Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

And this God-given Sunday might just be another rainy day in my area, like the past two days were. However friends, that should not stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship in joyful abandon, while His indispensable and indisputable Word strengthens our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, for that’s what the Lord desires of us. 

And just tonight I read this interesting quote in an article titled ‘Fun Challenged’ in the September Edition of the In Touch Magazine that immortalizes what I’m talking about. The quote is attributed to the theologian Simon Chan, who says: “Christians who do not play together do not worship well together either, since worship is a ‘religious form of play.’ Both at play and at worship the Christian community enjoys its Sabbath rest.” 

Now isn’t that the God-awesome truth friends? Christians should be the happiest and most joyful people on the planet because of what our great God and our wonderful Saviour have done for us! And I believe, both as Christians and as secular people, we have forgotten how to have fun, to laugh and be merry and carefree, which are all healthy aspects of a well-lived life. We’re taking our messed up, strife-filled world too seriously. 

Remember Jesus has already been victorious over hell, death and the grave and we have every reason to rejoice. So, on this the Lord’s Day, let’s lighten up and sing this wonderful old hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ with lyrics by Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) and music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876). Let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise and sweet harmony, so that there can be absolutely no doubt of our sincere and everlasting allegiance to Jesus. 

‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation By water and the Word: From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy Bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died. Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. 

’Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace for evermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, Like them, the meek and lowly, In love may dwell with Thee.’ 

Ah mih people, what a joy it is to sing praises to our High Priest and heavenly Advocate Jesus Christ, for He has been so wonderful to us, when He did not have to! Now let’s hear some choice tidbits from His Word based on our Bit: ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ Yes my fellow believers, those are absolute words of wisdom! And all the great men and women of faith practiced it and some even wrote about it. 

Listen first to Jesus when He described the signs of the end times to His disciples. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19) As followers of Christ we just have to be trusting and patient and persevering, because that’s what His discipleship calls for. 

Now hear Bruh Paul in his treatise to the Romans, concerning ‘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 (it)? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Yeh friends, true faith in Jesus is all about hoping, waiting and persevering to the very end! 

And nobody says this better than the author of Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)  And there’s no better example of waiting on God than the patriarch Abraham. After the Lord promised to bless and multiply him, he waited for 25 years for Isaac, the promise to show up. The author of Hebrews tells us: ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb.6:15) 

And we’ll close with these words of Bruh Paul as he talks to the church at Rome about ‘Unity in Christ.’ ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom.15:4-6) 

Oh friends, that is exactly my prayer for us today; that we come together in fellowship and worship, and enthusiastically and sincerely glorify and exalt our heavenly Father, for He richly deserves our reverence and exaltation! Much LOVE!

…waiting patiently…and eagerly on God…is wisdom of…and for the ages…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2017 2 Chronicles 2:5.

2 Chronicles 2:5.   And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.

‘Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush…Here we go round the mulberry bush on a Sunday morning!’ Oh friends, I could not resist the temptation to begin today’s message with that bit of frivolity, once it came into my mind. 

The truth though is that we’re not going round any bush, but we’re on our way to the Lord’s sanctuary this Sunday morning to fellowship with each other, to give praise and thanks for our many blessings and mercies, to hear the Lord’s word and receive His strength and confidence to go out and face the enemy with courage in the upcoming week. 

Wow! What a majestic morning it’s shaping up to be! And yuh know what? Only the believers in Jesus Christ can attest to such a wonderful situation in their lives! That’s why I keep reminding us of the amazing and awesome God we serve! And that’s why I chose this most appropriate hymn, ‘How Great Thou Art’ to open our time of praise and worship.  It was written in the early 20th century by a Swedish writer, Carl Gustav Boberg and translated into English by missionary Stuart K Hine in mid-century.  

So let’s offer up with truthful lips and sincere hearts a genuine sacrifice of praise today, letting our heavenly Father know how much we LOVE and appreciate Him. In loud voice and beautiful harmony now: ‘O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. (Refrain: Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!)  

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

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

And isn’t that the God awesome truth my brethren! No wonder that hymn has been recognized by several polls over the years as the number one hymn in America. Our God is indeed the GREATEST! Please never forget that! And neither is it a new idea, because Cousin Sol stated it quite plainly many many moons ago in our Bit. ‘And the house which I build is (will be) great: for great is our God above all gods.’  

