Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2021 Luke 24:5b

Luke 24:5b.     Why seek ye the living among the dead?
HAPPY  EASTER!

At last friends, that marvelous day of celebration which we’ve waited so long for, well it’s finally here! We’re talking about Resurrection Day! All praise and glory to our omnipotent and ever-LOVING God! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has risen from the dead this Easter morn! Glory be! He has conquered the evil Satan, and taken away from him, the keys to hell, death and the grave! Christ is now Master of all He surveys! Glory Hallelujah! The seed planted in His death on Good Friday has borne fruit this Easter Sunday! 

Consequently, these words from the Simple Series musical ‘Mercy Tree,’ featured on the album inspired by the message and mission of Billy Graham’s ‘My Hope,’ are ever so appropriate for us today to hear, read, understand and digest. So please listen up. ‘We have gathered here today to lift up the name of Jesus. We rejoice in His victory over sin and the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna! Save us now!’ have been answered. Our Redeemer has conquered death! And because we are certain of that fact, we have reason to celebrate!’ 

Oh my people, do we ever have reason to celebrate and lift up the name of Jesus. So let’s begin doing that by singing this most celebratory and true hymn, written by one of our foremost hymnologists, Charles Wesley (1707-1788) The hymn is titled ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today.’ And it has been considered by many Christian hymnologists as being the most definitive church anthem for Easter. Each verse features a focus on the Resurrection of Jesus. Wow! 

So enough talk, let’s sing! In an up-tempo beat, with trumps and cymbals, harps and psalteries in full voice, let’s raise our sacrifices of praise in sweet harmony to high heaven, with sincere thanks and gratitude pouring out of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! ‘Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! 

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Oh friends, what awesome bliss this Easter morning has provided to us faithful believers in Christ Jesus. For as Bruh Paul preached to the Athenians on Mars Hill: ‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring (his children). (Acts 17:28) And isn’t that indeed the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ!  He is our very lifeblood, without Him, we are nothing! With Him, we are everything! We lack for nothing! 

And our celebration wouldn’t be complete without some powerful words from the Good Book. Hear Luke tell the Resurrection Story. ‘Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they (a group of women) came unto the sepulchre (tomb), bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout (about this), behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 

And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they (the men) said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.’ (Luke 24:1-11) 

Yes friends, it was difficult for Jesus followers to believe His resurrection, having seen His cruel demise three days earlier, even despite their remembering His words on the subject. They weren’t gullible religionists, but tough, skeptical, hardworking, down to earth folk, who did not find it easy to believe the rather implausible situation. But they eventually did believe when Jesus showed Himself to them, and consequently we too believe, though we haven’t seen Him in the flesh. But here is some interesting info from the scholars, re the Resurrection of Christ, that we all should certainly be aware of. 

‘The Resurrection of Christ included five accomplishments. (1) the physical renewing of His life; (2) the reunion of His body and His Spirit; (3) the subjugation of death under Him; (4) the attainment of His new position; and (5) His receiving of a transfigured body. Application: Because of the Resurrection, the Christian receives both eternal life (John 11:25) and spiritual power (Eph. 1:19-20). Christ’s resurrection also provides for the future resurrection of the believer (1 Cor. 15:20) and is the key to victory in the Christian life because of our union with Christ (Eph 2:6). (First Ref. Ps. 16:10; Primary Ref, 1 Cor. 15; cf. Acts 1:9).’ 

Oh precious people, without the resurrection of Jesus, our faith would be worthless! Let’s remember that nuh, and hold on to it with our very last breath, for it’s our golden key to heaven’s eternal sanctuary! And we’re going to end with these marvellous and ever so encouraging words from the website hymnary.org on our hymn today, and the whole resurrection business. (smile) ‘In every worship service, the words we say and the actions we participate in are somehow shaping us. 

Perhaps without even being aware of it, worship is doing something to us – it’s forming habits and language inside of us to both teach us why we are in relationship with God, and how to be in relationship with God. One practice that many liturgists and hymn authors have brought into worship is describing an event that happened in the past (usually a moment from the Gospel story) as if it were happening today, in order to instill in us the understanding that, just as God worked in the lives of people two thousand years ago, He is still working today. 

The hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is a perfect example of this. Right in the title is an indicator of the present tense: the word “is.” As we sing this song, we are first brought back two millennia as “witnesses” of the resurrection, and then we are also made aware that though the actual event of the resurrection happened once, it is in a sense an on-going event with ever-present effects. We are called today to live out of the resurrection, to follow our risen Lord in newness of life, and to ever lift our “alleluias” in praise.’ 

