Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ah friends, sorry the Bit is this late, but I had an early morning doctor’s appointment in the city which means everything had to be rearranged. Chuh!  If I say I’m not tired with doctor’s appointments now, I’d be lying. But they are for my benefit, so I just have to grin and bear them. And yesterday I planned to add a P.S. note about it, but I forgot. The old mind’s going. (smile) But as they say, better late than never. 

So here it is now, hot off the press. And by now most of you are at work, so your day is well advanced and you have already engaged the enemy in spiritual warfare. You might even be still suffering from the Monday blues, so it’s definitely not too late to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, our blues antidote. It’s also nice to have a li’l pick me up in the middle of the day. (smile) 

So as one great voice now, let’s sing: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih breddren, what a relief to feel the adrenaline course through our veins, to feel the Spirit of Christ just rise up to the forefront once more, and we become indefatigable (not tired) and invincible once again. Glory to our great God! 

Now yesterday we were talking about one of God’s many attributes, His compassion, and there is so much in the scriptures about it, that we’ll continue on that most worthwhile and awesome topic.  As our Bit so magnanimously states: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Yeh friends, without God’s compassion we’d be done like dinner long time, roasting in Hades with that fool Lucifer! (smile) But thanks to our God’s magnanimous compassion, we’re not. And what I especially like about His compassion, His mercy, is that they are brand new every day! 

Wow! Our God doesn’t give us any stale stuff. It’s like the fresh manna He gave the Israelites every day in the wilderness. Now how can we not appreciate and be grateful for that kind of treatment eh? Under those rather enviable circumstances, I don’t understand our strong desire to get rid of God from our society.  

But some of us are just wiser than others, so let’s turn to the scriptures now and check out some more of it that deals with God’s compassion. Yesterday we saw the most important aspect of it, where while we yet His enemies, the Father sent Christ to die for us. (Rom.5:6-9) Yuh can’t beat that friends! 

Now listen to Micah proclaim to the world, our God’s compassionate attribute. ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by (over) the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their (our) sins into the depths of the sea.’ (Mic.7:18-19)  

Oh my people, my people, what will it take for us to take the scriptures, the Word of God seriously eh? We’re behaving just like the Israelites did after the Lord brought them out of bondage in Egypt. The psalmist Asaph puts it nicely. Even after the Lord smote their stoutest men for their disobedience: ‘For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. 

Therefore their days did he consume in vanity (futility), and their years in trouble (sudden terror). When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early (sought diligently) after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. 

Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right (steadfast) with him, neither were they steadfast (faithful) in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all their wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.’ (Ps.78:32-39). 

Yeh friends, that’s the same way we are taking advantage of God’s compassion and mercy, making believe that we have right hearts and pure motives. But please remember He does not judge by outward appearances, so no matter how much we flatter Him with the words of our mouths, He will look at out hearts to see if they are sincere or not, and at some stage give us our just desserts. 

A word of warning to the wise is supposedly sufficient. Let’s hope that we all accept that warning today. Much LOVE!

…although God’s compassion is boundless…it’s not wise…to try to play Him for a fool…



 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2018 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.   LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.

Oh friends, like Job so famously said, we can’t expect to receive good all the time and no bad. That means we can’t expect glorious sunshine every day, there must be some rain too. And really, the rain’s not bad nuh, it’s just the opposite of sunshine, and it is in fact very good itself, for if we had no rain there’d be no food crops or beautiful nature to admire, just a dry, brown inhospitable desert. 

Hn! And all of that just to say it’s a rainy day in my neighbourhood today. (smile) Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Don’t know if I’ve shared it before, but when I read it yesterday, it reminded me so much of our behaviour, that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart,’ like ours are so much of the time. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of clear direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. 

I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner but neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question: “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seeds?” 

Now isn’t that a very good question my brethren? We all do it at some time or the other, because we find it difficult to surrender our ALL to Christ. And oh, do we ever want to choose our areas of obedience to God! But God wants it ALL! And isn’t it a good thing, that when we foolishly take a side trip into the far country, like the prodigal son did, He welcomes us back with open arms when we come to our senses! 

And yuh know what friends, there’s no reason to be a miserable sinner or a stoic saint, because we’ve become a new creation in Christ, which puts us on firm and solid ground, makes us able to go to the Father with confidence and ask for whatever we need, with Jesus right there advocating on our behalf. So there’s no need to compromise; just take it ALL to the Father in prayer! 

And the Bible Promise for that prayer is also our Bit for today; those famous words of John in his first epistle. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ Yes my people, it’s that simple. As Jesus said, you can’t serve two masters at the same time; you can’t serve God and mammon (earthly wealth) too. (Matt.6:24) 

And John continues: ‘For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:16-17) 

That puts it so plainly and simply my people; all the evil things of the world will one day disappear, go up in smoke, but those obedient to God’s will, will live forever Now it’s your decision to make; whether you’ll go up in smoke, or live forever.  

