Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2017 1 John 1:9.

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Well my people, it’s that day we call Saturday; a boon for some, a bane for others, depending on how you choose to spend it. And there will be no trivialities this morning, (smile) we’ll get straight to our friend Anselm’s quotes because he has a couple of interesting long ones. He’s been really out to inspire us this week with a title of ‘How to Motivate Yourself:’ 

The first one says: ‘Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! The worst thing you can do to your self-worth is to compare yourself to others because there will always be people doing better than you, and as Anselm says, that can likely kill your get up and go. 

And he continues with the motivational theme by advising: ‘Ask uplifting questions in the morning. Here’s what you do; every morning ask yourself five empowering three-part questions this way: What am I ______ about in my life right now? What about it makes me _______?  How does it make me feel? Put in your own value in the blank space. 

For instance, a couple of my questions are: What am I happy about in my life right now? What am I excited about in my life right now? It’s important that you really feel how it makes you feel. When I think about the last part about what makes me happy right now I really feel it. These morning questions are great because the way they are set up makes you recognize things you take for granted and then they really get you to feel those positive feelings.’ 

I can find no fault with that friends, because we always need to have positive vibes in our lives, and the best way to do that is to concentrate on the things for which we are truly thankful, the things and /or people who bring a flood of light and joy into our lives. That’s why we keep saying when we hit the rough times to remember the good things that God has done for us in the past, don’t just concentrate and mope on the negative things you’re currently going through. 

So my people, when things aren’t so good, look up to heaven, rather than down to hell. The Lord’s on His throne, in full control of His universe and He will hear your sincere pleas and confessions and answer them. As our Bit so truthfully says:  ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 

And if you’ve reached a decent stage of Christian maturity, you ought to know and believe that and put it into practice. Now listen to one of the most sincere and heartfelt confessions of sin found in the Good Book; that when the prophet Nathan confronted Bruh David with the sin of his adultery with Bathsheba. 

Hear Bruh David cry out to the merciful and forgiving God of his fathers from Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing. ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 

Against thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified (found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desireth truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. 

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou desirest not burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’(Ps.51:1-17)  

Ah friends, what a pouring out of the soul! Bruh David knew where his bread was buttered and realized that he had screwed up mightily with Bathsheba. Now here are some insights into the psalm from the scholars. 

‘Psalm 51. The psalm gives expression to why David was “a man after God’s own heart”: he was not perfect, but he had a sensitivity to sin that few knew about. Notice especially the use of the first person singular: mine iniquity, my sin (v.2), my transgressions (v.3), and so on. The first two verses are an introductory petition, rich with meaning in the use of four figures for forgiveness. After confessing his guilt (vs.3-6), David prays for inner renewal (vs.7-12), and promises thanksgiving and ministry (vs.13-17). 

This passage clearly teaches that those who have failed God may be restored to the service of God. The prayer take not thy Holy Spirit from me (v.11) need never be offered by a New Testament saint, since the Holy Spirit indwells every Christian permanently (1 Cor.6:19). David’s cry here may reflect only the fear, not the reality of losing the Spirit, and being rejected by God. Thus, he asks God to restore the joy of his salvation, not salvation itself.’ 

Ah mih people, I hope we can take comfort from Bruh David’s words, and not be afraid to come to God with EVERY problem, EVERY sin we feel deep inside, knowing that sincere confession and true regret will bring forgiveness EVERY time. For that’s the magnanimous and merciful and forgiving God we serve and worship. Much LOVE!

…a broken spirit…a contrite heart…that’s all God’s looking for…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2016 Psalm 51:15.

 Psalm 51:15.    O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’

Oh my beautiful people, I’m sure that this morning most of us are joyfully declaring: ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ The only problem is that we’re not declaring it because we’re excited and enthusiastic to go to work, but because we don’t have to go to work this Labour Day Monday.  

Hn, hn! We certainly are something else yes! But what to do eh? That’s obviously the nature of the beast. However, unfortunately in this 24/7 society, some of us do have to go to work to keep the essential services running smoothly and allow our highly technological world to function properly and allow us to keep on enjoying all our wonderful amenities. 

