Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2019 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.    ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Good news people! Today’s Tuesday! Wow! That means the frustrating and oftimes emotionally negative day called Monday is past and gone, now confined to the dustbin of history, and we can therefore move on without any fear or anxiety about it…at least for another week! (smile) Yeh, a brand new day on God’s great earth has blossomed, for which we ought to be eternally grateful. 

Now here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that highlights some of our problems, but then shows us the answer to them all. It is appropriately titled: ‘I Keep Running Back to You.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You know how it is with me, Lord: So often I mess up my days. I judge harshly I am critical and obstinate I waste time and energy I blame others for my failure. There are people I try to avoid And tasks I try to evade And when I can’t have my own way I sulk in my own little corner. Lord, I even turn my back on You To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

Then finally I get fed up with myself. The intolerable loneliness frightens me And I can no longer endure my shame. It always happens, Lord – I keep running back to You! Where else can I go? Who else understands me so well Or forgives me so totally? Who else can save me from foolish pride? No one, Lord, but You. So thank You for accepting me For LOVING me For always welcoming me. I just can’t help it, Lord I keep running back to You!’ 

And my fellow believers that’s just wisdom at it’s highest level! For there’s NO ONE like our great, merciful and LOVING God, who is willing to accept us just as we are! And He’s even happier than us when we come running back to Him, because remember His ultimate desire is that He loses not a SINGLE ONE of His most precious creation to the evil and satanic realm! 

That’s why Isaiah proclaimed in his writings these wonderful words of hope and encouragement: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ Mama Mia! How can you not want to be a child of Almighty God with such awesome promises being made eh? 

And furthermore, we know that the Lord never breaks any of His promises, He keeps every single one, which means that offer of shepherd-like care and LOVE are not just empty words, but a most generous enticement and welcome to His wonderful fold! And there are so many scriptures that portray our great God as a wonderful and caring shepherd that today I just want to share a few of them. 

And we all know the most popular one; those remarkable words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) Oh friends, those few, simple but endearing and enduring words say it all! With God being our shepherd we’ll never want for any good thing! 

And Jeremiah joyfully declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (ends, lands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.’ (Jer.31:10-11) 

Ah mih people, although the Lord punished Israel for their abominable sins, His LOVE for them was so great, He promised to gather the remnant and bring them back to their homeland and treat them like a caring shepherd. What other supposed God is so magnanimous eh? NONE but ours! 

Meanwhile Ezekiel confirms: ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek.34:22-24) 

And lest you think that that’s all Old Testament stuff, hear the realization of all those promises from the One and Only, Jesus Christ Himself, as He rightly and righteously proclaims: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And so He did my brethren! And so He selflessly and sacrificially did! 

And as He further declares: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Yes friends, that’s us, Gentiles, non-Jews, that Jesus is referring to there! Please note He didn’t forget about us, but very much included us in His all-encompassing flock!  One flock, and One shepherd! That’s all that’s needed when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is so great and wonderful! Are you hearing His voice today people? Are you heeding His shepherd’s call? I certainly hope so, since your eternal destiny depends totally on it! End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (wow!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the entire world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice 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’re truly sincere, then let’s go out and share that awesome and amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others who don’t know it nuh. That’s our bounden duty and Great Commission! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a sheep…then you need a shepherd…and the best there is…His name is Jesus…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Aye friends, it’s a rainy Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, but it sure is good to be alive! Praise the Lord! I sure hope that all of us who have enjoyed His awesome largesse this morning have given Him the thanks and praise He so rightfully deserves. 

Every day we open our sleepy eyes, to another day, we ought to shout ‘Thank You Lord! Thank You for allowing me to see another beautiful day down here in paradise!’ For contrary to what a lot of us think, earth is indeed the Lord’s paradise, we have just made it seem like hell with all our iniquity and the carnality injected by the enemy. 

I was actually up a few hours earlier, but still felt sleepy, so I decided to get some more z’s, got to get them when I can (smile) since my sleep recently has not been the greatest, what with all the different medications I’m taking. 

But I feel fairly fresh now, so let’s get into our Bit without further ado. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).’ 

Yeah mih people, we’re still with that most promising of verses, because there is still a lot to say about the 23rd Psalm. Bruh David must have been truly inspired when he wrote it, there’s just no other answer to why it’s so beautiful and so encouraging! 

Anyway, what I want to do today is first share some thoughts from the scholars on it, then some choice scriptures which corroborate its verses. 

So listen first to the scholars: ‘Psalm 23. The psalm had been a favourite of God’s people through the ages and with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to His sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6). The image of the Lord as shepherd is a frequent one in both the Old Testament (Is.40:11; Jer.31:10) and the New (John 10:11-16; Heb.13:20). 

Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. 

The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however, he is also like an honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘Glory Hallelujah! Glory to our great God on High! Praise His Holy Name, for He is indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

Yes friends, our awesome God deserves even more praise and thanks than our mortal souls can give! He’s done so much for us, creating, protecting and providing for us all down through the ages, despite our foolish penchant for turning away from Him. 

Now let’s look at some corroborative scriptures. Bruh David says: ‘The Lord is my shepherd…’ 

And Isaiah, when he talks about comfort through trust in the Lord, declares in full agreement: ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. 

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

How beautiful, promising and reassuring is that eh my fellow believers! One can’t ask for more. Then Bruh David says: ‘I shall not want (lack).’ 

And Bruh Paul shouts back at the Philippians: ‘But I have (received) all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell (aroma), a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. 

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever Amen.’ (Phil.4:18-20) 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! The Philippians had sent some gifts to Paul, and as the scholars tell us: ‘4:18. I have all means that Paul has received their gifts. And abound signifies that he has plenty, since all needs are now met through their generosity. God looks on their gift to Paul as an odour of a sweet smell (a fragrant scent) and a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing.’ 

‘4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (vs.18) the Philippians made in meeting Paul’s needs, God will surely supply all their need. God will meet their “need” (1) according to his riches, that is, in proportion to His unlimited resources; (2) in glory, that is, He will meet their need “gloriously” or “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’  

Oh friends, I do hope that as we ponder all we’ve said today, it will bring a greater understanding of the Lord’s word and His many promises, and increase our faith and LOVE for Him. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra in full voice and strong belief. ‘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 that’s the gospel truth my people, so let’s go out and put it all into action nuh! For that’s what Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…to know…know…know Him…is to LOVE…LOVE…LOVE Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2016 Psalm 40:4‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 40:4.  Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Oh friends, the ole fella is a bit out of sorts this morning. Chuh! Nothing’s really wrong nuh, I just got up late and somewhat tired. My enthusiasm seems to be a tad low, but not to worry, by the time I am finished writing, I’m sure the Lord will raise it back up sky high! Oh glory to the wonderful God we truly serve and worship!

And with that I’ll share a most appropriate prayer from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s called ‘Heartstrings’ and says: ‘Lord, with no sense of direction I’m forever losing my way. Please tie a string From Your heart to mine So that even in the darkness I’ll feel the tug of Your heart and find my way home.’


Oh my people, there’s no better way to find our way home in the darkness than with our heartstrings attached to those of Almighty God, our Creator and Provider!


And the Bible promise to which that is attached is none other than: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:11)


Oh what a beautiful promise my brethren! And since we know that our great God ALWAYS keeps His promises, there is no need to fear, if we hold close to, hang tight to Him. Glory Hallelujah! But it all depends on us. We must do our best to rise to whatever occasion that besets us.


Now here is a paragraph from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional that wraps up all of that rather nicely.


He says in no uncertain terms: ‘God is good! Yes, He is! No matter what has happened, God is there for you. And as hard and as crazy as it may sound, when the walls collapse and the world tumbles in, and when it looks like everything that we’ve LOVED is lost, that’s the time to say, “Thank you, God!”  


Oh friends, we all know that that is difficult to do when everything is falling down around us, and we’re at a loss as to what to do to make things right again. But as Gramps Schuller says at the end of the day’s devotion: ‘Believe me – that’s when you need to most to say, “Thank you, God.”  


And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers, because it’s in our greatest time of need that we truly need God, we need to thank Him for all that He’s done for us before, and for all that He’s promised to do. Being rude and unmannerly, or rejecting Him, won’t endear Him to us, or encourage Him to help us. But praise and thanks will!


Then we’ll show that we are indeed true believers. Yeh mih people, I know it’s not at all easy to do, but Christ’s earthly life wasn’t easy either, but He handled it all with timely help from His heavenly Father. The same is expected of us, His followers.


And as I’ve been saying over the last few days, it all comes right down to the state of our faith; how much we believe, and therefore surrender and trust our lives to Him. For as our Bit so wisely and truthfully declares: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’


And all of us who sincerely try to implement that in our lives, know that that is indisputable truth! But it’s not always very easy to do, that is why we also need God’s help to stand strong and stay attuned to Him. I guess it’s like the chicken and the egg; which came first? We need to trust and obey God to be blessed, but we can’t truly trust and obey Him without His help. That’s where our faith and belief comes in.


Ah mih people, trusting and obeying God in this increasingly evil and godless world is becoming more difficult with each passing day. But as true believers, it’s just something we HAVE to do, because who else is going to try and change our world back eh?


