Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2019 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.    ​For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by any means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 

Oh, how I wish it wouldn’t rain…how I wish it wouldn’t rain…! An unfulfilled wish most likely, since they’ve forecasted lots of rain for this Halloween day. I believe they even considered postponing it until tomorrow due to the deluge expected. But in my opinion, they should just abolish the whole stupid, ungodly ritual because it’s just a celebration of evil and greed! When you have the ugliest, scariest and most inappropriate costumes for children; things like witches, ghouls, hobgoblins and the like being a big deal in the society, what does it teach them eh? And now there are also a whole lot of restrictions on what you can wear, what is culturally or religiously acceptable, that it makes a mockery of the whole thing. 

But what amazes me is we teach them that candy is bad for their health and well being, then we have a big celebration where they go out in the dangerous dark night to see who can collect the most candy! Who do you think eats it eh? The very same children who are taught that it’s bad for them. But I doubt it will be abolished anytime soon, even with it’s inherent dangers, since it strengthens the bottom line of the costume people, the candy makers and the dentists, politically powerful and monied groups in our society. 

That brings us to our Bit for this Halloween Thursday, very poignant and important words of Jesus to His listeners on the law, from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by any means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ Now that was a heavy blow to those religious leaders for they were considered the creme de la creme of righteousness in their day. And the scholars obligingly explain. 

‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of the Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.’ 

And sadly, nothing much has changed to this day; there are still a lot of religious leaders; modern-day scribes and Pharisees who only offer lip service and outward show to the true tenets of Christianity. Meanwhile, their inner man is more attuned to the things of the law, of the world, than those of God. Here’s a list of the contrasts between living under the Law and living by the Spirit as provided by the scholars. ‘The Law says No murder, the Spirit, No anger. No Adultery…. No Lust. No Divorce… Commitment. No oath-taking… Speak the truth. No retaliation… Forgiveness. Hatred for your enemy (tradition allowed it) … LOVE for your enemy (commanded).’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, the Law isn’t basically wrong, but the demands of the Spirit carry us to a higher level of spirituality and righteousness. And it’s that high level we need to enter the kingdom of heaven. I didn’t say so, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said it long ago, and nothing has happened since to change it. And after expounding our Bit to His listeners, Jesus then went on to individualize the stuff that we just wrote. He then taught on Anger, Adultery, Divorce, Oaths and LOVE for enemies. (Matt.5:21-48) 

Ah friends, it’s sad and rather unfortunate that we’re living in such a sinful and unrighteous society these days. No wonder we’re at such a low ebb, in ALL aspects of life. There’s absolutely no situation in which we can say we’re winning! Even the fools who are trying to throw God out of our society will eventually lose, though they seem to have the upper hand now. Please pay attention though to these momentous words of Cousin Sol: ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach (shame or disgrace) to any people.’ (Prov.14:34) And the scholars explain: ‘14:34. National righteousness and national sin have opposite effects: exaltation versus reproach.’ No wonder we have national reproach, because our society is as sinful as eternity is long. 

And Bruh Paul made it clear to the church at Rome when he talked about zeal but no righteousness. ‘For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law of righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Rom.10:3-4) And the scholars explain: ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law: Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law. The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’ 

And that’s still happening on too large a scale today my people. It’s true that faith without works is dead, (James 2:17) but works alone will get us nowhere either! Let’s remember that nuh and proceed to build up both our faith and works through righteousness in Christ Jesus. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our enabling Thursday Blessings. As one, in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ And let’s also remember that they are for generous sharing, not selfish hoarding. (smile) Much LOVE!

…without true righteousness…we shall never see God…

Advertisement

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2019 Matthew 6:25.

Matthew 6:25.    ​Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?
 

