Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2009 Proverbs 11:1‏

Proverbs 11:1     A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.
Oh Friends, it’s a beautiful morning, so let’s be up and at them, pursuing the Lord’s objectives! (smile) You know that saying that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder? Well it’s true, but let me share with you Ralph Waldo Emerson’s version. ‘Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.’ And you can’t disagree, for though our world accentuates outward beauty, and outward beauty varies in different societies, unless we have that inner glow, that sense of appreciation, nothing in the world will ever seem beautiful to us. We all know someone who’s so Scrooge-like when it comes to beauty; nothing at all appears beautiful to them, and that’s because their inner being is dark and downright ugly, so everything seems the same way in their sight. But when we have that inner appreciation, that inner sense of worth and value, for ourselves, for others and for the many beautiful things in our world, then that sense of awe and wonder will permeate all our doings and bring us a deeper sense of fulfillment and contentment, which will also draw others to us, to share their visions of beauty. Hn, hn! I hope this all makes sense, but I saw the quote and realized it had everything to do with our walk of faith: if we don’t have what our Christian faith teaches inside of us, then we’ll walk the world searching in vain for peace, LOVE, joy and all the other good things our faith should bring us. And being deceptive certainly isn’t one of them, especially not in weights and measures, today’s topic. Now wise Sol claims that ‘A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.’ That simply means the Lord   thoroughly dislikes deceptive practices and/or dishonesty when it comes to weights and measures. He wants it to be a perfect pound or whatever the seller claims. And we all expect to get the right weight claimed in our purchases, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much the Lord stressed that point to His people from the very beginning. In the laws of Holiness and Justice, He says: ‘Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgement, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, (20.8 quarts) and a just hin, (1 gallon) shall ye have: I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgements, and do them: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:35-37) Yes my Friends, the Lord wasn’t talking just for talk sake. He fully expected them to give just weights and measures, to have well balanced scales and measuring apparatus. And if He’s a God of justice, then that shouldn’t surprise us. But how often is that followed in our society today eh? As little as our merchants can get away with. Hence the term ‘Buyer Beware!’ That’s because nowadays we no longer know what we’re really buying; too often it’s a pig in a poke. There are very few scales in the modern supermarket, so you can’t even check the weights of the products if you so desire. We have to take the manufacture’s word for it. Hn! And in the few cases where there are scales, they aren’t properly maintained, so they’re most likely unbalanced, so you’ll still get stiffed. But why should a buyer have to be so careful, to read even down to the last line of fine print, which usually needs a magnifying glass to read it properly? Because our sellers, deep down have that sense of greed, of getting all they can, of milking every situation to the last drop. Nobody sets an honest price for anything now. They also try to shirk as much responsibility as they can, by making shoddy goods that don’t live up to their claims, then blame the buyer for improper handling of what is really an inferior product. And sadly mih people, those two principles; milking it for all it’s worth, and shirking responsibility, now permeate our entire world. That certainly wasn’t our Lord’s intention when He reiterated in the laws of Human Relations: ‘Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers (differing) weights, a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have; that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God.’ (Deut.25:13-15) Oh my people, how much clearer can He put it eh? Unfortunately though the majority of the world doesn’t follow it. Instead, they attest to Lucifer’s credo; ‘get as much as you can for as little as possible.’ That’s the basic motto of the capitalist system that’s ruling the world and taking it to hell in a hand basket. So we really can’t expect anything but dishonest people and policies pushing inferior products falsely rated as superior. And with the Advertising Sector there to bloat up and glorify worthless things, most of us don’t stand a chance of knowing what is really what. As an e-mail I received tonight claims, dried bugs and beetles are being used in many of our food products to add colour to them. But what’s the colouring additive called? Carmine or some such fanciful name that will not caused raised eyebrows. And the government departments overseeing our food production know about it, but sadly haven’t made the manufacturers say exactly from what these products are derived. More corruption in high places! And then we wonder why cancer and all the other modern illnesses are so rampant in such a highly developed technological and medical world. We can perform all sorts of medical miracles, except cure cancer. But how can we when we put all sorts of abnormal, improperly tested things in the food we eat and the air we breathe, and then in the medicines that we use to treat the illnesses, which in the first place are derived from the poorly tested, more than likely carcinogen related stuff. The only important thing these days Friends is the bottom line; as much profit as quickly as possible, and to hell with the consequences. All I can say my people is to beware, be careful of what we buy, eat or drink. Don’t get paranoid, but pay close attention to all your purchases. We can’t get away from it all, but hopefully we’ll bypass some. And please remember that ‘Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord.’ (Prov.20:10) Much LOVE my people!…a dishonest world…bears paying close attention to…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2009 Psalm 71:20‏

Psalm 71:20     Thou which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
