Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2018 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.   And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Cooler days are here again! You can bet your bottom dollar on that friends! Come September, the cool weather just explodes on us. Although in these times of climate change who knows what will happen. Yesterday evening though, I noticed that some maple trees in my area have already begun turning brown in preparation for the long, dry, cold, winter months. 

Do they know something that we don’t know! It’s possible. But not to worry, once we’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, we can face anything that comes against us, remember we’re conquerors in His Name! Glory to God! 

And with it being Saturday, let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Throw kindness around like confetti.’ 

Mama Mia! And if you’re a sincere follower of Jesus, that is exactly what you ought to be doing, for kindness is, was, and always will be the hallmark of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and if it’s not in your repertoire of attributes, then you’re not a sincere follower. 

And this next one says: ‘It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! You’re certainly better off alone than with the crowd going in the wrong direction. Some of us will remember being cautioned by our parents: ‘Don’t follow the crowd!’ And that’s usually wise advice, for the crowd is usually taking the easy way out, following Lucifer, and doing what they’re not supposed to do. 

So even if you get lonely treading that wise path that leads in the right direction, remember you’re NEVER really alone, because Jesus is ALWAYS with you, faithfully keeping His promises to never leave nor forsake you! Oh, our Jesus is so wonderful! How could we not LOVE Him eh! 

And this next quote reminds us to: ‘Remember, for everything you have lost, you have gained something else. Without the dark, you would never see the stars.’ Likewise friends, if we didn’t have rain, we would never appreciate the sun and its brilliant light. So please try to not focus so much on what you’ve lost, but on what you’ve gained through the loss. (smile) 

Now hear this tongue breaker: ‘One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what is not. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.’ 

Glory be for that day my brethren! That’s the day when we truly discover the Lord in our hearts! When we truly surrender our lives to Him and realize that He is ALL that really matters! Wow! What an enlightening day that usually is! 

And this last quote is the basis for our writing today: ‘Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.’ And that’s no lie my fellow believers! The right path in this life is following Jesus, but hear what He says in our Bit for those who want to follow Him. ‘And he (Jesus) said to them all, If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Now that’s definitely not an easy row to hoe my people! That’s a daily denial of self! Note the young ruler who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. Note his sad, despondent reaction when Jesus told him eternal life would be his, if he sold his many possessions and gave to the poor, then came back and followed him. (Matt.19:16-22)

Unfortunately too many of us feel that way about our earthly possessions. But yuh see what Jesus went through on our behalf? It wasn’t easy for Him, even though He was God in human flesh. Now we most likely won’t go through as much ‘sufferation’ as He did, but we will definitely go through some, most likely more than we desire or care for. (smile) 

And Jesus didn’t mince words on the subject. He very clearly informed the disciples, and consequently all who came after, like us: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace: In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What reassuring words my breddren! Though He tells us very clearly that we will face trouble in this evil world, we’re not to worry about it, because He has overcome the world with His sacrificial death and resurrection. And even when trials come against us, if we’re sincerely walking with Him, we’ll find peace; the peace of God, which passes all human understanding, that shall keep (guard) our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Yeh friends, that peace is so special, that only true believers in Christ can experience it. Hear how Jesus explains it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yeh friends, that peace is not of this world, but it comes from the Prince of Peace, so it’s a mighty tool in the lives of believers. 

And we’ll close with some more authoritative words of Jesus, re our Bit. ‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)?’ (Luke 9:24-25) 

Now that’s a very good question friends? Do we want to have all the earthly wealth and lose our eternal soul, be separated from our Triune God in eternity? For all our sakes, I hope not. That means we have to seriously buckle down, and each and every day, pick up our cross and walk with it, the way Jesus did with His, in true obedience to His Father’s will. Much LOVE!

…earthly life might be difficult…but the rewards of eternity with God are certainly worth it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 August 2018 Hebrews 5:8.

Hebrews 5:8.   Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.

