Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2018 Psalm 119:80.

Psalm 119:80.    Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

 

Oh mih people, would somebody please explain it to me, because I obviously have not been granted the heavenly wisdom to understand the ramifications of this mind-boggling situation! And I’m talking about how a body can go to bed feeling perfectly fine – well not perfect perfect, but fairly decent – then some five or six hours later wake up racked with pain in body and soul, reduced to moving around like a doddering old man? 

Oh, I know some of you will say than I am old, so that’s no surprise… But please, I beg to differ. I’ll grant that I’m somewhat aged, (smile) but nowhere enough yet to be doddering! And to make matters worse, while lying there contemplating the pain and getting up, I was seduced to stay in bed for another forty five minutes by a couple showers of seductive rain. Yes, it looks like it’s going to be a ‘riney’ day. But how fickle is the soul of man eh! (smile) 

And though I’ve asked the Lord a couple of times about this abnormal situation, I’ve gotten no answer, which leads me to thinking that He’s intimating to me, the same thing that He said to Bruh Paul, when he asked for relief from the thorn in his side. ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor.12:9a) 

And though I know that, and gratefully acknowledge it, it still doesn’t ease the pain. (smile) I guess the Lord’s waiting for me to say like Bruh Paul did after receiving that Bit of info. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor.12:9b-10)  

Oh my brethren, I’m trying, but I’m nowhere close to Bruh Paul’s maturity nuh, and the Lord knows it. So I’m not going to fool myself by saying all those things that he says above. I’m just going to move around as best as I can, grin and bear the pain, and/or cry out for mercy, (smile) and have faith for the Lord to make ALL things right as He’s faithfully promised. 

Now let’s hope that I have enough space to write what I really intended to write, before the Holy Spirit led me to write what I’ve actually written. (smile) And it’s a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘Three Unalterable Truths.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, through the years Of walking hand-in-hand with You I have learned three unalterable truths: First, what you command me to do You consistently expect me to do. Never do you say, “Give the command a fair try.” Nor do You say, “Consider and then decide.” My natural weakness is never An acceptable excuse. Nor is my inability To reach unreachable standards. Rather, You tell me to seek And then to keep your commands. 

Second, all of Your commands Are always for my ultimate good. “Obey me,” Your Word says “So that I can do for you All the wonderful things I promised…” “In the keeping of My Word There is great reward.” Third, whatever You command me to do You fully enable me to do. As You give light to reveal a command So you give grace to fulfill it. Your divine energy is always at my disposal. The choice to obey is always mine. The power to obey is always Yours.’ 

And the sad, humorous and glorious fact friends, is ALL of that is indisputably true! When the Lord gives us a command, He expects us to obey without a lot of hemming and hawing, as we so often tend to do. And that’s simply because He never asks us to do something without giving us His powerful grace to enable us to do it. 

And the best part of it all my brethren is when we obey with alacrity and faith, there are innumerable rewards to be reaped from His magnanimity and outrageous generosity! Give Him His much deserved glory my people! And the Bible Promise associated with that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.’ 

Yes my brethren, being blameless in keeping the Lord’s principles is something we should all aspire to. And don’t worry, He knows that we’re not perfect, because He didn’t make us perfect, but He does expect us to try and get as close to perfection as is humanly possible. It’s all in the state of our hearts friends. As Cousin Sol warns: ‘Keep (look after) thy heart (and mind) with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:23. Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.’ Gospel truth that my fellow believers! 

And remember the Lord doesn’t go by our outward actions, He searches our hearts and minds to discover our true motives. That’s why we have to cry out like Bruh David did in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) 

And having taken all of that to heart (smile), let’s go home declaring (Steups! Spelt it wrong again) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong sense of purpose: ‘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 obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE with the rest of the world, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is still waiting for us to show our true colours…to be the salt…and the light of the world…as He asked us to be…

P.S. It’s certainly been a smiley day! But why not eh? That’s why the Lord gave us the wonderful ability of smiling…to smile! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2018 Proverbs 3:31.

Proverbs 3:31.    Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

Well friends, it’s such a glorious Monday morning that we should have no problem getting up and going out to meet the new work week. Hn!  And I hear some of you sourly say, ‘Yeh, no problem eh? Well talk for yourself yes, but I have a problem every week getting up on a Monday morning.’ And I’ll reply ‘that’s because you don’t plan your weekends properly.’ 

Anyhow, for whatever ails us this Monday morning, we have the sure antidote for it; our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, so let’s sing it with much gusto nuh, so that it can uplift our souls 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!’ 