And how are my beautiful Friends in Christ today? I hope these few words (smile) find all of you in tip top shape, consistently walking and talking with our Heavenly Father, as He desires us to do. Before we get into the Bit, I have a quote to share, which pertains to us all. ‘A positive, responsible person does not forget the harm which may have been done because of earlier ignorance, thoughtlessness or emotional limitations.’ So says Lewis F. Presnall. And what does he mean? Basically two things: with maturity comes wisdom; we remember the wrong caused by our youthful misdemeanours and will know better than to make the same mistakes again. That same maturity will also enable us to let go of any wrongs that were done to us. That’s why they say time heals all wounds, and most of us forgive those who long ago wronged us for whatever reason. Unfortunately though, many of us are still not able to offer that same forgiveness to ourselves for the youthful wrongs we committed. And that’s not a very good thing to do to my Friends. The same way we forgive others, we ought to forgive ourselves. That brings up another sore topic; that where we petition the Lord for forgiveness, then never accept it, and keep on feeling guilty. Friends, it’s like the law of offer and acceptance: if something is offered it must either be accepted or rejected, there can’t be any halfway measures. So if we ask for forgiveness and the Lord offers it, then it’s our duty to accept it and move on, leave the guilt behind. Otherwise the whole process is a waste of time since those negative actions restrict both our emotional and religious growth. If ‘unforgiveness’ is eating away at our souls, it means we can’t lead a positive life or have right communication with our God; both untenable situations for a believer. That brings us to our Bit from Psalm 71, which the scholars claim is the prayer of an elderly man threatened by his enemies. He begins by declaring his devotion and asking for guidance. ‘In thee O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion…For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.’ (Ps. 71:1,5) Then he pleads: ‘Cast me not off in the time of old age, forsake me not when my strength faileth.’ (Ps.71:9) After that he talks about his enemies coming against him and also of his lifelong devotion to the Lord. And I like how he says: ‘ Now also when I’m old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.’ (Ps.71:18) Yes my people, what a most worthy objective! Right now I pray that same prayer for all us ole geezers, in Jesus Name. Amen! It’s so refreshing, for though he’s old and feeble, he still wants to work for the Lord, to show His majesty to the upcoming generations and inspire them to stand strong in His Name. Then he comes to our Bit. ‘Thou which hast showed me great and sore (severe) troubles;’ He admits that the Lord had a hand in some of the trials he’s undergone, either as a test of his faithfulness, or payment for his wrongdoing. The same thing happens to us all, my people; the Lord both tests and makes us pay for our wrongs, and sometimes we don’t know which is which. But as Bruh David declared: ‘Thou hast showed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth. Selah.’ (Ps.60:3-4) And that’s so true my brethren of our current times; we’re suffering for our wrongs, but we’ve also got a big flag to wave with His Word that’s representative of Total Truth. Our elderly psalmist concludes that though the Lord caused him to see some rough times, He ‘shalt quicken (revive) me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.’ Oh what steadfast and outstanding faith he displays my Friends! It’s a level of mature faith to which we should all aspire, especially in dark times like we’re now experiencing. It’s like Hosea says: ‘Come and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind (bandage) us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.’ (Hos.6:1-2) And our elderly psalmist, knowing this, continues to declare the goodness of God he expects. ‘Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.’ (Ps.71:21) But with great expectations on God’s part, he also knows his role, and promises to play it. ‘I will also praise thee with the psaltery (lute or lyre) even thy truth (faithfulness), O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.’ (Ps.71:22-24) Oh Friends, that’s the kind of attitude the Lord wants us to adopt, and the level of faith he wants us to come to. It’s basically a child-like faith; the way our children trust us to LOVE and care for them, not to do them harm. Although we may at times punish them for doing wrong, deep down they know we’ll never purposely harm or abuse them. It’s the same with our Heavenly Father my people. Whatever He allows to happen to us, He believes it’s for our good, and He’ll never, I repeat, NEVER, harm or do us wrong when we come to Him in faith. But as we keep stressing, just as there are two sides to a coin, there are two sides to our relationship with Him. He has His role to play; to bless us and keep us safe; but we also have ours; to walk in faith and patience with His Son Jesus. And we can’t expect God to pour out His favour and blessing on us if we don’t do our part of singing His praises, spreading His Word, and living a life that glorifies Him, even when we’re faced with serious earthly predicaments. That’s where the enormous power of His Spirit comes into play my Friends; when we’re in the darkest and most troubled of times. That’s why the darkest hour is the one that precedes the dawn. It can only get so dark, then it must change to light. And if we take His Word to heart, then we’d be able to say, like our elderly psalmist: ‘Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!’ (Ps.71:19) NOBODY is like unto our God, my Friends! So please, let’s remember that and stand strong, steadfast and true when the forces of evil and darkness come against us. Much LOVE!…the Spirit’s purpose…to uplift our faith…strengthen us in…perseverance, patience and prayer…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2009 Acts 14:22‏

Acts 14:22     Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Morning Neighbuh! Morning! It’s another beautiful day mih Friends so rise and shine and greet it with a big, ‘Thank you Lord!’ and an ear splitting smile, for we know not what the Most High God Jehovah has planned for us today, but we’re sure that whatever it is, it will be interesting, though not necessarily fun or easy, and we’ll come out of it with flying colours, with the help of the same God, who never gives us more than we can handle and also provides the tools to handle it. Wow! Isn’t that a sentence worthy of Bruh Paul? (smile) Anyway Friends, we complain about our relatively easy lot, but can you imagine how we’d behave if we had to face some of the trials and tribulations Bruh Paul and some of the other Apostles faced? Most of us would have thrown in the towel very early on. Let’s just get a little history on the facts of Today’s Bit. Barnabas and Bruh Paul were out on a missionary journey. They stopped at Antioch and preached the Word of God so that many believed on Christ, especially the Gentiles, when he quoted Isaiah 49:6: ‘I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.’ (Acts 13:47-49) Now that was fairly easy, although they later got opposition from the orthodox Jews, who encouraged the rulers to expel them from the city. ‘But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.’ (Acts 13:51-52) Yes mih people, it’s interesting to note that the disciples did exactly as Jesus instructed: ‘And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house, or city, shake the dust off your feet.’ (Mat.10:14) And also; ‘Blessed are ye, when men revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Mat.5:11-12) Oh my believing brethren, that’s a perfect example of following the plans and instructions our Saviour outlined for us! But do we do it consistently? Do we shake off the dust and rejoice when we’re ill-treated for Jesus’ sake? Some of the more mature might, but many others won’t cause it’s not an easy strategy to adopt, much less follow. Most of the time when we’re abused for the Lord’s sake we take umbrage and either get angry and want to fight back, or get sad and sorrowful and crawl home licking our wounds like a beaten dog. But Friends, it ought not to be so, and sadly we can only overcome that problem by being constantly abused in Christ’s name until we develop that thick skin which will allow us to just laugh it off and joyously continue witnessing in His name. Bruh Paul and Barnabas didn’t find it as easy though at Iconium, for the Jews really stirred up the people, and despite the brave, bold teaching of the pair, the city ended up divided; those that believed the Jews, and those who believed the Apostles. But then the Apostles heard of a plot to stone them, so they fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lyaconia, and preached the gospel very successfully. Hn! They were so successful that when Bruh Paul healed a lame man in Lystra, who had never walked in his life, the people cried out in their local dialect; ‘The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; (Zeus) and Paul, Mercurius, (Hermes) because he was the chief speaker.’ (Acts 14:11-12) Yes Friends, that’s what the power of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can do! It even made the priest who ran the temple of Jupiter in Lystra bring oxen and flowers to sacrifice to the brethren. That shook up Bruh Paul and Barnabas when they heard about it and they ran into the streets attempting to dissuade them from offering the sacrifice, tearing off their clothes and saying that they were ordinary men just like them, who were only telling them about the great God of Creation and Jesus, His Son, but they were not gods themselves. Even so, they had a hard time restraining the crowds from offering the sacrifices to them. Then wouldn’t you know it, some Jews came down from Antioch and Iconium and began to stir up trouble, eventually convincing the people to stone Bruh Paul, then drag him out of the city and leave him for dead. But Friends, the power of our God is unlimited and He never fails those who do His work. ‘Howbeit as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.’ (Acts 14:20) And to put the icing on the cake mih people, after Bruh Paul and Barnabas had a successful teaching stint in Derbe, they boldly returned to Lystra and Iconium and Antioch. Dust in deh face mih breddren! Showing them that they might beat their body, but certainly not their spirit. Oh Friends, that’s where Today’s Bit comes in. The misfortune of Bruh Paul and Barnabas and their Christ-like ‘never say die attitude, ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith…’ For as Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy: ‘It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him, if we deny him, he also will deny us.’ (2 Tim.2:11-12) So we’ve got to stand real strong mih Friends, for ‘that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’ And as Bruh Paul also said to Timothy; ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.’ (2 Tim.3:12,14) My Friends, I commend all these words of scripture to us too, as we walk the path assigned to us by Jesus and suffer for our beliefs. And please remember; ‘For all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect; thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ (2 Tim.3:16-17) I pray all this on our behalf, in Jesus’ Name. Amen. Much LOVE mih people!—in struggle…to fight…to cry…to hurt…but never to say die…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2009 2 Samuel 23:2-3‏

2 Samuel 23:2-3     The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
Ah my Friends, the Good Lord saw it fit to bless us with showers of rain, and the thirsty land drank it in gratitude and appreciation. We should also be suitably grateful and appreciative for whatever personal mercies He chooses to shower on us today. And finally, we’ll hear the last words of Bruh David; (smile) ‘the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel.’ And what did he say? The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. Yes Friends, the Lord inspired him through His Spirit. Though it was only after Jesus died for us that each individual believer was filled with the Holy Spirit, before that it did come upon certain people of faith whom the Lord wanted to use; like the prophets of the Old Testament. As Peter acknowledges: ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ (2 Pet.1:21)  They each had their particular style and distinctiveness, but their words and ideas were certainly God inspired. And so, The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of the Lord.’ Now Friends, that principle should be obvious to any right thinking person, but before we dissect the statement, let’s get a little background as to why the Lord inspired Bruh David to speak it out loud. We go right back to the Song of Moses, when he declared to Israel: ‘Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 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.’ (Deut.32:3-4) It follows logically from that my people, that if we have a God who is sinless, righteous, just and truthful, He will expect those who rule and guide His people to possess those same attributes in abundance, or as much as is humanly possible. Bruh David was one of those people, and he was basically relaying truths handed down from earlier generations, but still necessary for them to be disseminated so that they wouldn’t be forgotten, and would be applied in real life situations, not just mouthed for mouthing sake. It’s just like we teach our children how they ought to behave, what’s right from wrong, aspiring to lead them on the right path. Bruh David was here trying to drill into the heads of those that came after him, the basics of good government and leadership. The leaders must be ‘just ruling in the fear of God.’ And that last part is the most important my Friends: ‘ruling in the fear of the Lord.’ No matter how just and righteous we may be, if the Lord isn’t our guiding light, then we’ll still get it wrong. Listen to some of the best advice Moses ever got, and this from his father-in-law, Jethro. The old man saw the pressure poor Moses was under, seeking to solve all of Israel’s problems himself, so in his fatherly wisdom, advised him to teach the people the laws, show them the right path to walk and what work to do. ‘Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all seasons.’ (Ex.18:21-22) Very wise advice mih people. In that way Moses would only deal with the large problems, not the petty, day to day, frustrating stuff. And no doubt that had something to do with the many different levels of government that exists today. Now in theory it sounds wise and admirable, but when put into practice can still cause innumerable problems. We must first note the qualities of the men Jethro advised Moses to elevate: ‘such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.’ Hn! That’s the hardest part of the job; finding the people with those qualifications, and also strong enough to resist the great temptations that power brings. And it’s right there the system begins to break down mih people. You’ll find a few of the right ones at most levels, but more likely than not, with the many levels of government we have today, many of those in power are not capable of doing the job, are not truthful are very covetous and greedy, and certainly don’t run their affairs with the Most High God Jehovah as their guiding light. Unfortunately, today the majority of people in power have the opposite attributes to what Jethro detailed. Consequently, corruption, inefficiency, greed and all the negatives are rampant in our current governments; from the lowest to the highest level. Even if the leader possesses the noble ideals of Jethro, like Moses, that’s only one person who can’t always control the behaviour or attitude of those around him. Just look at the sad state of the governments all around the world, all have major problems. Then look at what happened at the U. N recently; the aggressive, belligerent, impolite behaviour