Hello there my fellow believers! Grace and the Father’s LOVE to you! It’s a wet and somewhat sombre looking morning in my area, but I guess the Lord felt we needed some heavenly blessings. I don’t know when the rain began, but it had to be late because I did not get to bed until 3.30 this morning. 

And I’m sure you can guess the resultant consequences… when it was time to get up, I got lured back to sleep by the soothing sounds of the gently falling rain. Hn! I guess I’m just a sucker, an addict to the siren-like call of falling rain. (smile) But I can think of plenty worse things to be a sucker for, or and addict to than soothing rainfall. I look at it as one of God’s tools to help soothe our disturbed and strife filled souls and spirits. Good excuse eh! (smile) 

Anyway, here is something I think we need this Tuesday morning. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I’m pretty sure I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those things that we need to hear over and over again before it truly takes root in our souls. It’s called ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decisions! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all the problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Ah friends, that’s the living truth! In this fallen world, we’re too often driven to wait and see what happens before we make a decision, when in heaven’s economy, we’re supposed to feel and believe it before we see it. As Gramps Schuller indicates, it’s all a matter of faith. And the more faith we have, the better we’ll be at making right decisions at the right times. 

But the tough part of the situation is that faith only comes by experiencing tough times. And though we all want more and better and stronger faith, very few of us want to experience the tough times to get it. But unfortunately to grow in Christ, we must undergo some of the trials and tribulations He went through. That brings us to our Bit, a scripture passage that just touches my heart. ‘Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.’ 

Yeh friends, though our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ was the Son of God, as a man, He still had to learn obedience, and the only way he could do that was by ‘sufferation’. And on that subject, Bruh Paul told the Philippians: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:8) 

Ah mih breddren, our Saviour didn’t have an easy row to hoe in atoning for our sins, in cleansing our sinful souls with His shed blood and finally bringing us to salvation and eternal life. But He persevered in the Father’s plan, though it meant He had to suffer a lot, taking ALL the sins of the world, past, present and future, on His shoulders on the cross. No wonder He cried out on the cross at the ninth hour: ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is being interpreted (translated), My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34) 

And it was not so much from the agony of the physical pain that Jesus cried out, but more so of the spiritual hurt, the separation from His Father. It was the first and only time that they had ever been separated, but with the whole weight of the world’s sins on His shoulders, the Father, in His supreme holiness, could not very well cozy up to Him. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘15:34. Mark preserves the Aramaic form of Jesus’ outcry, which calls Psalm 22:1 to mind. (Bruh David’s cry of the same words). Some mistook His (Jesus’) words, (v.35) (thinking He called Elijah). Even in the midst of bearing God’s wrath for sin, Jesus still calls Him, my God. His agony does not overcome His faith.’ 

Oh my people, is our faith strong enough to overcome whatever trials and tribulation we go through and still consider God our Father, Helper and eternal Friend? I certainly hope so for all of our sakes. Because that’s the only way we will learn obedience, and God will do wonders in our lives! 

And we have the magnificent example of what the Lord did in Jesus’ life for His obedience, even unto death on the cross. The author of Hebrews continues after our Bit: ‘And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto ALL them that obey him. Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb.5:9-10) 

And Bruh Paul takes it one step further, when he declares: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yuh see friends, our wonderful God is indeed a generous rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and are obedient to His will. Will you seek Him today and be obedient to whatever He asks of you? I sincerely hope so. Now for all of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In loud and proud voice now: ‘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!’ And if we were sincere in that declaration, then we now have to go out and action it, like Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…being obedient to God’s will isn’t always easy…but the rewards are always worth it…just look at the example of Jesus…

P.S.  Hearing the rain falling on the window behind me. Can’t wait to get breakfast and go back to bed. One of the perks for being obedient. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2018 Luke 9:62.

Luke 9:62.   And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

And so we come to Saturday; a day when so many of us breathe a huge sigh of relief, like a great burden has been lifted off our shoulders. And a great burden has indeed been lifted off of many shoulders, and I’m not simply talking about having to go to work, but the effort it takes to get to and from work. 

