Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2019 Isaiah 40:11.

Isaiah 40:11.    ​He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
 

Good news people! Today’s Tuesday! Wow! That means the frustrating and oftimes emotionally negative day called Monday is past and gone, now confined to the dustbin of history, and we can therefore move on without any fear or anxiety about it…at least for another week! (smile) Yeh, a brand new day on God’s great earth has blossomed, for which we ought to be eternally grateful. 

Now here is this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that highlights some of our problems, but then shows us the answer to them all. It is appropriately titled: ‘I Keep Running Back to You.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘You know how it is with me, Lord: So often I mess up my days. I judge harshly I am critical and obstinate I waste time and energy I blame others for my failure. There are people I try to avoid And tasks I try to evade And when I can’t have my own way I sulk in my own little corner. Lord, I even turn my back on You To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

Then finally I get fed up with myself. The intolerable loneliness frightens me And I can no longer endure my shame. It always happens, Lord – I keep running back to You! Where else can I go? Who else understands me so well Or forgives me so totally? Who else can save me from foolish pride? No one, Lord, but You. So thank You for accepting me For LOVING me For always welcoming me. I just can’t help it, Lord I keep running back to You!’ 

And my fellow believers that’s just wisdom at it’s highest level! For there’s NO ONE like our great, merciful and LOVING God, who is willing to accept us just as we are! And He’s even happier than us when we come running back to Him, because remember His ultimate desire is that He loses not a SINGLE ONE of His most precious creation to the evil and satanic realm! 

That’s why Isaiah proclaimed in his writings these wonderful words of hope and encouragement: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ Mama Mia! How can you not want to be a child of Almighty God with such awesome promises being made eh? 

And furthermore, we know that the Lord never breaks any of His promises, He keeps every single one, which means that offer of shepherd-like care and LOVE are not just empty words, but a most generous enticement and welcome to His wonderful fold! And there are so many scriptures that portray our great God as a wonderful and caring shepherd that today I just want to share a few of them. 

And we all know the most popular one; those remarkable words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ (Ps.23:1) Oh friends, those few, simple but endearing and enduring words say it all! With God being our shepherd we’ll never want for any good thing! 

And Jeremiah joyfully declares: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles (ends, lands) afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.’ (Jer.31:10-11) 

Ah mih people, although the Lord punished Israel for their abominable sins, His LOVE for them was so great, He promised to gather the remnant and bring them back to their homeland and treat them like a caring shepherd. What other supposed God is so magnanimous eh? NONE but ours! 

Meanwhile Ezekiel confirms: ‘Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle (sheep) and cattle (sheep). And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.’ (Ezek.34:22-24) 

And lest you think that that’s all Old Testament stuff, hear the realization of all those promises from the One and Only, Jesus Christ Himself, as He rightly and righteously proclaims: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) And so He did my brethren! And so He selflessly and sacrificially did! 

And as He further declares: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:14-16) 

Yes friends, that’s us, Gentiles, non-Jews, that Jesus is referring to there! Please note He didn’t forget about us, but very much included us in His all-encompassing flock!  One flock, and One shepherd! That’s all that’s needed when our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is so great and wonderful! Are you hearing His voice today people? Are you heeding His shepherd’s call? I certainly hope so, since your eternal destiny depends totally on it! End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (wow!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the entire world know who and whose we are. In strong and sincere voice now: ‘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 if we’re truly sincere, then let’s go out and share that awesome and amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others who don’t know it nuh. That’s our bounden duty and Great Commission! Much LOVE!

…if you’re a sheep…then you need a shepherd…and the best there is…His name is Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2015 John 10:14

John 10:14      I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

Well here it is again Friends, the first and most important day of the new week; Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, or day of rest, fellowship and family togetherness! And it’s the most important day because it sets the tone and tenor for the remainder of the week. How you set up and use your Sundays, usually determines how your Monday to Saturday will go. That means we have to pay particular attention to what we do on Sunday, if we want to have a focused, persevering, prosperous and godly week.

