Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2021 John 3:3.

John 3:3.     ​Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Well here comes Saturday; that lazy, hazy day! And with the worldwide lockdown, there’s even more reason to have a lazy and hazy Saturday since you can’t go anywhere and do much of anything! (smile) But God is good, and He operates on both the good and bad days, so there’s nothing to fear if we have Him uppermost in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Yeh friends, if we want to make it through all in one piece in these treacherous and perilous times, then the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob definitely has to be our rock, our anchor, our place of safe refuge, our Good Shepherd. 

And as we always do on Saturdays, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank God it seems like he’s stopped putting that unwieldy preface before each quote! (smile) 

And the first quote says: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ Now there is truth to that statement, although I don’t believe that intelligence is only the ability to adapt to change. It’s also a whole lot of other things. But you do need intelligence if you’re going to successfully adapt to change. You need to first be intelligent to know that you must adapt in some things and places, and then be intelligent enough to know which things and places to adapt to. If you don’t, the world will quickly leave you behind. 

But for heaven’s sake, don’t just adapt for adapting sake, or because everyone else is doing it. You just have to look at the state of social media nowadays and see how it’s sucking so many people into bad habits with its ever expanding tentacles and reach! You have to be intelligent enough to know how far to let it take you. 

And the next quote tells us that ‘Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.’ Now I think that’s somewhat contradictory. Granted, foolish people might never want to change, but a wise man, because he is wise, ought to know that change is sometimes very necessary, even though we may not want to make it. So personally, I think that part is wrong. And I can say that from personal experience. (smile) I’m not a great believer in change, especially just for change sake, but I do think I’m wise enough to know that at times I do need to change, although I may not want to. 

And that’s where I think wisdom becomes very necessary. Yeah, they used to tell me that I was living in the 18thcentury, but now I’ve moved up to halfway in the 20th. So you see, I was wise enough to recognize the need for some change, though they had to drag me screaming into it! (smile) And change is especially important if you want to be a true believer in Christ. A couple of scriptures will show us that. 

The first comes from Jesus Himself, when Nicodemus came to Him by night, afraid of the wrath of the Pharisees, and asked how to gain salvation.‘Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’(John 3:3) Yeh friends, that’s the first and wisest change we need to make if we want to follow Jesus! 

And it doesn’t mean entering into our mother’s wombs again, but ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) And once you’re born again of water and the Spirit, then you need to hear Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

Now that’s another time when change is oh so necessary! We have to put away the old, worldly things of our lives and pick up new spiritual practices that fall under Jesus’ guidelines. And I believe that this next quote addresses our problem with all that change very adequately. ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ 

Oh,  all your problems definitely won’t become tiny, but with Jesus as your main man, with His divine help, they will become manageable. But we must have Jesus as our special purpose, a purpose bigger than us, if our problems are to become manageable. That’s just the way life is friends. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus as He talks about the vine and the branches. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) And if that isn’t telling it like it is, then I don’t know what is nuh? 

Bruh Paul also corroborated Christ’s statement in his second letter to the Corinthians. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) And if you don’t make that change and start depending on God, then you’re not wise! (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘The ones who can see the vision when no one else can, and work on it like there is no tomorrow, will succeed. The rest will follow.’ Oh friends, there is much truth in that statement, but the crux of it is the second part. Many of us see visions, know what we ought to do, what the Lord wants us to do, but for whatever reason we refuse or hem and haw until it’s too late to work on it. 

That’s the whole thing about being a Christian my brethren; we not only have a new and different way to live, but we also have to diligently work at it, since we are servants, workers, ambassadors of Christ on this evil earth! He is depending on us to bring about the necessary changes He desires. And truly working at being a Christian is no easy matter since the devil and his evil cronies delight in putting obstacles in our way. That’s why we need to read and know the word of God so that we can put it into use when the enemy comes against us, as he undoubtedly will. 

As Bruh Paul said to Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith…’ (1 Tim. 6:12) As believers, we all have to daily fight the hardships and adversity that comes with the Christian life, show the true nature of our faith, as we daily grow and mature in it, until we can accomplish that balance between faith and works that James talks about. ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:17-18) 

Oh precious people, it’s great to have faith, but faith is useless if it isn’t put to work. Jesus didn’t come to earth to just have faith, He came to do works, and we are called to do likewise, in His name. So let’s get to it seriously nuh, the world is anxiously waiting for us to show it our true and lasting faith by our sincere works! Much LOVE!

…a believer must be responsive to change…but wisely… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2019 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   ​The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 

And then it was the big day of mas, Carnival Tuesday! Wow! The day when all the big bands with their pretty costumes would fill the streets, while the pavements and them jam packed with sweaty bodies, everybody just wining down and jumping up in the hot sun as the music jamming, not so much D.J music as now, but with the big brass bands and them just raising ruckus in the heat of the day and the carnival atmosphere! Now that use to be mas! (smile) 

And for those of you who still missing it, as I said yesterday, just put it aside for this year, yuh can’t do anything about it now, and start saving yuh money and vacation time for next year. And if you don’t want to listen to me, then please listen to Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) as he leads us in this ‘Prayer for Change’ from his Hour of Power Devotional. I think it’s rather appropriate for these cold, dreary and tough times. 

