Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2017 Psalm 18:20.

Psalm 18:20.   The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

Well friends, it’s the Tuesday after Labour Day, which means that all the fun and frolic of summer is drawing to an end. As the D.J plays that famous last tune: ‘The party’s over my friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ Yeh mih breddren it’s back to school and work time now. 

And to add fuel to that fire, here’s a li’l blurb from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) on the subject. He says: ‘Possibility Thinking isn’t just dreaming. It’s faith in action.  That translates into W-O-R-K with a patient commitment to excellence.’ 

And that is exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects of His followers; a serious commitment to excellent work! And in these end times, we all need to step up our work in and for the kingdom of Christ. 

He’s losing more followers than He’s gaining, and that’s due in large part to our lack of commitment, our compromises, generally taking the easy way out and preferring to enjoy the easy life of the world, rather than go the extra mile for Christ. 

Why? Because that might include some ‘sufferation,’ some adversity on our part, and we’ve gotten so soft and afraid of adversity nowadays, that we’d rather allow Christ’s work to suffer, than we break a nail trying to further His kingdom. 

And when the unbeliever looks at our hypocritical lifestyles, what can we expect but criticism and disbelief eh? Too many of us are not living true Christian lives; we’re like the Pharisees of old, who preached one thing in public and did something completely different in private. That’s why Jesus continually lambasted them. 

And if we seriously believe in Jesus and sincerely want to do His work and try our best to become like Him, then we’ve got to clean up our act, and begin walking our talk. Oh, many of us are doing it, but definitely not enough to make any worthwhile difference. 

There are too many divisions in Christ’s body, too many cliques and too much dissension for it to function at a consistently high level, and until we stop fighting amongst ourselves, Christ’s church will not grow the way it is supposed to. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.’ And that’s exactly what happens in God’s kingdom; we’re rewarded for our faithfulness and obedience to His Word. 

And Bruh David continues in his thanksgiving for deliverance from his enemies, after our Bit: ‘For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgements were before me, and I did not put his statutes from me. 

I was also upright before (with) him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.’ (Ps.18:21-24) 

How much plainer can it be eh friends? We do right and the Lord rewards us. We do wrong, and He doesn’t. Oh my brethren, Christianity is not rocket science. It’s simply believing in God and doing our best to be obedient to Him and His word. 

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He knows we will make mistakes, because we’re frail and foolish, (smile) that’s how He made us. But He does expect us to try our best. And that is simply what too many of us supposed believers are not doing. 

Now listen to Job’s friend, Elihu, as he reasons with Job about God’s forgiveness when men repent. ‘His flesh shall be fresher than (young as) a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him (delight in him): and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render (restore) unto man his righteousness. 

He (God) looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver (redeem) his soul from going into the pit (hell), and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.’ (Job 33:25-30) 

Yes friends, our God is a most merciful and forgiving God, but we have to be honest and up front with Him. Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, which clearly states who and whose we are. 

‘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!’ 

So let’s go out and share that LOVE nuh, for that’s what Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…Jesus calls us to action…much more than to talk…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:2.

2 Chronicles 2:15.  Hear ye me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.

Ah friends, when it’s not one thing it’s another yes! Chuh! The enemy surely knows how to get into our souls. I’ve been down here now for about fifteen minutes trying to get into my E-mail account. It works well until it comes to opening the mailbox, then it stops with about 2% to go. 

Everything else seems to be working perfectly, except for the Hotmail nonsense. I’ve refreshed it at least three times, but each time it simply stalls right before the end of the line. Steups! Computers eh!  They are often more trouble than they’re worth, and generally cause problems when you need them the most…  

Whoopee de! I just got a message about something going wrong which they can’t figure out as yet, so to try later. Fat lot of good it did me then to try and get up at a reasonable time to write the Bit. 

But since I write the Bit in Word before transferring it to Hotmail, because of earlier problems with writing it in Hotmail, we can continue doing our thing while they try to figure out what’s wrong. 

So, rather appropriately, we have a few words from Gramps Schuller (Dr.Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, on being an extraordinary person. Listen up: ‘The capacity to be extraordinary  – a little more or a little better than the last time – is a quality that fosters and causes the flow of divine enthusiasm. 

Choose the best: shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ 

True words of wisdom my brethren! If you are a follower of Jesus, then the best, excellence is what He expects of you. Just checked Hotmail…Wonder of wonders! It’s finally open! But we’ll continue here. 

And I believe one of our major failings in Christianity today is our lack of excellence. We seem to be too afraid of what the world will say and or/do, and we also compromise too much, consequently our efforts on behalf of Christ are only lukewarm and mediocre. 

But friends, in this spiritual battle in which we’re currently engaged, we can’t afford to be lack-lustre and without any real bite, because the enemy is coming at us full force. He is not taking a holiday or easing up in his efforts to subdue us. So why are we doing our best to give him the victory that Christ won for us through such painstaking effort eh? 

