Today’s Scrip-Bit   14 June 2022 Philippians 4:7.

Philippians 4:7.      And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

And Tuesday has opened bright and sunshiny! Praise the Lord! What glorious summer weather we are having before the real summer time begins. (smile) Just hope that it will continue in a calm and balanced fashion, not in a topsy-turvy unbalanced one, what with the problems that climate change is supposedly having on the current weather patterns. 

That’s why it’s so important that we remember the faithfulness and steadfastness of our God. He never changes, but is the same yesterday, today and forever. Unlike the vicissitudes of life, the unexpected changes of circumstances that have us discombobulated, like flotsam in a storm, (smile) our God is a pillar of steadfastness, a refuge in that crazy storm, always there to help us whenever we cry out to Him.  And I do believe that this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin describes too many of us supposed believers in the crazy, strife-filled world of today. It’s aptly titled ‘What’s Myself Doing to Myself?’ 

Please read with me. ‘With childish intensity she asked “What’s myself doing to myself?” I couldn’t help but smile As she stood before the mirror Struggling so impatiently With a stubborn jacket zipper. But I’m not smiling now, Lord As I pass my own mirror and glance at the tension Etching my somber face. I’m frightened, Lord. Her innocent question clutches me: “What am I doing to myself?” Frustrated, frantic So often breathless Too many irons in the fire…

What am I doing to my body – To my mind, my emotions? What am I doing to my family? What am I doing to Your Plan For my personal fulfillment? Why do I live like this, Lord As though Your world Couldn’t exist without me? Why do I so often Tear myself from your control? Dear Lord, calm me. Pull me off the merry-go-round Of converging conflicts. Give balance to my boggled mind. This very hour, Lord Infuse me with your poise and power Until my total self Is submerged in You – Yourself. Only then will I be free To be myself.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Only when we give ourselves entirely over, surrender ourselves completely to our good and wonderful God can we ever be calm and free to be our true selves! Now how many of us do see ourselves in that poem eh? ‘Frustrated, frantic…too many irons in the fire…living like the world couldn’t exist without us…allowing the vicissitudes of life to tumble us over and over, riding the merry-go-round that’s so much a part of our world in these confused and contrary days? 

Too many of us my brethren! That’s why psychologists, psychiatrists, supposed stress relief providers and medications are having a heyday in our current society. Why the number one disease and killer is stress. Because we all are trying to multitask, do too many things at the same time, and thus do nothing properly, or as well as we can. Why do you think the Lord only gave us two of everything eh…well of most things, like hands, feet, ears and eyes? Because He did not think it necessary to give us more for what He had in mind for us. (smile) 

If He wanted us to be doing a multitude of things at the same time, He would have made us like cherubim and seraphines with plenty hands, feet and eyes. But as always, we just like to invalidate God’s Master Plan, thinking that our puny and finite minds can do better than His infinite wisdom and omnipotence. Unfortunately though friends, that’s the furthest thing from the truth, and too many of us only realize that when life hands us plenty sour lemons at the same time and we can’t handle them, can’t make the proverbial lemonade, so, in frustration and panic, we finally come to our senses and cry out to God for divine help. 

I guess it’s only when we find ourselves completely maxed out, at our lowest point, that the thought of God enters our minds. But that’s so unwise my people. God should always be our first avenue for all our problems, desires and whatever… Why wait until we hit rock-bottom to turn to Him eh, when He has a marvellous plan in place for each of us, where we just have to go to Him and ask about it? That doesn’t make sense at all. But we have been, and possibly will always be stubborn, hard-headed beings, always wanting to do it our way…until we find that our way isn’t working. 

And a lot of the time and money we are spending on the shrinks and medication can be easily curtailed if we will only wake up and follow the Lord’s plan, His guidebook called the Bible. Just listen to the Bible verses associated with that poem nuh. They come from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Wow! What wonderful words of wisdom! Yes friends, our God is always near. That means we don’t have to worry or be anxious about anything. However, as the scholars point out. ‘This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, our first response to any and everything should always be prayer with thanksgiving. In that way the Lord will give us a tranquility of mind freeing us from fear and worry, while guarding our hearts and minds with a divine peace that’s greater than our finite minds can understand. And it’s not like we don’t know it friends, for it’s all written there large in black and white. Jesus said it quite clearly. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27). 

But stubbornness, hard headedness and foolish pride stop us from going to God, the ONLY ONE, who always has our best interest at heart, and can also solve ALL of our problems. But it’s our terrible loss if we don’t accept His invitation. However, for those of us who gladly accept it and try our best to do His will, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. 

As one confident 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and do exactly that; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like do! Much LOVE!

…the peace of the world…can never match…the peace of Christ… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 May 2022 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.       …for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

And then it was Tuesday, and we’ve successfully navigated through hot and fearful Monday. (smile) That means we can also successfully navigate another pretty hot day on Tuesday. Of course! We can do anything once we have the power and amazing Spirit of Christ Jesus dwelling within us! And no, it’s not always easy, but as the song’s saying, ‘He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells that I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!’ 

That’s for certain sure my fellow brethren in Christ! There’s no joy in this universe like the joy that emanates from Jesus and fills our souls and spirits when we believe in, trust and surrender ourselves to Him! And that joy doesn’t only manifest itself in gladness, but even more importantly in strength. As the Good Book tells us: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) Oh yes, when we have the joy of the Lord living in us, then we strong like lion, tough like iron, and fear no man or devil, not even his satanic majesty! 

