas– His hand the wonders wrought. This is my Father’s world: The birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise. 

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere. This is my Father’s world: O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King: let the heavens ring! God reigns; let earth be glad!’ 

Ah friends, this indeed our Father God’s world, so why should our hearts be sad eh? No reason whatsoever, but many hearts, especially young ones are sad, because they have no earthly father to cuddle and comfort and lead and guide them. Fathers are supposed to be an important part of a family but unfortunately in our society too many families lack fathers, and of those that have them living in, too many have not risen up to the standards expected of them. 

But enough of my preaching, remember I did not want to regurgitate the ole same ole. (smile) So while searching for a suitable Father’s Day Hymn, the Lord in His great faithfulness and amazing wisdom showed me two articles that dealt with the subject of Father’s Day, and I want to reproduce them both here for us. 

The first comes amazingly from a Facebook site, and it says: Father’s Day is a joyous occasion when children express thanks to their father for always being there. This occasion is one of the most eagerly awaited in all parts of the world. 

On this day, children give greeting cards and gifts to their father and spend the entire day with him. People take the opportunity to recognize what all their father has done for them and appreciate his genuine care and concern. One of the ways to express your true feelings for your father is through meaningful hymns. Read on to find some popular hymns for Father’s Day.’ 

I read on and came up with ‘This my father’s world.’ (smile) Yeh friends, Father’s Day is supposed to be a joyous day, but the part of the above article that hurts is that in so many homes, the father is not always there, so the children can’t celebrate with him and appreciate his genuine care and concern. 

And the next article comes from the Christian Media Magazine. And that says: ‘Father’s Day is more than just a day to honor the men that helped bring us into the world, but it is a day to celebrate the men that made us who we are today. This very important day is designed to acknowledge and offer praise, appreciation as well as gratitude to men we call fathers, whether it be by blood relation or mentorship. 

Most people believe that Father’s Day is only about giving gifts, but seem to ignore the fact that this holiday is meant to strengthen the distinct bond of a relationship between a father and his children. Being a father is a blessing directly from God and is God’s gift to us.’ 

I couldn’t put it any better than that friends. And we’ll end with one of the best pieces of advice ever given by a father to a son, that of Bruh David to Cousin Sol. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ (1 Chr.28:9) 

Now Bruh David was by no means perfect, and most fathers are not, but their advice can be worth much more than children can ask for or imagine. It upholds the ole saying; ‘do as I say, but not as I do.’ I know that can sometimes be seen as hypocritical, but the important thing there is to guide the children aright, even though our personal examples leave something to be desired. 

And I thought I’d be regurgitating the same ole, same ole! Hn! Glory to out great God and His awesome faithfulness on this Father’s Day! Please enjoy it with a modicum of circumspection, having Granny’s warning in mind. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Wiser words were never spoken my people! Much LOVE!

…The Lord is King…let the heavens ring…God reigns… let earth be glad…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2018 Psalm 40:3.

Psalm 40:3.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

Oh my faithful believers in Christ, it’s time once again for the weekly refuelling of our spirits at God’s fuelling station, His sanctuary! Praise the Lord! We all can use that refuelling as the world and the enemy have certainly put us through our paces this past week and thus our spirits are low on fuel. That’s why we are coming in droves to church; to hear His word, sing praises to His holy name, fellowship with each other, and consequently refill our spiritual tanks, so that we can face the world with confidence and courage this upcoming week. 

And as we’re wont to do, let’s open with a hymn of praise, an old favourite, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ It was written by one Johnson Oatman (1856-1922), born near Medford, New Jersey. And it’s said that he wrote over three thousand hymns, which means that ‘no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns.’ 

Glory be mih people! Three thousand hymns are a lot of hymns yes! Wonder where he found time to write them all, especially when he was apparently a local preacher, a businessman with his father and an Insurance Agent? The important thing though is that he penned this one that we know and LOVE so much. Let’s belt it our now with sacrificial praise from our lips, and while doing that, see how many blessings we can also count. (smile) 

As one harmonic choir now: ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.) 

