Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2018 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

It’s time once again friends for our weekly rejuvenation; meaning it’s the Lord’s Day and we need to go to His sanctuary to get oiled and lubed, (smile) so we can handle the upcoming week’s affairs with strength, faith, hope and confidence. 

Oh by the way, for those of us who live in the Daylight Savings Time zones, please be reminded that the clocks went back one hour tonight, which means that church will held an hour earlier. So please don’t miss it by pleading ignorance of the time change. (smile) I won’t put it past many of you to do so. 

And as always, before we hear the Lord’s word, we offer up sacrifices of praise and worship, letting our heavenly Father know that we certainly do adore, glorify, exalt and LOVE Him. Today we’ll sing one of the most well-known and heartwarming passages in the Good Book – Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd. 

Those immortal words of Bruh David had to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. They are too meaningful and applicable to our earthly lives to have simply come from a man’s finite mind. But be that as it may, let’s raise our voices in sweet adoration and wonderful harmony, as we lift up those words to heaven, words written so long ago, but which still retain their awesome power even to this day. 

‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen!’ 

Oh friends, did you feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving in your individual soul and felt like He was present everywhere in the sanctuary, just enveloping us all with His amazing and unconditional LOVE?  I surely did! But what a mighty work of God that Psalm is! Almost every believer knows it, and/or has used it in some tough and unforgiving times.  

And the opening verse, our Bit: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,’ is so all encompassing and comforting that I don’t where or how to start describing it, so I’ll just share the scholar’s explanation. ‘Psalm 23. The psalm has been a favourite of God’s people through the ages with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to His sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6). The image of the Lord as shepherd is a frequent one in both the Old Testament (Is.40:11; Jer.31:10) and the New Testament (John10:11-16; Heb.13:20). 

Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. The believer is more than a dependent sheep; however, he is also like and honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). 

Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ 

Wow mih people! In what other faith can you have all of that goodness and LOVING-kindness eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! Only if you are a believer in Jesus can you have a Deity, lead and guide you in safe paths, beside quiet waters, look after all your needs, down here on earth, then take you to dwell with Him eternally in heaven when your earthly sojourn is over. 

And please note my fellow believers, the life of eternity in heaven will even be better than that we experience on earth. So you can imagine how wonderful heaven must be! I doubt it, because our minds are too small to imagine it, but Jesus has promised it, and He does not renege on promises. 

Now here are a couple of those other verses above that quote God as a shepherd, starting with Isaiah. When he talks about finding comfort through trust in God ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:11) 

And here is the piece de resistance from Jesus Himself. ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:11, 14) 

And we’ll close with these most appropriate words from the author of Hebrews: ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you what which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Heb.13:20-21) 

And that’s my wish for all of us today, my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…oh how blessed we are to have a wonderful shepherd like Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2018 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Ah friends, my most humble apologies for the lateness of today’s Bit. I have absolutely no idea what happened, except that when I was supposed to get up, I was still somewhere far away in dream land. (smile) 

And it’s not like I did anything exhaustive yesterday, or went to bed later than normal. In fact yesterday was designated a day of rest, as I watched the snow fall, and then listened to the snow ploughs and dump trucks cart it away later in the evening. So my only conclusion is that I was simply tired from excessive rest! (smile) 

But on a serious note, I’m asking us, especially our St. Francis people, to offer up sincere prayers for one of our church members, Abbi, who recently had to trek down to Indianapolis to help look after her very sick mother in the hospital. Some of you might not know her, because she usually comes to the 8.30 a.m service. 

Her father doesn’t seem to be doing too well either, as he appears to be stressed out over his wife’s illness. And to complicate matters even further, Abbi is also 6.5 months pregnant, so she also has to look after herself and her unborn child. That means she has to walk a very narrow and careful path in this tremulous situation. There’s not much we can do for the family except pray. So please do that. They would very much appreciate your prayers. 

Now here is something appropriate that I just found on one of the many pieces of paper that sit next to my computer. It’s a quote from Corville Peters, host of the Christian call in programme, ‘At the Cross.’ He says: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness on your behalf.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Prayer is not about trying to twist God’s arms to help us, but to activate His waiting and His willingness to help. I guess it’s something like our 911 Emergency Number. When you call it, you don’t have to beg them to come and help you, because that’s exactly what they are there for. 

