Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2021 Malachi 3:6.

Malachi 3:6.     For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Well, the summer’s done now: school’s open once more, adults back to work, whatever can open is open. But unfortunately, many of our problems are still there; the virus and its ever-expanding family, the strife, the natural disasters and their consequent fall out…and all the other negative activity that’s choosing this particular time to come against us! And sadly, we don’t seem to be handling the situation properly, for there’s no unity, no agreement on how to go about solving our problems, thus our efforts are unsuccessful. 

But friends, let’s be thankful for the one constant in our everchanging lives and world: that’s Jehovah God, our Creator and Provider! Let’s be thankful that He doesn’t change…and it’s not me who says so, but the Lord Himself. Yes, He declared it long ago, through the prophet Malachi. ‘For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’ (Mal. 3:6) And it’s only through His awesome grace, mercy and great LOVE for us that we have not already been destroyed, since we have delighted in moving away from His ordinances and living an ever-increasing sinful and evil lifestyle. 

And I believe that our chickens are now coming home to roost in these strange, unexpected and trying times. And if we ever hope to be rid of our many problems, or even lessen them significantly, then it’s absolutely time for us to turn back to the God of our forefathers, for He is the ONLY One who can help us solve them. The sad part is that many of us are very aware of that fact, but yet we hem and haw and find all sorts of excuses not to turn back to Almighty God, to worship and reverence Him in sincerity and truth. 

I don’t know what we are afraid of. Are we putting the foolish and short-term pleasures of this wicked world above the eternal and everlasting benefits and security of our souls? It certainly seems so, since many of us, in this time of tribulation, are turning away from God, rather than turning towards Him, the God of our salvation. Now listen to some more interesting words from the prophet Malachi, re the coming day of the Lord, which the scholars tell us refers to the time of the Great Tribulation, ‘which is in view as the birth pangs for the millennial kingdom.’ 

Malachi declares: ‘For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.’ (Mal. 4:1) Now I think that says quite clearly that the proud and wicked will suffer irreparable harm when the Lord comes. But for some reason, many of us believe it when the Lord says that He will do good, but then erroneously think that because the Lord is good and LOVING and all that, He won’t really destroy the proud and the wicked. 

Friends, that’s a rather foolish theory, because you’ve seen down through history how God has indeed destroyed the wicked. Just look at what He did to the Israelites, His chosen people, in the wilderness when they began complaining and behaving foolishly, hating the manna that they were being divinely given and wishing they back in bondage in Egypt. The Good Book says: ‘And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.’ (Num. 21:6) 

Yes my people, whatever the Lord says He will do, He will do, be it good or bad in our eyes, for there is always good reason for His actions. He has been warning us since the beginning of the Good Book that the wicked will be destroyed and the faithful saved, but we obviously don’t take His warnings seriously otherwise our world would never be as sinful and evil as it currently is. 

And we obviously have lost a lot of our brain power, or logical thinking as we have evolved down through the years, for the Israelites when they found themselves in hard times because of their sinful behaviour, quickly repented and returned to the God of their forefathers, like they did with that snake attack. They ran to Moses and repented and asked him to pray for them, and the Lord told Moses to make a brass serpent and hang it upon a pole, and whoever got bit by a snake could look upon the serpent and live.’ (Num. 21:7-9) 

But we brainiacs of this modern world, think we invented ourselves and we don’t need God, thus we try to push Him out of our society. Well good luck with that! It won’t ever happen! Because the Lord won’t allow it to. Why can’t we learn from the fall of the very fool we follow in our wicked and sinful behaviour nuh? Lucifer the archangel had great hopes of becoming El Numero Uno and overthrowing Almighty God his Creator. So, he and some other foolish heavenly creations rebelled. And what happened to them? They were ungraciously kicked out of heaven to walk the earth in shame and disgrace and to eventually be destroyed. 

But still, knowing the lying, deceitful and wicked nature of those rebellious creations, we listen to them and follow them, going against the dictates of our Creator. And yet, we don’t think that we will be eventually destroyed, just like them, if we don’t turn from our evil ways before the end of our mortal lives. Hn! 

The problem here my people, is that we don’t know when our mortal lives will end. It can happen at any time, and very often the grim reaper gives us absolutely no warning. That makes it necessary for us to be always prepared. For if we die without accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we will end up separated from God, our worst nightmare. Only thing is, it won’t be a nightmare then, but a stark and frightening reality! 

However, if we wisely turn back to the Lord, listen to His promise through Malachi. ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall (grow up fat like stall fed calves). And ye shall tread down (trample) the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Mal. 4:2-3) 

And He did it friends, when He sent Jesus Christ (the Sun of righteousness, the Messiah) to earth to die in propitiation for our sins. So please believe that God is a keeper of His promises, be they in our favour or not, and let’s wise up and realize that the many problems we and our world face will not be solved or even lessened until we once again acquire a true reverence and LOVE for Almighty God! 

