Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

And another one bites the dust…well possibly two! Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have recently felt the wicked lash of hurricane Maria, and who knows where it’s going to land next. Meanwhile, they are still trying to come to terms with the earthquake in Mexico City… 

Ah mih people, these are certainly rough and tough, but also interesting times in the annals of mankind. How will we end up, what will our society look like after the devastation eh? 

Will it be more of the same evil, godlessness, or will a wiser, repentant and godlier society rise from the ashes of our calamity? Only God knows. And only time will tell. For all our sakes though, let’s hope our future is based sincerely on the latter option. 

But with all that misfortune going on, it still doesn’t stop the workingman from declaring his Friday anthem: ’TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is finally here! Regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the world, we going to party hearty…eat, drink and be merry! 

For who knows, tomorrow, or even today we shall die! So bring on the good times, especially in this extra summer weather we getting here! Let the waters flow…the food pile up…and the music blast out! Thank God is Friday and we done work for another week!’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly the kind of attitude we’re trying to counteract. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the workweek, but the limits to which we go is another story. The workingman’s definitely goes overboard. A more sober and constructive one would be like our Friday Chant. 

So let’s chant it with nuff enthusiasm nuh! ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, to many of the young folks that might sound too retro for them, but it’s the kind of thing that the Lord desires; we enjoy His blessings, but keep our feet on an even keel so the enemy doesn’t get any leeway into our lives. 

And quite rightly, though we are all concerned about what’s happening worldwide, and also close to home, if we are living with and for Jesus then we should not be disturbed or blatantly afraid. 

For as He said, if we seek God’s kingdom as our priority, the Lord will satisfy all our needs. And as a lagniappe, or extra encouragement, Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  

And if Jesus says it’s so, then it’s obviously so, for He has no reason whatsoever to lie or lead us astray. However, our natural sinful nature encourages fear much more than faith, so today we’re just going to concentrate on a few passages from God’s word on the subjects of fear and faith, beginning with this famous verse from Deuteronomy. 

‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) Oh my faithful followers of Jesus, our God can’t say it in any plainer language than that. 

But in Isaiah, He unfailingly repeats the promise, the invitation to partner with Him. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

And friends, if we truly believe the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Creator and controller of the universe, then we should not have any problems believing His word. But my favourite verses on fear and faith come from God’s command to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:8-9) 

And if that doesn’t grab you right in your heart my people, then I don’t know what will. But we’ll end with these uplifting words from Ethan, the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. 

‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:15-18) 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers in Christ. Now let’s stand strong as soldiers of Christ, and fight the good fight of faith, as He desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…one can only stand strong…if one is bolstered by faith…and not debilitated by fear…

 

 

 

 

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 12 June 2014 Acts 4:8

 Acts 4:8.   Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel…

Oh Friends, this Provincial Election day of 2014 is turning out to be just one of those days…

One of those days when I went to bed in the wee hours of the morning – around 2 a.m – and thus was unable to answer the Lord’s early morning wake up call. Hn! And believe me, I had to come up with plenty self-control not to just roll over and go back to sleep. (smile)

 

The ole fella’s apparently forgetting that he’s not such a young un anymore, and can’t afford to burn the proverbial candle at both ends simultaneously, as he did in bygone days. Hn, hn! I never opened my bleary eyes until six a.m.

 

And as you can well imagine, half an hour later, I’m still trying to catch myself. But there’s no doubt that our most understanding and benevolent heavenly Father will soon bring me together unto myself, and unto Him, so that I can write a fairly sensible Bit. (smile)

 

And what better way to begin our Bit, this behind the eight-ball day, than with a rededication of the Positive Thinker’s Mountain Moving prayer from the pen of Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). So my Friends, let’s pray big and strong, faithful and positive.

 

‘Lord, when I face a mountain, do not let me quit! Give me the strength to keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, or tunnel underneath. And if my best efforts fail, give me the patience to stay and the perception to see the possibilities of turning my mountain into a gold mine with your help. Amen.’

 

Yeh mih people, that’s what we need to do each and every day of our earthly lives; stop looking back and instead keep on pushing forward, striving, with God’s help of course, to move the mountains in our lives, one way or the other. Why? Because it’s only through patience, perseverance and faithfulness that we’ll ever have good success.