We’re talking about the endless traffic jams, morning and evening, the hustling along the crowded sidewalks, the rushing and pushing to catch Public Transportation, and then being packed like sardines in the subways and buses. Hn! No wonder so much fatigue, tiredness and lack of incentive exists in our society, and people are prone to do just as much as they can get by with. 

And then, come Saturday, they just lie around like beached whales, too tired to do much of anything but eat and sleep. I don’t know the solution to the problem nuh, but I do know that we waste a lot, too much time and energy just getting to and from work. 

One would think that mankind, as this great thinking machine, as this great font of wisdom, would be able to devise a better, more productive system. Unfortunately though, I don’t see it happening any time soon, so we’d better look about strengthening our backbones and our minds so that we can bear it. Sermon done! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes of our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what happened, but I only got one quote from him this week, but it’s a good one. ‘We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.’ 

What words of absolute wisdom my brethren! Looking back is not something we ought to do too often because it keeps us from moving forward. As Anselm says, we should only look back to learn from our mistakes and use them to make our future more productive. 

Unfortunately though, many of us live in the past. We keep rehashing the things that have happened and keep bringing all that baggage to our current situations. Therefore we can never get ahead with all that negative stuff weighing us down. Please remember my brethren that the past is dead and gone, it’s history, and we can never get it back no matter how we romanticize it, talking about the good old days. 

Now here is the definitive word on the subject, from none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  ‘And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ 

That’s one of the tests of discipleship, and what Jesus told the man who wanted to follow Him, but first desired to go and tell his family farewell. Ah mih people, it sounds like a rough, unfeeling statement, but workers for Jesus must be forward looking, forward thinking people, not dwellers in the past. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘9:62. Fit, occurring elsewhere only in 14:35 and Hebrews 6:7, means “suitable” or “usable.” One who makes life’s lesser matters of greater priority than God’s work is of little use to Him.’ 

Remember how Jesus recruited Peter and Andrew and James and John, the sons of Zebedee? He just passed by the seashore and saw Peter and Andrew casting their nets: ‘And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him. 

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:19-22) What obedience my people! Can you imagine Zebedee’s consternation; his sons’ just walking away with a total stranger? 

And the scholars tell us: ‘The statement in verse 22 that they immediately responded to His call gives us a perfect picture of true obedience to the lordship of Christ.’ 

And we also have the perfect example of how looking back can affect us negatively in the story of Lot when the Lord warned him to flee from the area of Sodom and Gomorrah where he lived. The angels took him and his family out to the city limits. ‘And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad (outside), that he (they) said, Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain, escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.’ (Gen.19:17) 

But Lot begged them to let him escape to a small city nearby, called Zoar, and they agreed. (Gen.19:18-23) Then the Lord rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. ’But his (Lot’s) wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.’(Gen.19:26) 

And the scholars explain: ‘She became a pillar of salt: Jesus used this incident as a warning to others not to look back (Luke 17:21-33). Lot’s wife apparently lingered behind, continually and longingly looking back on her beloved possessions, and was buried by the explosion that resulted from the destruction of the city. Brimstone and fire may refer to a meteorite shower that literally burned up the whole area.’ 

Nuff said my people. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will surely feel…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2018 Matthew 28:18.

Matthew 28:18.   ALL power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

‘One more day, one more day in the kingdom of God!’ Wow friends, nothing can be better than spending another day in the presence of our Lord and Saviour, our Redeemer and Friend, Jesus Christ! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful’ Praise the Lord! Yes my brethren He does deserve our praise for the wonderful things He’s done, is doing, and will continue to do in our lives. So much so, that despite all the vile and negative things that are happening in our world, we don’t need to worry about them, because He is in control. Please remember that. 

