Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2020 Micah 6:8.

Micah 6:8.    ​He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God?
 

Well, well, well, we’ve gotten rid of Monday; overcome its fear and dread, and sent it to the dustbin of history, to cavort uselessly in the detritus of time! (smile) Now it’s time for us to eagerly embrace Tuesday’s purpose, which by the way, was, and is the same as Monday – to do God’s work in a diligent and excellent manner! Yes friends, the days, the months, the years might change, but our job, our earthly function is always to do the will of God, to do His bidding in a joyful, faithful and compassionate manner! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and thankful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name, fear and reverence Him forever, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and exalted! Amen!’ 

And my fellow believers (yeah!) you ask, what is the will of God? Well hear it is, in God’s own words. Moses said it on His behalf, like this: ‘And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to LOVE him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes which I command thee this day for thy good (benefit, welfare).’ (Deut.10:12-13) 

And yes it is important to keep the commandments of God and all those other things, but possibly the most important part of Moses speech is the last part – ‘for thy good.’ Yes friends, all we’re asked to do is not because the Lord needs it, but because WE need it! It’s all for OUR benefit, OUR welfare. So if we’re too foolish, or not wise enough to appreciate that fact, then crapaud smoke we pipe! That’s the mistake so many humans have made, and are still making; thinking that we’re doing the Lord a favour when we do His bidding or keep His commandments. 

Steups! Look friends…Let’s wake up and smell the coffee yes! God doesn’t really need anything from us, cause He’s sitting quite comfortably in high heaven on His glorious throne running things, but we need EVERYTHING from Him, starting with His breath of life, His daily provision, compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness, LOVE…etc. etc…! Without any of those things, we’re all goners! 

Unfortunately though, we are behaving just like the Israelites did when the Lord admonished them through the prophet Hosea. ‘For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men (like Adam) have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.’ (Hos. 6:6-7) 

And believe me friends, when you transgress the Lord’s covenant, you WILL pay the price eventually. He might forgive us and all that, but please remember that sin and disobedience ALWAYS bear a hefty price tag! Just look at Israel’s first King, Saul. The Lord commanded him to destroy the Amalekites completely. ‘Now go and smite (attack) Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.’ (1 Sam.15:3) 

That means they were to be totally annihilated! But what did Saul do? He saved the king Agag, and the best of the Amalekites animals and worldly possessions. And when Samuel asked why he hadn’t followed the Lord’s instructions to the letter, Saul made excuses, as we always do, blaming the people for taking the plunder to sacrifice to the Lord. Thus Samuel admonished him with words that we all know, but still refuse to follow: 

‘Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (listen) than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (divination), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.’ (1 Sam.15:22-23) Yuh see friends, Saul lost his crown because he did not completely obey the Lord. And like Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say, partial obedience is still rebellion against God. (smile) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘15:22-23. These verses reinforce the Old testament viewpoint that religious ritual devoid of spiritual reality and of a life of total allegiance to a sovereign Lord is worthless (cf. Ps. 40:6-8; Is. 1:10-20; Mic. 6:8).’ What more can I say eh? Except to quote the age old passage from Micah, which is also our Bit for today. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God?’ 

Oh my people, those are the basic requirements of our great and awesome, but EVER-LOVING God! Even Jesus referred to the words of Samuel, Hosea and Micah, twice to boot! The first is when the Pharisees complained about Him eating with publicans (tax-collectors) and sinners. ‘But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole (are well) need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ (Matt. 9:12-13) 

And again, when the disciples plucked some corn from the field to eat on the Sabbath and the Pharisees complained that that was not lawful, Jesus, after telling them how Bruh David and his men, when they were terribly hungry, ate bread which was supposed to be for priests only, and how the law shows that on the sabbath the priests in the temple profaned (made common) the sabbath, and yet are blameless. (Matt.12:1-5) 

‘But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have (desire) mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.’ (Matt.12:6-8) Yeh friends, ours is not to just condemn, but rather to show justice and mercy! 