 

And right now I can surely use a big dose of the Holy Spirit that was so widely noised about during Pentecost, the memorable time in our church history, which we’re currently studying.

 

Don’t worry though Friends, we’re getting there, slowly but surely. The tired and sleepy eyes are starting to focus, and the renewed and refilled brain is beginning to get its thoughts together. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!

 

And we’ll continue from where we left off yesterday. That’s where Peter was preaching his second Pentecost sermon, this one from Solomon’s porch in the temple, after John and himself had healed a lame beggar through the power of the Holy Ghost.

 

And here’s how the Good Book recounts it: ‘And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved (greatly disappointed) that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

 

And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold (custody) unto the next day: for now it was eventide (evening). Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.’ (Acts 4:1-4)

 

Oh mih breddren, what a mighty moving sermon that must have been for so many people to come to salvation at one time! All praise and glory to God working in us through the unmatchable and unstoppable power of His Holy Spirit! Mama mia!

 

And the scholars share some useful info on those verses: ‘4:1. Luke gives an extended account here of the arrest and trial of Peter and John, as he does later with Paul, to demonstrate that Christianity is not an illegal sect even though continually attacked.

 

4:2. The annoyance to the Jewish leaders was twofold: (1) the presumption of the apostles to teach people as if they were recognized rabbis (cf. v.13); and (2) the teaching of the resurrection which was denied by these Sadducees (cf. 23:6). 

 

4:4. Their phenomenal results may also have had something to do with their arrest. Five thousand men, plus women and children, have now turned to Christ in Jerusalem.’  

 

But the drama of the story builds to even higher heights on the following day. For as you ought to know by now, that there is no greater dramatist and LOVER of drama, than our God Himself! (smile)

 

Listen to the Good Book tell it. ‘And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred (family) of the high priest were gathered together at Jerusalem. (Scholar’s note: Annas was the patriarchal, ex-high priest. His son-in-law Caiaphas held the political office (cf. Luke 3:2).

 

And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of (are judged for) the good deed done to the impotent (helpless) man, by what means he is made whole;

 

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

 

This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders which is become the head of the corner (chief cornerstone). Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:5-12)

 

And all God’s people declared a loud and thundering: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise to the Lamb that was slain for our redemption!’

 

Yes my fellow believers, what awesome power, courage and confidence the Holy Ghost put in Peter and the other apostles for them to stand up and speak so boldly to the powerful Jewish rulers and tell them where to get off! Praise the name of our great God!

 

Remember that just a few weeks earlier, Peter had been denying his association with Jesus. And at His crucifixion, only John, of all the apostles had had enough manly parts, been brave enough to show his face there. All the others apparently went into hiding, for fear of tribulation befalling them through association.

 

And truly, we can’t really cast a whole lot of blame and aspersion on the poor, uneducated, left in the lurch men for their less than stellar behaviour, because most of us would have done exactly the same thing – we do it now for even much less perilous circumstances.

 

But Friends, that’s the awesome, amazing, mind-boggling transformation that the Holy Spirit can bring about in us, if we’d only let it, if we’d only surrender our entire being to the LOVING machinations and wonderful, mysterious movements of our omnipotent, ever-merciful and always forgiving God!

 

So today, please let’s try and pay serious attention, diligently heed the workings of God’s Spirit within us nuh. For it’s right there within us, whispering quietly, trying to get our undivided attention, so that it can lead us on the right path to truth and righteousness, which Jesus requires of, and wishes for all those who sincerely surrender their entire being, and put their whole trust in Him.

 

That’s the wisdom of, and for the ages! Much LOVE!

 

…remember…if you don’t vote…don’t pray…don’t move as the Spirit guides you…you have no right to complain when things go awry…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2013 Joshua 1:8

Joshua 1:8.  This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Oh Friends, it’s going to be a beautiful day, regardless of what the physical appearance might be! I just feel it in my spirit! (smile) Yuh know sometimes when you just feel something, you feel a feeling, you don’t understand why, but you feel it deep down inside?
 
