Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2019 Jeremiah 32:27.

Jeremiah 32:27.   Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?
 
And then it was Monday – the last first day of this new year! Hn! And everything is back to normal now! No more holidays and exorbitant festivities. Now we have to go back to work five days a week and wait anxiously for all the Christmas and New Year’s bills to come in, wondering where we going to get the money from to pay them? And to make matters worse, we still tired from all that holiday activity! 

Yes friends, it’s a hard life yes! (smile) But it’s either we live on what we make, or we pay the consequences later! However enough preaching; I know you want some consolation rather than me pushing you deeper in the dumps, so let’s go to our tried and true Monday Morning Battle Hymn and invoke the Lord’s grace and mercy on our poor, sinful and oftimes foolish souls. 

Altogether now, like we believe it: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yes mih people, yes! That’s our great and wonderful God for you! I know your problems haven’t all just disappeared, but I’m sure that you now have the power and confidence to confidently handle them, because the Spirit of our Lord has risen up inside of you and given you the strength you so badly need! Bless His Holy Name friends, and exalt it to the ends of the earth! For He is the ONE who gives us life, and allows us to get health and wealth and all the other good things we enjoy! 

So why should we not praise Him and give Him enormous thanks eh? No reason whatsoever my faithful brethren! Now let’s look at some scriptures which reinforce the great might, strength and power of our God; His omnipotence! And we’ll begin with some words from Jeremiah’s prayer after he bought the field. (Jer. 32:1-15) 

‘Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase (deed) unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the Lord, saying, Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard (difficult) for thee.’ (Jer.32:16-17) And Jeremiah continued listing all of God’s great doings and attributes. 

But what I like is how our God doesn’t mince words or is ashamed of His power. Here’s how He answered Jeremiah’s prayer: ‘Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?’ (Jer.32:26-27) Yes friends, our God does proudly acknowledge His might and power. And so should we, because we’ve seen it in operation all down through the ages. 

Now here is another tidbit of scripture that captures my heart. Remember when Isaiah declared the prophecy of Jesus birth: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…The Prince of peace.’ (Is.9:6) Now at the end of the next verse this boast is made:’ The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:7b) 

And did He ever my people! He sent His only son Jesus to die for us and provide us a way out of total darkness into the light of His salvation and eternal life! Now why wouldn’t I put my trust and hope and faith in Him eh? Again, no reason whatsoever, since He’s shown that He is indeed capable of doing whatever He says! His boasts are not idle talk, but sure reality, stuff that we can confidently base our lives on! 

And again, when Judah was about to be besieged by Sennacherib of the Assyrians, He sent Isaiah to him with this promise: ‘And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward: For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.’ (Is.37:31-32) 

And it did happen; whenever Jerusalem was captured or destroyed, a remnant always rose up – to facilitate the coming of Jesus and the prophecy of the Lord’s word. Even today, there is a remnant in Israel!

Yes my faithful brethren, there is omnipotence in our God; there’s nothing He can’t do, so let’s keep putting our hope, faith and trust in Him, for He has also promised never to leave or forsake us, and He keeps His word, even to the thousandth generation! Much LOVE!

…omnipotence and faithfulness…are only two of our God’s…many great and stellar attributes…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2018 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and yuh know what? The ole fella slept in some. (smile) But who wouldn’t want to sleep in when the spring rain is falling gently on the land, moistening and nourishing it after a long, dry, hard, ugly winter, so that the beauty of nature can sprout and gaily flourish in the spring time? 

Yeh friends, spring is God’s most colourful and productive season where He advances His grand plans for the rest of the year, letting us know through the beauty of a resurgent nature that all things are possible with Him in the lead. Glory to our great God, my people! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he was on a happiness trip this week, because all of them either deal with happiness or being happy. (smile) 

Here’s the first one. ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ Now that’s invariably true; regardless of your circumstances, be they good or bad, you are the one who ultimately controls your happiness, although oftimes we unwisely allow others to do so. 

