Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2010 Isaiah 56:1‏

Isaiah 56:1.    Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgement, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
Oh Friends: ‘It’s raining, it’s raining, on this Black Friday morning. Wonder how it will affect the shopping?’ Yes, it’s Black Friday Friends, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving, the latest incarnation of shopping days in our calendar year. And like almost everything the U.S adopts, we in the Great White North, seem to do the same. Why eh? They changed their daylight savings time, so we changed ours. Now we’re picking up the Black Friday nonsense too, to encourage shoppers to spend what little hard-earned currency they possess, North, instead of South of the border. Wonder how the merchants will fare, with so many people not working, and the few that are, still suffering from the recent economic meltdown. But however that plays out people, we’ll still shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ Now let’s chant our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ Remember though Friends, that it’s important to hear Isaiah’s appeal to keep God’s judgements, but even more so, to put it into practice. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgement (justice), and do justice (righteousness): for my salvation is near (about) to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.’ According to the scholars, Isaiah here introduces God’s message of condemnation on those who refuse to repent, as contrasted with His message of salvation to all who repent. So now we’re getting what will happen if we don’t repent, as opposed to if we do. And Isaiah continues: ‘Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it (from defiling it), and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.’ (Is.56:2) So Friends, we are blessed if we seek justice and righteousness, if we don’t defile the Sabbath, and if we do no evil. But the problem is that we can’t wait too long to do those things: ‘for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.’ Yes my people, God’s judgement and salvation can come at any time, that’s why we need to be prepared. You’ll notice, that from Creation to the final end times, God has a grand plan in place, where He reveals Himself and His plans to man in increasing amounts through the prophets. They made us aware of God’s purpose for our lives on this earth. Isaiah spoke of the salvation and judgement to come, the Messiah all the things surrounding Him. Daniel amplified it in deciphering Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king’s dream: ‘And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break (crush) in pieces and consume (put an end to) all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.’ (Dan.2:44) Then later on, John the Baptist was the harbinger of more imminent news, as he preached: ‘And saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.’ (Matt.3:2-3) Yes my brethren, from way back in Isaiah 40:3, the prophet spoke of one coming to call for repentance and to make the way clear for the Messiah’s arrival. That didn’t happen until centuries later, but as we said, the Lord had a plan to reveal little by little the marvellous things in store for mankind. As John, when admonishing the Pharisees and Sadducees for their sinfulness, informed them: ‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose (winnowing) fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his (threshing) floor, and gather his wheat into the garner (barn); but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’ (Matt.3:11-12) Strong words my people, but our God is truthful, and so said, so done. Jesus arrived on the scene, just like Isaiah had foretold in Is.9:1-2. ‘The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up (has dawned). From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (near).’ (Matt.4:16-17) Wow! What accurate forecasting mih breddren! From Isaiah, through Daniel, to John, then to the Real McCoy; Jesus! Only wish our weather forecasters could be so good. (smile) But we need to cut them some slack, for theirs is an inexact science. Please note Friends, what Jesus preached on; repentance, for God’s kingdom was in the offing. He also advised the disciples: ‘And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt.10:7) Just goes to show how important He considered that statement. Oh my people, what the Lord has given us in the last two thousand years is a chance, an inordinately long time to get right with Him. Jesus came, preached the need for repentance, died on the cross, rose again and ascended so that salvation and eternal life were available. After that it was up to us to accept His most generous offer. Now Friends, our earthly Commercial Law says we have the right to refuse or accept any offers, and can’t be held accountable unless we accept the offers. However, there’s a big difference between that and Jesus’ offer. If we refuse His offer of salvation and eternal life, then we’re held accountable by Almighty God. Accept and we’re fine. Refuse…hn! You’re up the creek with no paddle! And what’s so dangerous about that offer is that we have no idea when it’s going to end or expire. Even Jesus didn’t know. Two thousand years later, we’re still waiting for His Second Coming. Now He could come today, tomorrow, or even two thousand years later. But Friends, are you willing to take that chance and keep putting off your repentance and salvation? I certainly hope not, for it’s a very unwise decision. Please remember Jesus’ parable about the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom at the wedding feast, comparing them to heaven. Five were wise and five foolish. The five foolish ones took no extra oil for their lamps, and as luck would have it, the bridegroom got delayed, so by the time he arrived the lamps of the five foolish virgins had run out of oil. And the wise ones refused to give them any, just in case theirs ran out too after sharing. So the five foolish ones left to go and buy oil. But unfortunately, by the time they returned the door was locked, and though they cried for entry, it was all in vain. And the moral of the story, as Jesus so aptly puts it: ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt.25:13) Oh Friends, I can’t say it any better, so we’ll close on that definitive note from the Master. Consequently, let’s take serious stock of our lives; repent and receive salvation, so that if Jesus comes today, right now, we’ll all be ready. Till we meet again, God in favour, go in peace and LOVE. Much LOVE!…be wise…always carry extra oil…so that whenever Jesus comes…your lamp will be burning brightly…

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