Well that’s the way I feel this morning, as all the new mercies, manna, forgiveness and blessings begin to pour down on me! In fact, that’s how believers in Jesus Christ ought to feel EVERY DAY, since we have His ever-faithful promises to be with us always, leading and guiding us every step of our earthly journey. 
 
Now here’s something I planned to write on a Monday morning, because it’s sort of more appropriate for that day. But all the Mondays seem so chocked full of other stuff, I decided to do it today, since it’s a rather important and useful observation, and I didn’t want to wait too long to bring it to our notice. 
 
It’s taken from an article in the August issue of In Touch Magazine. A homeless, black, older man asks a wealthy, white, Christian man to explain how and why Christians could and do pray to and worship a homeless man on Sundays, then pass the first homeless person they meet on Mondays without even a backward glance, no acknowledgement whatsoever?
 
Wow! From the mouths of babes and the downtrodden often come undeniable words of wisdom!
 
Yuh see what I’m talking about mih breddren? When I read that, it just struck me as being so appropriate that I just had to share it. Remember Jesus had no fixed place of abode, just ‘coched’ (smile) by His friends, family and followers, or wherever the night found Him. So in essence, He was indeed a homeless person. 
 
Now my fellow believers I wanted to draw that non Christ-like behaviour to our attention, because I know that TOO many of us do it, though we really shouldn’t. Anyway, now that it’s been pointed out to us, please let’s pay more attention to the homeless nuh, for in truth, they are a reflection of Jesus.
 
What did He say about that? ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (Matt.25:40b) That’s the poor, the sick, the hungry, the needy, the oppressed, the widow, the orphan, and the homeless to whom Jesus is referring!
 
So Friends, let’s try, no, let’s DO a better job of helping the unfortunate amongst us, because then we’re in effect helping Jesus and being a true reflection of His wonderful, selfless, LOVING character!
 
And at long last, we come to our Bit: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’
 
And don’t blame me for it being the same over the last few days, but it’s such a powerful and potent bit of scripture, so life changing, that we need to drive it home deep in our hearts, minds and souls! For if we were truly observing it, our world would not be in half the mess that it’s currently in. There’s also plenty scripture, especially in the Psalms, dealing with Meditation on God’s Word, so let’s get to some.
 
And we’ll begin with the words of Asaph from Psalm 77, superscripted, ‘Who is a great God as our God?’ ‘And I said, This is my infirmity (anguish): but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary (holiness): who is so great a God as our God?’ (Ps.77:10-13)
 
And all God’s people immediately shouted the answer to that question: ‘NOBODY!’
 
Yes Friends, there’s NO Being, dead or alive, as great as Jehovah God! Now let’s delve into the longest chapter in the Good Book, that wonderful Bit of God-inspired writing, Psalm 119, ‘The Lord’s judgements are righteous.’ As indeed they are my brethren!
 
The psalmist unequivocally proclaims: ‘I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto (contemplate) thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.’ (Ps.119:14-16)
 
Oh my people, those are statements that ALL BELIEVERS ought also to unequivocally proclaim!
 
And we’ll end with some more joyful and encouraging words from Psalm 104, ‘God’s preservation of nature.’ Here, the psalmist delightfully declares: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
 
My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord. (Shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps.104:33-35).
 
Oh my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, let’s make that declaration loudly and seriously this fateful morning, then diligently put it into practice nuh! For that attitude in a believer’s life is the apex of steadfast faith, everlasting wisdom and gospel truth! Much LOVE!
 
…to faithfully contemplate God’s Word…oh what strength and energy it brings…  
 
P.S. Told you all I was feeling the Spirit this morning! (smile) 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2013 Joshua 1:8

Joshua 1:8.    This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Oh mih people, on this bright and beautiful, though somewhat chilly Sunday morning, let’s give our wonderful God a shout of thanks and praise nuh!

Please pray with me. ‘Dear Father in heaven, as we get ourselves together this first day of the week to go and fellowship with other believers, we give You plenty thanks and praise for bringing us safely through the lurking dangers and dangerous darkness of the night just past, into the illuminating sunshine of another blessed day. 
 
