Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2019 Isaiah 1:3.

Isaiah 1:3.    ​The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.

 

Oh yeah, the sun finally won the battle of the weather titans yesterday! It came out shining brightly in the afternoon, but without any real strength, so there was a resultant chill in the air. And some premonition tells me that this is the time for the big chill to finally begin! (smile) 

There will now be very few warmish days, as autumn gets into full swing. The leaves on the trees are already losing their green colour and turning a rustic brown, yellow and gold. Despite the cold winter months it heralds, autumn is still the most beautiful of all the seasons, colourful like a Carnival Tuesday in T&T! Remember, God invented colour! (smile) 

And the last time I looked, the sun was valiantly trying to peek out of the large cloud cover that hid it from sight. But regardless of what happens, today, or any other day, the Good Book assures us that we can do anything and everything through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who strengthens us. (Phil, 4:13) 

And that’s gospel truth my Christian brethren! Through the LOVE and grace and mercy of Christ, NOTHING is impossible to us, we can handle any situation or circumstance that comes against us with true assurance and courage…if we believe! Now let’s turn to our Saturday programme, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And I had a good chuckle at this first one: ‘It’s better to sit in a bar and think about God, than to sit in a church thinking about beer.’ Now that might sound like blasphemy or some such thing, but it’s really the truth! Wherever you are, it’s always better to think about God, than what your situation might naturally induce you to think about, simply because when we think about God, we’re led to do godly things, even in a house of sin. (smile) 

Listen to this next one: ‘Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.’ Yes that’s what we all need to do. God promises us the best, but in this evil world, the worst is also possible, that means we have to be prepared for anything that comes against us. And we’ve already said that we can handle it with Christ’s help, so there’s no need to worry there, especially since we also are assured that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Is.54:17) Glory to God my faithful brethren!  

That brings us to this similar quote: ‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.’ Ah mih people, in this evil and ungodly world we’re sure of one thing, obstacles! Whatever we do, especially if it’s for God, the enemy will always try to put obstacles and impediments in our way, so that we don’t reach our goals. But then we don’t need to give up or change our goals, but merely change the direction in which we originally planned to meet them. And does it ever feel good when we thwart the enemy, with God’s help of course! 

And the necessary ingredients for doing that are found in this next quote. ‘You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.’ Yes friends, if we try to do anything in this world, some failure is inevitable. As the saying goes, you can’t succeed until you fail. 

But please remember too that failure is not permanent, unless you allow it to be. Most of the successful people in this world have failed on numerous occasions, but they got back up, hopefully with God’s help, and kept pressing on until they were successful. And we all have to do the same thing; don’t let one or two, or even three failures cause us to give up on our godly dreams, but learn from each failure, for each one has lessons to teach us, then get up and keep on fighting the good fight. That’s the only way to really succeed. 

And this last quote is really interesting, something that most of us never really consider. ‘A person can LOVE you and still cheat, just like we LOVE God and still sin.’ Think on that for a moment nuh! So many of us claim to LOVE God, but yet we engage in a lot of sin and think nothing much of it. But let someone who claims to LOVE us go astray, or step out of line slightly, yuh see the big noise we make, the way we carry on as though the world is falling down on us! 

But have we ever considered how God feels when we betray Him? We obviously don’t class our sinful behaviour towards God in the same light as someone’s wrong toward us. We behave as though the latter is ever so important, while we sort of overlook the former, saying or thinking that God will forgive us. But what about us forgiving those who do us wrong eh? That brings us to an interesting and oh so appropriate scripture from Isaiah, where the Lord complains. 

‘Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger or feed trough): but Israel doth not know (understand), my people doth not consider.’ And as it was true of God’s chosen people, Israel, way back then, so is it also true of us in these sinful and ungodly times; we have rebelled against Him after enjoying His goodness and grace and mercy, becoming proud and arrogant, behaving as if we gave ourselves all the good things we have. 

