Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2016 John 3:16‏‏‏

John 3:16.  For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And as the world turns my people, it has finally turned to Friday… 

And that simple remark brings forth all kinds of joyful shouting: ‘Oh TGIF! Thank the Lord it’s Friday! The weekend’s here! Mama Yo! The good times are here at last! Party fuh so mih breddren! Thank You yes Lord that Friday has rolled around at last! No more of the evil massa and his backbreaking work for a couple days. Thank You again Lord!’ 

Yes Friends, it’s certainly interesting what comments a Friday can elicit from the work force. And some of them are truly genuine, though many still use it as an excuse to just party. 

But we know that’s not the main reason for the brief respite from labour, so let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a better perspective on the situation. 

In unison and harmony 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.’ 

Yeh mih people, the weekend is also a time for rest and relaxation and fellowship with other believers, so that we can go back out revitalized and do God’s work with energy and enthusiasm. In this sinful and godless world though, we sadly use it for all sorts of other nefarious purposes. 

But a word of warning friends; please remember that the Lord is watching, and in due course, He will do whatever He thinks is necessary to correct the situation. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, that most awesome, auspicious and momentous piece of scripture which shows how much our magnificent God truly cared, and still cares for us, despite our lacklustre approach to Him. 

‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh my brethren, after hearing such caring and compassionate words, how can we not have a soft spot in our heart for our wonderful Creator eh? I really don’t know nuh. I guess it depends on whether you believe them or not. 

But as for me and mine, we will believe them and follow the Lord to the ends of the earth! Such a magnanimous and generous God deserves to be followed any and everywhere! 

Now listen to this scripture that enhances that picture. It comes from Bruh Paul’s missive to the Ephesians and it deals with two huge motivating factors in the Christian’s life; grace and faith. 

‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:’ (Eph.2:4-6) 

Oh Friends, what a wonderful Deity we serve and worship! Which other supposed deity has ever sacrificed their only Son on behalf of their followers eh? NONE, my people, NONE whatsoever! 

And not only that, in our sinfulness He has also raised us up to sit in heavenly places with Him and His resurrected Son. Oh glory to God for His undeserved goodness to the undeserving children of men! 

And here are some useful explanations from the scholars. ‘2:4-6. But begins to disclose God’s response to man’s sin of verses 1-3. This divine response is expressed in three main verbs: 

(1) God…hath quickened us. Because they were morally dead in sins, the Lord gave them spiritual life; 

(2) and hath raised us up together, that is God has not allowed those Christians to remain in the grave of their old life with its sinful ways and habits, but He brought them into a new life and demonstration of it; and 

(3) God made us sit together in heavenly places, that is, He has brought us into His presence and into an intimate relationship with Himself.’ 

And if that isn’t stuff to sing and shout about, to be everlastingly thankful and grateful for, then I don’t know what is nuh mih breddren! 

And why you ask, did God do all of that for a bunch of ungrateful sinners? The Good Book answers that question. ‘That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:7) Wow! What a truly magnanimous Deity! 

The scholars explain that verse thus: ‘2:7. That …he might show (or, demonstrate): This denotes the ultimate purpose for all that God did for the Ephesians in verses 4-6. It is that throughout eternity He might make us understand more and more His goodness to us.’ 

And friends, if he did it for the Ephesians, He also wants to do it for us. However, we have to surrender ourselves to Him, so that He can work in our lives. We can’t fight against Him, otherwise His efforts will all be in vain. 

So please, let’s be wise and spend some time today pondering our relationship with our Maker nuh. There can be no wiser use of our time than that. Much LOVE!

…spending time with God…is the BEST use of our time…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2015 Ephesians 2:4

Ephesians 2:4.    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.

Well Friends, it’s Saturday, what’s new with you eh?  What have you got planned for today? Hope it’s something that’s joyous and brings you delight…  And I hear some women quickly complaining in the background; ‘How the dickens could house work, cleaning and cooking be joyous and delightful eh?’ 