So mih bredrin, as we joyfully celebrate Christ’s resurrection, let’s take that wonderful advice and go out today, and every day hence, sincerely following Christ and keeping our voices lifted up to Him, in much deserved praise. That’s our bounden duty as Christians! Much LOVE!

…because He lives…we too shall live…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

Philippians 3:13.   Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

Well mih people, the long Christmas weekend is finally over, and it’s time to get back to some semblance of normalcy, especially where work is concerned. Some of us might even have forgotten how to do our jobs having being off for so long. (smile) 

But not to worry, our great God is still in control of His universe and everything will fall into place as He decrees it. But we still have to get one more holiday out of the way, New Years Eve. 

Hn! And sometimes that can be even more deadly than the Christmas cheer, since it’s an out and out party scene. The coming of a new year changes nothing, for most of our resolutions get thrown by the wayside soon thereafter. But I guess it’s just a way to party hearty and fool ourselves. 

Anyway, enough of throwing my cold water on the New Year’s Eve celebrations, (smile) for the Christmas season is still with us. And please friends, when we go back out to work today, let’s keep that sense of Christmas, that sense of peace and goodwill to all, still burning bright nuh. 

Let’s not be like the radio stations; as soon as Christmas day is past, they stop playing Christmas music, but let’s continue sharing all the good things that Christ’s birth brought. Now before we get into our Bit, let’s check out a couple verses before it, so that we can have some idea of the context in which Bruh Paul is speaking. 

In verse 10, he declares: ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. (Phil.3:10) Bruh Paul wants to personally know Christ so that he can experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, which will make him more conformable to Christ’s death. 

‘If by any means I might attain unto (arrive at) the resurrection of the dead.’ (Phil.3:11) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘3:11. If by any means I might attain means “in order that I may attain” the resurrection from the dead. Like the preceding verse, this one also contains a literal and a non-literal interpretation. 

Paul is eager to become more like Jesus in His death (v.10) so that he can (1) progressively experience more of the believer’s resurrection life to be enjoyed now (“newness of life,” Rom.6:4), and (2) so that he can someday undergo physical resurrection from the grave, thus experiencing God’s power in one of its greatest aspects.’ 

And he continues: ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am also apprehended of Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:12) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:12. Paul denies that he has already attained his objective of verse 10 and 11. That objective is to know Christ and all that is in included in this knowledge, that is experiencing His power, sharing His sufferings, being made like Jesus in death, and experiencing resurrection from the dead. 

At this point in his life the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires. He has been made like Jesus in His death, but he can still die more to sin and self. He does “walk in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement. 

Either were already perfect: Unlike the perfectionists who claim to be sinless in this life, Paul admits that he is not. If the chief of the apostles does not feel he has “arrived” spiritually, then neither should we. 

I follow after…Christ Jesus. Christ “laid hold of” Paul on the Damascus road for the very objective mentioned in verses 10 and 11: “to know him.” Paul concedes that he has not yet realized this goal to the full extent possible, but he is in hot pursuit of it.’ 

Ah friends, I hope that we too are in hot pursuit of knowing Jesus, for it’s the only that makes sense in a Christian’s life. 

And finally, we come to our Bit. ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Oh mih people, Bruh Paul was certainly something else yes. Whatever he pursued, he pursued with lots of zeal. I only hope that we could have half of his zeal as we live our lives for Christ in these modern but evil and ungodly times. 

Now hear what the scholars have to say about that verse. 3:13. Those things which are behind refers both to his religious credentials (vs.5-6), now counted as “loss” (v.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. 

In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. 

Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life.’ 

Oh friends, I know that the Bit is long, somewhat heavy and confusing this morning, (smile) but it is essential that as we grow in faith we also grow in scriptural knowledge. And that can only be done by taking time to read and study and meditate on God’s word. 

The important thing is that we truly want to know God, Bruh Paul style, so please let’s get serious about it and truly delve in to it, stop merely playing around the fringes. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday wail with much zest and a strong sense of purpose. 

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!’ 

Now please let’s go out and put all that we’ve said today into action, as true believers. Much LOVE my people!

…we can only know Jesus…if we work steadily and steadfastly with Him…forgetting what has gone before and looking to the future with Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2016 Galatians 2:20.