And the next one says: ‘Happiness …is governed by our mental attitude.’ I guess that’s basically true, although our circumstances play a large part in our happiness. Then there’s: ‘Happy people plan actions; they don’t plan results.’  Now you might not plan the results, but you definitely put forward the actions which you believe will bring about certain results that you desire. 

Next up is: ‘The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.’ Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Happiness depending on thoughts? But yes, they do to a large extent. And the last quote tells us: ‘Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy, and make the most of where you are.’ 

A lot of truth in that too, especially in this ‘I and me,’ selfish generation. We certainly don’t care about each other as much as we should, so it’s best if we try to enjoy where we’re at, at any particular time, without depending too much on others or our circumstances. 

That leads us to today’s Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Now friends, that is the Christian way! All this talk about striving to be happy just confuses and muddles us up. We have to learn to be content in whatever state we currently are encapsulated. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

Yeh mih people, that’s how Christians ought to live. But remember it’s a learned behaviour, through practical experiences and the hard knocks of life, consequently, it doesn’t happen overnight. And we need to have the joy of the Lord as our strength to accomplish it. Or as Bruh Paul tells his Philippian readers: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that is a magnificent verse of scripture; possibly the most endearing and reassuring for true believers. But as always, in God’s economy, we have to believe it first, before we see it. And if by faith, we don’t believe it, then we’ll never see it. That’s the foundation of our Christian way of life: all things are possible through Christ, if we believe that they are. 

So please my fellow believers, let’s stop killing ourselves to acquire the things of the world which we believe will make us happy, because happiness is but a fleeting illusion, if we depend on our circumstances, or other people, or our possessions to make us happy. Those things and people can change from one day to the next, thus will what we call our happiness. 

But if we find joy, which is a constant state and does not change with circumstances, then we’re in a much better position to live a contented life. But on the other hand, real joy can only be found in the Lord God Jehovah; in His strength, His promises and His eternal and unconditional LOVE, because they never change, but always stand steadfast and strong, and therefore can be relied upon to keep us anchored and well grounded. 

Oh friends, since we’re running later than I expected, I’ll close with this one piece of advice from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that covers it all: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes my faithful brethren, if we put God first in EVERYTHING that we do, we’ll want for nothing, we’ll be contented, joyful, happy and have all we need in this earthly life. That’s the promise of Jesus…and He doesn’t lie! Much LOVE!

…he who places wants above needs…will always be left wanting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2018 Hebrews 10:35.

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh friends, we late! Yuh like how I included you all in that, even though you all are not to blame? (smile) That’s what they call ‘author’s convenience.’ I guess the ole bod was just more tired than I realized, and when I did open my eyes it was already minutes to nine. 

Well no palavering, let’s get right down to business, which begins with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings By Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘God’s Promises.’ 

Please read with me. ‘With increasing joy I am discovering that God’s promises do not suddenly disappear when our courage fails and our fears become overwhelming. Feeling or no feeling, when God gives a promise that speaks directly to our need, it stands firm regardless of negative circumstances. 

There may be times of questioning, and we may not understand God’s timing, but His promise remains certain through our deepest trial. If we consistently rely on His immutable Word, we can disregard the darkness. 

Oswald Chambers says, “Are you in the dark right now regarding your circumstances? Then listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you are in the light.” God waits for us to trust Him when trusting seems the most difficult thing of all.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my people? For sure! When times are good, it’s easy to trust God, but it’s in those dark and difficult times that God wants to see us sincerely trusting Him and waiting patiently for His timing, because that’s when He knows that we are growing in faith, we are becoming more Christ-like, mature Christians. 

Yeh friends, trusting God when the circumstances are negative and you don’t understand what’s happening; you’re doing right, but wrong things proliferate, is indeed difficult. But we have to learn that with God, a promise is a promise, regardless of the circumstances that surround it. 

