Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2020 2 Kings 6:16.

2 Kings 6:16.    ​And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
 

And it looks like another cloudy day is in the offing in my area… Wonder if we’ll also get rain like yesterday? Ah, it’s so calming and refreshing when the rain falls – it also gets you lazy and in a LOVING mood… Now I could certainly handle that! (smile) But unfortunately we have more serious matters to attend to this Thursday morning in late July of 2020. 

Now today I’ve been led to some scriptures on encouragement in times of peril and need. I guess the Lord sees our overwhelming need for encouragement and assurance in these rather turbulent and uncertain times. So here’s the first one: This from King Hezekiah when the Assyrians under Sennacherib came to do battle against Judah, in particular Jerusalem. 

‘And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably (encouragingly) to them. Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves on (were strengthened by) the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.’ (2 Chr. 32:6-8) 

Oh friends, those are some of the same words our God, that same God, is saying to us today in these frightful times! But are we listening? And if so, are we taking courage like the people of Jerusalem? That’s the million-dollar question! But that brings to mind another similar scripture – this time with the prophet Elisha and his servant when the King of Syria and a mighty host surrounded his house because Elisha was telling the king of Israel the secret things the king of Assyria planned against them. 

Now this particular morning when Elisha’s servant went out early, he saw the host of Syrians surrounding the city, so he ran back and informed Elisha of the grave situation and said: ‘Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.’ (2 Kin. 6:15b-16) What marvellous words of encouragement, but unfortunately the servant could not see what Elisha saw. So Elisha prayed that the Lord would open the servant’s eyes. ‘And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots round about Elisha.’ (2 Kin. 6:17) 

Yes my people, likewise guardian angels are constantly all around God’s children protecting us, so that we do not come to harm. But we have to believe it to see it! Are we believing it though, or are we constantly being ravished by fear and the evil schemes of the enemy? But please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Please my brethren, let’s root that scripture deep in our hearts and souls nuh, and let it grow and flourish to give us strong assurance in these disturbing times! 

Now hear these other encouraging scriptures that our God has been telling us from day one nuh. These from Moses to his people, when he handed over the leadership of Israel to Joshua. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (your enemies): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) Then he called Joshua and told him the same thing. 

And what I LOVE about the passing of the torch from Moses to Joshua is that the Lord Himself told Joshua the very same thing when He appointed him the official leader. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) And not a word of that has changed down to this day my people! So why are we so afraid and fearful of life eh, when we have the assurance of the greatest power in the universe on our side? 

And if yuh want to tell me nonsense about all of that being in the Old Testament which doesn’t matter now – ah Lord eh – then hear Jesus’ most often used words in the New Testament: ‘Fear not!’ And hear His encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) That’s Jesus telling us the same thing in slightly different words! So what’s our excuse now for not following them eh? 

Ah mih people, we just like to talk yes! And we must talk some, but all talk without any action is useless. That’s why James, Jesus’ brother wrote these oh so truthful words: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?… Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 1:22; 2:14,17) And yes faith does save our souls like Bruh Paul says, but what’s the point of having faith if you don’t put it to work eh? 

That’s exactly what Bruh Paul did too. As he told Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith:’ (2 Tim. 4:7) That meant he had done what the Lord called him to do; preach the gospel to the Gentiles; he had put his faith in God to work, and we all know the numerous trials and tribulations he went through to do it. But the Lord saw him through it all…and so will He with us if we are strong and courageous, if we put our faith to work. 

And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s showered us with numerous blessings, to enable us to do just that! What an awesome God we serve my people! So as we go home now, let’s declare (awright!) some of those wonderful characteristics, what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can empower them in our lives. 

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 having proclaimed them, it’s time to go out and put them to good use now… generously too! (smile) Much LOVE!

…greater is He that is in us…than he that is in the world… (1 John 4:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2018 James 1:19.

James 1:19.   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Ah friends, after looking at some of the news headlines and seeing the unnecessary strife and the many natural disasters that are plaguing our once beautiful world, I decided that there was only one way to begin today’s Bit; that’s with some acclamations of our faith to bolster our courage and help us keep keeping on in the face of so much negative happenings. 

So let’s affirm with sincere heart and ongoing faith. ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! If God be for us, who can be against us eh? NOBODY whatsoever! I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! And isn’t that a fact, a most awesome one! And last but not least: God will supply all my needs through His riches in glory through Jesus Christ! 

Glory be mih people! That should get us going and hold us for today as we hear about and see the ungodly and disastrous things that are happening in our world. 

And it’s only fitting that with the great amount of talk and li’l action taking place in our world that we should continue with our Bit from yesterday, where James talks about hearing and doing the word. ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.’ 

And he told us why?  ‘For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:20) Therefore we should put away all evil and lustful stuff and concentrate on the Word that’s implanted in our hearts, since it is what keeps us going on the course of faith, thus helping us to mature as time goes by. 

And he continues with this warning: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) 

Ah mih people, that is so reminiscent of so many of us today; we hear the word, then immediately forget it, and don’t put it into practice. And I believe it happens very much on a Sunday, where we go to church and hear God’s word preached, but as soon as we get out, we continue with our old way of living and don’t put what we heard into practice. 

