Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2021 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.     ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

Well friends, it’s Friday, the day that used to be the harbinger of the weekend with parties and social gatherings galore, but is now just another day to stay cooped up at home and away from others, except your household members. Not only that, but if you do venture outside, you now need to wear a mask and keep a safe physical distance away from others. It’s still incomprehensible to see how life has drastically changed worldwide with the appearance of one li’l virus. (smile) 

But them’s the breaks! It’s the only way to keep the virus at bay until everybody has been vaccinated…at least we hope so, for we still don’t know a lot about the Corona virus and its several variants. And I really don’t know how else to encourage us but to remind us that as believers in Christ Jesus, we need to stay in close touch with Him and live the way He desires, especially in these times of many adversarial storms. 

You know sometimes storms come from behind you and drive you along quicker to your destination, meanwhile, others, like the ones we’re currently facing hit you directly in the face and try to destroy you. But with Jesus as your storm pilot, we are promised that they won’t ever destroy us. Yes, they might cause us some real difficult times, but they’ll never completely put us under. However, in the meantime, there are also some things we need to do to stay afloat, like these exhortations to obedience from Cousin Sol found in Proverbs. 

Listen to these words of awesome truth, wisdom and encouragement. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart (mind): So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:1-4) 

Oh my fellow believers, how true and wise are those words eh! And even more truthful, is the fact that too many of us supposed believers have not sincerely adhered to the Lord’s commandments for a rather long time, that’s why our lives are so topsy-turvy and confused right now. Unfortunately, we have allowed the immoral dictates of the world to infiltrate our thinking and way of life, and thus have fallen from favour with both God and man. 

It’s no secret that the world has no room for God and is doing its best to get rid of Him completely. But that will NEVER happen, because the Lord won’t allow it, neither will we, His staunch and faithful believers allow such an abomination to come to pass. But even in these tremulous and uncertain times, the enemy is still trying to evict God from His sovereign status in His universe, and sadly, we Christians are assisting them by being fearful, lazy, wishy-washy, sitting on the fence and not being strong and bold enough to face them mano-a mano and let them know the real truth of the situation; that Jesus is Lord, and despite their best endeavours, always will be thus! 

And there are so many scripture verses that tell us we should not be afraid of man. Jesus puts it best though with this warning from Luke’s gospel. ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be ye not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5) Yes friends, the death of the body is not the end of our lives, we still have our spirit man to account for, and the One who decides where we will rest for eternity is Jehovah God Himself. Man won’t determine that. 

And I like how Fritz Chery opens his article on the Bible Verses about the fear of man, that can be found on the biblereasons.com website. He says: ‘There is only one person that a Christian should fear and that is God. When you are fearful of man that will lead to a fear of evangelizing to others, of doing God’s will, trusting God less, rebellion, being ashamed, compromising, and being a friend of the world. Fear the one that created man, the one who can throw you into Hell for eternity. Too many preachers today fear man so they preach messages that will tickle people’s ears. Scripture makes it clear that cowards will not enter into Heaven.’  

What awesome words of truth my brethren! And unfortunately, these days, we supposed believers are so cowardly and fearful, we’ve become more afraid of man than God. So what kind of life do we expect to have under those circumstances eh? Nothing but a confused, troubled and calamitous existence, like the one we’re currently experiencing. 

And Cousin Sol offers us a few more pearls of wisdom as he continues: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or smooth) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength, refreshment) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thy increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:5-10) 

Oh mih bredrin, nothing has changed nuh since Cousin Sol gave us those guidelines long ago. The Lord our God is still the same yesterday, today and forever, and neither has His word or ordinances changed. So what has changed eh? We have. And if we don’t change back to what He desires, then crapaud smoke we pipe! As simple as that. 

Now, for those of us who sincerely want to get back into the good graces of our most wonderful God, this is the best time to start. Therefore, let’s go to Him in sincere prayer nuh, what we call our Friday Chant, and lay bare our hearts to Him in sincere repentance, asking for His awesome forgiveness and mercy. 

As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And as always my people, God’s response will depend on our subsequent behaviour and the motives of our hearts, which He will check out, before answering our prayer. Much LOVE!

fear not man…but fear Almighty God…who can destroy…both body and soul…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2015 Matthew 19:14

 Matthew 19:14.    But Jesus said, Suffer (allow the) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Well hello there Friends and neighbours! It’s another glorious day in God’s great universe and we have so much to be thankful for this autumn Thursday morn! Glory to God! 
 
