Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2019 Isaiah 1:18.

Isaiah 1:18.   ​Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
 
No rain! No rain! Glory be! But the skies on the eastern horizon do look a tad dark for this hour of the morning. (smile) And just to let you know that by lunchtime yesterday, rainy day Tuesday had turned into dry and sunny day Tuesday!

Oh the weather system is so tricky and unreliable these days. But thank God our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the most reliable Being in God’s great universe, so we don’t have anything much to worry about, just our own unnecessary worries. (smile) 

And when I read this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin yesterday, it just spoke to me, saying ‘You’ve got to share me!’ So here it is. It’s titled ‘God’s Searchlight.’  Please pray with me: ‘O God If suddenly You were to reveal To my family, my friends, my neighbours Every real thought behind my courteous words If you were to point to my clenched fists While my other hand is openly extended 

If you were to bring to light Every masked motive, every selfish act I would cringe with remorse And beg You to remove Your light of revelation. Yet, Lord, when the searchlight of the Holy Spirit Begins to reveal me to myself I so often close my eyes and turn my back In a frantic but impossible effort To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

What a staggering contradiction, Lord what appalling hypocrisy. Apart from your grace I am utterly shattered. I ask you to sweep through me Purify me, cleanse me completely. From the depth of my penitent heart I thank You for Your continual assurance As I turn toward Your splintered cross. Because of Your LOVE I became Your child Because of Your GRACE I remain Your child.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, that is all so true! We try to be tried and true believers, but that sinful aspect of our nature too often raises its ugly head and makes us behave very hypocritically! And don’t fool your fat, we’re all a bunch of ole hypocrites, just some to a higher or lower degree than others, because we all dislike things and people and otherwise for which we have no good grounds, and behave in ways that are very unchristian. 

However when the Holy Spirit convicts us, hopefully we turn to the cross of Jesus and cry out for the help we so badly need! And those last two lines say it all: By God’s unconditional and awesome LOVE, we became His children, and by His amazing GRACE, we remain His children! Yes friends, it’s all because of our wonderful God that we’re saved from a life of sin, shame and eternal damnation! 

And I like the scripture verse that Ruth uses for this poem ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Oh my people, which other supposed deity is willing to sit down and reason with His sinful disobedient subjects eh? Only the Lord God Jehovah, because He is sure and secure enough in His own omnipotence and omniscience to do so! But please note, that though He is willing to sit down and talk, He is still the one laying down the basic groundwork for our relationships. 

And that is: ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:19-20) 

And for some reason or other we don’t tend to take the Lord’s promises as seriously as we should. The Israelites didn’t several times, and felt the wrath He promised. Now we’re doing likewise, and so many of us are falling by the sword and numerous old and new diseases, and we still aren’t paying attention to God’s Word! How unwise my people! 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of those verses. ‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to ALL men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their bloodguiltiness before God. 

The term ‘crimson’ also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.’ 

All praise and glory to our wonderful God! And it’s not the only time the Lord calls His people to talk with Him about their sins. Listen to Him again, later on in Isaiah: ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead (contend) together: declare thou (thy case), that thou mayest be justified.’ (Is.43:2-26) 

Oh friends, what more can we ask for eh? We have such a wonderful God, who is willing and able to cast aside and forget our sins if we repent and become obedient to His Word. And that’s why the Lord LOVED Bruh David; he wasn’t afraid to confess his sins, even the most abominable ones. 

Listen to him from Psalm 51, when Nathan drapes him up with his sin with Bathsheba. ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:7-10) 

Yeh mih people, though Bruh David looked good on the outside, He was suffering mightily with the immense guilt on his heart, but when he repented, that guilt lifted because the Lord forgave him, though he paid a serious price for his sin later on in life, a sin which brought serious disrepute to God’s cause. The same thing goes for us today; we can ALL be forgiven through sincere repentance, but more likely than not, there will be consequences to pay for our sins. 

