Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2019 Psalm 119:133.

Psalm 119:133.   ​Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.
 
Ah friends, can someone explain this contradiction for me please: Why do I go to bed feeling fairly agile and healthy, but wake up a few hours later feeling lousy; tired, aching, grouchy, miserable and pained in both body and soul eh? Isn’t rest and sleep supposed to renew and refresh you, make you feel better and not worse? Between both of us, I’m simply tired of it yes…and I might just give up sleep and rest completely! (smile) 

And I know that some of you, my readers, also have that age old and aging problem, and you’d like nothing better than for us to have a pity party this cloudy Wednesday morning…But sorry, it’s not going to happen! (smile) Instead we’re going to put our trust and faith in the Lord God Almighty, surrender our all to Him, like He wants us to, and joyfully and loudly and sincerely and without doubting, declare these two acclamations: 

‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (P.118:24) And, ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil.4:13) Glory to our great God my brethren, for it is He who gives us breath and life and health and wealth…in fact He is the ONE who gives us EVERYTHING we have and/or need in this crazy, and rather evil world! So in times of stress and strain, He is the most logical ONE to take our cares and problems to! 

Now here is a good description of our relationship with our God, taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s aptly and simply titled ‘His Part – My Part.’ Please pray with me: ‘Lord You want me to trust You so totally That I am unmoved by any circumstance; Then work in me that steadfast trust. You want me to choose to do right; Then turn me from wanting any plan but Yours. You want me to revere and honour You; Then refresh and revive me. 

You want me to obey You uninterruptedly; Then make Your Word my guide. You want me to depend upon You increasingly; Then reassure me that Your promises are mine. You want Your will to be my will; Then help me to LOVE Your every wish. I expect Your help dear Lord For You’ve NEVER broken a single promise And You’re not going to start with me.’ 

 No friends, He’ll NOT start breaking promises with any of us! But please remember we also have a big part to play in this covenant, this partnership with the Lord God of Hosts. We just can’t sit on our fat fannies and expect Him to make everything good come to pass in our lives. We have to offer our trust, our faith and belief in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then seek His Will from His Word and obediently follow it. 

The big difference between our Christian faith and others, is that our God knows we are not perfect, because He didn’t make us so, but He still LOVES us unconditionally and will help us whenever and wherever we come to Him for help, in whatever sad and sorry state we’re in! Praise His holy name, my people! But we need to make the first move! There must be some effort on our part, otherwise it will just be a one-sided relationship, and that’s definitely not what He wants with us. 

And don’t forget, ALL that He’s doing is for OUR BENEFIT, not for His. He doesn’t really need us, but we DESPERATELY NEED HIM! We often mistakenly believe that He needs us, or take Him for granted, or think we can do without Him. But friends, here’s a li’l secret, or as my young daughter would say when she was just learning to talk, a li’l ‘secrat’: NONE of those things are true! And if we keep living by them, we’ll just paint ourselves right out of His picture and all the wonderful things He has in store for each and every one of us. 

Now here’s our Bit for the day, the same scripture verse as the promise for the above poem. ‘Order (direct) my steps in thy word: and let not any (no) iniquity (sin) have dominion (rule) over me.’ Yes my people, though we need to come close to God, and stay close to Him, it’s only with His help can we do that successfully. 

Thus the psalmist continues after our Bit: ‘Deliver (redeem) me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they (men) keep not thy law.’ (Ps.119:134-136) 

Ah mih breddren, what strong words of prayer! And do we sincerely mean them, if and when we pray them? And do we truly weep and moan when our fellow man breaks God’s laws? We ought to. But only God and each individual know for sure, as he checks the motives of our hearts and doesn’t simply rely on our outward behaviour. End of sermon! Hope it makes a good and fruitful impact! (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the heathen and His leader, Satan, know our unassailable position in Christ. In unison and strong, sincere voice: ‘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 you believe it, then you’ll know that that future will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…LOVING God…and LIVING for Him…oh…they’re such a beautiful way of life…that no words can truly express the joy they bring…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2013 Proverbs 17:22

