Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2020 1 Samuel 16:7b.

1 Samuel 16:7b.     ​for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Monday, oh Monday…thou day of woe! Poor Monday, it’s been hated, resented and cursed down through the ages for something it has no control over; being the first day of our work week. But yuh know what, any other day, a day by any other name, which hailed the beginning of five days of back breaking labour (smile) would have been met with the same amount of disparagement and scorn that’s been heaped on Monday. Yeh friends, anything that disturbs our peaceful repose is disliked by our soft, lazy, think we’re entitled and inequitable society. 

No doubt many of us are glad that we don’t have to go to work in these dangerous and treacherous times, but then too, we won’t enjoy the fruits of our labour if we don’t labour. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of infinite wisdom: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion… this is the gift of God.’ (Eccl. 5:18; 19b) 

So to keep the motor of the 24-7 society continually running, as it needs must do in these modern times, somebody or bodies must go out and stoke it. We haven’t built a self-stoking engine yet. (smile) Even those fueled by batteries or electricity, have to be occasionally recharged. And sadly, a lot of us who are being hailed as front-line heroes, are not seeing comparative rewards in our paycheques, but instead are losing valuable family time, as well as on the job benefits. Some of our leaders are being two-faced. But what to do eh, it’s the nature of the political beast? 

I’ll tell you what we can do: we can pray for them; pray to our great and mighty God for them, as well as ourselves. It’s what the Lord is waiting for us to do, for He can’t answer our prayers if we don’t pray them. So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘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. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

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 these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, please 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!’ 

Oh my people, if enough of us, that means plenty of us, sincerely pray along those lines, as well as repent of our evil ways and do better, our heavenly Father will indeed keep His promise. He did it several times for Israel, so why won’t He do it for us too eh? But remember, the Lord doesn’t only listen to what comes out of our mouths, for like the Pharisees and other leaders of Jesus’ day, what we speak, often doesn’t truly reflect what’s in our hearts. 

That’s why the Lord said to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel and the good-looking son Eliab stood before Him and Samuel figured he had to be the one. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected ) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Yes friends, until the Lord searches our hearts and sees true repentance and true willingness to change our evil ways, our societies will be forever troubled and in turmoil. Now the Lord saw our need and sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ to help us, that whomsoever believed in Him would have everlasting life. So He’s done His part. The ball is now in our court. We need to accept Christ and receive His peace, joy and LOVE, and show the world that HE IS THE ANSWER…THE ONLY ANSWER…  Much LOVE!

…if the created is wise…he will turn to the Creator for help…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 December 2014 Proverbs 9:5‏

Proverbs 9:5.   Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed). 

And then it was Wednesday – the halfway point home my people! So please keep on keeping on, because the sun, the light of Jesus Christ will soon appear over the horizon. It’s also the tenth of December, which means we’re two weeks away from that fateful day, Christmas, the day when our wonderful Lord and Saviour was born incarnate of the Virgin Mary.

And all God’s people sent up a loud and jubilant cry of ‘Thank You Father! Thank You for giving us Jesus! Giving us Jesus as a baby! Thinking of Him as a baby, we can lavish all the LOVE on Him that we normally lavish on babies. He is so wonderful, so warm and cuddly. We embrace Him with all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies! Thank You again for Jesus heavenly Father!’

Ah Friends, the Father must be chuckling at that prayer, as I was while I was writing it. But there’s nothing wrong with it. It might just seem a little different from normal prayers, but it’s well within the borders of overall prayer. The same way we pray for our babies, the same way we can be thankful for Jesus as a baby to cuddle and snuggle Him.

Now here’s an interesting quote from the prominent American Rabbi, Harold Kushner (1935-) which I believe I have shared with you before, but it is one of those which needs repeating as often as possibly in this confused world. And it simply states: ‘To see the goal of life as “winning” forces us to see other people as competitors, threats to our happiness. For us to “win,” they have to “lose.”

And that my people is the bane of the current world we’re living in; everything is based on competition, on someone winning and some one losing. But that’s not a sensible or godly way to live. We need to understand that life is not a contest, it’s a process. One by which we establish our individual goals and work towards them. If we keep putting ourselves up against others, for whatever reason, we will bring too much despair into our lives when we lose one of those competitions, and our lives will constantly be topsy-turvy, up and down, up and down.

We need to have smooth, fairly even paths in our lives, and that certainly doesn’t come from judging life as a competition. Each individual has a personal race to run. As Bruh Paul says: ‘let us run the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) That’s just our race Friends, God’s plan for our lives, not a competition between us.

And all of that brings us to our Bit; Wisdom’s Invitation to: Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled (mixed).’

Yes my brethren, that’s God’s age-old invitation to His human creation! But unfortunately, down through the ages, not too many of them have accepted it, preferring the lustful pleasures of the world. But I can assure us that those worldly pleasures will not get us far, merely to the end of this earthly life.