So fully knowing and acknowledging that, let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our wonderful and illustrious position in Christ. As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh yes my breddren, let’s keep on keeping on strong and steadfast, and that future will be indeed more than we can ask or ever imagine! Much LOVE! 

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) so rightly says…the best way to live this life is to…simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.   My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Oh boy, it’s another bright, sunshiny day in the neighbourhood! Thank You Lord! If we have to put up with the snow and cold, then we should at least have some sunshine to brighten up the gloom those things produce in our spirits. (smile) 

And I’m in a quandary here; don’t know what to write on; Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day, as both of them fall on the same day. Hn! The former begins the season of Lent for believers; a serious time of introspection, fasting and prayer. 

On the other hand, the latter is a time of joy and celebration and the time of the biggest display of LOVE in our hate-filled, angry and resentful society. And even though it smacks of a lot of insincerity and commercialism, how can you write off any kind of LOVE at all eh, when we so badly need it? 

I guess in one sense you can say that the bacchanal of Carnival is over now, and we begin the season of Lent with a fiery burst of LOVE! Oh how wonderful that would be if the LOVE went a li’l deeper and was more sincere and lasting! But beggars can’t be choosers, so if we get even a small amount of LOVE in this LOVELESS world we have to be grateful and say, ‘Thank You Lord!! 

Meanwhile, on the Lenten side of the ledger, we need to get serious about our walk with God and delve into what it truly means to be walking in sincere tandem with Him. We need to empty our spirits, as Jesus did when He was led into the wilderness to suffer forty days of temptation at the hands of the evil Lucifer. 

He spent His days in prayer and contemplation with fasting, a way of building His belly and backbone to withstand the rigours of His upcoming ministry. He knew that His ministry would not be easy, and that was the Lord’s way of strengthening Him. 

And in this season of Lent we ought to try and be strengthened in like manner my faithful and believing brethren. If we want to be like Jesus, to grow in Christ-likeness, then we have to do some of the things He did, follow in His footsteps as much as possible. And tuning out more of the world than usual, in these next forty days, is something we can do, and ought to embark on. 

I guess you can call it the yearly cleansing of our spirits. But however we do it, the important thing is to get closer to God, by putting aside some of the worldly things that usually occupy our time, and giving Him more of our time, studying His word more closely and meditating on it, so we can discover its true meaning for our lives. 

And yuh know what friends? As we spend more time in serious reflection, we will understand God better, and His most wonderful attribute, that of LOVE, will seep into our hearts and souls even more. Wow! How amazing that would be if we could get the majority of the world to reflect on God’s Word and discover His awesome and unconditional LOVE! 

And on this Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, I believe the most appropriate Bit for today, is the same one we had yesterday. ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ 

Yeh mih people, please, please, I implore us to bring out true LOVE in our daily lives, show it to our fellow man in living colour, in sincere actions, because that’s the only way we will truly make this world a better place. Not to mention that it’s only true, sincere actions of LOVE, that anyone will truly want to come to Christ. If we keep preaching that Christ is LOVE, and don’t show true LOVE, then we’re making a mockery of Christ and all that He stands for. 

As John says earlier on: ‘For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should LOVE one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew (murdered) his brother (Abel). And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.’ (1 John 3:11-12) 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last verse. ‘3:12. See Genesis 4:8. Of that wicked one refers to a child of the Devil (v.10). Cain killed Abel because their conflicting allegiances (Cain’s to Satan, Abel’s to God) were plain to see by their respective actions. 

John seems to be saying: “If even wicked Cain could see that a man’s character is revealed ultimately, not in what he says he believes, but in what he does, should not Christians be able to see this as well?” 

Of course we should my brethren! As we said yesterday, LOVE is an action word, and only through our actions can we outwardly manifest it. But sadly, so many of us lack LOVE in our souls, that we obviously can’t show it. We can’t give what we don’t have. 

However, if we’re serious about giving LOVE, then all we have to do is go to God and sincerely ask Him to fill us with it. But then that means spending time with Him, something that so many of us unfortunately shy away from. 

