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 5 September 2016 Psalm 51:15.

 Psalm 51:15.    O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’

Oh my beautiful people, I’m sure that this morning most of us are joyfully declaring: ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ The only problem is that we’re not declaring it because we’re excited and enthusiastic to go to work, but because we don’t have to go to work this Labour Day Monday.  

Hn, hn! We certainly are something else yes! But what to do eh? That’s obviously the nature of the beast. However, unfortunately in this 24/7 society, some of us do have to go to work to keep the essential services running smoothly and allow our highly technological world to function properly and allow us to keep on enjoying all our wonderful amenities. 

That means there is still the need for us to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have to go out and labour on this Labour Day Monday, which was originally a celebration of the gains made in reducing the work week and other inhumane actions that were then sinfully perpetrated by the management class. However most of that has now been forgotten, and it’s just an occasion to party. 

So in clarity and harmony let’s sing. ‘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, the voices were strong, but raucous and not harmonious. That’s because the ones who have the day off were the loudest, and they have already been celebrating, so their voices are a bit hoarse. I could see Jesus simply shaking His head and smiling, knowing full well the reason for the poor rendition. But nonetheless we’ll persevere, because through Jesus, who strengthens us, we can do infinitely anything and everything! (Phil. 4:13) 

And so, we come to our Bit. ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’ Yes my people, that’s a very good line for us to follow. These words were written by Bruh David after the prophet Nathan draped him up over his sinfulness with Bathsheba. Having acknowledged his wrongdoing and pleading for mercy and forgiveness, Bruh David prays for inner renewal. 

‘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 shall I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.’ (Ps.51:7-14) 

Ah friends, Bruh David finally realizes the utter stupidity of his lustful liaison with Bathsheba, and having asked for cleansing, he then promises ministry and thanksgiving. And I have to chuckle, because like so many of us Bruh David obviously never considered the consequences of his sinful actions before he did them. But having eventually being found out, he had no qualms in confessing them and asking for God’s pardon. 

Likewise, we should not be too proud to ask for cleansing and healing when our iniquities are brought to light. As Bruh David declares after our Bit: ‘For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps.51:16-17) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what the Lord expects from us when we come to Him for forgiveness and mercy; humility and brokenness. 

The scholars tell us: ‘This passage clearly teaches that those who have failed God may be restored to the service of God.’ What wonderful news friends! 

And we’ll end with these important words from the scholars: ‘The prayer take not thy Holy Spirit from me (v.11) need never be offered by a New Testament saint, since the Holy Spirit indwells every Christian permanently  (1 Cor.6:19). David’s cry here may reflect only the fear, not the reality of losing the Spirit, and being rejected by God. Thus he asks God to restore the joy of his salvation, not salvation itself.’ 

Now that’s something to celebrate my people! Unlike the folks in the Old Testament who only received the Holy Spirit for specific purposes and periods of time, we, through the selfless sacrifice of Jesus, instead have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us continually, leading and guiding us along the straight and narrow path, making it much easier for us to be obedient to God’s word. 

But please remember, the onus is still on us to follow the Spirit’s guidance. So as we enjoy the day, in whatever way, let’s not forget Granny’s golden advice, which covers every aspect and occasion of life. ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business…’ Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say… the greatest wisdom is to obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

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…