Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2020 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.     ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

What’s happening here eh friends? Is this a pattern developing? Yeh, I’m talking about the rain falling in the early morning in my area, waking up to a wet, gloomy dark morning, but then by midday, it’s become bright and sunshiny! It’s happened the past two days, today is also wet and gloomy, so who knows what will happen later eh. How did the ole people characterize stuff like that? If I remember it right; once is an accident, twice is a mistake, but three times is a blooming habit! 

Chuh! I like the rain, but I can’t take this topsy turvy weather, where we not sure whether we coming or going. I wish the weather could straighten out its act, make up its mind as what it really wants to do. That is what I wish! And that’s all I have to say. (smile) 

Now let’s see what Ruth Harms Calking has to say from our One Year Book of Bible Promises. And today she’s saying something I believe many of us ought to do; in fact our whole world ought to do it. The title of today’s poem is ‘I keep Running Back to You.’ Wow! How appropriate is that for our current tough times eh! 

Please pray with me. ‘You know how it is with me, Lord. So often I mess up my days. I judge harshly I am critical and obstinate I waste time and energy I blame others for my failure. There are people I try to avoid And tasks I try to evade And when I can’t have my own way I sulk in my own little corner. Lord, I even turn my back on You To escape Your penetrating gaze? 

Then finally I get fed up with myself. The intolerable loneliness frightens me And I can no longer endure my shame. It always happens, Lord – I keep running back to You! Where else can I go? Who else understands me so well Or forgives me so totally? Who else can save me from foolish pride? No one, Lord, but You. so thank You for accepting me For LOVING me For always welcoming me. I just can’t help it, Lord I keep running back to You!’ 

But that my brethren, is indeed the wise and sensible thing to do. When we get in our own way, and screw up our lives, so foolishly thinking that we know best and can do life on our own, there usually comes, or should come a prophetic moment when we realize that God, the Creator of the universe, is the ONLY ONE to whom we can turn to for trusting and faithful help. 

And oh my people, how I do wish, hope and pray, that our world would see, that right now we’re in one of those prophetic times when the serious trouble we’re facing, the onerous burdens we’re bearing, can only be lightened, be solved, by running back to Almighty God from whom we have recently turned away in droves, even to the rash and foolish effort to drive him out of our society. But friends, that’s the most foolish thing we could ever think of or try to do. God WILL NEVER allow Himself to be driven out of our society! 

And until we learn that immortal wisdom, we’ll just keep on spinning our wheels and going nowhere, living in abominable sin, burdened by calamity and disaster, just like we are right now. But yuh know what happens when we run back to Him, return to His fold? Hear Isaiah tell it like it truly is, in the promise from our poem: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:11) 

Yes friends, that’s what happens when we turn to Almighty God for help and succour! So why don’t we eh? And it’s not like we don’t have true examples of it. The Israelites turned back to the God of their forefathers how many times after being disobedient and rebellious, then consequently finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. And He graciously took them back. So why can’t we be wise enough to do it eh, especially when nothing else seems to be working for us? 

Because we’re blooming stubborn and hard-headed, full of foolish pride, not willing to admit that we could be wrong. But remember what goeth before a fall, before destruction: pride! And right now our foolish pride is causing us to fall. Just look at how divisive and disunited our society has become nuh. We don’t agree on much of anything, so how can we expect to function successfully eh? 

Friends, it’s only when a society is more united than divided can it ever hope to prosper and succeed. And believe me, we seem to be disagreeing, fighting, hating, and living ungodly more and more everyday. It’s obvious we’re headed in the wrong direction. Anyway, since we’re already late (smile) and running out of space too, let’s check out a few important scriptures on the subject. 

First up are these immortal words from the prophet Ezekiel, talking about the Lord caring for His flock. ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle (sheep and sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek. 34:22-24) 

And if you’re one of those who foolishly believe that the Old Testament writings are dead and buried, then listen to that prophecy fulfilled in the New Testament. The immortal words of Jesus. ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11, 14-15) Yes friends, Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd; He laid down His life for us, and promised to protect us if we stay in His fold. But that’s a decision each individual has to make…and the sooner the better. Nuff said! 

