Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 November 2021 Isaiah 45:5a.

Isaiah 45:5a.     I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:

Ah friends, it’s a pleasure to be with you all this bright and shiny but chilly Tuesday morning. Sorry that I’m only now getting to you, although I’ve been up for over an hour, but I had household chores to do that required doing asap. That’s putting out the garbage, the easy part, but before that picking up the humongous pile of leaves sitting in the driveway outside my side door and bagging them, for at least the third time this week, so that the garbage truck could take it away later on. 

It’s a thorn in my side (smile) that the Lord’s given me for the last thirty odd years that I’ve lived here. Unfortunately, for me, the way the houses are built, it creates a whirlwind in my driveway, right outside my side door, so every fall the leaves blow from all over and congregate in my driveway, and so does the snow. You look outside, and all the neighbours’ driveways are spotless, but mine is either filled with leaves or snow. 

In my more youthful years, it wasn’t a major problem, but now with the onset of age and all its aches and pains, it’s become a pain in the butt and back, both literally and figuratively. (smile) But I guess them’s the breaks. You win some, you lose some, and you just have to grin and bear it. So now that’ I’ve emptied my spleen, (smile) let’s see what the Lord wants us to talk about today. 

And it seems that it’s a very timely reminder, as the Good Book just opened on this most important scripture, where the Lord is giving a charge to the Persian king Cyrus. And yes, He often used the heathen or pagan kings for His purposes. This is a portion of what He said to Cyrus, through the prophet Isaiah. 

‘For Jacob, my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting in the west), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:4-7) 

Yes friends, the Lord was going to use Cyrus to liberate His people Israel from exile in Babylon, and that message through Isaiah was a means of reassuring them that their God, He of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was still on the throne and still had their best interest at heart. And that’s the same message He’s sending to us today my faithful brethren: Our God is still on the throne, still controlling things, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand advocating on our behalf! 

And since He doesn’t change, it means, He still has our best interest at heart, He still has plans to give us a future and a hope, but we need to come to Him and make things right. The sinfulness, the depravity, the ungodliness, the move to drive him out of our society is not sitting right with Him. And how can we expect anything else eh, when we defame, blaspheme and turn away from a most holy, righteous and just God? 

How do you think He feels when we refuse to acknowledge His Son as the Saviour of the world, as the King of kings, the Lord of Lords and the Prince of Peace, amongst His many other titles? He must feel UNLOVED, hard done by, not wanted or needed, like all of us would feel, and do feel, when we are rejected by our fellow human beings. 

But please remember this most salient fact; there is no God beside Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, or whatever you choose to call Him. And remember too His words to Cyrus: ‘I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ That means He has control over everything and every situation in our frail and finite lives, because He is our Creator and Controller. 

Oh yes, he’s given us free will, but that’s only to a certain extent. In the long run, He’s still the BOSS, and can do exactly as He pleases without any input from us. And until we understand that, we will always live fearful and anxious, with a shadow of calamity hanging over our heads. 

But let’s clear up one situation here. The scholars explain that ‘The phrase I…create evil. (in verse 7 above) refers to physical evil or calamity, rather than moral evil. God is in no way pictured in Scripture as the author of sin.’ So, let’s get that straight once and for all: God doesn’t deal in sin, but He does cause calamity to overtake us because of or sin! 

And yuh know what friends, all I’m trying to point out here is the power and sovereignty of Almighty God. If he is Creator and controller of ALL things, then why are we so foolishly trying to fight Him, to have our own way, when we can’t even handle our everyday lives properly. That’s why Moses in his psalm prayed to the Lord. ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps. 90:12) 

And do we ever need hearts of majestic and godly wisdom in these turbulent and oh so dangerous times my people! It’s the lack of wisdom that’s catapulted us into the terrible times we are now experiencing. But friends, we know that once there’s life, there’s hope. And you ask, what’s hope, or what does it have to do with anything? Well hope is believing that good things are possible, then sincerely working towards those good things. 

And I just LOVE how Joshua Ryan Butler described hope in an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope.’ He writes: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything!’ 

That’s the gospel truth my fellow saints. Jesus’ arrival marked the beginning of hope, the beginning of life in this world marked by death. And that’s what we ALL need to work towards – the choosing of life over death. Thus crushing the enemy, who desires a world continually marked by death. So though our world is in tumult, please, please, let’s not give up hope. Remember Jesus is still with us in ALL we do, and He will help us overcome each and every situation we face. So, we need to keep on fighting the good fight in His name, more than ever right now! 

