Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2021 Ezekiel 7:2b.

Ezekiel 7:2b.     An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. 

It’s Tuesday friends, that means there’s cause for much celebration, because we’ve been given that awesome thing called life for at least one more day! It’s a blessing that many others did not receive today, so we need to be incredibly grateful and show that appreciation by the way we live today. 

That means living a good, clean, righteous, compassionate, generous, thankful, humble and Christ-like day. For who knows if we don’t live that way, if we’ll see another tomorrow turn into a blessed today. Yes, living that kind of life was never easy in this evil world, and it will never be, until Christ comes back to claim His throne. 

However, what our heavenly Father expects of us is not perfection, but a sincere and diligent effort to do the right thing by our fellow man. And yuh know what mih people, living right and kind is so wonderful that I don’t understand how anybody can live in evil, anger and the disgusting and disgraceful inhumanity in which so many of us spend our entire lives. 

No wonder we have the saying that man’s inhumanity to man makes thousands mourn. And unfortunately, we need to change it from thousands to millions, because our inhumanity seems to be getting worse by the day. I’m sure the Lord must be sitting on His throne in heaven, shaking His head and wondering where He went wrong, what kind of monster He made as His most precious creation, why there’s so much evil and wrongdoing in His universe? 

And that’s even after He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins, and cast away our abominable iniquity as far as the east is from the west. And I’m chuckling here friends, but I’m also concerned, because I just happened to look at the scripture passage where the Good Book opened today, in the book of the prophet Ezekiel, and it read thus about the judgement of Israel. ‘Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. 

Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee (repay you for) all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.’ (Ezek. 7:1-4) 

And if it’s one thing we know about our great God is that He doesn’t make empty promises, and Israel did feel the might and power of His awesome hand when they went astray, and He’s also promised that there will a day of judgement when He wraps up this old, evil earth as the apostle Peter tells us in his second epistle, re living in the hope of the Lord’s coming. 

He first reminded believers of the day of the great flood, when the Lord destroyed the earth and all therein, except Noah and his family, because of the wretched sinfulness of its inhabitants. ‘Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against (until) the day of judgement and perdition (destruction) of ungodly men.’ (2 Pet. 3:6-7) 

Yes friends, that day of judgement is certainly coming. And let’s be clear, we are not talking about the Rapture, but that day when Christ returns in judgement, the final apocalyptic judgement. And you can read the descriptions of that fiery judgement in Revelations 17-19.  So please don’t get all uppity and know-it-all, and question with a sneer, as so many do, why it hasn’t come as yet. 

Peter though, gives a good answer to that question. ‘But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ (2 Pet. 3:8-9) 

We see then, that the way God looks at time and the way we do are totally different, and furthermore, He’s giving us time to come to salvation because He doesn’t want any to perish. And Peter continues: ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief (robber) in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.’ (2 Pet. 3:10) 

So we don’t know when all of this will happen, that means we need to be ready for whenever it comes. ‘Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (conduct) and godliness, Looking for and hasting (hastening) unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’ (2 Pet. 3:11-14) 

Ah mih people, regardless of what you believe, those things are going to happen. And when they do happen, we need to be found righteous and blameless. Then the scholars tell us that ‘the heavens that shall pass away with a great noise are the atmospheric heavens. The elements shall melt with a fervent heat certainly could refer to a nuclear holocaust. Thus, Peter urges his readers to look beyond this present world to the new heavens and a new earth characterized by righteousness.’ And the turmoil and upheaval our world is currently experiencing, certainly makes nuclear warfare a dreaded possibility. 

Remember too, John’s words in Revelation. ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev. 21:1-4) 

Oh my people, that’s what we have to look forward to when we believe in God, through His awesome Son, our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus! There’s nothing more I can say, for the Word of God speaks very clearly on its own. So, for those of us who accept it, then let’s go home declaring (chuh man!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

As one strong 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 and share that wonderful friendship and awesome LOVE of Christ with those who don’t know Him nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…only believe…only believe…in Christ Jesus…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2018 Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:4.   And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Greetings friends, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He wants us to know that this Thursday morning we are only one day away from our weekend break, and that we have done a good job so far this week, we’ve been ploughing straight furrows, so we should not give up or lose hope, because He is right there alongside us, every moment of the day, and with His help, we will certainly succeed. 