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by. (Refrain) When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy] Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain) 

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, *see what God has done. {* And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.)’

Oh faithful followers of Christ, if we truly sit down and count the blessings that the Lord has poured down on us because of Jesus, will we ever be surprised! Why? Because they are so plentiful. Some of them we don’t even notice, they’ve been around for so long, that we now take them for granted. But please remember that everything in this world belongs to God, and it’s only through His wonderful generosity, mercy and grace that we can enjoy the good things that we do enjoy. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.’ Yes friends, it is an appropriate scripture for this morning. Having counted our blessings and finding so many, it’s only natural that a new song of praise to our heavenly Father will rise up in our hearts and souls! 

And Bruh David follows up our Bit with this other momentous verse: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Ps.40:4) What an awesome statement of indisputable truth! That’s the best way to receive blessings from Almighty God, both down here on earth and put aside some in heaven for eternal life. 

As Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph.1:3) Ah mih people, the Lord has blessings stored up for us in heaven, all done through the work of Christ. That’s why Bruh Paul also advised us: ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18) 

And the scholars add this explanation. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, we know it’s not always easy to look up in the tough times and give thanks, but please remember what Jesus has done for us, and that it’s only through and because of him, the Father is showering so many wonderful blessings on us. And with His help, we can do ALL things. As Bruh Paul so succinctly put it: ‘I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

And we’ll close with these words from the sons of Korah in Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. ‘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. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12) That says it all friends! Much LOVE!

…he who has an ear…let him hear what the scripture says…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2018 Psalm 8:1.

Psalm 8:1.   O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Top o’ the morn my fellow believers! It’s that wonderful day, Sunday, which means the gathering of Christians all over the world in the Lord’s sanctuary. And that can be any of the following; a magnificent cathedral, a small church, a house, a hovel, a palace, or under a coconut tree, wherever we can gather, to worship and give immeasurable thanks to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

Yes friends, wherever God’s people are gathered that’s His sanctuary, for He is there in full regal presence. As Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there I am in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20) And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless His holy name, for He is a great God, and indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

And in keeping with that truthful sentiment, let’s open today’s celebrations with this most appropriate hymn ‘How great thou art.’  It’s a hymn apparently based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg, pastor, poet and politician (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. 

After a brief thunderstorm, it’s reputed that he opened his window and saw a rainbow gilding the sky and all of God’s nature creations shining bright and fresh having been cleansed by the rain. Supposedly modelled after Psalm 8; Bruh David’s words exalting God’s glory and man’s honour, it was first translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. Later on, it was further translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine. 

So in strong voice and total harmony, let’s offer up this favourite hymn to our heavenly father, through the sacrificial praise of our lips.  ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 

(Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!) 

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. (Refrain) And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. (Refrain) 

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)’ (repeat). 

Ah mih people, what wonderful and truthful words of praise, worship and adoration to our mighty God. That makes the opening words of Bruh David’s psalm a perfect Bit for today. ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.’ 

And there can be no doubt whatsoever about the veracity of those adoring words! For He is the ONLY truly omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Being in this whole universe. He created it, it belongs entirely to Him, and He controls it as He sees fit. Glory to God! 

And Bruh David continues to prove his contention. ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings (infants) hast thou ordained (established) strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightiest still (silence) the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, and the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (pay attention, or care for) him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.’ (Ps. 8:2-5) 

Ah friends, it ought to be obvious why God cares for us. In the first place He created us in His image and gave us His breath of life, so that we could worship Him and have a positive and productive relationship with Him.

From the day He created our forefathers, Adam and Eve, He’s LOVED us with His whole heart, and though He kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, when they disobeyed His command, He never stopped LOVING His human creation nuh, we stopped LOVING Him. 

So it’s not rocket science why He did as Bruh David further describes. ‘Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ (Ps.8:6-8) 

And why not eh? We are His most precious creation, the only earthly being He created that has the ability to communicate with Him. Just like we LOVE our disobedient and trying children, our Creator LOVES us the same way – and even more.