So please pray with us: ‘O God, when a life has been so richly blessed as mine has been, it is not right for me not to be laughing! I confess that I am responsible for my moods. I have no right to selfishly indulge in negative feelings of self-pity. It’s time for me to change my mental dial, Lord. You are helping me. This will be the moment when the sun breaks through the parted clouds, and the springtime returns after winter. 

Thank you, Lord! The dreary, depressing, disconsolate mood disappears like the morning mist in the glowing sunshine of your LOVE! And joy moves in! And hope begins to build up within me! And a beautiful feeling of LOVE starts to surround me! Thank you, God, for the great things you are doing within me now in this moment of prayer. Amen!’ 

Mama Yo mih people! All yuh feel that sunshine of God’s LOVE? Ah hope so yes, because if you don’t then things real rough with you yes! Yuh bet yuh bottom dollar I feel it! And as Gramps Schuller declares (right ho) when that sunshine of God’s LOVE comes creeping in on you, all the negative feelings will disappear like the night time mist in the morning sun, the joy and hope and consequently the faith and LOVE, mercy and forgiveness, and all the wonderful attributes of our wonderful God begin to fill our sorrowful souls! 

Oh how great is prayer my people! And even greater is our God’s answer to it! For we have ALL been richly blessed through it! Praise His Holy Name; exalt Him and His wonderful, awesome and magnanimous doings to the entire world! Remember that’s the main reason He made us; to worship and glorify and have constant communication with Him! 

Awright…so the ole fella get carried away there…but that’s how it’s supposed to be! If sincere communication with our heavenly Father doesn’t enable and energize and raise up our spirits, then what’s the purpose of it eh? And I do like that li’l phrase of Gramps Schuller; ‘the sunshine of God’s LOVE!’ 

Because that’s exactly how God’s LOVE operates; it rises up like the brilliant morning sunshine out of the East. One moment there’s simply darkness, then gradually those depressing clouds begin to disappear as His LOVE filters into our souls…until suddenly it’s there…like the sun hovering over the eastern horizon…big and bright and beautiful! 

Oh friends, I’m sorry…NO, I’M NOT – for taking such enjoyment in the great and unconditional LOVE of our awesome and amazing God! I only wish that you could take the same pleasure with me, so that we don’t miss all the wonderful things that our wonderful God has in store for us, for those who LOVE Him, and are called according to His mighty purpose! 

It’s truly sad and unfortunate that so many supposed believers don’t really enjoy their faith, enjoy their Christian attributes that have been paid for at such great price by our Lord and Saviour, Leader and Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. What’s the point in having them if you don’t enjoy them eh? NONE WHATSOEVER! 

Remember these moving and momentous words of Jesus? ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’  So if He came to give us abundant life, why aren’t we enjoying it eh? Then His unimaginable sacrifice would simply have been a waste of time! 

Chuh mih people! Let’s not waste Christ’s selfless sacrifice on the cross for us nuh! Let’s be wise and enjoy the good things He offers and be obedient to His will. Remember it’s all for our benefit yes, not His! As Bruh David so candidly says: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ (Ps.103:2) We’d be real foolish to do otherwise! 

And we can’t finish without hearing this next momentous statement of Jesus: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And friends, that’s exactly what our Saviour did for us on that old rugged cross of Calvary! He endured all the pain and shame and humiliation and burden of sin placed on His sinless soul and shoulders by the Father, so that we could be set free! So how could we now not be grateful and gladly follow Him eh? 

I can’t answer that question for you, you will have to answer it to the Father come the judgement day! Now let’s go home sincerely declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, joyfully letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and heartfelt sincerity: ‘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 just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…oh…how a believer’s soul is moved…is lifted up…when the sunshine of God’s LOVE…joyfully enters it…

P.S. I likes it…I truly do! And I enjoyed writing it too! Why? Perhaps because it reflects the sunshine of God’s LOVE! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2017 Psalm 23:1.

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

Well well my brethren, it seems like it’s going to be another mild but wet and gloomy day in my neighbourhood. But once it’s not the white stuff that’s coming down I am happy. (smile) 

As always, I do hope that we gave our most awesome God sincere thanks and praise for causing us to see another great day on His wonderful planet earth. 

And please don’t laugh sarcastically or get cynical, because every day we’re alive is indeed a great day, and planet earth is indeed a wonderful place! Any negative happenings are our fault, not the Lord’s. 

So what’s happening today, you ask? Well we’re going to continue looking at some wonderful scriptures that corroborate the words of Bruh David in Psalm 23. 

First of all let’s check out a wonderful passage from Ezekiel which encompasses the first two verses: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside the still waters (waters of rest). (Ps.23:1-2)  

In his prophecy against the sinful shepherds of Israel, Ezekiel declares on the Lord’s behalf: ‘For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 

As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 

And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers (streams), and in all the inhabited places of the country. 

I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat (rich) pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. 

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgement (justice).’ (Ezek.34:11-16) 

Oh friends, what beautiful promises from our Most High God Jehovah! I’m sure some of us never even knew that such a scripture existed. 

But there are thousands of sincere promises just like that throughout the Good Book, and if we’d take the time to read and seek them out, our lives would so much more encouraged and assured, since our faithful God NEVER reneges on any of His promises. 

And if you say, oh that’s in the Old Testament, so what? That’s why so many of us are lost and suffering; because we don’t know what came before us. As the saying goes: how can you know where you’re going, when you don’t know where you’re coming from? 

And that’s the living truth! Our history is not taught or preached anymore; consequently so many lost souls exist in a vacuum today. 

And if you still denigrate that scripture because it comes from the Old Testament, then listen to this one from the New Testament which fulfills that promise. 

‘Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 

The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 

But he that is a hireling (hired man) and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’ (John 10:7-14) 

There you have it friends, the overwhelming promise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Let’s hope we believe it, and live our lives accordingly. And that’s enough scripture for us to ponder on today, (smile) so let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail with a strong sense of purpose nuh. 

As one 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!’ 

Much LOVE, my faithful brethren!

…history is a record of the past…that helps us to understand the present…and wisely contemplate the future…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 January 2015 John 10:14

John 10:14.  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

Yes Friends, that day for which we’ve all been so eagerly longing and waiting for has finally arrived. It’s Friday…

And the working people all over the world are joyfully shouting out: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday oui! No more labouring after today, for two whole big days! Imagine that nuh! Glory Hallelujah!’ 
 
Ah mih people, it’s certainly amusing, though possibly unhealthy too, the way we look forward to Friday, even before we begin work on Monday. Hn! I don’t know what it says about this new society, where the work ethic is definitely not as strong as it used to be. But we sure look forward to our Fridays and the start of the weekend!
 
I suppose there’s nothing wrong with looking forward to a couple days off, after working for five straight, but it’s just the intensity with which we do it, and which most likely detracts from our work efforts during the remainder of the week.
 
But be that as it may, let’s spend a minute or two, trying to get the right perspective on how we should use the weekend. As one big voice now, let’s chant our Friday Chant. ‘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.’
 
Good chanting Friends! And hopefully that will curtail some of our more extreme desires and plans, (smile) and have us remembering the God factor involved, more than we had originally thought or planned.
 
And oh my brethren, remembering the God factor in our lives is such an important thing… in fact it is the most important aspect of our earthly lives, for without it we’d simply be lost, gone astray, like the proverbial sheep without a shepherd.
 
That’s why I believe today is a very good day to remember that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour as well as our Good Shepherd. He saved us from death and eternal damnation by sacrificing His innocent and holy life, then He took on the job of guiding us through this confused, troubled, mish-mash earthly journey.
 
Listen to Him as he boldly proclaims that fact in our Bit. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’
 
Oh what a glorious day it was my people, when the Lord God Almighty gave us His only Son to be our Saviour and our Guide!
 
And all God’s children gratefully declared: ‘Thank You heavenly Father for giving us Jesus to be our be all and end all, our everything! There’s none other like Him! He is indeed the GREATEST! And we promise to be obedient to all His dictates, be sincere and fruitful followers of His church, so that we can dwell for evermore with Him in His kingdom.
 
Thank You again Father for Your wonderful Son and His bright, shining light that displaced all the hurting darkness in our lives! We LOVE You Father, we give You much thanks and praise for Your LOVING-kindness, as we glorify You and magnify Your Holy Name! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!’
 
Oh Friends, I have to chuckle here because most of the time I’m writing these prayers, I have to force myself to stop, as words of thanks and praise just seem to flow automatically from my pen. (smile)
 
Anyway, let’s listen to Jesus expound on the role of the shepherd, and how He sees Himself in that role. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold (pen), but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
 
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
 
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable (illustration) spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.’ (John 10:1-6)
 
Yes my people, that’s Jesus’ view of the role of the shepherd in the lives of the sheep. Now here are some explanations from the scholars.
 
’10:1. Door is the one who stood in the opening of the (stone) fold. The thieves and robbers were the Pharisees.’ In olden times a sheep pen was made with one opening, where the shepherd or someone stood to guard sheep going out or intruders coming in.’
 
’10:3. Sheep know only their own shepherd’s voice. In the Near East several flocks belonging to different shepherds may be in one fold (a fenced area). But only a shepherd’s own sheep will follow him out of the fold. Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’
 
Oh my fellow believers in Christ, what a most illustrative and very appropriate statement that is! ‘Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’
 
That’s why we are considered sheep and not some other animal! We have to be led, otherwise like dumb sheep, we’d just wander aimlessly every which way, get lost, get in trouble and be captured by the evil and ungodly predators of this dangerous and disgusting world.
 
Please remember that my people. We cannot lead ourselves, that would be like Jesus said of the Pharisees. ‘Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt.15:14)
 
And with those wise words of our Lord, our Saviour, our Guide and our God, we’ll end today. Enjoy the day Friends, because that’s why the Lord gave it to us. But on the other hand, please don’t abuse it, for there will be serious consequences to pay, if you do. Much LOVE!
 
…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) is wont to say…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…that’s the power of earthly living…

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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…