So let’s go home now having writ all of that indelibly in our hearts minds, bodies and souls, declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. As one, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Mama Mia! What blessed people we are! Now let’s go out and share that wonderful friendship and amazing LOVE of Jesus with the less fortunate nuh, for it’s His heartfelt desire! Much LOVE!

…to be obedient to the Lord…is the believer’s unending pledge…and bounden duty…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2018 1 Samuel 15:22b.

1 Samuel 15:22b.    Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

And then it was Thursday; the penultimate day of the workweek… And there were some shouts of ‘Glory be!’ to that announcement. (smile) And it also looks like it’s going to be another glorious day in my neighbourhood…Thank You Lord! 

Unfortunately though, the people living under the influence of the volcano in Hawaii aren’t seeing any relief from it. In fact it’s getting worse.

Likewise those people involved in the deadly storm in the U.S. Northeast a couple of days ago. Their lives have not returned to normal as yet, and who knows when it will? Our prayers and any other help we can offer will be welcome. 

And today I’m going to offer a li’l something on obedience. ‘Obedience is doing what God says, how He says to do it, and when He says to do it.’ Anything other than that is disobedience. That means a lot of us are more disobedient than we might think we are. Why? 

Because we don’t always do what God says, or how He says to do it, or when He says to do it. We like to either put off God’s directives until a more convenient time, or just do what we think is right or sufficient to meet His directives. But friends, God doesn’t tell us to do anything unless He has a perfect reason and plan for it.  

So if we don’t do it, when and how He says, that means we’re throwing that perfect plan off kilter and not accomplishing the purpose He intended. And we all know that the price of disobedience doesn’t come cheap.

So unless we want to pay some exorbitant prices for disobedience, I’m asking us today to spend some more time looking at whatever God asks us to do, and do it when and how He says. 

Look at what happened to Saul, when he disobeyed God’s directives to totally wipe out the Amalekites. ‘And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

But Saul and the people spared Agag (the king), and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse (despised and worthless) that they utterly destroyed.’ (1 Sam.15:8-9) 

Yeh friends, Saul thought He had done the Lord’s bidding, but he obviously did not understand the words ‘destroy all and everything utterly.’ And what happened then?

‘Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel saying, It repenteth me (I greatly regret) that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.’ (1 Sam.15:11) 

But that made no difference to the Lord’s decision, especially when Samuel confronted Saul about his disobedience: ‘And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag, the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

But the people took of the spoil (plunder), sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed to sacrifice unto the Lord in Gilgal.’ (1 Sam.15:20-21) 

And once again Saul attempts to shift the blame to others, as he had done in Chapter 13:11-12, after he had usurped the priest’s office, and plead extenuating circumstances. But then who was the king eh? Who made the final decisions eh? King Saul! 

Thus Samuel, whose heart was already breaking for Saul’s demise, had to rebuke him. ‘And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (divination), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.’ (1 Sam.15:22-23) 

And that’s what a lot of us do friends; we pick and choose what we’ll do, instead of following the Lord’s directives to the ‘T’. We behave like we know the Lord’s plans better than Him.

But my brethren that only causes us grief and heartache, and we foolishly lose the Lord’s blessings. Please, I once more implore us to take very seriously whatever the Lord asks us to do, and do it when and how He says. It is the epitome of wisdom. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has showered down on us, despite our not deserving them. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And please remember one of the Lord’s directives is to share those blessings with others, so let’s be obedient and go out and do that nuh. Much LOVE!

…it’s not always easy to obey God to the fullest…but it’s always the wisest decision…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2017 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.   …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Ah mih people, I don’t know what to say nuh, except that the best laid plans of mice and men usually go astray. (smile) My schedule yesterday was unexpectedly busier than I foresaw, and consequently I fell behind in accomplishing all that I wanted to. 

But even then, I never expected to rise this late, because I had gotten some sleep in between.  It just goes to show that I’m still not accustomed to this new me, what with all the different medications I’m taking, and I can’t judge the needs of my body correctly. Apparently I’m not as strong as I seem to think I am. Ah Lord eh! 