Now, for those of us who have already done that, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are, who we belong to lock, stock and barrel. (smile) Altogether now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having made those significant statements, it now behooves us to go out and share that awesome friendship and LOVE of Jesus with others who don’t know Him. Much LOVE!

…these times are…the beginning of sorrows…(Matt. 24:8)                                                                                                     

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2021 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26. ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ 

Come on down Tuesday and let’s get going for Jesus! No time to waste or linger, for time is in short supply! All roads this morning are leading to the cross of Jesus, those two pieces of old wood upon which He fashioned the greatest miracle and gift of all time; salvation for sinners like you and I! 

So let’s give Him much thanks and praise for that indomitable feat, that selfless act of great courage, His awesome LOVE and outstanding obedience! If we only had one iota… sorry, that should be, if we had only shown one iota of the courage, LOVE and obedience that Jesus showed, our world would definitely not be in the mess that it currently is in. 

Yes friends, it’s not that we believers don’t have the parts to change the world, but rather, we have not used them sufficiently for that purpose. Consequently, the evil enemy has stepped into the breach that we left wide open, took advantage of our lackadaisical attitude and set up his dominion, and now has a stranglehold on our society. That means we must work even harder than ought to be necessary, to remake our world into a Christian stronghold. 

And, based on the authoritative words of Jesus, that’s not an impossible feat my fellow believers. Remember what He told the disciples after mentioning that it was easier for a camel to go a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God? (Matt. 19:24) ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) That needs to be in the forefront of our thinking friends: ALL things are possible with God! When we sincerely believe that, then we can truly go on to move mountains in His omnipotent name! 

So, it’s up to us, the die-hard followers of Christ, to get a move on and begin changing the terribly negative situation in our world. Jesus is depending on us to do it. It won’t be easy, but if we put our best foot forward, we will make a sizeable impact, because right now, with all the strife and sickness that’s in our world, people are desperately seeking solace and sustenance like never before. That means, now is our time to shine, our time to roll out all the wonderful things that Jesus has bestowed on us to help our fellow human beings. 

And before we give up and claim that the task is too great, let’s hearken back to these encouraging words of the prophet Isaiah. ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.’ (Is. 40:28) Yes friends our mighty God doesn’t faint or get weary, and neither can we understand how He moves, because as He says later on in Isaiah, that His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours. (Is. 55:8-9) 

So please stop using our finite minds to judge what the Creator of the universe can or cannot do. Instead, let’s believe that nothing is impossible to Him, and live our lives on that solid premise of faith! Remember these momentous words of Isaiah. ‘He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is. 40:29-31) 

Oh my people, what encouraging words in this time of pandemic and strife; words that we so desperately need to hear, understand and believe, if we are going to make a serious difference in the current world! Yes friends, now, in this time of much fainting and weariness, it therefore behooves us to not fall into those categories, but instead to turn to our great God and let Him renew our strength, so that we can rise up with wings like eagles, and walk and run as necessary, but certainly not faint! 

That’s the only way we will ever take back what the enemy has stolen from us and remake the world into what Jesus desires it to be! Oh yeah, I know that we won’t fully accomplish our task until Jesus comes back, but in the meantime, we have to do our best, do what we can, so that souls are not lost to the enemy, but won for Christ. That’s our job as His ambassadors, as His earthly representatives; to show the world what wonderful opportunities He provides for those who believe in and follow Him. The end results being salvation and eternal life! 

Consequently, my fellow believers, this is not a time to give up, but to rise up, for we were made for such a time as this, when we can stand strong and show the world what Jesus is really all about, and the immense, the eternal value that He offers to fallen human beings! 

Now, let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole world who and whose we are, to whom we so safely and strongly belong! As one strong and sincere 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 the obvious consequence to that declaration, (yeah!!!) is for us to now go out and generously share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so they too can receive the amazing benefits He bestows on His followers. Much LOVE!

…when times get tough…the tough…that’s Christians…rise up and show their mettle… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2019 Psalm 55:22.

Psalm 55:22.    ​Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be shaken (moved).
 

And so we move on to Tuesday…  Brother, what a day that turned out to be! Up bright and early, in time to get out and catch the nine o’clock hotel shuttle to the waterfront, although our hotel is right on the waterfront. (smile) But it’s a convoluted trip to get where we wanted to go, to the docks for the ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent some 18 of his 27 years in prison, having been sentenced to life, for treason by the white apartheid government. 

We bought our tickets at the Mandela Waterfront Museum, then had breakfast at a small café nearby. At ten thirty we boarded the small ferry, Sea Princess for the trip across the Cape Town Bay (Atlantic Ocean) to the Island. By the way, the ferry was full. That’s one thing about South Africa; they’re certainly mining the tourism aspects of their first Black President in a big way. That includes the Apartheid Museum in Joburg, which seemed to me to be more of a shrine to Mandela than a history of the fight against apartheid. 

