Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 May 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.    And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.

Good morning Tuesday! Wow! You sure do look beautiful today with all your bright shining light and splash of new green nature! Let’s hope you keep your promise of a wonderful day. (smile) 

And I believe that Tuesday will indeed keep it’s promise, granting us so much LOVE, beauty, grace, mercy, and whatever else we need from our heavenly Father to successfully live and enjoy this day. All power and glory to our magnificent God! 

Yes friends, our God is truly magnificent! What other word(s) can you use to suitably describe Him eh? None really! For all that He has done for us, is currently doing, and has promised to do in the future, He just has to be out of this world! Hn, hn! And he is indeed out of this world, running it from His heavenly place. 

Oh my people, why don’t we LOVE and honour our wonderful God more eh? After all that He’s done on our behalf, you’d think that we’d be elated to be a part of His company and venerate Him like no other. But sadly, that’s not the case. Instead we seem intent on kicking Him out of our society completely. 

Oh we know that will NEVER happen, but too many of us are working towards that goal, when we should be working to make Him a more inclusive and bigger part of our lives. 

Whatever happened to the first and great commandment eh?  ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’ But nowadays we seem to worshipping multiple Gods. 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself. By definition therefore, there can be only ONE, all-powerful, infinite, limitless God. 

Illustration: To speak of more than one supreme, absolute, perfect and almighty Being is to say something contradictory. There cannot be two absolutes, for then there would be no absolute. (Simple logic dictates that). Application: By revelation, we know that only Yahweh is that one God. Therefore nothing in your life should come between you and God. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Deut.6:4).’ 

Oh friends, that last sentence is so overwhelmingly true and everlastingly important, that I feel the need to repeat it. ‘Therefore nothing in your life should come between you and God.’ 

Oh my people, my people, if we hear or learn nothing else today, please, please, I implore us, let’s plant those words deep, deep down in our hearts and souls nuh, for they are the essence of truth in our faith. And until we sincerely acknowledge and practice them, our lives will never be truly fulfilled. 

That brings us right back to Jesus, as He continues and explains after our Bit. ‘And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.’ (Mark 12:30) 

Ah friends, what a powerful piece of scripture; the basis of all that we should do. Yuh see how Jesus says we should LOVE the Lord? With every ounce of our being; heart, soul, mind, strength, everything that we have! But how many of us actually put everything we have into LOVING Jehovah God eh? Way too few! 

That’s why our lives, our faith and our world are in such a fearful mess! We don’t have our priorities straight. We put everything and everybody else before God, but then we expect have good lives. No way my brethren! Remember what the Lord said way back when He gave Israel the Ten Commandments? ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:3) 

‘Thus the first commandment teaches that no deity, real or imagined is to rival the ONE TRUE GOD, who is the only ONE, who matters. It demands an exclusive covenant relationship with Yahweh (cf. Ps.81:9-10).’ And on top of all that, the Lord reminded His people: ‘for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…’ (Ex.20:5) 

Yuh think He’s changed since then friends? Absolutely not! So we are seriously and truly playing with fire when we fail to acknowledge Almighty God, or heaven forbid, make a mockery of Him and write Him off completely. 

Ah mih breddren, I don’t know what else to say nuh, to get people on the right track. For if the Bible is true, and I believe it is, then sadly, the way our world is currently living, doesn’t offer much hope for it. 

So friends, as ambassadors of Christ down here on earth, let’s try to do our very best to spread the good news of His story, so that folks can wake up and be saved. In the meantime let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, to show them who and whose we are. 

In strong voice and heart-felt sincerity: ‘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!’ 

Oh fellow believers, what joy it is to be involved with Jesus! So now let’s go out and share that joy with others nuh, as He so desperately desires of us. Much LOVE!

…truly LOVING God…is the first step…in the attainment of wisdom…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2013 Psalm 135:15

Psalm 135:15.    The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
 
Oh Friends, on this glorious, but a tad chilly morn, the last Sunday in September 2013, I think we should begin our message with a hymn of praise to our wonderful God, Jehovah. So please sing this old, but ever timely hymn with me.
 
‘Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children, God is LOVE, God is LOVE; (repeat). LOVE Him, LOVE Him, all ye little children, God is LOVE, God is LOVE; (repeat). Thank Him, thank Him, all ye little children, God is LOVE, God is LOVE; (repeat) 
 
Oh yes my people, there’s no better way to start our day than with some thanks and praise to our ever-LOVING God! Now let’s hope that all of us who are able to, will get out some time today and fellowship with other believers, for we need that strength and reassurance that fellowshipping brings.
 
That’s why the Lord gave us ONE day each week, regardless of which one you choose, to get together and worship and celebrate His Holy Name. That’s a chance to get away from the evil world and all the ungodly things it has to offer and filter some godly stuff into our precious souls with praise and worship. And all of that fits in very nicely with our Bit: ‘The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.’
 
Ah mih Friends, during our work week, we’re constantly bombarded by all the idolatrous things the world has to offer, so we’ve got to make the most use of the opportunity on Sundays, or whenever you celebrate the Sabbath, to put replenish our souls by reasserting that the Lord God Almighty is the ultimate mover and shaker in our lives. 
 
Now for the last two days, we’ve been looking at scripture that supports our Bit, and today we’ll continue to do the same. There’s plenty scripture on idolatry my Friends, and we need to get it all into us, so that we can resist the attractive siren call of the idols of the world.
 
And we’ll begin with Moses’ warning the Israelites. In Deuteronomy Chap. 4, from verses 15-27, he warns them about turning to the worship of idols when they go into the Promised Land and become prosperous and successful.  Letting them know that it would provoke God to anger, and He would then scatter them amongst the heathen.
 
‘And there shall ye serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
 
When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy father which he sware unto them.’ (Deut.4:28-31) 
 
And Friends, we all know that the Israelites did not heed Moses’ warning and eventually turned to idol worship, not once, but several times. And God, being the faithful keeper of His promises, dutifully scattered them amongst the heathen. But by the same token, each time they woke up from their stupidity and repented, He was also faithful and merciful to restore them to their land and prosperity.
 
Oh my people, please remember that our God doesn’t change, and like the Israelites, we have a covenant with Him, through Christ Jesus to stay away from idols and graven images. However, like the Israelites again, we’re not fulfilling our part of the contract, but instead are heavily into worshipping the things of the world. No wonder so much calamity and disaster are currently plaguing our world. 
 
So it’s obvious that if we want to eliminate the catastrophe in our world, then WE have to change. We have to get out of the worldly rat race, CUT OUT the pre-eminence of worldly things in our lives. We can see from the Israelites’ example that all is not lost, that while there’s life, there’s always hope, for our God is a most merciful and forgiving Deity.
 
Thus, if we sincerely repent and turn from our evil ways, He will once again, enfold us in His LOVING embrace, but it all depends on us my people. We hold the key to both our earthly and eternal destiny, and His name is Jesus!
 
So let’s use it to unlock the door to righteousness, salvation and eternal life, like we’ve been taught nuh. It’s the only wise, sane and sensible thing to do, provided we want to save and improve our world. You don’t have to be rocket scientist to figure that our Friends.
 
So, though I have more stuff to share, taking into consideration our busy schedules and already overworked mental systems, (smile) I’ll leave us to ponder on those things that make for a godly and righteous life. Much LOVE!
 
…God’s world doesn’t change…He who is disobedient….will ALWAYS pay a stiff price for their disobedience…