But for those of us who have already made the wise decision – being in Jesus’ fold, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, which our Saviour has so generously blessed us with, so that we can do His earthly work. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’  

And having declared all those good blessings, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share them just as generously with others who need what Christ has to offer. Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…that’s the gospel truth… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2020 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 

So the caffeine’s hot and strong and sweet and plentiful…just the way I like it, (smile) and everything remains the same. Yes the Covid-19 still has a stranglehold on us and we are still fighting amongst ourselves to determine the truth about it, rather than putting all of our combined energies into finding a cure or something that will stop its rapid spread. Steups! But that seems to be the way of our current world, even when we’re dropping like flies in vinegar or honey and we don’t know why. 

Oh, and that raucous wind we said had died down yesterday…well that was only for a time. By midday it had picked up again, squealing through the leafless trees and the over the rooftops. I went out in mid-afternoon to run some errands and did it play games with me. At one stage I dropped a glove and the wind just kept moving it further away from me. Then it blew off my hat…and it was a joke to see me running down the middle of the street after my ole dungaree hat. It’s a good thing the road was empty of traffic. One fellow who saw my epic run, told me that I had gotten my exercise for the day. 

And would you believe that in the wind storm, there were also flakes of that white stuff twiddling down from the sky yesterday afternoon, and that this Wednesday morning, the 22nd of April there are remnants of that white stuff on the ground and on the rooftops! Granted, it’s not a lot, but it sure is noticeable, and it surely makes you sit up and wonder…Hn! Makes you think of Mother Nature and ponder on her eccentric ways. (smile) But getting to more important matters; here is this rather interesting and oh so truthful message I got from a friend a couple days ago, re the Coronavirus…what else eh! (smile) It’s titled: ‘We Are Not In The Same Boat.’ 

So let’s read together. ‘I heard that we are all in the same boat. But it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa. For some quarantine is optimal: moment of reflection, of re-connection. Easy, in flip flops, with a whisky or tea. For others, this is a desperate crisis. For others it is facing loneliness. For some, a peace, rest time, vacation. Yet for others, torture: How am I going to pay my bills? Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter (this year there were no rich chocolates). Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days. 

Some were in their “home office”. Others are looking through trash to survive. Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine. Some need to break the quarantine to stand in line at the banks. Others to escape. Others criticize the government for the lines. Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, some are not sure their LOVED ones are going to make it, and some don’t even believe this is a big deal. Some of us who are well now may end up experiencing it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know. 

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come. So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm. Some with a tan from their pool. Others with scars on the soul (for invisible reasons). It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, more than looking, seeing. See beyond the political party, beyond religion, beyond the nose of your face. 

Do not underestimate the pain of others if you do not feel it. Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other. Don’t be a judge. Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him. We are on different ships looking to survive. Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.’ ~Unknown Author~ 

Yes friends, it’s all gospel truth! And it’s sad that author’s name isn’t known, because I think he, or she, covered the situation quite well. It’s a sad time for sure, and there are different realities for different people; from being able to enjoy moments of peace and reflection in a prosperous manner, right down the line to facing severe want, even poverty, hunger, homelessness, and total destitution. And we do need to treat this most serious and very dangerous situation with respect, empathy, and responsibility, for our situations can change in the blink of an eye, and then we’ll need others to respond that way to us. 

But as always, as firm, and true believers, in these desperate times, we desperately need to turn to our Creator and heavenly Father who has sincerely promised to never leave nor forsake us: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:11) Yes friends, this is a time of faith testing! And we believers do have to answer that call in a true manner; like Jesus says, be the salt and light of the earth! Now is not the time to hide our lights under a bushel, but be like those proud sentinels of earlier times; the lighthouses on the rocky shores with the waves crashing mercilessly against them. 

And there’s many a sad tale that those lighthouses prevented from happening because of their protective and warning light, and we also need to be like lighthouses right now my people. Let’s step up to the plate, reignite our passion, and obey Jesus’ heartfelt declaration: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ And there’s never been a time in our generation when that has been ever more necessary than now! So please my faithful brethren, let’s stand up and show our true colours nuh, the beautiful colours of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And we’ll begin by declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our true and oh so enviable position in Christ. All together 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 if we are true and faithful to the end, then that glorious future will be even more glorious than our finite and foolish minds can think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…it’s time…for ALL believers to stand up and face the music…be shining lights for Jesus…in this dark, evil  and very dangerous world…  

P.S. There’s still some coffee left in the cup, but it’s cold now…Steups! I’m still drinking it though… (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 February 2020 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.    ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Come Tuesday…I’m glad to be alive! Come Tuesday…my soul’s soaring to high heaven, because the Lord has kept His promise to get me through Monday all in one piece! Wow friends! I hope we’re all in the same boat…the one with Jesus being the guide, captain and pilot! For it’s only that boat, the one with that commander, that will get us safely through the storms of this earthly life to the other side, where there is no more pain and suffering, no darkness, just joy and everlasting peace in the light of Jesus! 

And in keeping with that theme of trust and surrender to Jesus, here is this simple but most appropriate prayer from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Heartstrings.’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord, with no sense of direction I’m forever losing my way. Please tie a string From Your heart to mine So that even in the darkness I’ll feel the tug of Your heart And find my way home.’ Oh my people, that’s so simple, but ever so touching in its directness and simplicity. 

What better way to stay attached to our Maker than with the awesome connection of a heart string. That way, we can never lose our focus, it will be ever stayed on Him, as it ought to. And that’s exactly what’s promised in Isaiah: comfort, through trust in the Lord. Listen to these most comforting words. ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11) 

How can you ever beat such a promise eh precious people of God? You simply can’t! And our Bit is the Bible Promise for our poem today; the awesome promise of Almighty God to feed and gently care for all those who wisely come to Him for help, who desire to be in His fold and allow Him to lead and guide them like a kind and caring shepherd does his sheep. And there are so many references to God being our shepherd in the Good Book that we can’t  cover them all, so we’ll just highlight a few; the first from the prophet Ezekiel. 

‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek. 34:22-24). What a mighty promise friends! And according to the scholars the reference to Bruh David there is in regards to his role during the Millennium reign of Christ. He will be appointed a shepherd of Christ’s flock. 

Now we’ll turn to the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, awesome words that we all claim to know, but as always, don’t fully put into practice, otherwise our lives wouldn’t be in such an ungodly mess. (smile) Hear the Master: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:10-11) And isn’t that exactly what He did on the cross at Calvary…give His sinless life so selflessly for us, the hoped-for sheep of His pasture? 

That’s the amazing positivity and optimism of Christ; that before He was even sure of a flock, He died to preserve them! Wow! No one else would ever dream of doing that…except our Saviour! And as He continues later on: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Oh friends, the other flock Jesus was referring to there was us, the non-Jews, the Gentiles, whom He greatly desired to also include in His one worldwide flock at a slightly later date, through Bruh Paul. So this morning, whatever the circumstances in which we find ourselves, let’s make sure that we know, and are hearing the voice of our Good Shepherd nuh, as He walks and talks and guides us safely and LOVINGLY through our day. 

As Bruh David so famously described it: ‘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…’  (Ps. 23:1-4) Yes friends, those are gospel truths, if we believe in Jesus Christ! 

So for those of us who sincerely belief, let’s go home now telling the world in no uncertain voice, who and whose we are as set out in our Tuesday Mantra. 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!’ 

So let’s go out now and do just that nuh; share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus with those unfortunate ones who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…and ye my flock…the flock of my pasture…are men…and I am your God…saith the Lord God…(Ezek. 34:31)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2015 Matthew 9:36‏

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Oh Friends, please be advised that the NHL Hockey Playoffs began last night, with several games on every night. And since I am a fan of the game, it means there will be several late nights, like last night, in the offing. Unfortunately, those late nights will obviously lead to late mornings, like this one.

So please don’t be too peeved and upset with me if the Bits are somewhat late in the next few weeks. (smile) It’s just a fact of life. There isn’t much I watch on the tube, but hockey is one of those things.

And a much better bit of news is that it looks like spring has finally truly sprung. Yesterday was warm, not hot, and beautiful, with loads of brilliant sunshine, and today is forecasted to be more of the same.

The temps are getting up to the mid to high teens, and that’s bringing out the pent-up winter frustration, so the hot rod cars with their loud engines and mufflers are now out on the road, the walkers, runners, cyclists and the ‘motorbikers’ are getting into gear too. So look out for the madness, especially after such a long and harsh winter.

And Friends, on this Thursday morning in mid –April, I want to remind us of some rather important facts as they pertain to our faith. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, but they are the words of the prominent American churchman, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.

And he reputedly said that: ‘Religion can never be the answer to human problems. All of the religions of the world are inadequate. Christ alone is the Answer. Christ alone understands. Christ alone forgives. Christ alone eliminates your guilt.

Christ alone saves and then assures you that you are God’s child and the most wonderful person possible! Christ alone fills the human heart with LOVE –joy- peace- self-confidence. No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Oh my people, my people, what wonderful words of utmost truth and wisdom! There is nothing in that passage that can be disputed! So please, please, this morning let’s allow those fateful words of truth to sink into our hearts, minds and spirits, so that they can reinforce, renew and reinvigorate our passion and joy in our faith and in Christ Jesus!

We need that sort of renewal regularly, because in these last days the enemy is fighting mightily, to keep us from believing and acknowledging the wonder and worthiness of our faith.

And I like that last part of Dr. Shoemaker’s statements: ‘No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Why, you ask? Because if all of the previous statements are true, which they are, we ought to have such LOVE for our God, ourselves and our neighbours, that nothing whatsoever can diminish the light and joy of Jesus in our souls and lives.

That brings us to our Bit. ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sorrow that filled Jesus’ heart when He saw His people so lost and scattered, without any proper guidance, just going astray any which way? Remember Isaiah’s prophecy, re comfort through trust in the Lord?

He said: ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11)

And that is exactly what Jesus came to do my people! He was the fulfillment of that prophecy. Read John 10 and you can hear Him expound on the theory of the sheep and the shepherd, as pertains to Himself.

First, He tells them a parable. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:1-5)

Ah my brethren, all of that is oh so true! Now listen to some useful explanations by the scholars. ‘10:1. Door is the one who stood in the opening of the (stone) fold. (the pen where the sheep were kept at night). The thieves and robbers were the Pharisees. See also verse 8.’

’10:3. Sheep know only their shepherd’s voice. In the Near East several flocks belonging to different shepherds may be in one fold (a fenced in area). But only a shepherd’s own sheep will follow him out of the fold. Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’

Obviously the people listening to Jesus didn’t understand what He was talking about. ‘Then Jesus saith unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:7-10)

And at the remembrance of that wonderful news, all God’s people gave a mighty and glorious shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the awesome shepherd of our flock; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly!’

So my people, in ending, let me remind us, that if we are the sheep of Jesus’ flock, then it is of the utmost importance that we listen to His voice, and follow Him and Him alone. If not, then we’ll be marked for certain death, as all else are merely thieves and robbers, come to kill, steal and destroy.

So let’s open our ears and quite clearly hear our Master’s voice and follow Him down the straight and narrow, but safe path where He will inevitably lead us. That my brethren, is certainly wisdom and understanding of a heavenly nature! Much LOVE!

…all we like sheep have gone astray…but Jesus in His LOVING-kindness…has found us and brought us safely back to His fold…oh what a joy…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2014 Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11.      He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Ah mih people, it’s Wednesday – we halfway home! So please hang in there, faithful and steadfast, knowing that all things work together for good to all those who LOVE God and are called by Him for His purpose. (Rom.8:28) That’s a wonderful scripture to hold on to this morning my brethren.
 
And all God’s people joyfully declared: ‘Praise the Lord! This is the day the day Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Way to go my fellow believers!
 
Now here’s an interesting quote from Israel Salanter Lipkin (1810-1883), the famous Lithuanian Rabbi and revolutionary philosopher. He says: ‘Spirituality is like a bird: if you hold on to it tightly, it chokes, and if you hold it loosely, it escapes.’
 
And that my people, is not only true of our spirituality, but also a number of other things in life. If we hold on to them too tightly, we extinguish their lifeblood, and if we are too lax and wishy washy with them, they just float away from us.
 
We constantly see it in friendships, in LOVE, in parenting children, in managing people in the workplace, in all walks of life. That means we need to exhibit some semblance of balance in our lives. Don’t hold on to things or people too tightly – read control (smile) or they are likely to rebel.
 
Neither should we take them too much for granted, or we’re liable to lose them too. So it’s essential that we don’t tip the scales on either side. The same thing goes for our spiritual development.
 
As the One More Day Devotional from which I got the quote says: ‘When we possessively clutch our faith and expect all that we demand, our spirituality is weakened. Yet if we expect nothing of it, it might seem to disappear.
 
Our spiritual lives are strengthened as we find that precious balance between expectant trust in our Higher Power and responsible reliance on ourselves.’
 
And that’s gospel truth! But the problem is trying to strike that right balance in our lives. However, it is not an impossible task if we cling to the Lord God Jehovah as our lifeline, and hold on to the many promises He has made us, none of which He has ever, or will ever renege on.
 
And I definitely like the promise in our Bit: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’
 
Oh my brethren, what wonderful imagery, what a beautiful pastoral scene it paints; depicting Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour just gently and wisely leading and guiding us, like a good shepherd takes care of his sheep, like a mother hen takes care of her chicks, generally speaking, like the female of the species looks after the young ones in her brood.
 
Some of us might not know the duties of a shepherd, but it’s basically to look after his flock in all aspects of their lives; be it leading them to green and plentiful grass and wholesome water to drink, taking care of them in sickness, seeking them out when they’re lost… whatever it takes to maintain the peace, calm and prosperity of the flock.
 
And wonder of wonders my people, that’s exactly how our great and wonderful God looks after us when we surrender our lives, our struggles to Him! 
 
Now let’s look at some scriptures where the Lord is referred to as our Shepherd. Jeremiah, in his prophecy of the remnant of God’s people one day triumphantly returning to Jerusalem, first decries the leaders of Israel. ‘Woe be unto the pastors (shepherds, leaders) that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.
 
Therefore, thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors (shepherds, leaders) that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited (attended to) them: behold I will visit upon you (attend to you for) the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.23:1-2)
 
Yes Friends, in due time the Lord will get rid of the woeful and wicked pastors and leaders who are leading His people astray and replace them with righteous and responsible ones.
 
And then the eventual Good Shepherd will come. ‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper (act wisely), and shall execute judgement and justice (justice and righteousness) in the earth (land). (Jer.23:5)
 
And that promise was fulfilled my people when Jesus came to earth as a man and blossomed in all His spiritual glory! Wow! What a faithful and trustworthy God we serve and worship!
 
And all God’s people joyfully declared: ‘Thank you Lord! We praise you and bless your holy name!’
 
And the prophet Ezekiel tells us thus of the Lord’s care for His flock. ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep).
 
And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek.34:22-24)
 
Yes Friends, that’s the magnificent and majestic God we worship, making everlasting plans for our protection and provision!
 
And we’ll close with this appropriate benediction from Hebrews. ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Heb.13:20-21)
 
Now Friends, as we go about our busy lives today, let’s hold on to all that our God has promised, so that we can have peace and good success, despite all the troubles crazily swirling around us, for that is indeed wisdom from on high! Much LOVE!
 
…and ye my flock…the flock of my pasture…are men…and I am your God…saith the Lord God… (Ezek.35:31)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2014 Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11.     He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Oh Friends, it’s Tuesday – tearful Tuesday! That’s because of the many tears we’ll shed this morning, having to get up and go out to work, tired, sleep deprived, moaning and groaning, after the long, loud, lusty and lustful Labour Day weekend. (smile)
 
Don’t worry my brethren, the ole fella’s in the same boat. I shed a few tears my self just now when I had to get up to write the Bit, after only about three hours of sleep. But having cried out for LOVE and mercy and grace, I’m facing up to my task, assured of heavenly blessing and guidance to complete it in a worthwhile manner.
 
And I just want to comment here, give a personal testimony, on some thing I heard my Bubba Joel (Joel Osteen) say this weekend. He claims he wasn’t the least bit interested in being the pastor at Lakewood Church after his father went to be with the Lord some ten years ago.
 
He was quiet happy being in the background looking after the television aspect of the ministry. However, deep down inside, he felt that it was his calling, his destiny, and once he accepted that unforeseen role, despite all the problems surrounding it, he experienced an inner peace within himself that he just could not understand.
 
But it was the Lord’s peace; that peace that surpasses all human understanding.
 
On hearing that, it just brought back to my memory the surprising and unexpected peace I also experienced when my mother Molly died three years ago.
 
I was in California at the time, on a short vacation, the first time I’d left the country in some four or five years, and was most surprised and disappointed when I got the news of her passing, without me even having a chance to say a formal goodbye, and she, just a couple days before telling me that she wasn’t yet ready to go home.
 
But soon thereafter, I unexpectedly found myself at a point of quiet peace with situation. The Lord put a couple of understandable though not necessarily wonderful reasons in my heart for His action.
 
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed, sad and cried and grieved and everything else. But deep down inside I didn’t have the turmoil that usually comes with those kinds of situations. I remember remarking to myself how calm and collected I was, despite all the sorrow and heartache surrounding me.
 
I now realize that that was indeed the peace of God which passes all human understanding, which allows us to have a calm interior, while the winds of the storm are wreaking havoc all around us on the outside.
 
And the moral of the story is that when the storm clouds of trouble and sorrow surround us, it is indeed possible to have internal peace, if we turn to our wonderful God and cast all our cares upon Him, as He so generously advises. ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’(1 Pet. 5:7)
 
He will certainly keep ALL of His promises; of never leaving nor forsaking us, of having good plans for our lives, plans of hope and a good future, to also bring us through the fire suitably changed but unscathed, working it all out for our good in His time and manner.
 
No wonder Isaiah likens Him to a shepherd in our Bit, for a true shepherd cares for and looks after his flock with total concentration. ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those with young.’
 
Oh my fellow believers, what a wonderful word portrait of our great Provider, Jehovah Raffa!
 
And there are lots of scriptures that describe Him as a shepherd because the old Jewish society was agrarian, and best-understood stuff couched in agricultural terminology.
 
Now let’s look at some of those scriptures that portray our omnipotent, LOVING, merciful, most caring and forgiving God as a shepherd. And the obvious scripture to begin with are the words of Jesus Himself, of whom Isaiah was prophesying, when he made the claims in our Bit.
 
Jesus unequivocally declares to His listeners: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is a hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
 
The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so knoweth I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
 
And other sheep I have (Gentiles), which are not of this fold (Jews): them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10: 11-16)
 
Oh Friends, how much more convincing and eloquent can Jesus be eh? Not much. He says it all right there.
 
Meanwhile Jeremiah in his prophecy declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (coastlands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.’ (Jer.31:10)
 
And Micah, in talking of the deliverers from Bethlehem, tells us: ‘And he shall stand and feed (shepherd his flock) in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.’ (Mic.5:4)
 
Then Peter declares it thus: ‘For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls.’ (1 Pet.2:25) There he is quoting Isaiah 53:5-6.
 
And we’ll close with the most famous scripture passage, re the analogy of God to a shepherd. Hear these beautiful, soul-searching, uplifting and inspiring words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside still waters (waters of rest).
 
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.’ (Ps.23:1-4)
 
Oh my people, please take heart, for despite all the troubles that surround us, all the fires we must pass through, our wonderful heavenly Father, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our helper and comforter, are always around us, leading us to green pastures filled with restful, sweet tasting and rejuvenating water.
 
So today, please put all your trust and faith and hope in our Triune God, who watches over and protects us like a true shepherd does his sheep. Much LOVE!
 
…when the Good Shepherd, Jesus comes a calling…His sheep will recognize His voice…and heed His righteous and comforting call…