of the world’s leaders. Then on to Pittsburgh, another farce of enormous proportions, where the G.20, leaders of the richest and most powerful nations met to try and iron out some problems. And what did we get? More promises, which will most likely never materialize because every leader of every country has a different agenda. It amazes me that when it was the G.8, they couldn’t agree on much, can they when the group more than doubles in size? Ah Friends, our world is in such a mess, it’s scary. So many nations openly threatening each other or actually at war, so many internally unsettled, the nuclear arms problem, the broken world economy, the deteriorating environment, the religious differences, hunting whales, seals, dolphins, immigration policies, terrorist threats, immorality, crime and violence, and the old racism that’s raising it’s ugly head again. It’s enough to drive you crazy. But Friends, have you noticed the one thing that’s sadly missing? The God fearing part. For though all the nations claim to worship some deity that seeks peace, LOVE, harmony and good will amongst all men, none really practice it. And sadly my people, until our world wakes up and starts practicing what it preaches , we’ll all be constantly sitting at the edge of our seats, fearfully watching and wondering when will the next big war, the last one begin. It only takes one crazed or foolish person to get the ball rolling, and once that happens there’ll be no stopping it. So Friends, let’s pray long and hard for all our leaders, from the lowest to the highest, for the One True God Jehovah to imbue them with wisdom and a right heart and guide them on the right path, so that they can bring our world back from the brink of the abyss on which we’re currently tethering. To a certain extent, it also depends on us Friends, to put in power, those who can do the job properly. So let’s get our pray caps on and start doing some serious praying. Much LOVE!…leaders must be…able, truthful, courageous, trustworthy, unselfish…and above all…revere God, and willing to be directed by Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2009 2 Samuel 23:1‏

2 Samuel 23:1     Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and sweet psalmist said,
Well Friends, we’ve lived through another night of darkness and solitude, and arisen refreshed and stimulated, our hearts replenished with LOVE, eager to see the light of day and continue God’s work with renewed vitality and enthusiasm. (smile) Today’s a brand new day. We’re starting with a clean slate, so let’s put all of yesterday’s problems behind us, today will bring more than enough for us to handle. As promised, we’ll continue with the Bit on Bruh David, singing his praises. Now please don’t get the impression that because we’re somewhat romanticizing him, he was perfect; far from it. He was a human being fraught with frailties just like all of us, but he also possessed most of the good qualities and tried to practice them. He understood what life was all about, in addition to which he LOVED the Lord and made it his life work to constantly stay in touch with Him. He did wrong too; like setting up Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah to be killed in battle, so that he could satisfy his lust for her. (2 Sam. 11&12) But he paid a heavy price for that wrong with family problems and loss of some of his heritage. In spite of all that, the Lord still honoured him with an everlasting covenant because his heart was generally as right as humanly possible, and he aspired to do the Lord’s will. And my people, that’s basically all the Lord asks of us; to serve and obey Him. That’s why the Lord chose him over Saul’s line to lead his people Israel; ‘the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob.’ As Ethan the Ezrahite contemplated in Psalm 89, titled, ‘God’s sure promises to David.’ ‘Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon, (given help to) one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him. With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him; (outwit or deceive) nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.’ (Ps.89:19-24) Yes my Friends, that’s what the Lord did for Bruh David because of his faithfulness, and will do the same , or even more for us if we also remain steadfast and true to His Word. And the rest of Psalm 89 is filled with other good stuff that the Lord either did or promised to do for Bruh David; like the everlasting covenant of kindness and mercy for his line. And Asaph in his Maschil (Contemplation) Psalm 78, titled a ‘Reminder of God’s goodness to Israel,’ had this to say. ‘He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes, great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.’ (Ps.78:70-72) Ah my Friends, there’s that word again, ‘integrity.’ It’s possibly the most important word in our Christian walk. And that’s where Bruh David’s strength seemed to lie. The lack of integrity turns our entire faith into a farce, doing untold, and oftimes irreparable damage to the work and Church of Christ. When we preach one thing and practice something entirely different, it sours, turns off the unbeliever. Finally, let’s turn to what Bruh David is best known for and revered as; ‘the sweet psalmist of Israel.’  Oh mih people, if he’d only written Psalms and not done any other heroic stuff, he ‘d still be one of the most popular and beloved biblical heroes. He’s been such an inspiration, offered such encouragement and hope to millions down through the ages, and will do for as long as this world exists, when they’ve read his sad, haunting, powerful, emotional, hurting, prayerful, rejoicing, soul-stirring, God fearing…in fact for just about any human emotion or need or problem you can find something in Bruh David’s words to offer help or simply solace. That’s because he lived a full life, with experiences in many areas and wasn’t afraid or ashamed to share it with others, his people, whom he knew were undergoing the same basic problems. Oh, enough talk from me! Let’s get a few samples of Bruh David’s poetic wizardry to take us home. And it will have to really be a few, cause he wrote so many beautiful, moving verses. Now the obvious favourite is Psalm 23: ‘The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. he maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…’ (Ps.23:1-4) Wow Friends! Short, sweet simple and to the point! ‘Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Oh my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed; let not mine enemies triumph over me.’ (Ps.25:1-2) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.27:1) ‘Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy loving-kindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in truth.’ (Ps.26:1-3) ‘The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who can ascend unto the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place.’ (Ps.24:1-3) No one my people! Oh Friends, yuh noticed what happened here? I had the Good Book opened in front of me on the same two pages and look at the wide range of emotions, topics and otherwise that those five psalms spanned. And that’s only a smattering of what he wrote.  No wonder the Lord chose him to be the patriarch of the line of His Son Jesus. So my people, let’s continue to follow Bruh David’s example; to walk in integrity, to LOVE and serve the Lord with all our hearts, souls and minds. Till tomorrow: Much LOVE!…as we go…so will the church of Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2009 2 Samuel 23:1‏

