Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2020 Mark 4:41.

Mark 4:41.     ​What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?

‘I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me! Yes, I am under the rock…the rock is higher than I, Jahovah hides me… I am under the rock!’ Oh mih people, mih people, I sure hope you all are under the rock with me yes, because when the storms of life come howling through, as they most certainly will, and are currently doing, under the rock that’s Jesus, in the shelter of His safe, LOVING and comforting arms, is the only place that true refuge can be found! Why? Because He is the ONLY one who can calm those hungry angry winds of the storm! 

Case in point; the evening Jesus and His disciples were in the boat crossing over the to the other side and a most fearsome storm arose, so that it threatened the lives of those on the water. But where was Jesus eh? Mark says: ‘And he was in the hinder part (the stern) of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto him, Master, carest not thou that we perish?’ (Mark 4:38) Doesn’t that just make you chuckle? This great storm is happening, the boat is tossing and turning, most likely taking in water, but our wonderful Lord and Saviour is in the back of the boat quietly and serenely snoozing away like nothing is happening. 

But Jesus knew exactly what was happening and knew exactly what He would do. So Mark continues: ‘And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’ (Mark 4:39-40) And that’s exactly what He’s saying to us in these trying and very troubled times my people: Where is your faith eh? The faith you talk about so much when things are going well, but seem to lose when times get tough. 

And what was the disciples’ reaction to all that eh? ‘And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:41) Oh my people, it was the Creator of the wind and the sea, so that’s why they obeyed Him! But unfortunately, although the disciples had seen Jesus do other miracles, their faith in the actual time of storm was not good enough. But that’s how Jesus operates; often questioning us in order to spur us on to deeper trust and faith. 

And the scholars offer an interesting explanation of the scriptures here: ‘4:35-5:43. Jesus takes His disciples from the classroom to the laboratory. Having just taught that God’s power will cause His kingdom to grow to worldwide proportion and influence – the parable of the mustard seed – (4:30-32), Jesus now performs four miracles that demonstrate this divine might. God’s power is seen overcoming (1) the danger of a storm (4:35-41); (2) demons in a victim possessed (5:1-20); (3) disease in a woman physically ravished (5:21-34); and (4) the death of a little girl (5:35-43).’ 

But friends, we can’t be too hard on the disciples nuh, for as the scholars further state: ‘4:41. The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ And so it surely would be to all of us, regardless of how much we knew about Jesus’ divine might! But as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer says: ‘When God awakens you to His presence, everything becomes a whole lot more meaningful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Once you truly understand what’s happening with Christ in your life, your entire life takes on a whole new perspective. 

And talking about refuge in Christ and being under the rock, causes me to think of two interesting situations, the one of Moses, and the other of Elijah. Both were going through some difficult times in their earthly ministry. Moses prayed for God’s presence to lead him in the exodus of Israel from Egypt. He desired God’s assurance: ‘show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight; And consider that this nation is thy people.’ (Ex. 33:13). And the Lord agreed. ‘My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ (Ex. 33:14) 

But Moses still was not satisfied, and later said: ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And he (the Lord) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee… (but) Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift (cleft) of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.’ (Ex. 33:18-23) 

And I like this explanation that www.frankgantz.com/the-cleft-in-the-rock offers: ‘A cleft is a narrow space or split. This would have put rock under Moses’ feet, behind his back and on either side of him. In a sense he was wedged into this rock which would hold him in place and provide a stable base. From that vantage point he would behold the back of God’s glory.’ That makes sense doesn’t it. 

The same thing with Elijah; after killing the prophets of Baal he got tired and discouraged and ran away into the wilderness hoping to die. But God made him rest by a brook for a couple of days and fed him divinely. Then he went for forty days and nights in the strength of that food to Mt. Horeb and hid in a cave there. But the Lord called and asked what He was doing there and he claimed that he was tired and scared after being very zealous in doing the Lord’s work, but the children of Israel had forsaken the Lord and wanted to kill him. 

‘And he (the Lord) said, Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord: (1 Kin. 19:1-11) And an earthquake happened, but the Lord was not in it. Then a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in that either. ‘…and after the fire a still, small voice (delicate whispering voice). And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering (entrance) of the cave.’ And there the Lord spoke with him, strengthened and reassured him, then sent him back to continue his ministry. (1 Kin. 19:11-18) 

Yes friends, when we are weak and discouraged, and think we can’t go on, the most desirous place to be is in the comfort of God’s arms, in that safe cleft of rock on the mountain top that shows His mighty power. He will give us the peace and calm and the reassurance that we all need at times, to continue to be of service to Him here on earth. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 it’s time to put those words into godly action! Much LOVE!