 
So let’s begin by going out to church today nuh, joining in worship and praise, adoration, devotion, gratitude and thanksgiving! That will warm the cockles of God’s heart, as well as open up our souls and spirits to His awesome wonder and LOVING-kindness! It’s what we call, in today’s parlance, a win – win situation.
 
And talking of win- win situations, the best one ever is when Jesus gave His life for us, in atonement for our sins. Some might consider us the big winner in that relationship, but Jesus also won because for His obedience, He was exalted by the Father with a name above all others, as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the One to whom all knees will eventually bow, and all tongues confess that He is Lord indeed, to the glory of the Father. (Phil.2:9-11)
 
That brings us to our Bit, the same as the last couple of days:  ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’
 
Oh what a most encouraging statement my people! We all know the LOVE and care that a shepherd shows for His flock, so if Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, claims to be our shepherd, how can we brook any argument about it eh? We’d be worse than foolish to deny Him that right, and ourselves, His tender LOVING care!
 
Unfortunately though, a lot of us unwisely do just that, and if we don’t wake up soon and realize our terrible mistake, we will eventually face death, eternal damnation and everlasting separation from our heavenly Father. And let me tell you my brethren, that is the worse fate a human being can ever suffer!
 
Now listen to Jesus as He continues His discourse on the topic, after our Bit. ‘As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (Matt.10:15-16)
 
Oh what a glorious day that was Friends, when Jesus united His two folds, the Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) which includes you and I! His sacrificial, substitutionary death on our behalf fulfilled that promise! And again I ask, why would I, being of sound mind and reason, turn away from Jesus wonderful invitation to come to Him and lay down my heavy burdens, and refuse to be brought under His easy yoke, to bear His light burden? (Matt.11:28 -30)
 
In light of all that we’ve said and know for a fact, that certainly doesn’t make sense to me. And I just adore these next verses where Jesus expounds on His authority, obedience and closeness to the Father. ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ (Matt.10:17-18)
 
Oh Glory Hallelujah! Yuh see my fellow believers, that close and beautiful relationship that Jesus has with the Father, is the same kind that we can have with Jesus, and by extension, with the Father too. Wow! So why ‘dis’ Jesus eh, and refuse His LOVING entreaties? That’s nothing but a fool’s wisdom!
 
Now hear this explanation from the scholars, re those last two verses: ’10:17-18. Jesus does more than predict His crucifixion and resurrection. He also shows that He has the power to lay down His life and take it up again, once more asserting His deity.’
 
So all those people who believe that Jesus was just a push over for the faithless Jews and cruel, arrogant Romans who crucified Him are totally wrong! In fact, that was the singular purpose for which He came to earth in human form: to die so that we might live!
 
As He said to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane when the Roman soldiers came to arrest Him. ‘Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me (provide me with) more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?’ (Matt.26:53-54)
 
If he hadn’t fulfilled the Father’s plan, then we’d still be lost and gone astray, facing death and eternal separation from our Creator. And though it hurts, breaks my heart, to know the pain He bore on our behalf, I’m glad that He was true to His purpose. Now if only we, His followers could be true to ours… what a wonderful world this would be!
 
And do we ever need a whole lot of improvement in our troubled and diseased world my brethren! That’s the task that Jesus has set before us – live a life that causes the unbeliever to turn to Him in repentance and conviction, so that they can receive His free offer of salvation and eternal life.
 
So Friends, are we going to get real serious and sincere about that task this new year and do our best to further Jesus’ LOVE Revolution?  I certainly hope so, because if we don’t, our beautiful world will just keep falling further and further into the depths of hell, until there’s no turning back. And what will that do to our children and their children eh? I leave that for each of us to ponder on, then hopefully do the right thing to correct the woeful situation in which our world is floundering right now.
 
Remember Friends, Jesus is depending on us to help alleviate the sad state of confusion and evil that’s currently reigning. Please, I implore us, to take up the gauntlet and fight the good fight to the death. That’s what a good and true soldier in Christ’s army is expected to do. Much LOVE!
 