And it’s only by undergoing such tests that we will ever be truly able to trust God and wait on His impeccable timing. One thing’s for sure; He is NEVER late! We might think so, but if you check out the facts of the situation, you’ll discover that He is ALWAYS right on time. I can tell you that from personal testimony. 

Anyway, the Bible Promise for the story above is also our Bit for today. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ And that is more awesome truth my fellow believers! Too many of us have lost faith in the Almighty because it seems like He was taking His own sweet time to come to our rescue. 

But He is the Creator and the Controller, He sees the big picture and knows what He is doing. That’s why the verse after our Bit explains: ‘For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:36) 

Yeh friends, it’s usually after we’ve done God’s will, that we receive the promise, and nowhere does He say that it comes immediately after. In God’s economy, we usually have to wait for things to prove our faith. And furthermore, as the author paraphrases what the Lord told Habakkuk in Hab.2:3-4.

‘For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry (delay). Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But ye are not of them who draw back unto perdition (destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.’ (Heb.10:37-39) 

Oh my people, let’s hope that that is true of all of us! Let’s hope that we learn to wait on God to fulfill the promises He’s made us, in spite of how long it takes, or how dark and dangerous it might seem. And what did Jesus say about all that in the Beatitudes, in the famous Sermon on the Mount? 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

Ah mih breddren, Jesus never promised that it would be easy, but He did promise that those who faithfully stood the test of time would be faithfully rewarded. Now would you like to be amongst that lot or not? I’d suggest that that’s where we should all be actively heading for, since that’s wisdom personified. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know without a doubt, just who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong conviction now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And, if that’s true, then let’s go out and share our friend Jesus and His awesome LOVE with the world, for there’s nothing He desires more than that! Much LOVE!

…there’s no bigger act of LOVE…than sharing the LOVE of JESUS…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2018 1 John 4:17.

1 John 4:17.   Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, for His bountiful kindness to the sinful children of men! Bless Him for the indescribable mercy that’s new every morning to undeserving men! Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the saving grace, the reconciliation He has provided for us through the awesome sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, so that we can believe on His Son and be called the children of God! 

Oh bless His holy name people, for the breath of life that He breathed into us when He so tenderly formed us from the clay of the ground! That was His awe-inspiring LOVE that He placed in us. And even though we’ve turned away from Him, He has not turned away from us, because that LOVE is unconditional and eternal, needing nothing from us, but to come to Him, just as we are, in whatever shape we’re in, and we’ll receive, with no questions asked, His fatherly care and all the comforts of home. 

And finally, bless the Lord, O my soul, for that amazing thing called forgiveness! That miraculous situation where the Lord forgives and washes away my awful sins numerous times per day, once I sincerely confess them and try not to repeat them. Oh bless the Lord, O my soul for the wonderful God we serve! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The God who made heaven and earth, and all therein! Bless His holy name, and serve Him with a wholesome heart, for therein lies true and eternal wisdom! 

Ah friends, whether you like it or not, that is how I was guided to open today’s Bit. (smile) And it’s all true! No other faith has anything that comes even close to our Christian way of life. And if you add them all up, you’ll see what a treasure trove of blessings we enjoy, even though we don’t deserve them. So for the life of me, I can’t see why we so steadfastly refuse to faithfully serve and worship the ONE true and living God of this universe! 

But friends, all I can do is give you the truth, we each have to make up our individual minds on the path we’re going to follow. Let’s hope that like Joshua, we all sincerely declare: ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

And our Bit for today just reassures and convinces us that when we follow the Lord we don’t need to fear anything. ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16 (dwelling in LOVE). By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, IF we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Please notice that big ‘IF’ there mih people! At some stage of the life hereafter we WILL be judged, whether we believe it or like it. However, ‘IF’ we live in LOVE in this world, we won’t have to fear that judgement. And John explains further. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Yeh friends, if we sincerely live in LOVE, then there’s no need to be afraid, because there’s NO fear whatsoever in LOVE. Listen to the scholars: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. 

