Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2019 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.   ​But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

And after the long weekend, I do hope that those of you who have to go to work today will make it without too many problems – read, hangovers, tiredness etc. (smile) Well my trusty desktop seems to be working decently again…Praise the Lord! 

Yes, I know it’s old and out of fashion and all that, but it’s like the old saying, new broom sweep clean, but old broom know the corners! And I’m just more familiar with my desktop than my laptop. The former just knows what I want to do and where I want go, especially when it comes to writing the Bit. (smile) 

Now here’s an interesting question for us from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t know if I’ve ever posed it before, but I was led to do so today. And the question is ‘Are You Happy?’ I guess though we should pose it as being joyful, since happiness is based more on our circumstances than our beliefs. 

You can read it any which way you want, but this is how Gramps Schuller put it, and it does ask a very good question which most of us should be asking ourselves. Listen up: ‘Happiness – that deep inner strength that is made up of courage, faith, hope, and peace. Mix them together, and you have happiness. Happiness – the courage to hang on in the face of severe adversity! 

Happiness – the faith that God will have the last word, and it will be good! Happiness – the hope that even though you can only see the shadow, someday the clouds will clear away and the sun will shine again! Happiness – the quiet sense of self-esteem that comes when you know you have done your best. 

Happiness – the assurance that you have been merciful and kind to enemy and friend alike. Happiness – the quiet assurance that God will be merciful and kind to you, too. Happiness – the beautiful belief that this life, no matter how difficult it may be, is not your final destination.’ 

Yes friends, if we can answer yes to all of them, then we are giants of our faith! But I doubt that most of us can answer all those questions in the affirmative. The important thing though is that we can definitely answer ‘yes’ to some, and that we are working courageously and sincerely on the others. 

Our God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because He knows that He created us as imperfect beings, but He does insist that we try to come up as high as possible. That’s why He looks at the secret motives of our hearts rather than our outward actions to judge our sincerity. And the Lord made that quite clear long time ago, when He sent Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be the new king of Israel. 

 When Samuel saw Eliab looking big and strapping and king-like, He said this must be the one. ‘But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ 

There we have it friends, right from the Lord’s mouth. So I don’t know why so many of us still try to fool the Lord with wonderful outward actions when our hearts are dark and black with unresolved, unrepented sin! We can fool our fellow man a lot of the time, but we can’t fool God at any time because He looks at the true story that’s hidden deep inside our sinful hearts! 

That’s why the Lord chose Bruh David to be the king over his brothers; He knew that his heart was right, as right as a human heart could be, and why, in spite of all Bruh David’s mistakes He never set him adrift, though he certainly paid for his failures.

And sadly, that’s what happening to too many of us believers today; our hearts aren’t really right with God. We put on a great Christian show on the outside, but on the inside the devil rules our spirit. 

As Jeremiah so famously said on the Lord’s behalf: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try (test) the reins (mind), even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.’ (Jer.17:9-10) I think that’s as clear as it can get. 

But the scholars offer this explanation: ‘17:9-10. The heart (cf. Prov.4:23) means man’s innermost being. The bent of man’s natural disposition, apart from God’s redeeming grace, is described as deceitful (lit. crooked) and desperately wicked (incurably sick).

Therefore, man cannot trust his own heart but must leave all to God who alone knows the heart and judges all men fairly. Only a person with a redeemed heart can live in proper fellowship with God (Job 11:13; 1 John 3:18-24).’ 

Please take a moment and check out those two scriptures my fellow believers, for they get right to the heart of the matter! (smile) And I’ll throw in this langniappe (li’l extra) for good measure. (smile)

Listen to Cousin Sol: ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) Yes friends, the heart is the figurative seat of our intellect and that in turn controls our minds. We therefore need to keep tight control of our minds, because that’s where all of the battles are fought. 

And having said all that, let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the entire world know who and whose we are. In full voice with sincere hearts and a strong sense of purpose:

‘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 our hearts are right, then let’s go out and action those statements, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…whatever captures the mind…captures the man…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2018 Psalm 119:80.

Psalm 119:80.    Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

 

Oh mih people, would somebody please explain it to me, because I obviously have not been granted the heavenly wisdom to understand the ramifications of this mind-boggling situation! And I’m talking about how a body can go to bed feeling perfectly fine – well not perfect perfect, but fairly decent – then some five or six hours later wake up racked with pain in body and soul, reduced to moving around like a doddering old man? 

Oh, I know some of you will say than I am old, so that’s no surprise… But please, I beg to differ. I’ll grant that I’m somewhat aged, (smile) but nowhere enough yet to be doddering! And to make matters worse, while lying there contemplating the pain and getting up, I was seduced to stay in bed for another forty five minutes by a couple showers of seductive rain. Yes, it looks like it’s going to be a ‘riney’ day. But how fickle is the soul of man eh! (smile) 

And though I’ve asked the Lord a couple of times about this abnormal situation, I’ve gotten no answer, which leads me to thinking that He’s intimating to me, the same thing that He said to Bruh Paul, when he asked for relief from the thorn in his side. ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor.12:9a) 

And though I know that, and gratefully acknowledge it, it still doesn’t ease the pain. (smile) I guess the Lord’s waiting for me to say like Bruh Paul did after receiving that Bit of info. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor.12:9b-10)  

Oh my brethren, I’m trying, but I’m nowhere close to Bruh Paul’s maturity nuh, and the Lord knows it. So I’m not going to fool myself by saying all those things that he says above. I’m just going to move around as best as I can, grin and bear the pain, and/or cry out for mercy, (smile) and have faith for the Lord to make ALL things right as He’s faithfully promised. 

Now let’s hope that I have enough space to write what I really intended to write, before the Holy Spirit led me to write what I’ve actually written. (smile) And it’s a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘Three Unalterable Truths.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, through the years Of walking hand-in-hand with You I have learned three unalterable truths: First, what you command me to do You consistently expect me to do. Never do you say, “Give the command a fair try.” Nor do You say, “Consider and then decide.” My natural weakness is never An acceptable excuse. Nor is my inability To reach unreachable standards. Rather, You tell me to seek And then to keep your commands. 

Second, all of Your commands Are always for my ultimate good. “Obey me,” Your Word says “So that I can do for you All the wonderful things I promised…” “In the keeping of My Word There is great reward.” Third, whatever You command me to do You fully enable me to do. As You give light to reveal a command So you give grace to fulfill it. Your divine energy is always at my disposal. The choice to obey is always mine. The power to obey is always Yours.’ 

And the sad, humorous and glorious fact friends, is ALL of that is indisputably true! When the Lord gives us a command, He expects us to obey without a lot of hemming and hawing, as we so often tend to do. And that’s simply because He never asks us to do something without giving us His powerful grace to enable us to do it. 

And the best part of it all my brethren is when we obey with alacrity and faith, there are innumerable rewards to be reaped from His magnanimity and outrageous generosity! Give Him His much deserved glory my people! And the Bible Promise associated with that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.’ 

Yes my brethren, being blameless in keeping the Lord’s principles is something we should all aspire to. And don’t worry, He knows that we’re not perfect, because He didn’t make us perfect, but He does expect us to try and get as close to perfection as is humanly possible. It’s all in the state of our hearts friends. As Cousin Sol warns: ‘Keep (look after) thy heart (and mind) with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:23. Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.’ Gospel truth that my fellow believers! 

And remember the Lord doesn’t go by our outward actions, He searches our hearts and minds to discover our true motives. That’s why we have to cry out like Bruh David did in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) 

And having taken all of that to heart (smile), let’s go home declaring (Steups! Spelt it wrong again) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong sense of purpose: ‘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 the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE with the rest of the world, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is still waiting for us to show our true colours…to be the salt…and the light of the world…as He asked us to be…

P.S. It’s certainly been a smiley day! But why not eh? That’s why the Lord gave us the wonderful ability of smiling…to smile! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2018 Proverbs 4:23.

Proverbs 4:23.    Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

May untold blessings befall you and your families this Friday morning my Scrip-Bit friends! May the Lord open the windows of heaven, as He has promised, and shower down his awesome blessings on us all as we walk in His wise and wonderful will for our lives! 

What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my brethren! Please don’t ever forget that. Even the workingman in his own way acknowledges that as he proclaims in his song.

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! This week was a rough week, what with all the Easter partying and carryings ons! We really had to come up strong, because massa was in a nasty mood…too much paid time off and all that nuh. 

But now that the weekend reach, we can feel the party spirit rise to the forefront once again. And believe you me, we going to party as hearty as we can for the next two days. Thank God for Fridays and weekends, because it was meant for partying!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman’s heart is in the right place, but he’s somewhat misguided; the weekend wasn’t just meant for licentiousness and flagrant worldly behaviour, but more so for rest and relaxation and renewing of our spirits, hence 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.’ 

Yes my people, it’s all about building, about furthering God’s kingdom here on earth; that’s our mission, and we can’t do it properly if we’re too taken up with the lustful ways of our flesh and the world.

So though, deep down we might want to party hearty like the workingman, we realize that that is not permissible in Jesus’ economy, we must have some boundaries to keep the enemy out of our lives, live them always with an ounce of circumspection. 

That’s why Cousin Sol warns us in our Bit today: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ Words of awesome truth my people! And why is that you ask? 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘4:23. The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life.

The heart is the seat of the intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself. The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. 

Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defining them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12).

Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First Ref. Gen.6:5; Primary Ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15).’ 

Yeh friends, our hearts are figuratively the controlling device of our souls. Listen to Jesus on the subject. ‘O generations (brood, or offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things?

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth for evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35) 

Ah my fellow believers, it’s what inside of us that colours us, not what’s on the outside. It’s like whatever you put in a clear plastic bag, the colour of the contents will manifest itself though the plastic.

Likewise, we can look all clean and rosy on the outside but are truly dirty and evil on the inside, and it’s that dirty and evil stuff that will eventually come out into the open. You can only hide it for so long. 

Now hear Jesus as He admonishes the disciples, when they asked for an explanation of His remarks about the blind leading the blind. ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? 

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Oh friends, let’s seriously ponder those fateful words of our Lord and Saviour this Friday nuh, and truly see what’s in our hearts. Let’s look deeply and sincerely, and not fool ourselves, and then bring our problems to God for His awesome and always available help. That is indeed wisdom of untold proportions. Much LOVE!

…white-washing the outside…doesn’t mean the inside is clean…if it was dirty before…it’s still dirty afterwards…