Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2019 Matthew 8:26.

Matthew 8:26.   ​And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm.
 

Well it’s Tuesday now, and the crazy wind storms and snow squalls that have harried us for the past couple days seem to have died down, but it’s still beastly cold, somewhere around –12 in my area. And I’m chuckling here because I know that during the inclement weather many of us were praying, trying to get God’s attention to stop it. Not me so much, because I was praying rather that He’d get me safely to where I was going, cause I got caught out in it a couple of times. 

But this time I don’t think Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat nuh, He was wide awake and just waiting to see how we’d behave. And we behaved just like the disciples did when the storm caught them going across the lake and Jesus was resting quietly, ostensibly without a care in the world, but the disciples panicked: 

‘And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt.8:25-27) And that kind of behaviour from men who had been with Jesus for quite some time and seen Him do all sorts of miracles! 

The point I’m trying to make here this morning friends is that too many of us supposed believers are still too small in faith like the disciples, though we have seen Jesus do great and extraordinary things in our lives! We talk a good talk about faith, but when the occasions come for us to show that faith, we always seem to fall short. 

Why is that eh?  Don’t we truly believe…or are we just scared and afraid of whatever comes against us? No, it’s not easy, and Jesus promised that we’d have trials and tribulations in this world…’But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Yes, and even with that encouragement, He knows that it will be hard for us, but He expects that our faith, which is supposed to grow each and every day we draw breath, will strengthen us and see us through whatever difficulties we encounter down here on earth! 

And the sad part is that even before Jesus came, the Lord was dissatisfied with the faith of His people Israel, as outlined in the words of Moses’ song to the Israelites. ‘And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very forward (perverse) generation, children in whom is no faith.’ (Deut.32:20) 

So I guess nothing much has changed sine way back then! And how many times did Jesus lambaste, castigate His people for not having the faith they should have eh? And there are several! Here are a couple of illustrations: In talking about nature versus Cousin Sol’s glory, nature won out every time. ‘Wherefore, if God so clothe(s) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall ye not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ (Matt.6:30) 

That means we ought not to worry and be anxious or fearful of what’s going to happen because we’re more important to our heavenly Father than nature, which He looks after so well. And when the Roman centurion came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his sick servant, and Jesus offered to go to his house and do so: 

‘The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in all Israel.’(Matt.8:8-10) 

Yeh friends, the servant was healed, not because of his own faith, but because of His master, the centurion’s faith. Jesus was just showing up there the foolishness of His Jewish people who refused to accept t Him for who and what He proclaimed to be, but this supposedly heretic Roman, had no problem with doing so! And He’s doing the same thing today my people; crying out to us to truly believe and have the faith that belief ought to instill in us, but which seems to be sadly lacking! 

Remember the words of the great psalm that we all like to quote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:1-6) 

Oh my people, how do you think all of that wonderful stuff, those mighty and awesome  promises are going to happen eh? They won’t just fall into our laps like manna from heaven nuh, but we’ve got to believe them and have the faith to expect and do our part to allow them to happen. 

So please my brethren, please let us improve our faith nuh, starting today, RIGHT NOW, both for our sakes and the sake of Jesus’ church, for if we don’t do better very soon, our world will surely fall apart with all the ungodliness and evil that’s currently being foisted upon it. 

And having said all of that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world, loud and clear, who and whose we are. In strong and sincere faith now: ‘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 the corollary to that is for us to now go out and share the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with those who don’t know Him, but desperately need to! Much LOVE!

…according to your faith…be it unto you… (Matt.9:29)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2019 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   ​Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
 

Well it’s the middle of the workweek and most of us are catching our second wind, but we have to be careful because we seem to be playing some sort of weather musical chairs. Remember just last week it was a winter storm, then rain and flood? Well this morning I came down and looked outside and it was white as snow! (smile) It didn’t seem like a whole lot, but if the place is covered all over, then there’s too much snow in my opinion…as though that counts. 

But then I heard some noise like stones hitting the window panes, only to discover freezing rain was also in action! And that’s possibly the worst combination you can have. So for all of you who have to go out today, please, please be careful because the snow is going to hide the ice and falling is definitely not recommended for this time of year. (smile) 

But what’s certainly recommended is walking closer with Jesus, walking in lockstep with Him! For as the Daily Bread Devotional quote so rightly tells us: ‘There is no need to fear where you are going, when Jesus is going with you!’ Oh Glory Be my people! And that’s the living truth! Once Jesus is alongside us there’s no cause to fear because He is the MAN! He is the ONE in total control of ALL that happens in heaven and down here on earth! 

So why should we fear if we have the Big Boss Man walking alongside us eh; securely holding our hands and whispering sweet encouragement? No reason whatsoever! So why are so many of us supposed Christians still so afraid of even our own shadows eh? We’re afraid to go out and confront the heathen, the devil, and whoever comes against us. We don’t want to make waves because somebody might complain, so we either stay quiet or compromise ourselves with some unworthy actions. 

Now just think of what would have happened to us, what our situation would currently be like if Jesus had been afraid to make waves and just compromised with the heathen? We’d all be still headed for Hades, for hell fire and damnation, instead of having heaven as a wonderful and viable option! So what we going to do today is just refresh our memories with some doh fear talk from the Good Book that we all know and LOVE to spout, but when push comes to shove, we fraid to put into action! 