That means there is still the need for us to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have to go out and labour on this Labour Day Monday, which was originally a celebration of the gains made in reducing the work week and other inhumane actions that were then sinfully perpetrated by the management class. However most of that has now been forgotten, and it’s just an occasion to party. 

So in clarity and harmony let’s sing. ‘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!’ 

Ah friends, the voices were strong, but raucous and not harmonious. That’s because the ones who have the day off were the loudest, and they have already been celebrating, so their voices are a bit hoarse. I could see Jesus simply shaking His head and smiling, knowing full well the reason for the poor rendition. But nonetheless we’ll persevere, because through Jesus, who strengthens us, we can do infinitely anything and everything! (Phil. 4:13) 

And so, we come to our Bit. ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’ Yes my people, that’s a very good line for us to follow. These words were written by Bruh David after the prophet Nathan draped him up over his sinfulness with Bathsheba. Having acknowledged his wrongdoing and pleading for mercy and forgiveness, Bruh David prays for inner renewal. 

‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. Then shall I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.’ (Ps.51:7-14) 

Ah friends, Bruh David finally realizes the utter stupidity of his lustful liaison with Bathsheba, and having asked for cleansing, he then promises ministry and thanksgiving. And I have to chuckle, because like so many of us Bruh David obviously never considered the consequences of his sinful actions before he did them. But having eventually being found out, he had no qualms in confessing them and asking for God’s pardon. 

Likewise, we should not be too proud to ask for cleansing and healing when our iniquities are brought to light. As Bruh David declares after our Bit: ‘For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps.51:16-17) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what the Lord expects from us when we come to Him for forgiveness and mercy; humility and brokenness. 

The scholars tell us: ‘This passage clearly teaches that those who have failed God may be restored to the service of God.’ What wonderful news friends! 

And we’ll end with these important words from the scholars: ‘The prayer take not thy Holy Spirit from me (v.11) need never be offered by a New Testament saint, since the Holy Spirit indwells every Christian permanently  (1 Cor.6:19). David’s cry here may reflect only the fear, not the reality of losing the Spirit, and being rejected by God. Thus he asks God to restore the joy of his salvation, not salvation itself.’ 

Now that’s something to celebrate my people! Unlike the folks in the Old Testament who only received the Holy Spirit for specific purposes and periods of time, we, through the selfless sacrifice of Jesus, instead have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us continually, leading and guiding us along the straight and narrow path, making it much easier for us to be obedient to God’s word. 

But please remember, the onus is still on us to follow the Spirit’s guidance. So as we enjoy the day, in whatever way, let’s not forget Granny’s golden advice, which covers every aspect and occasion of life. ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind your business…’ Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say… the greatest wisdom is to obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2013 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9.     If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Oh mih people, the Bit will most likely be late today since I had a late night, and the body wasn’t too thrilled about getting up in the early hours of the morning. (smile) But all thanks to our great and wonderful God, we’re finally here and motoring on. Please give Him some thanks and praise for that.
 
And today we’ll continue with Bruh David’s story, how his life changed for the worse because of that lustful desire he couldn’t control; sleeping with Bathsheba, and the sordid manner and great lengths he went to, to have her for his own.
 
However Friends, one of the most important things to notice in that story is that when confronted by his sin, Bruh David admitted it. ‘And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.’ (2 Sam.12:13)
 
Yuh see God’s reaction to Bruh David’s admission; life… not death, as he deserved. But he wasn’t going to get away easily. For Nathan continued: ‘Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’ (2 Sam.12:14)
 
So mih breddren, though Bruh David was allowed to live and continue to reign as king, he didn’t get away scot free from punishment for his ungodly behaviour. In fact he ended up paying a tremendous price. Now here are the scholars’ take on those verses.
 
’12:13. David genuinely grieved and repented (cf. Ps.32:5; 51:3-14) However, the seed of sin was immediately to bear bitter fruit, for the child born of the adultery became grievously ill and died (vv.15-18).
 
