Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2019 Matthew 14:33.

Matthew 14:33.    ​And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

 

And then it was Sunday…Oh beautiful Sunday! Time to join fellow believers in praise, worship and thanksgiving at the Lord’s house on His special day. What a wonderful privilege to come into His presence with others of like mind, to hear His Word, exalt His holy name and receive His awesome confidence, LOVE, mercy, grace and strength that enable us to keep on fighting the good fight in His name! So, without further ado, let’s do as we always do nuh, (smile) begin with a song of praise. And today’s song is aptly titled: ‘LOVE LIFTED ME!’ And so it did friends; Christ’s great LOVE for us, lifted us out of the mire of sin, through His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary that paid the price of sin for all time. 

But we all know that, so let’s check out something that we might not know, namely the story behind today’s hymn. According to the web site GodTube, it was written and published in 1912 by Arthur James Rowe (1865-1933), a copper miner’s son, an immigrant to the U.S from Ireland in 1889. He worked for ten years on the New York railroads, then became an inspector for the Hudson River Humane Society. The hymn was inspired by two biblical stories, both about Jesus and His disciples on the stormy seas of Galilee. (Matt.14:22-33) & (Matt.8:23-27). ‘Rowe masterfully incorporates both stories, using sinking or being swamped into the sea as an illustration for “sinking deep in sin…sinking to rise no more.” Jesus, “Master of the sea,” hears our pleas for help, reaches out to us in LOVE, and lifts us up into the well being of grace.’ Oh what a beautiful description! 

So now that we have some idea of what the hymn is all about, let’s sing it nuh, in strong, soulful voice, with exquisite harmony, and much sincere thanks and gratitude appropriately flowing from our hearts. Altogether now: ‘I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, now safe am I. (Refrain: LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me. LOVE lifted me! LOVE lifted me! When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me.) 

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling, In his blessed presence live, ever his praises sing. LOVE so mighty and so true merits my soul’s best songs; Faithful LOVING service, too, to Him belongs. [Refrain] Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves; He will lift you by His LOVE out of the angry waves; He’s the master of the sea, billows His will obey, He, your Saviour wants to be, be saved today. [Refrain: LOVE lifted me…When nothing could help…LOVE lifted me…’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my fellow believers? It’s only something as powerful as LOVE that could have ever lifted us out of the depths of sin! The amazing LOVE of Jesus is the only thing ‘that can lift us out of despair to salvation.’ Now let’s refresh our memories about those two stories on which today’s hymn was based. The first one tells us about Jesus entering a ship with His disciples. ‘And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ (Matt.8:24-27) 

Ah friends, as the hymn says, Jesus is the ‘Master of the sea.’ He was intimately involved in making it, therefore, it must do as He directs it. The second story happens after Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod. When Jesus heard of it, He was saddened, and took a ship to a deserted place to be alone. But the crowds followed Him, and Jesus being Jesus, was filled with compassion and He taught them and healed their sick, then later on He fed them; five thousand men, beside women and children. (Matt.14:1-14) After that, He sent the disciples away in a ship, dispersed the multitude, then went up into a mountain by himself to pray. However, while Jesus was up on the mountain praying, the disciples were having an extremely hard time crossing the sea of Galilee because of a severe storm, brewed up by a contrary wind. 

By the fourth watch (3-6 a.m.) they were obviously tired from rowing all night and not making much progress. Then suddenly this apparition appeared unto them walking on the water. They claimed it was a ghost and cried out in fear. ‘But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I, be not afraid. Then Peter with his impulsive self blurted out: ‘Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee  on the water. And he said,  Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent) he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.’ (Matt.14:27-33) 

Ah mih people, please note Jesus response in both situations: ‘O ye of little faith.’ He challenged them on the substance of their faith. They had seen Him do all sorts of miracles, yet still they were scared of their own shadows. When He walked on water to them, a few hours earlier they had seen him feed over five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two small fishes, and still pick up twelve full baskets of left overs. So why should they be so afraid seeing Him walk and water and calm the stormy seas eh? The sad part of the story though is that unfortunately, we are in the same boat as the disciples. We talk a good talk, but when adversity strikes, we forget all the wonderful miracles that Jesus has done in our lives, and we too cry out in faithless fear. 