Anyway friends, this Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day is the right time for us to come to the trough and drink of God’s grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness. Remember, it did not just happen by chance, but God programmed it that way, to accomplish His purpose. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our blessed position in Christ. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now that’s truth and wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if one is consistently hanging with Jesus…then one’s future can only get brighter and brighter…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2017 Psalm 118:5.

Psalm 118:5.   I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.

Oh precious people of God, it is Christmas time; the season of peace, LOVE and goodwill to all men, in honour of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And what a magnificent time it can be, if we don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season and keep Him first place in our hearts as we busily rush around making preparations for this joyful occasion. 

Yes friends, we need to keep ourselves reminded of that all-important fact, otherwise the incredible noise and the hullabaloo of the secular world and their avowed intention to remove Jesus from our society, will drown it out of our hearts, minds and souls. 

And today I want to share a quote that resounds with the atmosphere of the season. It’s attributed to Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961), Swedish, diplomat, economist and author, who served as the second Secretary General of the United Nations, and was killed in a plane crash in Zambia, while on his way to investigate some irregularities. 

He reputedly said that: ‘Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.’ 

And doesn’t that perfectly fit this Christmas season, when Christ came as a child, the miracle that was to fix our broken and fallen sinful nature, offering forgiveness, while eventually washing us white as snow, and thus making us clean again, so that we could communicate in holiness and righteousness with our heavenly Father? It sure does to me! 

And I guess that’s why Christmas is such a time of forgiveness, where joy and laughter, peace and goodwill triumph over the usually selfish, morose and negative rest of the year. The wonderful Spirit of Jesus is in the air my brethren! Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the children of men! Let’s keep His wonderful Spirit alive as we keep shouting, ‘Merry Christmas to All…and to All a Happy New Year!’ 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.’ 

Ah friends, isn’t it wonderful to have the Lord to cry out to in times of trouble? It surely is! No other faith has that divine promise of hearing and responding in positive fashion to our requests. And we see it in so many places in the Good Book. Yesterday we saw Bruh David crying out for help, and receiving it. 

Now let’s look at a couple of other situations where heartfelt pleas were made to the Father, and He responded positively. The psalmist in Psalm 120 – Prayer for deliverance from lying lips – begins by declaring: ‘In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me. Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.’ (Ps.120:1-2) 

Oh my fellow believers, in these deceitful, strife filled and ultra-talkative times, many of us need to cry out to the Lord for help in that area, for truth is sadly lacking in our society. And one of the best examples of our Bit is Jonah’s cry from the belly of the fish after he had disobeyed the Lord’s directive to go and preach to the people of Nineveh. 

‘Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard (answered) me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 

For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst (the heart) of the seas; and the floods compassed me about (surrounded me): all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then said I, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.’ (Jon.2:1-4) 

Yeh friends, I am sure being in that fish’s belly for three days and nights was certainly hell for Jonah. But please note that though he was disobedient and being punished for it, he never lost faith in the LOVING-kindness and forgiveness of his God. 

Later on in the chapter he declares: ‘When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto (went up to) thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities (worthless idols) forsake their own mercy (LOVING-kindness). But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.’ (Jon.2:7-9) 

Oh my people, yuh see even when we are in the most desperate and distraught situations, it is never too late to call on our wonderful God. Jonah did it, as it were from the very depths of hell. And what was the response? ‘And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.’ (Jon.2:10) 

Even so will the Lord cause us to be released from our misery if we call upon Him in humility and sincere belief, because that’s what He is all about; LOVING-kindness, mercy and forgiveness. Friends, oh friends, please remember that and NEVER lose faith in Him, regardless of the circumstances! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, boldly letting the world know of our faith and our wonderful position in Jesus Christ. As one strong and solid voice now. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And what a glorious future that will be my fellow believers! Much LOVE!

…Christmas…the time of joy and LOVE…celebrating the miracle of the coming of Jesus…