Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2020 Deuteronomy 8:18.

Deuteronomy 8:18.     ​Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he who giveth thee the power to get wealth…

Oh, it’s a lazy, hazy Saturday morning… and I’m late and hazy and lazy too! (smile) Did some other things before coming down to write the Bit, and now I’m a li’l miffed at myself for not getting started earlier. But them’s the breaks. Get over it self! (smile) 

And what’s the news this morning eh? Nothing has changed! The world is still in a volatile, unholy, strife-filled mess. And if you like the status quo, then I suppose that’s good news for you. If you don’t… well what can I say eh? Nothing but keep praying, repenting, getting back to God…and tell everyone you know, shout it from the rooftops that that’s the ONLY way our world will ever recover some semblance of normalcy! Nothing much is going to improve until there’s a big God-centred Revival in our world; a LOVE Revolution! Now that’s my stand…and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

So, since it’s Saturday, let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And again, I only got three quotes instead of the usual five. And no, I’m not complaining – no way – because now I only have to wrap my head around three and not five quotes. Glory be! 

And he’s also continuing this new style of prefacing each one with this proviso: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But please remember we are only awesome and truly happy, calm and content in Christ Jesus; when He’s in us and we are in Him! Much LOVE and thanks to our wonderful Lord and Saviour! And also as usual, we’ll leave out the proviso from here on in. But please remember it in the context of Jesus. 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I choose not to criticize myself or others around me.’ Now that’s such a wonderful attitude! And besides our world is filled with too much criticism these turbulent days, unsupported criticism at that too. It’s one of our favourite games in this time of social media and rampant technology. And it’s one of those games where we like to give, but can’t take. We all LOVE to criticize, but we can’t accept it, even when it’s useful and true. 

Let’s stop for a moment and remember these awesome words of our Leader, Jesus Christ nuh. ‘Judge not (condemn not, criticize not), that ye be not judged (condemned, criticized). For with what judgement (condemnation, criticism) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) 

In other words friends, do unto others as you would like them to do unto you, because whatever you do, in whatever measure, it will eventually boomerang right back to you, and most likely you will be appalled at it. (smile) As the ole people would say: ‘Do so ent like so!’ And that’s the gospel truth, for we don’t like getting back the negative stuff we throw in other’s faces. 

But listen to this explanation from the scholars on the subject. ‘7:1-4. Judge not refers to an unfavourable and condemnatory judgement. This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgement of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudiced information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgement for with what…ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgement of God rather than our own judgement.’ 

Hope that clarifies the subject and means that our criticism level will drop by at least three quarters, because a lot of the time we criticize, it’s not even that we have prejudiced info, but NO info at all. That’s how bad criticism is in these troubled and uncertain times! 

And the second quote proclaims: ‘My potential to succeed is limitless.’ Now that is certainly true…but again under the right situation and circumstances. One must first be filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus and being obedient and obeisant to Him, so that we can be calm, happy and contented. But here’s the kicker in these words of Moses to the Israelites: ‘Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he who giveth thee the power to get wealth…’ (Deut. 8:18) Yes friends, unless we are living under God’s protective and powerful umbrella, our lives won’t be as thrilling, adventurous and successful. 

Remember His words to Joshua on remembering and meditating on His word and doing all contained therein? Why? ‘…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) It couldn’t be any plainer than that my people. And the thing we don’t understand about being successful in God’s mercies, is that with Him, success is lasting, not the uncertain, fleeting kind that comes when we try to accomplish it in our own strength following the ways of the world. 

So here’s the last quote…and it’s a dandy! (smile) ‘Difficult times are part of my journey and allow me to appreciate the good.’ And is that the indisputable truth! Thus the sayings like: ‘you can’t appreciate the sun until you experience the rain,’ ‘you can’t appreciate joy until you have experienced sorrow.’ It’s only when we experience the bad that we can truly appreciate the good. And nowhere is that clearer than in Jesus’ economy, for ofttimes He allows us to go through rough times to test our mettle, to mature us in His style. For we all know that we only truly grow in difficult times, not much in good ones. 

Now in this evil and sinful world difficulties do abound. And Jesus didn’t hesitate to remind us of that when He said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And He certainly overcame, hell, death and the grave. So he knows what He’s talking about. 

And His brother James puts it thus: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) Yes friends, we need to look at our trials from God’s viewpoint; that they are maturing us and making us more like Jesus in character which is God’s eventual plan for ALL of his children.

 And yes, most of us try to find a way to escape from the trials and temptations, but it’s necessary that we go through them if we want to mature and grow in our Christian faith. And remember too that the Lord has promised to always be with us, helping us all the way. Now that belief is what our faith is built on, and with it we can successfully navigate any problems we encounter in this world! So let’s stand strong and steadfast, surrounded by all of God’s faithful promises! Much LOVE!

…when trials and tribulation come…God’s saints successfully rise up over them…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials),
 

‘Everything’s coming up roses…’ Well friends, it’s not really coming up nuh, it has already come up! We talking about the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and all that does and says for us poor sinners! Wow! And yes, we might be going through some rough and trying times now, but those are only here to test our faith, endurance and perseverance, because we already know the end of the story; Jesus has won the victory over the enemy! Glory be! 

James, the half-brother of Jesus puts it quite succinctly when he speaks of faith and humility. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials), Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall, (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.’ Then the scholars note, as per ‘1:4: The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

Yes friends, as a true believer in Christ, we WILL experience testing, and it is NEVER easy to accept trials and tribulations with joy, but if we hold on tightly to Jesus, be the branch that’s seamlessly welded to His vine, we can successfully withstand the rigours of those tests. And remember, He promises not to give us more than we can handle. 

Bruh Paul explains it thus: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) That doesn’t mean we will necessarily escape the temptation, but He will always assist us to land safely on the other side. So as the old people would say: ‘Yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide from temptation and testing!’ (smile) 

And Peter in his first letter to the scattered diaspora of early believers stated it more fully. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be relieved in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-6) 

Yes my people, it’s through God’s abundant mercy, whereby Christ was resurrected, and the faith in Him that we manifest that allows us to look forward to the wonderful indestructible inheritance at the time of ultimate salvation. And though life might be hard for a season, that inheritance down the road helps us to bear these tests. 

As Peter continues: ‘That the trial of your faith (the genuineness), being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 1:7-9) 

Yeh, I know it seems deep and heavy, but remember Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light. We not here for child’s play and constant good times, we here to do a job for Jesus which means we have to buckle down and be diligent about it, letting the eventual rewards keep us strong and faithful. Hear what the scholars offer. ‘1:6-9. The problem of salvation looks to the present. Earthly trials constitute a problem of our salvation, but they are only for a season, or temporary. Manifold temptations means diversified trials. True faith cannot be destroyed though God is in the process of refining faith through our trials.’ 

So what can we do? As always, the number one step is prayer. So let’s pray nuh, raise up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, in true and humble but confident faith. ‘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 hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

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. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, 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 we sit and wait quietly for a while, for God’s wise direction, then we go out and obediently follow it. Much LOVE!

…to endure to the end…we need a combination of…hope, faith, belief and trust…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2014 Matthew 5:48

Matthew 5:48.     Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’
 
Oh Friends, today is one of those days when I don’t have a clue as to how to get the Bit going. (smile) But nonetheless, trusting in our wonderful God’s goodness and mercy, I am putting pen to paper, believing, having hungry hope and expectant faith that He will lead and guide me by His Holy Spirit to write something worthwhile. Something that will eventually lead to His glorification and the furtherance of His everlasting kingdom.

 
And if, perchance, He chooses not to run around today in a preamble, (smile) then we’ll just get straight into our Bit, because there are several scriptures which corroborate it, that need to be shared.
 
Anyway, I just want to say here that I dearly LOVE those two phrases I used above; hungry hope and expectant faith. I don’t remember where I first read them, but they certainly resonated, made a huge impact on me. The imagery seems so perfect – a hope that’s hungry, and a faith that’s expectant. They just seem to be made for each other!
 
And from here on in, that’s exactly how I want us to feel and behave. Let’s try to have a sense of hope that’s so strong and vibrant, reflecting the way we feel when we are dying from hunger and want food in the worst way, to satisfy and satiate our growling stomachs.
 
Likewise, with faith, let’s endeavour to have real great expectations of whatsoever we’re believing in and for, because passive, wishy-washy, lukewarm faith just doesn’t cut it. Moreover, if we truly want to attain to the level of our Bit, we desperately need a hope that’s truly hungry and a faith that’s really expectant, for how else can we become perfect like our heavenly Father eh?
 
‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’
 
And remember, yesterday the scholars explained being perfect doesn’t mean ‘sinless,’ but rather ‘complete,’ having a passionate, godly LOVE, burning within us for both those who LOVE us and those who don’t. In other words, my people, a true reflection of our Creator.
 
And in fact Friends, from the earliest days, our God has been trying to get us to be perfect and complete. Listen to the words He spoke to Abram. ‘And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai), walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless).’ (Gen.17:1)
 
Then back in the New Testament, we have Bruh Paul, re his service for Christ, writing thus to the Colossians: ‘(Christ) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.’ (Col.1:28-29)
 
Then in his closing exhortations in Chapter 4, he writes: ‘Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth (greets) you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete (filled) in all the will of God.’ (Col.4:12)
 
And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘4:12. That ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God means that “you may appear perfect and fully assured in all His will.” Like 1:23, 29, this refers to the Colossians being ushered into God’s heavenly presence in a morally perfect state. When this someday occurs, their experience of progressive maturity and assurance will have preceded it.’
 
Meanwhile, James, in talking of faith and humility encourages us: ‘But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:4)
 
And per the scholars: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’
 
Ah mih people, to be a true child of God, a new creation in Jesus Christ, we definitely do need to improve our God-like characteristics. Otherwise we’ll end up being big hypocrites, just like the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ time – looking good on the outside, but terrible on the inside.
 
So please, let’s talk our talk, and then walk that talk big time, so that that negative assessment Jesus made of the Pharisees and them, will never be made against us.
 
If we want to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, we have to work at being like Him and our heavenly Father – perfect and complete in every way. It’s not easy to do in this godless and wicked world, but with the help of our triune God-head, remember that ALL THINGS ARE INDEED POSSIBLE!
 
That’s the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…as believers…in all our words and deeds…the world ought to see reflected in us…a mirror image of Jesus…so that they can come to know Him too…