Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2020 Deuteronomy 33:27

Deuteronomy 33:27.     ​The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

Welcome to Sunday friends, the day when we take serious time to worship our great God in fellowship with other believers. And yes, our churches are now open for business, though with strict regulations as to the cleaning and social distancing and number of people allowed to attend… and I think they have even reduced the number this weekend because of the rise in Covid-19 cases. But even with all those restrictions, it’s still better than no physical gathering at all. So let’s get to worship, to some singing of God’s praises without further ado nuh. 

And today’s hymn is an old favourite and very appropriate in today’s anxious and distressful circumstances. It’s titled: ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms of God.’ And believe me, there’s no better place in this universe to lean than on the arms of the mighty One that created us and despite our less than stellar behaviour, still LOVES us with a LOVE so strong and unconditional that NOTHING can break the special bond between us. Glory be mih people! 

But before we get into the singing, here’s some info on the origin of the song from the website Godtube. ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is a hymn published in 1887 with music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman. Showalter had received letters from two of his former pupils informing him their wives had died and were seeking consolation. When writing them back, he was inspired by the phrase in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” 

But after thinking of the verse furthermore, he decided those words would make a great theme for a hymn. He then wrote the words for the refrain and music for the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” But he needed help with the stanzas, so he went to see Elisha Hoffman author of over 2000 gospel hymns. Hoffman provided the stanzas while Showalter created the refrain and music to this hymn. One of the greatest hymns for times of solace as he encouraged “leaning on the everlasting arms” of God when seeking comfort.’ 

And is that ever the glorious truth! Now let’s sing the hymn and do what the website Hymnary.org tells us to do. ‘As the hymn is sung, contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ Mama oh Mama! Let’s get to it nuh friends; in strong, soulful harmony, with sincerity just oozing out of our hearts and souls! 

‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

[Refrain]What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus…leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour…’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, that’s exactly where ALL believers ought to be leaning full on in these perilous times: on the everlasting arms of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! If we’re not leaning there, then He’s not truly our Saviour or our Lord, because that’s what Saviours and Lords are for! 

Just check out the lyrics in the hymn nuh; the sweetness and appropriateness. Words like ‘what a fellowship, what a joy divine.’ Remember our joy comes from His strength. (Neh. 8:10) And ‘how bright the path grows from day to day…so what have I to fear, what have I to dread,’ when I’m leaning on Christ’s everlasting arms eh? Absolutely nothing! With Him so near, we ‘have blessed peace, safe and secure from all alarms.’ Wow precious people, what else do we need but Jesus eh? Again, the answer is a loud and proud‘NOTHING!’For He is ourEVERYTHING, wrapped up all in One! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the psalmist spell it out. ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler (bird trapper), and from the noisome (perilous, deadly) pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust (take refuge): his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (small shield).’ (Ps. 91:1-4) And it goes on promising security my people, for the Lord is the greatest power in the universe He created. 

And yes, Satan does get in a few licks in this evil world, but we all know that eventually the Lord’s purpose will prevail, per His promises. Jesus said, that when we stand up for Him, we’ll have problems, even be put to death ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

And that rolls us into these two immortal promises: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Then Bruh Paul further elucidates: (smile) ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …(NOTHING!) shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35)

And it means exactly what it says my fellow believers; if you sincerely stand up for God, through Jesus Christ, then He will eventually make everything right for you. Working for Christ isn’t easy, but the eventual rewards are literally out of this world. (smile) So let’s go out and earn some out of this world rewards nuh. Much LOVE! 

…true wisdom is working for God…depending on Him…and LOVING Him with all you have…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2019 Joshua 1:8.

Joshua 1:8.   ​This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Well it’s a big Saturday morning in the springtime, but it’s cold as ever, like a puppy dog’s nose, (smile) something like minus 5 or 6 in my area. And before we go on, let’s make one thing perfectly clear, the idea that because a date on the calendar says that the Spring Equinox has arrived, does not mean it suddenly gets warm! That is pure foolishness and fallacy yes! (smile) It’s still so and so cold – all like yesterday when the wind lent its support to the cold, though it was a bright and sunshiny day! 

