Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2018 Deuteronomy 31:6.

Deuteronomy 31:6.   Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

And then it was the Tuesday after the Labour Day weekend; time to go back to school and work! And it seems like it’s going to be another hot, hazy and humid day in my neighbourhood. But we’ll take it, though some of the promised rain would be nice. However, we can’t blame the weather forecasters too much, because with the screwed up climate we have nowadays, their predictions can easily be thrown off. 

Anyway, today we’re going to talk about two words that play a very big part in our lives, both as normal humans and Christian believers. Those words are FEAR and COURAGE! First up are a couple of definitions of those words from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) Here’s what he says about Fear. 

‘Fear – An uneasy feeling, a feeling of dread…an internal alarm that goes off inside of us when we are feeling imminent danger; feel threatened, or feel helpless to avoid or change it.’ In other words, Fear seems to be a negative disposition; one that has us nervous and jittery, feeling weak, especially when we can’t do anything about the prevailing circumstances. 

As per Courage, Uncle Charles says: ‘Courage: The quality of mind or spirit enabling us to meet danger, face opposition, or the challenges of life with fearlessness, calmness and firmness.’ Courage then boosts us up, makes us strong, has us feeling we can do whatever it takes to meet a certain situation. 

But for whatever it’s worth, both of those emotions play a very large part in our lives. These days with our world in such a sorry state of war, resentment, anger, hate and strife, fear is very common and a frequent visitor to too many of us. And it takes a lot of courage to ignore that kind of stuff and move on with a positive and productive life. 

Now we all entertain fear at some time or other in our lives, but as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, we need to do it afraid. So courage isn’t necessarily not having fear, but also doing whatever we need to do while being fearful or afraid. 

And one of the first directives Moses gave to the Israelites when he was dying are the words contained in our Bit. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’  

What a magnificent promise my brethren! And when the Israelites held to it, they were fine, and when they didn’t they suffered serious harm. And I’d like you to know that that promise still holds true even to this day, so many thousands of years later. 

And on the death of Moses, the Lord God Himself even reiterated it to Joshua after making him leader of the Israelites. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) 

That seems to intimate that followers of Jehovah God should not be afraid of anything or anyone that comes against them because their great, powerful and caring God is always with them wherever they may go. And that’s the indisputable truth friends: our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God is all over, all the time! His eyes are always on us, as He walks, before, behind and beside us. 

So there’s no need to fear. We can be sometimes anxious, but definitely not fearful. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus with the ultimate word on the situation. ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And Jesus was always cheering up His followers, advising them to have courage. Listen to him as He came walking on the water towards His scared disciples on the boat. ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’ (Matt.14:27) 

And hear Him again when He tells them He’s going back to heaven and promises to send the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide them. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

And later on He again warns them: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer (take courage); I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) That’s the faithful promise of our Lord and Saviour, my people! Powerful words for us to hold on to securely and courageously live by! If you’re a true believer, that’s the ONLY way to live! 

And Bruh David adds his two cents worth (smile) ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:14) More invaluable advice my brethren! So please take it. But now it’s time to go home, and we’ll do so declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts now:  ‘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!’ 

So what are we waiting for eh? Let’s go out and do as we just declared. Much LOVE!

…faith in Jesus…that’s the only thing that will quench…fear of the world…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2016 Lamentations 3:31.

  Lamentations 3:31.    For the Lord will not cast off for ever.

Aye friends, the big day, Sunday is here! Time for worshipping, fellowshipping and offering much praise and thanks to our Creator and Provider, on this, His special day. So please darken the doors of your church, once you are physically able to. (smile) 

Do not invoke flimsy excuses for not going, because the Lord is looking down from His high heaven and taking notes in His big black book on those who refuse to come to His sanctuary and worship with other believers, when they are fully capable of doing so. So consider yourselves warned. Now to get into the right frame of mind this Sunday morning, let’s sing this well-known and very encouraging hymn; ‘It is Well.’ 

In glorious harmony now: ‘(When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul.)  (Refrain): It is well, (it is well), With my soul, (with my soul) It is well, it is well, with my soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain) 

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain) For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain) 

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. (Refrain) And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. (Refrain)’ 

Yes my brethren, regardless of what happens to us down here on earth, let’s remember that it is always well with our souls, because we have the Lord Jesus Christ as our wonderful benefactor, and in time He will make everything right. And that segues smoothly into our Bit for today. ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever.’ No my fellow believers, though our great and wonderful God may chasten us, He will never cast us away for ever. 

Ah friends, Chapter three in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, sub-titled ‘Hope and relief through God’s mercy,’ is at once one of the most heartbreaking, as well as reassuring in the Bible. That’s because Jeremiah pours out his woes in the beginning, then declares his utmost hope and faith in the Lord’s mercies afterwards. 

