Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2020 Micah 6:8.

Micah 6:8.    ​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?
 

Well, well, well, we’ve gotten rid of Monday; overcome its fear and dread, and sent it to the dustbin of history, to cavort uselessly in the detritus of time! (smile) Now it’s time for us to eagerly embrace Tuesday’s purpose, which by the way, was, and is the same as Monday – to do God’s work in a diligent and excellent manner! Yes friends, the days, the months, the years might change, but our job, our earthly function is always to do the will of God, to do His bidding in a joyful, faithful and compassionate manner! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and thankful shout of: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name, fear and reverence Him forever, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and exalted! Amen!’ 

And my fellow believers (yeah!) you ask, what is the will of God? Well hear it is, in God’s own words. Moses said it on His behalf, like this: ‘And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to LOVE him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes which I command thee this day for thy good (benefit, welfare).’ (Deut.10:12-13) 

And yes it is important to keep the commandments of God and all those other things, but possibly the most important part of Moses speech is the last part – ‘for thy good.’ Yes friends, all we’re asked to do is not because the Lord needs it, but because WE need it! It’s all for OUR benefit, OUR welfare. So if we’re too foolish, or not wise enough to appreciate that fact, then crapaud smoke we pipe! That’s the mistake so many humans have made, and are still making; thinking that we’re doing the Lord a favour when we do His bidding or keep His commandments. 

Steups! Look friends…Let’s wake up and smell the coffee yes! God doesn’t really need anything from us, cause He’s sitting quite comfortably in high heaven on His glorious throne running things, but we need EVERYTHING from Him, starting with His breath of life, His daily provision, compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness, LOVE…etc. etc…! Without any of those things, we’re all goners! 

Unfortunately though, we are behaving just like the Israelites did when the Lord admonished them through the prophet Hosea. ‘For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men (like Adam) have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.’ (Hos. 6:6-7) 

And believe me friends, when you transgress the Lord’s covenant, you WILL pay the price eventually. He might forgive us and all that, but please remember that sin and disobedience ALWAYS bear a hefty price tag! Just look at Israel’s first King, Saul. The Lord commanded him to destroy the Amalekites completely. ‘Now go and smite (attack) Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.’ (1 Sam.15:3) 

That means they were to be totally annihilated! But what did Saul do? He saved the king Agag, and the best of the Amalekites animals and worldly possessions. And when Samuel asked why he hadn’t followed the Lord’s instructions to the letter, Saul made excuses, as we always do, blaming the people for taking the plunder to sacrifice to the Lord. Thus Samuel admonished him with words that we all know, but still refuse to follow: 

‘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 (listen) 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) Yuh see friends, Saul lost his crown because he did not completely obey the Lord. And like Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say, partial obedience is still rebellion against God. (smile) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘15:22-23. These verses reinforce the Old testament viewpoint that religious ritual devoid of spiritual reality and of a life of total allegiance to a sovereign Lord is worthless (cf. Ps. 40:6-8; Is. 1:10-20; Mic. 6:8).’ What more can I say eh? Except to quote the age old passage from Micah, which is also our Bit for today. ‘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?’ 

Oh my people, those are the basic requirements of our great and awesome, but EVER-LOVING God! Even Jesus referred to the words of Samuel, Hosea and Micah, twice to boot! The first is when the Pharisees complained about Him eating with publicans (tax-collectors) and sinners. ‘But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole (are well) need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ (Matt. 9:12-13) 

And again, when the disciples plucked some corn from the field to eat on the Sabbath and the Pharisees complained that that was not lawful, Jesus, after telling them how Bruh David and his men, when they were terribly hungry, ate bread which was supposed to be for priests only, and how the law shows that on the sabbath the priests in the temple profaned (made common) the sabbath, and yet are blameless. (Matt.12:1-5) 

‘But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have (desire) mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.’ (Matt.12:6-8) Yeh friends, ours is not to just condemn, but rather to show justice and mercy! 

So let’s go home now having writ all of that indelibly in our hearts minds, bodies and souls, declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. As one, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Mama Mia! What blessed people we are! Now let’s go out and share that wonderful friendship and amazing LOVE of Jesus with the less fortunate nuh, for it’s His heartfelt desire! Much LOVE!