And that’s exactly why the prince of darkness tries to eliminate that joy from our souls and spirits, because then we are weak and pliable and he can get us much more easily to do his evil and dirty deeds. Therefore, it’s ever so important that we allow NOTHING to steal that joy of the Lord which is our strength. And how do we accomplish that in this evil and strife-filled world? One of the ways is by studying God’s word, His many promises and assurances found there, and storing them in our hearts so that we can use them when the enemy tries to get us off of the straight and narrow path that leads to Jesus. 

And we’re talking about promises and assurances like this one that Moses decreed to the Israelites way back when, but which still stands strong today. ‘Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) And that my friends is possibly the first and most powerful scripture we must learn and even more importantly believe! That’s because everything in our Christian faith depends on our believing that our God is good and faithful, LOVING, kind and compassionate and will never leave nor forsake us, come what may! 

And until we sincerely believe that our souls and spirits will continually be filled with doubts and fears. That’s the simple fact of the matter. Strong faith only comes from sincere belief and much experience of life under God’s mighty, faithful and compassionate hand! It’s like going to school; the more you study His word and lean on it and Him, then the stronger your faith will become, and doubts and fears, many introduced by the evil enemy, won’t make such a mess of your life. 

And just like in school, when you don’t pay attention, or do your homework, you will suffer the consequences, for our heavenly Father LOVES us too much to just let us go astray, to do whatever we want once we give our lives to his awesome Son. And I like how the Good Book puts it. ‘For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb. 12:6-7) 

Good question that. If we don’t chasten our children when they do wrong, then we don’t truly LOVE them. And chastening doesn’t mean abusing, but correcting with whatever punishment is necessary. The scholars explain it thus: ‘God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in agreement, harmony) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly). (Prov. 13:24; cf. 22:15; 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous; they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Consequently, we now have a rather unruly and undisciplined generation. We forgot what our parents told us: ‘if you spare the rod, you spoil the child.’ When we became parents, we did not discipline them as we ought to, foolishly thinking that disciplining them was wrong and abusive. But we were quite wrong, for when any animal is not disciplined it goes astray and creates havoc because of their selfish intents, interests and behaviour. Our parents disciplined us, possibly a li’l too rough and tough, and taught us seriously about God, but we came out much better for it. 

And if our God practices tough LOVE, who are we to be different eh? That’s why we’re now suffering the unholy and ungodly consequences of a lost generation. But I’ll leave that alone today, for it’s something that troubles me greatly, because I saw it coming. And now that it’s arrived…well… Chuh! Let’s turn to these words of Jesus on the subject as He spoke to John in the revelation about the church in Laodicea. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev. 3:19) So be warned. 

Now, let’s get back to talking about totally trusting and believing in Christ Jesus and not letting the enemy steal our joy with his lies and deceitful wiles and schemes. And we all know this immortal verse of Bruh Paul to Timothy, although we don’t practice it as thoroughly as we ought to. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yuh see there, discipline is all so important in our dealings with God. Remember what the Good Book says about Jesus: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:8) 

Yes friends, obedience was the hallmark of Jesus’ earthly sojourn. He said it Himself. ‘I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just (righteous); because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the father which hath sent me.’ (John 5:30) And we are required to do the same thing: seek the Father’s will, not our own. Finally, we come to what I believe are the most encouraging and reassuring words in the scriptures; the words the Lord spoke to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:8-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, those words are still the best encouragement for today. So please, let’s take them to heart and be strong and courageous nuh, for Jesus desires it of us and the world needs ever so badly to see it from us. And for those of us who are doing our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and courageous 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!’ 

Now, let’s go out and enthusiastically show and tell others about the marvellous LOVE and friendship of Jesus, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…this earthly life is all about…living for Jesus…nothing else…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 May 2022 Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24.       If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 

And then it was Tuesday, sunny but somewhat chilly, as it still isn’t truly summer, although we are behaving like it is, with the li’l warm weather we’ve recently been having. (smile) It’s also the first working day of this week and I wonder after the Victoria Day celebrations, how many of us didn’t make it to work today, or are so beat up that we are of no real use in the job? No doubt the number is higher than usual because it was the first long weekend up in cottage country after the long Covid lockdown and dreary winter days. 

And sadly, too many of us have become hopeless and discouraged by the trying circumstances of the last two years, but if we have true faith in the One who created us, then we should never become discouraged or hopeless. And today I want to share some good info about discouragement from the marvellous work by Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller): ‘Hours of Power – My Daily Book of Motivation and Inspiration.’ And today’s inspiring and motivating message is aptly titled: ‘Don’t Get discouraged.’ I shared it sometime ago, but I believe, with all the unfortunate circumstances that are currently plaguing our world, it’s time to share it again. 

So please read with me. ‘Do not be discouraged if you do not accomplish everything that you set out to accomplish. Surely if you do not expect to succeed you will hold back your full power, investment, and enthusiasm. Immediately the kind of people who help to move you on to victory begin to draw back. Your conservative and cautious attitude will reflect itself in an anxious look on your face that will disturb and discourage people from helping you. 

There are two major reasons why people fail. Both stem from a lack of mountain moving faith. (1) People who fail are often people who are indecisive. They cannot make decisions swiftly and surely. The fast moving opportunity is past before they decide – too late – to take hold. 

