Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2018 Isaiah 43:2.

Isaiah 43:2,    When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.

 

Awright my faithful brethren, let’s walk one more time, one more time to the Lord’s sanctuary! It’s Sunday and our presence is required in the house of our great God, to worship and give Him awesome praise, exalt His holy name with other believers, hear His Word and receive His confidence and assurance that He will always be with us, never leave nor forsake us. 

No other Deity has ever made the promises our God has, because they’re not really interested in their followers, and in any case they don’t have the omnipotence to keep such promises. But our heavenly Father sincerely cares about and LOVES us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us. Glory to God! And all He expects from us in return is obeisance and obedience. 

And as always, to soften up our hard hearts, we’ll begin with a song of praise. Today’s song is one written by Don Moen, once the music director for the Hour of Power television ministry, but now retired. I believe the story behind this song is one late night in the mid 1980’s Don was awakened by the incessant ringing of the phone. On answering it, he was shocked to hear the news that His brother in-law and his sister had met in an accident with their four children, and one of the boys had died. 

In his grief and sorrow, Don cried out to God for help, and these are the words he found solace in, as he put them to music in the song, ‘God will make a way.’ So let’s raise our voices in all sincerity and truth, declaring the words of Don’s song with heartfelt thanks. 

In soulful unison now: (‘God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me. He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way.) (Repeat) 

By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me And rivers in the desert will I see Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will remain And He will do something new today. Oh, God will make a way where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my brethren as all of us sincere believers can testify, because at some stage in our walk with Almighty God, He has made a way for each of us, when there absolutely seemed to be no way! Praise his holy name my people! Give Him enormous thanks for being the wonderful Deity He is! 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to this mind boggling promise of our Bit nuh. ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee.’ 

And there are instances where He kept all those promises: When the Israelites fled bondage in Egypt and came to the Red Sea, with Pharaoh and his army hot on their heels, it seemed like they were destined to either drown or be slaughtered by their enemy. But their omnipotent God made a way for them by simply parting the Red Sea and giving them dry land to cross over upon. And it was the mighty Egyptians who drowned that day. (Ex.14:21-31) 

Likewise, when they crossed the Jordan River to go into the Promised Land, the Lord parted the river for them to walk across on dry land once more. (Josh. 4) And if yuh think His talk about the fire scene was just idle talk, then read Daniel 3: 8-30, where the story of the three Hebrew young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is told. 

 They refused to bow to a golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and were thrown into a furnace of fire heated seven times hotter than normal. Hn! It consumed the men who threw them in, but those faithful young men came out without a scorch, not even smelling of smoke! 

Wow mih breddren! As I rave every day: what a wonderful and powerful God we serve and worship! Give Him the praise and thanks He so rightfully deserves nuh! And the hordes of foolish people, believing Lucifer’s lies that we ought to get rid of God from our society? Deh mad yes! We ought to be begging Him to come back, not go away! 

And if yuh think all of that was in the now irrelevant Old Testament, then listen to Bruh Paul writing to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Yes friends, even when the tempter comes with His best shot, our ever-faithful God will find a way for us to escape the temptation entirely, or walk through it with us, helping us to endure it. But He will NEVER allow us to handle more than we can bear! That’s His promise! 

And even more compelling are these words of assurance from Bruh Paul to the Roman church. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom.8:28)

Oh my people, our wonderful God is working out ALL things for good, but we who LOVE Him appreciate that fact more than others because we LOVE Him no matter what! Like Shadrach and them told King Neb, we know the Lord can save us from the fire, but whether He chooses to save us or not, we not bowing to yuh foolish lifeless golden idol! And that is that! You could do whatever yuh want now! 

Oh my fellow followers of Jesus, that is the kind of salt and belly and backbone that we need to have in these oh so evil and ungodly times!  For Jesus’ sake, let’s get our act together and be solid nuh. We way too wishy-washy and compromising with the world! Much LOVE!