And we going to start right at the beginning, where the Israelites on their way out of bondage in Egypt came upon the impassable Red Sea with Pharaoh and his Egyptian army hot on their heels. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And we all know what happened on that most momentous day; the Lord parted the Red Sea through Moses, and the people walked across on dry land, then He closed back up the Red Sea and drowned Pharaoh and his whole army. One would have thought that the Israelites would never have forgotten such a day. But unfortunately, as soon as they got over the other side and found a li’l rough going, they began to complain and carry on against Moses and God, and thus spent forty years wandering in the wilderness for their lack of belief and foolish complaining. 

But don’t laugh nuh friends, because we’re doing the same thing today; full well knowing the power of our God, but still being afraid of life! But moving on: Here’s another verse we all know and spout, but don’t truly action. This is from Bruh David’s famous psalm -the Lord is my shepherd.’ Remember these words: ‘Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Think on that friends…and at the same time on these other words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.27:1) Good question that my brethren! 

And the Lord told Isaiah when He promised that Israel would be restored to Zion: ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:4) And we all know that He did just that! 

And how many times did Jesus tell His disciples and those around Him to fear not eh? We’ll just mention this one when He was talking about man’s first priority should be seeking the kingdom of God. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  And if we don’t know that by now, then our Christian walk is really in jeopardy. 

Then Bruh Paul had these words for the church at Rome: ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Rom.8:14-15) So friends, if we are the children of God, then what do we have to fear eh? I’ll let you answer that. (smile) 

And we’ll close with this last and oh so popular verse; words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.’ (2 Tim.1:7-8) What more can I say eh friends? Bruh Paul said it all! 

But we can definitely go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail with sincere hearts and minds, letting the world know our position in Christ! In strong voice 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!’ 

And one of these days, when we’re all in heaven, I’ll remind us of how I kept saying that the future with Jesus would be even greater than we can ask or imagine, and you wouldn’t believe me! (smile) Much LOVE!

…doing anything right isn’t easy…but living for Jesus…oh my,my…it brings out of this world benefits…heavenly rewards…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2016 Psalm 145:15‏

Psalm 145:15.   The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season.

Aye mih people, welcome to another 24 karat golden day…! 

And all God’s people gloriously proclaimed: ‘Glory to God! Bless His Holy Name! And also bless the wonderful name of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And last but not least, bless the name of the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us safely along life’s rough earthly pathway!’ 

Yes friends, how good and how right it is for us to give praise and thanks and glory and honour to our awesome God! 

So let’s continue in that vein nuh and give more thanks and praise in grateful song by singing this immortal psalm of Bruh David – The Lord is my Shepherd. 

Please sing with me: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me besides the still waters: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (always); thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever…and ever. Amen!’ 

Wow mih breddren! What an awesome and harmonious song of praise and worship, of confidence and encouragement! The heavens surely stood up and took notice! 

Now let’s reinforce all of that by enthusiastically and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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!’ 

Mama mia! It couldn’t get much better than that my fellow believers! Being God’s beloved and Jesus’ friend…which no one can take away for us…Hn! It’s so encouraging and reassuring, like…like we’ve died and gone to heaven! (smile) 

Sorry though, we’re still here on earth. But that’s no problem because down here our wonderful God also looks after us with compassion and LOVING-kindness. Just listen to our Bit. ‘The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season.’ 

Wow! What a merciful, magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve! Shout His name out people: ‘The Lord God Jehovah; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The great I AM, Our Creator, our Healer, Our Provider, our Comforter…!’ 

We could go on forever and ever calling out the great names of our omnipotent God! Let’s shift though to checking out some scripture that lends credence to our Bit. Listen to these words of truth from Psalm 136 – Praise for the Lord’s past and present blessings. 

The psalmist declares of our God: ‘Who remembered us in our low estate (lowly state): for his mercy endureth for ever. And hath redeemed (rescued) us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.’ (Ps.136: 23-26) 

And so should we my people, because God’s undeserving grace and mercy are always available to us if we sincerely, and humbly, ask for them. Now hear these awesome words from Psalm 104 – God’s preservation of nature. 

‘The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches (possessions). 

So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable (teeming things), both small and great beasts (living creatures). There go the ships: there is that leviathan (a large sea creature of unknown identity), whom thou hast made (formed) to play therein. 

These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat (food) in due season. That (what) thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. 

Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. The glory of God shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.’ (Ps.104: 21-31) 

Oh friends, what illuminating words! I never intended to quote that much of the psalm, but it just seemed like such a natural progression, showing us how all the things and creatures of the earth, even man, depended on their Maker, the Lord of Hosts. 

And we’ll end with a telling verse from Bruh Paul, when the people at Lystra wanted to worship and offer sacrifices to him and Barnabas after they healed a crippled man. 

‘Nevertheless he (God) left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ (Acts 14:17) 

Yes friends, it is our most merciful God who gives us all that we have! Please let’s never forget that, and consequently behave as we ought to; with thankfulness and praise and worship of His glorious Deity! For that is indeed wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…O worship the Lord in truth…all you His creation…