What a way we’ve reached Wednesday, the hump day of our work week, rather quickly! (smile) And I know that many spirits are now relaxed and looking forward to the weekend. But friends, let’s not look too far ahead, for many things, both good and bad, can happen in the interim time. So please, let’s concentrate on today, and do like Bruh David said: ‘This is the day, the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)

That’s the best way to live people, taking one day at a time, and enjoying it too, because God has made the wise decision to only give us one day at a time to live. That’s hard enough to handle, so why bother ourselves too much with the upcoming days eh? As Jesus said: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow); for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) 

Yeh mih people, as the scholars explain: ‘When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’

And that brings us to some truths about worry from Pastor Corville Peters of the ‘At the Cross Live’ Television Programme. He says: ‘Worry doesn’t take sorrow out of tomorrow, but it does take the joy out of today. Worry pulls tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine. Worry doesn’t help us get ready for tomorrow because God only gives us strength for today.’ 

Wow! What words of indisputable truth my fellow saints in Christ! Worry doesn’t help us at all, it just drags us further down into the mire of life. But unfortunately a whole heap of us nowadays, Christians included, go to the devil’s life school of worry, and worry about everything, resulting in no peace and joy in our lives.

It’s true that our world has become a rather formidable place to live securely and without worry, but if you’re a true believer in Jesus Christ, then your worries should be at a minimum after hearing this awesome advice from our Lord and Saviour. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body than raiment (clothing)?’ And it is indeed my people! 

And I like how the scholars explain that verse. ‘6:25. Jesus now deals with the equally dangerous tendency of those who have few possessions: worry! Take no thought (Gr. me merimnao) means “Do not be anxious.” This word means to be so disturbed about material needs that we distrust God and are distracted from faithfully doing His will.

Anxious care is the direct opposite of faith. Therefore, even the poor are not to worry needlessly about what they should eat, drink, or wear. The question Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? indicates that inner mental stability must come from the spirit of a man and not from outward physical provisions. To set one’s heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity and to deprive oneself of the spiritual blessings of God.’ 

Mama Mia! What words of awesome truth my brethren! Yes, I know it’s hard to not have, and yet to be comfortable and satisfied, but that’s the way it is in Christ’s kingdom. Remember how after our Bit, He points out all the wonderful aspects of nature and its mindless creatures; how they grow and thrive through God’s help, and that we’re much more important to God than them, so why would He not look after us just as well eh? He knows what we need better than we do. (Matt. 6:26-32)

The problem though is that we have to stop worrying about our material needs and possessions, and instead: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we make God our Number One Priority, put Him FIRST in our lives, then all that we need will be given unto us. Note, it doesn’t say all that we WANT, but all that we NEED! Remember what we said above? ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ 

So please, let’s stop all the needless worrying that’s killing our spiritual selves, holding back our maturity in Christ, and instead, concentrate on seeking God and His righteousness, for He’s also promised, that if we seek Him diligently, we will find Him. Now let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, which let’s the world know of our steadfast and faithful position in Christ Jesus.

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we stick steadfastly with Jesus, then that future will indeed be glorious, more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…in Christ’s kingdom…all needs will be met…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 October 2019 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.     If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.
 

It’s a somewhat damp and foggy Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, so please be careful all you who have to get out on the road, because you know the kind of craziness that exists on our roadways these days. If you can wait until the fog lifts, please do so. And today we’re going to look at a very interesting quote from one of the leading Protestant Theologians of our age, Jurgen Moltman (1926) of the German Reformed Church. And the quote says: ‘The more passionately we LOVE life, the more intensely we experience the joy of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! When we’re passionate about life, or anything really, we enjoy the experience that thing brings more than if we’re not passionate about it. And there’s nothing to be more passionate about than the LOVE of God and the LOVE of life! Unfortunately though, too many of us have lost the passion we once had for real life and for God, and instead have embraced the unrealistic, soul destroying, short-lasting and unproductive passion for worldly stuff. We have to remember that life is not, and will never be completely smooth sailing, but a combination of storms and calms, highs and lows, and ‘choosing to live life on its terms brings enthusiasm and passion into our experiences. Our decision to LOVE life – despite the highs and lows – allows us to delight in the highs and to accept the lows as unavoidable, but momentary setbacks.’ 

