Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 April 2018 Psalm 9:7.

Psalm 9:7.   The Lord also will be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

‘I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh my fellow believers, what better way is there to begin this first Sunday after Easter than with the encouraging words of Bruh David eh? None really! 

And I do hope that we all will be glad to go to the Lord’s sanctuary today to give Him thanks and praise and receive His awesome renewal of our souls and spirits through the reading of His word and our fellowship with other believers, so that we can continue to do His work with exceeding diligence and excellence in this evil and ungodly society. What a mouthful! (smile) But a truthful mouthful. 

And as always, we’ll begin with some praise and worship to soften up our hearts, so that the Lord’s word can quietly and easily seep into all its nooks and crannies and revive us. Glory to God my brethren, for there is none like Him! Therefore let’s raise our voices to high heaven in sacrificial praise as we sing the golden oldie hymn, ‘Rock of Ages.’ It’s a hymn based on the theme of refuge, and today we’re seeking refuge in our great God. 

All together now people: ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labor of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, When my eyes shall close in death, When I rise to worlds unknown, And behold Thee on Thy throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.’

Ah friends, there is no place of greater safety and refuge than under the mighty wings of our omnipotent God, as our Bit and the verse following it testify. ‘The Lord also will be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.90-10) 

Oh precious people of God, that’s gospel truth and wisdom to the nth level!  And Bruh David is talking about us there; the ones who wisely put their trust in Almighty God! Glory be my people! Now that theme of refuge and stronghold being found in God is a constant in Bruh David’s writings. Let’s look at some of them. 

In Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness, he powerfully proclaims: ‘Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about (surround me) with songs of deliverance.   Selah.’ (Ps.32:7) 

Meanwhile in Psalm 46 – God is our refuge and strength – Bruh David opens with this bold declaration: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in time of trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Wow! What powerful and trustworthy sentiments my fellow believers! I do hope that all of us gathered here today can express them as sincerely and powerfully, for it is only when we have that kind of faith, trust and security in our heavenly Father, that we can walk this evil and cruel earth with true courage. 

And lastly, in Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation – Bruh David declares in no uncertain terms: ‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense (strong tower); I shall not be greatly moved (shaken)…In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.’ (Ps.62:1-3, 7).  

Yes mih breddren, Bruh David was very sure of the One in whom he placed his trust; the Creator and Controller of the universe. And likewise, so should we. But just in case we don’t, or we’re not sure, let’s take this wise and very timely advice from Bruh David. ‘Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:8) And that’s the indisputable truth! 

So let’s go home this morning refreshed and lifted up my fellow believers, with God joyfully filling every inch of our hearts, bodies and souls, as our heavenly Father desires. Much LOVE!

…wisdom, common sense and logic…all dictate that we put our trust…in the One who created the universe and all therein…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2018 1 Peter 1:3.

1 Peter 1:3.   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Well my faithful brethren, it’s Sunday once again, the Lord’s Day, and with it come certain commitments: namely to gather in the Lord’s sanctuary in true fellowship to praise and worship Him with humble and sincere hearts.  And though we are scheduled to get a bundle of snow in the Toronto area today, we must not let that stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to exalt and glorify His holy name and receive His strength, confidence and assurance for the upcoming week. 

Glory to God my people! When believers get together to worship the Lord…Chuh! There’s nothing on earth like it. We sing and dance and pray and praise and listen to His awesome word that’s indisputable truth! Wow! How could any other gathering beat that eh? 

And as always, we shall open today’s proceedings with song. The Lord likes prayer, but I believe He is partial and sentimental to getting His glory and praise delivered in song. (smile) And that’s exactly how all the elders and other heavenly populace constantly praise Him. So let’s do just that by offering up a sacrifice of praise with our lips as we sincerely belt out the old Isaacs Watts favourite, ‘Our God, our Help in ages past.’ 

And please note, it seems like Isaac wrote it as ‘Our God,’ and not ‘O,’ or ‘Oh God,’ as has become popular. And as our voices rise to heaven in sweet song, let’s consider each word and sentiment we sing and realize, admit that they are gospel truth. 

