Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. 
 

And after a rainy and soggy Queen Vic holiday, Tuesday has dawned dry, but cloudy, with blustery winds! And rather unfortunately, it’s under those unfavourable conditions that many of us have to return to work after several weeks of being home under the Coronavirus lockdown. It’s good that some restrictions have been lifted, but there are still a whole lot of unknowns and uncertainties surrounding this virus. So let’s not be rash and irresponsible as we go about our newly gained freedom. 

Yes friends, if we want to prevent another serious outbreak, we still need to maintain that careful cleansing and physical distancing and mask wearing routine as more of us move around outside and come into close contact with each other. It’s as simple as that. And yes, it might sound simple in words, but in deeds and in actions, it’s a completely different matter; a horse of a different colour. (smile) 

Ah mih people, I know that our faith has already been tried and severely tested with the sudden appearance of this unknown virus and the shutdown it’s caused, and now it’s going to be further tested with going out and working and behaving in a brand new way. And since we’re only human, mere mortals, we’re therefore subject to fear, especially fear of the unknown and the untested. But please, let’s rely on our strong faith to lead and guide us as we ought to nuh, for it’s in these fearful and uncertain times that we need our faith to come forward and lift us up. 

Remember that’s one of the basic purposes of faith, of God’s indisputable Word in our lives. And we need to allow faithful and promising scriptures like this one to keep us strong and confident in our great God Jehovah! In the majestic and faith lifting words of Bruh Paul to his young protégé Timothy, let us confidently remember: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yes friends, in these sad and doubtful times we need to have that scripture amongst many others continually echoing in our hearts and souls to keep us strong and faithful. 

And to help us do that, today, we’re featuring this encouraging and reassuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled: ‘You Did All the Rest.’ So please pray with me: ‘O Lord God! I did what You asked me to do: I just opened windows Wide… Wide… And You did all the rest! You poured into my heart A blessed, blissful contentment. You saturated my mind with gigantic thoughts of You. You struck an artesian well within me Until sheer joy sprang forth. 

You led me out of the valley of despair Into a succession of incredible happenings. Problems which seemed insurmountable Melted like wax before my eyes. Fears faded away like threatening clouds. You startled me You amazed me With the glory of Your revelation. It is true Gloriously true…I have literally walked and breathed with God. I just opened windows Wide… Wide… God, You did all the rest!’ And that’s exactly what our wonderful, great, magnificent and magnanimous God will do my faithful brethren if we open the windows of our hearts and souls WIDE… WIDE.. to Him! Glory Be! 

So as the Word faithfully promises: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev. 3:20) Oh friends, I’m sure that Christ is knocking on many doors of many of our hearts today; Right Now! So please, please, let’s not turn Him away nuh. Let’s open the doors and windows and whatever openings there are wide, wide, so that He can come in and be with us and relieve us of whatever fears and problems and troubles and uncertainties that have flooded our souls! 

Remember Christ is the ANSWER! The ANSWER to whatever ails us! And the scripture verse that buoys up our poem, comes from Psalm 46, mighty words indeed that show how great a God, our God is. Hear the psalmist tell it like it is nuh: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea: Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46:1-3) 

Yes my faithful friends in Christ, let’s stop for a moment and ponder those words of enormous faith nuh. Let’s allow them to sink into our hearts, bodies and souls and strengthen and encourage us! For there is nothing else in this world that can lift us up like the unerring and ever-truthful Word of God! And I recommend that after reading the Bit, we should all get out our Bibles and read Psalm 46 in its entirety, because it is such a powerful and encouraging  piece of scripture. So much so that I’ll share what the scholars say about it. 

‘Psalm 46. This psalm expresses thanks for the deliverance of Jerusalem, the city of God (vs. 4). It contains three key ideas. First. God is a place of security when all else is insecure (vs. 1-3). Second, God protects His city, giving its people assurance and comfort (vs. 4-7). Third, all men are called upon to consider God’s works and submit to His authority (vs. 8-11). The unshakeable confidence with which the psalm leaves the believer prompted Martin Luther (a German priest, one of the Leaders of the 16th century Protestant Reformation) to pen one of the greatest hymns of all time, ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” 

 Oh my people, my people, it’s that unshakeable confidence I want us to display today…and every day!  And we can do it today, when in strong voice with sincere hearts we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. Wow! 

All together 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!’ 

Now let’s go out, or stay in, (smile) and do exactly that now nuh! Much LOVE!