…remember…we must be in the world…but showing Jesus’ glowing colours…not be of the world…in the dark and evil likeness of Beelzebub…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2018 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Awright friends, it’s bright and sunshiny out there, so let’s get with the thanks and praise, as we all joyfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And we’d be very foolish and ungrateful not to do so my brethren, because that’s why the Lord made the beautiful day – so that His precious people could enjoy it. Glory to our Most High God, whose kind, gracious and LOVING thoughts are always upon us, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

Yes my dear brethren in Christ, our God only has our best interest at heart, but we foolishly screw it up when we don’t pay Him His much-deserved obeisance and obedience. Anyway, He’s also overflowing with forgiveness, so when we realize the error of our ways and come to Him in sincere repentance, He WILL have mercy on our poor human souls, and forgive us. That’s just how magnanimous and generous He is! 

And that’s why the workingman, even in his somewhat mislead agenda, can cry out in thanks and appreciation this Friday morning to the Most High: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! MamaYo! The weekend is at hand; the time to celebrate life is upon us. So what we waiting for eh? Let’s celebrate life! 

We alive and kicking, and the wisest man ever, Solomon, said that it was good for a man to eat drink and enjoy the fruits of his labour! So leh we do that nuh, celebrate the end of another back breaking week of slave-like labour, as we give thanks for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Ah friends, as always, I have no complaints re the workingman’s song, except that he takes the celebrating thing a little too far, so that he opens wide the door for Lucifer and his evil minions to get a foothold in his soul. And that’s why, as believers, our Friday Chant is somewhat different; still exuberant and enthusiastic, but with tighter boundaries and a li’l more circumspection. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, as we declare our thanks for the weekend to Almighty God. 

‘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 people, we have to be careful to not go too far out on the limb of freedom, so that we don’t allow the enemy to muddy our clean, clear waters. And remember too, that not because a wide door or path has been opened to us, that we have to go through or take it, for oftimes, it is the enticement of the enemy. 

That’s why Jesus warned us: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

 And that’s the God awesome truth friends! Living and working for Jesus, does take away some of our wiggle room. (smile) Meanwhile, Luke puts it thus: ‘Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ (Luke 13:24) Yes my brethren, the way to eternal life is narrow and fraught with difficulty, and only those who sincerely seek it and are willing to pay the price will find it. 

And it’s not only narrow, but there’s only ONE WAY, that through Jesus, as He succinctly informed doubting Thomas. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Right there you have that narrow, one-way street to eternal life my people! Jesus didn’t mince words; He told it exactly like it is: ONLY through Him can one get to the Father and bypass eternal damnation with Lucifer in the lake of fire! 

So what’s it going to be eh: eternal salvation in the amazing company of our Triune God, or hell fire and damnation with the fallen angels? It’s a decision each individual has to make for themself; nobody else can make it for you. They can suggest it, or even lead you to that narrow path, but it’s always going to be your decision to tread or not to tread it. 

 Let’s hope today my people, that we all make the wise decision; that to follow Jesus on the narrow but difficult and self-sacrificing path to victory and everlasting life. It’s the best and wisest decision we can ever make in this lifetime! And we will never regret it, all the way through eternity! Much LOVE!

…if Christ…who cannot lie…says He is the ONLY way to the Father…then it must be true…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2018 1 Peter 5:6-7.

1 Peter 5:6-7.   Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care (anxiety) upon him; for he careth for you.

Another day of adventurous sailing friends on the ever-eventful seas of Life, with the Pilot of All Pilots, Jesus Christ at the helm! Mama Mia! That means there is no need to fear or worry, for Jesus is simply the BEST of the BEST! 

Yes my people, He will never let anything untoward happen to us while He is guiding our ship, be it amongst storms and rocky coasts, or calm seas, with beautiful sandy beaches in the offing. So give Him some thanks and praise for His concern and faithfulness towards us nuh. 

