Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2015 Psalm 42:5

Psalm 42:5.  Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).

And then it was Sunday… the day Christians pray for, so that they can gather in the Lord’s sanctuary and praise and worship Him in all sincerity and truth. Yes Friends, it’s time to get ourselves hither to church. 

The Lord’s waiting for His children to come together to give Him thanks and praise, hear His Word and rejuvenate their spirits, so that they can have the wherewithal to continue walking in His Son’s name on this disgusting and wicked earth.  

So please don’t make any feeble excuses. And if you’re genuinely not able to go, then turn on your television or radio so that you can at least hear the Word. 

What did Bruh Paul write to the church at Rome? ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ (Rom.10:17)  Yes my people, faith comes by hearing the word of God; its oral communication. When we hear God’s Word then our faith is raised up, it is strengthened. And we all need to raise our faith this Sunday morning, that’s a fact! 

And we’ll get right into our Bit, because we have a lot of scriptures to share today. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ 

Oh my fellow believers, I know some of you are tired of the same Bit for the last few days, you want to hear something new every day. (smile) But that HOPE it talks about is such an important part of our walk with Jesus that we need to have it written indelibly in our souls, so that we can call upon it at a moment’s notice. 

It needs to come as a natural reaction, not something we have to stop and think about. And the only way that can happen is by constant repetition. So please bear with me, for it’s all for our own good. 

And the first bit of scripture comes from Psalm 16, where Bruh David is seeking preservation and blessing. With his usual self-effacing but confident style, he declares: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9)  

Oh what encouraging words of scripture my brethren! When we put our trust in God, we feel safe and strong, and our hearts become glad, which leads us to have oodles of hope, which eventually turns into strong faith! 

And all of God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!’ 

Now listen to these verses from Psalm 119, from the section SAMECH – I hate vain thoughts. ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (will observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps.119:116-117) 

More of the same sentiments Friends! When we put out hope and trust in God, He upholds us. And yuh better believe one thing our God will not do is let us be ashamed of our hope in Him. Definitely not! He takes too much pride in His faithfulness to allow that to happen. 

Meanwhile Peter tells us in his call to Christian dedication: ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet.1:13) 

And the scholars offer these explanations of that verse. ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Ah Friends, we all need hope, all the time! And I had this passage from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to share from yesterday, never did though. I guess it was meant for today. (smile) And our God works in such mysterious ways that on the days that I chose to focus on hope, so did Gramps Schuller. 

The day’s devotion was titled You Need Hope. And it ended thus: ‘You need hope…when you’re dying. And you need hope in all your living. There will be no LOVE without it. Hope is what will keep your faith alive. That’s why hope is in the middle of the holy trinity of emotions, “Faith, Hope and LOVE.’  

Now that’s indisputable truth my people! We need hope from birth until death! 

And we’ll close the same way the psalmist closed Psalm 42, from which our Bit is taken. ‘Why art thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health (help, lit. salvation) of my countenance, and my God.’ (Ps.42:11) 

Yes Friends, he words it a little differently, but it still means the same thing; in Almighty God is our hope and our help; now and forever! Please never forget that. Much LOVE!

…now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for…the evidence (conviction) of things not seen…  (Heb.11:1)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Greetings and salutations this chilly Thursday morning in mid-May my Friends and neighbours!
 
It’s amusing and surprising how we have gone back to chilly days after such glorious weather last week. It’s only like 6 or 7 degrees Celsius right now, and we’ve had trouble getting up to the mid teens. And when we do, the wind unleashes its fury.
 
But that’s just life in the northern climes, especially in these times of climate change. And talking about climate change, I don’t see how anyone can doubt the fact that it does exist and is causing us a lot of problems. Anyone over thirty ought to be able to see the differences in weather patterns between their early years and now.
 
The weather patterns are definitely not as stable and uncompromising as they used to be. They no longer conform to the standard expectations. But thankfully our faith lies in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, so we don’t have to let the climate change worry us. We do have to be concerned about it, but not to the extent that it affects our thinking and our walk with Jesus.
 
And speaking of conformity and transformation, here is a quote from my March Almanac by Madam de Stael (1766-1817). Her full name was Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein. She was Swiss by birth, but French by persuasion; a woman of letters, who staunchly supported the French Revolution, while criticizing Napoleon.
 
Anyway, Madam de Stael reputedly said that ‘The greatest happiness is to transform one’s feelings into actions.’ Now there is some truth in the statement, but I would like to add the proviso; if it is a godly feeling.
 
Yeh Friends, just look at the sorry and sordid state of our world, made so by the transformation of so many evil and selfish feelings into actions. Now if those feelings had been godly ones in the first place, then they would have provided positive results, not the many negative ones that are now in effect.
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ Oh my brethren, that is the major transformation that ought to take place in our lives!
 