12:14. David’s sin had brought the name of God into disrepute. Such knowledge ought to serve as a deterrent to willful sin on the part of believers (cf. 1 Tim.5:14; 6:1).’
 
Please read those references Friends, for they are quite informative. And we all know how Bruh David fasted and prayed and cast himself upon the earth during the child’s sickness, and refused to be comforted. His people were even afraid to tell him when the child died, figuring that he would become even more depressed and distraught.
 
But Bruh David sees them whispering and figures out that the child has died, and when they confirm it: ‘Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required (requested), they set bread before him, and he did eat.’ (2 Sam.12:20)
 
Ah Friends, in all of that sorrow, Bruh David still remembered His God, and the first thing he did after cleaning up himself was to go to His house and worship Him. In our times of sorrow we ought also to remember our God.
 
And please note too his logic when asked by his staff about his strange behaviour; sort of mourning when the child was alive and coming out of mourning when he died.
 
‘And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God, will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’ (2 Sam.12:22-23)
 
The long and short of the story though my people, is that SIN DOES NOT PAY!
 
And though we will always receive forgiveness for our repentance, the Lord will usually require, or requite some punishment for our transgressions. And usually the sooner we own up to the wrongdoing, the better. The worse thing we can ever do is deny our transgressions.
 
That’s the beauty of Bruh David’s walk with God; though he sinned abominably, he came clean when confronted with it, and the Lord was merciful and magnanimous enough to not take away everything from him. In fact He even gave him another child from Bathsheba, Cousin Sol (Solomon), the richest and wisest king ever to sit on Israel’s throne, and in the end Bruh David was a kinsman, forefather of God’s only Son, Jesus.
 
And we’ll end with some passages from one of Bruh David’s greatest psalms, Psalm 51; A prayer for cleansing, something he wrote after His tragic liaison with Bathsheba.
 
‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy LOVING-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
 
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified (be found just) when thou speakest, and be clear (blameless) when thou judgest…. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. 
 
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps.51:1-4, 15-17)
 
Oh Friends, that’s possibly another reason why the Lord LOVED Bruh David so much and kept blessing him. He never shied away or tried to hide his hurt, his pain, his sin and whatever emotions he was feeling at a particular time. He always cried out to the God of his fathers whether in a good or bad situation with thanks and pleas for help.
 
And that’s how the Lord wants it with us too, my people. We need to cry out to Him with praise, thanks and pleas for help under any and all circumstances, good, bad and/or indifferent, for the Lord wants to play an integral part in all aspects of our lives.
 
So let’s remember that, and don’t try to hide or run from Him, but come to Him with confidence with whatever is troubling us, for He has promised to cleanse and forgive us once we confess our wrongdoing. And He is ever-faithful to keep His promises.
 
But please remember too that there’s usually a price to pay for wrongdoing, for though our God is a great, merciful and forgiving Deity, He is also a God of truth and justice, and disobedience must be paid for if He is to retain His righteousness, as Bruh David notes in the psalm above, (vs.4).
 
That brings us to the end of this promise Friends. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

Let’s hope we learned from it, especially from the practical application of it in Bruh David’s life, and will make the necessary adjustments to our own lives, so that we don’t fall into the same sinful traps and snares of Beelzebub.
 
For that will only further complicate our lives, bring God’s Word into disrepute and cause Him to admonish us. And if there’s one thing we can certainly do without is His admonishment. Much LOVE!
 
…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken (listen)…than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 October 2013 Psalm 19:14

Psalm 19:14.    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer. 
 
Oh my beautiful Friends in Christ, I’m here to remind us that this glorious, but somewhat chilly Tuesday autumn morn in early October, is being brought to us courtesy the Almighty God Jehovah; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
 
And furthermore, He’s also the God who causes His bright and shining light to surround us; His unconditional and everlasting LOVE to enfold us; His omnipotent power to protect us and His supernatural presence to keep careful watch over us.
 
So with all those important aspects of life being taken care of, there’s absolutely no need to fear what the evil Lucifer and his evil cohorts can do to us, for our great God is ALWAYS with us, and that means, all is well.
 