(2) Then some decisive people fail because, after making the decision, they fail to move forward with an expectant confidence. They grab the opportunity, only to lose nerve, get cold feet, and begin to wonder if they have done the right thing. They have gripped the plow but now they are looking back. Want to be a success? Develop the ability to appraise opportunities intelligently, seize opportunities swiftly, and promote those opportunities confidently.’ 

Yes friends, I do hope those words of wise advice will cause us to take a good look at ourselves and enable us to come up higher in these tough times. That recalls one of Dr. Schuller’s favourite sayings: ‘Tough times never last, but tough people do!’ And that’s the gospel truth, for if we are believers in Christ, then we ought to be tough, for we have the greatest example of toughness in our Lord and Saviour! You can say whatever you want about him, but you can NEVER say that He wasn’t tough, for He took all the ‘sufferation’ and rejection that was thrown against Him in stride, never bat an eyelid or complained about it, just went about the Father’s business in faithful and dutiful obedience. 

Now, we obviously don’t have all the divine parts that Jesus had, but we can still do a better job than we are currently doing. We have life so easy nowadays that we complain about any little misfortune or setback. We’ve lost the belly and backbone we had when times were not as easy. And that’s not done us any good, for there will always be ups and downs in our lives, and if we don’t have that resistant, resilient belly and backbone we’ll never be able handle to the tough times, exactly what we’re seeing with the current unsettling situations. 

Remember what it takes to be a true follower of Christ. Jesus said it quite clearly and plainly. ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) That means we have to be tough and decisive if we want to follow Christ. And it’s not like we don’t know that He will always be there to help us. We claim it all the time. ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And we also mouth this other reaffirming scripture: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 4:19) 

But unfortunately, when the going gets tough we seem to forget about those encouraging scriptures, we moan and groan and wonder what’s happened to God. Yes, it’s ever so easy to follow Christ in the good times, but it’s when the hammer hits the nail, that our faith needs to come up strong. Gramps Schuller calls it mountain moving faith. Jesus said it to the disciples when they couldn’t cast out a demon from a young boy. ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.’ (Matt. 17:20) 

That’s how much a li’l faith can accomplish, so can you imagine when we have great faith, the mighty things we can accomplish for Christ in His awesome name! And that’s exactly what He’s expecting of His followers right now in these calamitous times. He expects us to be the true salt of the earth and light of the world, showing the unbelievers who are living in darkness the true way to the truth and the light, to the Father and Creator, and that’s through Him. We desperately need to let the world know what Jesus said on that matter. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And that’s the indisputable truth! There’s no getting to heaven, no receiving salvation and eternal life without receiving Christ as Lord and Saviour. Christ laid the foundation and now expects us to build His body, His church, stone by stone, brick by brick with our earthly efforts. Yes, it’s only through us, His earthly hands, feet and body that the world will get that message. He’s depending on us my brethren to do the work that must be done for the world to come to salvation. 

And for those of us who are rising faithfully to the challenge, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and confident 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!’

 Now let’s go out and do just that nuh; share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with those who don’t know him, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…as our faith grows…so will our work for Jesus grow…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 May 2022 Luke 10:42.

Luke 10:42.      But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her

. Well friends, the rainy Monday of yesterday is gone, it has moved into the history books, and Tuesday has opened bright and sunshiny in my area, though a tad cool. But we’ll take the sunshine anytime over a dark and dreary looking day. For sure! The important thing right now is that the days are getting longer and warmer, and after a long, cold, confusing winter, we just can’t wait for those hot, hazy days of summer! 

And I’m sure that with the climate change situation we’re going to have some real hot ones that will drive us crazy. But them’s the breaks. Those are simply the negative consequences of our actions, of abusing Mother Earth. Now she’s just giving us back what we deserve. And that’s so unlike the great God Jehovah that we serve. He doesn’t give us our just desserts, but blessings that we don’t deserve. As Bruh David so wisely says in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy: 

‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103: 8-14) 

Oh friends, that says it all! Our God knows that we are only figures of dust, because that’s what He made us from, and thus doesn’t bring all of His power or anger to bear on us when we commit our iniquities, since it would just swallow us up completely. Instead, He uses LOVE, grace and compassion to relieve our iniquities, removes them ‘as far as the east is from the west,’ and pities us like a doting Father, because He knows our inferior substance. What a gracious and merciful God we serve my brethren! And yet, for all the grace and mercy, we still refuse to obey and live according to His Word. 

But here’s this interesting poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that ought to wake us up to reality. It’s aptly titled: ‘Beautiful Belonging.’ So please read with me: ‘Before I knew You, Lord It was terribly important To flaunt my culinary art With a moist and tender roast. Now that I’m Yours It is far more important To serve Your gentleness To our guests. 

Before I knew You It was terribly important To snatch every weed From our meticulous yard. Now that I’m Yours It is far more important To express neighbourly concern Over the back fence. Before I knew You It was terribly important To check the television schedule from night to night. Now that I am Yours It is far more important To check Your plan From day to day. What an incredible change…This Beautiful belonging!’ 

And yes, it surely is beautiful belonging to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! For, belonging to Him gives us a whole new, different and better perspective on this earthly life. The things of the world that we once thought were so important, now seem immaterial when compared to a life lived for Jesus. We now believe that mercy and kindness and LOVE are more important than the pretentious and pretensive doings of the world. And Jesus made that very clear when He admonished Martha, Lazarus’ sister, when she complained about her sister Mary not helping her in the kitchen but was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him teach. 

