Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 October 2022 Proverbs 16:1.

Proverbs 16:1.       The preparations of the heart in man, (man’s plans belong to him), but the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.

And finally it’s Saturday; our lazy day, our day to wind down from a week of hard, exhausting, much travelling and plenty sitting in traffic jams work! (smile) Yes, sadly, for many of us, getting to and from our workplace is more difficult and stressful than the work we go there to do. Unfortunately though, that’s the way our supposedly enlightened, intelligent system is set up. We can’t afford to live close to work, so we live in the cheaper, more distant places, then spend an inordinate amount of stressful time getting to and from work. 

How brilliant! We don’t seem to think that the actual time lost commuting, plus the energy and stress it produces, detracts significantly from our work ethic and enthusiasm for our work. But it certainly does! No wonder so many of us are miserable and short tempered five days of every week, and are just dying to have Saturday come around. And that’s my rant for today! (smile) Most likely it will go unnoticed by the powers that be, because it makes sense, but the current system works for them, so they don’t have to worry about all the stress and strain involved in our ungainly and self-defeating work set up. Awright! Done now! (smile) 

So what of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week eh, which is supposed to be our Saturday chore? Well, he sent us a bunch, so let’s see what we can do with them. The first one tells us: ‘Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.’ And although there is some truth to the statement, I still contend that it all depends on what beliefs you hold. And judging from the crazy, mish-mash, dysfunctional, misguided, strife-filled world in which we’re currently living, where there are so many existing belief systems, with everybody trying to advance their own system, it holds to reason that something is significantly wrong with how we’re trying to live. 

I believe that our beliefs can best be boiled down to two major ones, that’s good versus evil, and anything in between is a waste of time, because those two systems don’t leave any room for any others. And obviously, the good system is far superior to the evil one, because the sinless Jesus Christ is the Leader of the good one, and the despicable Satan, the ruler of the evil counterpart. And no two systems could be totally different and opposite. The evil one doesn’t harbour a whiff of good, while the good one doesn’t encourage a whiff of evil. 

And that’s why the rules of the good system strongly advise its followers to ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men. (Rom. 12:17) And then it builds on that rule with this one. ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 17:21) Now that’s the belief system I think our world ought to totally adopt if we desire to see goodness spread all over it, not the evil system that’s so powerful right now. 

Then there’s this next quote that says: ‘Nobody’s built like you. You design yourself.’ The first part is true, because our Creator, the Lord God Jehovah didn’t make any two persons totally alike. We might look alike and behave alike in some situations, but all of us have our individual difference(s), our unique DNA, as it were, that defines who we are in God’s eyes. But as to the part that we design ourselves, that’s not all true. The Lord does give us some leeway in what and who we become, but in the long run, He it is that decides what path we tread. 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Cousin Sol, the wisest man who ever lived. He said quite clearly: ‘The preparations of the heart in man, (man’s plans belong to him), but the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.’ (Prov. 16:1) Yes friends, the Lord God is sovereign over a man’s thoughts and words. Then later on Cousin Sol revisits the subject. This time he declares (steups!!!): ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Oh my, my! The Lord is also sovereign over our scheming and planning. (smile) 

And if you still believe you have total autonomy to design yourself, then listen to this quote from the prophet Jeremiah, who was only trying to do God’s bidding, when tribulation befell him. Therefore, he finally understood: ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgement (justice); not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.’ (Jer. 10:23-24) Yes my fellow believers, it is certainly within the Lord’s ability to bring us to nothing if He so desires. So please let’s stop believing that we can do whatever we want with our lives nuh. 

Oh, we do have a certain amount of free will, but if God sees us getting outside of His plan for us, He can and will put a stop to it. And thus, the next quote is very interesting. It advises us to ‘Wake up determined, go to bed satisfied.’ And that’s what we all aspire to. However, the only way to make that aspiration come true is to be obedient to the will and plan that God has for our lives. Remember He has a good plan for our lives, one to give us a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11) And though, in this sinful world we will undoubtedly encounter trials and tribulations, the Lord has promised to eventually work everything out for the good of those He’s called and those who sincerely LOVE Him. (Rom. 8:28) 

That’s why these two next quotes are so important. The first one says: ‘Not having the best situation, but seeing the best in your situation is the key to happiness.’ And is that ever true. You need to have an attitude of gratitude when there doesn’t seem to be anything to be grateful for. But to do that, you must have strong faith in God, and totally believe those two promises we just mentioned above, as well as the fact that He will never give us more than we can handle, in the sense that He will always give us the necessary grace to escape, or otherwise help us through our tumultuous situations. (1 Cor. 10:13) 

Consequently, the corresponding importance of this other quote: ‘It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.’ Boy oh boy! Truer words were never spoken. It’s when times get really bad that we need to seriously and sincerely focus on Jesus who is the light of this dark and evil world. It’s only with Him, His encouragement, LOVE and compassion bubbling up serenely in our souls that we are able to withstand the darkness and eventually walk out into His bright shining light. Remember His memorable words: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

That’s why we are so enamoured of Jesus, and believe that He is the Real Deal, for without Him, we cannot do anything worthwhile in this world. He also spelled that out to us. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Hn! Jesus certainly didn’t mince any words there my faithful brethren, and if we want to bear much fruit and see the light of life, then we can only do what the first part of this last quote says, not the last part. ‘I’m not going to continue knocking on that old door that doesn’t open for me. I’m going to create my own door and walk through that.’ 

Oh, we do have to stop knocking on any doors that seem closed to us, but it’s a fallacy to believe that we can successfully create our own door to walk through, especially if you are a sincere believer in Christ Jesus. Remember what we said at the beginning of the Bit; we make our plans, but it’s God who directs our footsteps. So, if one door seems closed to us, then we need to go to Jesus and seek the door that’s He’s opened elsewhere for us, because whenever He closes one, He opens another. 

And He did tell us to keep on asking, seeking and knocking, and it will be given to us. (Matt.7:7) But He means asking, seeking and knocking on His door, from His righteous kingdom, not of anyone else’s. And with that in mind, let’s go home this lazy Saturday morning feeling encouraged, refreshed and renewed in the service of Jesus, by all the good and enlightening things we’ve spoken about through the quotes of our friend Anselm. Much LOVE!

…only through the light of Jesus…will this world shed it’s darkness… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​      

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