Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 November 2008 Deuteronomy 32:4‏

Deuteronomy 32:4    He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 
And all God’s people said, WOW! Yes Friends, that’s the gospel truth! Those are some of the attributes of the mighty, merciful, magnificent and forgiving God we serve, worship and adore. Give Him thanks people for His everlasting LOVE and goodness to us! There’s no law which says He has to. His heart just overflows with a LOVE so intense, so powerful, He can’t help Himself. We are the work of His hands, and who doesn’t LOVE what they create eh, even though it may be imperfect? Yes Friends, the Spirit just catapulted the ole fella up on a high of reverence and adoration. (smile) I wasn’t familiar with Today’s Bit and it just got me going. It’s part of a song Moses wrote for the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt: ‘And it shall come to pass when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed.’ (Deut.31:21) Moses knew their propensity for backsliding. ‘For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death?’ (Deut.31:27) It would have broken his heart to see how many times they rebelled. Anyway, he gave them a song that would always remind them of their great God and His unbelievable kindness to them and their forefathers. Moses certainly waxed poetic and strong that day: ‘Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.’ (Deut.32:1-3) Sing Hallelujah people! Yuh got to excuse the ole fella yes, cause some of the poetic language in the Good Book does really excite him, make him hunger for, wish and dream of being able to write like that. But I’m obedient, I’ll willingly play whatever role God assigns me. Moses apparently couldn’t talk well because of a speech impediment, but there’s certainly no hesitation in his writing. The overall picture is that of a faithful God, tested by a faithless, disobedient people. And what’s the first bit of greatness Moses ascribes to our God? ‘He is the ROCK!’ Oh yes people, our God is the ROCK! And Moses didn’t lead the stubborn, rebellious Israelites for all those years without learning something. He places The ROCK first for special emphasis. To emphasize the stability, reliability, strong foundation, the unmoving, immovable nature of our God; His permanence; Alpha and Omega; the First, as well as the Last. That people is how we’ve got to view the Lord our God. Unlike Jeshurun, who waxed fat on the Lord’s goodness, ‘then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the ROCK of his salvation.’ (vs.15) and went on to worship strange gods and commit other abominations. What a crying shame people! What an ingrate! I like how Moses puts it: ‘and lightly esteemed the ROCK of his salvation.’ It reminds me of Bruh David’s style. He also held forth on our God’s greatness. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my ROCK, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation and my high tower.’  (Ps.18:1-2) Glory Hallelujah! Oh Friends, how can we ever doubt the veracity of those two strong men of God eh, when they praise, exalt and sing of the power and majesty of the Most High God Jehovah? It’s not like they were perfect or talking from hearsay. They were unworthy sinners, just like us, did worse than some of us, but who, unlike the majority of their fellow citizens, placed their absolute faith and trust in the God of their fathers. And He, being the amazing, faithful and trustworthy Deity that He is, rewarded them handsomely for their trust and painstaking efforts on His behalf. Oh Friends, there’s so much to say in praise of our wonderful God, and we’ve only covered the first aspect of Moses’ tribute, ‘THE ROCK.’ I wouldn’t dare to judge which attribute is the most important, but ‘THE ROCK’ is definitely a solid place to start. That idea of strength, steadfastness, immovability, sure lends comfort to an unsteady, wavering, uncertain soul. Let’s lean on Him Friends, with all our being. That’s His avowed objective; His heart’s greatest desire. Nothing makes our God happier than His children sincerely waiting, looking to and depending on Him. Much LOVE!…lean on me…when you’re not strong…and I’ll give you strength…to carry on…lean on me…O lean on me…  To be continued.
 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2008 1 Peter 1:24-25‏

