Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2015 Psalm 22:9 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 22:9.      But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.

Aye Friends welcome to this turbulent, tempestuous Thursday morning, the last day of April! It was just one of those nights. I don’t understand it myself. I went to bed a few minutes later than usual, but also got up several times during the night and couldn’t go back to sleep, couldn’t find a comfortable spot to set my aching body so that that beautiful elixir sleep could overtake it.

I guess many of you old-timers experience that at one time or the other. But it’s definitely frustrating, especially when you fall asleep at the time to get up. But you know what Friends?

It’s all a part of living this earthly life. And when you have that marvelous Saviour of ours, Jesus, walking with you, you can afford to grin and bear it, because you know that He knows what you’re going through, since He went through some serious pain and torment Himself, and that eventually He will work everything out for your good.

Glory to God, my people!

And as an adjunct to that, listen to this quote attributed to Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959), the screen and theatre actress, member of the prominent American Barrymore family of actors, whose distinctive style made her the ‘first lady’ of the American theatre. Ethel is reputed to have said: ‘You grow up the day you have the first real laugh – at yourself.’

And isn’t that the truth my brethren! Until we learn to laugh at ourselves, our mistakes, our troubles and our good times, we’ll never conquer the internal muse that tends to lead us to sadness and heartache and complaining whenever things don’t go our way.

As my One Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness reminds us: ‘It takes fewer muscles to laugh than to cry. We’ll breathe easier and deeper, and we’ll be much more content when we laugh… for laughter helps us to put things into perspective. It lends HOPE and meaning to life.’ 

And that’s the absolute truth Friends! But there are some things that we just can’t laugh at, like the destructive and disastrous state of our world. In the past couple weeks we’ve had hundreds of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean ocean, heading for the perceived balmy shores of Europe, in search of a better life than the calamitous one they had left behind.

Then there was the sudden eruption of a dormant volcano in Chile, combined with riots in Baltimore and a devastating earthquake in Nepal. Hn! And that doesn’t take into account the numerous wars and rumours of war, the seemingly never-ending strife that’s going on all over God’s beautiful planet.

Ah Lord eh! What a mess we’ve made of this wonderful Earth! But Friends, as we keep saying, while there is life, there is always HOPE!

That’s because our Creator has instilled that wonderful emotion in us from day one, as declared by Bruh David in our Bit. ‘But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.’

Yes my people, our great God knew the plans, the good future He had in store for us, so He made us with that little something termed HOPE, which causes us never to give up, never to simply lie down and die when times get rough, but to always have a spark of fire, like a pilot light going in our souls.

Now that’s a very good description of HOPE there my Friends, never thought of it before. But a pilot light never goes out, it just keeps burning quietly in the background; always ready to burst into flame when it’s needed. That’s the way HOPE operates in our souls; always there ready to burst into positive action, even though the surrounding circumstances might indicate differently.

So Friends, I’m here grinning like a Cheshire cat, because to muddy the waters even more, my allergies seem to have chosen this particular time to act up. There’s been a steady stream of sneezing and blowing for the last few minutes. But I’m practicing what I preach; I’m just grinning and bearing it all, because I know that all those things will eventually pass, fade away! All praise and glory to God!

Now let’s see what the scriptures have in store for us today, re that invigorating and renewing feeling called HOPE. And what better way to start than with these encouraging words of the psalmist, as he prays for help in old age.

‘But I will HOPE continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall show forth (proclaim) thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers (limits) thereof.’ (Ps.71:14-15)

Yes Friends, that’s exactly how believers are expected to behave; always HOPING, and always proclaiming God’s righteousness!

Now listen to Peter, the rock, in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and HOPE to the end for the grace (rest your HOPE fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet.1:13)

What marvellous advice my people!

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s HOPE involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up his kingdom.’

Now Friends, it’s time for us to ponder all that we’ve heard this morning, to digest it, then act wisely on it all. That’s the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…gird up the loins of your mind…then spring into action…it’s the Jesus way…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2014 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

1 Thessalonians 5:2.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of our Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 

Oh Friends, it’s a beautiful, though rainy Tuesday morning! Wow! We’re alive! And even more importantly we’re filled with the Holy Spirit; filled with the passion of Jesus Christ! Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to our merciful and magnanimous God!
 
Consequently, there ought to be a joy, an unspeakable, indescribable joy in our souls! The LOVE of Jesus, and LOVE in general ought to be pouring out of our hearts, souls, minds and bodies!
 