And the scholars add this note. ’12: 2. Be not conformed (lit; “stop conforming yourselves”). They are to resist being poured into the mold of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’
 
Yes my people, it’s time we seriously and sincerely shun the things of this world, for the things of Christ. And the only way to do that successfully is by the renewing of our minds and therefore habits. For the mind is where it all begins and ends.
 
Listen to Peter as he calls for Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
 
As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet.1:13-16)
 
Yes Friends, if we want to be true followers of Christ, we have to give up the lusts of our flesh that reigned therein before we found Jesus and His salvation!
 
And the scholars explain verse 13 thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct.
 
Be sober (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 
 
Oh Friends, I know that transforming our minds is no easy task, especially in these days of worldwide insanity, but if we want to truly follow Jesus, we just have to develop that inner personal discipline it takes to do the job. And don’t worry, it doesn’t happen overnight, plus the Lord will help you accomplish that task if you seriously turn to Him for help.
 
Remember, He will NEVER turn us away if we come to Him in humble supplication – and most definitely not, if we are truly desirous to be like Jesus.
 
And as Peter says: ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.’ (1 Pet.2:1-2)
 
Yes my brethren, transformation to the new man in Jesus is not an overnight sensation, but is a slow, often tedious and tiring project that needs a lot of work and perseverance on our part. Remember too that the world doesn’t want us to become like Jesus, and will put every difficulty possible in our way to stop us from doing so.
 
But just hang in there Friends, they can’t stop you if you don’t want to be stopped. And never forget that He who abides in you, the Holy Spirit, is stronger that the evil powers of the world.
 
So let’s just walk in the LOVE, the goodness, the strength and perseverance of Christ today, for that is the wisdom of the age. Much LOVE!
 
…to walk successfully with Christ…takes a lot of wisdom…plenty manly parts…and overwhelming belly and backbone…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2015 Psalm 22:9 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 22:9.      But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.

Aye Friends welcome to this turbulent, tempestuous Thursday morning, the last day of April! It was just one of those nights. I don’t understand it myself. I went to bed a few minutes later than usual, but also got up several times during the night and couldn’t go back to sleep, couldn’t find a comfortable spot to set my aching body so that that beautiful elixir sleep could overtake it.

I guess many of you old-timers experience that at one time or the other. But it’s definitely frustrating, especially when you fall asleep at the time to get up. But you know what Friends?

It’s all a part of living this earthly life. And when you have that marvelous Saviour of ours, Jesus, walking with you, you can afford to grin and bear it, because you know that He knows what you’re going through, since He went through some serious pain and torment Himself, and that eventually He will work everything out for your good.

Glory to God, my people!

And as an adjunct to that, listen to this quote attributed to Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959), the screen and theatre actress, member of the prominent American Barrymore family of actors, whose distinctive style made her the ‘first lady’ of the American theatre. Ethel is reputed to have said: ‘You grow up the day you have the first real laugh – at yourself.’

And isn’t that the truth my brethren! Until we learn to laugh at ourselves, our mistakes, our troubles and our good times, we’ll never conquer the internal muse that tends to lead us to sadness and heartache and complaining whenever things don’t go our way.

As my One Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness reminds us: ‘It takes fewer muscles to laugh than to cry. We’ll breathe easier and deeper, and we’ll be much more content when we laugh… for laughter helps us to put things into perspective. It lends HOPE and meaning to life.’ 

And that’s the absolute truth Friends! But there are some things that we just can’t laugh at, like the destructive and disastrous state of our world. In the past couple weeks we’ve had hundreds of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean ocean, heading for the perceived balmy shores of Europe, in search of a better life than the calamitous one they had left behind.

Then there was the sudden eruption of a dormant volcano in Chile, combined with riots in Baltimore and a devastating earthquake in Nepal. Hn! And that doesn’t take into account the numerous wars and rumours of war, the seemingly never-ending strife that’s going on all over God’s beautiful planet.

Ah Lord eh! What a mess we’ve made of this wonderful Earth! But Friends, as we keep saying, while there is life, there is always HOPE!

That’s because our Creator has instilled that wonderful emotion in us from day one, as declared by Bruh David in our Bit. ‘But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.’

Yes my people, our great God knew the plans, the good future He had in store for us, so He made us with that little something termed HOPE, which causes us never to give up, never to simply lie down and die when times get rough, but to always have a spark of fire, like a pilot light going in our souls.

Now that’s a very good description of HOPE there my Friends, never thought of it before. But a pilot light never goes out, it just keeps burning quietly in the background; always ready to burst into flame when it’s needed. That’s the way HOPE operates in our souls; always there ready to burst into positive action, even though the surrounding circumstances might indicate differently.

So Friends, I’m here grinning like a Cheshire cat, because to muddy the waters even more, my allergies seem to have chosen this particular time to act up. There’s been a steady stream of sneezing and blowing for the last few minutes. But I’m practicing what I preach; I’m just grinning and bearing it all, because I know that all those things will eventually pass, fade away! All praise and glory to God!

