Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 March 2023 James 4:8a.

James 4:8a. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you…

So, after all the problems of the work week, we’ve finally gotten back to our beloved lazy day Saturday! Praise the Lord! Isn’t it wonderful to know that there’s one day you don’t have to listen for the shrill ringing of the alarm clock, or whatever device you use to awaken you. And even if it does come on, you can turn it off with a grateful sigh? Of course! And even if sleep eludes you, you can lie in your warm, comfortable bed and just enjoy the laziness and pleasure of a lazy day. (smile) 

Some of us might even dare to roll out of bed and roll right on to the living room couch in front of the boob tube and watch the days happenings with bleary eyes. And when you see it’s just the same old, negative things that’s been reported as news, you shut down the annoying, intruding thing, then curl up on the couch under a warm blanket and drift off to some faraway place, where, in your dreams, you can see yourself frolicking on a golden brown, sandy beach, with calm blue seas stretching off into eternity, just inviting you to come and have a salacious dip. 

Wow! Now that’s the thing that dreams are made of! And I guess why the Lord, our marvellous and imaginative Creator, gave us the power to dream, the power to use the amazing imagination with which He’s gifted each one of His wonderful creations. But yuh know what, the Lord also desired that we use that power to imagine and dream to come closer to Him, to let our biggest dream be to have an intimate relationship with Him. And why is an intimate relationship with God important eh? 

Because, in the first place, that’s why He created us. He wanted to be in a covenant relationship with living beings who bore the same traits and attributes like Himself. That’s why God made us in His image and likeness, with thoughts, minds and ways, that are lower than His but nonetheless above all other living beings. Man is supposed to be His most masterful creation. And please don’t believe that our God was foolish when He created us and gave us free will to do as we choose. No, not all. 

That’s why there’s a space in every man’s soul that’s specially set aside for the Lord, and until He comes and sets up shop in that space, man is never happy, satisfied or contented. God’s intention from the very beginning was that all of His creation should come to know and LOVE Him the way He knows and LOVES them. However, when our forefathers, Adam and Eve, fell from grace, and sin became our heritage, we automatically withdrew from that closeness with our Maker and our eyes were turned to the lustful, evil and ungodly works of the enemy, Satan. 

But the Lord has never given up on us, He’s lays there ready to hear and help us if we come to Him. That’s why James tells us to ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8,10) Yes friends, we need to draw near to God if we want to have the successful life He’s planned for us to have, but we can’t do that with all the sin and evil deeds and thoughts that saturate our souls, bodies and minds. 

Oh, we do need to be humble, penitent and sincere, but the beauty of our God is that He will accept us anyway and anytime we come to Him. As Hebrews tells us: ‘Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.’ (Heb. 10:22) And I know some of us have questions on the whole subject of why draw close to God, and even more importantly, how do we do that? I guess I put the cart before the horse, jumping into what we need to do, rather than first explaining the why’s and wherefores. (smile) 

So, let’s see if we can answer them to your satisfaction. As per why we need to draw close to God, why is it good to do so? One commentary gives us this answer. ‘Drawing near to God gives peace to our souls; peace from the burden of our sins and peace in the midst of the burdens that come to us through others’ sin as well. The nearness of God is our answer. His nearness is our need’ Remember I said that we each have an empty space set aside for God? Well, until He occupies that space, we will never have true peace or contentment. 

And that’s not the peace that the world gives us, but the peace that comes from God, the peace that passes all understanding. In other words, the divine peace of God, who’s thoughts, mind and ways are so much higher than ours. And peace is something the whole world is desperately searching for right now. But real peace can only be attained when one draws close to God. And how do we do that? Here’s a list of the basic things we need to do. 

The first and most important thing is to receive Jesus. Yes friends, receiving Jesus into your life is the first step to getting closer to the Lord. For as Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) That sets the stage right there. If you don’t receive Jesus, then you’ll never get close to the Father. That’s all there is to it. Then we need to Study the Bible. Studying the Bible is essential if you want to grow closer to God, because that’s His word, His will for those who wish to follow Him. 

Next, we must pray, because prayer is how we communicate with God. That brings up the subject of praise and worship. We need to do those things since He expects them of us. Praise and worship show that we LOVE and glorify the Lord. Then there’s the dire need to trust Him. Yes friends, that’s a must. For without true trust in the Lord, you will be lost, like a rudderless ship floundering in the raging sea. Which brings us to this other very important factor, faith. 