1 Peter 1:24-25    For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
 
Yes my Friends, that’s how Peter concludes the first chapter of his general letter ‘to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.’ (vs.1) He’s calling out to them to dedicate themselves to Christ, using an analogy proclaimed by Isaiah long before. ‘ And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. And the voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.’ (Is.40:5-7) There’s no doubt about that people, mankind is very fragile, easily damaged, and our life span is also short. Isaiah put it in terms simple folk could understand, and Peter reiterated it. ‘For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.’ At no time in history has that been ever more appropriate than now. That scenario is played out everyday, where men rise to power, to stardom, or some such exalted position in a bright burst of glory; brilliant academic treatises, physical accomplishments of heroic proportions, or leadership capabilities that take us by storm, and they ride the crest of that wave of popularity, until some achilles heel is discovered and they plummet from glory in scorn and disdain. Then they become has beens, which our fickle society has no time for. ‘Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.’ (Job 14:1-2) What an apt description! But Friends, there’s no need to despair over our short life spans and even shorter time in the limelight, those things are not important. The really important things last. ‘But the word of the Lord endureth forever.’ Yes my brethren, ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.’ (Is.40:8) That means the best thing to hang on to in this scary, wicked world is God’s word, cause it’s all that’s guaranteed to last forever. And Peter drives home this point, reassuring the ‘strangers’ by concluding, ‘And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.’ Letting them know in no uncertain terms that’s the Lord’s word rules the universe, and obeying it is the only sure way to find true peace and comfort. ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.’  (Is.40:1) The Lord instructed Isaiah to begin that chapter with a call of reassurance to His people. Peter is trying to communicate the same thing to the newly minted Christians: worldly things won’t last, only the Word of God, so they should not put their trust in stuff that will rot and tarnish, but in the powerful, promising, everlasting pronouncements of the Most High God Jehovah. Why? Because, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was in God. The same was in the beginning with God.’ (John 1:1-2) And that hasn’t changed one iota people, meaning that those same values still apply to us today. The Word of God is the only thing worth clinging to in this life, since ‘All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.’ (John 1:3) Like all the things we buy that come with instructions on how to use or assemble them; the best people to tell us how, are those who created or made them. The same logic applies to our God; He created the world and all therein, so His instructions on how to conduct ourselves within it are obviously going to be the best. So let’s forego all the worldly garbage that man throws at us, on the enemy’s behalf. If it doesn’t jive with God’s Word, then it’s not of God, and we ought not to get caught up in it. Simple as that. Remember, the things of the world are fickle and foundation less, are here today, but gone tomorrow; whereas, ‘The Word of the Lord endureth forever.’ That’s what we must study, build and regulate our lives upon. Much LOVE!…only the Word Friends…only the Word…can set us free…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 November 2008 Job 21:25‏

Job 21:25    And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure.
 
Oh Friends, what’s our world coming to eh? When will the stupid violence cease? Bitterness and angry emotions are so rampant nowadays that it’s frightening. Look at the nonsense yesterday in Mumbai (Bombay) India. Those fools blowing up so many places simultaneously, randomly killing people and taking hostages. But they’re proud martyrs. Cheups! Is that going to solve any problems? Not on your life! It’s only going to spark angry retaliation. And as Job says, ‘They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.’ (vs.26) Yes Friends, we all go the same place eventually; the grave, regardless of our beliefs, behaviour, wealth or social position. So what’s the point of all this antagonism eh? Cause ‘All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean.’ (Eccl.9:2) Yet we kill, plunder, terrorize and maim with impunity, in our sick, bitter response to some crazy ideal or imagined wrong. And sadly, the majority of strife and fear currently engulfing our world is being fuelled by claims on behalf of some deity or the other. Like back in the Middle Ages, the times of the Crusades etc. fanaticism, intolerance and subversion are rearing their ugly heads again under the guise of religion. Rabble-rousers, agitators and insurgents are everywhere, stirring the already boiling cauldron, all adherents of some divine being. I thought religion was considered the opiate of the people; kept them calm, quiet and peaceful. Certainly not today! But the anger and violent actions aren’t making things better either. The Middle East is a powder keg, just waiting to blow. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Africa, China, Eastern Europe, Burma, Columbia, Mexico; all those places, plus some I forgot, have outward strife over religious beliefs, economic sustenance (oil, minerals) or petty tribal disagreements. It’s twenty one hundred years now people, since Christ came to earth and showed us the right way to live. By now we should be doing much better than we are, especially after the great wars and the many speeches about their negative effects, but we’re actually getting worse. I doubt the world has ever been engulfed in a state of fear like it is today, and in a time of peace too. Small areas always had big problems, but that fear was never translated to others thousands of mile away, in a real tangible manner, as now. No one knows when or where the next act of aggression or violence will occur. Note the sudden rise of piracy along the African coastline. Small groups all over the world are instilling fear in the majority, holding them to ransom. What’s the majority doing to stop it? Obviously not enough, since the purveyors of violence are getting braver and casting their net ever wider. But what can really be done about it, eh? The lawlessness obviously can’t be allowed to continue. Physical retaliation is only a small part of the answer, for real fanatics are more than willing to die for a cause; re the numerous suicide bombings. Harry Emerson Fosdick claims that ‘Bitterness imprisons life; LOVE releases it.’ Yes Friends, LOVE is the end all and be all. Even the misguided, brainwashed perpetrators believe they do their thing for LOVE. LOVE is the most powerful tool in the world, and can be used for good or evil. Listen to Hezekiah in his time of sickness. ‘Behold, for peace I had great bitterness; but thou hast in LOVE to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption…’ (Is.38:17) Yes people, The Lord’s LOVE saved him. And Jesus’ directive was; ‘I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to them which hate you.’ (Luke 6:27) Also: ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12)Therefore people, in keeping with Bruh Paul’s advice: ‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:31-32) Doing it in those small, everyday aspects of our lives will make obeying Jesus’ command much easier. So Friends, if we really want to calm the violence, let’s go out there and show plenty, plenty LOVE nuh! Much LOVE!…LOVE…is the answer to all ills…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2008 1 Thessalonians 5:18‏

