Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2021 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.     My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

Can you believe it friends, this is already the first day of June, the sixth month? The year is just flying by despite all the problems currently engulfing the world! And it’s certainly a good thing that we have a strong, staunch, unchangeable, immovable God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, otherwise we would be an easy prey to the numerous evil elements lurking around almost every corner! So it’s rather wise to call out to our great God at all times; in the morning, in the evening and in the midnight hour, for He is indeed our very help in times of trouble and tribulation. 

And that’s why these monumental words of scriptural wisdom from Cousin Sol are so important to our earthly travels. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to your life.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) Yuh see the importance of obedience to God’s commandments friends? It shall only add long life and peace to your days here on earth! 

Then Cousin Sol continues: ‘Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:3-4) Ah mih bredrin, that’s the incomparable benefit of walking in mercy and truth! And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘3:3. About thy neck: The teachings should be made as much a part of one’s adornment as a necklace. The table of thine heart, that is, the mind.’ 

But Cousin Sol doesn’t stop there, he gets deeper into his exhortations on obedience. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) More incomparable wisdom friends! 

Now hear the scholars on those two verses. ‘3:5-6. Three commands are given: trust, meaning “rely on, depend on”; lean not, meaning do not depend on your own native instincts; and acknowledge him, meaning have fellowship and intimacy with God in all of life. The result of such devotion is that God will make the paths straight before you.’ Now what more can we ask for eh my fellow believers? 

However, there is much more available, as Cousin Sol tells it, tells it straight and true. ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with all thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:7-10) 

Oh my people, if there was only one set of scriptures to describe the kind of life a believer in Jesus is supposed to live, those first ten verses of Proverbs 3, would be it! It covers everything from obedience to length of life, from trust to health, to increase and prosperity; the how’s, whys and wherefores of living for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Now why aren’t we living that wise kind of life eh? Who knows? But wisdom dictates that that’s how we ought to live, and if we don’t, then we will suffer the consequences for wrongdoing and sinful living. 

But even then, our God is so wonderful, as Cousin Sol explains: ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of (detest) his correction: For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov. 3:11-12) Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! As the scholars say of those verses: ‘God’s correction shows His LOVE (cf. Heb. 12:5-6).’ 

And we certainly will check out those verses which deal with God’s discipline. ‘And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’ (Heb. 12:5-6) So you see that discipline is as much a heavenly measure as it is an earthly one. (smile) 

And the author of Hebrews takes the discipline matter a little further. ‘If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, wherefore all are partakers, then are ye bastards (illegitimate), and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (as seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.’ (Heb. 12:7-10) 

Now that’s a very good question my brethren? If we respect our earthly fathers who punish us according to their whims and fancies, why won’t we reverence our heavenly Father, the One who gives us life and all the good things thereof, when He disciplines us for our profit, our benefit eh? Because we’re foolish, sinful, prideful and disobedient! 

And the author of Hebrews concludes that message with this insightful comment: ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb. 12:11) And that’s the indisputable truth friends. Discipline or punishment never seems good for the present moment, but later on, when we look back at the situation, we usually see the benefits of it. 

Anyway, if, after reading all of the above, we still continue in our foolish and disobedient ways, then what am I to say eh…except crapaud smoke yuh pipe! But for those of us who are sincerely trying to be wise and obedient, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra. 

As one strong, heart-felt voice: ‘In God’s eyes, 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!’  

And now, as our duty entails, let’s go out and share the awesome friendship and amazing LOVE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…to obey is better…than to sacrifice…and to hearken…than the fat of rams… (1 Sam. 15:22) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8              

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2020 Revelation 3:19.

Revelation 3:19.    ​As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 

So we’ve rolled into ‘Holy Week’ where we see Jesus go through a rather intense and emotional time, knowing that the occasion He was born for, His essential task, was close at hand. He knew it would all lead to a setta ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, ending with His crucifixion on the old wooden cross on Calvary’s Hill on Good Friday. And it’s struck me as being somewhat symbolic that at the same time Jesus is going through His adversity, this year, we are also going through some of the roughest times we’ve ever experienced in the world, with this Covid-19 virus situation. 

We’re locked down, with our lives in serious jeopardy and essentially in limbo, keeping away from others, no work and no pay, the streets are for the most part empty of both humans and traffic, people are sick and dying, some can’t even get attention for illnesses because the Health System can’t handle it. Panic, anxiety and fear are rampant, and we can’t get any sure and true answers to when and where and how it will all end because no one really knows. It even seems like a more fearful and disastrous time worldwide, than during the two world wars we fought in the early part of the last century. 

At least then we knew our enemy and what weapons it would take to defeat Him, but in this time of ‘germ warfare’ which has hit us so unexpectedly, we have no real knowledge of it, even where it came from, much less a cure for it. And I’ve said all of that, just to ask this question: do we see the mysterious moving of the Father’s hand in it all? I think we should, because I firmly believe that this is a worldwide wake-up call for confession and repentance. And even if it’s not, then the wisest move we can make is still to turn back to God and confess our manifold sins and wickedness, for there’s no doubt that the current state of mankind is possibly at the most evil and sinful level it’s ever been. 

Please friends, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the omnipotent God, who still sits on His heavenly throne and still controls the world He created, will allow us to get away indefinitely without some kind of chastisement for our blatant disregard of His rules and regulations and foolish, futile attempts to remove Him from our society? Remember the Lord LOVES all whom He has created with a deep and burning, never-ending LOVE, and He doesn’t want to lose even ONE of His most valuable creations to the enemy. So if we step out of His will for too long, it’s only expected that He will try to correct us, to bring us back into line. 

This scripture tells the story of God’s discipline: ‘For consider him (Jesus) that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb. 12:3-7) 

Unfortunately, in this soft and irresponsible world the answer to that question is too many sons are not chastened, and that’s partly why our world is in such a sinful mess. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of wisdom: ‘He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)’ (Prov.13:24) Yes friends, LOVE and discipline go together. And not sparing the rod doesn’t necessarily mean child abuse as so many of us preach today, then wonder why our children have turned out the way they are, and hence the behaviour in our society is less that satisfactory. 

So yes, I do believe it’s a warning, and a serious one at that. It could mean that the Lord is just tired with our sinful shenanigans, or that Christ is coming back sooner than we expect, or even both. Anyway friends, please, I implore us, let’s take this next scripture to heart nuh, these immortal words of Jesus to John in his vision of revelation. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ As always, Jesus puts it as plainly and simply as possible. So let’s take His wise advice and do that right now nuh, by coming to God in sincere prayer, declaring our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. Show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s hold true to that promise, for remember Cousin Sol says the worst thing we can ever do is to make a vow to God and not keep it. Better not to have made it at all. (Eccl. 5:4-5) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts knocking…please, please…let’s open them and let him in nuh…