That’s obviously not good enough my people, for God’s Word is a practical treatise on daily living, and needs to be actioned if it is to be useful! So what’s the point of hearing it if we don’t intend to put it to good use in our lives eh? None whatsoever! 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4) It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1,13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’ 

Ah precious people, what a day it was when Jesus defeated hell, death and the grave and set us free from all the terrorizing religious laws of Moses’ time, which no one could keep. And I’d like to say read those scriptures above, but I know very few of you will, but because I LOVE you all so much and care so much about your souls, I will spoon feed you with a couple of them. (smile) 

Listen to Jesus on the Law of Moses. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prohets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ (Matt.5:17) Yes friends, Jesus was the fulfillment of the old law! 

As the scholars tell us: ‘The New Testament Gospel is not contradictory to the Old Testament Law; rather it is the ultimate fulfillment of the spiritual intention of the law. Where the law had degenerated into legalism among the Pharisees, Jesus now takes the law beyond mere outward observance to the inner spiritual intention of God.’ God had always intended for us to end up with an inner connection, through His Holy Spirit, and that’s what Jesus came to do. 

Now hear Bruh Paul as he talks to the Roman church about life in the Spirit. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:1-2) And we all know that whom the Son sets free is free indeed! 

So James concludes: ‘If any man among you seem to be (thinks he is) religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (useless). Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:26-27) So friends, true religion is neither mere hearing or mere doing but a timely balance of both aspects of our faith. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, proud of our position in Christ. 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!’ 

And as always, merely thinking about how glorious that future will be, just boggles my small mind! Much LOVE!

…to be on the same page as Jesus…we must hear…as well as do…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2015 Luke 6:47

Luke 6:47.   Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

Well Friends, a good Saturday morning to all of you fine believers! It looks like it’s going to be another fine day in my area, and there’s a sense of pent up anticipation all ready to burst forth with the approach of the good weather. And how can you blame us after being cloistered up in clammy houses all winter long eh? All the pent up frustrations and anxieties are now being obviously let loose like a horse that’s been held on a tight rein for a long time.

That leads me to a comparison of good weather to faith. In particular this quote by Robert Venniga from my One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness, which I shared with you some time aback. It says: ‘Faith has a powerful effect in helping people recover a sense of balance, tranquility and hope.’

And isn’t that the absolute truth Friends! Just like good weather has a positive and uplifting and liberating effect on our spirits, so does faith bring peace, steadfastness and hope to our fractured souls.

You know we tend to lose faith in rough economic times, when we’re sick, or troubled about some problem we just can’t seem to solve. But the good news Friends, is that after a while, when the dust settles, we usually tend to bounce back with a renewed strength in our spiritual beliefs.  

As the Daily Meditations say: ‘My belief in my Higher Power may have diminished for a while, but I take comfort in knowing that belief is always there.’  More glorious truth my people!

Once we believe, once we have that strong foundation in Jesus Christ, it’s very difficult to lose it. It might dim for a while, but it will never go out, because it has a regenerating quality built into it. And Jesus explains the quality we’re talking about, after prefacing it with our Bit. ‘Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.’

Ah mih people, what a great day in our life, possibly the greatest, when we come to faith in Jesus, and truly acknowledge Him as our Lord and Saviour.  I don’t think there is any other feeling that compares to it, because it just stirs up, rearranges, changes everything for the better in our lives.

Now hear Jesus describe the person that believes in Him. ‘He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded on a rock.’ (Luke 6:48)

Oh my people, my people, yuh see what faith in Jesus does for us. Though the forces of evil and darkness come against us, and though they threaten to kill our faith, they cannot, because our faith in Jesus is an unquenchable fire! Once it’s lit, it cannot go out. And that’s what happens when we build the foundation of our lives on the solid rock that’s Jesus!

Bruh David joyfully declared: ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold).’ (Ps.18:2) Now Friends, that is exactly what Jesus is to those who sincerely follow Him. And when you join those glorious ranks, you show your wisdom and common sense.

Unlike the other character Jesus talks about ‘But he that heareth , and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.’ (Luke 6:49)

Ah mih breddren, it’s so sad that so many people in today’s evil and ungodly world choose to build their lives on a foundation of mere earth and not on the impregnable rock that’s Jesus! That’s as the Good Book says, a fool’s wisdom! How can we build any substantial structure without a strong foundation eh? It must fall sooner or later when the forces of nature come against it in torrential mode.

And that’s all the material things of the world have to offer; a foundationless life. And yuh know mih people, it’s not like Jesus doesn’t provide the material things of the world that we need, because He clearly says in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33)

So why do we refuse to listen to Him eh? And it’s not like there aren’t many wealthy Christians in the world. So I don’t know why we find it so difficult to put our trust and faith in the One who died on the Cross at Calvary to redeem our sinful souls. Steups! Ah Lord eh!

And we’ll end with some spirited words on the subject from James. ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) It’s all plain and straightforward my brethren, no rocket science involved. Just hear the word and faithfully do it.

And the scholars have this to say about that last verse. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect, since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (cf. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4). It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3; Gal.5:1, 13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the messianic King (cf. Gal.6:2).’

And it would do us all good to check out those references, since they will increase our understanding of the scriptures. I just did, and they do verify the scholars’ contentions. Well Friends, until tomorrow, God willing, please walk in peace and LOVE with Almighty God. Much LOVE!

…to be a true follower of Jesus…one must first hear His Word…then put it into action…for  above all else…Jesus is indeed a man of action…