As one earthly host now: ‘Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

Yes friends, EVERY sentiment we just sang there is the living truth, and I hope it just melted our hearts, but simultaneously had it bursting with joy and LOVE for our wonderful God! 

No wonder Peter could so confidently declare in our Bit and following: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us unto a lively (living, constant) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:3-5) 

Oh friends, if there is one thing we’re certain of is hope of salvation because of Jesus’ resurrection! Glory Be! Now listen to the scholars: ‘1:3-5. The portrayal of salvation looks to the future. The author of salvation is portrayed as the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work of salvation (vs.3-5) is described as to its effect. 

Hath begotten us again refers to a new stage of life that begins at salvation. This lively hope has no element of uncertainty, for it is guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The believer’s inheritance is described as incorruptible, imperishable or indestructible, and undefiled (i.e., morally untainted). 

That fadeth not away, means it is not subject to the ravages of time. Further it is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven. Kept is a present passive participle – we are secure because we are continually guarded by God, who never relaxes His vigil. Salvation here refers to final salvation, that is, deliverance from the presence of sin, and into the presence of God.’ 

How could it get any better than that eh my people? When we place our sincere trust in Jesus we end up in a new stage of life, salvation, with an assured inheritance that cannot be corrupted, does not deteriorate, is morally untainted, and is specially reserved for us in heaven! And on top of all that, we are guarded night and day by an omnipotent Deity, who never sleeps. 

Mama Mia! Now I don’t know about anybody else nuh, but to me, that’s an offer I cannot refuse! And I do hope that ALL of you reading today’s Bit will feel the same way, because the other option is a terrible one; separation from God, and companionship with the evil Lucifer and his legion of evil cohorts.  

But to get that lively hope friends, we need to be born again. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3) 

And when Nicodemus looked puzzled and asked about physically entering again into one’s mother’s womb, and being born again, Jesus clarified it for him. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) 

So friends, if we are not born of the Spirit, have a supernatural spiritual birth in the name of Jesus, most likely we will be excluded  from heaven. And that is certainly the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. So please be warned, and wisely take the necessary steps to assure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, for therein lies salvation and eternal life. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…brother…we are definitely riding shotgun with Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

Well friends, Daylight Savings Time has ended. Steups! And it’s still a debatable question as to whom it helps, if anybody. However, the night shift will work an hour longer, and the day shift will get an hour more sleep…then a lot of people’s body clocks will be screwed up. 

Anyway, the good news is that it’s Sunday; the Lord’s Day, time for worship and gathering in fellowship, to hear His word, rejoice with each other and go home overjoyed and full of faith, strength and confidence to face whatever comes against us. Oh how special are our Sunday worship sessions! 

So let’s throw it into gear nuh, as we sing this awe inspiring hymn, ‘God is our refuge and our strength,’ which describes the omnipotence of our Maker and our God. With loud voice, in perfect harmony, sincerity and truth, let’s raise our sacrifice of praise to heaven and let our heavenly Father know how much we truly appreciate Him. 

‘God is our refuge and our strength, a very present aid, and, therefore, though the earth be moved, we will not be afraid, though hills amid the seas be cast, though waters roaring make, and troubled be, yea though the hills by swelling seas do shake. A river’s there, whose streams make glad the city of our God, the holy place, where God Most High hath made a strong abode. 

For God our refuge dwelleth there; that city shall not move. God is its strength when morning dawns, and will its helper prove. The Lord of Hosts is on our side, our safety to maintain; the God of Jacob doth for us a refuge high remain.’ 

And is that last sentence ever so true my fellow believers! Almighty God is definitely on our side, looking after our safety and being a safe place of refuge for us in time of need. Glory Hallelujah! What more can we ask eh? Not a whole lot. And the song we just sang was based on Psalm 46 – God is our refuge and strength, from which our Bit is taken. 

The sons of Korah, who possibly wrote it and sang it back in olden times, were in absolutely no doubt as to where their help lay: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ And neither should we doubt my faithful brethren. We are the children of the Most High God to whom we can run for succour and reassurance at any time, day or night. 