1 Thessalonians 5:18    In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

HAPPY  U.S. THANKSGIVING DAY.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family south of the border, down the U.S. way, but also to all God’s children wherever you are. This is probably the most widely celebrated holiday in the U.S, but this year it won’t be as satisfying and thankful as others in the recent past, with the overwhelming malaise and state of confusion currently enveloping the world’s largest economy. Sadly, this year, a lot of chickens have come home to roost, not so many turkeys, and many will find it hard to give the required thanks when they don’t have a job, their houses been foreclosed, their lives’ savings disappeared in the stock market crash, and they can’t buy food to celebrate the holiday. But Friends, this is exactly when we should be giving thanks; we’re alive, still better off than 90% of the world, and while there’s life, there’s always hope, which morphs into faith and trust in our great God. Bruh Paul advises that we should, ‘In everything give thanks.’ It’s possibly his best bit of advice. Though it may be difficult, if we are God centred, steadfastly focused on our Creator, then we have to make that effort and be thankful; ‘for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you.’ Yes people, it’s what our God wants, expects, deserves from us. And regarding the worldwide collapse of the economic engines that drive modern society, we can’t blame God for that. That was man’s fault. In his foolish wisdom, he chose to follow the feel and look good dictates of the enemy; the cult of always wanting more, how much can anyone use eh; of ever getting bigger, though bigger isn’t always better; of ever increasing profits, not through increased productivity, but reduced quality, outsourcing to cheaper and usually less reliable and efficient labour markets. Remember, one can only reap what one sows, and since we sowed the seeds of avarice and greed, to boot on barren stony ground, what else can we expect to reap but destruction? Yes, the seeds sprouted trees with beautiful flowers, but those only lasted until the sun’s scorching rays hit them. The trees themselves soon withered because there was not sufficient earth for their roots to take hold of, and create a strong foundation. We tried to create this huge economic edifice on essentially a foundation of sand. It was only a matter of time before it came tumbling down. However Friends, if we’d sowed our seeds, built our economy on the strong foundation of the Lord God Jehovah, not on greed, the lust for power and material things, our economic foundation would never have crumbled. We wouldn’t seem as prosperous, and not as quickly, but whatever we did have would’ve been solid and long lasting. But we’re a stubborn, hardheaded people, who don’t seem to learn from our mistakes. Else why is it that every decade or so, our stock market crashes and millions lose billions? Why do we still run to get in on every fad, although we know most are worthless? We keep on rebuilding on the same insubstantial foundation, and it always has to be large or extraordinary, so that we can pound our chests. Too much of it is ego driven. Not to mention we’ve elected unscrupulous warmongers for leaders. They say that countries get the leaders they deserve. Who knows? But thankfully, at this crucial time, a new leader has been elected, on the premise of productive change. He does seem to have his heart in the right place, and seems intent on surrounding himself with competent people. However Friends, a word of warning: Don’t expect things to change or improve overnight. Miracles are not going to happen if we build on solid ground. Strangely though, it’s the enemy who has no time for God that expects miracles to happen when he practices sleight of hand. It’s also going to take a lot of hard work, with everybody putting their shoulders to the wheel, not looking for handouts because of the new leader’s skin colour. Please remember that Obama is a mere mortal like all of us, just blessed with a strong leadership gift. Look at all the great, God inspired leaders of Israel, who were unable to keep them faithful to the God of their fathers. In the long run Friends, it’s the people who decide their own direction. Oh brethren, following Jesus is not for the fainthearted, but nothing, no nothing short of physical death should stop us from giving thanks to our Heavenly Father, cause whatever we do have, it all comes from Him. And pragmatically, it’s always better to concentrate on what we do have than what we’ve lost. The lost is already lost, but we can build what we have on a solid, God centred foundation. And as believers, even in difficult times, we’re expected to be thankful, because we serve and worship a powerful, merciful, forgiving God, who can turn our darkness into light, and our sorrows into joy. For that, we ought always to be thankful! So despite all our misfortune, let’s praise and thank Him for what we do have. Let’s all say, ‘Thank you God!’ Have a happy Thanksgiving day, with Much, Much LOVE!…through constant prayer…continual thanks is made easy…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2008 Job 42:1-2‏

Job 42:1-2    Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be witholden from thee.
 