And all God’s grateful children shouted: ‘Thank You Lord! We LOVE You and praise Your Holy Name! Amen!’
 
And remember too my people, that it’s the Lord God Jehovah who also gives us new mercies, blessings, forgiveness and manna every single day! He’s also the ONE who cause us to be prosperous, to get wealth, to beget children; children who will be strong in the land, children that will stand at one’s gate and rebuke and resist the enemy!
 
And above and beyond all that Friends, the Lord God Almighty is the ONE who created us, and also redeemed us from purgatory, where our abject sins had us headed, by sending His most holy and innocent Son, Jesus, to be sacrificed on that old, rugged cross at Calvary.
 
He selflessly and LOVINGLY did it all, so that we could be reconciled to Him, to be considered holy in his sight, worthy to come before Him, not of our own accord, or of our works, but because of the innocent blood of Jesus, shed at His crucifixion!
 
And all God’s people, all true believers in Jesus Christ, rose up, and boldly declared with a mighty shout of joy: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, we praise and worship You in sincerity and truth! We bless Your Holy Name, and give you eternal thanks for the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ, to whom we bow in all honour and glory! Amen!’ 
 
Oh my fellow believers, it seems that this morning the Holy Spirit is intent on awakening us to all that our great and wonderful God and Creator has done for us since time immemorial, is still doing, and will continue to do throughout eternity.
 
So with all those things forthcoming from a gracious, merciful and ever-LOVING God, how can we, mere mortals that we are, not be overwhelmingly thankful and grateful eh? It’s impossible, if we truly believe in Jesus Christ!
 
And to show our true belief and gratefulness, let’s look at our Bit, which acts as a heavenly catalyst for our earthly endeavours. ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength (my rock), and my redeemer.’
 
Ah Friends, what positive, inspiring and encouraging words!
 
Remember we recently did some messages on meditation and found it extremely helpful, if not absolutely necessary, in our walk of faith and LOVE with Jesus? For it’s when we truly sow the Word of God in our hearts, and can bring it to mind in times of need, that we become real powerful, steadfast and true believers.
 
As we meditate on God’s Word, doing more time as prisoners of hope, we grow and mature in faith. And therefore, our words, which contain much power, either for good or evil, are wholly suitable for a believer to utter.
 
And throughout all of Bruh David’s writings, you’ll find him either alluding to, or asking God to enable him to have godly thoughts, and thus speak appropriate words. And as followers of Christ, we ought to do the same my brethren.
 
Now listen to this passage of scripture from Psalm 51, a prayer for cleansing, after the prophet Nathan nailed and chastised Bruh David for the murder of Uriah the Hittite, and then his unsavoury relationship with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.
 
He pleads with heartfelt repentance: ‘Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.’ (Ps.51:14-15)
 
Yes Friends, we must ask the Lord to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, so that we can truly sing forth His praise, and with accompanying right actions, cause the unbeliever to come to Him.
 
For as Bruh David continues in Psalm 51: ‘For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps.51:16-17)
 
Oh my people, that’s the God-awesome truth! Our God doesn’t desire or delight in burnt offerings and other material sacrifices! What He needs from us is a truly repentant spirit and sorry heart! And once He sees that, He’ll be only too happy and willing to grant us the desires of our hearts.
 
We can’t find a better example of God’s largesse and forgiveness than with Bruh David. So today, please, let’s all open our hearts to Almighty God in prayerful and sincere contrition, so that our hearts, minds and spirits will be in agreement with His Word, and consequently the words that we speak, and the actions we do, will bring Him great glory, glory that He so rightfully deserves.
 
Yes my fellow believers, let us all go out today and be fruitful in God’s name, as is our bounden duty. Much LOVE!
 
…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2013 Psalm 40:6.

Psalm 40:6.    Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering has thou not required.
 