Yeh friends, as someone once said, ‘setbacks are only opportunities in disguise.’ Therefore, though we may not like them, and they may prove to be difficult and frustrating, we still need to embrace them as important aspects of our lives, because we know that it is only through setbacks and adversity that we truly grow. We can’t hide from the difficult things, or those we don’t like, else we’ll never know or experience the true fullness and joy of life. Those who are passionate and enthusiastic about life, despite its many shortcomings, are the ones who rise to the top of the enjoyment heap. (smile) 

And the BEST way to handle life’s ups and downs is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ in our everyday lives! If you didn’t know that before, then you know it now! (smile) Oh my people, with Jesus as the mainstay, the mainmast, the pilot of our lives, we can remain calm through every storm, and handle every high and low with equanimity. But only the LOVE and acceptance of Jesus enables us to have those wonderful qualities! And why is that eh? Because when Jesus enters into our hearts and lives He puts the power of His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and it’s that Holy Spirit that leads and guides, teaches and convicts, comforts and LOVES us, so that we can handle whatever comes against us with a good and sane attitude. 

Now, before we go any further, let’s make one thing real clear; following Jesus is wonderful, but it’s not always easy! And unless you’re ready to truly hunker down and do what He asks, then you’ll find yourself frustrated and unhappy from the very get go. So let’s look at some of the important but difficult stuff that Jesus laid out for His followers. The first and most important, but also most difficult requirement is laid down in these words of our Lord and Saviour to the disciples. ‘If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.’ That statement there usually stops many of us right in our tracks! The idea of denying ourselves and taking up a cross doesn’t sit well with any of us, but to follow Jesus they are necessary prerogatives. 

And here’s what the scholars have to say about it. ‘16:22-28. Deny himself, that is, refuse his own claims upon himself. Take up: The meaning is “lift up.” It is a stronger word than that used in 10:38, and implies a lifting up of the cross on high, so that all may see it. This is the strongest statement in the New Testament about the disciple’s need to crucify himself, by yielding to the claims of Christ’s lordship over him.’ Ah mih people, although it seems like we’re asked to give up so much for Christ, the reality is that we get back much much more than we give up when we’re steadfast and sincere. 

Now here’s what I LOVE about Jesus; He can give you comfort at the same time as promising adversity. Listen to Him to the disciples, and consequently to all His future followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Oh glory be my faithful brethren! What a mighty promise! The world is full of trials and tribulation, but when we embrace Jesus, we can have His peace! And what kind of peace is that? Listen to Jesus again: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

And hear how Bruh Paul describes that peace to the Philippians nuh. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) And what kind of peace is all of that? The scholars explain: ‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and his ability to cope with and solve it.’ 

Yeh friends, when you walk sincerely with Jesus, ALL bases are covered! That’s not say you won’t have problems and face adversity, but you will be able to handle them with the awesome help of the Holy Spirit! Wow! Now, for those of us who truly believe and try to be faithful, let’s go home lifting up our crosses high, so the whole world can know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

So let’s go out and do exactly that nuh my faithful brethren, as it behooves us as true followers of Christ. Much LOVE!

…to walk with Christ…is to walk in true peace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2019 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.    ​How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
 

It’s Monday morning friends! That means the workweek is upon us once again. And sadly, that heralds the time for us to get up and get a move on, to get out into the evil world and labour for a living. Yeh, I know it’s an annoying and frustrating ever-revolving cycle, but what to do eh; life as we know it, depends on work. But let’s look at it as going out to work for Jesus nuh. That should make it a little less onerous. (smile) Remember the Good Book says that whatever we do, we ought to do it as unto God, meaning faithfully, diligently and with excellence. So though, to all intents and purposes we’re working for man, God is the end recipient of all that we do. 

And I also know that all of that is easier said than done, that’s why we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help get us in the mood. Therefore, without further ado, let’s sincerely declare it, so that it can get the adrenaline flowing in our souls, bodies, minds and spirits. As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs  we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. 