That is so true Friends! All along, Job has been pleading to God to show up and justify him. Well, in Chap 38 God finally appears in a whirlwind but does the opposite to what Job wants. Through to 41, He challenges Job’s wisdom, upbraids and humbles him. ‘Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. (38:2-3) In Chap. 41, God asks him if he can figure out or control the power of what we today call a whale. ‘Canst thou draw out a leviathan with a hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? (41:1) Then He goes on to point out, in questions, all the things that man’s unable to do to such a large animal, and also what the animal lacks, intimating that through His superior power, He controls both the sea animal and man. Having heard God’s tirade, Job is humbled. He finally understands and submits to God. ‘I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be witholden from thee.’ It’s an incontestable truth people! God’s privy to all our thoughts, even before we think them, and neither can any purpose of His be thwarted by us. Abraham and Sarah also learned this through hard experience. When the angel of the Lord told Abraham that his wife Sarah would bear him a son, Sarah overheard and laughed to herself, because they were both well advanced in age. ‘And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh…Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.’ (Gen.18:13-15) Oh Friends, yuh see that! Sarah only laughed on the inside, but the Lord heard it. And to make matters worse, she denied it through fear of God’s reproach.   And note too, He told them, ‘At the time appointed, I will return unto thee…’ That means the time wasn’t yet right. Whatever plans He had, weren’t ready to come to fruition. That just shows what an omnipotent, omnipresent, omni whatever you want to say, kind of God we worship! He knows and sees everything. He controls everything. Even when we don’t see or can’t understand what’s happening, the Most High God Jehovah is involved in some form and fashion. Nothing, yes people, nothing happens unless He allows it. That’s the lesson Job learned that day. He acquired a new respect, a new awareness of God’s wisdom, and how He operates mysteriously, with hidden plans unbeknown to men. This also brought him to a new understanding of his own wisdom; its limits and capabilities. He finally realizes that though he’s a decent enough person, he was just a tad too self righteous and pompous. ‘Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.’ (Job 42:3) Yes people, that surely sounds familiar eh? Many of us hold forth on subjects we really don’t know about, and when our ignorance is challenged, or pointed out, we get all hot and bothered. Let’s see if we can’t take a page from Job’s book nuh, and accept genuine criticism with a humble spirit? Job was so enlightened by the Lords powerful speech, that he declared: ‘I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee: Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.’  (Job 42:5-6) Yes Friends, Job’s spirit, his psyche, got a good jolt of God’s magnetism, which caused him to consider his ways and thoughts. He’s become more sensitive to his own sin, admitting that he had a limited perspective on things, and was now going to submit himself totally to God’s will and power. Oh that we can do likewise people. So many times we have no clue what’s really happening, how the Lord’s working behind the scenes on our behalf, and in our haste and ‘know it allness’ we say or do something that brings His displeasure upon us, like Job, and forces Him to wake us up some. When that happens, Friends, again like Job, let’s humbly admit our mistakes nuh, learn from them and move on to a higher plane of spiritual maturity. Remember, Jesus’ anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. ‘And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.’ (Mark 14:36)  That’s a perfect example of how we ought to be people; pray for relief from our sorrows, but with the understanding that we’ll do whatever God wants. Much LOVE!…God’s will isn’t always easy…but He’s always there to help…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2008 2 Samuel 9:1‏

