Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2020 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.     Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. 
 

‘Turn, turn, turn!’ Oh friends, remember that popular sixties song written by Pete Seeger and made famous by the British band ‘The Byrds’? Oh, I forgot that some of you might be too young to remember! (smile) You can look it up on You Tube though. And yes, it was based on Cousin Sol’s marvellous and ever so true words from Ecclesiastes 5: ‘A time for Everything.’ Oh my people, those words are ever so important and appropriate for these troubled days. Hear them nuh, and please take them to heart. 

‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born (to bear), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 

A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (sew together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl. 5:1-8) 

Oh friends, oh friends, right now our world is so filled with turmoil, adversity, hate, war and tearing apart, of throwing stones, of weeping and mourning, that if we seriously hope to survive, we desperately need to turn it around and instead make it a time of LOVE, healing, sewing together, of peace, of gathering stones, of embracing, and building up, so that we can eventually laugh and dance together! As the song says, ‘What the world needs now, is LOVE, sweet LOVE!’ That’s the ONLY thing of which we have a real shortage! 

But then again, how can we ever find that abundance of true LOVE that we need to make our world livable and sustainable for our descendants eh? Only ONE Way, and from ONE Place! By turning back to Almighty God, the ONE and ONLY LIVING GOD! He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Because we’ve turned away from Jehovah God, our Creator and Provider, and become dependent on our own inferior and finite wisdom, our world has fallen apart! It’s obvious that we are not fit, either in mental or emotional acumen to successfully rule ourselves. 

When God gave us free will, He expected us to see that and remain under His august umbrella of safety, freedom, peace and LOVE! But when we got so big and bright and full of ourselves, we decided that we no longer needed Him. But my people, that’s the furthest thing from the truth! How can we not need the One who made us and keeps us alive and kicking through His breath of Life eh? But the long and short of the story is this my bredrin! 

As Jeremiah told his people of Israel when they were turning away from God and experiencing the same sort of calamity and disaster like we’re now doing: ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer. 13:15-16) 

Yes people, the Lord is giving us a serious warning and we need to heed it without delay, otherwise we might end up like Israel, who did not listen. ‘But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive. Say unto the king and to the queen (queen mother), Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down (your rule shall collapse), even the crown of your glory.’ (Jer. 13:17-18) 

And that is exactly what’s happening right now friends, the proud, evil rulers and leaders are beginning to lose their power and their glory under the simultaneous onslaught of pandemic sickness and worldwide unrest. These things have never happened together on such a worldwide scale before this, and any fool ought to see it as a serious warning of some kind. A warning that things are not right in our world and we need to change. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation of the scholars: ‘13:15-17. A third illustration concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ 

Ah friends, our warning above was Jeremiah’s third example of what would happen to Judah if they did not renounce their foolish pride and return to the God of their forefathers. And, unfortunately, the same thing is being said to us today: we are in danger of being swallowed up in the evil and frightful darkness of the enemy if we don’t swallow our pride and stop trying to turf God out of our society, His Creation! 

And if there’s one thing the Lord hates more than any other is the sin of pride, because it says, shouts out loud, that we don’t need Him! That’s a situation to which He has long ago made clear: ‘I AM the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) So for those of us who are currently bowing down to all sorts of ungodly images and idols, please let that be a serious and timely warning! 

And having said all of that, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

So then, let it be, let us go out and do Jesus’ will and share His awesome LOVE and friendship with a dark and unfriendly world! Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Uncle Charles – Dr. Charles Stanley)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2011 Jeremiah 13:16‏