…ONLY in Christ…can we ever find…ALL that we ever want and need…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 March 2015 Psalm 89:1‏‏

Psalm 89:1.  I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Oh Friends, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa! Truthfully, I don’t know what happened this morning. I went to bed at my normal hour, around two o’clock, expecting to get up by seven. Unfortunately though I got up after five to go to the bathroom and after that… Lord have mercy, I just turned and tossed, trying to find a comfortable position to ease the pain in my aching shoulders. Steups!

Somewhere along the line, I must have eventually fallen asleep because when I did open my eyes, it was after eight. And to make matters even worse, I got up with a cramp in my left thigh! Glory Hallelujah! What more can I say eh? (smile) And now I’m drinking a cup of caffeine that really doesn’t thrill me – not strong or sweet enough, but since I’m trying to cut back on my coffee and sugar intake, I just have to grin and bear it.

And those are my early morning woes! (smile) But yuh know what my people, I’m still very glad and thankful to be alive, regardless of my petty inconveniences. Lots of others have it much worse than you and I, so please let’s not complain too much when we’re beset by unfortunate circumstances.

Let’s just learn to take it in our stride, knowing that our wonderful God is looking after our every move. And though we might not understand how and why, He’s working it all out for our good. He has promised that and He ALWAYS fulfills His promises. So though the morning has begun on a somewhat rough note, I’m sure it will end up very well. Glory to God!

And my Friends, this morning I have a poem to share with you from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It describes us to a T. When I read it yesterday, I just had to laugh. It’s titled ‘What Is Your Schedule, God?’  

And it reads: ‘Lord Many years ago Martin Luther said “It’s God’s nature To make something out of nothing. That is why God cannot make anything Out of him who is yet nothing.” In ways I had never anticipated, Lord Slowly but persistently You continue Your hammering and crushing In every hidden crevice of my life.

You seem determined to reduce me to nothing In order to make me something. I wonder… What is Your schedule, God? As You creatively continue To reshape and remake me How long will the process last? Lord, could You hurry a little?’

Oh Friends, doesn’t that sound just like us? The Lord’s trying to remake us in the image of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but it doesn’t happen easily or quickly, and having become accustomed to the easy life and impatience of our times, we can’t stand the pain or the waiting. We want to be a beautiful image of Christ, but we don’t want to suffer the changes or spend the time necessary on the potter’s wheel of the Lord.

And the promise for that poem is a rather appropriate one. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus.’ (Phil.1:6)

Yes my fellow believers, our God will continue whatever work He has begun in us until that day that Jesus returns in all His splendour and glory. So there’s no need to worry about what we’re going through, for we have a Master Builder and Master Potter looking after us.

That’s why Friends, we can confidently say like the Ethan the Ezrahite in our Bit: ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.’

Yes my people, though it is indeed our duty to pass on the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness to the up and coming generations, our souls should be so full of the joy of the Lord that all those things should just come naturally to us.

And there’s no better example of that than Bruh David in his songs. Listen to this one, his psalm of thanksgiving, when the Ark of the Covenant was brought up to Jerusalem.

‘Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgement of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; and hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,

Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot (allotment) of your inheritance. When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people. He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

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 the nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared (held in reverential awe) above all gods.’ (1 Chr.16:7-25)  

Oh Friends, we have to stop there, because the psalm is at least half as long again, and we don’t have the time nor space to capture it all. But it does show how Bruh David tied in all the different aspects of Israel’s dealings with their God. It was also a teaching tool, so that the people could learn of Israel’s history, something to be orally passed down to the generations, since writing and reading weren’t as universal as they are today.

Let us therefore remember Friends, not only the Lord’s goodness to Israel in their time, but also His LOVING-kindness to us in these trying days. And thus cause our voices to be raised in song, in thanksgiving for His everlasting mercies to us, His people, the flock of His pasture, so that others can hear it, and come to know Him like we do. That is indeed heavenly wisdom. Much LOVE!

…to true followers of Jesus…singing His praises…ought to come naturally and constantly…as breathing His breath of life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2013 Matthew 5:14

Matthew 5:14.    Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Ah Friends, our world is in such a sad state of disrepair and confusion, it hurts to the very core. There are so many more negative than positive happenings, that when you look around all you can see is man’s terrible and ever increasing inhumanity to his fellow man. Not too long ago, it was reckoned in millions, but now it’s counted in billions.

Ah Lord eh! And the atrocities taking place in our supposed civilized world are innumerable and real, real… Hn! I can’t seem to find a word worse than atrocious nuh, so I guess atrocious it is. And the sad part is that many of these atrocities are being committed in the name of some god or the other. And wonder of wonders, all these gods are supposed to be deities which exude peace and LOVE as their main platforms!