Oh my people, without true faith in God, where will we be? Mired in the devil’s world of sin and darkness, sinking ever so slowly to hellfire and eternal damnation! But with trust and faith in Almighty God, our lives take on an entirely different colour, one of light, of salvation and eternal life. That’s why the Bible tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) 

And once we’ve done all of that, we then need to get involved. That’s go to church, gather and worship with other believers, encourage each other, and help to spread the Word to all the world as Jesus desired in the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

And that’s it in a nutshell friends! We draw near to God through Jesus Christ, for our good, not God’s. Please, let’s remember that everything God says or does, is essentially for our benefit, not His! Much LOVE!

…in this turbulent world…close to God is the place to be… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ           

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 September 2020 Psalm 51:10.

Psalm 51:10.     ​Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.

Ah friends, it’s so true that if it isn’t one thing, then it’s another, and when one thing happens, another soon follows it. Steups! I already got up late then I had some computer problems…possibly because I didn’t know what I was doing. (smile) But the enemy never makes it easy, he’s always trying to get in a word edgewise or a toehold somewhere. But don’t worry, we going to drive the ole fool right outa town because after all these years of going to and fro about the earth, he still hasn’t learned the gospel truth that faith conquers fear and anxiety each and every time! 

And though the sunny Saturday has opened somewhat on the rough side, we going to bring it right into line with God’s Word and get the victory He has so faithfully promised. Glory Hallelujah! So let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week as he aspires to inspire us for tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.’ Now if that isn’t the awesome truth, I don’t know what is nuh! 

Oh my people, our world is in such a mess, such a state of uproar and dissension, of strife, resentment, anger and hatred, like we’ve never seen it before that there is a whole lotta room for improvement. And the sad part is that what we’re seeing is only the half of it, because a whole lot more negative emotions are quietly seething below the surface and could break out any day, any time now in full blown violence and war. 

And that helps us segue right into the next quote. ‘Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.’ Now that applies so perfectly to our world that it’s not funny. We can’t measure the amount of unrest, dissension, distrust and division that’s currently running riot in our world, so how can we control it eh? 

In fact, it seems that things are daily getting more out of control. The worldwide unhappiness that’s been seething like the magma (molten rock and gas) of a boiling volcano for so long, is now rising in a groundswell of public outcry and indignation! The volcano that’s our world is bubbling and boiling, with pre-eruption lava already flowing down the sides, and who knows when the whole thing is going to erupt eh? That brings us to this next quote: ‘Don’t say it cannot be done, rather say, you don’t know how to do it yet.’ 

Ah friends, a lot of us are saying that our world cannot be saved, because we don’t how to fix it. But we believers ought never to say that because we know that with Christ ALL THINGS are possible, and we can do ALL THINGS through Him, who strengthens us! Mamacita! What a blessing and Saviour He is to us! The logic here now is simply this: if all things are possible with Christ, and He gives us strength to do all things, then the solution to our worldwide problem is to turn en masse, like one big, full body to Christ, with repentance and thanksgiving! 

But the enemy doesn’t want that, that’s why he’s fighting tooth and nail to keep the volcano bubbling and boiling hoping that it would erupt and turn things in his negative, warlike favour. That’s not going to happen though, because Christ’s army of saints are going to stand strong in Christ and fight tooth and nail to defeat the divisive enemy! Glory be! 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘If you can’t reward then you should thank.’ And that makes sense. If you can’t reward someone for what they’ve done, then the next best thing is to thank them. Hopefully they’ll understand. Although the way our society is greedy and selfish nowadays, many won’t. Instead they’ll clamour for a tangible reward. But there’s one person who will never do that, who will be ever grateful for just our thanks. That’s our Lord God Jehovah! 

Yes, He doesn’t want, or rather we can’t give him a reward, since everything in the world belongs to Him, but He does want to hear our thanks for all He’s done, is doing and has promised to do for us. That’s all He really desires from us. That’s why Bruh Paul repeatedly told us about the giving of thanks. ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:18) ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;’ (Eph. 5:20) 

But yuh know my people, giving thanks is only possible when one thing is present. Our last quote tells it: ‘Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing… a grateful heart.’ Yes mih bredrin, only when we have a grateful heart is the giving of thanks truly possible! And that’s’ why our world is in such turmoil; there aren’t enough grateful hearts in it. That brings us to this most important point; a truly grateful heart can only be obtained through sincere communication and reverence with the Lord. That’s why there are so many scriptures about the heart in His Word. 

