Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2017 Proverbs 24:1.

Proverbs 24:1.   Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

And then it was Thursday – the penultimate day of our workweek… And everybody gave a small sigh of relief, while muttering: ‘Wish it was Friday though.’ (smile) That’s just the nature of the beast. We’re grateful, while being ungrateful. 

That brings us to this quote ascribed to Louise Heath Leber, although there are naysayers who claim that it was already well known when she reputedly said it. ‘There is always room for improvement, you know – it’s the biggest room in the house.’ 

And regardless of who said or didn’t say it, is the gospel truth! We all have plenty room for improvement in many things in this life. But today I want to focus particularly on us Christian folk, because right now we are not living up to Christ’s ideal of true followers. 

Oh we talk the talk, but don’t sincerely walk it, and thus are regarded more or less as big time hypocrites. That certainly paints a bad picture of Jesus and His supposed LOVE Revolution. 

And I know many of us are bristling at that criticism, but if we look deeply and sincerely at what’s happening in Christ’s body, His church, you will see that it is definitely not functioning, as it ought to. 

There are too many divisions, too many religions, too many little cliques and groups who want to run it the way they want to, with envy and jealousy, resentment and anger very prominent in Christ’s body. And very often the leadership also leaves much to be desired, with everybody preaching their own version of the truth, or slanted to their personal benefit. 

That’s why the powers of evil and darkness are running the show. We don’t have a united enough front to challenge them, and apparently neither the will, thus they are picking us off one by one with the lures of their evil world, in the truly cunning manner of divide and conquer. 

Friends, we’re falling for the things of the world way too much and too often. Remember we’re supposed to be IN the world, but not OF the world. And yes the things of the world look wonderful on the surface, but deep down they have no real eternal values. 

So what’s our answer to these questions of Jesus eh: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ 

Oh my fellow believers, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by selling our souls for the trivial, valueless stuff that the world tries to foster on us. The world is evil…and wicked…and greedy…deceitful, envious, hateful and jealous… all the negative things that Jesus dislikes. 

That’s why our Bit warns us so sternly: ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’ For if you look enviously at what the evil people have or do, at how they prosper in their wickedness, you won’t ever be a true believer. 

You will be like the seed that fell among the thorns in Jesus’ parable about the sower. ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt.13:22) 

And sadly, that is what is happening to too many supposed Christians today: we are too concerned with the cares of this world, thus we have less time, energy and appetite to do Jesus’ work, like we should. 

Now there are many scriptures in the Good Book which remind us of that fact and also point the way to the straight and narrow path, but this one is definitely the most colourful and thought provoking. Listen to Psalm 1 – Blessed are the righteous. 

‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder by talking to oneself) day and night. 

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in due season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:1-6) 

There it is right in a nutshell my brethren – the way to prosperity in God’s kingdom! The next move depends on us, whether we believe and practice it or not. It would be a grave mistake if we didn’t, for then, eternal separation from our Creator will be our eventual lot in life…the spiritual one that is. 

And for those of us who believe, and at least try to practice our convictions, lets go home declaring the wonderful blessings that our magnanimous God has so generously bestowed on us this glorious Thursday. 

With sincerity and true sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

And now, after the talk…the action! Much LOVE!

Christian folk…we are richly blessed…so that we can SHARE our blessings…remember that…

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2016 Psalm 107:29

Psalm 107:29.    He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

So how goes it this beautiful morning eh, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ? I do hope that it is going well, but as usual, if it isn’t, then let me remind us that there’s no need to fear or be worried. 

We just have to take it all to Jesus, lay it at the foot of the cross, and He will take our burdens and instead offer us His comfort and His wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. 

Remember His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle and humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Yes friends, there’s no better invitation than that in the entire world! And if we’re wise, we’ll gladly take it whenever times become overwhelming. 

And if you’re in a full-blown storm this morning, then here is some more good advice from Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller) from our Hour of Power Devotional, to help you weather it. It’s titled ‘When I Face a Storm.’ I believe I’ve shared it before, but when it’s good, it’s always best to wheel and come again. (smile) 

So please pray with me. ‘You never promised, Lord, that I would be forever sheltered from stormy times in my life. You have promised that the sun will outlast the storms. You issue the grand command from outer space and the renegade storm clouds break up, scatter, and flee like hoodlums furtively racing from the streets, back to their hidden lairs in some forbidding alley. 

The bright stars come out to laugh again, like little children returning once more to safe streets for happy play. The sky clears. A huge, yellow moon sails once more calm and serene through the silent skies. 

Even as you restore peace after the storm, so will you bestow a renewed calm to my troubled mind through your peace-instilling presence that is surrounding me now. Your quiet and calming spirit is flowing within me now. My fear is gone! Thank you, Lord! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that whatever fear we were holding is now gone and the calm and peace of Jesus is now controlling our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, like He promised. 

And since today is Tuesday, let’s further bolster our faith by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of hope, vision and sense of purpose. 

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’ 

Yes friends, that’s such an important declaration and distinction, one we need to carry with us at all times. For we are indeed God’s children, and no one can take that away from us. 

But on the other hand, we also have a responsibility to behave like children of God, so that the world can see what He’s like, through the living examples of our lives. We need to have the fruit of God’s Spirit showing brightly through our godly behaviour. 

And just in case we’ve forgotten what’s the fruit of the Spirit, let’s refresh our minds. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness). Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) 

Oh my brethren, those are the things the heathen ought to see in our lives! That’s the only way we can ever make a good and fruitful impact on them. All our words are meaningless unless and until we back them up with true action! 

That brings us to our Bit, taken from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. But first let’s set the scene. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. 

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end (all their wisdom is swallowed up). 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ (Ps.107:23-30). 

Yes my precious people, the same way the seafarers cry out to God in times of storms on the sea, the same way we ought to cry out to our heavenly Father when the vicissitudes of life, our ever-changing circumstances, overwhelm us. And as promised, He will calm the storms and bring us safely to the haven of His LOVE.  

Oh friends, there’s none other like our great God! That’s why the psalmist so wisely advises: ‘Oh that men would praise (give thanks to) the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps.107:31-32) 

There’s nothing more I can say friends, except to implore us to do as the psalmist and Jesus wisely advise: before anything or anyone else, turn to your omnipotent and merciful God in times of trouble. Much LOVE!

…why turn to impotent man in times of trouble…when we have an omnipotent God to turn to…