So just hang in there, keep on fighting the good fight, and all will be well! What a reassuring message my people! And Jesus is nothing, if not a ‘reassurer.’ And His promises are ever-faithful and true. So please keep on believing. 

And I have an interesting thought to share from one Erwin Raphael McManus, author, futurist, designer, filmmaker and Pastor of a Los Angeles church called Mosaic. He apparently says in his book, ‘The Last Arrow,’ that ‘The pain of life is the obstacle to our future. Do not let fear and pain limit your freedom to your future.’ 

What wise and truthful words my brethren! In this fallen and sinful world of ours, it is fear and pain that take a dire toll on our freedom to enjoy this earthly life. If we didn’t have fear or pain, we’d be home free. (smile) But we know that that situation will only be rectified after the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when Almighty God births the new heaven and earth. What a joyful day that will be my people! 

And we have that on good info from John the Revelator, who writes, after seeing a vision: ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ (Rev.21:1-5) 

Wow mih breddren, what an awesome promise and time we have to look forward to; living in the New Jerusalem where there will be no night or day, no pain, sorrow, or death and Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit will dwell amongst us in living colour! Mama Mia! I can’t wait for that day when there will be no more pain! (smile) 

Now let’s check out some explanations from the scholars’. ’21:1-2. Chapters 21 and 22 are a description of the eternal state (following the Millennium and the final judgement), centering in the new Jerusalem as the eternal habitation of the saved (cf. Heb.11:10; 12:22-24). 

The first heaven and the first earth are replaced by a new heaven and a new earth, predicted by Isaiah (cf. Is.65:17; 66:22). The present universe will thus be cleansed from all the effects of sin (cf. 2 Pet. 3:7, 10-13). Since there will be no more sea, the increased land space will be fully capable of handling large numbers of redeemed people from all ages. 

The New Jerusalem is fully described in 21:10-22:5. It is a holy city, totally separate from sin (cf. vs, 8, 27; 22:15). It is being prepared (cf. John 14:3) as the habitation of the bride of Christ (cf. v.9). From God shows its divine purpose, and out of heaven its divine origin.’ 

Yeh mih people, a new day is coming, we know not when, that means we have to be prepared and constantly on the lookout for it. As Peter warns: ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief (robber) in the night…Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’ (2 Pet. 3:10a, 13-14) 

Yeh friends, we have that awesome promise of Jesus that after He’s wrapped up, destroyed all the sin and evil in the world, He will bring us to a place of everlasting peace and joy to dwell with Him forever. But it’s imperative that we make the necessary preparations RIGHT NOW, because Jesus can come back at ANY time. Oh, and please read the references in the scholars’ explanations, for they are a treasure trove of scripture. (smile) 

And having read and digested all of that, let’s go home loudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings. As one 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 please remember that those blessings were granted to us not to keep and hoard for ourselves, but to share with others, so let’s go out and share them now nuh. Much LOVE!

…there is awesome power in the word of Jesus…because that’s what created the universe and all therein…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2016 Nehemiah 8:10c

Nehemiah 8:10c.  For the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 Oh welcome my brethren to another interesting and satisfying day of life on God’s great planet Earth! 

And as we keep saying, there must be a reason for us to have awakened this morning. So, after giving God some thanks and praise for bringing us through the dark night of sin into the glorious sunshine of Jesus, let’s get with His plan for our lives right away nuh. 

And since today is Wednesday, it means declaring our Wednesday Wail with much vim and vigour. (smile) As one wailer 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!’ 

Yes friends, life is all about looking forward to a glorious future with Jesus! As they say; our best days are still ahead. And I do believe that. And how can we not be ever-thankful for the beautiful breath of God’s Spirit that’s flowing through us to give us what we call life eh! 