But the long and short of the story is that we know much more about Jesus and how He works, than the disciples did, so we ought not to be as afraid as so many of us are. Each adversity we undergo, and He brings us through successfully, ought to build our faith and make us stronger. So please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve said today nuh, and promise ourselves to try and do better, faith wise, with God’s help of course. Jesus needs us to show strong faith to the unbelievers, so that they too will want to share His salvation! Much LOVE!

…it should not be as hard for us…as it was for the disciples…to truly believe…that Jesus is the Son of God…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2018 Psalm 145:3.

Psalm 145:3.   Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).

Ahoy there mates! Welcome to the good ship Life, as we set out on a new day of adventure on the broad expanse of territory called Mother Earth. And for your information and reassurance, we have the best pilot in the world aboard! 

Yes friends, today, the Master Pilot, Jesus will be our guide and suave informant! Wow! There’s none better than Him! So just sit back and relax and let Jesus take us wherever He desires. I am sure He will show us signs and wonders we’ve never dreamed of. 

And the first thing Jesus wants to do on today’s journey is fill us with whatever we need to come up to scratch and enjoy the day. And He speaks through Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) poem ‘Fill Me!’ from his Hour of Power Devotional. We’ve shared it before, but Jesus thought we should share it again, because we never truly learn something until we’ve heard it over and over. 

So please pray with me: ‘O Lord, like the thirsty deer which goes to drink from the mountain spring; like the growing flower which turns hungrily to the satisfying sun; like the empty pitcher which is carried to the fountain to be filled; so I come, O God, knowing that in this time of prayer my soul will be filled with your LOVE and truth. Thank you! Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, there is no better filling station for renewing our empty souls than at Jesus’ station! Only thing is right now I’m not only hungering for soul refilling, but also bodily liquid refilling. (smile) Seems like I have an endless capacity for drink, but little for solid food, which doesn’t sit well with one of my other medical problems, namely my unsound heart. However, I’m just doing my best and trusting Jesus to do the rest. 

That brings us to our Bit, which is the same as yesterday, because I don’t think I did it justice back then. ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ Gospel truth indeed! And today I want to concentrate on the last part, that His greatness is beyond our understanding. 

And we’ll begin with some words from Eliphaz, talking about God’s greatness, as he rebukes his supposed friend, Job. ‘(But as for me) I would seek unto God; and unto God would I commit my cause: which doeth great things and unsearchable (beyond comprehension); marvellous things without number.’ (Job 5:8-9) And he goes on to list a number of those great and incomprehensive things. 

And later on Job himself acknowledges God’s greatness and justice. ‘Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God (how can a man be righteous with God)? If he will contend (argue) with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand (one time out of a thousand). He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?’ (Job 9:1-4) 

Yeh friends, who can ask God a question He can’t answer eh? But we can’t even answer Him one in a thousand. And I just LOVE that last question; who has ever pitted themself against God and won eh? Not a single soul! But unfortunately there are many fools among us today who are still trying to do it. When will we ever learn eh mih breddren, that we can’t fight Almighty God and win? 

Remember He is the ONE who created us and controls the very breath of our lives and our eternal destiny. The only thing that makes any sense is to run to His ever-wide open arms and partake of all the blessings that He’s set aside for those who wisely come to Him. Anything else is a complete waste of time, and we’re only setting ourselves up for disaster and eternal separation, the worst thing that can happen to a human being. 

Now hear this scripture from Isaiah, which we all purport to know, but don’t seem to practice. ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.’ (Is.40:28)  

And Bruh Paul adds his two cents worth in his letter to the Roman church. ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!’ (Rom.11:33) That says it all, plain and simple friends. 

And if you still don’t believe any of your fellow human beings, then listen to the Lord Himself, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah? ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is.55:8-9) 

There friends, the Lord has told us Himself in no uncertain terms, so please, let’s listen and do the wise thing nuh. Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, informing the world of who and whose we are. 

In strong voice and sincere heart: ‘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 truly sincere, let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…how can the created…be ever greater than the Creator eh…

 

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2016 Luke 9:23‏‏

Luke 9:23.   And he 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.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s Thursday, another bright and sunshiny day in my neck of the woods! And on top of that, it’s also supposed to be warmer than yesterday. 

Oh, all praise and glory be to our amazing God, who bestows, who showers us with new and wonderful mercies, blessings and LOVING-kindness each and every day! 

Wow! How could I not LOVE, worship, praise, revere and glorify such a magnanimous Deity eh! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud, ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

Yes my people, we do deserve to praise our heavenly Father for His unselfish care and compassion for us. Just wish that we could show Him and each other the same kind of care and concern. Anyway, since it’s Thursday, it’s time for us to confidently declare our Thursday Blessing… 

And with a thoughtful frown, the congregation asks: ‘What yuh talking about eh? Didn’t know we had a Thursday Blessing.’ 

Well the truth is my precious people, I didn’t know that either until a couple nights ago when I got this zeppo. (smile) 

And the story goes like this. As part of my devotions, I read an old devotional written by Bubba (Joel Osteen) in his early days of ministry. It had to be, because it’s old and beat up now, with some of the pages falling apart, and it was already old when I discovered it at my mothers place some years ago and we began reading it everyday, even when we couldn’t remember Bubba’s name. (smile) 

It’s called ’30 Thoughts for Victorious Living.’ I don’t know if Bubba even remembers that he wrote something like that, the amount of stuff he’s written over the last few years. But I like it; it serves my purposes, and I will continue to use it as long as I can. 

On a point of interest, most of my devotionals are old, but I prefer them to some of the new-fangled stuff that’s out there now. 

Anyway a couple days ago I was reading the devotions for the 11th of the month, which says ‘Declare Blessing’, and the prevailing scripture for that is the blessing instituted by our God long time ago for the Israelites. ‘Say to them, may the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favour and give you His peace.’ (Num.6:24) 

And the opening lines of the devotion are: ‘A blessing is not a blessing until it is declared! So today declare a blessing over yourself and others. Speak that blessing in the name of Jesus!’ And then he goes on to declare some blessings. 

Now the other day when I finished reading it, it suddenly occurred to me that it would make a good prayer for Thursdays. I thought about a couple of names, like ‘Thursday’s Temptation,’ or ‘Thursday’s Tantrum’ (smile) but eventually ended up with ‘Thursday’s Blessing’ as being more appropriate. 

And what I’ve done is basically taken Bubba’s general blessings and individualized them. So please declare with me now my brethren our Thursday Blessing, in a loud, proud, sincere and confident manner. 

‘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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s our Thursday Blessing. I like it, and I do hope you like it too. It’s basically a rework of the Lord’s blessings promised to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, some very important words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, re the terms of our discipleship. ‘And he 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.’ 

Yes my brethren, the number one rule in following Jesus is to deny ourselves, become selfless instead of selfish, as our world is today. That doesn’t mean we don’t look after ourselves as best we can and do stuff for ourselves, but that we are not the be all and end all of our earthly lives. 

Just as Jesus came to serve and save, we too must concentrate on serving and saving, and on a daily basis too, which isn’t always easy. But as I keep saying, with God’s help, EVERYTHING is doable! 

And we’ll end with Jesus’ words after 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)? 

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:24-27) 

And there we have it friends, the self-explanatory, immortal words of Jesus on how we must approach our discipleship. Please, let’s take some time today to ponder our individual relationship with Jesus, re those terms of discipleship. And as always, with God’s help, try to improve them, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…successfully walking with Jesus…takes lots of time…lots of selflessness…lots of care and consideration for others…  

P.S. I know it’s long and late, but please be aware that the hockey playoffs have begun, which means that there’s lots of hockey every night, and thus there will be many late nights and consequently late mornings. (smile) Just bear with the ole fella nuh. He’s got to have a life too yuh know. And once he’s alive and kicking, the Bit will get there…eventually. Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 September 2013 Job 9:1-2

Job 9:1-2.   Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?
 