But nonetheless, we’re here now and motoring on. And we’ll do so with a positive, uplifting prayer from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. Many of us have prayed it before, but it’s ever so appropriate for the foggy day that’s happening in my area. 

Please pray with me. ‘Thank you, Father, for the beautiful surprises you are planning for me today. So often in my life, when it looked like the day would be dismal, depressing and dark, an unexpected burst of golden sunshine exploded through a black cloud sending inspiring shafts of warm, beautiful sunshine into my life. 

Father, it is happening now! I can already feel the power of your LOVE, through Christ my Lord. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, I’m certainly feeling the power of God’s LOVE now! I certainly hope that you are too. And I’m not joking. Just typing that prayer raised my spirits a whole lot. And my people, do we ever need stuff to positively raise our spirits in this selfish, evil, wicked and war-mongering world! 

Consider Bruh David nuh, when his previously loyal people wanted to stone him, after they discovered that the Amalekites had burned their city of Ziklag and carried away all their families and goods captive. 

He was alone. No one sat with him. No one seemed concerned that he had lost his family too. How was he going to proceed? How was he going to prevent the imminent disaster that stared him straight in the face eh? 

But before we answer that, let’s ask ourselves, how would we have handled that situation, and how do we handle similar situations in our lives; the ones where we seem to have no avenue of escape, and it all depends on us? 

I sincerely hope that we do like Bruh David did in our Bit: ‘ …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Yes my brethren, that’s the first reaction to all our troubles! Or at least it should be the first one. And it’s all a matter of faith, of true and sincere belief my friends!

But unfortunately, before we can get to that state of maturity, before we can develop such strong faith we have to undergo many trials and tribulation, because it’s only those negative situations that build our faith. 

Most likely, if Bruh David had not been dealing with the Lord on a personal basis for a long time and remembered his awesome works in his life, he would have fallen apart, even perhaps given up. But that strong trust in the God of his forefathers caused him not to fall over and be consumed by the anger and resentment of his hitherto loyal followers. 

And I contend again friends, that in this disloyal, untrustworthy and hateful world, we need that kind of strong, trustworthy, unbreakable relationship with our heavenly Father, if we want to successfully walk this earth. 

And many of us have it, but when the rough times come, we simply forget about all the other times when the Lord bailed us out of trouble, and instead we moan and groan and gnash our teeth, wondering how we’re going to get out. 

My precious people of God, please remember we serve an ever-faithful God, and if He bailed us out before, there’s no reason He won’t bail us out again. And furthermore, if He’s the Creator of the universe, the most powerful Being therein, then whom else better to turn to in times of trouble eh? NOBODY! 

Now listen to this uplifting story of strengthening and brotherly LOVE. On one of the many times Bruh David was out in the wilderness hiding from Saul, the Good Book tells us: ‘And Jonathan, Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God (encouraged him). 

And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next to thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. And the two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.’ (1 Sam.23:16-18) 

Ah mih breddren, those are the kinds of relationships we should ideally have, but sadly, they are very few and far between, thus the necessity of turning to almighty God, FIRST and FOREMOST! If He wants us to turn to people, then He will direct our steps in that direction. 

And since it’s Wednesday, let’s end by wailing our Wednesday Wail in all truth and sincerity. All together now: ‘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!’ 

Much LOVE my precious people of God!

…remember…FIRST God…then man…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2017 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.   …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Ah friends, these real late mornings are a killer yes! Going to bed at five in the morning does do justice to Shakespeare’s saying that to go to bed late is to be up early. (smile) 

But as they also say, better late than never. So though we might be somewhat late, we’re not irrelevant. (smile) That’s why they say too, that B.S. baffles brains! 

Anyway, on a serious note, let’s begin by offering up an interesting prayer a friend gave me a few days ago. There’s no title to it, but I’ll call it ‘Our Healing Prayer,’ and you’ll see why later on. 

So please pray with me. ‘Heavenly father, I call on You right now in a special way. It is through your power that I was created. Every breath I wake, I live under your power. Father, I ask you now to touch me with that same power. For if You created me from nothing, You can recreate me. 

