Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2019 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.
 

Good news people! Today’s Tuesday! Wow! That means the frustrating and oftimes emotionally negative day called Monday is past and gone, now confined to the dustbin of history, and we can therefore move on without any fear or anxiety about it…at least for another week! (smile) Yeh, a brand new day on God’s great earth has blossomed, for which we ought to be eternally grateful. 

Now here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that highlights some of our problems, but then shows us the answer to them all. It is appropriately titled: ‘I Keep Running Back to You.’ 

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!’ 

And my fellow believers that’s just wisdom at it’s highest level! For there’s NO ONE like our great, merciful and LOVING God, who is willing to accept us just as we are! And He’s even happier than us when we come running back to Him, because remember His ultimate desire is that He loses not a SINGLE ONE of His most precious creation to the evil and satanic realm! 

That’s why Isaiah proclaimed in his writings these wonderful words of hope and encouragement: ‘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.’ Mama Mia! How can you not want to be a child of Almighty God with such awesome promises being made eh? 

And furthermore, we know that the Lord never breaks any of His promises, He keeps every single one, which means that offer of shepherd-like care and LOVE are not just empty words, but a most generous enticement and welcome to His wonderful fold! And there are so many scriptures that portray our great God as a wonderful and caring shepherd that today I just want to share a few of them. 

And we all know the most popular one; those remarkable words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) Oh friends, those few, simple but endearing and enduring words say it all! With God being our shepherd we’ll never want for any good thing! 

And Jeremiah joyfully declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (ends, lands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.’ (Jer.31:10-11) 

Ah mih people, although the Lord punished Israel for their abominable sins, His LOVE for them was so great, He promised to gather the remnant and bring them back to their homeland and treat them like a caring shepherd. What other supposed God is so magnanimous eh? NONE but ours! 

Meanwhile Ezekiel confirms: ‘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) 

And lest you think that that’s all Old Testament stuff, hear the realization of all those promises from the One and Only, Jesus Christ Himself, as He rightly and righteously proclaims: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And so He did my brethren! And so He selflessly and sacrificially did! 

And as He further declares: ‘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 I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Yes friends, that’s us, Gentiles, non-Jews, that Jesus is referring to there! Please note He didn’t forget about us, but very much included us in His all-encompassing flock!  One flock, and One shepherd! That’s all that’s needed when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is so great and wonderful! Are you hearing His voice today people? Are you heeding His shepherd’s call? I certainly hope so, since your eternal destiny depends totally on it! End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (wow!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the entire world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice 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’re truly sincere, then let’s go out and share that awesome and amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others who don’t know it nuh. That’s our bounden duty and Great Commission! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a sheep…then you need a shepherd…and the best there is…His name is Jesus…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).

Aye friends, it’s a rainy Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, but it sure is good to be alive! Praise the Lord! I sure hope that all of us who have enjoyed His awesome largesse this morning have given Him the thanks and praise He so rightfully deserves. 

Every day we open our sleepy eyes, to another day, we ought to shout ‘Thank You Lord! Thank You for allowing me to see another beautiful day down here in paradise!’ For contrary to what a lot of us think, earth is indeed the Lord’s paradise, we have just made it seem like hell with all our iniquity and the carnality injected by the enemy. 

I was actually up a few hours earlier, but still felt sleepy, so I decided to get some more z’s, got to get them when I can (smile) since my sleep recently has not been the greatest, what with all the different medications I’m taking. 

But I feel fairly fresh now, so let’s get into our Bit without further ado. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack).’ 

Yeah mih people, we’re still with that most promising of verses, because there is still a lot to say about the 23rd Psalm. Bruh David must have been truly inspired when he wrote it, there’s just no other answer to why it’s so beautiful and so encouraging! 

Anyway, what I want to do today is first share some thoughts from the scholars on it, then some choice scriptures which corroborate its verses. 

So listen first to the scholars: ‘Psalm 23. The psalm had been a favourite of God’s people through the ages and with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to His sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6). The image of the Lord as shepherd is a frequent one in both the Old Testament (Is.40:11; Jer.31:10) and the New (John 10:11-16; Heb.13:20). 

Believers are never pictured in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather, they are sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd for His provision and protection. 

The believer is more than a dependent sheep, however, he is also like an honoured guest, since the Lord prepares a table for him (v.5). Connected with this honoured position is abundant provision, vindication before one’s enemies, and eternal celebration of God’s goodness.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud ‘Glory Hallelujah! Glory to our great God on High! Praise His Holy Name, for He is indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

Yes friends, our awesome God deserves even more praise and thanks than our mortal souls can give! He’s done so much for us, creating, protecting and providing for us all down through the ages, despite our foolish penchant for turning away from Him. 

Now let’s look at some corroborative scriptures. Bruh David says: ‘The Lord is my shepherd…’ 

And Isaiah, when he talks about comfort through trust in the Lord, declares in full agreement: ‘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 beautiful, promising and reassuring is that eh my fellow believers! One can’t ask for more. Then Bruh David says: ‘I shall not want (lack).’ 

And Bruh Paul shouts back at the Philippians: ‘But I have (received) all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell (aroma), a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. 

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever Amen.’ (Phil.4:18-20) 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! The Philippians had sent some gifts to Paul, and as the scholars tell us: ‘4:18. I have all means that Paul has received their gifts. And abound signifies that he has plenty, since all needs are now met through their generosity. God looks on their gift to Paul as an odour of a sweet smell (a fragrant scent) and a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing.’ 

‘4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (vs.18) the Philippians made in meeting Paul’s needs, God will surely supply all their need. God will meet their “need” (1) according to his riches, that is, in proportion to His unlimited resources; (2) in glory, that is, He will meet their need “gloriously” or “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’  

Oh friends, I do hope that as we ponder all we’ve said today, it will bring a greater understanding of the Lord’s word and His many promises, and increase our faith and LOVE for Him. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra in full voice and strong belief. ‘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 that’s the gospel truth my people, so let’s go out and put it all into action nuh! For that’s what Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…to know…know…know Him…is to LOVE…LOVE…LOVE Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2013 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.
 
And then it was Friday – a seeming summer Friday to boot! And all the workers around the world, declared a loud and joyful, ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Praise the Lord! The weekend’s here at long last!’ Ah Friends, I can imagine what this first warm weekend in the north country will be like; the barbecues will be flaming, the guys and dolls will be out in their summer wear, half-naked, the hot rods have already been going, and so too have my nemesis, the lawnmowers. Chuh! It never fails, just when I lie down to rest, during the day, some lawnmower around the area starts up its irritating noise, and I get up using some expletive deleted language. Sometimes its even my own lawn- maintenance person, but that doesn’t make me feel any better, possibly worse, since it’s right close to my bedroom window. Anyway, I’m thankful that the good weather is here, and for that I can, and will suck up the lawnmower blues. (smile) And more than ever, today, with the wonderful weather in the offing, we need to chant our Friday chant to keep the right perspective of the weekend in front of us. So let’s chant with a right heart and clean spirit. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ And now that we’ve set the right tone for the weekend, let’s look at one of the greatest promises that God has made in our Bit. But first a little background. This chapter is titled, ‘Comfort through trust in God.’ And that’s exactly where our best hope for comfort and security lies my people! Isaiah felt the prophecy so keenly that he began the chapter thus: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.’ (Is.40:1) Yes Friends, the prophet saw a day of salvation coming for God’s people. Then he goes on to lay out this vision: ‘O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! 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.’ (Is.40:9-10) Now what other God is bold and confident enough to declare those mind-boggling things eh, my people? NONE other than the ONE TRUE and LIVING God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator and Controller of this awesome universe! But He’s not done there, He declares in our Bit: ‘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 my brethren, don’t you just shake your head in awe and wonder at the prophecies that were made in the Old Testament and then were fulfilled in the New, with the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Hundreds of years before John began crying out in the wilderness re the making straight the crooked and rough places for the Messiah’s coming, the Lord promised that His people, those in serious covenant with Him, would be fed and well looked after by His shepherd, when the time was right. And two thousand years ago, the time became right. Jesus, the human incarnation of God was born, gave us the good news of the gospel, then died for our sins, and rose from the grave to give us salvation and eternal life. And all God’s people declared a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the children of sinful men!’ So why do we keep on doubting the Word of God eh? Everything that’s been prophesied there, beside the Second Coming of Jesus, has been fulfilled. And there’s no doubt that the Second Coming will happen in God’s good time. Yet doubt and disbelief still linger in the hearts of many of God’s people, because we listen to the heathen who cry down God’s Word with a loud voice. Oh Friends, the volume, nor the insistence doesn’t dictate the truth nuh! So though many are up in arms against Jesus, and cry out vociferously against Him, that in no way denies the truth of His Coming to earth and His shepherd-like duties towards the people in covenant with His heavenly Father. Even Jesus described Himself in those terms. ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And that He did Friends! So today, let’s release and remove any doubts, fears or anxieties that are preventing us from truly accepting and holding on to God’s great promise of a good, kind and LOVING shepherd in our lives, because we have already seen and experienced Him…and His name is Jesus Christ. More on this tomorrow, God in favour. Till then, please let’s do our bounden duty and truly LOVE our wonderful God, diligently LIVE our Faith and faithfully SPREAD His Word. That’s the wisdom of a true believer. Much LOVE!…promises, promises, promises…unlike man…ALL of God’s come true…