And as the Lord continues: ‘Ah sinful nation, a people laden (weighed down) with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone (turned) away backward.’ (Is. 1:4) And if we are truthful, we will admit that our society, like that of ancient Israel, has become oh so evil and turned away from God so much, even trying to force Him out, that He must be seething with anger. 

And don’t tell me that God doesn’t get angry; it says so throughout the Good Book. He’s just long-suffering; holds in His anger for a long time, but when it finally erupts, as it has done, and will again some day if we keep on the way we’re going; it’s deadly! The scholars explain it thus: ‘1:2-4. Children…rebelled: Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents. These verses serve as a “great arraignment” of the chosen people who have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet calls them back to obedience to God.’ 

Likewise friends, the Lord is calling us back to obedience, to repentance and the godliness our society once knew. And if we don’t obey, but continue down the ungodly path we’re now treading, then someday, sooner or later, He’s going to lose His patience with us, and we’ll end up like the Israelites did, when they did not heed His warnings; devastated, hounded by calamity! Now that’s not a very good legacy to bequeath to our descendants, so please let’s seriously try and change it now nuh! That’s about all I can say. Much LOVE!

…continued rebellion against God…will always bring disastrous consequences…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God.

Well friends, it’s a cloudy morning in my area. The sun is not shining, but thankfully the Son is holding forth as usual in all His wonderful radiance and brilliant glory! 

All thanks and praise be to our heavenly Father for giving us Jesus as our Messiah, Leader, Lord and Saviour! Without Him, we’d be certainly dead in our sins, heading for a rough and troubled eternity with Lucifer in Hades. 

But thanks to God’s great LOVE and Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, we have been reconciled to the Father and as His beloved children, can now look forward to spending eternity with Him in heaven. Glory Hallelujah! 

And on that glorious note, let’s declare out Thursday Blessings, as we remember that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. With true belief, sincerity and enthusiasm now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! 

I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Glory to God my people! We shall be blessed when we go out and come in, when we sit or lie down… in fact in all aspects of our lives our God will cause us to prosper. Wow! Isn’t that something else? It surely is! 

That’s why we have to pay serious attention to our Bit. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Yes friends, Jesus was the original trailblazer of our faith. He first ran the race and set all the standards for it. Now we need to adhere to those standards so that we can run the race successfully too. It’s not an easy race to run, for it’s a marathon across hill and dale, rivers and streams, one fraught with all sorts of dangers and impediments. 

But thankfully Jesus has blazed the trail, shown us the way, lit the path, and if we sincerely abide by His word, then we too will have success, and one day hear the Father declare: ‘Welcome, thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Oh what a joyful day that will be my people! But first we have to get serious about looking to Jesus and following in His famous footsteps, otherwise we’re just wasting our time and His. 

Now let’s look at a couple of interesting parts of our Bit, the first being, ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ 

Now I really don’t see the joy in what Jesus was asked to do by the Father nuh – take the sins of the world on His shoulders, be crucified in innocence to pay for the iniquity and transgressions of ungrateful people. 

It was joyful for us, because through His actions our sins were forgiven, but it must surely have been mind-bending and agonizing for Him. However, despite the affliction, His obedience to the Father’s will was perfect. 

That brings us to Jesus’ words to the two disciples He met on Resurrection Day along the road to Emmaus. He chided them for their disbelief. 

‘Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.’ (Luke 24:25-27) 

Oh friends, the Lord didn’t send the prophets because He had nothing better to do, but to open the eyes of the people unto the coming of Jesus and what His purpose was going to be. 

Hear the scholars. ’24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16; 22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, but Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

And unfortunately, today a lot of us are also refusing to understand the importance of the Old Testament in the formation of the New Testament. But the scholars kindly inform us: ‘24:27. The entire Old Testament is indispensable for a grounded grasp of the identity and significance of Jesus.’ 