Fill me with the healing power of Your Spirit. Cast out anything that should not be in me. Mend what is broken. Root out any unproductive cells, open any blocked arteries or veins and rebuild any damaged areas. Remove all inflammation and cleanse any infection. 

Let the warmth of your healing LOVE pass through my body to make new any unhealthy areas so that my body will function the way You created it to function. And Father restore me to full health in mind, body and spirit so that I may serve You for the rest of my life. I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!’ 

Now isn’t that just beautiful friends? It surely is! And what I like about it is that it gets right down to the nitty gritty, doesn’t pull any punches, it’s all about healing. And truthfully, nobody needs that kind of healing prayer right now more than me, as so many parts of my body are malfunctioning. 

And we all know that our mighty God’s name is Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our Healer. Yes friends, our God is the Great Physician. As the prayer says, if He created us, then he can surely fix us. So He should always be the first One we turn to for healing, in fact for everything. That’s what He sincerely desires of us. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit for today: ‘…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t know why, but that statement just kept churning in my mind this morning, so I figured the Lord wanted me to write on it. And you know what? It’s a very poignant statement. It occurs in the Good Book when Bruh David was running from Saul, and went to live with the Philistines, who set him up in the city of Ziklag. (1 Sam.27) 

Now on one particular occasion, when the Philistines were going to fight Saul and the Israelites, Bruh David and his men lined up with them. But though the Philistine king, Achish trusted Bruh David, his leaders did not, so they sent him back home to Ziklag. (1 Sam.29) 

But lo and behold, when David and his men get back to Ziklag, they discover that the Amalekites had struck in their absence and burned the town with fire. Luckily though, they had not slain the inhabitants but carried them away captive, including Bruh David’s two wives and family. 

And the first part of the verse that contains our Bit, tells us: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and daughters.’ (1 Sam.30:6a) 

Ah friends, yuh see the great responsibility and the built in frailty of leadership. None of Bruh David’s people considered that he had also lost his sons and daughters, they were only concerned about themselves. It just goes to show that when the heifer dust hits the fan, the true selfishness of man shines through. 

And that’s why my people, we keep saying to put no trust in man, but to lay it all in the Lord God our Creator, for He is the ONLY ONE you can trust when the chips fall. Now what would Bruh David have done if he didn’t have the Lord God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to fall back on eh? Crapaud smoke ‘im pipe! 

Likewise friends, when things get real rough with us, and there seems to be nowhere to turn, we need to have that unconditional trust in our God that will enable us to encourage ourselves in Him. That’s when our faith needs to be ever so strong that we don’t even think about giving up and succumbing to the enemy’s lies and deceits. 

And what did Bruh David do in his untenable situation? The only wise and sensible thing; he turned to God in prayer, asking if he should go after the Amalekites or not. The Lord told him to pursue them, and through the Lord’s miraculous and mysterious workings, he found them and destroyed them and got back all his people and his goods. (1 Sam.30:7-20) 

Yes my people, our God is great, and if we sincerely seek Him, we will find Him, and He will help us. So please, let’s build that tower of faith nuh, so that in times of need, it will be there to keep us strong in the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and Provider. 

Now let’s go home encouraging ourselves in the Lord by declaring, in all sincerity and truth, our Tuesday Mantra. 

As one 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!’ 

And having said that, let’s go out now and put it all into action as our friend, our Lord and Saviour Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…believe it when Jesus says……lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt.28:20b)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2016 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.    …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Okay friends, this Sunday morning let’s begin our praise and worship with this joyous hymn, penned by Charles Wesley. It’s one we all know and treasure, so let’s raise our voices to the heavens in harmony and true surrender, believing what we sing. 

All together now: ‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down; Fix in us thy humble dwelling; All thy faithful mercies crown! Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure unbounded LOVE Thou art; Visit us with Thy salvation; Enter every trembling heart. 

Breathe, O breathe Thy LOVING Spirit, Into every troubled breast! Let us all in Thee inherit; Let us find that second rest. Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be; End of faith, as its Beginning, Set our hearts at liberty. Come, Almighty to deliver, Let us all Thy life receive; Suddenly return and never, Never more Thy temples leave. 