2 Samuel 9:1    And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?
 
Ah Friends, that word, kindness, seems to have disappeared from our vocabulary and our culture. Today I read this quote, attributed to Lao Tzu, ‘Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates LOVE.’ This just got me to thinking about kindness as a theme for Today’s Bit, so I went searching for a suitable scripture. And wonder of wonders (smile) the scripture that most emphasizes kindness in actual action and not just talk, is Bruh David’s de facto adoption of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. Why did he do that? In the first place, cause he’d made a covenant with Jonathan, Saul’s son. The day Bruh David killed Goliath, Saul took him into his own house and wouldn’t let him go back to his father Jesse’s. And, as the Lord would have it, Jonathan and him became kindred spirits. The Good Book says; ‘the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.’ (1 Sam.18:1) Their lives became intertwined, as is wont between young men that share the same headspace. ‘Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.’ (1 Sam.18:3-4) Yes friends, Jonathan gave Bruh David his royal attire. In those days a pledge was sacred; a person’s word meant something, unlike now, when it’s used mainly to get something we want and then forgotten. And that’s where the bond began, that grew and remained in Bruh David’s heart ever after. Bruh David became one of Saul’s right hand men. He did whatever Saul wanted, ‘behaved himself wisely’ and was accepted by all and sundry. But in the Lord’s mysterious movements, as Bruh David’s military success increased, and the women began singing, ‘Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands,’  jealousy and resentment raised their ugly heads in Saul’s spirit and he embarked on a crusade to kill Bruh David. But Saul forgot that Bruh David was the Lord’s anointed, and try as he could, all his efforts failed. Even his daughter Michal, Bruh David’s wife, who truly loved him, helped, and so did Jonathan, several times. Read 1 Samuel Chaps.18-31, and you’ll see the horrors Bruh David underwent at Saul’s hands and how Jonathan helped him. Jonathan even took his father’s abuse, when he told him that he, Jonathan would never be king once Bruh David was alive, and when he asked why his father insisted on killing his friend, Saul threw a javelin at him, just like he’d done at Bruh David. They realized then that Bruh David had to leave. At their final parting, after they cried and hugged each other, ‘Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, the Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed forever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went unto the city.’ (1 Sam.20:42) That’s why after Saul and his family’s sad demise and Bruh David became king, he looked for any of Saul’s descendents so he could show them kindness for Jonathan’s sake. Even though Saul made his life a living hell, Jonathan was kind to him, saved him several times from his father’s wrath, and they’d also made a bond to support each other’s family, as we’d say, ‘come hell or high water.’  How much of that happens today eh Friends? Certainly not enough. And when Bruh David discovered one of Jonathan’s son’s was still alive, I’m sure his heart must have flooded with joy, for it meant that he could keep his covenant with his soul mate and repay some of the kindness he’d shown him. Unfortunately, Mephibosheth was lame in both legs and living in relative poverty, and when he came before Bruh David, he fell on his face and did reverence. But Bruh David kindly reassured him. ‘Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the lands of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am.’ (2 Sam.9:7-8) Oh Friends, notice Mephibosheth’s poor self image. The grandson of one of Israel’s great kings, lame, living in poverty and likening himself to a dead dog. That’s not good. But yuh know what! Judging from that quote of Lao Tzu, I’m sure that Bruh David’s words of kindness, created self confidence in the young man. The kindness in his thinking certainly created a profoundness, a depth, an insight into life also. His attitude, the way he saw the world, his circumstances, everything, must have inspired a sense of self worth and restored his faith in mankind. And Bruh David’s kindness in giving, restoring all his father’s possessions to him, having him eat at his table continually, and obviously taking a great interest in his welfare, must have created a strong sense of LOVE in his soul. Oh Friends, our world is suffering from a terrible lack of kindness, of good deeds, of LOVE, and won’t improve until things like greed, envy and resentment are substantially lessened. So let’s go out there and find somebody to be kind to nuh. It doesn’t take much; a smile, a kind word, a few cents. We already have a covenant with the Lord which we’re obviously not keeping, else our world wouldn’t be in such sad shape. And if, as Lao says, kindness creates all these good things, and leads to LOVE, which we claim is the raison d’être of our God, then we need to give in kindness to create it, else we’re breaking our covenant with the Most High. And we don’t want to do that now, do we? Much LOVE!…to walk in His will…is to show kindness…to all His children…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2008 Psalm 91:15‏