And it’s also the Bible verses associated with today’s poem. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (worried) and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’ (Luke 10:41-42) 

Oh my people, the same thing can be said about many of us. But let’s listen to some explanations from the scholars on those verses. Re 10:41: ‘The repetition of her name denotes a gentle and sympathetic reply. Careful (see 1 Cor. 7:32-35) often indicates a this-worldly unbelieving attitude that hinders proper attention to the things of God; that is to be unduly concerned about secondary matters.’ And all of us are guilty of that at some time or other in our lives. 

And per 10:42: One thing: This can be explained in two ways here. Jesus may be saying that only one simple dish is required for a meal; Martha can handle the preparations without Mary’s help. In this case Martha is being primarily rebuked. Or Jesus may by ‘one thing’ refer to the spiritual nourishment craved by Mary. In this case Jesus is implying that Martha, too, should leave her housework for a time and concentrate on a more urgent matter.’ 

The same thing applies to us even more today with the burgeoning amount of earthly stuff out there to notice, and our natural reluctance to the importance of the things of God. But Jesus warned several times about paying undue attention to the things of this world, like this occasion when teaching in Capernaum and he claimed the crowds followed Him not because they saw His miracles, but because they ate of the food He provided and was filled. Then He warned. ‘Labour not for the meat (food) which perisheth, but for that meat (food) which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.’ (John 6:27) 

That’s spiritual food friends, like the water that satisfies, things that last forever, that’s what we need to be urgently and sincerely seeking, instead of the things of this world that all perish eventually. And Bruh David said it so well in Psalm 27 – the Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.’ (Ps. 27:4) 

Yes my fellow saints, when we can sincerely claim such a desire, truly have a desire to know and live according to the Lord’s Word, then we are getting the right idea, maturing in Christ, growing from glory to glory. And now, for those of us who are trying to live right, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong lock, stock and barrel. 

In strong 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!’ 

Now let’s go out there and keep that promise, by sharing the amazing and awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and worship him like we do. Much LOVE!

…lasting spiritual insight into the ways of Christ…is much more important than the perishable secular knowledge of the world…                                                                                                                               

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 April 2022 Romans 12:2a.

Romans 12:2a.       And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

It looks like it’s going to be a good Tuesday, but who knows with the contrary weather patterns that now seem to exist. Yesterday began and ended with rain, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure in between. (smile) Things are just not what they used to be; everything’s now in a state of upheaval and controversy. What a good thing though that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! That means we can place our utmost trust in Him to always react the same way under the same circumstances. 

And it’s ever so important in this life to have something or someone that’s steadfast and sure, that we can depend on for good guidance and safe refuge, that doesn’t change from one minute to the next. And the ONE person who fills that position so marvellously in the believer’s life is none other than the risen Christ! 

Give Him thanks and praise for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf! He died for us, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven, where He now sits at the Father’s right hand advocating in our favour, while His Holy Spirit dwells quietly, but purposefully within us to lead and guide us in His ways and desires. 

That’s the best hand we could ever be dealt in this topsy-turvy world my brethren! So please, let’s be wise and hold on tightly to it nuh, because the only other option available, that of Satan and his evil ways is not a good one. Oh, his pleasures seem so wonderful on the outside, but deep down they are filled with misery and pain. His is just a façade to inveigle you to join in sin and foolish pleasures that in the end only bring pain and sorrow, with death and eternal separation from our Creator. 

And that’s certainly not something to look forward to. In fact, it’s the worst thing than can ever happen to a created being! But the enemy wants us to go to hellfire and damnation with him, so he makes his stuff alluring and sensual, working on the weakness of our minds, through the lusts of our flesh to bring us into his camp. And that’s where it all begins and ends friends, in our minds, for our minds are the battlefields of Jesus and the enemy. And whoever controls our minds controls our desires and behaviour. 

Thus, it is imperative to take control of our minds and keep them going along the straight and narrow path outlined by Jesus, and not the wide and destructive one used by the enemy. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warns in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, we are to stop conforming to the evil and lustful pleasures and desires that this world now hold so dearly, because they do not hold God’s will for us. We must stoutly resist being poured into the mold of this world’s value systems and thinking and therefore its conduct. 

And per our Dedication to the Will of God, as spoken of by Bruh Paul, the scholars tell us: ‘God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12. (Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac) Primary ref. Rom. 12:1.)’ 

All of that simply means living for Jesus includes ALL aspects of our lives, without any exceptions whatsoever. And that is ofttimes hard, especially for new believers, but it’s something we must attain to, set our sights on, if we are to truly live for Him. And thus Bruh Paul wrote these words in his second letter to the church at Corinth which was then undergoing a lot of controversy. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:17-18) 

Ah my people, those are words for us to treasure, and even more so to follow! (smile) That’s because when we come to Christ, all our old sinful behaviour must be cast aside, left behind, and we must become new people in Christ, living the way He expects of us. The scholars explain that ‘when a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation.” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom. 8:1,9; Gal. 6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way. Old things are passed away, indicates a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation. Behold, all things are become new, stresses the abiding results of the Christian’s union with Christ (cf. Is. 43:18-19; 65:17; Eph. 4:24; Rev. 21:4-5)’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, once we come to Christ, we need to continually abide in Him if we want to see the fruit of the Spirit develop in our lives. And Jesus made that quite clear through these decisive words to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I abide in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

Now I don’t think that needs any explanation, for Jesus said it as clearly and simply as it could be put; without Him, we can do nothing! And that’s a fact that should be written indelibly in our hearts, and thus kept uppermost in our minds as we go about our day’s tasks. And I believe we’ve said enough for today, we have enough to consider and contemplate upon. (smile) So, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong and confident 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!’ 