…to be obedient to the Lord…is the believer’s unending pledge…and bounden duty…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2017 Ephesians 3:20-21.

Ephesians 3:20-21.   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Another day friends, another day! Wow! We’ve been granted another blessed day of life on God’s great earth! Isn’t that just wonderful? It surely is! That means God has great plans in store for us; plans to do His earthly work through the help of His Holy Spirit! Otherwise, why keep us alive eh? (smile) 

But are we ready, willing and able to do our part in that holy partnership? That’s the million dollar question. We might be ready, and even able, but the crux of the matter is, are we willing? Yeh mih people, do we really WANT to do God’s work? 

That is what God is interested in; the state of our hearts, our motives, our true attitudes. That’s because, like we all know, when you want to do something, you usually do it better than if you are merely doing it through compulsion or happenstance. 

We see that everyday in the way people do their jobs; some do it with pleasure, some because they just want to get paid, and some don’t do it at all. So what’s out attitude towards God’s will and work eh? Let’s take a brief moment to ponder that question nuh…. Selah. 

Oh I know that some of us will complain that God’s work is not easy or attractive, or whatever excuse you have. But friends, let’s remember that ours is not to question why, but simply, as a child of God, a follower of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to accept God’s assignments and hopefully not to die, while carrying them out to the best of our ability. 

And even if perchance we do die a physical death while doing His will, remember the great rewards He has promised, both here on earth and in heaven, for those who serve Him faithfully. There is nothing more rewarding than salvation and eternal life with the Holy Trinity! 

And our God is faithful; one of His many names is EVER-FAITHFUL! So there is no need to worry if He will keep His promises like never to leave or forsake us, or to help us bear our burdens, or to walk with us through the flood and the fire. And even more importantly, unlike other supposed gods, He IS ABLE, has the power and might to keep those promises! 

Just listen to Bruh Paul expatiate on His awesome power in our Bit. ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, the Lord God Almighty is our Maker, our Creator, our Controller and Provider! Consequently He can direct our lives in any which way that suits His plans, but in His ever-LOVING and generous nature, He desires us to WANT to work with Him, and not just be like a fearful and/or obedient slave. 

It’s no different than how we desire others to work for us. And in these tremulous and troublesome times, it becomes even more important that we Christians acquire more gumption, more desire, more backbone, more faith and strength to fight the battles that our world requires us to fight. 

And we can only acquire those things by working faithfully and sincerely with the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, that leads and guides us, that shows us the true path to glory in Jesus Christ. 

So let’s sincerely pledge today to improve our relationship with our great God nuh, through listening to and following the dictates of our Comforter and Guide, His Holy Spirit. That’s the only way life will ever improve here on earth. 

Now listen to Bruh Paul as he concludes with this doxology (praise to God), to the church at Rome, very reminiscent of our Bit. ‘Now to him that is of power (able) to stablish (establish) you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, 

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.’ (Rom.16:25-27) 

Oh friends, what powerful scripture. Please lets take it all to heart, and let it enable us to do excellent work in Christ’s name. And as we do every Thursday, let’s go home declaring our wonderful blessings from our most wonderful God. 

All together now, in sincerity and truth: ‘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!’ 

Mama Mia! What an awesome God we serve and worship! The next step is to now go out and generously share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…the best way to serve Jesus…is to have a heart truly full of Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2014 2 Peter 1:7

2 Peter 1:7.   And to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).
 
Ah Friends, it’s Saturday – the swing day of the week. You’re tired from the week’s work, but you also have lots of stuff to do around the house, and errands to run outside that you could not do during the normal work hours.
 
You want to sleep in late, but you also want to hit the stores and groceries before the crowd, the others in the same boat as you, hit them and make it a maelstrom of swirling, rushing and jostling bodies.
 
Oh, what a stressful life we live in these modern times! And isn’t it strange and laughable, but also very sad, that all our endeavours throughout the earlier generations were to make our modern lives easier, with little or no stress, with more time for relaxation and fun, more time for family and God.
 
Hn! What a joke! Now we’re busier than ever, with much less free time. We work more than ever – when you can find it – and are more stressed out and anxious in peacetime as never before! Ah mih people, we just seem to have everything backwards.
 
