Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2018 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Oh friends, out there is like a true winter wonderland! Everything is as white as ever, for as far as you can see. And the white stuff has begun coming down again, at least in my area. Chuh! 

But that’s the Lord’s will. There isn’t anything we can really do about it. It’s winter, and that’s what happens in winter. We’ve just been lucky over the last few years not to see so much snow, so early in the season. 

But remember, anything God brings us to, He will bring us through. So if you have to go out today, please be careful, because that white stuff, though it may look beautiful on the ground, like the enemy it can be very deceiving and dangerous. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one. ‘When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.’ And why would you want to do that eh? It’s your life. You have to control it. 

Now check this out. ‘All the days that you wake up, you got one job, and that’s to get better every single day.’ And that’s oh so true, especially for a Christian. We need to aspire to grow in maturity and Christ-likeness every day that we draw breath. 

That leads us to: ‘Clear your mind of can’t!’ Wonderful advice! For as a believer in Jesus Christ, ‘can’t’ is not supposed to be in our vocabulary, since ALL things are possible with God, and we are God’s chosen people! 

And here’s an interesting one. ‘If you wanna fly, you got to give up the useless stuff that weighs you down.’ Is that ever so true friends! You can’t fly, or prosper, or take off, or rise up if you are being weighed down by useless and unnecessary stuff. 

Note how they carefully pack airplanes and ships for balance, and consider how much stuff is placed in them, otherwise they won’t be able to lift off the ground or sail. The same goes for people, improperly placed and unnecessary baggage will hold us back. 

And this last quote says: ‘If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it. If you do not ask, the answer will always be NO. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ 

And that is certainly true, but for believers a serious proviso has to be added to it: All we do, must be done under the will of God, His leading, and in His awesome timing! If not, our seeking will be to no avail; we’ll never truly fly, or write a good life story. And I do hope those quotes give us something to ponder this snowy Saturday morning, as we laze around the house. (smile) 

And we have a very interesting Bit today; memorable words of Jesus, as He talks about the law. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

Wow mih people! Imagine that nuh! And those people were supposed to be the most religious in their day, but Jesus lambasted them right, left and centre for their hypocritical behaviour. 

Hear how the scholars explain it. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered those people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.                                  

              Law                                           Spirit                         

             No Murder                               No anger

              No adultery                            No lust

              No divorce                               Commitment

              No oath-taking                      Speak the truth

              No retaliation                        Forgiveness

              Hatred for your enemy       LOVE for your enemy                  

             (tradition allowed it)                  (commanded)

Ah mih people, yuh see the basic difference between the laws of man and those of God. Our God expects us to come up to a higher standard than that of the basic law. Just living by the law is not good enough. And the scribes and Pharisees didn’t even truly live by the law that they propagated. 

Unfortunately, so do a lot of us supposed Christians in these end times. Some of us put on a great outward show, talk a good talk, but behind closed doors it’s an entirely different story.

But please remember Jesus’ words; unless we are more righteous than the religious leaders of His day, we won’t enter heaven. Now, that’s something of immeasurable value and importance for us to ponder this Saturday morning. Much LOVE!

…unless you walk the walk…in God’s eyes…where it really matters…talking the talk is useless…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2017 1 John 1:9.

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Well my people, it’s that day we call Saturday; a boon for some, a bane for others, depending on how you choose to spend it. And there will be no trivialities this morning, (smile) we’ll get straight to our friend Anselm’s quotes because he has a couple of interesting long ones. He’s been really out to inspire us this week with a title of ‘How to Motivate Yourself:’ 

The first one says: ‘Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! The worst thing you can do to your self-worth is to compare yourself to others because there will always be people doing better than you, and as Anselm says, that can likely kill your get up and go. 

And he continues with the motivational theme by advising: ‘Ask uplifting questions in the morning. Here’s what you do; every morning ask yourself five empowering three-part questions this way: What am I ______ about in my life right now? What about it makes me _______?  How does it make me feel? Put in your own value in the blank space. 

For instance, a couple of my questions are: What am I happy about in my life right now? What am I excited about in my life right now? It’s important that you really feel how it makes you feel. When I think about the last part about what makes me happy right now I really feel it. These morning questions are great because the way they are set up makes you recognize things you take for granted and then they really get you to feel those positive feelings.’ 