It’s the same thing with our omnipotent God; He is there to always help us when we call, not hem and haw as to whether He should, or should not. And don’t ever forget friends, that prayer is the most powerful tool or weapon in our human arsenal! Otherwise, Jesus would not have said in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’  

And it’s very true. But please note the most important word in that sentence: ‘believing.’ Yeh mih people, we have to believe that we will get what we pray for. You’ll notice, that with Jesus, everything is about believing, about having hope and faith, about seeing it when it’s nowhere in sight. 

Look at how we believe that Jesus died for us and LOVES us and all those good things, although we never met Him in the flesh. That’s what our faith is all about: when you believe, then you’ll see! And what better example is there than when Peter was imprisoned by Herod. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for Him.’ (Acts 12:5) And what happened after that. An angel came and let Peter out of the prison like he was in a trance. (Acts 12:6-10)  

The Good Book continues: ‘And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord had sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:11) 

And we all know how when he knocked at the door of Mary’s house, the mother of John Mark, even though they were praying for him, nobody would believe that he was out there, saying nonsense like, ‘It is his angel.’ He had to keep on knocking before they would let him in. (Acts 12:12-17) 

So you see friends, even though we pray sincerely, we still lack that ever-important aspect of belief. As Jesus said so plainly before our Bit: ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain; be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.’ (Matt.21:21) 

It’s all about faith, and trust and belief in Jesus and His awesome power and promises my brethren! Please, let’s not lose or lessen our faith, but rather build it up, so that we can move to higher heights, become more Christ-like, as the Father desires. And in keeping with all that, let’s go home now, proudly and sincerely declaring out Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice 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 if we truly believe it all, then our next step is to go out and share it with others, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…prayer…that wonderful…and oh so powerful…method of communication with our great God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2018 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.   The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Ah mih people, 2018 has certainly come roaring in like a ravaging lion with a wicked winter storm mashing up the East coast of North America, after we’ve already been in a deep freeze for the past two weeks. 

Boston is apparently a mess from snow and flooding caused by surging sea tides. Places in Florida that have not seen snow in decades have certainly seen it now. All the snowbirds that left Canada to winter in Florida must be pretty annoyed. 

They’re calling this extraordinary winter storm a ‘Bomb Cyclone!’ Why I don’t know, but it’s certainly living up to its name. Let’s hope that my li’l area doesn’t get any of it, because all we’ve been seeing and feeling recently is white and cold! Hn! 

But I must say that the ordinary workingman does have an extraordinary resilience to this type of weather, for it has not stopped him from boldly declaring his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend reach at last! So it cold and snowy, so what? Is winter in the north country, that’s what it’s all about! 

We not going to let a li’l bit of snow and cold stop our partying, stop us from enjoying we two days off from slave labour! Hell no! We going to go outside and play in the snow, then come inside and warm up with some hot toddies! (And his beady eyes twinkle at the thought) What a wonderful weekend it’s going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh! I daresay that not all of us are feeling that way. Definitely no playing in the snow…but the hot toddies…well…maybe… (smile) Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which runs somewhat contrary to the workingman’s song, because our emphasis is not on play and our carnal appetites. 

‘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.’ 

Oh friends, it’s not that we Christians don’t or can’t have fun, but fun is not our goal; working and living for Jesus is. And though that includes having fun, it also means being more focused and cautious about overstepping certain boundaries that can get us in serious trouble. And some of that trouble can have serious lifetime consequences. So it’s not advisable for believers to just go overboard in their leisure time. 

Anyway, enough preaching; (smile) here is our Bit: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ And that’s the awesome truth my brethren, as Bruh David found out during his rough times. Who else are we going to turn to in our time of need and trouble eh? Obviously the One who made us and still cares for us! 

Bruh David said before our Bit: ‘Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.’ (Ps.28:6) And it only makes sense to turn to someone who hears your cry for help. And we’ve seen throughout the Good Book that it was to the God of his forefathers that Bruh David turned when the enemy came a calling. 

Hear him from Psalm 18 – A prayer for deliverance. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (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 powerful sentiments my people! But that’s because Bruh David didn’t only turn to God in times of need, he kept Him in his heart ALL the time! And that’s why the Lord saved him from his enemies. Oh friends, it’s the same thing the Lord desires of us; to be with Him all the time, not just when life gets rough to remember Him and cry out for help and expect it to come right away. 

Please note that Bruh David was not exempt from trials and tribulations, he had more than his fair share, but the Lord made sure that he came through them safely. Likewise friends, we will experience trouble and heartaches in our lives, but if like Bruh David, we stay anchored in the Word and faith of our great God, then He will also bring us through the fires of our lives unscathed. 

Remember how he brought out the three Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, without them even smelling of smoke. And more importantly, while they were in the furnace, king Nebuchadnezzar saw four people in there. Obviously the fourth was either the preincarnate Christ who often appeared in the Old Testament, or an angel of the Lord sent to protect them. (Daniel 3) 

So my faithful brethren, it only makes good sense, it’s eternal wisdom to place our trust in the One who created us and still cares for us. And there’s no better way to end today than with the ever-faithful promise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Words to live by my people! Much LOVE!

…with the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in us…there’s  absolutely no need to be afraid…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2018 Psalm 104:24.

Psalm 104:24.   O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

So how shall we begin this morning eh friends? I guess by giving the Lord much thanks and praise as we ought to, as is our bounden duty! 

First of all let’s thank Him for the life we have this morning, for bringing us through the past night of darkness into the bright sunshine of Jesus’ day. Let’s thank Him for all that He’s done for us during the past year and all the good stuff He has planned for us in this new year. 

Ah friends, without God’s grace, mercy and LOVING-kindness we’re nothing, and can do nothing worthwhile. Let’s remember that and keep coming to His throne in humble prayer to get all of our daily needs, for that’s the storehouse from which they all emanate. 

Have you ever wondered how this great universe is so self-sufficient? The earth just seems to stand suspended in space; the seasons roll around on time without any timekeeper; rains fall, the sun shines, the moon does it’s thing, the winds and the seas do their thing too, all without any apparent outward help. 

Birds, insects and animals have their food provided for them and keep on in an unbroken cycle. Humans are born, live and die, and the world continues moving and functioning in perfect harmony…without any apparent outward help. Yes my people, Planet Earth functions so harmoniously because of the wisdom and strength of Almighty God who made it and all therein. 

The only time when stuff gets screwed up on earth is when we humans, supposed superior beings, get involved and throw God’s perfect timing off. But have no fear, despite our foolish and mindless messing with His perfect universe, He is still in total control of it. 

No wonder the psalmist declares so profoundly in our Bit: ‘O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.’ 

Oh friends, the works of our great God are indeed manifold; plentiful, various, different, but all fine tuned to the nth degree, because our God isn’t only a Jack of all trades, but more importantly, a Master of them all! 

Thus, when dealing with the problem of idols in Israel, which were only the work of cunning men, the prophet Jeremiah could unequivocally proclaim: ‘But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God; and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. 

Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his discretion (understanding). 

When He uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth for the wind out of his treasures.’ (Jer.10:10-13) 

What a mighty God we serve my people! The ONE and only true and Living God! And Jeremiah was so convinced of his words that he uttered them again in Chapter 51:15-19, when talking about the Lord’s judgement on Babylon. 

Meanwhile listen to Cousin Sol’s take on the subject. ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.’ (Prov.3:19-20) 

Ah friends, if you’d only sit and ponder the miraculous spectacle that is the earth and all that moves within it, you’d realize that it would take an awfully mighty, wise and powerful Being to put it all together so seamlessly. And that being is our great God Jehovah! Give him much praise and thanks! 

And Job says it thus: ‘He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? Which removeth the mountains, and they know not; which overturneth them in his anger. Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars…

Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not. Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder (prevent) him? Who will say unto him, What doest thou?’ (Job 9:4-7,10-12) 

Now that’s a very good question my people? Who will say unto Almighty God, what are you doing eh? Nobody in his right senses! But we are wise enough not to question God, instead we’ll serve and worship Him in all goodness of heart and thus enjoy His awesome blessings. Let’s tell it to the world friends, let’s declare our Thursday Blessings and let them know how the great God we serve rewards those who faithfully serve Him. 

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!’ 

Oh my people, in 2018, this Year of LOVE, let’s go out and share those blessings with the less fortunate nuh, for that’s what Jesus desires of us! Much LOVE!

…walking closely with Jesus…means sharing whatever He’s blessed us with…

 

 

 

 

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