Now today I want to share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H. Schuller) Hours of Power Devotional. Don’t know if I’ve shared it before, but if I have, it’s certainly worthy of another go round in this dark and dismal world. 

He asks the question ‘Are You Happy?’ But I want to change it to ‘Are you Joyful?’ because happiness conveys a sense of now for now pleasure that soon fades, pleasure as the world sees it, not the long lasting joy that comes from a true relationship with Jesus. So in this passage, wherever we see ‘Happiness,’ let’s read it as ‘Joyfulness.’ 

So here goes: ‘Happiness – that deep inner strength that is made up of courage, faith, hope, and peace. Mix them together and you have happiness! Happiness – the courage to hang on in the face of severe adversity! Happiness – the faith that God will have the last word, and it will be good! Happiness – the hope that, even though you can only see the shadow, someday the clouds will clear away and the sun will shine again! 

Happiness – the quiet sense of self-esteem that comes when you know you have done your best. Happiness – the assurance that you have been merciful and kind to enemy and friend alike. Happiness – the quiet assurance that God will be merciful and kind to you, too. Happiness – the beautiful belief that this life, no matter how difficult it may be, is not your final destination.’ 

Oh what beautiful, words, thoughts and emotions my people! Especially knowing that our final destination is heaven, to live with Jesus forever! ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:4) 

And all God’s people loudly and proudly declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Thank the Lord for the promise of heaven!’ 

And that’s all fine and dandy my friends, but the truth, the reality is that we can’t have all those things, all that happiness, all that joyfulness here on earth, unless we are walking faithfully and steadfastly with Almighty God! 

And you ask why? Simply because, as our Bit says: ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

And that my people is an indisputable fact! We cannot be truly happy or joyful for any length of time, unless the Lord’s joy is running through us. The Lord’s joy comes from a sense of inner peace, of expectations edged with faith in God’s promises, and the practical LOVE He showed to us by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for the atonement of our sins! 

No other faith can boast of those things! That’s why Jesus is the Truth, the Life, the Way and the Light that lights up this world of darkness! 

Now some of us might not know where our Bit comes from, or how it is tied in to the scriptures, so let’s go back in time. The Israelites had recently returned from exile in Babylon, and having settled themselves in their homeland again, in the seventh month they came together to celebrate and thank the Lord. 

‘And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street (plaza) that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the scribe brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding upon the first day of the seventh month.’ (Neh.8:1-2) 

Now friends, I think it’s very important that we listen to the scholars’ explanation here. ‘8:2. The time was the Feast of Trumpets (Lev.23:24) and was about September 27, 444 B.C. This was the most sacred of the new moons, and commenced the final month of the religious festivals (Lev.23:23-25; Num.29:1-6). The concept of understanding was important as Proverbs 1:2 indicates (cf. Ex.12:26-27; Deut.4:6; 6:6-9; 31:12-13). 

Mindless superstition was the mark of paganism (“They have not known nor understood.” Is.44:18-20), and had been the downfall of apostate Israel (Hos.4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”). Notice the stress on understanding in verses 2-3, 7-8,13.’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly what’s happening to our world today! We are suffering from a lack of knowledge and understanding of God, just like Israel was back then. Paganism is rearing its ugly head more and more, no wonder our world is going to hell in a hand-basket like happened to the apostate Israel! 

What do you think happens when a society, a nation, a world turns away from Almighty God eh? Obvious calamity! 

Oh my people, look at the number of places, cities and societies cited in the Bible who were destroyed because they had turned from worshipping and serving the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, including His chosen Israel several times. 

What makes us thing that our turning away from Him now will end any differently eh? And I’ll leave us to ponder that question today. Much LOVE!

…apart from Almighty God…mankind is doomed to destruction…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2014 Ecclesiastes 3:4

Ecclesiastes 3:4.      A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already the first of June? Wow! Half the year has already gone by, and it seems like it was just yesterday we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s, and it’s almost time to celebrate them again. Hn, Hn, Hn!