Galatians 2:20.    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of (by faith in) the Son of God, who LOVED me, and gave himself for me.

Ah mih people, it’s another God-given, blessed day in our lives! All praise and thanks be to our great and generous God! 

The first thing I want to do is to apologize for the error in the dates in yesterday’s titles. I know that many of you missed it, but that’s what comes from laziness, meaning copying the titles from the day before and not remembering to change the dates. One title says the 6th while the other says the 5th

Chuh! It annoys me when I make those lazy attitude errors, but as we all know, you only reap what you sow. So if you sow laziness, errors and mistakes are what you’ll reap. (smile) 

However, on the good side of the ledger, let me now share some wonderful advice from an anonymous Irishman, taken from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I believe I’ve shared it before, but as we say, when it’s nice, we can share it twice, or even thrice. (smile). 

And the golden words of advice are: ‘Take time to work, it is the price of success. Take time to think, it is the source of power. Take time to play it is the secret of youth. Take time to read, it is the foundation of wisdom. Take time to be friendly, it is the road to happiness. Take time to dream, it’s hitching your wagon to a star. Take time to LOVE, it is the highest joy of life. Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul.’ 

Oh friends, those are not only wise words for the ordinary man, but they also sound like the Christian Manifesto! For those are all the things that a true, Jesus –LOVING and faithfully serving Christian ought to be following, if we sincerely hope to make a positive difference in this crazy, misguided, corrupt, and evil world. 

The truth is though, we can only do those things properly if and when we have Jesus in us and we are in Him. Hence our Bit. ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of (by faith in) the Son of God, who LOVED me, and gave himself for me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, what a joy it is when Christ is the ruling passion in our lives! First of all He gave His holy and sinless life as a sacrifice, so that we could be saved by the generous grace of God! Then, when His Holy Spirit indwells us, He gives us, strength, wisdom, understanding, and all the other wonderful things we enjoy in association with Him. 

No wonder Bruh Paul could make the powerful and true statement he makes in our Bit! If we allow our old, sinful selves to be crucified with Christ, that means we will also be resurrected with Him in a new life, with Him living in us and we in Him. Glory Hallelujah! 

As Bruh Paul says in his letter to the church at Rome, when talking about freedom from sin’s power. ‘For if we have been planted together (united) in the likeness of his death, we (certainly) shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed (rendered inoperative), that henceforth we should not serve (be slaves to) sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.’ (Rom.6:5-7) 

Yes my brethren, isn’t it wonderful that when we die to self, we are raised with Christ in newness of life! ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are made new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) That’s Bruh Paul talking about us to the Corinthians! (smile) 

Now here are some explanations from the scholars on the earlier verses from Romans. ‘6:6. Our old man: This is our old self, the person we were before we were crucified with Christ. Might be destroyed (lit. “rendered inoperative”). The believer now has the power to serve Christ instead of his old master, sin.’ 

‘6:7. Freed from sin: The believer has been delivered from the guilt and penalty of sin and is set free to serve Christ.’ 

And believe me friends, nothing is more interesting and wonderful than serving Christ! It’s not easy, but it makes us people of excellence… and brother, let me tell you, the rewards are certainly worth it! 

So why aren’t we supposed Christians doing better than we are eh? I’m not sure, but maybe, just maybe it’s because we don’t truly believe all that we read and hear, re Jesus, and thus we don’t put our all-out effort into living for Him. And on top of that, the material things and ways of the world still exert a powerful pull on us, and keep us wanting what the world offers. 

Anyway my people, it’s time for us to break those chains that the world still have us bound and wrapped up in, else we’ll never really enjoy the freedom, the LOVE, the joy, the abundant life that Christ died for us to have. 

Now let’s go home joyfully and sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail. No I haven’t forgotten it. (smile) 

Wailing as one: ‘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 having so gloriously declared that, now let’s go out and put it all into action nuh, make it reality and not just a bunch of insincere words. Much LOVE!

…the words and actions of a true believer…ought to show Jesus truly living in them…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2015 Philippians 3:13

Philippians 3:13.  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. 

Top o’ the morn, mih breddren! A glorious day lies ahead of us, filled with all sorts of wonderful goodies prepared by our wonderful God, especially for this Saturday in August 2015. Glory to God! 

He is so good to us that there are no words to truly do Him justice. Magnificent, majestic, magnanimous, mercurial, come close, but still leave something unsaid. His unconditional LOVE, and the undeserved blessings, mercies, forgiveness and compassion poured out on us, especially the sacrifice of His only Son Jesus… 

Oh Friends, they are indescribable. (smile) And the least we can do is return His LOVING-kindness with that of our own, to the best of our ability, through obedience, praise, worship, thanksgiving and glorification. 

And having said all of that, here is an interesting quote from Laura Palmer. It seems that she was a character on the 1990 hit TV. show Twin Peaks, which apparently is being revived.  I guess there is also a book called the Secret Diary of Laura Palmer with a number of her quotes. 

This one says that, ‘The past should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries, rinsed of debris, sweetened judiciously and served in small portions, not very often.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. The past should not be dwelt upon, as so many of us do, thereby hampering the present and shortchanging the future.  Like Laura says, we ought to just wrap it up nicely and occasionally trot out the good parts. 

And my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness, from which I got the quote, further states. ‘Fond memories are healthy when they remind us how our lives are formed and shaped by our experiences. Memories reveal our development into the productive people we are today. Life does get better every day because we have both the joys of the present and some sweet memories of the past.’ 

But Friends, we MUST NOT LIVE IN THE PAST, but rather concentrate on each day as something new and alive with lots of wonderful promise. Too many of us look to the past too often and either dredge up the distasteful bits, or talk too much about the good old days. 

Certainly the old days were good, but believe me my people, our best days are still out in front of us. And until we realize this, our days will be gloomy and miserable reminiscing too much  on what’s already past, and not making new and wonderful dreams for today and tomorrow. 

That brings us to our very appropriate Bit from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Yuh see that Friends, though Bruh Paul had reached some glorious heights in his ministry and walk with Jesus, he still maintained that he hadn’t reached where he really wanted to be. His objective is to know Christ as fully as can be; ‘experiencing His power, sharing His sufferings, being made like Jesus in death, and experiencing resurrection from the dead. 

At this point in his life the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires. He has been made like Jesus in His death, but can still die more to sin and self. He does “walk in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement.’ 

And so is there for all of us my fellow believers. Those are some explanations from the scholars on verse 12. Therefore since Bruh Paul has not attained his objective, he’s intent on putting everything behind him, so that he can concentrate on what is coming on the next wave.  

The scholars explain verse 13. thus: ‘3:13. Forgetting those things which are behind refers both to his religious credentials (vs. 5-6), now counted “as loss” (v.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ, (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster.’ 

Oh my fellow believers are we pursuing the things of Christ, pressing on towards the mark, reaching out to those things which are in front of us, not letting the past distract us from the future, wanting to know Christ so badly that we can think of nothing else? 

Oh, I know that not all of us can have Bruh Paul’s zeal, knowledge and perseverance, but we can all do much better than we’re currently doing. If we are truthful with ourselves, many of us are not really concentrating on maturing in our Christian walk, but are just ambling along, without any real zeal or purpose. That certainly is not good enough Friends. 

As believers in Christ, we have to have a hunger for Him, for the things which pertain to Him. ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death.’ (Phil.3:10) That’s what Bruh Paul desired, and what we should also be desirous of; that strong feeling to get to know Christ as well as we possibly can. 

It’s not easy, as Bruh Paul certainly found out, but he never gave up on his quest, and neither should we, for as we know, all things are possible with Jesus who strengthens us. (Phil.4:13) 

So today my brethren, please let’s stop living in the past and look to the glorious future that Jesus has in store for us. Remember too what He said way back when, in talking about the tests of discipleship. ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.’ (Luke 9:62) 

Yes Friends, anyone who puts other matters before God’s work, is of little use to Him. Please don’t forget that, for it’s the wisdom of heaven!  Much LOVE!

…but his wife (Lot’s) looked back…and she became a pillar of salt… (Gen.19:26)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2013 Malachi 3:10