In any case we can’t do anything about those major problems, so why worry about them eh? Worry never solved anything yet. But we’re not to just sit around idly and do nothing. We must try to fix, with God’s help obviously, the things directly around us that need fixing. So please let’s keep trying to do our best, and go about God’s business like diligent worker bees nuh. (smile) 

And it’s a glorious Friday out there, which means the workingman is singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday… and the weekend is here! Glory be! No more work, just play! Play…play…play! We’re going to be playing in the summer time! No holds barred…no stones left unturned. It’s just going to be one helluva good time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes friends, we do have to thank God for Fridays and weekends, for the short respite from work, but we don’t need to go overboard in our thanksgiving like the workingman likes to do. (smile) As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to keep the lid on the boiling pot, not let it boil over. That’s why our Friday Chant is more restrained than the workingman’s song. So in strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s enthusiastically chant it nuh, and show the world our style. 

‘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!’ 

And yes, our style might be too restrictive for a lot of people. They prefer the leggo beast attitude of the workingman, but friends, that attitude doesn’t get you anywhere in the long run. As they say, you’re giving up long-term gain for short-term pleasure. But unfortunately that’s the way of the world. We want it now! 

And too many of us supposed believers are falling for the enemy’s wiles; seeking whatever they can get now, and not paying sufficient attention to their eternal future. That’s a sad mistake my brethren, for this earthly life is short, compared to the eternity that’s to come after it. 

So it’s therefore necessary to make suitable provision for the hereafter, just like we make provision for today. And the wisest and most sensible provision we can make is committing our lives to Jesus Christ; for He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

As Jesus declared to His disciples in our Bit before He gave them the Great Commission: ‘ALL power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ And He could say that with great confidence because the Father hath indeed raised Him up for His selfless obedience and sacrifice of offering His sinless life to reconcile a bunch of no-good sinners like you and me. 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly wrote to the Philippians: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:5-11) 

Yes friends, Jesus, though God incarnate, He didn’t try to use His godly authority for personal aggrandizement, but humbled Himself under the Father’s tutelage and did His work without complaint, therefore the Father raised Him to the highest level possible. Likewise, as followers of Jesus, we ought to have the same attitude He had; be humble and obedient to the Father’s will, so that He can also raise us up to higher levels. That’s wisdom in spades. Much LOVE!

…Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) puts it so simply and clearly…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.

Aye friends, it’s a wet one in my area today. And the rain can be so beguiling… Earlier on, for over half an hour, I lay in my bed tossing and turning from side to side, knowing that I was not going back to sleep, especially since my nostrils were all blocked up and my mouth was dry as chip, but yuh think I could get up, as I listened to the gentle rain falling outside? 

No way! There’s just something about the rain that makes you want to stay in bed and curl up under the covers next to your special someone. And don’t forget its potent aphrodisiac properties! (smile) 

And today the Lord pointed me to some stuff I have written here on a piece of paper. I don’t know who or where I got them from, possibly from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley), but I’m sure we’re not going to like them. They have to do with our behaviour as true and faithful believers in Jesus Christ. 

And they advise: 1. Don’t leap to judgement. 2. Take blame and give credit. 3. Don’t one up people, encourage them. 4. If it hurts say so, but don’t hit back. 5. Pray for your competitors. 

Mamacita! All of that goes against the very grain of our human nature! But that’s the way our Leader and Lord and Saviour wants us to operate in this crazy, selfish and greedy world. That’s how others will know that we’re different from the madding crowd and hopefully come to realize that we have what they’re missing and oh so badly need; the eternal and unconditional LOVE and saving grace of Jesus. 

And as we look back on those five things above, if we’re true to ourselves we will admit that they all play a major part in our lives. We all leap to judgement too quickly, with absolutely no relevant facts at hand. We just see or hear someone and we can spout a litany of things that are wrong with them. 

And when coming to taking blame…Hn! That does not exist in our current society. We’re all about pointing fingers at others and hogging whatever credit there is for ourselves. Oh, and one-upmanship is the name of today’s game. Yuh ever listen to group of people talking about their possessions? 

Each one comes up with something better than the other. And that’s one of the reasons why so many of us are so stressed out and miserable; foolishly, we’re trying too hard to keep up with the Joneses. 