Yes friends, that was the unequivocal message he conveyed to Huram, king of Tyre, when asking him to sell him lumber and whatever else he needed to build the Lord’s temple. And I like the verse after our Bit. ‘But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?’ (2 Chr.2:6) 

Ah mih people, our God doesn’t really need a house to live in, because He is the Creator of the universe and all therein, and as Cousin Sol says, even the great heavens can’t contain Him. The houses we build for God are basically for us to get together to worship Him.  And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then listen to the psalmist from Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God. 

‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord:  let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand (His possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills (the heights) is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.’ (Ps. 95:1-7)   

Oh friends, those are words of unalterable truth! The Lord God of Hosts is our God; consequently we need to pay Him homage, to exalt His glorious name to all the world. And that is exactly what we are trying to do today, on this His special day, with all the praise and thanksgiving, the honour and the glory, the sincere and heartfelt emotions of LOVE and immense gratitude we’re sending up to heaven on high, as we gather in His sanctuary. 

However friends, let’s be careful now, that our motives are right and our hearts are clean, because God can see right through us, and if we’re being hypocritical, then He’ll just ignore us, despite all our good sounding rhetoric. (smile) Much LOVE!

…the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…He is the One and Only True Living God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

Behold friends, it’s another glorious Tuesday morning in my area! And as the old people would remark ‘heat for so!’ (smile) 

Don’t know when they’re going to end. But like all things, this current beautiful summer weather will eventually morph into the cold and gloomy weather of fall and then winter. 

It’s only a matter of time. So we had better enjoy it while it lasts. That’s why we can all shout, ‘this is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

Oh my people, I know that’s difficult for many of us to say and truly mean because we’re undergoing enormous stress and problems, but we just have to suck it up, raise our level of faith and carry on. 

Even me, right now, I’m having some painful hip problems, and it’s indeed a pain in the rear end, both literally and figuratively, (smile) I can’t walk properly, or sleep properly, or do any kind of physical movement without some sudden, unexpected pain in some area. 

Just coming down here to my basement office to write the Bit was a source of annoying pain. But I just have to do whatever it takes to keep on doing the Lord’s work. And from past experience, I know that He will enable me to do it, if I hang in there. 

That’s what our faith is all about friends! Let’s not forget the Lord’s goodness and mercy in our past. Remembering what He has done in the past for us, ought to make us stronger and help us to stick with His word, to keep believing and keep praying. 

And talking about praying, here is something I’ve shared before from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, but it’s one of those inspiring prayers that we need to share over and over. It’s titled ‘A Prayer For Confidence.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It is flowing into me now, for my conscience is clear. I have made the right decision. I am not afraid of problems. I will face challenges calmly and serenely for God is behind me. He will help me. If I must go through difficult times, He will rescue me. 

I feel His spirit of confidence surging in my heart now. With Him I cannot possibly fail. “If God is for me who can be against me?” I have a strong feeling that everything is going to work out just beautifully. Thank you, God. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what sincere words of reassurance! And I do hope that you feel the surging confidence, the ultimate and enormous power of our omnipotent and merciful God flowing through you right now! I do! 

It’s that spiritual power inspired by prayer and praise, worship and thanks that gets us moving despite all the negative aspects of our lives. We can’t give up friends, especially in these rough and devastating times. As I keep saying, right now we need prayer and faith more than ever, for our world is definitely in a dangerous tailspin. 

And there’s no better time than RIGHT NOW to invoke our Bit. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Remember that was Jesus’ advice to the throng that followed Him. And as faithful believers, we ought to take his advice seriously and do whatever He commands. 

So, please, I urge us, implore us, to keep on praying, to not give up, to not faint, even though the future seems dark and dreary because it’s often darkest just before the dawn, and with our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on our side, anything can happen at any time. 

Now let’s look at a magnificent verse of scripture which totally shows us the importance of prayer. They are the awesome words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians as he explains the putting on of God’s armour. 

At the end, he specifies: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of that verse. ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is when Satan attacks. 

In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that shows us how important and indispensable prayer is in our lives. Now, having read and inwardly digested all that, let’s go home joyfully declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

In unison 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!’ 

Glory to God my faithful brethren! Now let’s go out and share the LOVE, mercy and forgiveness of our Saviour, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…prayer is the believer’s lifeline…his umbilical cord to God…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.

Ah mih fellow believers, it’s so good to wake up to the best day of the week once again! Yes, it’s the Lord’s Day; time for worship and praise, fellowship and spiritual renewal on a more particular basis. 

So let’s not be found wanting, let’s ‘hie’ ourselves hither to His tabernacle today and with our fellow believers praise and glorify and exalt God’s holy name. And, as always, let’s open with a song, for there’s nothing that gets us in the mood, opens our hearts, minds and souls to receive God’s Word like a bout of praise and worship. 