I can find no fault with that friends, because we always need to have positive vibes in our lives, and the best way to do that is to concentrate on the things for which we are truly thankful, the things and /or people who bring a flood of light and joy into our lives. That’s why we keep saying when we hit the rough times to remember the good things that God has done for us in the past, don’t just concentrate and mope on the negative things you’re currently going through. 

So my people, when things aren’t so good, look up to heaven, rather than down to hell. The Lord’s on His throne, in full control of His universe and He will hear your sincere pleas and confessions and answer them. As our Bit so truthfully says:  ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 

And if you’ve reached a decent stage of Christian maturity, you ought to know and believe that and put it into practice. Now listen to one of the most sincere and heartfelt confessions of sin found in the Good Book; that when the prophet Nathan confronted Bruh David with the sin of his adultery with Bathsheba. 

Hear Bruh David cry out to the merciful and forgiving God of his fathers from Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing. ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 

Against thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified (found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desireth truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 

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 my 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. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou desirest not burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’(Ps.51:1-17)  

Ah friends, what a pouring out of the soul! Bruh David knew where his bread was buttered and realized that he had screwed up mightily with Bathsheba. Now here are some insights into the psalm from the scholars. 

‘Psalm 51. The psalm gives expression to why David was “a man after God’s own heart”: he was not perfect, but he had a sensitivity to sin that few knew about. Notice especially the use of the first person singular: mine iniquity, my sin (v.2), my transgressions (v.3), and so on. The first two verses are an introductory petition, rich with meaning in the use of four figures for forgiveness. After confessing his guilt (vs.3-6), David prays for inner renewal (vs.7-12), and promises thanksgiving and ministry (vs.13-17). 

This passage clearly teaches that those who have failed God may be restored to the service of God. 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.’ 

Ah mih people, I hope we can take comfort from Bruh David’s words, and not be afraid to come to God with EVERY problem, EVERY sin we feel deep inside, knowing that sincere confession and true regret will bring forgiveness EVERY time. For that’s the magnanimous and merciful and forgiving God we serve and worship. Much LOVE!

…a broken spirit…a contrite heart…that’s all God’s looking for…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2017 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Well friends, it’s bacchanal time in several places in the Western Hemisphere today! Most noticeably, there’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. The people are supposedly letting off the last of their carnality before immersing themselves in the seriousness of Lent, which begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. 

And recently I read that in a few parts of Brazil, the church has gotten them to tone down the lewdness and carnality of the festival. All power to them, because the festivals have really gotten out of hand with the amount of nakedness and lewd behaviour being displayed. 

Usually I’d be in T&T, watching the proceedings on the tube, as well as going into the big city of Scarborough (smile) to watch some in person. But since I’ve been grounded here on account of my medical situation, I’ll just have to imagine it in my mind. But them’s the breaks. 

Hopefully by next year, I will be strong and healthy enough to not only watch, but also participate in some of the activities. (smile) While there’s life, there’s certainly hope my people! 

But there’s also stuff that we can and should do, even though we’re not in the best of health. And today I want to share a quote from Eva Rose York (b Fitch), (1858-1935) organist, editor, teacher and one of the earliest female composers in Canada. This comes from her symphony titled ‘I shall not pass this way again.’ 

And it says: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, Remove some barrier from the road, Or lighten someone’s heavy load; a helping hand to this one lend, Then turn some other to befriend.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Christ, those are the kinds of things we should be concentrating on in our own little areas, in our backyards; in some form and fashion, helping those who need help. 

Remember, that’s what Jesus came to earth to do; to save and to help us in our desperate time of need. Consequently, as Christians, we need to reciprocate His caring and kindness to the needy. 

And believe me, ironically, in a world that is so full of prosperity, it is also full of people in dire need and want. So let’s try and see whom and how we can help in our little way nuh. It’s all a part of our Christian Manifesto. 

And to help us do that, we also need to consider our Bit.‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s of the utmost importance that we take the Word of God seriously and let it lead and guide us on our earthly journey, because that’s exactly what it is meant to be; a guide book, a manual for earthly living, written by our Creator and Provider for our benefit. 