So let’s remember to continually thank and praise Him for all the good things He’s done for us down through the ages, is currently doing, and has faithfully promised to do in the future. And we’ll end like Bruh David did, with a shout of heartfelt praise: ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.’ (Ps.8:9) Much LOVE!

…only fools and mad men…refuse to praise and worship their Creator…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

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

And as the days of Advent, the preparatory period before Christ’s birth advances, and the Christmas season intensifies, LOVE and joy, peace and goodwill fill the air! Wow! And I naively wonder, why can’t it be like that all year round eh? But I guess that’s just asking too much of our sinful secular society. A few days, once a year is all they seem to be able to spare. But we’ll take it and just keep working to get more. 

And as we gather in the sanctuary this Sunday, to worship and fellowship and give thanks, let’s burst out with a most worthy song, one of the all-time favourites of the Christmas season, ‘O come all ye faithful.’  In true Christmas spirit, let’s raise the roof of our sanctuary and that of heaven too with harmonious sacrificial praise from our joyful lips and hearts. 

‘O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, Come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, born the King of angels; ( Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.)  True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal, Lo, he shuns not the Virgin’s womb; Son of the Father, begotten, not created; (Chorus)  Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation; Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God, all glory in the highest; (Chorus)  

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle, Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze; We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps; (Chorus)  Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger, We would embrace Thee, with love and awe; Who would not love Thee, loving us so dearly? (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be glory given; Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing. O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

Ah friends, what a beautiful and grateful way to praise our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for all that’s He’s done, is still doing and will do for us in the future. Praise His Holy Name. He is the reason why we have hope for the future, faith in salvation and joy in the promise of eternal life! All the more reason to LOVE and adore Him! Not to despise and cast aspersions and try to remove Him from our society. 

But I guess there will always be doubters and evildoers, so it’s up to us believers to raise His profile and make His LOVE Revolution a success. For we are His ears, arms, mouths, legs, and hands in the world, His ambassadors, His disciples, and as we go, so will His movement, His church. Some parts of it are thriving, who knows why, but most are finding it difficult to survive, and many are even closing. 

That’s not a very good vibe my people, and means that we’re not doing as good a job as we should. Christ is not being reflected in us as fully as He should be. That’s why we need to take the wise advice in our Bit, from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s almost dawn, Jesus will soon be coming back, and right now our efforts are sadly lacking, so we need to improve dramatically. As Bruh Paul continues to the Roman church: ‘Let us walk honestly (properly), as in the day; not in rioting (revelry) and drunkenness, not in chambering (licentiousness) and wantonness (lewdness), not in strife and envying.’ (Rom.13:13) 

And it’s no secret friends that too many of us so-called Christians are deeply involved in too much of those worldly improprieties. We need to stop the hypocrisy; narrow the gulf between the Christian stuff we mouth, and the worldly trail we walk. As Bruh Paul warns: ‘But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.’ (Rom.13:14) 

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

And that’s all Christ is asking of us yes friends: if you claim to believe in Him, then please live the way He desires you to live. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because we don’t have the capacity for that, but He does expect us to be excellent and diligent in doing His work, like He was excellent and diligent in doing the Father’s work here on earth. When we don’t walk our talk, we just cause others to bad-mouth our Saviour and further demean His reputation, thus playing into the hands of the workers of iniquity. 

Therefore my faithful brethren, let’s do like Bruh Paul suggests to the Ephesians nuh. ‘And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them). For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.’ (Eph.5:11-14) 

Oh friends, if we sincerely want to help the cause of Jesus, then we have to stop indulging in those sins that we know are ‘unfruitful works of darkness,’ sins of the unsaved, and instead expose them, bring them into the light, show them for the wrongdoings  that they are. It’s time friends, time for less talk and more action, time to throw off the cloak of darkness and put on the mantle of light that Jesus offers. That’s the ONLY way our world will ever improve. Much LOVE!

…Christians…oh Christians…where is your light that’s supposed to shine in the darkness…to light up the world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2017 Luke 6:38.

Luke 6:38.   Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.