And today, as we desperately plead for help for ourselves and our friends, families and neighbours all over the world, who are facing very disastrous times, there is no song more appropriate than this one: ‘What a friend we have in Jesus.’  

So let’s sing it out, loud and clear, heartfelt and sincere, as we bring to remembrance all that Jesus has done for us, and has promised to do, both in the good times and the rough times, and the simple, but awesome fact that there’s NO ONE greater, or more important than Him, in our lives. 

The hymn was apparently written by one Joseph M. Scriven in 1855 to com­fort his mo­ther, who was across the sea from him in Ire­land. It was orig­in­al­ly pub­lished anon­y­mous­ly, and Scriv­en did not re­ceive full cred­it for al­most 30 years. 

With sacrificial praise from our lips then, let’s tell our story. ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer. Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer. Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.’ 

Oh friends, what wonderful words of peace, comfort and reassurance! But yuh know, the most poignant and reality based words in the hymn are: ‘O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’ 

That’s ever so true my people! A lot of our pains and problems stem from either our foolish pride or lack of knowledge, because both keep us from taking those same pains and problems to Jesus in prayer. And who knows what the results might have been, had we taken the time to go to Jesus in prayerful mode. 

And strangely, even in these times of serious disaster, many so-called believers won’t even consider turning to God in prayer, again because of foolish pride. Amazingly though, it’s the unbelievers, who most of all, in rough times, find their voices and cry out to God for help and mercy. 

Oh my brethren, please remember that prayer is the most powerful force in the universe. It’s God’s stated means of communication with us. So if we don’t pray, then effectively, we’re not communicating with the Most High God, our Creator and Provider. And who suffers for that lack of communication eh? Not God, but us! 

And though God might not answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, He always answers them, whether it be ‘Yes, No, Not Now,’ or whatever. The problem is that we’ll never know His answer until we carry our problems to Him in prayer. 

Why do you think Jesus communicated the thinking in our Bit? ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Because prayer is ever so important, so essential for mankind. It’s as important as food and water. If we don’t have those two ingredients for a while we die. We also die, spiritually, if we don’t have prayer. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.” Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ I couldn’t have said it any better my brethren. 

And why do you think Bruh Paul made that bold pronouncement to the Thessalonians eh? ‘Pray without ceasing?’ Because it’s such a vital part of our existence! 

So friends, on this Sunday in September, when our world seems to be falling apart right before our very eyes, let’s be wise, remember the words of Jesus and Bruh Paul and get back to prayer; constantly and diligently, sincerely and humbly. That is the wisest action we can take in what seems to be the approaching end times. Much LOVE!

…prayer is spiritual food…essential for the believer’s soul…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2017 John 14:16.

John 14:16.   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.

Arise my brethren, it is the Lord’s Day, and we must be trekking to His sanctuary to engage in blissful fellowship with other believers. What a time it will be, with joyful songs of praise and worship, the reading of God’s word, which enlivens our spirit, and words of encouragement and prayer for and with each other. 

But notwithstanding all of that, these are indeed disastrous times in our world, and we need extra comfort from our faith, thus we’ll open this morning with the old hymn ‘Precious Lord, take my hand’ that fits the bill. The song was written in 1932 by Thomas A Dorsey, a black man from Chicago after his wife Nettie died while giving birth to a child (who also died shortly thereafter). Dorsey sang the song for his friend, Gospel singer Theodore Frye, and Frye’s choir sang it the next Sunday at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church. 

So please friends, and fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise from our lips, as we seek comfort from our comforting God. In rich and soulful harmony now, as we feel it down in our very beings. ‘Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near, When my life is almost gone, Hear my cry, hear my call, Hold my hand lest I fall: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) When the darkness appears And the night draws near, And the day is past and gone, At the river I stand, Guide my feet, hold my hand: (Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home.) 

Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand, I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m alone; Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home (lead me home)’ 

Oh my brethren, there is NONE other than Almighty God who can satisfy that need for reassurance and comfort in our hurting souls! That’s why we need to call out to Him first when terrible times overcome us, for He is our indispensable Healer and Comforter. Listen as Jesus offers assurance to His disciples in our Bit. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ 

Oh friends, what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have! He knew that He had to go away and that the disciples would be left in the lurch without Him around.  So He made arrangements with the Father to send them another Comforter, like Jesus, the Holy Spirit, that would dwell within them forever. And he continues: ‘Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’ (John 14:17) 

And the scholars tell us: ’14:17. The Spirit…shall be in you: The ministry of the Holy Spirit, promised to believers of this age, is unique, since it is given to all believers alike, and is permanent (dwelleth, that is “takes up residence”). See verse 23.’  