Now we don’t have a Battle hymn, a Mantra or a Wail to declare this morning, (smile) but we do have a li’l something from Gramps Schuller from his Hour of Power Devotional to welcome the day and give God some thanks and praise and well-deserved recognition and acknowledgement. 
 
Please pray with me: ‘Thank you, Lord, for bringing me to the place where LOVE can knock at the door of my heart. O Father, do not let me be afraid. I shall not resist your affectionate touch. Let me, O Lord, have the spirit of a little child and dare to respond and run with open arms to your call of LOVE. Amen.’ 
 
Yes Friends, a simple but surprisingly wide-ranging prayer. It touches on God’s knocking at the doors of our hearts, willing us to open them and let Him in. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev.3:20) 
 
Oh Friends, how many times many of us have heard that knock and refused to let Jesus in eh? That’s not heavenly wisdom at all. So the next time He knocks, please let Him in. It’s a decision you will never regret. 
The prayer also includes the power to not be afraid, because our God is in full control of everything and everyone in His universe. 
 
On that subject, Jesus declared to the disciples: ‘And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell: yea, I say unto you, Fear him.’ (Luke 12:4-5)  
 
And the scholars tell us that:’12:4. The body’s death is not the end of a person’s life.’ ‘12:5. God is the one with this power. (James 4:12).’ 
 
And for our enlightenment, I’ll quote James here, because I know that very few of us will go and check it for ourselves. (smile) And James says: ‘There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James (4:12) 
 
Then the prayer talks about not resisting God’s affectionate touch, which so many of us unwisely do, for one reason or another. Ah mih people, when God touches us, it’s always for a very good reason. I remember quite well when He called me some eight years ago to write the Bit, my first plea was that I couldn’t because I was not knowledgeable enough. 
 
But when God really wants us, it’s foolish to try to resist, because He will not stop, and we will only be making life harder for ourselves. It’s always best if we answer on His first call, and ask, ‘How high do you want me to jump Lord?’ Remember, He will NEVER give us more than we can bear or ever leave us in the lurch! 
 
Yuh see how Peter and Andrew responded to Jesus’ call? ‘And he saith unto to them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men, And they straightway left their nets and followed him.’ (Matt.4:19-20). 
 
The same goes for James and John. When Jesus called them, the Good Book says: ‘And they immediately left the ship and their father (Zebedee), and followed him.’ (Matt.4:22) 
 
Can you imagine poor Zebedee’s consternation when his two sons, his only help, just got up and walked off after this itinerant preacher. Hn! But that’s the kind of faith and trust we’re called to have in Jesus my people. 
 
Then the prayer talks about the ‘spirit of a little child and run with open arms to your call of LOVE.’ Remember too how the young children ran to Jesus’ opened arms and how He rebuked the disciples for trying to stop them? 
 
And that scripture is our Bit for today. ‘But Jesus said, Suffer (allow the) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ 
 
Oh my brethren that is such an important scripture, one of the most important Jesus ever spoke. And His monologue earlier on, when He explains greatness to the disciples, explains it all. 
 
‘At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
 
Whomsoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend (cause to sin) one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he was drowned in the depth of the sea. 
 
Woe unto the world because of offences (enticements to sin)! for it must needs be that offenses (enticements) come; but woe to that man by whom the offence (enticement) cometh.’ (Matt.18:1-7) 
Yes Friends those are Jesus’ words. And I just read some of the scholars’ explanations and though they will make the Bit longer than I desired, I believe the info there is very worthwhile. 
 
So here goes. ‘18-1-4. The dispute over who is the greatest was settled by Jesus’ emphasis that it was the one who was willing to forgive the most! Be converted means a “turning” (Gr. strepho) of one’s whole life and person toward God. 
 
This is the true biblical picture of conversion. It is far more than a mental acknowledgement of the truth or intellectual assent to certain ideas. To become as little children means to be born again (converted) as a newborn spiritual child, characterized by faith and humility.’ 
 
‘18:5-7. The little child represents a new convert or young believer. To receive such a fellow believer is to welcome Christ Himself. Therefore, the basis of true Christian fellowship is established in Christ Himself. 
 
Offenses are viewed as a reality that must be accepted in the present world, but woe (the prophetic condemnation to death) to the one who is the source of the offence. A millstone is literally an “ass-stone,” or a large grindstone turned by an ass.’ 
 
Yes Friends, that’s it for today. I know it’s long but them’s the breaks! (smile) If you can’t give up a few extra minutes for Jesus, then what’s the point eh? Happy fellowshipping today! Much LOVE!
 
…fear not…little flock…for it is your Father’s good pleasure…to give you the kingdom… (Luke 12:32)