Psalm 91:15    He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
 
Now Friends, isn’t that just an awesome, awesome promise? In Psalm 91 Bruh David plays a dual role. The overall message is that the Lord God Jehovah is a refuge and fortress for those who put their trust and faith in Him. In the first part, (vs.1-13) he does the talking, pointing out the Lord’s faithful protection, assuring us of His mercy and loving kindness. "Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come near thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.’ (vs.-11) Isn’t that wonderful Friends? Then Bruh David, obviously with God’s leading, moves on to the second role; that of God Himself: ‘Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.’ (vs.14) Yes people, those are the rewards that the Lord offers to the faithful. ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And Friends, like many of you, I can vouch for that from hard experience. The Lord never turns His back on those who sincerely believe in, and seek Him. To the contrary, He’s happy, excited, overjoyed, when even one sinner turns to Him with a repentant heart. The Good Book says there’s joy in heaven when that happens. To everyone who acknowledges the Lord’s universal sovereignty, is promised, no, is guaranteed, that at any time and place ‘He shall call upon me, and I will answer him.’ Yes people, that’s gospel! Job testified to it. ‘I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him.’ (Job 12:4) And we all know the unfair ‘sufferation’ Job suffered, but despite it all, he never gave up on the God of his fathers. He understood, that though he didn’t know or understand the reason(s) for his sudden and severe misfortune, his God had a good reason(s) for allowing it, and that sooner or later, it would all be made clear, and those who laughed at and scorned him, in his time of adversity, would be made to look foolish. It’s not easy my brethren, but that’s how our Lord operates. He’s continually testing us to see if we’re really walking by faith and not merely by sight. Psalm 50 declares: ‘Offer unto God thanskgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (vs.14-15) Oh praise His Most Holy Name people; for His goodness to the children of sinful men is without equal! Yes Friends, our God states unequivocally, for those who put their faith and trust in Him, ‘I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and honour him.’ Not only will He be with us in times of trouble, He’ll also deliver us from it, then honour us. Wow! What more can we ask eh? And there are so many instances of the Lord’s deliverance; from Joseph’s rise to power in Egypt, to the exodus from bondage there, to Jesus’ sacrificial death, but I’ll quote two that dovetail nicely. Isaiah’s declaration: ‘When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee: and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee: For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.’ (Is.43:2) And if yuh think He was joking, check this out. ‘Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake and said unto his counsellors, Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered…True, O King. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt: and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’  (Dan.3:24-25) And that was before he went mad and began eating grass. We all know the story of Daniel and his buddies thrown in to the fiery furnace and coming our unscathed, not even smelling of smoke. Wow! Sing Hallelujah people! And if that doesn’t convince you of God’s power and faithfulness, then I don’t know what will. But I’ll keep on trying, (smile) because with our God, all things are possible, and I don’t, no the Lord really doesn’t want even one person to lose out on His honours. ‘With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps.91:16) Yes people, as I keep on saying, and will say till eternity; the Lord God Jehovah, through our Saviour Jesus Christ, is the only way to achieve a successful, meaningful life. Much LOVE!..trust in the Lord…and do good…the rewards are fantastic…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2008 Jeremiah 17:14‏

Jeremiah 17:14    Heal me O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.
 
Ah Friends, what a heartfelt cry from poor Jeremiah; and me too Friends, yes me too! (smile) I’m also crying out for healing, from the physical ravages associated with maturity. Note, I didn’t say old age. Unlike Jeremiah though, no also like Jeremiah, I’m trying to convince a stubborn and recalcitrant people to return to their God, whom they’ve been deserting in huge numbers. They didn’t listen to Jeremiah, so who knows if anyone’s listening to me? I’m no prophet, just a concerned believer trying to pick some sense from nonsense. However, when Judah’s sin is about to be punished, like ours is now, Jeremiah cried out to the God of his fathers. ‘Heal me O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved.’  Friends, it’s a plea that conveys absolute faith and trust. He’s sure that if the Lord so desires, He can do those things. Why? ‘For thou art my praise.’ Yes people, the Most High God Jehovah has been our praise from everlasting, and will be to everlasting. Bruh David declared it. ‘Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise.’ (Ps.109:1) Moses also pointed it out to the hard-headed Israelites when they came up out of Egypt and rebelled against the Lord. ‘He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible (awesome) things which thine eyes have seen. Thy father’s went down into Egypt with three score and ten persons: and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of the heaven for multitude.’ (Deut.10:21-22) But that obviously only lasted so long, eventually they rebelled again…and again… Each time the Lord punished them, they repented and returned to His fold, only to rebel once more, after they became strong and prosperous. How many centuries passed between Moses and Jeremiah, and they still never learned? Now, poor Jerry is at his wits end. He’s mentally and emotionally distressed, also afraid of physical harm. He’s praying for vindication, cause he’s been taunted and threatened by the people. ‘Behold, they say unto me, where is the word of the Lord? let it come now.’ (vs.15) All he could do was state his claim of righteousness. ‘As for me I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest that which came out of my lips was right before thee. Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil.’ (vs.16-17) Oh people, can we make that plea? As believers and followers of Jesus, we ought to.  Remember Jesus said that it’s what comes out of a man that defiles him, not what goes in. A salty spring can’t produce fresh water. Friends, it’s imperative that we have a right heart if we intend to call on the Lord with any measure of success. We can’t say He’s our hope in evil times and expect help when we’re numbered amongst the evil. ‘Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let me not be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.’ (vs.18)  Yes my brethren, only if we’ve been obedient to the Lord’s will can we pray that kind of prayer and hope to get a positive response. Even in the tough times, Jeremiah isn’t praying so much to be rescued from the persecution, but more to be delivered from it; that he come through it unscathed; that the Lord shows up with punishment and proves him right in the eyes of the people. Oh Friends, please, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the Lord’s hand is not implicated in our current spate of problems. He’s said it and done it often enough; if you’re disobedient to my will, turn to other gods and set your hearts on the wickedness of this world, then I’ll punish you. And even a blind man could see that in this last meeting, we’ve been very ungodly and wicked, and getting worse too. So why should we escape His punishment eh? If we expect to receive the good  promises, then we’ve got to expect the bad too. As Job said to his wife when she said to him, ‘Dost thou still retain thy integrity? curse God and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh, What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?’ (Job 2:9-10)  Please people, let’s concentrate on getting our hearts right, and obeying His will, cause if we continue the ungodly, evil cycle we’re currently in, who knows, the Lord might just get fed up with the same thing happening over and over; obedience, disobedience, punishment, obedience…and decide to break it and instead institute total destruction…the fire next time. Much LOVE!…foresight is always better than hindsight…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2008 John 10:27‏