2 Samuel 23:1    Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and sweet psalmist of Israel said.
Oh Friends in Christ, I certainly hope that when we opened our eyes this morning and realized that we were still here, alive and kicking, we raised our eyes to heaven and directed a prayer of thanks upwards, as Bruh David pledged to do. (Ps.5:3) Or if we lifted up our eyes to the hills and wondered where our help would come from, that we answered with confidence and courage; ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.’ (Ps.   121:2) It sorta took me by surprise to read about Bruh David’s last words since he wrote so many, mostly beautiful, emotional ones, all in praise and glory, or pleas for help to the God of his fathers. That’s why the Lord appreciated him so much and called him a man after his own heart. And the truth is, I actually had a Bit dealing with some of his last words, but when I began writing I suddenly found myself writing about the way the author describes him in vs.1, so I eventually had to change the Bit to vs.1. And who says the Lord doesn’t move in mysterious ways eh? (smile) I truly like the way the writer deals with the subject. ‘Now these be the last words of David.’ Having said his last words were coming up, he then aptly describes him, his major attributes and accomplishments in a few words. ‘David the son of Jesse said,’ There he tells us his father’s name, which in the olden days was rather important. People were known and judged by their ancestors and their lineage. Jesus was of Bruh David’s lineage. Then he continues; ‘and the man who was raised up on high.’ This obviously means that something good and/or great took place in his life. We know it did, and the Lord never let Him forget it either. He reminded Bruh David of his lowly beginnings and of his unlikely ascension to power when He brokered the everlasting covenant with him. These were the Lord’s instructions to the prophet Nathan: ‘Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people Israel. And I was with thee withersoever thou wentest, and have cast off all thine enemies out of thy sight and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men in the earth.’  (2 Sam.7:8-9) Oh my people, that’s one of our God’s favourite habits; to raise up the lowly, the unlikely, to great power to thwart the earthly wisdom of men. And it’s certainly a credit to Bruh David’s integrity that he never forgot his humble beginnings or who raised him up to such majestic heights. Let’s not any of us forget that most important lesson if we ever happen to be elevated to positions of power, because there’s a tendency in men to believe that it’s their own mighty arm and mind that catapults them to lofty heights. Friends, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s always the hand of the Most High God Jehovah that lifts us up. And He greatly detests and despises those who glorify themselves when they should be glorifying Him. Another description of Bruh David is, ‘the anointed of the God of Jacob.’ Remember when the Lord sent Samuel to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king of Israel? All his sons were there except Bruh David, who was out minding the sheep, cause nobody considered him kingly material. But Friends, little did they know that the Lord was training him out in the wilderness; to hunt, to shoot with his catapult, to fight off the wild animals, to just sit quietly and think, to day-dream and communicate with Him. In actual fact the Lord was building Bruh David’s character all the time he was with the sheep, cause great leaders must have strong, well-defined characters. And I chuckle every time the Lord does something that confuses the wisdom of men; like how Samuel had seven of Jesse’s sons pass before him, and the Lord said no to each one. Poor Samuel must have been totally perplexed. He must have stammered to himself and the Lord: ‘Buh…but Lord what’s happening here? You specifically said to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, but now you’ve turned them all down.’ Don’t know if the Lord answered, but Sam eventually asked Jesse if those were all his sons, and when Jesse said no, there was one more out with the sheep, he ordered them to go and get him. Friends, can you imagine the scene when Bruh David came in? Hn! The Good Book says: ‘Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look at, (a strong, good looking youngster). And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.’ (1 Sam.16:12-13) Can you picture the father and his siblings; how their jaws must have dropped and their mouths opened in amazement and disbelief when they realized that the least amongst them would one day be first? And again it speaks oodles for Bruh David’s character and integrity that unexpectedly given advance warning of his eventual rise to power, while he was waiting, and he waited very patiently too, he never became arrogant, selfish, greedy or none of the negative things that power usually does to men. He remained the humble, down to earth man all his life. That’s why the people and the Lord LOVED him so much. He never exhibited no setta airs and graces, even when he became king. I always laugh when I remember how his wife Michal, Saul’s daughter castigated him for dancing in the street half naked, like a commoner, with the common people, when he brought the ark up to Jerusalem.’ (2 Sam.6: 12-23) It reminds me of some of my wife’s remarks whenever I partied heartily. (smile) But Bruh David put Michal in her place by replying; ‘It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord.’ Amen mih brother! He never boasted concerning his slaying of Goliath or of his many valiant victories in battle. The Good Book says: ‘And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.’ (1 Sam.18:5) The people admired him so much that when Saul and him came back victorious from fighting; ‘that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.’ (1 Sam.18:6-7) That got Saul’s jealousy surging, and from then he plotted to kill Bruh David. But Saul forgot that he was the Lord’s anointed, and whom the Lord anoints, no man can destroy. But when Bruh David had the opportunity to kill Saul, he refused. ‘The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.’ (1 Sam. 24:6) That’s the major difference between Bruh David and Saul; the former had respect unto the Lord, while the latter didn’t. Oh Friends, like we run out of time and space. But all yuh know that anything’s possible when the ole fella writing on Bruh David. But tomorrow we’ll continue, for there’s still lots to say about Bruh David. Till then, let’s LOVE our God and LIVE our Faith, with the excitement, intensity and integrity that Bruh David did. Much LOVE!…to build character…one must undergo hardship…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2009 Psalm 10:1‏

Psalm 10:1    Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
Oh beautiful Friends in Christ, who’ve opened their sleepy eyes to greet another glorious sunrise, may the peace, mercy and blessings of the Most High God Jehovah fill our hearts, souls and minds so that we can perform His work in an excellent manner today. Before we get into the Bit though, let me say that I was guided by the Spirit to it. I had no idea what I was going to write on, so as I am wont to do in those cases, I just opened the Good Book. Today it opened to the Palms, and after scrutinizing those offered, Psalm 10 seemed to be the one preferred. But then I had trouble figuring out which verse to use, there were so many suitable ones. I eventually decided, when in doubt, begin at the beginning. So here we are, having noted the disgusting, sinful, violent, immoral state of our world, concernedly turning to the Lord to ask why? ‘Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?’ No doubt Bruh David’s world was also in a sad, sinful state when he penned Psalm 10: A Prayer for the overthrow of the wicked. I doubt he received an answer, since it’s basically not God’s policy to answer those argumentative questions of why, where, when and how. In fact He doesn’t really have to explain anything to us at all cause He’s the Creator and Supreme ruler of the universe. Remember too, His thoughts and plans are higher than we can comprehend or imagine, so even if He explained them, we’d possibly still be lost. Nevertheless, He expects His followers to be concerned about evil and sin, especially when rampant in their surroundings. And there’s no doubt that’s the case in today’s world. But He’s also a kind, merciful and ever-LOVING God, who wants to be personally involved in our lives. He therefore expects us to walk and talk to Him, even to cry out in anguish when times are exceedingly rough, like now. And my people, I believe we have very good grounds to cry out to our Heavenly Father, for we are undergoing the very same situation that Bruh David so vividly described back then. ‘The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor.’ (Ps.10:2) Of that there’s no doubt my Friends! The poor have always suffered at the hands of the wicked and wealthy, but never at this escalated level, and in the midst of so much wealth and plenty. And please note mih breddren, the poor are no longer only the destitute and poverty stricken, but that designation is now also assignable to what we term the lower middle class, because in relative terms, they are now poor. They too are having trouble to make ends meet, though many are working at more than one job, and that includes both husband and wife. Imagine two people working at four jobs and still can’t take care of the basic necessities of a modern day family. That certainly doesn’t give those coming behind us much hope for the future. Then the education system is turning out more graduates than ever before, with less jobs available. So in many cases they either take jobs for which they are over qualified, or simply have no job at all. Homelessness is also on the increase, thanks in part to the job situation. No wonder food banks, soup kitchens and shelters are now very prevalent in such an affluent society. Institutions set up during the war years and Great Depression to temporarily help the less fortunate, are today, unfortunately back in vogue. And to make matters worse, everyday they’re crying out for more donations, because so many people are being forced to use their services. I remember when using a food bank or a shelter was a source of great shame. Hn! Now it’s a matter of necessity. You’ve got to throw that foolish pride out the window cause pride won’t fill your children’s empty stomachs or put a roof over their heads. Oh Friends, I didn’t mean to go on like this, but you know when the Spirit convicts me, I’m helpless to do otherwise. And when I see the amount of injustice and oppression that’s currently overwhelming our world, it just breaks my heart, because most of it is unnecessary. If the haves can just give up a little of their mostly ill-gotten gains, it would go a long way to alleviate the tenuous situation. But that seems like a pipe dream. And sadly, in all this ‘sufferation’… yes Friends, suffering is too mild a term… in all this ‘sufferation’ the wicked are still taking home oodles of dollars from failed or downsized businesses. Everybody’s concerned with cutting costs, not increasing productivity, and the easiest way to cut costs is to lay off workers. Yet, without jobs, the greedy merchants still expect them to buy their shoddy, over priced goods. You can never explain to me why the C.E.O. takes home three to four hundred times more than the floor worker. Or why he’s paid millions of dollars to leave after running the company into the ground, but then the laid off worker, through no fault of his own, has to fight tooth and nail to get a pittance of severance pay. Ah Lord eh! But like the old people would say;  ‘Advantage never done nuh!’ Now there’s this Russian oligarch abut to take possession of a one billion dollar yacht that apparently has laser technology to prevent pictures being taken of the floating palace from up close. Hn! And the bankers are still plotting and clamouring for their illicit bonuses! Don’t they have a conscience? It surely wouldn’t seem so. No wonder Bruh David beseeched the Lord to ‘let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.’ (Ps.10:2) Yes Friends, he was asking, and so are we today, that the evildoers be caught up in the very plots, snares and other evil devices that they have concocted to ensnare the righteous. Let them eat dirt, like they’re forcing the righteous to do. I’d like to say that this occurred with the recent economic misfortune, but again, it’s the poor that are suffering, for the rich are still rich and still living an extravagant lifestyle, while the poor are sure poorer, and now can’t even afford the poor lifestyle they knew. Ah my Friends, I don’t know when it will end, if ever, for Jesus said the poor are always with us. But my people, the Lord has faithfully promised to help us, His faithful followers, so all we can do is our best; stay true to the faith and surrender ourselves to Him, while crying out for justice and mercy. It’s certainly not an easy row we hoe, but never doubt that if we persevere in faith, eventually, we’ll find the hands of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ resting on ours, helping us to lift our heavy hoe, then smoothly bringing it down to make the next mark perfectly. Much LOVE!…when we cry out for the wicked to face justice…make sure we’re not numbered amongst them…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2009 Psalm 138:1‏

Psalm 138:1     I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
Oh Friends, it’s official; in these northern climes, summer is over and autumn has begun. And though the day was cloudy and humid, more summer than fall weather, we’re not going to complain. Today, let’s just be thankful that we’re alive and healthy enough to get around and enjoy whatever kind of weather the Good Lord brings our way. So instead of contemplating the cold, the snow and ice of which autumn is a harbinger, we’ll concentrate on enjoying the lovely gold’s, browns, reds, russets and all the in-between colours that the fall weather brings. It’s really a beautiful season, one that we should enjoy and appreciate more than we do. However, once we see the leaves changing colour and eventually falling, all we can think of is winter’s coming. So what? It comes every year and we get through it. And it does have its good points…just don’t ask me what. (smile) All I know is that we should be thankful for every day that we’re alive, that we don’t wake up and see our name and picture in the obits, and consequently are required to live it to the best of our ability, doing God’s work, regardless of the weather. So Friends, let’s join Bruh David and sing in loud, tuneful harmony: ‘I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.’ And so it should be my people. It’s our bounden duty to give continual thanks and praise to our wonderful Creator for whatever we have, wherever we go. As Bruh David boldly declared: ‘I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings and will not be ashamed.’ (Ps.119:46) Yes my brethren, we should be glad, proud an enthusiastic to sing the praises of the Most High God Jehovah before all and sundry, from every roof and mountain top, without fear or shame. Unlike the few members of the Jewish elite, as we saw a couple days ago, who privately believed, but did not publicly acknowledge our Saviour because they were scared of the Pharisees’ threat to expel anyone who did so from the synagogue. Instead Friends, we must be bold and unafraid to sing His praises to all who would listen, even to those who don’t want to hear. And to prove we have the manly parts, (smile) let’s sing it out loud right now. ‘I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving-kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.’ (Ps.138:2) That’s exactly why the Lord deserves our thanks and praise; cause He’s a LOVING, caring, kind, generous, faithful and true God! And then, ‘In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.’ (Ps.138:3) Oh Friends, yuh see what happens when we continually give our Heavenly Father praise, then cry out to Him in anguish? He answers us by strengthening our souls, making us bold and fearless, so that we can face up to our problems like a staunch soldier, a true believer, and overcome said problems instead of them overcoming us. Now Bruh David begins Psalm 138 by talking about individual praise, but like the confident, faithful believer, knowing the value of spreading the Word, he’s also expecting, working towards universal praise. And he exults expectantly…sorry friends, not expectantly, but with a profound sense of  confidence and certainty. ‘All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.’ (Ps.138:4-5) Yes my people, Bruh David had no doubts whatsoever, that once the kings of the earth heard God’s Word, they’d also loudly sing His praises, because the Lord’s a great God, and His glory is most excellent. That’s also how we ought to feel and behave; so proud of our Christian heritage that we’re continually giving thanks and singing the praises of our Mighty God. But remember Friends, this must not just be mouth work, which some of us are so good at, but our words must also be backed up by the actions of our hands and hearts. That means our hearts have to be right with God and we have to help others. We can’t play the hypocrite and expect to succeed, for hypocrites are quickly discerned by the unbeliever, and simply hardens his heart and causes him to look upon all believers with scorn and contempt. Remember too, ‘Though the Lord be high yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.’ (Ps.138:6) So though you may fool some people with your pretentious Christian behaviour, you’ll never fool the Lord, for He knows exactly what’s happening in your heart and mind and greatly despises the proud, the haughty, know-it-all, better than everybody else, crowd pleasers. So Friends, whatever we do in the Lord’s name, let’s do it with heartfelt enthusiasm, but also with truth and humility, for the Lord expects His people to be truthful and humble. Yuh see where He placed His only Son Jesus, in a lowly carpenter’s family. He could have put Him anywhere, but chose the poor and humble above the rich and proud. Let that be a lesson to us my Friends; regardless of how high we rise and wealthy we become, we must ensure that our feet stay firmly planted on the ground, and our souls filled with humility and caring, just like Jesus. Till tomorrow then; Much LOVE!…our goal today…to loudly sing our Saviour’s praises…with a right and humble heart… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2009 Micah 7:2‏

Micah 7:2     The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
Oh Friends, finally a little precipitation fell today. For a while there I thought we would have to resurrect Elijah and get him to pray for some rain. (smile) The dry, sunny days are nice, but too much of anything eventually causes negative effects. The lack of rain was starting to turn the grass brown, the earth dry and hard, the brush like kindling, a perfect invitation for brush fires. However, as we all know, the Lord is still in His heaven, still in control, but totally unhappy because Micah’s words of so long ago have come back to haunt us. ‘The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.’ Ah Friends, what an awful shame that those words are again ringing true today! And the sad part is that the situation seems to be getting worse. Like Israel back then, our moral sins are becoming ever more plentiful and intensified. What with the recent economic collapse, which is still taking its toll on the ordinary man, though the governments try to convince us that we’ve hit rock-bottom. Nonsense! Try telling that to the ordinary folk who are still losing their long time jobs that they thought were secure, and still seeing their hard earned savings disappear on account of greedy, white collared fraud artists, who very seldom receive the punishment they justly deserve. Instead, they either receive a slap on the wrist, or are bailed out under the same old rules, with no new accountability put in place, so they can continue the sorrowful, greedy, criminal cycle. Like Isaiah said when he condemned Israel’s idolatry: ‘The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth (takes) it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come (presence of evil). He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.’  (Isa.57:1-2) Yes my Friends, those who seek after righteousness, shall have rest and peace. But with the sorry state of our world right now, it’s difficult for citizens to remain righteous and upstanding, faithful and loyal when they’ve been so badly betrayed, have lost their jobs, houses, and lots of their earthly possessions, with little or no money coming in to feed and clothe their families. And though the rulers talk a good talk, no real positive opportunities are appearing on the horizon for these unfortunate people. It was bad enough before all the fraud came to light and the meltdown occurred. Can you imagine what it’s become since then? Hn! And sadly, it’s spread so much and so fast, because the greed and corruption existed so far and wide, that it’s now acquired pandemic status, flourishing planet-wide, so that Micah’s statement; ‘there is none upright among men,’ can be almost taken at face value, taken literally, for the percentage of righteous folk in our world today is negligible when compared to those of unrighteous standing. And the next part can also be taken literally: ‘they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.’ Note the increase in robberies, both violent and otherwise. Crime in general, but especially that perpetrated with guns, is also rising, as the society becomes more lawless, partly because of the serious poverty, oppression and suppression in many countries. It’s easier to pick out the nations with relative peace, than those in conflict. And even in those with relative peace, violence and conflict are simmering just below the surface. Habakkuk said it like this. ‘They take up all of them with the angle, (a hook) they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: (dragnet) therefore they rejoice and are glad.’ (Hab.1: 15) Oh my people, what are we coming to eh? Is there none willing to stand up against the greedy oppressors? Listen to Micah further expose the unrighteous. ‘That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, (successfully) the prince asketh, (asks for gifts) and the judge asketh for a reward; (bribe) and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous (evil) desire: so they wrap it up. (scheme together) The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge.’ (Mic.7:3-4) Ah Friends, that doesn’t speak very highly of our rulers and leaders. And this is no idle supposition, we all know that it’s going on, and very blatantly too, since those in power don’t seem to care, consider themselves untouchable and unaccountable. But tell them Friends, that’s a false sense of confidence and security, for the God of justice is ever watchful, and to remember that time longer than twine, for ‘the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation (punishment) cometh; now shall be their perplexity.’ (Mic.7:4) That’s a fact people; the wicked shall pay. It’s only a matter of time, until the Most High God Jehovah calls them to account. Ah my brethren, the wicked are so foolish, it’s pathetic. Hear Micah again. ‘The heads thereof judge for reward, (bribe) and the priests thereof teach for hire, (pay) and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean on the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil (no harm) can come upon us.’ (Mic.3:11) Wow! Isn’t the brazen foolishness of the oppressor, of the unrighteous, just mind-boggling? Don’t they learn from history that all unrighteous eventually are felled by their own samurai, wielding their own swords? I guess not, else they would not continue the tradition. Anyway, Isaiah bewailed his nation’s iniquity thus: ‘Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters (wellsprings) of Judah, which swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. (Isa.48:1) Meanwhile, Jeremiah puts it more succinctly and to the point. ‘Behold, ye trust in lying words that cannot profit.’ (Jer.7:8) Oh Friends, I know that the times are ‘ruff an tuff,’ that ‘sufferation’ is plentiful, and temptation abounds in even greater quantity than normal, but please, I implore us, let’s not go the way of the unrighteous, of the wicked and greedy, for eventually they shall all pay a stiff price for their wrongs. As sincere followers of Jesus, let’s try and bear up under the strain, under the intense pressure that many of us are under. Let’s take everything to God in prayer; let’s lean on the mighty Spirit of Christ that dwells within us. It will be a difficult task, but remember, with God working in us, nothing’s impossible, and if He’s for us, nothing or no one can come against us, especially when we are clothed in His protective armour, because we are conquerors in His Name. So let’s all stand steadfast and strong, cause great will be our rewards if we do. Much LOVE!…it’s in times like these…that true believers must show their mettle…through faith, trust, prayer, total surrender and fellowship..

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2009 John 12:37‏

John 12:37     But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.
Welcome my Friends! The Good Lord was kind enough to grant us the privilege, the blessing of seeing another beautiful day unfurl, heralded by a glorious sunrise, truly depicting His awesome majesty and immense power. For that, we all offer Him much heartfelt praise and thanks, since I doubt that any of us are ready to go to the home He’s prepared for us elsewhere. Of course, if He calls, we’ll go. But given a choice, we’ll certainly opt for some more time here on earth because most of us believe we have not yet accomplished anything worthwhile, and desire to leave worthy deeds or accomplishments for others to remember us by. As Susan Edmonstone Ferrier says; ‘The natural wish of every human being, the weakest as well as the wisest, seems to be, to leave some memorial of themselves to posterity.’ And that’s very true. We all want to perpetuate our names, so we aspire to excellence in different avenues of life and work, hoping that something will stand out above the others. And though it’s a noble ideal, unfortunately Friends, most of those outstanding achievements will only end up as footnotes of our lives, not showing who we really were, or what values we truly possessed. In order to make a real impact, we need to live each day as fully as we can in the eyes of those near and dear to us. We need to laugh and cry; LOVE and lose; feel hurt and pain, as well as joy and gladness; show empathy and sympathy, strength and weakness, and above all, an undying LOVE for and belief in Jesus. That’s how Jesus lived. That was His modus operandi. He did miracles and other supernatural stuff, but that wasn’t Him. He didn’t want to be defined by His other-worldly acts, but by the very human acts of LOVING, caring, suffering, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness and selfless teaching. Those were the things He wanted to be known for; acts of humanity that His followers could emulate after He was gone, not primarily as a miracle worker. This brings us to the Bit: ‘But though he had done many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.’ That’s because, as we saw yesterday, the Lord blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, just as He did with Pharaoh. Jesus pointed out the same thing when the disciples asked why He spoke to the crowd in parables. ‘Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries (hidden truths) of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given…Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing, see not; and hearing, hear not, neither do they understand.’ (Mat.13:11,13) Then Jesus went on to quote Isaiah’s prophecy, (Mat.13:14-15) before telling the disciples. ‘But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear and have not heard them.’ (Mat. 13: 16-17) So it was obviously the Lord’s plan all along for Jesus not to be accepted as we saw yesterday. But there’s also a sub-plot that intrigues me; the Pharisees’ fear of Jesus. ‘Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council and said, what do we do? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.’ (John 1:47-48) Ah my people, you can see how fear of losing our treasured status and position can make us lose our perspective and drive us to do very sinful and oftimes foolish things. The Pharisees were scared that if the people believed on Jesus they would lose their elite status. But their high priest, Caiaphas, had his wits about him and rebuked them; ‘Ye know nothing at all. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.’ Caiaphas ‘prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation…Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.’ (John 11:49-51,53) Oh Friends, isn’t it amazing how everybody wanted to kill Jesus: the Sadducees for political reasons, and the Pharisees for theological ones. Meanwhile, all Jesus wanted to do was save their sinful souls from eternal death and damnation. But their enmity was an essential part of God’s plan; plan B, I guess we can call it, a precautionary measure, just in case the people’s hearts weren’t hardened enough and they miraculously believed. (smile) It was imperative that Jesus died, else we would not have gained all the good things we now have. Now there’s one last passage I want to bring up in this regard, because it still pertains very much to us today. ‘Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him: but because of the Pharisees they did not confess (publicly acknowledge) him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.’ (John 12:42-43) The Pharisees had threatened to put anyone who publicly acknowledged Jesus out of the synagogue. ‘Howbeit no man spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.’ (John 7:13) It was so bad that after Jesus healed the man born blind by rubbing moist clay on his eyes then telling him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, the parents were afraid to admit that Jesus had healed him. So when the Pharisees asked if he was born blind how comes he now sees, they said; ‘We know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall answer for himself.’ (John 9:21) And sadly my Friends, there are still too many people like that in our world today. They claim to believe, but only in private. In public they never acknowledge or stand up for Jesus, because they are afraid or ashamed of what others might say or do; possibly ridicule, make fun of them or even take some more drastic action. To too many of us, the acceptance of our fellow man, what they think of us, is way more important than what the God of heaven, our Creator, Provider and Protector does. My people, this should not be so. Jesus suffered untold humiliation and contempt and a horrible, unfair death on our behalf. It’s precious little to ask that we at least have the parts to stand up and publicly acknowledge Him if we consider ourselves believers. Remember, ‘Whoseover denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.’ (1 John 2:23) So Friends, let’s aspire to do our part nuh; BELIEVE on Him, LOVE Him, and LIVE for Him. That’s all He asks of us. Much LOVE!…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…every day…

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