But what happens after that eh Friends? What happens to the spirit that dwells with us? If we only hold on to the earthly stuff, then we’ll suffer the earthly consequences; death and eternal separation from Almighty God! However, if we accept wisdom’s invitation, which you’ll note in passing, is completely free, then after the return of our earthly bodies to the dust from whence it came, our spirits will soar in the heavenly realm with the Holy Trinity for ever and ever, throughout all eternity. Now I put it to you Friends, that is a much better option than the earthly one.

And we have so many instances where that invitation has been offered, and yet we refuse to even consider it, much less accept it. Let’s look at a few of those instances. Jesus, when talking to the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob, painstakingly informed her: ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well (fountain) of water springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14)  Oh Friends, what a powerful invitation! And that Samaritan woman was smart enough to accept it.

Meanwhile, ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast (feast of Tabernacles), Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39) There again my people, that great, free invitation to come and have a wonderful life with Jesus.

And the scholars explain that all, re the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. ‘7:39. One of God’s purposes since the beginning has been to dwell with humanity and enjoy fellowship with us. He does it in this dispensation through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1) occurs automatically when a person is saved; (2) is not an “experience,” but produces spiritual experiences; (3) remains permanently; (4) is the basis of all other ministries of the Holy Spirit; and (5) is the source of new life in the believer.

Illustration: When Paul met 12 disciples of John who did not know of the Holy Spirit, he knew they needed to be saved. So he preached the gospel to them (Acts 19:1-5). Application: The Holy Spirit’s indwelling should motivate the believer to be careful not to harm his body nor indulge his body in sin (1 Cor. 6:19-20). (First Reference, Ex.35:31; Primary reference, John 7:37-39; cf. 1 cor.12:13.)’

Ah Friends, please check out those references, for they will help us to better understand the scriptures. And remember,  it makes a whole lot of sense to come to Jesus, to accept wisdom’s invitation, rather than the foolishness of the world. Much LOVE!

…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…

  

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2014 Psalm 145:4

Psalm 145:4.   One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

So my fellow believers, it’s Sunday; the Lord’s Special Day! And I do hope that you are seriously considering going to His sanctuary to fellowship, worship, praise and give sincere thanks with other believers in acknowledgement of God’s never-ending mercy, forgiveness and LOVING-kindness!

But if for some genuine reason you can’t go to the sanctuary – simple laziness doesn’t count – (smile) then let the sanctuary come to you, through worship on the radio or the television. But please, do get in some heartfelt praise and thanksgiving today, keep the Lord’s Day holy, as He desires.

And after reading the poem ‘I Praise You’ from the One Year Book of Bible Promises, I was greatly enthused, because it fit the Lord’s Sabbath perfectly. Please say it with me in a sincere and worshipful manner.

‘I praise You, my Lord! I praise You for all things: For this very moment  For future days  For the past  Often so reckless On my part So filled with Foolish Fantasies. But so gracious On your part  So LOVING  And so totally forgiving. I praise you.’

Wow Friends, what a most appropriate prayer for today…and any day!

And the biblical promise for that comes from Psalm 145, Bruh David’s exaltation –The Lord is gracious. ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day I will bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps.145:1-3)

And that, my people, segues very nicely into the next verse, our Bit. ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.’

Oh Friends, that recounting of God’s great works and His wonderful attributes are of immense importance, totally essential in the lives of all believers and Christ’s church, for that’s the only way God will be remembered and recalled and worshipped and glorified down through the ages!

And that is one of the things Moses tried to drill into the heads of the stubborn and recalcitrant Israelites during their journey through the wilderness, en route to the Promised Land.

In reminding them of the Ten Commandments, he warns: ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9)

Yes Friends, that’s how important the Word of the Lord is!

Then in Isaiah, re King Hezekiah’s sickness and healing, the king cries out to God. ‘For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.’ (Is.38:18-20)

Yes my fellow believers, worshipping and serving Jehovah God is a most important matter, or rather THE most important matter in our earthly lives! And as Hezekiah reasons with the Lord, re saving him from death, it is only while God’s breath of life is flowing through our mortal bodies that we can praise Him and make known His mighty works to our offspring.

Unfortunately though, our generation has made a mess, a mockery of that commandment! We haven’t followed it as purposefully and diligently as we should have. That is why today we have a young generation that knows precious little about the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and consequently has little time or place in their lives for Him. Instead, the lustful and evil world is their oyster.

But let’s remember that while there is life, there is ALWAYS hope. So let’s try and inculcate some sense and semblance of God into our children, starting right now nuh. It’s not too late. And in any case, it behoves us to try and rectify our serious wrong; the fact that we did not teach them properly about Jehovah God.

And the wonderful thing about it all is that God, even at this late stage, will help us do it. He will direct us; give us the wherewithal, as we sincerely try to teach our children about Him. He will never discourage those who try to spread His Word. Much LOVE!