Yeh mih breddren, the days are quickly flying by, and thus we have no time to lose in getting our affairs with Jesus fixed right, since He can return at any time, and if we’re found wanting, then crapaud smoke we pipe. And we obviously don’t want that to happen, so please let’s get smart and get right with Him nuh mih people.

On a point of interest, not because I haven’t been on our case to see if and how we are adhering to our New Year’s resolution to follow Christ more completely, means that you shouldn’t review it yourself on a periodical basis. One of the functions of a believer is to police him or herself without outside pressure. Anyway, I’m going to take it for granted that we are indeed improving our faith walk. I refuse to believe that we could be backsliding! (smile)

And in light of all that, here’s a rather appropriate and interesting quote from Arnold Glasow (1905-1998), an American author and humorist. Arnold says that: ‘Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.’ And that’s quite true – except for the stitches in your side and the tears you shed when you laugh too much.

And to back up Arnold’s theory, here are some thoughts from my One More Day Daily Devotional for People with Chronic Illness. ‘Unlike medicine, laughter costs us nothing, and can be partaken of as often as we see fit… A good, hearty laugh is therapy for our minds and bodies. Mirthful laughter can cause a remarkable feeling of well-being and joy. Laughter loosens all the cares and woes of the day and makes them somehow easier to bear.’

And all of that Friends in indisputable truth! But unfortunately laughter has become less prevalent in our current society, than it was just a few years ago. Today we’re all so busy, concerned and anxious about our lives and livelihood, especially with the depressing economic times, that we find it difficult to laugh much and make laughter a treasured part of our lives.

But Friends, as the Preacher tells us in our Bit, there is ‘A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.’

However, it seems like we’re doing way too much weeping and mourning, when we should be instead laughing and dancing. Oh Friends, weeping and mourning very seldom help the situation. They don’t ease our troubles and woes. But laughter and dancing do. They might not solve our problems, but they surely do make us feel better, bring a more positive attitude to our perception, which in turn helps us to better solve those same problems.

And Jesus did tell us in the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.’ (Luke 6:21b)

Likewise, Isaiah, in talking about Israel’s eventual return to Zion declared: ‘And the ransomed of the Lord shall return to Zion with songs and everlasting joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.’ (Is.35:10) Now Isaiah felt that verse so keenly that he reiterated it in chapter 51:11, when he talks about the faithful are called to courage.

And that’s another bit of gospel truth there Friends. To be truly faithful to serving and worshipping Jesus, we need to be very courageous, for walking with Him causes all sorts of stuff to come out of the woodwork at us.

But the psalmist greatly reassures us by steadfastly proclaiming: ‘They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth (to and fro) and weepeth, bearing precious seed (a bag of seed for sowing), shall doubtless come again with rejoicing (shouts of joy), bringing his sheaves with him.’ (Ps.126:5-6)

Oh my fellow believers, that brings to mind the joyful hymn that says: ‘Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves. We shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves!’

It’s obvious my people that Jesus wants us to have a good, pleasant and happy life overall. That’s why He came and died for us.’I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) And having abundant life certainly doesn’t mean more weeping and mourning and sorrow and tears, than dancing and laughing and joy.

And we’ll end with two very important scripture passages that uphold that theory. This deals with the numberless multitude when Jesus ascends His throne. ‘They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on (strike) them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed (shepherd) them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears (every tear) from their eyes.’ (Rev.7:16-17)

And if you didn’t believe those verses, (smile) then try these: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ (Rev.21:3-5)

Oh my people, my people, yuh see what a wonderful future we have to look forward to! So please, let’s stop with all the sorrow and mourning nuh, and get some more joy and laughter into us, for that’s why Jesus came to earth and sacrificed His sinless life: so that we could enjoy a rebirth, a reconciliation with the Father. Hn! And if that isn’t great cause for joy and laughter and celebration, then I don’t know what is! Much LOVE!

…laughing openly and spontaneously…will always make me feel better… (From One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness).