Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2018 Isaiah 1:19.

Isaiah 1:19.   If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of the work week… And we’re getting a li’l bit earlier everyday with the Bit. (smile) Hope within the next few days we’ll be back to an early morning Bit. And when are we going to dance the Maypole eh people? Wonder if some of the young people even know what that is. 

It’s a celebration for the month of May. You have a tall decorated flagpole with long ribbon streamers attached at the top, and then everybody takes a ribbon and dances around it to form an intricate pattern all the way down the pole. I remember going to May fairs as a boy in High School, but usually thinking myself too macho to dance the maypole. That was something for girls. 

Now here is a li’l something from Matt Chandler, lead Pastor of the Village Church, a Southern Baptist Church in Texas. He tells us that ‘God is awesome. He doesn’t need us to be awesome. He needs us to be obedient.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? 

All our magnanimous and magnificent God really wants from us is obedience to His law. If we’d only practice greater obedience, we’d be surprised at how blessed we’d truly be. But we insist on choosing our own areas of obedience. However my brethren, our God wants total obedience from His people. Not some obedience here, and some obedience there, like a hodgepodge of obedience and disobedience. 

And friends, the Lord made His intentions clear a long time ago to the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah in our Bit. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.’ That’s fairly simple and straightforward eh my fellow believers. 

And the corollary to that is the next verse: ‘But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:20) And it’s not like the Israelites, who were found to be disobedient several times did not suffer by the sword and all kinds of pestilence. 

I don’t know why we think that the Lord isn’t going to keep His word. He kept it with the Israelites and He’s going to keep it with us too, as our disobedience level is riding sky high. Can’t we see all the unusual things that are happening in our society? And even though we’re the most advanced civilization ever, we’re still flailing along in a mire of poverty, sickness, greed and poor relationships. 

A lot of our trouble stems from our disobedience. The Lord is not going to allow us to continue the way we’re currently going forever, so we need to smarten up as soon as possible, if we want to get out of the quicksand that we’re slowly drowning in. 

Now let’s look at some important scriptures that tell us about obedience. And we’ll begin at the beginning, with the words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom.5:19). 

Yeh friends, by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, sin flooded the world, likewise by the sacrificial death of Jesus, on the cross at Calvary, grace, salvation, and eternal life were provided by our Lord to overcome the bondage of sin. 

And more words from Bruh Paul, this time to the Philippian church, pertaining to Jesus. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:9) 

Oh my people, there’s no better example of obedience than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  Though He was God Himself, once He took the form of man, He didn’t try to boost His ego or importance here on earth, but gave total obedience to His heavenly father. Even when He tried to get out of going to the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane, He finally gave in and said, ‘not my will, but thine,’ acknowledging the Father’s supremacy. 

As Hebrews tells us: ‘Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb.5:8-10) Yeh people, Jesus learned obedience just like all of us do, through suffering, through adversity and trials. That’s the only way to learn it. And that’s why the Father elevated him to the highest position there is; the one to whom all knees will bow, and all voices will cry Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Now listen to this last scripture from Peter in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for the grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 

As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct). Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.’’ (1 Pet.2:13-16) 

I can’t say anything more friends, except to lead us in our declaration of our Wednesday Wail, which tells the world our strong and obedient position in Christ. 

As one 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 we can’t even imagine how glorious that future will be, because our minds are too small and finite! Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

So the celebrations continue apace! Yeh friends, Canada’s 150th Birthday Party is still going strong. It ought to wind down today, but tomorrow is the U.S. 4th of July Independence Day Celebrations, and whoever in the U.S was lucky enough to get today off would have a wonderful real long weekend! 

Hn, Hn! That means this is a big partying weekend in North America. But nonetheless, because the society runs 24/7,  some people have to go to work today, so they still need some encouragement to get up and go out on a Monday Morning, especially when so many of their co-workers don’t have to. So let’s give them a rousing sendoff nuh, with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! (smile) 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And wasn’t that a blast! Lots of enthusiasm and hoarse, croaking voices from those who are staying at home, while those headed for work, could only resignedly shake their heads in jealousy. Jesus, our choirmaster, sighed wearily and shook His head too. 

But friends, please let caution be our watchword in these long days of celebration, and let Granny’s advice be front and centre in our minds and souls: ‘Drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ I know some of us are tired hearing that bit of wisdom, but if we heed it, it will keep us out of a lot of problems, some of which can be very serious and life changing, as well as life ending. 

That’s why Peter warns us so strongly in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yeh friends, Lucifer is always on the lookout for those of us he can infiltrate. That’s all he does; walks to and fro in the earth looking for people to destroy, especially in times of celebration when all our weaknesses are most exposed. And he gets the most pleasure from destroying Christians. That’s why it is ever so necessary for us to keep our p’s and q’s about us, and don’t give him a chance to get into our lives. 

And Peter continues his advice. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) by your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) So the enemy doesn’t choose us specially to come against, he comes against everybody, all Christians, wherever he might spy an opening. That’s why we have to be strong in our faith and resist his evil overtures, otherwise we’ll just muddy up our heavenly situation. 

Now earlier on, Peter took a broader look at the situation when, in talking about Christian dedication, he declares: ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare you minds for action), be sober, and hope to the end for the grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so ye be holy in all manner of conversation (conduct.)  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet.1:13-16) 

That’s the way it is my brethren. If we intend to follow Christ, then we need to be serious, well-disciplined and as holy as possible, because that’s what Christ is about. And in any case, the best way to foil Lucifer’s unwanted advances is to stick close to Jesus. And Peter acknowledges that, as he puts the finishing touch on today’s story, a couple verses after our Bit.

‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Ah mih people, this life is not easy to handle, but if we are serious about following Jesus, then He will give us the wherewithal to handle the prince of this evil world and all his evil cohorts. So please keep standing strong and walking tall for Jesus and the glory of God. That’s the greatest state to which we can ever attain! Much LOVE!

…in proportion to our groundings in Christ… will be our ability to resist the enemy