Certainly not the evil minions of Lucifer who are holding the trumps right now. That’s why we also need to gather together regularly and pray for strength and guidance, as well as constantly raise up individual prayers for ourselves and each other.


And as I just so happened to read today in my One More Day Devotional for People With Chronic Illness; ‘A simple grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.’ That’s a quote attributed to one Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.  And it’s oh so true friends because gratefulness is truly revered in heaven.

And that brings us right back to the giving of thanks, of saying ‘Thank you God,’ when rough times befall us.

And on this last day for this particular Bit – and I hear some of you release a ‘thank you God’ sigh. (smile) But right there we have a part of our problem; where we need to hear a new bit of scripture every day, when we haven’t even fully digested the one before.


However, let’s end with some scripture passages on trust, beginning with these from Psalm 84 – Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. A psalm of the sons of Korah. ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:11-12)


And hear these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 5 – A prayer for protection. ‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest (protecteth) them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ (Ps.5:11-12)


What awesome words of faithful promise my people. So let’s go out today, and every day, with them ringing in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls nuh, so that we will trust and obey, and faithfully and steadfastly do God’s will for us on this beautiful planet Earth. Much LOVE!


…we cannot truly work on God’s behalf…until we truly trust Him to lead and guide us…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2015 Matthew 9:36‏

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Oh Friends, please be advised that the NHL Hockey Playoffs began last night, with several games on every night. And since I am a fan of the game, it means there will be several late nights, like last night, in the offing. Unfortunately, those late nights will obviously lead to late mornings, like this one.

So please don’t be too peeved and upset with me if the Bits are somewhat late in the next few weeks. (smile) It’s just a fact of life. There isn’t much I watch on the tube, but hockey is one of those things.

And a much better bit of news is that it looks like spring has finally truly sprung. Yesterday was warm, not hot, and beautiful, with loads of brilliant sunshine, and today is forecasted to be more of the same.

The temps are getting up to the mid to high teens, and that’s bringing out the pent-up winter frustration, so the hot rod cars with their loud engines and mufflers are now out on the road, the walkers, runners, cyclists and the ‘motorbikers’ are getting into gear too. So look out for the madness, especially after such a long and harsh winter.

And Friends, on this Thursday morning in mid –April, I want to remind us of some rather important facts as they pertain to our faith. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, but they are the words of the prominent American churchman, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.

And he reputedly said that: ‘Religion can never be the answer to human problems. All of the religions of the world are inadequate. Christ alone is the Answer. Christ alone understands. Christ alone forgives. Christ alone eliminates your guilt.

Christ alone saves and then assures you that you are God’s child and the most wonderful person possible! Christ alone fills the human heart with LOVE –joy- peace- self-confidence. No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Oh my people, my people, what wonderful words of utmost truth and wisdom! There is nothing in that passage that can be disputed! So please, please, this morning let’s allow those fateful words of truth to sink into our hearts, minds and spirits, so that they can reinforce, renew and reinvigorate our passion and joy in our faith and in Christ Jesus!

We need that sort of renewal regularly, because in these last days the enemy is fighting mightily, to keep us from believing and acknowledging the wonder and worthiness of our faith.

And I like that last part of Dr. Shoemaker’s statements: ‘No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Why, you ask? Because if all of the previous statements are true, which they are, we ought to have such LOVE for our God, ourselves and our neighbours, that nothing whatsoever can diminish the light and joy of Jesus in our souls and lives.

That brings us to our Bit. ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sorrow that filled Jesus’ heart when He saw His people so lost and scattered, without any proper guidance, just going astray any which way? Remember Isaiah’s prophecy, re comfort through trust in the Lord?

He said: ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11)

And that is exactly what Jesus came to do my people! He was the fulfillment of that prophecy. Read John 10 and you can hear Him expound on the theory of the sheep and the shepherd, as pertains to Himself.

First, He tells them a parable. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:1-5)

Ah my brethren, all of that is oh so true! Now listen to some useful explanations by the scholars. ‘10:1. Door is the one who stood in the opening of the (stone) fold. (the pen where the sheep were kept at night). The thieves and robbers were the Pharisees. See also verse 8.’

’10:3. Sheep know only their shepherd’s voice. In the Near East several flocks belonging to different shepherds may be in one fold (a fenced in area). But only a shepherd’s own sheep will follow him out of the fold. Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’

Obviously the people listening to Jesus didn’t understand what He was talking about. ‘Then Jesus saith unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:7-10)

And at the remembrance of that wonderful news, all God’s people gave a mighty and glorious shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the awesome shepherd of our flock; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly!’