It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, that prayer is so heartwarming and spirit changing! I’m sure we’re all starting to feel somewhat more enthused about getting into the workweek fray. That’s because the Lord answered our prayer by having the Holy Spirit work His blessedness in us, fill us with mercy and grace, thus enabling and empowering us with a different and better attitude to the day that before was looming so dreadfully ahead of us. What a wonderful God we serve my people! It never fails to thrill and amaze me when I get into certain situations that I’m not prepared for, and a mere few sincere, heartfelt words to Him – sometimes just ‘Help me Lord!’ are enough to have Him enable me. 

And that’s why Bruh David could confidently declare in Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God. ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ And is that ever wisdom of enormous proportions my people! Why, you ask? Hear Bruh David’s reasoning. ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps.36:8-9) 

Oh friends, oh friends, which other supposed God has ever promised or made available such amazing stuff to their followers eh, and had the power to make them come true? None other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s why we’d be very foolish to turn to any other god, for they are all false and powerless, especially when the One we now have is showering us with abundant satisfaction in the fullness of His house, and having us drink from His river of pleasures. And the thing is that the Lord’s stuff not only tastes better than the worldly stuff that Beelzebub tries to inveigle us with, but they are also long lasting, for they are of heaven. (smile) 

But the most important thing though friends is the gospel fact that our great God is the fountain of life! Yes people, ALL life emanates from Him! Remember He spoke the world and all therein into existence, then He moulded mankind from the dirt of the earth and breathed His spirit of life into him. And by the same token, He can also remove the breath of His spirit from us. No wonder Jesus warned us: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) Yes precious people, only our heavenly Father can kill both body and soul, ‘and who can bring both to eternal condemnation in hell.’ 

Therefore, there is no need for a rocket science education to figure out how one can best live – both this current earthly life, and the heavenly one to come. All it takes is a li’l common sense, once you’ve heard the Word. (smile) So this Monday morning, since we know the Word, let’s get out there and use our common sense nuh! Much LOVE!

…why worship anyone else…than the One who gave us life eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2019 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
 

Now that’s what a beautiful autumn morn looks like! Yeh friends, the glorious sun is shining brightly on the multicoloured leaves, reflecting God’s variety of wonderful colours, and showing that He too can like beauty, just for beauty’s sake! (smile) Ahh! And it’s Saturday too, and the ole fella got up late, but that’s the beauty and purpose of Saturday eh? (smile) Saw the clock, thought it was eight, but it was actually nine. Hn! That’s what happens when you go to bed in the wee hours of the morning. Anyway, let’s see what inspiring quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.’ And that’s usually true! Most of us get where we are by working our way to the top of the ladder. Unfortunately though in this lazy, turbulent society of ours, where the work ethic is almost dead, a lot of people want to, and expect to rise to the top of the heap by merely wishing and hoping. They simply don’t realize the necessity for blood, sweat and tears in the accomplishment of anything. And also the fact that we appreciate stuff more when we work for it. Look at the vast number of those who don’t work for what they have, who don’t truly appreciate it, and lose it quite soon thereafter. Think of the Lotto players, and those who receive enormous windfalls from their deceased relatives. 

And this second quote is challenging: ‘Think progress, not perfection.’ Yes mih people, many times we seek perfection in our search for progress, but progress does not have to always mean perfection. It’s quite alright to make progress without it being perfect. Once we’re moving forward, that’s the important thing. Remember too, that not many things, and NO people, are perfect in this fallen world. Now listen to this next quote: ‘When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my believing brethren! The winds of change are always blowing in our world. That’s one of the few things we can be certain of in this life; things will change whether we want them to or not. And what makes the difference is whether we build walls to try and keep out the changes, or if we do things that will help us yolk those changes for our benefit. Like in the rest of life, it’s all about attitude. 

