Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2019 Isaiah 55:11.

Isaiah 55:11.    ​So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 

Well it’s started out wet and cloudy again in my neck of the woods. But who knows what’s going to happen later – only the great God who created it all and still controls it! So let’s give Him some thanks and praise for our joyful awakening to another faithful and fruitful day in our earthly lives, as we commit to seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. 

So let’s sincerely acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! And consequently: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’  Now it’s up to us, as true believers to keep those two promises…just like the Lord keeps His. And the promise of God that I want to look at today is that found in His free mercy to all, as prophesied by 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. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’(Is.55:8-11) 

Oh friends, the Lord has spelt it out in His usual forthright manner. His thoughts and ways are indeed higher than ours, and His Word will not return empty, but fulfill its purpose! Glory Be! And we all know that He keeps ALLof his promises! And having made that unbreakable promise, the Lord further promises through the mouth of His prophet Isaiah: 

‘For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir (cypress) tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.’ (Is.55:12-13) 

What wonderful promises my fellow saints in Christ! That’s the kind of stuff we have to look forward to, since the Lord has sincerely promised it! And the scholars explain: ‘55:8-13. God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts (i.e., purposes or intentions) and ways (‘derakim’, or directions) are higher than ours. 

While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes. Therefore He reveals Himself to men by His word, which shall not return to Him void (in vain). The Word of God, therefore, accomplishes His purpose in announcing salvation to all mankind.’ 

And are we ever delighted by that announcement my people! For it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to mankind since the great Creation itself! Wow! Without that promise, and the keeping of that promise, through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, we’d all be goners! All praise and glory to God the Father, Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One who works it all out in us! 

And it’s not the first time He’d promise salvation. Listen to Him from an earlier chapter in Isaiah; re salvation will come only by the Lord. ‘For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it not in vain (empty or a waste), he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain; I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are (have) escaped of (from) the nations: they have no knowledge that set up (carry about) the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 

Look (turn) unto me, and be ye saved, and all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (take an oath).’ (Is.45:18-23) 

Ah friends, just like the Lord there was calling His people Israel to assemble from out of the nations of the Gentiles and come to Him for salvation, the same way He is calling us today, we Gentiles, to come to Him through the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus Christ for salvation, because it’s ONLY through Him, that salvation is possible and available! Shall we not answer that call my people? It would be wisdom extraordinaire to do so, for the only other option we have, eternal death and hellfire, is not even thinkable! 

And our Lord is so great and generous that He even gave us a multitude of blessings, which we call our Thursday Blessings, to go out and use them to bring others to Him, so they too can receive those awesome things called salvation and eternal life. Let’s declare them now in strong voice and true sincerity: 

‘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!’ 

Now, with a true sense of purpose, let’s go out and put them to use nuh, for that’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…listen to Jesus…heaven and earth…shall pass away…but my words…shall not pass away… (Matt.24:35)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​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.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘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.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2018 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

And it’s just another day of winter weather! (smile) No, the rain and higher temps have not melted the ice and snow on the ground, so please be careful if you have to go out. Ah friends, what yuh going to do eh? If you want to live in the northern climes then you’ll just have to grin and bear it, obviously with the help of our heavenly Father. 

Now before we go any further let me share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr, Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. I’ve shared it before, but it’s so important, especially in these rough and difficult times, that we need to hear it again. It comes from a message titled ‘God Needs Us.’ And so He does. Why? 

Because ‘Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today. He has no feet but our feet to lead us on the way. He has no tongues but our tongues to tell us how he died. He has no help but our help to bring us to His side.’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! Christ has no one else to do His work and spread His wonderful word but us, His earthly ambassadors. 

And if we don’t do it, do it diligently and with excellence, then His church, His LOVE Revolution will fail, and much of the world will go to hell in a hand basket with Lucifer. Christ’s sacrificial death would also have been a waste of time, because He died that ALL people could have access to Him. And I’m sure we don’t want either of those things to happen. 

So that’s why we, as Christians, have to get really serious about our work for Christ and improve in all areas, with His help of course. Once we have contact with other human beings, Christ wants to use us, wherever we are, in whatever we do, to bring others to Him, so that they too can enjoy the free gift of grace that brings salvation and eternal life. Remember, He died so that sinners could be saved from their sins. 

As a man, Christ could only be in one place at one time, that’s why when He ascended to heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in His disciples and all those others who would believe in Him, so that they could go out and perform the words of our Bit: the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ 

And that is what they did my people. And that’s also what we are expected to do. Christ can only work, and is working through His Holy Spirit in our minds and bodies so that we can get His message out, which is becoming more urgent with each passing day, as He prepares to return and take His rightful place as our Lord and King. And unfortunately, when He does return, all who are not then a part of His church will be left out forever. 

That’s not a very nice fate to suffer, so it’s imperative that we His disciples and followers ramp up our efforts to bring the numerous unbelievers out there to Him: ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ (Matt.28:20a) Yeh friends, we’re all teachers in some form or fashion, either by the words we speak or the lives we live. 

The spreading of the Word is not left to pastors and church elders only, but to ALL those who believe. We all have something important to impart to another human being on the topic of Jesus. Let’s remember that nuh and get serious about the way we live our lives and what we say to others, for we are representatives of Christ, and whatever image we portray is the image others will get of Him. 

Please note that much of the recent swelling of the rolls of the ungodly can be laid right at the feet of so-called believers. We have been too wishy-washy and hypocritical in our walk with Christ and others have seen it and therefore been put off of Christ. That’s a crying shame my brethren! Instead of turning OFF people from Christ, we ought to be turning them ON to Him. 

And there’s no need to be afraid or ashamed of our belief and faith in Christ, because at the end of the Commission He faithfully promised: ‘and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:20b) There you have it my people, Jesus’ promise to be with us ALL the time, even to the end of the world. 

So why are we afraid or ashamed of speaking out and living for Him eh? Remember, man can only kill the body, not the soul. However Almighty God can kill both, so if you choose to become a people pleaser instead of a God pleaser, then you’re in for big trouble. 

Oh my fellow believers, hear this explanation of the Great Commission from the scholars. ’28:18-20. The Great Commission brings the first Gospel to its grand finale. Christianity is not represented here as the mere reverential devotion of disappointed men who honoured their martyred leader. 

Here is a far different scene. The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory by the risen Saviour through His disciples.’ 

And so it is my fellow believers, so let’s treat it as such and do justice to Christ’s victory nuh. It’s the wisdom that’s been granted to us. Now let’s go home declaring to all the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

Sincerely, loudly and proudly now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

More gospel truth friends! So let’s go out and diligently share it nuh, as we’re meant to.. Much LOVE!

…a wicked messenger falleth into mischief (trouble)…but a faithful ambassador is (brings) health…  (Prov.13:17)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2018 Hebrews 10:35.

Hebrews 10:35.   Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Oh friends, we late! Yuh like how I included you all in that, even though you all are not to blame? (smile) That’s what they call ‘author’s convenience.’ I guess the ole bod was just more tired than I realized, and when I did open my eyes it was already minutes to nine. 

Well no palavering, let’s get right down to business, which begins with something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings By Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘God’s Promises.’ 

Please read with me. ‘With increasing joy I am discovering that God’s promises do not suddenly disappear when our courage fails and our fears become overwhelming. Feeling or no feeling, when God gives a promise that speaks directly to our need, it stands firm regardless of negative circumstances. 

There may be times of questioning, and we may not understand God’s timing, but His promise remains certain through our deepest trial. If we consistently rely on His immutable Word, we can disregard the darkness. 

Oswald Chambers says, “Are you in the dark right now regarding your circumstances? Then listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you are in the light.” God waits for us to trust Him when trusting seems the most difficult thing of all.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth my people? For sure! When times are good, it’s easy to trust God, but it’s in those dark and difficult times that God wants to see us sincerely trusting Him and waiting patiently for His timing, because that’s when He knows that we are growing in faith, we are becoming more Christ-like, mature Christians. 

Yeh friends, trusting God when the circumstances are negative and you don’t understand what’s happening; you’re doing right, but wrong things proliferate, is indeed difficult. But we have to learn that with God, a promise is a promise, regardless of the circumstances that surround it. 

And it’s only by undergoing such tests that we will ever be truly able to trust God and wait on His impeccable timing. One thing’s for sure; He is NEVER late! We might think so, but if you check out the facts of the situation, you’ll discover that He is ALWAYS right on time. I can tell you that from personal testimony. 

Anyway, the Bible Promise for the story above is also our Bit for today. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.’ And that is more awesome truth my fellow believers! Too many of us have lost faith in the Almighty because it seems like He was taking His own sweet time to come to our rescue. 

