Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2019 Malachi 4:2.

Malachi 4:2.    ​But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).
 

It’s sunshine…It’s sunshine…! Yes friends and Scrip-Bit family, the sun’s shining high and bright in a clear blue sky at 8 o’clock this Wednesday morning! Glory be! And I guess it’s already so high because of the Daylight Saving’s Time change we had over the weekend, where the clocks were rolled back one hour. I don’t know why they don’t stop the foolishness nuh, because nobody likes it. There are always complaints, especially about screwed up sleep patterns, and you have to readjust all your time situations. And I really don’t know who it benefits either nuh. 

Now we’re five hours behind Europe, when last week we were four; possibly the same time as Trinidad and Tobago now, but and hour or something behind Jamaica… It just screws up everything, even between the provinces of Canada! What’s wrong with staying with ONE time eh? Not many other countries engage in the nonsense. But unless we make an unholy stink about it, the powers that be won’t see fit to change it.

However, the beauty of the situation is that whatever time line we use, or whatever the weather might be, we still have the awesome presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour constantly dwelling within us through the auspices of the Holy Ghost! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful ‘Wow!’ 

Yeh friends, when we consider how marvellous that situation is, the only word that can sometimes come to mind is ‘Wow!’ That’s because its ‘marvellousness’ transcends the capacity of our mortal minds. (smile) But it all ties in miraculously with Jehovah’s plan for His people; re His Messiah, His Saviour coming to save them from eternal damnation. Hear how the prophet Malachi puts it: ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).’ Oh my people, no uncertain foraging for food for the Lord’s people because ‘the Sun of righteousness,’ the figurative description of Jesus Christ, our Messiah shall come and heal and feed and comfort us. Glory Hallelujah! 

And that promise wasn’t new to the Israelites at that time, because Isaiah had already promised long before: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) And that prophecy was built upon by John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, when he declared at John’s birth: ‘And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring (Dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 2:76-79). 

And the scholars explain that passage thus: ‘1:78. Dayspring means “dawn” and figuratively refers to the coming of the Messiah. The clause should be translated, “Dawn from heaven will visit us.” That is, the Messiah from heaven will come to help us. God’s messianic deliverance is often expressed as the bursting forth of a great light.’ And so it should be because it brought out us of the darkness of sin into the light of God’s LOVE! And what I admire about God’s Word is that He left no empty spaces in it, meaning that each prophecy was rolled right into another one that led the story forth. 

For just as Zechariah prophesied that his son, John the Baptist would be a forerunner of the Messiah, the Good Book tells us: ‘In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ (Matt. 3:1-3) So even Isaiah had prophesied about John’s role in the coming of Jesus. (Is .40:3) 

And it was all corroborated in John the disciple’s gospel: ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John (the Baptist). The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name. which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:6-14) 

Oh my people, what a life-saving and light emitting event the coming of Jesus was! It made God’s salvation universally available to all who believed in His Son, Jesus Christ. Gave them the authority to become children of God! Glory Hallelujah! The sad part though is that people in general, and in particular, His own people, the Jews, rejected him. But mih bredden, yuh see the Lord’s faithfulness. After promising the Messiah, the Saviour of His people, down through the ages, He finally fulfilled it by the coming of Jesus! Please let us never deny His everlasting faithfulness, or that of the Good Book, His Holy Word. It will just happen in His own time.

And for all of us who have accepted the Light of the World as our own, let’s go home telling all and sundry our wonderful position in His marvellous union. 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!’ And as always, we can’t help rejoicing when we consider how truly great and glorious that future will be…more than we can ask or ever imagine! Much LOVE!

…the light shines in the darkness…and the darkness repels it not…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2015 Isaiah 9:2

Isaiah 9:2.  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Well Friends, Christmas Day is over for another year…but not the season! Today is only Boxing Day, when many of you will rush to the malls to get those bargains so widely advertised. (smile) We still have lots of celebrating to do over the next two weeks right into the New Year! 

So we still need to remember that the birth of Jesus was, and still is the reason for all the hoopla all around the world and still pay our respects and reverence like the three wise men and the shepherds did. 

Anyway, I don’t know if I have shared this prayer before, but even if I have, it’s well worth sharing again. It comes from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hour of Power Devotional. It’s called ‘A Christmas Prayer.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You lead me, Jesus Christ, to thoughts of God. I see you in a manger carved from a tree. I see you as a young man with hands that reach to touch hearts that hurt. Your caring reaches out like the strong and kind branches of a gentle tree reach out to invite road-weary and travel-worn wayfarers to quiet rest. 

I see you again hanging on a tree with outstretched arms taking in the whole world. From your cross, you show me that God will stop at nothing to save my soul. So, I celebrate God’s LOVE today as I celebrate your birth around a twinkling Christmas tree. I pray my life, like yours, O Lord, may be tall and upright as a pine tree pointing, reaching, sharing, sparkling, life-giving; solid, sturdy, strong rooted in God’s LOVE, a beautiful soul, evergreen forever. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, after all that our God has done for us, how can we doubt His wonderful and heartfelt LOVE eh? But lots of people seem to do so, and sadly they will suffer for that mistake.  

Now it’s time for our Bit. But first let’s get some context of what it’s all about. Isaiah had earlier prophesied deliverance for Israel, however that would be only after a period of trouble and darkness. 

And he begins Chapter 9 thus: ‘Nevertheless the dimness (gloom) shall not be such as was in her vexation (upon who is distressed), when at the first he lightly afflicted (esteemed) the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea (he shall glorify the way), beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations (Gentiles). 

