Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Greetings and salutations my fellow brethren in Christ! Welcome to what looks like a somewhat cloudy and hopefully rainy Saturday morning in my neck of the woods. And do we ever need some decent rainfall. 

But the best part of the morning is knowing that regardless of what the weather is like, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is alive and well and that His brilliant light is shining in our hearts, minds, and souls for all to see. 

And the most important part of that sentence is the last part, ‘for all to see.’ That’s because Christ is shining His light not only in, but also through us. The light is for us to share with the rest of the world who don’t know Him and cause them to come to Him for His saving grace, without which they can’t find eternal life. 

And it’s especially in these difficult and trying times that the world needs believers to stand up and declare the gospel with great zest and passion, and live it in true Christian fashion. 

We must not be seen as wishy-washy, fence sitting hypocrites, else that would just invalidate our witness for Christ and make His organization, His church, more of a laughing stock than it already is. 

So friends, please, let’s promise ourselves this morning to be excellent ambassadors for Christ so that we can raise the level, the intensity of His LOVE Revolution, that’s the only hope for our misguided, evil and increasingly ungodly world. 

Wow! Where did all of that come from eh? When I sat down just now to write, that was nowhere in my imagination, but as always, I asked for guidance, and I guess that’s where I was guided. Ah mih people, you never know with our great God nuh! 

Now let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm who always aspires to inspire us. And I like this first one: ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth! For as Bruh Bob (Bob Marley) said in his song: ‘That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race. That until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizen ship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained… and everywhere will be war…ah say war…’ 

Yes friends, until equal rights and justice play a much larger role in our society, we will ALWAYS be engulfed in strife. And the second quote from Anselm tells us that, ‘The strongest people are not always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.’ 

That’s more indisputable truth my brethren! The strongest are the ones who fight the good fight of faith right down to the very end, despite all the trials and tribulations that come their way. And it all segues so smoothly into our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s all we dealing with this morning; being strong and of a good courage… Why, you ask? 

Because I believe now, more than ever, Christians need to stand up strong and steadfast and be courageous, stop being passive and allowing ourselves to be pushed around and aside by the evil world powers. 

Right now we’re definitely not doing justice to the ultimate power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, that’s supposed to lead and guide us along the straight and narrow path destined for us by our Creator. 

The anxious and fearful way in which so many of us behave, one would never believe that the Spirit of God resides within us. We have to stand up strong friends, much stronger than we’re currently doing. 

Poor Joshua was bombarded with that direction, both by Moses and the Lord. Listen up: ‘And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.’ (Deut.31:7) 

The Good Book also tells us, per the Lord’s direction: ‘Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.’ (Deut.31:22-23) 

And the Lord when He commissions Joshua as Israel’s leader, after the death of Moses, He reiterates in our Bit: ‘Be strong and of a good courage… Then in the next verse, He tells him once more; ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous…’ (Josh.1:7a) 

And if that wasn’t enough, two verses later, the Lord reminds him. ‘Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

And that same message also applies to each and every believer today! Yes my people, it is ever so important that we Christians stand up proud and strong in these trying times, because that’s the only way we’ll ever serve Christ properly, and make a sincere and substantial difference in our world, which we are called to do. Much LOVE!…

Christians ought to be the strongest and most courageous people on earth…because of the awesome and ever-faithful promises of Christ…and His Holy Spirit which dwells in them…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2015 Psalm 145:1.

Psalm 145:1.   I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

Greetings my Friends, in the holy name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made whole, be washed clean, cleansed from our abominable sins and be reconciled to our Creator, our Father in heaven! 
 
What a mouthful! (smile) But it’s all true. And from that selfless sacrifice came forth the best gifts ever bestowed on mankind; salvation and eternal life! Oh, glory be to the wonderful Deity that we serve and worship! 
 
That’s why on this Sunday morning in November, we ought to be filling the Lord’s sanctuaries to give Him thanks and praise for His continued LOVING-kindness to us undeserving sinners. All over the land, shouts of praise and glory and thanksgiving ought to be reaching up to high heaven in true reverence and honour to our majestic God! 
 
Yes my people, the gathering of believers in Jesus Christ is of the utmost importance, for that is one of the major ways in which we build and also express our faith; worshipping together, encouraging and edifying each other. As the church, the body of Christ, we are expected to be as one, to live in harmony and unity, with the gospel of Christ as our true foundation and guide. 
 
And just like if one part of our physical body malfunctions, it causes problems for the whole body, likewise, if one part of Christ’s church doesn’t live up to expectations, the entire body will malfunction; there will be disharmony, disunity, selfish pride and resentment, amongst other things, bringing dishonour to Christ.  
 
And that’s one thing we certainly don’t want to do! We are His ambassadors, that means we ought to be doing good things in His name, setting a good example, living true to His godly principles, not to negative or evil ones. Unfortunately, these days negative and evil principles are taking a stranglehold on our world. War, hate, anger and strife are paramount in today’s world, while peace, LOVE, justice and righteousness are running a poor second. 
 
That’s not right Friends, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. The good ought to be overpowering the bad by a sizeable majority, not the other way around.  That is why in these difficult and dangerous end times we believers have to seriously increase our witness for Jesus if we want to save our world. 
 
We can’t afford to do like Jesus said of the people back in His time, re John the Baptist. “He was a burning and a shining light (lamp): and ye were willing for a season (time) to rejoice in his light.’ (John 5:35) 
 
Oh my brethren, we cannot rejoice just for a season in Christ! We have to be doing it continuously, until whenever He returns to claim His throne.  But sadly, that is one of the downfalls of believers; we’re not consistent in our walk with Jesus, most of the time we’re just lukewarm, no real pep in our witness. How then can we encourage others to come to Jesus eh? 
 
Unless we’re enthusiastic and sincere about walking with and working for Jesus, we’re doing His cause more harm than good, not being very worthwhile ambassadors. That is why the Psalms are full of encouragement to praise and worship God.  Let’s hear some of those scriptures so that our spirits can be boosted this Sunday morning. 
 
We’ll begin with our Bit from Psalm 145 – The Lord is Gracious- Bruh David’s psalm of praise.  He boldly proclaims: ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.’ Yes my brethren, that’s the kind of stuff we have to envision then put it into action. 
 
As Bruh David continues: ‘Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding). One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness.’ (Ps.145:2-6)  
 
Oh my fellow believers are we praising God’s name as conscientiously and enthusiastically as we should? Are we passing on His greatness to the next generation? Are we continually speaking of His splendour and majesty, of His awesome works? Hn! I don’t think so really – at least not as much as we should, otherwise our world would not be in such an evil mess. 
 
Now listen to Psalm 146 – the blessedness of trusting God: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise thee Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being… Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:1-2, 5) 
 
Then Psalm 147 – Great is our God and of great power- begins: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely… Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God.’ (Ps.147:1, 7) 
 
Meanwhile Psalm 149 – The Lord taketh pleasure in his people –boldly declares: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of the saints…Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek (humble) with salvation.’ (Ps.149:1,3-4). 
 
And we’ll end appropriately with Psalm 150 –Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in the firmament of his power (mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him according to his excellent greatness… Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah!)’ (Ps. 150:1-2, 6) 
 
Oh my people, my people, I do hope that we’ve gained some measure of insight into the need for praising and glorifying our great God on a continual basis. So today, please let’s hear His praise in the congregation of His saints and in His sanctuary as we gather to worship and give thanks for His undeserved mercy, LOVE, grace, compassion forgiveness and LOVING-kindness, for that’s wisdom at its wisest! Much LOVE!
 
…when we sing the praises of God…our hope, faith, belief and trust are increased…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2014 1 John 4:4

1 John 4:4.   Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday… a rather rambunctious one too, because the Carnival celebrations in T&T are heating up, slowly coming to a boil! Yeh, the two big days of Carnival, March 3-4, are only a month away. So you can imagine how the populace is joyously shouting: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Work soon done, and the partying start! Oh thank God is Friday!’

Yes mih people, the pre-carnival season is gradually rising to a fever pitch. The steelbands are rigorously and vigorously practicing for the Steelband Panorama Competitions, while the mas camps are just a beehive of activity with costume making and all the other things that go into bringing out a mas band.
 
The calypso tents are alive and hopping with calypso, and the soca music is blasting out from the radio stations. So even if you are a novice, a neophyte at the situation, you’d certainly feel the excitement, the joyous vibe in the air.
 
However Friends, as Jeeves, the butler, would no doubt say, we need to harness that energy, that excitement, and restrain it some, with ‘a modicum of circumspection.’ We can’t just let it run rampant without strong reins to guide and direct it, otherwise that evil scoundrel, Lucifer, is certain to get a foothold in it and try to derail the whole thing, or use it for his own evil purposes.
 
And we’re going to bring the right perspective to the situation by chanting our Friday Chant. ‘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.’
 
Yeh mih breddren, we do need some set and serious boundaries in our Christian lives, boundaries that we try our very best to adhere to, so that we don’t destroy our witness for Christ.
 
Oh, by the way, I made a couple of excellent memories yesterday. In the early afternoon hours, the Duchess and I explored the sea-coast side of the property. And I was certainly amazed to see how large it was, with several beautiful bungalows overlooking the always somewhat angry and aggressive tide of the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Hn, hn! A little dark coloured bird just plopped down on the balcony here next to me, and is walking around looking for food, totally unconcerned about my presence. When he/she couldn’t find any crumbs to nibble on, he/she stood at the edge of the balcony for a few seconds, then flew away in a flutter of wings. It’s amazing how the birds around here don’t seem to have much fear of humans – once you don’t get too close that is.
 
But as I was saying, before the bird so rudely interrupted, (smile) the duchess and I walked along the back side of the property admiring the wonderful view and the beautiful flora that surrounds the area; coconut and almond trees, as well as other colourful tropical plants, whose names I don’t know. But believe me, the sight does warm the cockles of one’s heart, and invites one to wonder about God’s great creation of nature.
 
Now hear this. At one of the short coconut trees, I looked up and saw what seemed to be a young nut growing within another one. Only in Tobago, you say. Chuh! I forgot to have the Duchess take a picture of it.
 
But Friends, the highlight of the day was an evangelical service at the Canaan, Bon Accord Methodist Church, which an old friend invited me to. Thanks ever so much Finbar! I only hope I do it justice with this short description.
 
It was certainly a marathon session, starting at 6.30 and running straight through till 9.30. And at the end, the singing and dancing were remarkable, nobody seemed to want to go home. It truly showed a great joy amongst the participants, and a feeling of great LOVE for the Lord God Jehovah!
 
The service included a process of praying for forgiveness for ourselves, as well as forgiving others; releasing the hate, bitterness, anger and resentment stored up in our souls for oh too long. Then there was anointing and laying on of hands. Obviously a few people felt the power of the Holy Spirit and had to be lowered to the floor for their safety. That was then followed by a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
 
All in all, it just seemed to be a more interesting way to worship than the staid, dark, formal tones that most of the older churches depend on. And that’s partly why they are losing parishioners. The old folks don’t want the more open celebratory approach, while the young ones don’t relish the old, staid droning on stuff.
 
That means Friends, we need to find a happy balance, or else the old churches are liable to die out. This is what happened at this particular Methodist church. It was created specially to have that kind of worship every so often.
 
On a point of interest, after the first fifteen minutes of praise and worship, I had to go out and get a drink of water, because my throat was parched and dry from so much constant singing. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 
I even believe it eased up some of the headache problems I’ve been recently having, by renewing the peace and joy in my spirit. Give God the glory my people! It truly was a wonderful memory to add to my collection on this most excellent vacation!
 
Now let’s see if we have time and space for out Bit. (smile) And even if we don’t, it really doesn’t matter because we’ve been talking about the affairs of God anyhow. ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’
 
And that’s gospel, gospel truth, my brethren, absolutely no doubt about it! 
 
Now yesterday we saw where John was telling us about the many spirits that are around, and how to differentiate God’s Spirit, from those of the unholy antichrist. Basically, if the Spirit confesses that Christ has come in the flesh, then it is of God. But be aware of and stay away from any that doesn’t confess Christ was truly made man, because it is of the antichrist, come to fool, lie and deceive.
 
And we can do that because as our Bit so rightly and wisely informs us, we are God’s children, and His Spirit that indwells is way, way stronger than that of Beelzebub, whose spirit controls the evil, lustful world. Remember when Christ died and rose again, He conquered death and all that the world had to offer. (Rev.1:18)
 
Now John tells us about those spirits of the antichrist. ‘They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.’ (1 John 4:5)
 
And as the scholars’ note: ‘4:5. They refers to all who are ruled by the spirit of antichrist. The world finds their teaching more appealing than the truth of God.’
 
How sad and unfortunate my fellow believers. However, as John continues: ‘We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.’ (1 John 4:6)
 
And the scholars’ say of the verse. ‘4:6. Those who acknowledge the truth of the apostolic (New Testament) witness to Christ, will recognize and conform to the teaching John is presenting.
 
Those who do not are animated by a common and unifying spirit of error. John warns his readers against this spirit by contrasting their false views of Christ with the views that he, a personal follower and witness of Christ, proclaims.’
 
Ah Friends, the Bit is plenty long today, but what’s a little more time to spend reading about the goodness and faithfulness of our great God eh? It’s all for our benefit and His glory.
 
So, as usual, let’s seriously ponder on all we’ve read and heard today, search our hearts, mind and souls to see what in particular applies to us, then ask the Father to help us improve those aspects of our life. That is indeed wisdom from above, since it will please the Father a whole lot! Much LOVE!
 
…to those in whom the Holy Spirit of Christ truly dwells…will always come sure guidance and safety from above…Jesus promised it…and we know that He faithfully keeps…ALL His promises…