And the scholars tell us: ‘2:16. World for John signifies the evil desire and sin so much a part of human existence.’  Therefore we are to sincerely pledge our loyalty and devotion to God first and foremost. Like Jesus said: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (worldly needs) shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And we’re going to add Bruh Paul’s voice to it all, as he wrote to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Yeh friends, again we’re reminded that it all takes place FIRST in our minds; that’s where the change needs to be made before it can me manifested anywhere else. Unless we bring our minds into true acceptance and conformity with God, His will and His word, we’ll continue to follow the unhealthy and ungodly value systems and evil conduct of the world. Nuff said! 

Now for those of us who have made the right decision and are truly trying to be righteous, (smile) let’s go home sincerely acclaiming to the world, our position in Christ, by declaring our Wednesday Wail. Altogether in strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

And what a glorious future that will be! Our puny minds can’t even imagine it. But we know that it will be great, because Jesus promised it! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus…is the wisest decision a human being can ever make…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2018 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.   How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

‘One more night…thank You Lord for one more night of breathing through my nose…’ 

You can chuckle all you want yes friends and family, but I know whereof I am thankful. You won’t realize how important breathing through your nostrils is, until you can’t do it for an extended period. And I’m so comfortable now that I can’t even get up in the mornings. (smile) 

And can you believe that today is already the first day of June, and summer is not officially due for another three weeks, but we’ve already been having serious summer like weather for the past two weeks. Hn! We’ll soon start complaining that it’s too hot. Can’t keep the human animal happy for long. (smile) 

But seriously though, that volcano on the Big Island in Hawaii is still acting up and apparently causing more problems that evacuation has been mandated for the area around it. It’s been playing a teasing game for the past month and who knows when it’s going to blast off big time. Better to be safe than sorry. Please keep them in our prayers. 

But it’s Friday and the workingman is happily singing his totally overboard song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and no more work for a couple days! It’s the weekend! Time to enjoy we self like we couldn’t do all week! And who don’t like it, too bad for them. 

Why yuh think the Lord give us a break from the slave master eh? Is to eat, drink and be merry today, cause tomorrow we might die. Look people, just lively up yuhselves and enjoy the fruit of your labour yes! Thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And there is truth to the workingman’s contentions, but as always, he tends to go too far out on the limb of licentiousness, a place that we believers are not supposed to go. And that’s why our Friday Chant is so much different to his song. Let’s chant it now with enthusiasm and sincerity. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, we are also entitled to enjoyment and fun, but not to take it to the extreme limit that the workingman does. We always have to be cognizant of the enemy’s movements and nip them in the bud, as well as keep working for Jesus; a twenty four/seven, lifetime job that has awesome benefits, both now and in the hereafter. And we’d indeed be foolish to throw them away for a little fleshly pleasure in the here and now that’s ever so fleeting. 

That’s why Bruh David could so assuredly declare in our Bit, from Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God: ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s the wisest and safest place to place our trust, for the Lord is both our Maker and Caretaker. And as Bruh David continues: ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps.36:8-9) 

Oh my brethren, what sincere and beautiful assurance of living and working for the Lord. And please note the superlatives of those promises: abundantly satisfied with all that He has to offer, and drink of the river of His pleasures. Wow! We’d be satiated with the Lord’s goodness! 

And the next verse is ever so true: ‘with thee is the fountain of life.’ It truly is, because it’s the Lord who breathed His breath of life into our lifeless bodies so that we could worship and fellowship with Him. And if our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, then it’s only logical that we, His followers shall not only see light, but be light too. 

And John puts it so nicely and simply in his first epistle. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not in (practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

Yeh friends, God is light, holy and sinless, and if we want to walk with Him in the light, then we have to be free of the bondage of sin which keeps us in darkness. And the ONLY way to do that is to embrace Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, whose blood, shed on the cross of Calvary is the ONLY atonement for sin and the ONLY cleansing power from sin. 

So let’s be wise and walk in the light nuh mih breddren. We have so much to lose, and so much to gain! Much LOVE!

…for whom the Son sets free…is free indeed…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2018 2 Chronicles 7:14.

2 Chronicles 7:14.    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

And then it was Monday again…so I guess most of you readers are already at work, struggling after a partying weekend…but not my people, because we know better than that. (smile) Uncharacteristically though, I’ve been sleeping through most of the day. I guess the ole bod needs the rest. I’m not doing badly though, should be out of here tomorrow. 

But let’s do what we have to do, let’s sing out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, because it’s prayer and is useful at any time of day or night. As one 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!’ 

Glory be my people! Prayer is such a wonderful thing! It not only connects us to our Triune God Head, but it also uplifts our souls and spirits at the same time. What could be better than that eh? That’s why it’s the most important weapon in a believer’s arsenal. And it’s possibly why I am still alive and kicking today; because of all the pleading prayers you all made on my behalf. 