And when it comes to being hurt, we’ll certainly let you know, but the trouble is that we also look for vengeance. But remember the Lord says that vengeance is His, and He will repay. Well I won’t even touch praying for our competitors, because that is definitely out of our behavioural sphere. Oh yes, we’ll pray for them, but for them to go under, not to succeed. 

Oh friends, please remember that we’re supposed to be IN the world but not OF the world; meaning we should not behave as the world does. No wonder Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one). They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.’ (John 17:13-16) 

Ah mih people, what more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. Jesus prayed that we would not get involved with the world order even though we lived amongst it. That was necessary so that we could tell others about and show by example the good news He ushered into this world. 

And Bruh Paul reiterated the same sentiments to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, we can’t be IN the world, but not OF it, unless we completely renew our minds and bring it into line with the will of God. And the scholars offer this explanation on that subject: Dedication to the will of God. 

‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12; Primary Ref. Rom.12:1).’ 

The long and short of the story my brethren, is that we’re to live the will of God as found in His Word. And the only way we’re going to find out that will is by reading and studying His Word. So let’s get on with it nuh, so that we can all become the ‘living sacrifices’ that our Lord desires. 

Now it’s time to go home letting the world know who and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra. All together now, in full voice and complete sincerity: ‘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!’ 

And the corollary to that: let’s go out and generously share what Jesus has given us. Much LOVE!

…God’s basic wish for us all…to become Christ-like clones…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 May 2018 1 Samuel 15:22b.

1 Samuel 15:22b.    Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

And then it was Thursday; the penultimate day of the workweek… And there were some shouts of ‘Glory be!’ to that announcement. (smile) And it also looks like it’s going to be another glorious day in my neighbourhood…Thank You Lord! 

Unfortunately though, the people living under the influence of the volcano in Hawaii aren’t seeing any relief from it. In fact it’s getting worse.

Likewise those people involved in the deadly storm in the U.S. Northeast a couple of days ago. Their lives have not returned to normal as yet, and who knows when it will? Our prayers and any other help we can offer will be welcome. 

And today I’m going to offer a li’l something on obedience. ‘Obedience is doing what God says, how He says to do it, and when He says to do it.’ Anything other than that is disobedience. That means a lot of us are more disobedient than we might think we are. Why? 

Because we don’t always do what God says, or how He says to do it, or when He says to do it. We like to either put off God’s directives until a more convenient time, or just do what we think is right or sufficient to meet His directives. But friends, God doesn’t tell us to do anything unless He has a perfect reason and plan for it.  

So if we don’t do it, when and how He says, that means we’re throwing that perfect plan off kilter and not accomplishing the purpose He intended. And we all know that the price of disobedience doesn’t come cheap.

So unless we want to pay some exorbitant prices for disobedience, I’m asking us today to spend some more time looking at whatever God asks us to do, and do it when and how He says. 

Look at what happened to Saul, when he disobeyed God’s directives to totally wipe out the Amalekites. ‘And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

But Saul and the people spared Agag (the king), and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse (despised and worthless) that they utterly destroyed.’ (1 Sam.15:8-9) 

Yeh friends, Saul thought He had done the Lord’s bidding, but he obviously did not understand the words ‘destroy all and everything utterly.’ And what happened then?

‘Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel saying, It repenteth me (I greatly regret) that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.’ (1 Sam.15:11) 

But that made no difference to the Lord’s decision, especially when Samuel confronted Saul about his disobedience: ‘And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag, the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

But the people took of the spoil (plunder), sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed to sacrifice unto the Lord in Gilgal.’ (1 Sam.15:20-21) 

And once again Saul attempts to shift the blame to others, as he had done in Chapter 13:11-12, after he had usurped the priest’s office, and plead extenuating circumstances. But then who was the king eh? Who made the final decisions eh? King Saul! 

Thus Samuel, whose heart was already breaking for Saul’s demise, had to rebuke him. ‘And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (divination), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.’ (1 Sam.15:22-23) 

And that’s what a lot of us do friends; we pick and choose what we’ll do, instead of following the Lord’s directives to the ‘T’. We behave like we know the Lord’s plans better than Him.

