Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2014 2 Chronicles 15:1.

2 Chronicles 15:1.     And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded.
 
And then it was Friday… Carnival Friday to boot! So you can imagine the huge amount of joyful and raucous shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ that are going up to heaven. It’s getting so deafening that the Lord has to put in earplugs to safeguard His hearing. (smile)
 
And if most of those shouts were truly godly grateful, it wouldn’t be so bad, but the fact of the matter is that most of them are simply mouthed platitudes for us to go and enjoy the earthly and sinful pleasures involved in the carnival bacchanal. You can imagine the highly ‘partyfied’ state of Rio, New Orleans and T&T!
 
But Friends, at no other time is Granny’s warning more important than at Carnival time, because we know it’s so easy to fall into the pleasurable traps of the enemy. So please, I beg of you all, this weekend especially, to remember that drunk or sober, you are expected to mind your business.
 
And be exceedingly careful of that brown girl in the bottle… or whatever colour girl she might be, for all of them are very capable and very likely to lead us down dark and dangerous paths, if we imbibe too much. We tend to get very loose and irresponsible then, and can suffer serious, life changing effects and situations through that irresponsibility.
 
And to help us guard against our natural irresponsible tendencies, let’s chant our Friday Chant in all seriousness. As one loud voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes mih people, this weekend, more than ever, we need to take our Friday Chant very seriously because it can prevent us from making some silly but very serious mistakes. And the ole fella’s talking from personal experience here, not hear say! (smile)
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded’
 
Yeh Friends, in olden times the Lord’s Spirit wasn’t dwelling in every believer as it is now, after the coming of Jesus and Pentecost. Back then the Lord empowered certain individuals for a particular purpose when He needed them.
 
And yesterday we saw a time when Israel was real idolatrous and ungodly and the Lord, in exasperation, left them to their own devices. (Judg. 2:16-23) Just as He’s currently leaving us to our own ungodly and disobedient devices, and we’re suffering the pangs of rebellion in a very catastrophic world. 
 
So the Lord left the pagan nations around Israel to test their determination and sincerity to walk in obedience to His commandments. (Judg. 3:1-4)
 
The Good Book describes it thus: ‘And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
 
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the Lord their God, and served Baalim (Baals, name or symbol of Canaanite gods) and the groves (Asherahs, names and symbols of Canaanite goddesses.’ (Judg.3:5-7)
 
The scholars tell us that ‘the groves were the detestable sacred trees or poles used in Canaanite worship centres as symbols of life and fertility. These were sacred to the worship of the Canaanite fertility goddess Asherah. Moses had warned against their use and given instructions to Israel to destroy them when they entered the land of Canaan (cf. Ex.34:13; Deut.7:5; 12:3; 16:21-22).
 
Unfortunately the use of such poles would prove to be a continuing fascination for Israel and a source of deepening apostasy. (cf. 2 Kin.17:9-11).’
 
Oh mih breddren, that’s exactly what we are doing today; intermarrying and associating with the heathen in a big way. But even worse, instead of bringing them to belief in the ONE, TRUE GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we’re embracing their paganism.
 
Don’t you think that will anger our God now, just as it angered Him back in the disobedient days of Israel? It surely will! And here’s how he dealt with Israel.
 
‘Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years.’ (Judg.3:8)
 
What else did they expect eh? And that warning goes for us today too Friends! But fortunately for the Israelites and us, our God is very merciful and forgiving.
 
‘And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.
 
And the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim. And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.’ (Judg.3:9-11)
 
Oh my fellow believes, how I hope and pray that the Lord would raise up someone like Othniel today in out dire time of need, so that he or she could defeat the pagan powers that are controlling us, albeit through our disobedience, and give our land some godly peace and rest from the continuous struggles and strife that’s been plaguing it for oh too long. Please pray for God to positively address the situation very soon.
 
Remember though, that godly assistance WILL NOT COME WITHOUT SINCERE CONVICTION AND REPENTANCE! So if we want to see godly improvement in our world any time soon, then we need to start working RIGHT NOW, to seriously bring conviction and repentance to it.
 
With those two things permeating our society, we CAN NEVER GO WRONG! Why? Because that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
…in sinful and ungodly times…the proven formula for redress…is sincerely turning back to serving and worshipping Jehovah God…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2013 Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22.    The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Oh Friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I’m tired of the snow and cold already! And that’s only the first big snowfall and cold spell of the year. I guess I’m tired mainly because I had to be out and about in it all.
 
