Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘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 everyday! Amen!’  

Now let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one… 

Todays Scrip-Bit 13 November 2018 Psalm 145:1.

Psalm 145:1.   I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
 

Oh friends I don’t want to get you all into the bad habit of expecting the Bit this early every day, so please look on this as a simple aberration. (smile) But I have to go into the big city of Toronto for a couple of medical appointments this morning, which means I won’t be back till late this afternoon, and I don’t want it to be too late either. 

Not to worry though, for this morning we’ll be in full ‘Celebration’ mode with the poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. So let’s get to it without any further talk nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘When I think of Your lavish goodness The longings You’ve satisfied The forgiveness You’ve granted The promises You’ve kept When I think of Your irresistible LOVE Your ceaseless care Your unfailing protection…

O Lord God I want to raise flags And fly banners And sound bugles I want to run with lighted torches And praise You From the mountaintop I want to write symphonies And shout for joy. I want to throw a festive party For ten thousand guests. I want to celebrate with streamers And bright lights And an elaborate banquet… Fine dear child. I’m ready.’ 

Oh friends, when you think of God’s great goodness and LOVING-kindness towards you, don’t you just want to jump for joy and shout it from the mountaintops? I surely hope so, else you would not be truly grateful for all the care, protection, forgiveness, protection, etc. etc. that our wonderful God has so undeservedly bestowed on us. 

And I just LOVE God’s answer to all our joyful celebrations: ‘Bring it on! I’m ready to celebrate!’ And don’t think that the Lord doesn’t like to party nuh, just think about all the celebrations that go on in heaven…especially when one lost sheep is found and/or saved. Brother! The whole of heaven erupts with joy and gladness! 

In all seriousness though my people, we ought to celebrate God’s inimitable, limitless, unparalleled goodness every day that we draw breath on this His marvellous creation called earth. Because without it, our lives would have been so much more miserable and worthless, and difficult and calamitous than they currently are. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; these marvellous words of praise from Bruh David: ‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.’ Yes my fellow believers, that’s how we ought to conjure up thanks and praise for Almighty God! 

And hear how Bruh David continues nuh: ‘Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps.145:2-3)

And is it ever my brethren! Just like His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, so is His goodness and LOVING-kindness outside the realm of our puny and finite minds! That’s why we need to continually and continuously show our thanks and gratitude for His unlimited grace, mercy and forgiveness. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of (meditate on) the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.’ (Ps.145:4-5) Now that’s where this generation has not come up to scratch my fellow believers! 

We have certainly not praised God’s goodness and His mighty works to our children in the new generation as much as ought to have done! That’s why they are so lost and wandering all over the place, falling for any nonsense with which some false teacher or preacher fills their ears. Remember, if we don’t teach them right at home, somebody will be able to teach them wrong out in the great big, evil world in which we now dwell. 

Oh friends, unfortunately we’ve taken the wrong road and attitude to our children. I guess because we had it somewhat hard and the Good Book and church were sometimes driven into us, we subconsciously, or otherwise, rebelled against that method of raising children, and went to the other extreme, being overly soft, sparing the whip and spoiling the child, which is even worse. And now we lament the poor fruits that our insincere labour has borne. 

Remember, the human animal only appreciates stuff and grows in maturity when it experiences tough times. And I daresay that our children of this generation have not experienced enough tough and godly times, otherwise they would have been way more appreciative of the good life they’ve had. And we don’t have anyone but ourselves to blame. 

Yuh think I wanted to go to church every Sunday morning and Sunday School every Sunday afternoon? Certainly not! But I had to go. And it eventually stood me in good stead; if nothing else, I knew right from wrong, which a lot of our children don’t know.

Anyway my people, it’s not too late to try and instill some godly virtues in our children, for as they say, while there is life, there is hope. So let’s see what amends we can make in the time we have left nuh. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. And I have to laugh because there is some reason that I keep spelling ‘declaring’ wrong…Oh I spelled it right there. (smile)

Now in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose: ‘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 and share that wonderful LOVE of Jesus with someone else nuh! Much LOVE!

…if the LOVE of Jesus truly dwells in is…then we’ll automatically want to share it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2017 Deuteronomy 6:7.

Deuteronomy 6:7.   And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…

Ah friends, remember that gentle rain that I spoke about yesterday that was blessing the land? Well it might have blessed the land but it certainly didn’t bless me, because it fell all day… even into the evening, and consequently caused flooding in the laundry room in my basement. 

Steups! So instead of it being a peaceful day listening to the riddim of the falling rain, (smile) it was a tad hectic trying to mop up and barricade the water running down in my basement. And it wasn’t just one rivulet, that would have been easy to handle, but several pouring down the inside wall. 

I believe the source of the problem is my eaves troughs – they seem to be leaking in several places thus allowing the water to run down the outside wall and find its way inside. But I just had them repaired last year! 

And then there are the leaves…the bane of my existence! Everything that blows in my lane, ends up in my driveway, both snow and leaves. Thus the gutters are filled with leaves, which make them overflow rather easily. 

Ah Lord eh! But what to do? Just grin and bear it and have them fixed again. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) The workingman’s story though is a whole lot different. He’s simply focused on it being Friday, which allows him to joyfully declare: 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here at last! Is my time now to do as I please! No more labouring for a measly pittance, but partying for days! And who says we shouldn’t thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends eh!’ 

We should indeed friends, but constant partying will never give us sincere satisfaction. We need a more balanced approach to the weekend if we are to live successful lives, and I believe our Friday Chant provides it. 

So let’s chant it out loud and proud nuh. ‘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 friends, that’s more like what we need, if we are to do Jesus’ work with sincerity, diligence and excellence! And today we’ll talk a little about diligence, see what the Bible has to say about it. 

But before we get to that, let’s look at the dictionary’s definition of diligence. It’s characterized as being ‘Persistent effort or work: industrious character.’ 

Meanwhile diligent is seen as being ‘hard-working, steady in application, industrious, attentive to duties.’ So we have the basic idea of what we mean when we speak of diligence or diligent; a serious effort to do what one has to do. 

Now hear these immortal words of wisdom that Moses spoke unto the people of Israel when he gave them the great commandment. These are the major things they should do when they entered the Promised Land. 

‘That thou mightest fear (stand in awe of) the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 

Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it (be careful to observe it); that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily (multiply greatly), as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. 

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is ONE Lord: and thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:2-9) 

And there we have it friends, the basics of the Great Commandment: LOVE the Lord thy God, and keep all His commandments, and above all, teach them diligently to thy children! 

And when the Israelites obeyed, they prospered, and suffered when they didn’t. And it’s the same with us in these trying times. 

Oh my people, we are also very guilty of not doing what the Lord commanded. We haven’t been repeating the Lord’s commandments in the ears of our children or meditating on them ourselves as we walk and talk and lie down, etc. 

No wonder our society and our world is in such a mess, with a large number of our children having no idea of God, or simply not caring about God and putting the things of the world first in their lives. 

Now who do think is to blame for this current state of affairs eh? We the current parents obviously! Our parents taught us the right way, so why haven’t we taught our children eh? I guess we ourselves were also a little too taken up with the things of the world. 

But it’s not too late my brethren, if we get serious and do our due diligence, as they say in legal circles, that means paying attention to our godly duties, putting in the hard work necessary, we can still save ourselves and our children from the clutches of the evil one. 

Today, I implore us, sincerely plead with us to seek the things of God first, and point our children in that direction, that it may go well with them and us. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…a society prospers in direct proportion to its obedience to God…