Now, it behooves us to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…in Christ…we put our everything…because He is our EVERYTHING… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 April 2022 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22.      For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

Oh, what a sad ending to a beautiful Easter Monday in my area – rain in the afternoon, and then wet snow in the early evening. I had a nap while it was raining, and on getting up, I looked outside, and, as the Bajans would say, ‘Blow me down!’ was I ever surprised to see the whole place covered in white, and the wet white stuff still coming down hard. It must have messed up the evening commute, but thankfully, the roads seem clean now, although the land is still covered in white. That’s Mother Nature for you in these days of climate change! 

Anyway, today’s a new day – Easter Tuesday, and everything’s set for the big do on that day – Goat Racing in Buccoo, in sweet Tobago! Yes mih people, I hope you have yuh dan-dan (pretty clothes) ready to get down to that stadium in Buccoo built mainly to hold goat racing. And yuh better get there early if you want to get a seat, because they are coming from all over to check out this spectacular event, held only in Tobago. And was I ever surprised a few years ago when I went down there and saw the stadium. 

Oh, it’s nice and all that, but I don’t think it can ever capture the atmosphere of the old Goat races, further up the road, on a strip of land between some houses, where everybody gathered around the track, in a more intimate setting. And in those days, I believe they also had crab races. But the best part of the day was the parties they had in the houses surrounding the track! Yes! I remember one particular year in my teens, my buddies and I getting totally inebriated, and a friend’s sister and I partying up the place. (smile) Yuh remember that one Harry? Possibly not, since he might have been into the waters even more than me. 

I guess you would call those the good ole days. And they were, because our society was not as evil, ungodly and stressful as it is now. Today, it’s all about greed, selfishness, money, power and sinful pleasures, with God and His things of no real account. But, for the comparative handful of us who still hold Almighty God as El Numero Uno – Number One, who have unequivocally placed our hope and trust in Him, there is good reason to be joyful. Why? Because the scriptures, the immovable, unchanging everlasting true Word of God tells us so. 

Listen to these words of the prophet Isaiah spoken to the people of Israel ages ago. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ (Is. 33:22) Wow mih bredrin! What a mighty God we serve if He is truthfully all those amazing things to us! And if you don’t believe me, then let’s check out some scriptures which ought to make you believe. 

As per the Lord is our judge; listen to Peter preaching to the Gentiles. ‘And he (Jesus) commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick (living) and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins.’ (Acts 10:42-43) And there you have two of the promised things; Judge and Saviour. 

Meanwhile, Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome. ‘But why dost thou Judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought (despise) thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.’ (Rom. 14:10-12) Now, as per verse 11 above there, we are familiar with it coming from Phil. 2:10-11), but Isaiah declared it long before that in Is. 45:23) 

And there’s never any better source of information than right from the horse’s mouth. So, check out these words of Jesus to the hypocritical Jews of His time. ‘For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth (gives life to) them; even so the Son quickeneth (gives life to) whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son…And hath given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the Son of man.’ (John, 5:21-22, 27) That’s straight from the horse’s mouth friends, so you better had believe it! And in there you also have about being saved by the Son of man that God sent to give us life eternal. 

Now, re God being our lawgiver, listen again to Isaiah, as he calls the faithful to courage. ‘Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed (go forth) from me, and I will make my judgement (justice) to rest, for a light of the people…Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.’ (Is. 51:4, 7) 

Then James says on the subject: ‘Speak not evil of one another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another.’ (James 4:11-12) Please remember that friends: there is only ONE lawgiver, Almighty God! And hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 37. ‘The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgement (justice). The law of his God is in his heart: none of his steps shall slide.’ (Ps. 37:30-31) 

And the scholars offer a marvellous explanation on the ‘Law of God. 37:31. The law of God is the extension of God’s nature and expression of God’s will in His creation. God’s law is expressed in different forms, relating to different areas of His creation. The physical law of God includes the laws of nature which govern the continuous physical existence of this world (Gen. 8:22; Col. 1:17). 

The moral law, also called “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25), governs the immaterial issues of life (2 Tim. 3:17). The social law of God affects interpersonal relationships and can be summarized by the “royal law” (James 2:8). The spiritual law deals with a man’s relationship with God. It is summarized in “the first and great commandment” (Matt. 23:37). 

Illustration: The purpose of the law is to reveal the sovereignty of God (Ex. 20:2), to place a restraint on the sinner (68:7-8), to show the greatness and reality of sin (Rom. 3:19-20), and to lead the sinner to Christ (Gal. 3:24). The purpose of the law did not change with the gospel. When the Judaizers in Galatia sought to teach their erroneous view of the law, they failed to realize that the law has never been able to save anyone. Application: As Christians, we should be concerned to live decently and orderly. (First ref. Gen. 2:17; Primary Ref. Rom. 7:7-14; cf. Ex. 3:13).’ 