Proverbs 17:22.     A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. 
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday! However, the shouts of ‘TGIF!’ and ‘Thank God it’s Friday!’ won’t be plentiful in the Greater Toronto Area this morning because there was supposed to be freezing rain and an ice storm happening last night. It was bad from yesterday evening when I went out and almost tripped on my back step from the ice that had deceptively accumulated there. And that’s the scary part, where everything looks normal, but you only find out it’s not when you step on it. Right now it’s raining in my neck of the woods, and every so often I can hear the wind kicking up outside in a mad frenzy, causing the still naked trees to do it’s deathly dance. So Friends, please be careful on the roads this morning as the wintry weather seems to be lasting longer than expected. And to help calm, quiet and strengthen our spirits with some godly guidance, let’s chant our Friday Chant with a whole lotta oompah nuh. As one voice now: ‘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.’ That brings us to our Bit: ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ Oh my brethren, there’s so much truth and wisdom in those few words, that if more of mankind heard and heeded them, our world would not be quite the sad and sorrowful place it is. Too many of us walk around with long, drawn, sour faces and countenances as though our best friend had just died. But Friends, it’s gospel truth that a cheerful heart has medicinal properties. I’m sure you’ve heard about the revitalizing powers of laughter; it’s the cheapest and most easily administered remedy for whatever ails us. If you don’t believe me, try it our some time soon, preferably today. Just notice the positive difference that some laughter and merriment brings to your spirit. That’s because a cheerful heart makes its own song and gives your spirit a fresh outlook on whatever ails you. Cousin Sol says it in so many ways and places. In Proverbs 12, he declares: ‘Heaviness (anxiety) in the heart of man maketh it stoop (causes depression): but a good word maketh it glad.’ (Prov.12:25) And according to the scholars: ‘A good word is a kind word that cheers the heart.’ Then in chapter 15, he unequivocally states: ‘A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance (face): but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.’ (Prov.15:13) And isn’t that the undeniable truth my people? It sure is! Just look at how we feel when our hearts are heavy with sadness and sorrow. We feel lost, uninspired, unable to get much of anything done, our spirits plummet to the depths of despair. Most of the time we just want to wallow in our sorrow and pity party. But let something or someone come along and put a little cheer in our hearts and a smile on our faces, and the tenor of our spirit immediately changes. We begin to feel bright and bubbly again, willing and able to get on with life, even though our basic circumstances haven’t changed, just our outlook. Cousin Sol continues in chapter 15 to declare that: ‘All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.’ (Prov.15:15) Wow! I like that! When our hearts are joyful, it’s like we’re continually feasting. And I sure do like my victuals! (smile) Now listen to Isaiah’s take on the subject, as he talks of the suffering of the Lord’s servant – Jesus. ‘The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.’ (Is.50:4) Oh my people, our God does the same with us every morning; gives us a good word to speak to someone who’s weary and tired, so that we might lift their sagging spirits! Are we using that power? I sure hope so, because our world is so broken and sad these days, that there are too many of us wandering around with low spirits that tend to dry up our bones, both literally and figuratively. And that’s not only true among the heathen, but also amongst believers, who should be the most joyous people on God’s earth, since we have Jesus and all the good, no great and wonderful stuff He’s provided for us. Salvation and eternal life are the greatest things to happen to mankind since the discovery of sliced bread! (smile) That means we ought to be joyful and full of beans. But for some unknown reason, some believers think that laughter is not fit and proper in a Christian setting. How wrong they are my brethren! Jesus didn’t sacrifice His holy, sinless life so that His followers could go around looking sad and sorrowful. Remember His most encouraging words: ‘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) Oh fellow believers, that means though life will be sometimes pretty difficult, with numerous challenges, we can overcome them all with God’s help, through His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Jesus has already paid all our sin-debts, so there’s no reason to worry or be fearful and anxious, continually sad and miserable over our earthly circumstances. Remember the wonderful home that’s waiting in heaven for us, so just be happy! As the old people would say, ‘learn to grin and bear it.’ Therefore Friends, please let’s make a serious and conscious decision today, to cut out most of the blues in our spirits, in our lives, because Jesus has commanded us to do so, and it will also liven up our lives, make us feel much better; physically, mentally and emotionally. And like Isaiah says, let’s also seriously consider adding a word of cheer to the weary, tired and downtrodden who cross our paths today and everyday nuh. It’s all a part of our Christian walk. So let’s walk in wisdom today with cheerful hearts, spreading joy and LOVE wherever we go. Then we’ll truly be the mirror images of Jesus that our God wants us to be. Much LOVE!…a sad countenance doesn’t change or improve our circumstances…but a merry heart certainly can…