Why yuh think Bruh David desired the Lord after he repented of his sin with Bathsheba – ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) Because when our hearts are of full of unrepentant sin, we can’t be truly grateful. And remember too what the Lord told Samuel when he sent him to anoint Bruh David as the next king of Israel and Samuel was looking at the outward appearances of Jesse’s sons. ‘For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7b) 

And that’s why James, Christ’s brother warns us so passionately: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8, 10) Oh my people, I don’t think we can have a better scripture to ponder on this Saturday morning. So let’s do that nuh. Much LOVE!

…see that ye LOVE one another…with a pure heart…fervently… (1 Pet. 1:22) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2015 James 4:8

James 4:8.    Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye dobleminded. 
 
Aye Friends, welcome to another terrific Thursday! Glory to God! We are alive and kicking strongly and diligently in God’s name, so let’s maintain that positive aspect by saying, ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’
 
What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! All thanks be to Him and His grace, mercy, forgiveness and unconditional LOVE!
 
And you know that somewhere in Willie Shakespeare’s vast repertoire of works, he says something to the effect that to go to bed late is to be up early…. Well my people, you can say that the ole fella was up rather early this morning, after three, so if I’m not all that coherent you will understand why. (smile)
 
And believe me, the early morning commune outside with nature was beautiful. Some of you might laugh, but when I sit out on my porch in the late hours of the night or early morning, just enjoying the peace and quiet of the time, whatever stress and tension I’ve built up during the day seems to evaporate as I feel the cool breezes wash over me, while they sigh in the rustling of the leaves, and the night insects sing their songs of thanksgiving to their Creator.
 
After a short while, I am relaxed and at peace with the world and all therein, and can go to bed calm and contented, regardless of whatever problems might exist. It certainly works therapeutic miracles for me. (smile)
 
And it’s sad that so many of us can’t, or don’t want to embrace the healing aspects of nature. Friends, God made it so beautiful so that we can appreciate, enjoy and use it to our benefit.
 
Anyway, I won’t try to convince you of the beauty and usefulness of nature, for like the same way you came to Jesus, you will have to come to that conclusion…on your own. (smile)
 
Now hear is a little prayer from The One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, that I believe we all can, or need to say. It’s titled ‘Intimate Closeness.’
 
Please pray with me: ‘You promise, dear God That when I draw close to You You will draw close to me. Lord, I give myself to You unreservedly. Teach me more and more Of intimate closeness And fill my heart with You alone. To walk arm-in-arm with You Down every winding path. Seems to me The dearest of all delights.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? Walking arm-in arm with Jesus, any and everywhere is certainly the greatest delight we can enjoy on this earth!
 
And if you don’t believe that, I’m sorry for you, because you don’t know what you’re missing. That’s because with Him beside, inside and around you, there’s no power on earth, in hell or in heaven can touch you! Glory Hallelujah!
 
And the scripture verse for that prayer was the first part of James 4:8; ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and He will draw near to you.’ However we will use the entire verse as our Bit for today. ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.’
 
Ah Friends, so many of us in this ungodly world desperately need to do those acts of contrition, that it borders on a worldwide tragedy. No, it doesn’t border nuh, it is a worldwide tragedy! That’s why there’s so much hate and evil in our world. But when we turn to Jesus we preach peace and LOVE, which is the right foundation for us to build our lives upon.
 
And I like how James continues after our Bit, in the same cleansing and reaching out to God manner. ‘Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:9-10)
 
Oh my people that’s shades of our last Bit. One of the things this generation certainly needs to do is to give up their foolish pride and arrogance, and humble themselves before Almighty God, if they want to ever receive a positive association with Him. That’s an ultimate necessity before we can even consider coming into the Lord’s presence, before His throne.
 
And one of the scriptures associated with our Bit, is one we just recently looked at, but it’s worthwhile looking at again. It’s the warning of the prophet Azariah.
 
‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: And he went out to meet (before) Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr,15:1-2)
 
Yes Friends, that’s no lie! If you sincerely seek the Lord, then you will find Him. But if you forsake Him, then He will do the same to you. Please remember that the Lord doesn’t really need anything from us, but we do need His saving grace and mercy, so the onus is on us to seek His face, not the other way around.
 
