Today’s Scrip-Bit   16 November 2021 Isaiah 45:5a.

Isaiah 45:5a.     I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:

Ah friends, it’s a pleasure to be with you all this bright and shiny but chilly Tuesday morning. Sorry that I’m only now getting to you, although I’ve been up for over an hour, but I had household chores to do that required doing asap. That’s putting out the garbage, the easy part, but before that picking up the humongous pile of leaves sitting in the driveway outside my side door and bagging them, for at least the third time this week, so that the garbage truck could take it away later on. 

It’s a thorn in my side (smile) that the Lord’s given me for the last thirty odd years that I’ve lived here. Unfortunately, for me, the way the houses are built, it creates a whirlwind in my driveway, right outside my side door, so every fall the leaves blow from all over and congregate in my driveway, and so does the snow. You look outside, and all the neighbours’ driveways are spotless, but mine is either filled with leaves or snow. 

In my more youthful years, it wasn’t a major problem, but now with the onset of age and all its aches and pains, it’s become a pain in the butt and back, both literally and figuratively. (smile) But I guess them’s the breaks. You win some, you lose some, and you just have to grin and bear it. So now that’ I’ve emptied my spleen, (smile) let’s see what the Lord wants us to talk about today. 

And it seems that it’s a very timely reminder, as the Good Book just opened on this most important scripture, where the Lord is giving a charge to the Persian king Cyrus. And yes, He often used the heathen or pagan kings for His purposes. This is a portion of what He said to Cyrus, through the prophet Isaiah. 

‘For Jacob, my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by name; I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting in the west), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:4-7) 

Yes friends, the Lord was going to use Cyrus to liberate His people Israel from exile in Babylon, and that message through Isaiah was a means of reassuring them that their God, He of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was still on the throne and still had their best interest at heart. And that’s the same message He’s sending to us today my faithful brethren: Our God is still on the throne, still controlling things, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand advocating on our behalf! 

And since He doesn’t change, it means, He still has our best interest at heart, He still has plans to give us a future and a hope, but we need to come to Him and make things right. The sinfulness, the depravity, the ungodliness, the move to drive him out of our society is not sitting right with Him. And how can we expect anything else eh, when we defame, blaspheme and turn away from a most holy, righteous and just God? 

How do you think He feels when we refuse to acknowledge His Son as the Saviour of the world, as the King of kings, the Lord of Lords and the Prince of Peace, amongst His many other titles? He must feel UNLOVED, hard done by, not wanted or needed, like all of us would feel, and do feel, when we are rejected by our fellow human beings. 

But please remember this most salient fact; there is no God beside Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, or whatever you choose to call Him. And remember too His words to Cyrus: ‘I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ That means He has control over everything and every situation in our frail and finite lives, because He is our Creator and Controller. 

Oh yes, he’s given us free will, but that’s only to a certain extent. In the long run, He’s still the BOSS, and can do exactly as He pleases without any input from us. And until we understand that, we will always live fearful and anxious, with a shadow of calamity hanging over our heads. 

But let’s clear up one situation here. The scholars explain that ‘The phrase I…create evil. (in verse 7 above) refers to physical evil or calamity, rather than moral evil. God is in no way pictured in Scripture as the author of sin.’ So, let’s get that straight once and for all: God doesn’t deal in sin, but He does cause calamity to overtake us because of or sin! 

And yuh know what friends, all I’m trying to point out here is the power and sovereignty of Almighty God. If he is Creator and controller of ALL things, then why are we so foolishly trying to fight Him, to have our own way, when we can’t even handle our everyday lives properly. That’s why Moses in his psalm prayed to the Lord. ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps. 90:12) 

And do we ever need hearts of majestic and godly wisdom in these turbulent and oh so dangerous times my people! It’s the lack of wisdom that’s catapulted us into the terrible times we are now experiencing. But friends, we know that once there’s life, there’s hope. And you ask, what’s hope, or what does it have to do with anything? Well hope is believing that good things are possible, then sincerely working towards those good things. 