And here we are again Friends, alive and kicking on another God-given day here on Planet Earth. My kicking is a bit less than normal though, for I apparently have the cold or my allergies are in full swing, been sneezing and blowing ever since I came down to write. But that won’t stop anything really, just make it a tad inconvenient. And I wonder what’s happening with our weather service. Yesterday it said that today would be rainy in my area, and outside it is raining, but as I turned on the computer just now and looked at the forecast, it says bright and sunny all day with a high temp of 21. Ah Lord eh! But yuh know what? The sun is shining beautifully in many other parts of the world, and although I may not be able to see it, I know for sure that it’s somewhere up there, as it has been for ages, and will continue to be, until our great God decides otherwise. And all God’s people gave a mighty shout of joy: ‘Praise the Living Lord, for He is most worthy to be praised!’ And that’s a veritable fact my people! He is so awesome and amazing in might and glory, power and majesty, that there is NONE like Him, NEVER was, and NEVER will be! And today we have a Bit which tells us exactly what He does not require of us: ‘Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering has thou not required.’ Now that’s as close to the truth as we’ll ever get my brethren! And while looking for a Bit just now, when my eyes beheld that verse, a little shiver of joy passed through my soul (smile) because I knew that it’s something we desperately need to address in this modern society, and that there were several Bible verses that dealt with it. Now let’s look at some of those verses. And I guess the first and possibly best known comes from Samuel, when Saul, Israel’s first king did not completely obey the Lord’s command to totally destroy the Amalekites and all their belongings. Instead Saul kept the king alive and some of the choicest livestock, ostensibly to use as burnt offerings and sacrifices to God. But as Samuel later informed him: ‘Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (divination), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.’ (1 Sam.15:23-24) Yuh see mih people, Saul lost the Lord’s favour and his kingship by simply not obeying the totality of His commands! That’s what happens when we disobey, or are not totally obedient to the Lord’s directives. Then we have Bruh David solemnly declaring in Psalm 51, his prayer for cleansing, after the prophet Nathan draped him up for his affair with Bathsheba. ‘O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ (Ps.51:15-17) Yes my brethren, what the Lord desires from us is a repentant heart and spirit coming to him in sincerity and truth, not offering other stuff as atonement for our disgusting sins. From our own hearts, souls and minds is where He expects the regret to come. And I like the way the Lord say it through Jeremiah. ‘To what purpose cometh there to me incense (frankincense) from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.’ (Jer.6:20) Now here’s the last scripture for today. It comes from Jeremiah, from a section dealing with the punishment for Judah’s rebellion. ‘Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put (add) your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination (stubbornness) of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.’ (Jer.7:21-24) Oh Friends, does that ring a bell? It should, and very loudly too, because it’s the same thing we are doing today! We have not listened to the Lord, in fact have tried to take Him out of our society, and as a result we’re going backward, not forward, with our world and many of our individual lives in a state of terrible confusion and turmoil. And we’ll close with this appropriate explanation from the scholars. ‘These verses do not minimize the importance of the Old Testament sacrifices, but call attention to the necessity of the believer living a life of total obedience and devotion to God. The Scriptures consistently teach that religious observances devoid of spiritual reality are worthless. (cf. 1 Sam.15:22-23; Ps.40:6-8; Is.1:10-20; Mic.6:8) So Friends, today, let’s ponder our individual situations and see if we’re in total obedience to God’s will. And if not, then let’s come before Him with a penitent heart and contrite spirit and ask for His forgiveness, mercy and grace. That’s wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!…the three requirement for following God…obedience…obedience…obedience…
 