Listen to the verse after our Bit. ‘But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.’ (Lam.3:32) And that’s indisputable truth my people, as Jeremiah earlier declares: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:22-23) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘3:22-23. These verses embody the central thesis of the book. When God dealt with His sinful people He exhibited His compassions. The word translated mercies conveys God’s LOVE for His covenant people. The word faithfulness comes from a root meaning “be permanent, secure, reliable.” From this comes the associated idea of genuine faith; hence, the verb can be translated “believe.” (Gen.15:6) 

The word here is often translated “faith” but literally means “firmness” or faithfulness. Thus, it is used of the faithfulness of God Himself (Ps.36:5; 40:10; Lam.3:23), and of the need for the believer likewise to be faithful in his life and his service to God (2 Chr.19:9; Ps.119:30; Prov.12:22). 

The word root stresses that real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and an attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God (cf. 1 Sam.26:23; Ps.37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

Oh friends, the scholars are a bit wordy there, but they do try to give us some understanding of the passages. And by now we should have stopped drinking milk and eating solid food, (smile) which means we ought to be maturing in our faith, and thus understanding the Good Book better.  

And there are also some good scriptures there for us to check out, although I don’t believe too many of us will check them out. Too much work, we claim, and we don’t have the time either. But then we expect the Lord to have time for us, when we can’t be bothered to peruse His word. 

Please remember it’s a two way street my brethren; the Lord promised to look after us, and we promised to read and meditate on His word and keep His commandments. Remember too that it takes two hands to clap, so we can’t expect God to be good to us, when we are not good to Him. 

Now let’s go home with these encouraging words from Psalm 94 – How long shall the wicked triumph. ‘Blessed is the man whom thou chasteneth (instructeth), O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest (relief) from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. For the Lord will not cast off (abandon) his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgement shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.’ (Ps.94:12-14) 

Please let those words of reassurance resound and take root in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds today my people, so that we can go forth and be the salt of the earth and the light of the world as our Saviour Jesus Christ desires. Much LOVE!

…if all Christians were truly faithful to God…what a wonderful world this would be…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2013 Psalm 27:14

Psalm 27:14.   Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.
 
Aye mih Friends, these days are going by so quickly, it’s hard to keep up, to stay level with them! Look, just yesterday was Monday, now it’s already Tuesday today! (smile)
 
The days truly seem to be hurtling by faster and faster. But don’t worry my people, because if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you have it covered on all fronts: we have the Holy Spirit here on earth to lead and guide us aright, and when the final trump sounds, Jesus will come and take us home with Him.
 
Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! And all God’s people gave a mighty and joyful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Praise His Son, Jesus Christ, to whom all knees shall bow, and all tongues shall gratefully confess and acknowledge that He is Lord of all!’ 
 
But unfortunately, despite all the coverage, I know that many believers are still struggling, are still oppressed and fearful, especially when we see the wicked prospering. However my brethren, though it’s hard, we cannot afford to look too closely at what others are doing to progress in this evil, ungodly world. We have to stay fully attuned to Almighty God and His dictates.
 
That’s why Bruh David in this explosive and illuminating psalm, superscripted, ‘the Lord is my light and my salvation, ends it with the wise, encouraging and confidence building words of Today’s Bit: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’
 
Please note Friends, Bruh David tells us to do two things, and a third will result. First we have to wait on the Lord, and that means waiting with strong, solid faith, not a wishy-washy kind of waiting, but a conscious and purposeful anticipation and expectation.
 
For as Hebrews 11 tells us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Hebrews 11:1) For if we can see something, there’s no reason to yet hope for or have faith or expect it to come to pass.
 
And then he tells us to be of good courage. Hn! Now what does that much used and maligned word mean eh? Here’s a definition from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) which some of you might have seen on His programme In Touch some weeks ago. He defines COURAGE as: ‘The quality of mind or spirit enabling us to meet danger, opposition or the challenges of life with fearlessness, firmness and calmness.’
 
And that’s as good a definition as we’ll ever get my brethren! Courage is truly the ability to stand strong when everything seems to be falling down around us. It helps us stay calm, rational and focused.
 
Now that doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid, but like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘Do it afraid.’ And that’s possible because the faith in God that Bruh David talks about will strengthen and enable us to stand up to whatever difficult or fearful situation that comes against us.
 
And my brethren, in times of fear and trouble, please remember this awesome promise of our omnipotent and ever-faithful God: ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is.54:17)
 
And that’s gospel truth Friends! It’s a promise we can stand upon without fear of contradiction or recantation!
 
Oh my fellow believers in Christ, our God has been encouraging His people to be strong and courageous ever since time began. Listen to what Moses told the twelve spies that were sent into the Promised Land to reconnoitre it.
 
‘And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean (fertile or barren), whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.’ (Num.13:20)
 
Yeh mih breddren, whatever we do, we need to do with faith and courage, for this wicked world doesn’t take kindly to weakness. Yuh see how it takes unnecessary advantage of the poor, the sick and needy? It has no mercy whatsoever on those who are not at least internally strong.
 
