Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2021 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.     ​I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Brother! I thought that 2020 went fast, but like this new year planning on going even faster! Is already Thursday the 7th, and the year just started. (smile) Just wish our calamities were going away as quickly. But what to do eh? We brought most of them on ourselves, and we’re not behaving in a manner that will encourage them to leave as quickly as they came. 

What a blessing to have Jesus on our side! The Good Book plainly and truthfully states it: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) That means, with His help, His awesome grace, mercy and strength, we can handle anything that comes against us, even if it is of our making. And furthermore, we’re also told: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) 

Yes mih bredrin, if Christ will strengthen me and cause the Lord to provide all my needs, who or what else do I need eh? NOTHING, or NOBODY! For Christ is sufficient in and of Himself! That’s why He instructed us to ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Oh friends, when we put Jesus Christ first and foremost in our lives, He will provide all that we need to live an abundant life. And that doesn’t necessarily mean rich in personal possessions, but certainly rich in spiritual things, maturity in spirituality, a good example of Christian living. So I don’t understand how so many of us refuse to follow Jesus, or only give Him lip-service and are not truly faithful to and in sync with Him. 

 I’m guessing that’s partly because living for Jesus is not easy. As His ambassadors, His earthly representatives, He expects a lot of us. He expects us to grow tremendously and shine brightly on His behalf, and that is ofttimes a difficult row to hoe. But as the ole people would say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ And that’s certainly highlighted in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled ‘The Pain of Growth.’ 

So please pray with me. ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Or financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. 

Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache and anguish. And very often in my suffering when I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

And that calls for a big ‘AMEN!’ my brethren. For it’s definitely through pain and somewhat uncomfortable circumstances that the Lord grows and matures us in His economy. And there’s nothing in that list of painful things above that Jesus never suffered on our behalf during His earthly sojourn. That’s why He can empathize with our suffering now. 

That’s why the author of Hebrews could confidently proclaim: ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (empathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, our Lord and Saviour, our venerable Leader felt every pain and suffering that we’ve ever felt…and more than any of us have ever felt to boot! And in Isaiah 53, Christ suffering is laid out, so much so that He’s known as ‘a man of sorrows.’ (Is. 53:3) And I like how the website www.gotquestions.org explains it. ‘Jesus is called “a man of sorrows” because of how much suffering He had to endure. He suffered first by leaving the glories of heaven and entering the human race as a man. Then He suffered all the things that humanity suffers, and then finally He suffered the wrath of God as the sin-bearer.’ 

So when He asks us to undergo a spot of suffering on His behalf, we ought to just shut our blooming mouths and do it without the hemming and hawing we’re so famous for. What would have happened if He hemmed and hawed about going to the cross for us eh? When Jesus asks us to jump, the correct answer is simply, ‘How high Lord?’ 

And before we run out of time and space, let’s look at the Bible Promise that was used for the poem above. It comes from the great psalm 119: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:75-76) 

Yes people, the psalmist realized that God in His righteousness and justice would not afflict Him without a good reason. And furthermore, His LOVING-kindness, His unfailing LOVE, would comfort him during his trails, just like He promised. 

So please, if we want to be known as true and serious followers of Jesus, let’s cut out the foolishness nuh, and grow up, stop being selfish, petty and afraid and stand up to anything that comes against, because He’s faithfully promised to bring us safely and stronger through our trials and tribulation. And if you can’t believe His promise, what’s the point in being His follower eh? 

So for those of us who are willing to undergo the troubles of the world without too much complaining, let’s go home now sincerely declaring (oh yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, those magnificent blessings the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Wow! 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’  

And please remember, those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but generously shared, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…for whom the Lord LOVETH…He chasteneth… (Heb. 12:6) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2020 Hebrews 12:6.

Hebrews 12:6.    ​For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, (even as a father the son in whom he delighteth).

 

My most humble apologies friends as we’re a bit late this bright and sunshiny Wednesday Morning. That’s because I had one of those late nights, or early mornings, your choice, and then the muse called sleep was pretty good to me, kept me under for a decent spell. (smile) But welcome nonetheless to a new day of mercies and compassions from our most merciful and compassionate God Jehovah! Give Him thanks for His amazing, awesome and unconditional LOVE for us, who don’t deserve even one iota of His goodness. 