And I just LOVE how Joshua Ryan Butler described hope in an article titled ‘Prisoners of Hope.’ He writes: ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks in from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now – an explosion of life into a world marked by death. It changes everything!’ 

That’s the gospel truth my fellow saints. Jesus’ arrival marked the beginning of hope, the beginning of life in this world marked by death. And that’s what we ALL need to work towards – the choosing of life over death. Thus crushing the enemy, who desires a world continually marked by death. So though our world is in tumult, please, please, let’s not give up hope. Remember Jesus is still with us in ALL we do, and He will help us overcome each and every situation we face. So, we need to keep on fighting the good fight in His name, more than ever right now! 

And for those of us who are sincerely doing that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are, to whom we gladly and joyfully belong. As one strong and grateful voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And having said that, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to trust and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…God is calling out to us through our calamities…but unfortunately…we are not listening to Him…and until we do… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2021 Hebrews 13:8.

Hebrews 13:8.     ​Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

Ah mih people, the days just keep rolling along, from one to the other, without any apparent recognition of mankind’s many problems. Some things change, while others remain the same, but throughout it all, we still need to deal with all sorts of controversial situations and upheavals, not knowing what will happen from one day to the next. But those ole days don’t seem to care at all, they just keep doing their thing; running changelessly into each other, detailing weeks, months, seasons, years, and even centuries. 

But fortunately for us, there’s been ONE Being, that’s remained constant over the many topsy-turvy days of mankind, that’s our Creator: Almighty God. Yes friends, He’s been there from the very beginning…and wonder of wonders, He’ll be there right to the very end! And why is that eh? Because as He says in His word, He is unchangeable, immovable, immutable, irreplaceable, the ONLY Living God! So let’s hear some scripture that will remind us of our God’s omnipotence, omniscience, omni-presence, steadfastness, unchangeability and immutability. 

And we’ll begin with His message to Cyrus the pagan king, through the prophet Isaiah. ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things.’ (Is. 45:5-7) And yes, the Lord does create physical evil or calamity, not moral evil or sin. And yes, the Lord did use pagan kings, like Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar as conduits to fulfill His eventual will. 

Moving on, we come to Malachi, where through that prophet, the Lord confronts His people Israel about turning away from Him and their lack paying tithes. He says: ‘For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?’ (Mal. 3:6-8) 

Oh friends, that’s the exact thing the Lord is saying to us today, and the very same answer we are giving Him. We have turned away from Him, and instead of returning to Him like He desires, we are trying to turf Him and His ordinances out of our society. So what can we expect but calamity eh? 

Now listen to the author of Hebrews, as he talks of service well pleasing to God. ‘Remember them which have the rule over you (who lead you), who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end (outcome) of their conversation (conduct). Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers (various) and strange doctrines (teachings). For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats (foods), which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.’ (Heb. 13:7-9) 

But do you think we have followed, or are following that directive? Oh no sir! Instead, we are being led away by a whole set of strange teachings and proceedings that don’t profit those who practice them. Steups! How sad it is my people! And then we wonder why our world is in such a mess. 

So, let’s now consider James words on the subject. ‘Do not err (be deceived) my brethren. For every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variations, unexpected, unforeseen changes), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:16-18) 

Oh my people, our God created everything that exists, and mankind as the jewel of His creations, that’s why He so desires to redeem us all, and not lose any to the enemy. And he gave us His holy word that we should walk in it. But being the disobedient, stubborn, hard-headed creatures we are, we have refused to do so, with disastrous consequences to our ungodly actions. 

Now here is the last scripture from John the Revelator, from the mouth of Jesus Himself. ‘And behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.’ (Rev. 22:12-13) All I can now say friends is that wisdom dictates that we return to the waiting arms of our Creator. And if you agree, then please join me in offering up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in heartfelt prayer. 

As one sincere and humble voice now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now let us go and keep our solemn vows to our wonderful, forgiving and LOVING God! Much LOVE!

…God is the ONLY thing in this universe that has NOT changed…and will NEVER change…whether you believe it or not is immaterial… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8