Thee we would be always blessing, Serve Thee as Thy hosts above, Pray and praise Thee without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love. Finish, then, Thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation  Perfectly restored in Thee; Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place, Till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, LOVE and praise.’ 

Ah mih people, what a beautiful hymn! And it resonates with so many practical aspects of our faith, of our everyday lives. For instance it talks about, ‘take away our bent for sinning.’ Now I can’t think of a better desire than that!  Then we sang ‘set our hearts at liberty.’ Oh how good that would be – freedom from the restrictive chains of sin! 

And then we’d truly be a ‘new creation… changed from glory to glory…lost in’ the awesome wonder that’s Jesus, as we serenade and praise Him with true LOVE! 

Oh friends, I guess that’s what you’d call the perfect Christian. Unfortunately though, too many of us don’t even come close to being perfect. For one thing we still speak with forked tongues, and still desire to wallow in the mire of the things of the world, instead of the things of Jesus. 

Remember, we’re just supposed to be in the world, but not a part of it. And that can sometimes get difficult and confusing, but please remember too that our lives are in the best hands that exist – Almighty God’s. And nothing is too hard or too difficult for Him to do on our behalf. 

So when the pressures of life get to us, we feel all alone on a desert island and no human help seems to be forthcoming, it’s Jesus we need to turn to. We need to do as our Bit says: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Yes friends, when Bruh David’s people wanted to stone him because their families had been taken captive and their city burnt, he had no alternative but to encourage himself in the Lord, to let his faith rise up and seek God’s strength and wisdom.  

The Good Book tells us: ‘And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.’ (1 Sam.30:8) And so said, so was it done! 

Bruh David pursued the marauding Amalekites with his six hundred men, but along the way, at the brook Besor, he left two hundred behind who were too weak and faint to go on. And as the Lord would have it, they found a young Egyptian slave whom the enemy had left behind because he was sick, and after feeding and reviving him and promising not to slay him, he led them to the Amalekites camp. 

‘And when he (the slave) had brought him (David) down, behold they (the Amalekites) were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 

And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.’ (1 Sam.30:16-18) 

Yuh see friends what is possible when we totally surrender our lives to the Lord and place our complete trust in Him. If Bruh David had just sat around moaning and groaning like the rest of his men, they might probably have ended up stoning him. But instead, ‘he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’  And why wouldn’t he eh? He’d be rather foolish not to, after all the wonders and miracles that the Lord had previously done in his life? 

Now that’s where a lot of us fall down my people. When times get real rough, we tend to forget God’s promises and all that He’s already done for us. But that’s the time when we need to remember His many blessings and mercies, so that our faith can be lifted, our trust in Him strengthened, and our circumstances turned around through His wise guidance. 

And I want to close with this example of Bruh David’s godliness and generosity.  After they defeated the Amalekites and returned with all the spoil, the selfish ones who had fought declared that the two hundred, who had remained at the brook of Besor, should only get back their families and none of the spoil. 

But Bruh David overruled them. ‘Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.’(1 Sam.30:23) Then he made it a law from henceforth that all should share in the spoils of war. He also sent some of the spoil back to the people of Judah who had suffered at the hands of the Amalekites. 

And the scholars offer an interesting take on Bruh David’s doings there. ’30:26-31. David’s sharing of the spoils of the victory over the Amalekites not only assured them of his gratitude for their friendship and help during his days of flight from the presence of Saul, but would convince his allies of his loyalty, despite the time spent with Achish (the Philistine king). Moreover, it would prepare their hearts for his soon-coming kingship.’  

Ah friends, that’s what Christianity is all about; integrity, character and sharing the spoils God has blessed you with, especially if you’re a leader! Much LOVE!

…true faith means…never giving up…even under the greatest adversity…because our God is always there to help us…

 

 

 

 

 

 1 Samuel 30:6b.     ‘…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’

And then it was Saturday; the day for household chores and grocery shopping for some, while for others it’s just a lazy, lying around day, doing nothing much of anything. For those blessed to be living in tropical climes, it might be a picnic or some outdoor sport or just lying in a hammock below a shade tree.  