Anyway the ferry trip took approximately thirty minutes to the island. Once there, we boarded a bus for an excursion around the small island, can’t remember the exact size the guide on the bus told us, but definitely not more than about 5 square miles. Apparently the island had been first a leper colony before being turned into a prison. 

Then after the bus tour, we were dropped off at the prison gates, where an ex-prisoner took us on a guided tour of the prison, showing us the old prison enclosures that were supposed to hold thirty something prisoners on double bunks, but often held fifty. That still holds true in many of today’s prisons, where overcrowding is still a serious problem. 

Then we were shown the small cells where Mandela and some of the leaders of his organization spent most of their prison time; a concrete enclosure, possibly six by six, overlooking a courtyard, containing a bunk and a red bucket for waste material. 

It seems that the ex-convict’s return to work as a guide at the prison was very cathartic, purging and cleansing for him. He recalls that on his first day on the job, he didn’t know what to say, but as the people began asking questions, he finally found his voice, until now, his unsettling experience as a prisoner there, doesn’t bother him like it once did. After that we walked back to the dock and boarded the ferry Madiba 1, (Mandela’s Xhosa clan name) and returned to the mainland. 

We got back around minutes to three, and little did we know then that the fun was just about to begin, (smile) because our next stop was supposed to be Table Mountain; that big, awe inspiring block of stone standing at the back of Cape Town, whose top seems absolutely flat when looked at from below. We got a taxi from the docks that drove us up the steep winding road to where the activities actually began. 

That meant joining a long line to purchase tickets, then joining another long one to get into an elevator to get to the cable car station. Once there, you then had to wait for one of the two cars to come back down from the brow of the mountain, because there seems to be only room for one at a time at the top. From down there though, against the great expanse of stone, the cars looked like playthings moving up and down on bits of small string. 

But they were actually big and solid, the bottom parts painted red, while the top was made of solid glass, holding at least twenty people, riding on solid cables of some strong substance. And as you went up or came down, the flooring slowly spun around, allowing a good overall look at the breathtaking landscape. And the top of Table Mountain is not flat at all! (smile) It’s hilly and rocky! 

But they have trails around which you can walk and see Cape Town and its environs down at the bottom, or the conjunction of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on the other side. And the ole fella, with an extraordinary burst of energy, climbed all over and around it. (smile)  Any, which way you take it though, the sight is indeed breathtaking! And the South Africans not making joke with their tourism nuh, for as you walk around, there are several small glass enclosures at the top telling you about the history of the mountain and it’s colourful flora and fauna. 

The sad part though is that we had to wait some forty minutes, join another long line, to catch the cable car back down. By then it was after six, possibly closer to seven. Our taxi dropped us back at the waterfront, where there’s this big mall. Obviously the duchess wanted to go and look around, but I stopped in at Musica, a music shop, where a wonderful lady called Mary began playing me some wonderful South African Music. 

As I told her, I couldn’t come to South Africa and not get some South African music, especially after berating my young daughter for not bringing any for me on her trips to the Motherland. So there I was standing with earphones on my head, listening as the lady played. And each one she played, I told her to put that aside, and the pile slowly grew. 

Some one hour later, I looked around and saw the duchess standing next to me. Obviously she wasn’t thrilled because she had been waiting for me down the mall. But she knows that the music always comes first! Eventually though I bought a whole pile of C.D’s, won’t say how much, or at what price, so some people won’t get on my case, (smile) but I’ve got plenty of good listening ahead of me. 

Then we went down to the other end of the mall, ate some Thai food, then got the 9.15 shuttle back to the hotel and bed. Oh one other beautiful sight I forgot to mention: on looking out of my room, the harbour looks like a necklace of jewels with all the bright lights shining around it, and the marina right at the foot of the hotel. 

Oh friends, that was indeed one of the best, the busiest and most interesting days of my life. And I know some of you who know me personally, and know that I’ve been frail and sickly the last three years, must be wondering how I did all of that without falling down. Well it’s best said first by the words of Bruh David in Psalm 55: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be shaken (moved).’ 

And secondly from the oh so appropriate words of the poem ‘Footprints’ by Margaret Fishback Powers: ‘He whispered. “My precious child, I LOVE you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings When you saw only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.’ And all I can say to that is a loud and proud ‘Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, for when I look back at that day, I’m sure that only one set of footprints was visible on the path that I trod, because the Lord physically carried me! Wow! He’s ever so good to those who LOVE and trust Him! 

Now let’s go home acknowledging who and whose we are through our Tuesday mantra: ‘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 now, if we’re sincere, we’ll go out and do just that! Much LOVE!