  
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2013 Proverbs 17:22

Proverbs 17:22.     A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. 
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday! However, the shouts of ‘TGIF!’ and ‘Thank God it’s Friday!’ won’t be plentiful in the Greater Toronto Area this morning because there was supposed to be freezing rain and an ice storm happening last night. It was bad from yesterday evening when I went out and almost tripped on my back step from the ice that had deceptively accumulated there. And that’s the scary part, where everything looks normal, but you only find out it’s not when you step on it. Right now it’s raining in my neck of the woods, and every so often I can hear the wind kicking up outside in a mad frenzy, causing the still naked trees to do it’s deathly dance. So Friends, please be careful on the roads this morning as the wintry weather seems to be lasting longer than expected. And to help calm, quiet and strengthen our spirits with some godly guidance, let’s chant our Friday Chant with a whole lotta oompah nuh. As one voice now: ‘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.’ That brings us to our Bit: ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ Oh my brethren, there’s so much truth and wisdom in those few words, that if more of mankind heard and heeded them, our world would not be quite the sad and sorrowful place it is. Too many of us walk around with long, drawn, sour faces and countenances as though our best friend had just died. But Friends, it’s gospel truth that a cheerful heart has medicinal properties. I’m sure you’ve heard about the revitalizing powers of laughter; it’s the cheapest and most easily administered remedy for whatever ails us. If you don’t believe me, try it our some time soon, preferably today. Just notice the positive difference that some laughter and merriment brings to your spirit. That’s because a cheerful heart makes its own song and gives your spirit a fresh outlook on whatever ails you. Cousin Sol says it in so many ways and places. In Proverbs 12, he declares: ‘Heaviness (anxiety) in the heart of man maketh it stoop (causes depression): but a good word maketh it glad.’ (Prov.12:25) And according to the scholars: ‘A good word is a kind word that cheers the heart.’ Then in chapter 15, he unequivocally states: ‘A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance (face): but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.’ (Prov.15:13) And isn’t that the undeniable truth my people? It sure is! Just look at how we feel when our hearts are heavy with sadness and sorrow. We feel lost, uninspired, unable to get much of anything done, our spirits plummet to the depths of despair. Most of the time we just want to wallow in our sorrow and pity party. But let something or someone come along and put a little cheer in our hearts and a smile on our faces, and the tenor of our spirit immediately changes. We begin to feel bright and bubbly again, willing and able to get on with life, even though our basic circumstances haven’t changed, just our outlook. Cousin Sol continues in chapter 15 to declare that: ‘All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.’ (Prov.15:15) Wow! I like that! When our hearts are joyful, it’s like we’re continually feasting. And I sure do like my victuals! (smile) Now listen to Isaiah’s take on the subject, as he talks of the suffering of the Lord’s servant – Jesus. ‘The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.’ (Is.50:4) Oh my people, our God does the same with us every morning; gives us a good word to speak to someone who’s weary and tired, so that we might lift their sagging spirits! Are we using that power? I sure hope so, because our world is so broken and sad these days, that there are too many of us wandering around with low spirits that tend to dry up our bones, both literally and figuratively. And that’s not only true among the heathen, but also amongst believers, who should be the most joyous people on God’s earth, since we have Jesus and all the good, no great and wonderful stuff He’s provided for us. Salvation and eternal life are the greatest things to happen to mankind since the discovery of sliced bread! (smile) That means we ought to be joyful and full of beans. But for some unknown reason, some believers think that laughter is not fit and proper in a Christian setting. How wrong they are my brethren! Jesus didn’t sacrifice His holy, sinless life so that His followers could go around looking sad and sorrowful. Remember His most 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) Oh fellow believers, that means though life will be sometimes pretty difficult, with numerous challenges, we can overcome them all with God’s help, through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Jesus has already paid all our sin-debts, so there’s no reason to worry or be fearful and anxious, continually sad and miserable over our earthly circumstances. Remember the wonderful home that’s waiting in heaven for us, so just be happy! As the old people would say, ‘learn to grin and bear it.’ Therefore Friends, please let’s make a serious and conscious decision today, to cut out most of the blues in our spirits, in our lives, because Jesus has commanded us to do so, and it will also liven up our lives, make us feel much better; physically, mentally and emotionally. And like Isaiah says, let’s also seriously consider adding a word of cheer to the weary, tired and downtrodden who cross our paths today and everyday nuh. It’s all a part of our Christian walk. So let’s walk in wisdom today with cheerful hearts, spreading joy and LOVE wherever we go. Then we’ll truly be the mirror images of Jesus that our God wants us to be. Much LOVE!…a sad countenance doesn’t change or improve our circumstances…but a merry heart certainly can…