Thanks for having Your far-reaching presence constantly watching over us, and Your awesome power always protecting us. For without You as our champion, we’re helpless and destitute. Please enable us to continue worshipping and serving You in sincere faith and trust, so that we can count on Your everlasting faithfulness to lead and guide us on our earthly pilgrimage. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!’
 
Yes Friends, in these desperate, frantic and troubled times, we need God’s goodness and protection more than ever before. But as in most things, we also have to do our part in making the partnership work, which is to faithfully serve and worship Him. Not just talk it, as we’re so good at doing, but more importantly put it into practice. And I guess it’s time to remind us that CHRISTIANITY IS AN ACTION WORD!  
 
And one of the ways we can accomplish that action is by consciously and seriously following the wise advice contained in our Bit. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’
 
Again, it’s simple logic and commonsense mih breddren! If our boss tells us to do something legitimate, don’t we do it? Of course! Often without even asking why, for fear of getting fired. So why when our God, who is the boss of all bosses, tells us to do something that will obviously benefit us, we hem and haw, complain and too often ignore Him eh?
 
Oh Friends, no matter what our endeavour, we can’t do it properly unless we learn about it, study it well, know all the nuances, the little ins and outs that causes it to be the unique and exceptional thing it is. None of us acquire education and knowledge without going to school, or putting in a fair amount of time learning stuff, so why should God’s Word be any different eh?
 
Some of us have several degrees and diplomas, go to school for umpteen years, even make a career out of going to school, spend a lot of time in man-made study, but find it difficult to spend a few minutes each day reading and meditating on God’s Word, the MOST IMPORTANT BOOK IN THE WORLD! And yet, we still expect to reap worldly benefits from Him. What ‘boldfaceness’ mih breddren!
 
Now that certainly doesn’t make sense, especially when the Lord’s been telling us for ages, that the ONLY WAY to have TRUE prosperity and success here on planet earth is by reading and studying His Word, His wise guidelines!
 
And it’s not like we haven’t seen the Word in operation over the last how many centuries; that’s bringing success and prosperity to those who make it their duty to study it thoroughly and then practice what it preaches. We’ve also seen what happens to those who don’t obey God’s Word; death and destruction plague them, just like it’s plaguing us now.
 
Anyway, nuff said. Go to church if you want to hear a sermon. (smile) Now we going to get into some relevant scripture on the necessity of meditating on God’s Word, and the undeniable, indisputable wisdom inherent in doing it. 
 
And what better place to start than with Joshua doing as Moses, the Law and God commanded. After entering the Promised Land and capturing the city of Ai, (Josh.8:1-29) Joshua built an altar of stones at Mt. Ebal and sacrificed peace and burnt offerings unto the Lord there.
 
‘And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. And all Israel, and their elders, and their officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side (either side) before the priests and the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, as well as the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded before, (Ex.20:24-25; Deut.27:2-6) that they should bless the people of Israel.
 
And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant (living) among them.’ (Josh.8:32-35)
 
Oh Friends, that is what you call obedience! Joshua did all that Moses and the law called for in the sight of Jehovah God, and therefore the people of Israel were blessed.
 
Now the same thing could happen today if the majority of us bowed in worship and sincere obedience to God’s will. And as believers in Jesus Christ, we are all anointed to bring unbelievers to Him, by truly LOVING our God, sincerely LIVING our Faith and diligently SPREADING His Word! So let’s get out there and do our job nuh Friends.
 
It would make such a wonderful difference to our bewildered, battered and bruised world if we could only bring more people to Christ. Much LOVE!
 
…if one simply teaches another…then the church of Christ would soon grow…both in physical numbers and spiritual strength…and our world would become a much better place to live…  
 
P.S. Just some interesting info from the scholars which I thought I should share. ‘When Joshua read the blessings of the law, the people on Mount Gerizim responded with an “Amen”; when he read the curses of the law, the people on Mount Ebal responded with an “Amen.” Thus, Mount Ebal became known as the Mount of Cursing. The tops of the two mountains are about two miles distant from each other. Jebel Eslamiyeh is the modern name for Mount Ebal.’  
 