And the wind itself played havoc with my area yesterday, from late afternoon into the middle of the night, just howling like crazy every few minutes, having stuff creaking and clanking and whatever, leaving homeowners hopeful that no part of their houses or property got damaged by it. But it seems to have settled down now, and no serious damage seems to have been done in my area. Thank God for small mercies yes! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I laughed when I first read this one: ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ I suppose that’s because we refer to opportunity as knocking on a door, and it only knocks once and that sort of thing. 

So it’s only logical to assume that if opportunities aren’t making themselves available, then the problem might be that there is no door for them to knock on. In that case the sensible thing to do will be to build a door for them to knock on! (smile) 

And the next one says: ‘I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.’ Now that is the way we have to view our mistakes and supposed failures! We can’t ever give up, or stop trying, because in truth, failure is not failure until we stop trying, and that idea is found nowhere in Jesus’ philosophy. 

So if you’re a believer, you can’t ever give up or stop trying; you’ve got to keep moving ahead, learning more about Christ and becoming more like Him every day, moving from glory to glory. Praise His holy name! 

And this next quote segues nicely with the others: ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ Yeh friends, we can’t get anywhere until we begin going somewhere! Likewise, we can’t make any progress in our projects and/or ambitions until we begin doing stuff related to them. Everybody wants to write the great American Novel, but no one will ever do so, until and unless they begin writing it. As the Chinese Proverb so eloquently puts it: ‘The longest journey begins with the first step.’ Matter fix! 

This upcoming quote is also quite relevant to our everyday lifestyle. It says: ‘To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time.’ So true my people, so true! We have a bad habit of saying, ‘if only so and so had happened,’ moaning about some past circumstance. But that only gets us in the negative stream of life. What we ought to be saying is ‘next time, I’ll do so and so.’ Try and keep it in the positive stream of the future. We’ll all be better for it. 

And the last quote declares (right ho): ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ Gospel truth that my brethren! It’s like the saying goes, give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But teach him how to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime! 

And I want to put that into perspective with the Lord’s Word: If I just tell you about it, most likely you’ll forget about it shortly thereafter. If I teach you about it, you’ll remember it for a longer period of time. However, if I involve you in the whole process, then you’ll probably learn more than in the two previous scenarios, because you are hands on in the situation, getting down and dirty with the subject matter. 

 Consequently friends, it is all well and good to go to church and hear sermons, but most of us, by the time we get in the parking lot have forgotten what the sermon was about, although we clapped and said numerous ‘Amen’s’ during it.’ And that’s no lie! (smile) Now, if we then go home and read up the scripture that the sermon was based on, we’ll have a better idea on what the pastor was talking about. 

But better still, if we sit down and begin to contemplate, meditate, think seriously on those scriptures, then eventually we will really know them. That’s the only way to truly learn the Word my brethren! We need to get totally involved in it, seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, asking Him to talk to our hearts about it, show us how it affects or can be successfully made a part of our lives. 

Please remember friends that scripture is a guideline for our lives, and until we make it such, it will be of no real use to us. Knowing it and not putting it to use is a complete waste of time. We’ll never get ahead until we begin living our earthly lives by the heavenly values found in the Lord’s Word!  

And I have to chuckle here friends, because I’ve been writing all of the above with no thought of what scripture we could use to tie it all together. Then I went looking for something in the Good Book, asking the Lord to show me an appropriate one. For a couple minutes nothing happened; my flipping through the word produced nothing useable…

Then Bingo! It suddenly happened. The light went on, and I knew the perfect scripture for out Bit today! Oh, how can I ever doubt the Lord’s faithfulness eh? He doesn’t always make it easy, but He ALWAYS comes through! And the scripture we’re talking about is when the Lord spoke to Joshua, making him the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’  

Ah mih people, it couldn’t get any plainer and more straightforward than that nuh! And here it’s the Lord Himself speaking to Joshua; straight from the horse’s mouth as it were, not secondhand info.

And if the Lord thought it important enough for Him to personally tell Joshua about the importance of keeping the Law, then it’s obviously important for us to follow the same path, for therein we too shall be prosperous and have good success. What more needs to be said eh…? Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he’ll certainly feel…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2017 Psalm 36:9.