Fear is still part of the Christian walk, in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us. (See Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil.2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ Please read the references, I just did, and they are interesting. (smile) 

Yes my faithful breddren, not because we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgement, means we have to live like leggo-beasts. We still need to reverence Him, give Him the honour and glory He deserves. For as John tells us: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us. 

If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:19-21) 

And the scholars declare: ‘4:19-21. Our LOVE, if it exists and mirrors God’s LOVE at all, is not our own, but God’s doing. The epitome of hypocrisy is the claim to LOVE God while withholding LOVE from others. For Jesus Himself commanded that he who LOVES God is to demonstrate this through LOVING others.’ 

Unfortunately though friends, that hypocrisy is very rampant throughout Christ’s church. We talk the LOVE but don’t walk it. That’s why so many unbelievers just look at Christians, shake their heads, laugh and declare ‘Hypocrites!’ But this year we going to change that my fellow believers, because 2018 is the year of real and true godly LOVE! 

And to cement that promise, let’s go home by letting the world know our sincere and secure position in Christ, as we declare our Wednesday Wail with strong conviction, in loud voice. 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 since all God’s promises are true, we know that the future with Jesus will indeed be glorious! Much LOVE!

…to truly know Jesus…is to certainly LOVE Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And then it was a spring- like Saturday: with even more spring like temps forecasted into the upcoming week, except for a few short-lived pockets of winter weather in between. Ah friends, I’ll take that weather any time yes, especially since in my less than perfect state, I’ve been grounded, can’t go anywhere to get away from the winter season. 

By rights, I should now be in warm, sunny Tobago, but the good Lord in His mysterious and merciful manner, after causing me to be grounded, as promised, has made a way for me to handle the situation by making the place not as cold and snowy as it usually is. All thanks and praise to Him! I have to believe that otherwise I would just go crazy. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s check out a couple of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he endeavours to inspire us. The first one states: ‘Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.’ 

And we all know about that my believing brethren; it simply means no giving up, because while there is life there is hope, and with Christ, anything is possible. So we just have to play with the hands that we’re dealt. The Lord has a reason for dealing them to us. We just have to go to Him and find out how to play them. 

And the second quote is even more interesting. It tells us: ‘The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.’ 

Some of you might have heard that quote before, but it is gospel truth! And why is that? Because a lot of those people gave up, they refused to plod on with the talent that God gave them, and therefore so many unfilled dreams and actions died with them. What a waste! As they say: Talent will not, education will not, wealth will not; only patience, perseverance and hard work will. 

Yeh mih people, we need to get down and dirty, put our noses to the grind stone and our hands securely to the plough, without looking back, if we want to be successful in this world. 

Now it’s time to bring in our Bit; that awesome fulfillment of one of Almighty God’s promises in Isaiah 9:6 – a Saviour for the world! ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

And it was all based on the magnificent and magnanimous emotion termed ‘LOVE! Wow! How wonderful is that eh friends? There are no words to suitably describe the emotion or God’s action. And today I won’t get into any ‘sermonizing,’ (smile) I’m just going to share some scripture passages that highlight the word LOVE and it’s association with Jehovah God. 

Listen closely my fellow believers to the words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 

That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness (LOVE) toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.’ (Eph.2: 4-8) 

That ought to be self-explanatory to believers. Now hear John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us.’ (1 John 4:7-12) 

I don’t think there is a better treatise on the topic of LOVE, my brethren. And we’ll close with these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath LOVED us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish (establish) you in every good word and work.’ (2 Thess.2:15-17) 

And that’s my sincere hope and wish and desire for all of us today my brethren. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2016 1 Samuel 30:6b.

1 Samuel 30:6b.    …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Okay friends, this Sunday morning let’s begin our praise and worship with this joyous hymn, penned by Charles Wesley. It’s one we all know and treasure, so let’s raise our voices to the heavens in harmony and true surrender, believing what we sing. 