John 10:27    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
 

Oh Friends, do we really hear the voice of Jesus, and do we really follow Him? At times it doesn’t seem so. I read a quote today, attributed to Oscar Wilde: ‘To most of us the real life is the life we do not lead.’ That’s an undisputed fact. Many of us feel our lives are too mundane and boring, and wish for that of the celebrities, the movers and shakers; those who are always in the media spotlight, jetting here and there, while partying non stop. We believe that’s such a great life, but it’s not always true. They might be busier than us, but not necessarily happier. They’re always on the go, juggling several projects at once, either to make enough money to afford the lifestyle, or because they’re in such great demand. This obviously makes family life difficult. A smile’s always plastered on their faces to satisfy their fans, and they can’t go out without bodyguards, cause people mob them on sight. There’s no privacy, even in their own homes, with the paparazzi constantly lurking, on the lookout for some exclusive photos or juicy tidbits. Don’t be fooled, it’s not always one long party, as per the media impression. Oh Friends, that lifestyle is fraught with pitfalls and minefields. It’s littered with unfortunate souls. You see it in the same media everyday; the fall from glory of some celebrity whose praise everybody was just singing. And this culture of celebrity only exists because we’re hungry for it. We’ve been brainwashed, misled, bedevilled by it’s outward glamour while it’s empty, shallow existence is cleverly hidden. But people, if we truly live for Jesus, focus our lives steadfastly on Him, though they may seem humdrum and lacklustre, they will possess a much more uplifting and lasting quality, than if we follow the wicked ways of the world, which often leaves us with an empty, lonely, unfulfilled feeling. Even when we accomplish lofty goals and possess great earthly wealth, there’s still a great likelihood that we won’t be satisfied. There’ll always be that little empty corner of our lives we just can’t seem to fill. That’s because it’s reserved for Jesus! Yes Friends, in every human heart God designed a special place for Himself, that no one or nothing else can fill but Him, His Son and His Holy Spirit. That means unless our lives are directed by a meaningful, God driven purpose, we’ll never feel fulfilled or satisfied. And I don’t mean just acquiring money and power, but something real and lasting, that will make a positive difference in the lives of others. Many of us follow the human’s natural craving for wealth and power, but once we acquire them, discover to our chagrin, that something’s still missing. And Friends it is. That missing value is Jesus. He’s the ONLY ONE who can give us that sense of peace, of calm, yet of significant involvement, dedication and fulfilment.  Yes Friends, He’s the Good Shepherd. ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.’ Does He really know us personally people, do we really follow Him personally? If the answer is no, then we’re in a rather unfortunate state, cause we’ll be missing out on the greatest gift ever; eternal life. ‘And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.’ (Jhn.10:28) Oh people, what a wonderful promise! Those who follow Jesus shall never perish, never die, no one will ever take us from Him, it’s an assurance of eternal safety from any foe. And to strengthen that assurance He further states: ‘My Father which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (Jhn.10:29-30) Wow! Oh Friends do we have that kind of relationship with Jesus? Can we sing in full voice, ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine?’ I certainly hope so, for He’s the most wonderful and amazing leader ever. He unselfishly gave His life for us, then filled us with His Holy Spirit, to help and guide us. He advocates and intercedes with the Father on our behalf. He’s so full of compassion, LOVE, forgiveness, mercy; all the truly beautiful feelings and emotions.  Oh people, the trappings of this world might seem heady and full of glamour, but it’s all fake, a mere facade to fool us; like brass resembles gold, but is not gold. They’re of the enemy’s making, so they obviously cannot compare to what Jesus offers; peace, contentment, LOVE, forgiveness, mercy, possible earthly wealth and power and to crown it all, a glorious salvation that leads to eternal life with Him and the Father in Heaven. It’s the whole enchilada Friends! What can be better eh? So, as of right now, let’s genuinely seek to be one of His flock nuh, have Him know us personally, and then follow His guidance. Friends, it’s not only the best, it’s the ONLY WAY! Much LOVE!…where He leads me…I will follow…I will follow…where He leads me…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2008 Joshua 4:24‏

Joshua 4:24    That all people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God.
 
Tell me Friends, what more must the Lord do to prove He’s a powerful Being, the Only True Deity in existence eh? Today, Joshua is talking to the Israelites, who, having reined in their disobedience to God and got up some gumption, finally crossed over the Jordan into the promised land. And how did they cross over? On dry land. Just like they crossed the Red Sea. The Lord commanded Joshua to have the priests carry the ark at the front of the procession, and when ‘the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon a heap…and those that came down toward the sea of the plain…failed and were cut off: and the people passed over, right against Jericho.’ (Josh.3:13-16) Oh Friends, what a mighty God we serve! On the Lord’s behest, Joshua even had one man from each of the twelve tribes pick up a stone from the dry bed of the Jordan and take it across. In Gilgal, he took those twelve stones and set up a memorial to their miraculous crossing, telling the people that when future generations asked the meaning of the stones; ‘Then shall ye let your children know, saying Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea…’ Why? ‘That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord.’ Yes people, the Lord’s name and fame needs to be noised abroad to all and sundry. As Solomon said when he dedicated the temple, regarding strangers, ‘For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm: when he shall come and pray toward this house.’ (1 Kin.8:42) Hezekiah, in his day of distress before the Assyrian horde, also cried out: ‘Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.’ (2 Kin.19:19) And they were saved. Likewise, Bruh David contends, that though his forefathers didn’t understand God’s wonders at the Red Sea and provoked Him with their endless complaining, ‘Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.’ (Ps.106:8) Yes Friends, the Lord wants us to know and appreciate His great might and power, so when we place our lives under His guidance and direction we won’t be afraid. But unbelievers will, as Moses said in his song when they passed over the Red Sea. ‘Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O Lord…which thou hast purchased.’  (Ex.15:16) He was referring to the nations dwelling in the promised land. But sadly for Moses, it was his people, the Israelites that the fear and dread fell on. Even after seeing, no experiencing the exodus from Egypt and the wonders the Lord did on their behalf, it’s mind boggling to imagine the Israelites were scared to follow God’s orders and go in to possess the land. It’s amazing that people who didn’t witness the Lord’s overwhelming power, yet believed in Him wholeheartedly. Listen to Bruh David: ‘Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all: and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.’ But we all know that Bruh David exalted in the glory of the Lord. As a young man he experienced His awesome power as well as His severe displeasure. ‘Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?’ (Ps.76:7) The hardships he faced in early manhood taught him the fear of the Lord. And that’s not real fear, but more like awe, amazement, ‘wonderment,’ at His power, goodness, LOVE and mercy all wrapped up in one Being. ‘And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.’ (Ex.14:31) Hn! Not for long though, for when times got rough they blamed the Lord, and refused to look at where the real failure lay, within themselves. It’s a fault we are also guilty of today people. When we’re not happy with our situations, we blame everybody else but ourselves. But Friends, let’s be honest and take a good look in the mirror. Most of our problems stem from a combination of our own poor choices and decision making, falling prey to the enemy and his lies, rather than the truth of God, whom we profess to worship. Even when there’s no doubt that our directives are from God, like Jonah, we still try to run from doing them, then wonder why our lives are such a mess. Friends, by now we ought to have established in our hearts that The Lord is sovereign, and if we want to live a long, healthy, satisfied life, both here and in heaven, then obeying His will and glorifying Him is the only way to achieve that end. This is one time the end justifies the means. It’s not rocket science, just simple common sense. Let’s see if we can find some today nuh people. Much LOVE!…obedience is always…much cheaper…than disobedience…
 

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