And now that the adrenaline is coursing through our veins, we should be able to ramp up our efforts on behalf of Jesus without a problem. (smile) And today we have an interesting Bit from the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s something we’ve been continually warned against throughout the Good Book, but also something we need to be continually reminded of, because the pull of the oppressor and his wicked ways are so strong on our naturally sinful souls. 

And for our benefit, Cousin Sol continues: ‘For the forward (perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (secret council) is with the righteous.’ (Prov.3:32) And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow believers! And if you think Cousin Sol’s words are not strong enough for you, then listen to Bruh David’s on the subject; words that we know and quote, and yet still don’t follow enough. 

‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.’ (Ps.37:1) How often have those words been preached to us eh friends, yet we keep on doing exactly what they warn us not to do. 

Oh, I know the world and its evil doings are powerful, and though the Holy Spirit that dwells within us is stronger than the world, it’s not going to override our desires. It’s our job to heed the guidance of the Lord’s Spirit if we want to do His will. 

That’s why Bruh David advises: ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on his faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday.’ (Ps.37:3-6) 

And friends, if Bruh David’s words don’t grab you, then listen to these of Asaph, the psalmist, who almost fell into the trap. ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps.73:1-3) 

Ah mih people, we all know it’s hard to see the wicked prosper and some of the righteous suffer unfairly. But please, please, I implore us not to fall for the lies of the world, because as the Good Book says, the wicked will eventually be destroyed and the righteous shall take over their wealth. 

So in closing, let’s be further reminded by the encouraging words of Bruh David. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (it only causes harm). For evil doers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:7-9) 

Please, let’s bury those words in our hearts and souls, so that we can remember them and put them into action when the evil one comes against us. Much LOVE!

…the wicked have sold their souls for earthly riches…the righteous have sold theirs for heavenly glory… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2018 Psalm 73:3.

Psalm 73:3.    For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Ah mih people, it’s a good thing that we have the light, the power, peace and LOVE of Jesus residing within us yes, otherwise when we look outside all we’d see is the beginning of another cold, damp and dreary looking day. Steups! 

Thank the Lord for Jesus oui! Shout ‘Hallelujah!’ and praise His most wonderful and holy name. The name that’s above every other name and to which every knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of our heavenly Father. 

Mama Mia! How beautiful is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ eh? There are no words in the human vocabulary to do Him justice! And when we add all the sad and disgusting situations existing in our current world and it’s exceeding ungodliness, it just makes us want to LOVE and live for Jesus even more. 

Now over the last two days we have spoken about Jesus’ Great Commission and His Great Invitation, but yuh know what friends, too many of us Christians are not taking those very important aspects of our faith seriously enough.  

Unfortunately we are turning to the things of the world to bring us joy, peace and happiness; seeking to accumulate the wealth of the world, so that we can leave lots of it behind for our families and lawyers to fight over when we depart this life. 

Oh my breddren, too many of us are behaving like the psalmist Asaph when he wrote Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness. Hear how he opens it: ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps.73:1-3) 

Yeh friends, just like Asaph, many, too many of us are looking at the prosperity of the wicked and are being envious and jealous of them and trying to be like them. But that’s not our calling my people. We are called to be righteous and to do good in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! 

And if we do that, we’ll end up as Jesus promised: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) Yes, if we look to God first, He will provide all that we need. As Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by (through) Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

It’s obvious though that many of us either don’t know those promises or don’t believe or adhere to them since we are so busily seeking the things of the world, which eventually perish and we have to leave behind anyway. We seem to think like Asaph did, even though he was a highly spiritual man, as he continues after our Bit. 

‘For there are no bands (pangs or pain) in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain (serves as a necklace); violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness (bulge with abundance): they have more than heart could wish.’ (Ps.73:4-7) 

Yeh friends, the ungodly and wicked are currently prospering in this evil world, but it won’t be forever. Listen as Bruh David tells about the true state of the wicked. ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.’ (Ps.37:3) 

And the scholars explain: ‘Psalm 73: This psalm is another dealing with the problem of the prosperity of the wicked. Unlike Psalm 37, however, it does not emphasize the brevity of that prosperity. The author observes that sometimes the bounty achieved by the wicked does in fact last throughout life (v.4). 

He emphasizes every believer’s need to test his own personal relationship with God. That alone provides the ultimate satisfaction available to the believer who witnesses the affluence of the wicked. That’s a fact that almost caused him to stumble spiritually and lose his faith.’ 

