Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘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) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison 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 if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.    Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

‘Morning Neighbuh, morning! May the great and wonderful God of our fathers be with you this new day, showering you with His ever-flowing mercy and abundant blessings, while keeping you and yours safe from harm.’
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, I guess I’ll never be a good weather forecaster, because I said that yesterday was going to be a rainy day Tuesday. Hn! But which rain fell eh? None! For by the time the sun rose the rain abated, and it turned out to be a hot, windy day Tuesday instead. I even had to turn on the A/C. Note, just to see if it was working after the long, harsh winter it endured. (smile)
 
What a life eh! A couple weeks ago we badly wanted heat, but now that we’re getting some of the natural stuff, we’re already crying out for cooler weather. Chuh! I guess though that that’s the nature of the human animal – when we have one thing we want something else, and vice versa.
 
But my people, I’m here to tell us that this earthly life is not a bed of roses… or rather, it is a bed of roses! That’s because one of the most beautiful of all God’s creation, the rose, grows at the end of a long, thorn riddled stalk, and to get to one, you have to carefully navigate the thorns on its stem.
 
Life is just like that my brethren. To get to the top of the ladder, or to the most beautiful parts of life, you have to carefully navigate through thorny paths, covered with brambles and all sorts of other obstruction. There is no clear, unobstructed path to our glorious destination of heaven and eternal life with Jesus Christ.
 
As our Bit tells it, in the immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy: ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
And that’s no lie Friends, for all sorts of obstacles and stumbling blocks will crop up in a believer’s life, and it’s only with God’s help are we able to successfully navigate them. And we’re going to end this series of messages with a couple of scriptures pertaining to both the first and last parts of our Bit.
 
As to the first part; ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith,’ let’s look at Acts 11, regarding the church in Antioch, where believers were first referred to as Christians.
 
After Stephen was stoned to death in Jerusalem, the disciples were scattered all over, teaching the gospel, but to Jews only. However, some of them, when they came to Antioch, began preaching the Lord Jesus also to the Gentiles.
 
The Good Book tells us: ‘And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings (news) of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
 
Who, when he came and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted (encouraged) them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto (continue with) the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.’ (Acts 11:21-24)
 
Yeh Friends, we all need help and encouragement to keep on keeping on in our walk of faith, because it is not an easy row to hoe. And that fact is borne out later on when Barnabas brings Bruh Paul back to Antioch, where envious Jews did not want the gospel taught to the Gentiles.
 
‘And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought (begged) that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism) followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.’ (Acts 13:42-42)
 
But the opposition never ceased. ‘And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against (opposed) those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
 
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed (grew) bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you (reject it), and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
 
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
 
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable (prominent) women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts (region). But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.’(Acts 13:44-52)
 
Glory be! Ah mih people, what a beautiful example of when opposition comes against us, that we nonetheless stand strong in preaching the Word, and we will be strengthened and filled with the joy of the Lord and His Holy Spirit! That’s because the Word contains power, the greatest power on earth!
 
But jealousy and envy can move us to do evil, if we’re not very careful. The Jews at first didn’t want to hear about Jesus, and then they didn’t want the Gentiles to hear about Him either, so they stirred up false info to the powers that be, and had them run Barnabas and Bruh Paul out of town.
 
And unfortunately many Christians are behaving the same way, though not through jealousy, but through apathy, fear and simply not caring enough to share the good news of the gospel with others. Remember though my people, that that’s our Great Commission; to spread the good news of Jesus all over the globe. (Matt.28:19-20)
 
But it wasn’t easy back in those first days, and it certainly isn’t easy either in these last days. But with perseverance, strong faith, trust and surrender to our helpful and ever-LOVING God, we CAN, and we WILL proselytize the ENTIRE WORLD, just as Jesus commanded.
 
Oh Friends, I got so caught up in the first part of our Bit, (smile) that I went on longer than I expected. So like we’ll just have to leave the other stuff till tomorrow, God in favour.
 
Till then, please stand strong in the faith, and fearlessly and unashamedly spread the good news of Jesus to all and sundry, because that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world…  (John 16:33)