Awright friends, it’s the first day of the week; the best day of the week; the most restful and peaceful day of the week; the day when we choose to gather most in praise and fellowship to Almighty God! And if you haven’t figured out what day it is as yet, well it’s Sunday! Glory Be! The Lord’s Day; the Sabbath; the day the Lord rested…after a week of hard labour. (smile) And that’s what He requires of us; a day of rest, where we spend most of our time and energy concentrating on Him. And today is that day! 

So let’s open the proceedings as always with a song of praise, that old hymn, ‘Rise up O men of God,’ written by William Pierson Merrill in the early 20th century. But have you ever noticed that the old hymns sound more powerful and sacred than the newer ones? Perhaps because they were written in a time when we were holier and more righteous, had more time for God; more reverence, more respect, and we weren’t trying to remove Him from our society. 

Anyway, let’s burst out in song, in sacrificial praise, sing these words like we truly mean them, because Christ’s church badly needs to rise up in these amoral and sinful times. Let’s raise the roof with harmonious voices: ‘Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of kings. 

Rise up, O men of God! The kingdom tarries long. Bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong. Rise up, O men of God! The church for you doth wait, her strength unequal to her task; rise up, and make her great! Lift high the cross of Christ! Tread where his feet have trod. As brothers of the Son of Man, rise up, O men of God!’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t know if there has been any other time in the church’s history that it’s members have needed to rise up and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ more than now nuh! The church is filled with too many divisions, too many religions which also have too many denominations and/or sects, too many bad leaders, false prophets and con-men, and everybody is teaching their own brand or slant, or scam of Christ’s supposed message. And the evil ones are just laughing their heads off as they divide and conquer us. 

Oh my fellow believers, until Christians come together and get rid of the distrust and petty discord that separates us, until we truly ‘Lift high the cross of Christ,’ and ‘Tread where He has trod,’ we will never retake the world for Christ. But that’s a sermon for another day. (smile) 

Today’s sermon is based on the God-like attitude of GIVING as described in our Bit. ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.’ 

And before we try to dissect Jesus’ words, let’s look at how the Lord gave to us nuh. First it was the breath of life, then LOVE, the sinless life of his Son Jesus Christ, while we were yet sinners, mercy, grace, salvation, eternal life etc. etc. All those things that we did not and could never deserve, the Lord gave to us out of the generosity of His wonderful heart. Wow! 

So I don’t see how in all reason, common sense, devotion and LOVE for Him we can afford to be selfish, ungrateful, unkind, greedy and not wanting to give with a generous heart; one supposedly made in the image of His heart. And it’s not rocket science friends. All Jesus is saying, is that the same way you give, it will be given back to you. As you sow, so shall you reap. If you give out of a generous heart, you will be rewarded with generosity. Out of a grudging and greedy heart, you’ll receive grudgingly. 

And one of the best illustrations of this in the Good book is Bruh Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians, re God LOVES a cheerful giver. Read with me: ‘Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before (on ahead) unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty (beautiful gift), whereof ye had notice (promised) before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty (generosity), and not as of covetousness (grudging obligation). 

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (generously) shall also reap bountifully (generously). Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (compulsion): for God LOVETH a cheerful (joyful) giver.’ (2 Cor.9:5-8) 

It couldn’t get any clearer than that my brethren! Remember, it’s all based on attitude and motive; ‘a willing heart and a sincere desire to participate in the offering.’ Your giving must not be done because of what you think you’ll receive in return, or you are compelled to give. 

And please note, as the scholars point out, Bruh Paul is not advocating “prosperity theology,” that is, that every generous believer will be financially wealthy.’ If you read the rest of the chapter you’ll see that it only promises that you will prosper by all your needs being met financially, so that you can keep on giving (vs.8), and spiritually, that you’ll increase in everything (vs.12) 

Anyway friends, let’s just remember that the Lord looks at the state of our hearts and not just our talk or outward actions before He makes any decision pertaining to us. So let’s try and clean up our hearts nuh. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…a truly generous heart…begets true generosity in return…Christianity 101…

 

 

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…

 

 

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