The Lord doesn’t need it, since He penned it, but we miserable sinners do, and if we don’t allow it to set the direction for our lives, along the straight and narrow path, then we’ll eventually get lost, confused and blinded on the broad highway that leads to destruction. 

Now we wouldn’t want such misfortune to befall us eh? No siree! So why aren’t we more into God’s Word eh mih people? Why do so many of us complain that we can’t find the time to immerse ourselves in the Good Book? 

It’s not a matter of finding the time, it’s a matter of making the time to stay in touch with our heavenly Father and His godly desires for us. It’s easy for us to make time for the foolish pleasures of the world, but making time for God is a hard task and it usually takes second place. 

But friends, that’s a very foolish way to live. God should always be in first place in our lives, no matter what the circumstances! If you put Him second, then most likely, He’ll also put you second, and I’m sure you won’t like that. 

As the old people, would say, ‘do so, ent like so.’ Meaning that you don’t like others doing to you, what you did to them. I guess that’s just human nature though. 

Now here is an interesting take on our Bit from Cousin Sol in his warning against adultery in Proverbs. ‘My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart (mind), and tie them about thy neck. 

When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is the light; and reproofs of instruction are the way to life.’ (Prov.6:20-23) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s how important God’s word and His instructions are to us living the good life. So please, let’s try and do better nuh, let’s make time for reading, studying, meditating and subsequently putting God’s word into action in our lives. It’s the wisdom of the ages. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra with all sincerity and truth. In unison now: ‘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!’ 

Glory Be precious people of God! Now let’s do as we declared nuh; go out and share the LOVE of our friend Jesus with others, for there are many who desperately need it. Much LOVE!

…helping others…is a foundation rock of Christianity…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2017 Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139:23.   Search me,  O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts.

Welcome to another beautiful day in God’s wonderful universe, my Scrip-Bit family and friends! The day is indeed unfurling as it should, as our omnipotent God planned it. But I beg to wonder why our temperature today is supposed to go up to around ten degrees Celsius, from a low of around minus 7, or thereabouts, and then fall back to below freezing temps by Sunday night?  They say it’s climate change. 

Ah Lord eh! That’s why so many people get sick in these volatile temperature changes! Today a whole lot of people will be out in shirt sleeves, declaring what beautiful spring-like weather it is. Then they’ll get caught without proper protection from the elements later on. But that’s the nature of the beast in these parts. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s take a look at a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week. Remember, his aspiration is to inspire us with his thoughtful words.  The first one says: ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ And that’s quite true! 

But there are sensible risks and not so sensible ones. So we still have to consider whether the risks are worthwhile or not. It’s brave to go out on limb that seems able to stand your weight, but foolish to go out on one that is obviously too small. The same goes for risks. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.’ That’s also true, but then again how far outside of your comfort zone do you want to go, or is it wise for you to go? It’s all a matter of your comfort level. 

And this next one declares: ‘The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.’ More truth friends! You know how we always like to say marvelous things, then affix them with ‘a but.’ That’s the bane of our modern day language; everything, everything – but.  

And the last one tells us. ‘No one rises to low expectations.’ Yes my people, we cannot rise high unless our expectations are high. That’s just the normal workings of the universe. And our Christian faith expects us to keep on rising higher and higher, making excellence the watchword of our earthly walk with Jesus.  For if we do not aspire to excellence, the church will simply become stagnant and eventually fall apart. 

And I believe that is what’s happening right now. Christ’s church, His earthly body is not growing as it should, for numerous reasons. But we’re not here to talk about that today, we’re here to discuss the motives of our heart, of our spiritual being, as expressed by Bruh David in his grand Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. 

He boldly, but contritely states in the last two verses – the first one our Bit. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 39:23-24)  

Ah mih people, the overriding question now is, whether we as Christians, are willing, and or able to declare such a brave statement to our Maker? The truth of the matter is that we ought to be. We ought to be so open and be so close to our God, that we shouldn’t fear to go to Him in any situation at all, even though we know we are on the wrong side of the fence. 