So my people, in ending, let me remind us, that if we are the sheep of Jesus’ flock, then it is of the utmost importance that we listen to His voice, and follow Him and Him alone. If not, then we’ll be marked for certain death, as all else are merely thieves and robbers, come to kill, steal and destroy.

So let’s open our ears and quite clearly hear our Master’s voice and follow Him down the straight and narrow, but safe path where He will inevitably lead us. That my brethren, is certainly wisdom and understanding of a heavenly nature! Much LOVE!

…all we like sheep have gone astray…but Jesus in His LOVING-kindness…has found us and brought us safely back to His fold…oh what a joy…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2014 Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11.      He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Ah mih people, it’s Wednesday – we halfway home! So please hang in there, faithful and steadfast, knowing that all things work together for good to all those who LOVE God and are called by Him for His purpose. (Rom.8:28) That’s a wonderful scripture to hold on to this morning my brethren.
 
And all God’s people joyfully declared: ‘Praise the Lord! This is the day the day Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Way to go my fellow believers!
 
Now here’s an interesting quote from Israel Salanter Lipkin (1810-1883), the famous Lithuanian Rabbi and revolutionary philosopher. He says: ‘Spirituality is like a bird: if you hold on to it tightly, it chokes, and if you hold it loosely, it escapes.’
 
And that my people, is not only true of our spirituality, but also a number of other things in life. If we hold on to them too tightly, we extinguish their lifeblood, and if we are too lax and wishy washy with them, they just float away from us.
 
We constantly see it in friendships, in LOVE, in parenting children, in managing people in the workplace, in all walks of life. That means we need to exhibit some semblance of balance in our lives. Don’t hold on to things or people too tightly – read control (smile) or they are likely to rebel.
 
Neither should we take them too much for granted, or we’re liable to lose them too. So it’s essential that we don’t tip the scales on either side. The same thing goes for our spiritual development.
 
As the One More Day Devotional from which I got the quote says: ‘When we possessively clutch our faith and expect all that we demand, our spirituality is weakened. Yet if we expect nothing of it, it might seem to disappear.
 
Our spiritual lives are strengthened as we find that precious balance between expectant trust in our Higher Power and responsible reliance on ourselves.’
 
And that’s gospel truth! But the problem is trying to strike that right balance in our lives. However, it is not an impossible task if we cling to the Lord God Jehovah as our lifeline, and hold on to the many promises He has made us, none of which He has ever, or will ever renege on.
 
And I definitely like the promise in our Bit: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’
 
Oh my brethren, what wonderful imagery, what a beautiful pastoral scene it paints; depicting Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour just gently and wisely leading and guiding us, like a good shepherd takes care of his sheep, like a mother hen takes care of her chicks, generally speaking, like the female of the species looks after the young ones in her brood.
 
Some of us might not know the duties of a shepherd, but it’s basically to look after his flock in all aspects of their lives; be it leading them to green and plentiful grass and wholesome water to drink, taking care of them in sickness, seeking them out when they’re lost… whatever it takes to maintain the peace, calm and prosperity of the flock.
 
And wonder of wonders my people, that’s exactly how our great and wonderful God looks after us when we surrender our lives, our struggles to Him! 
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures where the Lord is referred to as our Shepherd. Jeremiah, in his prophecy of the remnant of God’s people one day triumphantly returning to Jerusalem, first decries the leaders of Israel. ‘Woe be unto the pastors (shepherds, leaders) that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.
 
Therefore, thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors (shepherds, leaders) that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited (attended to) them: behold I will visit upon you (attend to you for) the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.23:1-2)
 
Yes Friends, in due time the Lord will get rid of the woeful and wicked pastors and leaders who are leading His people astray and replace them with righteous and responsible ones.
 
And then the eventual Good Shepherd will come. ‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper (act wisely), and shall execute judgement and justice (justice and righteousness) in the earth (land). (Jer.23:5)
 
And that promise was fulfilled my people when Jesus came to earth as a man and blossomed in all His spiritual glory! Wow! What a faithful and trustworthy God we serve and worship!
 
And all God’s people joyfully declared: ‘Thank you Lord! We praise you and bless your holy name!’
 
And the prophet Ezekiel tells us thus of the Lord’s care for His flock. ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep).
 
And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek.34:22-24)
 
Yes Friends, that’s the magnificent and majestic God we worship, making everlasting plans for our protection and provision!
 
And we’ll close with this appropriate benediction from Hebrews. ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Heb.13:20-21)
 
Now Friends, as we go about our busy lives today, let’s hold on to all that our God has promised, so that we can have peace and good success, despite all the troubles crazily swirling around us, for that is indeed wisdom from on high! Much LOVE!
 