Sorry ladies, but that’s all part of life. Somebody has to do it and you were just unlucky enough to draw the short straw. (smile) Don’t feel too badly though, because I’m not planning on doing anything fun-like myself, just planning to spend most of the day in rest. 

Although I don’t know if that is such a wise idea, because I’ve been resting a fair amount lately, more than usual, but I’m still tired, more tired than when I wasn’t resting as much. 

Oh, who knows or understands the contradictions of this earthly life besides Almighty God? Nobody really nuh. We just have to trust Him implicitly and follow His lead and guidance for our lives, because as He promises in Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11)  

Yes my people, our wonderful God has good plans for us, so let’s be wise and place our lives in His faithful and mighty hands nuh. And if you don’t believe me about His good intentions towards us, then just listen to our Bit. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’ 

Oh Friends, God’s LOVE is exceedingly great towards us, so great that our simple and finite human minds can’t understand it. That’s why some of us simply can’t wrap our minds around a Deity who LOVES fallen sinners so much. But listen to what Bruh Paul says after our Bit. 

‘Even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved 😉 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through (in) Christ Jesus.’ (Eph.2:5-7) 

Wow mih breddren! Glory to God! What more can we say to such unmerited and undeserved favour but ‘Thank You Lord! We praise and glorify Your great name and also for giving us Your Son Jesus as our Lord and Saviour! Thank You, thank You, thank You! 

And we promise to try and show our sincere appreciation and gratitude for your wondrous works towards us, by walking obediently in Your Holy Will. This we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.’ 

Ah Friends, that wasn’t planned nuh. It just automatically rolled out after I read the wonderful scripture displaying God’s marvelous grace and mercy to us, while we were yet sinners. He must really and truly LOVE us yes, to do such extraordinary things on our behalf when we deserved none of it! 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:4-6. But begins to disclose God’s responses to man’s sin of verses 1-3. This divine response is expressed in three main verbs: (1) God…hath quickened us. Because they were morally dead in sins, the Lord gave them spiritual life; (2) and hath raised us together, that is, God has not allowed these Christians to remain in the grave of their old life with its sinful ways and habits, but He brought them into a new life and demonstration of it; and (3) God made us sit together in heavenly places, that is, He has brought us into His presence and into intimate relationship with Himself.’ 

Oh Friends what can be more wonderful than sitting in heavenly places with Jesus in the presence of God the Father eh? Nothing my people, nothing whatsoever! That’s why I don’t understand how we can become so ungodly and evil and so bent on turfing God out of our society, after all that wonderful stuff He has done for us. 

And Bruh Paul continues to enlighten the Ephesians and us. ‘For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship (creation), created in Christ Jesus unto (for) good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them.’ (Eph.2:8-10) 

Yes Friends, though we were made to perform good works, those good works don’t have any part in our obtaining salvation. It’s strictly by the grace of God. He was wise enough to know that if good works meant anything that proud and egotistical man would boast about it and make a mockery of it. 

Anyway, here is the scholars take on the Grace of God. ‘2:8. The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the underserving. Grace means unmerited favour, and can be expressed by the acrostic “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”  This grace is the basis of our salvation (1:7; 2:8). 

Illustration: In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven. This cannot be explained apart from God’s grace. Every conversion in Scripture is an example of God’s grace. When Paul (Saul) met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul was a persecutor of the church. Yet God made him one of the church’s chief preachers. 

Application: We need to remember that we are saved, given the Holy Spirit, and allowed to serve God – by His grace. (First Ref; Gen.6:8; Primary Ref; Eph.2:8; cf. Ps.139:1).’ 

Nuff said my people. Hope it brings home to us the great and true LOVE that the Father has for His children, and the riches He’s bequeathed to us at Jesus’ expense. Much LOVE!

…But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… (Gen.6:8)