Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2019 Hebrews 13:5a.

Hebrews 13:5a.    ​I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
 

Ah mih people, life is as changeable as the weather! Yuh remember yesterday I complained that it was going to be another ‘riney’ day? Well, lo and behold, by mid-day, it had turned into a perfectly beautiful warm and sunshiny day, lots of blue skies and cool breezes! Shorts and shirtsleeves weather! 

Well it’s the same way our lives can change rather abruptly, with no warnings at all. One moment you might be going through a perfect period of peace and calm, then all of a sudden calamity and adversity strike and you feel lost and out of your element. Or the opposite can happen; you’ll be going through a real rough time, and then for no apparent reason, the storm, the winds and the seas just suddenly become calm and you find yourself sailing along in perfect peace! 

Wow! That’s what we call life! Unpredictable, unreliable and unforeseeable! (smile) Consequently, too many of us struggle to maintain our equilibrium in the sudden and scary ups and down of life. But there is a most positive antidote, a positive and productive way to handle life…His name is Jesus! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can help us successfully handle and navigate through the vicissitudes of life! Without Him, we are at the very mercy of life’s ever-changing circumstances. And that’s the gospel truth! But more on that later, because the workingman is just dying to bellow out his song this bright and sunshiny morning. (smile) So let’s give him a listen nuh. 

‘Woyoyo! At long last I can shout TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend, the weekend, it’s here, alive and in blazing sunshine too! Let’s just hope it stays so yes. We’ve been disappointed too often in the last few weeks. And I’m all ready to get out there in mih short shots and tank top and grill a few steaks, dogs and burgers, while sipping some cold brewskis! It’s June now, a week into it, so is high time we could go out there and do that sorta thing without any worries about cold weather! 

Steups! Wuh happen, we living in the North Pole or something, that the weather so blooming cold and miserable? And if yuh check it out, up there right now they must be having long, hot bright days, enjoying a good summer already, while we down here having this expletive deleted kinda weather! 

But is not much we could really do about it nuh, so let me stop complaining and just have a positive mindset and get mih self ready to get out there this evening when ah get home and do mih own thing. Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, at long last, ah chance to get away from the slave driver and them work…and party hearty too! I’ll be in mih essence then!  

Yeh friends, the workingman surely tells it like he sees it. And generally speaking, nothing’s wrong with that, it’s just sometimes he goes overboard, or crosses over the line that we believers in Christ Jesus can’t afford to cross over, for fear of having the enemy infiltrate our already less than strong and mature souls. (smile) 

And there’s no shame in that, it’s just common sense to shy away from danger before it hits you…and believe me the enemy we’re fighting is pretty dangerous when we give him a chance. On his own, he’s harmless, a toothless tiger, but once we open the door, brother, he’s all over us with his evil self like white on rice! (smile) That’s why our Friday Chant is not as expansive and expressive as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice and strong sense of purpose. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes brothers and sisters in Christ, ours is a dedicated life that requires some borders and fences so that we don’t cross over into enemy territory. But that’s the beauty of living for Jesus…He gives us the wherewithal to handle ALL that comes against us, as well as constantly being by our side. And furthermore, He’s made an everlasting and ever faithful promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ 

Wow! What an awesome promise! And we know He’ll keep it, because that’s the kind of Lord and Saviour He is. And it’s not like it’s something He just said the other day; He’s been saying it for ages now! Listen to how He said it to Joshua when He assigned him leadership of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

And we know that the Lord kept that promise to Joshua in spades! But even before that, the Lord had made the same promise to the Israelites through Moses, when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt, leading them towards the Promised Land. Hear this encouraging and reassuring part of Moses’ last speech to the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) 

So friends, that’s definitely not a new promise, and every time the Lord made it, He kept it, so why should it be any different now with us eh? No reason whatsoever! The Lord our God never changes, so His promises last for a lifetime. That’s why we need to embrace His Son, Jesus Christ RIGHT NOW, and gratefully and humbly accept all that’s He’s already done, as well as all He’s promised to do for us. 

That’s because there’s no one, or nothing else that can give us that kind of reliable, steady and steadfast life, through each and any situation, through calm and storm, through adversity and peace, like Jesus can! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE friends! So please, let’s be wise and come to Him in all sincerity nuh, and then hold on to Him for dear life, because He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Life…as well as the Light! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and LIVE for Jesus…Wow!…it’s the most wonderful thing…in God’s great universe…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2017 Psalm 95:6.

