Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 May 2022 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.       …for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

And then it was Tuesday, and we’ve successfully navigated through hot and fearful Monday. (smile) That means we can also successfully navigate another pretty hot day on Tuesday. Of course! We can do anything once we have the power and amazing Spirit of Christ Jesus dwelling within us! And no, it’s not always easy, but as the song’s saying, ‘He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells that I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!’ 

That’s for certain sure my fellow brethren in Christ! There’s no joy in this universe like the joy that emanates from Jesus and fills our souls and spirits when we believe in, trust and surrender ourselves to Him! And that joy doesn’t only manifest itself in gladness, but even more importantly in strength. As the Good Book tells us: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) Oh yes, when we have the joy of the Lord living in us, then we strong like lion, tough like iron, and fear no man or devil, not even his satanic majesty! 

And that’s exactly why the prince of darkness tries to eliminate that joy from our souls and spirits, because then we are weak and pliable and he can get us much more easily to do his evil and dirty deeds. Therefore, it’s ever so important that we allow NOTHING to steal that joy of the Lord which is our strength. And how do we accomplish that in this evil and strife-filled world? One of the ways is by studying God’s word, His many promises and assurances found there, and storing them in our hearts so that we can use them when the enemy tries to get us off of the straight and narrow path that leads to Jesus. 

And we’re talking about promises and assurances like this one that Moses decreed to the Israelites way back when, but which still stands strong today. ‘Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) And that my friends is possibly the first and most powerful scripture we must learn and even more importantly believe! That’s because everything in our Christian faith depends on our believing that our God is good and faithful, LOVING, kind and compassionate and will never leave nor forsake us, come what may! 

And until we sincerely believe that our souls and spirits will continually be filled with doubts and fears. That’s the simple fact of the matter. Strong faith only comes from sincere belief and much experience of life under God’s mighty, faithful and compassionate hand! It’s like going to school; the more you study His word and lean on it and Him, then the stronger your faith will become, and doubts and fears, many introduced by the evil enemy, won’t make such a mess of your life. 

And just like in school, when you don’t pay attention, or do your homework, you will suffer the consequences, for our heavenly Father LOVES us too much to just let us go astray, to do whatever we want once we give our lives to his awesome Son. And I like how the Good Book puts it. ‘For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb. 12:6-7) 

Good question that. If we don’t chasten our children when they do wrong, then we don’t truly LOVE them. And chastening doesn’t mean abusing, but correcting with whatever punishment is necessary. The scholars explain it thus: ‘God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in agreement, harmony) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly). (Prov. 13:24; cf. 22:15; 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous; they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Consequently, we now have a rather unruly and undisciplined generation. We forgot what our parents told us: ‘if you spare the rod, you spoil the child.’ When we became parents, we did not discipline them as we ought to, foolishly thinking that disciplining them was wrong and abusive. But we were quite wrong, for when any animal is not disciplined it goes astray and creates havoc because of their selfish intents, interests and behaviour. Our parents disciplined us, possibly a li’l too rough and tough, and taught us seriously about God, but we came out much better for it. 

And if our God practices tough LOVE, who are we to be different eh? That’s why we’re now suffering the unholy and ungodly consequences of a lost generation. But I’ll leave that alone today, for it’s something that troubles me greatly, because I saw it coming. And now that it’s arrived…well… Chuh! Let’s turn to these words of Jesus on the subject as He spoke to John in the revelation about the church in Laodicea. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev. 3:19) So be warned. 

Now, let’s get back to talking about totally trusting and believing in Christ Jesus and not letting the enemy steal our joy with his lies and deceitful wiles and schemes. And we all know this immortal verse of Bruh Paul to Timothy, although we don’t practice it as thoroughly as we ought to. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yuh see there, discipline is all so important in our dealings with God. Remember what the Good Book says about Jesus: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:8) 

Yes friends, obedience was the hallmark of Jesus’ earthly sojourn. He said it Himself. ‘I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just (righteous); because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the father which hath sent me.’ (John 5:30) And we are required to do the same thing: seek the Father’s will, not our own. Finally, we come to what I believe are the most encouraging and reassuring words in the scriptures; the words the Lord spoke to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:8-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, those words are still the best encouragement for today. So please, let’s take them to heart and be strong and courageous nuh, for Jesus desires it of us and the world needs ever so badly to see it from us. And for those of us who are doing our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and courageous 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!’ 

Now, let’s go out and enthusiastically show and tell others about the marvellous LOVE and friendship of Jesus, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…this earthly life is all about…living for Jesus…nothing else…

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