Wow! That’s a lot of scripture to reference, but that’s the only way we can truly learn it. So please, take some time and check out as many of them as you can nuh. I assure you it will lift your scriptural knowledge and increase your awareness of the law and LOVE of our great God. And, as per the saving part of our Bit, we don’t really need to talk about it, because that’s what we’ve been focused on and celebrating all weekend, the Saving Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ so selflessly accomplished through His crucifixion on Good Friday, then His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday! 

It’s done friends! Like Jesus said on the cross before He gave up the ghost; ‘It is finished!’ Yes, it is! Salvation has finally come. Now it’s up to us to accept or refuse it. And for those of us who have wisely and confidently accepted it, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we graciously belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong 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 having made that boast, it now behooves us to go out and share that awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…Easter…the season of forgiveness, of redemption and salvation… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 April 2022   1 Chronicles 16:34.

1 Chronicles 16:34.      O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 

And it’s a bright and beautiful spring Tuesday…getting warmer every minute too! (smile) Oh yes, it’s high time that we are blessed with some of the sun’s real warmth after such a long winter of hibernating. But that’s just the price we pay for living in the cold northern climes. Nothing that we can’t handle though with the indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ moving and grooving with us. And one of those marvellous moves happened just now. I’m talking about where the Good Book opened this morning; at 1 Chronicles 16, which contains this beautiful song of praise and thanksgiving from the mighty pen of Bruh David. 

And you know what means, we’ve got to declare it today. (smile) So, let’s do as Bruh David says nuh. ‘Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared (held in reverential awe) above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols (worthless things): but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place. 

Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Fear (tremble) before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth. 

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr.16:23-36) 

Oh my people, my people, what beautiful, wise, true and sure sentiments! Bruh David surely knew how to pull one into the Lord’s sphere, to wrap one in the cocoon of God’s LOVE, mercy and greatness! If, after reading those true and worthy sentiments and you have not felt the LOVE, the nearness, the warmth and safety emanating from God’s Holy Spirit then your heart must really be made of stone. For the words just evoke a sense of totality, an all-encompassing serenity, stability and unchangeability that flows from the wonderful Creator of the universe and all therein. ‘For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.’ 

Now there’s no doubting His greatness if He can merely speak into existence this amazing world and all that’s in it. And just for that He definitely deserves praise and glory! Then when you add His goodness and mercy, His salvation, His saving grace…Oh friends, the honour and glory He truly deserves for all that He is, is way above our frail, fickle and finite ability. No wonder the Good Book tells us: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) 

We just are not in His league my brethren! And why should we be eh, when He is our Creator, the author of infinity, and we are just lowly, though highly adored minions with a finite existence? And that’s why we should be forever grateful and do like Bruh David says: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.’ And friends, not only the Lord’s mercy endures for ever, but also His amazing unconditional LOVE and ever-saving grace! Without His mercy, grace and LOVE, we’d be totally destroyed long ago! 

Jeremiah said it so succinctly and wisely in His Lamentations. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Blessed be His Holy Name! Give thanks for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

And so we should my fellow saints, for without the Lord’s abundant faithfulness, patience and long-suffering, we would have already been ignited with hell-fire and damnation! Because He promised, the fire next time, no more simplistic water. (smile) But yet still we refuse to bow to Him, to be obedient to His holy law and live according to the guidelines found in His word. And that’s even after He sacrificed His only Son on the cross of Calvary so that our abominable sins could be forgiven and our devilish souls washed clean. 

For whatever reason, the deceitful enemy still holds the reins of too many of our hearts and souls, desiring to take us down to the depths of Hades with him, forever separated from the God of our creation and salvation. But people, that’s the worst decision, the biggest mistake any created being can make, for eternity is a long, long time, and without Almighty God in our lives, for any time at all, much less such a long period, we will endure much ‘sufferation.’ 

Remember, that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He’s our Creator and keeps the breath of life, His breath of life, going in us. He has the power to do whatever He wants with us through His omnipotence, omniscience, and omni-presence. And above all He is the God of our salvation! So, with all those things going for Him, doesn’t it make sense to bow down and worship Him, to give him much thanks and praise? I certainly think so! 

And for those of us who also think that way, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the whole world to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. Altogether 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!’ 

Consequently, we must now go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, just as generously as He’s shared it with us, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Oh what a wonderful task that is my people! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing better than…wallowing in the LOVE, mercy and grace of God… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 February 2022 Psalm 119:133.

Psalm 119:133.     Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

Oh my people, on this damp and cloudy Tuesday morning in late February, the 22/2/22, a momentous date they say will not return for another thousand years, I’ve been inspired to begin the Bit with a li’l ditty. (smile) So please sing along with me. ‘I’ve got a good thing going in the Lord today! Oh yes, I’ve got a good thing going in the Lord today. I’ve got a good thing going in the Lord today… And I’m so excited and blessed to share it with you!’ 

Glory Hallelujah my brethren! There’s no better way to begin a new day of life and LOVE than with some joy in the Lord of our salvation! What’s the purpose of having salvation if we don’t enjoy it eh? But sadly, that’s what happens to a lot of us, we allow the vicissitudes of life to rob us of the abundant joy of the salvation that Jesus Christ died for us to have. That’s not wise. It’s just wasting Jesus’ marvellous sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. 

And yes, I know life can be very difficult at times, but being joyless doesn’t change our circumstances. However, being joyful changes us, and allows us to handle the tough situations that we all encounter in this earthly life. Please remember, as the Good Book tells us in Nehemiah: ‘for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) That means when we lose our joy, we lose our strength in God, and if we don’t have God’s strength, then we don’t have anything worthwhile at all. 