Jeremiah 13:16.    Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday! Yes, the most important Friday of this year, because it begins the most important weekend of the year. It’s the eve of Christmas Eve! Yes Friends, only two more days till we celebrate the most auspicious birth ever; that of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Saviour, Redeemer, Advocate, Prince of Peace, etc.etc. Wow! And can you imagine the amount of praise and music, of all varieties, in all kinds of languages, that’s rising from all over the earth up to heaven. Brother! The party in heaven must also be gathering steam because they know that many lost souls will be saved this upcoming weekend. But as usual my brethren, though the celebration is important, we still need to be circumspect in our dealings and don’t give the enemy any leeway to infiltrate our godly souls. To that end, let’s chant our Friday Chant, in one, loud, unified, sincere voice: ‘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.’ Hopefully that will keep us on an even keel, a decent rein, though I doubt it, when the food, drinks, music and good times with friends and family hit the high water mark. (smile) But just don’t forget the reason for the season, Jesus’ Birth, not shopping, and spend some time ruminating on Him and His unsurpassable goodness to us sinful children of men. And for sure, this is a time to do what our Bit so faithfully declares: ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ Yes Friends, this is definitely one particular time that we don’t want the Lord to rain on our parade. For as Malachi rebuked Israel in their unfaithfulness, by saying to the priests: ‘If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay (take) it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.’ (Mal.2:2) Now this doesn’t apply only to the priests nuh people, but to all of us who disobey and don’t take the Lord’s Word, His Honour and Glory seriously to heart. Neither do we want this judgement of woe on the faithless to befall us. ‘And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow (distress), and the light is darkened (by the clouds) in the heavens thereof.’ (Is.5:30) Ah mih people, this is the season of light, that’s what Jesus came to bring, therefore let’s do what will enable light to come to our distressed and misguided world nuh. And that’s as the psalmist proclaims in his call for praise to our great and most worthy God. ‘Give (ascribe) unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give (ascribe) unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear (tremble) before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen (unbelieving nations) that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be (is firmly) established that it shall not be moved (shaken): he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof (all that is in it). Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the Lord: for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.’ (Ps.96:7-13) Yes mih people, that’s the attitude, the colour, the prominent behaviour we want to see this season, for the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was, and still is the first step in the Lord coming to judge us with righteousness and truth, so that those of us who believe can bypass death and destruction and instead receive salvation and eternal life. Please, let’s show our appreciation of God’s great and generous gifts this Christmas season and thus avoid the death and darkness of sin. Much LOVE!…there’s much joy in light…but only sorrow and heartache in darkness…so choose light…that ye may live…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 2011 Jeremiah 13:16

Jeremiah 13:16.    Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
 
And then there were three! Yes Friends, only three more days to the biggest celebration on earth; Christmas Day! What a pleasure and a privilege we Christians enjoy since our God sent His Son Jesus down to earth to live amongst us in human form, so that we could see and experience exactly what He’s like, as well as give us an example that we can understand and follow. Our God sure is a kind and caring Deity! No doubt about it Friends. And while we’re on the subject of caring, here’s a prayer I wasn’t planning to share today, but was guided by the Spirit to do so. It’s a prayer for the church leaders, a group we truly don’t pay as much attention to as we ought. We simply take the running and guidance of our churches for granted, forgetting that it takes a fine group of dedicated and devoted people, working mostly in the background, to keep them functioning properly. So here’s this prayer I found in the front of my mother’s Bible, in their honour. It says: ‘Thank you Lord for the gift of church leaders. Guide them as they face difficult decisions. Give then courage to contend for the faith. Fill them with Grace and Truth. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.’ Yes Friends, especially in this busy season of Christmas, our church leaders are doing lots of wonderful things on our behalf. Let’s make a special effort then to thank them whenever we encounter them. And I would like to say a special thanks to the group at my local church who are currently in the midst of securing a new priest for our parish. May the Lord bless and guide them in their search and grant them the wisdom and understanding to choose the best person available, so that our parish can grow and further His kingdom. Now turning to our Bit: ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ Oh Friends, that’s a serious bit of business, a serious warning from our kind and considerate, but also just and righteous God, who cannot allow sin to run rampant amongst His people. And today we’ll look at one example of God’s justice system, from way back in Joshua’s time. After the fall of Jericho, the Israelites were warned not to take any prisoners or spoil, just save Rahab and her family and the precious metals for the Lord’s treasury. But a little later on they suffered a terrible defeat at the hands of the men of Ai, which caused Joshua to fall on his face before the Lord and ask why? (Josh. 6,7) Unfortunately, the Lord informed him that Israel had sinned by taking spoil from Jericho, although expressly forbidden to do so. Eventually it was discovered that a young man by the name of Achan had committed the crime. “And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted (desired) them, and took them; and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tenth, and the silver under it.’ (Josh.7:19-21) The spoil was found exactly where Achan said it was hidden, then they took him, all his family and all their possessions out to a valley called Achor. ‘And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, the valley of Achor (trouble), unto this day.’ (Josh.7:25-26) Oh Friends, that sure seems like a harsh punishment for the crime, but God’s proclamation was disobeyed, and the crime had to be paid for. It’s just like Saul disobeyed Samuel and usurped the priest’s office (1 Sam.8-18), and thus lost the crown of Israel. Oh my people, let’s understand once and for all that our God is a most wonderful God, but because of His holy and righteous nature constant sin and disobedience cannot be tolerated under His justice system. There’s no sugar-coating it. And we just have to look at the havoc that our turning away from Him has caused in our world, to know that eventually divine justice and retribution will fall upon those who insist on disobeying God’s edicts. Oh Friends, please let us learn from those gone before us, as well as from what’s happening around us today, and repent and turn back to the God of our fathers, so that our world will be saved from total destruction. It’s the only way to prevent our eventual annihilation. Much LOVE!…a word to the wise…is usually sufficient…but those who don’t hear…will certainly feel…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2011 Jeremiah 13:16‏