I think our current Christian movement needs a serious injection of ramped up effort, which can only come through healthier and more plentiful communication with Almighty God. It brings to mind the warning of the prophet Azariah in the Old Testament. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah, the son of Oded. And he went out to meet (before) Asa, and said unto him. Hear ye me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’  (2 Chr.15:1-2) 

My fellow believers, the battle is heating up right before our very eyes, please note all the disasters and calamities in our world, both manmade and natural; check out the widespread strife and anger, resentment and hate that’s contaminating our world. 

Nations are fighting nations without any apparent hope for peace. Leaders are full of political rhetoric, busily trying to build their power base, but doing nothing to quell the storms. The only thing that can help us is a true return to God, for our world is just like Israel was in Azariah’s time. 

Hear the Good Book tell it. ‘Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. (2 Chr.15:3) That surely sounds like the current state of our world! 

‘But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.’ (2 Chr.15:4) The exact solution for our problem my fellow believers! 

‘And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations (turmoil) were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of (by) nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.’ (2 Chr.15:5-6) 

What a mirror image of our present world my people! I don’t believe our world has ever seen a period of time where so much anger and strife and disasters have enveloped it all at once. 

And the ONLY sensible solution is to repent and turn back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the ONLY TRUE AND LIVING GOD who has the power to make our world better. 

But friends, for that to happen, we believers must ramp up our efforts on Christ behalf, focus on excellence not compromise and mediocrity, so that we can get His LOVE Revolution hopping, with people coming to Him in droves, rather than moving away from Him. 

We need to take the sincere warning of Azariah seriously. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak; for your work will be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:7) 

I therefore implore us to come together in LOVE and peace, for there is strength in numbers. Let’s stop the silly and petty bickering and heal the divisions that are currently entrenched in Christ’s church, so that we can do His work and bring some peace and stability to our world, especially to our children. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and sincere ‘Amen!’ 

And having decided to do all that, we can now go home declaring our Wednesday Wail without hypocrisy. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh friends, those objectives will only be accomplished if we stand strong and steadfast in Christ, brimming over with enthusiasm and excellence. Much LOVE!

…true strength comes only from sincerely seeking God…then walking purposely in His will…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2016 Psalm 91:2.

Psalm 91:2.    I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 

Ahoy there me ole shipmates! (smile) Monday’s in the books…Glory be! So let’s begin Tuesday on the right foot nuh by declaring our wise and godly intentions. ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes friends, that’s the only sensible way to greet this new day of life that we’ve been granted; in joy and gladness! All other ways are filled with numerous pitfalls and disappointments.

At least when we are rejoicing in the goodness of our God, we can be strong and steadfast in times of misfortunes, standing on His ever-faithful promise to never leave nor forsake us. 

Now let’s bolster all of that by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with supreme belief and overwhelming faith and trust. As one now: ‘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!’ Ah mih people, what a beautiful and reassuring declaration! 

Wow! Knowing that I am the beloved of God and a true friend pf Jesus is just the ‘mostest’! (smile) There isn’t even a real word to truly convey the importance and satisfaction of those situations.

And to be true followers of Jesus we must base our lives on what Jesus says about us, rather than how the world beholds us. That is ever so important to kingdom living my people! 

And let’s not forget the last part of our Mantra: ‘share His LOVE with the world,’ for that’s one of our basic purposes on planet earth.

In Jesus’ world, we need to both believe and do, otherwise we’re out of sync, out of step with our Lord and Saviour. And that surely won’t do. 

Now here’s a li’l something that ties in with our Leader’s expectations. I’m not sure where I got it from, or if I’ve ever shared it before, but it does hit the nail right on the head in today’s message. 

It says: ‘Choose the best; shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag!’ 

Oh friends, those are certainly words of truth for anyone to live by, but more so for Christians, because our heavenly intercessor, Jesus, expects us to live by a definite standard of excellence.

And though it’s not an easy motto to live by, we can successfully attempt it through our station as beloved children of the Most High God, Jehovah! 

Especially when we have the faith to declare like the psalmist in our Bit. ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’ 

What wonderful words for a believer to both hear and declare my brethren! It just ramps up our faith, encourages us to be bold and confident in all that we do, knowing that God is on our side. And as the scripture says: If God is for us, who can be against us eh? (Rom.8:31) 

NOBODY my people, NOBODY! That’s because our God is the greatest Mover and Shaker in the entire universe! 

And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His Holy Name!’ 

And we have a great example of all that in the unique style of the psalm from which our Bit is taken. Yesterday we saw where the psalmist was declaring God’s wonderful attributes of strength and protection; today we’ll hear where God declares His side of the story. 

Listen up: ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. 

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder (cobra): the young lion and the dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps.91:9-16) 

Oh friends, what glorious promises from the Creator of the universe for those who sincerely believe in Him and surrender their lives to Him with absolute trust and faith! 