No other faith has that privilege! Why? Because our God is the ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD! All others, be they dead or alive, are mere idols, figments of their believers imaginations.  NONE of them can do what our God can, or has the awesome power that He has. End of story! 

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 62. ‘My soul wait (silently) thou only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

And who should know better than Bruh David eh, with the drama filled life he lived? Who, despite his iniquity was still considered a man after God’s own heart! And knowing that we won’t always walk perfectly in God’s will or be obedient to His dictates, Bruh David’s story should give us great assurance and encouragement my brethren. 

Consequently we should not be afraid to surrender our lives to God, to place our sincere trust in His mighty and capable hands, especially since He has also blessed us with His unconditional LOVE, by giving us His ONE Son, Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and His Holy Spirit as our Guide and Comforter.  

As the old people would say; ‘we living life in London!’ (smile) That simply means we’re living a good life. No doubt about it, precious people of Christ! Yes friends, when we’re living with and for Christ, our lives are so enriched and we’re so confident that we can adhere to the admonition from the author of Hebrews without too many problems. 

‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be ye content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall (can) do unto me.’ (Heb.13:5-6) 

Ah mih people, with such a powerful and dynamic God, who also faithfully keeps His promises, why should we be afraid of mankind eh? If we should be afraid of anybody, it’s God, who has the power to do whatever He wants with us. And we’ll end with this li’l power play that the Lord put down on Israel during one of their disobedient times, as related by the prophet Hosea. 

‘O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king (where is thy king): where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in my anger, and took him away in my wrath.’ (Hos.19:9-11) 

Yuh see who is the real power, friends? Almighty God! So let’s be wise this Sunday nuh…to whom is honour and glory due… and just praise and worship Him in all His glory; exalt His Holy Name, give Him His just desserts, and let Him be our help and refuge in these abnormal times of strife and evil. That’s wisdom at its highest level. Much LOVE!

…to whom is honour and glory due…fear and reverence…obedience and worship…Almighty God…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2017 Psalm 50:15.

Psalm 50:15.   And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Oh friends, it’s shaping up to be a good-looking day in my neighbourhood, and the workingman was out early singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And soon, no more work! It’ll be a beautiful weekend, with all the good stuff happening; like eating and drinking and carousing, paying no mind to the problems that surround us. 

God gave us the weekend so that we could relax and enjoy it, not to work or worry. So that’s exactly what we going to do. Eat, drink and be merry! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, a lot of what he says is true; God did give us the weekends to rest and relax, but not to go overboard. Remember, we need to have certain boundaries that we don’t cross and thus allow Beelzebub to gain a foothold in our lives. A much better incantation would be our Friday Chant, which contains those boundaries. 

Let’s declare it now nuh, with the same enthusiasm that the workingman declared his song. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my people, we always have to be cognizant of what comes after the weekend. Otherwise, come Monday morning, when we have to go back to work, we’ll be too tired and wasted and of no use to either God’s kingdom or ourselves. That’s why ‘a modicum of circumspection’ is always necessary my brethren. 

But unfortunately, today, many of our fellow men around the globe won’t have the luxury of enjoying good weather or the weekend, because of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes or some such natural disaster. 

Please, let’s remember to pray for them sincerely. We can’t help them all with money or other worldly stuff, but we CAN help them all with PRAYER, the most powerful force in the universe. 

What a heartbreaking situation it is to see your fellow man suffering the ravages of disaster, like Hurricane Irma is causing down in the Caribbean, and you can’t do much to help them physically. But as true believers we can call on our great God to help them in their time of need. 

Our God said it: ‘And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ Yeh friends, that’s the faithful invitation of our omnipotent God! And in these very trying end times, it’s the most sensible solution we can ever consider. 

As we keep saying, who knows whether all the numerous disasters occurring around our planet right now are warnings from God? They might be, as well as they might not be. But the wisest path we can take is to consider them warnings as our sinful and ungodly world plunges down to hell with one unwise step after another. 

