Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 January 2022 Isaiah 1:18a.

Isaiah 1:18a.     Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:

Oh friends, I don’t have any tongue in cheek words to begin today’s Bit, another cold and mostly sunshiny Thursday. (smile) But I do have some wise and admonishing words from the Lord our God, spoken by the prophet Isaiah to his people Israel, a long time ago, that certainly seem very appropriate to our current situation. It’s a call to repentance. So, let’s read, listen, ponder and contemplate the wisdom of these age old, but ever new sentiments from our God, and then put them into practice. 

Isaiah declares: ‘Wash you, make you clean: put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgement (justice), relieve the oppressed (reprove the oppressor), judge (defend, vindicate) the fatherless, plead for the widow.’ (Is. 1:16-17) 

Yes my brethren, those are indeed wise and powerful words that we all ought to hearken to, because our world has been overtaken by the enemy with his evil doings, and for it to improve, we must turn to the Lord God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth and all therein, and cleanse ourselves of the enormous iniquity of which we are guilty. 

Now, here are some interesting comments from the scholars on those verses. ‘1:16-17. Wash does not indicate that the sinner may cleanse himself. Nor does it refer to mere ritual washing. Rather, it indicates that the sinner must accept the cleansing offered by the Lord, a cleansing of the heart resulting in true repentance.’ 

Yuh see my people, we can muddy our waters, but we can’t make them clean again on our own. We have to accept God’s cleansing, which means a sincere turning away from sin, and only through Christ Jesus can we accomplish such a heroic and herculean task. Yes, sin is no joke, like so many of us today consider it. 

Sin is serious business and it’s what’s driving our world right now, not the righteousness of God, as He desires. And with its many alluring enchantments and enhancements it’s not easy to turn away from sin. That’s why we need a power greater than the enemy to help us do it successfully. 

Oh, the Lord knows we’ll always fall into occasional sin because of our natural sinful nature, but with His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, to lead and guide us, we have more than a fighting chance to keep sin to a minimum in our earthly lives. That brings us back to the rest of Isaiah’s declaration. (Wow! I spelled that right!) 

He continues in a less accusatory and judgemental vein, but still not mincing his words. ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 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. 1:18-20) 

Oh friends, our God is willing to sit down and reason with us, if we are willing to admit our sin and change from our evil ways. But if we refuse to come together with Him, but rather to rebel and be disobedient, then we’ll suffer the just punishment for such behaviour. 

And no one has to tell us that’s what’s happening to us right now! We have boldly rebelled against the dictates of the Lord and gone our own sinful way. Consequently, we’re being devoured, and not by the sword alone, through worldwide strife, but also through worldwide sickness, worldwide poverty and economic failure, with worldwide disasters, both natural and man-made, all occurring simultaneously! 

And yet we refuse, stubbornly and adamantly refuse to turn back to God and seek His forgiveness so that we could once more eat of the good of our land. Hn! Foolish pride and unwise belief in one’s own power will lead us to our demise every time. How did Cousin Sol put it? ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Yes friends, ‘The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning,’ so we often scheme and plan in vain. 

But enough of me, (smile) let’s listen to what the renowned scholars have to say on the matter. ‘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 colourful 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.’ 

Glory Hallelujah my people! What a great and remarkable God we serve! And though I’m no prophet, I believe it’s my bounden duty to again remind us of our Creator’s willingness to embrace all those who turn back to Him in sincere repentance. And His awesome Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, said it as plainly and clearly as He could. And we all know Him as a clear and straight-talking person. 

‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) And we all like to quote that scripture in reference to the goodness of God, but what we fail to realize is that all those who don’t belief in Christ Jesus will ‘perish.’ Yes, that’s what he said…and meant. So, it’s up to us choose whether we believe or not, but please remember there are major consequences attached to each decision. End of sermon! (smile) 

But anyway, for those of us who choose to believe, the Lord has most graciously endowed us with blessings we don’t really deserve, but which help us to do His earthly work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. And since a blessing is not a blessing until it’s declared, let’s declare them right now nuh, in loud, confident, though humble voice. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and share the fruit of those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord’s shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…sin only looks good on the outside…but inside…it’s as dirty as hell… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2019 Proverbs 16:32.