Listen though, to these words of caution from the scholars. Psalm 91: An important caution is necessary here. The great promises of verses 3-13 should not be taken in an absolute sense. One may not be presumptuous in applying them – Satan has already suggested that (Matt.4:6-7). 

Rather, the believer must recall that deliverance still has to do with the will of God and that even if harm should come, he can still be secure (cf. Luke 21:16 with 21:18 and Rom.8:28 with 8:35).’ 

All the scholars are saying friends is that we don’t take everything literally. Harm can still come to us, but even then, we can still be secure in the Lord our God.

Please read those scriptures (that’s your homework) to get a better understanding of what the scholars are talking about. I can’t spoon-feed you all here, (smile) because it’s just too much, and we don’t have the time or space to do it. 

Now let’s go home with a feeling of joy and gladness, based on the strong and true foundation of God’s word, filled with promises of security and deliverance and unconditional LOVE, for that’s the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…try me…test me…says the Lord Jehovah to the unbeliever…and you’ll find me faithful and true…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2014 Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42:1.   As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.

And then it was Thursday – the day before Friday, the harbinger of the weekend! And this is Toronto’s big weekend in the sun, its weekend to shine brightly as the Caribana celebrations ramp up to the finale, the big parade on Saturday, moving from the Exhibition Stadium grounds out on to and down Lakeshore Boulevard.
 
Oh sorry Friends, officially the celebration is no longer Caribana, but something like Scotia Bank Caribbean Carnival. That’s because in the last few years the original Caribana Committee took the current runners of the festivities to court claiming copyright for the name Caribana, and they won.
 
However, despite all the legal wrangling, it will be forever known as Caribana, to the millions who’ve been involved in it. As they say, what’s in a name eh? A rose by any other name is just as sweet. I guess the same goes for the T.O. festivities. And would you believe that after all the bad blood between the two sides, there is now talk about them joining together. Ah Lord eh!
 
Anyway my brethren, I want to share with you a few words from one of my favourite pastors, Dr. Robert H. Schuller, and this from his Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t think I’ve shared this before, but even if I have, it’s worthwhile hearing it again.
 
He says that we ought to be extraordinary. ‘Choose the best, shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my people! And electing the best becomes even more important when you are a follower of Jesus Christ, because Jesus requires excellence in all those who choose to come to Him. Without overall excellence in our lives Friends, we’ll never reach the pinnacle, the heights that the Lord has planned for us.
 
And we cannot achieve excellence either without a helping hand from Almighty God. That’s why it’s so important to have that need, that intense longing for Jesus, as our Bit so astutely declares: ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.’
 
And that, my people, should be the modus operandi, the wish of all true believers! We ought to hunger and thirst after righteousness, as Jesus says in the Beatitudes, (Matt.5:6) so that He can fill us with His LOVE and mercy and guidance, without which we’d be totally lost in this evil, oppressive world.
 
And I just noticed an interesting scholars’ explanation for that Beatitude. ‘5:6. These future possessors of the earth are its presently installed rightful heirs, and even now they hunger and thirst after righteousness. They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself is proof of their spiritual rebirth.
 
Those who are poor and empty in their own spiritual poverty recognize the depth of their need, and they hunger and thirst for that which only God can give them. They shall be filled (Gr. chortazo) refers to a complete satisfaction. The psalmist proclaimed: ‘He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (Ps.107:9)
 
Ah Friends, why in heavens name would we not be hungering and thirsting for Jesus and His righteousness if we claim to believe in Him eh? But the sad fact of the matter is that many of us are doing just that, claiming to believe, but not intensely longing for His righteousness, even though we are spiritually poor.
 
Unwisely, we try to fill up the empty space in us with the things of the world; its false glitz and glamour and earthly riches. But my brethren none of that can ever fully replace, or be better than the riches and the righteousness of heaven. And though some of us know that deep down in our hearts, yet we insist on pushing Jesus aside to embrace the things of the world.
 
Now hear these words from Psalm 84, the rejoicing of a pilgrim to the temple in Jerusalem. ‘How amiable are thy tabernacles (lovely are thy dwellings) O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.
 
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will still be praising thee.   Selah…. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper (stand at the threshold) in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
 
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.84:1-4, 11-12)
 
Oh Friends, those are the sentiments of an earthly traveller hungering for God’s presence, and until we can all truthfully echo those same sentiments, we are not doing our best, we are not longing for Jesus as intensely as we should, and therefore we will not be as excellent as we ought to be.
 
Again my people, I ask us today to ponder, to consider the condition of our souls, and if there be any lack, any emptiness therein, please turn to Jesus and ask Him to LOVINGLY  fill those empty spaces with His grace, LOVE and mercy, so that we can go out and do excellent things in His holy name. For that is the wisdom that comes from heaven on high! Much LOVE!
 
…I stretch forth my hands unto thee…my soul thirsteth after thee…as a thirsty land…Selah… (Ps.143:6)