Oh friends, please take note of the Israelites, who, when they found themselves in trouble for turning away from the God of their fathers, repented and turned back to Him, and he welcomed them back with opened arms. We desperately need to do the same. 

Listen to this scripture where Job’s friend Eliphaz after accusing him of sin, implores him to repent. ‘Acquaint now thyself with him (God), and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive, I pray thee, the law (instruction) from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. 

If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles (tents). Then shalt thou lay up gold as (in the) dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defense (gold), and thou shalt have plenty of silver. 

For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. 

When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up (exaltation); and he shall save the humble person. He shall deliver the island of the innocent (the one who is not innocent): and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.’ (Job 22:21-30) 

Oh my people, there it is, the solution for all our problems, written in the Good Book ages ago, and nothing about it has changed. So what are waiting for eh? 

Come on Christians, we need to up the ante in these disastrous times and get Jesus’ LOVE Revolution running full steam ahead. That’s the ONE and ONLY answer to our lost and ungodly world! Much LOVE!

…in times of trouble…man’s best bet is to…PRAY… 

P.S. Please accept my apologies for the lateness of the Bit. Though I went to bed early, by my standards, (smile) some new medication kept me bogged down for longer than I expected. But better late than never! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2017 1 John 1:9.

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Well friends, the sun is shining brightly this Wednesday morning, but it is a bit on the chilly side. Welcome to spring! 

Sorry Anthony, you can’t stay in Paradise forever. (smile) All good things must come to an end sometime. I’m talking about a friend who was in Tobago taking sea baths in Store Bay for me, but has now returned to the cold weather of New York. Hope you had enough to last both of us for the rest of the year my brother. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s get down to some serious business immediately; a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is called ‘The Truant.’ 

And it says: What does God do with a truant who plays hooky from her heavenly Father? What are the options? One thing is sure. He doesn’t pamper her. He knows she needs to stretch her spiritual muscles. 

He doesn’t shout. “Get up, foolish child!’ She’s so covered with mud she can’t move. He doesn’t condemn her, because his promise is “There is therefore now no condemnation.” In the end he does what he always does for any half-demolished child of his: 

He unlocks her handcuffed spirit with his key of infinite LOVE. He checks her fluctuating heart with its spiritual irregularity. He gives her a fleeting glimpse of things as they could be. He accepts her confession. 

He thoroughly cleanses her, then he holds her close to his tender heart. He restores her joy and empowers her to obey. Suddenly she knows with great gladness that her one safe fortress is the centre of her Father’s will. At least so it is with one truant child: me.’ 

Oh friends, doesn’t that sound like how our heavenly Father deals with all of us who go astray from time to time? It surely does! He doesn’t pamper or condemn, just cleans us up, accepts it when we say we’re sorry, and continues LOVING us, showing us that the ONLY true way is doing His will. 

We can try to run and hide and play hooky, but we’ll never truly succeed, because His eyes are always on us, just like they are on the solitary sparrow. What a wonderful Father we have in heaven my people! 

I hope that is also the way we treat our unruly, lawless, earthly children; with parental LOVE and tenderness, not condemnation and shouting and screaming at them. 

And the promise for that poem is also our Bit for today. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Once we come to our heavenly Father confessing our sins, He’ll NEVER turn us away, but forgive us and clean us up, for that’s His awesome promise. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:9. This a restatement of verse 7. We ought not to deny our sins (v.8), but rather to confess them before God. This opens the door for His forgiving and cleansing light to purify our hearts. Unrighteousness is another way of saying “sin.” 

And to help clarify the references to vs.7& 8, I’ll just add them here. ‘But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say, that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’ (1 John 1:7-8) 

And now hear the scholars’ offering re those verses. ‘1:7. “God is light.” (v.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (c.f. Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

‘1:8. Others seem to have been claiming that they had no sin. Jesus taught that those who owned up to their sin could find forgiveness, while those who were blind to their sin would be left mired in it. (c.f. John 9:41).’ 