Psalm 95:6.    O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Oh Glory to God my fellow believers for blessing us with another bountiful day on Planet Earth! And also for giving us the wonderful privilege of being able to gather together, in His sanctuary this Sabbath Sunday morning, to praise and worship Him and to hear His awesome word, which, as its truth seeps into our hearts and souls will strengthen us, by giving us His mercy, grace and guidance to face the upcoming week! 

What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! Every day He gives me greater reason to make that declaration. And when I reached out for a song of praise and worship for us to sing today, I just felt like getting closer to our Maker, hence this old hymn, ‘Nearer My God to Thee,’ written in the 19th century by Sarah Adams. 

It is based on the topic of loyalty and the scriptures of Genesis 28:11-13, when God spoke to Jacob at Bethel and promised to make his progeny abundant and prosperous. It’s also based on Psalm 42:2: – An intense longing for God. ‘My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before him.’ 

Therefore friends, this morning, if our souls indeed thirst for the living God, then let’s offer the sacrifice of praise from our lips, as we endeavour to get closer, or as close as we can get to Him on this our earthly journey. So in full voice, in unison and perfect harmony, let’s sing! ‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain: Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!) 

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Oh faithful saints of Christ, that was marvellous! And as we sang, one could feel the strong and beautiful presence of God in His house! The heartfelt feelings were so sincere that He had no choice but to grace us with His Holy presence! 

Now let’s continue in that same vein; the sincere seeking and longing for and getting closer to God by invoking the glorious words and advice of our Bit. ‘O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.’ That’s the ultimate act my brethren; coming before the Lord in sincere, heartfelt prayer! Why, you ask? 

Listen as the psalmist explains after our Bit. ‘For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (under His care). (Ps.95:7a) There could be no better reason than that friends: we are beholden to our great and wonderful God in each and every aspect of our lives! We are His people, and He cares for us, both in LOVE and by providing our earthly needs every day. 

But then the psalmist does something strange; he pleads with us: ‘Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation (rebellion); and as in the day of temptation (trial or testing) in the wilderness. When your fathers tempted (tried) me, proved me, and saw my work.’(Ps.95:7b-9) 

Now why would anyone in their right mind, rebel against God and try to test Him eh? Especially after they had seen the wonderful miracles he had performed on their behalf while bringing them out of four hundred years of bondage in Egypt? Only a people mad with lustful desires of the flesh, egged on by Lucifer could be so obtuse as to rebel against their maker. 

Consequently, the psalmist, speaking on God’s behalf, continues: ‘Forty years long was I grieved with (disgusted with) this generation, and said, It is a people that do err (go astray) in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.’ (Ps.95:10-11) And God fulfilled His promised, when only Caleb and Joshua of all those who had left Egypt, set foot in the Promised Land. 

For forty years the Israelites wandered aimlessly in the desert because of their disobedience to Almighty God. And friends, it just boggles my imagination that they could be so stupid after seeing all the miracles of God! No other group of people, to this day, has seen God work so miraculously on their behalf. Just the parting of the Red Sea should have been enough to convince them forever. 

However friends, they saw it and didn’t believe, we didn’t see it, but let’s be wise nuh; let’s believe and be obedient, otherwise we will not enter into God’s rest. And let these words of Jesus to His doubting disciple Thomas, be a sure promise to us. ‘Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’(John 20:29) 

Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! Words to wisely and confidently live by! Much LOVE!

…true faith in Jesus…means…believing…without…or before seeing…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2013 Psalm 81:9

Psalm 81:9.   There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
 
Oh Friends, another new morn is here with new blessings, mercies and forgiveness! Wow! Are we ready to receive this new day and all the positive things it brings with joy, gladness and humble appreciation? I certainly hope so, because if we’re not, then we’ll lose out on the best stuff that Almighty God has to offer.
 
And all God’s children joyfully declared: This is the day the Lord has made, WE WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT!’ 
 
Yes mih people, that’s the way I like to hear us shout out loud and proud in the name of Jehovah God! It’s the only way to go, otherwise we’re showing ourselves unappreciative of His wonderful blessings, mercies and forgiveness.
 
Now, while going through some papers here just now, I came upon this little note I’d taken from an article of the June issue of In Touch Magazine. It’s simple, but it says a whole lot. ‘The way you live your life everyday is a picture of your soul.’
 