…what better day to teach our offspring about God…than on the  Sabbath…the Lord’s special day…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2014 Mark 5:36b

Mark 5:36b.  Be not afraid, only believe.

And then it was Saturday; a bright, vibrant, radiant day, made by Almighty God so that His people could rejoice and be glad in it! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful, ‘Thank you Father!’
 
Oh my people, can you believe that we’re more than halfway through July already, and also this year of 2014? I swear that the days are running faster than they usually do. And most of you will no doubt agree, because your lives also seem to be moving at breakneck speed, where one day just morphs into the other, without any apparent break.
 
And though I don’t remind us as often as I should about our New Year’s resolution of following Jesus more closely, I do hope that you are faithfully adhering to it. And you can tell me what you will, but the Father will read the truth in your hearts.
 
Anyway mih lovelies, this morning I want to share with you the opening couple of lines of the poem Endymion by the English Romantic Poet, John Keats (1795-1821) It reads: ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass to nothingness.’
 
Now we all know that the value of art usually increases with age, but so too do people. As the days go by on our earthly journey, we get more mature and grace-filled, so that increased knowledge, experience and wisdom make us more valuable. The only problem is that unlike the physical works of art, we pass away to nothingness.
 
But that’s just our physical bodies. Our spiritual beings are still alive and kicking, especially in the LOVED ones that we have left behind. They continue to hold dear the traditions, the respect, the care and the LOVE that we lavished on them when we were alive. So all that and any other physical heirlooms we might have bequeathed to those around us will continue to live on, to survive, as they pass those things to others down through the ages.
 
So in essence, like the physical art, we too never pass into nothingness either. And here’s the end quote on the subject from the One More Day Devotional, Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. It bravely declares: ‘I am comforted by the traditions of family and faith and by the meaningfulness they add to my life.’
 
And that’s how it ought to be my brethren, for when we approach death’s door, it’s usually family we want to see, and faith we hold on to, so we can easily transition from this life to the next.
 
And it all boils down to one word: ‘BELIEF!’ We live a life guided by our beliefs. Hopefully the major belief is that in Jesus Christ, for it is the best belief to build your life around.
 
And I just LOVE how Jesus puts things so simple and straightforward, as He says to Jairus in our Bit: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’
 
Nothing to it Friends, just believe. And it is truly that simple, we just like to make a fuss over it. We believe the nonsense, the lies that the advertisers tell us in their forked tongued messages without batting an eyelash. Hn! But when it comes to believing in Jesus, the most important belief in our lives, the one that will either separate us from God forever, or keep us on the inside looking out, we get all hot and bothered, ask a whole lot of questions and put up a whole lot of roadblocks. Why eh, my people?
 
I think that it’s generally because we’re afraid. It seems to be such a big decision to make, for it deals with our lives in the hereafter, something we don’t want to think about just yet, plus the worldly artifacts are so beautiful to look at and possess, and we erroneously believe that believing in Jesus means we can’t enjoy the good things of earthly life. But that’s a fool’s wisdom Friends, for Jesus said He came so that we could have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
 
The problem is that we don’t want any borders, any boundaries placed on our activities and behaviour, but yuh see what that desire is causing all over our world; strife and destruction. But my people, this life can only be lived in prosperity and safety if we adhere to certain strict guidelines. Anything else will only bring anarchy, as we’re seeing in so many places nowadays.
 
However Friends, I’m running out of space and time, so let’s get to some scriptures where Jesus highlighted belief in God. And there’s none better than the story of Him raising His friend Lazarus from the dead.
 
Jesus was out of town when he got the message from the sisters, Martha and Mary, saying ‘Lord behold he whom thou LOVEST is sick.’ (John 11:3) But despite His great LOVE for Lazarus and his sisters Jesus remained a further two days before He went to Bethany where they lived. By the time He got there Lazarus was already dead for four days.
 
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming she ran to meet Him and rebuked Him, saying, ‘Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.’ (John 11:21-22)
 
Now is that strong belief, great faith or what my people! She just knows that whatever Jesus asks of God, God will grant. How many of us are even willing to say that today, much less believe it eh, even though we have much more info and insight than Martha did?
 
The Good Book continues: the conversation: ‘Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
 
Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead (may die), yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?
 
She saith unto him, Yea Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ (John 11:23-27)
 
What a powerful passage of scripture my brethren! Note the interplay between Jesus and Martha: He claiming to be the giver of eternal life, and she believing without missing a beat! That’s how it ought to be in all believers’ lives my Friends!
 
So today, please let’s sit and consider our personal response to Jesus’ question; ‘Believest thou this?’ And hopefully, we shall all blurt out without hesitation: ‘Yes Lord: I BELIEVE!’ Much LOVE!

…it all begins with…believing…and it all ends with…believing…only believe…