Yes friends, as Bruh Paul told the Romans in no uncertain terms: ‘For all have sinned, and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) 

That brings us to the verse after our Bit. ‘If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ (1 John 1:10) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘1”10. To deny one’s sinfulness (v.8) or sins is not just to deceive oneself; it is to make God a liar by denying His Word. Both the Old and New Testaments stress the universality of man’s sin (e.g. Job 4:17; Ps.14:3; Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:10-18,23).’ 

Oh my people, I’m sure that none of us would venture to call our most wonderful God a liar. That means we have all confessed our sins and have been cleansed by Him and once more been declared righteous. 

Consequently we can afford to declare our Wednesday Wail with all truth and sincerity. ‘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!’ 

Now that’s my people! Much LOVE!

…saying that we have no sin…just creates more sin in us…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2017 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Ah friends, bacchanal time done now! It’s Ash Wednesday, the first day both of March and of the Lenten Season, where Christians settle down and get real serious about their interaction and communication with Almighty God. 

It’s a season of intense study and meditation and looking inside to see what’s there and how it relates to our Christian faith, and how we can bring ourselves into closer association with our heavenly Father, as we go through the forty days of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness that lead up to His eventual crucifixion. 

Now that doesn’t mean we have to be monk-like and don’t enjoy our lives. Absolutely not, but we do need to cut down on some of the worldly activities and be more God-centred, more God focused and serious about our faith and how we react to temptations, a-la Christ. 

And here is a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that sort of describes what I’m talking about. It’s titled ‘At Last.’ 

And it says: ‘At last there is One With whom I am perfectly safe. One who knows thoroughly All the rubbled ruins of my heart. At last I see all that is Riddled and distorted in me Can still find God-planned fulfillment. 

At last I need no longer explore The deep, dark forest of my thoughts For there is One who understands me Far better than I understand myself. One who stands with me In the thick of the battle One who supports me On the slippery, ice-crested paths. 

At last I have entrusted myself To One who guarantees my wholeness Someone whose LOVE is immeasurable. In all the world He alone can LOVE me As I need to be LOVED. At last there is One – My Lord and my God!’  

Yeh my people, that is the stage that we all need to come to; a proper understanding of whom our God is, what he’s all about, and the immense trust that we can and ought to place in Him if we call ourselves believers. 

That’s the kind of stuff we need to sincerely seek during this Lenten Season. And the Bible Promise for that poem comes from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation. 

‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense (strong tower); I shall not be greatly moved (shaken).’ (Ps.62:1-2) 

Yes friends, when we can truly declare those words with the utmost sincerity, then we’re getting the situation right, then we’re truly moving along the right path. But before we can get to that point, we have to invoke the words of our Bit. ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ 

We need to get serious about God’s Word. And as we said yesterday, MAKE TIME to read, study and meditate on it, then put what it tells us into sincere action in our lives. Remember that the Word has been given for our benefit, not God’s, and if we don’t try to practice it in all sincerity and truth, then crapaud smoke we pipe! 

But you can’t practice what you don’t know, that’s why it’s so important to become very knowledgeable about the Good Book and what it says. Only then can we hope to say that it’s a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. 

Now listen to what Bruh David says about the Lord’s word in Psalm 19- The creation and covenants of God. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (restoring) the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the (drippings of the) honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ (Ps.19: 7-11) 

Oh my brethren, isn’t that great news? Wow! It surely is! Look at all the benefits we can derive from knowing and keeping the word nuh: it restores our souls, makes us wise, rejoices our hearts, enlightens our eyes, the word endure forever and is true and righteous. 

Chuh man! It’s worth more than gold, the real good kind, and is even sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb! Mama mia! 

And if that wasn’t sufficient, it also warns us when we are going astray. And then, when we abide by the Word, we are handsomely rewarded in the end! What can be better than the Word of the Lord then eh mih people? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! 

So please, I implore us to ponder on all those things this Lenten Season, so that we can get right all that we need to get right. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, with much enthusiasm and true sincerity. 

‘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 a wonderful life my precious people of God! Much LOVE!

…God gave us life to live…but we can’t live it fully without Him…

 

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