And the first thing Jesus wants us to consider as we set sail this morning is, ‘Dare to believe!’ Yes my brethren, He is daring us to believe in Him and His awesome powers and everlasting LOVE! And from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, comes this most appropriate prayer. ‘I Dare to Believe!’ 

So let’s make our declaration: “Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord.” On this day of remorse and turmoil The Psalmist’s cry is my cry. Trembling, crumbling, out of the depths I cry. And yet, in the throes of my anguish, O God I dare to believe. You see my groping and grasping. You hear my sighs and sobs. I dare to believe. 

You can break through the emotional blockades You can rebuild my broken dreams. Though my words seem drenched with presumption To those who march with illusive courage I dare to believe. Your LOVE is unquenchable Your faithfulness is inexhaustible. I dare to believe. 

You delight to draw me to Yourself You long to silence my desperate cry. I dare to believe. I will yet hear Your gentle words “I am your Father. Come home.”  Weeping child It is true That I am your Father. Now dare to believe You are home.’  

Oh friends, do we have the parts, the hope, the faith, the wherewithal to dare to believe, that the Lord God is our Father and we are at home with him, in His awesome presence and His undying LOVE? For all of our sakes, I sincerely hope so, else we’re certainly in bad shape. 

And isn’t it strange that the most important thing that Jesus asks of us – to simply BELIEVE – is the thing we find the hardest to do. I guess that’s because believing entails trusting things and people you don’t know or can’t see. But that’s the whole beauty of walking with Jesus; you don’t need to see it to believe it, for He is our EVERYTHING! We live in Him and through Him and for Him. What can be better than that eh? Nothing really! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem above is also our Bit for today. ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care (anxiety) upon him; for he careth for you.’ 

Oh my people, please believe – there we have that word ‘believe’ again – that despite all our disobedience and sinfulness and trying to root Him out of our lives and our societies, that Almighty God who created us, still LOVES us like the first day He made us! His LOVE is unconditional and undying…but you have to BELIEVE… 

Ah friends, but once we believe, then we need to be humble, to come humbly and with reverence before our heavenly Father, for though He is our Father, He is also our God and deserves obeisance on that front. And as Micah tells us: ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic.6:9)  

Yes friends, we need to remember that the Lord is the potter, the Creator, and we are the clay, the ones whom He formed, and is constantly reforming in the image of Christ, so we need to have and show some appreciation of His awesome might and power…if we are wise. 

And Isaiah declares of the Lord: ‘For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ (Is.57:15) And Cousin Sol adds: ‘By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.’ (Prov.22:4) 

You simply can’t go wrong my brethren by believing, being humble and reverent towards the Lord God Jehovah, our Maker and Controller. It’s indeed wisdom of the highest order! Now for those of us who truly believe and are sincerely trying to put it into practice, let’s go home declaring our position in the Lord, through our Wednesday Wail. 

Altogether 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 if we keep on keeping on and believing, the future will indeed be glorious…more glorious than we can ever imagine. Much LOVE!

…believe…only believe…it is the first…and also…the mightiest and most important step…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 January 2018 Psalm 48:14.

Psalm 48:14.   For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

And there was joy in the morning, because it was Sunday; the day most Christians choose to rest and to gather in fellowship to sing and praise their marvellous God. And believe me friends, there’s nothing better than worshipping Almighty God and singing His wonderful praises. Therefore, let’s begin the proceedings by voicing the beautiful and true words of the old, but dearly beloved Isaac Watts hymn, ‘O God our help in ages past,’ written a couple of centuries ago, but still going strong. 

In strong, harmonious voices now, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘O God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, our Shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal Home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood or earth received its frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an ev’ning gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun. Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the op’ning day. O God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal Home!’ 

What words of immortal truth my people! Our great God has indeed been our help in times past, and is also the One we place our future hope upon. He’s been our shelter from innumerable storms and He’s the One we will dwell with in eternity, after this earthly life is over. And to further expand His resume, He’s omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present! Hn! What a truly mighty God we serve! There is no other supposed deity who even comes close to Him, because He is the Only True and Living God! 