For your information. Much LOVE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2013 Joshua 1:8

Joshua 1:8.    This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Oh Friends, Friday the 13th is past, and nothing of any ill-repute has besieged us! So why do we yet hang on to these old wives tales bathed in evil eh? That’s surely not wisdom, especially when we have the Good Book and all the wonderful things and promises it contains. That’s why on this Saturday morn, we’re going to get into the scriptures with a vengeance, to arrest our recent backsliding and renew and refresh our troubled mortal souls. (smile)
 
And we’re getting into our Bit very early in the proceedings because it totally reflects God’s promises and either births our faith, or puts it on more solid ground. ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’
 
Oh my people, those were the words of our God to Joshua after he became the official leader of the Israelites! Now let’s break down the Lord’s commands. First off, He told Joshua that he should be constantly talking of, about and from the book of Mosaic Law written by Moses. And a note from the scholars declares that ‘This verse indicates both the existence of the law by the time of Joshua and its Mosaic authorship. (cf. 8:31-35)’
 
Then secondly, Joshua was strongly advised to meditate on the word of the law. That’s read, study, contemplate, ponder and inwardly digest its inner workings. Why? Because by so doing, Joshua and the Israelite nation would become prosperous and successful in their endeavours.
 
Now Friends, isn’t that very simple and straightforward? It sure is! And when the Israelites practiced it, they were prosperous and successful. However, when they didn’t, their success and prosperity went downhill, often including attacks by their numerous enemies, even to the point of being taken away in bondage, like happened with Babylon. So why didn’t they learn their lesson eh? Only God Almighty knows!
 
But my brethren, since our everlasting God and His law don’t change, that means those prophetic words and awesome promise of God, still apply to us today. But sadly, just like the Israelites of old, this generation has refused to embrace the Lord’s law. No wonder our societies and our world are going through such trying, troubled and disastrous times.
 
Anyway, let’s get to the crux of today’s Bit. I decided to write on the meditation theme today because while going through some notes, I found something I had written down from one of Uncle Charles’ (Charles Stanley) sermons a few weeks ago. And to have it come up at a time when I wasn’t thinking of anything else in particular to write about, I took it as a sign that today was the day to share Uncle Charles’ thoughts on Meditating On God’s Word. (smile) Some of you might have heard and/or seen that sermon, but hearing these encouraging and enlightening thoughts again will only help us.
 
Here are the things Uncle Charles says that meditation on the Word does for us. ‘Quietens our spirit, Purifies our heart, Sharpens our perception, Clarifies our direction, Confirms or cautions our counsel, Increases our faith, Enlarges our view of God, Keeps us aware of God’s presence and power, and last but not least, Guides us to success.’  
 
And my fellow believers, if we seriously consider those conditions, we’ll discover that they’re all gospel truth! So why don’t we constantly meditate and ponder on God’s Word eh? I really don’t know. I guess it’s just man’s natural rebellious and stubborn nature, always wanting to do it his way, despite proven evidence of the disaster that follows from it.
 
Now let’s hear from Moses, who first instructed the Israelites on meditating on the Word, and this while telling them what to do when they entered the Promised Land and decided they wanted a king like the other nations around them. And we all know that day eventually came. (1 Samuel 8-10) Now that was just another nail the Israelites drove into their own coffin, and it broke God’s heart, for He considered Himself their king.
 
Anyway, this is what Moses commanded. ‘And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests and Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear (stand in awe of) the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.
 
That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren (become proud), and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel.’ (Deut.17:18-20)
 
Oh my people, more simple, explicit and clear as day instructions! But all to no avail, for the Israelites, just like us, when they got prosperous and successful, in their own minds, simply forgot about God and went their own way. And they did indeed endure calamitous repercussions for their disobedience. Likewise calamity is befalling us today for our turning away from God.
 
Oh Friends, true wisdom still entails meditating on God’s word, storing it deep in our souls, and then putting it into practice. Please let future generations say about us: ‘They constantly meditated on the Word, always had it at the tip of their tongues, and were thus successful!’
 
Don’t laugh, this is serious business my fellow believers. And it’s not too late to start, for remember, while there’s life, there’s always hope. Much LOVE!
 
…when one sincerely ponders God’s Word…it automatically raises the level of one’s faith and trust…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2013 Psalm 27:14

Psalm 27:14.   Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.
 