But His heart of LOVE couldn’t help itself way back when He sent His only son Jesus to save us, and even now, despite our abominable sinfulness and disobedience and desire to rid our society of His overall presence, He still LOVES us with the undying LOVE of a heavenly Father! Wow! I know it’s hard to believe that with all the ungodly stuff we do and the low esteem in which so many of us hold Him, that He still goes gaga over us. (smile) But we’re His greatest creation, so just like how we hold important people in our lives to our hearts, He holds us to His. 

Now isn’t it simply wonderful to know that we have a God, a Creator, who LOVES us dearly, despite our many shortcomings? It certainly is! But that doesn’t mean He won’t punish or discipline or chasten us for our disobedience, but even then it’s because He LOVES us that He chastens us. Hear the Good Book tell it nuh, as the author of Hebrews quotes Cousin Sol from Proverbs 3:11-12. 

‘My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (even as a father the son in whom he delighteth). If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate), and not sons.’ (Heb. 12:5-8) 

Oh friends, a lot of us believe that if God is so good, He should not punish us, but that’s not right, He punishes us because He LOVES us, the same way our earthly fathers punish us for wrongdoing because they are interested in our well being! Remember Hs is not only a LOVING God, but also a holy, righteous and just Deity, which means wrongs have to be righted and justice done. Jesus, in his message to the church at Laodicea, says it thus to John in Revelation: ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev. 3:19) That’s also wonderful advice for us today friends. 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation. ‘12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH, he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in line) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly).” (Prov. 13:24: cf. 22:15; 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous; they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Now my people, please look at those reference scriptures because they are rather important in parenting. And it’s exactly why this generation is so unruly, undisciplined, ungrateful, irresponsible and figure the world owes them a living; we parents have not administered the necessary punishment for their wrongdoings. And don’t get me wrong, corporal punishment is not the only way to discipline children, but it is a necessary and useful method. Oh, we parents get so soft-hearted and foolish nowadays believing that if we hit our children it’s child abuse…Steups! 

Yes, some parents overdo it, to the point where it does become abuse. But when there is no sensible punishment and the children turn back and are rude and unmannerly and even hit and kill us, as we’re seeing so much these days, we wonder why it’s happening. But it’s basically our fault; we did not train up the children right and the society is giving them too much leeway for irresponsibility, not holding them sufficiently responsible for their wrongs. And I’m sure that many of us parents, in our youth, were punished for our wrongs, and if it was within reason, I’m sure we’re much better off today because of it. 

It taught us obedience, and responsibility. And sometimes just the threat of punishment is sufficient to keep us from doing wrong. I know in my case, my mother was LOVING and kind, but if she said do something, or don’t do something, and I stubbornly or foolishly refused to comply, I could get the strap. I didn’t always get it, sometimes she was indeed merciful, (smile) but I had no doubts whatsoever that it could be very quickly forthcoming if I didn’t obey. So friends this idea we have that because the Lord is so good and LOVING, bad things shouldn’t happen to us, and we shouldn’t be punished for our wrongs is totally unjustified. 

We live in a sinful and fallen world, with sinful and fallen humans, so sin and wrongdoing and disasters will happen. The Lord never said that He would prevent us from going through all the rough times, but that He would be right there beside us in them. That’s because we need to go through the flood, the fire and the storm if we want our faith to grow, for it’s only in adversity do we see the real us come out and our backbone and belly grow. So today let’s concentrate on doing the best we can, with what we have nuh, and leave the rest to our wonderful heavenly Father, for He has promised to provide all our needs if we seek Him first. And He IS faithful to keep all His promises. 

So let’s go home now declaring (yeeahh!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ! All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts. ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, that is certainly Wisdom 101! Living for, and with, and through, and in Jesus… Oh that’s the wisest action we can ever take in this sinful world. So let’s take it and stay with it till the end nuh, for if we do, the future will indeed be mucho mucho glorious! Much LOVE!

…come to Jesus…stick with Him…and everything will be made right…eventually…