Now that sounds like gospel truth to me! Why? Because we generally live our lives the same way everyday, and thus they are true reflections of how we feel, think and behave.
 
And to expand on that, I’m saying that we should therefore live everyday of our lives as though everything matters. We should try to make a difference, a positive one that is, and stop focusing on ourselves, and our little, insular worlds.
 
As believers we ought to live lives of excellence, lives of significance that impact positively in, and on the lives of others. Then and only then, will we be showing the LOVE and true discipleship that Jesus desires of His followers. 
 
Now here’s our Bit: ‘There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.’
 
Oh Friends, that verse comes from Psalm 81, where the psalmist Asaph is writing of God’s goodness and the Israelites waywardness. But in fact it’s the very first commandment the Lord gave His people when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt way back in time.
 
‘And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ (Ex.20:1-3)
 
Oh my brethren, those words are self-explanatory, simple and to the point, as are most of the words of our great God! That meant the Israelites were entering into an exclusive covenant with Yahweh, the One, True God.
 
But as we all know, they were a rebellious and stubborn people and did not keep the covenant for very long. In fact they reneged on it several times during their long, stormy and catastrophic history.
 
This led the psalmist to write of God. ‘But my people would not hearken (heed, listen) to my voice; and Israel would (have) none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts lust (stubbornness): and they walked in their own counsels.’ (Ps.81:11-12)
 
Ah Friends, there’s a direct connection and relationship between the Israelites turning away from God, and our present behaviour, for we are doing the very same thing. We’re refusing to walk in covenant with God, and instead are taking Him out of lives; schools, public places and even homes, as quickly as we can. 
 
And like the Israelites, the Lord has allowed us to walk in our own counsel. Hence the negative results, just like it befell the Israelites, EVERY TIME they turned away from the God of their forefathers.
 
I don’t have to paint a picture for you of the wars and rumours of war, of the strife, greed, anger foolish pride and idolatry that’s engulfing, no sorry, that’s already engulfed our ungodly world. And it’s getting worse everyday my friends. Everyday we’re sinking ever deeper into the bottomless morass of sin and ungodliness.
 
That brings to mind the psalmist’s writing, re God’s response. ‘Oh that my people had hearkened unto (listened to) me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their enemies…. He should (would) have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should (would) I have satisfied them.’ (Ps.81:13-14,16)
 
Oh my people, our wonderful God is mouthing the same mournful lament today, as He sadly sees us wallowing in the mire of wickedness as put forward by Lucifer. But He’s also willing and able to help us. However, we need to first turn back to him in sincere repentance and start living obedient to His dictates.
 
The Israelites belatedly realized this, but they were smart enough to turn back to Yahweh when it finally dawned on them. And in accordance with His covenant their society prospered. But again, that holding on to the covenant only lasted as long as it took for them to become prosperous, and they then forgot who made them so.
 
We’re guilty of the same stupid crime today my people. Some years ago, when times were really tough, a majority of society worshipped the Lord God Jehovah, and eventually the land prospered. But then, as is our sinful nature, we got fat, lazy and complacent and forgot who brought us to the dance.
 
We began believing that it was our own hands that had brought us the prosperity. So the Lord left us to our own foolish ways. Now every thing is falling down, coming apart at the seams, because there’s no single, uniform authority, namely Almighty God, to hold it together.
 
Oh Friends, when are we going to learn that our omnipotent God controls the entire universe and all that happens in it eh?
 
Listen to what He said long ago through the prophet Isaiah. ‘I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed (proclaimed), when there was no strange (foreign) god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Yes, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let (reverse) it?’ (Is.43:11-13)
 
Yes mih breddren, the Lord’s omnipotence rules over His universe, and just like the Israelites, we are witnesses to it, especially with the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 
We’ve seen what Jehovah can do, so why are we so foolishly turning away from Him only to suffer the pangs of want and deprivation, when we could be comfortably enjoying peace and prosperity under the protective umbrella of His LOVING-kindness?
 
It makes no sense Friends, especially when history has a whole lot of societies buried in His dust, when they got too big for their ‘britches.’
 
So let’s be wise nuh mih breddren, and start turning back to Almighty God. That’s provided we want to see our topsy-turvy, troubled world stable and prosperous again. Now that’s certainly wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
… what is history eh….history provides a record of the past…to light the way of the future…but this foolish generation refuses to see the light of the future…Jesus…