All together now: ‘LOVE divine, all LOVES excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down; Fix in us thy humble dwelling; All thy faithful mercies crown! Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure unbounded LOVE Thou art; Visit us with Thy salvation; Enter every trembling heart. 

Breathe, O breathe Thy LOVING Spirit, Into every troubled breast! Let us all in Thee inherit; Let us find that second rest. Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be; End of faith, as its Beginning, Set our hearts at liberty. Come, Almighty to deliver, Let us all Thy life receive; Suddenly return and never, Never more Thy temples leave. 

Thee we would be always blessing, Serve Thee as Thy hosts above, Pray and praise Thee without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love. Finish, then, Thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation  Perfectly restored in Thee; Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place, Till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, LOVE and praise.’ 

Ah mih people, what a beautiful hymn! And it resonates with so many practical aspects of our faith, of our everyday lives. For instance it talks about, ‘take away our bent for sinning.’ Now I can’t think of a better desire than that!  Then we sang ‘set our hearts at liberty.’ Oh how good that would be – freedom from the restrictive chains of sin! 

And then we’d truly be a ‘new creation… changed from glory to glory…lost in’ the awesome wonder that’s Jesus, as we serenade and praise Him with true LOVE! 

Oh friends, I guess that’s what you’d call the perfect Christian. Unfortunately though, too many of us don’t even come close to being perfect. For one thing we still speak with forked tongues, and still desire to wallow in the mire of the things of the world, instead of the things of Jesus. 

Remember, we’re just supposed to be in the world, but not a part of it. And that can sometimes get difficult and confusing, but please remember too that our lives are in the best hands that exist – Almighty God’s. And nothing is too hard or too difficult for Him to do on our behalf. 

So when the pressures of life get to us, we feel all alone on a desert island and no human help seems to be forthcoming, it’s Jesus we need to turn to. We need to do as our Bit says: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Yes friends, when Bruh David’s people wanted to stone him because their families had been taken captive and their city burnt, he had no alternative but to encourage himself in the Lord, to let his faith rise up and seek God’s strength and wisdom.  

The Good Book tells us: ‘And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.’ (1 Sam.30:8) And so said, so was it done! 

Bruh David pursued the marauding Amalekites with his six hundred men, but along the way, at the brook Besor, he left two hundred behind who were too weak and faint to go on. And as the Lord would have it, they found a young Egyptian slave whom the enemy had left behind because he was sick, and after feeding and reviving him and promising not to slay him, he led them to the Amalekites camp. 

‘And when he (the slave) had brought him (David) down, behold they (the Amalekites) were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 

And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.’ (1 Sam.30:16-18) 

Yuh see friends what is possible when we totally surrender our lives to the Lord and place our complete trust in Him. If Bruh David had just sat around moaning and groaning like the rest of his men, they might probably have ended up stoning him. But instead, ‘he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’  And why wouldn’t he eh? He’d be rather foolish not to, after all the wonders and miracles that the Lord had previously done in his life? 

Now that’s where a lot of us fall down my people. When times get real rough, we tend to forget God’s promises and all that He’s already done for us. But that’s the time when we need to remember His many blessings and mercies, so that our faith can be lifted, our trust in Him strengthened, and our circumstances turned around through His wise guidance. 

And I want to close with this example of Bruh David’s godliness and generosity.  After they defeated the Amalekites and returned with all the spoil, the selfish ones who had fought declared that the two hundred, who had remained at the brook of Besor, should only get back their families and none of the spoil. 

But Bruh David overruled them. ‘Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.’(1 Sam.30:23) Then he made it a law from henceforth that all should share in the spoils of war. He also sent some of the spoil back to the people of Judah who had suffered at the hands of the Amalekites. 