That’s why we can proclaim with strong conviction like the psalmists, the sons of Korah, do in this verse that’s our Bit.  ‘For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.’ 

There’s no more left to say my fellow believers, that says it all! Our God is so amazing, so awesome; that we have no doubts whatsoever about serving and worshipping until the end of time! No one can come between us and our God, because He is everything we need and want…and then some! 

Hear how Moses puts it in his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God’ (Ps.90:1-2) 

Wow! As the French would say, ‘Tres Magnifique!’ Yes that’s our God; magnificent in every way my people! No wonder the sons of Korah open Psalm 48 with this verse. ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.’ (Ps.48:1) 

And later on they declare: ‘We have thought of thy LOVING-kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgements.’ (Ps.48:9-11) Yeh friends, our God is also just and righteous! What more can we ask for eh? Nothing really, because He possesses all the elements and attributes that make up a true godly Being. 

Now listen to the sons of Korah from Psalm 47 – God is the King of all the earth. ‘Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen (gentiles): God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.’ (Ps.47:6-9) 

And so He should be my people! Our God deserves exaltation, reverence and glory to the fullest degree, not to mention obedience, obeisance and LOVE! Remember, ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) That’s another feather in His cap! (smile) ‘And God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:8) How can we not LOVE, honour and obey Him eh friends, He’s such a wonderful Deity! 

Unfortunately though, the sinful world we live in, and our own fallen nature cause many of us to shy away from God. But that’s not wise friends, for He is the only One who can save us from a life of disasters and eternal damnation, through His Son Jesus Christ. That’s why we need to get even closer to God, so that we are not on the outside looking in when the day of final judgement arrives. For it will indeed be a sad day when unbelievers are thrown into the lake of fire. 

Please ponder that fact and see if it’s to your liking. And if it isn’t, then you need Jesus. And remember in this year of 2018, we’ve resolved to have a closer walk with our Lord and Saviour. So let’s sincerely do that nuh, since it will be definitely to our benefit. Much LOVE!

…just a closer walk with thee…grant it Jesus…is my plea…daily walking close to thee…let it be…dear Lord…let it be…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 October 2013 Psalm 145:8

Psalm 145:8.    The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion: slow to anger, and of great mercy.

 
Oh Friends, our God is definitely the greatest yes! And I’m saying that for the umpteenth time because yesterday, after writing that I had nothing to say, was bereft of words, He kindly informed me that believers ALWAYS have something to say. And when I didn’t understand, like a patient teacher, He gently explained that whenever our mental apparatus shuts down, we can always testify.
 
Obviously I chuckled at hearing that information, but people, there is logic to it. We might not be able to come up with any new, fanciful stuff to enthral our listeners, but our personal testimony, what the Lord has already done in our lives, and is currently doing, doesn’t change or ever grow stale.
 
And in fact, personal testimony is the best way to project our faith, to bring others to Christ. We can know the Good Book from cover to cover, but that information is useless to all and sundry unless some aspect or aspects of it are occurring in our lives. That’s why it’s called a personal relationship with Christ.
 
The tough part though is that you cannot find out what Jesus is all about until you get personally involved with Him. That’s where faith and trust come in – plenty of both. And that’s why they call getting involved with Jesus a leap of faith! You don’t know what’s going to happen, because He has different plans for each of us, but you’re nonetheless willing to dive in heart first. 
 
As they say, you can’t learn to swim in shallow water, it must be deep enough for you to manoeuvre properly. So anyway, we now know that when our word source dries up, we can testify. (smile)
 
That brings us to our warm, wonderful and most encouraging Bit. ‘The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion: slow to anger, and of great mercy.’ And all God’s people gave Him a big shout of praise!
 
But that’s not all Friends, for Bruh David continues: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) Even more assurance there Friends!
 