And with that thought foremost in our minds, I think we’ll end for today, because the rest of stuff I have to add will make it much too long for our short attention spans. (smile)
 
So please, as we go about today, let’s seriously ponder the state of our relationship with Christ, and let wisdom enter our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, and thus enable us to make the wonderful decision to seek God and revere and worship Him for the rest of our lives, and down through all eternity. Now that is certainly the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
…God desires to have a positive relationship with each and every human being…but He’s not going to force His will on us…we must wisely seek Him and His blessings to forge that relationship…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2015 2 Chronicles 7:14‏‏

2 Chronicles 7:14.  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Well a wonderful Wednesday morning to you readers out there in Scrip-Bit Land! It’s a tad on the chilly side today, as it was yesterday. Ah Lord eh! What is the weather coming to eh? We had a beautiful Victoria Day weekend, then yesterday it suddenly turned cold and windy.

As one Friend told me yesterday evening, ‘you were boasting in the Bit about sitting on your porch last night communing with nature. Let me see if you will do it tonight too.’ (smile)

And Friends, sad to say I didn’t. It was just too so and so cold. But them’s the breaks! And furthermore, the sun is shining, we are alive and kicking and all is right in God’s world! Bless His Holy Name. That’s why we can say, as the psalmist did eons ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)

We might as well my brethren, because the only other alternative is to be sad and miserable, and God gave us the day to be fruitful and multiply, both in terms of children and in His work here on earth. Anyway, we’ve reached the halfway point of the workweek – rather quickly and easily I must say –  (smile) so there’s no turning or looking back now, just straight ahead to the finish line.

And to help us do that, here’s something from Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, on the subject of courage, which we can never get enough of. He claims that courage isn’t a gift, but a decision. And ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the presence of a calling – a dream that pulls you beyond yourself. Hence it is something you can never lose. It is always something that you can choose. So, choose it today!’

And then, in a little poem, he declares: ‘I have it! My fears are going, going, gone! I feel a mysterious, calm, quiet, tranquil assurance rising deep within my being. This remarkable spirit of courage is overpowering me. It is the very presence of God working peace at the core of my invisible soul. Thank You Lord. All my fears are gone. What a relief! Amen.’

Yes my people, courage, like all other good things, comes from Almighty God! It is He who gives us the wherewithal to bear our burdens with chutzpah, and not give up to the fear the enemy tries to instill in us. So please, today, let’s be filled with courage, as we endeavour to do God’s work and be fruitful.

And we will need plenty of courage if we are to fulfill the words of our Bit, especially with the power of the unbeliever in today’s world, and his determined purpose to remove all aspects of God from our society. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’

Ah mih breddren, what a most worthy promise! One that should allay all our fears. But even if we’re still fearful, we can do like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Do it afraid.’  We just can’t afford to let fear hold us back in these very difficult and trying times.

And we can punctuate that with these encouraging and uplifting words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) And that’s the absolute truth Friends, so please let’s not give into the fear mongering of this evil world, for the power that’s within us, the Holy Spirit, is greater than that which is in the world.

And all of God’s people gave out a loud shout of, ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’

Now let’s turn to some scripture that pertains to the first of the four things in our Bit, that we need to do to turn back to God, so that He can heal us and our land. That’s ‘humble themselves.’

Oh Friends, one of the things our God thoroughly dislikes is pride. As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs 8: ‘The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (perverse) mouth do I hate.’ (Prov.8:13)  And in Proverbs 1.17, he mentions ‘a proud look (haughty eyes)’ as one of the seven things that are an abomination to our God.

So Friends, it’s obvious that we can’t come before our heavenly father in pride and arrogance, for He will just ignore us, possibly just have us thrown out from His presence. (smile) Now hear how He rewards humility.

Way back when, in the days of the apostasy of Rehoboam, king of Judah, Shishak, the king of Egypt, came to fight against Jerusalem with a mighty army. And he captured several cities of Judah before he came to Jerusalem.

‘Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore I also left you in the hand of Shishak. Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous.

And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be his servants; that they may know my service (distinguish my service from) the service of the kingdoms of the countries.’ (2 Chr.12:5-8)

Yuh see Friends, even though God provided them with some relief for their humility, they still had to pay a price for their earlier pride and arrogance. And I wonder why our world is in so much turmoil eh? Could it be partly because of our pride and arrogance and turning away from the ways of God?

You can bet your bottom dollar that our intransigence plays a big part in the disastrous state of our world my people!

And we shall close with one of the most notable scriptures on the subject. This from James: ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:10)

Oh my people, my people, there is no better advice to be had than that! So please, let’s just grab it and run with it nuh, so that our world, our children, will stand a much better chance of life and prosperity than we now do. That’s wisdom and common sense at the zenith! Much LOVE!

…humility…it is the first…and most important requirement…for gaining entrance to the Lord’s presence…