Psalm 36:9.   For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Awright mih people, we’re drawing closer to Christmas with each passing day. The countdown has begun; only five more days to go now. Let’s hope that our true Christmas spirit is also on the rise; that our comprehension of Jesus’ importance in it is paramount, and our participation in any activities is conducive to that state of mind. (smile)

I know that many of us are still shopping for gifts for LOVED ones, but even in the secular aspects of the season, let’s put Jesus in our hearts and whatever we do, be it shopping, wrapping gifts, preparing goodies etc. Whatever we’re doing, let’s have Jesus front and centre in our lives, allow Him to help us do whatever we need to do, for that is His greatest desire; to participate in our mundane, everyday activities. 

And as we do so, let’s ruminate and contemplate; think on how it must have been two thousand years ago when Jesus was born in that lowly manger. Consider Mary and Joseph’s plight and what significance that apparently simple and common birth had on the subsequent workings of History. We’ll find our lives exploding with oodles of peace, LOVE and good cheer to all and sundry, exactly the way it ought to be during this season. 

Today we’ll continue with our Bit from yesterday: ‘For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ And isn’t that an awesome truth friends? It certainly is! Yesterday we saw how Jesus kept saying that He was the true source of life; that from Him, ALL aspects of life proceeded, be they spiritual or physical. Today we’ll look at some other scriptures that declare the Lord to be a fountain of life. 

Let’s begin with this well known scripture passage from Isaiah, as he declares Israel’s sufferings to be the result of sin. ‘For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.’ (Is.2:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘2:13. The figure of the fountain of living waters emphasizes that God alone can bring the life and refreshment necessary to the thirsty soul. (cf. Ps.36:9; Is.55:1; John 4:10-14, 7-37-39; Rev.21:6) Israel had left the purity of the living waters for the pollution of contaminated broken cisterns that offered no water at all.’ 

Now that is exactly what we are still doing today friends; forsaking God, the author of ALL life, for the evil and haphazard existence being put forth by Lucifer. And, per the references from the scholars, that to the Psalm is our Bit, and we covered those from John yesterday, so let’s look at another famous scripture, this one from Isaiah, as he declares God’s free gift of mercy to all. 

‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ (Is.55:1)  Ah friends, again we see God being magnanimous, but we are ever reluctant to take up His offer. 

The scholars tell us: ’55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come and eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

Oh my people, those are some of the wisest actions we can take in this life! And remember it’s free too! You need no money or anything except sincere and humble confession to approach God and ask for mercy! Wow! What an offer! For only then will we be in a position to receive true spiritual life and enjoy the physical one that will one day expire, at a time and place which none of us know, only our heavenly Father. 

So doesn’t it make sense to try and remain in His good graces? It certainly does, for Lucifer definitely can’t do for you what Almighty God can! And therein lies the crux of the problem. God’s way is not as flamboyant and empty of real substance as Lucifer’s is, but we frail, foolish and sinful men, like the flamboyance and the sinful attitudes so we flock to them and unwisely forsake God’s straight and narrow path, which calls for self-discipline and self-control and boundaries. 

Now here is the last of those reference scriptures from Revelation where John saw the new heaven and the new earth coming down from heaven. ‘And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts) of the fountain of the water of life freely.’ (Rev, 21:6) 

And the scholars explain: ’21:6-8. It is done: The eternal purpose of God to gather a holy, devoted people for Himself has now been accomplished. Alpha and Omega: (see 1:8; 22:13). Beginning: God is the origin and source of all things (cf. Is.41:4; 44:6; 48:12) End: He is also the goal or aim of all things (cf. Rom. 10:4). The water of life represents eternal sustenance and provision, available freely by faith (22:17).’ 

So friends, in Jehovah God, we have ALL that we need to live a good life, why aren’t we taking hold of His offer eh? I’d strongly advise that we do get up and grab it as though there was no tomorrow, for there very well might not be any, so please, let’s take in front, before in front takes us nuh. That’s always good wisdom. 