So please, let us never belittle or downplay the power of prayer, especially since it’s the method the Creator chose for us to communicate with Him. As He says in our Bit today: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘7:14-15. While this promise was originally given to Solomon regarding the people of Israel, it is certainly applicable to all who will call on the Lord in repentance and faith. These verses stand as a high expression of God’s LOVING readiness to hear the prayers of a repentant people (cf. 6:37-39; James 4:8-1).’ 

And in these modern times where sin and evil are so prevalent, do we ever need to pray for help to overcome our numerous problems. That’s why in the New Testament we’re told so often about prayer and praying. Like Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess.5:17) That doesn’t necessarily mean every minute of every day, but on a regular basis. Prayer should just be a thought away from our minds. And Bruh Paul told Timothy that ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Meanwhile James admonishes: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with the oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) 

Yuh see friends, prayer is helpful in every situation of our daily walk with Christ! Be it in the church or out of it. And Bruh Paul reminds us in Ephesians, that even when we put on the life-saving armour of God, we still need prayer to help us along. ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) 

And the scholars explain: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer, God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means ‘being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both and individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh my people, I couldn’t have put it any better. And I believe the best way to end this refresher course on prayer is with the prayer that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ taught us. ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen!’ (Matt.6:9-13) 

Please friends and fellow believers, let’s remember to never belittle the power of prayer, instead, let’s wisely lift it up to the great heights that it is supposed to take in our lives nuh, because it’s all for our benefit. Much LOVE!

…to pray…and yet to pray…and to keep on praying…that is wisdom of the highest order…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:29.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

One more day mih people, one more day on God’s great earth with the setta ice covering the land in my area! Chuh! It’s pure ice all around…but that doesn’t stop us from joyfully declaring, like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) 

A li’l bit of ice can’t stop us from enjoying God’s mercies and graciousness…No way! What does the Good Book say? NOTHING can separate us from Him and His LOVE! Because we are all more than conquerors through Him that LOVED us. (Rom.8:35,37) Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! Christ has already given us the victory, so there’s nothing really for us to worry about, just to live a righteous and godly life in His name. 

And a couple of quotes from the Daily Bread Devotional remind us of two important aspects of Christian life and character. The first is that ‘ Our greatest hope comes from trusting God.’ And secondly, ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’  

Yes friends, we have no other real hope but the trust that God’s promises, mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVE inspire in us. Without those things we’d be truly lost. But even more importantly, we need to remember that each and every day we awaken, we need to seriously recommit to Christ, His way of life, and His plans for us. That’s the only way we can keep Him fresh and vibrant in our lives. 

And since yesterday we talked about going out and doing Jesus’ work as established in His Great Commission, today I thought it would be more than appropriate to look at how He hopes to accomplish His purpose; through the Great Invitation, a part of which is our Bit for today. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’  

My people, my people, what a wonderful invitation; the BEST that has ever been offered to mankind! Glory Be! No other supposed deity has ever proffered such a simple, but yet awesome and astounding invitation. That’s because Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can keep that kind of promise, and who is also seriously interested in lightening our burdens! 

And that’s what we, as His disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives need to point out to the unbelievers, so that they too can embrace His glorious free offer of salvation and life eternal. Now that’s not all that Jesus offers in His Great Invitation. Hear how He continues after out Bit. ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls.’ (Matt.11:29) 

Just imagine that nuh my brethren; Jesus is also inviting us to take His yoke and learn from Him, for He is humble and lowly of heart…Wow! Though He is the great God, the great I AM, Jesus is not proud and stuck up, like He could be because of all His numerous attributes and power. But no; He is very simple and easily approachable, and when we sincerely approach Him, call out to Him, then we can truly learn from Him and find peace and quiet for out souls. 

And that is something which the majority of our world decidedly lacks, and which many are desperately trying find, but unfortunately are looking in all the wrong places. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is also the ONLY ONE who can bring true peace and rest to the human soul and spirit. And why is that so? ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:30)  

Oh precious people of God, what a reassuring ending to Jesus invitation! And that’s gospel truth! For He has already borne our burden of sin upon the cross at Calvary and set us free from its cruel and unholy bondage by paying the enormous price with His selfless sacrifice. 

And as Bruh Paul so astutely and correctly says in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Glory Hallelujah! 

So when we come to Him truly repentant, acknowledging our sins and also what He’s done for us, He doesn’t condemn us, but just enfolds us LOVINGLY in His warm and tender embrace and begins to teach us how to walk like Him.

And there’s also no greater privilege and praiseworthy attitude than to walk like Christ. Please remember that our heavenly Father’s most noble and consistent intention is to have all believers walk as Christ-like as possible. 

And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows how we’re getting on with Christ. As one 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 I implore us friends, as we walk with Christ today, let’s keep a picture of that glorious future in the back of our minds, so that it can encourage and reassure us when the going gets tough, as it no doubt will at some time or other. Much LOVE!

…to Jesus…to Jesus come…when your heart is heavy…and your soul weighed down with burdens… 

P.S. Sorry for the Bit being a tad late, but the playoff hockey game was too interesting not to watch it to the end, which meant a late night, and thus a late morning too. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

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 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our 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 its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

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