And I can personally testify to that because I don’t like many of the changes that are currently taking place in our society, especially with the social media thing, but I’m not trying to build walls around it to protect myself, I’m just trying to use it astutely (smile) to enhance my purposes. I can’t get away from it, or change it, so why battle it? And it’s like that in all phases of life. We have to learn how and when to choose our battles, and understand when it’s wiser just to go along for peace and the Lord’s sake. (smile) 

That leads us to the next quote: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’ And I guess that’s somewhat true, because if we look at all the varied species of life that have become extinct it’s because many of them could not adapt to the changes that were happening in their lives, in their habitats. But it’s not easy to change when your habitat is changing because of outside influences. That’s why we have the scary talk these days about climate change. 

Mankind has made so many of God’s creations extinct by changing their habitat, and now we’re in the process of making ourselves extinct by the way we’re destroying the Eco system, the carefully planned and synchronized work of God. Listen friends, our planet and all therein is a finely tuned and balanced machine. God left nothing to chance. And when we disturb anything, it causes repercussions in all areas. So let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh. If we continue in today’s careless manner of destroying our planet, then we too will eventually become extinct. 

And here’s the last quote: ‘The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.’ And the first name that comes to mind is Jesus! Yes friends, He was probably the craziest of us all! He came to earth in what we’d now call a backward time, chose twelve uneducated men and sent them out to change the world. The disciples must also have been somewhat off their rocker to believe Christ’s words and accept such an impossible looking challenge. But yuh know what? They indeed changed the world! That’s why today we’re still talking about Christ and heaven and hell and all that godly stuff! 

The fact is that they had certain assurances, and they believed them. I guess the first and biggest assurance was Jesus when talking to them about a camel passing through the eye of a needle said: ‘With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’ Ah mih people, that’s the basic foundation, and until we believe that, like those disciples did, we won’t be able to make any worthwhile improvements or changes in our lives or our societies. And then Jesus inspired them with acclamations like: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:13,14,16) Yeah friends, they believed that and went out and did what Jesus desired, and were successful, as we very well know. 

And we’ll end with these last words of Jesus to the puzzled and unsure but ever-faithful disciples. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And they took those fateful words, what we call the Great Commission and ran with them to all and sundry people and parts of the world, especially when as Jesus promised the Holy Ghost came and indwelt them in a fiery display of power on Pentecost Morn.  

Now that same baton has been handed down to us, and we have many more tools to do the work than those disciples had, so why are we so reluctant to take up our task and do it eh? Are we too sacred, or not crazy enough? That’s for us to work out individually with God! Much LOVE!

…if you are a Jesus follower…then the impossible…is in your power…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2019 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
 

Oh man, it seems like I’ve gotten up too early (smile) because it’s still dark outside, and therefore no indication of what the weather will be like. But at least it’s not wet. That’s a good start to this Friday morning. Yeh working people, it’s the day we all look forward to with such eagerness because it signals the end of our work week and the beginning of our weekend! Wow! And short though our weekend might be, we still value and look forward to it like a child does to toys at Christmas. (smile) And nobody looks forward to it like the ordinary workingman. 

Hear him joyfully declare: ‘Oh boy, oh boy, TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday yes! The weekend is here at long last! Time to party again… No, no, no! Hold down on that party scene yes! I still remember last week, at Thanksgiving, when I partied so much, I was sick like a dog the next day! Steups! Got to have a li’l more common sense and doh hit the food and drinks so hard nuh, because I definitely can’t handle another sick like that one.

That was possibly the worse hangover and overeating scene that I’ve ever experienced. Ah Lord eh! I guess that’s why the ole people say to take a little and live long. I certainly wouldn’t be living long if I continue imbibing food and waters like that nuh. Yeh, this weekend go be a quiet one oui. Leave out all that unnecessary stuff…spend some quiet time with the wife and children…that is if they have time for me. (smile) Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’

 Oh friends, I’m chuckling here because there’s nothing to bring us to our senses like an unpleasant experience! Yeh, I’ve had a few of them in my time, like many of us have, but I eventually learned my lesson, and I don’t over imbibe or over eat anymore because it’s a terribly uncomfortable feeling, one that has you feeling so lousy, sometimes you even want to die.