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is.9:1-2)  

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘9:1-5. The dimness of Israel’s rejection was especially prevalent in the northern tribal areas of Zebulun and Naphtali, which would suffer greatly under the Assyrian invasion. Galilee is named and identified with the nations (goyim, Gentiles). 

To those in the darkness of the north God promises to send a great light, which is quoted in Matthew 4:15-16 as being fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. The prophet sees these events as though they were already happening. Thus he predicts the future with certainty, as though it had already come to pass.’  

What great prophecy my people! And Isaiah could not have figured out all that by himself. It had to come from a Higher Power. And Matthew concurs in his gospel when he talks about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. 

‘Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, The Land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles; 

The people which sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light has sprung up (has dawned). From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt.4:12-17) 

 So Friends, Isaiah was quite right, for the child that was born unto us, called Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace etc. did begin His serious ministry in the region that Isaiah identified.  Oh glory to God my brethren for the might and depth of His Word! 

And we’ll get another prophecy fulfilled soon after Jesus’ birth. He was brought to the temple at eight days old, as per the Jewish custom to be offered to God and be circumcised. 

Now when Joseph and Mary showed up at the temple with Jesus, they met an old man named Simeon, ‘just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (Messianic hope): and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.’ Luke 2:25-26) 

And would you believe that day the Holy Ghost led him to the temple just as Mary and Joseph showed up? ‘Then he took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word (God’s promise): for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  

A light to lighten (bring revelation to) the gentiles; and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of them.’ (Luke 2:28-33) 

And per the scholars: ‘2:32-33. Here for the first time the parents hear the startling prophecy that Jesus’ significance would extend even to the Gentiles. This would be surprising even if it had not come from an apparent stranger.’ 

It certainly would my people, and I can just imagine how Joseph’s and Mary’s mouths must have been wide open with wonder at the child they had borne.  

And yuh know what Friends, two thousand and odd years later, we are still drooling in wonder at the Christ child, as we should, because that is wisdom of the highest order. Much LOVE!

…no other baby ever born…can match the wonder that’s Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 December 2015 Isaiah 9:2

Isaiah 9:2.  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

  MERRY  CHRISTMAS !

Oh my fellow believers, friends, neighbours and the great unwashed, Jesus Christ is born! Glory Hallelujah! At long last the day for which we’ve waited is here, so to show our appreciation and gratitude let’s offer up some sacrificial praise and thanksgiving nuh! 

Please sing with me: ‘Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her king; Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing. 

Joy to the earth! The savior reigns; Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy. 

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found. 

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of his righteousness, And wonders of his LOVE, And wonders of his LOVE, And wonders, wonders, of his LOVE.’ 

Yes my brethren, our Lord and Saviour was born some two thousand years ago in the dirty and ‘dingy’ stable with the all the animals and their funky smell, but that didn’t bother Him one iota. And a lot of people wonder if God is so omnipotent and otherwise why He allowed His blessed son to be born in such lowly and humble surroundings. 

Well Friends, that’s just because God wanted to show that Christ came to save the lowly, the lost, the needy, not the righteous and wealthy. Plus He also likes to ‘confuffle’ mankind by using the lowly and poor when others expect Him to use the wise and wealthy. 

But be that as it may, today is Christ’s birthday and it is being celebrated all around the world with joy and gladness and good tidings to one and all. Even those who are being relentlessly persecuted are celebrating, because their faith is strong enough to withstand the persecution, for it’s based on the wonderful and faithful promises of Jesus! Glory to God my people! 

And now turning to our Bit: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my believing brethren? It certainly is, because Jesus is the LIGHT of this dark world, and when He was born His healing and comforting and saving light was let loose on the darkness and the people rejoiced, because they could then see their way clear by the brilliant LIGHT that Jesus brought to planet earth. 

Now here is why our God is so great, especially when coming to promises. The prophet Isaiah foretold centuries before Christ’s birth this wonderful news that the people faithfully held on to for so long. 

‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord will perform this.’ (Is.9:6-7) 

And though it took many centuries for this to happen, in God’s time, His zeal did perform the promise through the miraculous birth of Jesus through the Virgin Mary. 

Yesterday we saw how Mary’s faith was great, as she acceded to the Lord’s purpose in her life without any hesitation. Oh friends, are we doing the same eh? Are we getting in agreement with God’s plan for our life without too much hassle and doubt and anxiety? I surely do hope so, because that’s when the Lord performs His miracles in our lives and raises us up. 

Now let’s turn to Luke and get his account of Jesus’ birth. ‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in their field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon (stood before) them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore (greatly) afraid. 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: 

Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes (cloths), lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.’ (Luke 2:8-14) 

Yes Friends, that is what Jesus came to earth to bring; peace and good will to all mankind. Let’s never forget that because it’s one of the basic tenets of our faith. 

And time and space has run out on us, but we all know how the shepherds ran to where Jesus lay and found Him just as the angels had declared, then they spread the good news all around the area, praising and glorifying God. (Luke 2:15-20) 

Now that’s what we ought to do today and everyday my people. Anyway, today is Friday, and I believe it is one day when we badly need our Friday Chant to keep us in line, since the celebration of Christ’s birth is so phenomenal. So let’s go home chanting it with sincerity and 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.’ 

And please remember Granny’s plea, that drunk or sober we must mind our business. That is ever so important in these times of celebration.  Merry Christmas my brothers and sisters in Christ! Much LOVE!

…Christmas…the time when Christ’s light…first shone in a darkened world… 

P.S.  The Bit’s early today friends, so no complaints. (smile) That’s because I wrote it right after I came from the 11 0’clock service at church. This way I can do my own celebrations without having to worry about waking up to write it. Oh there is indeed method to my madness! (smile) And though it’s somewhat long, I think it’s good. Hope you do too. Much LOVE!