But He is the Creator and the Controller, He sees the big picture and knows what He is doing. That’s why the verse after our Bit explains: ‘For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:36) 

Yeh friends, it’s usually after we’ve done God’s will, that we receive the promise, and nowhere does He say that it comes immediately after. In God’s economy, we usually have to wait for things to prove our faith. And furthermore, as the author paraphrases what the Lord told Habakkuk in Hab.2:3-4.

‘For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry (delay). Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But ye are not of them who draw back unto perdition (destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.’ (Heb.10:37-39) 

Oh my people, let’s hope that that is true of all of us! Let’s hope that we learn to wait on God to fulfill the promises He’s made us, in spite of how long it takes, or how dark and dangerous it might seem. And what did Jesus say about all that in the Beatitudes, in the famous Sermon on the Mount? 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

Ah mih breddren, Jesus never promised that it would be easy, but He did promise that those who faithfully stood the test of time would be faithfully rewarded. Now would you like to be amongst that lot or not? I’d suggest that that’s where we should all be actively heading for, since that’s wisdom personified. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know without a doubt, just who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong conviction now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And, if that’s true, then let’s go out and share our friend Jesus and His awesome LOVE with the world, for there’s nothing He desires more than that! Much LOVE!

…there’s no bigger act of LOVE…than sharing the LOVE of JESUS…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2018 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.   Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

And then it was Tuesday, the 2nd day of January 2018, and the festivities have been abruptly curtailed! Hn! It’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind, or however they say it. Reality has finally hit home! 

It’s time to go back to work and consider how we’re going to pay the enormous bills we’ve run up over the holiday season. Some of us are liable to drop down dead when we see the bills. But not to worry, whatever foolishness we’ve done can be rectified if we take it to Jesus. 

Remember His awesome invitation? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, no one in this great wide world has ever offered such a sincere invitation, with the power to back up every word. So if this morning you’re straining under any kind of pressure at all, the wisest thing you can do is take it to Jesus in humble prayer and supplication. 

He will NOT, will NEVER turn you away, for He’s also faithfully promised: ‘I’ll never leave nor forsake you.’ But He can’t do anything for you until you turn to Him and ask for His help. 

Now He might not just wave away your problems, although He has the power to do so, but He’ll surely show you a way to handle them without a backbreaking effort and give you the grace and mercy to see it all through. That’s His promise and He doesn’t renege on any of His promises. 

Remember too friends, that we’ve dedicated 2018 to be the Year of LOVE…and where does true LOVE come from, where is its fountainhead? Jesus Christ! And we’ve also declared that we only need ONE New Year’s Resolution; that of following Christ more closely than ever. 

Therefore, using all that simple logic, (smile) no rocket science involved, it’s easy to deduce that ALL wise roads lead to Christ, for He is the ONLY One who’s inviting us to bring our problems to Him, and the ONLY One who has the power to solve them, and/or take us safely through them. 

Oh, and don’t forget our motto: EACH ONE LOVE ONE! Yeh mih breddren, each and every day, we’re supposed to LOVE at least ONE person. But please don’t just stop at one, the more the merrier. That brings us to our Bit. ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ 

Oh my fellow believers no greater truth has ever been spoken. Remember all the LOVE began with God! He first LOVED us, and so much, that He sent Jesus to die for us. And as the scholars tell us: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

And here is some interesting reasoning from John, as he continues after our Bit. ‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:12-16) 

Oh precious people of God, that scripture is so rich in nutrients, that I doubt we have time and space to pull them all out. But let’s see what nuggets we can get in what time we have nuh. Hear the scholars: ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yeh friends, all this LOVING business presupposes that you are a believer in Christ, and have received the life changing and saving gift of His Holy Spirit to dwell in you. Otherwise NONE of this will work. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst that raises up our LOVE quotient. 

‘4:15. This helps provide the context for rightly understanding verse 7 (our Bit from yesterday). Trust in Christ as the incarnate Son of God makes genuine, God-wrought LOVE possible’ Oh people, only through a sincere trust in Jesus Christ can we ever achieve the LOVE that comes from God. 

‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as a characteristic of God and therefore as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ 

And unfortunately my brethren, although we might talk a lot about LOVE, it just doesn’t dominate the Church of Christ and its followers as it should. That’s why we’re talking about it and trying to build our knowledge and thus sincere participation in it, for only as the true LOVE of God is present far and wide in our individual societies and our world, will they be any good.  

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, telling the world who and whose we are. In strong, sincere voice now. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

And the next step is to go out and action that last statement. Much LOVE!

…without the LOVE of Jesus in our hearts…mankind is just another mindless wild animal…

 

 

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