And the only way to get that internal strength is through faith in Almighty God! Yes Friends, that strength and courage we need are acquired attributes. We have to consciously go after them with much diligence and perseverance.
 
And having said all of that this Tuesday morning, now let’s actively seek the face of our great and wonderful God, before we go out to face the enemy hordes, asking Him for that enabling strength and courage that comes to all who wait in patient faith on Him. That’s our prayer for this morning my brethren.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud, faithful and purposeful, ‘Praise the Lord! Praise His Holy Name! Amen!’ and again we say, ‘Amen!’
 
Much much LOVE my fellow believers in Christ Jesus!
 
…only as believers stand and wait on the Lord…in patient faith…shall He strengthen them…  
 
P.S. Even though the Bit’s a tad late, there’s no reason to complain about its length today. It’s pretty short. Even I was amazed. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
       
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2013 Proverbs 4:26

Proverbs 4:26:    Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
 
Oh Friends, another beautiful day is being heralded all around the world! And we Christians are the luckiest of the lucky! 
 

Why? Because we have a just and faithful Father God to watch over and provide for us; a selfless Saviour who died to cleanse us of our sins, and is now our Advocate and High Priest; and last but certainly not least, we have the Holy Spirit which dwells in us and guides us in all righteousness. Wow! 
 

And that’s not all, for when this mortal life on earth is done, we have the faithful promise of salvation and eternal life with the Trinity of our God-head. So what more can we ask eh my brethren? Nothing really.
 
But that also means that we’re supposed to be the most joyful people on the planet, which unfortunately we’re not. Too many of us are still fearful of the world and the evil things in it. But remember that our Saviour Jesus Christ says that He has overcome the world, so we should not fear, but be of good cheer. (John 16:33) And likewise Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7)
 
Oh Friends, it therefore behoves us to stand steadfast, strong and courageous in the faith, to do what we have been called to do, obviously with the able assistance of our triumvirate God-head. And to help us do that, here’s a definition of Courage, from Uncle Charles, Charles Stanley. Some of you might have heard it in a broadcast a few weeks back. He defines courage as: ‘The quality of mind and spirit enabling us to meet danger, opposition or the challenges of life with fearlessness, calmness and firmness.’
 
And that’s indeed courage in a nutshell my people! The ability to face anything, despite abnormal or unfavourable circumstances should be the motto and work of our Christian witness. And remember too that courage doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of fear, but doing it even though we’re afraid, because we have that awesome promise of our faithful God that He will work everything out for the good of those He’s called and who LOVE Him. (Rom.8:28)
 
But my fellow believers, having all that help is of no good unless we use it, unless we do our part. And a portion of our part is to do as our Bit advises. ‘Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.’ Yes Friends, we need to seriously consider the paths we choose in life, before walking them, because we can be cruelly led astray if we choose the wrong ones.
 
And Cousin Sol warns us of one such wrong path in the next chapter when he talks about adultery. ‘And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished (enraptured) with a strange (an immoral) woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger (seductress)?
 
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth (observes, weighs) all his goings. His own iniquities shall take (entrap) the wicked himself, and he shall be holden (caught) with the cords of his sins. He shall die without (for lack of) instruction: and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.’ (Prov.5:20-23)
 
Oh my brethren, more awesome words of wisdom and undeniable truth! The Lord sees all our comings and goings, and all the thoughts of our hearts and minds are constantly exposed to His righteous stare, therefore we cannot afford to err foolishly and succumb to wicked devices, for those same evil devices will cause our inevitable and unfortunate downfall. 
 
And here’s some info from the scholars. ‘Another reason for rejecting sexual temptation is that the Lord sees all and will punish the wrongdoer. He shall die does not necessarily mean a physical death, but it refers to an absence of life. The adulterer will miss out on the full and joyous life that God intended.’
 
And all of that is corroborated by the author of Hebrews, when talking about God’s discipline and the running of our earthly race. ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby. 
 
Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (be dislocated); but let it rather be healed.’ (Heb.12:11-13)
 
Yeh mih people, none of us likes to be disciplined, but it’s often necessary to teach us righteousness. Therefore we have to be strong and courageous and walk the straight and narrow path, else we’ll most certainly go astray.
 
And we’ll end with some more useful info from the scholars. ‘Some of the runners in verse 1 have grown so weary that they have become stooped and need spiritual strength to be straightened up again. They must be given help, yet they themselves also must straighten their paths by avoiding obstacles that would spiritually trip them up.’
 
Oh Friends, it’s definitely not an easy row we have to hoe as believers, but as Bruh Paul so wisely informed the Philippians: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) And so too can all of us my brethren. 
 
So let’s put Christ first and foremost in our lives nuh, thus enabling us to stay on that straight and narrow path, without veering either to the right or to the left. For that’s the very essence of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…when our eyes, hearts and minds look to Jesus…then our feet automatically tread the straight and true way…