…by sincerely trusting our heavenly Father…we can do so much more…more than we can ever ask or imagine…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2015 Psalm 57:7

Psalm 57:7.   My heart is fixed (steadfast), O God, my heart is fixed (steadfast): I will sing and give praise.

Well Friends, the Thanksgiving partying is over and done with now! Time to get back to some productive labour. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop giving thanks and praise to Almighty God as individuals.Yesterday was just a day set aside to give thanks as a nation. 

But really, every time we open our eyes to greet a new day, we ought to give thanks to our Creator, for the breath of life that He has imbued in us, because it is a gift of such immense proportions, which ONLY He can give. 

And when we hear the birds singing, and feel the joy their trilling brings, our thanks meter ought to rise up even higher. Then when we enjoy the wonderful mercies and blessings of our heavenly Father throughout the day, and contemplate upon the salvation and eternal life He has provided through His awesome grace and the atoning death of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ… 

Oh brother, then our thanks ought to ramp up so high that it breaks the measuring equipment! That just shows we are so grateful for His LOVING-kindness and compassion to us, undeserving though we are. 

So let’s never forget my people, that thanks and praise is an every day, all day attitude of appreciation to the Most High God Jehovah, our wonderful Creator and ever-generous Provider! 

And since today is Tuesday, it’s only appropriate that we give some thanks and praise through our Tuesday Mantra. 

Now as one harmonious body, let’s pray. ‘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 hurry. I don’t have to worry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen.’ 

And all of that is ever so true Friends! Once we have the LOVE of God flowing through us, then there is no need to worry or be anxious about ANYTHING! For in wisely taking EVERYTHING to Him in prayer, and casting ALL our cares upon Him, He will unburden us and give us rest and peace like no one else can. And that is even more reason to be generous in our thanks and praise. 

And to show how real our thanks and praise ought to be, just listen to our Bit, taken from Psalm 57 – A Prayer for Deliverance – written when Bruh David fled from his persecutor Saul to a cave in the wilderness. ‘My heart is fixed (steadfast), O God, my heart is fixed (steadfast): I will sing and give praise.’ 

So you see my brethren, even during some of Bruh David’s roughest times he still was wise, steadfast and faithful enough to keep on giving thanks and praise to the God of his fathers. Likewise Friends, our wisdom, steadfastness and faithfulness ought to have us giving thanks to God in ALL situations, be they good or bad, for that’s what Jesus advised. 

The first part of Psalm 57 is filled with Bruh David’s lament and petition to God for succour, while the second half, starting at our Bit, portrays his trust and thanksgiving. 

Listen to Bruh David pour out his heart in praise after our Bit. ‘Awake up, my glory; awake psaltery (lute) and harp: I myself will awake early (will awaken the dawn). I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: 

I will sing unto thee among the nations (gentiles). For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.’ (Ps.57:8-11) 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, can we give such acknowledgement to Almighty God during our times of adversity? Most of us cannot, but we ought to be able to, according to the level of our faith and maturity in Christ Jesus. 

Sadly, some of us don’t even sing His praises and give Him thanks during our good times, much less in the rough ones. But we must keep seeking to grow in Christ-likeness, until we can give thanks and praise even in the midst of our trials and tribulations. Then and only then will we have attained a strong enough foundation to take us through our earthly problems and tests. 

But please be careful though, that if and when we achieve such a state, we don’t stop and rest on our laurels, but keep on striving, striving with Jesus to win this race of life. 

Oh my people, we can never afford to stop learning, to stop growing in Christ Jesus – not until the day He takes us home – or else we are liable to backslide, and backsliding is one of the worst things a believer can ever do. 

And please note that the verses of Psalm 57, which we have just read, are also the beginning stanzas of Psalm 108 – Israel looks to God for help. 

And the scholars inform us, re ‘Psalm 108. This Psalm is composed of fragments from two other psalms. The first section verses 1-5, is taken from 57:7-11; the second section, verses 6-13, is taken from 60:5-12, with little change in the wording of either fragment. 

Though taken from psalms of individual lament (ch.57) and national lament (ch.60), the present psalm is composed of the most positive sections of confidence in both. The resulting work is a psalm of victory that only briefly alludes to the nation’s lament, namely, their ever-present enemies (vv.12-13).’ 

And we’ll end with last two verses of Psalm 60 – A prayer for help against the foe – and Psalm 108, verses which are ever so appropriate to our current world situation. 

Please pray with me Friends. ‘Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.’ (Ps.108:12-13) 

Yes my people, it is indeed the great God of Hosts who will trample down our enemies! But first we have to repent and come back to Him in all sincerity and truth. Let’s wisely begin doing that today nuh, because that’s our ONLY hope. Much LOVE!

…only through Christ’s LOVE Revolution…can the world be saved…