But here this, the weather people are forecasting above freezing temps and rain for later this week! That discrepancy and uncertainty is what drives people crazy and also gets them sick, because they don’t know how to properly prepare for the weather in these changing times.
 
However Friends, I also have the answer, the antidote for it all; prayer!
 
And like Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) describes it in his devotional for yesterday: ‘Prayer is the umbilical cord that allows you – with your embryonic ideas – to draw nourishment from a source that you, like an unborn infant, can neither see nor fully know or comprehend – God our heavenly Father! Prayer is the power that pulls everything together successfully.’
 
And that’s a novel but absolutely true way to put it my people! When I read it yesterday, I just knew that I had to share it with you. And would you believe that I’ve been reading that devotional for a number of years now, and that idea did not even sound familiar when I read it yesterday.
 
Ah Lord eh! Makes you wonder what I’m thinking about when I read them. (smile) I guess though, that I wasn’t mature enough in Christ for it to make a notable impression on me, before yesterday. But who knows, since our God moves in such mysterious and unfathomable ways with His higher thoughts and methods.
 
Anyway, the important thing is that I’ve finally recognized it, so let’s turn to our Bit. ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’
 
More undeniable truth my brethren! For when our God blesses us, we know that we are blessed, and He doesn’t include any sorrow in it. Now maybe the sorrow will come before, or even after the blessing, (smile) but the blessings are usually blessings alone.
 
And we’ll continue from where we left off yesterday, with Abraham’s servant being sent to his master’s home country, Mesopotamia, to find a wife for Isaac from his brethren. And Friends, it’s not by luck or chance, but rather by divine decree and guidance, that Abraham’s servant ended up in the city where Nahor, Abraham’s brother dwelt.
 
Neither was it luck or chance, but divine appointment, that caused Rebekah to come out and fulfill all the conditions that the servant had desired of the Lord in prayer.
 
Oh mih people, yuh see the wonderful and inescapable truth of what we’ve been saying above, about prayer being the lifeline, the umbilical cord to God! The servant prayed faithfully, setting some parameters, and asking the Lord to send someone favourable to fulfill them.
 
And I like how the Good Book says that before he was even finished making his requests known to God, that Rebekah showed up. (Gen.24:15a) Oh my brethren, we can’t ask for a better example than that of faithful and fulfilled prayer!
 
And if you read what transpired afterwards, as I asked you to do yesterday, (Gen.24:16-25), you’d have seen Rebekah offer the servant drink, as well as offer to quench his camels thirst. And when she’d fulfilled her pledge, he gave her an expensive gold nose ring, weighing half a shekel, approximately $960.00, since a shekel of gold is worth around $1920.00. To that he added 2 gold bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight. Do the math my people.
 
And after he enquired about her family, she then ran home and told her family about the strange happening that had befallen her. That brought her big brother Laban out to meet the servant. And to make a long story short, (smile) they invited him to lodge with them. He graciously accepted the offer, and after the camels were looked after, they set food before him, but he refused to eat before he divulged his purpose. (Gen.24:28-33)
 
‘And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses (donkeys).’ (Gen.24:34-35)
 
What I want us to note here my fellow believers, is the difference in blessings. In the first scenario, the Lord showed the servant favour by granting his prayerful request, while in the second, He gave Abraham material wealth.
 
So not because our Bit says that the blessings of our God make us rich, it doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth. The blessings of our great and wonderful God can come in all shapes, sizes and forms, whatever suits His purpose. His omnipotence and LOVING-kindness don’t limit Him to any one kind of blessing.
 
And that’s something all believers ought to fully understand. Not because we pray for material wealth or any other kind of blessing means that we’ll automatically receive it. We’ll be showered with whatever fits the needs of God’s plan for our lives.
 
And until we fully understand and appreciate that point, we’ll always feel disappointed and/or hard done by our God. But we need to remember that God’s not there to simply do our bidding, to serve our selfish and petty requests.
 
On the contrary, we are here to serve His desires; to LOVE Him, to LIVE out our Faith, and to SPREAD His Holy Word! At times though, we seem to forget that HE is the MASTER, and we are the SERVANTS, not vice versa! 
 
And on that oh so important remembrance, we’ll close for today. I don’t want to give us too much to ponder on, (smile) just enough to keep us focused in the right direction – on Jesus Christ, our ever-LOVING Lord and Saviour. Much much LOVE my fellow believers!
 
…this Christmas season…let’s show the world what true LOVE is all about nuh…by keeping Jesus first and foremost…in our hearts, minds, souls and actions…