But here’s where our endeavours come in. ‘All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power, To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.’ (Ps.145:10-12)
 
Now that’s where we have to step back and view the reality of the current situation my brethren. Are we, God’s saints, speaking of His majesty and power, of His glorious kingdom, and also letting men know about His mighty acts down through the ages?
 
I strongly believe that we’re not doing it to the best of our ability, otherwise there wouldn’t be as many backsliders and unbelievers, and consequently our world wouldn’t be in the terrible mess that it’s in.
 
Now let’s turn to some scripture that confirms our Bit. The psalmist in Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord – says with much wisdom and truth. ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps.130:7-8)
 
What glorious words of encouragement, my brethren! There’s certainly no doubting them!
 
Meanwhile, Isaiah, in chapter 55, God’s free offer of mercy to all, he also reassuringly declares: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is.55:6-7)
 
Then, in one of the many instances when Israel was backsliding, the Lord commanded Jeremiah: ‘Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger (remain angry) for ever.
 
Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers (favours to foreign deities) under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.3:12-13)
 
Please note Friends, that it’s all well and good to come back to God, but we must acknowledge our transgressions with sincere repentance, and He will know it by searching our hearts.
 
And here are two verses from Psalm 86, where Bruh David is entreating the Lord to teach him to pray. ‘For thou Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee… But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.’ (Ps.86: 5,15)  Bruh David certainly knew what he was talking about from personal experience.
 
Now listen to Joel, with a call to fasting and more repentance. ‘Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. And rend (tear) your heart, and not your garments, and turn (return) unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness (LOVING-kindness), and repenteth him of the evil (relents from doing harm.’ (Joel 2:12-13)
 
Ah mih people, NO OTHER GOD shows such grace and mercy towards repentant sinners!
 
Now here’s a note from the scholars I think we should share. ‘2:12-13. The customary way a Jew showed his grief was to tear his outer garment. This external sign could be meaningless. The tearing of the outer garment is useless, unless the heart is broken in repentance and contrition.’
 
And that’s the undeniable truth Friends! So though our God is wonderful, with all those glowing attributes, we still need to show Him true reverence, obeisance and obedience. For as the old people would say; it takes two to tango. We can’t expect to reap all of God’s goodness without doing our part. But sadly that’s the way a lot of us, supposed believers behave.
 
We must remember Friends that we’re in a covenant relationship with Almighty God, our Creator, Controller and Provider, and right now we need to step up to the plate and become better keepers of that covenant, for we are definitely backsliding. And as we’ve seen in all our scriptures, the Lord is only too willing to forgive and forget, if we turn back to Him in sincere repentance and heartfelt contrition. That’s heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…a word to the wise is sufficient…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2013 Ecclesiastes 5:4.

Ecclesiastes 5:4.    When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
 
Well a blessed morning to all you Friends and fellow believers in Christ Jesus! Some of you are still sleeping while I’m here toiling, (smile) but I’ll let you into a li’l secret. This was one morning where the ole fella really didn’t feel like getting up nuh. I went to bed later than planned, doing constructive stuff this time though, and as we like to say, the sleep was sweeeetttt…
 
When the Lord touched me and whispered, ‘Time to get up son,’ I almost told Him, ‘Forget it yes Lord, not today nuh,’ and roll back over. Hn, Hn!
 
But one of the worse mistakes we can ever make my brethren, is to promise the Lord to do something for Him, then renege on the promise for some flimsy reason as wanting to sleep. (smile)
 
So here I am writing my life away, my eyes still full of sleep, since the caffeine hasn’t yet kicked in. Hopefully it’s something sensible and informative. But I’m not worried, because as I prove day after day, our God is wonderfully faithful, and doesn’t give us a task and not help us do it.
 