Or if you’re in Tobago, you might just be getting ready to go up Calder Hall and get some of Brother Kirby’s rich, tantalizing and nutritious soups. That would certainly go down well on this chilly Saturday morning. How lucky can some people get eh? (smile) 

But not so in these northern parts, since it’s too cold for the usual outdoor sports and picnics, while it’s not cold enough to go skiing or outdoor skating. But to his each his own; all of us have different agendas and timelines, so let us do whatever we need to do, with God uppermost in our hearts and minds. 

And on that note, let me share with you a rather wise offering this past week from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Listen up, as he advises: ‘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.’ 

Words of absolute wisdom my people! The worse thing we can ever do is compare ourselves with others. We all know about keeping up with the Joneses, which is a real killer in terms of physical wealth and material lifestyle. But it’s even worse when we try to compare our personal accomplishments with those of others, even those in like fields and professions because the playing fields are never level, are never the same. 

Some start out with a gold spoon in their mouths, some with silver, others with brass, and many with no spoon at all. So comparisons are seldom ever oranges with oranges, but oranges with different fruit. It never pays to measure your accomplishment with others, because more often than not we fall short of the other person’s attainment and then get discouraged, jealous and even angry, which doesn’t help us any. 

Then on the odd occasion when our accomplishment is better than others, we’re liable to look down on them with pride, conceit and contempt. That doesn’t help us either friends. The truth is that others will always be both ahead and behind us in accomplishments, and comparisons on either end will only bring us negative results. 

So as Anselm advises, if we so badly want to compare, let’s compare ourselves with our selves; take stock of our own accomplishments as we grow and mature. We have all the right tools at hand to measure ourselves against ourselves, but not against other people.  

That finally brings us to our Bit: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Oh friends, what a potent piece of scripture in only a few words. 

Hear the story: Bruh David is running from Saul, whose avowed intention is to kill him. On this particular instance he’s living in Philistine territory in a place called Ziklag. The Philistines are preparing to make war against Saul and Israel and Bruh David goes with his rag tag band of men to help. But the Philistine counsellors distrust him, so they send him back to Ziklag. (1 Sam.29) 

Lo and behold though, three days later when they get to Ziklag, they discover that during their absence the Amalekites have invaded the city and burned it to the ground. The really sad part though was that all their families had been taken away captive. The Good Book tells us that ‘Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.’ (1 Sam.30:4) 

Then, though it didn’t seem possible, things got even worse: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and for his daughters.’ (1 Sam.30:6a) It didn’t matter to them that Bruh David’s two wives had also been taken captive; they were just concerned about their own families. At those times the innate selfishness of man usually comes to the fore. 

And that’s where our Bit comes in: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Ah friends, what a moving and powerful scripture. It’s something that we should all remember and keep deep in our hearts, for when circumstances come against us and there’s no man to stand with us, then we need to encourage ourselves in our God, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us even when things hit rock bottom. 

That brings to mind another instance of the Lord’s providence, this one with Bruh Paul. As he says to Timothy: ‘At my first answer (defense) no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.’ (2 Tim.4:16-17) 

Yes friends, there will be times when everything and everyone will seem to be against us, but that is not the time to give up. Instead, that’s the time for us to encourage ourselves in the Lord, to remember all His promises and the good things He’s done for us in the past and call upon Him with strong, expectant faith and hungry hope, knowing that He will not disappoint us, will never leave us in the lurch. 

Now I know it all sounds fine in theory, and looks good on paper in black and white, but when push really comes to shove, it’s a horse of a different colour. That’s why we need to do our utmost to build our faith in Almighty God, because it’s only with real strong faith can we handle those situations, and not be totally overwhelmed by them. 

More on this tomorrow friends, the Lord in favour. Till then let’s stand strong in our faith and keep looking to Christ for all our needs. He will meet them all. Much LOVE!

…only the powerful arms of Christ…can lift us from the very depths of despair…