…and ye my flock…the flock of my pasture…are men…and I am your God…saith the Lord God… (Ezek.35:31)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2014 Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11.     He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Oh Friends, it’s Tuesday – tearful Tuesday! That’s because of the many tears we’ll shed this morning, having to get up and go out to work, tired, sleep deprived, moaning and groaning, after the long, loud, lusty and lustful Labour Day weekend. (smile)
 
Don’t worry my brethren, the ole fella’s in the same boat. I shed a few tears my self just now when I had to get up to write the Bit, after only about three hours of sleep. But having cried out for LOVE and mercy and grace, I’m facing up to my task, assured of heavenly blessing and guidance to complete it in a worthwhile manner.
 
And I just want to comment here, give a personal testimony, on some thing I heard my Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) say this weekend. He claims he wasn’t the least bit interested in being the pastor at Lakewood Church after his father went to be with the Lord some ten years ago.
 
He was quiet happy being in the background looking after the television aspect of the ministry. However, deep down inside, he felt that it was his calling, his destiny, and once he accepted that unforeseen role, despite all the problems surrounding it, he experienced an inner peace within himself that he just could not understand.
 
But it was the Lord’s peace; that peace that surpasses all human understanding.
 
On hearing that, it just brought back to my memory the surprising and unexpected peace I also experienced when my mother Molly died three years ago.
 
I was in California at the time, on a short vacation, the first time I’d left the country in some four or five years, and was most surprised and disappointed when I got the news of her passing, without me even having a chance to say a formal goodbye, and she, just a couple days before telling me that she wasn’t yet ready to go home.
 
But soon thereafter, I unexpectedly found myself at a point of quiet peace with situation. The Lord put a couple of understandable though not necessarily wonderful reasons in my heart for His action.
 
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed, sad and cried and grieved and everything else. But deep down inside I didn’t have the turmoil that usually comes with those kinds of situations. I remember remarking to myself how calm and collected I was, despite all the sorrow and heartache surrounding me.
 
I now realize that that was indeed the peace of God which passes all human understanding, which allows us to have a calm interior, while the winds of the storm are wreaking havoc all around us on the outside.
 
And the moral of the story is that when the storm clouds of trouble and sorrow surround us, it is indeed possible to have internal peace, if we turn to our wonderful God and cast all our cares upon Him, as He so generously advises. ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’(1 Pet. 5:7)
 
He will certainly keep ALL of His promises; of never leaving nor forsaking us, of having good plans for our lives, plans of hope and a good future, to also bring us through the fire suitably changed but unscathed, working it all out for our good in His time and manner.
 
No wonder Isaiah likens Him to a shepherd in our Bit, for a true shepherd cares for and looks after his flock with total concentration. ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those with young.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, what a wonderful word portrait of our great Provider, Jehovah Raffa!
 
And there are lots of scriptures that describe Him as a shepherd because the old Jewish society was agrarian, and best-understood stuff couched in agricultural terminology.
 
Now let’s look at some of those scriptures that portray our omnipotent, LOVING, merciful, most caring and forgiving God as a shepherd. And the obvious scripture to begin with are the words of Jesus Himself, of whom Isaiah was prophesying, when he made the claims in our Bit.
 
Jesus unequivocally declares to His listeners: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
 
The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so knoweth I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
 
And other sheep I have (Gentiles), which are not of this fold (Jews): them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10: 11-16)
 
Oh Friends, how much more convincing and eloquent can Jesus be eh? Not much. He says it all right there.
 
Meanwhile Jeremiah in his prophecy declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (coastlands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.’ (Jer.31:10)
 
And Micah, in talking of the deliverers from Bethlehem, tells us: ‘And he shall stand and feed (shepherd his flock) in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.’ (Mic.5:4)
 
Then Peter declares it thus: ‘For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls.’ (1 Pet.2:25) There he is quoting Isaiah 53:5-6.
 
And we’ll close with the most famous scripture passage, re the analogy of God to a shepherd. Hear these beautiful, soul-searching, uplifting and inspiring words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside still waters (waters of rest).
 
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:1-4)
 
Oh my people, please take heart, for despite all the troubles that surround us, all the fires we must pass through, our wonderful heavenly Father, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our helper and comforter, are always around us, leading us to green pastures filled with restful, sweet tasting and rejuvenating water.
 
So today, please put all your trust and faith and hope in our Triune God, who watches over and protects us like a true shepherd does his sheep. Much LOVE!
 
…when the Good Shepherd, Jesus comes a calling…His sheep will recognize His voice…and heed His righteous and comforting call…