But my brethren that only causes us grief and heartache, and we foolishly lose the Lord’s blessings. Please, I once more implore us to take very seriously whatever the Lord asks us to do, and do it when and how He says. It is the epitome of wisdom. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has showered down on us, despite our not deserving them. All together now: ‘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!’ 

And please remember one of the Lord’s directives is to share those blessings with others, so let’s be obedient and go out and do that nuh. Much LOVE!

…it’s not always easy to obey God to the fullest…but it’s always the wisest decision…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 May 2018 Isaiah 1:19.

Isaiah 1:19.   If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

And then it was Wednesday; the midway point of the work week… And we’re getting a li’l bit earlier everyday with the Bit. (smile) Hope within the next few days we’ll be back to an early morning Bit. And when are we going to dance the Maypole eh people? Wonder if some of the young people even know what that is. 

It’s a celebration for the month of May. You have a tall decorated flagpole with long ribbon streamers attached at the top, and then everybody takes a ribbon and dances around it to form an intricate pattern all the way down the pole. I remember going to May fairs as a boy in High School, but usually thinking myself too macho to dance the maypole. That was something for girls. 

Now here is a li’l something from Matt Chandler, lead Pastor of the Village Church, a Southern Baptist Church in Texas. He tells us that ‘God is awesome. He doesn’t need us to be awesome. He needs us to be obedient.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? 

All our magnanimous and magnificent God really wants from us is obedience to His law. If we’d only practice greater obedience, we’d be surprised at how blessed we’d truly be. But we insist on choosing our own areas of obedience. However my brethren, our God wants total obedience from His people. Not some obedience here, and some obedience there, like a hodgepodge of obedience and disobedience. 

And friends, the Lord made His intentions clear a long time ago to the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah in our Bit. ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.’ That’s fairly simple and straightforward eh my fellow believers. 

And the corollary to that is the next verse: ‘But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:20) And it’s not like the Israelites, who were found to be disobedient several times did not suffer by the sword and all kinds of pestilence. 

I don’t know why we think that the Lord isn’t going to keep His word. He kept it with the Israelites and He’s going to keep it with us too, as our disobedience level is riding sky high. Can’t we see all the unusual things that are happening in our society? And even though we’re the most advanced civilization ever, we’re still flailing along in a mire of poverty, sickness, greed and poor relationships. 

A lot of our trouble stems from our disobedience. The Lord is not going to allow us to continue the way we’re currently going forever, so we need to smarten up as soon as possible, if we want to get out of the quicksand that we’re slowly drowning in. 

Now let’s look at some important scriptures that tell us about obedience. And we’ll begin at the beginning, with the words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ (Rom.5:19). 

Yeh friends, by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, sin flooded the world, likewise by the sacrificial death of Jesus, on the cross at Calvary, grace, salvation, and eternal life were provided by our Lord to overcome the bondage of sin. 

And more words from Bruh Paul, this time to the Philippian church, pertaining to Jesus. ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:9) 

Oh my people, there’s no better example of obedience than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  Though He was God Himself, once He took the form of man, He didn’t try to boost His ego or importance here on earth, but gave total obedience to His heavenly father. Even when He tried to get out of going to the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane, He finally gave in and said, ‘not my will, but thine,’ acknowledging the Father’s supremacy. 

As Hebrews tells us: ‘Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb.5:8-10) Yeh people, Jesus learned obedience just like all of us do, through suffering, through adversity and trials. That’s the only way to learn it. And that’s why the Father elevated him to the highest position there is; the one to whom all knees will bow, and all voices will cry Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Now listen to this last scripture from Peter in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for the grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 

As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct). Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.’’ (1 Pet.2:13-16) 

I can’t say anything more friends, except to lead us in our declaration of our Wednesday Wail, which tells the world our strong and obedient position in Christ. 

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!’ 

And we can’t even imagine how glorious that future will be, because our minds are too small and finite! Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than sacrifice…and to hearken than the fat of rams… (1 Sam.15:22b)

 

 

 

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