How do you think I could be writing this Bit everyday now, into the seventh year? It’s undoubtedly with the plentiful help of our wonderful and faithful God! So here’s to a good, moving, wise and wonderful Bit. I just have to go and find a scripture to base it on now. (smile)
 
And have I ever found a most appropriate one my people! ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.’
 
Now that’s the gospel truth Friends! God definitely dislikes people to make promises and not keep them. And this is not something new, for way back when, He spoke thus to Moses concerning vows and promises.
 
‘If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond (binding himself by some agreement); he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.’ (Num.30:2)
 
And just before our Bit, Cousin Sol offers up another choice morsel of wisdom. ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fools voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3)
 
Oh Friends, what wisdom! 
 
The scholars explain that, “The emphasis on the passage is on the folly of an empty religious profession before a sovereign God. God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows.” 
 
And since neither our God or His Word changes, that means all those words should still be ruling our lives today. But unfortunately in today’s society that wisdom has fallen by the wayside. A man’s word is no longer honourable, for promises are only made to be later broken.
 
And that’s why there’s so little, if any trust in our society, why fraud and fraudulent acts are so prevalent and widespread. People can no longer be trusted to act in a decent, upstanding manner. Our courts are filled with so much litigation concerning contracts we’ve signed in good faith, then refuse to honour.
 
So what’s the purpose of making a promise or a vow that has no true credibility to it, or that we won’t be held accountable for eh? None whatsoever!
 
Followers of Jesus are expected to be faithful to their vows and promises…hn! But from some of the stuff that Christians do, you certainly wouldn’t believe that.
 
But Friends, be warned, that though you can make a promise to your fellow man and break it without suffering any kind of penalty, you CANNOT do that with God. He always delivers on His promises and fully expects us to deliver on ours, unless there are truly extenuating circumstances.
 
As our Bit says: ‘for he hath no pleasure in fools.’ Yes my brethren, our God doesn’t suffer fools gladly, just like some of us don’t. And if we, mere mortals can have that strong attitude against foolishness and foolish behaviour, you can just imagine how strong God’s resentment of it is.
 
As our Bit also advises: ‘pay that which thou hast vowed.’ And not only to God, but also to our fellow man.
 
And if we don’t want to keep promises, then the smartest thing is simply not to make them. ‘Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:5)
 
Words of absolute truth and wisdom my fellow believers!
 
In this day and age we’re quick to make promises, both to God and man, especially when we’re in trouble. But after either or both have lifted us out of the mire, we completely forget the promises we made in the heat of the moment.
 
That’s not right, or wise, my Friends! Instead, if we do make commitments in desperate times, then we should always do our best to honour them afterwards.
 
We should sincerely endeavour to do like the psalmist says: ‘Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows (promised deeds), which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.’ (Ps.66:12-14)
 
Now that’s how a true and faithful Christian ought to behave!
 
Just like how I couldn’t roll over and go back to sleep this morning, though the body and soul were crying out for it. Because I’ve promised the Lord to write a Bit based on His Word everyday and send it out a reasonable hour, I had to get up regardless of how I felt, and keep my promise.
 
Therefore Friends, I beseech each and every one of us, today, let’s all take the time to ponder our individual situations, re our vows and promises, both to God and our fellow man, and see where we’re falling down in their proper observance.
 
And having done that, then let’s turn to both God and man and ask for forgiveness, while making obeisance, restitution and/or whatever is necessary to pay our vows. That’s wisdom and true faith at their height. Much LOVE!
 