And the scholars offer an interesting take on Bruh David’s doings there. ’30:26-31. David’s sharing of the spoils of the victory over the Amalekites not only assured them of his gratitude for their friendship and help during his days of flight from the presence of Saul, but would convince his allies of his loyalty, despite the time spent with Achish (the Philistine king). Moreover, it would prepare their hearts for his soon-coming kingship.’  

Ah friends, that’s what Christianity is all about; integrity, character and sharing the spoils God has blessed you with, especially if you’re a leader! Much LOVE!

…true faith means…never giving up…even under the greatest adversity…because our God is always there to help us…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2016 Ecclesiastes 3:1

Ecclesiastes 3:1.   To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Summertime, Summertime, Summertime, Summertime! Thank God it’s Friday in the summertime! Mama yo! We leaving work early to beat the traffic, heading for the cottage to spend a marvellous weekend; eating, drinking, boating, swimming and fishing! Wow! The barbecues will be on fire, and the beer will be ice cold… Oh Lord, thank you for Fridays in the summertime!’ 

Yes friends, that’s the mantra of a lot of people on a Friday in the summertime, as they head for cottage country and their lakeside getaways. Consequently, many of them miss church and the wonderful fellowship and rejuvenation of spirit that comes with it. 

And then the boating accidents proliferate, because now they are drinking and driving on the water, just as they do on land. Every summer you hear of several mishaps on the water because of the brown girl in the bottle. Ah Lord eh! 

But for us few, who know how to spend a proper weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant, so that we can get the right perspective. As one now: ‘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.’ 

Yes my brethren, that’s more like the focus we should have for the weekend; a nice balance of rest, recreation and fellowship. And today I want to share an interesting and important quote attributed to Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope (1694-1773), 4th Earl of Chesterfield. I believe I’ve shared it before, but as they say, when it’s nice, you’ve got to play it at least twice. (smile) 

Lord Chesterfield is reputed to have said: ‘Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’ 

And that my brethren is the god-awesome truth! We can’t afford to fool with, or waste time, because time waits on no one, it just goes along its own rollicking way, whether you decide to use it wisely or not. 

Remember the saying too that procrastination is the thief of time. More awesome truth! The more we put off, the less we get done and the less time we have left in our bank. Unfortunately we don’t know how much total time is in our account. 

So please, let’s learn to pay better and closer attention to our time because Almighty God has given us just enough to do whatever He desires, and if we waste it, we obviously won’t complete all that He has planned for us. End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our Bit, the well-known verse of wisdom from Cousin Sol, writing as the preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ More indisputable truth my people, because as Christians, truth is all we ought to ever deal in. 

And after our Bit, Cousin Sol goes on to list a whole set of positive and negative things to which time have been apportioned. Like ‘a time to be born, a time to die… A time to weep, and a time to laugh…A time to LOVE, and a time to hate…’ Just read Ecclesiastes 3 and you’ll see how he has it all nicely laid out. 

Now here is some info from the scholars on that scripture. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom.8:28). To gather stones (v.5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (v.8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal.1:2-3).’  

Yes friends, there’s no real time ever for the true sense of the word hating. It’s not supposed to exist in a Christian’s vocabulary. 

Now let’s look at a couple of other scriptures which deal with time in the life of man, starting with the words of Ethan the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. ‘The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame.   Selah.  

How long, Lord? Wilt thou hide thyself for ever? Shall thy wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain (for what futility hast thou made all men)? What man is he that liveth and shall not see (experience) death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand (power) of the grave?’ (Ps.89:44-48) 

Now listen to Moses from Psalm 90 – From everlasting to everlasting thou art God. ‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten (the span of our lives is seventy years); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore (80) years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow (their boast only labour); for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps.90:10-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, we know not how long our time on earth will be, so please let’s use whatever we have wisely nuh, meaning in the pursuit of the things of God and heaven, not those of the world and the evil one. Much LOVE!

…no one knows the time nor the hour…of their earthly demise…

 

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