Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 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, I thought when one went to bed, one was supposed to wake up feeling fresh and strong and revitalized? So why is it when I get up these days I’m tired and full of more pain than when I went to bed eh? Does that only happen to me? Chuh! It just defeats the purpose of going to bed. (smile) 

And I really don’t want to have to continually be taking painkillers, because they cause their own set of problems. So we’ll just have to grin and bear it and move along as best we can with the Lord’s help and daily compassion. Oh yes, it’s still compassion time! That’s the Lord’s decree, not mine! 

And Jeremiah said it best: ‘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 mih breddren, I don’t know about you all nuh, but right now I’m waiting for some of that new compassion and mercy to kick in in my life, especially my ole bod, that will enable me to go about doing the Lord’s work with definitely more strength and enthusiasm than I now feel. But enough about me, let’s turn to the scriptures.  

And hear this first scripture for today on compassion. It deals with Jesus healing two blind men. As Jesus passed by, they cried out to Him; ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And the multitude rebuked them (told them to keep quiet), because they should hold their peace; but they cried out the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. 

And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.’ (Matt.20:30-34) 

Oh what a wonderful person is our Jesus! And friends, yuh see there another essential trait of Jesus: He was never too busy to stop and help others. It’s something that we modern day believers ought to acquire too. We claim we’re so busy nowadays, but half the time we’re busy doing nothing, or busy doing inconsequential stuff when more important stuff is there to be done. 

Now listen to Jude, Jesus’ half brother on the subject. ‘But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying by the Holy Ghost. Keep yourselves in the LOVE of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference (distinction) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted (defiled) by the flesh.’ (Jude 20-23) 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ’20. The antidote for error is not simply to pull back from wrong but also to be built up in what is right, especially through clinging to God in prayer.’ 

’21. Here Jude stresses our role in being kept. In verse 1 he has already used a form of the same word ‘preserved’, most likely to denote God’s own role and ability in “keeping” His children in His grasp. Jude expects a literal return of Jesus.’ 

’22-23. An important factor in keeping one’s own faith active and vibrant is exercising it serving others. Even where there is danger or extreme immorality involved, God call on believers to mediate His LOVE for the fallen and share the gospel with the lost.’ 

Hope those explanations are helpful in understanding Jude’s words. And isn’t it interesting how Jesus’ two brothers, James and Jude did not believe Him while He was here on earth, but became faithful believers after He left. I guess that’s a most pertinent example of God’s saying through Zechariah: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord.’ (Zech.4:6b) 

And this last scripture on compassion comes from Peter, as he talks about the behaviour of wives and husbands. ‘Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, LOVE as brethren, be pitiful (tenderhearted), be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing (reviling) for railing (reviling): but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.’ (1 Pet.3:8-9) 

Yeh friends, it’s all about living in understanding, compassion and brotherly LOVE; not returning evil for evil, but rather consuming evil with good as God desires of us, knowing that in so doing, we will be well rewarded in due course of time. 

And yuh know what, the Lord hasn’t even waited till heaven comes to reward us, He’s had great compassion on us right down here on earth through the wonderful blessings that He’s already bestowed on us in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them now in strong voice and sincere hearts. 

‘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!’ 

Yes mih people, ALL those blessings are ours, we just have to receive them, then go out and share them with others. That’s why they were given to us. Much LOVE!

…unless we show true compassion…we cannot be considered true believers…



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Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2018 Proverbs 16:18.

Proverbs 16:18.    Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (stumbling).

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of the workweek, but yet another glorious day seems to be in the offing in my area! This spring weather is really outdoing itself yes! (smile) 

But unfortunately not all around is wine and roses and glorious weather, because the Hawaiian people are still being plagued by their convulsive volcano, and those things can be so temperamental that you never know what they’ll do or when. So please, let’s continue praying for them and helping however we can. 

And this morning I’m going to give us a few reminders about what is what in our faith. (smile) First off, please remember that ‘Faith gives us that inner joy of dreaming again.’ Yeh friends, it’s the presence of faith, catapulted by hope that enables us to dream. Without them dreaming wouldn’t happen. 

And remember too, that there’s ‘Serenity in the LOVE of God.’ In fact that’s the dwelling place of Serenity, so if you don’t have the LOVE of God within you, then you won’t be able to achieve Serenity. And lastly, this one is ever so important, remember that ‘Your ego is not your amigo.’ 

Definitely not mih breddren! Our ego more often than not lines up as our enemy, because it’s pride based and has us panting for the things of the flesh and behaving in a fleshly manner. So when it begins to cozy up to you, please check it very carefully before you accede to its desires. 

I guess that can only lead to a lesson on pride and egotistic stuff. (smile) Thus our Bit: ‘Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (stumbling).’ And we all know that to be gospel truth! 

Unnecessary pride and haughtiness and a rather bombastic ego never last long. How could they eh, when the Lord declares amongst the seven things He thoroughly dislikes is ‘a proud look (haughty eyes).’ (Prov.6:17a) 

And Cousin Sol continues later on in Proverbs: ‘The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (perverse) mouth, do I hate.’ (Prov.8:13) 

Meanwhile Isaiah declares in his condemnation of Ephraim: ‘Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim…The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden (trampled) under feet:’ (Is.28:1,3) Yeh friends, those that are full of pride shall eventually be brought low. That’s why Cousin Sol advises after our Bit: ‘Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil (plunder) with the proud.’ (Prov.16:19) 

And the big thing nowadays is to be in the upper echelon of society, to walk with the rich and famous. We boast about whom we know and associate with in the corridors of power. But friends, that show doesn’t get us any place really, for what happens when our supposed rich and famous associates are no longer rich and famous eh? 

And it something that happens everyday. Being rich and famous isn’t guaranteed for a lifetime, especially if you flaunt your worldly assets in people’s faces. You know the ones who put you up there will bring you down even faster than they put you up, and take even more joy in doing so. 

Remember the scripture we recently quoted from the prophet Obadiah re the destruction of Edom. ‘The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as (high as) the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.’ (Obad.3-4) 

Yes my brethren, pride and power and pomp and glory and fame and riches do not make the man that God desires. I think John says it best 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. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (physical desires), and the lust of the eyes (personal desires), and the pride of life (self-interests), 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 forever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

That’s the word of the Lord my people. And if we believe that it’s true, then if we are wise, we will pay serious attention to it, and try to follow it as best we can. What more can I say eh? We all have to make these personal decisions for ourselves. 

Now let’s go home joyfully declaring our position with and in Jesus through our Wednesday Wail. In strong and sincere 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 for those of us who wisely plod on to the end, will that future ever be glorious! Much LOVE!

…if the Lord hates it…then it doesn’t make sense to have it…and He surely hates pride…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2018 Psalm 89:1.

Psalm 89:1.   I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Happy First Day of Spring friends! Yes, today is the official first day of spring, and what a gorgeous day it is in my neighbourhood! So it’s somewhat chilly…so what? Once the sun and SON are shining brightly, it doesn’t matter what else is happening. And besides, from now on, the weather picture is all heads up, no tails! (smile) 

Spring has finally been sprung from its winter lair! Thank God for His awesome mercy! Soon there will be no more snow and heavy winter clothing to put on and cart around…Thank the Lord again! 

And on a point of interest, it seems as though one of these self-driving cars we’re touting so much and are so quickly trying to build, has killed a woman in Arizona trying to cross the road. Ah Lord eh! Why are we in such a hurry to replace ourselves and make us extinct eh? 

Everything we’re working on is autonomous; self-driving cars and trucks, self-flying planes, not to talk about robots taking over most of the functions that humans are supposed to do. Can’t we see that God’s greatest creation is foolishly trying to kill itself off either through horrible collisions, or just through laziness and having nothing to do? 

I don’t know about you all nuh, but I’m NOT going in any car that doesn’t have a driver at the wheel, or a plane that has no pilot at the controls! I’ll take my chances with people, not with artificial intelligence. End of sermon! (smile)  

Now here is a li’l something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin to change our mood and lift our spirits this glorious Tuesday. The title simply says ‘It’s Good.’  

Please pray with me. ‘God, it’s good to be LOVED by You! The breathtaking knowledge Of Your life-giving LOVE Rings chimes in my tremulous heart. It fashions eternal declarations Out of unsettled questions. It creates a majestic life symphony From a solitary note. GOD IT’S GOOD TO BE LOVED BY YOU!’ 

And is it ever? If you don’t know the LOVE of God, then you’re missing the best part of life. For without His awesome and amazing LOVE percolating in our souls, and bodies, we’re nothing but another wild animal without any sense of purpose or reason. And that’s why our world is in such a mess; the LOVE of God is absent from too many of our lives! 

That brings us to our Bit, the Bible verse associated with the poem above. It’s taken from Psalm 89 – A Maschil (contemplation) of Ethan the Ezrahite declaring ‘God’s sure promises to David. And it joyfully proclaims: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. 

For I have said, Mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.   Selah.’ (Ps.89:1-4) 

And that is exactly what the Lord has done! He has established the kingdom of Jesus, Bruh David’s descendant, and by His great mercy and LOVE, we are a part of that awesome gathering. Glory to God my brethren! For without His faithfulness, we’d still be living under the sinful law of man, and not God’s unconditional LOVE. Bless His holy name for all of His goodness to us my people! 

No wonder, Ethan, the psalmist continues in such glowing terms: ‘And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? 

Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. Thou hast broken Rahab (Egypt) in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them.’ (Ps.89:5-11) 

Yes friends, on this first day of spring, I believe it’s only wise that we begin spring-cleaning in our hearts and souls. Let’s throw out all the old, false winter stuff and renew our minds with the wonderful LOVE of God that He has shed abroad for our eternal benefit. That’s wisdom personified! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In unison and harmony now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the next move is for us to actually go out and share that amazing LOVE of our friend Jesus with those who don’t know about it, or Him! Let’s make known His faithfulness to all generations. Happy LOVE sharing! Much LOVE!

…blessed are those…who sincerely share Jesus’ gospel of peace and LOVE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2018 1 John 4:7.

1 John 4:7.   Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.

                                          HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well friends, 2018 is finally here, and I wish all of us the best for this New Year. I hope that we all enjoyed a good New Year’s Eve celebration, keeping the libations to a minimum so that the brains didn’t get addled. (smile) 

But yuh know what friends, I’m dubbing 2018 as ‘THE YEAR OF LOVE!’ And our motto for this YEAR OF LOVE, is EACH ONE LOVE ONE! 

All we have to do is LOVE One person each and every day of the year, so that our world will be filled with more LOVE than hate. Now is that so hard to do friends? It should be much easier than hating one person every day, which we seem to do so well. 

The long and short of the story my people is that our world has fallen so low in the last year with all the strife and warmongering, that we don’t have much lower to go. If we continue in this sad and foolish vein, our world will soon explode. 

And we’ve already opened the year with threats from North Korea, and riots in Iran, plus all the other theatres of strife that persist from 2017. Is this the way we really want to see our world go, mushroom in a cloud of nuclear conflagration? 

Because you can bet your bottom dollar if the downward spiral continues, one of the mad, incompetent, power hungry dictators running our world is going to push that red button, and our world will never be the same. It might even cease to exist, such is the power of nuclear war and weapons. 

That’s why I’m advocating so strongly for 2018 to be a turn around year, where Christians come together and truly begin living and LOVING like followers of Christ, fighting tooth and nail to restore some sense of balance and common sense in our world. 

Oh fellow believers, if we don’t do it, who else is going to eh? Lucifer and his workers of iniquity like the way the world is going, but Jesus certainly doesn’t, and if we’re supposed to be His ambassadors, His hands, feet, mouth and ears on earth, then it’s our bounden duty to try and recapture the world from the denizens of evil. 

So please let’s get with the LOVE Scene nuh man! Let’s do our best to remove the current leaders and elect sensible, godly ones, who won’t threaten to go overboard at the drop of a hat. Let’s cut out the complacency and compromise and begin working together to make Christ’s Body the most powerful in the land. That’s the best way to glorify Him! 

And now that I’ve made my plea, added my two cents worth (smile) let’s turn to those unfortunate brothers and sisters who have to go out and labour this cold, cold New Year’s Monday since our 24/7 society needs constant care. Yuh know it’s so cold that some of the water on Niagara Falls froze. So let’s send them out to work with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which we never have a problem doing, when we ourselves are staying at home celebrating. (smile) 

In strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah mih friends, I could hear the after effects of the New Year’s Eve celebrations; the hoarse, croaky and out of tune voices. But at least we had the right spirit. (smile) And my fellow believers, we couldn’t have a more appropriate Bit this morning than these wonderful words of John, as he informs us that God IS LOVE. 

‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ That means if we want to know about true LOVE, then we have to be involved in a serious relationship with God. 

And we’ll just end with these oh so appropriate words of John, as he reminds us of the importance of LOVE and knowing God. ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God: for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED US, WE OUGHT ALSO TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.’ (1 John 4:8-11) 

That’s what I’m trying to achieve friends, but amongst supposed Christians, it’s like pulling teeth. Remember some of Christ’s last words to the disciples: ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12)  Plain and straightforward words, as always from our Lord and Saviour. 

Please my brethren, let’s try and seriously action them this year nuh; that is if we want our world to exist in a healthy and godly manner. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 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. 

Arise friends, arise and greet this brand new day, filled with both mercy and work. The Lord is granting us new mercy so that we can be strong and courageous and go out and diligently do His work this Monday morning. So let’s rise and shine and greet the day with joy in our hearts and the LOVE of God in our souls! 

Remember it’s the Christmas season, one of the most important times of the year, when we celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That alone should be enough to drive our engine this morning. But just in case it isn’t we have our favourite stand by, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which fires us up, even when we are at the ebb of our spirits. So without further ado, let’s sing it out with some enthusiasm and sincerity. 

As one 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!’ 

Yuh see friends, when we put some zest in it, it just raises our spirits, gets our adrenaline flowing and make us just want to get out there and work our fannies off for Jesus. (smile) So having said all of that, let’s get a move on nuh, for as our Bit so rightly says: ‘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 just for this moment we’re going to take our Bit at face value; the night is almost done and day is dawning, so we desperately need to get up and make preparations for going to work, and getting there on time too, for punctuality is one of the strong points of the followers of Jesus. 

Turning now to the philosophical side of our Bit, let’s see if we can get some more serious insight into what Bruh Paul is talking about. Now yesterday we saw it basically meant to give up the sinful ways in which we knowingly are involved; ways that don’t suit a follower of Christ. For as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) 

Yes my people, when we become people of Christ, we are to shuck the old sinful habits we had, and pick up the new ones which reflect the nature of Christ. But a lot of us are still doing the old stuff and it’s giving both Christ and us a bad name. The unbelievers keep shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ And more often than not they are right. 

As Bruh Paul puts it later on to the Corinthians: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness (in common) with unrighteousness (lawlessness)? and what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness? And what concord (accord) hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever). And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (2 Cor.6:14-16) 

Yes friends, individually and collectively we are the temple of God, the church of Christ, and as such we need to live a life that reflects the nature of Christ, and obviously the unbeliever’s life doesn’t reflect that, so we shouldn’t be too chummy chummy with them and pick up their bad habits. 

Now that doesn’t mean we can’t associate or work with them, because how else would we show and teach them about Jesus eh?  However we have to make sure that their unbelief doesn’t contaminate us, and that our belief is the more powerful nature of the relationship so that we can eventually draw them to Christ. 

But seriously though my believing brethren, in these troubled and evil times, we desperately need to come up higher. There is way too much strife and evil happening in our world, not enough LOVE, joy peace and goodwill, and if it continues in the current vein, it will only lead to a massive explosion, which I’m sure none of us want. So please, please, in Jesus’ name, I implore us, let’s do better nuh, for all of us have room for improvement.  If not for our sakes, then for our children’s. Much LOVE!

…the light of Jesus’ followers…ought ALWAYS to overpower…the darkness of the unbelievers…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

‘Blow the trumpet, sound the horn… And welcome another ‘loverly’ Monday morn!’ 

Now that just raises a cacophony of negative noises in the background; hissing of teeth, cursing, and complaints like ‘Yuh mad or something boy? Where you ever hear them welcoming Monday as a lovely morn eh? Steups! Monday morning is more a pain in the butt than anything else yes!’ 

And I respond by saying that’s because we have not planned properly for it. We all know that after Sunday is Monday and we have to get up to go to work. So why don’t we prepare ourselves as needed to do so eh? I guess it’s just the innate contrariness in us. (smile) 

But anyway, we have the right prescription for any negative feelings you have this morning. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. And when we sing it lustily, it just chases away all those Monday morning blues. So let’s put down a real lusty rendition now nuh. 

‘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!’ 

Wow mih breddren! That was certainly lusty! And yuh see how it drove away all your negative feelings. So let’s get a move on, make hay while the sun shines and the irons are hot and get out into the feckless, fickle, foolish world and spread the good news, the wonderful LOVE of our Lord and Saviour, our fearless Leader, Jesus Christ. 

Yes friends, we can go out and battle the enemy mano a mano (man to man) because of the assurance we have in scriptures like our Bit. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ 

And if that is not written deep and indelibly in your soul, then you are in trouble. For without the backing of Almighty God we cannot successfully fight the evil prince of this fallen world and his numerous evil cohorts. But with God sincerely entrenched in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, we can move mountains! 

Remember how Jesus put it to His disciples when they could not heal an epileptic man? ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence unto yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible to you.’ (Matt.17:20) 

Ah mih people, we certainly have to believe, if we want to achieve. Now let’s check out a couple of other scripture passages which reassure us of God’s help and place of refuge in times of trouble.  First up are these verses from Psalm 33 – Praise to the Lord for his creation. 

‘Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps.33:18-22) Please note the psalmist’s sentiment in the last verse – for God’s mercy to fall on us in proportion to our hope in Him. As we sow, we shall reap. 

And we all know the famous words of Psalm 121 – God’s sustaining power. ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 

The Lord is thy keeper (protector): the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thy soul. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’ (Ps.121:1-8)  

And all God’s people gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve and worship!’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers. So with that assurance bubbling up in us, let’s go out now and fight the good fight with Christ, as we battle diligently in His LOVE Revolution, to retake the world from the evil prince of darkness. Much LOVE!

onward Christian soldiers…to fight…to fight…and to keep on fighting…with Jesus at our helm…

 

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