Now let’s see what the scriptures have in store for us today, re that invigorating and renewing feeling called HOPE. And what better way to start than with these encouraging words of the psalmist, as he prays for help in old age.

‘But I will HOPE continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall show forth (proclaim) thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers (limits) thereof.’ (Ps.71:14-15)

Yes Friends, that’s exactly how believers are expected to behave; always HOPING, and always proclaiming God’s righteousness!

Now listen to Peter, the rock, in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and HOPE to the end for the grace (rest your HOPE fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet.1:13)

What marvellous advice my people!

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s HOPE involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up his kingdom.’

Now Friends, it’s time for us to ponder all that we’ve heard this morning, to digest it, then act wisely on it all. That’s the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…gird up the loins of your mind…then spring into action…it’s the Jesus way…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2014 Leviticus 19:1-2

Leviticus 19:1-2.   And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.

Oh Friends and fellow believers, how does it grab you eh – rainy days and Wednesdays? (smile) I certainly hope it doesn’t have us feeling like the old Gordon Lightfoot song, which says: ‘Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.’

 

Why you ask? Well because as Christ’s representatives, His ambassadors here on earth, we’re called on to have a pleasant, positive disposition most of the time. Anything less will simply not venerate Jesus and make others want to come to Him for the wonderful comfort and succour He has to offer.

 

And that’s basically our major purpose – LOVING our God, sincerely LIVING our Faith, and SPREADING His Word!

 

Now yesterday was a mostly rainy day in my neck of the woods, and so it seems today will also be. But my people, the good news is that though we might not be able to see the sun, we can be positively assured that it’s up there, shining brightly, somewhere above those dark, dreary clouds, because like the Son, Jesus, its Creator, the Sun ALWAYS RISES!

 

That means, once we have Jesus in our hearts, it is ALWAYS possible for our emotions and spirits to rise above whatever is coming against us and trying to keep us down, down in the negative depths of sin and despair.

 

So please my brethren, regardless of it’s raining cats and dogs in your area, like it is in mine, or the evil villain Lucifer is trying to drag you down to his below ground level, please don’t fear; don’t be afraid or anxious for anything, just look to Jesus, tell Him your problems, and sincerely ask for His help, and He will faithfully render it, because that’s what he promised to do.

 

And if it’s one thing ALL believers know, or ought to know, is that our great Triune God is ever faithful, ALWAYS keeps His promises!

 

So, please, let’s be like the birds, which never stop singing God’s praises, be it rain or shine, regardless of their personal situations, be their problems small or large. And the perfect example of that is I heard them outside my window earlier on, lifting their sweet voices to heaven in high praise, though their feathers and bodies were soaked with rain.

 

And all God’s children gave a grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’

 

So now that we’ve finished rambling through the preamble, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit: ‘And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.’

 

And the first question is did you do your homework? Did you check out the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, to see if what the Jewish scholars say is true; that Chapter 19 of Leviticus embraces, or recapitulates all of the Ten Commandments amongst its diverse verses?

 

Ah mih people, you don’t have to answer that question because I know the answer for a majority of you is a big, fat NO! Just for the records though, I did, and found it be very true.

 

Anyway, in this last message on the holiness of God, and therefore our own holiness, let’s look at a couple of scriptures that declare its necessity. First off is the Lord’s admonition to the children of Israel earlier on in Leviticus, re clean and unclean animals.

 

‘Ye shall not make yourselves (your souls) abominable (impure) with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.

 

For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.’ (Lev.11:43-45)

 

Ah mih breddren, as usual our God is plain and straightforward! There’s nothing there hard to understand, and He tells us the same thing several times during those three verses, so at some point it ought to sink into our stubborn, hard-headed consciousness.

 

Now listen to Peter on the call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind  (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for the grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

 

As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet.1:13-16)

 

Yes Friends, all of that still applies to us today, though sadly we are not living it out in the world, otherwise the world would not be so evil and ungodly!

 

Now here is some info from the scholars on verse 13, which I hope will empower and embolden us to start or keep on being holy, holy as we ought to.

 

‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’

 

Ah mih people, I know that to live a holy life for Christ takes a lot of discipline and self-control, in other words, great discipleship. However those are things that are not very easy to come by in this undisciplined and anything goes modern world.

 

But if we truly want to live our lives for Jesus, and in the way that He desires, then we have to put our best foot forward and make the sacrifice(s) that are necessary to fulfill our calling.

 

And please remember two things here: The Lord will never give us more than we can bear, and if we sincerely cry out to Him for help, He will gladly help us. That means there’s no reason for us to fall down on the job, unless we choose to do so.

 

Now let’s end, as I LOVE to do whenever possible, with a word from Jesus. ‘Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’ (Luke 6:36)

 

Oh Friends, just one more wonderful aspect of our heavenly Father which we need to adopt! So without further ado, let’s get to it nuh. Much LOVE!

 

…to walk how Jesus walked…takes much back and belly…but He will give them to us…if we ask in faith…