Ah mih people, I know that we suffer from the same problem, but like Asaph, we can also overcome it. And how did he do so? Hear him: ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.’ (Ps.73:17) 

Yes my fellow believers, as the scholars further explain: ‘Not until the psalmist entered God’s sanctuary and received a divine perspective on the wicked’s prosperity did he find his answer to the problem (vs.17-28) He saw the destiny of the wicked (vs.17-20); therefore he repented of his foolishness (vs.21-22) and found his happiness solely in a warm and growing relationship with God (vs.23-28).’ 

And so can we my brethren, if we look solely to God for our earthly sustenance and not be envious of those who seem to have it all, for who knows if they sold their souls to achieve that power and abundance. And eventually, like Asaph, we will also be able to declare: ‘My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ (Ps.73:26) 

And having said that, let’s go home now declaring our Thursday Blessings, those wonderful attributes the Lord pours down on those sincerely believe and stand steadfast with Him. All together now: ‘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 the corollary to that, is to now go out and generously share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…evil doers shall be cut off…but those that wait upon the Lord…shall inherit the earth… (Ps.37:9)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2016 Exodus 33:14

Exodus 33:14.   And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Awright my fellow believers, it’s the first day of the week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, that means we need to be making our way to church at some stage of the day, to praise and worship and rejoice and fellowship with other believers. Now that’s not my directive, but our God’s.  (Ex.20:8-11) 

So if we want to be truly obedient then we will gladly do His will and don’t behave like it’s pulling teeth, like we’re being forced to go, and if we don’t, hellfire and brimstone might fall down on us. Now it just might… (smile)  

But please remember friends, this is for our good, not for God’s. He already has all He wants, and whether we praise and worship Him or not, will not change His situation, but it will surely change ours. 

So let’s stop being, stubborn, hardhearted and foolish and get ourselves to the Lord’s sanctuary, so that we can receive His blessings, mercy, encouragement, LOVE and revitalization to face tomorrow and the rest of the week strong and steadfast. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name! All power and glory be unto Him!’ 

Ah mih people, what’s happening to our faith today eh? There seems to be more churches of different denominations, or no denomination, than ever before, but overall the total number of worshippers doesn’t seem to be increasing that much. What seems to be happening is that believers are leaving one church for another, so while some churches are packed to capacity, others are almost empty, especially of the youth of our society. 

It also seems that the youth of today can’t handle the staid, dirge-like, old fashioned worship of the established churches, and when they do go to church are opting for the more modern, new-fangled style of worship. Now that is something the established churches will have to figure out if they intend to survive this boomer generation. They’ll definitely have to invoke God’s wisdom and discernment to fix that problem. 

But enough preamble, let’s turn to our Bit. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ 

Oh friends, whenever we sincerely seek the Lord and diligently try to be obedient to His will, His presence surrounds us like a warm, protective blanket in the heart of winter. Hn! Many of us could use one of those blankets right about now, as the cold weather refuses to depart in peace from the northern climes. (smile) 

Now let’s turn to some scripture to corroborate the words of our Bit. Hear Bruh David from Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing – after Nathan the prophet had draped him up for his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. 

He cries out to God for mercy and cleansing, admitting his sin: ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ (Ps.51:7-13) 

Oh precious people, can you imagine the state Bruh David must have been in when he realized that God had marked his selfish and foolish abominations, after He had been so good and generous to him. Note his words in verse 11: ‘Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.’ He knew how essential it was to be in God’s presence, with His Holy Spirit leading him. Without those two things, he might as well be dead.  

And on a more current and sadder note, I recently read in the newspapers about Glen Campbell’s losing fight with Alzheimer’s disease. We all remember him from his hit making days, with songs like ‘Rhinestone Cowboy, By the time I get to Phoenix,’ and my personal favourite ‘Gentle on my mind.’ 

Now, at age 79, he’s living in a memory care community in Nashville, apparently not even able to play the guitar anymore. How sad. But his wife Kim had this to say: ‘Faith has always been the central part of our relationship. I’m so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it’s evident that he has retained his awareness of God. 

There have been times when he’d walk over to the window and look at the beautiful trees outside, and he’d just raise his hands and say, “Thank you, heavenly father.” He could barely speak at all, but he could come up with “We’re so blessed,” or “Thank you heavenly father.” 

That really comforts me to know that he has that sense of God’s presence in his life, that he’s not alone, even if I’m not right next to him.’ 

And all God’s people said, ‘Amen.’ 