Malachi 3:10.    Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
 
Oh Friends, on this Resurrection Tuesday morning, the ole fella’s coming out shouting: ‘I, I am blessed. I want to tell the world, that I, I am blessed!’ 
The man Melo G sings that song, and says that if you have a roof over your head, shoes on your feet, clothes on your back and food on your table, then you’re indeed blessed. And mih people, I have all those things, therefore I must be blessed! Most of us also have them all, that means you too are blessed! So we can all sing: ‘We, we are blessed. Let’s tell the world that we, we are blessed!’ And that’s the gospel truth Friends! So please don’t forget it. When things aren’t looking so good, remember that we’re more blessed than 90 percent of the world, and that 90 percent will very gladly take what we have and be exceedingly grateful. Now here’s a most pertinent quote for this time of year, attributed to the famous American Poet, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). It says: ‘Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected, that I don’t know what to do with my heart.’ And that’s oh so true! Those of you who have never experienced the deadness and deadliness of winter, won’t be able to understand the depth of emotion that spring brings. It’s such a refreshing joy, such newness of life, with everything growing, just springing up, being alive again, the air filled with all the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of a renewed, resurrected Mother Nature. It’s just like this season of Easter, with Jesus rising triumphantly from the grave after a winter in Hades. (smile) Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat (food) in mine house, and prove (test) me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.’ Ah Friends, though our Bit has been in existence for donkey’s years (smile), it still causes serious contention even to this day. The first mention of tithes is when Melchizedek the king of Salem blessed Abraham, when he was still Abram, after he’d fought off the heathen kings who had besieged Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding area. (Gen.14:1-16)  ‘And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth. And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes (a tenth) of all.’ (Gen.14:18-20) And since this is such a misunderstood subject, I guess we should include some explanation on that scripture from the scholars. ‘Melchizedek king of Salem probably was not a theophany (a visible manifestation to human kind of God or a god, or simply the appearance of God) but an actual king of Jerusalem or Salem (cf.Ps.76:2). He typifies Christ and His priesthood according to Psalm 110:4 and Hebrews 7. He is a priest of the most high God. It is interesting to note believers besides Abram and his descendants in this limited account (chs.12-50). He gave him tithes of all: Abram paid tithes to Melchizedek, indicating Melchizedek’s superior priesthood, since Levi (Israel’s high priest) was considered to be in the body (seminally) of Abram when he paid tithes to Melchizedek (Heb.7:9-10).’ But the whole tithe scene seems to have really unfolded when the Lord appeared to Jacob at Bethel and blessed him, and he in return promised: ‘And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth (a tithe) unto thee.’ (Gen.28:20-22) And we all know how the Lord blessed Jacob after that, with much goods and many offspring and changed his name to Israel, from whom the many (12) tribes of Israel were descended. Later on, for those same 12 tribes of Israel, it became an unchangeable edict in the laws Moses gave to the Israelites from God. ‘And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord. And if a man will at all redeem aught of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy: it shall not be redeemed.’ (Lev.27:30-33) Oh fellow believers in Christ, yuh see how adamant the Lord was about the givings of His people! And the scholars’ have a good explanation to all of that. ‘The tithe, comprising 10 percent of all the produce, is regarded as the offering due from the people to the true owner of the land (God) (25:23). If the tithe were to be redeemed, the normal 20 percent premium was to be paid to the priests. This chapter points out that holiness is more than a matter of divine call and correct ritual. It actually requires the total consecration of a man’s life to God’s service. It involves giving oneself, one’s family and all of one’s possessions to God.’ And isn’t that the living truth my brethren? It sure is! It’s also interesting that the law dictated if you try to redeem your tithe, you have to pay a 20 percent premium. It’s just like our mortgages or most contracts we sign today; (smile) we have to pay extra to get out of them early, or just to get out of them period. Oh my people, our God doesn’t want merely a part of us, the part that we find it most convenient to give, but He wants ALL of us! And so it should rightfully be, because He’s our Creator, our Provider, our Protector and our Saviour. In fact He determines EVERYTHING about our lives! That means we can’t just be part-time believers and followers as so many of us seem to think and try to be. Anyway Friends, time and space are upon us, so we’ll end here for today, and continue tomorrow with this most interesting and very controversial topic, with the Lord’s consent of course. But believe me, it’s a tried and true formula! Till tomorrow then. In the meantime, please, let’s ponder our personal situation re tithes, and see how we match up to it, and try to match up as best we can. Remember we can’t fool our omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present God. Much LOVE!…the Lord knows our substance…and blesses us in proportion to our giving to His holy church… P.S. Oh Friends, please excuse the lateness of the Bit. It’s long but very informative and I spent more time editing it than I’d intended to. Plus I had to run outside just now and put out the garbage, since I heard the garbage truck tooling around in the neighbourhood. But lo and behold, what do you think greeted me out there; snow flurries. Hn! And this is supposed to be the third week of spring. But them’s the breaks! We just have to grin and bear it, while rolling with the punches. (smile) Much LOVE!