So it’s ever so important that we retain that joy we find in the Lord our God, if we intend to live successful lives in His glorious name. And to help us keep that joy full and running over, today I want to share some exciting words from the scriptures that help us to do just that. It comes from that awesome Psalm 119 – the section titled ‘PE’ for the 17th letter of the Jewish alphabet (Pey). And it is subtitled: ‘The entrance of thy words giveth light.’ 

Oh, how true that is my fellow saints in Christ! The entering of God’s word into our hearts, bodies and souls, does bring spiritual light to them. So, let’s ask the Lord to allow His amazing words to bring light to the darkness of our souls today, as we read His inspiring word together. ‘Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light: it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. 

Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that LOVE thy name. Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver (redeem) me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they (men) keep not thy law.’ (Ps. 119:129-136) 

What beautiful words and sentiments my fellow believers! Wish that we could truly mean them and thus have them be a significant part of our lives. But we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. However, our great and wonderful God, who is ever so rich in mercy and forgiveness always answers our prayers if we are sincere and they fall in line with His will. So, if we are serious about His word that we’ve just read, He will enable us to do the things we’ve asked. 

And I like that verse we’ve chosen for our Bit, because it seems to cover everything. If the Lord directs our steps and iniquity doesn’t have dominion over us, then everything else will come into successful play. Hopefully, then we’ll be able to say like Job did: ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held (held fast to) his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed (treasured) the words of his mouth more than my necessary food (appointed portion).’ (Job 23:10-12) 

Oh friends, when we can sincerely declare sentiments like those, then are we truly living for God. And it would certainly be great when we are tried, we come forth as gold, as pure gold. Yes, and per that verse, the scholars tell us that ‘Job’s friends maintained that Job was full of dross, but Job is confident that no dross, or sin, would be revealed in the fire of refinement.’ And that fire of refinement is basically what Bruh Paul talked about to the church at Corinth in his first missive. 

‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) 

And my people, the long and short of all that is whatever work we claim to do for Christ will eventually be tested and if it comes through the test, then we will be rewarded for it. But if our works are burned up in the fire, we will not lose our salvation, just the rewards we were hoping to get. As the scholars explain: ‘The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ 

Now for those of us who are serious about living for Christ, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong, confident and sincere 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 all of that, let’s go out now and action it by sharing the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to LOVE and serve Him as we do! Much LOVE!

…the best way to build on the foundation of Christ…is with gold, silver and precious stones…stuff that will endure the refiner’s fire… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 January 2022 Psalm 107:6.

Psalm 107:6.    Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. 

Well, it’s another cold and snowy Tuesday morning…but thankfully nothing like it was last Tuesday! Hn! Some snow did fall yesterday, but a minuscule amount in comparison to last week’s debacle. And again, much thanks should be given, because in some places they are still digging out and cleaning up from that amazing and awesome, but oh so dangerous and deadly amount of heavenly precipitation! (smile) 

And since we are in thanksgiving mode, I believe that one of my favourite prayers is most appropriate for today’s situation. It’s something I’ve shared before, but please remember that prayer is made to share over and over again. (smile) This awesome prayer was prepared by the Life-Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut. I’m not sure exactly when, but it’s before 2014, which is on the copy I have, that tells you how much I like it, and how long I’ve had it, but I can see that I’ve also changed the date, and still do every year. (smile) 

So please pray with me: It’s titled: Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!  And opens thus: ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.’ (Psalm 107:8). Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! 

How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow, I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! 

Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2022, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour I pray! Amen.’ 

Oh my people, that prayer just resonates through every fibre of my being because it seems to cover all the bases! And praying it ‘never fails to reassure and uplift me,’ which is one of the major purposes of prayer! I surely hope that it touches your hearts and souls too, reassuring and uplifting you. And having said all of that, I guess the most logical thing to follow it up with is some of Psalm 107, which is titled ‘God’s wonderful works to the children of men.’ 

So let’s read together: ‘O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 

Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:1-9) 

Ah friends, there is so much in those first few verses of the psalm, that I don’t know what to talk about. (smile) We can talk about the Lord’s goodness and mercy which endure forever…Or about crying out to Him when in distress and Him delivering us out of our troubles…Or talk about praising the Lord for His goodness to us undeserving children of men…Or how He satisfies the longing soul and fills the empty soul with goodness. Take your pick! And that’s only from the first nine verses, and the psalm has 43 verses all told. 

Anyhow, in our sad and sorry current situation, I believe the verse about crying out to God in our time of trouble is what we should talk about; check out a couple scriptures on it, and see how our forefathers did it. So let’s turn to Psalm 50, God is the judge, where the psalmist Asaph wisely, provocatively and admonishingly writes on the Lord’s behalf: ‘If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps. 50:12-15) 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s obvious that we need to call upon our great God in these evil and sorrowful times, because He is the ONLY real source of help! It says so all throughout the scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation! So why are we so loathe to call upon the Creator of the universe for help eh, especially when nothing else, no man-made solution is working? Are we afraid, because deep down our souls hide in darkness and evil and we don’t truly honour God like we preach? And we fall into the wicked and ungodly category that verses 16-21 of Psalm 50 talk about. 

Under those circumstances, then these last two verses of Psalm 50, seem appropriate. ‘Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation (conduct) aright will I show the salvation of God.’ (Ps. 50:22-23) It’s so simple friends, we only have two options, be against God, live wickedly and suffer eternal death and damnation, or be for Him, live right and see His wonderful salvation! 

But that most important decision has to be made on an individual basis, everyone deciding for themselves. And yes, others will try to persuade us to fall into one category or the other, but please, please, first check out all the facts for yourself, then make a wise and informed decision. Just in case it helps, I made mine to follow Christ, because, in my opinion, that seems to be the best option. And for all those of us who believe likewise, let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong, sincere and confident 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action those words, sharing the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…when the righteous cry…the Lord hears…and answers…  

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 January 2022 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.       He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.  

And the big cleanup is in progress this bright, sunshiny Tuesday morning after the big storm yesterday. And it was a real big one, one like we haven’t seen possibly in a decade. My driveway is clean now, but not the lane, especially the entrance to it, where the snow plow just moves up and down the main road cleaning that, while blocking  up the laneways with piles of unpassable snow.

The lanes are always left for last, though I don’t know how they expect us to get to a clean main road, if we can’t get out of our lanes. And when they do the lanes they block up the driveways, so that ofttimes you can’t get out because the snow pile at the bottom is so big and icy. But that’s the government for you!

Now let’s hope that we don’t get any more snowfalls even close to the magnitude of this one, because then we’ll hear that they’ve run out of money to do the clean up properly. Steups! Every year they raise the taxes that’s supposed to pay for that amenity, but every year they clam to run out of money. Is it just bad money management…or something entirely different eh? (smile)

But that’s a story for another day. Today, let’s consider something much more important – a search for righteousness, one that will automatically improve that money situation we were just talking about. (smile) Now, Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount spoke of some traits that believers ought to possess, and what happens when they possess or ardently seek them. We call them the Beatitudes, and one of them goes like this: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt. 5:6)

But before we get into what that means, let’s look at another even important statement Jesus made later on, where He warns His listeners. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33). Now, if we are supposed to seek God’s righteousness, then that gives us some idea of how important righteousness is, and it’s a continual thing.

Once you have found God, made allegiance to Christ, you don’t ever stop searching for righteousness. And righteousness is basically wanting to do the right thing. Most of us know what’s right from wrong, but don’t always do it, being led astray by our sinful nature and the lies and deceit of the enemy and this evil world. And seeking righteousness is just trying not to be led astray, through reading God’s word, meditating on it, praying, mingling with other believers, and accepting His promises for your future.

And going back to our Beatitude, we find this explanation from the scholars. ‘5.6. These future possessors of the earth (referring to the previous Beatitude – blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth: Matt. 5:5) are its presently installed rightful heirs, and even now they hunger and thirst after righteousness. They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself is a proof of their spiritual rebirth.

Those who are poor and empty in their own spiritual poverty recognizes the depth of their need, and they hunger and thirst for that which only God can give them. They shall be filled refers to a complete satisfaction. The psalmist proclaimed : ‘He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:9).’

Yes friends, that’s one of the many promises of our faithful God! If you come to Him spiritually hungry and thirsty, He will indeed fill your soul with His righteousness. But sadly, in these times of great spiritual hunger and thirst, of spiritual famine, not enough of us are recognizing our drastic need for spiritual awakening, and thus are not turning to Almighty God to refresh and satisfy our famished souls.

How sad is that eh? And it’s one of the reasons why our world, why Christ’s church, and our own lives are in such disarray, that we are miserable and unhappy, and not living the abundant life that Christ died for us to have, first down here on earth, and then with Him in heaven for all eternity.  Now let’s check out a few scriptures that reinforce our contention of blessedness for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

And the first one comes from Bruh David’s immortal, or more correctly, one of his immortal psalms. (smile) That’s Psalm 34, where he writes with exceptional confidence: ‘O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear (revere) him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps. 34:9-10) How reassuring and encouraging are those words when we take them seriously!

Then we turn to one of my favourite passages of scripture, the Magnificat, the soul and spirit baring or emptying words that Mary, Jesus’ mother spoke of her rather unusual situation when she went to visit her pregnant cousin Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother. Amongst her outpouring of heart-felt  words, were these, on our current topic. ‘He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the humble). He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away.’ (Luke 1:52-53)

Oh my people, our God does take pleasure in exalting and filling the humble with good things, but those who don’t have time for Him, He leaves up to their own devices. The Lord LOVES and cares for us all, but He desires us to come to Him. In most cases, He won’t infringe on the free will that He’s given us. So the responsibility lies with us to answer His call.

And the last scripture again comes from the psalms, this time from the pen of the sons of Korah, who in Psalm 84, positively declare: ‘For the Lord is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (ps. 84:11-12) And that’s the gospel truth, as all of us who trust in Christ Jesus know from long experience!

Now for those of us who sincerely seek the Lord’s kingdom and His righteousness, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong and confident 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!’ 

Now let’s go out and action those statements like Jesus desires of us, sharing His amazing LOVE and awesome friendship with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…in Jesus…we find ALL that we need…no ifs, ands and buts about it…

P.S. They have finally cleaned my lane, but if you see the two big piles of snow they set up in front of my two neighbours’ houses, completely blocking sight of the main road. Then, as the duchess complained, there will be noise all during the night as the big trucks come to remove the snow. But that’s life! You have to put up with some discomfort to get the final comfort! (smile) Much LOVE!

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

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