Oh Friends, the ole fella’s a tad tired this morning. I don’t really know why, because I’ve had lots of sleep. I was even late in getting down here to write the Bit. But you know what, in my time of need there, I asked the Lord to help me put on my spiritual armour, because I realized that the enemy was coming strong against me.
 
Then I declared one of the affirmations on my desk, that I can do EVERYTHING through Christ who provides new opportunities for me each and every day, and I’m not settling for where I am now, but reaching out, stretching myself and pursuing what God has put in my heart. So now, through the working of the Holy Spirit, I’m bubbling over and ready to go. (smile)
 
Oh Friends, believe me, we do serve and worship a most wonderful God! And He’s put it in my heart this morning to give us the monthly reminder to check and see how we’re doing in our New Year’s Resolution to walk with Him in a stronger, more LOVING and trusting relationship for this year of 2013.
 
So please let’s check on that, and however we’ve done over the past month, prayerfully ask the Lord to help us improve, because I know that NONE of us have yet reached that plateau, that maturity where we don’t need to grow anymore.
 
In fact, I strongly doubt if any of us will ever reach such ‘heightful’ heights in this earthly life. So good luck… Chuh! I keep forgetting that there’s no such thing as luck with believers in Christ, that it’s all God’s planning and His blessings! So may He bless us all as we review our ever-growing intimacy with Him.
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit where Job acknowledges God’s justice. ‘Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God (how can a man be righteous before God)?’
 
Oh Friends, it’s IMPOSSIBLE for a man to be justified with God! For He is a supreme, immortal, infinite Being, way above the finite, mortal, inept sinful man we represent. 
 
And as Job continues: ‘If he will contend with him (one wished to argue with him), he cannot answer him one of a thousand (one time out of a thousand). He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? (Job 9:3-4)
 
Absolutely NO ONE my Friends! For NO MAN can match wits or strength with His Creator, Almighty God! That’s like the created becoming greater than the creator, a usually unheard of circumstance.
 
And as the scholars say of Job’s questions: ‘Job complains that one cannot argue with an infinite God about justice; God could ask a thousand unanswerable questions.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people!
 
It’s also interesting how Job’s buddy Eliphaz puts forth that same question when he rebukes Job earlier on. ‘Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly (error):
 
How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed (broken in pieces) from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any (anyone) regarding it. Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? They die, even without wisdom.’ (Job 4:17-21)
 
Ah mih people, in spite of so much evidence to the contrary, yet so many of us weak-fleshed mortals, still try to fight against God, who’s been around since the beginning of time, and will still be on his mighty and glorious throne till eternity.
 
Now listen to Eliphaz again, as he further reproves Job in a later chapter. ‘What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he (God) putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?’ (Job 15:14-16)
 
All of that my brethren is unquestionable truth! Man in his natural sinfulness cannot be righteous with God!
 
It’s only by the most generous grace and LOVING-kindness of Jehovah, through the sacrifice of His holy and innocent Son, Jesus Christ, whose shed blood paid the debt for our abominable sins, that we are even able to stand in God’s presence. And until we truly realize that my people, we’ll always be on the outside of God’s heaven, tearfully and despondently looking in.
 
So Friends, let’s ask God to help us stop thinking more highly of ourselves that we actually are nuh. We were formed from the dust of the earth, and through the holy breath, breathed in to us by the Most High God, we were given life. 
 
Consequently, whenever He chooses to remove that breath of life from our frail bodies, we have absolutely no say in the matter. Then right back to the dust of the earth from which we were created, we will return.
 
Therefore let’s sincerely honour and worship the great God, the Creative Creator who created us to be in a LOVING relationship with Him. That, my people, is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…to live this earthly life…and NOT LOVE Almighty God…is a fool’s wisdom…