For as the author of Hebrews reminds us: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16) 

And I like the explanation the scholars put forward. ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’  

Yeh friends, only our wonderful faith exhibits such a confidence in being able to go to God in any and every circumstance. He welcomes us, invites us in the Great Invitation (Matt.11:28-30) to come to Him when we‘re tired and weary and beset by life’s circumstances, and He will give us rest. 

No other faith offers such succour my brethren. So I don’t understand why so many of us are afraid to bare our hearts to the Lord. Remember though that’s He’s our Creator, and already knows what’s happening with us, even more than we know. He knows and sees the beginning to the end. 

Consequently friends, please let’s stop trying to hide our innermost secrets and fears from Him, because it’s foolish to do so. He wants us to come to Him and let it all out, to show that you truly believe in and trust Him.  

Yuh notice how Bruh David went to God without fear on everything – even eventually His adultery with Bathsheba and His murder of Uriah, her husband, after the prophet Nathan berated him about it. 

Now we won’t always get away scotch free with our wicked deeds – Bruh David paid a hefty price with strife in his house – but we’ll always get forgiveness and mercy if we sincerely repent of them. That’s wisdom for the ages my people. Please ponder on that today. Much LOVE!

…fear should never override faith…especially in dealing with God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Oh friends, let’s begin this Sunday morning, the last of summer 2016, with some very appropriate praise and worship for these difficult times. 

Please sing with me: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear; Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey; Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day. Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes; Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone; The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post, Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host: Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain, And prove to all around you that death itself is gain. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be; They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.’ 

Ah mih people, in these evil days, Christians are more than ever needed to stand strong and steadfast in Jesus, if we truly want to wear that victor’s crown! Unfortunately, as individuals, as well as the body of Christ, the church, we are not doing as good a job as we should. 

And why is that eh? Who knows? I figure we are still too enthralled by the wealth and material possessions of the world, and a lot of us don’t take Jesus and his Word as seriously as we should. To many of us, He is still some ephemeral character out there in the wild blue yonder, and not the true living force that’s supposed to dwell within us. 

But whatever the reason(s) friends, the fact remains that we are definitely not fighting as sincerely, diligently and purposefully as we ought to. We are allowing the enemy to take the Lord out of our society with impunity. Then the disharmony, disunity, strife, jealousy and all the other negative things which are currently found in the church, does nothing to help the situation. 

Look at the amount of denominations we have, all supposedly preaching the same Jesus Christ, yet all going in different directions, and not ever seeming to meet. Are there denominations in heaven? I doubt it. So why are we splitting up, allowing the enemy to divide and conquer us with nary a whimper eh? 

I don’t know. But I know for sure that if we don’t pick up the intensity and desire to truly LOVE Jesus and fight for our faith, we will not be the victors in this ongoing war with the evil one and his powerful and predominant evil minions.

Friends, this is no joking matter, it is a serious one, one of life and death! And not only the physical, but more so the spiritual aspect. 

Remember the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you (put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:12-13) 

Yes friends, that’s how serious the fight is. And even when we have on the armour of God, we still need to walk carefully, and do as our Bit dictates. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Oh my people, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell within us, so that it could lead and guide us in a godly direction. But something is obviously wrong somewhere because we’re not fighting the good fight of faith, as we ought to. The works of the flesh are still too rampant within the supposed community of faith. And what are those works of the flesh? 

Hear Bruh Paul. ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest (evident), which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness (sexual impurity), lasciviousness (licentiousness), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions, discord), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions), seditions (dissensions), heresies (divisions, cliques), 

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (excessive eating, gluttony, carousing) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (Gal.5:19-21) 

Oh my brethren, if we look around our world, the unfortunate fact is that all those things are rampant throughout it – even in supposed Christian circles! 

And we’ll end with these words of warning from the scholars. ‘The person whose life is habitually characterized by the sins and vices of verses 19-21 shall not inherit the kingdom of God, that is, he will not be in heaven because he is not a Christian.’ It’s as simple as that my people. 

So please, I implore us to thoroughly check ourselves to see if any of those lusts of the flesh are habits of ours, and if so, pray sincerely to God to help us get rid of them, otherwise, crapaud smoke we pipe, we’ll be on the outside looking in, come the big day. Not only that, we also have to lessen the unchristian behaviour that’s happening within and between our churches. Nuff said! 

