Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’  

Now let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2020 Deuteronomy 32:4.

Deuteronomy 32:4.    ​He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 

And so the confusion, the lies, disinformation, false news and whatever continues! I just saw a trailer video of a film supposedly released in 2003, 17 years ago, that talks about all the things that have happened and are happening today: the Coronavirus, lock down, quarantine, chloroquine, etc. etc. And rather astutely, the brown-skinned guy, dressed in a priest’s collar, does not say a word about it, except it was made in 2003 not today. He leaves you to draw your own conclusions. 

So what is one to make of that eh? Is it a man-made plan, an accident, or who knows what? And that is what’s driving the pandemonium in the pandemic – the absence of real truth, too much supposition and theories! But that shouldn’t surprise us when there are supposedly so many different kinds of truth around in these troubled times. I thought there was only one kind of truth; the truth, and there couldn’t be more than one kind, else one would be false, not the truth. If you follow my logic. (smile) 

As the old Oxford dictionary describes it: ‘Quality, state, of being true or accurate or honest or sincere or loyal or accurately shaped or adjusted… in accordance with fact or reality, not fake or erroneous.’ So, apparently, with all the varying info on the same subjects, one can theoretically have several different kinds of truth nowadays. But friends, I’m here to tell us that there is ONLY ONE PLACE one can find TRUTH; real and unvarnished TRUTH! That’s in the Good Book; the Lord’s Law, that was written ages ago and never changes. The Lord God of Israel is the embodiment of TRUTH! 

Moses said it in His song: ‘Because I will publish (proclaim) the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children (they are not his children because of their blemish): they are a perverse and crooked generation.’ (Deut. 32:3-5) 

And believe me, with all the current havoc and confusion, it’s only in the God of Israel, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that real truth can now be found, through the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He said it as plain as day: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Yes friends, no one comes to the Father, the One real, true and living God, but through the Son, Jesus Christ! 

And that’s where our truth begins! Anything else that doesn’t correlate with that is a lie! And it’s strange how down through the years many of the writers of the Bible spoke about truth, or even more about the lack of it. Cousin Sol in Proverbs advised us to: ‘Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.’ (Prov. 23:23) That’s how important those things are in our lives. We’ve got to get them and not lose them because they are the things that lead to a rich and fulfilling life. But our world, since way back when, has always seemed to resist truth. 

Hear Isaiah as he talks about national corruption and consequent suffering. ‘None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:4) Oh my people, my people, is it possible that Isaiah is alive and well today? One could be led to think so since all those things he talks of in olden Israel are also rampant today. Injustice, corruption, lies, evil doing, as well as empty words and promises describe our world to a T! 

But please remember what Isaiah was talking about; national corruption, and consequent suffering. And if you don’t think the consequential suffering has begun with this pandemic thing affecting the whole corrupt world, then good for you. And if you don’t believe Isaiah, then perchance you might belief Jeremiah, as he declares (yeahh!) that disobedience brings God’s judgement… 

Ah Lord eh friends! The computer might be a God-send, but it’s also a tool of the enemy. Some forty five minutes ago, I was going along quite well and was typing Jeremiah’s opening statement when something made me look up. And lo and behold I saw just four inverted commas on the page and nothing I had typed about Jeremiah. Then I couldn’t delete them or type anything else. I called my young daughter for help, but she couldn’t help me either. She suggested shutting it down, but that didn’t work. And when I shut it down a second time I could not even type in the password to get on. Steups! 

So finally, I had to come up and resort to my lonely and hardly used laptop, so I could continue. Satan truly knows how to get under one’s skin yes. But thankfully I didn’t lose my cool. Yes, I was annoyed, but with God’s help, kept my peace, cause the devil’s purpose was obviously to steal my joy since I was talking about so much truth. (smile) So let’s hear, finally, what Jeremiah has to say nuh: ‘Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour (friend), and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour (friend) will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.’ (Jer. 9:2-5) 

And it is indeed sad that all that stuff is still happening in our world. Consequently, we have to be ever so careful of whom we associate with, what we watch and listen to. It’s a full time job just to winnow the chaff from the grain nowadays. Instead friends, we must do like the psalmist did in Psalm 119, cry out to God for help. 

‘My soul melteth (weeps) for heaviness (grief): strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgements have I laid before me. I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.’ (Ps. 119:28-32) And friends, if we’re sincere in all we say and do, then the Lord will help us, not put us to shame and enlarge our hearts! 

So let’s go home this Wednesday morning declaring (yeahh!) our Wednesday Wail nuh, letting all the doubters and unbelievers know of our safe, secure and truthful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong voice now; ‘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!’ 

And we know with indisputable truth, that if we persist and endure to the end, those words will indeed come true! Much LOVE!

…it cannot be truth…if it doesn’t agree with the Good Book…