…the best place to recuperate…in the LOVING arms of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2015 Psalm 27:11‏‏

Psalm 27:11.    Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain (smooth) path, because of mine enemies. 

Aye mih Scrip-Bit family, it’s another beautiful day on God’s great earth! And all His children declared a loud and thankful ‘Praise the Lord!’

Yes Friends, this is the day we call Wednesday, the middle of the workweek. And once we’ve gotten there, there’s no turning back, just plowing straight ahead with the providence of God!

It’s obvious that I woke up late. (smile) I went to bed late too. But unfortunately, these days the ole bod doesn’t have the stamina and energy to go to bed late and get up early, so please learn to put up with the varying times that the Bit arrives. (smile) Once I’m alive and kicking, it will get there, I just can’t promise that it will be very early.

Anyway, for whatever reason the Lord has, I woke up with my right knee aching this morning, so I’m sort of limping around until it decides to play right. And that’s one of the things I detest about my aches and pains; their inconsistency. I’ll be fine for a while, then out of the blue, for no apparent reason, various parts of my anatomy will start to act up.

But yuh know what my brethren? Our God is so wonderful that He also caused me to wake up singing the chorus to the reggae song, ‘I am blessed.’ Yes Friends, ‘I, I am blessed! I want to tell the world, that I, I am blessed!’

Yes family, if you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food on your table, have a decent job to go to, and can also read this, then you are indeed blessed. So please sing the chorus with me. ‘I, I am blessed! I want to tell the world that I, I am blessed!’

One more time, more enthusiastically and gratefully than the first. ‘We, we are blessed! Let’s tell the world that we, we are blessed!’ And again: ‘We, we are blessed! Let’s tell the world that God’s children are blessed!’

Oh my people, we are so blessed that we don’t truly recognize it and take it all for granted. But at least three quarters of the world, consumed by starvation, poverty, joblessness, homelessness and health issues, would gladly give their eye-teeth (smile) for what we have.

Yet we walk around with smug, complacent attitudes, complaining about small, petty inconveniences. It’s high time we stop doing that Friends, and learn to truly appreciate our blessedness, especially in this Lenten season, where we are supposed to be introspective, looking inside to see what areas of our souls and lives we can clean up.

Thankfulness for the great gifts we have and the freedom to worship Almighty God without fear of persecution should be ranked at the top of our list. But we have to work hard and stay faithful if we want to keep those wonderful gifts in these very trying times.

We just can’t assume that we’ll always have them, because there are enemies in our society who are just dying, frothing at the mouth to take them away.

So while we can bask somewhat in the glow of our blessings, we just can’t sit around, as we have been doing, and allow this evil and ungodly world to take away, to dismantle our blessedness. We have to fight to keep what we have my brethren!

That means we have to stand up steadfast and strong; let our voices be loudly heard all over the land, about the wrongs that are being done. And more importantly, as the body of Christ, we need to take some serious action to stop the bloodletting and deterioration of our society.

Our freedoms won’t handed to us on a silver platter. They were won by fighting fiercely and tenaciously for them, and we’ll only keep them the same way.

Enough of me now though, time for our Bit: ‘Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain (smooth) path, because of mine enemies.’

Oh Friends those are words and sentiments we can pray at the start of each and every day! They are that important because they take us to our heavenly Father to ask for His strength and guidance in our rough pilgrim’s journey. And that’s the only way we can handle our earthly sojourn with the strength and confidence we need.

If we don’t know the Father’s way, then we’ll get all confused and lost and fall for any nonsense that mankind proposes. And believe me, there is plenty nonsense in our world today just looking to grab us and keep us in bondage, both literally and figuratively. But when we look to the Father first and foremost, they will not be able to get us in their evil clutches.

And Friends, asking the Father for guidance is nothing new. Listen to Moses when the Lord appointed Him to lead the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. ‘Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.’ (Ex.33:13)

A very reasonable request my people. And the Lord’s reply was: ‘My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ (Ex.33:14)

Oh my brethren, when we ask God for guidance and His presence in our affairs, He NEVER declines our requests! But after asking for it, we still need to have the faith that He’s going to intervene and make it all right. For without true faith, we can’t come before Him with our petitions.

‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) So Friends, it’s not just simply asking, but also believing that our requests will be heard and worked upon by our omnipotent and magnanimous God.

And I think I’ll stop there for today, don’t want to give us too much to ponder on all at once, for I know our short attention spans. (smile) So my fellow believers in Christ, please, let’s truly consider the words we’ve heard today nuh, and let them take deep and serious roots in our hearts.

Let’s also water and nourish them so that they will grow and help us stay on the straight and narrow path that leads directly to our most gracious and LOVING heavenly Father, for that is truly wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…God’s children need to stop simply talking faith…and rather take action…act zealously and faithfully on God’s Word…