And we all know that the Holy Spirit made that magnificent appearance to all believers on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had told them to stay in Jerusalem until the new Comforter came, because they would not have had the parts to go out and do what He required of them. The Good Book describes that momentous event thus: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (one purpose, mind) in one place. 

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Ah mih friends, our God doesn’t too things in half measures! When He decides to put on a show, He puts on a big one, with all the bells and whistles, not a little Mickey-Mouse event! (smile) But Jesus’ most touching words to me, were the ones He spoke after promising to send the Holy Spirit. ‘I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:18) 

What care and compassion Jesus shows for those distraught men who had given up everything they had to follow Him, thinking that He would be setting up a new kingdom at that time, only to later learn that He would be killed and then He would go away and leave them…but not alone. That’s not Jesus’ style friends. Once you come to Him, He will ALWAYS be with you: ‘for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb:13:5) 

Oh my people, in ending, all I can says is that the best place to find comfort and compassion in times of sorrow, is in the ever-open and ever-LOVING arms of Jesus. He has already offered the great invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt.11:28-30)  

Friends, it doesn’t get any better than that. But please remember, YOU have to make a serious decision to go to Him to find succour. It won’t just fall in your lap. Much LOVE!

…on a comfort scale of 1-10…Jesus is 11 plus…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2017 Psalm 99:5.

Psalm 99:5.   Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

Well my faithful brethren in Christ, that wonderful time has come around again; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, when we get to gather in His sanctuary and praise and worship Him while fellowshipping with our fellow believers. That’s such a special time in our faith my people, when we lift up our voices in song and prayer and listen to the Lord’s Word that provides us with spiritual nourishment and strength to keep on keeping on. So let’s begin the proceedings with this old hymn of immense exaltation, ‘Holy, holy, holy.’ 

With voices sweet, harmonious and loud, let’s sincerely offer up the sacrifice of praise with our lips. ‘Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity! Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee, Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, Who was, and is, and evermore shall be. 

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee, Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see; Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee, Perfect in pow’r, in LOVE, and purity. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea; Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!’ 

Oh friends, what wonderful sentiments that hymn displays! Our God; holy, merciful, mighty! He is so powerful that it takes three persons, a Trinity to make One of Him! Perfect in power, LOVE, and purity! The whole earth, His awesome creation, shall offer up plenty heart-felt praises to Him! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship my people! 

I do hope that we fully understand and deeply appreciate not only His power, and His awesome generosity, but even more so His holiness and righteousness!  As our Bit so gloriously proclaims to all and sundry: ‘Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.’ Words of indisputable truth my brethren as our hymn so deftly shows. 

And that’s why He cannot condone or magnify sin; it just goes against His very holiness. Sin and holiness just don’t mix! It’s like good and evil; darkness and light, total opposites. That’s also why He had to find a way to sanctify us, set us apart and make us holy too, otherwise we couldn’t dwell with Him. And to keep that aura of holiness around us, we have to continually follow the command of our Bit, sincerely exalt and worship the Lord our God. 

Jesus said it in no uncertain terms when Satan tried to tempt Him into devil worship. ‘Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’ (Luke 4:8) Jesus was there echoing the words of Moses to the children of Israel long before that. (Deut.6:13)  

And Bruh Paul, when carried before the governor Felix by the Jewish council on charges of heresy, solemnly declared. ‘But this I confess unto thee, that after the way (according to the way) which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets. 

And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow (accept), that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. And herein (this being so) do I exercise myself (I myself strive), to always have a conscience void (without) offense toward God, and toward men.’ (Acts 24:14-16) 

It’s all about God friends, not about us. And Bruh Paul in his great knowledge of the scriptures would know that was indeed the right thing to do. For example, he must have known the words of the psalmist after our Bit. ‘Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them. 

He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance (statute) that he gave them. Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions (on their evil deeds.)’ (Ps.99:6-8) 

Ah people, it’s so simple; if we’d only follow God’s laws, everything would be right with us and with our world. There would not be this excessive amount of hatred, strife, war, hunger, sickness, poverty, homelessness, economic misery, etc. etc. that’s currently engulfing it. 

In the long run friends, we only have one wise option, and that’s to do as the psalmist advises: ‘Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.’ (Ps.99:9)  Nuff said this morning friends. Have a blessed Sunday. Much LOVE!