…trust takes a long time to build…but a broken promise quickly destroys that trust…
 
       
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2013 2 Chronicles 24:20

2 Chronicles 24:20.    And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.
 
Oh Friends, I came to write the Bit just now, with no intro in mind. But as usual, the Lord, in His awesome LOVING-kindness pointed me to one. I went to straighten out a picture on my cluttered desk and inadvertently disturbed some other stuff, amongst them a couple of the sayings we find in the Chinese fortune cookies. And while replacing them, this particular one, struck me as being rather relevant to today. It simply says: ‘All that we are arises with our thoughts.’ And that’s ever so true my people, because our thoughts are what guide and propel our actions. That means bad or evil thoughts will lead to similar actions, while good, wholesome thoughts will bring good, wholesome actions. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do at the beginning of this New Year via our Bit; change our concentration from being uppermost on Lucifer and the mindless things of the world, to Jesus and the awesome, soul-inspiring things of heaven. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.’ The Bit is quite plain and to the point Friends. The people of Israel had turned from the God of their fathers, who had given them prosperity, to worshipping idols. And it’s obvious if you worship idols, or any other supposed god beside He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, you will not prosper. Moses said that to the Israelites, long, long ago. ‘And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress (overstep) the commandment of the Lord? but it shall not prosper (succeed). Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten before (defeated by) your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you.’ (Num.14:41-43) But they didn’t listen to Moses, rebelliously went out to battle, and were totally slaughtered. The same thing happened with our Bit. The king Joash had been saved as a baby by his sister Jeho-shabeath from the wicked queen Athaliah, who usurped the throne after her son Ahaziah’s death, killing all the royal heirs. Now, Jeho-shabeath was the wife of Jehoiada the priest, and they hid Joash in the temple for six years, while Athaliah reigned wickedly over the land. (2 Chr.22) In the fullness of time though, through Jehoiada’s influence and cunning, the people rebelled against Athaliah, slew her and made Joash king at the age of 7. ‘And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.’ (2 Chr.24:20) However, after Jehoiada died at age 130, Joash listened to the fawning princes of the land who came and made obeisance to him. ‘And they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves (wooden images) and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.’ (2 Chr.24:18) But our God LOVES us so much that He just doesn’t give up on us. ‘Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.’ (2 Chr.24:19) Oh Friends, that’s the same thing that’s happening in our crazy, confused, misguided world today! The Lord’s sending His messengers to us to tell us repent and come back to Him, else our lives will be devastated. But just like the Israelites of old, we’re not listening. We still insist on going about our own disobedient, rebellious way, instead of doing God’s will. What do you think will be the eventual out come eh? Listen to this. When the Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah and he testified against his people, they conspired against him, and stoned him on the orders of Joash, the king. Joash conveniently forgot the goodness of Zechariah’s father, Jehoiada, who raised him like his own son. But remember Friends, our God says that revenge is His, and he will repay in due time. (Deut.32:35) Consequently, at the end of that year, the Syrian army invaded Judah and Jerusalem, killed the princes, left Joash badly wounded, and sent an abundance of spoil back to Damascus. (2 Chr.24:23) Now please listen carefully to this next verse Friends. ‘For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the Lord delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. So they executed judgement against Joash.’ (2 Chr.24:24) Yuh see mih people, the Lord rights all wrongs in His own way and time! And believe me, right now He is righting some of our wrongs with the devastating changes and problems we’re facing. That’s why I’m urging us to repent and turn back to Jehovah God this year of 2013. It’s imperative that we do so Friends, because I believe this will be a watershed, make or break year. Hear how Cousin Sol tells it in Proverbs. ‘He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’ (Prov.28:13) It couldn’t be any plainer than that mih breddren. Life is tough all around and none of the schemes or solutions of men are working because the problems are too big and complex for our puny minds to even conceive, much less solve. And if we can’t solve our problems, then the only logical and wise move is to turn to Jehovah God, the Creator, Controller and Provider of the universe. And we’ll end with this appropriate piece of scripture, a warning from the prophet Azariah. Please pay close attention to it, because it’s exactly what’s happening right now. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet (before) Asa, (the king) and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations (turmoil) were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of (by) nation, and city of city: for God did vex (trouble) them with all adversity. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:1-7) That’s the Word of the Lord Friends; we shall either live by it, or die without it. Much LOVE!…he who does not obey…will certainly pay…that’s the Lord’s decree from day one…and it hasn’t changed…neither will it ever…