Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2018 Isaiah 1:19.

Isaiah 1:19.   If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of the work week… And we’re getting a li’l bit earlier everyday with the Bit. (smile) Hope within the next few days we’ll be back to an early morning Bit. And when are we going to dance the Maypole eh people? Wonder if some of the young people even know what that is. 

It’s a celebration for the month of May. You have a tall decorated flagpole with long ribbon streamers attached at the top, and then everybody takes a ribbon and dances around it to form an intricate pattern all the way down the pole. I remember going to May fairs as a boy in High School, but usually thinking myself too macho to dance the maypole. That was something for girls. 

Now here is a li’l something from Matt Chandler, lead Pastor of the Village Church, a Southern Baptist Church in Texas. He tells us that ‘God is awesome. He doesn’t need us to be awesome. He needs us to be obedient.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? 

All our magnanimous and magnificent God really wants from us is obedience to His law. If we’d only practice greater obedience, we’d be surprised at how blessed we’d truly be. But we insist on choosing our own areas of obedience. However my brethren, our God wants total obedience from His people. Not some obedience here, and some obedience there, like a hodgepodge of obedience and disobedience. 

And friends, the Lord made His intentions clear a long time ago to the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah in our Bit. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.’ That’s fairly simple and straightforward eh my fellow believers. 

And the corollary to that is the next verse: ‘But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:20) And it’s not like the Israelites, who were found to be disobedient several times did not suffer by the sword and all kinds of pestilence. 

I don’t know why we think that the Lord isn’t going to keep His word. He kept it with the Israelites and He’s going to keep it with us too, as our disobedience level is riding sky high. Can’t we see all the unusual things that are happening in our society? And even though we’re the most advanced civilization ever, we’re still flailing along in a mire of poverty, sickness, greed and poor relationships. 

A lot of our trouble stems from our disobedience. The Lord is not going to allow us to continue the way we’re currently going forever, so we need to smarten up as soon as possible, if we want to get out of the quicksand that we’re slowly drowning in. 

Now let’s look at some important scriptures that tell us about obedience. And we’ll begin at the beginning, with the words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom.5:19). 

Yeh friends, by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, sin flooded the world, likewise by the sacrificial death of Jesus, on the cross at Calvary, grace, salvation, and eternal life were provided by our Lord to overcome the bondage of sin. 

And more words from Bruh Paul, this time to the Philippian church, pertaining to Jesus. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:9) 

Oh my people, there’s no better example of obedience than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  Though He was God Himself, once He took the form of man, He didn’t try to boost His ego or importance here on earth, but gave total obedience to His heavenly father. Even when He tried to get out of going to the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane, He finally gave in and said, ‘not my will, but thine,’ acknowledging the Father’s supremacy. 

As Hebrews tells us: ‘Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb.5:8-10) Yeh people, Jesus learned obedience just like all of us do, through suffering, through adversity and trials. That’s the only way to learn it. And that’s why the Father elevated him to the highest position there is; the one to whom all knees will bow, and all voices will cry Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Now listen to this last scripture from Peter 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; 

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.2:13-16) 

I can’t say anything more friends, except to lead us in our declaration of our Wednesday Wail, which tells the world our strong and obedient position in Christ. 

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 we can’t even imagine how glorious that future will be, because our minds are too small and finite! Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 November 2016 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t another Sunday, another Sabbath Day! That means it’s also time for praise, worship, fellowship, thanksgiving, rejuvenation of spirit and encouragement in the Lord’s house! So without any preamble, let’s get into some worship, raising our voices and our hearts in sincere song to heaven with this 19th century hymn by Sarah F. Adams. 

‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.  (Refrain) Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! – Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) 

Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain) There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. (Refrain 2).’ 

What a song of hope and faith my brethren! Regardless of our circumstances, our most prominent thought is to draw close to our wonderful God. And that’s really wisdom of the highest order, for He is the ONLY One who can make everything right from every and anything wrong. 

Oh, and before I forget, let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s Bit. I gave the scripture passage for my favourite phrase, ‘prisoners of hope’ as Zechariah 12:2, when it should have been 9:12.  Don’t know where my mind was nuh. It must have been lost in the prison of hope. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit now, the same one as yesterday: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And we all know that there’s plenty truth in that statement, because all of us have experienced situations where our hope was non-existent, or at a pretty low level, and consequently, our emotional state became very negative. However, once our hope returned, our emotions became positive again. 

Now it’s time to get into some scriptures which show the importance of hope in our lives. But before we do that here is an interesting parochial, or patois quote on the subject from my Trini friend. 

Trini Quote Of De Day. ‘De longest rope have ah end.’ Generally said to someone who is going through rough times, letting them know that bad conditions must come to an end.’ 

In other words, have hope, this too will pass, things will get better. And they say our old people weren’t wise… Chuh! Foolishness that! (smile)  

And my Trini friend concludes his message by saying: ‘Have a GREAT day, every DAY!!!! Watch your thoughts: They become words Watch your words: They become actions Watch your actions: They become habits Watch your habits: They become your character.’ 

Gospel truth my fellow believers! We need to watch those things very closely, beginning with our thoughts, for as a man thinks, so is he. 

And the first scripture we are going to check out on hope is Bruh Paul’s famous words to the church at Rome. At the end of his lecture on Life in the Spirit, he tells them: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Yeh friends, what’s the use in hoping for something we can see eh? Hope is only alive and involved when we can’t see what we want. And then, we ought to wait patiently and eagerly for it. 

Now listen to Peter 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 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. neophontes): 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.’ 

And Jeremiah puts it beautifully in his Lamentations. ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Those are indeed words to live by my fellow believers! 

And the scholars say this about that verse. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have experienced great grief of soul (Hab.2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’  

Oh friends, there’s an interesting exercise for you all; checking out those scriptures!  It will only take a few minutes, and will be to your benefit. You’ll discover that some of them you already know. I checked them all, and they are indeed very valuable, a veritable treasure trove to a believer. 

Now let’s end with this simple but wonderful exhortation of Bruh Paul’s to the Romans, as he tells them about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Rejoicing in hope…’ (Rom.12:12a) Simple, but to the point precious people of God. So let’s go out today and see if we can’t put that into action nuh. Rejoicing in hope will surely boost and brighten our day. Much LOVE!

…it’s only hope… that allows us to contemplate a better day…