Jeremiah 13:16.    Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. Four more days Friends! Just four more days to the big day, Christmas, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born lowly and humble, in that rickety, old, broken down stable, amongst all the crude and foul smelling animals. But what a mighty man He became despite His less than auspicious beginnings! Only our Lord God Jehovah could have devised such a complicated and mind boggling but ever-LOVING plan to save His sinful earthly children. That means my people, that although we were also born in lowly circumstances, we too can rise to great heights by placing our faith, hope and trust in Jesus. And they say that our God isn’t wonderful and wise! Chuh! That’s total chupidness mih breddren! That’s simply Lucifer’s lies, to get us to follow him. So Friends, this Christmas season, let’s show the world what we believers in Christ, Christians, are truly about nuh. Let’s allow Jesus’ LOVE, compassion, care and kindness to be front and centre in our lives, so that He can be glorified and win the hearts of some of the many who don’t know Him, but desperately need Him. Oh Friends, it’s imperative that we do as the prophet Jeremiah declares: ‘Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.’ (Jer.13:15) And what has the Lord our God said? The words of our Bit: ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ My brethren, that’s not an idle threat, but a solemn promise of Jehovah God. And we know that He keeps all of His promises. Back then, God’s people, the Israelites were running amok in sin, glorifying Lucifer rather than the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, sadly, just like we’re doing today Friends. And furthermore, the Lord declared unto them: ‘But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.’ (Jer.13:17) And Friends, that’s exactly what happened to Israel when they refused to heed God’s warning. Note too, that just as it hurts our earthly parents when they have to punish us for disobedience, the same way it hurts God, His soul weeps when He has to inflict punishment on us, because He LOVES us so much. Oh my people, unfortunately the Lord’s saying the same thing to us today that He said to the Israelites in Jeremiah’s time. ‘Glorify me, instead of Lucifer. Turn from your evil ways and accept my easy yoke and light bondage. Otherwise you’ll be plunged into darkness, death and destruction.’ And we all can certainly acknowledge that what’s taking place in our world today is not simply as the world turns, but there is definitely and element of divine retribution involved in the macabre madness that’s terrorizing our entire planet. For there’s no peace, only endless strife; no LOVE, only anger, resentment and hatred; no joy, only sorrowful hearts and souls; no light, only gloom and darkness. Oh my brethren, is that the way we truly want to live, or the kind of world we want to bequeath to our children? I sincerely doubt it. So let’s pick up the pieces of our fallen and broken selves and turn back to Almighty God, who will gladly put us back together again; make us whole and clean in His sight once again. For though all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put the fallen and broken Humpty Dumpty back together again, our wonderful, omnipotent, LOVING and caring God can, and will make us whole if we turn to Him in true conviction and repentance. So if we truly want to improve the woeful condition of our world, our souls and our lives, then I implore us today, to do just that. Much LOVE!…in darkness there’s only fear…but in light…the God of LOVE is there…