And that’s why our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted borders in our lives. Unlike what the evil one says, about them being there to cut short our fun, they’re there to keep us safe, to ensure that we don’t go overboard and hurt or destroy ourselves. And that’s why our Friday Chant is not as permissive and loose as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, sombrely remembering the workingman’s predicament. (smile) 

As one, in true sincerity: ‘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.’ Ah mih Christian breddren, that is not meant to curtail our fun, but to ensure that it’s clean, safe and godly, consequently not giving the devil a chance to get into our business and stir up strife and trouble as is his won’t. 

That brings us to our Bit for today, some immortal words of Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ Now isn’t that an everlasting truth? It certainly is! And Cousin Sol breaks it down for our small minds to understand. (smile) ‘A time to be born (to bear children), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (come together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl.3:2-8) 

Yes friends, there is a time for everything in this life. And I like how the scholars put it. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses in a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom.8:28). To gather stones (v 5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (v 8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal.1:2-3).’ It all goes to show that our great and wonderful God didn’t create the world in a reckless or foolish manner, but gave serious thought to it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could say with such confidence: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) If there wasn’t a time and purpose for everything, we would not be able to say that. And we’ll end with Cousin Sol’s take on life itself. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

And if you’re a true believer, there’s no way you can refute that conclusion, because that’s what the Good Book says. So now let’s go out and live that kind of life nuh; reverence God, and keep His commandments, for that’s wisdom of the highest level. Much LOVE!

…all things have their time…be they good or bad…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2019 2 Chronicles 26:5.

2 Chronicles 26:5.    ​And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
 

So today looks like another rainy and cloudy day, but I guess that’s what fall weather is all about. But who knows, with the way things are going these days, by lunchtime it could be pouring down sunshine! (smile) Yeh, the weather patterns are so unpredictable these days that I feel sorry for the weather forecasters. But regardless of if the physical sun is shining or not, we need to remember that we have the One who created the sun dwelling inside of us, and therefore there should always be a bright light, the bright light of Jesus, shining in our souls and spirits. 

Glory to God for that eternal sunshine! That sunshine that keeps us joyful and fresh, and peaceful and righteous and leads us along the strait and narrow path that Almighty God has ordained for us to follow! Give Him much thanks for His unceasing goodness to us, the disobedient children of men. Without His amazing grace and mercy we’d surely be lost in the mire of sinfulness, headed straight for Hades and its ruler, the evil one. And I’ve just encountered an interesting scripture in the Old Testament that is still oh so relevant to our modern times. It deals with the sixteen year old Uzziah succeeding his father Amaziah as king of Judah. It says: ‘And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.’ 

What a wonderful scripture for us meditate on and consider this wet and cloudy morning my people, because it is still a happening fact in our time. When you seek God sincerely and constantly, He causes you to prosper. And prosper doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth, but also peace and joy in your life and your surroundings, and the lack of strife and other negative emotions and situations. But before we move on, here are a couple of notices from the scholars. The first is that Uzziah is called Azariah in 2 Kings 14:21; 15:1-7. And the second is that the Zechariah named above is not the same prophet who wrote the prophecy of Zechariah. 

This brings us to another instance where the same basic ideas were floated to a Judean king. Listen to this warning from the prophet Azariah. ‘And the spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: And he went out to meet (before) Asa, (the king), and said unto him, hear ye me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) Yeh friends, that warning still applies to us today. And I like what Azariah said after reminding them that Israel had been in a rough state for a long time, without a prophet, disobedient to God, and thus suffering much adversity. However he advised: ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:7) 

Yeh friends, it still works even to this day! Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation): for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) It’s like the author of Hebrews said: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) That’s sort of the reverse side of the coin; you can’t come to God sincerely unless you believe that He will reward your diligent seeking of Him. Oh I just went outside to check on a problem and it’s already sunny out there. Yuh see, just like we said earlier on! (smile) Glory to God! 

Now here are James’ words on the subject. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) Oh my people, in these evil times, times of so much selfishness and greed, many of us, even Christians, need to humble ourselves before Almighty God, so that He can lift us up. 

Yes, it’s a fact; if we don’t humble ourselves before Him, there will be no lifting up! And once we do that, He will bless us so abundantly, that we won’t know what to do with the blessings. Listen to some of them. We call them our Thursday Blessings. They need to be spoken out loud for them to take effect, so please declare them with me in loud and sincere voices. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! But one important reminder: those blessings are for us to generously share with others, as the Lord has generously shared them with us, not for us to selfishly hoard. Much LOVE!

…you can only find God…if you diligently look for Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2019 Psalm 22:19.

Psalm 22:19.    ​But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
 

Well it looks like it’s going to be a sunshiny day! Thank the Lord for that, as well as for life and LOVE in this crazy, disturbed world. Oh, and we must also thank the Lord for a new desktop computer, no more fighting to get the old one logged in. But I can’t really complain too much, because ole trusty gave me yeoman service over the more than ten years I used it. But I guess it’s time to move on now, move from the 18th to the 21st century. But I’m not going easily; I’m kicking and screaming in opposition! (smile) 

And in keeping with our theme yesterday of waiting on God’s timing, here is this somewhat contradictory poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled: ‘Could You Hurry A Little?’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I know there are countless times When I must wait patiently for You. Waiting develops endurance. It strengthens my faith And deepens my dependence on You. I know You are Sovereign God – Not an errand boy Responding to the snap of my finger. I know Your timing is neatly wrapped In Your incomparable wisdom. But, Lord You have appointed prayer To obtain answers! Even David the Psalmist cried With confident boldness: “It is time, O Lord, for you to act.” God, on this silent sunless morning when I am hedged in on every side I too cry boldly. You are my Father, and I am Your child. So, Lord, could You hurry a little?’ 

Ah friends, that’s what most of us would like the Lord to do in the trying situations of our lives. But as the poet said, the Lord’s not our errand boy to jump to our rescue when we snap our fingers. He is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe and our times are in His hands, we must wait until He is ready to move. And yes, that’s often difficult to do when we are facing danger or serious life problems. But then again, as the poet says, the Lord has given us prayer so we can get answers, so there’s nothing wrong in crying out to Him for help, like Bruh David so often did. 

And today’s Bit is the Bible promise for our poem, taken from Psalm 22 – Bruh David’s cry of anguish and song of praise. ‘But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.’ It’s a very legitimate cry, and many times, when the Lord thinks it’s necessary, He will jump right in and help us. But at other times, in His incomparable wisdom, He allows us to go through some stuff, oftentimes to test us, or to build our faith, since it’s only in times of affliction that we can truly build our faith. 

And don’t feel badly if you don’t get an answer to your cry for help right away, because even Jesus on the cross, when He cried out in serious affliction, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt.27:46) You’ll notice He did not get an answer. So if Christ can cry out for an answer in such a serious situation and get none, who are we to complain when we don’t get any, especially when many of our cries are really petty, selfish outbursts. And it’s interesting to note, that the same cry that Jesus used on the cross is the same one that Bruh David began this psalm with: ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring (groaning).’ (Ps.22:1) 

There again, if Bruh David, God’s friend and a man after His own heart can cry out for help and receive no answer, who are we to make a fuss eh? Yeh people, Bruh David was certainly between a rock and a hard place with enemies all around, and obviously felt forsaken by God, when he wrote: ‘O my God. I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.’ (Ps.22:2) Many of us can identify with that, but here’s why Bruh David earned the Lord’s mercy and friendship. ‘But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded (ashamed).’ (Ps.22:3-5)) 

Yeh friends, Bruh David never forgot the goodness of God to his forefathers, and rightly reasoned that if He helped them, He would also help him. So much so that later on in the psalm, he sincerely declares: ‘Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me (answered me) from the horns of the unicorns (from the horns of the wild oxen). I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.’ (Ps.22:21-22) Oh my people, can we make such a bold declaration based on the many good things the Lord has already done for us? 

Unfortunately, many of us are still ashamed of the Lord and refuse to acknowledge Him in public, but please remember Jesus’ words: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) As always, Jesus puts it plainly and to the point. If you can’t acknowledge Him in public, He won’t acknowledge you before his Father. That means you can’t be a secret Christian in our free religious society! 

So for those of us who are not ashamed to acknowledge Jesus in public, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Him. In strong, sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And if we continue steadfastly in that role, then the future will indeed be glorious; much more than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…if you truly LOVE Jesus…then you must shout it…from the mountain tops…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2019 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.
 

All I can say this cold, wet and dark October morn is ‘Thank the Lord!’ The Canadian people have not completely fallen for the vague, insincere rhetoric of the Conservative Party in yesterday’s election. Yes, they did give the returning Liberal Party a minority government, but I sincerely believe, better the devil you know than the one you don’t, especially with the dictatorial, slash and burn Conservative government we already have here in the Province of Ontario! 

Can you imagine the bosom buddies Scheer and Ford in power at the same time? The Lord forbid! Anyhow, let’s be thankful for small mercies! And we’ll leave the political question right there, because I know there will be many varying opinions. I just wanted to give my two cents worth. (smile) 

Let’s turn instead to a much more important matter; God’s timing… And yes, it did play a part in the election because He still controls all that happens in His universe, but right now we’re talking about His timing in our personal lives. So we’ll begin with a word from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. 

He wisely advises: ‘Don’t try to rush God. Mountains don’t move overnight. Give God time to work His miracles. I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new LOVE, and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on the sand scratched by children’s sticks. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my believing brethren! I can attest to it from personal experience…no, personal experiences! (smile) Ah friends, so often I’ve tried to make things happen in my own strength and failed, then just leave them up to God and see them come through miraculously. So I’ve finally come to accept the fact that if it’s not happening when and how I want it to happen, to just leave it alone and let God do what he does best…run His business! 

Now it’s not an easy attitude to come by, but it surely is a smart one. And furthermore, what I always had problems with was God’s actual timing of His appearance; it was more last minute than first. But truthfully, so far I’ve NEVER seen Him arrive late! Glory to God! And I guess that is simply another method to test our faith and trust in Him. 

So if right now you’re in the heat of a situation that is driving you crazy, please do as Gramps Schuller says: ‘Be patient; God is working everything out. At the right time and in the right way everything will evolve beautifully.’ Yes sir, it will! As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called to his purpose.’  

And the scholars explain that verse thus. ‘8:28. To them that LOVE God is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who LOVE God are best able to appreciate the fact because they LOVE Him no matter what (cf. Job 13:15) To them who are the called is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or the “elect.” 

And I’ll spoon-feed us (smile) with the reference to Job. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him.’ Job 13:15) Now that is a scripture verse that we all know and claim, but the problem is can we live up to that standard of unquenchable faith when the chips are down? When it seems like God has turned against us, can we still trust Him like Job did? 

Oh, I know it’s not easy when your world seems to be falling down all around you, to actually rest and wait in and on God. But with His help it is possible my people. And that’s when our faith is really tested and we see how strong it really is. Now here is some excellent advice from Isaiah, it’s something we also know, but have a hard time putting into action. 

‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-30) 

Oh my people, what greater promise can we ask eh? But we also have a part to play in its coming true – be patient, wait on the Lord and His timing. That’s eternal wisdom! Now let’s go home declaring (yeah) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In strong, sincere voice:  ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And the natural consequence is for us to now go out and action those statements. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s timing is perfect…to those who wait patiently…in faith…and expectantly on it…

Visit the Scrip-Bit Blog at https://randyobrien50.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries