Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 June 2022 Philippians 4:7.

Philippians 4:7.      And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

And Tuesday has opened bright and sunshiny! Praise the Lord! What glorious summer weather we are having before the real summer time begins. (smile) Just hope that it will continue in a calm and balanced fashion, not in a topsy-turvy unbalanced one, what with the problems that climate change is supposedly having on the current weather patterns. 

That’s why it’s so important that we remember the faithfulness and steadfastness of our God. He never changes, but is the same yesterday, today and forever. Unlike the vicissitudes of life, the unexpected changes of circumstances that have us discombobulated, like flotsam in a storm, (smile) our God is a pillar of steadfastness, a refuge in that crazy storm, always there to help us whenever we cry out to Him.  And I do believe that this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin describes too many of us supposed believers in the crazy, strife-filled world of today. It’s aptly titled ‘What’s Myself Doing to Myself?’ 

Please read with me. ‘With childish intensity she asked “What’s myself doing to myself?” I couldn’t help but smile As she stood before the mirror Struggling so impatiently With a stubborn jacket zipper. But I’m not smiling now, Lord As I pass my own mirror and glance at the tension Etching my somber face. I’m frightened, Lord. Her innocent question clutches me: “What am I doing to myself?” Frustrated, frantic So often breathless Too many irons in the fire…

What am I doing to my body – To my mind, my emotions? What am I doing to my family? What am I doing to Your Plan For my personal fulfillment? Why do I live like this, Lord As though Your world Couldn’t exist without me? Why do I so often Tear myself from your control? Dear Lord, calm me. Pull me off the merry-go-round Of converging conflicts. Give balance to my boggled mind. This very hour, Lord Infuse me with your poise and power Until my total self Is submerged in You – Yourself. Only then will I be free To be myself.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Only when we give ourselves entirely over, surrender ourselves completely to our good and wonderful God can we ever be calm and free to be our true selves! Now how many of us do see ourselves in that poem eh? ‘Frustrated, frantic…too many irons in the fire…living like the world couldn’t exist without us…allowing the vicissitudes of life to tumble us over and over, riding the merry-go-round that’s so much a part of our world in these confused and contrary days? 

Too many of us my brethren! That’s why psychologists, psychiatrists, supposed stress relief providers and medications are having a heyday in our current society. Why the number one disease and killer is stress. Because we all are trying to multitask, do too many things at the same time, and thus do nothing properly, or as well as we can. Why do you think the Lord only gave us two of everything eh…well of most things, like hands, feet, ears and eyes? Because He did not think it necessary to give us more for what He had in mind for us. (smile) 

If He wanted us to be doing a multitude of things at the same time, He would have made us like cherubim and seraphines with plenty hands, feet and eyes. But as always, we just like to invalidate God’s Master Plan, thinking that our puny and finite minds can do better than His infinite wisdom and omnipotence. Unfortunately though friends, that’s the furthest thing from the truth, and too many of us only realize that when life hands us plenty sour lemons at the same time and we can’t handle them, can’t make the proverbial lemonade, so, in frustration and panic, we finally come to our senses and cry out to God for divine help. 

I guess it’s only when we find ourselves completely maxed out, at our lowest point, that the thought of God enters our minds. But that’s so unwise my people. God should always be our first avenue for all our problems, desires and whatever… Why wait until we hit rock-bottom to turn to Him eh, when He has a marvellous plan in place for each of us, where we just have to go to Him and ask about it? That doesn’t make sense at all. But we have been, and possibly will always be stubborn, hard-headed beings, always wanting to do it our way…until we find that our way isn’t working. 

And a lot of the time and money we are spending on the shrinks and medication can be easily curtailed if we will only wake up and follow the Lord’s plan, His guidebook called the Bible. Just listen to the Bible verses associated with that poem nuh. They come from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Wow! What wonderful words of wisdom! Yes friends, our God is always near. That means we don’t have to worry or be anxious about anything. However, as the scholars point out. ‘This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, our first response to any and everything should always be prayer with thanksgiving. In that way the Lord will give us a tranquility of mind freeing us from fear and worry, while guarding our hearts and minds with a divine peace that’s greater than our finite minds can understand. And it’s not like we don’t know it friends, for it’s all written there large in black and white. Jesus said it quite clearly. ‘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). 

But stubbornness, hard headedness and foolish pride stop us from going to God, the ONLY ONE, who always has our best interest at heart, and can also solve ALL of our problems. But it’s our terrible loss if we don’t accept His invitation. However, for those of us who gladly accept it and try our best to do His will, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. 

As one confident voice: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and do exactly that; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like do! Much LOVE!

…the peace of the world…can never match…the peace of Christ… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 November 2021 Isaiah 45:5a.

Isaiah 45:5a.     I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:

Ah friends, it’s a pleasure to be with you all this bright and shiny but chilly Tuesday morning. Sorry that I’m only now getting to you, although I’ve been up for over an hour, but I had household chores to do that required doing asap. That’s putting out the garbage, the easy part, but before that picking up the humongous pile of leaves sitting in the driveway outside my side door and bagging them, for at least the third time this week, so that the garbage truck could take it away later on. 

It’s a thorn in my side (smile) that the Lord’s given me for the last thirty odd years that I’ve lived here. Unfortunately, for me, the way the houses are built, it creates a whirlwind in my driveway, right outside my side door, so every fall the leaves blow from all over and congregate in my driveway, and so does the snow. You look outside, and all the neighbours’ driveways are spotless, but mine is either filled with leaves or snow. 

In my more youthful years, it wasn’t a major problem, but now with the onset of age and all its aches and pains, it’s become a pain in the butt and back, both literally and figuratively. (smile) But I guess them’s the breaks. You win some, you lose some, and you just have to grin and bear it. So now that’ I’ve emptied my spleen, (smile) let’s see what the Lord wants us to talk about today. 

And it seems that it’s a very timely reminder, as the Good Book just opened on this most important scripture, where the Lord is giving a charge to the Persian king Cyrus. And yes, He often used the heathen or pagan kings for His purposes. This is a portion of what He said to Cyrus, through the prophet Isaiah. 

‘For Jacob, my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting in the west), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:4-7) 

Yes friends, the Lord was going to use Cyrus to liberate His people Israel from exile in Babylon, and that message through Isaiah was a means of reassuring them that their God, He of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was still on the throne and still had their best interest at heart. And that’s the same message He’s sending to us today my faithful brethren: Our God is still on the throne, still controlling things, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand advocating on our behalf! 

And since He doesn’t change, it means, He still has our best interest at heart, He still has plans to give us a future and a hope, but we need to come to Him and make things right. The sinfulness, the depravity, the ungodliness, the move to drive him out of our society is not sitting right with Him. And how can we expect anything else eh, when we defame, blaspheme and turn away from a most holy, righteous and just God? 

How do you think He feels when we refuse to acknowledge His Son as the Saviour of the world, as the King of kings, the Lord of Lords and the Prince of Peace, amongst His many other titles? He must feel UNLOVED, hard done by, not wanted or needed, like all of us would feel, and do feel, when we are rejected by our fellow human beings. 

But please remember this most salient fact; there is no God beside Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, or whatever you choose to call Him. And remember too His words to Cyrus: ‘I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ That means He has control over everything and every situation in our frail and finite lives, because He is our Creator and Controller. 

Oh yes, he’s given us free will, but that’s only to a certain extent. In the long run, He’s still the BOSS, and can do exactly as He pleases without any input from us. And until we understand that, we will always live fearful and anxious, with a shadow of calamity hanging over our heads. 

But let’s clear up one situation here. The scholars explain that ‘The phrase I…create evil. (in verse 7 above) refers to physical evil or calamity, rather than moral evil. God is in no way pictured in Scripture as the author of sin.’ So, let’s get that straight once and for all: God doesn’t deal in sin, but He does cause calamity to overtake us because of or sin! 

And yuh know what friends, all I’m trying to point out here is the power and sovereignty of Almighty God. If he is Creator and controller of ALL things, then why are we so foolishly trying to fight Him, to have our own way, when we can’t even handle our everyday lives properly. That’s why Moses in his psalm prayed to the Lord. ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps. 90:12) 

And do we ever need hearts of majestic and godly wisdom in these turbulent and oh so dangerous times my people! It’s the lack of wisdom that’s catapulted us into the terrible times we are now experiencing. But friends, we know that once there’s life, there’s hope. And you ask, what’s hope, or what does it have to do with anything? Well hope is believing that good things are possible, then sincerely working towards those good things. 

And I just LOVE how Joshua Ryan Butler described hope in an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope.’ He writes: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything!’ 

That’s the gospel truth my fellow saints. Jesus’ arrival marked the beginning of hope, the beginning of life in this world marked by death. And that’s what we ALL need to work towards – the choosing of life over death. Thus crushing the enemy, who desires a world continually marked by death. So though our world is in tumult, please, please, let’s not give up hope. Remember Jesus is still with us in ALL we do, and He will help us overcome each and every situation we face. So, we need to keep on fighting the good fight in His name, more than ever right now! 

And for those of us who are sincerely doing that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are, to whom we gladly and joyfully belong. As one strong and grateful voice: ‘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 having said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to trust and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…God is calling out to us through our calamities…but unfortunately…we are not listening to Him…and until we do… 

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