And now we’ll go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting folks know of our most favourable situation with Jesus. In harmony 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!’ 

Oh friends, our simple minds can’t comprehend the joys that Jesus has waiting for us in eternal life with Him, but I assure us, they will indeed be magnificent! Much LOVE!

..why listen to the deceitful instigator…when you have the faithful promises of the genuine Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2017 Matthew 24:35.

Matthew 24:35.   Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of our workweek! 

But yuh know what friends, nothing much has changed overnight nuh. Our world is still caught up in serious turmoil, with oodles of disasters, unbelievable strife and numerous greedy, selfish, incompetent, power-hungry leaders and politicians. 

And what does all of that say? Hn! That we’re nowhere closer to returning to God and the divine help that we need to overcome our problems. 

But luckily for us Christians, we still sincerely believe that our wonderful omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God is in control of the universe He created, thus we have the hope and faith to believe that things will turn out okay eventually, and that all the calamity and strife will pass one day, when He is ready for it to do so. 

Consequently my fellow believers, we need to hang in there strong and steadfast, faithful and true, doing our best to bring Jesus to those who don’t know and accept Him. But that’s not easy, and we’ll see why, as we check out this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘So Demanding.’ 

Now read with me: ‘God, Your Word is so demanding. It demands great stretches of my time – Not just occasionally But day after day, year after year. I can’t just grab a bite of it With one hand in the dishwasher Or on the steering wheel While I’m backing out of the garage. 

Your Word insists that I ponder That I contemplate and meditate That I seriously apply it to my life. It insists on obedience and forgiveness On gentleness and LOVE. Its claim upon me is absolute. Only as I obey Can I know the peace that passes all understanding. 

But God Its very insistence transforms me For it proclaims Your faithfulness In superlative terms. As I give it my fixed, steady attention My composure increases My anxiety decreases And I am supported on every side. 

Jeremiah said, “…your word was unto me The joy and rejoicing of my heart.” And in the margin of my Bible Next to the words of the prophet There is my own personal notation: “My heart, too!” 

Oh friends, what a wonderful description of our Christian heritage! Yes, it is demanding, asks a lot of us, including, diligence, excellence, stick-to-itiveness, trust and surrender! But the benefits are even more glorious and wonderful! 

We see God’s faithfulness in all its splendour and truth! Enjoy His overwhelming and endless support in ALL that we do. We are strong and confident, with less anxiety and fear dogging our everyday lives! And best of all, there is exceeding joy in our hearts, just like Jeremiah said so many moons ago. 

Wow! What a pleasure and a joy to undergo the hardships associated with believing in and working for Jesus! The world’s treasures can in no way compare! Especially when we add salvation, forgiveness of ALL sins and eternal life with Him in heaven! 

Oh my brethren, that ought to make us all jump and shout for joy, and harmoniously sing ‘Glory Hallelujah! All thanks and praise be to our most wonderful, merciful, generous and forgiving God! A God who LOVED us so much that He gave His sinless Son to be our sacrificial lamb, so that we could become His children and live with Him forever!’ 

And all of that is based on His true and faithful Word which keeps on being handed down from generation to generation. As the Bible verse for the above poem, and our Bit declares: ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ 

And how can it eh, when it was through the Word that the universe and all therein was created? Listen to John, the one sent to bear witness, expound on the subject. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.’ (John 1:1-2) 

Yes friends, from the very beginning the Word of God existed, and it’s particularly important to note that the Lord created the world though the spoken word: ‘And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.’ (Gen.1:3) 

So the Word of God is like a three part action: The first part refers to Jesus, who IS the Word and was with God in the beginning. Then we have the Word as the written directives of God, the Scriptures. And finally, there is the power that’s contained in the Word when it’s spoken! 

So all in all friends, we couldn’t have a better faith, a better place and/or persons to turn to than our triumvirate Godhead of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, all connected through the Word! Now let’s go home then, with joyful hearts and souls as we enthusiastically and sincerely declare our Wednesday Wail. 

As one faithful and harmonious body: ‘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!’ 

What more can I say eh friends…? Much LOVE!

…though the evil world tries to get me down…my Christian faith continuously bolsters me…through the Word…