That is friends, if we don’t understand Jesus’ role and significance in the Old Testament; His appearances, His status, His doings and the prophesies about Him, we won’t be fully able to comprehend His form and function in the New Testament. 

Therefore, please, let’s stop considering the Old Testament as passé, because it isn’t. It’s just as important as the New Testament in that it expounds the nature of our faith; it’s beginnings, its ups and downs, its promises, and above all the great message about our Messiah. 

So today, as Almighty God blesses us, and as we bless others, let’s remember where we came from – the Old Testament – because if we don’t know our history and recognize it as being important, we surely won’t know our future; where we’re going, the direction in which we’re headed and how to handle it. Much LOVE!

…only as we look to Jesus…will we see the true path to successful living…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2016 Hebrews 12:2.

 Hebrews 12:2.    Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Well my faithful brethren, we’ve been treated to yet another glorious day on God’s great earth! Wow! I sincerely hope that we gave much thanks when we awakened to this bright new day, for the Lord deserves our gratefulness for all the blessings He bestows on us, His beautiful children. (smile) 

Remember His tender mercies are new every morning; we don’t get yesterday’s leftovers. So please, let’s not forget to lift our voices in praise and thanks every time we open our eyes to a new morn. It is very mete and right to do so. 

Now listen to something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that is ever so appropriate to many of us believers. It’s simply called ‘EXCUSES.’  

And it says: ‘O God I’ve become a self-educated master Of a thousand polished excuses. Hoping to avoid your penetrating gaze I clutch them to me like valuable gems. When I think I have myself thoroughly covered I’m caught short with the realization That You see right through me. My flimsy excuses are never really hidden. 

I find an excuse for all my failures Wrong choices Late appointments Wasted time. I excuse my foolish blunders, my laziness My broken resolves, my unreached goals. I need Your help, Lord! To hide from You is as foolish As the Grand Canyon Attempting to hide from the sky. 

O God, my only hope Lies in Your invincible power To make me what I am not yet But what You know I can become. Strengthen my will, Lord. Make me firm, steadfast, consistent. Control my impulses, my emotions. May I keep pursuing and never quit.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately many of us believers try to hide or run from God with flimsy excuses, but common sense ought to tell us that we can never run or hide from a Deity that’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, for He sees and hears all. His vision is so powerful that it can see right down into the very depths of our being and discern our motives, good or bad. 

So please let’s wise up and stop trying to run and hide from our heavenly Father nuh. We might be able to do it with our earthly fathers, but definitely not with the One above. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with enthusiasm, sincerity and truth. 

As one strong voice 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!’ 

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive, to feel that glorious breath of God just flowing through my body, letting me know that I am alive; alive and LOVED! Consequently, I’m not looking back, but focusing on the wonderful future that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has planned for me! 

Glory to our most magnificent and magnanimous God! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! It never ceases to amaze me. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, which is the scripture promise attached to the poem above. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ 

Oh my brethren, what wonderful words of advice! As we said above, our eyes and hearts ought to be focused exclusively on Jesus! Why? Because He is indeed the originator and perfecter of our faith! He began it all, and He will end it all! 

And the first verse of the chapter, that before our Bit, gives us the basic reason for looking unto Jesus. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about (surrounded by) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside very weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

Yeh friends, the author of Hebrews, which I firmly believe is Bruh Paul, uses the metaphor of a race to describe our earthly pilgrimage. Now hear is how the scholars break down that verse. 

’12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter 11. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses: (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet this Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

The race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to the impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner or the faithful Christian they must be removed. 

Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones).  

Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance (as it is in the cognate verb forms of vv. 2 –3). Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32; 36-38; 11:13).’ 

Now hear some words from the scholars on our Bit. ’12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

Oh my people, this earthly race is often difficult to run, and to do it successfully we need to keep our eyes trained on Jesus, because He is the One who first ran the race and successfully completed it. In other words, He laid a path for us to follow. So please, let’s be wise and follow it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only as we stick to the path laid down by Jesus…with endurance and perseverance…can we run life’s race successfully…  

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had a rather late night, which means a late morning too. (smile)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2016 Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1.  Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.

Ah mih people, it’s another cold, bleak winter’s day! But we have to remember that that’s what winter is all about; cold and bleak, though it doesn’t seem so bad when the sun shines through in all its glory. (smile) 

And since this is where we live, we just have to learn to live with it, knowing that through God’s faithful help we will be able to handle it, and eventually come out victorious in the glorious springtime. Oh glory to God friends for His unceasing help! 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that probably hits the nail on the head with many of us. I couldn’t help but share it. 

It’s simply titled ‘January,’ and reads thus: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? 

The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales. But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken And marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. 

When you said Behold, I make all things new Did You forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget you?’ 

Oh friends, that poem certainly does resemble the mid January funk that many of us find ourselves in. The weather is the pits, the Christmas bills are starting to come in, and we don’t know where the money is going to come from to pay them, and added to that anxiety, we’re still physically and mentally tired from all the Christmas and New Year’s hoopla. It certainly is a familiar predicament. 

But to answer the poets ending question, the response is a definite Yes! We do seem to forget God in these anxious times, when these are the times we should be drawing ever closer to Him. God doesn’t make mistakes or lie. If he says that everything is made new, then it IS made new! 

That means the problem lies with us, which brings us to the promise for that poem, which is also our Bit. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Ah my fellow believers that is exactly the kind of advice we need this cold morning in mid-January. And the Lord moves in such mysterious ways, that it’s only last night I watched Uncle John (John Hagee) preach a sermon on that same verse. He titled it ‘Run To Win!’ 

And so it should be my fellow believers. Why else would we run a race if it were not to win eh? And the particular race we’re talking about here is the race of life! 

Bruh Paul likened our earthly lives to a race, having in mind the ancient Greek Olympics, which we can compare to out own modern day Olympiads. 

And the first thing he does is remind us of all the other saints, the heroes that have run this race before us, the ‘great cloud of witnesses,’ who are looking down on us as we run our race. So it’s not like we don’t have any examples or mentors to look back at. 

Then we have to ‘lay aside every weight,’ that prevents us from running this race of life. Yes my brethren we have to get rid of all the impediments that weigh us down and prevent us from putting forth our best efforts. 

And Bruh Paul refers to some of them in Colossians. ‘But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond (slave) nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col.3:8-11) 

Oh my precious friends of faith, those are the kinds of things that prevent us from properly concentrating on running this magnificent race of life that’s set before us. 

And here are some explanations from the scholars, which will help us to further understand those scriptures. ‘3:9. Seeing means “since.” The old man is all that a person was prior to salvation: his worldly thinking and sinful acts. Since all this was renounced at conversion, one should lie not. Falsehood ill becomes the person claiming to be a disciple of Him who said, “I am the…truth.” 

‘3:10. The new man is the person one becomes after conversion: he possesses a new nature, values, aspirations, and a new life-style. This “new man” is constantly being renewed or developed until he attains a mature knowledge of the God who (re)created him. The more a believer knows and understands of God, the more he will be like God in character and conduct.’ 

‘3:11. Not only is the “new man” to put sin to death, he is also to put away man-made barriers that divide people and that nourish the vices of the old life. Among renewed humanity there are no national, ceremonial, cultural, or social distinctions. To the redeemed Christ is all: that is, He is everything and He is what matters most to them. And Christ is…in all; that is, He dwells in all believers.’ 

Yes Friends, we’ll end with those wonderful words of wisdom: Christ is everything to the believer, and He dwells in each and every one of us. Oh what a wonderful scenario! 

Let’s remember that, and ponder on all that we’ve said to day, so that we can increase in the knowledge and maturity of Christ our Lord and Saviour. Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…