And for those of us who are sincerely doing that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are, to whom we gladly and joyfully belong. As one strong and grateful voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to trust and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…God is calling out to us through our calamities…but unfortunately…we are not listening to Him…and until we do… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2020 1 Peter 5:7.

1 Peter 5:7.    ​Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
 

One more Sunday, one more day of technological fellowship and thanksgiving. Hn! And are we ever getting good at it! But it’s never ever going to be the same as worshipping our great God in a physical space together, with hugs and kisses and handshakes and godly greetings, because the Lord made us to be people of physical fellowship, not this over the airwaves stuff. (smile) But since we don’t have much choice right now, let’s enjoy what we have, because the Lord is ALWAYS pleased with praise and worship however, or wherever we perform it. 

So let’s get to some praise with this awesome and oh so appropriate hymn for these turbulent times, written by John W. Peterson (1921-2006) and titled ‘No One Understands Like Jesus.’ And if that isn’t the living truth friends, then I don’t know what is nuh! Therefore, with raised voices, in heartfelt sincerity and soulful harmony let’s thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for His unbiased understanding and sincere empathy, because as a man, He experienced the trials and tribulation of earthly life, like we’re currently doing. 

Now let’s unleash our sacrifice of praise which our God LOVES to hear. ‘No one understands like Jesus; He’s a Friend beyond com-pare. Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for You there. (Chorus: No one under-stands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim. No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; Cast Your every care on Him.) No understands like Jesus; Every woe He sees and feels. Tenderly He whispers comfort, And the broken heart He heals. 

(Chorus ….) No one understands like Jesus When the foes of life assail. You should never be discouraged; Jesus cares and will not fail. (Chorus…) No one understands like Jesus When you falter on the way. Though you fail Him, sadly fail Him, He will pardon You today. (Chorus: No one under-stands like Jesus When the days are dark and grim. No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; Cast Your every care on Him.) 

Ah mih people, in this time of sickness and strife, there’s no better place to cast our care than upon Jesus, for remember He understands what we’re going through, since He also went through dark nights of rejection, discouragement and enormous pain and suffering. So our troubles are nothing new to Him. That’s why Peter tells us so emphatically: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ And that’s gospel truth or God would not have sacrificed Jesus and have Him pay for our sins. 

And Jesus Himself dearly and desperately wants us to come to Him for hope, comfort and succour, peace, LOVE and joy; all the wonderful things that heaven allows. Hear Him in the Great Invitation nuh… and don’t tell me yuh tired hearing it either, because if we’d only listen and accept it, we wouldn’t have half the problems we now have. So please listen up and positively action the invitation, the greatest one that’s ever been offered! ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh friends, I don’t understand us nuh; man is supposed to be the wisest creature in the universe, but when we find ourselves in trouble and can’t get out of it on our own accord, we still refuse to turn to Jesus for help. We prefer to suffer in our despair and tribulation. Now is that wisdom? Not in my book! And the sad part is that the scriptures have so many encouraging and comforting words, if we’d only wake up and own them. Let’s check out a couple nuh. Hear this one from the longest chapter in the Good Book, Psalm 119: ‘Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me (given me life).’ (Ps.119:49-50) 

Oh my people, we were created to use the Word as a lifeline; to give us hope and comfort from our afflictions! So why aren’t we using it eh? And hear Bruh David from Psalm 61: ‘Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.’ (Ps. 61:1-3) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, if Bruh David, a man after God’s own heart, could cry unto the Lord when his heart was overwhelmed and find succour, why can’t we eh? 

Now hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.’ (Rom.15:4) Yes mih bredrin, the scriptures were indeed authored so that we could have hope! And if in these disastrous times you don’t have hope, then turn to the scriptures, that’s simple common sense! If there’s one thing we need to live this life successfully it’s hope! Without it, we’re dead in spirit. 

And here’s something I believe I’ve quoted before, but it’s ever so timely right now. It comes from an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope,’ by one Joshua Ryan Butler. And he unequivocally states: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything.’ 

And that’s the kind of world we’re currently living in; one marked by death, and the only real hope for us to move from death to life, is to embrace Jesus and His wonderful revolution of hope, which ultimately fosters His LOVE Revolution. Yes friends, Jesus is, was, and always will be the ultimate revolutionary! Much LOVE

…want to be in a successful revolution… then join Jesus’…