Proverbs 16:32.   ​He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

 

Yeah, it’s Friday! And though the sun is struggling to get out from under the cloud cover, there is joy in the land, simply because it’s Friday and the workweek is ending! Thus, there are many ‘Praise the Lord’s!’ both sincere and insincere, (smile) ringing out from all parts of the world. And there’s none louder than that of the ordinary workingman, who never shies away from expressing his true feelings. 

And today, he shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! What a week it’s been! I ate and drank and partied so much this past Thanksgiving weekend, that I was truly sick come Tuesday and couldn’t go to the slave master’s work. Obviously he tried to give me a hard time when I showed up on Wednesday, but I just ignored him, because I have my sick time rights and this one was certainly legitimate. He feels that nobody should ever book off sick, because he loses money when they do. 

But when he books off sick is okay though, because he’s the boss… Chuh! Just forget the li’l greedy man yes! And yuh better believe this weekend is going to be strictly rest! I like mih food and drinks, but not to the extent that I want them to get me sick. I surely hope I learn mih lesson this time yes. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see what happen when we overdo it? Unwanted consequences usually come back to haunt us. As Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You reap what you sow; more than you sow, and later than you sow.’ And that’s the gospel truth! It holds in all situations in life! So let’s turn now to our Friday Chant nuh, which isn’t as verbose and in your face as the workingman’s song, but does do the trick for us believers. 

All together in true sincerity 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, we do need to be careful how we operate, because the enemy, like the roaring, toothless lion that he is, is always lurking around seeking ways to get into our lives and create havoc. And I have a very good testimony on that point to share. This morning as I was getting ready to write the Bit, my trusty desktop computer began playing the fool. It just would not access the Internet after booting up. 

And as the Lord would have it, I opened the Good Book and began flipping pages and just happened to stop in Proverbs 16…no I don’t think that just happened nuh, because the Word that I read plainly said: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’  

That was certainly more than mere coincidence, because every time I turned my computer off and on, and got no progress, I could feel the anger rising up in me and I wanted to give it a few good thumps. But with that scripture staring me straight in the face, and knowing that the Lord, or the enemy was testing my resolve, I managed to not thump it, and it did behave properly after the fifth or sixth time of turning it on and off. 

I believe the Lord saved me though, because I’m pretty sure that I would have thumped it if I had had to go through the annoying rigmarole one more time. (smile) So I passed the test…but just barely. And that’s the way this earthly life is my faithful brethren. Life just likes to test us, to muddy our waters and see how we react. 

Sometimes it’s the Lord, other times it’s the enemy. But whoever or whatever causes us to find ourselves between a rock and hard place, we need to be able to bring up scripture written indelibly in our souls, bodies and minds, to help us handle them in a godly and sensible manner. And today we just going to check out a few of those scriptures that we need to have as our bedrock, our fortification against unnecessary anger. 

Hear Cousin Sol earlier on: ‘He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit (impulsive) exalteth folly.’ (Prov.14:29) And that’s certainly no lie, as many of us have found out over the years. And just recently we featured these immortal verses from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. 

‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:31-32) Words of eternal wisdom my brethren! 

Meanwhile James adds his two-cents worth thus: ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And if you’re a true believer, you ought to know that. But listen to the scholars’ explanation anyway. 

‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ ‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ I hope we all hear that friends: anger distracts us from listening to God, and when we don’t listen to God, we go astray and end up suffering severe consequences. 

And here are some final words on the subject from Cousin Sol once again. ‘The discretion of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov.19:11) Awright mih people, there’s the ammunition to fight the battle against anger, let’s go out and put it to good use now nuh! It’s Jesus’ desire for all His followers. Much LOVE!

…be ye angry…and sin not…let not the sun…go down upon your wrath… (Eph.4:26)