And very foolishly, in all the current rush for power and glory, wealth and material riches, we’ve abandoned the Lord God of Israel, when we were admonished and reminded long long ago: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut.8:18)
 
How unwise of us eh Friends; looking for something by turning away from the One who has the power to grant that same something! Only humans would do that you say… And you’re quite correct!
 
Enough on our misguided ways though, let’s turn to our Bit. ‘And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).’
 
And today I want to point out a few instances of kindness in the Good Book, a couple of which eventually led to great rewards. Let’s begin with Rehab the harlot, who helped the two Israelite spies in Jericho. (Joshua 2)
 
Before helping them escape, she said to them: ‘Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by thy Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that ye will also show kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token (a pledge of faithfulness). (Josh. 2:12)
 
And the men promised: ‘Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring  (gather) thy father and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household unto thee.’ (Josh. 2:18)
 
And the scholars have an interesting note on that last verse. ‘2:18. Rehab’s scarlet thread, bound to the window of her house, made the house easily identifiable by the Israelite troops. The incident is reminiscent of the protection accorded to the Israelites in Egypt at the first Passover (Ex.12:7, 21, 23). The scarlet may also contain an indication of Rehab’s sin, covered by the blood (cf. Is.1:18; 1 Cor.5:7; Heb.9:22).’
 
And that promise was kept when the Israelites captured Jericho. Before they destroyed the city, Joshua sent in the two spies to bring out Rehab and her family.
 
‘And the young men that were spies went in, and brought Rehab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred (relatives), and left them without (outside) the camp of Israel….
 
And Joshua saved Rehab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.’ (Josh.6:23, 25)
 
Yeh Friends, kindness usually begets kindness, though not always right away.
 
Now let’s look at the story of Ruth, whose kindness and fidelity to her mother-in-law, Naomi, caused her to be one of only two women – Esther is the other one – to have a Book in the Bible named after them. Please read the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament, if you do not know the story. It’s very short, so it should not take too long.
 
It also caused Ruth to become an ancestor of Jesus Christ, through her marriage to Boaz. That union produced a son named Obed, who then fathered Jesse, Bruh David’s father, to whose line Joseph, Jesus’ father belonged.
 
And remember Friends, that Ruth was a Gentile, which made the union between her and Boaz rather symbolic, as the scholars point out. ‘Thus through the union of Jew and Gentile would ultimately come the Saviour of all men (Acts 4:12). The marriage of Boaz and Ruth may thus serve as a picture of Christ and His church through whom all believers become one (Eph.2:11-22).’
 
Then we have the famous statement of Bruh David. ‘And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness (covenant faithfulness) for Jonathan’s sake?’ (2 Sam.9:1) Remember the covenant between Jonathan, King Saul’s son, and Bruh David. (1 Sam.20:14-17)
 
And there was found a lame son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, living in hiding and abject poverty. Bruh David brought him to his house. ‘And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.’ (2 Sam.9:7)
 
Yes my people, kindness, especially amongst friends is a wonderful thing!
 
Now here are a couple of notes from the scholars that will give us a little more insight into the story, and into the benefits of kindness. ‘9:1. The kindness of David related to the covenant bond into which he and Jonathan had entered. (See the note on 1 Sam.20:14-17)  David’s kindly behaviour towards Jonathan’s helpless son in raising him from a lowly state and providing for his every need stands as an illustration of God’s own grace to men in their need (cf. Eph.2:4-7).’
 
And that note on 1 Sam.20:14-17 says: ‘Kindness and LOVE are essential ingredients in the covenant stipulations of the ancient Near East. They speak of a relationship whereby each party treats the other as a full family member, with loyalty, dignity, and devotion.
 
Jonathan continues with recognition of David’s divinely established preeminence (cf. v.8; 18:3-4). The everlasting covenant between Jonathan and David (cf.vs.23, 42) will be remembered by David when he becomes king (cf. 2 Sam.9).’
 
Ah mih people, if only such kindness existed today on a much broader and wider scale, then our world would not be in such an agonizing, antagonistic and resentful mess!
 
But we can definitely improve the situation if we follow these memorable words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9-10)
 
Oh my fellow believers, please, let’s write those words indelibly in our hearts and minds this morning nuh, then faithfully practice them from henceforth. It’s not only our bounden duty, but also wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!
 
…it’s so much easier and wiser…to be kind…than to be cruel…