…our bounden duty here on earth…is to live a life worthy of Jesus…so that others may see it…and come to faith in Him…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 January 2015 John 10:14

John 10:14.  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

Yes Friends, that day for which we’ve all been so eagerly longing and waiting for has finally arrived. It’s Friday…

And the working people all over the world are joyfully shouting out: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday oui! No more labouring after today, for two whole big days! Imagine that nuh! Glory Hallelujah!’ 
 
Ah mih people, it’s certainly amusing, though possibly unhealthy too, the way we look forward to Friday, even before we begin work on Monday. Hn! I don’t know what it says about this new society, where the work ethic is definitely not as strong as it used to be. But we sure look forward to our Fridays and the start of the weekend!
 
I suppose there’s nothing wrong with looking forward to a couple days off, after working for five straight, but it’s just the intensity with which we do it, and which most likely detracts from our work efforts during the remainder of the week.
 
But be that as it may, let’s spend a minute or two, trying to get the right perspective on how we should use the weekend. As one big voice now, let’s chant our Friday Chant. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Good chanting Friends! And hopefully that will curtail some of our more extreme desires and plans, (smile) and have us remembering the God factor involved, more than we had originally thought or planned.
 
And oh my brethren, remembering the God factor in our lives is such an important thing… in fact it is the most important aspect of our earthly lives, for without it we’d simply be lost, gone astray, like the proverbial sheep without a shepherd.
 
That’s why I believe today is a very good day to remember that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour as well as our Good Shepherd. He saved us from death and eternal damnation by sacrificing His innocent and holy life, then He took on the job of guiding us through this confused, troubled, mish-mash earthly journey.
 
Listen to Him as he boldly proclaims that fact in our Bit. ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.’
 
Oh what a glorious day it was my people, when the Lord God Almighty gave us His only Son to be our Saviour and our Guide!
 
And all God’s children gratefully declared: ‘Thank You heavenly Father for giving us Jesus to be our be all and end all, our everything! There’s none other like Him! He is indeed the GREATEST! And we promise to be obedient to all His dictates, be sincere and fruitful followers of His church, so that we can dwell for evermore with Him in His kingdom.
 
Thank You again Father for Your wonderful Son and His bright, shining light that displaced all the hurting darkness in our lives! We LOVE You Father, we give You much thanks and praise for Your LOVING-kindness, as we glorify You and magnify Your Holy Name! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!’
 
Oh Friends, I have to chuckle here because most of the time I’m writing these prayers, I have to force myself to stop, as words of thanks and praise just seem to flow automatically from my pen. (smile)
 
Anyway, let’s listen to Jesus expound on the role of the shepherd, and how He sees Himself in that role. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold (pen), but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
 
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
 
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable (illustration) spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.’ (John 10:1-6)
 
Yes my people, that’s Jesus’ view of the role of the shepherd in the lives of the sheep. Now here are some explanations from the scholars.
 
’10:1. Door is the one who stood in the opening of the (stone) fold. The thieves and robbers were the Pharisees.’ In olden times a sheep pen was made with one opening, where the shepherd or someone stood to guard sheep going out or intruders coming in.’
 
’10:3. Sheep know only their own shepherd’s voice. In the Near East several flocks belonging to different shepherds may be in one fold (a fenced area). But only a shepherd’s own sheep will follow him out of the fold. Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’
 
Oh my fellow believers in Christ, what a most illustrative and very appropriate statement that is! ‘Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’
 
That’s why we are considered sheep and not some other animal! We have to be led, otherwise like dumb sheep, we’d just wander aimlessly every which way, get lost, get in trouble and be captured by the evil and ungodly predators of this dangerous and disgusting world.
 
Please remember that my people. We cannot lead ourselves, that would be like Jesus said of the Pharisees. ‘Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt.15:14)
 
And with those wise words of our Lord, our Saviour, our Guide and our God, we’ll end today. Enjoy the day Friends, because that’s why the Lord gave it to us. But on the other hand, please don’t abuse it, for there will be serious consequences to pay, if you do. Much LOVE!
 
…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) is wont to say…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…that’s the power of earthly living…