Now may the good Lord bless us and keep us safe from harm and help us to walk the straight and narrow righteous path that leads to Him and His heavenly sanctuary. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 7 January 2016 Psalm 32:5‏

Psalm 32:5.  I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.

Well hello there my beautiful fellow believers in Jesus Christ! As usual, it’s a brand new day with brand new mercies and blessings flowing down from heaven on high! Oh glory to our great and ever-generous God! 

So let’s be wise and accept them in the spirit in which they are being offered nuh, say a grateful thank you Lord, and acknowledge with sincere reverence His holy presence. 

At the same time, let’s all declare this biblical truth: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Yes my people, that’s the only option that makes any sense as true and faithful believers. 

Now today I want to shake us up a little, raise our faith level some, get us coming up over our problems, by reciting the Mountain Mover’s Prayer, penned by Gramps Schuler (Dr. Robert H. Schuler). 

Please declare in faith with me: ‘Lord when I face a mountain, do not let me quit!  Give me the strength to keep on striving until I climb over; Find a pass through, or tunnel underneath. And if my best efforts fail, give me the patience to stay, And the perception to see the possibilities Of turning my mountain into a gold mine with your help. Amen.’ 

Ah Friends, that is exactly the patience, the perseverance, the stick-to-it kind of faith we need to succeed in this dark and dangerous world! And there’s no better time to incorporate that into our souls and minds than at the beginning of this new year. 

So with that strong foundation laid down in our spirits, let’s now turn to our Bit: ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah.’ 

Yes my brethren, confessing our sins to Almighty God is one of the best moves we can ever make in this earthly life! It just lightens our load and brings us closer to our heavenly Father. And there’s nothing He desires more than that, because He is a holy God and cannot tolerate or associate with sin, or sinful people. 

So when we clear our consciences in the name of Jesus, on the basis of the work that our Lord and Saviour has done, then it clears the way for the Father to work with us and on our behalf. 

Enough of my moralizing though, (smile) let’s turn to the scriptures for enlightenment and encouragement on the subject. And we’ll start with one of the best and well known examples of confession of sin; that after Bruh David had taken up with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed in battle. 

When the prophet Nathan confronted him with the secret sin, Bruh David confessed his transgression and threw himself upon the mercy of the Lord. 

‘And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’ (2.Sam.12:13-14) 

And we all know how the child of Bathsheba became sick and Bruh David fasted and prayed for the child’s life to be saved, but it wasn’t. (2 Sam.12:15-23) 

But please note too friends, that because Bruh David’s sin had been so disgusting, and though the Lord forgave him, He put a curse on him that he would have problems within his own house. ‘Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 

Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil (adversity) against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’ (2 Sam.12:10-12) 

Ah mih people, sin is indeed a grievous thing, with serious consequences, even though we repent of it. 

And the scholars tell us: ’12:10-11. These judgements came to pass literally in the sins of his (David’s) own household (ch.13), the rebellion by his own son Absalom (ch.15), and the civil war that followed (chs.16-20) David was never fully to know rest again.’ 

Oh Friends, our God does not make idle promises, please remember that. Anything He says He will do, He will do it! 

And we have some more scholarly explanations. ’12:13. David genuinely grieved and repented (cf. Ps.32:5 – our Bit; 51:3-4). However the seed of sin was immediately to bear bitter fruit, for the child born of the adultery became grievously ill and died (vv.15-18).’ 

And I think we should all pay particular attention to this next scholar’s note. ’12:14. David’s sin had brought the name of God into disrepute. Such knowledge ought to serve as a deterrent to willful sin on the part of believers (cf. 1 Tim.5:14; 6:1).’ 

Yes my fellow believers, as they say, one of the best ways to learn is from the mistakes of others, therefore please, please, let us learn from Bruh David’s serious mistake, for the Lord will not put up with continual sin in our lives. 

Please remember too: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through (in) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

Now let’s ponder on that today, for it is indeed wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…we can sugar-coat sin…but in the long run…sin always has negative consequences…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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