And if sadly it isn’t, then something’s seriously wrong my people! We need to rectify that most undesirable situation RIGHT AWAY, through prayer, communication and obedience to Almighty God!
 
Now here is an interesting quote attributed to Ethel Barrymore ((1879-1959) the renowned America actress, member of the renowned Barrymore family of actors. She says: ‘The more things you LOVE, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you have left when anything happens.’
 
And that’s logic and truth personified my people! The wider the variety of our interests, the greater the enjoyment, and ability to handle loss or difficult times.
 
As the One More Day Devotional tells us: ‘Now is a good time for us to pursue our interests and to nurture both new and old relationships. We understand so well how easily and quickly our circumstances can change.’
 
And that sudden loss, the unexpected tragic ending was brought home to us so forcefully and graphically last week by the senseless violence that took place in this our fair country of Canada.
 
In the Province of Quebec, one disturbed young man ran over two military officers with his car, killing one and seriously wounding the other.
 
A couple days later, an even more ridiculous, scary and unfortunate incident occurred in Ottawa, the country’s capital. There, another disturbed young man shot two soldiers guarding the War Memorial Statue on Parliament Hill. One of those soldiers also died.
 
The young man then drove the short distance to the Parliament buildings, with all our elected representatives ensconced therein, and indiscriminately opened fire in the Hall of Honour of the main Parliament building.
 
Ah Lord eh! What is our world coming to eh Friends? It was somewhat poignant and hilarious to see pictures of our worthy representatives barricaded behind locked doors, cowering with fear under desks etc. I do hope that will serve as a wake up call for them to get serious about running the country properly and stop the nonsense they’re now doing.
 
Unfortunately though, the two perpetrators of the violence died in a hail of gunfire. So we don’t have the opportunity to find out exactly what went was happening with them, what brought on this outrageous and violent behaviour.
 
It’s alleged that the ever-growing Islamist extremist movement had radicalized them. But no one knows anything for sure. And Friends, unfortunately there are so many disturbed young people in our world today, that it makes me wonder about its future.
 
And sadly, the inefficient, crooked and corrupt governments, at all levels, are doing zilch to try and remedy the problem! They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. As I said before, I do hope that those incidents provide a wake up call for our leaders and legislators.
 
Ah mih breddren, it all just goes to show how tenuous, how fragile and uncertain our lives and circumstances are, especially in these violent and troubled times. However, it doesn’t mean that we have to cower in fear and anxiety, because we have Jesus, our great Protector, ALWAYS walking hand in hand with us.
 
And thus we can confidently say: ‘Tragedies and hard times will affect me, but I know I have the ability to move on.’ 
 
That brings us to our most appropriate Bit, Bruh Paul’s fateful words to the Thessalonians, which he prefaces with: ‘But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:1-2)
 
Yes my people, our wonderful Lord and Saviour can return at any time! Are we ready? What if He should come TODAY, RIGHT NOW? Are we ready to embrace that fateful moment? For all our sakes, I certainly hope so! For if not, then crapaud smoke we pipe! We’ll be eternally separated from our heavenly Father. And that’s a fate even worse than death!
 
Hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘5:2. The day of the Lord is an all-encompassing term to describe the period that begins with the Great Tribulation, and includes the second coming of Christ and the millennial kingdom. This Old Testament expression is here identified with the ‘parousia,’ (time of reckoning) already introduced. It will begin unexpectedly (cf.Matt.24:37).’
 
Yes Friends, the operative word there is ‘unexpectedly,’ which means we have to be prepared at ALL TIMES!
 
Now listen to Jesus expound on the subject. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were. So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
 
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of man be.
 
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.’ (Matt.24:36-42)
 
That’s indeed wisdom for the ages my fellow believers!
 
And the scholars have this to say about that passage. ’24:39-42. The observation that the people of Noah’s day knew not the severity and suddenness of the coming destruction indicates that this last generation will be totally unprepared for the coming of the Son of man, the return of Christ to judge the world. (See 2 Thess.1:7-8)
 
The reference to two being in the field or at work at the time of Christ’s return implies the suddenness of His coming to separate the lost and the saved.’
 
Ah Friends, the situation couldn’t be stated any plainer than that! So please let’s do the wise thing today nuh, RIGHT NOW; let’s get ourselves together, so that whenever the Lord chooses to return, WE WILL BE READY! Much LOVE!
 
…for those who are found wanting when Jesus comes again…it will indeed be a sorrowful day…so in all wisdom…let’s not be found wanting… 
 
P.S. These late nights and early mornings will be the death of me yes! (smile) But better late than never! Much LOVE!