Let’s hope and pray friends, that any of us who head down that sad and lonely road, will also feel the comforting presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, even though we can’t put it into words. 

Now let’s end with these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. And every time I read the words or hear it spoken, I remember the most memorable reading of it I’ve ever heard, that by Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) one day from the Crystal Cathedral. The way he acted it out, it got stuck in my mind forever. 

Listen to these most appropriate words. ‘Whither shall (can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (can) I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

If I say, surely the darkness shall cover (fall on, hide) me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.’ (Ps.139:7-12) 

And all of that is gospel truth friends! We can’t run nor hide from God, even if we are foolish enough to try. So please, today, let’s go about obediently doing His will nuh, for it’s in our best interest to do so. Much LOVE!

…to be eternally in God’s awesome presence…is why we were created…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 August 2013 Jeremiah 17:9

Jeremiah 17:9.   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?
 
Oh Friends, morning is breaking, just like all those other mornings of the past! And to sweeten matters, God’s daily blessings are also being prepared anew – no stale stuff – as has been done each and every day, right down through the ages. So our daily bread is on its way, accompanied by new mercy and forgiveness. What an awesome package that is my people!
 
And all God’s children declared a loud, joyous and grateful: ‘Thank You Lord for Your overwhelming generosity and LOVING-kindness! We LOVE You Lord, and praise Your Holy Name! Please help us to continue serving and worshipping You with fullness of hearts, souls, bodies and minds. Amen.’ 
 
Yes my Friends, our God is ever-faithful and generous to us, although we don’t deserve it. But that’s just the kind of Deity He is; that’s just the kind of heart He possesses. The problem though is that our honesty and faithfulness cannot be guaranteed. For as our Bit so wisely declares: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?’
 
And the answer to that rather imposing question my brethren, is ONLY Jehovah God!
 
That’s because our hearts are naturally inclined to deceit and selfishness. It can get so bad, that at times we even fool ourselves, thinking that we have such wonderful and upright hearts, only to later discover the true wickedness buried deep in them.
 
Cousin Sol, in describing a worthless and wicked man, said it a long time ago. ‘Frowardness (perversity) is in his heart, he deviseth mischief (evil) continually; he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.’ (Prov.6:14-15)
 
And sadly Friends, that’s a rather apt and appropriate description of a great number of humans on God’s great earth, including many so-called believers. No wonder our world is in the sorry state it’s in!
 
Jesus Himself, on the subject of good and corrupt fruit, had this to say re our hearts. ‘O generation (brood, offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35)
 
And if anybody should know about that sort of thing, it’s certainly Jesus!
 
Then later on, in explaining what defiles, Jesus says: ‘That which cometh out of the man defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness (licentiousness), an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.’ (Mark 7:20-23)
 
Ah mih people, I guess Jesus condemns us all right there, since we all are guilty of at least one or more of those misdeed, and they all stem from what’s happening down in the depths of our souls.
 
Now listen to the scholars: ‘Many apparently thought that the food itself forbidden by parts of the Old Testament (see, e.g. Lev.11) rendered the eater unclean. Jesus is not challenging the accuracy of the Old Testament. He is pointing out that what one produces from, not what he takes into, himself is the essence of the human sin.
 
In context, Jesus is pointing out the futility of seeking spiritual salvation by means of ritual observances, like dietary laws, which are incapable of purifying the heart (i.e., the moral life) A clean heart is something different from a properly cared for digestive tract.’
 
And while declaring that all things come to the righteous and to the wicked, the Preacher imparts this bit of wisdom. ‘This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.’ (Eccl. 9:3)
 
But why is the heart so maligned eh? That’s partly because as the scholars explain: ‘Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.
 
The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life. The heart is the seat of intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself.
 
The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defiling them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12). Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First ref. Gen.6:5; Primary ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15) 
 
Please note that I’ve quoted several of the references the scholars gave us, so you shouldn’t have any problems reading the rest. (smile) Remember though that the references are for our benefit; to help us better understand the scriptures.
 
And we’ll end with this rather appropriate reference from Cousin Sol. ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 
 
Yes Friends, it all begins in the heart and the mind, and then spreads like wildfire after that! So to avoid all the evil and ungodly things that we can become involved in to our detriment, we need to guard our thinking and emotions very carefully, otherwise we’ll certainly get caught up in plenty calamity.
 
And that definitely doesn’t smack of that most worthwhile attribute called wisdom. So let’s consider ourselves warned. Much LOVE!.
 
..to him that hath ears…let him hear…or else he’ll pay an exorbitant price for his disobedience…