…the holiness of God…calls for nothing less than sincere exaltation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to your faith be it unto you.

Welcome once more to the Lord’s Day my fellow believers in Jesus Christ! It’s another wonderful opportunity to gather in the Lord’s house with other believers and praise and worship, exalt and glorify Him, hear His Word and leave strengthened and confident, assured and re-energized, able to face the upcoming week without any qualms, fears or anxieties. 

Wow! We serve such a mighty and LOVING God my brethren that we can’t help but place our complete and total trust and surrender in Him. That’s why to open the festivities, we will sing this song of faith and trust based on Psalm 56.3 – ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.’ So let’s raise our voices to heaven, offer the sacrifice of praise from lips and hearts sincere and true in the statements we sing. 

As one now: ‘When I am afraid, I will trust in You. Worries fill my heart; I will trust in You. O God my Father, Come do Your work in me. When I am afraid; I will trust in You. When my life is pain, I will look to You. Darkness all around; I will look to You. O God my Father, Come do Your work in me. When my life is pain, I will look to You. God of all my life, I will trust in You. Always, only LOVE, I will trust in You. Through joy and pain, Lord, You form Yourself in me. God of all my life, I will trust in You. God of all my life, I will trust in You.’ 

Yes friends, that last line is the most important and heart stopping: ‘God of all my life, I will trust in you.’ It says it ALL my people. I will indeed trust in the God who holds my life in the palms of His hands and LOVES me like no other of His wonderful creations! Glory to the Most High God! I would indeed be foolish to do otherwise. And so would any of you who claim to believe in Him, because He is our BE ALL and our END ALL! He made us, and has infinite power over all aspects of our lives, so why wouldn’t we bow to Him and worship and trust and have faith in Him eh? 

That’s only basic common sense. (smile) The unfortunate thing is that nowadays common sense seems to be sadly lacking in our society, as more people are turning away from God than are turning to Him. And no doubt that’s partly because they can’t handle His ways, which are higher and wiser than ours.  So foolishly, they choose to go their own way, down the wide and winding path that leads directly to Lucifer. They fail to realize that interacting with Jehovah God is not a now for now thing, but a gradual process based on our faith. 

As Jesus says in the words of our Bit: ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ It’s simple and straightforward my people, as most of Jesus’ statements are. The more you believe, the greater your faith, the more you will see Him work in your life. But faith doesn’t happen overnight and also involves ‘sufferation’ and adversity, which too many of us try to run from. As the old people would say, ‘yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide;’ neither from God or trials and tribulations, because they are all integral parts of earthly life. 

And since Lucifer can’t help you when things get rough, our heavenly Father is the only logical person to turn to. But as a friend of mine would say, ‘enough palavering,’ let’s get some biblical info on faith. First up is the story of the Canaanite woman, a Gentile, who beseeched Jesus to heal her daughter, possessed by a devil. The disciples urged Him to send her away. 

But Jesus said: ‘I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (to the Jews). Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet (right, good) to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to the dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt (you desire). And her daughter was made whole (well) from that very hour.’ (Matt.15:24-28) 

Ah friends, faith is a helluva thing yes! It can certainly work wonders when used right. Listen though to this explanation of that passage by the scholars. ‘15:26-28. By children the Lord means Jews, and by dogs, Gentiles. His attitude was intended to test the woman’s faith, which was rewarded by a miraculous healing. 

The term used for dogs (Gr. kuhariois) means little dogs (pets) not wild, scavenging beasts. She replied that such dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table. She knew what could be hers, even as a Gentile, and thus became an illustration of millions of Gentiles who would later be blessed by Israel’s messiah. Great is thy faith: Jesus again commends Gentile belief (cf. 8:10).’ 

Ah mih people, it certainly seemed that the Gentiles were somewhat wiser than the Jews, when it came to acknowledging Jesus’ power. And we’ll close with these stellar words of Jesus on faith. After telling the disciples that they should forgive as often as a trespasser repents; ‘And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine (mulberry) tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.’ (Luke 17:5-5) 

What a bam bam mih people! Even as much faith as can hold in a li’l mustard seed can work mighty miracles. Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t even have that much faith. 

But hear the scholars. ’17:5-6. The magnitude of the command in verse 4 (re forgiveness) leads to a plea for assistance. Faith, understood here not merely in a mental sense, but also in the sense of active “faithfulness,” is the key. One’s faith often increases as one steps out in trusting obedience.’ 

So friends, let’s try growing our faith by stepping out in trusting obedience today nuh, for that’s the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…without faith…there is no hope…and without hope…there is no faith…

 

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