Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison now: ‘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 if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well friends, it’s somewhat cloudy outside on this Saturday morning, but that’s no reason to think we won’t eventually have another glorious day. Technically it’s spring, but does it ever feel like summer. Last night I had to get up and change my T. shirt because I woke up with it soaking wet, even though my bedroom window was wide open. Please note, I’m not complaining, just making a point (smile). I will take that situation over the winter cold any day. 

Unfortunately though, the Big Island of Hawaii is experiencing more heat than an ordinary summer because the volcano just keeps bubbling and releasing lava down its slopes. Houses have now been swallowed up by the molten rock and people are being evacuated, as it doesn’t seem to be easing up. 

I guess the good thing is that it hasn’t erupted with full force spewing its molten guts all over the place. At least this way there is time to evacuate residents who are in immediate danger. Let’s keep on praying for them. 

And today being Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes that we received from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is certainly amusing. ‘If you think Education is expensive, try ignorance.’ But nonetheless it’s true! At least with education you have some idea what it’s all about, but with ignorance, you’re completely lost. 

Now here is an important one. ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ And is that ever true friends! Inferiority is something we allow or bring on ourselves. No matter how much someone else may think they are better than us, because of their wealth, power, or social position, it only holds true if we believe it too. 

So please stop thinking you’re inferior to ANYONE! NO child of God is inferior to any other! We were all made the same way and for the same purpose by Almighty God and He LOVES us all unconditionally, regardless of our circumstances or behaviour! 

And the next quote wisely advises: ‘Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.’ Ah mih people, the first sentence is paramount: ‘Never give up.’ As followers of Jesus we are not supposed to do that because giving up does not exist in His vocabulary. 

He sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be saved, our sins forgiven, and that we’d be imbued through the work of His Holy Spirit with whatever we need to face the rigours of this world. 

And Jesus didn’t mince words, He told us that we’d face persecution and tough times simply because we believed in Him, but that He had already overcome the world, so we had no need to fear or worry, just keep on keeping on in His name! That means to keep on hoping, which makes our last quote invaluable: 

‘Hope is the most exciting thing there is in life!’ Glory to God my people, that is gospel truth! Without hope we have nothing to look forward to. But with hope, we have everything to look forward to and dream about! With hope in our hearts, ANYTHING is possible, especially if we are believers in Jesus, the ONE who can do ANYTHING! 

And there are a couple of expressions about hope that I just LOVE: ‘the first talks about ‘hungry hope, and the second, about ‘prisoners of hope.’ Mama Mia! And as true followers of Jesus we need to possess the first and be one of the latter, if we want to lead a successful earthly life working for Jesus. And the thing about hope friends is its power to bring expectancy, joyful expectancy to our lives. 

And there are so many passages of scripture that deal with hope that we only have time and space for a few. First, check out our Bit: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s the greatest hope we can ever have; to spend eternity with Christ, because He rose from the dead, we too shall rise to life eternal! 

And then there is this famous passage from Bruh Paul to the Roman church, which we all know. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) That’s the power of hope friends, believing without seeing, then keeping on in eager expectation of its eventual arrival. 

And we’ll close with these encouraging words of Bruh David from Psalm 16. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my faithful brethren, this Saturday morning, I implore us, if the Lord is at our right hand, then let’s be filled with hungry hope and be strong prisoners of hope nuh! And consequently, let our hearts be glad and rejoice in the glory of our great God, and rest, dwell securely in His hope. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…the world says…seeing is believing…but God says…hoping and believing is true seeing…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2017 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Welcome to Wednesday friends! It’s a brand new day with brand new mercies and blessings! Glory to God for providing us with such abundance! 

In return we ought to give Him much thanks and praise, be obedient to His holy will and enjoy the day. That’s why we can all sincerely shout: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And if we don’t follow through with that declaration, then it’s only us losing, foolishly forsaking God’s goodness. The Lord will still be in His high heaven enjoying Himself, but we will be miserable down here on planet earth. 

Consequently, I want to share a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that’s titled ‘So Profound.’ 

And it says: ‘O God I want to sing and dance I want to shout it from the hilltops: There is absolutely nothing In my wretched past That can hinder You From redeeming my future Except my refusal to let You. Thank You for invading my heart With a truth so refreshing So magnificent So profound!’ 

Yeh mih people, we should be singing and dancing and giving praise each and every day that we’re alive, thankful for our wonderful God’s redeeming and forgiving nature! 

And it’s surprising when we live a thankful and grateful life how interesting and adventurous are our days! We don’t sit around moping and groaning and complaining because things aren’t going our way. 

But it’s surprising how many supposed believers unwisely live that miserable sort of life even with God’s goodness and mercy right at their fingertips. 

And we should be especially thankful and grateful at this most important time of year when Jesus rose from the dead to allow us to have the free, God-given options of salvation and eternal life! Glory to God! 

And the Bible Promises used for that poem are some verses from 1 Peter that we recently looked at, but are certainly worthy of sharing again, the first one being our Bit. 

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Ah mih people, our God is so great that our small, finite minds can’t even truly comprehend His greatness! And don’t talk about His LOVE! Wow! That is so out of sight that it boggles our imagination! 

For before we LOVED Him, He LOVED us and sent His Son to die in our place, so that our sins could be forgiven! Now if that isn’t the ultimate in LOVE, then I don’t know what is!  

Now let’s look at some explanations of our verses from the scholars. ‘1:3-2:10. The Christian’s destiny: salvation. Salvation means “deliverance.” Peter’s view of salvation is ultimate salvation, that is, when the believer will be rescued from this world into the presence of God.’ 

‘1:3-12. The plan of salvation. Peter does not look at time from a Western perspective. The Hebrews regarded the present as so fleeting that in their language they have essentially only two tenses: past and future.’ 

‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs. 3-5) is described as to its effect. Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. 

This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible (Gr. aphtharton), imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e. morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away (Gr. amaranton) means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved (Gr. teteremenen, perfect tense), that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. 

Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin and into the presence of God.’ 

Yeh friends, the explanations might take some effort to understand, but that’s how we get to know the word. And besides, the most important fact is that it’s all for our good! So please make the effort to grasp it and hang on to it. Hope you enjoyed the lesson in Greek too. (smile) 

Now let’s end by sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. ‘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!’ 

Now let’s truly live it my brethren! Much LOVE!

…the great gift of salvation…would not be possible without Jesus’ sacrificial death…and His awesome resurrection…