And here we stand once again Friends, in cold amongst the ingredients that it takes to make another day! Ingredients that according to their quantity, their mixing and matching, have the ability to produce anything along a continuum; from a very sad, depressing and negative day at one end, to one that’s full of joy, enthusiasm and positive energy at the other.
 
And the results we obtain, all depend on the amounts of each ingredient we use, and how we mix and match them. That’s why all of us have differing kinds of days.
 
Now here’s some sound advice on the subject, taken from the footnote of an old devotional, One More Day, Daily Devotions for People with Chronic Illnesses. And the advice is: ‘Life is an adventure of choices to be lived, not an ordeal to be survived. I choose optimism and joy.’
 
Yes my people, that’s the way it should be! Life was meant to be lived, not merely survived! So whatsoever ingredients we’re dealt today, let’s adjust the mix to bring us positive energy and joy in our spirits nuh. That’s only simple common sense. 
 
Regardless of how difficult or hopeless things might seem, or even actually be, there’s always a way for us to put a positive spin on them. And that’s especially true for believers in Jesus Christ, seeing that we have all those beautiful and bountiful promises and assurances from our generous, ever-faithful and ever-LOVING God!
 
And when we add the greatest sacrificial act ever done in the history of this world, Christ’s redemption of our abominable sins by His death on the cross at Calvary, how can we not be joyful and full of positive energy eh? 
 
And all God’s people gave out a deafening roar of ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Praise His Holy Name!’
 
Yes Friends, that’s the kind of response we need! So please, let’s not go about moaning and groaning and complaining today, though our entire world might seem to be crumbling around us. Let’s stand strong in the Lord, as He’s asked us to do.
 
Let’s show the unbelievers and naysayers, by personal example, why we’re true believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Today, and everyday, we need to do as Bruh David so wisely advises in our Bit: ‘Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’
 
Yes my brethren, after taking our problems to the Lord in prayer, we need to remain in patient and positive expectation for His godly answer. And I know that it oftimes takes a lot of courage, belly and backbone to do that sort of thing. But then again, as believers, we must remember that we can do all things through Christ’s help.
 
Yeh, it often feels like an ongoing, never ending cycle. We need courage and strength to deal with our problems. But that courage and strength can only come from close and sincere communion with Jesus Christ. And when we’re finally granted those attributes, we need to apply them to our problems. But having done that, the cycle begins again.
 
Ah Lord eh mih people! It might be rough, but there’s no need to be afraid, for our God has faithfully promised to look after us, once we walk obedient to His will. Now listen to this awesome promise God gave to the children of Israel, through Moses, when he anointed Joshua as his successor.
 
‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (your enemies): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6)
 
Oh Friends, what an amazing promise! And while the Israelites walked sincerely with God, that promise was never broken. But here, to my mind, is one of God’s greatest promise moments in all of the Good Book. It was when He personally anointed Joshua. 
 
Now listen to our heavenly Father, as He reassures and energizes Joshua, to whom He’s given the unenviable and Herculean task of taking the Israelites over the River Jordan into the Promised Land.
 
‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance (you shall give as a possession) the land which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
 
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper (have success) withersoever thou goest.
 
This book of the law shall not depart out of (shall constantly be in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
 
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:5-9)
 
And all God’s people declared in loud voice: ‘Wow! What a mighty and faithful God we serve and worship!’
 
Indeed we do Friends, because God kept His Word as long as Joshua held up his half of the bargain. The same applies to us today my people. Those very words have been spoken over us by Jesus Christ, which means we’re in covenant with Him, and once we do our part, He will definitely do His. But it all depends on us, being strong and courageous and keeping His laws.
 
So let’s get ourselves together nuh, let’s seriously meditate on His Word, be strong and take heart from it, so that we can be prosperous and successful in this evil, ungodly world. That’s not a remote possibility Friends, but a sure and definite promise of Almighty God to all who serve and worship Him in truth and sincerity.
 
Now my people, that’s what is termed awesome wisdom! Let’s grab hold of it and hang on tightly nuh! Much LOVE!
 
…standing…standing…standing on the promises of God my Saviour…standing…standing…I’m standing on the promises of God…