Chuh! I guess that’s what I get for reading the newspapers, because they’re simply littered with all the negative aspects of our world, since that’s what is considered worthwhile news today. Very few of the relatively few good things happening in our world are ever reported.

I have to stop here and chuckle yes Friends, because when I was growing up, I could never understand about the constant warfare reported in the Bible and the History Books. And, fortunately or unfortunately, I still don’t understand them, or those happening today. I don’t see what real or useful purpose they serve, for it’s all death and destruction.

So you won the war, big deal! Numerous amounts of your citizens are dead, including your friends and family, your once proud and prosperous land is laid waste… But you won the war, so that makes you a mighty conqueror!

Steups! Pure foolishness Friends! I think I’ll just remain in my lack of understanding and naivety yes. (smile) The Lord might have been wiser though to let all of mankind perish in the flood, because even with that new beginning through Noah and his family, it didn’t take us long to revert to our truly evil ways, and it seems that since then, each generation has gotten progressively worse.

We claim that the Lord made us to have a good personal relationship with Him, but how much of humanity is doing that eh, even amongst the ones that do know about Him? The corrupting things of the world are having a much greater impact on mankind than the things of God, which do not corrupt.

So where does that leave us, eh mih breddren? It leaves the proportionate few who sincerely believe in the ONE TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of LOVE, mercy, grace, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life, to work harder at spreading the good news of Christ and His redeeming work.

Oh Friends, we definitely and desperately need to outwork and outshine Lucifer and his evil hordes, if we truly desire to bring success to Jesus’ LOVE Revolution. To do that though, we need to develop an extraordinary amount of unbelievable faith to be able to put up with all the abuse, persecution and negativity thrown at us by the numerous evil doers of this world.

We need a faith as talked about by Martin Luther (1483-1546) the German minister who played a large part in bringing about the Protestant Reformation a few centuries ago. Now when I went on the Net to check out the dates of his birth and death, I happened to come across the same quote that I planned to share, but in a slightly different form. I considered trying to put them together, but couldn’t get it to work properly, so I’ll just give us both versions.

Version 1, from my Devotional. ‘Faith is a living and unshakeable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.’

And version 2, from the Net. ‘Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favour that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it.’

Wow! Oh my fellow believers, which ever version you choose, it sure calls for a lot of faith! And right now it’s also obvious that our faith is still too small to successfully conquer the heathen. Without great faith, Martin Luther would not have had the ability to fight the Catholic Church, to stand strong and bring about the Protestant Reformation, which was, and still is, possibly the biggest change in religious attitudes since Christ birthed Christianity.

And Friends, with the great power that evil doers currently possess in our world, it will take a great upheaval, something akin to the Reformation, to bring the heathen to Christ. That’s where the LOVE Revolution comes in my people. We have to put on the greatest show of LOVE the world has seen, since Jesus sacrificed His sinless live on Calvary’s cross, for us to get the world’s attention and cause them to want what we so joyfully possess, to come to Christ to gain salvation and eternal life.

And I’m sorry, but the truth be told, we’re definitely not doing such a good job at it right now. There are too many divisions, too many petty grievances, too much hypocrisy, and simply not enough unity for unbelievers to take us seriously.

So what’s the answer eh mih breddren? We just have to get serious about doing Jesus’ work, to dig down deeper in our souls, find ways to strengthen out faith and trust in Almighty God, so that we’re willing to die a thousand deaths on His behalf.

That means Friends, we need to be two things. The first is to be a bright and genuine reflection of our Bit. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ For as Jesus explains: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:15)

And secondly, we truly have to be the salt of the earth! Why is that, you ask?

Listen to Jesus, and all of this comes from the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ (Matt.5:13)

Yes Friends, salt adds flavour to our food, acts as a preservative, heals wounds and salt water is the best therapeutic remedy in the world. That means we have to be bright and flavourful, compassionate, comforting, healing wounds, whether physically or psychologically, add taste, flavour and light to our bland, tasteless, dark world.

Yes my people, unless we are the true salt and light of this God-forsaken world, then things will just keep going downhill, which we certainly cannot afford to let happen.

So therefore we need to take Jesus’ advice very seriously. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16)

And that my fellow believers is divine wisdom straight from our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. So please let’s put it into action as soon as possible nuh. It’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…until the followers of Jesus truly become…the salt of the earth…and the light of the world…His church won’t make serious inroads into Lucifer’s camp…